Every year The Minot Daily News sports department does a "Pigskin Prophet" section.
It is a open challenge between the sports staff at the news and one weekly guest picker to choose local and national football game results.
Over the years I have been the guest picker on two occasions, and on both appearances I believe that I smoked the sports department, even though they would say now that it didn't happen.
So going into this season, I am licking my chops as I will get a weekly spot in the contest now that I have been a sports writer since last November. For those that don't know our sports staff personally, I have to tell you that they are all young whipper snappers.
I don't think any of them were born yet when Bart Starr snuck across the goal line against the Dallas Cowboys to give the Packers a NFL Championship in January of 1967.
None of them were around when Terry Bradshaw came out on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the Sportsman of the year in the early 70s.
The certainly weren't alive when Gale Sayers and Jim Brown played their last games for the Bears and the Browns.
And they weren't around as well to shake their head in amazement like I did when Joe Namath was running towards the tunnel while showing the number one signal after leading his Jets to a Super Bowl III victory in 1969.
Our sports editor Mike Linnell, and the full time sports staff of Craig Haupert, Chris Bieri and T.J. Allick do a great job in my opinion of writing sports and keeping up with what is going on in the area. But are they seasoned enough at a young age to finally take on someone on a weekly basis that has been around a lot longer than they have? Can they handle battling the wiley veteran?
Previous sports writers at the news like Jason Feldman and Cindy Peterson were also very young, and did not represent the over 45 group that I fell into while they were here. (Actually, my group could now be called the 50 and over group.)
It is time for a representative of the older set to compete in the weekly picks against this generation group of electronic devices and video playing geeks.
It is time for The Minot Daily News to go back to the days of Merrill Schalow and James Sullivan, and put some age back in the sports section. It is time for the voice of an older guy to be heard.
It is time for Larry McFall to take the first shot and throw down the gauntlet against these young puppies. And hopefully, some of the guest pickers will be up in the golden years as well so I don't have to be the only one to take them down.
The only bad thing about writing this column now is that they may now cancel the long running feature in the sports section after Linnell realizes that he now has to go against me on a regular basis. Maybe I should have waited until it had been officially announced that we were doing it again.
But by doing it that way, I would not have been able to fire the first shot.
So in closing, I decided to do what I have always been taught in this life. Always take the first shot, and always cheer for the older people.
So older age fans rejoice, you now have a hero to cheer for. Are you ready for some football?
(Larry McFall is a sports writer for The Minot Daily News. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)