Football season has arrived and yes, there are lots of gays who know, love, and understand the gridiron game. We can talk about tight ends and wide receivers and it’s not a Grindr conversation.
Besides patting each other on the butt, football can be a bonding experience. My siblings and I will never forget traveling around the state following our high school alma mater, Lamar Consolidated, en route to a state championship in 2006. Go Mustangs! Our mother had passed away earlier that year and those trips were the perfect instrument for us to reflect, remember, and forge a never-ending bond.
Some of my fondest football memories came when the Houston Gamblers joined the USFL in the 1984. Future Hall of Famer Jim Kelly directed the run ’n’ shoot to pro football offensive records that still stand. Jack Pardee was head coach and went on to lead the Houston Cougars to big wins that included a 95-21 blowout of SMU. He also led the Houston Oilers to some of that team’s best seasons.
Most people credit Donald Trump for the demise of the USFL. (Dang it! I thought I could get through a column without mentioning him.)
College football can be just as exciting as the professional version. The Bayou City is lucky to have four collegiate teams that play the sport: University of Houston, Rice, Texas Southern and Houston Baptist. And don’t forget about the high schools and Friday night lights, or Thursday or Saturday for that matter.
No one here is claiming to be an expert football prognosticator but several years ago, Yahoo had a program where participants could make predictions on upcoming NFL games. Yours truly was correct about 85 percent of the time.
So based on the record that would make the most successful Las Vegas bookies envious, here are my predictions for this season in the NFL:
The New England Patriots are a cinch to win yet another division title, albeit a division that is probably the weakest in the league. Hate him if you like but Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in history, and still easy on the eyes.
The Cleveland Browns are much better but not quite there. The Pittsburgh Steelers win by default.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Kansas City Chiefs have star power in Patrick Mahomes but the Chargers take the division. The poor Oakland Raiders are spending a lame duck season at the Coliseum in Oakland. Want to know how that will work out? Ask the 1996 Houston Oilers.
I hope I am wrong on this one. It’s win or go home for Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brian, especially after the fiasco with trying to hire a new general manager. The Indianapolis Colts should squeak out a title in a competitive division.
New York Giants
Sorry, Dallas Cowboys fans. I cannot in good conscious bet on the Cowboys to win anything. Nada! No championships for you. Dak Prescott wants to be the highest paid quarterback in the NFL. That’s pretty lofty goals for a mediocre player.
The “Black & Blue Division” contains some of the oldest rivalries in pro football. The Green Bay Packers lead the all-time series with Chicago 97-95-6, having first met in 1921. Look for the Chicago Bears to even up the series this year.
The New Orleans Saints were robbed last year so look for revenge to be on their minds in 2019. The pass interference call that wasn’t called in the NFC Championship game last season caused a rules change this year. Drew Brees should lead the Saints to a Super Bowl win.
Los Angeles Rams
Last year’s Super Bowl runners up should take this division fairly easily but falter in the play-offs.
Wild Card Teams:
AFC Champions: Kansas City Chiefs
NFC Champions: New Orleans Saints
Super Bowl Champion: New Orleans Saints