The holiday season creates early deadlines in the newspaper business. I am sitting here on a blustery Saturday morning watching snowflakes trickle down slowly. The fact that just yesterday I sat in a deer blind in a short-sleeve shirt says welcome to Michigan weather at its finest. It’s absolutely nuts!
What am I waiting for at nine o’clock on this Saturday morning you ask? Why, the excitement of ESPN College Game Day in Kalamazoo, Michigan today. I live 20 minutes from campus and it’s caused this place some super excitement and hoopla. I think it’s awesome that ESPN has gone to a smaller school to promote an undefeated Western Michigan football team. The MAC Conference is getting some love from the network and it will be showcased all across the country. The turnaround of Western Michigan football by coach PJ Fleck should be a national story, and with ESPN here, it will get the exposure it deserves.
Let’s also stand up and clap our hands for Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, who are bowl eligible. Central and Western have been to bowl games over the past five years. The Eastern Michigan team has been a doormat for decades. Guess what? The doormat has been replaced with a new one and Eastern is going bowling. The Fat Guy hopes to attend the Western Michigan game next Friday when the Toledo Rockets come to Kalamazoo. I try to support my local team by attending two games a year and the Fat Guy loves tailgating and adult barley pops.
Row the boat Western Michigan! The coach at Western Michigan has installed that slogan at Western Michigan for those of you who don’t know what that means. So keep on rowing Western Michigan. The MAC action is fantastic football; watch yourself some!
No Heimlich maneuver
The Detroit Lions’ annual Thanksgiving Day game will find the Lions taking on the Minnesota Vikings. The Fat Guy loves to call them the Horny Helmets. The Lions just defeated the Horny Helmets in Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. The epic comeback win was in overtime. The Lions should come into this game at 6-4 if they take care of business tomorrow (Sunday) against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Lions better not do the Lions choke job on Sunday. I am headed down to the game on Sunday and also on Turkey Day. The Fat Guy is usually very cautious when predicting what the Lions will do on the football field.
Remember, this is the first-place Lions at that. I really think that Matty Stafford will not let the Lions lose these two home football games. The leadership he has shown this season has impressed me, for once! He is the fourth-quarter king of comebacks. He has been cool under pressure and maybe, just maybe, this team is growing into a division-winning team. I used the word maybe, so I won’t guzzle the pitcher of grape Kool Aid. I’ll take a sippy cup of it. I will let the Detroit Lions decide where they want to take their fan base with these two critical games in a five-day span. Let’s be brutally honest, though. The Lions’ division is not very strong, so it’s winnable. The Minnesota Vikings have lost four in a row after starting out 5-0. The Green Bay Packers are in total free fall. I don’t think Aaron Rodgers can save the Pack this season. The defense for Green Bay is abysmal and Rodgers cannot do one thing about the defense, which will seal the Packers’ fate. The Lions should not lose another home game this season. The Jacksonville, Minnesota, Chicago and Packers games should all be W’s for the lovable cuddly Lions. Oh, boy is the Fat Guy in generous holiday spirits with the Lions! I know many of you will say bah humbug to the boys in Honolulu Blue and Silver and how could I blame you? The Lions should be invited to all fans funerals so “They Can Let You Down One Last Time;” one of my favorite lines.
There will be no picks this week due to early press deadlines. They have been awful, so you are not missing anything. Be careful out there in the Black Friday shopping frenzy. It’s not a sport! Be kind to everyone and have great patience! firstname.lastname@example.org