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Big Sydney speaks - if you call it speaking

September 06, 2002

In my line of work - if you can actually categorize what I do as "work" - I hear rumors all the time.

As a veteran journalist - if you can actually categorize what I do as "journalism" - I have to show a tremendous amount of savvy in pursuing these rumors that are passed off to me as tips.

Oh, I've been burned before.

"You read it here first," I once wrote. "The Colts are not planning to leave Baltimore, a team source said.

"'Do you really think my dad would move the team from this city after so many years?' the source said on the condition he not be identified as Jim Irsay."

Two months later - gone. Off to the football mecca that is Indiana.

So I've learned to tread lightly - if you can actually categorize anything a guy my size does as "treading lightly" - when it comes to writing anything while the information is still in the rumor stage.

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It's difficult to contain myself at times, much like trying to contain myself at the dessert bar at Ryan's. (A word of caution to employees: Keep the German chocolate cake well stocked. Otherwise, I could get angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.)

Take, for instance, the Steve Spurrier deal with the Redskins. That showed up on my radar about a month before the Orange Bowl last year.

Now, if I had been an irresponsible - if you can actually categorize anything I do as "responsible" - journalist - if you can actually oh, did that one ...

Um OK, I'm lost.

Oh, yeah. Spurrier. Yep, I knew about that deal last December. Refused to say anything about it for fear of looking a fool - if you can actually categorize me as anything but a "fool."

My point - as if you can actually categorize this column as ever having a point - is just that. There's not much point to this column, other than to make jokes - if you can actually categorize what I do as "a joke" - and to make you forget how poorly I did in my picks last week.

Although, rumor has it I did pretty well.

On with the predictions. Last week and season 12-3 (.800).

HIGH SCHOOLS



Friday


Hancock 31, Colonial Beach, Va. 13: Will the Panthers get off-season hotel rates?

Bishop Walsh 41, St. John's at Prospect Hall 8: Welcome St. John's to the football fraternity ... and let the hazing begin.

Berkeley Springs 34, Beall 12: Indians becoming the big daddys of the MAC.

Frankfort 24, Hedgesville 16: The Eagles would relish a win.

Jefferson 20, Loudoun Valley 6: Say it Loud(oun) and say it proud.

Loudoun County 28, Musselman 10: Applemen 'O' avoids a second "Oh-fer."

James Buchanan 29, Milton Hershey 23: Rockets keep the 'O' in the loss column.

Trinity 45, Waynesboro 6: The Indians will need a lucky charm to stay close to the Shamrocks.

Williamsport 26, Westmar 23: Bank on it. One way or another, the Wildcats will win.

Martinsburg 31, Greenbrier East 17: No dogging it for the Bulldogs this week.

Chambersburg 19, Red Land 17: Are the Patriots mentioned in the classic 'This Land is Red Land?'

Saturday


Mercersburg Academy 44, Western Reserve 24: The Reserve will need air defense against the Blue Storm.

Catoctin 22, Great Mills 12: Cougars too quick to be stung by Hornets.

St. James 33, Model School 19: In the midnight hour, they cried 'Mo, Mo, Mo!'

Smithsburg 41, Northern Garrett 14: The Huskies' chances against Smithsburg? Slim.

Fort Hill 39, Boonsboro 6: Warriors can't find warpath.

COLLEGES



Maryland 44, Akron 7: Terps give up just enough for Zips to avoid a zip.

Wisconsin 38, West Virginia 17: Smile and say 'cheese.'

Shepherd 27, Shippensburg 20: The Shep-Ship matchup is in ship-shape ... or is it Shep-shape.

PROS



Ravens 23, Panthers 21: And only by a beak.

Redskins 30, Cardinals 14: Spurrier's visor doesn't look as good in burgundy and gold as it did in blue and orange.

Titans 28, Eagles 24: Tennessee Mc-Nabb's a victory out from under Philly.

Steelers 17, Patriots 14: What are the chances we'll see this matchup later in the season?

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