The Football Prophecies foretell the outcomes of each week’s slate of NFL games. Pigskin prophet Russ Espinoza acquired his clairvoyance at age 9 when he was conked on the head by an errant John Elway pass at Mile High Stadium in 1992.
He’s marveled friends and relations and played Vegas like a cheap fiddle with his otherworldly football foresight ever since.
The prophet is pleased to share his gift with The Austin Chronicle.
Carolina at Chicago: Finding himself ranked second on a recent Forbes list of “Least Liked NFL Players,” Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler thinks to himself, “Oh yeah? They wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts!”
Cutler sets off on a tour de force of sophomoric misdoings around the Windy City on the eve of Chicago’s home tilt versus the Carolina Panthers. Seventeen Michigan Avenue restaurants will report mass entrée casualties from a network of unscrewed saltshaker lids; while marine life at the Shedd Aquarium will be perturbed into an anxious frenzy from a cruel and unusual exhibition of relentless glass tapping.
But Cutler’s coup de grace will be his shipment of an empty, yet beautifully gift- wrapped box to a local orphanage.
San Diego at Cleveland: With previous forms of punishment having failed to rouse the 1-6 Browns, head coach Pat Shurmur resorts to paddlings, corners, withholding desserts, and rubbing players’ noses into the sites of their fumbles.
Prophecy: San Diego
Seattle at Detroit: Finding himself the NFL’s “Least Liked” player according to that same Forbes list, Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh thinks to himself, “Oh yeah? How ‘bout a little fire, scarecrow?”
Suh sets off on a tour de force of disreputable deeds around the Motor City on the eve of Detroit’s home tilt versus the Seattle Seahawks. Eighteen Midtown restaurants will report mass entrée casualties from a network of unscrewed saltshaker lids; while marine life at the Belle Isle Aquarium will be harassed into a living nightmare from a sick and twisted exhibition of open-palmed glass slapping.
But Suh’s coup de grace will be his kidnap, packaging, and shipment of nine Lions Kids Club members to a squalid Dickensian orphanage.
Jacksonville at Green Bay: Rotund Packers’ fan Tripp Wheeler inhales his foot-long bratwurst violently, and without joy: lest that same pelican swoop down and abscond with another.
Prophecy: Green Bay
Miami at New York Jets: According to a recent Sports Illustrated poll of 180 NFL players, Jets’ backup quarterback Tim Tebow is the league’s most “overrated” player.
Seemingly taking issue with the designation behind his trademark smile, Tebow tells The New York Post’s Brian Costello after Sunday’s 16-13 Jets win, “You know, they used to say that Jesus was just some flash in the pan, too. But 2000 years later, Mel Gibson made a movie about him, and he was portrayed by our greatest living actor: Jim Caviezel, of CBS’ Person of Interest.”
Atlanta at Philadelphia: With the game tied 17-17 midway through the fourth quarter, Eagles’ tight end Brent Celek frets about overtime overlapping with his full-time job as quality control inspector at the Iams dog food plant.
Washington at Pittsburgh: All living Steeler greats will be honored at halftime for the franchise’s annual alumni game: including recently retired wide-receiver Hines Ward; the anchors of Pittsburgh’s vaunted “Steel Curtain” defense: Cholula Rollins, Terry “A1” Vasquez, and Sauce Klipspringer; and old-timers Rawlings Tartar, Dollop O’ Daisy, and the oldest-living Steeler, Grey Poupon.
New England at St. Louis: Rams safety Cortland Finnegan will be penalized and fined $10,000 by the NFL for a malicious “cup-to-cup” hit on Patriot’s receiver Wes Welker.
Prophecy: New England
Indianapolis at Tennessee: With Halloween right around the corner, all 70,000 Titans fans get in the spirit by showing up to LP Field dressed as people with dental insurance.
Oakland at Kansas City: With Thanksgiving on the horizon, Chiefs left tackle Brandon Albert ditches Sunday’s home game against the Raiders to window shop smoked turkeys and load-up on Brown Sugar Ham Glaze at Sam’s Club.
New Orleans at Denver: In no mood for inane questions on his way to the Denver locker room at halftime, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning brushes off Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya’s repeated attempts to engage him: asserting, “Peyton’s not home,” “Wrong number, lady,” and “If I’m Peyton Manning, then who’s that over there?”
San Francisco at Arizona: The NFL world comes to a complete standstill after 49ers’ quarterback Alex Smith is abducted by a gang of apocalyptic desert bandits, chained to the fender of the lead marauder's nitro-truck, and driven screaming deep into cactus country.
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