IN THE GREAT NFL DESERT, A SURE THING IS A MIRAGE

I awake in the desert. The sun, she is hot. The earth, she is dry. My tongue, she is parched. Many moons have I traveled in search of the hidden treasure, the prize that no mortal has ever possessed: the sure thing in pro football.

See the skeletons of those who tried before me. Some are curled in the sand. Some have the stale cigar still in their teeth. Hey, wait a minute, I know that guy. That’s Ralph!

Poor soul. He got his taking the 49ers over the Lions last week. “A sure thing,” he said. Just like Willie, who got his picking Indianapolis over Buffalo. “A sure thing,” he said. Just like Andy, who got his taking the Dolphins over the Oilers. “A sure thing,” he said.

Now they are bones.

The heat, she is a murderer. The sand, she is on fire. My throat, she is crying.

And here I must go again. . . .

DOLPHINS 30, LIONS 6: As punishment for not picking the Lions last week, I painted myself silver and blue and pretended I was a Kansas City Royals flagpole. If they prove me wrong again, I get the job permanently.

BROWNS 23, REDSKINS 20: It’s beginning to look a lot like Ber-nie, all the live long day. . . .

PACKERS 27, COLTS 12: Could this be? Might this be? A sure th—. No. You won’t get me to say it.

EAGLES 17, BILLS 6: And to think people say nothing good can come out of a quarterback controversy.

GIANTS 23, SAINTS 17: Any team from New York knows how to handle a Bum.

COWBOYS 28, FALCONS 10: Could this be? Might this be? A sure th—. No, I won’t say it.

BEARS 19, VIKINGS 17: Grzymphrl . . . POW! . . . rrmzptrmrr . . . OOF! . .
. rzngrlzp . . . SOCKO! . . . ayee! . . . WILLIAM PERRY! . . . grzlymph.

JETS 31, SEAHAWKS 21: The McNeil-Leahy Report.

CARDINALS 26, OILERS 10: And with all due respect, I have seen enough of St. Louis this month to last the rest of my life.

BRONCOS 20, CHIEFS 7: And with all due respect, I have seen enough of Kansas City this month to last the rest of my life, and somebody else’s.

BUCCANEERS 20, PATRIOTS 14: There is a picker’s rule when dealing with the New England Patriots. Get all your facts together, get all your statistics together, get all your depth charts together, then feed them to your dog. The only way to pick a Patriots game? “One potato, two potato . . . “

BENGALS 28, STEELERS 24: Leave it to Boomer.

RAIDERS 34, CHARGERS 28: San Diego! Los Angeles! Granola, get your granola here! Coppertone, get your Coppertone! Therapy! How ’bout some ice cold therapy! Frusen Gladje! Trail mix! Who needs a biorhythm?

RAMS 20, 49ERS 17: Lo, how the mighty have fallen. Lo, how the lowly have risen. Lo, how the average have stayed average. What am I saying?

BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Raiders 21, Browns 20. The Raiders won, 21-20. Bingo!

WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Colts 35, Bills 14. The Bills won, 21-9.

RECORD LAST WEEK: 8-6. I would explain, but my brain, she is frying, my tongue, she is so dry . . .

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