I'm attempting perhaps my most ambitious ruse ever: a 7-month reverse-jinx cleverly disguised as grudging acceptance. To wit:
The Patriots will win the Super Bowl this season. I'm starting right now to brace myself right now for the inevitable.
The Golden Boy will be back with a brand-new knee which apparently will make him 15% better... and 350% more handsome (and you didn't think that was possible!).
Fred Taylor will suddenly morph into Eric Dickerson circa-1984.
Moss and Galloway will be the second coming of Swann and Stallworth.
The offensive line will be the most impenetrable line since the Maginot.
Tedy Bruschi will play like he's not a thousand years old.
Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden will wreak more havoc than a third world election.
Seriously? Fred Taylor, Joey Galloway, Tedy Bruschi, Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden? These are the players I'm worried about?
And yet I am. Without fail, every year the Patriots take someone else's over-the-hill, washed-up cast-off and turn him into a Pro Bowl player. At some point their old players actually have to play like they're old, right?
Do I honestly think the Patriots will win the Super Bowl this season? Yes, yes I do. Until their current reign of terror is over I'll always think the Pats will win right until the point they don't - but never before that. It's just like in golf, you always have to expect your opponent to make their shot. For my own sanity I have to expect the Pats to win.
So there you have it, the New England Patriots will win this year's Super Bowl... unless of course there's another "mishap" this season: