The Jackson Herald
August 23, 2000
Fall sports predictions
Earlier this week, a local dignitary likened
this writer to the supposedly prophetic Nostradamus.
It seems that a column in this space several weeks back was at
least close to the mark in likening Jackson County politicians
to World Wrestling Federation stars, thanks to the Honorable
State Representative Scott "The Weed" Tolbert's return
to the wrestling ring last week.
Let me be the first to pass on congratulations to Rep. Tolbert
on his overwhelming win (you didn't really fit into the old uniform,
did you Scott?), and to point out that I did not, contrary to
popular opinion, inherit the allegedly psychic powers of Jeanne
Dixon upon her death.
In order to prove this point, I have compiled the following list
of predictions for the coming fall sports season. When none of
them comes to pass, you'll see that this writer is indeed a mere
And coaches, please don't complain about me jinxing the season
for you. That's why you should keep your fingers crossed all
fall to make up for the bad luck a prediction will bring.
The New York Mets will win the National League pennant from the
Jefferson will win the class A state softball title, and Commerce
will take the football crown.
The Lady Panthers softball team will ride the incredible talent
of its freshmen and sophomores all the way to a state sectional
berth, and perhaps beyond.
Jackson County's football team will shock everyone even remotely
acquainted with GHSA football by going 5-5 or better.
The Georgia-Georgia Tech football game will end in controversy
for the fourth straight year.
That brings up another prediction, since Tech will not even stay
close in the game unless Quincy Carter goes down in an earlier
game due to injury, which will happen by midseason, probably
after he walks past a black cat. Or fails to run past a red Razorback.
Atlanta's Falcons will rebound from a dismal 1999 by going 9-7
and reaching the NFL playoffs.
Bobby Labonte will take the NASCAR Winston Cup championship,
sparing all of us from seeing nasty old Dale Earnhardt move ahead
of Richard Petty for the most points titles won in a career.
The Incriminator I mean, Intimidator will finish
a close second.
Jackson County coach Brent Mikel and Jefferson coach Kevin Jacobs
will discover that they are actually twins who were separated
Okay, Jeanne, I told them. Now will you please get out of my
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald.
The Jackson Herald
August 23, 2000
Be a hero: Give
My favorite superhero when I was growing
up was Batman. The movie was so cool and I loved Michael Keaton.
I still try to catch the Batman cartoon in the mornings before
I leave for work.
Without fail, Batman still saves the day, but I'm not so much
in awe of his prowess anymore. I know that real heroes are not
necessarily dressed in black tights and a mask.
Real heroes are the people who strive every day to save lives;
they are the doctors and nurses who use medical technology to
treat cancer, replace organs and stitch up a serious accident
victim. But, just like Batman, they can't do their job without
a little bit of help from the people they are trying to save.
Right now, the Red Cross is in the middle of a blood shortage.
Patients in need of blood to stay alive are facing an uncertain
future. A single pint of blood can save four lives.
There is no excuse for not donating on a regular basis if you
are a healthy adult. I was so afraid of needles that I used to
beg my pediatrician to allow me to pick scabs for her to take
blood from rather than have my thumb pricked. I kicked a nurse
when I was 12 when she tried to give me a shot of penicillin.
I actually stood up on the examining table and kicked her. I'm
not proud of it, but there was no talking around me. I hated
I was 17 and away at college the first time I met someone from
the Red Cross. I didn't think twice. I felt that it was something
I needed to do. I marched into the student center, filled out
paperwork, allowed them to prick my ear and plopped down into
one of their lawn chairs.
I will freely admit that the needle was not small. It was much
larger than any needle I'd ever seen before. But it only stung
for a moment and then there was a feeling of pressure that was
As I sat there with my arm in a blood pressure cuff and a pint
of blood dripping out of my body, I thanked God. I thanked God
that I had never needed to receive a pint of blood because of
a car accident. I thanked God that I had been born healthy without
leukemia or any number of other diseases that would have meant
I'd have needed blood transfusions every month. I thanked God
that I was a healthy adult who could give blood to others who
needed it. And I thanked God for the medical technology that
allowed my sacrifice to mean the difference between life and
death. With all of my thoughts, the uncomfortable feeling in
my arm didn't seem so uncomfortable anymore. The memory of the
moment of pain disappeared and I smiled.
In the minutes it took from my life while I sat in their lawn
chair instead of doing my homework or watching TV, I may have
added years to someone else's. I don't who they are, but I can
imagine. Maybe I helped a college student who rolled into the
ER after hitting a tree in their Honda, or a little boy with
leukemia. It doesn't really matter; no matter what, I felt good.
I did something tangible. I became a hero and it only took me
Rochelle Beckstine is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.
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