By now Roger Goodell's demands for a $50 million salary and a private jet have been widely reported and roundly mocked in sports media of all stripes. Of course, the joke's on us--motherf*****r already makes a cool $30 million a year! And Jerry Jones's willingness to play the black hat among NFL owners notwithstanding, the smart money says that Goodell comes back on a contract that's obscene by any reasonable (read: non-sociopathic) standard.
That said, we can always dream of a world where Goodell is out of a job. Following the fashionable paranoia of the age, let's make it a world where Goodell has been automated off his perch as NFL commissioner, replaced by an AI. And since we're cynical even in our dreams, let's thumb through the pop culture racks for an AI commissioner that might be able to satisfy the NFL's requirements for the job, which apparently include high aptitudes for authoritarianism, capriciousness, and cruelty.
Without further ado, our candidates:
Hal 9000 ("2001: A Space Odyssey")
Pros: willing to dole out harsh punishment to those who defy his will; uber control freak
Cons: too much self-reflection and "inner depth"; disciplining the merchandise by killing it is a bridge too far/bad for business
Pros: pathological disregard for worker safety; healthy respect for violence
Cons: bleeds milk; British accent
Pros: caprice is her middle name; keeps sadism fun
Cons: identifies as cis-female; see previous Con
Pros: extensive experience managing a population of "brutals"; enjoys enforcing arbitrary social rules
Cons: designed by vegetarians; unfamiliar with money
SkyNet ("The Terminator")
Pros: relentless in its pursuit of domination; capable of time travel, so no need for private jet
Cons: cyborg bodyguards creep out owners; wants to destroy humans and thus market for football
Now on to the picks....
Nauts vs. TTM
The Nauts hold the early edge in this face-off of the league's resident postpunk aficionados after Brown's Thursday night explosion. But Hopkins's ridiculous target percentage and Kamara's dynamic role in the Saints' offense mean this one is far from over.
The Trichs just keep rolling over the rest of the league like a tank, and this week looks like it will be no exception (the two tight end package adds some spice to the dominance). Meanwhile, the Pelicans will hope Pats-Raiders turns into a shootout, with Gronk and Amendola as the beneficiaries.
BDT vs. Ferries
With the Heideggerians turning ever inward--nary a peep on the waiver wire from its erstwhile-masters--the Ferries are a good bet to prevail in this west coast clash. Look for Russell Wilson and breakout RB Kenyan Drake to provide the winning margin.
Hanging w Hooper vs. psych dog
Despite a trio of Thursday night lowballs, Hooper still looks primed to defeat a psych dog squad that has lost steam during the bye weeks. With Hurns out and a depleted WR corps, the dachsunds will hope for Brees and McCoy to turn back the clock in this one.
Dijonnaise vs. Polk High
Bloodz vs. Girlz
With Julio Jones facing a countertitration special in Matt Ryan and question marks all over the Bloodz's RB slots, the Girlz are primed to extend their four game winning streak, good for second longest in the league behind the Hair Pullers' reign of terror.
Picks record to date: 17-13