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Football season: A horse is a horse, of course, of course
Jeff Whitten NEW
Jeff Whitten

Go Gamecocks and welcome to Week 1 of season whatever of the Pembroke Mafia Football League & Think Tank (we’ve expanded from a mere mafia in hopes of getting government grant money so we can rule the world). For the uninitiated, the PMFL& TT, or Pembroke Policy Institute, is a weekly exercise in pigskin prognostication.

It is perpetuated upon an unsuspecting public by a motley menagerie of the moldiest bunch of bad motorscooters this side of the Ogeechee River. Phew. Try saying that once, let alone three times. Silly, right? Right.

Unabashedly so.

Kudos, by the way, to anybody who gets the headline. It’s the first verse of the theme song to the classic TV show, “Mr. Ed,” which for the younger crowd was about a talking horse and his sidekick, Wilbur Post. It was actually pretty realistic for the 1960s. I had a nightmare once Mr.

Ed was a reporter for the Valdosta Daily Times.

This was when I worked at the Moultrie Observer and trying to find out something about a story. They kept patching me through to Mr. Ed, who’d sort of whinny at me and then say, “Willlburrrr!” Mr. Ed said that a lot, in his horse accent.

Now to finish that first verse of the Mr. Ed song: “And no one can talk to a horse, of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.”

Aside: You sure can’t beat those old TV shows for great theme songs.

Remember the Patty Duke Show about identical cousins? Here’s the best line: “Where Cathy adores a minuet, “The Ballets Russes, and crepe Suzette, “Our Patty loves to rock and roll, “A hot dog makes her lose control - What a wild duet!”

For the record, I’ve yet to see a hot dog make a girl lose control but I guess there’s still hope. So, to quote my home state South Carolina’s official motto, Dum spiro spero, “While I breathe, I hope.”

I have been thinking of horses a lot after seeing Hootie do his thing before Friday’s Bryan County High School game. Hootie (whom I would like to name Hootie the Wonderhorse but he might not like it) is named after a great South Carolinian, Hootie the Blowfish, and as that Hootie is an avid South Carolina Gamecock fan, as are the Blowfish, I am now a fan of Hootie the horse who gallops around at Redskin Stadium.

Hootie was ridden by a college kid named Maggie Cilantro, I believe but may be mistaken since I didn’t write it down and these days I forget something two seconds after I commit it to memory.

So I’m winging it. Sorry Maggie, or whoever you are. Good job.

Also, I’ve included a photo of Hootie, because, well, horses and Indians are cooler than the rest of us. On to the picks.

Syracuse vs. North Carolina: Everybody goes with the Tar Heels.

Everybody in this instance being the PMFL class of 2020, which includes the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Butler, Admiral B.J.

Clark, Mike Clark, District 1 County Commissioner Noah “Big Daddy” Covington, Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd, Pine Tree Whisperer Bob Floyd, Richmond Hill City Clerk Dawnne “Gamecock” Greene, Michigan State President Ted O’Neil, Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor, District 5 Commissioner Dr. Gene “the Lima Bean” Wallace and me, the human typo.

Western Kentucky vs. Louisville: I hate both teams. That aside, everybody takes the Cardinals, who I think are in the ACC even though Louisville’s about as close to the Atlantic Coast as Ohio.

We live in perilous times. Georgia Tech vs. Florida State: Covington says Georgia Tech will win.

Rest of us say Noles poke holes in that theory.

Campbell vs. Georgia Southern: I love Georgia Southern, but it’s been a harder road liking them in recent years, what with the program’s abandonment of the triple option, the move to the Sun Belt (which is to football conferences what I am to newspaper editing) and all the confounded night games. Who can stay up to 10 p.m. to watch some mutant pistol option run and shoot nonsense? Not me. Anyway, the Campbell Camels play in the North Carolina High School Association, so we all take the Iggles to whoop up on the Camels.

The Citadel vs. South Florida: Everybody picks the Bulls, even me, and I’m pulling hard for El Cid to pull off an upset.

South Florida is like the Sunshine State’s version of Marshall, meaning I don’t like them because they’re pompous gats for no reason. That said, the Dean of local sportswriters, Mike Brown – a genuinely first-class human being and a walking encyclopedia of local high school sports – is a Marshall grad. So there’s good there.

Duke at Notre Dame: Everybody takes the Irish. Erin go Blah Blah Blah.

UAB vs. Miami: Bob and Lima Bean Gene select UAB, rest go with the U. TGIFT, THWG.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest: It’s all Clemron except me. I wouldn’t pull for the Tigers against the Russians.

Louisiana Monroe vs. Army: We’re of one accord in picking Jeff Monken and his Dogface Soldiers. Go Army.

Have a great week, stay safe and healthy and hopefully I’ll get better at this as I go along.

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