The Football Prophecies

Journey's Steve Perry gives a pep talk

The Football Prophecies

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.

Tampa Bay at Dallas: Not everyone in the Cowboy Stadium crowd survives to see Dallas win on Sunday. Concession-related fatalities claim 209 lethally stuffed patrons: including Hiram Ray Bennett, 43, of Wichita Falls, who'll gorge himself into a brisket-induced coma and leave this world by halftime.

Prophecy: Dallas

Jacksonville at Indianapolis: The NFL office discovers another conflict of interest involving a replacement official. Jerry Dudley was slated to work Sunday’s Jaguars/Colts game, but a cursory investigation of the former bait salesman’s Facebook page turned up several photos of Dudley outfitted in Jaguars paraphernalia at what appears to be a tailgate party. To no one’s surprise, further scrutiny of Dudley’s profile reveals he’s a two-time divorcee, a high-school dropout, and “Likes” Larry the Cable Guy, Paul Ryan, and Natty Ice.

Prophecy: Indianapolis

Buffalo at Cleveland: Taking turns eyeing the crowd through a pair of binoculars, CBS commentators Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will realize to their horror that the hottest woman on hand is not a woman at all, but Cleveland's own Drew Carey.

Prophecy: Buffalo

New York Jets at Miami: A disengaged Tim Tebow stalks the Jets sideline wearing a skin-tight “I'd Rather Be Praising Him” shirt.

Prophecy: Miami

Kansas City at New Orleans: Drew Brees' Porsche Carrera GT gets swallowed by a sinkhole of stomach acid on Bourbon Street en route to the Superdome; needs a tow, gets it.

Prophecy: New Orleans

Cincinnati at Washington: Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan’s relentless condescension of his calls has replacement official Gerald Dupree right on the edge. The deluge of acerbic criticism and second-guessing are tolerable, but Dupree dies inside every time Shanahan taunts him as “Black Hat.”

Prophecy: Washington

St. Louis at Chicago: Bears coach Lovie Smith sits down with his beleaguered quarterback, Jay Cutler, hours before kickoff for some “man-to-man.” Smith queries: “As your coach: What do you need from me, Jay, to help you succeed?”

Cutler icily enumerates after a moment of apprehension, listing on his fingers for emphasis: “Number one: my mother. Number two: a breast pump. Number three: one spill-proof bottle and a crapload of rubber nipples.”

Prophecy: Chicago

San Francisco at Minnesota: Three minutes early to a scheduled Sunday morning interview with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Ted Johnson witnesses the coach’s dazed egress from an adjacent bathroom. Coming to, Harbaugh forgoes a cover-up: “Well, you’ve got your scoop, kid. That was the most excruciating bowel movement of my life.”

Prophecy: San Francisco

Detroit at Tennessee: Good footing will be scarce at LP Field this Sunday: What with the debris of hayforks, shotgun shells, and napping bloodhounds strafing the Tennessee grounds.

Prophecy: Detroit

Atlanta at San Diego: Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel is detained by the Feds all weekend after deplaning Atlanta’s team charter and bellowing “Where my drugs at?!”

Prophecy: San Diego

Philadelphia at Arizona: The Cardinals are forced to forfeit the contest with 12:59 left in the second quarter after a projectile cactus impales Eagles tight end Brent Celek.

Prophecy: Philadelphia

Pittsburgh at Oakland: Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley nets a ferocious first-quarter sack on Raiders QB Carson Palmer, drags the body off into a service tunnel, and commences masticating Palmer’s right leg like a drumstick.

Prophecy: Pittsburgh

Houston at Denver: Inhaling the crisp, refreshing Rocky Mountain air, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing asks a Hyatt Regency bellhop how the Mile High air can be so clean. “You’re in Denver now, not Houston,” the bellhop replies. “Not every city smells like a napalmed sludge tanker.”

Prophecy: Denver

New England at Baltimore: Three minutes early to a scheduled Sunday morning interview with Ravens coach Jon Harbaugh, Baltimore Sun reporter Matt Vensel witnesses the coach’s dazed egress from an adjacent bathroom. Coming to, Harbaugh forgoes a cover-up: “Well, you’ve got your scoop, kid. That was the most excruciating bowel movement of my life.”

Prophecy: Baltimore

Green Bay at Seattle: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll calls in a favor from long-time personal friend and Journey lead singer Steve Perry. “The Voice” delivers a rousing pregame pep talk, capping it with: “Remember guys, anyway you want it, that’s the way you need it, anyway you want it, duh-nuh-nuh/nuh-nuh-nuh/nuh-nuh.”

Answering to a humiliating 55-3 blowout hours later, a demoralized Carroll shoulders the blame: “I think Perry rocked us too hard, we took the field on empty … we were just rocked out.” Adding, “This one’s on me: Perry was my call.”

Prophecy: Green Bay

Overall Record to Date: 19-13

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