Ah, another Sunday. Again off to a pleasant start, coffee's ready and a late breakfast isn't far behind. Paper in hand, there should be seven mornings each week just like this one.
And then Noon rolls around. The noon bell haunts Rams fans, in a way that only Cindarella could sympathize with. Except that story ends with everyone living happily ever after.
Our chances for happiness have been placed on hold for at least another year. Unless, there's solace to be found in the small things from week to week: the defense played well again, Bulger threw a red zone TD, Claude Terrell sits in a Houston jail for domestic battery, the Rams eek out a win, etc.
Could we get a break this week? I'm out of the prediction business. But what about those for whom predictions are a staple of their business? Pundits do more than pundit(?) about things. Deference to experts is a vaunted American post-WWII tradition. Columnists help us figure out and articulate the things our petty commoner minds wouldn't never be able to determine by ourselves. From sex tips to cooking suggestions to telling us just how it is on the field, no dubious Web 2.0 with its participatory citizen journalist focus could ever replace the societal role and the value of the newspaper columnist.
And when our noble philosopher kings have space to fill from week to week, NFL predictions provide the grist to fill the void.
Why this "wither pundits" talk? Well, a lot of them went out on a limb and predicted a win for the Rams this week. Our faith in Linehan and msot of the team has been shattered; we don't want to lose faith in those we turn to for knowledge too do we?
At the Post-Dispatch, 3 of 6 forsee a Rams win today. Kathleen Nelson says it all for those in the "rams win" camp: "The Rams' 30th-ranked offense will be a good match for the Browns' 32nd-ranked defense."
On the negative side, I'm afraid Jim Thomas' statement sums up fan dubiousness: "It will take points -- lots of points -- to beat the suddenly potent Browns. Even with the return of Steven Jackson, seeing is believing."
Our defense has been solid this year, but the offense has made Haslett and Co's job next to impossible with turnover after turnover and gaff after gaff.
At least one national pundit, and some might argue our most important national football pundit (sarcasm intended), calls it for the Rams. SI's Peter King says Rams 27, Browns 20, and here's what he's basing that on:
Howard Beale from Lumet's classic Network is giving locker room speeches now?
"I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
Someone should have stood up in the locker room and said that, oh, seven weeks ago. Typical, the pundit insight you need isn't there when you need it.
Let's go RAMS!!!
Update [2007-10-28 16:58:38 by VanRam]:Better, much better, but still not good enough. Bulger's thumb appears to be fine, which is a small victory in and of itself this season. Probably pushed Jackson a little more than needed to, but man do the Rams need to start getting some yards on the ground. Unfortunately, the offensive line is just weak, weak, weak. Still, they get some credit for pulling together enough for Bulger to connect with his receivers.