Stalin's NFL Picks
Perhaps no coach in NFL history was more influential than "Mean" Joe Stalin, whose dominating defenses ruled the league for over three decades. A onetime disciple of coaching legend Vladimir "Red" Lenin, Stalin eventually broke away from tradition to form his own coaching style based upon a grueling system of internal team competition, on-field intimidation, and even, on occasion, outright cooperation with opposing teams during games. His career came to an end when his penultimate innovation-- the concept of "Competition With Just One Team"-- was ultimately rejected by league officials who had concerns about how Stalin's one-team vision would play in the emerging medium of television. Since stepping down from full-time coaching, however, he has remained close to the game, and is still one of its keenest analysts. The BEAST is proud to have Coach Stalin as a guest prognosticator this season. Here are his picks for week 1:
(-3.5) at GIANTS
At this stage of our development, three facts are known. One is that the spying and wrecking agents of Bill Walsh have seriously affected almost all of our organizations, both league, officiating, and team. The second is that Walsh agents are present not only in the lower echelons, but in some positions of responsibility. The third is that the Giants will be the worst team in the league this year.
(+7) at REDSKINS
Some of our new coaches think too highly of themselves, and in their self-promoting efforts we might discern a hatred of the working class. Perhaps an assignment to new and more challenging duties would sharpen their ideological focus.
(+7.5) at PACKERS
We have nearly achieved our goal of physically eliminating the Green Bay wide receiver as a class. It is important to remember that restricting Brett Favre's options on the outside and retaining Terry Glenn on the roster are not two separate goals, but one and the same. Therefore, can it be that retaining Terry Glenn is not part of the goal of restricting Brett Favre's options on the outside? Obviously, it cannot.
(-2) at PANTHERS
Since winning the Super Bowl, we have become dizzy with success. Our victories are spoken of by everyone, and even our enemies have been forced to admit that our achievements are great. It has been reported that there are problems with our salary cap. Who benefits by these distortions? Only our enemies!
(+8) at DOLPHINS
We are very impressed with Mike McMahon. He is, in fact, one of our best quarterbacks.
(-3.5) at JAGUARS
We must become experts, masters of defense, this is the lesson life was teaching us. But neither the first coordinator nor the second brought about the necessary change. It is time, high time, that we turned toward technique. It is time to discard the old slogan of non-interference in technique, and ourselves become specialists, experts, masters of our own defense.
(+3.5) at BROWNS
What distinguishes Trent Green from a capable starting quarterback in the NFL? Above all, that Trent Green stands above the fans, separated by them by an impenetrable barrier, while the capable quarterback merges with fan expectations. This is one of the fundamental differences between Trent Green and a capable starting quarterback in the NFL.
(+3.5) at BEARS
Greenism or Ticeism? Comrades, after Paul Tagliabue's report, there is almost nothing left for me to say. It happened that the day was very hot and, so the story goes, an offensive lineman collapsed and died under the watchful eye of his position coach. This version has been enthusiastically related in Dennis Green's latest literary pronouncements. It scarcely needs to be proved that these and other such fairy tales never happened and could not have happened, and that there were, in fact, no accidents in training camp last year or any year.
(-1) at BILLS
Our immediate tasks on the offensive and defensive lines are far from completed, indeed, there are hosts of problems. And yet, wherein lies the strength of the offensive and defensive lines in Gregg Williams's system? The strength of the offensive and defensive lines within Gregg Williams's system is that they has around them a wide contingent of non-player position coaches, who serve as a bridge between the head coach and the players themselves.
(+1) at TITANS
Provocative elements on opposing teams taunt us, and continue to taunt us, and continue to insist that our reliance on a conservative ground attack and a field-position philosophy is due to weakness, the weakness of the wide receivers around Donovan McNabb. Some of our comrades are enraged by this, and have urged the adoption of "vigorous" offensive measures, and the taking of more chances downfield and in particularly in the red zone. This is a sign of weakness, a failure of stamina. We cannot, and must not, dance to the tune of the enemy.
(+3) at BENGALS
We remember the cries of the Doug Flutie circle when Rob Johnson was given the chance to start against the Titans three years ago. Back then they had the support of about a half of the league. And we remember its opposition following the conclusion of the 2000 season, when Flutie was released from the Bills. Back then it had the support of about a fourth of the team. Now the Flutie delegation is more isolated than ever before. It is doubtful whether it would receive even one vote at team meetings (prolonged applause).
(+6.5) at BUCS
Our main achievement this year has been that we have succeeded in turning the mass of the team away from the old, Tony Dungy style of development, which benefits only the defense, and toward the new, Jon Gruden method of development, which re-equips the offense and the special teams along new lines. Aaron Brooks throws too many picks.
(+5) at RAIDERS
It must be admitted that the impetuous speed of our young secondary is unequalled even by the large-scale, highly-touted defensive line, which itself is noted for its speed and aggressiveness.
(-3) at BRONCOS
At this stage of our development we are forced to admit that the wreckers have even penetrated the fraternity of oddsmakers.
(-6.5) at TEXANS
I always wanted to lay a Cowboy cheerleader.
(+1) at PATRIOTS
In the second year of the Bill Bellichick program, the results are as follows. Rushing yards: 1793. Passing yards: 3089. Punting yards: 3042. In other words, in a single year, the output was more than 50 percent of the marketable output of the whole of the previous year. The radical fan base calls this impressive. Impressive? More work needs to be done!