Month: September 2016

Burgess family college football picks week four: heartbreak

Let’s face it. This weekend was heartbreaking. Not only did I watch one of my football teams participate in one of the most epic meltdowns I have ever witnessed, we lost two great athletes this weekend. The King, Arnold Palmer and  a rising star,Jose Fernandez.

Arnold Palmer is the golfer that made golf available to the masses. He was the every day man, the son of a greenskeeper, and his style of play and his easy going nature made you fall in love with him. He passed away Sunday night at the age of 87 due to complications of the heart. He will be greatly missed. Golf will never know another player quite like The King.

Jose Fernandez was another player with an infectious smile. Fernandez was born in Cuba. He tried to defect to the U.S three times and on the fourth try, he was successful at the age of 15. In 2013, his passion for the game was debuted to the world. That’s where we fell in love with him. Watching Fernandez pitch, it didn’t matter if you weren’t a Marlins fan. I haven’t seen a pitcher or player play the game with such joy, such childlike joy, in a long time. He drew you in with his smile and his passion for not only his game, but the game of others. He went out every time and pitched his heart out. And the fact that his life ended, at 24, before it had even begun, is so tragic it hurts. Rest in peace sir. Baseball will miss you.

Moving on to football. After how badly I did the week before, I had to rebound this week. In case you haven’t realized, my dad is extremely good at picking football games. So if I don’t keep up with him, I’ll never be able to get back in first if I drop behind.

So, looking at this week’s games: (5) Clemson (-9.5) at Georgia Tech, USC at (24) Utah (-3), (12) Georgia at (23) Ole Miss (-7), (11) Wisconsin at (8) Michigan State (-5), (19) Florida at (14) Tennessee (-6.5), (18) LSU (-3.5) at Auburn, Oklahoma State at (16) Baylor (-8.5), South Carolina at Kentucky (-2.5), (7) Stanford (-3) at UCLA, and (17) Arkansas vs. (10) Texas A&M.

After the picks went out via email, my dad got a little cocky with my cousin Sarah:

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This would come back to haunt us.

Now for these weeks picks. My dad keeps claiming we all copy his picks because he’s obviously the most intelligent football person in this challenge. Claim we cheat all you want, but I’m still tied for first place with you.

Joe (these are exactly how he sent them to me, I did not change them): Clemson, Mormons (Utah), Hotty Totties, Sparty, Gators (please, as condescending Wonka says, “Tenn, don’t you have to win a game to keep calling it a rivalry?), Les Miles, Friendy’s Team (my mom’s best friend’s son goes to Baylor and we call her Friendy), Mildcats (in possibly the least important SEC game of the year), Stanford, Aggies 24 Arkansas 17.

Rosemary: Clemson, Utah, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas A&M 34 Arkansas 17.

MK: Clemson, Utah, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Florida, LSU, Baylor, South Carolina, Stanford, Aggies 28 Arkansas 21.

Anne: Clemson, USC, Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida, Baylor, LSU, Kentucky, Stanford, Aggies 28 Arkansas 24.

Sarah: Clemson, USC, Georgia, Michigan State, Tennessee, Auburn, Baylor, Kentucky, Arkansas 28 A&M 24.

Pop-Pop: Clemson, USC, Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Stanford, Arkansas 28 A&M 27.

Molly: Georgia Tech, USC, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Florida, Auburn, Kentucky, Stanford, Arkansas 34 A&M 28.

Speaking of being haunted…. I know, I know. Streaks are meant to be broken. But for the first half of the Florida-Tennessee game, I felt confident. The Gators looked awesome. Offense was firing on all cylinders. Defense was on a completely other level. The Vols were getting manhandled at home. I was a happy camper. Then the second half started and a different Gator football walked onto that field. Florida was shut out in the third quarter. The defense that was so dominant in the first half? They couldn’t stop a thing. The Vols marched down there and scored 38 consecutive points. Kind of hard to win a football game when you can’t get a defensive stop or a first down. The Gators didn’t get a single first down in the second half until they scored their final touchdown late in the 4th quarter. Also, Antonio Callaway, what were you doing on the kickoff and punt returns? Who downs the ball at the 1 yard line? Next time, please let it bounce out of bounds. The 25 yard line is way better position than the 1. I promise you won’t get in trouble. But maybe the Gators should have spent less time running their mouths and more time focusing on football. Maybe it’s because Brangelina broke up; or maybe it was just the year the 11-year streak was broken. Regardless, I was very grumpy the rest of my Saturday night. I take it personally when my team loses and that game pained me.

Now, my cousin Sarah was extremely happy with the Vols winning. She’s been trying to climb out of mediocrity for weeks. Still debatable about how or if that will happen, but who knows. Molly won last week and I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.

Another game that just sent all our picks into the toilet? Michigan State -Wisconsin. Talk about being manhandled. And at home. Wisconsin ran rampant on Michigan State. On both sides of the ball. The Badgers are making a push for the playoffs and with impressive wins over LSU and now Michigan State, if they can pull off the road win at Michigan? There’s no way you can ignore them.

As for this week’s standings, they are as follows:

  1. Joe (7-3)
  2. MK (6-4) best A&M score
  3. Anne (6-4)
  4. Rosemary (5-5) best A&M score
  5. Sarah (5-5)
  6. Molly (4-6)
  7. Pop-Pop (3-7)

Overall standings:

  1. Joe (26-13)
  2.  MK (25-14)
  3. Rosemary and Anne (23-16)
  4. Sarah (21-18)
  5. Pop-Pop (19-20)
  6. Molly (16 -18)

The minute my dad found out the overall standings? “Just name me winner. You can’t make it up.” I’M ONLY DOWN BY ONE GAME. I started out fifth in this league and have been tied for first ever since. Watch yourself.

As for next week? Will Sarah pull herself out of the middle of the pack? How are Anne and Molly actually picking the games? Will someone else be accused of cheating yet again? Will my grandfather trash talk me via fax? All great questions. Most will be answered. Some never will. I can promise you this: I won’t be second for long.

 

Burgess family college football picks week three: #darkhorse

I’m going to go ahead and say it. Football was kooky this week. Some of the teams were just straight up dumpster fires. (Yes mom, I use it too much, but I can’t help it. Too much fun.)  Here’s what I mean by that:  teams that I thought were going to get blown out didn’t. Instead, they hung in there, they fought, and maybe they didn’t end up with the win but they at least made it interesting.  But that’s why football is amazing. Yes, blowouts are cool (LOL FSU), but games that are back and forth, nail biting, the ones that have you on the edge of your seat? That’s what I live for. And there’s this week’s hot take.  Now we can move on to this week’s games and standings.

After my revival and total domination last week, I was feeling pretty great. Tied for first with the man that has taught me everything I know about sports, I was feeling a little cocky. But this is the part of the season when a lot of #darkhorses come out. My sister Molly, or Mol, is a big fan of the underdogs. The dark horses. I think that’s maybe why she picks the majority of them every week. I’ve asked if there’s a strategy to her picks. According to her there is not. Just randomly picking. and going with her gut.  Or maybe she’s just saying that because she doesn’t want me to be wise to her game. Who knows. Between my sisters and I, Anne and Molly have always been way better at having a good poker face than I am.  But each week her picks were getting better. It’s just a matter of time before she surprises all of us.

This week’s match ups were better. They were tight battles, ones that could go either way for each team.   I even felt like Mizzou had a chance to win over Georgia after the way the Bulldogs had played against Nichols. Alas, I was to be severely disappointed, but I’ll get to that game in a minute.

This week’s games were:  (2) Florida State (-2) at (10) Louisville, (1) Alabama (-10) at (19) Ole Miss, Pittsburgh at Oklahoma State (-6), Mississippi State at (20) LSU (-13.5), (17) Texas A&M at Auburn (-3.5), (16) Georgia (-6.5) at Mizzou, (3) Ohio State (-2) at (14) Oklahoma, (12) Michigan State at (18) Notre Dame (-7.5), (11) Texas (-8) at California, and USC at (7) Stanford (-8.5).

Now, let’s discuss this week’s games. First, let’s start with FSU and Louisville. THE SEMINOLES GOT BEATEN BY 43 POINTS.  This tweet by  former Florida QB and Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel says it all:

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The most savage of all burns. I knew Louisville and Lamar Jackson were good, but I didn’t expect the Seminoles to get manhandled like that. At the end of the first quarter, it looked like it was going to be a close game. 14-10 Louisville. Seminoles fought back against Ole Miss two weeks ago after being down 21-10 at the half and could probably do it against the Cardinals. But here comes Lamar Jackson. 1st quarter, already 2 rushing TD’s. He would have 2 more before the game was over, and one in the air. That raises his TD count to 18 and its only week 3. He wasn’t the only problem for the Noles. The Louisville defense just ate them alive. They could not move the ball, or do much of anything. The Cardinals defense had 5 sacks on freshman QB Deondre Francois, and held FSU to 284 yards and forced 2 turnovers in what’s going to go down as one of the worst defeats in Seminole history.

Now,  lets move on from the sad Seminoles and move instead to Ole Miss-Alabama. The early part of that game, it looked like the Rebels were going to flatten the Tide, the Tide’s defense looked despicable, and Ole Miss was rolling. At one point, the Tide was down 24 to 3 in the second quarter, and it looked like there was no way for them to get it together. But there are plays that swing momentum. Eddie Jackson’s 85 yard punt return to make it 24-17 Ole Miss at the half is one of them. Cue second half. Remember the turnovers last year that helped Ole Miss? It was Bama’s turn this year. Fumble return to tie the game at 24. Then Bama gets rolling. and then another interception to take a 2 score lead in the 4th quarter. The Rebels fought back and backdoor covered, much to my annoyance, but what a game. Ole Miss will have to get it together, especially taking on Georgia next week, but with the second collapse in 3 games, Hugh Freeze’s team needs to do some soul searching if they want to make something of their season.

Finally, Mizzou – Georgia. Last time Bulldogs were in Columbia, the Tigers got shut out 34-0 in a shocking game that left everyone wondering if we had it in us to make another run at the Sec East title. We ended up winning it again anyway,  but Georgia has always been a thorn in our sides.

I’ll say this: I am proud of how my team played. This team looked like a team with promise. The defense shut down Nick Chubb and held him to just 63 yards. Drew Lock looked better, but the late game interceptions and penalties, they will kill you every time. Mizzou turned over the ball 5 times, 4 of those coming in the second half. So I watched, with a sinking sensation in my gut, as Georgia, a team I’ve grown up loathing, beat Mizzou by one in Columbia. But the bright side? Mizzou’s offense showed promise. And that’s more then I thought I was going to see this season from them. So while this loss hurts, the team is moving in the right direction.

Now to this week’s picks. My sister Molly, who doesn’t watch sports, got her picks in first, and as I tweeted out earlier this week, they were the fire emoji. They were smart, and well thought out, and she could be a #darkhorse.

Joe: Louisville, Tide, Oklahoma State, Les Miles, War Eagle, Mizzou!!!, Wagons, Catholics, Stanford, Stronghorns 35 California 20. Just so everyone knows, this is exactly how he texted me this on Thursday. Once again, my dad just kinda wins.

Rosemary: Louisville, Alabama, Oklahoma State, LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas 34 Cal 24

MK: Louisville, Alabama, Pittsburgh, LSU, Texas A&M, Mizzou, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas 35 Cal 24

Anne: FSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas 24 Cal 14

Sarah: Louisville, Alabama, Oklahoma State, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC, Texas 45 Cal 36

Pop-Pop: FSU, Alabama, Pittsburgh, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan State, USC, Texas 24 Cal 20

Molly: FSU, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Mississippi State, Auburn, Mizzou, Oklahoma, Michigan State, USC, California 28 Texas 24.

During the Ole miss game, we realized Molly was the only one who had picked them to cover. Naturally we we all a little surprised:

 

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I had a feeling with her picks, she could pull off the upset. She had picked Mississippi State, Mizzou, Michigan State and Cal to cover or win. So, without further ado, here are this week’s standings and overall rankings. Spoiler alert: We all fail miserably.

  1. Molly (5-5) picked Cal to win
  2. Rosemary (5-5) picked Texas to win
  3. Pop-Pop (4-6) best Texas score
  4. Sarah (4-6) second best Texas score
  5. Anne (4-6) third best Texas score
  6. MK (4-6) fourth best Texas score
  7. Joe (4-6)

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Mol, reminding us all that sometimes, over excitement is not needed, and the afore mentioned poker face is the way to win the game.

Overall standings:

  1. Joe and MK (19-10)
  2. Rosemary (18-11)
  3. Anne (17-12)
  4. Sarah and Pop-Pop (16-13)
  5. Molly (12-17)

So even though I had a pretty bad week, I’m still in first place with my dad. Next week’s games are looking even harder, although Mizzou should be able to win over Delaware, and maybe bounce back from the heartbreak that comes with a one point loss at home. Until then, let’s continue to laugh at FSU for losing by 43.

Burgess family college football picks week two: Everyone’s a cheater

After the amazingness that was the kick off of college football last week, we settle into this week at a slightly lower expectation. And by that, I mean the matchups are the powder puff matchups where the ranked teams should steam roll everyone and just get ready for the challenge they have going into week three. Or they were supposed to be. Some people struggled. But I’ll get to that later.

Once the rest of my family found out about this challenge, a few of my aunts and uncles were quickly miffed they were not invited into this challenge. So real quick, sorry Aunt Molly, Aunt Mimi, Aunt Tracy and Uncle Mark, my bad, you guys are a sure lock for next year’s challenge. Didn’t realize this would be quite so popular.

In the group chat however, things heated up. Which means everyone started getting down and dirty with their picks and accusations of cheating ensued.

This all started when my cousin Sarah didn’t like that I shared her picks with the group  before the games kicked off because she was worried people would copy her.

My father immediately assured her there would be no need to be worried.

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Joe leaves no prisoners. In our family group text, he rarely responds, but when he does? Often times, this is my reaction after he’s done:

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So, after everyone is accused of cheating and we figured out the rules, which are basically being made up as we go along, we picked the games, wished everyone luck, but all secretly hoped for some upsets so that Joe was no longer in the lead. Or at least I was. Because being in 5th was seriously grating at me. I don’t like to lose.

This week’s games were: Louisville at Syracuse, Penn State at Pittsburgh, Ohio at Kansas, Kentucky at Florida, UConn at Navy, South Carolina at Mississippi State, Arkansas at TCU, BYU at Utah, and Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee.

Now, games we didn’t pick but were exciting and I have to mention? We gotta talk about Oklahoma State-Central Michigan. That final play, which was a Hail Mary followed by a lateral, was absolutely insane and the fact that now all of those refs have been suspended after that game is even more insane. It should not have counted. The Chippewa’s were awarded a untimed down after the clock had run out, and the ensuing touchdown led to the Cowboys losing 30-27.

Another game that was a little weird? The fact that Georgia struggled with Nichols, and only won by 2 points. First few minutes, Georgia looked in control, but then Nichols tied the game up.. and then, only leading by 3 at the half, Nichols takes the lead in third quarter… well, my mom says I use this gif too much but I can’t help it, sometimes it just fits perfectly:

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Georgia would pull out the win, although 26-24 is not something to write home about, and Kirby Smart’s home debut was not what he wanted at all.

Alright, to the picks, because that’s what everyone’s been waiting for.

Joe’s picks: Louisville, Florida, Pitt, Kansas, Navy, Mississippi State, TCU, Utah and Tennessee 38 Virginia Tech 21.

Rosemary’s picks: Louisville, Kentucky, Pitt, Kansas, Navy, Mississippi State, TCU, Utah, Tennessee 24 Virginia Tech 10.

Sarah’s picks: Syracuse, Kentucky, Penn State, Kansas, Navy, Mississippi State, Arkansas, BYU, Virginia Tech 35 Tennessee 24.

Anne’s picks: Louisville, Florida, Penn State, Ohio, Navy, South Carolina, TCU, Utah, Tennessee 27 Virginia Tech 17.

Pop-Pop picks: Louisville, Florida, Pitt, Kansas, Navy, Mississippi State, TCU, Utah, Tennessee 21 Virginia Tech 20.

MK’s picks: Louisville, Florida, Pitt, Ohio, Navy, Mississippi State, BYU, TCU, Tennessee 35 Virginia Tech 24.

Molly’s picks: Syracuse, Florida, Penn State, Kansas, Navy, South Carolina, Arkansas, BYU, Virginia Tech 35 Tennessee 28.

This week was marginally harder, but what was most funny was the flack my cousin took over Kansas. I went to Mizzou. So I’m sorry, but I will never pick Kansas. And when Ohio took a very early lead on Kansas, my dad just couldn’t deal with it and had to let my cousin know how he felt about it.

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Sorry Jayhawk fans. Basketball season is almost here right?

Week Two standings though, as follows:

  1. MK (8-1)
  2. Joe (6-3) best Tenn score over Pop-Pop
  3. Pop-Pop (6-3)
  4. Anne (5-4) best Tenn score over Rosemary
  5. Rosemary (5-4)
  6. Sarah (4-5) best Tenn score over Molly
  7. Molly (4-5)

Well, well, well… look who redeemed herself week two.

As we move on to the overall standings….

  1. MK & Joe (15-4)
  2. Anne & Rosemary (13-6)
  3. Sarah & Pop-Pop (12-7)
  4. Molly (7-12)

I won’t get ahead of myself, because this is a marathon and not a sprint, but I gotta say, I’m right there with my dad. Could the student beat the master? Patience, Grasshopper… only time will tell.

Until next week, hope your team doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out and your rival loses in the worst way possible.

Burgess family college football picks week one: gif trash talk

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have been waiting for this weekend all summer. I love sports. Especially baseball. But I was reaching the point of “JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL, I CAN’T WATCH ANYMORE BASEBALL.” And I love my Cardinals. But they are frustratingly inconsistent this season and in a nail biting race for the second wild card. So with the return of my true love, college football, you could say I was pretty pumped.

Now, my family also loves sports, with the exception of my sister Molly, but she’s very into theatre, and she puts up with the rest of us going nuts over it, so it’s ok. I don’t understand how you don’t like sports, but that’s just me. I digress. My dad and I, almost every year, talk during the games, pick who we think is going to win, and then at the end of the season, compare who picked the most right. Joe usually beats me. It’s allowed, because he taught me everything I know, and he’s the son of a high school football coach. He’s also longtime claimed he could be an ESPN sports analyst. Anyways.

This year, I decided to up the stakes. Which means, instead of just my dad and I, let’s include the whole family. My mother, my two sisters, and our cousin Sarah, who’s an athletic director in Kansas City, Missouri. My grandfather also wanted in on the fun after hearing about it from my mom. We fax him the picks.

There is no prize at the end, although I’m looking for a trophy that is worthy of this (maybe a replica WWE belt?), but for right now, it’s for pride, for glory, and for the ability to mercilessly ridicule the rest of the family in our group text, which is wonderfully called Ginger Squad, because we are a family of red heads.

The games that I picked this week were the following. It was hard, especially with all the insane match-ups. But they were as follows: Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina, Kansas State vs. Stanford, Semo vs. Memphis, Missouri vs. West Virginia, Houston vs. Oklahoma, UCLA vs. Texas A&M, UNC vs. Georgia, Notre Dame vs. Texas, UMass vs. Florida, and FSU vs. Ole Miss.

As my father pointed out, I left out a few great games, such as Wisconsin – LSU, USC -Alabama, but whatever, I’m the commissioner of this league, so I get to pick the games. And everyone’s a critic.

Before I get to the picks, let’s take a moment to talk about this college football weekend kickoff. LSU-Wisconsin? Welcome back Badgers. In a wonderful return to prominence, Wisky showed that it can contend with the big boys. They actually slowed down Leonard Fournette, although I’m still confused as to why he didn’t have the ball that much in the first half, but still.

Alabama-USC? That game looked like Alabama couldn’t get off the ground in the first quarter, and then from the second quarter on, USC looked like a pee wee football team playing against an NFL squad. Another thing: what a way to get revenge on the school that fires you and then leaves you at the airport. Hats off to Lane Kiffin, because his offense just absolutely trampled USC like a bunch of elephants headed to a watering hole. In case you missed the game, it was 52-6 Bama at the end.

And then, after all the hubbub that happened on Saturday, we move to Sunday, and Notre Dame traveling to Texas to take on the Longhorns. I will say this: that was one of the best college football games I’ve seen in a long time. It had drama, it had back and forth scoring, it had everything. Also angry Brian Kelly cutaways are one of my favorite things, and that man was steaming through quite a lot of that game. Then, the fact that it went to not just overtime, but double overtime? Sports nerd dream. I also just love Charlie Strong, but that’s because he did wonders when he was the defensive coordinator at Florida back in the day.

Overall, it was just a great weekend of college football. Lots of upsets, lots of great games, and unfortunately, my two teams looked less than stellar. Mizzou… lets just say I was really happy they scored a touchdown in the game and didn’t get shut out. As for Florida? I am very scared that UMass was able to score a touchdown and that the offense didn’t run rampant on the Mountaineers. Kentucky next week might be a problem, especially since the Wildcats are hurting from a shocking loss to Southern Miss at home.

But, to the task at hand. With all the upsets, it was a pretty closely matched week one, with 3 people coming in 2nd, so we go to the tiebreaker, which is where we pick the score of the last game played, and whoever picked closest to that wins over the other person. My family is very competitive, and trash talk was rampant all weekend in the group chat. No one was safe. My mother and sisters are very fluent in the gif keyboard, and there is no worse burn then your mom absolutely trolling you with a harry potter gif. If my grandfather trash talks me via fax, I may never recover.

Here are the picks from this week:

Joe’s Picks: Vanderbilt, Stanford, Memphis, WVU, Houston, Texas A&M, Georgia, Texas, FSU 27 Ole Miss 17 and Florida

Anne’s Picks: Vanderbilt, Stanford, Memphis, WVU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Georgia, Notre Dame, FSU 35 Ole Miss 21, Florida

Rosemary’s Picks: South Carolina, Stanford, Memphis, WVU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Georgia, Notre Dame, FSU 24 Ole Miss 10, Florida.

Pop-Pop’s Picks: Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Memphis, WVU, Houston, UCLA, Georgia, Ole Miss 31 FSU 30, Florida

MK’s Picks: Vanderbilt, Stanford, Memphis, WVU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Georgia, Texas, Ole Miss 38 FSU 35, Florida

Sarah’s Picks: South Carolina, Stanford, Memphis, WVU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Georgia, Notre Dame, FSU 35 Ole Miss 28, Florida

Molly’s Picks: Vanderbilt, Stanford, Semo, Mizzou, Oklahoma, UCLA, UNC, Notre Dame, FSU 24 Ole Miss 21, Florida

So, after a great college football kickoff, here are the standings:

  1. Joe (9-1)
  2. Anne (8-2) FSU score gave her second place
  3. Sarah (8-2) second best FSU score
  4. Rosemary (8-2) third best FSU score
  5. MK (7-3)
  6. Pop-Pop (6-4)
  7. Molly (3-7)

Next week’s games are still being decided, but the match-ups are no where near as exciting as this week. But I’m still sure the trash talk will be just as great. Stay tuned for the update next week. May the odds be ever in my favor, because I cannot lose to my sister, mother and cousin, or I will never hear the end of it. And it’s just down right embarrassing.