He was taken to task by some critics who asked
Do you write the words or lyrics first?

– The Michael Stanley Band –

These 2009 NFL predictions, as you probably guessed, involve three jelly donuts and three smoking-hot women named Betty.

Yeah, so do you know how some people see the shape of religious figures in a potato chip or a coffee stain, and it changes their life forever? That’s sort of how I found out what’s gonna happen in 2009 in the NFL.

It was last Tuesday at 7:12 A.M. I remember it vividly and specifically – yes romantically and almost sexually. These were, after all, jelly donuts. I was as happy as anyone being served three donuts by three Bettys could possibly be, which is pretty damn happy – just imagine! Three Bettys, three jelly donuts, and me. It was quite a sevensome.

Anyway, that Tuesday while the Bettys went back to serving donuts and I did my daily contemplation about which Betty-donut to eat first, I noticed something in how the donuts were arranged, and when I studied further I found a Davinci Code-like prophecy of the 2009 NFL season. Yes my Betty-donuts were speaking to me more than usual – and not just about unspeakable things. This time, my breakfast was predicting the 2009 NFL season.

In 1965, I was 6 years old and just getting interested in sports. I remember the adults around me saying, “You are lucky to root for the Cleveland Browns because they are the best team in football. They have Jim Brown and they just won the NFL championship. They should win the championship for a bunch of years.”

Yes, this is my once-a-year explanation of whatzgonnahappen.

The Browns, you see, won the NFL Championship in 1964. I started following Cleveland sports teams in 1965. And no Cleveland team (thanks a lot Joe Posnanski) has won a championship since.

My point is that this is my column and this is whatzgonnahappen according to me. These are not real NFL picks. I don’t have don’t have a clue what’s going to happen this year in the NFL.

Psst – neither does anyone else.

That’s why they play the games.

Anyway, as I was saying, I am proudly biased. I am a bleed-the-colors Cleveland Browns fan and every week I intend to predict that the team with orange helmets will win. (Most weeks in recent years, this is the only place they win.)

That’s my once-a-year true confession – this predictions column is beyond biased. It’s predictable – at least for one team.

Also, I hate the Pittsburgh Steelers. Is there a stronger word than “hate?”

Finally, this is a political column too and yes, I have a political bias. I don’t like stupid, I despise closed-minded, but mostly I really hate the Pittsburgh Steelers. And yes, that’s a political statement.

Do you believe that three Betty-served jelly donuts can forecast the NFL season? Good.

In a gift given only to me – which I am now, like Moses, passing on to you – I saw the final standings of the 2009 NFL season in a Tuesday morning jelly donut design. At that moment a voice in my head told me to write what I saw and eat the evidence, and then go forth and tell the world whatzgonnahappen.



PATRIOTS – Tom Brady, who is Cary Grant in the off-season, takes some time away from the pages of People Magazine to return to the glory of Sports Illustrated (thanks a lot Joe Posnanski). 11-5

BILLS – Do you know how they say swine flue is contagious? Yeah, I was thinking about that when I saw the Bills signed Terrell Owens. 10-6

DOLPHINS – This year the wildcat is tamed by NFL defensive coordinators into a mildcat. 8-8

JETS – The best quarterback in the draft next year is quarterback Sam Bradford. Too bad the Jets are stuck with Mark Sanchez. 2-14


BROWNS – Brady Quinn throws 60 touchdowns and zero interceptions, while Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated gets the curling beat. 16-0

STEELERS – The Super Bowl champs are profiled in a cover story by Joe Posnanski. 12-4

BENGALS – Carson Palmer returns but this year Chad Ochocinco changes him name to Chad Washedup. 8-8

RAVENS – Joe Flacco isn’t as good as he is, that’s my new theory/hope. As I was saying, Ray Lewis will be eaten by a tarantula, a grizzly bear, and a great white shark and then, ironically, finished off by a raven. 4-12


JAGUARS – Is there anything more fun than watching Maurice Jones-Drew run over a defensive lineman twice his size? If Tory Holt has anything left, this team could be very dangerous. 11-5

COLTS – Peyton Manning, who once could sell ice to Eskimos, finds it harder to sell without Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy around. 9-7

TEXANS – The Texans have finally achieved the first dream of an expansion franchise: consistent mediocrity. 8-8

TITANS – All the stuff that went right last year will go wrong this year. 5-11


BRONCOS – Kyle Orton is better than you think, meaning that Josh McDaniels’ Belichick act won’t be canceled until two years from now. 10-6

CHARGERS – Hey LaDanian Tomlinson, remember when… Yeah, those were the days. 9-7

RAIDERS – JaMarcus Russell develops and Al Davis gets one more shot at bird-flipping I-told you-so. 8-8

CHIEFS – The Matt Cassell trade proves that Scott Pioli has incriminating pictures of Bill Belichick, but Cassell is not throwing to Randy Moss and Wes Welker anymore. 5-11



EAGLES – Andy Reid benches Donovan McNabb during the first game of the season to get it over with. 12-4

GIANTS – Eli Manning throws some interceptions and shoots himself in the foot – but not literally. 10-6

REDSKINS – Jim Zorn probably has to win the Super Bowl to prevent Daniel Snyder from overpaying for a big name coach next year. 7-9

COWBOYS – The new stadium means it’s a new era for the Cowboys as America’s disappointing team. 5-11


PACKERS – While other teams search Brett Favre’s diaper for signs he wants to play again, Aaron Rodgers is right now – not ten years ago – a top-tier NFL quarterback. 13-3

VIKINGS – Tarvaris Jackson secretly wishes the Vikings could find a quarterback because otherwise the offense appears loaded. Vikings 9-7

LIONS – This is the offense of the future, and by mid-season we’ll get some glimpses of how scary-good they are going to be. 6-10

BEARS – Instant karma is gonna get Jay Cutler. 3-13


PANTHERS – I want defensive line draft pick Everette Brown to change his name to Everette Salt so when he and Julius Peppers eat up opposing offenses they can salt and peppers them. 11-5

FALCONS – Surprise! Michael Vick comes back to run the wildcat, renamed the Michael Vick Pit Bull Offense. 10-6

SAINTS – The window of opportunity is closing faster than Jeremy Shockey’s eyes.7-9

BUCCANEERS – Kellen Winslow Jr. says that when he is 80 he’s going to drive a souped-up Rascal Scooter. 5-11


CARDINALS – If they weren’t wearing those uniforms and playing for that owner, I’d say they are an elite team. As long as Kurt Warner is healthy, I still do. 12-4

SEAHAWKS – If they only had a running game, this team could go places on the arm of Matt Hasselbeck 8-8

49ERS – Mike Singletary brings back Jim McMahon to play quarterback, and if it wasn’t for the effect of frat parties on the old man, they would be doing the Super Bowl shuffle again. 6-10

RAMS – When is the draft? 2-14







This column is sponsored by Joe Posnanski’s nightmares.

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This article has 16 comments

  1. Quite true, Fred. But I am a professional idiot. Idiot-American is the ethnic group. If you look around, there is one of us in almost every family. In mine, everyone voted for me….

  2. the seahawks are no longer the seachickens, new coach, new direction,new hieghts! can we agree10-6 at the least?

  3. Wow…….you must be on some damn good drugs saying that the browns will have the perfect season…….

  4. Brian,

    I’ll settle for 8 – 8 especially after 2008. In fact I’ll be thrilled. I think Tony Grossi & Terry Pluto would also be hrilled. Hope to see you at Dino’s.


  5. Browns over Pack in the Super Bowl never happen.

    Browns won’t make the playoffs

    Love the Pack to Win the NFC
    but I would say the following is more accurate
    NFC Championship
    Packers over Saits
    AFC Championship
    Stealers over Patriots
    Super Bowl
    Packers over Stealers in a close one. 7 points or less

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