NFL Picks: Week 6, Plus Roethlisberger’s Return

Last week: 7 of 14 correct, an improvement over the dreadful Week 4, but still a totally unexciting 50% correct. For the season, I’m now at 34-38-4, 47.2% correct. Considering I’m in pretty bad shape with my pseudo-stats-based picking methods, it’s time to go back to the more fun “screw it, it makes sense at the time” method and bring this record back up over 50%.

San Diego -8 At St. Louis
At Houston -4.5 Kansas City
At New England -2.5 Baltimore (it’d be nice if both lost)
New Orleans -4 At Tampa Bay
At Philadelphia -3 Atlanta
At NY Giants -10 Detroit
At Chicago -6.5 Seattle
At Green Bay 0 Miami
At Pittsburgh -13.5 Cleveland
NY Jets -3 At Denver
At San Francisco -6.5 Oakland
At Minnesota -1.5 Dallas
Indianapolis -3 At Washington
Tennessee -3 At Jacksonville

Pick for the 11 Points weekly game: New England. I’m 4-1 in these games so far. Word.

And as for Roethlisberger’s return: Yes, a starry-eyed, moralistic naïf side of me would have been pleased if the Steelers had traded him, so send me a sandwich board. But anyone who buys into the NFL’s veneer of higher purpose and selfless glory, instead of recognizing that the product is built for entertainment and not for inspiration, is taking a stance that’s always going to be a sad letdown. (It’s just like politics, except sports produce much more moral outrage among the public despite having no meaning or impact on society at large.) Despite my feelings on Roethlisberger the individual, which are exclusively negative and sketched out, I will be cheering for the Steelers’ team this Sunday. No matter how much we wish the opposite were true, and even though the occasional counter-example like Charlie Batch or Troy Polamalu pops up, believing that pro sports will reflect higher principles is a POV that’s been proven wrong again and again and again.

(That said, you’re an idiot if you explicitly defend Roethlisberger, which is common among the dumbest, homer-est ranks of Steeler fans. Those who call in to sports radio at 11 p.m. on a weeknight are a good example: While recently in town for work, I heard one jag call in and say the alleged victim couldn’t be trusted because she’s “a blue-collar girl”. That put the tally of positive vs. negative uses of “blue-collar” by Pittsburghers at 105,000 to 1.)

So go Steelers, and may you live up to the hype.

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