By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Pembroke Mafia Football League: The ballad of the extra toe and how things are divided
football logo

Welcome to week two of the 2021 season of the Pembroke Mafia Football League, that weekly exercise in pigskin picking that puts the fun back in football – and sneaks it into other places when nobody’s looking. Right off, in the interest of full disclosure, please note it looks like one of my feet is trying to grow a horrible new toe. Yep, it’s gross. And I probably shouldn’t be writing about it, but this is the PMFL and you got to go where the story takes you.

Anyhow, as you might suspect this joker is pretty gnarly to look at, and it hurts if I move my foot in the wrong direction.

I say that to explain this startling development might impact my ability to pick football games.

I.e., if I finish dead last it’s probably because of my new toe. It has messed up my karma.

Editor’s note: I like getting all my excuses out of the way early. Some people, and here PMFL first-year member Carter Infinger comes to mind, like to brag and talk smack about boat docks and millage rates and roundabouts.

I’m just the opposite.

I subscribe to the Vince Dooley School of Public Pronouncements in that it’s a wonder I’m able to tie my shoes by myself, let alone beat anybody at anything, or get anything half right, what with all these extra toes popping out of my feet, and I don’t care who knows it.

For the record, my wife and my mother both think I might’ve gotten bitten by a spider, and since I have normally have good looking feet (they’re my best feature, actually) if I were a spider I’d probably bite my foot too.

At any rate, my wife’s been coating my new toe down with neo-something- or-the-other and putting band aids on it while warning me if the thing doesn’t go away soon I should probably go see my doctor – who would probably just snort, then hack it off, put it in a jar of pickle brine and sell it to the tabloids, so I’m conflicted about seeking medical help.

Also, I sort of wonder if this is might not be a bug bite, but instead is some sort of injury that happens to little short fat editors – a writing injury!

“Hah,” someone will say, “Poor guy wrote so hard he grew an extra toe.

Then he got carpel tunnel and died.”

Whatever the case, I’m kind of looking into the possibility I might be able to make money off having an extra toe by writing a folk ballad about it.

I’d call it “The Ballad of the Extra Toe.”

First verse: “I got an extra toe/his name ain’t Moe/I could call him Joe/ but he’d wanna go/cause you can’t say whoa to an extra toe/ no matter how slow that toe might go.”

Chorus: “Toe tee toe toe; toe tee toe toe, toe tee toe toe TOE!”

Second verse: “Yo there toe, you don’t like snow/ you got real flow/you steal the show/no need to crow/you’re the extra toe I didn’t mean to grow.”

I know. I either need an agent or a shrink. That’s just silly.

Onward: Last week’s games.

After week one of the PMFL Pine Cone Chieftan Bob Floyd, who wears sleeves these days, Mike “Vanilla Mike” Clark and Chief Freddy “Always Ready to be your Freddy” Howell are in first place with only two misses.

I think Bob probably cheated.

Yours truly is in second place with three misses, all of which I blame on the new toe.

Dawnne “Boston Betty” Greene is in third with four misses, and seven players are in a scrum for fourth.

They are Mike “You got a half hour to hear this story? Sure you do,” Brown, Alex “Top Secret Special $$ Projects” Floyd, Noah “Lumpy Rutherford with a Beard” Covington, Rev. Lawrence Butler, Ben “Alligator Hide Socks” Taylor, Ted “Curly Q” O’Neil and Dr. Gene The Human Lima Bean Wallace, who made his bones mucking around in other people’s molars. On purpose.

The famous aforementioned Carter Infinger is in sixth place all by himself, which is where he belongs, and B.J. Clark is in seventh place after he missed seven games but “is proud he picked against ‘Bama one more time.”

B.J. is an Awburn fan.

He’s also fond of French fries and keeps some under his sofa for special occasions.

Speaking of ‘Bama, I spotted some beerbellied guy all decked out in Crimson Tide stuff in a Lowe’s the other day and overheard him ask a clerk about weedeater line, and I swear the guy sounded like Robert DeNiro doing Joe Pesci impersonating Christopher Walken. If he was from Alabama or anywhere within 500 miles of the $300 Denture Capitol of the Universe then I’m Julian Assange.

Anyhow, North Bryan leads South Bryan by a single game, 30-31.

And here’s that overdue explainer on how we set up teams.

For starters, let’s face it: there are two Bryans.

Anybody who trots out that One Bryan hookum is trying to put one over on one side or the other, and as anybody from Pembroke will tell you, it’s usually North Bryan getting the short end of the shtick.

And, as Ted and Dawnne sort of pointed out, South Bryan has more people from up north in it than North Bryan, since both Ted and Dawnne are from up north.

In fairness to Ted, he went back up to his native Michigan because it was too (bleep) hot down here. The man was like a polar bear when it came to the AC at the old BCN office. He’d have that thing set on 30 and complain it was still too hot, like it was my fault somehow.

Anyhow, the reason South Bryan has more people from up north in it than North Bryan is the PMFL’s unofficial annual license plate census, which was taken shortly before college football season started. It revealed that there were 7,214 Ohio plates, 6,282 Michigan plates, 2,370 New Jersey plates and 1,491 Illinois plates on vehicles parked in various parking lots around Richmond Hill. In short, there are more northerners in South Bryan than there are in North Bryan, and probably more in South Bryan than there are in all of Bulloch, Candler, Evans, Long, McIntosh, Screven and Tattnall counties combined.

In fact you could probably add up all the northerners in about 140 of Georgia’s 159 counties and they’d still run second to South Bryan in the old yankee positivity ratio factor pie chart comparison graph thing.

As for why that’s the case, it’s easy. It’s due to transplant spillover from Pooler, which has grown itself into being the traffic and strip mall armpit of Coastal Georgia. Extra credit question of the week: Which appointed official in Bryan County looks sort of like a happy good-old-boy version of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un?

On to this week’s picks: Oregon vs. Ohio State: Your’s truly takes the Ducks. Everyone else takes the Buckeyes.

Georgia Southern vs. Florida Atlantic: Bob, the Rev. Lawrence B. and Ted select the Owls. The rest of us are True Blue, although the Iggles seem to be treading water of late and that’s not good for a program with that pedigree. All you’re supposed to do in Statesboro on Saturday is win every Saturday. Appalachian State vs.

Miami: B.J. Alex, Bob and Noah the Mountaineers.

Those of us who want to win this thing take the ‘Canes. Liberty vs. Troy: Alex, Bob, Noah, Ben, Freddy and Ted take Troy. Air Force vs. Navy: In this battle of the Army’s helpers, Freddy, Mike C.

and Ben take Air Force; the rest of us take Navy.

Or maybe it was Mike B.

Doesn’t matter. We can pencil whip the results.

Illinois vs. Virginia: Bob, Noah, the Rev., Gene and me pick the Fighting Illini.

South Carolina at East Carolina: Everybody picks the real USC.

That’s probably the kiss of doom. Still, I stand by my idiotic prediction the Gamecocks will beat Georgia AND Clemson this year (it’s that new toe, I tell you).

Texas vs. Arkansas: Alex, Lawrence and Dawnne pick the Hogs.

Hook ‘em horns for the rest of us.

Missouri vs. Kentucky: Alex, Carter and Mike Brown take the Tigers.

Washington vs. Michigan: Everybody takes the Wolverines, who may be up there in the arctic hinterlands but still have the second greatest helmets in the history of helmets.

Have a good college football weekend.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters