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Wednesday, August 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Vikings The Pick, Just On Principle

With Pepsi and Nike and Deion in hand, Jerry Jones is the new sheriff in town. Problem is, he’s wearing a black Cowboys hat. Watching Jones tweak the NFL is wonderful theater, but watching Jones toot his loud and brassy horn is a tiresome soap opera.

Here is a man with great business sense and smart football instincts, yet every day he looks more and more like George Steinbrenner.

Jones and Steinbrenner are both egomaniacs, flush with cash, who bought historic franchises. Maybe Jones will avoid the many pitfalls of Steinbrenner, but unmistakably they share one characteristic: These fellows don’t just crave attention, they create it.

If Jones wants to shake the money tree, that’s fine. But he insists on chopping it down and shouting, “Timber!” as CNN camera crews look on. This guy issues press releases like the LAPD issues arrest warrants.

Jones wakes up every morning in search of Barbara Walters.

And how about Jones during games? Undoubtedly, his secret desire is for his team to carry him off the field after a victory. And, frankly, if you’re an owner who insists on being on the sideline, you’d better be able to dance that little victory jig like the Saints’ Tom Benson can.

So, Jerry, baby, sit down, sit back and sip a soda. We know you’re out there - we can hear the change in your pockets from a mile away.

(Footnote I: Did anyone actually think that Deion was going to return to the 49ers once the name of Candlestick Park was changed to 3Com Park? That’s why Deion is bound for Texas Stadium, now known as InCome Park.)

As a protest to Jerry Jones Inc., I will take the Vikings and eight points against the Cowboys this week.

As always, the following point-spread picks should not be used a the basis for any actual cash wager:

Giants at Packers (-6)

Geez, plucky Giants had 17-3 lead in second half before tiring badly in 20-17 overtime loss to Chiefs. I guess that’s why they have rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike…Garden State coach Dan Reeves put out APB for offense Monday. Pick: Packers.

Jaguars at Jets (-6-1/2)

Geez, plucky Jets had 24-3 lead in second half before tiring badly in 27-24 overtime loss to Colts. I guess that’s why they have rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike…Garden State coach Rich Kotite put out APB for job Monday. Pick: Jets

Redskins at Broncos (-9)

Redskins QB Gus Frerotte should play well at altitude, being that his head still has to be in the clouds. (After all, if you were Gus Frerotte, wouldn’t you look in the mirror every morning and say, “I’m Gus Frerotte and I’m a starting NFL quarterback. I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!”) Pick: Redskins.

Bengals at Seahawks (-4)

With wins against Seattle and Houston, Cincinnati coach Dave Shula can be 4-0 going into Oct. 1 showdown with Miami’s Don Shula. Yeah, sure, and with some toning up and a hair weave, I can get Sandra Bullock to call me back. Pick: Seahawks.

Cardinals at Lions (-6)

You know how when you’re driving through one of those shopping mall parking lots, every time you start to accelerate, you have to slow down for a speed bump? In the Detroit offense, QB Scott Mitchell is that speed bump. Pick: Cardinals.

Raiders at Chiefs (-2-1/2)

If Al Davis headed up the Christian Coalition, I’ve got to figure Marcus Allen and Art Shell would be charter heathens…Hmmm. Raiders and Rams both are 2-0. Heck, maybe it wasn’t the teams, maybe it was L.A. Pick: Chiefs.

Rams (-4) at Panthers

Carolina’s first home opener ever - at Clemson’s 76,474-seat Memorial Stadium - likely will not be a sellout due to popular asbestos convention in nearby Greenville. Pick: Rams.

Bears (-1) at Buccaneers

Tampa Bay’s always innovative Sam Wyche - fastest-ever NFL coach to 101 defeats (81-101) - has offense practicing in third-and-zero-gravity situations. Pick: Bears.

Steelers at Dolphins (-7)

Miami QB Dan Marino, barking out signals against New England last week: “Hut one! Hut two! Hut three and an eighth, up one and an eighth!” Pick: Steelers.

Colts at Bills (-4)

I don’t want to say Colts QB Craig Erickson telegraphs his passes, but his last four interceptions arrived via Western Union. Pick: Bills.

Chargers at Eagles (-1)

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Philadelphia, run an East Coast offense, for crying out loud. Pick: Chargers.

Patriots at 49ers (-12)

If the Miracle Mop can’t clean my kitchen floor, then the Patriots can’t stop Jerry Rice. Pick: 49ers.

Falcons at Saints (-3)

New Orleans offense to experiment with unbalanced line by inserting sneeze guard on left side. Pick: Falcons.

Browns (-8) at Oilers:

Oilers touchdowns now by appointment only. Pick: Browns.

Last week: 4-9-2.*

Season record: 11-16-3.

* - In the immortal words of 1982 World Series of Poker champion Jack Straus, “If the Lord had wanted you to hold on to your money, he’d have made it with handles on.”<

The following fields overflowed: DATELINE = BY CHAD NORMAN SYNDICATED COLUMNIST

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