April in Glenwood
April E. Clark

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January 2, 2013
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The view from the bottom isn't so pretty

Last place is as lonely as it sounds. I know this because I'm there.

I guess that means the only place I can go is up.

Each year, I join in the fun of the Post Independent's annual Football Picks. Staffers, media, and others in the community make weekly decisions on which college and professional football teams will win. In my glory days, I won this coveted competition two years in a row. My secret to winning was getting ahead early so my competitors couldn't catch me.

This strategy also works for Battleship.

As I attempted a three-peat, my football picks empire began to crumble. I'm not sure if I'm cursed or have terrible luck, but it seemed the games I thought would definitely be winners for me were the complete opposite.

I have clearly have lost my advantage.

This season, I started off on an OK start. I was even tied for first at one point. But it seemed once I was behind and fell to the lowest spots, I could never regain my footing. Although I may be smiling in my picture that runs with the picks each week, I was hanging my head low in shame. Not only have I been a loser most of the season, but I must grin and bear it each week as my defeat is publicly displayed for all to see.

No one likes a sore loser.

Unfortunately I am one these days. Quite honestly, I don't like to lose. It hurts. As much as people say phrases like, "It's just a game," or "Winning isn't everything," I know that's not always so. Apparently I am way more competitive that I have led myself to believe. It pains me to be in last place.

When it comes to the football picks, winning is everything.

I suppose I'm mostly disappointed in myself because I love watching football. And I like to think I know a little something about the sport. I even played (flag) football in high school. I wasn't much of a contender, but I tried really hard and learned how to throw a spiral. That has to be good for something.

In my high school's Powder Puff flag football program, winning was everything because the freshmen played the sophomores and the juniors played the seniors. That meant bragging rights for the winning class - and that was everything back then.

Ah, to be 16 again.

I know playing flag football is nothing like the full-contact kind, but I was into it. Just like I'm into watching football. And how I used to be really into picking winning teams for the paper.

These days I'm more into picking losers.

In micromanaging my football picks career, I have noticed that whenever I made a pick that wasn't my first gut reaction, I lost that one. I tend to overthink things and whenever I did for the football picks, it wasn't in my best interest. The same can be said in most everything in life, so I guess the universe is trying to tell me to take it easy.

Easier said than done.

Instead of making picks based on numbers and stats (I really do research), I think I should just go with my gut. Maybe I will redeem myself this week with the upcoming bowl games. The final picks of the season have been made and I can only hope that I can redeem myself. Maybe I'll move up from last place to No. 5 or higher.

Trust me; it's lonely at the bottom.

"April in Glenwood" appears every Wednesday. April E. Clark wishes everyone a happy new year. May 2013 be filled with love and laughter.-She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@ gmail.com.


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The Post Independent Updated Jan 2, 2013 01:31AM Published Jan 2, 2013 01:30AM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.