Please John, don't pick us to win it all

Friday, October 11, 2002
John Mesh

I'm on a roll.

And it's not a good roll.

The teams I picked to advance to the World Series -- the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves -- were both knocked out in the American and National League Divisional Series by the Anaheim Angels and the San Francisco Giants.

The Braves were my pick to win it all.

Silly me.

The Braves and Yankees join an ever-growing list of teams that I have jinxed out of postseason play by picking them to win.

They join the soon-to-be 0-6 St. Louis Rams (Super Bowl champions?) and Kansas Jayhawks (NCAA champions?) as teams that I have whammied.

Just call me the "Opposite Man" -- whatever I predict, the opposite happens.

There's a negative and contrary vibe surrounding my ability to forsee the outcome of sporting events.

I'm shocked that I haven't received any letters from major professional or college teams asking me not to pick them to win.

I can see it now:

Dear Mr. Mesh:

We (enter team here) are concerned about your recent predictions and the effect that your picks have had on other teams such as the St. Louis Rams and the Kansas Jayhawks.

We believe that the contrary mojo that you possess will have a negative influence on our team and send us into a deep funk from which we will never recover.

We think you will scar our players emotionally for life.

We urge you not to pick our team to win because that means we will lose for sure.

Please don't pick us.

Please don't pick us.

Please don't pick us.

Sincerely yours,

(enter coach or school president's name here).

P.S. Please don't pick us.

Because of my recent track record, I am not going to predict the outcome of any more sporting events for awhile.

I will withhold any predictions concerning the NCAA Division I college football bowl games, most notably the national championship game.

However, I can tell you that the only team that can beat the University of Miami is the Hurricanes' second string.

The other big threats to Miami repeating as national champions are Big 12 Conference and Red River rivals Texas and Oklahoma, who play Saturday.

Going into last weekend, I thought Kansas State had a shot at winning the Big 12 North title, but the Wildcats suddenly brain-locked on defense (particularly the secondary) and Colorado slammed them back to reality.

The Missouri Tigers could give Colorado a run for its money. Freshman quarterback Brad Smith ran for 213 yards in a loss to Oklahoma last weekend.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers host Missouri Saturday. The Huskers will find out how good Smith is. They will also find out if their starting quarterback Jammal Lord is up for the challenge.

I'm not going pick the outcomes for either the Texas-Oklahoma game or the Nebraska-Missouri game. So all four teams won't be affected by my hex.

Now that I've officially retired from the game-predicting business, there should be an influx of positive energy. But I cannot predict anything.

John J. Mesh is the sports editor of the McCook (Neb.) Daily Gazette. He predicts that today is Friday and tomorrow is Saturday, but that's as far as he goes. E-Mail him at

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