the Champ looks into the Crystal Ball (and goes all-in)

Okay, its time for the debut of my Thursday prediction column. Get ready to jump out of your chairs and ask “who is this guy, and what is he thinking?”. Well I am the Champ, and, as I mentioned yesterday, I am not afraid to go out on a limb to support an athlete or team those folks from ESPN or NBC simply don’t have the balls to support on the air. If you take issue with my predictions, feel free to duke it out in the comments section, and I’ll be more than happy to respond. I present them in no particular order, as I have full faith that each of the five are as respectful and legitimate as the rest of them. Without further ado, I present to you this week’s 5 bold predictions:


1) Kurt Warner to pass for 5,000 yards if he can avoid injury

I have talked about this before in commenting on a past Joboo column, but I wanted to make it one of my 5 official predictions this week. Some people laugh when I throw the 5,000 yard mark out there and say it’s a sacred sort of record that will never be broken. Let me tell you, this is no Joe Dimmagio hit-streak record we are talking about. The NFL is going through an era where QBs are picking up more and more yardage through the air. The 5,000 passing yard mark will be hit again, and it will be hit again soon. I happen to think that Kurt Warner is the man who can do it. He was able to chalk up 4,800 back in 2001. I will take a perfectly capable Edgerin James, and a young Anquan Boldin/Larry Fitzgerald duo over an aging Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce/Torry Holt combo. I think Kurt has all the weapons in place this year to get the 5,000 yard mark accomplished, as long as he stays healthy. My prediction is that he does it if he doesn’t get hurt, but that there is a distinct possibility he breaks his thumb sometime in the first six weeks.


2) Green Bay will beat Chicago this Sunday


We’ll be able to evaluate this one right away. I’m not including any ifs ands or buts in this one. I’m just going to flat out say it: The Packers will beat the Bears in Week 1. Brett Favre has a little bit more left than most are giving him credit for, and the Bears are perhaps the most overrated team in the NFL. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, I just don’t like this Bears team. Their offense is worthless and the defense hit its peak a year ago. Start bashing me now on this one, and we can see whose right on Sunday.


3) The Lions will win the NFC North this year


I am not saying this team is a Super Bowl contender by any means. What I am saying is that they will win the weakest division in football by default. This division is so bad it makes the Kansas City Royals look good. By process of elimination, I think the only team in this division even capable of winning 9 games and taking the division is the Detroit Lions. I think the new Mike Martz offense should bode Jon Kitna well, and he should be able to connect with Roy Williams and Cory Bradford often. Kevin Jones will enter the passing game, and should be able to rush for 1,200 or so yards. Its not going to be enough to win the Super Bowl, but it will be enough to sneak into the Playoffs by winning the weak NFC North.


4) The Michigan Wolverines will win the Big Ten this year


Not sure how “bold” this one is, but I’ll leave that one up to the reader to judge. Everyone is high on Ohio State because of the rankings, but I think Michigan has the more well-rounded football team. I don’t think UM will lose to ND again, but I don’t see OSU standing much of a chance against Texas. Even if those games don’t go as I think they will, it really has no effect on Big Ten play anyway. This prediction might come down to the UM v. OSU game on November 18th. However, I feel confident that Lloyd Carr’s crew will get it done and win the Big Ten this year.


5) Joey Harrington will start for the Miami Dolphins by season’s end


This one will probably come down to Duante Cullpepper’s surgically repaired knee falling apart. I mean this is something that can happen as early as tonight in the Pittsburgh game. I’m not saying it will happen tonight though. I’m saying it will happen before the season is over, and that Joey H. will again be starting games in the NFL- in a Dolphins uniform. It might happen other ways, but I think injury to Cullpepper is the most likely here. Brace yourselves, Joey will be back!

  1. On prediction 1: Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt were not aging when Warner chucked 4800. They were LIGHTING SHIT UP. In their prime. Where Fitz and Quan have yet to live.

    On 2: The Bears Defense can be at half of their peak to intercept Favre three times, one for a TD. The Packers are awful. I understand you not liking the Bears, but this doesn’t put the Packers above them. But, Any Given Sunday, blah blah blah, this isn’t so bold because of that nature of things.

    On 3: Kevin Jones rushing for 1200 yards? This may be an exaggeration, but I have to ask it, has Kevin Jones ever broken a rush up the middle for more than 6 yards? The Lions win the division by default, but what about the now vaunted in the champ’s mind Packers?

    On 4: This one is pretty bold, seeing as Lloyd is making it his mission to get beat by the Buckeyes again.

    On 5: Is it really BOLD to predict Daunte Culpepper to pick up some sort of injury? Or to play erratically? Are you talking about the occasional Joey Harrington start? Or, I mean, I could see Harrington start and then have this CLEO LEMON dude from Arkansas State take over because Joey is THAT bad.

  2. Shawn Glasser said:

    1. Champ that is a bold prediction, I would say 4000 yards would be quite a feat for Warner.

    2. Green Bay will struggle against the Lions, they have no shot at beating the Bears.

    3. The Lions will not even make the post season as a Wildcard. Hell, they won’t even finish at 8-8.

    4. Lloyd will be fired after this season as Michigan will play in a “less elite” bowl game and won’t win the Big Ten.

    I do believe that Michigan will beat the overrated Irish but OSU has had Michigan’s number as of late and Smith is the only reasonable QB pick for the heisman. It will come down to a fieldgoal but I’m calling OSU to win the Big Ten.

    I also think that OSU gets by Texas this week since Ginn will have a 5’10” corner trying to cover him and he will be running all over the field Steve Smith Style.

    5. I don’t know about this one but it is probably the most realistic of all your predictions. Did you all watch Dante at the end of the Steeler’s game? The man looks unsettled trying to make 4th Quarter runs and started throwing stupid passes that got picked off. That said, I think the only way the Dolphins turn their backs on him is if they hit a funk and lose a few outta the gates, or if he gets injured.

    I can’t wait for the next set of Crystal Ball Champ picks.

  3. Lance said:

    Champ there is a difference between bold and just plain stupid. I will predict not one of these predictions will come true

  4. As far as Bruce and Holt go, Holt certainly was in his prime. I didn’t mean to label him as aging. Bruce certainly had some good seasons but I don’t think he was in his prime. Regardless, all I am saying is that I like the Boldin/Fitzgerald/James combo better.

    As far as the Packers and Bears go, I am not saying the Packers are a better football team than the Bears. They aren’t. The Bears are in fact a better team. All I am saying is that the Packers will win on Sunday.

    I am not the biggest fan of Lloyd Carr, but I do think his team has the weapons in place this year to win the Big Ten.

    And if Cleo Lemon starts over Joey Harrington at some point, then I’ll officially resign as a Joboo columninst because that would be just awful.

    As far as Kevin Jones goes, he did bust a 40-yard run up the middle on 12/11/05 against the Green Bay Packers. It really was a beauty. If you really cared to see it I am sure I kind find a You Tube of it, but its really not that big of a deal.

  5. My previous comments were in response to Doug’s post, and I didnt get to read Shawn’s and Lance’s when I posted.

    Lance, I know there is a differnce between bold and stupid. These are some smart but bold picks. We’ll see how the scorecard is looking on them Sunday after the Bears v. Packers game.


    I know 4,000 really would be a good feat for Warner. I just thought it wasn’t bold enough because Tom Brady threw for 4,000 last year and has nowhere near the recieving corps that Warner has. Warner also has thrown for 4,800 before, just predicting he would throw for 4,000 would be pretty average, and my whole point of this column is to go out on a limb, so I thought 5,000 would be more appropriate.

    I guess I have said everything I can about the GB v. Chicago game. I understand that Chicago is a better football team, I just think there is something special about the Green Bay v.Chicago rivalry, and as a sports fan I know how often the better team loses rivalry games. I think GB is coming into that game ready to make a statement, and that they will make a loud one.

    I don’t think there is any chance that Llyod Carr will be fired. If there was, he would have been fired already. He starts the upswing this year, and UM will make a BCS bowl after winning the Big Ten, not a less elite bowl. But we have to wait until December to see……

    I’m glad that you can’t wait for the next 5 predictions though. I already am drafting some, and let me tell you, they are BOLD.

  6. Upon request by Doug, I present to you the You Tube displaying Kevin Jones’ amazing rushing abilities.

  7. Pretty sure all I see there is a lot of Barry and a Kevin Jones run where he gets sprung by a blown holding call.

  8. That wasn’t holding! It was pure KJ magic.

  9. Okay,okay, I bow down in defeat with the Chicago v. Green Bay pick. GB sucked today. Brett Favre earned his first shutout of his career. Nothing good can be said about Green Bay’s performance in that game.

    I’ll wait until Chicago plays Detroit next week before I comment any further on the Lions winning the division pick.

    If there was any good news from this weekend it was that Kurt Warner turned in a solid 300-yard effort with 3 TDs. And, he hasn’t broken his thumb yet……

  10. Paolo said:

    You were 1 for 5. The 4 wrong ones were pretty damn wrong too. Shawn Glasser above went 5 for 5, including OSU’s field goal win over Michigan.

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