Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Friday, September 2, 2011's Seven Experts Make Their Picks for This Season: Who Are These Guys?

Once a week or so I receive something in my e-mailbox called the NFL Newsletter. It's the official newsletter of Isn't that special?

I usually take a quick peek, scan the headlines and sometimes actually read an article or two.

This week's edition had predictions for the 2011 season from its team of seven experts. I've never heard of any of these guys: Bucky Brooks...anyone, anyone?

I am always suspicious of people identified as an expert. Believe it or not, I've been referred to as an expert more than once and I barely can tell my butt from a bucket of ice cream.

In any event,'s blue-ribbon panel of experts each made his (Yes, sorry ladies, apparently at only men qualify as experts.) call on a number of topics from Super Bowl winner to Rookie of the Year. I am always curious about whom the "experts" pick to do well.

As a Steelers fan, I am always amused by how Pittsburgh is typically overlooked or given just a polite nod in these preseason noodlefests, and then go on to make the playoffs, get into the national championship and sometimes win the Super Bowl, leaving the experts slack jawed in disbelief.

Year after year, they just didn't see it coming.

Like a weatherman who predicts rain every day, these guys, I guess, believe if they keep predicting the Patriots, they will eventually be correct. Yes, even a blind squirrel eventually finds a nut.

Much to my surprise, not one of them picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl this season (Obviously none of these experts is shared with ESPN, the all-Patriots-all-the-time-Tom-Brady-can-part-the-seas network); although five of them did predict New England to get into the Super Bowl. No, it seems four of these guys picked the Saints to go all the way and two others fingered the Packers. One chose the Jets. The Jets?

It would be fun to have the Jets at the Super Bowl just to watch that ass Rex Ryan throw one of his temper tantrums on the side lines when the final buzzer sounded the Jets' defeat. And I thought Buddy Ryan was a clown.

Also shocking to a Steelers fan who pays attention to such things, all seven picked the Steelers to take the AFC North. Six picked the Jets as one of the AFC wild cards, while the Ravens received four votes.

None of this means a whole lot except as something to talk about over a beer on Friday night, or as fodder for a blog. I've done my part.

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