Vito Stellino's picks

September 20, 1992|By VITO STELLINO

Wouldn't you be pleased to open your mail and find a check for $600 or $700?

That's the way to look at the NFL's latest expansion delay. Instead of gritting your teeth, just remember that if you were planning to buy two season tickets at $30 or $35 a pop in 1994, you'd be spending $600 or $700. Of course, they haven't officially deep-sixed 1994 yet, but the best bet of the year is that they will eventually.

Anyway, this means you've got the $600 or $700 to spend on something else. Hey, to paraphrase Yogi Berra, if the NFL doesn't want your money -- and a new stadium next to Camden Yards -- you can't force them to take it.

Another way to look at it is that the NFL is looking out for family values in Baltimore. Instead of wasting all those Sunday afternoons in front of the tube, you can do something with the kids.

We've learned one thing, though. Listening to the NFL talking about its expansion timetable is a little bit like hearing "the check is in the mail."

Vito's pick .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. The line

Redskins 24, Lions 21 . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... Redskins by 9

Mark Rypien has to learn to stop whining about the fans, but at least he has debunked the myth that the Redskins have great fans. The mystique of the Redskins in Washington has little to do with football. It's just the chic thing for the Yuppies to do. It's the place to be seen. Unfortunately, many of these same people are showing up at Camden Yards, which is why it lacks the fervor

that Memorial Stadium had with smaller crowds.

Saints 24, Falcons 17 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Pick

Jerry Glanville is still trying to get a refund for that battery from Joe Gibbs.

Bengals 20, Packers 14 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Pick

Mike Holmgren must miss the days when he could draw up plays for Joe Montana.

49ers 28, Jets 17 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 49ers by 6

Bruce Coslet virtually guaranteed a victory in this one, which shows he's no Joe Namath.

Vikings 24, Bucs 21 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Vikings by 7

Are the Bucs for real? Probably not.

Eagles 28, Broncos 17 .. .. . .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Eagles by 7 1/2

The Eagles don't seem to be missing Buddy Ryan these days.

Oilers 20, Chiefs 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Oilers by 5 1/2

An upset victory would give the Chiefs a 3-0 start for the first time since 1966 -- the year they went to the first Super Bowl. Dave Krieg in the Super Bowl? Doubtful.

Dolphins 21, Rams 17 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Dolphins by 8 1/2

Did you hear the Monday night crew praising Don Shula for calling timeouts in the final minute against the Browns? C'mon, guys, it didn't take an Einstein to think of that.

Raiders 28, Browns 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Raiders by 12 1/2

Just in case you think the owners don't take expansion too seriously, Art Modell, the Browns' owner and a member of the expansion committee, is exhibit A. When they delayed the timetable Thursday, one reporter, who wasn't up to speed on expansion, asked him, "What was the original timetable?" Modell said, "I don't remember." Modell was fuzzy on the details, too. "I slept through half the meeting, so I really can't tell you," he said.

Cowboys 31, Cardinals 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Cowboys by 14

Joe Bugel said at the start of the year that he'd let the players shave his head if they made the playoffs. I don't think he's in any danger of losing his hair.

Steelers 24, Chargers 14 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Chargers by 3

It may not be long before Stan Humphries decides that sitting on the bench wasn't so bad after all.

Patriots 23, Seahawks 6 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Patriots by 3

The Patriots found out this week that their fans will pay to see them play -- as long as it only costs $10.

Bills 44, Colts 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Bills by 19 1/2

The Colts are ruining the NFL's competitive-balance argument. How can an NFL team be a 20-point underdog? Well, you start with the fact the Bills beat the Colts by 42-6 and 35-7 margins last year.

Bears 21, Giants 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Bears by 6

At least the NFL can count on Dan Quayle, a frequent visitor to Jack Kent Cooke's box, to watch the first quarter of this game on TV. The rest of the nation figures to be watching the Murphy

Brown premier.

Best bets: Cowboys, Raiders, Patriots and Bills.

Last week's record: 11-3; against the spread: 10-4; best bets: 4-0.

Season record: 18-9; against the spread: 12-13-2; best bets: 4-3-1.

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