In 1776, American colonists declared their independence from Great Britain, establishing a new nation, the United States. Britain has been our country’s big brother. At first the sibling nations fought and agitated each other during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The two countries are now strong allies and have come together to deal with the world’s social issues, economic concerns and global conflicts, notably World War I and World War II.
Britain has influenced American culture in several ways. The English games cricket and rounders are ancestors to baseball, America’s national pastime. Works by English writers such as Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and Jane Austen are taught in American high schools and universities. The British Parliament consists of two chambers, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, similar to the two parts of the American Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The British Broadcasting Corporation aired The Office from 2001-03. The American version of the sitcom is currently in its final season on NBC.
Differences still exist. Americans drive on the right side of the road. The British drive on the left. What are known as French fries in the United States are called chips in the United Kingdom. Santa Claus in America is Father Christmas in Britain.
Since 2007, one National Football League regular season game has been played at London’s Wembley Stadium. Football in Britain is soccer in America. However, the English don’t refer to American football as soccer.
In honor of the historical connections, the shared culture and customs and the partnership between our country and our friends across the pond, the Week 10 predictions theme is Great Britain.
Indianapolis Colts (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)-Nov. 8-8:20 p.m.-NFL Network
On Nov. 9, Skyfall, the latest James Bond spy film, arrives in American theaters. The Colts will take out the Jaguars in this game with the same efficiency that 007 takes out his enemies on screen. In years a Bond film is released, Indianapolis is 184-156-4.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Indianapolis
Pollock’s Pick: Indianapolis
New York Giants (6-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)-Nov. 11-1 p.m.-Fox
Three Englishmen, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig have played James Bond. In years an English actor plays Bond in a film, the Giants are 17-20 against AFC teams. The Bengals are 21-19-1 against NFC teams. Craig, the current 007, was born in Chester, Cheshire, England.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Cincinnati
Pollock’s Pick: New York
Oakland Raiders (3-5) at Baltimore Ravens (6-2)-Nov. 11-1 p.m.-CBS
Craig appeared in Elizabeth, a 1998 biographical film about Queen Elizabeth I. The Raiders didn’t appreciate this movie about the historic monarch. Baltimore defeated Oakland in Week 10 of the 1998 season.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Baltimore
Pollock’s Pick: Baltimore
San Diego Chargers (4-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4)-Nov. 11-1 p.m.-CBS
J.K. Rowling’s second novel in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in 1998 arrived in British bookstores in 1998. The Chargers are muggles. In years a Harry Potter book came out, San Diego had a 42-71 record. Tampa Bay was 67-49.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Tampa Bay
Pollock’s Pick: Tampa Bay
Detroit Lions (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-4)-Nov. 11-1 p.m.-Fox
Manchester United TV, the official network of the English Premier League football club, debuted on British television in 1998. Lions fans should support Manchester City, Manchester United’s rival. Since 1998, Minnesota is 23-6 against Detroit.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Minnesota
Pollock’s Pick: Minnesota
Atlanta Falcons (8-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-5)-Nov. 11-1 p.m.-Fox
Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United in 2004. He played for the English national team in the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Saints were 5-2 in November in those two seasons. The Falcons were 4-4. But the next World Cup won’t take place until 2014.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Atlanta
Pollock’s Pick: New Orleans
Buffalo Bills (3-5) at New England Patriots (5-3)-Nov. 11-1 p.m.-CBS
Actor Peter Ustinov died in 2004. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1961 and 1965. The Bills were 2-0 in Week 10 games those seasons. The Patriots were 0-2. Unfortunately, Ustinov can’t win any more Oscars.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: New England
Pollock’s Pick: New England
Denver Broncos (5-3) at Carolina Panthers (2-6)-Nov. 11-1 p.m.-CBS
The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time in 1961. It was a long and winding road for Denver while the band was together. From their first Cavern Club performance until the band broke up in 1970, Denver was 35-78-3. Broncos fans must be glad the Beatles went their separate ways.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Denver
Pollock’s Pick: Denver
Tennessee Titans (3-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)-Nov. 11-1 p.m.-CBS
Former Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison, died in 1980 and 2001 respectively. In those two years, the Titans were 9-6 in road games. The Dolphins were 11-4 in home games. Thankfully, a former Beatle hasn’t passed away this year.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Tennessee
Pollock’s Pick: Miami
New York Jets (3-5) at Seattle Seahawks (5-4)-Nov. 11-4:05 p.m.-CBS
Director Alfred Hitchcock, famous for his suspenseful and thrilling films, also died 1980. The final films of his career frightened the Jets. From 1960-80, New York was 44-52-4 in years a Hitchcock film was released. It also doesn’t help the Jets that Anthony Hopkins will be portraying Hitchcock on screen later this month.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Seattle
Pollock’s Pick: Seattle
St. Louis Rams (3-5) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2)-Nov. 11-4:25 p.m.-Fox
Hitchcock’s last film was released in 1976, the same year author Agatha Christie’s final novel, Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple’s Last Case, was published. The Rams went 11-4-1 in 1976. The franchise has had 14 winning seasons since then.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: San Francisco
Pollock’s Pick: San Francisco
Dallas Cowboys (3-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)-Nov. 11-4:25 p.m.-Fox
Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published in 1920. Bentley, a British car manufacturer, started taking customer orders for cars to in 1920. In 1933, the company launched the Bentley 3.5 Litre. The Eagles played their inaugural season in 1933. The car may have cursed the franchise. Philadelphia has a 539-573-26 all-time record.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Dallas
Pollock’s Pick: Philadelphia
Houston Texans (7-1) at Chicago Bears (7-1)-Nov. 11-8:20 p.m.-NBC
Lane Pryce helped market Jaguar, another British car company, for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce during the fifth season of Mad Men this year. Since the character first appeared on the show in 2009, the Bears are 1-5 on Sunday Night Football. However, due to the events during this season, Pryce won’t be involved in the show’s the future plot.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Chicago
Pollock’s Pick: Chicago
Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)-Nov. 12-8:30 p.m.-ESPN
Pryce first appeared during Mad Men‘s third season in 2009. Queen II celebrated her 57th year on the British throne in 2009. This year marked her Diamond Jubilee, commemorating 60 years of her reign. The Steelers enjoy these royal milestones. Pittsburgh has a 4-1 Monday Night Football record in years the Queen has celebrated a jubilee.
Bryan Paul’s Pick: Pittsburgh
Pollock’s Pick: Pittsburgh
Bryan Paul’s Week 9 record: 10-4
Bryan Paul’s season record: 78-54
Pollock’s Week 9 record: 11-3
Pollock’s season record 89-43
Head-to-head matchups in Week 9: Pollock 3-2
Head-to-head matchups this season: Pollock 32-21
Week 11 theme: Basketball