One of the early scenes in “Miracle” that sets the tone for the movie comes at Olympic tryouts, when Jimmy Craig asks Jack O’Callahan if there was a reason Joey Mullen wasn’t trying out.
“Yeah, about 30,000 of ’em sitting in his New York bank account,” O’Callahan responds, meaning Mullen got a $30,000 signing bonus from the NHL and took the money, back in a time when professionals couldn’t play in the Olympics.
But after Mullen reminded reporters at an event I covered last week that he went undrafted, I was curious how he managed to pull in that kind of signing bonus. So I asked him about it.
“Umm … I don’t know if it was 30,” he said uneasily.
Get the whole story over at the Post-Gazette.
The 0-3 Steelers head across the pond this week to meet the 0-3 Vikings in a thrilling matchup of top teams the NFL is surely happy to be showcasing at Wembley Stadium.
You cannot underrate how poor each team has played so far. The Steelers are tied with the Giants for the worst turnover margin in the NFL (minus-9) and the Vikings lost at home last week to a winless Browns team that had just traded away its best player and started its backup quarterback.
The Steelers offense had least found some rhythm last week in a 40-23 home loss to the Bears, so I’ll take them to outlast the Vikings.
The Bills has played well at home this year but after E.J. Manuel’s iffy performance last week against Geno Smith, I didn’t feel comfortable taking them at only +3.5 against Baltimore.
Week 4 picks, based on lines printed in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Steelers -1.5 vs. Minnesota (London) – Pittsburgh
Baltimore -3.5 at Buffalo – Baltimore
Coming off an emotional, last-second victory, I’m taking E.J. Manuel and the Bills +2 over Geno Smith and the surprisingly not-awful New York Jets in a matchup of rookie quarterbacks.
I’ll be reporting from Heinz Field again Sunday, where I expect the Bears -2.5 to cover against a Steelers team that hasn’t been able to do anything so far on offense. Consider this: Last Nov. 12, Jonathan Dwyer ran 19 times for 56 yards … and no Steeler has topped that performance since. Yuck.
Week 3 picks, made against lines in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Buffalo +2 at NY Jets — Buffalo
Chicago -2.5 at Pittsburgh — Chicago
The Bills played tough with a New England team that might not be as good as people thought.
In Pittsburgh, where I was, the Steelers’ offense was putrid in a loss to Tennessee.
Does either one win this week? I say no.
Picks made against lines in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Carolina -3 at Buffalo — Carolina
Pittsburgh +7 at Cincinnati — Cincinnati
Welcome to Year Four of NFL picks.
The goal remains the same. The methods remain changing.
If I ever find one that works I’ll let you know.
Or move to Vegas.