I must be honest. I do not enjoy picking scabs. Usually they bleed, and then you have to get a Band-Aid. So, to avoid what I consider an unpleasant and unfair labor task, I have gone on strike.
Yes. On strike. Hey. If the NFL players can do it, so can I. This week’s predictions column of these so-called “scab games” is being written instead by my stand-in, a very capable stand- in, I might add. His name is Vince. Say hello, Vince. Vince says hello. Actually he just sort of grunted.
Let me tell you about Vince.
Once, Vince and I were at a pool hall. We were watching a Raiders-Seahawks game. The Raiders were losing. This made Vince mad, because the Raiders are his favorite team. When Vince gets mad, he does just the silliest things, like smash his head through the cigaret machine. This time, however, he attacked the TV set. He grabbed it by both ends, and began to squeeze, and the sides of the set, which were made of metal, began to slowly ooze in, with a horrible squeaking noise, and Vince was mumbling, and squeezing, and the sides were giving way, giving way. . . .
And the Raiders scored a touchdown.
And Vince stopped squeezing.
And now, this week’s picks.
Any complaints, see Vince.
BUCS 25, LIONS 20: I figure when it comes to scab football, Tampa Bay should have an edge. The Bucs have been a sore team for a long time.
PHILADELPHIA 21, CHICAGO 12: The Eagles have a quarterback named Guido Merkens. Never, never, never, never, NEVER bet against someone named Guido.
SEATTLE 20, MIAMI 17: Instead of Dan Marino to Mark Duper, we have Kyle Mackey to George Farmer. Sounds like a potato sack race in Utah.
DALLAS 34, NY JETS 10: The Cowboys have four players I’ve heard of in camp. It’s a lock.
ST. LOUIS 30, WASHINGTON 28: The fun part of this strike is you get to pick teams to win who would otherwise never stand a chance.
MINNESOTA 21, GREEN BAY 12: Only desperate men choose to play football. Only the truly desperate choose to play scab football. And only those without a prayer choose to play in Green Bay.
INDIANAPOLIS 0, BUFFALO 0: A nothing game. Just like in the real season.
DENVER 27, HOUSTON 7: Houston is starting John Witkowski at quarterback. John Witkowski was cut by the Lions. Twice. ‘Nuff said.
LA RAIDERS 88, KANSAS CITY 0: You wanna argue? Argue with Vince.
LA RAMS 21, NEW ORLEANS 14: If these guys were smart, they’d all quit by halftime, head over to Bourbon Street, find an empty stool, and watch a baseball game.
NEW ENGLAND 40, CLEVELAND 30: The Patriots are staring Bob Bleier at quarterback. He is Rocky’s brother. I assume, if he does well, we will have to see Bob II, Bob III, and Bob IV, where he fights the Russian.
CINCINNATI 35, SAN DIEGO 12: San Diego coach Al Saunders recently said his biggest challenge will be “getting into the game.” And his second-biggest challenge will be “getting out of the game.” You have to like that kind of honesty.
PITTSBURGH 30, ATLANTA 29: . . . no . . . ATLANTA 30, PITTSBURGH 29 . . . no . . . ah, wait, I, wait, wait . . . forget it. Who cares?
(MONDAY NIGHT) SAN FRANCISCO 21, NY GIANTS 3: All the best potential football players in New York are working as bouncers in bars on Columbus Avenue. They make more money.
RECORD TWO WEEKS AGO: 7-6-1.
RECORD THIS SEASON: 15-12-1.
BEST PICK TWO WEEKS AGO: Philadelphia 27, New Orleans 20. The Eagles won, 27-17.
WORST PICK TWO WEEKS AGO: New York Giants 30, Dallas 7. The Cowboys won, 16-14.