Our sideline soothsayer Ida Eisenstein spent the past five days squirreled away in a studio apartment above a Bensonhurst noodle shop, surrounded by stacks of papers, fragrant elderberries, and tins of smoked kippers.
Mel Torme’s “A Foggy Day in London” played on continuous loop through the weak speakers of a broken clock radio with aqua green numbers and faux-wood panelling.
“For suddenly, you stood there. And through foggy London town, the sun was shining everywhere.”
Those who know Ida best were hardly alarmed by her behavior, save for one thing: the documents she pored over didn’t appear to have anything to do with football, or her beloved Atlantic mackerel.
Instead, they contained a vast string of inscrutable numbers, which Eisenstein examined like a doctor inspecting a distended gallbladder.
It all seemed to make perfect sense to Ida, who would periodically chortle so loudly that the noodle purveyors below were forced to rap on the ceiling with a broom handle to quiet her down.
Asked about her brief seclusion, Eisenstein explained with a Chinese proverb, her inspiration for the week: “A spark can start a fire that burns the entire prairie.”
Saints (âˆ’3.5) over 49ers:
“They’re playing well.”
Broncos (+14) over Patriots:
“Maybe they’ll prove themselves.”
Texans (+7.5) over Ravens:
“Just a feeling.”
Ida’s Kryptonite Lock of the Week:
Giants (+9) over Packers:
“I think they can taste it.”
133–120–7, 11–7 on Kryptonite Lock of the Week.