Thursday, July 13, 2006

When Lindy Gets Windy

This is the time of year when Pro Football preview magazines hit the newsstands. For ten years or so my favorite of these has been Lindy’s Pro Football magazine. This has so much valuable information that I keep referring to it throughout the NFL season and right up to the playoffs. It even has team rosters with comments about each and every player’s performance last season and outlook for the coming year.

Reading Lindy’s is a great way to learn about your favorite team’s opponents and division rivals.

Packers Literary Corner would recommend cutting out two pages from the 2006 edition of Lindy’s, however. Page 101, where editor Howard Balzer gazes into his crystal ball-zer and comes out with some very curious predictions, and page 217, where the magazine attempts to create a numerical score for each team’s component parts—receiving corps, linebackers, etc.—and then an overall ranking for the team’s strength. In other words, a row of little arbitrary numbers is added together create The Big Arbitrary Number. And one is left with the question: How Does This Relate to Winning Games?

If a team shows up at Lambeau Field with a bigger Arbitrary Number than Green Bay’s, should the Packers be frightened? Probably not.

So take these pages with you on vacation in case you need wrappers for freshly caught game fish, and then enjoy the rest of the magazine.

At least they are honest enough to subtitle their Prediction page “Another Chance to Look Foolish.” Well spoken, Howard, as shown below.

Here are Lindy’s predictions for the NFC North:

(First Place) Chicago – If Rex Grossman stays healthy, this could be a special team.

(Second) Minnesota – Brad Johnson brings stability to a team that needs a hug.

(Third) Detroit - Can Mike Martz work wonders with Jon Kitna and Josh McCown?

(Fourth) Green Bay – It won’t be long until Brett Favre wishes he retired.


So, Packer Literary Nation, what’s wrong with this material? Other than the fact that the predicted order of finish is completely upside down from reality and the logic is non-existent, these predictions are slightly better than most I’ve seen thus far in 2006.

In this case, since the author of these predictions, Mr. Balzer, has already suggested they might be foolish, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and just tweak them a little.

Presenting: The Packers Literary Corner Predictions for the NFC North – 2006

(FIRST) Green Bay – It won’t be long (early September to be exact) until the rest of the league wishes Brett Favre had retired.

(Second) Chicago – With a defense as awesome as the Bears,’ who cares if Rex Grossman stays healthy?

(Third) Detroit - Can Mike Martz find alternative employment for Jon Kitna and Josh McCown?

(Fourth) Minnesota – Brad Johnson brings complete immobility to a team that needs to be relocated to Los Angeles.


Remember, this is only Mid-July. The Packers Literary Corner reserves the right to change our predictions somewhat as key information emerges from training camps. For example, it is entirely possible the Vikings might drop a little further in the standings. These things happen.

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