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August 29, 2014

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In Dallas, it’s ice-ice baby:

Race for the Nerf: Celebrity/Media NFL Picks Week 14

Who is at Donny Osmond’s heels? A trio of celebs and one mayor!

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Scott Harrison/Retna/HarrisonPhotos.com

Donny and Marie Osmond’s 2011 “Christmas in Chicago.”

Imagine Tiger Woods lining up for a five-foot putt to win the Masters, and … as he’s about to begin his stroke, his caddy races in from the edge of the green to stop him and tell him to reset and try again.

Or, in a tie game with Tim Duncan at the free-throw line with one second to go and about to receive the ball to attempt the game-winning shot, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich darting onto the court to call a timeout, or start another labor dispute or something.

A week has gone by and I’m still trying to figure out why the Cowboys decided to “ice” their own kicker on a play that ultimately cost them the game last week at Arizona.

With the score tied in the final minute, the Cowboys completed a pass to get within kicker Dan Bailey’s range. With two timeouts and about 25 seconds left, Dallas chose not to attempt to advance the ball closer (a questionable decision in itself) and sent its kicking unit on the field as the clock wound down.

The team got set and Bailey was ready to attempt the game-winner, when just as the ball was about to be snapped, Dallas coach Jason Garrett called a timeout – a practice usually executed by the opposing team’s coach to make a kicker think a while about the task at hand and to disturb his rhythm.

Bailey’s initial kick, nullified by the timeout, easily cleared the uprights and would have won the game. His second attempt was short and offline, however, sending the game into overtime. The Cardinals eventually won 19-13. Ouch.

My guess is that afterward, Bailey – and many of the Cowboys faithful -- had thoughts of kicking something else.

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If the chase for the Golden Nerf were a horserace, Donny Osmond would be leading by a head leading into the homestretch with four horses neck-and-neck a length behind.

The Flamingo headliner’s 21-17-1 mark is exactly one game ahead of four others in our celebrity picks content. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Planet Hollywood comedy hypnotist Marc Savard, “Vegas! The Show” performer Tara Palsha and “Fantasy” vocalist Lorena Peril are all 20-18-1.

At the very least, this is more exciting than the NFC West, even if the trophy is merely a spray-painted foam football.

And down the stretch they come!

Sal’s picks:I raced to a 2-1 record last week, stretching my season record to 21-13-2. This week, I’ll try to reach the winner’s circle with the Eagles plus 3 at the Dolphins, and the Bills-Chargers over 47½ and the Cowboys-Giants over 49.

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The media/celebrity picks:

Anthony Crivello, star of Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular (16-20-3)

Texans +3 at Bengals

Titans +3½ at Saints

Cardinals +4 vs. 49ers

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Carrot Top, Luxor headliner (16-22-1)

Patriots -8 at Redskins

Buccaneers -1 at Jaguars

Falcons -2½ at Panthers

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Terry Fator, Mirage headliner (18-20-1)

Cowboys -3 vs. Giants

Packers -11½ vs. Raiders

Broncos -3½ vs. Bears

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Carolyn Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas (20-18-1)

Raiders +11½ at Packers

Chiefs +9 at Jets

Eagles +3 at Dolphins

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Oscar Goodman, Las Vegas ambassador (17-21-1)

Bears +3½ at Broncos

Giants +3 at Cowboys

Colts +16½ at Ravens

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Kevin Janison, KVBC meteorologist (14-23-2)

Raiders +11½ at Packers

Ravens-Colts under 41

Cardinals-49ers under 39½

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Wayne Newton, "Mr. Las Vegas" (15-23-1)

Cardinals +4 vs. 49ers

Redskins +8 vs. Patriots

Chiefs + 9 at Jets

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Donny Osmond, Flamingo Las Vegas headliner (21-17-1)

Texans +3 at Bengals

Packers -11½ vs. Raiders

Broncos -3½ vs. Bears

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Lorena Peril, Vocalist, Fantasy at Luxor (20-18-1)

Saints -3½ at Titans

49ers -4 at Cardinals

Patriots -8 at Redskins

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Tara Palsha, principal dancer, Vegas! The Show at V Theater (20-18-1)

Ravens -16½ vs. Colts

Packers -11½ vs. Raiders

Patriots -8 at Redskins

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Marc Savard, Comedy Hypnotist, V Theater at Planet Hollywood (20-18-1)

Packers -11½ vs. Raiders

Saints -3½ at Titans

Patriots -8 at Redskins

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