DUBLIN -- From somewhere near the banks of the Muir Eireann (Irish Sea, but I'm trying to blend), where nobody seems to care about the SEC or ACC or Greyson Lambert or Jacob Eason or the belated admission by the Seiler family that the Georgia mascot was looking and breathing like a mutant 120-pound hamster, but I swear I overheard an old guy on a bus tour tell a group of kids while holding a fake axe, "We used to cut off people's heads but then we went into the E.U.and now we can't do that anymore" . . .
Hello, I am back.
Weekend Predictions, on the road this week looking for candidates to outsource our research department in various Dublin dubs, and this could take a while, is back for another (possibly) lucrative season, filled with (almost) guaranteed winners, or a pot of gold.
By now, you should know how this works: Every week, I give you the winners. It's your job to find them. Some of the "winners" may appear as orchestrated losses intended to throw off competing investment services. We take the revenue from the fools who bet the losses and put it back into our mug, I mean research. You should be able to decipher the real picks from the fake ones by using your Weekend Predictions Code Book ($39.95. Not available for download, just mail me the cash I'll mail you the book, eventually).
It has been strange being in Dublin. The college football season is starting but the Irish Times newspaper included four pages of soccer, three pages of Gaelic football, two pages of rugby, two pages of horse racing, a half-page page of tennis, a half-page of golf and a paragraph of cycling but not even one headline asking, "Lambert or Eason? Who, Kirby? Who? Who?!? WHO?"
Nobody in Dublin cares. For confirmation, and pure research purposes, I walked into Boyle Sports, an off-track/off-field betting establishment (next door to a strip club, another "establishment") and noticed three old guys staring intently at video of horse races, and then my shoes. The young teller behind the window, Nadine, assured me I could wager on the Georgia-North Carolina game if I chose to.
"We don't usually get too many who bet on American college football. But the ones who do bet a lot," she said.
Me: Like degenerate Americans?
Me: Who should I pick?
Her: "I'm not sure. What's their names?"
Me: The Bulldogs and the Tar Heels.
Her: "What a Tar Heel?"
Me: "It's something that usually disappears in October or November.
Me: Never mind.
Her: "I like the Bulldogs. They sound better."
You know what? I'm sure there's another reason why I think Georgia will win its opener. But I can't think of anything better than, "They sound better."
Greyson Lambert will start over Jacob Eason. I'm not sure it matters because both will play and this game will come down to the Bulldogs' defense and running game and North Carolina players standing in a huddle, wondering, "Wait. Why are we the Tar Heels again? I know it came up on the campus tour."
Georgia wins and covers 2½.
The contest is back. You can Win Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl tickets, $2,500 in Apple Vacation, $2,500 in cash, Kroger gift cards and Fatheads. Just follow this link to register for this year’s "Sack Schultz." To register for the contest, you must use or create an AJC.com account log in. You won’t be able to access this year’s contest from last year’s link.
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