Welcome to Week 1 of the Pembroke Mafia Football League’s 2022 season, which shall be forever known as the Year of the Gamecock.
You scoff. That’s understandable.
However, some experts in the sports entertainment business are picking the real USC to knock off defending national champ UGA and make a serious run at the SEC East title.
When it happens, us old school born and raised Gamecocks from South Carolina won’t gloat. We don’t gloat except when whipping those purple and orange criminals up in Clemson is involved. Then we gloat.
Well, actually if we beat UGA we’ll gloat. Gloating is fun. Just ask UGA fans, who are the gloatiest gloaters who ever gloated a gloat.
They get up in the morning gloating and go to bed gloating. They gloat in their dreams. Heck, they probably gloat while answering nature’s call.
Anyhow, before starting with this week’s picks, one more housekeeping item to get through.
This year the PMFL is starting up its own semiprofessional After Home School Academy football team, the Bryan County Bigfoots.
Catchy, right? Right. Our colors will be Sasquatch Brown, Bloodshot- Eyeball Red and Yeti Fewmet Green. You might have to look up the definition of fewmet.
While some details are still being figured out, such as our team motto – suggestions are welcome – our advance party will consist of the following pillars of the community to ensure we offer a wholesome experience for young semipro Bigfootians:
• Head coach: No surprise here. PMFL CEO and President and Chief of Staff B.J. Clark is the Bigfoots first-ever head coach.
This in part because when he takes recliner naps the snores emanating from his esteemed personage’s head remind some of the inspirational howls of an enraged, if sleepy, Bigfoot.
What’s more, B.J. was a Chief Petty Admiral in the Navy, where he drove enormous boats around the ocean. That sort of non-football experience is important in football.
• Franchise QB: Mike “Uncle Rico” Clark is our franchise quarterback, because he already has a man bun and several groupies, and he’s forever betting people named Napoleon he can throw a football over some mountains. He’s also our Minister of Portraits.
• SID: Mike Brown is Sports Information Director, because he’s written more sports stories in his 137-year career than anybody else on the planet and knows just about everybody in the business, including Jim Thorpe and Red Grange, Mike’s college roommates.
Also, he’s pretty good at it. And, it gets him out of the house for a couple hours, if he can find his car keys.
Mike and Mike, we call them, and they like it.
• Head Boy: Richmond Hill Special Projects Manager Alex Floyd is the Bigfoots’ Semiprofessional After Home School Academy Head Boy, because, well, he’s the youngest member of the PMFL and his family owns almost as many pine trees as the Lord Voldemort of Pine Trees, Prince Rayonier.
Just kidding about the Voldemort thing. Sort of.
• General Manager: Ben Taylor is our General Manager because, A), he’s from Ashburn, “The Fire Ant Capitol of the World” and B) as Bryan County administrator he can get us a free stadium built using SPLOST funds or something. We’re talking one with real artificial turf and a field house and a giant Bigfoot statue out by the front gate, and all the free zero calorie Pepsi we can swallow. And while he’s at it he can fund us some attack helicopters and RVs. And a solar powered stepstool to get into them (Ben’s only 3-foot-17, which is also known as 4-foot-5 when you drill down to that level of detail and get in the weeds of policies and such). Make it happen, GM.
• Director of Operations and Emergency Response: Bryan County Emergency Services Director Freddy Howell is our go-to guy for emergencies and making sure the sprinklers work. Freddy is from the swamps of Waycross and a descendant of some guy named Obediah Barber who actually killed, cooked and ate a prehistoric Bigfoot back in the 1800s. Freddy, not even a gleam in old Obediah’s eye back then, is basically in charge of sprinkler systems, emergency exits and making sure opponents have an ambulance ready to take them to hospitals after the Bryan County Bigfoots lay down the expected 57-0 shellackings.
Oh, and Bigfoot tasted like iguana, according to cave drawings Barber left in a McDonald’s off Highway 82. Did we mention Freddy’s from Waycross, where they not only have mullets, they eat ‘em? He’s from Waycross, everybody. Salute!
• Assistant Coaches and EV Appropriation Committee County Commission Chairman Carter Pius Lucius Upsquemious Infinger XIV, and Districts 1 and 5 commissioners Noah “Danny Zuko” Covington and Dr. Gene “The Lima Bean” Wallace, DMD, are going to alternate as position coaches and as the appropriations committee for acquiring and testing the new luxury EVs coming out of the Hyundai plant. They want to make sure they’re safe for the rest of us Bigfoots to drive.
• Head of Religious Studies: The Rev. Dr. Lawrence Butler is our resident spiritual advisor and is on staff to make sure we don’t get struck by lightning. He’s managed it so far.
• Department of Immigration: Given the PMFL is in an area of this wonderful world rapidly filling up with people from Up North, our own resident transplants are former Bryan County News assistant editor Ted O’Neil – now supposedly plying his trade in his home state of Michigan – and Dawnne Greene, Richmond Hill’s city clerk.
They remind us native Southrons of two things. 1. This isn’t how they do it up North. 2. How they do it in the Rust Belt is the reason they moved down here, or in Ted’s case, came down and went back Up North again. Which of course removes a certain four-letter word from a certain appellation that rhymes with “yankee,” when referring to Ted.
Come to think of it, has anybody ever seen Bigfoot and Ted, the tallest assistant editor in BCN history, in the same place? Nope.
• Public Private Scouting Operations: Barry J. Hall, PMFL Impact Fee Consultant and a diehard Georgia fan, will serve as our director of scouting, snack tasting and rules compliance. We’ve got him a powdered wig and some suspenders to wear when he’s on official duty. He likes that almost as much as gloating about them Dawgs.
• Although we haven’t consulted them, we consider Jeanne Carpenter, Marsha Clark and Rose Mock as Captains of our Team Moms – whether they want to be or not. Somebody has to make sure we have healthy snacks and juice boxes, and clean undies in case we have to go to the Urgent Care.
• Nonsense Director: That would be me, mostly. I make a lot of this stuff up for the fun of it. I’m not sure why, other than the thrill of having a place to roll out some real fake news and get away with it. And with that, let’s get down to this week’s games: West Virginia vs. Pitt: Mike Brown, Dawnne, Carter and Freddy take the Mountaineers. Those of us who know the score take Pitt. By the way, West Virginia was almost named East Ohio, but someone in charge back then realized one Ohio is about five too many. Penn State vs. Purdue: B.J. Alex, Carter, Dawnne and Freddy pick Purdue.
Temple vs. Duke: Mike Brown takes Temple. It’s a sentimental pick. He covered their first game back in 1743 when they had 86 men per side, each armed with a blunderbuss, and used a stuffed badger for a football. The rest of us take Duke. Oregon vs. UGA: Mike Brown must’ve taken the wrong meds. He picked Oregon. The rest of us take UGA, because we want the Bulldogs to be unbeaten when the Gamecocks humble them good (oh please please please football gods).
Idaho vs. Washington State: Carter, Dawnne and Freddy take Idaho, a university mostly famous for its potatoes which, when turned into French fries, resemble several former SEC coaches.
Morgan State vs. Georgia Southern: Everybody’s going with the Iggles. There is no option.
Arizona vs. San Diego State: Mike Clark, Carter, Freddy, Noah and Dawnne go with the Wildcats. B.J. Clark, who went to Navy bootcamp in 1956 in San Diego, has fond memories of the place and is therefore going with the Aztecs. So are the rest of us.
Delaware vs. Navy: Everybody’s taking the Midshipmen. Go Football Squids.
North Carolina vs. Appalachian State: Mike Clark, The Rev., Carter, Ted, Gene, Freddy and Noah pick the Tar Heels. Those of us who know better select the Mountaineers, who actually beat the Gamecocks back when the Gamecocks had that human Flintstone Will Muschamp as head coach. Word is he was planted there by those gloaters at UGA.
Have a great rest of the week and enjoy a full slate of college football. And remember, don’t forget to support the Bryan County Bigfoots.
Despite all this silliness, Whitten somehow remains editor of the Bryan County News.