"It's the most wonderful time of the year. With the kids jingle belling, and everyone telling you, "Be of good cheer," It's the most wonderful time of the year"
Eddie Pola and George Wyle
Yes, it is that most wonderful time of the year....the holidays are here! And we all know what that means. Massive consumer spending, maxed out credit cards, far too many carbohydrates, and...of course...a veritable smorgasbord of bowl games! All of them ranging from the mundane and meaningless to the pinnacle of excitement and ultimate achievement! And that can only mean....
THE THIRD ANNUAL BOWLAPALOOZA!!!!!!
But first things first. Many of you noticed I took a hiatus near the end of September from Tick’s Picks. The official notice from Tick Enterprises stated that the reason was due to other professional obligations and lack of time. But....there are theories out there as to the TRUE reason that Tick took a holiday from prognostication....
TOP TEN REASONS TICK QUIT!!!!!!
10. Tick won the powerball and went on a 10 week rampage in Vegas...
9. Tick was abducted by aliens and was subjected to...well...unSPEAKABLE torture...such as being forced to watch soccer played in third world countries.
8. Tick was admitted to the home for “old timers” disease...BuckAnEar signed the commitment papers after having to ride through Chattanooga on the way to Gainesville...twice.
7. Tick sat at home curled up fetal after the South Carolina game, muttering... “The dawgs are coming...the dawgs are coming...”
6. Tick was banned by the International Brotherhood of Football Prognosticators after it was discovered that he was providing the predictions in John Adams’ pick board for John’s dog, Arf Adams....
5. Tick was taken to court by NOW for the insensitive comments made during the short-lived “X-Wives” episodes....and had to go to sensitivity training. (I can now say that I am culturally diverse and accepting of all variations of human existence...WHAT???? GAY MARRIAGES IN MASSACHUSETTS???!!!!)
4. Tick joined the Legion of the Miserable...at one point calling for the head of Phillip Fulmer. (Actually, this is not a joke....)
3. Tick and Tennstud joined in an unholy alliance and went on a fact finding mission deep into Bammer territory to dig up more on the Tide.
2. Tick was contacted by agents of the government who told him that only HE could find the true conspiracy against UT football by deciphering the code found in SI, The Sporting News, and ESPN the Magazine....(and people claimed that I was schizo and subjected me to electro shock and the like)...but I HAVE PROOF...I HAVE THE PROOF...IT’S ALL HERE....
AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON TICK LEFT
1. Tick and “The Twins” spent a 10 week vacation in Aruba....wooooooooooo!!!!!
Congratulations to the LSU Tigers for winning the SEC Title! Now go represent the conference and bring back a National Championship to the SEC!! (Or at least a share of it!)
Louisiana State University: 2003 SEC Champs!!!
OH, THE HUMANITY!!! PART THREE
It appears to be official....this year, the poor souls exiled to the barren wastes of Boise, Idaho are none other than....(drum roll, please..)....THE GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS!!!
That’s right, Rambling Wreckers! You are condemned to go play in that ultimate football purgatory...freezing cold weather AND the most screwed up field in college football...the BLUE TURF!!!!
So, how did the Jackets wind up on the road to this gridiron gulag? Let's review...
1. Well, things didn't start too badly for the Wreck. A road loss to BYU was followed up by the biggest win of the year...a 17-3 thumping of the War Tiggers in Atlanta.
2. But, all good things come to an end. Back to back losses to Florida State and Climpson puts the Jackets at 1-3. Maybe a losing season looms...
3. But, no...they can't be that lucky. Fate intervenes, and the Jackets go on a 4 game winning streak, with wins over NC State, Wake Forest, and Maryland. Suddenly, Tech is at 5-3, and a real bowl in a non-arctic location seems possible...
4. But...cruel fate intervenes once more...losses to Duke, Virginia and Georgia start the final collapse, and Georgia Tech is a boxcar willie.
And, like most hobos, they will be sent riding the rails to the Potato Bowl in Boise...sometimes, maybe having a LOSING season would be preferable!
(One dark and stormy evening (I've always wanted to use that intro!), the head of the BCS comes to a hidden complex, somewhere in the hills outside of ESPN...he is encountered by another man....
BCS: "Hello, Dr. Nimrod...how are you this evening?"
Nimrod: "I'm doing fine...how are things in the outside world?"
BCS: "Not too good....your "infallible" system has screwed up on us again...we've the number one team in both "Human" polls being shut out of the BCS title game...do you know how stupid this makes us look? What about you and your damn computers?"
Nimrod: "Ahem...as I explained to you last time...it is difficult to quantify football into a mathematical formula...seems that there are no algorithms or equations that can determine the depth of a human heart’s desire to play...or the lack of intensity of his opposition.”
BCS: “I’m in deep doodoo this time...all the press and the people are screaming for a playoff...A PLAYOFF!!!! The powers that be will never permit a playoff!!! You know that...I’m doomed...there’s no way to ‘tweak’ the system so that it doesn’t break!”
Nimrod: “Well...I wouldn’t say that...in fact...we’ve something new that we’ve just developed. Follow me, please.”
(The BCS head follows Dr. Nimrod into a darkened chamber. Through a glass, the head sees three people attached to wires, floating in a pool of water.)
BCS: “What the heck is this, Nimrod...water ballet?”
Nimrod: “No...this is the solution to your question. They are the pre-cogs!”
BCS: “The what?!!”
Nimrod: “Pre-cogs. They are people who have the power to see into the future.”
BCS: “C’mon, Nimrod...you’re pulling my chain...”
Nimrod: “No...let me explain. Back in the sixties, the parents of these people were a bunch of..well...stoners! They volunteered for experimental drug research, seeking the ultimate high’...these children were born after the experiments...and they have an ability to...well...detect future events surrounding violence...more specifically, the violence inherent in a football game. They can see one week into the future..and determine who can win...”
BCS: “You’re BS’ing me, Nimrod! That’s not possible!”
Nimrod: “We have run tests throughout this season...they have been 100% accurate...”
BCS: “Well, why do they sit down there in the pool, floating?”
Pre-cog #1: “Because it’s comfortable!”
Nimrod: “Well, let’s show you how this works....Pre-cogs...please concentrate on the New Orleans Bowl this week...give me a score...”
(Suddenly, lights go off and on all over the place...the pre-cogs twitch in the pool, and suddenly, down a plastic tube comes a wooden ball with words engraved into it...)
Nimrod: “Please read the words on the ball, sir..”
BCS: “It says....28-21...North Texas..”
Nimrod: “You think that’s a fake...this one was made LAST week...” (He tosses another to the BCS head.)
BCS: “Uh...35-7...Kansas State..”
Nirmod: “What do you think?”
BCS: “No...no...it’s not possible..”
Nimrod: “Think of it...we know the scores...what’s going to happen...we can manipulate the BCS poll to reflect the knowledge that we have...if we could have done this...we could have mysteriously ‘docked’ OU in the week before the Big 12 game...maneuvered LSU and USC into the top spot...let’s face it...everyone’s too stupid to know that the computer poll will be ‘rigged’ to reflect what the pre-cogs already know! It’s perfect...completely perfect!”
BCS: “But...what if Vegas finds out? We could wind up wearing cement overshoes for something like this....”
Nimrod: “Well...I did bet my life savings on the Big 12 game last week...now I’m a millionaire...”
BCS: “Well...I’ll think about it...but, can’t we do this some other way...somewhat less ‘technical’?”
Nimrod: “Well, the boys and I have been working on this project over here on the wall...preliminary tests show some improvement over the current system..”