Football Prophecies: NFL Week 9

Redskins mascot woes, chai fives in Seattle, and more

Football Prophecies: NFL Week 9

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.

Arizona at Green Bay: Woefully ignorant of current events, Cardinals’ defensive end Vonnie Holliday overhears snippets of conversation about Hurricane Sandy on his team's flight to Green Bay. Piqued, the 14-year veteran pegs “Sandy” for a “plus-sized” woman, and coolly asks cornerback Patrick Peterson if she’s “got a lover.”

Prophecy: Green Bay

Detroit at Jacksonville: Lions’ cornerback Chris Houston will incur a violent flare-up of PTSD from serving three tours in Iraq while en route from the team hotel to Jacksonville’s Everbank Field. Reminiscent of the deadly IEDs that signify daily life in a war-torn nation, scores of shanties along the streets of Jacksonville similarly erupt without warning on Sunday morning: the byproduct of multitudinous meth labs that outnumber the city’s scant respectable homes, 20-1.

Prophecy: Detroit

Denver at Cincinnati: The Football Prophet will prove to himself that there are no sacred cows in the NFL: by equating Broncos’ executive vice president John Elway’s public endorsement of Mitt Romney to advocating drinking and driving, firearms and sass, and the cohabitation of Garfield with Jon Arbuckle.

Prophecy: Denver

Carolina at Washington: In response to a recent media backlash against the team’s perceived culturally insensitive mascot, Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder holds a press conference to introduce the following alternatives:

Washington MittSkins
D.C. Obamaradiers
Potomac Native-Born Americans
Capital City Voodoo Economists
Washington Franklin Delano Roustabouts

Prophecy: Washington

Baltimore at Cleveland: Pressured by management to “do whatever it takes,” Ravens team doctor Andrew Tucker calls for outside help to quell the chronic pain felt by many Baltimore players.

Screaming across the country from Hollywood in his ’65 Chevy, Jimmy Feelgood, M.D. screeches into Baltimore’s training facility in Owings Mills, peels away his shades with a cabaret flourish, and salutes his old college roommate. “I hear you’ve got 53 guys with a bit of a sweet tooth, Tucker. Well, you know what I say: Super Bowl or Drug Bust!”

Prophecy: Baltimore

Miami at Indianapolis: Big-time Colts fan and hardened Republican Randy Keller, 41, opts to attend Sunday’s Dolphins v. Colts game at Lucas Oil Field in lieu of a nearby Paul Ryan rally at the Indianapolis JW Marriott.

Fueled by 16 “Stones” of Key Light and pouch-after-pouch of Jack Link’s Maple and Brown Sugar Ham Jerky, Keller’s calculation pays off: as the Colts dispatch the visiting Dolphins, 24-10, while VP candidate Ryan cancels the appearance because his limousine got lost in the privates of Indiana’s 3.25 million women.

Prophecy: Miami

Buffalo at Houston: Already owning the NFL’s most bulbous head, Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown noticeably amasses more cranial girth after a rich Saturday evening meal with his wife at Tony Roma’s.

Finding his helmet impossible to fit into on Sunday morning, Brown coats the interior with Walgreens’ brand petroleum jelly and wriggles inside: eliciting gelatinous squelching noises that neighboring locker-mate Shaun Cody hasn’t heard since his wife had triplets in February 2010.

Prophecy: Houston

Minnesota at Seattle: After a quick brainstorming pow-wow during pregame warm-ups over end-zone celebrations, Seahawks’ wide receiver Sidney Rice and running back Marshawn Lynch debut the “Chai Five” after an early score as a wink to the Emerald City’s robust coffee culture.

Prophecy: Seattle

Tampa Bay at Oakland: Following Oakland’s commanding 34-10 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon, lifelong Raider fan Chad McFarens, 33, will gush to his parole officer, “Dude, that was an ICP concert for the ages.”

Prophecy: Tampa Bay

Pittsburgh at New York Giants: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo actress Rooney Mara descends from NFL royalty. Her paternal grandfather: deceased Giants’ co-owner Wellington Mara; her maternal grandfather: deceased Steelers’ owner Art Rooney.

Seated upright and true like a fairy-book swan in the Mara family’s luxury box at MetLife Stadium, the young actress reflexively bats away each of Football Prophets’ 47 invitations to “go somewhere and talk,” eventually electrocuting me with a cattle prod in the midst of my 19th Scotch and soda.

Prophecy: New York Giants

Dallas at Atlanta: Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is out of ideas to rescue his talented, yet continually disappointing football team. Garrett blows up in a closed-door meeting with owner Jerry Jones, blurting out, “You think you can find someone better to lead this team?! Knock yourself out, Ebenezer!

A day later: The Cowboys and interim head coach “Apples,” the African wild ass, will break the league's heretofore-unrecognized species barrier. With his team trailing 21-7 at halftime, Apples’ unorthodox leadership stunts inside Dallas’ locker room of lazily eating straw, pacing around a hitching post, and periodically defecating catalyzes a dizzying Cowboy rally that ends in victory, 38-24.

Addressing a sea of reporters after the game, quarterback Tony Romo will term his new coach’s halftime gambit as, “Just what the doctor ordered.”

Prophecy: Dallas

Philadelphia at New Orleans: Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt reads the eyes of his team and knows they yearn to have Sean Payton back. Desperate to win them over, Vitt resolves to head coach even sluttier than before.

Prophecy: New Orleans

More by Joe O'Connell
<i>The Son</i> Rises With Philipp Meyer
The Son Rises With Philipp Meyer
Austin author on adapting his award-winning novel for AMC

April 7, 2017

SXSW Film Review: <i>David Lynch – The Art Life</i>
SXSW Film Review: David Lynch – The Art Life
Doc excavates the creative mind of the eccentric artist

March 14, 2017


John Elway, Vonnie Holliday, Patrick Peterson, Chris Houston, Daniel Snyder, Duane Brown, Shaun Cody, Marshawn Lynch, Jason Garrett, Tony Romo, Jerry Jones

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)