It’s healthy to engage in a little personal review every year – except when your personal activity involves predicting before the NFL season the records with which each team would finish, which would make the playoffs, reach the Super Bowl and ultimately emerge as champion.
It’s a fool’s errand. Ah, but such prognostications were still part of my full-time sports journalistic duties last September, when I went on printed record for the 28th consecutive season – eh, more like six – and in the process somehow predicted the Dallas Cowboys would stink out the NFL joint and win only five games. Um, they were a powerhouse at 12-4.
Ha! And let me flagellate myself further. (What? That’s a word! Keep it clean, people!) Not only was I dubious on Dallas, but I ‘ciphered and figgered and ruminated and churnchurnchurn whirlwhirl . . . I endorsed the New Orleans Saints for 13 – count ‘em, 13! – victories. Yes, in print that people paid for! With my name attached. I assumed their loaded offense would erupt all over a soft schedule and a weak division. Ha! The NFC South turned out weak indeed – the Carolina Panthers won the stupid four-team division with a 7-9 record. The Saints, the outfit I expected to win the most games in the NFL? Yeah, they won six silly contests.
I note this at this point because those who care know that the NFC and AFC championship games will be played today (Sunday). And seeing the teams involved – Seattle and Green Bay in the NFC, then Indianapolis and New England – it jogged my memory that I THOUGHT I’d picked the playoffs pretty well, at least. And I did. That is to say, I thought Seattle would be playing at New Orleans today and that the Seahawks, with that mighty Kam Chancellor-led defense, would win. And I thought that Denver would lose in New England; alas, Brady and the other Gray Hoodies will still host, but they will instead take out Indianapolis, which beat Denver last week.
Alas, these results will set up the Super Bowl I DID predict five months ago and subsequently put my mortgage down on in Las Vegas (which isn’t true at all) – New England vs. Seattle, with the Patriots winning that championship game with the pretentious Roman Numerals ridiculously attached to it.
Overall, then, I judge this slight salvaging as positive to my self-esteem as a sports writer with an NFL emphasis, in that I predicted six teams right on the number and 11 more within one victory of their total — so that 53 percent came in perfect or plus-or-minus 1.
That is about the very definition of middling. The good news is I will be doubtful to ever quit my day job – if I ever get another day job – to launch a venture as a sports-book railbird.
And that’s really all I have to say about that.
Enjoy the games.