Week 18 picks: “I quit”

There is a difference between quitting and leaving, at least to me. There are times when you’ve got to go, and remaining becomes downright stupid. I think of when our house was getting flooded, or when people evacuate an approaching storm or fire, or when people abandon a sinking ship. Also, when a commitment is up, like after a season has ended. Those, to me, are times when leaving is a choice that is best for the person leaving, and gives the people remaining an opportunity to choose the best path going forward.

Football is the ultimate team sport. Coaches constantly preach about the importance of commitment to the team, and sacrifice by an individual for the benefit of the team. When teams give themselves a cheer, I have never heard, “Me on three…one, two, three, ME!”

While it is not close to always being the case, to me there  is an alarming trend of athletes not finishing their seasons. The latest case is Las Vegas Raider quarterback Derek Carr.

After the 2021 NFL season, Derek Carr signed a $121.5 million dollar contract to play quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders for three years. In 2022, with two games remaining in the Raiders Schedule, Carr left the team, so he wouldn’t “…be a distraction…”.

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Now, I have no inside knowledge of the situation, but…WHAT!!?? How can a healthy former All-Pro who plays the most important position (by far) in the sport be a distraction? You mean, he’s causing the team the same type of grief that Antonio Brown, Terrell Owens, Jeff George, Keyshawn Johnson, and Odell Beckham Jr., among many others, were causing their teams? Or, would Jarrett Stidham play worse on the field than he has in the past? Maybe the Raiders would tackle worse than they have this season if Derek Carr was standing on the sidelines. I gotta tell ya, I don’t think the Raiders could tackle worse than they have this season if anyone in history, with or without clothes, was standing on their sideline. Not only that, the Raiders have played as if they are already highly distracted all season. I really don’t see how Derek Carr standing on the sideline in a baseball cap holding a clipboard could make things worse. Maybe what happened will come out after the season, although I don’t know why the Raiders or Carr would wait until after an already lost season ends to come clean with the truth.

So, I guess it’s easy to see where I stand on college football players skipping their teams bowl games in order to, “get ready for the draft”. And, I guess this topic has kind of become old news as people shift their attention to more meaningful topics like uniform colors, Super Bowl Halftime performers, Super Bowl commercials, and Hunter Biden’s laptop. But if players that got their exposure from a team now feel that they owe that team and their former “brothers” nothing, that just doesn’t feel right to me. In fact, I see it as a symptom of the disease of selfishness that I worry is overtaking our society. 

I don’t want to be left behind the rest of society yet again, so I am rewriting archaic, ignored lines from history so I can be at the forefront! 

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what else your country give you”

“Don’t worry about litter, you didn’t put it there.”

“No job too small for someone else to do”

“Give me your rich, your educated, and anyone else who can help me”

“There is no me in team”

“ The world will surely want to know what I say here, and will surely forget what the suckers who died did here”

“Uncommon selfishness was a common virtue”

“In God I trust, until I get a better deal”

“Early to bed, and quick to lie”

“A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to work for our own best interests”

“A billionaire who sits on his money and doesn’t do anything for the common good is smart”

If anyone has been taking my advice to risk his own money, you would be wise to abandon (not quit) continuing, although local sportsbooks have offered me a stipend to continue giving bad “tips”. In all seriousness, this week is always one of the worst weeks to bet. Unless you know if a team will play to win or are already booking tee times, the wise play is not to play this week. But, because games are on TV, I will bet, draw whatever conclusions about my wisdom that you want. Lines are from sportsline.com on Wednesday, January 4.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-2 ½) vs. Cleveland Browns The Steelers showed me a lot last Sunday night.

Houston Texans (+2 ½) at Indianapolis Colts The Colts, led by their owner, have returned to being the Dolts.

New York Giants (+14) at Philadelphia Eagles Way too many points to give a playoff NFL team.

Dallas Cowboys (-5 ½) at Washington Commanders This line is fluctuating, depending on where you look. It could be Cowboys -7 ½. 

Los Angeles Rams (+6 ½) at Seattle Seahawks I admit, this is more a prayer, as the Lions don’t get in the playoffs unless the Rams win. Also, the reason I’m not picking the Lions is that if the Seahawks win, the Lions are out of the playoffs before their game even starts.

Los Angeles Chargers (-3 ½) at Denver Broncos The Chargers seem to be coming on at just the right time.

Last week 2-5

Season 56-48-1

Robert’s picks

Raiders (+9) vs. Chiefs: The Chiefs have the best record in the AFC despite one of the worst records against the spread, because of what I call the Mahomes Tax. Bettors love quarterbacks, and none more so than Patrick Mahomes. But the Raiders have a rare set of weapons that 6-10 teams usually don’t have. They’ve blown double-digit leads five times, but to blow a lead, you have to be good enough to get one. They can hang in here, and there’s always the chance the Chiefs call it an early day for Mahomes and some of the other key starters.

Rams (+6) vs Seahawks: Seahawks backers have to pay the “Must Win” tax on this one, but when teams reach the last week of the season needing to win, it’s usually because they aren’t good enough. In this case, the Seahawks had the hot midseason stretch, and they did beat the Jets last week, but the Rams seem to be playing fast and loose the past couple weeks, and I’ll take a loose team playing for fun and pride over one that needs to win and figures to be uptight.

Jets (+3) at Dolphins: I’m trusting the Jets to be professional about this one, despite being eliminated from the playoffs. I’m not sure that any team battling for a playoff spot has ever started a worse quarterback than Skyler Thompson, and if he can quarterback a team into the playoffs in a must-win game, then I’m willing to part with a few bucks.

Packers (-5) vs. Lions: I’ve seen this movie before. As Jim can attest, the Lions build up hope, get people believing, and then let them all down.

Last week

College 3-1

NFL 1-2

Season

College 21-35-1

NFL  18-26

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