Friends, I’m traveling again this week, so I regret to say that I have another abbreviated column for you. (Everything should be back to normal for the remainder of the season, though.) I will take this opportunity, however, to share a few recent Phil Simms-related items of interest from the Block & Tackle mailbag.
During my correspondence with Susan C., the reader whose email request prompted the publication of The Compleat Phil Simms (So Far) in this space a few weeks back, Susan offered up her own morsel of Simmsian poetry trivia. The Phil Simms poems in the column are just Simms’ words playfully transcribed, but Susan came across Phil Simms in an actual poem written by an actual respected poet, Louise Glück. And it’s dialogue-based free verse, no less, much like the “poems” that appear here in the column from time to time.
The work is called “Meadowlands 3,” and I’ve embedded a portion above as an image because I can’t quite reproduce the formatting in The A.V. Club’s CMS, which quite reasonably is not designed to accommodate innovative poetry typesetting. Here’s a link to the entire poem. Who knew that Phil Simms had such a fine literary pedigree? I only knew that he deserved one.
Another reader reached out via Twitter to tell me about an earlier example of a sportscaster named Phil whose words were turned into poetry: The 1993 book O Holy Cow recast the musings of Yankees shortstop-turned-broadcaster Phil Rizzuto as verse. The poems are fun and sometimes even poignant, although Rizzuto didn’t have the incoherence that lends such magic to Simms’ linguistic flights of fancy.
Finally, loyal B&T reader 6StringMercenary was inspired by an exchange with some of his fellow commenters to turn one of the Simms poems into a song—or, as he billed it, a “Simms hymn.” 6SM hastened to note that the track was recorded hastily in a cubicle and does not represent his best production practices, but who cares? I was delighted by it, so here it is:
Ah yeah you know
We never know, we think—you know
Sometimes we get a feel
for a game
I mean, of course did not have any sensation
That it coulda be like this
But I’ll go back to what I saw
How hard they were practicing
—Phillip Lentronomus Simms
Okay, the quick picks are below, and I’ll return with a real column next week—thank you to my correspondents for helping me bridge the gap, and thanks to the rest of you for your patience. I love you guys. Enjoy the football this weekend.
Here are Block & Tackle’s “never wrong” final score predictions for the Week 14 slate. The predictions must not be doubted. They are truth. They are the only truth. If a game differs from the prediction listed here, it is simply being untruthful—shamefully so.
Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs (last night, 8:25 p.m., NBC/NFL Network): Kansas City 24, Oakland 21.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox): Jacksonville 19, Minnesota 17.
Washington vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox): Philadelphia 21, Washington 20.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Miami Dolphins (Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox): Miami 25, Arizona 23.
San Diego Chargers vs. Carolina Panthers (Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox): San Diego 24, Carolina 17.
Denver Broncos vs. Tennessee Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS): Denver 21, Tennessee 13.
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS): Indianapolis 4, Houston 2.
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS): Detroit 28, Chicago 10.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS): Pittsburgh 30, Buffalo 20.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS): Cincinnati 17, Cleveland 13.
New York Jets vs. San Francisco 49ers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS): San Francisco 20, New York 16.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Fox): Atlanta 24, Los Angeles 9.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Fox): Seattle 26, Green Bay 20.
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Fox): Tampa Bay 33, New Orleans 28.
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants (Sunday, 8:30 p.m., NBC): Dallas 30, New York 25.
Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots (Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN): New England 27, Baltimore 24.
Block & Tackle prediction record for 2016 season: 192-0
Untruthful games in Week 13: 4
Overall truth-untruth ratio in 2016: 123-69
No, as it happens.