Through it all, Aaron and I have made a pretty good team. He's straight, I'm gay. He's black, I'm white. He's blind as a bat, and I have sight. Wait, that last one's not true. But still, we're the original Odd Couple!**
This new venture is simple enough. Pick the winners in each week's slate of NFL games. Win/loss records will accumulate from week to week. Loser has to root for the Raiders for the next decade.
Picks for Week One
Miami at Pittsburgh
Aaron: Culpepper v. Batch? NBC hasn’t had this many Blacks in prime time since A Different World rode off into the sunset of syndication (now on Nick at Nite!) Pick: Miami
Joe: Same observation, different take. Culpepper v. Batch? Betcha NBC feels pretty stupid about all those "best schedule of games since Methuselah was in short pants" ads right about now. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Atlanta at Carolina
Aaron: Atlanta’s another team with an African-American QB. This phenomenon was briefly covered in Nick Cannon’s Drumline (a/k/a: Orlando Jones’s apex, before the cinematic suicide of Biker Boyz). Pick: Carolina
Joe: The good news for Carolina is that Steve Smith has probably run out of hamstrings to pull. The bad news for Atlanta is that Michael Vick has been able to play through his herpes infection. Pick: Carolina.
Baltimore at Tampa Bay
Aaron: Your friends would describe this game as having “a nice personality, ummm…’curvy’ body and an interesting face...” Pick: Tampa Bay
Joe: Steve McNair's arm may well fall off before the game is through, but Chris Simms stole Mr. Wilson's newspaper this morning and will be grounded for Sunday's game. Pick: Baltimore.
Buffalo at New England
Aaron: Wow. Happy Kickoff Weekend ’06, Joe. Pick: New England
Joe: Oh, shut up. Pick: New England.
Cincinnati at Kansas City
Aaron: Larry Johnson was the first pick on my fantasy team, which means I expect to hear the words “ACL, torn, lowest, rushing, ever, day” (in no particular order) sometime during the postgame highlights. Pick: Cincinnati
Joe: Chad Johnson's been dreamin' about killing John Spartan for forty years! Pick: Cincinnati
Denver at St. Louis
Aaron: Always pick against anywhere that claims Nelly as their favorite son. Pick: Denver
Joe: The Rams feature my favorite fantasy football staple, the spry white wide receiver. Go, Kevin Curtis! Pick: St. Louis
New Orleans at Cleveland
Aaron: Sorry, Saints…the statute of limitations on ‘feel-good football stories’ is 12 months. Though, there’s only five more months until ‘beads-for-boobies’ season begins down in NO. Pick: Cleveland
Joe: Did I read that right? Cameron Frye is Cleveland's starting quarterback? I'm not sure if "Pardon my French, but you're an asshole!" is gonna cut it, even if it is only the Saints. Pick: New Orleans.
NY Jets at Tennessee
Aaron: Anyone else remember when Joe was supposed to be moving to NYC? Did the Jets scare him off from the big city, or was it the pimps and the C.H.U.D.s? Pick: Tennessee
Joe: This is all Aaron's way of distracting me so I don't mention "former Raider superstar" Kerry Collins in this blurb. Pick: Tennessee
Philadelphia at Houston
Aaron: The team that passed on Ricky Williams vs. the team that passed on Reggie Bush. Remember, always bet against the stupider team. Pick: Philadelphia
Joe: Stupider like a fox! No, that's not true. Houston is really, really bad. Pick: Philadelphia.
Seattle at Detroit
Aaron: It’s obligatory to attempt to predict one upset each week in these things. Watch the NFC champs get Kitna’ed. Pick: Detroit
Joe: Shaun Alexander Madden Curse Watch, Week 1. I'm half expecting an airplane to crash on top of him. And even still? Pick: Seattle.
Chicago at Green Bay
Aaron: I have it on good authority that someone close to Brett Favre will be dead before Sunday. He will dedicate his performance (12 for 33, 3 INTs) to his fallen friend/former roommate/neighbor. This happens at least twice a year. Pick: Chicago
Joe: Brett Favre ran out of family members in October of last year. He now lives alone in the Wisconsin hinterlands, wearing out DVD copies of There's Something About Mary and tossing kibble to his dog, which then gets intercepted by the cat. Pick: Chicago.
Dallas at Jacksonville
Aaron: The best part about training camps ending? No more shots of Bill Parcells in shorts. Pick: Dallas
Joe: Aw, no love for Chunk White Tuna? I'm not sure I like either of these teams as much as other people do, but the Jags are at home, so... Pick: Jacksonville
San Francisco at Arizona
Aaron: The 49ers might actually be the *worse* of the two Bay Area teams. You just think about that for a minute. Pick: Arizona
Joe: Is this finally the year the Cards make good on their "sleeper" status? Oh, and also, the over/under on number of children conceived by Matt Leinart on the sidelines during the game is 2.5. Pick: Arizona
Indianapolis at NY Giants
Aaron: “When brothers collide!” Not to be confused with the Culpepper v. Batch match-up that boasts an identical catchphrase. This has all the makings of a breakout game by Eli Manning that no one will remember when NYG is finishing 8-8. Pick: NY Giants
Joe: No love for the Giants this season, either? I have good feelings, for whatever reason. The marginally less-gawky Manning brother prevails here. Pick: NY Giants
Minnesota at Washington
Aaron: Is it too late for ESPN to give Monday Night Football back to ABC? Pick: Washington
Joe: Monday Night Football is now officially the "leftovers" of the NFL. This game is something of an "Adventures in Reverse Psychology," as I think the Vikes are going to be terrible this season, which usually means they'll end up doing well. That being said, everybody's so down on the Skins for going 0-4. In preseason. Preseason! Ultimately, I have to pick against the team not affiliated with NASCAR and Tom Cruise. Pick: Minnesota
San Diego at Oakland
Aaron: Well, with a 10:15 PM start time on the east coast, I know that I’ll have to wait for Joe to read about this debacle in the newspaper on Tuesday. Hopefully, they won’t print the score, just that ubiquitous “(n)” to signify “too late for our deadline”. Pick: San Diego
Joe: Gee, Aaron. I wonder why you're so insistent that I don't watch this game. Hmm, that's interesting. Just rest easy knowing Art Shell will have lost games by far (51-3) bigger (51-3) margins (51-3) than they'll lose to the Chargers on Monday. Pick: San Diego
** Note: In accordance with the settlement reached with the estates of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, we must admit that Aaron and Joe are not the original Odd Couple.