As the former producer and booking agent for the Z-Man and The Teej morning show, I thought it would be great if I could use my long list of celebrity contacts to get a special guest in here to give us their picks for this weekend’s NFL games. Given the outcome of the bets listed in the comments section, God knows we need some help. After flipping through the ol’ rolodex and reaching out to several hundred “stars” who did not call me back, I contacted Haywood Nelson.
I can hear you already….”I can’t believe that Marls was able to get TV star and 70’s personality Haywood Nelson to be a guest picker on G:TB. Rob interviewing LeBron James was cool and all, but Marls got the guy who played Dwayne (Hey, Hey, Hey) on “What’s Happening!!” and “What’s Happening Now!”.
Unfortunately, Haywood didn't call me back either. I suspect he might be busy working on the pilot for "What's Happening Again!!!". However, all is not lost because not only did "What's Happening" have one of the great television intros of all time, it also gave us an almost foolproof formula for betting on NFL games - both of which can be seen in the attached clip.
For those of you too lazy to watch the clip, the setup is that Dwayne, using his personal system (detailed at the 11:30 mark) has picked 5 NFL winners in a row against the spread. This results in Rerun convincing his cranky, Ike Turner wannabe brother in law to bet his Hawaii vacation money ($500) on Tampa Bay as a three touchdown underdog to Oakland. Only after the bets are placed does Dwayne reveal that his system consists of the following:
1. The Score: Dwayne predicts the score by taking the attendance of each team's last home game and dividing it by the distance between the two stadiums and then subtracting the starting quarterback's number.
2. The Winner: The winner of the game is determined who has the "fanciest" helmet. In the event of equally fancy helmets, a coin is flipped.
Needless to say, after Dwayne's system is revealed, hilarity ensues....sad, depressing 1970's economic recession hilarity. You can watch the second half of the episode to get in on all the fun, but the Cliffs Notes version is that Oakland slaughters Tampa and Rerun gets a job working at the bookie's pizza parlor to help pay back his brother in law. Hilarious, right?
However, what is lost in the shuffle is that using his system Dwayne was still 5-1, a record that most folks around these parts would kill for. Therefore, using google maps, NFL attendance info, and a little subjective helmet evaluation I have broken down this weeks playoff games. You can thank me later. Without further ado, the picks...
Based on this handy dandy chart, we already know what the score is going to be. This distances between stadium were determined using the shortest driving directions.
Baltimore at Denver (-10)
Dwayne has this one ending up with a final score of 38-28. Looks like the blowout predicted by the line until you realize that the smug little raven with feather detail is much more fancy than the overly stylized horse. Too bad the Broncos dropped their old school helmets with big D and the bronco reared up and getting frisky. Now that was fancy. That means the Ravens move on and Ray Lewis gets to play another day.
PICK: Take the Ravens & the points.
Green Bay at San Francisco (-2.5)
The Saturday night game pits teams with two of the most unfancy helmets in the league. I almost used Dwayne's coin flip method for this one until I realized that the Green Bay helmet looks like it was designed by a third grader with two Mr. Sketch "smelly markers" (lemon & apple) and a short attention span. San Fran's helmet wins the fancy battle and the game, 24-20.
PICK: Take the 49'ers and lay the points.
Seattle at Atlanta (-2.5)
If the oracle of Watts is to be believed, the score of this game will be 24-22. Of course, Dwayne admits to Raj and Rerun that he has only hit the exact score once. However, considering that the New York Times went 0-520 in 2000 and 2001 trying to predict final scores, I would say that 1 for 6 is pretty darn good. Since this looks to be a two point game, it does not really matter which helmet is more fancy.
PICK: Take the Seahawks and the points.
Houston @ New England (-9.5)
This is arguably the matchup of the two fanciest helmets left in the the playoffs. The remaining "fancy lads" if you will. Both feature a prominent star and red, white and blue stylized version of what they are trying to depict. Tough call. In the end, I went with Texans, mainly because I think Dwayne would be upset that the Pats abandoned one of the fanciest helmets of all time when they ditched Pat the Patriot. Texans win 31-25.
PICK: Take the Texans and the points.
Next week I'll be back with Brandon Walsh and Nat from the Peach Pit to break down the conference championship games.