by | Oct 26, 1986 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

Admit it. You have imagined the scene a hundred times already.

“What would have to happen?” you ask.

Not that much has to happen.

Jim McMahon, the freaky deaky quarterback of the Chicago Bears. What would have to happen? He could get called away for a motorcycle commercial. He could misplace his sunglasses. He could be kidnapped by a radical commune in San Francisco and forced to drink milk. His wife could forget to wake him.

Goodby, Jim McMahon.

Steve Fuller. The “I Can’t Dance, Don’t Ask Me” backup quarterback. What would have to happen? He could slip while shaving. He could slip while showering. He could slip while standing still. He could get signed as a spokesman for Fred Astaire dance studios, as the “before” man. His wife could forget to wake him.

Goodby, Steve Fuller.

Mike Tomczak, the backup to the backup. What would have to happen? He could have a flat tire. He could land in a ditch. A police officer could ask him to spell his name, and he’d be there for hours. His wife could forget to wake him.

Goodby, Mike Tomczak.

Now what choice does Bears coach Mike Ditka have? He has no choice. No choice at all. He turns to his bench, looks down. Then farther down. Then down by his shoes. Ah. There he is. No. 4 quarterback. Doug Flutie.

“We need you, kid,” Ditka says.

“Oh goody, goody, goody!” Flutie says.

He slips on his helmet. He runs out to the huddle. He calls a play, steps up to the line, and — POW! He is tackled by six men, pulled apart like a wishbone, littered in little pieces all over the field.

“Gee, the Lions do all that?” you ask.

No. The Bears do it.

And now, the picks . . .

BEARS 28, LIONS 10: Dreaming is one thing. Reality is something else. Flutie sees no action (he isn’t on the roster yet). Neither do the Lions.

BENGALS 21, STEELERS 20: What is that kid’s name already? Buddy Brister? Bubby Brister? Bubba Brister? Bula-bula Brister? What happened to manly names for Steelers quarterbacks, like Terry?

CHIEFS 27, BUCS 7: As the TV sets turn to “Wild Kingdom” . . .

49ERS 26, PACKERS 10: The biggest problem San Francisco will have in Milwaukee is finding a restaurant that serves broccoli quiche.

JETS 20, SAINTS 19: This game will be closer than you think. And, if the World Series is over, they may get 200 people to show up.

FALCONS 17, RAMS 14: The Rams ain’t so tough. The Lions almost beat them. The Rams ain’t so tough.

BRONCOS 28, SEAHAWKS 20: Seattle, the dome team, suffers from a new disease. Fresh-air poisoning.

EAGLES 34, CHARGERS 14: Dan Fouts won’t play. Lionel James won’t play. Wes Chandler won’t play. San Diego won’t win.

VIKINGS 24, BROWNS 13: “Cleveland?” Minnesota says. “Hey. We only play big guys now. Give us Chicago. Give us San Francisco. Cleveland? Tut-tut.”

RAIDERS 17, OILERS 16: Tut-tut?

DOLPHINS 23, COLTS -4: It is time for Indianapolis to score something. Anything. How about negative points?

BILLS 24, PATRIOTS 23: Why? Who knows why?

COWBOYS 30, CARDINALS 6: Once upon a time, this was a great matchup. Once upon a time, dinosaurs roamed Southfield.

GIANTS 31, REDSKINS 28 (MONDAY NIGHT): New York’s payback for the World Series.

BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Vikings 20, Bears 12. Vikings won, 23-7.

WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Browns 26, Packers 7. Packers won, 17-14.




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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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