As you read this, I should be 30,000 miles above ground, sitting on an Alaska Airlines jet headed to Washington state.
Saturday marks the first anniversary of the passing of my dad, and I’m surprising my mom — my two sisters and brother already know (I had to tell them so I wouldn’t be stranded at the airport) — with a short visit. Barring weather delays, I will be back early next week. I know what your thinking, I spoiled the surprise by sharing it in this space. Don’t worry. Mom doesn’t read this column.
The family is getting together that day to remember dad, who lost his battle with cancer at the young age of 56. The day will be filled with all his favorite things — Christmas movies, Skip Bo, pizza bread, pineapple upside-down cake, bean dip and dipped pretzels. And of course stories. Lots of stories.
It’s a good thing that I shed a few pounds from Lindsay Knight’s evil 30-day challenge diet, because, from the sounds of it, I will be coming back heftier.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my dad. I often talk to him in the shower — mostly about sports and the Clarkston Zoo (by the way, thanks to all the readers who messaged me after last week's column. We appreciated reading each one and were overwhelmed by how many people loved reading about Gizmo.)
It’s hard to believe a year has passed since my last “real” conversation with my dad.
I posted a 3-2 record in Week 8, which upped my season total to 24-16.
There is not an abundance of great games in Week 9, but here are the best five of the group.
What should Jacksonville do with Nick Foles? With Gardner Minshew leading the Jags to a 4-4 record, it is going to be hard to sit him.
I’ve been all in on Minshew from his days at Washington State University.
Clarkston — Jaguars
It’s time Chicago moves on from Mitchell Trubisky, the 2017 first-round pick who is slowing down an offense that has weapons.
Clarkston — Eagles
TAMPA BAY AT
Even though I will be near Seattle on Sunday, I will not be attending this game.
Tampa Bay throws the ball a lot, and given the state of Seattle’s secondary, this should be a wild game in the Northwest.
Clarkston — Seahawks
NEW ENGLAND AT
New England has had it easy through the first eight weeks of the season. That changes in Week 9 when the Patriots travel to play the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens.
Jackson causes a problem for every defense, even a Patriots D that is unbelievably good.
Clarkston — Ravens
TENNESSEE AT CAROLINA
Carolina’s defense surrendered a 50 burger to San Francisco last week. The Panthers are better than that.
Clarkston — Panthers