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Sydney shuns buffets for seminars in effort to become well rounded

September 21, 2011|By BIG SYDNEY
  • Herald-Mail football prognosticator Big Sydney
Herald-Mail football prognosticator Big Sydney

Who says you can’t make an old prognosticator new picks?

Although I’m in my fourth decade of doing this job — I’d still be five in dog years — I still take time to try to stay up on the latest trends in football coaching, tailgate indulging and game picking. There’s no better way to do that than going to seminars.

I found the perfect one because it incorporated all three aspects of my livelihood at one site. Yes, there was one just like that ... it was called the Punt, Gas and Pick Clinic.

I paid my early registration fee, which included football classes, a barbecue and 2-to-1 odds that I wouldn’t make it past the first day, and went back to school.

I dug the map and schedule out of the information packet and proceeded to go all out to try and improve this proud pile of perfection.

I walked across campus to my first class, Tight Ends in the Spread Offense, only to be disappointed when I got there. The class had been moved to another site on the other side of campus.

Instead, it was a class called Tight Ends of the Middle-Age Spread. It was a roundtable discussion about why old coaches wear coaching shorts that are a size too small. I could identify, but it didn’t help me.

In the next room was supposed to be “When is the best time to go for two?” I thought it was a debate between going for the extra point or the conversion. That, too, got moved.

Instead, it was “When is the best time to take two?” — meaning slices of pizza at a football party. I found out there is really a more strategic time to snag to final two pieces of Pizza Hut so you don’t look like a hog (common, not Redskins, variety).

I really had to hustle to make what I thought was going to be a spirited discussion on “Home or Away: Indulging With Points.” I thought it would give me an edge in my selections.

That, too, was moved. Instead, it was a sitdown meeting with Jennifer Hudson talking about Weight Watchers.

I was a little disturbed about this seminar. Everything I wanted to try was moved to another spot making the whole geography on my map useless.

I stopped one of the organizers to lodge my complaint, but he made me understand the problem with his explanation. It is one that is plaguing football as we know it.

“Sorry for all your problems,” he said. “We had everything set, but now we are undergoing conference realignment.”

On with the predictions. Last week, 12-10 (.545); Season, 40-21(.656).

HIGH SCHOOLS

Boonsboro 23, Clear Spring 13

North Hagerstown 34, Silver Oak Academy 6

Brunswick 30, Smithsburg 14

Thomas Johnson 41, South Hagerstown 21

Catoctin 20, Williamsport 19

Gettysburg 28, James Buchanan 12

Central Dauphin East 34, Chambersburg 24

Southern Garrett 21, Berkeley Springs 12

Sherando 27, Jefferson 8

Musselman 37, Washington 16

Greencastle 31, West Perry 20

Northern 24, Waynesboro 12

Carson Long Military 26, Hancock 22

Hun School 35, Mercersburg Academy 21

Atlantic Shores Christian 41, Saint James 18

COLLEGES

Maryland 42, Temple 17

Penn State 38, Eastern Michigan 10

LSU 35, West Virginia 20

Shepherd 48, Charleston 13

PROS

Ravens 27, Rams 13

Steelers 33, Colts 14

Redskins 23, Cowboys 20

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