Welcome to Thanksgiving Week of the Pembroke Mafia Football League, the world’s only Mafia Football League headquartered in the rural, mostly idyllic wonderland of Pembroke, Ga.
FYI, we in the PMFL are thankful for many things, like the freedom we have in this country to enjoy BoGator sandwiches at Higgins and the occasional well-stuffed bikini on Jekyll Island.
But we’re also practicing mindfulness, and that means we’re extremely grateful just to be here.
After all, it’s possible this could all be an elusive dream, because I once dreamt I went outside and saw PMFL CEO B.J. Clark floating past my house toting a sleeve of Fig Newtons and a jug of blue flavored Gatorade. “I’m headed up to see Georgia Southern play,” he yelled down at me as he floated past. “That’s why I got my toenails painted.
Then I’m going to go strafe some flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz. Wanna come? I hear the Oompa Loompas got plenty of Brussels sprouts.” Before I could answer, B.J. morphed into my least favorite first sergeant, made me do 20 pushups and then disappeared in a sort of gassy, greasy thunderclap that went “pffftttttthbbbbttt,” only squeakier. And then I woke up and my wife was spraying at me with Glade.
And with that, the standings.
PMFL Spiritual Leader the Rev. Lawrence Butler and Richmond Hill City Clerk Dawnne Greene are tied for first with 44 misses each. In second is the great Michigan State alum, former BCN Assistant Editor Ted O’Neil who kept his hair shaved to hide the fact if he didn’t he’d look like Teddy Roosevelt if Teddy was Gene Shalit of the 1980s. In third is the only member of the PMFL to have groupies, Mike “Vanilla Mike” Clark. In fourth is our CEO and retired Navy petty admiral, B.J. In fifth there’s a tie between District 1 County Commissioner Noah “King of the North” Covington, Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor and your’s truly. Clearly, one of these things is not like the others. In sixth is Bryan County Fire and Emergency Services Chief Freddy Howell, who in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday shall now be forever be known as The Grateful Fred.
In seventh is Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, who only missed two last week after weeks of missing 20 or more. And since we’re only picking about 10-11 games a week, Infinger was clearly struggling.
But being from Charleston, S.C., he’s a Gamecock through and through. He just hasn’t figured it out yet. Richmond Hill Special Projects Manager Alex Floyd and North Bryan Pine Tree Magnate Bob “Flypaper for Freaks” Floyd are tied for eighth. The dean of national sportswriters, Mike Brown, is now in ninth, and District 5 County Commissioner Dr. Gene Wallace, DMD, is in the cellar, where he’ll probably be joined by some others before the end of the season.
As for this week’s games, there’s only one that really, really matters.
That would be Clemson vs. South Carolina. This battle of All that is Good (USC) vs. Pure Nasty Mean Stinking Horrible Evil Pig Eyed Pompous Awfulness (Clemron) is about more than just bragging rights in South Carolina, my home state.
It’s about where we are as a country, and who we are as a people. It’s about democracy, and freedom, and civil rights, and pumpkins, and Santa Claus and black labs, and cold beer but not too many to the point you get obnoxious and keep up your neighbors and fall into the Mexican petunias.
It’s about being kind and cooking deep fried turkeys without burning down your porch and require the fire department to come save your bacon. I’m the only one who picked the Gamecocks.