Why does it seem like wide receivers and defensive backs like to strut around with guns, or make it rain?
There's been some discussion on the net about the correlation of certain crimes to certain positions. You never hear about quarterbacks packing heat in da club like Plax, or calling out the posse to shoot up a strip club, like Pac-Man Jones. Maybe it's true that each position has its own rap sheet.
Wide receivers and defensive backs: Probably the two most egotistical positions on the field. For example, Terrell Owens takes the field convinced no defensive back can possibly cover him. Deion Sanders was equally convinced during his career that his man would not catch a single ball against him all day. That's the kind of ego that manifests itself in demanding VIP treatment, the hottest ladies, etc.
Running backs and linebackers: These guys deliver, and take, the highest-speed hits. They seem to be involved in plenty of hitting off the field, too, be it with somebody who rubs them the wrong on the street, or a spouse/significant other/baby mama who rubs them the wrong way in domestic life. Yes, Ray Lewis did not kill, but he showed no qualms about jumping into a bad situation. And there's that Simpson guy...
Linemen: These guys deal, and deal in, plenty of pain. They're the worst physical wrecks after their playing careers end. They're the most likely to be involved in steroid crimes, and illicit acquisition of painkillers to deal with the effects of steroids and/or the physical abuse they suffered. And then there's alcohol, DUI, and other self-destructive behavior that lead to suicides and fatal accidents.
Quarterbacks, kickers: They may be involved in fewer crimes, but they're quite a grab bag, ranging from gambling (Art Schlichter) to animal abuse (Mike Vick).
Coaches: Maybe not a lot of crime, but some messy divorces (even including being called out as the other man in nasty ones, as Bill Belichick was).
Not to say that player crimes don't cross positional boundaries. Look at the events in New York - linebacker Antonio Pierce stands accused of covering up the gunplay, and running back Ahmad Bradshaw allegedly supplied the wheels).
But given the Giants' record this year, maybe the team that flouts the law together wins together.
On to the picks (last week, 12-8; for the season, 166-93-1). Confidence pool number in parentheses:
CHARGERS 27, RAIDERS 13 (2): Sorry, not passing on "Survivor" for this one.
PATRIOTS 31, SEAHAWKS 17 (10): Let's hope newly signed retread linebacker Roosevelt Colvin has one big play left in him.
TITANS 29, BROWNS 6 (16): "Now warming up on the Cleveland sideline, quarterback Todd Philcox..."
GIANTS 27, EAGLES 17 (13): Philly's simply outgunned.
BEARS 20, JAGUARS 12 (7): Hearing that bombastic song in the TV ad for the new Brad Pitt movie brings it home: Jags coach Jack Del Rio must feel like his body is a cage by now.
VIKINGS 31, LIONS 3 (12): I'm being generous, the way Detroit quit on Thanksgiving Day.
PACKERS 21, TEXANS 20 (1): Our WGAF Game of the Week.
FALCONS 30, SAINTS 27 (5): The levee finally breaks on New Orleans' playoff hopes.
COLTS 34, BENGALS 7 (15): As the great philosopher Chico Escuela would say, NFL schedule maker been bery, bery good to Indy lately.
DOLPHINS 20, BILLS 10 (3): "J.P. Losman's a playoff quarterback waiting to happen," Virgil said moments before being decapitated by a flying pig.
JETS 33, 49ers 22 (8): At least it's an NFC West team. The Jets can't beat AFC West jobbers.
BRONCOS 30, CHIEFS 24 (11): Will Denver be the weakest team ever to clinch a division title with three weeks left in the season?
CARDINALS 38, RAMS 16 (14): The other day, I took one of those silly Net quizzes called "Which NFL Quarterback Are You?", and I turned out to be Marc Bulger. Little reminder that we're only as good as the people around us.
COWBOYS 24, STEELERS 17 (6): The Men of Steel look like world champions on the road. At home, they look like first-round fodder.
RAVENS 17, REDSKINS 13 (9): I believe in Joe Flacco. I believe even more in the Baltimore defense.
PANTHERS 23, BUCCANEERS 20 (4): About time that hot NFC South race got the prime-time spotlight.
And in college:
BOSTON COLLEGE 19, VIRGINIA TECH 16: If Tech loses the ACC title, the Hokies still go to a good bowl (Gator, Chick-Fil-A). BC will be motivated by the specter of yet another dispatch to a third- or fourth-tier bowl.
FLORIDA 37, ALABAMA 20: Really, when was the last time the Number 1 team in the country was a 9 1/2-point underdog at a neutral site? The Gators' recent play might explain it.
OKLAHOMA 48, MISSOURI 39: And I'm figuring in two Sam Bradford fumbles due to his bad mitt.
BALL STATE 44, BUFFALO 20: Yes, the focus will be on Letterman U. capping an unbeaten regular season. But let's hear it for the Bulls - win or lose, they'll be playing in their first bowl ever (they were invited to the 1958 Tangerine Bowl, but turned down the invite when Orlando's powers that were made it clear the team's two black players were not welcome).