Get ready for some football

Special to Page 2

Buckle up and settle in. We're into a 72-hour period the likes of which our nation has barely seen. The outcome of events over the next few days will have profound impact on people all across this country. And so much of it will be played out right before our eyes on television.

A key part of the action will take place in Washington, D.C. Miami-Dade County is no longer the scene of the action itself, as proceedings have moved northward, but Miami is still heavily involved.

I'm talking, of course, about this week's NFL schedule.

Starting with the Vikings' 24-17 victory over the Lions on Thursday night in Minneapolis, this week's NFL card lists no fewer than six matchups between teams that not only have winning records coming into this week's games, but also are guaranteed to have winning records coming out of those games. The matchups (with records coming into this week's action):

    Thursday: Detroit (8-4) at Minnesota (10-2)
    Sunday (1 p.m. ET): Denver (8-4) at New Orleans (8-4)
    Sunday (1 p.m. ET): Miami (9-3) at Buffalo (7-5)
    Sunday (1 p.m. ET): N.Y. Giants (8-4) at Washington (7-5)
    Sunday (1 p.m. ET): Tennessee (9-3) at Philadelphia (9-4)
    Sunday (4:15 p.m. ET): Indianapolis (7-5) at N.Y. Jets (8-4)

What matchups! It has been more than four years (since Week 13 of the 1996 season) since the NFL had six games in the same week matching teams with winning records. But what we have here goes beyond that: this is only the second time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 that the NFL has six games in the same week matching teams with records at least two games above the .500 mark!

The only other time that such a circumstance happened came in 1986, and even then, it was not this late in the season (when playoff positioning is so directly affected by each of these games) -- but rather in Week 9. The primo games from that week's schedule:

    November 2-3, 1986
    Minnesota (5-3) at Washington (6-2): Redskins won, 44-38 (OT)
    Atlanta (5-2-1) at New England (5-3): Patriots won, 25-17
    Dallas (6-2) at N.Y. Giants (6-2): Giants won, 17-14
    Denver (7-1) at L.A. Raiders (5-3): Broncos won, 21-10
    N.Y. Jets (7-1) at Seattle (5-3): Jets won, 38-7
    L.A. Rams (6-2) at Chicago (7-1): Rams won, 20-17 (Monday Night)

So, try not to be distracted by the Supreme Court arguments, David Boies, Chris Matthews, triumphant theme music and snazzy graphics for Decision 2000, tales of the disputed Hayes-Tilden election of 1876, and that down-home Florida Circuit Court judge.

Appreciate our country for the freedom that you enjoy to watch the NFL games this weekend. (And if you have Sunday Ticket, so much the better!)

Steve Hirdt is the executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau.

  Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
Copyright ©2000 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site.