Better have a sense of humor to keep track of NFL

Dec 12, 2000 7:03 AM

To get through life, you better have a sense of humor. That’s one of the principles many people live by, winning or losing.  Whether you’re an NFL coach, player or just a plain punter, you better keep the faith, baby.

For many teams like the Browns, the spokes on the
wheel came off many weeks ago, and the players know when the regular season is done, so are they. Faced with 13 starting players on injured reserve, the coaching staff kept their sense of humor and started
three different QBs on the very first series of plays. Two of the QBs used were wide receivers!

But for clubs like the Raiders, pieces of the
puzzle are popping into place with ease. The players are loose and know they’re going to the money games. DE Regan Upshaw could not understand why the league fined him so much ( a $30,000 one game check) for spitting in a punter’s face. Upshaw argued the spray he offered up wasn’t even a loogie!

It just shows that whether you’re a coach in the dog house or a player on cloud nine, you have to keep your sense of humor. It’s an idea maybe all of us pigskin punters could use to our advantage. By the way, both the Brownies and Raiders won the money Sunday!

Here are four picks to keep you laughing in line at the cashier’s window:

STEELERS + 1 1/2 vs. Skins
Pats + 7 1/2 vs. BILLS
DOLPHINS -3 vs. Colts
Giants -3 vs. COWOYS

STEELERS + 1 1/2 vs. Skins””All the money in the world can’t buy happiness, or a Super Bowl. Just ask Dan Snyder. Heck, his big money can’t even buy a playoff berth! It seems like yesterday the Skins were 7-4 and destined for the money games. Today they’re 7-7 and will be home bound after the holidays instead of playoff bound!

Raiders -5 vs. SEA-HAWKS””The old cross and skull bones are back! Spitting in opponents’ faces and sprinting into the playoffs. The Raiders have KO’d 10 QBs in 14 games. I wonder if K-K-K-K-Kitna is stuttering these days or if he’s just plain scared?

VIKINGS -7 1/2 vs. Packers”” I think Favre has a very strong arm. But even Brett doesn’t have the strength to throw a football through the top of the Metrodome. And it would take more than one hole anyway to make the temperature drop below the Favre Point, 34 degrees. That’s the temperature at which point Brett Favre does not lose.

Pats + 7 1/2 vs. BILLS”” A little over a month ago, the Pats took Bills to OT. Since that time the Bills have looked mediocre. Pats scoring more points with no huddle offense!

Broncos - 3 1/2 vs. CHIEFS””K. C. broke a five game losing streak when Nedney’s kick sailed wide right. It wasn’t exactly a decisive victory. Chiefs nipped Denver by one early in season. But these two teams have gone in different directions since that game. Broncos have a tremendous offensive line and have won six in a row!

JETS -5 vs. Lions””Raiders were lying in wait for the Jets. Jets are a fine organization which will not be ruined by one bad game. New coach who won his first three games is in jeopardy of losing three
straight! Jets need to find a way to hold on for the playoffs!

BENGALS + 10 1/2 vs. Jaguars””Jacksonville has won four in a row, but the competiton has not been outstanding. Bungles are another weak link. But feeling here is that Cincy will go all out for new coach
in last home game of the season. Looking for big game from Dillon.

BROWNS +15 vs. Titans”” Browns using wide receivers at QB? Banged up bad. But Brownies will go down battling in grand finale at home! Home dogs finally starting to improve, 6-3 over the last two weeks.

PANTHERS -8 vs. Chargers””Panthers have played well for three weeks now. Should have upset Chiefs. Lightning Bolts play great defense on occasion. But there’s about as much chance of their offense or QB having a great day as there is getting struck by one of those lightning bolts!

SAINTS - 8 vs. Falcons””Who dat saying the Saints can’t make the playoffs? Saints smell’ ”˜em! Still winning after loss of numberone QB and running back. Whatever happened to Jamal Anderson?

49ERS - 6 vs. Bears””Jeff Garcia is having a Pro Bowl season. A young defense that had been playing well ran into a possessed Saints team determined to make the playoffs. Bears need to hibernate, especially with their number one wide receiver out.

DOLPHINS -3 vs. Colts””Miami ran into weather elements they did
not handle well. Hoping for better weather and better game plan. Colts have not learned how to win on the road late in the season.

RAVENS -14 vs. Cards””Ravens have mind set to destroy NFL record for fewest points allowed in 16 game schedule. What better team to play than the Cards, who have trouble scoring points even against weak defenses!

Giants -3 vs. COWBOYS””Cowboys’ last home game will be as disappointing as their first, an opening day blowout to Philly. Feeling here is that Emitt Smith and company shot their wad with a huge win over the Skins. G-Men playing very aggressive defense. Collins spreading the wealth around on offense.

Rams -1 vs. BUCS””Have these two teams changed that much from last season? Bucs still have a super defense with very little offense. But will that be enough?