I've been a member of a head-to-head pick 'em league for the NFL for several years running now. The way it works is you and your opponent pick every game and whoever gets more right wins. The scheduling is easy because there are as many players as there are teams in the league, and everybody represents a team. I happen to be the Falcon.
Pretty simple stuff except for the fact that I stink at NFL prognostication. So a few years back I started writing a semi-regular column for the league called the "Falcon's Faulty Pick of the Week". The way it works is I pick one game that seems like it should be a lock, and then watch with dismay as somehow the pick goes sour. My inaccuracy has been almost uncanny in the past.
Going into the start of the season, LaDainian Tomlinson ranked #1 on every single fantasy football player's cheatsheet. There was an excellent reason for this: he put up 1800+ yards rushing, 500+ yards receiving, and scored an absolutely absurd 31 touchdowns.... make that 33 actually, because he passed for 2 touchdowns also.
That Chargers team was so ridiculous that it won 14 football games last year. That's a winning percentage of .875. To put that in perspective, let's see what an .875 winning percentage would approximate to in other leagues:
NHL: Nobody cares
Despite this, the Chargers decided to fire their coach. The reason given was that they needed to take the "next step" in the playoffs. What the Chargers seem to have forgotten is that in order to actually WIN in the playoffs, you need to qualify for them in the first place.
I think there's more to it then just the "next step" however. You see, I think the Chargers understand what the NFL is all about: PARITY. This often requires IDIOCY. I believe I will henceforth call these types of dubious football decisions PARIDIOCY, and by hiring Norv Turner the Chargers demonstrated this necessary NFL trait in spades.
This week the Chargers anticipate some relief against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders currently sit atop their division at a robust 2-2. This is a result of them playing one fewer game than everybody else in their division, who all chime in with 2-3 records, making them the most PARIDIOTIC division in the league.
Despite the Chargers' woes, they should have no trouble handling the Oakland Raiders. We're talking about a team that was silly enough to not only hire Norv Turner, but to replace him with Art Shell. This is a team that splashed record breaking money for a rookie quarterback only to hand the reigns over to everybody's favorite bumbling QB, Daunte Culpepper. This is a team that no matter what can call their season a success because they already matched their entire win total last year. They are a team that has won 17 football games in the last five years. They don't even qualify as a team that demonstrates paridiocy, because they are just bad.
So bad, that the struggling Chargers are currently favored to win the game by 9 1/2 points.
FALCON PICKS CHARGERS
YOU PICK RAIDERS
Last week I actually got the pick right by taking the Patriots. The Patriots will almost certainly proceed to make me look foolish by going undefeated this year... although now that I have said that, they will probably lose this week to Dallas. Such is the metaphysical nature of the Falcon Faulty Pick. You plumb these depths at the risk of your very sanity.