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How wrong can you be?


"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network


Well, last week was almost a clean sweep except it was in the wrong direction. The only saving grace was Indianapolis and a low-scoring affair, which, when translated, means that this is no way to make a living. How wrong can you be? Like a plane that misses the landing strip, a cruise ship bypassing the dock, the space shuttle that goes beyond the moon and into outer space, picking up the wrong twins at the maternity ward or calling out another person's name when in bed with your wife and doing...well, you know what. Got the picture?

Is it really true that that any team on any given day can upset the pundits and predictions? Seems that way but I have never believed it, with some exceptions.

San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding has to be in rehab right now. The Chargers might have lost anyway but it could have been a bit, maybe a lot, different if he remembered why they were paying him. One out of three and it was OT, two or three out of three and, well, no need to explain. So, what happens now?

Like any fans, folks can be pretty rabid about their teams. That is why my own son-in-law, Alan, is up there on Long Island painting his house, car, and entire neighborhood green, wearing Jets attire from head to foot and indoctrinating my daughter and grand-daughters with tales of days gone past, the legend of Joe Namath and what might be some time Sunday. Why New Yorkers that live in that part of borough number five hate, detest, resent, abhor and display unending enmity and jealousy towards the Giants and Yankees (yup, they love their Mets) is beyond me, but tomorrow is their potential day in the sun, their sports filled fifteen minutes...although each game's actual action will take slightly less than that.

Nate Kaeding
San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding has to be in rehab right now.
I have picked against the Jets for two weeks now and panic is about to set in among Jets fans as I choose them tomorrow. But, there is a saving grace. I have opted for the New Yorkers plus the 7 1/2 and, frankly, not to send Peyton Manning and friends off to early vacation and the Pro Bowl. Playing that game the week before the Super Bowl, by the way, is inane. Back to the game.

The Colts have had the opportunity to see why the Jets are in their town on Sunday, January 24th. They know what to expect, they have seen the defense. Manning can determine where to go and where there is a "do not enter" mental blockade. Mark Sanchez and company can put up points but not a hell of a lot of them. Rex Ryan is his father and defense is the name of his game. So far, so good. Hold Manning in check and you win. Give him a lead and you lose. Take a lead and it is still a toss-up because of him.

Indianapolis can score in the thirties but is more likely to put up between 21 and 27 for this one. The only thing that matters is winning, not proving anything else. Can New York compete with that? Nope, so it says here. Can they get close? Yup. Might it come down to the last possession? Maybe. The Jets are a 14 to 17 team so you do the math.

That also makes this one an under. I will admit that 39 is an awfully low number that only looks good when it is the first measurement of your favorite lady. It lures you in with a "How tough can that be?" mentality. That is my problem...too easy. With the Super Bowl the next step, caution will be the order of the day for this one unless Manning is permitted to let it get out of hand. Check opponent scores for the last eight games the Jets have played. Yes, I know you will do the same for the Colts and figure that they can be up in the thirties in the blink of an eye. True, but will they against this defense and given what lies ahead?

Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez and company can put up points but not a hell of a lot of them.
In the nightcap it is New Orleans -4 over Minnesota and the total is 53 as everyone anticipates an aerial attack that will fill the skies with footballs, breaking the record for passes attempted in a playoff contest. Perhaps. Can fan favorite, Brett Favre, continue to walk the walk? This has to be his last hurrah but that has been said before. Favre against Manning, the perfect game plan. For the network maybe but not really the best one out there.

Drew Brees has been incredible and Reggie Bush is doing what everyone expected him to do when he arrived. The five games played before the annihilation of Kurt Warner and Arizona said that New Orleans' air attack was in flames and headed to a resounding crash heard around the league and the world of football...tough games against Washington and Atlanta, a loss to Dallas, another to Tampa Bay in OT, then Carolina...not a serious game, admittedly...followed by a wake-up call by the Cardinals on the first play from scrimmage. At that point, the Saints let the dogs out, the marching band, lions, tigers, bears and dusted off the F-4s. War declared, war over very quickly.

Bush became an instant highlight film. That changes the complexion for the Vikings, a team with a more than respectable defense. Stop the run and stop Brees. It is not one or the other any longer. It is now both. And, here is the reality of Minnesota...after November 8th, wins over Detroit, Seattle, Chicago and a loss to Arizona by 13...a team respectable at that point, another win against Cincinnati (and we saw what they had against the Jets twice), loss to Carolina, to Chicago in OT, demolishment of a Giants team that never showed up and then Dallas and a collapsible Tony Romo melting like the wicked witch of the east.

I am less concerned with the -4 than I am with the over 53 but this could easily turn into a 30-24 final...covering and going over however close that might be. Why will either side continue to try and run it up? Because they know what the other guy can do. The questions are two-fold. Will Favre be there at the end or will his walker break down? Then, if the Vikes head home, will the next retirement speech be postponed or will he and Kurt Warner form the next broadcast team for one of the networks, all of whom are already drowning in players the presumably know because they once donned a uniform.

Now that this subject has been touched upon, am I the only one that wonders why Fox analyst Tony Siragusa is still out there babbling away? Maybe because he is the perfect reason to take a restroom break during a game.

Oh well, New Orleans to cover and the points to go over.

Can the results be as bad as last week?

You gotta be kidding!