Big Sydney - Close shave with Floyd

September 17, 1999

I don't know what's going on in your heads, but early this week some gnome climbed into mine, stuffed my mental jukebox full of quarters and punched in the same song a jillion times.

All day, all night, it's the same bass line. "Bom BA-da-dom, bom bom bom da-dom-BA-da-dom, bom bom bom da-dom ..."

[cont. from sports page]

If you don't recognize that riff, hum it a few times and it'll come to you. It's the opening to "Money," the Pink Floyd classic which used to be a favorite of mine but has now become as annoying as that new long-distance commercial in which the mom describes to her father, in excruciating detail, how her too-cute little son jacked one to the fence in the bottom of the last inning (yeah, right; Rey Ordonez has more pop than that little punk) then puts the tike on the line to exclaim, redundantly, "Hi, Grampy! I won the game!" Grrrrrrr.


Anyhow, Pink Floyd has been playing nonstop between my ears ever since a similarly named hurricane started creeping up the Caribbean toward our backyard, where it threatens to disrupt this weekend's football schedule - not to mention flood some roads, knock down a few trees, etc.

Excuse me, but they're finishing the first verse again: "New car, caviar, four-star daydream. Think I'll buy me a football team."

Floyd is one of the most-talked about storms in years; maybe because of its size, maybe because it was aimed our way, but mostly because it's such an odd name for a hurricane.

"Floyd" doesn't roll off the tongue like "Hazel" or "Audrey" or "Andrew" or even "Hugo," which may be why it ultimately won't rank with the great killer storms of the century.

Admit it, when you first heard "Floyd," you immediately thought of Mayberry, N.C., where Floyd Lawson, proprietor of the barber shop on "The Andy Griffith Show," was one of the great laid-back icons of the otherwise swinging '60s.

Early in the Griffith Show's long run, Floyd, next to Don Knotts' hyperventilating Barney Fife, was actually the most stressed-out character in Mayberry. But that changed after Howard McNear, who played Floyd, suffered a stroke. He returned to the show, but from then on was almost always shot sitting down or in close-up. His speech also took on the soft, sing-songy, fade-out-at-the-end timbre that every would-be comedian this side of Mount Pilot has been imitating since.

Hey, somebody just changed the jukebox. "... no dark sarcasm in the classroom ..." Alas, still Pink Floyd.

Since we're running out of good hurricane names ('Gert?' What is that?), the brainiacs at NOAA or whoever is responsible should have some fun with them. There should be a year, for instance, when all the storms are named after characters from "Andy Griffith."

Start with "Andy." Easy enough. Next would be "Bee" or "Barney." Then, how about "Clara" (Edwards), followed by "Daphne" (one of the "fun girls") and "Ernest T.," Now comes "Floyd," then "Goober," "Helen" (or "Howard" Sprague), and so on through "Otis" (or "Opie"), "Thelma Lou," and "Warren" (the unfunny deputy who replaced Barney).

Did the jukebox change again? Awright! It's the Supremes ... "Floy, Floy, Floy, Floy joy, you're the man." Oh, no.

If I'm to be the man, it's time to get back to work, picking the winners of football games which may or may not be played this weekend.

Let's see if I can finish before my head stops playing "Last Date," by, you guessed it, Floyd Cramer.

On with the predictions (last week: 18-4, .818; season: 34-16, .680):


Tonight's games

Northwest 25, Frederick 21 - Cadets get stuck in the Northwest passage.

Boonsboro 22, South Hagerstown 6 - Warriors able to put down the Rebel insurrection.

North Hagerstown 14, Francis Scott Key 13 - Hubs don't want to be in the land of the 0-and-3 and the home of the brave.

Walkersville 27, Smithsburg 14 - Leopards' leap toward 3-0 start falls short.

Brunswick 21, Williamsport 14 - Railroaders gathering steam for a run at MVAL title.

Middletown 33, Catoctin 8 - As the days grow shorter, the Knights' win streak grows longer.

Friendly 19, Thomas Johnson 13 - It's easy to be friendly when you win.

Loudoun County (Va.) 21, Musselman 17 - The applecart may spill, but it wouldn't necessarily be an upset.

Middletown (Pa.) 32, Greencastle 22 - The kids from Three Mile Island hope to nuke the Blue Devils.

Loudoun Valley (Va.) 26, Hedgesville 20 - The Eagles have landed on hard times.

Chambersburg 34, Waynesboro 17 - On the Internet, they abbreviate Chambersburg "Cburg" to save cburgspace.

Susquehanna 27, James Buchanan 15 - Susquehanna Storm is my favorite NBA analyst.

Bishop Walsh 21, Hancock 12 - Be sure to walsh you hands before handling food.

Westmar 29, Berkeley Springs 19 - The letters in "Westmar" can be rearranged to spell "We Smart."

Saturday's games

Mercersburg Academy 33, Randolph-Macon 25 - I still can't get used to the nickname "Blue Storm." It sounds like a laundry detergent.

Sidwell Friends 24, St. James 14 - Syd has a lot of sick friends, too.


Boston College 30, Navy 22 - Still waters run deep, but I'm not sure Navy's Broadwater can throw deep.

Shippensburg 30, Kutztown 28 - Was Kutztown originally a barber college?

Penn State 24, Miami (Fla.) 20 - I should disqualify myself from making a pick here. I have a free Whopper riding on this game.

Clarion 25, Shepherd 20 - Golden Eagles could tarnish Shepherd's postseason hopes.

West Virginia 26, Maryland 21 - Terps won't have to watch for flying golf balls this year, but WVU still plays through.

Frostburg State 31, West Virginia Tech 9 - According to USA Today, Frostburg is now in Pennsylvania. That must have been one heckuva storm.


Buccaneers 20, Eagles 16 - A Buc just doesn't go as far as it used to.

Redskins 25, Giants 23 - Out of the frying pan, into the Fryar.

Ravens 19, Steelers 17 - I thought East Timor was somewhere between Easton and Bal Timor.

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