It was approximately one year and nine months ago when Bill Parcells reaffirmed his existence as that slimy green gob of ick you’re left with every time you forget about the leftover chicken lo mein on the third shelf in the back of the fridge, as if it wasn’t bad enough that it had MSG in it and it gave your wife a headache, as if she needs another headache, because, like, you know, it was a weekend night and . . . wait, where was I?
Oh yeah. Bill Parcells: ick. In December of 2007, he led Arthur Blank to believe he was about to accept a job to run the Falcons, the only problem being that he really was going to accept a job with Miami, which was fine because after Jim Mora and Michael Vick and federal agents and Bobby Petrino and a 4-12 season, I mean, hey, why not just throw a pie in the guy’s face on national TV and be done with it?
Of course, all has turned out well. Faustus/Wayne Huizenga closed the deal with Parcells. Good luck with that. Parcells operates in any job like he’s double-parked, which includes the time he coached one team in a Super Bowl (New England) while secretly negotiating with another (New York Jets), possibly the most despicable thing a coach can do. Oh wait. Forgot about Petrino.
Anyway, it’s worked out for both teams. But don’t you get the feeling this game means a little something extra to Blank?
The Falcons open against Miami. I’m going to venture a guess that it won’t be as easy as when they opened against Detroit last season. But it’s Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White against a Dolphins team threatening to use the Wildcat. (Ooooh, the Wildcat.) Yeah, I know problems on defense. But this week, an owner gets payback. Falcons win and cover 4.
(Where Knowledge is Good)
Poultry at Dog Meat: Joe Cox doesn’t think people who’ve never played college football should criticize him. I’m wondering if this same philosophy applies to a plumber who criticizes a politician for a bad decision, or the mom who’s upset with the mechanic for not realizing he dropped a wrench in the radiator, or the goomba who put too much salt in your Bouillabaisse, because, even though you’ve never actually made Bouillabaisse yourself, you’ve eaten it before and you know what it’s supposed to taste like. I’m sure Joe Cox is a good kid. But this would be a good time to just worry about getting into the end zone this week instead of pontificating on the background noise. Because, dude, you’re in the SEC. And on that note: Hey, South Carolina’s offense might even be worse than Georgia’s! Dogs win but won’t cover 7.
Ms. State at Auburn: The Tigers just released details of Gene Chizik’s contract. He has a $500,000 incentive bonus for winning the national title and a $200,000 bonus for winning the SEC. Cool. I’ve got a $10 million incentive in my deal if I can split the atom before lunch next Tuesday. Auburn wins, but won’t cover 14.
UCLA at Tennessee: Vols coach Lane Kiffin and assistant Ed Orgeron both coached at USC, so they know what it feels like to beat UCLA. This would be a good time to get that feeling back because next week they lose all feeling against Florida. Tennessee covers 7 ½.
TCU at Virginia: Al Groh was hired to get UVA to a new level. Last week, the Cavaliers committed seven turnovers and lost to William and Mary. Mission accomplished. TCU covers 11 ½ on the road.
Lunch at Gators: Georgia opens with Oklahoma State and South Carolina. Florida opens with Charleston Southern and Troy. Does Jeremy Foley blow on Urban Meyer’s soup, too? Gators cover 36.
(I drank one)
Lions at Saints: Matthew Stafford: You now play for Mississippi State. The opponent? Inconsequential. But since you asked, it’s Drew Brees vs the NFL’s 32nd ranked defense last year. Think Stafford can keep up? Uh, no. Saints cover 13.
Vikings at Browns: Brett Favre said this week he probably won’t play all 16 games. Nothing like an inspiring pre-season pep talk. Give me the Browns and 4 – and a straight upset.
Broncos at Bengals: How bad are things in the Josh McDaniels’ regime? In his first game, he’s an underdog to the Bengals. Cincinnati covers 4 1/2.
Bears at Packers: Jay Cutler just put $50 on the Bengals. Take the Bears and 3 1/2 and a straight upset.
Bills at Patriots: Does Terrell Owens look at Randy Moss and think, “Is that what happens when you grow up?” And on a related note, Owens woke up this morning in Buffalo. Patriots cover 11.
Clemson at Georgia Tech: C.J. Spiller is a great running back. Jonathan Dwyer, better. Actual factual: Clemson hasn’t beaten a ranked team on the road since 2006. Besides, I look at Dabo Swinney and I still see, um, Dabo Swinney. Jackets cover 4 1/2.
Titans at Steelers: The Rooney family has picked three hired coaches – Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin — and all won Super Bowls. Pretty sure one of them also wrote Genesis. Pittsburgh collects Ring No. 6 tonight and then covers 6.
Last week: Never happened.
Fine! 4-3 straight up, 1-6 against the line. But if you tell anybody I’ll deny it.