Well, here we are, the final week of the regular season. The last picks. And a moment for reflection. There were a lot of strange and weird things that happened this season. Some I saw coming. Some just hit me in the face and dribbled down my shirt.
If I could do it all over again, here are 20 things I wish I had predicted during this NFL season:
1) Jim Arnold.
2) Jerry Rice.
3) The New York Giants. If I knew they’d be this lousy, I could have made a lot of money.
4) The strike.
5) The end of the strike.
6) Who won the strike.
7) Come to think of it, who did win the strike?
8) Jim McMahon’s injury.
9) Dallas’ decline. Just to say, “I told you so.”
10) The St. Louis Cardinals. I want to meet one person who predicted what actually happened to them.
11) And then I’ll ask the person about the stock market.
12) The stock market.
13) New Orleans.
14) Charles White’s rushing.
15) The Eric Dickerson trade.
16) How lousy Cincinnati would be.
17) San Diego’s first half.
17) San Diego’s second half.
18) One Monday night game correct.
19) Darryl Rogers.
20) That after 15 weeks, the Lions would be so bad, they’d be battling for next year’s No. 1 draft choice. I could have taken the year off, come back for this game, and not have missed a thing.
And now, for this week’s picks:
LIONS 24, FALCONS 17: Yep. Just when you want them to lose, they win. Makes you want to puke, doesn’t it?
SEATTLE 20, KANSAS CITY 12: And the Chiefs, who win the No. 1 pick, go:
“Aw, shucks, darn it, we lost.”
CLEVELAND 19, PITTSBURGH 13: Just a hunch.
ST. LOUIS 27, DALLAS 19: Tony Dorsett says he won’t be back. Tom Landry goes home for January. Boy, things sure have changed.
INDIANAPOLIS 30, TAMPA BAY 10: Remember when we laughed at a game like this? You can laugh at only half of it now.
DENVER 30, SAN DIEGO 24: Chargers, my foot.
WASHINGTON 27, MINNESOTA 24: It just came to me. NEW ORLEANS 28, GREEN BAY 13: It figures. The one year the Saints have a shot, the Super Bowl isn’t in New Orleans.
CHICAGO 27, LA RAIDERS 20: Mike Ditka announced that Refrigerator Perry will start this game on the bench. Nine other Bears will sit on the opposite end, to balance the weight.
PHILADELPHIA 24, BUFFALO 14: Nobody likes Bills after Christmas.
SAN FRANCISCO 28, LA RAMS 17: The 49ers are hoping for home- field advantage throughout the playoffs. Every sports writer in America is pulling for them.
HOUSTON 20, CINCINNATI 13: Bengals gave up 38 unanswered points to New Orleans last week. Is that Christmas spirit, or what?
NY GIANTS 27, NY JETS 16: How convenient. We can say goodby to New York in a single game.
(MONDAY NIGHT) MIAMI 28, NEW ENGLAND 24: Unless Indianapolis wins Sunday, in which case, both teams cancel and go to Bennigan’s.
BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Indianapolis 21, San Diego 14 (Indy won, 20-7).
WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Buffalo 31, New England 30 (New England won, 13-7).
RECORD LAST WEEK: 9-5.
RECORD AGAINST THE SPREAD: 9-5.
RECORD FOR SEASON: 97-68-1.