"Nice pick Ford," bellows from the stands as I'm walking the sidelines on a Friday evening.
As I'm walking through the crowd on my way out of one game on my way to another I hear grumblings from the crowd, "Who in their right mind would pick them to beat us."
The next day while at the checkout counter of a local grocery store the cashier calls me a "traitor" for picking against the hometown team.
This is just some of the good natured ribbing you can expect if you're one of the 11 people that predicts the outcome of local high school football games in our weekly Grid Picks section of the TIMES NEWS. Whether it's the local bank president, a delivery guy, a cashier at the supermarket, and the list goes on, they will voice their opinion if you pick against their team.
I think I can speak for everyone involved that we are not hoping that a team wins or loses. We are just saying that we think they will win or lose. Most importantly, I want the student athletes, who literally leave their blood, sweat and tears on the field every Friday night, to know that we are not rooting against any teams.
All of the harassment was worth it this year. I ended the season at the top of the heap with a 140-40 record. That's a 77 percent winning percentage. Rod Heckman and Brad Hurley were right on my heels with 135-45 records. Patrick Matsinko leapfrogged a couple guys thanks to an impressive 28-2 record the last two weeks, ending with a 134-46 record for the season.
Jason Boris threw caution to the wind last week, picking quite a few upsets in a failed attempt to catch up. In what might very well be his first ever losing week Boris went 6-9 last week to finish the season in fifth place with a 132-48 season.
Justin Carlucci, Andy Steinmetz, Ed Hedes, Emmett McCall, Rich Strack and TJ Engle finished in the sixth through 11th spots in that order.
I might not be hoisting a trophy, or heading to the bank with a big check, but I get something better. I get bragging rights until next season. Those who know me understand that bragging rights are more important than any trophy or check.