Manny Ramirez is on the cover of the current Sports Illustrated. Is that crazy or what? Right in the middle of the football season?
Following a long tradition for this column, the Week 6 picks are in special baseball-playoff format, with each game blurb limited to one sentence. The advent of the October rules was delayed so I could make a Sarah Palin joke last week, which forced me to do the normal amount of research before writing the column. That was like seven minutes of work, at least. I hope you people appreciate all I do for you.
Here are the Week 6 picks, plus those of my son Buster, the game-pickinest 5-year-old who ever stood on a coffee table and sang Lefty Frizzell covers, and my daughter Daisy, the coin-flippinest 3-year-old who ever didn't.
Sunday early games
CHICAGO (3-2) at Atlanta (3-2)
There's a chance this game matches the best 3-2 team in the league against the worst 3-2 team in the league, and I'm not that confident I know which is which.
Miami (2-2) at HOUSTON (0-4)
The Texans are the best winless team in the league, and the Dolphins, and I can't remember the last time I typed this, are due for a letdown.
BALTIMORE (2-2) at Indianapolis (2-2)
The old city passes the new one, at least for the moment, in the AFC playoff picture.
Detroit (0-4) at MINNESOTA (2-3)
Did you know hockey season has started?
Kids: Minnesota (13-point favorite)
Oakland (1-3) at NEW ORLEANS (2-3)
It's a whole new era* in Oakland!
Kids: New Orleans (7.5-point favorite)
Cincinnati (0-5) at N.Y. JETS (2-2)
Whattaya say, Brett: Seven touchdowns?
Kids: New York (6-point favorite)
Carolina (4-1) at TAMPA BAY (3-2)
I'll take the home field, the better defense and what's probably the real best 3-2 team in the league in this sort-'em-out game in the NFC South.
Buster: Tampa Bay
ST. LOUIS (0-4) at Washington (4-1)
What the Heck™ Pick of the week.
Kids: Washington (14-point favorite)
Sunday late games
JACKSONVILLE (2-3) at Denver (4-1)
Maybe taking one last ride on the Jaguars bandwagon.
DALLAS (4-1) at Arizona (3-2)
*It's not really a whole new era in Oakland.
PHILADELPHIA (2-3) at San Francisco (2-3)
The Eagles are the best 2-3 team in the league ...
Kids: San Francisco
GREEN BAY (2-3) at Seattle (1-3)
... unless the Packers are, but I think the Eagles are, though I think the Packers are better than the Seahawks, who are the best 1-3 team in the league, unless the Browns are, which I don't think they are.
Kids: Green Bay
Sunday night game
New England (3-1) at SAN DIEGO (2-3)
AFC Championship Game rematch seemed like such a good idea when the schedule was made.
Kids: San Diego (6-point favorite)
Monday night game
N.Y. GIANTS (4-0) at Cleveland (1-3)
This has all the earmarks of a trap game for the Giants, except I don't know what all the earmarks are, since identifying trap games are all about the feel, man, and I'm not quite feeling this one.
Kids: New York (7.5-point favorite)
Season record: 43-31
Last week: 6-8
What the Heck™ Picks: 1-4
Stanley Cup pick: Montreal Canadiens, in a Finals upset over the Detroit Red Wings who, since I typed the part of this sentence that preceded the first comma, have lost their opener.