It’s shaping up to be a wacky football season on all levels

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

There’s an old NFL Films clip of Vince Lombardi, wandering the Green Bay Packers sideline in a bit of confusion, where he exclaims, “What in the hell is going on out there!?”

The deeper we get into this football season, the more we can all agree with him.

Huge underdogs are springing big upsets in college and the NFL. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a better quarterback than Tom Brady. Perennial high school state powers are struggling. Alabama has an offense.

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It’s insanity!

Locally, look no further than Warren Central. The Vikings are 1-3 and will almost certainly see their run of four consecutive nine-win seasons come to an end unless they can run the gauntlet in Region 2-6A and beat three top-five teams in six weeks. They need to win at least one of those games against Madison Central, Clinton or Starkville to have a chance at a seventh straight playoff berth.

Warren Central is not a bad team. They’re a good one that has a difficult road ahead of it. When it’s all said and done, however, you don’t get a trophy for being the best 5-5 team in the state.

On the college level, Ole Miss was supposed to have a defense. It doesn’t.

Alabama wasn’t supposed to have a 50-point per game offense. It does.

Mississippi State was a trendy dark horse pick to win the Southeastern Conference championship. It ceded that status to suddenly frisky Kentucky with a dreadful performance on Saturday night.

LSU looks better than expected. Or maybe Ed Orgeron told us the Tigers would be this good and we just thought he was asking for an extra bowl of gumbo.

In the NFL, nobody knows how to tackle the quarterback any more. Tom Brady, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks all stink, and the Miami Dolphins are 3-0. The Buffalo Bills couldn’t beat a peewee team for two weeks, then went on the road and crushed NFC contender Minnesota in one of the biggest regular-season upsets in years.

Journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick of Tampa Bay is doing Conor McGregor impersonations while leading the league in passing. Kansas City, which hasn’t had a quarterback it drafted lead the team in passing since 1980, is on track to break that streak with young phenom Patrick Mahomes.

The Cleveland Browns have won a game. Need I say more?

This is shaping up to be a crazy year. How much fun it’ll be depends on which teams you follow. If you like insanity, underdog stories, and the occasional changing of the guard, then buckle up. It’s going to be a great ride.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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