Guru grapples with perfection and gets 1-2-3
Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012 7:02 pm
Curt Henning, you have company.
The late wrestling great — billed as “Mr. Perfect” in the squared circle before his untimely death nearly a decade ago — was forced to share his trademark moniker last week with another figure in sports entertainment.
The Hitman — Friday football’s fantastic finals forecaster — flawlessly floored all challengers with only a pencil as a foreign object and dispelled any notion that he would relinquish his long-held championship belt.
The game’s glorious gridiron guru grappled with greatness while gouging games 1-25 and posting just the third-ever unblemished slate during his storied tenure as the positively-peerless prep pigskin prognosticator.
Having played the role of both “good guy” and “heel” during his unprecedented main event run, the sensational sideline soothsayer’s status is again essentially cemented with a 26th consecutive season of shattering the once-coveted .800 ceiling with a current 198-32 (.861) mark entering the final week of the regular season.
Hoping not to tap out, or be unmasked, and intent on not giving away the secret of whether his role is real or merely staged, the awesome all-knowing augur puts his title on the line again with this week’s picks.
See you at the game.
UNION CITY @ HUMBOLDT — Though certainly not a true modern-day version of the tortoise vs. the hare, the Tornadoes hope to arrive at the finish line ahead of H’boldt using a slower and more methodical pace than what the speedy Vikings prefer. The automatic playoff berth that’ll go to the victor is much more valuable to UC than Humboldt as the Twisters would get a first-round bye with that perk, while the Vikes are certain to play in Round 1 regardless. A victory would not only give Union City a much-needed boost into the postseason, but also the confidence it’ll need against the likes of Huntingdon and West Carroll — if the Purple and Gold can advance deep into November. Good health and good fortune are critical to the Tornadoes’ chances, though staying away from turnovers and untimely penalties could trump the luck issue. The latest in a long line of Humboldt burners is Nic McLilly, a track guy and pretty good running back who fits the program’s mold with already more than 2,000 rushing yards this season. He’ll provide the true answer to the question of if the Twisters’ defense is really improved of late against such big-play makers as Darren Bowling says. UC’s biggest ally could be Mother Nature with chilly temps and wet conditions predicted. That should fit perfectly with the program’s modus operandi (MO) of being physical and built for such adverse environments that go hand-in-hand with November on the calendar and playoff time. Call it an upset, the logical choice or just a hunch, but call it — UNION CITY.
OBION CENTRAL @ DYERSBURG — Things certainly haven’t gone as hoped for — nor predicted by those closest to the program — on the heels of the Rebels’ record-setting campaign a year ago. And while the physical shortcomings have become more obvious against considerably better competition the past two weeks, a big group of seniors who’ll play their last game in this one shouldn’t let the 2012 season spoil the overall experience from the grand game of life. This particular OCCHS class will graduate with three postseason trips, just the second playoff victory in school history, and likely with a break-even record (22-22) — a rarity for a four-year period at a school still essentially in search of its true football identity after more than a half-century. A handful of good players who’ll complete memorable careers in this one will be joined by a handful more with considerable promise and eligibility remaining and are now forever linked by a game that lives eternally in the hearts of boys and men who play it — no matter the results. All that said, though, those warm and fuzzy truths won’t keep the inevitable from happening for Central against a Trojan team whose only regular season loss will be vs. unbeaten and No. 2 ranked Covington. D’burg has flown somewhat under the radar while posting its impressive mark, but will likely look to take out some frustration on still probably being no better than a four-seed in the playoffs despite its record on anybody it can. Unfortunately, for OCCHS, the Rebels just happen to be next on the schedule. — DYERSBURG.
In other games, it’ll be — Huntingdon over Dresden, West Carroll over McKenzie, Lake Co. over Halls, Trenton over Greenfield, Gleason over Bruceton, Crockett Co. over Gibson Co., Milan over Haywood, South Gibson over Westview, Covington over Ripley, Brighton over Dyer Co., Fayette Academy over Jackson Christian School, USJ over Tipton-Rosemark, Liberty over Bolivar, Jackson Northside over Hardin Co., Chester Co. over Fayette-Ware, Lexington over McNairy Co., Trinity Christian over Scotts Hill, Riverside over Middleton, Camden over Creek Wood, Henry Co. over Rossview, Murray over Fulton Co., and Reidland over Fulton City.
Published in The Messenger 10.25.12