Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.


It’s in the stars: Packers bounce-back season a lock

To maintain one’s rep as a legitimate clairvoyant requires a demonstrably successful track record, or at least a professional demeanor.

Come to the table with dog-eared tarot cards or used tea leaves, for example, and people may look at you as something less than a supernatural real deal.

Likewise, strike out on enough of your prognostications and eventually you’ll be regarded as a toy-department charlatan who in reality is just another interested bystander with a forum, running his yap.

The great Nostradamus had the right idea. Old “Hedge Your Bets” made his predictions so cloudy and so far in ahead in the future that no one living was ever be able to come back and rub his face in all of the ones he air-balled.

To that end, and with a nod to that 16th Century weasel, here is a pro football forecast that has nothing to do with which college stars the Green Bay Packers will end up with after this week’s draft.

There are too many variables in a draft for even the universe to be certain about who’s going where and when.

But there are no such obstacles preventing a clear vision of how the future shakes out five to eight months from now. That may sound like more of the same mountebank weasel-ry, but it’s not, if you think about it — or even better, if you don’t think about it, and instead focus on the Green Bay Packers’ upcoming 11-5, back-to-the-playoffs season.

Based on opponents’ win-loss records from last year, the Packers play the 14th-most difficult schedule, harder than Detroit’s but easier than Chicago’s and Minnesota’s. New England and the L.A. Rams, last year’s Super Bowl teams, are tied for the second-easiest. So much for those backbreaking first-place schedules.

Ultimately, none of that matters because when you’re contending for a championship you have to assume you can beat everyone.

A fast start would be a big help, given that the Packers play four of their last six games on the road, and don’t get their bye until Week 11 — their latest in the season since the league introduced the bye week in 1990.

But saying the Packers need to start fast is like opening a fortune cookie that reads, “Soon you will be finished with dinner.” Tell us something we don’t know.

Fate can be kind, and it can be a cruel bully. For the past two seasons, fate has stacked the books in the Packers’ lockers and stolen their lunch money. If karma were legal tender they’d have Dallas Cowboys money stored up.

That which went south for the Packers last year, which was just about everything, will straighten out this time around. The bad bounces, questionable calls and untimely injuries that vexed them in 2017 and ’18 will taper and redistribute elsewhere. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will flourish in the new offensive scheme and win his third MVP award.

More specifically, the Packers’ 11-5 will nose out Chicago’s 10-6 season and Minnesota’s 9-7. Jake Kumerow will blossom into Rodgers’ second-favorite receiver, behind Davante Adams.

Muhammad Wilkerson and the free agent Smiths will have a combined 11 sacks to go with Kyler Fackrell’s five.

The Packers will split with the Bears and Vikings but sweep the Lions. They’ll lose to Philadelphia but annihilate Dallas — not a slight to Randall Cobb, but more a case of it always being fun to beat Dallas.

Once again the schedule has worked out such that the Packers play back-to-back road games — one on the west coast (San Francisco) and one out east (New York Giants). In addition to losses to Chicago, Minnesota, Philadelphia and Kansas City, the Pack will drop one of these two.

These aren’t predictions; they’re 100 percent certainties, made in collaboration with a true visionary, one who predicted B.J. Raji’s pick-six, the 19-game winning streak and the KO of Fred Williamson in Super Bowl I.

Try telling it to some people, though, and they won’t believe you.

Veteran sportswriter Gary Seymour’s column appears weekly in the Leader. He can be contacted at