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Yearly reputation is on the line

November 17, 2005|by BIG SYDNEY

Yaaawwwnnn.

I have had trouble getting any sleep lately.

The pressure of this time of year is getting to me again. Time is running out and I'm just seven wins short of keeping my 200-win seasons alive. I'm just seven short of doing it for the fourth straight time while accomplishing it for the 13th time in the last 15 years.

I keep over-analyzing everything. Every little thing bothers me.

I'm tossing and turning like a brat on a grill.

I'm finding out that LuSydna talks in her sleep and it sounds like she is reciting Today's Line from The Herald-Mail.

And the trap door keeps falling open in the back of my jammies and my dog keeps trying to jump through the opening to tell me it has to go out.

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I'm getting worried because I'm not handling it all that well. This used to never bother me, but I have a reputation to keep. There is also that bonus from my Dargan-based sponsor, our digging implement and bakery that we affectionately call Picks and Rolls.

So I went out looking for answers. I didn't know who to turn to for advice and then it hit me.

I walked down Dargan's main drag, Sykesville Pike, and stumbled across our little psychiatrist office and hip-hop radio station, better known as Shrink Rap. I turned my coaches cap to the left, untied my Skechers and pulled my coaching shorts down around my hips and went in to talk.

My doctor, Joe Mama, met me at the door and took me over to his couch.

He said, "Yo, Yo. Yo. What seems to be the problem, Dog."

I said, "Is he here? I thought I left him hanging out of the back of my jammies."

He said, "No. No. No. You the Dog here. Give me your 411."

After I figured out what the heck he was saying and had a Spam puff to calm my nerves, I started to talk.

"You know, I'm not talking to you for me. I'm talking to you about a friend another overweight, well-fed, ruggedly handsome pillar of the Dargan community who just happens to pick football games and has Tuesday's lunch dripping on his shirt."

Doc said, "Yo. Yo. Yo. Just Go. Go. Go."

"Well, my friend has been having the reoccurring dream," I said. "He is sitting in the middle of a crowded stadium with half the fans cheering and the other half booing him. He loves the cheers and hates the boos. At first, he thinks it's because he is sitting there naked, but realizes that no one is laughing. This heavyset woman comes out of the crowd and just says God Bless America while this group of people wearing white shirts with his picture on it come and take his lucky flipping coin. And to top it all off, he keeps hitting his remote to get all of the football games on his bank of televisions and just gets snow. He has total anxiety because he can't follow the games to see if all his predictions are coming through, knowing full well he's near the 200-win milestone.

"What's it all mean, Doc?"

The doc kicks back and chills. Then he says

"Yo, Yo, Yo. You, Dog, or at least one of your boys that you're rappin' about has some deep issues in this dream, man.

"First, he loves his mama and is upset with his daddy."

I asked, "Why? How do you know that?"

"That's always the case," he said. "He's naked because he puts himself out there for everyone to see him and has trouble understanding that he can't make everyone happy, hence the cheers and boos."

"I got it," I said.

"The heavyset woman means he has this weird obsession with Kate Smith. And the group with the shirts is a bunch of fans ... like from the North end of a town who can't deal with your friend probably picking against their favorite school."

"It all makes sense. I'm, er, my friend will be happy to hear all this," I said. "But Doc, the snowy bank of TVs with no games what does that all mean?"

"Well there, he has real problems," the Doc says. "He will either need therapy or will have to move and start a whole new life."

"Why is that is it that serious?" I asked.

"No, not really," Jo said. "It just means he's in a cable area which doesn't offer NBC25 sports anymore."

On with the predictions. Last week 12-5 (.706), season 193-70 (.734).

HIGH SCHOOLS



Friday

Md. Class 1A West Semifinals

Beall 23, Boonsboro 20: The road to the championship is filled with cobblestones for Shoemaker and the Warriors.

Md. Class 1A North Semifinals

Brunswick 31, Pikesville 14: Railroaders see the light at the end of the playoff tunnel.

Catoctin 22, Western Tech 13: The Cougars get their energy from Thurmont-nuclear power.

Md. Class 2A West Semifinals

Middletown 20, Winters Mill 12: It's the playoffs, so it's time for Mid-Knight Madness.

W.Va. Class AAA Quarterfinals

Jefferson 34, University 21: No B.S., Cougars master University on every degree.

COLLEGES



Boston College 28, Maryland 20: After this, beating N.C. State, Coco Puffs for breakfast or a strike in the 10th frame will be the Terps' only three bowl options.

Penn State 27, Michigan State 10: The Big Ten title and a BCS bowl would complete the JoPaturnaround.

Shepherd 34, C.W. Post 17: If the Rams knock off Post, will that be considered a cereal killing.

PROS



Redskins 27, Raiders 13: 'Skins can only hope that this doesn't become an instant replay of last week, an instant replay of last week.

Steelers 13, Ravens 0: Nowadays, Baltimore can't score with a "touchdown" even in Scrabble.

Giants 31, Eagles 24: N.Y. sees the light as Tiki torches Philly Bring on the roast pig with the apple in its mouth.

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