Saturday, November 29, 2014

Today is the final day...

...of the Illinois high school football season. I hope to watch at least parts of all four championship games on TV while eating leftovers from Thanksgiving, punctuated by naps and walks in the neighborhood with my dog, Stewart. (You have to turn your head a little.)

I watched the Rochester - Phillips game last night and just can't get over what a great team the Rockets are. Wow! Five consecutive 4A championships. That's amazing. Now Coach Derek Leonard can sit back and see if his dad, Ken, can make it two in a row over Montini in the 5A contest.

(Oh, and how about that finish in 3A!)

I didn't write a whole lot about football this week; I actually worked the last two days (if you can call what I do "work") and prepared the Thanksgiving meal almost single-handedly. (And that's not a dig at my wife; as the founder of a non-profit she's plenty busy. Besides, I'm the cook in the family; I like to eat, and I like it to turn out a certain way. And it turned out really well, by the way. So well, in fact, that I don't know if I'll ever be able to replicate it.)

But, as for writing about football, I wasn't really "feeling" it so I didn't force it. (One of the advantages of writing a blog is that you can pretty much do whatever you want. And if you don't feel like writing you don't have to; it's not like I have some editor breathing down my neck.)

I did get a compliment yesterday, though. As I was walking into Target I noticed this tweet:

15h15 hours ago
thanks for another GREAT year! You guys are the best!

Imagine that; getting recognized in the same breath as a bunch of professional writers. That's cool! (Almost as cool as getting mistaken for Mike Clark.)

Now, as for today's games, well, here are my quick and dirty predictions:

5A: No. 6 Montini (10-3) over No. 1 Sacred Heart-Griffin (13-0). 

Why? I don't know; do you think Ken Leonard can beat Chris Andriano twice in two years? I don't think so. Also, I'm going to say that the Leonards (and the Central State Eight Conference) will only go 1-1 in the finals this year. Are those good reasons? Probably not.

6A: No. 1 Nazareth (13-0) over No. 1 Lemont (13-0) in what could be the day's best tilt. (Still not sure about that word, "tilt." But other sportswriters use it and I get tired of saying "game" and "contest.") 

Come on, two undefeated No. 1 seeds who have never faced each other? That sounds like Stevenson - Glenbard West, and we all know how that one turned out. But I think it's the Roadrunners year and they'll prevail over the Indians in a squeaker. OT, anyone?

7A: No. 1 Providence (12-1) over No. 1 Cary-Grove (13-0) in my most confident pick of the day. (Quick, call your bookie and put your money on the Trojans!) 

I'm sorry, but when I look at this game I keep thinking of that other recent matchup between a Catholic League Blue team and a powerhouse from the far northwest suburbs: last year's Mount Carmel 30-0 shutout of Lake Zurich.  

The Celtics are the best team I've seen this year and the Trojans just haven't seen anyone like them. (Sorry, Julie. And Jim.)

8A: No. 1 Stevenson (13-0) over No. 3 Homewood-Flossmoor (11-2). 

I hate, hate, hate rematches. The Patriots already beat the Vikings in Week Two, 33-24; why should they have to play them again? (That's why I didn't bother with that Providence - Mount Carmel semifinal at Gately -- I already saw that movie.) 

But this one isn't a lock; the Patriots have to psych themselves up after last week's emotionally draining victory over Glenbard West. And the Vikings? They have nothing to lose; the smart money has them as the underdogs. They can play -- as they used to say -- with "reckless abandon." And they will. I expect a very close score but the Pats are finally going to bring a state championship trophy back to Lincolnshire. (Sorry, Kev.)

Enjoy the games everybody. I'll be live-tweeting my thoughts @BoringOldWhtGuy. It's been a great season, hasn't it?

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