Stopped by to talk with my boss earlier this week and he was having a good laugh about what happened last Friday night.
He, his brother and a couple of their friends drove down to Goose Creek to get a closer look at the Fighting Gators football team. Didn't happen.
"When we got there, game attendance was four,'' the boss said with a forced smile across his face. "They played Thursday night, so we showed up a day late.''
And it was a shame because my boss, Paul, is a huge high school sports fan. He went to Lower Richland High School, so it's not like he hasn't driven a long way and not seen a football game on Friday night. Sorry. Had to say it.
Never miss a local story.
But he was upbeat, already making plans for games he wants to see over the next few weeks. One thing about Paul and his road warriors, they will load up the car and drive anywhere in the state if they believe a good game is on store.
So I felt kinda bad breaking the news to him. Talk about a series of blows to the old gut.
"At least I'll get to see Goose Creek when they play Northwestern in the state championship game,'' Paul said, this time with a smile on his face that wasn't forced.
Uh, boss, hold them horses just a minute. Gotta tell you something: "Won't happen.''
"I don't know,'' he replied. "Northwestern is good, but I've heard Goose Creek is good too and might be the only team that can bear the Trojans. Should be a great game. When would they play?''
"Er, boss, not in the state championship game on Dec. 4 in Columbia,'' I said. "They are in the same bracket and if they play, it would be in the semifinals the day after Thanksgiving. True. Really. Life and football aren't always fair.''
Paul had to look on the Internet to make sure what he had been told was correct. Gotta say, it hurt a little that he did that.
So now that we have that established: WHAT THE HECK?
Another injustice because the state's Class AAAA coaches and ADs won't fix an obviously flawed playoff system. They insist piling up points and using them to decide pairings is fair, and in most cases, shows they were right..
Wrong. Come on guys. When are y'all gonna get rid of the points, the 11th game and run your playoffs like Class AAA? The top four teams from each region go, with tiebreakers figured in to break any gridlock. And don't tell me: "But we're a 4A and what we do is fair.'' How many teams in your classification that made the playoffs could beat South Pointe, Berkeley or Myrtle Beach?
So what we have is what we get. If Northwestern and Goose Creek meet in the Class AAAA Division II semis, that will mean both are 14-0. Pretty good.
Goose Creek is the No. 1 seed of 16 teams in the division, and it's fair. Northwestern is No. 4 and among the eight teams on the same side of the bracket with Goose Creek. Foul.
Seeded No. 2, Greenwood is the top seed in the other side of the bracket. The Eagles are 10-1, losing only to 11-0 Dorman, top seed in Division I, 35-28. But No. 2? That would be 10-1 North Augusta, a team Northwestern routed 42-14 in the sixth game this season.
So let's take care of some business:
Upset of the week: Clover over Dutch Fork in AAAA Division I
I wanna go: Fairfield Central at Union County in AAA.
Don't wanna go: Chesnee at Central in AA
Game of the week: Calhoun County at Abbeville in A Division I
My team that I know nothing about: Bamberg-Ehrhardt Red Raiders in A DI, who host Ridgeland.
Team to watch: Gaffney in AAAA DI, hosts Wando
My picks, starting with Class AAAA Division I
First round: Dorman over White Knoll; Fort Dorchester over Stratford; Irmo over Spartanburg, Gaffney over Wando; Summerville over Blythewood, Boiling Springs over Lexington; Clover over Dutch Fork and Byrnes beat Mauldin.
Second round: Dorman over Fort D; Gaffney over Irmo; Summerville over Boiling Springs; Clover over Byrnes.
Semifinals: Gaffney over Dorman; Summerville over Clover.
State championship: Gaffney over Summerville. Folks have been talking trash about the Indians for several years, saying they have been on a downward swoon. Gaffney is gonna answer with a: "Swoon this, wrestling school''
Class AAAA Division I
First round: Goose Creek over Conway; Beaufort over Easley; Northwestern over James Island; Lugoff-Elgin over Ashley Ridge; Greenwood over Laurens; Wren over South Florence; North Augusta over Richland NE; T.L. Hanna over J.L. Mann.
Second round: Goose Creek over Beaufort; Northwestern over Lugoff-Elgin; Greenwood over Wren; North Augusta over Hanna.
Semifinals: Northwestern over Goose Creek; North Augusta over Greenwood.
State championship: Northwestern over North Augusta in another blowout. Too much (Justin) Worley and (Robert) Joseph.
Since the playoffs in the other three classifications in the second round, let's fast forward to the state championship games.
Class AAA: South Pointe over Myrtle Beach. Jadeveon Clowney, Gerald Dixon and the other Stallions defenders will have a field day. The Seahawks get caught in a stampede.
Class AA: Timberland beats Central. Eagles live in trees. Timberland is an area when trees grow. Need more reasons?
Class A DI: Bamberg-Ehrhardt beats Abbeville. I know a Herald writer from Calhoun Falls with the initials BB that was born in Abbeville. That has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of this game.
Class A DII: Christ Church stops Scott's Branch. A little divine intervention would help, but this Christ Church team is undefeated and has surprised the state all season.
Now it's time for the annual warning that always follows the rant. Try this at home with your picks. When all the games are finished, send an email with how you did. I trust you and don't even need a sheet with your picks on it.
Once I get enough, look for my next state championship column: I kicked BB's butt. Would love to put your name in the sports section.