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Big Sydney has history on his side

October 22, 2009|By BIG SYDNEY

Contrary to popular belief, my entire life isn't football.

All right, most of my life is football. My wardrobe, my job, my tailgating eating habits and most of my television watching habits revolve around football. In the offseason, there is nothing like a "Rudy"-"Gridiron Gang"-"Longest Yard" triple feature. (Isn't The Rock believable as a football coach?)

But I digress. I know a little bit about history.

This week my chest swelled with so much pride, the buttons came flying off and almost injured Underdog, my football-inspired pointer-Irish Sydder mix. (He's a good dog. He only goes on artificial turf.)

The reason for all that inflation was the fact that some American history involving my beloved Dargan was revisited this weekend. There was a four-day weekend program revolving around John Brown's Raid.

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It is a little-known fact that I'm not only a resident expert on the event, but I helped put together another one of those thriving mega-businesses in downtown Dargan to draw tourists to the area. It is an abolition museum which has been matched with a tennis academy and toilet paper cylinder factory.

It's called Brown 'n' Serve Rolls.

Anyhow, very few people know this, but John Brown is the guy who started football here and in other places with his raid.

First, did you know his march was the brainchild of pass patterns? He left Dargan and headed for Harpers Ferry and did the first hook pattern. It was his first reaction to reaching what is now the West Virginia border. It ended up becoming a down-and-out move eventually.

Brown's raid was considered to be the first move in starting the Civil War, but I have yet to figure out how a rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State mattered back then.

But his actions divided a number of areas for years to come. It's always fascinating when North battles South -- like Carolina, Mississippi, Dakota, Illinois ... even Hagerstown, if you can stay awake.

A lot of Brown's activity revolved around the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. It might be a coincidence, but isn't that how Cleveland's football team was transported to the Inner Harbor? (It had to be karma that they were named the Browns, too.)

Brown was against microphones in helmets. That's why his special team took out the telegraph when they took over Harpers Ferry.

For all he did to change America and start football, in the end, Brown had the same problem which has plagued teams since the beginning of game time. He put together a good offense, marched down the field convincingly and some would even say he held the lead for a while when he was in Harpers Ferry.

His downfall in the end?

He couldn't play the prevent defense.

On with the predictions. Last week: 15-8 (.652). Season: 107-50 (.682).

HIGH SCHOOLS

Boonsboro 34, South Hagerstown 6

Central Dauphin 34, Chambersburg 14

Red Land 41, Waynesboro 13

Greencastle 37, Northern 30

Palmyra 46, James Buchanan 18

Washington 23, Berkeley Springs 21

Martinsburg 47, Jefferson 23

Keyser 31, Musselman 14

Hampshire 17, Hedgesville 13

Rockwood 27, Hancock 21

North Hagerstown 28, Williamsport 19

Smithsburg 38, Clear Spring 20

United Military Academy 30, Mercersburg Academy 14

COLLEGES

Duke 27, Maryland 20

West Virginia 34, Connecticut 17

Penn State 20, Michigan 14

Shepherd 44, West Virginia State 21

PROS

Vikings 24, Steelers 20

Eagles 31, Redskins 13

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