MEANWHILE, LET US THEORIZE THE ACTUALITIES OF THE CONFLICTS

The other day I saw something I could not believe, even for the NFL.

During the broadcast of the Thanksgiving game, NBC employed a sports psychologist as an additional analyst to the regular color man. A sports psychologist? On the microphone? Yes. This takes the cake. Even for pro football, this was too, too. . . .

Well. Let me give you a sample of what it was like:

ANNOUNCER: . . . and Jones picks up two yards.

COLOR GUY: Jimbo, he ran off tackle there, and they’ve been going at that spot all day long!

PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, and the poor lineman has to be feeling bad about himself now.

COLOR GUY: Feeling bad?

PSYCHOLOGIST: Certainly. Soon depression could set in, and he may or may not be subject to mood swings when he gets home.

ANNOUNCER: Mood swings?

PSYCHOLOGIST: Kicking the dog, or punching his wife. Something like that.

ANNOUNCER: Oh.

COLOR GUY: Is that bad, Doctor?

PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it can affect the self-image of a player, and ruin his self-actualization, not to mention his relationships and inner serenity. It’s nothing that can’t be taken care of by coming to my office, say, oh, five times a week.

COLOR GUY: Whew.

ANNOUNCER: That’s a relief.

PSYCHOLOGIST: Let me give you my address. . . .

Forget it. Let’s get to this week’s picks. . . .

CHIEFS 27, LIONS 20: I have a feeling about this one.

NY JETS 28, CINCINNATI 27: Although I kind of like having all the teams in the AFC East with the same record of 5-5.

PHILADELPHIA 27, NEW ENGLAND 20: Maybe next week they can all be 6-6.

DENVER 21, SAN DIEGO 20: Elway. Fouts. I suggest the running backs take the day off.

BUFFALO 30, MIAMI 28: Marino. Kelly. I suggest the running ba— no, wait, I used that line already.

MINNESOTA 44, DALLAS 38: Trust me.

ST. LOUIS 14, ATLANTA 10: If these two teams switched uniforms, would anyone even notice?

WASHINGTON 30, NY GIANTS 28: Do you get the feeling the Redskins’ Super Bowl shot is over?

CLEVELAND 24, SAN FRANCISCO 21: Kosar. Montana. I think the running ba—, why does that theme keep coming up?

LA RAMS 21, TAMPA BAY 20: When was the last time these teams met and the Buccaneers had the better record?

HOUSTON 21, INDIANAPOLIS 14: The worst thing about this game is that it means something for the playoffs. Ugh.

CHICAGO 20, GREEN BAY 14: At least the Lions sacked good buddy Jim McMahon seven times last week. I was waiting for tortilla chips to come out of his pockets.

NEW ORLEANS 20, PITTSBURGH 17: Take the bags off, Saints fans. The winning record is now guaranteed.

(MONDAY NIGHT) SEATTLE 30, LA RAIDERS 20: How long do you figure before the inevitable Marcus Allen-Bo Jackson feud?

RECORD LAST WEEK: 9-5.

RECORD AGAINST THE SPREAD: 7-7.

BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Pittsburgh 19, Cincinnati 17 (Pittsburgh won, 20-16).

WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Washington 20, LA Rams 12 (Rams won, 30-26). RECORD FOR THE SEASON: 64-47-1.

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