2006-2007 NFL Playoff Challenge, round 1: the post-mortem

It’s never a good feeling to get up in the morning and find that one of your favorite writers just called you out like a bitch. But I deserve it, not having gone online yesterday to explain my horrific weekend of NFL picks.

On Saturday night, my brother said, “A game can be played horribly, but still be exciting.” This was moments before Tony Romo botched the hold on the potential game-winning field goal for the Cowboys. He was right; the ‘Hawks and the ‘Boys played like crap, but at least the game came down to the final minute. Unfortunately, this level of excitement didn’t make up for my call that Seattle would cover the 7-point spread (actually, I predicted a 21-point win, but hey).

Similarly, the Giants ignored the conventional wisdom that they’d quit on their coach, and busted their butts in their game against the Eagles, coming up short by 3 points, instead of the 7+ that I would’ve needed for a cover.

But my biggest mistake was going with the Jets outright. I thought it’d be a 17-14 finish or thereabouts, but it turned into a late rout, because the Pats are That Good. What’s funny is that, in both 2004 and 2005, I wrote on this very site, “Never bet against Bill Belichick.” Clearly, the fact that I didn’t reiterate this in 2006 doomed me to failure last weekend.

So I ended the weekend 1-3 against the spread, while Ron Rosenbaum went 2-2 in our Playoff Challenge (we both called the Colts cover correctly, even though we both blew our call that Larry Johnson would run wild for KC). Still no word on what should actually be at stake on this run. I’d offer up that the loser hosts a Superbowl party at his home, but we’re already planning on throwing one here at palatial VM Estates, so that’s out (on the plus side, you’re invited!).

Anyway, this Saturday morning, we’ll both post our second-round picks, based on Thursday’s betting line from the NY Daily News. Ron contends he’s also going to hazard a guess on what Philip Roth’s picks would be, even though I don’t think he’s aware of the, um, odd history I have with Mr. Roth (I’ll fill you in on that story sometime).

(Oh, and you guys should all pick up Ron’s newest book, The Shakespeare Wars, for two reasons: it’s a wonderful exploration into the wonder of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, and if enough people buy it, I’ll be able to say that NYTimes best-selling author called me out like a bitch.)

3 Replies to “2006-2007 NFL Playoff Challenge, round 1: the post-mortem”

  1. Fortunately, there are a number of reasons I never became a fan of college football:

    a) my parents are from Europe and had no American college-experience to inflict on their children;

    b) I went to an undergraduate institute where the official sport was Ultimate Frisbee (Hampshire College), and a grad school where the official sport was croquet (St. John’s College, where we annually beat the Naval Academy like a drum); and

    c) I grew up in northern NJ, which is devoid of big-time college athletics (which didn’t stop a lot of wanna-bes from becoming Rutgers fans during their run this year).

    That said, I was driving home Monday night and heard The Sports Bash giving a multitude of reasons why Ohio was going to beat them. One commentator thought it might be a close game (17 or 16 to 14), because Florida was a good defensive squad, but not-so-much on offense. I didn’t care much for the game, but I checked it after my wife & I finished watching Jackass Number Two. It was halftime and the not-so-good offensive team was up 34-14 or thereabouts. I laughed and went to bed.

  2. The pro game is still awesome when it’s going, much more so than even my beloved pro basketball, but the college football game is still the best live experience + television experience + fun to follow for an entire season combination in sport. They’re starting to play too many games, and I will never understand the fixation on playoffs, but it’s still pretty great year-in and year-out.

    You’re right in one of the worst things about it is the coverage of it, and worst of all is people treating them like mini-professionals with their predictions. They’re 22 year old college students! You can’t trust 22-year-old college students to do anything.

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