I thought about retiring.

After all, I’ve been making these pro picks since the mid- 80’s, back when Curt Sylvester’s hair was black.

OK. Maybe that’s a stretch. Nobody goes back that far. But it has been many years and many tears and many names and many games. And I think I finally learned the lesson you’re supposed to learn just before you retire from the prognostication business and get into something more challenging, like snow removal. It’s simple, really.

WE DON’T HAVE A CLUE!

There. I said it. We’re guessing. Same as you. Well, maybe not the same as you, if you happen to be the guy who throws darts at his pick sheet while wearing a hula skirt. But the rest of you. You know what we mean.

So, ready to quit, I showed up at the office. And I ran into Curt. And I said, “Curt, my friend, how long has it been?”

And he said, “I saw you last week.”

And I said, “No, since your hair was black.”

And he said, “Never mind that. I’m gonna whip your butt in the weekly predictions again this year. And the winner gets first choice for Super Bowl pick, and you’re gonna have to take the BUFFALO BILLS AGAIN! AH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!”

So I came out of retirement.
* LIONS 28, FALCONS 20: We have a new quarterback. They have a new quarterback. Ours doesn’t whine. We win.
* HOUSTON 20, INDIANAPOLIS 19: Houston has a new quarterback. Indy has a new quarterback. Together, they don’t equal Warren Moon.
* KANSAS CITY 21, NEW ORLEANS 10: New Orleans has a new quarterback. Kansas City has Joe Montana, who just celebrated his 83rd birthday.
* SEATTLE 10, WASHINGTON 9: Washington has a new quarterback, Unfortunately, he’s sitting the bench.
* SAN DIEGO 24, DENVER 20: Denver has its same old quarterback. San Diego has its same old quarterback. Are these guys out of touch, or what?
* CHICAGO 14, TAMPA BAY 6: Chicago has a new quarterback, Erik Kramer. I passed him the other day and he said “Hey. Don’t say hello or nothin.’ ” I said, “Oh, Erik. Sorry. I didn’t recognize you without Rodney Peete and Andre Ware.”
* MINNESOTA 20, GREEN BAY 14: Speaking of Ware, to all those fans here who kept saying “Just give the guy a chance!” Minnesota did. He’s holding the clipboard there, too.
* NY GIANTS 12, PHILADELPHIA 7: Dave Brown? That’s a New York quarterback? Dave Brown. As in, what, Broadway Dave Brown?
* MIAMI 17, NEW ENGLAND 16: I always hesitate to pick a team whose quarterback was hospitalized with “gastric disorder.”
* BUFFALO 28, NY JETS 9: NOOOO! NOT BUFFALO! NOOO! GO AWAY! GO AWAYYYYY!
* CINCINNATI 14, CLEVELAND 13: The battle for Ohio. Why are they fighting? Does anybody else want it?
* ARIZONA 21, LA RAMS 0 (quits due to injury): Buddy Ryan lays some hurt on people.
* PITTSBURGH 17, DALLAS 16: That’s right, I’m picking an upset. You wanna know why? Because every time I see Barry Switzer, he’s laughing like a hyena. I don’t trust it.
* (MONDAY NIGHT) SAN FRANCISCO 23, LA RAIDERS 20: The 49ers win after signing three of the Raiders veterans during halftime.

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