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Syd is really spaced out this time

October 05, 2006|by BIG SYDNEY

Where do I sign up?

I have the need for speed.

I've been watching all the hoopla about the first woman space tourist and I'm ready to notch my place in history.

I want to be the first football prognosticator to go into space.

I really looked into this the other day.

I went to Dargan's local dairy and scale store, the Milky Weigh, to get some information about it all. I was shocked that all they could sell me was a bacon cheeseburger shake that my waistline said I shouldn't have.

So then, I headed over to the local noontime deli counter and paper tablet store - The Lunching Pad - to see if they could tell me anything.

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I got a Cro-Griddle - it's a McGriddle inside a Croissan'wich - and got the lowdown ... or in this case the countdown. (I'm already into this astronaut lingo.)

First off, it's $20 million to make the trip.

That's nothing to the most successful pigskin picker on this side of Portland. I went over to the local cemetery and financial advisor - Bury Bonds - to check the investment portfolio built from Arizona Cardinal picks.

Hey, I plunk that down in tailgate parties in a year.

So then I turned the page and started really looking into it.

I thought, who needs the blimps or satellite TV to watch games now? If I go up in the shuttle, I'd be the blimp and will be watching every game there is from the satellite.

What could be better?

Then when I'm picking games, wouldn't be so cool to tell the Texans, "Houston, we have a problem," and really mean it.

And it will really give me a chance to use my degree. You know, I took up space when I was in college ... but that's another column.

Fans have been giving me a hard time for so long, telling me I have been pulling my picks out of thin air. For once, they would be right.

I filled out my application and started getting psyched. I started listening to my old Starship, Starland Vocal Band and Star Jones tapes. And then the prognosticator's anthem came out, "Spear it in the Sky."

And I read about my hero ... the guy they named that West Virginia univesity for ... you know, Alan Shepherd.

But then, I started getting a couple of concerns.

First, picking games is very sophisticated. I have some important equipment to use to come up with my choices that might not work while in space. What happens when you flip a coin in zero gravity?

What kind of chair will I have up there? I'm kind of use to the old Bark-o-lounger in the prone position.

Then, I was wondering how tailgate food favorites, Spam and head cheese sandwiches and scrapple-kabobs, will taste when they are in that freeze-dried form they use in space. I'm a big boy. I'm going to need a lot of those little packs.

Hey, do they still serve Tang?

And, after I eat all that stuff, I know how my tummy gets. What happens when you relieve air pressure in a spacesuit?

They were all important concerns. But I got my head on straight and I'm ready to do this.

I kept forgetting about the biggest thing I will experience when I go on this trip.

It won't be the history I make or that the record I get will literally be out of this world.

It's something I have never experienced from the day I was born.

Weightlessness.

On with the predictions. Last week: 14-4 (.778). Season: 73-26 (.737).

HIGH SCHOOLS

Friday

South Hagerstown 27, Clear Spring 12: If South gets bored with this one, we could have a Rebel-yawn on our hands.

North Hagerstown 38, Brunswick 17: Hubs would be crazy not to have some loco movitation to beat the Railroaders.

Catoctin 34, Smithsburg 21: The problem with the Leopards' offense is that their running game is easily spotted.

Clarksburg 27, Hancock 13: Panthers are easy to cover. Wherever they go they leave a Trail to follow.

Berkeley Springs 44, Westmar 20: Just for laughs, Indians fans teepee Westmar's bus.

Jefferson 20, Fort Hill 17: When the Cougars repeatedly run the quarterback sneak, do they just re-Hash the play?

Martinsburg 28, Park View 20: Whenever the Bulldogs turn around in the end zone, they will have a Park View behind them?

Bridgeport 41, Musselman 18: Musselman has its shoes specially made by an apple cobbler.

Bishop McDevitt 40, Chambersburg 13: Every time the Trojans find a hole to run through, they must replace their McDevitt.

Waynesboro 27, James Buchanan 21: Indians use a late pass and burn the Rockets on re-entry.

Greencastle 24, Susquenita 14: Rumor has is that Susquenita's quarterback is a peppery guy named Phil Heata and the Blue Devils will grill him.

Saturday

Boonsboro 35, Williamsport 14: Warning: A group named Minella Vinella has been lip-syncing the Wildcats' signals.

St. James 30, Flint Hill 20: Saints get a merit badge for starting a fire by banging Flint Hill's quarterback and tailback together.

Blair Academy 33, Mercersburg Academy 15: Blue Devils get spooked. Blair helmets seem to spin around and they exorcise before games.

COLLEGES

Georgia Tech 34, Maryland 10: Another Chan of events sidetracks the Terps while facing a Top 25 opponent on the road.

Penn State 37, Minnesota 20: Nittany Lions score early to put Gophers in a hole.

West Virginia 38, Mississippi State 13: No way anyone will say the Mountaineers must have slipped against the less-than-mighty Miss-a-sip.

PROS

Redskins 27, Giants 21: With the return of their star running back, any time the Redskins play in the rain, they have a Portis in the storm.

Chargers 20, Steelers 14: According to a survey, the Chargers only have a 10.8 interest rate in San Diego.

Ravens 24, Broncos 13: Philosophy time: When you hit a Bell at Mile High, does it make a sound?

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