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Joey Payeur - Goalline Stand

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My pristine prognostications for NFL season

The onset of fall means cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and, yes, the stirring from its eight-month slumber of NFL football.

It will be the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (those are painful words to say) and the Kansas City Chiefs squaring off tomorrow night to begin another five months or so of fuelled fan passions, gnashing of those same fans' teeth, and a roller-coaster of highs and lows (some experiencing many more of the latter) for all 32 NFL teams.

Pushing beyond the boundaries

Imagine the Edmonton Oilers getting to the Western Conference final while playing one forward short on the ice each and every game.

Or how about the Kansas Jayhawks making it to the NCAA Final Four while not ever being allowed to use a point guard in the March Madness tournament?

What about the Dallas Cowboys getting to the NFC Championship game despite having to go without their left tackle on offence or one of their cornerbacks on defence every play?

Grading FFCBC faves a guessing game

I'm channelling my inner Ozzy Osbourne when it comes to the task of selecting the top contenders for the 2017 Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.

Simply put, I'm “Paranoid" about looking foolish and my best guess is simply "A Shot in the Dark.”

As of press time, 82 teams had registered for this year's FFCBC, meaning in trying to pick five possible contenders, I have a one-in-just-over-16 chance of being right.

Bidding farewell to 'Little Unc'

The Freeman and Kivimaki families, as has been the norm during many a winter evening for many a year, headed to Everett Freeman's favourite restaurant a week ago Saturday.

After dinner (again, like normal), the group headed in the direction of the Memorial Sports Centre for the evening's scheduled hockey game.

‘Brave’ heart beats its last

To paraphrase the well-known Anglo-Saxon saying in a more culturally-accurate way, the Creator is believed to not give the Ojibwe people any more than He believes each one can handle.

If so, He must believe Nancy Indian and her family to possess the strength of Nanabush himself for what they’ve already endured and now must do so again.

Diving into the NFL pool

Step right up and place your bets.

A fitting opening to my almost annual column predicting the outcome of this year’s NFL season, which begins tomorrow night when the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Billions upon billions of dollars are bet every year on professional football, which still rules America’s airwaves (and Canada’s, for that matter) on Sundays each fall.

A gaggle of golfing greatness and gaffes

From local fairways to the tee boxes of Thunder Bay and the greens of the world’s most revered course at St. Andrews, Scotland, it’s been a full week for those who play and follow the grand old game.

Start with the Kitchen Creek Golf Club’s Senior Men’s Open last Wednesday.

Bart Vollmer of International Falls emerged from a Gretzky-sized field of 99 competitors to capture the event—proving that success at Kitchen Creek is not the sole domain of those who sport Canadian passports.

Canadian women were great reps

Record-setting crowds and unbridled passion for the home team will be the lasting memories of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup of Soccer.

No, the tournament isn’t done yet but it may as well be over for the majority of Canadians following it. That’s because Team Canada had its march to the championship stopped cold with a 2-1 quarter-final loss to England on Saturday.

Tournament organizers will rue the loss of the host country as a Canada-Japan semi-final tomorrow (July 1) in front of 50,000-plus screaming supporters at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

Muskie success staggering

It’s been so long since I’ve written a column, I had to go back and find the last one to make sure I didn’t repeat myself.

OK, my memory isn’t that bad (yet). But while I spend this week on holidays, I figured it was a good time to put forth some thoughts about sports life here in Rainy River District.

  • Muskie season

Attending the Muskie athletic awards banquet two weeks ago, I’m surprised I didn’t get whiplash from the number of times I shook my head in amazement at what I’ll wholeheartedly venture may be the most successful year in Muskie history.

Broncos, Pack to have ‘Super’ tussle

Since I did so great in the NFL prediction business last season (note the sarcasm but, hey, I picked the AFC champion right, at least), it’s now time to expose myself to more ridicule.

So as to avoid being criticized for cheating by waiting an extra week to reveal all my picks for the regular season, I give you the short and sweet version of what I expect to happen in each of the eight divisions.

I also expect to be reminded of how wrong most of these were at some point later on.

NFC East