Nell picks the winner "by a field goal"

Monday, February 4, 2008

Nell Dikeman and I have had this running joke for the past five or six years about how the Tigers were going to win their games "by a field goal," no matter how much they should actually be favored by.

So when I was asking for predictions from Tribune and Nevada Daily Mail staffers for last Sunday's edition of the Herald-Tribune, Nell naturally said that the winner would win "by a field goal."

And she picked the Giants. I honestly don't remember why now but she had a fairly good reason, something better than a gut feeling.

So, lo and behold, Nell got it right. The Giants won and it was by a field goal.

Nell probably won't be in the office until later in the week to work on her "Other Years" column but I bet she's already thinking about what to say when she does come in.

Nine of the 23 respondents picked the Giants. Of those 23, no one figured the winner would score less than 20 points nor did they think the loser would score fewer than 17.

Fort Scott Managing Editor Robin Hixson got the closest to the actual final score among those who picked New York with her pick of 26-21. Our office manager, Teresa Klumpp, was closest to the final score as she saw a 21-19 game -- but she picked the Patriots.

As for me, technically, I was wrong twice. I said 34-24 in my column on Sunday but didn't pay attention and put 34-27 in the prediction box. In both instances, I picked New England -- at least I was consistent in that regard.

More people in Fort Scott picked New York (five of 12) but Nevada had the higher percentage of correct picks (four of 10).

But it just goes to show once again why the games are played on the field, not on paper.

Before I walked into Arnold Arena Saturday afternoon to watch the Coffeyville-Fort Scott college basketball doubleheader, I was informed by Coffeyville's radio announcer that Coffeyville Journal sports editor Kevin Krier had passed away earlier that morning.

The news was shocking. Despite the fact that he has had problems with epilepsy, he looked to be in good health, which made the news seem even more stunning.

I've known Kevin since I was in high school at Garden City. He was sports editor at the Telegram at that time. Over the weekend, once word got out to other sports people in the state, I got a good indication of how respected he was, especially on the juco circuit.

The people at the Coffeyville Journal still had to put a paper out for Sunday morning. The news waits for nothing, not even death. There's no Monday paper in Coffeyville but his co-workers will have to deal with his absence Tuesday morning. He died in the office and I can not imagine how those people are going to feel knowing that.

If you decide to offer a prayer, please, think not only of Kevin's immediate family but his extended one in Coffeyville as well.