Many people have asked me how one becomes an NFL picker.
OK. Maybe not many people.
But every question is important. And so I will answer.
There is no formal university for NFL predicting.
There is, however, one well-known correspondence course. It’s called
“Frankie and Carmine’s School of Calling The Big One And Getting The Sharks Off Your Back, Inc.”
For $49.95 you get your freshman kit: a list of NFL rosters, a Jimmy the Greek poster and a broom to sweep up the hair you pull out.
You also receive advice on how to have your telephone number changed weekly, and phony glasses, nose and mustache (for those embarrassing Mondays at the office, such as the one I experienced last week).
There are only a few written assignments at Frankie and Carmine’s, such as the 200-word essay on why anyone would take Buffalo and the points on the road.
At the end of the NFL season, there is even a small graduation party for those who can still afford bus fare. Last year nine people showed up.
Most NFL pickers are graduates of Frankie amd Carmine’s. They just don’t admit it. Even Jimmy the Greek, class of ’62.
Who do you think taught him to change his name?
And now, the picks. . . .
LIONS 28, BUCS 14: Road jinx? What road jinx? The Lions won a game on the road this year. In Atlanta. Hey. You have to fly over Atlanta to get to Tampa. That’s close enough for me.
BEARS 17, FALCONS 14: If it were any other team I’d pick the Bears to lose. Really. Any other team. Honest.
DOLPHINS 24, BILLS 20: Miami’s offensive line is so crippled, Don Shula sent in newcomer Jeff Dellenbach last week. He called him Steve. “Get in there, Steve.” “Right, coach, I . . . huh?”
STEELERS 24, REDSKINS 10: Miracles are for Monday nights. Reality arrives on Sunday .
CHARGERS 35, OILERS 7: Fouts, Fouts, Fouts, Fouts. . . .
PATRIOTS 21, JETS 20: Why? Because fellow sports writer Gene Guidi told me so, that’s why. And I will print his home phone number if the Pats lose.
GIANTS 31, CARDINALS 20: The Giants looked like garbage Monday night. The Cardinals have looked that way most of the season.
BROWNS 16, BENGALS 14: The battle for Ohio. Oh my. Oh wow. Oh gosh. Oh — ah, who cares about Ohio?
RAMS 22, PACKERS 16: If they stay in the sun all week, will they be Bronze Bay?
COWBOYS 24, EAGLES 21: Coach Tom Landry gave his boys an appropriate lecture after their 44-0 loss to Chicago. It began, “Gentlemen, this is a football. . . .”
COLTS 6, CHIEFS 6: Indy. Kansas City. Six of one, half dozen of another. Zzzz.
RAIDERS 17, BRONCOS 16: A close game. On close games I always follow Frankie and Carmine’s rule No. 24: Pick the dirtier team.
SAINTS 17, VIKINGS 16: Who’s a Bum?
49ERS 36, SEAHAWKS 21: No more Joe Montana jokes. Any guy who walks around with shaving cream on his face doesn’t need more humor.
BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Dolphins 38, Colts 20. Dolphins won, 34-20.
WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Gulp. Cowboys 16, Bears 14. Bears won, 44-0.
RECORD LAST WEEK: 7-7. I never graduated from Frankie and Carmine’s. That’s the problem.