Who wants to win a state championship and then spend a lifetime wondering if you’re even the best team in the dang county?
In 1976, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels peered directly into the NBC cameras, and in front 22 million viewers publicly offered The Beatles $3,000 to appear on SNL and perform three Beatles’ tunes.
Well, after 10 weeks of reading through endless Twitter dribble, troll bowl Facebook comments and breaking up one fight at the pet food store, I am here to publicly offer Lakeland and Lake Wales’ football programs $100 each to play one football game against each other.
That’s $25 per quarter. Use the money however you like — new chin straps, towels, flavored mouthguard spray or a pile of pizzas. It’s up to you.
Donate it to charity; heck I don’t care.
So let’s talk turkey. There is a solid chance both of your programs go undefeated and win state championships on Dec. 14 at Daytona Stadium in Daytona Beach, and I certainly don’t want to interfere with that momentum. Frankly, I would love to see two local programs win state titles on the same day. That would only jack up the county bantering heading into this thing.
So let’s wait until afterward.
My vacation starts Dec. 17 and I am off through New Year’s Day. So let’s just meet up at, say, Lake Bonny Park during the holidays and do this.
The NFL is celebrating its 100th season. NCAA football is celebrating its 150th anniversary and the FHSAA is just months away from its 100th birthday. So I ask you: Is there a better time to play the Polk County Game of the Century?
This doesn’t have to be like Michigan and Ohio State or Florida and Florida State. This is a one-shot deal, no rinse-and-repeat next year. Just think, the winner gets a lifetime of bragging rights, which should keep everyone a little more on edge.
Now, there are just a few stipulations …
First, only the players which currently appear on your Max Preps rosters are allowed to suit up – pregame and halftime transfers are not allowed.
Second, we are not playing Pro Bowl style. I know both teams are extremely physical, so let’s put on the big boy pants and keep it that way. This is not a money grab.
Third, I know both teams have racked up quite a few penalties this season – and I agree, there were some questionable calls. But don’t worry about flags. I have a third check for five couch potatoes who will ref slothfully for pizza.
Look, this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment proposition. Honestly, during the past two months I have contacted several computer programming and analysis professors at our local colleges about setting up a computer simulation, and they just didn’t feel we could get accurate and satisfying results.
People have sent me game prediction apps, but let’s face it, algorithms, linear regression analysis and Hasbro’s Battleship only lead to more arguing. So let’s just lay it all on the line the old-fashioned way.
Look, who wants to win a state championship and then spend a lifetime wondering if you’re even the best team in the dang county?
And don’t worry about me. If I write about the game, I think my $200 is tax deductible.
The Beatles missed their big chance, don’t miss yours.
You’ve got my phone number, let me know.
Bill Kemp can be reached at Bill.Kemp@theledger.com; follow him on Twitter @BillKempSports.