Do not get up early. Stay in bed. Pretend it is just another Sunday. Keep away from coffee. Do not bite your nails.
When your friend calls to ask if you’re watching “NFL Today” say, “No. There’s this really good National Geographic special on Channel 68.” Do not let on. Act casual.
Show no signs that the Lions’ season has come down to one game, today’s game, and that you know it. When the doorbell rings at 12:59 p.m. and it’s your neighbor asking you to help put together his brand new snow blower, do not kick him in the stomach. Say you’d love to, but your third cousin from Albania just arrived and you must go over his tax return. Do not mention football. Do not let on.
We are going to keep this quiet. We will tell no one. We are not going to let people think we honestly believe the Lions can make the playoffs. Not for a moment. No, sir.
We are going to act casual.
If they win, however, you may blow up your basement.
And now, the picks . . .
PATRIOTS 26, LIONS 10: I just can’t see it. I’ve tried. I’ve crawled under cars, climbed hills, taken the elevator to the penthouse floor. But I can’t see the Lions beating New England in New England when the game means so much to New England. I just can’t see it. If I am wrong, of course, I will blow up my basement.
BEARS 50, COLTS 0: They don’t like losing in Chicago. No. Not at all.
DOLPHINS 21, PACKERS 20: Neither snow, nor sleet, nor freezing rain, can keep Don Shula from the playoffs.
VIKINGS 27, BUCS 20: Don’t mean a thing.
SAINTS 28, CARDINALS 14: Don’t mean a thing.
FALCONS 17, CHIEFS 16: Really don’t mean a thing.
BROWNS 25, SEAHAWKS 23: Cleveland wants it more.
GIANTS 28, OILERS 20: Who can figure these two teams? They win when they shouldn’t. They lose when they shouldn’t. So, when picking a game between them, I must employ a very scientific method. Alphabetical order. Giants win.
REDSKINS 24, EAGLES 21: The Philadelphia players were walking around like zombies last week after giving up 28 fourth-quarter points to lose to Minnesota, 28-23. Did we do that? Yep.
BENGALS 26, COWBOYS 17: Act casual. This is just a hunch.
JETS 30, BILLS 10: New York does to Buffalo what it wanted to do to Detroit. Better it should happen to Buffalo.
BRONCOS 31, RAIDERS 28: Biff. Bam. Boom. Crunch. Ayee!
CHARGERS 35, STEELERS 24: Sunday night? We’re playing football on Sunday night? What happens to “60 Minutes”? What happens to “Trapper John M.D.”? Sunday night?
49ERS 29, RAMS 13: Oh, wow. Gag me. San Fran owns Califonia.
BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Seahawks 23, Chiefs 3. The Seahawks won, 24-6.
WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Rams 31, Saints 7. The Saints won, 29-3.
RECORD LAST WEEK: 9-5. I blew up my basement.