Saturday, January 03, 2009

Wildcard Picks

Last week I was 12-4. I finished the regular season 163-89-1. Which means I was able to beat out Wickersham, Schlereth, Allen, and Golic at the ESPN Expert Picks page.

Congratulations to Hoge, who came from behind to overtake Mortensen at the end and win the regular season title at 171-85. Jaworski ended up beating me by a percentage point, which I had to figure out due to the fact he doesn't pick the Monday night games. But due to me forgetting to pick 3 games, I was 2 TEN THOUSANDTHS of a percentage point behind Fleming for fourth place.

As for Sunday Countdown, I was able to best Ditka and Carter but was clipped by Johnson and Jackson.

Now come the Playoffs. I love NFL playoffs, because they're all "Game 7" types of struggles. Every possession, and often every down, are crucial.

For the first time that I can ever remember, all 4 visiting teams this weekend are favored to win. The reason is that there was such a disparity in the quality of the divisions this year. The champions of the weaker divisions are less of a threat than the runners-up of the strong ones.

And of course, last but certainly least, I have to at least acknowledge the accomplishment of the Detroit Lions. I was 9 years old when the Dolphins went undefeated for an entire season and I always wanted to see a team do the opposite. It took until the start of my 46th year on Earth to see an NFL team run the table in reverse for 16 games, so I'm not likely to ever see it happen again.

So thank you Detroit Lions. As the years go by, the significance of your accomplishment can only grow.

My only regret in the whole thing is that it happened under the watch of Rod Marinelli, a real class act on a clueless franchise. It wasn't your fault, Rod. You had to play with the hand you were dealt.

His next stop should be with the Bears. I just hope his pick and shovel didn't get lost in the disaster of 2008.


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