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What a view

Do we not all miss the smell of the grass from our first day of high school football practice?

What about the sweet sound of the bat when we recorded our first little league hit?

Although most of us have grown up, and even more of us no longer play, guys still find ways to participate in the competitive aspect of sports. Though time and carbohydrates have taken a toll on our bodies, we still miss lacing up the cleats on Friday nights.

We see this evident in the fantasy leagues we participate in, the church softball teams we join and each time we scream at the referees on the television or paint our faces and chest in order to root for our favorite team.

Why do sports have such an effect on the male species? For those of you who haven't figured it out, competition drives our ego.

The thought process that someone can do something better than us is unheard of. Whether it's picking a race car driver for the News-Herald, playing cards or peeling an apple, each male is better than the next.

Approximately 19 weeks ago at the start of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season, some News-Herald employees and some outside participants began predicting the race winners for the season on a weekly basis.

Week after week, the 12 of us choose a driver whom we think will be a contender to win the race. The results are posted on the News-Herald sports pages in the Two-Minute Drill.

From an outsiders view, it doesn't seem like a big deal. However, in an office full of these masculine egos, there is almost desperation to do well on all levels, even if it is as mind-numbing as picking a driver to win a race.

However, as much as my ego and I hate admitting it, I am not any good at this race picking thing. It appears to me, and has been brought to my attention, many times, many… many times, that the driver I pick for that week would do better for themselves if they came down with a rare disease and had to stay home.

Each week, I check stats to see how each driver has done at a certain race track in the past. I put together, what I think is, a strong racing team and narrow that team down to one performer. One driver whom I feel will excel in the upcoming race.

Not knowing anything about the sport before this year, research seemed to be my only answer. However, I am currently under the impression that I might do better if I blindly pick the names out of a hat.

With half of the races over, I have seemed to make a good home for myself in last place. How is this so? I have done my homework, I tell myself. The guy leading the News-Herald Cup doesn't even watch or care about the race. He just picks a name without much thought.

Can my last place position be accredited to my rookie season? Do I over analyze things? Do I just have terrible luck? Maybe all of these have played a major role this season.

However, to all my loyal fans I must say, I am down but I am not out. My ego and I are looking for a comeback, so put on your rally caps and fight with me as I try and move my way back through the standings.

If you wish to comment or offer any much needed advice, please feel free to email me at david.taylor@r-cnews.com.