The magic of sports


Sports Editor



The last few days in the sports world have been full of tragedy and sadness, but almost as if we were living in a Disney movie, a magical moment arose. 

The Miami Marlins, playing their first game since losing their young pitcher Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident Sunday, Sept. 25, put together a captivating performance Monday. 

After a tearful and moving pre-game ceremony, one of Fernandez’s best friends on the team, Dee Gordon, came up to bat in the Marlins’ first plate appearance. He stepped to the plate wearing Fernandez’s helmet and batting from the right side (Gordon is a lefty). He proceeded to take a pitch in his friend’s honor, then switched back over to the left side and belted a home run on his very first swing. 

Though I didn’t see it live, I have watched numerous replays since and it was an incredible moment. Gordon trots around the bases and begins crying, and once he touches home plate, basically breaks down, giving his teammate a long embrace, visibly overcome with emotion. 

The guy hit a home run in the very first at-bat since his teammate and friend’s death, in the first game at home. It was such an incredible moment, and I watched it behind a computer screen. I can’t begin to even imagine what that must’ve been like for the entire Miami Marlins organization, Fernandez’s family and the fans in attendance. 

Moments like these are why I, and millions of others, love sports. They can often be filled with corruption, greed, bravado and violence, but when we need it most, the moments seem to come through for us. 

I continue to be amazed by the beautiful moments of sports, which is why I will never give up on it. We can do without the steroids, the huge contracts, the political statements, the back-door dealings, but when the true beauty of sports comes out, there’s nothing else that compares. 

So, here’s to many, many, many more years of magic, I know I’ll be watching. 

Now that we have that somber opening out of the way, it’s on to the Bee’s weekly football contest. 

There was a three-way tie for first in week five. providing the most competitive week to date.  

Veronica Van der Meer of Jefferson prevailed out of the bunch with 15 correct picks against just two misses (Greene County and Michigan State), predicting a total score of 955, closest to the actual total of 797.

Kyle Kinne of Jefferson claimed second place with 15 correct picks and two misses and a total score of 969. 

Tuck Lautner of Jefferson was the third entrant with 15 correct picks and two misses, predicting a total score of 980. 

There once again were 61 total entries this week.  

Congratulations to all the winners.


I myself had a bounce back week, going a season-best 12-4-1 and 7-1-1 in the college picks. Let’s see if I go back to my old habits or this becomes the norm. 

On to the picks!


* Season record: 52-31-2


1. Greene County (0-5) at Boone (4-1)

Boone has been a relative surprise in district two and shouldn’t have much trouble with a struggling Greene County offense. 

2. Ballard (3-2) at Iowa Falls-Alden (3-2)

Ballard in a much closer battle then I would’ve expected a few weeks ago. 

3. Dallas Center-Grimes (4-1) at Webster City (4-1) 

Webster City has found another star running back and they roll in this one.

4. Gilbert (4-1) at Perry (2-3) 

Gilbert crushes Perry in a bounce-back game for the Tigers. 

5. South Central Calhoun (4-1) at Kuemper Catholic (4-1)

This one is tough, an explosive offense (S. Central Calhoun) against a stout defense (Kuemper). I give the Titans the slight edge here, just because they can out score the Knights. 

6. Carroll (5-0) at Harlan (2-3) 

Harlan has a high-scoring offense but Carroll has the defensive chops and they can control the clock with their run game. Tigers win. 

7. Coon Rapids-Bayard (4-1) at West Harrison (1-3)

The Crusaders have found their groove and will run it down the throat of the Hawkeyes for an easy victory. 

8. Glidden-Ralston (2-3) at Charter Oak-UTE (1-4)

This one is tricky. The Bobcats’ only victory this year was against Boyer Valley, who stomped Glidden-Ralston last week. I still give the Wildcats the edge against a vulnerable defense. 

9. Ogden (1-4) at West Central Valley (1-4)

A toss up game thrown in here this week. Both teams struggle offensively but I give Ogden the edge because of a better run game. 



10. Northwestern (+13.5) at Iowa 

I’m going to continue to ride the underdogs against Iowa until they prove to me they can put up some points. Now that they are down a receiver it’s even less likely they cover. 

11. Baylor (-17) at Iowa State

The Cyclones don’t have the defense to cover this line, even if the Bears may be in some turmoil currently. 

12. Southern Illinois (2-1) at UNI (1-2)

Picking this game straight up since it’s the Panthers’ homecoming. UNI takes it in a game I know nothing about. 

13. Illinois (+21) at Nebraska 

This line seems a little high. Nebraska is good, but not that good. 

14. Wisconsin (+10.5) at Michigan 

I’m fading the public on this one, everyone must be on the Wolverines (which I don’t know why) as the line has moved a point-and-a-half. Michigan wins but Wisky covers.

15. Louisville at Clemson (+2)

Same thing applies here. The public has been banging the Cardinals hard and has caused the line to completely switch teams. I’m going with Deshaun Watson and the Tigers at home. 

16. Michigan State (-6.5) at Indiana

You have to think the Spartans come out angry this week after getting smoked at home. I’m going MSU here. 

17. Minnesota at Penn State (-3)

I’m taking the Nittany Lions because they are at home. That’s the only reason.

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