The thing about being an NFL “expert” is there aren’t a lot of job requirements. Like, if I made weekly picks for The Washington Post, I would probably be called an “expert,” despite the fact that, two short months ago, I argued it was more likely that the Wizards would make the playoffs this season than the Redskins.
I mean, the Wizards have won fewer games all season than the Redskins won in December. If my job depended on accurate predictions, I should be fired for that bit of nonsense. Or at least put on the Wizards beat.
I do make picks each week for Express, incidentally. As of last week, I was 43-32 this season. Straight-up, no point spreads. That put me well behind “Public Bar,” which was 50-25. That’s right, I’m picking games less successfully than a bar. A bar that advertises ” a unique and entertaining menu of traditional American savories served with an aesthetic flair.” The bar can evidently write better than I can, too.
But seriously, no one in my line of work was hired to be an actual expert at predicting results of football games. We were hired because of our tireless reporting, or our beautiful writing, or our solid source-building, or our ability to rapidly listen to and transcribe 9,000 Joe Theismann radio appearances without burying our heads in steaming pots of borscht and choking to death on particularly savory chunks of celery, with an aesthetic flair.
And if we — all of us in the sports content industry — actually did have some special ability to accurately forecast NFL results, we’d be beyond stupid to spend our lives staring at laptops while listening to bluegrass versions of Hail to the Redskins on endless repeat, instead of just moving to Vegas, raking in the easy money, and enjoying like 17 free Bloody Marys a day in the Bellagio sports book.
All that by way of saying, if you’re going to take offense that “experts” and “analysts” and “insiders” are overwhelmingly picking against the Redskins this week, well, your energy would be better served finally doing something with all those empty cardboard boxes you still haven’t disposed of after the holidays. Or taking a nap.
Still, please do pass along this link to all your Redskins-loving friends, so they can be enraged and incredulous and personally offended, and post angry us-against-the-world comments below. Thanks.
At ESPN.com, just 3 of 12 experts predict the Redskins will beat Seattle.
At NFL.com, just 4 of 13 experts predict the Redskins will beat Seattle.
At CBSSports.com, just 2 of 8 experts predict the Redskins will even stay within 3.5 points of Seattle.
At SI.com, just 2 of 8 experts predict the Redskins will beat Seattle.
At PFT.com, 0 of 2 experts predict the Redskins will beat Seattle; in fact, both have the Skins losing by double digits.
At Yahoo, 0 of 3 experts predict the Redskins will beat Seattle.
That means 35 out of 46 experts — or 35 out of 46 sentient life forms with photos of themselves on the Internet, anyhow — are taking the favorite to win this one.
Like I said, I’m no expert myself. But I wouldn’t hate to be on the betting side with a home team riding a seven-game winning streak.
And now, apropos of nothing, pulp, by Raymond Chandler.
“The eighty-five-cent dinner tasted like a discarded mail bag and was served to me by a waiter who looked as if he would slug me for a quarter, cut my throat for six bits, and bury me at sea in a barrel of concrete for a dollar and a half, plus sales tax,” he wrote in Farewell, My Lovely. That’s aesthetic flair.