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Weekly Whatup, 1/27
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                Ah, Super Bowl week. All the build-up for what will likely be a big disappointment. Sorry to start the week off on such a pessimistic approach.

                Do you remember last year? Can the Patriots go undefeated? Can the underdog Giants do the unthinkable and knock off the 18-0 Pats? There was Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Teddy Bruschi, Randy Moss, Eli Manning and a gun-less Plaxico Burress. Mm-mmm that was a tasty menu.

                And it turned out to be the best meal you ever had. You gorged yourself on a fourth-quarter drive that appeared to gives the New Englanders the game. You stuffed your face with a Houdini-esque scramble and a one-handed, helmet catch for a miracle first down. You ate one last bite of a shocking touchdown catch that clinched a great upset that everyone outside of the Great Northeast could enjoy.

                This year, I’m afraid, you may never go back to this restaurant.  The meal may indeed turn out to be sufficient, but the menu doesn’t offer any real excitement.

The Arizona Cardinals are certainly intriguing, making their first Super Bowl and doing it by beating three quality teams from the East. The quarterback Kurt Warner has been here before, the veteran running back Edgerrin James is grumpy but getting the job done and the two young receivers, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, are the best tandem in the league.

                Across the field are Ben’s Boys from Pittsburgh. Mean, nasty and likely to knock someone out cold before the day is gone, the Steelers will likely turn this game into a slow and stale piece of meat before all is said and done.

                Furthermore, in years past, at least we could look toward the commercials as something to cheer us up between punts. Now I fear Bud Light will just lecture us on ‘drinkability’, Pepsi will explain its uncanny ability to be a part of every historic cultural moment in history and car manufacturers will lure us into their lies of clean-fuel technology. Pass the chips and put on the Puppy Bowl.

                So with all that being said I still won’t miss a single play of the game — which means I have to give you, my loving and faithful readers, a prediction.

                Cardinals score early and give the commentators something to talk about for a quarter and a half, but Pittsburgh chips away slowly but surely. Steelers 19, Cardinals 7.

                After an 0-1 week for Sir Chaddicus, 113-91.


High School Ball

                I haven’t really gotten too in-depth about boys’ side of the hardwood this year. It had been a little too early to begin speculation as to who is a contender and who’s a pretender.

                But as January comes to a close the clouds have begun to lift and we can see who’s leading the way: Metter and Statesboro.

                Both the Blue Devils and the Tigers are in the Top Ten in their respective classifications and both have already made statements to the rest of their respective leagues. Metter beat the only team to previously beat them, Johnson County, then turned around and put 102 on the scoreboard on Saturday night. That’s a little over three points/minute, folks.

                As for SHS, coach Lee Hill’s boys went to Brunswick this weekend and survived a hostile environment to steal a region road win and remain perfect in 2-AAAA. They can win a track meet, they can win a slow game, they can win with one scorer, they can win with five, they can win inside and they can win outside. Just test ‘em and see what happens.

                Behind them I’d have to think are Bulloch Academy and Southeast Bulloch. The Gators have been awfully hot in the month of January, but something tells me their best basketball is still to come. As for the Yellow Jackets, two of the state’s Top Ten team’s are in their region: they took one to overtime and lost to the other by three. Coaches hate “moral victories” but I have to think that can only mean good things for SEB come 3-AA tournament time.

                Then finally, there’s Portal, my sleeper in all this. The Panthers are currently in a stretch run that would make any coach cringe: Metter, Groves, Calvary Day, Wilkinson County and Savannah Country Day (not particularly in that order).

                If they survive that with their heads above water — not necessarily through wins and losses but through mental stamina — they should be battle-tested enough to qualify for the Region 3-A tourney. There I believe they’ll be able to put some things together and make it back to the state playoffs.

                On the girls’ side, I won’t hold back when I say it’s been a down season. The Lady Blue Devils have battled youth as we expected but have a good shot at returning to state. The Lady Gators of BA are in the hunt for a region title but have certainly shown some vulnerability. The best team around is likely Screven County, which entered the Top Ten in Class AA last week.

                There’s only three weeks left in the regular season for the prep kids, so I urge you to get out to the gym and support their efforts.