It was a disastrous final week of regular-season football for Prophet Pat.
The rage of a sage went a crummy 3-5 in his picks and watched his percentage dip from .758 to .727 (72-27).
Glen Burnie blew a chance to be the "upset of the week," and North County, Northeast, Broadneck and Severn all made the Prophet look bad.
The Prophet had renewed his confidence in the Gophers of Glen Burnie after being down on them, only to have them let him down. In what was the Prophet's "upset of the week," Glen Burnie was tabbed to stun once-beaten and playoff-bound Old Mill, 22-19.
At the half, the Gophers had a 7-0 lead, but Old Mill regrouped and pulled off a 16-7 victory.
North County was picked to lose to Cardinal Gibbons of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference, 27-22, but the Knights stuck it to the Prophet and the Crusaders, 20-0. And the Knights, their coach and even their principal really laid it on the sage.
In Friday night phone calls to the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499, the Knights and their fearless leaders hit the Prophet hard.
Knights coach Chuck Markiewicz called first and said his team had a message for the Prophet. With that he held the phone up, and the entire team in unison shouted the final score and mocked the Prophet.
Then, adding insult to injury, the voice on the other end jubilantly said, "Pat, this is Bill 'Fabian' Wentworth, King of the Knights. I know you have the score by now, but I wanted to tell you that Poly beat these guys 20-0 last week, and I know that doesn't make us as good as Poly.
"I know you bleed that purple and white (should be cream for my alma mater, Mount St. Joseph High of the same MSA) but the MSA is passe, Patrick."
Afterward the Prophet sat in a corner of his office, staring at the wall in total disbelief that people could be so cruel. With his Sportsline on monitor, he heard the voice of that Pasadena agitator, Bart Rader, who coaches Northeast.
The torment was not yet over as Rader rattled off a litany of one-liners aimed to lambaste the Prophet and rub his nose in the ground.
"Oh no, I must have the wrong number," the sarcastic voice said.
"I thought I was calling somebody who was a prophet, and I don't know any prophets named Pat. How could a prophet named Pat pick Chesapeake over Northeast? We played well last week and broke your crystal ball (upset Southern 8-6) and had nothing to lose this week.
"So, you threw that coin up in the air and it came down Chesapeake.
Northeast 20, Chesapeake 14 (Chesapeake was a Prophet Pat pick, 20-16). Our kids held them at the end. Pat, better luck next year, but for this year, that crystal ball is broken for sure."
The Prophet did savor three right picks that night, as Severna Park knocked off Annapolis, 34-20 (pick was Severna Park, 21-15); South River outlasted Southern, 16-14, (pick was 28-14) and Arundel downed Meade, 19-6 (pick was 21-13).
After not getting much sleep Friday night, the Prophet rolled and tossed most of Saturday night after learning that Broadneck had upset Queen Anne's, 14-6, and Severn had buried Southwestern of Baltimore, 45-6. But at least those miscues -- he had Queen Anne's, 21-7, and Southwestern, 26-21 -- provided a positive result for the county.
As a result of the Broadneck victory, Severna Park garnered a bonus point that helped qualify the Falcons for the state playoffs and Severn gained a share of the MSA C Conference title.
This week, with only two schools in postseason football play, the Prophet has added a couple of other fall sports to come up with a five-game slate.
Football, MPSAA State Class 4A Playoffs:
Thomas S. Wootton of Montgomery County at Old Mill, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The visitors from Montgomery County play a tough schedule but may not be as strong as their 10-0 record indicates. Old Mill (9-1) survived the rugged county 4A league, losing only to Severna Park.
Old Mill's defense, orchestrated by defensive coordinator Mike Marcus, and its home-field advantage give head coach Pete Regala and his Pats the edge.
Both teams are dubbed the Patriots, but that's where the similarity ends. Old Mill's defense is better and will stymie Wootton, a club that squeaked by in its final game, 24-14, over 1-9 Montgomery Blair.
Wootton, ranked 14th by the Washington Post, will have trouble keeping the likes of running back William Beverly and quarterback Eric Scott from getting just enough points to win. Also, the punting of Old Mill's senior Mike Dobrzykowski could play a factor in getting the home team crucial field position.
Last Friday night in the Pats' 16-7 win over Glen Burnie, Dobrzykowski boomed five punts for 207 yards, an average of 41.4 yards. That's NFL production punting. If the "Dobber" kicks like that tomorrow night, Wootton will be in deep trouble.
Look for Beverly's county-record 21st touchdown to be a decisive one, as Old Mill takes its first-ever football playoff game.
Old Mill 17, Wootton 13.
Severna Park at Springbrook, 1 p.m. Saturday.