Hammer Hank Goldberg
November 20th, 2005

If 8:50 on Monday night—the “JACKED UP” NFL Primetime segment—is the best five minutes of television all week, then I think there are really only two contenders for the worst.

  • That sycophant Michael Irvin’s weekly fawning human interest story on NFL Countdown.
  • “Hammerin” Hank Goldberg’s picks against the spread at the end of the 10:30 Sportscenter.

I’m going to discount the ESPN Sunday Night game in its entirety. It is more like slow, drawn out water torture than a sudden and effective “stupid stick beating.” I don’t want to defend Michael “I talked to T.O. and he said…” Irvin in any way, but I think Goldberg is much worse. In the words of Paul Maguire, “I’m a tell you what.”

I’m not a gambler, but I know this: it is not a skill to pick games at .500 against the spread. You are supposed to be able to do that. Hence the spread. Although Hank is usually below the .500 mark, it is not by a statistically significant margin. In other words, you could not short his picks and make money, either.

Add to this annoyance his penchant for citing ridiculous, obscure statistics as excuses for his abysmal performance.

I would have done a lot better last week if I had remembered that Arizona was only winning 25% of the time after two wins on the road against east coast teams, or that Chicago has won their last two when the wind was southeasterly and above 20 miles per hour.

I made that quote up. Watch his segment next week and see if you can tell the difference. I am completely unable to explain why this human paraquat is allowed to return year after year.