Monday, December 06, 2010

Operant Conditioned Football Forecast

The Patriots are betting favorites to win tonight's game against the Jets, and an almost unanimous pick of the football commentariat. That's standard operating procedure. In a late season game between two good teams, the home team SHOULD be the favorite. Home field advantage is a quantifiable fact, as opposed, to say, deep insights into "who needs it more."

I'm sure the Patriots will win, far surer than the facts of the case really allow. My reasons for certitude in picking New England are not scientific, except that pathological psychology is a science. I'm picking against the Jets because I can't help myself.

Forty years of football history have left a mark. I NEVER believe the Jets can win a big game. I still don't even though the Jets won several bigger games than this one in 2209, including two playoff games, and already proved me wrong in 2010 the last time they played New England, when I predicted a Pats win on the same grounds that it is and forevermore will be the destiny of the Jets to blow their every opportunity. I'll pick the Bears over the Jets when they play later this month even if New York proves me wrong again and wins tonight. No measly regular season road game can shake a prejudice based on sheer irrationality and memories of games played before the current Jets were preschool children.

What could? Well, I used to believe the very same thing about the Patriots. So four Super Bowl appearances in a decade, and maybe I'll look at the Jets in a new light.

But probably not.


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