- Sorry Henrietta fans, but it’s not our fault
Saturday, October 31st, 2009
Note: I wrote this Saturday afternoon, but I guess I didn’t post it correctly then. Here it is now.Share
I haven’t checked my email — after working till 2 a.m., I drove the family to Waco, took a small nap, went to the Nebraska-Baylor game and then am hanging out with my in-laws while writing a column for the Sunday paper.
But I’m a little scared to. That’s because I figure there will be some angry/annoyed Bearcat fans, and for good reason.
Moments after Henrietta whipped Holliday, a couple Bearcat coaches said they expected some big headlines in the Saturday paper. And deservedly so.
I expected to come back to the paper and see a huge Henrietta headline and picture. But it wasn’t so.
Last year, this would have been our fault (although it wouldn’t have happened). But readers may have known we switched fonts and styles over the summer. What you may not know is we also don’t lay out our pages anymore.
Abilene, San Angelo and Wichita Falls are all sister papers with Corpus Christi, and it is there at a regional copy desk where our pages are designed (they are still printed in WF).
We had told them we wanted Holliday-Henrietta as the big story, but I ave a feeling since WFHS and RIder’s games ended earlier (they are 7 p.m. starts), those stories and art came in first, and that’s what they made big.
Also, making matters worse was the Tyler Cole picture on 1C, not one of Henrietta. I obviously wasn’t very happy, and I was able to have them change the pic to one of a Henrietta defensive guy making a tackle for the final edition.
But anyone in Henrietta didn’t get the final edition. Those are only around the WF city limits.
There was a big pic of Crumpton on the jump, and I felt like I wrote the story like it was, but I was disappointed how our paper showcased the game. So I can only imagine how the Henrietta people feel.
I’m not naive enough to know that people think we have a Holliday bias at the paper. Honestly, I’ve never thought that to be the case since I’ve been around — if you’re good, you’re going to get more writeups, and Holliday has been one of our best teams around.
But like I said, I can see where Henrietta people would be upset. I just wanted to blog this because I know there are some Henrietta blog readers on this site, and I wanted to explain it wasn’t our fault. And if Holliday would have won, it still would have been played up just as small.
I expect Henrietta to make a deep playoff run, and if that’s the case, then they will definitely get their due (plus some good-sized play on 1C). I’m sorry it didn’t happen this time.
Anyway, if you know any peaved Henrietta people, please refer them to this blog. Because like I said, I want people to know this wasn’t done by us.
I’ll be out of town til Sunday night (gotta celebrate that monotonous 20-10 win over Baylor), so I’ll blog about everything that happened over the weekend then.
- Week 9 predictions
Friday, October 30th, 2009
We’ve got a big slate of games going on this week. Lots of playoff spots in the air, some good rivalries and some district titles on the line.Share
I already broke down the Holliday-Henrietta showdown in a previous blog post, so let’s look at the other meaningful games this weekend.
- There’s a book in my mind, hopefully a best-seller
Thursday, October 29th, 2009
My wife wants me to write a book.Share
She has heard all of my old stories over and over and over again and says she thinks other people would be interested in reading about my life.
Maybe she is just tired of hearing them and knows that if I am busy writing a book, I won’t have time to keep repeating them to her.
She has pretty much convinced me to do it.
My life can be divided into two parts.
There’s Nicky — the guy I was before 1972.
Then there’s Nick — the guy I have been since then.
If you knew Nicky, you really know me.
(Please don’t tell)
But most people only know me through my job here at the paper, which began in April 1972. It was then that I dropped the “y” from my first name so my byline would be more mature.
Nicky’s life centered around pool halls and bars for several years.
There is where the really good stories come from.
If you check out Wikopedia, I am there.
The online encyclopedia describes my life in two short paragraphs. — 63 words (but who’s counting?).
Mitch Albom is also a sports writer, but his Wikopedia biography is longer than most books in the New Testament.
The Detroit Free Press columnist is described as “best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician.”
The best-selling author part is what intrigues me.
It all started with some sports books that you have never heard of and then developed into “Tuesdays with Morrie.” The book reportedly has sold over 14 million copies and has been translated into 41 languages and made Mitch a whole lot more money than he ever earned covering the Lions.
Then came “The Five People You Meet in Heaven.”
That is the one that is now inspiring me.
My book could be titled “The Five People There Is No Chance in Hell You Will Ever Meet in Heaven.”
Too long, I know, but my idea is to write a book about the five strangest people I have ever known.
Having grown up here in Hooterville Falls, it will take a long time for me to narrow the list down to just five. But I can also save some for my sequel(s).
At the top of my list is Gary Suiter, a 6-9 basketball player, pool hustler, con man, thief and general all-around pain in the ass who was at Midwestern back in the late 60s.
I will keep you up to date every week or so on the progress I am making.
You start saving up to buy several copies.
- Senior photo leaves doubts about attending class reunion
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
“To fame and fortune, we will soar. Senior Class of 64.”Share
In high school, I was one of those kids who really didn’t fit in.
I was short.
I wore nerdy glasses.
I didn’t have a car.
I didn’t have any money.
I was not a star athlete.
I was not in the National Honor Society.
I was really nobody.
So I have never attended any of my class reunions.
Why should I?
Isn’t four years of suffering enough punishment for one guy?
But last week, thanks to Facebook, I was reunited with several others from Wichita Falls High School’s senior class of 1964.
I probably still don’t have much in common with these people, but the older you get, the more you enjoy reminiscing about the past.
I was really enjoying looking at the current pictures of all of my classmates, while at the same time wondering why they all got so old and I am still a youthful, handsome dude.
But not long after I joined the group, the woman who started the site put my high school annual picture up for everybody to see.
I need to call my lawyer.
This is surely worth some kind of big lawsuit.
I have told you this before, but as a kid, I was Ralphie on “A Christmas Story.”
The spitting image of that nerdy little kid.
As much as I’ve tried to forget my 17-year-old self, now here I am on the world wide web for everyone to see.
A fat-faced kid with glasses, a flat top, a phony smile and a Subway suit.
I’m not talking about the 5-dollar foot long Subway.
Back in the old days, the Hub was a really nice downtown men’s clothing store.
The Subway was in the basement of the store and had cheap stuff for us poor and needy folks.
My grandmother took me to Subway and bought me a cheap suit and a clip-one tie to wear to church on Sunday.
Senior photos required a suit and tie, so little Nicky wore his Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes to school on picture day.
I was a virgin when I graduated from high school, and I still blame picture day for that.
I didn’t even like crawling into bed with myself every night.
Now these people are talking about getting together for a 50th reunion in 2014.
I would really like to attend, but every time I look at the annual picture, I change my mind.
And after looking at the high school pictures of others in my class, they may be thinking the same thing.
I wasn’t the only nerd in town.
- Henrietta-Holliday is HUGE!!!
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Let’s be perfectly honest here. For weeks, folks from the towns of Holliday and Henrietta have waited for this matchup.Share
People might have said the whole “one game at a time routine” and the coaches most likely had their players buying in.
But eveyone else has been circling this one on the calendar ever since it was evident these two teams were two of the best 2A has to offer.
Before I give you my pick, I want to break down the game and offer some thoughts and comments.
- If you can read this, I’m back with my cheek turned
Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
I’m baaaaaack — again.Share
My absence from you the past few days was mostly a technical problem — but also a bit of a “pissed off” problem.
I wrote this great blog last week, slamming Rush Limbaugh for even thinking the NFL would allow his fat ass to own a part of a team in its league.
I used as evidence a lot of his racist comments.
All of you whose brains haven’t been washed by Fox News would have loved it.
But I couldn’t get it printed on our Web site.
The guy in charge of stuff like that said it was a corporate problem.
I was assured that Fox had not bought the TRN. My liberal thoughts were not being censored.
Still, I got pissy.
How dare I write such great prose and nobody is able to read it.
I pouted for a couple of days and have now gotten over it.
So hopefully everything is fixed and you are reading this.
In fact, if I had it all to do over again, I would not have written my bash Rush blog.
“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” may be in the Bible, but too many people use it as an excuse to get even.
In my profession it is so easy to bash the basher.
Somebody writes or say something you don’t agree with, you run to the computer and tell the world what an idiot he is for thinking differently from yours.
That’s how Fox News stays in business.
But real journalists should have learned with experience that we shouldn’t shoot the messenger just because we don’t like the message.
So from now on, instead of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” I will take the “turn the other cheek approach.”
Even when the messenger’s name is Rush and his message sucks.
- Playoff scenarios
Monday, October 26th, 2009
I’ve talked to coaches, punched numbers into calculators and gone over different possibilities and scenarios for several of our districts.Share
There’s a couple that are pretty clear-cut. And there’s also some districts with infinite possibilities.
Like did you know that besides the coin flip scenario in 9-A I blogged about the other day, there’s also the possibility of five teams (everyone but Electra) ending up at 3-2.
So in this blog, I’ll tell you who is in, who is out, who can get in with a win this week, and how I see it playing out. This does not look at DIvision I or DIvision II routes or possible down-the-line playoff matchups.
And full disclosure — there’s still a chance I missed some scenario that has a team making it after this week or something along the lines of that. I did talk to several coaches about this stuff, but there’s still lots that can happen. So if you still think your team has a chance, etc., feel free to comment.
- redmen_71 wins this week’s “Sack Zach”
Monday, October 26th, 2009
Seven different people tied for the most correct picks last weekend with 11, and several have already won “Football Freak” T-shirts.Share
So I decided to go with the person nearest the tiebreaker who hadn’t already won as this week’s winner, and it was redmen_71. He missed the Graham and Newcastle games.
Redmen_71, please e-mail me at email@example.com for your shirt.
I didn’t have a good week, missing four of the 13 picks. There’s a lot of good, close games that are toss-ups this week, so things could be interesting.
Here’s the season-long “Sack Zach” leaders:
1) Me — 89
2) Rcc — 88
2) Jacksooner — 88
4) Football 12 — 86
5) OldWildcat — 84
- Two reasons for excitement and other weekend thoughts
Sunday, October 25th, 2009
There are two things that are making me giddy like a school girl in the final two weeks of the high school football season.Share
One is Henrietta-Holliday. I think this one has the possibility of being phenomenal. I’ve been looking forward to this game for weeks, and the game deserves its own blog, which will come in a couple days.
The other is the coin flip that is becoming more and more likely every week in 9-A. As a matter of fact, if the favorites win out the rest of the way, we’ll be flipping.
By maxing out on points against Petrolia, Archer City has guaranteed that a three-way tie between them, Petrolia and Windthorst won’t be decided by points. All will be at zero.
So what needs to happen to get to this point, you ask?
Petrolia has to lose to Seymour and Munday, which isn’t that much of a stretch since I heard their QB Mitchell Heaton might be done for the year (he didn’t play against the Wildcats).
Archer City has to lose to district leader Munday, then beat last-place Electra, Also not stretches.
And Windthorst needs to beat Electra, then lose to Seymour. The Seymour game may be the one that keeps the coin toss from happening. The Panthers could have already locked up a playoff spot by then, and as Windthorst showed against Munday, it still has lots of fight left.
So there you have it. There’s the potential for an upset in every 9-A game, but by this time next week, we’ll have a better idea if this will happen.
Now onto some other thoughts of mine from the weekend:
- Week 8 predictions
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
This is the week where playoff pictures become more clear. Very few teams will have clinched after Friday night, but lots of teams will be one game away from doing so.Share
So next week will feature the first of two weekly blog breakdowns on who’s in, who can get in and who is out. For now, I’ll make my predictions for this week:
- 9-A has tiebreaker written all over it
Monday, October 19th, 2009
Last year, 9-A was pretty uneventful. No “Holy Crap” upsets, Archer City was hardly tested at 5-0, and the rest of the teams were slotted 4-1, 3-2, 2-3, 1-4 and 0-5.Share
It was a far cry from the last couple years for the district.
In 2006, Archer City beat Petrolia in the season finale to win the third-place tiebreaker over Munday (who had lots of juniors that would win the 2007 Class A title) and the Pirates. Besides the games state finalist Windthorst played in, every game was pretty much a toss-up.
In 2007, Munday and Seymour were the elite, but Windthorst won a third-place tiebreaker against Archer City and Petrolia. The Wildcats upset the Trojans in the penultimate week, then lost to the already-eliminated Pirates in an equal shocker the last week of the season.
I have a feeling another tiebreaker is headed 9-A’s way. Unlike in 2007, Windthorst might not be able to overcome this one.
- A string of blowouts and other weekend thoughts
Monday, October 19th, 2009
I have covered the most riveting ending to a game this year — Seymour’s goal-line tackle that beat Olney in the second week of the season.Share
Awesome game that was competitive the whole way through.
And the other five games I have covered — well, not so much. As I was driving back to the office Friday night, I realized I haven’t witnessed another close game all year.
It’s not like I picked blowouts on paper. Granted, I have thought one team would win by 10-14 in a couple games, but nothing like this.
Holliday-Windthorst, Graham-Burkburnett and Burkburnett-Vernon were all 35-7 at the half. The closest halftime score was Graham 25, Iowa Park 0. And then there was Henrietta beating Jacksboro 42-3 a few weeks ago.
I’m hoping my luck will change this week. I expect Holliday-Bowie to be very competitive, and next week’s Holliday-Henrietta should be a great one.
At least I hope so.
Now onto some of my other thoughts from the weekend:
- RedRaider83 wins Sack Zach
Saturday, October 17th, 2009
RedRaider83 got 13 of 14 picks right this week to win “Sack Zach” for the second week this season. He only missed Windthorst-Petrolia (everyone did) and was the only one to get Millsap over Jacksboro.Share
Four others, including me, got 12 of 14 right.
The important year-to-date standings (remember there is a prize) are:
1. Me — 80
2. Rcc — 78
2. Jacksooner — 78
4. Football — 77
5. Oldwildcat — 76
- Don’t think I’ve ever seen this before
Friday, October 16th, 2009
It’s halftime of the Burkburnett-Vernon game (though I’m not sure it’s much of a game).Share
The Bulldogs are winning 35-7. The amazing thing is they have 340 rushing yards in one half. They are averaging 11.7 yards per attempt.
I don’t think I have ever seen this before. And 500 yards should be a shoo-in, even with backups playing the second half.
What I want to know is how did Vernon shut out Hirschi? Because the Lions look like they’ve never seen the option before.
- Week 7 predictions
Friday, October 16th, 2009
I’m running a little behind this week. And while every district game is important, this week’s slate is lacking the sexy matchups that filled last week.Share
So we’ll do a quick one-sentence look at every game;
* The Colony at WFHS — Both lost close games to Little Elm in successive weeks. The Coyotes must win and I think they barely get it done at home.
*Rider at Denton — I had Rider playing Denton last week too (my bad) but this time they are really playing the Broncos. And they’ll also win easily.
* Iowa Park at Bridgeport — For the Hawks to win, they’ll need to play like they did in the second half against Graham. I think they hang close, but fall short, setting up the Bulls for the 5-3A title.
* Vernon at Burkburnett — This is where I’ll be at. There’s not such a huge gap in talent between these two teams that a Lion win is impossible. But I like the Bulldogs to get back on track.
* Bowie at City View — The biggest 5-2A game of the week. I’d give the Mustangs more of a chance if they weren’t so banged up. I have no idea if their QB is starting or not. They have the skill guys to hang with the Jackrabbits, but I like Bowie to pull this one out.
* Nocona at Holliday — If you can’t beat City View at home, there’s no way you’e going to beat Holliday on the road. Another big road win for the Eagles.
* Henrietta at Olney — Expect a lot of points from the Bearcats this week. They win big.
* Windthorst at Petrolia — This game could be close, but I expect the Trojans to take care of business coming off their biggest win of the season.
* Archer CIty ay Seymour — A must-win for both teams. Wildcats are getting more guys back, but it won’t be enough against the Panthers.
* Electra at Munday — Moguls win big. Expect another huge day from Munday QB (and area leading rusher) Kenyin Thompson.
* Quanah at Clarendon — Broncos easily handle Indians, dropping them to 0-2 in 4-A.
- Must-win games for several teams
Thursday, October 15th, 2009
No one wants to start district out at 0-2. It pretty much means there is no margin of error the rest of the season.Share
It’s not impossible to come back from an 0-2 start. But it doesn’t happen very often at all.
I remember Archer City began 0-2 with losses to Munday and Seymour in 2007, but it rebounded with wins the next two weeks, beating Windthorst along the way. But the Wildcats then lost to Petrolia that last week and missed out on the playoffs.
So there are a few teams facing must-win games this weekend. Who are they and what’s at stake? Let’s take a look.
- Some surprises, some I saw coming
Monday, October 12th, 2009
You gotta love district football season. It’s hard to gauge teams against another in non-district, and even some scores amongst common opponents don’t tell the full story.Share
But once district starts, it’s a lot easier to seperate the contenders from the pretenders. I thought last week provided some telling info.
Some “upsets” to use the term loosely, I saw coming. Others I did not.
- Lion2701 wins this week’s “Sack Zach”
Monday, October 12th, 2009
I thought there were a lot of toss-ups on this week’s picks, and I was right. And a few upsets — City View beating Nocona to name one — really made things wild.Share
Lion2701 won by getting 10 of 14 games correct. Me and two others were right behind him with nine.
So Lion 2701, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your “Football Freak” T-shirt.
Now for the season-long standings:
1) Yours Truly — 68
2) Rcc — 67
3) Jacksooner — 66
3) Football 12 — 66
5) Oldwildcat –64
- Week 6 predictions
Friday, October 9th, 2009
As the rain kept coming down in droves Thursday night, I kept thinking how the weather will make a big impact in some outcomes.Share
Obviously, both teams have to play in it. But the best way to slow down speed is to have to play on a sloppy, mucky, torn-up field.
So who will this help: Seymour (vs. Munday); Vernon (vs. Hirschi); Olney (vs. Holliday) and Nocona (vs. City View).
In the last two cases, I do not think the weather will swing the outcome of the game. I just feel Holliday and Nocona will win regardless.
But it could very well in the other two. And if I’m Coach Hall, I practiced on my field all week, turning it into mush. And I am hoping for more rain tonight.
Now onto the predictions:
- Levi Johnston’s sudden fame land him gig with Playgirl
Thursday, October 8th, 2009
I overheard a conversation this morning between a couple of female co-workers.Share
They were talking about Levi Johnston posing nude for Playgirl magazine.
I must be out of touch.
First off, I didn’t know who Levi Johnston was.
Second, I didn’t know Playgirl was still in business.
Had Americans made the wrong decision last year and put John McCain in the White House, Levi Johnston would have been within an “I do” and a heartbeat of being this country’s first son-in-law.
He was the kid who knocked up Sarah Palin’s daughter.
The two broke up right after their son was born last December.
Levi has since been trying to cash in on his sudden fame.
He wants to be an actor, but so far his only gig has been a TV commercial for pistachios.
Then Playgirl called.
I remember the magazine started back in 1973 when the feminist movement was in full swing — the girl answer to Playboy and Penthouse.
But since the magazine hadn’t called me wanting my sexy body on its centerfold, I just figured the magazine had folded.
They just don’t know what they are missing.
So what if Levi Johnston is 19 years old and has muscles
I am 62 years old and have a skin rash.
His only claim to fame is he knocked up a girl whose mother may run for president.
I once knocked up a girl who voted for president.