Saturday, September 9, 2006


Predicting what's going to happen in the NFL at the beginning of the season is a futile exercise at best, sort of like trying to guess Oprah's weight after a particularly intense cupcake binge. One key injury, or one "worst to first" turnaround can change the entire playoff landscape, yet everyone still plugs away every August to guess the outcome. For every over prepared Bill Simmons, there's a guy like Curtis Edmonds, who plugged in a bunch of numbers into an Excel spreadsheet to predict every score for the season, with the hopes of getting at least 1 out of the 256 scores correct (I like his outcome, which ultimately has the Giants beating the Colts). It doesn't matter, it seems that each guy has an equal chance of success.

In previous years, the best have tried and failed to predict what the coming season has in store. But who does the best job? Whom should we turn to for the 2006 season predictions? I decided to waste a hell of lot of time looking back at the 2005 NFL predictions by the "paid professionals" to find out. After Google searching a number of year-old articles, I then calculated the percentage of playoff teams guessed correctly out of a possible 12, looked at their SB picks, and graded them accordingly.

ESPN. What a crap fest. Since their Insider subscription system conveniently won't allow me to see how bad their predictions really are, I'm going to single out John Clayton from the pick chart. This shouldn't affect my grading, but he just LOOKS creepy, and I believe he has to say "John Clayton, Registered Sex Offender, ESPN" whenever he ends a report. Ugh.
Correct = 17%
SB = Colts over Vikings
Grade = D I don't even know what this is, but Google had Adam Nelson on the first page so what the hell. And with a name like Stat Man, how can you go wrong? Very easily! While he barely did better than ESPN's kid toucher, at least the Steelers were in there. But another Colts/Vikes ending? Blargh.
Correct = 25%
SB = Colts over Vikings
Grade = C Dr. Z has been doing this prediction stuff since color photography was invented, so he must know a thing or two. So how did he do? He didn't get one NFC team correct! What is his doctorate in? Art history? He also had Giants at 5-11, the exact opposite of how their season turned out. At least his choice of the Panthers beating the Colts in the big game was unique, albeit stupid.
Correct = 25%
SB = Panthers over Colts
Grade = C-

ESPN Radio. Mike Golic, of the Mike and Mike in the Morning radio show, was an actual NFL player, which I thought must give him additional insight. How wrong I was. I never even played football (unless it had "TECMO" in the name) and even I knew the Jets weren't going to make the playoffs. I bet that sissy-boy Greeny talked him into that.
Correct = 25%
SB = Colts over Falcons
Grade = C

IGN. This website decided to geek it up and simulate the entire season using Madden NFL 06 for the XBOX. Predictably, it didn't turn out so good, but no worse than the "experts" with their "knowledge". They suffered from the "Vick Factor", which means that it's while it's fun having him on your videogame team, if you want to win you don't want him on your REAL team. The author admits the outcome is crap, and contradicts the computer's results to take the Colts over the Eagles, which coincedentally is also crap.
Correct = 25%
SB = Falcons over Ravens
Grade = D+

Steeltown Mike. At this point, I had lost all hope, and I desperately needed to be saved from prediction hell. So I turned to Pittsburgh, home of the Champs! Well, as it turns out, Mike was far and away the best prognosticator. Though he also blew the NFC, he did get 5 of 6 in the AFC correct. I also give him extra points for a unique SB and for NOT picking his own team to win the AFC (even though this was the one year he SHOULD have).
Correct = 42%
SB = Patriots over Panthers
Grade = B-

It's amazing how far off most of these guys were, yet they get paid handsomely for their opinions. What a joke. In other words, my BLOGNOSTICATIONS are just as good as anyone else's, though I wouldn't print out my blog post and take it to Vegas.

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