Look, before we get to this week’s football picks, there’s a pressing issue I think we must address. Something we owe to the NFL. Something we owe to mankind. Something we owe to the good of gridiron faithful around the world.

We must find Doug Flutie a job.

We cannot have him sitting around with nothing more important to do than take the check to the bank and pick up another free toaster. No sir. He must do something. He must sweat. He must do something.

Since throwing that miracle pass in the Orange Bowl two years ago Doug has: 1) signed a $7 million contract, 2) played a few games in the USFL, 3) sat around, 4) sat around, 5) bought a new stereo system, 6) sat around.

No. Sorry. We cannot have it. Not at those rates. If the guy is too small to play in the NFL, fine. But he must work. We all must work. Therefore I have a proposal. I will solve the problem. I will give Doug Flutie a job.

I will hire him as my assistant picker.

“Doug, what do you think of Miami vs. New England?” I will say.

“I take Miami,” he will say.”Boy, can Dan Marino pass. Speaking of pass, did you ever see my miracle pass in the Orange Bowl? There was no time left, and I scrambled around and –“

“Yes, yes,” I will say. “It was great. Now Doug, what about the Lions vs. Houston?”

“Well, Warren Moon sure can pass. He can pass long. Like the long pass I threw in the Orange Bowl, with no time left, when I told the guys, ‘Everybody go long and I’ll –‘ “

“Doug. Please. San Diego vs. Seattle.”

“Seattle? Ooh. A good defense. A good prevent defense. Like the one I faced on the last play in the Orange Bowl, where I just heaved it, I mean I really heaved that sucker, and it flew all the way downfield and I watched it and it was so pretty and –“

“DOUG!”

“GOD I LOVED THAT PASS! No one could throw a better pass! No one!”

“Yes, uh, now, about this Dallas vs. Denver game. . . . “

“How come nobody wants me? HOW COME? WHAT AM I COMING TO? WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT BEING SHORT! MY WIFE THINKS IT’S CUTE! DID YOU SEE MY PASS? DID YOU? BAAAAHHHHHH! . . . (sniff, sniff)”

Well, maybe it’s not such a good idea.

And now — by myself — this week’s picks. . . .

LIONS 23, OILERS 21: It is time for Eric Hipple to unbandage his nose. It is time for Ed Murray to untie his shoe. It is time for Jeff Chadwick to untangle his hands. Besides, I never liked Houston.

BROWNS 21, STEELERS 14: Cleveland! Pittsburgh! Blech.

PATRIOTS 35, DOLPHINS 28: Miami has the same record as Detroit? Oh my. Oh my goodness. Something must be done about that. Let’s make the Dolphins’ worse.

RAIDERS 19, CHIEFS 17: Kansas City doesn’t like the Raiders. The Raiders don’t like Kansas City. Actually, nobody likes Kansas City, except cows, and Bret Saberhagen.

REDSKINS 24, SAINTS 13: If Washington keeps this up, it is going to get phone calls from the White House.

EAGLES 21, FALCONS 14: Why? Why not?

BRONCOS 38, COWBOYS 7: Rocky Mountain High Five.

GIANTS 35, CARDINALS 6: Eeeny meeny mynee mo — yes, it’s time for the Giants to have a good week.

BEARS 26, VIKINGS 23: Biff, bam, boom, crunch, urgh, mrrglzp, ayee!

BENGALS 29, PACKERS 10: Green Bay is very interested in Doug Flutie. And if he doesn’t play there, he can shovel snow. Hey. Work is work.

JETS 33, BILLS 13: Where D? Buffalo roam.

49ERS 28, COLTS 17: This one will get a lot of Californians to leave their hot tubs. Right. Fer sure.

RAMS 16, BUCS 3: Normally, I would never pick a team with a quarterback named Dils. But this is Tampa Bay we’re talking about.

SEAHAWKS 38, CHARGERS 27 (MONDAY NIGHT): It’s Kingdome Kingdom.

BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Jets 26, Colts 12. The Jets won, 26-7.

WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Rams 17, Eagles 10. The Eagles won, 34-20.

RECORD LAST WEEK: 10-4.

YEAR TO DATE: 38-18.

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