Remember, it’s just a game

Mark Bell Spectator’s Eye

October 16, 2013

At some point during the course of the past week there was an engaging conversation going on about the nearly obscene amounts of money being paid to grown men to play what are essentially kid’s games: football, baseball, basketball, etc.

We were all just getting really worked up about how unjust this situation was when one of the wits involved piped up with the following line (purloined from Dorothy Parker), “If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people he gave it to.”

The prior spirit of high moral dudgeon implicit in everyone’s opinions was quickly dashed, and we were reminded once again of the various arrest records and bankruptcies involved among that group of professionals.

Because we were also reminded that God often punishes us by letting us have our way, we finished the conversation in a better place than we started. Sometimes sports can have real meaning.

Now seven weeks into the NFL season, and with a prediction record that is barely hanging in there at .565 (52-40), it’s a good thing I enjoy the show. If I took this stuff seriously, I’d probably tear a ligament in my conscience.

Seahawks at Cardinals - Surely there’s a “birds of a feather” joke that works, but since I don’t really know what a “seahawk” is, it’s doubtful it would work anyway.

Is it time to give up on Carson Palmer? After a somewhat brilliant rookie year, he’s been spotty; showing just enough of the old flash to keep you hopeful there’s still a lot of it in there somewhere. Then he throws a bunch of interceptions and just kills everything.

Arizona has got to win this one, but they don’t seem up to it. This division is the only one with everyone at .500 or better, so a loss in a divisional game at home puts them in a really deep hole. Larry Fitzgerald remains questionable as sore hamstrings take time and this Thursday night game makes it even iffier (if that’s even a real word?).

One of Arizona’s defensive strengths, Calais Campbell, was carted off the field last week. While it turned out okay, he may not be ready for this one. Timing is often everything and Seattle just looks in better shape right now for this one.

Buccaneers at Falcons - It’s either the massive dysfunction or the major malfunction. Take your pick. I take the fixable problem at home, but Mike Smith better have something go right soon or a whole season of promise is headed for the disposal tube.

Rams at Panthers - Another one of those have-to games, and St. Louis is on a mini-roll with an impressive win on the road last week. Maybe they’ve got it turned around. I’ll take that much because every time you think Carolina is on the road to somewhere, they’ve taken a wrong turn onto another dead end.

Bengals at Lions - This is one of those winnable games Cincinnati usually finds a way to lose. They still haven’t convinced me they are capable of anything but inconsistency and that’s never a good pick.

Chargers at Jaguars - San Diego going east for an early start is a consistent recipe for, well not exactly disaster, but it’s nothing good. Fortunately there is nothing good going on in Jacksonville either, so they are even. Philip Rivers and a surprisingly upcoming defense are enough.

Bills at Dolphins - Buffalo keeps coming up short but that’s a pleasant surprise because we expect them to be a long way off. Unfortunately for them, Miami is a long way off.

Patriots at Jets - Now that New York has been sufficiently humbled by a loss to a previously winless team, maybe Gang Green has got their heads on straight enough to face the nemesis of their existence. Nah, I don’t really think so either, but even in New York people can have hope. Consternation builds as back-to-back home losses wear on the home crowd.