All right, sports fans. Listen up.
You say you're a little confused about the NBA playoff pairings. Still fuzzy on the Stanley Cup matchups. A bit befuddled because they might run the Preakness on the sidewalks of New York.
Piece of cake, my man. Wait until those wonderful folks who brought you wild cards. Super Sunday, Super Monday and football title games counted in Roman numerals get through with your head.
We are, of course, referring to the wizards who run the National Football League. This week, they announced that each NFL team will play a 16-game regular-season schedule in 1978.
They also announced a scheduling plan based partly on finish in the standings that is more confusing than Sonny Hill's instant basketball analyses.
Here's an example, straight from commissioner Rozelle's very own publicity machine.
"Very simply (honestly, they said very simply), the teams in a four-team division would have two games each with a fifth-place team, the same as do the top four teams in a five-team division, except that the games are not on a home-and-home basis."
Got that? Wait, there's more.
"This step gives each team in a four team division eight games, the same number as the top four teams in a five-team division. At this point, all fifth-place teams have 12 games, the additional four games in excess of home-and-home opponents being comprised of one game with each team in the four-team division of its conference."
The league also put out five pages of this stuff, complete with handy-dandy diagrams and charts, to help explain the new system.
It doesn't help, unless of course you (a) own a few shares of Texas Instruments, (b) have memorized the logarithm tables or (c) scored 800 on the math part of the SAT.
For those in none of the above categories, we refer you to a colleague. Barry Lorge, who read the five pages and offered the following summary:
"Very simply," said Lorge, "every team will play every other team less than three times, unless the sum total of their losses over the last five years is greater than the square root of their wins, or Jupiter aligns with Mars."
We give up. We can tell you that the Redskins will still play Dallas, St. Louis, the Giants and Philadelphia twice every season.
We can also tell you there is no posibility that the Bullets will play a home-and-home series against the Miami Dolphines in October, 1978, unless, of course, they lose to the Cavaliers in the opening round of the playoffs, in which case there will be a two-out-of-three series with the Capitals to determine the home-court advantage. Or is that home ice, or is it . . .
(The writer corners the Redskins for The Post . . . or he did until the new NFL schedule plan was released this week.) .