The pigskin prognosticator

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Ida had just gotten home from a screening of “Independence Day” when she heard the sound for the first time: the “BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP, SHE-bong SHE-bong SHE-bong,” followed by an oddly calm voice exclaiming, “You’ve got mail.”

She also knew her neighbor’s 11-year-old son Ruben had an affinity for video games and heard their repetitive jingles from the room next to the bathroom, yet all it took was a little Ornette Coleman on the turntable to drown out those sounds.

Still, Ida wished she could have a moment of peace with her plants and her NordicTrack. These strange sounds from Ruben’s room were a new affront and the “SHE-bong SHE-bong” sounded more bizarre every time. The “You’ve got mail,” greeting was always enthusiastic, but increasingly maniacal-sounding to our football friar.

She wondered why she started hearing those jingles in the middle of the day — when Ruben should be at school and not playing his games. But Ida, pigskin princess, has never been one to pry or prod past that invisible barrier of privacy, and she never found out.

She did notice, however, that the jingles went away sometime around 2002. Still, these memories, as mysterious as they remain, helped keep her feet planted and her eyes glancing toward better things, remembering a quote from American inventor Charles Kettering, that she doesn’t always take to heart, but knows she should: “My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”

Ida’s picks: Eagles (3), Buccaneers (3), Vikings (3), Colts (8.5), Browns (NS), Dolphins (−7), Broncos (−2.5), Charges (−3), Lions (−6), Raiders (−2.5), New England (3), Jets (−1),


Steelers (NS) over Cowboys

“Steelers will rebound.”

Packers (−2.5) over Bears

“Bears look about as ferocious as Winnie the Pooh right now.”

Seahawks (−5) over Bills

“They’re playing Canada this week.”


Giants (2) over Falcons

Overall: 92–109–7

Kryptonite: 5–9

Last week: 5–10–1

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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