The 2013 NFL schedule was released Thursday night and it was both a blessing and a curse for the Arizona Cardinals. The team and its fans finally know the exact time and date of the contests and can plan accordingly - yet just don't make plans for postseason play according to a formula that uses past game scores and what part of the season in which teams on the upcoming schedule were played.
It sounds confusing, but it's slightly more accurate that the Magic Eight Ball and tarot cards I was going to use. And it was a hell of a lot cheaper than me calling Ms. Cleo for results - I already have a large Qwest bill for asking about the future of Max Hall that I still haven't paid.
So, if you're still reading, this is how it works:
Won-loss record cumulatively from the Cardinals inception against clubs on the 2013 ledger during that same week equals either a victory or loss. To wit:
Arizona plays the St. Louis Rams week one. Historically. they have 3 wins and 5 losses playing the Rams (be it STL or Los Angeles or Cleveland) in the opening game of the season. Therefore, this would qualify as loss. ( I know! You probably can't believe that no one else has thought of this before, either!) Follow?
Week two, would be the Detroit Lions. With two of the leagues older franchises, you would assume that they have played many times during the second week of the season and you'd be correct. However, with one victory and three losses with two ties - this is the consecutive loss to start the year.
Third game of the season is New Orleans Saints. 1-0 with a triumph in 1968 - so you can put it on the board for a W here.
Up next is Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom the team previously is 0-1 during this week. Cards have a 30-10 loss against them and it leaves the homeboys with a 1-3 record.
The fifth game of the week is against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Historically, 1 and 1 with win in 2002 and loss in 2005. By using, the extreme difficult-to-describe calculations of this theorem - this it was many rocket scientists call a "push" - resulting in a tie. (And everyone has to kiss their sister.)
The following contest is division rival and last year SB attendee San Francisco. Cardinals are 0-2 with losses in 1971 and '87. Numbers, while different from ex-wives, do not lie. Defeat here brings current slate to 1-4-1.
With the Seattle Seahawks, only one matchup in this slot - a 2010 22-10 drubbing in the Pacific Northwest. Couple that with a short week playing SF on Sunday and then the 'Hawks the following Thursday, makes this even more difficult. Cards take it on the chin here.
But the team gets extended days the following week and with a 1991 week 8 scratch over the Atlanta Falcons providing inner confidence, the record goes a tick upward at 2-5-1.
The bye comes thereafter and the team has never had one during this particular part of the NFL calendar. Won-loss status stays chalk.
After a period in which players have had rest they ride the back of a 2009 28-21 ABSOLUTE scrubbing of Houston, the Cards improve to 2-0 over the Texans during week 10 and near the .500 mark.
But a 2005 24-17 beating from the Jacksonville Jacquars (and I believe Jake Delhomme, who would get his karma about three years later) proves too much to handle for the current squad and season is nearing the brink.
Still here? (Sorry, still 6 more weeks of this crap.) Well, The St. Louis Rams DID prevail over the Indianapolis Colts back in 1981 at Busch Stadium 35-24 (Which, just by memory, MAY have been the year ASU Frank Kush got his one and only NFL gig.) thereby guaranteeing a "W".
Since the Cardinals played in the NFC East from 1970-2001, you would assume their next foe, the Philadelphia Eagles have met a few times in the stretch run. But with a 2-3 record, the formula says another "D" for the 4-7-1 franchise.
Up next, second contest with Rams. After losing earlier in the season, Arizona uses a 2008 34-10 win as a springboard for their last time to celebrate for the year.
Hang in there, almost over, guys. Cardinals have never played the Houston /Tennessee franchise in the third to last game, so there is no precedent to base this equation on. Therefore, you have you use the most recent game - which was a 20-17 loss in Nashville. Team is on a losing streak.
Things don't get better versus Seattle who back an 0-2 record in this slot with thumpings in 2003 and 2004 to push Arizona looking forward to 2014 at 5-9-1.
Last chance for a moral booster with closing out a disappointing year with SF. But final game mood-droppers in 2010, 2012 and last campaign bring a merciful end with a final 5-10-1. Better than the ubiquitous 5-11 of past seasons but pretty close to par.
So, (to an audience of one, I presume) there you have it. By using this complex, yet very accurate prediction guide you can confidently boast to friends and coworkers or even place a wager with so called acquaintances. Just glancing at the plastic billiard ball with the messaging triangle inside, that I only see as a toy obviously, it reads "signs point to yes" - which is good enough for me.