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The importance of being Ernie, and other fables
Pembroke Mafia Football League
football play diagram

Uh-oh, it’s already 2018 outside. That means it’s time for the first Pembroke Mafia Football League column of the new year.

But man, what a long and crazy year it’s been. It could end tomorrow and we’d already have enough news to fill up an entire year’s worth of newspapers, one page at a time.

The No. 1 biggest story is all the ice and snow that came roaring in here Jan. 3, reminding longtime residents of how little traffic there used to be before we had all this well-planned infrastructure in place. The second biggest story so far is probably what happened to a certain football team wearing silver britches Monday up in Atlanta.

Hint: Their mascot looks like an aunt I vaguely recall from up around Atlanta back in the 1970s.

Like UGA, she resembled a blue-haired Winston Churchill and sounded like Paula Deen if Paula Deen smoked 18 packs a day and cussed every third word (Well, #@)+*$!# y’all! Come on #!*&!@# in!) She was cool, that aunt. I think the squirrels finally got her.

At any rate, I’d gone to bed around halftime thinking the Dogs were winners and I’d never hear the end of it (few fanbases are as infernally insufferable as those who back the bark, except for those of maybe every other football school in the South), and woke up to learn the Tide had rolled back and won the thing.

So thanks Nick Saban and Tua Tagovailoa, because I don’t know if I could go a whole year knowing UGA was the national champion of anything, but especially college football — a sport which I, like many, tend to hold dear and think more important than reality.

Besides, Clemson won it last year, and between that shade of orange and other unsettling variations on the hue it was a tough 2017 at times. Still, my condolences to UGA fans. Better luck in 2088, if any of us are still around. Until then, go Gamecocks.

Now, for those who don’t know much about the PMFL or this column, I offer this explainer.

The Pembroke Mafia is the creation of B.J. Clark and Ernie Mitchell, both retired Navy chief petty admirals and longtime generalissimos in Pembroke American Legion Post 164 (of which I can now say I’m a member, I think).

They’re fairly easy to tell apart: B.J.’s likes Georgia Southern and Auburn. Ernie’s the Central Florida fan and was even before Central Florida went 13-0 and started giving itself parades. The man is that cool. Remember. It’s important to be Ernie. Oscar Wilde knew that. I know it too.

Other longtime PMFL members include District 1 County Commissioner Noah "Tagovailoa" Covington, a hybrid Eagle/Dog who wants to Make North Bryan Great Again just like his hero, Donald Trump, is doing to America. We’re also proud to have Mike Clark, whose long-running TV show American Bandstand has been a staple of American pop culture for generations..

Mark Rogerson, 8, has been in the PMFL since he was 2 and has won this thing already a couple of times, or so it seems. He has naturally curly eyebrows he can wax and twist up like handlebar moustaches for formal occasions. That’s quiet a feat for an 8-year-old and, apparently, a mark of incipient genius.

There’s assistant editor Ted O’Neil, a native Michigander-sonian-ite who nearly got done in by an Ohio State person on the roundabout the other day, and there’s also Alex "Big Poppa" Floyd, a proud Pinewood Christian grad and the world’s only finalist to be Pembroke’s city administrator. Congratulations Alex. It’s well deserved.

We in the PMFL are proud to serve as your cabinet. I’ll send you our bill.

Also among our members is UGA-fan Anna Chafin, the chief executive officer of the Development Authority of Bryan County and the most powerful woman in Bryan County. Even though Anna went to Mercer, she is not the one responsible for putting the letter "e" after The Interstate Centre instead of spelling it "Center" like a normal American human being spells it.

And speaking of upscale, the PMFL also includes Trey Robertson. Trey, who in addition to being Bryan County Schools assistant superintendent of keeping other assistant superintendents from borrowing the executive superintendent’s pet kangaroo cage, is also the system-wide athletic director. That makes him the man to call when your high school teams don’t win. So remember that name. Trey Robertson. And remember the Pembroke Mafia, the official cabinet of Alex Floyd

Next up: Football.

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