Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention

– Paul Anka

These 2009 Week 17 NFL picks have been planned for an entire decade. And what a decade it’s been. I feel like I’ve aged 10 years.

If you’ve been betting these picks for the past 10 years, I’d like to know how you can afford to lose so much money. You do know that I am missing a chromosome, right?

Just last week, I was very accurate in predicting the score of the Giants/Panthers game. It was a blowout: the Panthers won 41-9. My only mistake was picking the wrong team to win that blowout. I picked the Giants to win 40-10. This proves that I am a dyslexic psychic – which would be a great band name.

There is so much to reflect on this decade but for me the sum of all the parts amount to Balloon Boy. It was the Balloon Boy Decade, even in the NFL, where my false hopes of a Cleveland Browns championship and this column taking off floated away and I am in shackles to a team that hates me and a popular culture that can’t connect the same dots I see. The two teams of the decade are the despised Pittsburgh Steelers and the the team coached by the Bernie-Kosar-cutting Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots. And Art Modell won a championship in Baltimore too.

I love new beginnings. I need one almost every day. And now we are at the cusp of not just a new year but a new decade. This follows a decade that only the 1930s or 1960s can rival and yes these are non-football thoughts in the middle of this football column, which is the reason why all three of my readers are here.

Which brings me to… I’ve noticed there are only three of you readers, maybe four at the most. And this thinking stuff requires a lot more work than you might think. And since none of you has given me an “A” or even a gold star, let alone actual cash – this may be the final season of this column. I think that every year about this time when my favorite team, the Cleveland Browns, stink again. This year I am putting it to you. Am I wasting my time?

I will ponder though the playoffs, or you can vote and tell me whatzgonnahappen.

JAGUARS AT BROWNS – Mike Holmgren hires a mouse-turd engineer to build Eric Mangini statues that will be placed in every restroom at Cleveland Browns Stadium. I guess that means Mangini is staying and watching everything. Browns 30, Jaguars 10

COLTS AT BILLS – At the end of the game when no one is looking, Peyton Manning slips on  Curtis Painter’s jersey. Colts 20, Bills 19

EAGLES AT COWBOYS – It comes down to the hold on an extra point but just as the ball is snapped, Tony Romo blinks. Eagles 24, Cowboys 23

SAINTS AT PANTHERS –
Trying to be the anti-Patriots of 2007, the Saints slide into the playoffs with a three-game losing streak. Panthers 23, Saints 20

FALCONS AT BUCCANEERS –
This is the “saw” part of Matt Ryan’s see-saw season. We saw it disappear. Buccaneers 20, Falcons 13

PATRIOTS AT TEXANS – In the third quarter, Randy Moss and Bill Belichick are playing checkers. Texans 39, Patriots 10

BEARS AT LIONS –
Lions and Cutler and Bears, oh my! Jay Cutler the courage to have a good game against a bad team. Bears 31, Lions 21

49ERS AT RAMS – The 49ers want win to end the season and the Rams want to start next season with a Suh. 49Ers 24, Rams 10

STEELERS AT DOLPHINS – Two teams needing Bernie Madoff sized Ponzi schemes to make the playoffs. Dolphins 14, Steelers 13

GIANTS AT VIKINGS – Brett Favre can’t throw it away because Adrian Peterson runs it away. Vikings 29, Giants 20

TITANS AT SEAHAWKS –
Chris Johnson runs for 127 yards and decides to party like it’s 1999. Titans 24, Seahawks 20

PACKERS AT CARDINALS –
A chance to show off my Matt Leinart beer-pong jersey. Packers 10, Cardinals 9

RAVENS AT RAIDERS – Ray Lewis discovers his old acquaintances didn’t forget. Charlie Frye plays as if he’s not really the worst quarterback in NFL history, but it’s not enough. Ravens 24, Raiders 14

REDSKINS AT CHARGERS –
After the Chargers build a 20-point lead, the starters come out. Daniel Snyder, sensing this is what playoff teams do, orders his starters off the field too. Chargers 40 Redskins 12

CHIEFS AT BRONCOS – An early season delusional flashback. Broncos 26, Chiefs 12

BENGALS AT JETS –
If the Bengals lose this game they get to play the Jets next week in the first round of the playoffs. In this case, a Jim Caldwell sit-em is called for. Jets 20, Bengals 10

This column is sponsored by money-making endeavors.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Perhaps football fans are too serious to appreciate your tremendous sense of humor and equally entertaining writing style. So, I get it if you stop investing the energy it takes to write this column next year, but you have at least one fan that will miss it. Steve Sirk’s cow patties from Colombus made a guest appearance on the OBR site this year and it reminded me how much I enjoyed it when he was a regular. Your “dreamer” pieces are easily my favorite Browns musings and their appearance in the OBR are why I still subscibe to the magazine, although I am considering dropping it now that Barry is no longer actively writing. Regardless of what you decide thanks for the memories. Peace,

  2. I don’t really love you, but I have loved your occasional columns on OPR.com for years. In a year when the Browns have taken so long to become entertaining, I’ve recently found your Web Site and I say without equivocation … .

  3. I have been reading WhatZgonnahappen for years and have sent it along to others, when I have found it especially entertaining. I appreciate your satirical wit and as a displaced Browns fan (first in Istanbul and now in Long Island), I share your out-of-state, frustrated loyalty with the brown-and-orange. Please keep writing WhatZgonnahappen. Because if Browns’ fans don’t have something to laugh about, surely we will cry.

  4. Even though I’m a fan of the “enemy”, I love your column. I look forward to reading it every week for the humor and your wonderful writing style. Hope you continue to write it!

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