There are levels to dumbassery. Dumbassery is like hot sauce. There's mild, medium and extra dumbass. This column of preseason predictions was a gorgeous piece of dumbassness.
It takes a special man to be that wrong, but it also takes a special man to admit he was. And boy was I.
But in my defense, NFL predictions are an example of why this league is so popular, fun and hard to, well, predict. If you picked Kansas City to go 8-0, please raise your hand. Did you see the Buccaneers looking so sickly on and off the field to the point where their next coach will be from the CDC? Did you envision a Washington, New York Giants or Pittsburgh collapse? If you saw any of this, go play the lotto. Now.
At times earlier this season, the Broncos looked unstoppable—until Andrew Luck beat them. In fact, the best quarterback play right now isn't coming from Peyton Manning. It's coming from Aaron Rodgers and Luck.
Who knew that Mario Williams would legitimately approach Michael Strahan's sack record? Or that Philadelphia's offense, after deconstructing Washington in opening game, would later look awful because of poor quarterback play? Or that Tony Romo, for the most part, would play as well as anyone?
Not to sound like a mewling baby, but this league is impossible to truly chart because its unpredictability is its greatest asset.
But back to my idiotic predictions. There were some lovely gems:
1. "Ben Roethlisberger will be league MVP." I'm not even sure he's the MVP on his own team.
2. "The Seahawks will take a step back." They might be the best team in football. The only step they've taken is when they've walked over the carcasses of their opponents.
3. "The Cardinals will take a step forward." This was actually not terrible. That defense is playing well, and the Cardinals are 4-4. They are still in the thick of the playoff hunt.
4. "By December, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly will be the most talked-about NFL head coaching candidate." Still highly possible. Not awful.
5. "Adrian Peterson will rush for 1,400 yards." My main point was his yardage wouldn't come close to his stunning number last year. I was right on this one. He has 571 yards.
6. "Roger Goodell will give a sweeping speech on concussions and the NFL of the past." Hasn't happened yet. But easily still could.
7. "Joe Flacco will shut up his dumbass critics." This is a close one. Flacco hasn't played great, but he's been solid. He's far from the problem in Baltimore.
8. "Tom Brady will turn wide receiver (insert name here) into a star." Wrong. Because most of his receivers are either injury prone or terrible. Or both. I think I get a pass on this one.
9. "Mario Williams, who will make $12.4 million this season, will still suck in Buffalo." Wrong. He's been good. No, he's been great.
10. "Quarterback Josh Freeman will do enough to earn Tampa Bay's trust and a contract extension." Bwaaaaahahahahaha.
11. "The Browns will still be the same ol' Browns." Nailed that one.
12. "Ryan Tannehill will lead Miami to the playoffs." Oh lordy. The Dolphins could still make the postseason, but it's not looking good. Tannehill is still making too many mistakes.
13. "We will look back at the 2013 season and say that Dez Bryant was the best receiver in football." The best wideout in football is Calvin Johnson. So, wrong. Yet, Bryant is a beast.
14. "Tim Tebow will join a television network as a college football analyst when the bowl season begins." In this story, a source close to Tebow said his intent is to get back to the NFL. That's all he wants to do. I remain unconvinced. I think a network will make such an enticing offer to Tebow he won't be able to refuse.
15. "Washington will win the Super Bowl." Um, well, you see, what had happened was...
So let's do a final tally: Seven absolutely, violently, dumbfoundingly wrong, a few just the normal kind of stupid wrong, and the rest either correct or inconclusive.
So the error rate for my predictions is around 70 percent. That's brilliant.
And highly dumbass.