If you're old enough to remember Earl Morrall not seeing Jimmy Orr in the end zone and Tom Matte fumbling on the first play of the second half, you probably don't want to be reminded that this season is the 25th anniversary of the season that ended with Super Bowl III.

The interesting thing, though, is that this year could be Super Bowl III in reverse for Baltimore. As you remember, the Colts -- the team with Morrall at quarterback -- were the 17-point favorites over the New York Jets, the team with Joe Willie Namath at quarterback. The public perception was all wrong because of the NFL propaganda knocking the AFL. There's no way Namath's team should have been a heavy underdog against Morrall's team.

Now in the expansion derby, the NFL is putting out all the propaganda about how good a market Charlotte is. In effect, Paul Tagliabue is Earl Morrall in this game and Baltimore has Namath -- Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

Gov. Schaefer's deal is easily the best one in the expansion race, but the NFL spinmeisters would have you believe the owners will take less money to go to Charlotte.

I'll make it my best bet of the year that the owners will take the money and pick Baltimore. OK, no cracks about my best bets. I do better in Super Bowls and this one's about as easy as picking the NFC in the Super Bowl. When do the owners ever say no to money?

Now for the tougher picks:

San Francisco (-6) at Pittsburgh -- Steve Young no longer has Joe looking over his shoulder.

* Take San Francisco * Final score: 49ers 21, Steelers 10

Miami (-6) at Indianapolis -- Jimmy Irsay says it wouldn't be appropriate for the Colts to sell their nickname. OK, how about showing some class and presenting it as a gift to Baltimore? Irsay? Class? OK, it's a stretch.

* Take Miami * Final score: Dolphins 34, Colts 7

Atlanta at Detroit (-5) -- Barry Sanders gets a jump today on Emmitt Smith in the rushing race.

* Take Atlanta with the points * Final score: Lions 21, Falcons 20

New England at Buffalo (-14) -- Bill Parcells said last April he didn't want to throw Drew Bledsoe to the wolves. Today, he throws him to the Bills.

* Take Buffalo * Final score: Bills 31, Patriots 10

Denver (pick'em) at New York Jets -- Boomer may find out you can't go home again.

* Take Denver * Final score: Broncos 24, Jets 17

Kansas City (-7) at Tampa Bay -- Forget the arm. The real question is whether Joe Montana can play well without wearing a gold helmet. He hasn't done that since high school.

* Take Kansas City * Final score: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 14

Phoenix at Philadelphia (-6 1/2 ) -- Will those Philadelphia fans boo Norman Braman today?

* Take Phoenix with the points * Final score: Eagles 24, Cardinals 23

Cleveland (-7 1/2 ) at Cincinnati -- The Browns have hired Jim Brown as a consultant. Maybe they should give him a few carries. He's only 57.

* Take Cleveland * Final score: Browns 27, Bengals 7

Los Angeles Rams vs. Green Bay (-6 1/2 ) at Milwaukee -- Those Packers fans may be rushing their Super Bowl orders just a bit.

* Take Green Bay * Final score: Packers 28, Rams 10

New York Giants at Chicago (-1) -- The Bears sideline won't seem the same without Mike Ditka throwing a few tantrums.

* Take New York * Final score: Giants 20, Bears 14

Minnesota (-3) at Los Angeles Raiders -- Al Davis doesn't seem to be a genius anymore.

* Take Minnesota * Final score: Vikings 27, Raiders 14

Seattle at San Diego (-11) -- Bobby Ross is trying to pull a Joe Gibbs and win the Super Bowl in his second season.

* Take San Diego * Final score: Chargers 34, Seahawks 14 Houston at New Orleans (-3) -- Did Buddy Ryan learn his management style from Stuart Berger or was it the other way around?

* Take New Orleans * Final score: Saints 21, Oilers 14 Dallas at Washington (-2 1/2 )-- Commissioner Paul Tagliabue is supposed to attend this game. If he watches it from Jack Kent Cooke's box, he might be advised to bring a food taster.

* Take Washington * Final score: Redskins 24, Cowboys 17

Best bets: Dolphins, Chargers, Chiefs and Packers.

Last year's overall record: 162-73. Against the spread: 116-113-6. Best bets:28-37-3.

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad