It happened in a bar so hidden you had to enter through the delivery shoot. This was no trendy speakeasy, however: the year was 1983 and this was a place you went only if you had nowhere else to go.
It was mere days before Thanksgiving and Ida Eisenstein, our gridiron star-gazer, had many other places pulling her off course, but this was the Sheepshead Bay bar where she chose to watch her game, the type of place where they served Budweiser on draft and boiled hot dogs, where men were men, and women, well…there were no women. Except our Ida.
The power went out in that small hovel of a bar on Avenue U (which is currently a nail salon) during one of those freakish November snowstorms, and with it, the first quarter of what would eventually be a Giants rout of the Eagles. A discomforting quiet settled over the room, with the only illumination coming from a battery-powered neon “BEER” sign behind the bar.
No one wanted to go out into such a gale, but no one really wanted to look at the rumpled man in the corner wearing an Eagles windbreaker, either.
Ida grabbed the hand-crank hurricane radio she knew was behind the bar and did what any other rational being would do: she cranked. Lord, did she crank! And when Jim Gordon’s voice finally boomed from the speakers all was well again, and Ida remembered something once spoken by Cuban poet Jose Mart: “We light the oven so that everyone may bake bread in it.”
Ida’s picks: Patriots (-13.5), Vikings (-1.5), Saints (-2.5), Ravens (2.5), Raiders (-2.5), Cleveland (7.5), Houston (-7.5), Seattle (3), Redskins (-3), Chargers (-5), Detroit (6.5).
Broncos (3) over Falcons
Bears (5.5) over Packers
“They’re going to go in there and win.”
Giants (-7.5) over Buccaneers
“Going with the Giants.”
Buffalo (-3) over Chiefs
“I like Buffalo.”
Jets (6) over Steelers
“Going with the Jets again.”
Kryptonite lock of the week:
Raiders (-2.5) over Miami.
Ida’s record: 7–9