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:
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:
- Joe (7-3)
- MK (6-4) best A&M score
- Anne (6-4)
- Rosemary (5-5) best A&M score
- Sarah (5-5)
- Molly (4-6)
- Pop-Pop (3-7)
- Joe (26-13)
- MK (25-14)
- Rosemary and Anne (23-16)
- Sarah (21-18)
- Pop-Pop (19-20)
- 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.