Welcome to week five of the Pembroke Mafia Football League’s weekly exercise in football silliness. In honor of Ole Misses’ fun-to-witness 45-14 whooping of Georgia last week, I’m gonna use "Ole" a lot in this column. Like, boy did "Ole" Georgia get the "ole" brake shoes beat off last week.
I know. That’s awful. Sorry. I’m in a slump. A big ole’ slump. But I’m sort of contractually obligated to carry on, kinda like Will Muschamp, who often looks like he wonders how exactly it was he wound up in Columbia coaching a team full of girls.
Now, for the uninitiated, in this ole column the several of us PMFL members pick football games. At the end of the season, the one who gets the least amount wrong wins. So far, all he wins is bragging rights, but I’m hoping to find a sponsor with deep pockets. That means somebody who can buy us hats and shirts and pizza.
We’re loads of fun, and should be commercial and artistic successes, given our diverse makeup which currently includes B.J. "The Ole Caucasion Samoan" Clark, Ernest "Ole Ginger Knees" Mitchell, Trey "I put the Ole Super in Assistant Superintendent" Robertson, Noah "Big Ole District 1 Bossman Britches" Covington, Mike "Ole Do Wacka Flacka GATA" Clark, Mark "Ole Too Young to Shave" Rogerson and me. We’re like the Pips in Gladys Knight and the Pips, only there are fewer of us, and we’re white.
Finally, just for those of you who don’t know, some of us are quite famous.
Retired Navy chief petty officers B.J. and Ernie are bigwheels in Pembroke American Legion Post 164. Noah is a county commissioner and is being groomed to be Georgia’s next lieutenant governor, as soon as they get that smirk off his face he gets every time Georgia wins. That could cure itself as time goes on.
Mark is a college student and probably on his way to being valedictorian of the advanced placement class at Ole Harvard.
Mike, a famous country rapper whose band Erk and the Do Rights is a lounge favorite on the Valdosta circuit, also owns several upscale furniture stores, has his own brand of boiled peanuts and drives Porsches with spinners on the wheels.
Trey is an assistant superintendent of several schools and knows people who for the right price can build you your own softball field, complete with lights and a snack bar. Bathrooms will cost you extra. So will sod.
And me, I’m your host. Jeff "Ole Bigheaded Bowling Ball Head" Whitten.
Disclaimer: I do tend to have a big head. Not ego, mind you, just my head. It’s a whopper. It’s so large it can be off-putting, and people who meet me for the first time tend to be uncomfortable in my presence. I think they wonder if I can read their mind (I can’t), especially when I give them my ole inscrutable look like I am reading their mind and I know they’re wondering how I got away with having such a big head on such a small body.
It’s mammoth, this noggin of mine. Huge. Very big.
Anyway, on to the ole standings and the reason all of us are here, the ole football picks.
But first, some housekeeping.
Driving note: We’re almost up to 1,100 of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s fatality count, so be careful out there.
I know it can be hard. Sometimes it’s like we’re in a giant anthill somebody poked with a stick and all of a sudden the place is boiling with big ants, little ants, fast ants, slow ants, ants that don’t know how to use turn signals, ants that drive like they think they’re Dale Earnhart, etc.
This is especially true in Pooler and on 144 in Richmond Hill.
Standings: B.J., who not only selects the games we select but also keeps score, leads the way with 14 misses so far this year. I’m starting to think Ole B.J. is smarter than he thinks he is.
In second is Trey with 18 misses, Noah and Mark are in third with 20, Mike is fourth with 21, Ernie is fifth with 23 and I’m last with 24.
I am letting everyone get comfortable. Then I’m busting out of this slump and seeing the world.
This week’s games.
Missouri vs. LSU: Noah, Trey and B.J. take Mizzou; the rest of us go with the Les-less purple Tigers from Baton Rouge. I have to give B.J. credit for the Less-Les line. Good one.
Utah vs. California; Mark and B.J. take Cal, the rest of us ole knuckleheads pick the Utes.
Georgia Southern vs. Arkansas State: Everybody’s on the Gus Bus except me. I’m going with winless Arkansas State to send the Ole Eagles to their second crushing defeat in as many weeks. I’ll leave it at that.
Tennessee vs. UGA: Heh. Good ole Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee. Still, me, Mike and Noah are picking UGA. The rest of our motley Ole crew is taking the Vols.
Oregon vs. Washington State: B.J. is picking the Cougars, rest of us are going with the only team with uniforms uglier than Maryland’s.
Lousiville vs. Clemson: Mark, Trey and Ole yours truly select the Cardinals. The rest take Danny Ford Alternative School.
Oklahoma vs. TCU: Noah, me and B.J. are picking Merle Haggard’s favorite state. TCU is the choice of the rest of our gang.
Mercer vs. VMI: I think B.J. is throwing us a curveball here. Mark and Noah say Mercer, the rest of us say the Keydets win it. Bless all our hearts.
Stanford vs. Washington: Fred Stanford in a landslide.
Navy vs. Air Force: Trey and I pick Air Force. The rest go with Navy. These are the kind games that make you feel patriotic, when a service academy plays the Air Force.
Georgia State vs. Appalachian State: I take Ole Georgia State. I’m the only ole one. Everybody else goes with Appy. Appies hate when you call them Appy.
Texas vs. Oklahoma State: B.J. takes the Cowboys. The rest of us go with the Longhorns.
Wisconsin vs. Michigan: Mike, Noah and B.J. take Wisconsin, the rest of us reprobates take Michigan. And, as B.J. notes, "this should be a heck of a game, but as Lewis Grizzard said, ‘it’s two mules after the same turnip’ to us Southerners." Agree.
Don’t take any ole wooden nickels and hopefully I’ll break out of this ole writing slump next week. Peace. Out.