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LMS XV FINAL - 6556 OUT, 1 DQ'D, 72 IN

Posted: 2008-12-30

TURN OUT THE LIGHTS, THE PARTY'S OVER. - THEY SAY THAT ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END. - LET'S CALL IT A NIGHT, THE PARTY'S OVER, - AND TOMORROW STARTS THE SAME OLD THING AGAIN.
--- Willie Nelson

When we began this challenging journey from a spot just 190 million miles across our tiny cosmic neighborhood, the horizon of hope was at it's zenith for all of the soon to be caged animals...


...Greatness was assured to none but confidence was common to all 6,629. Eternal optimism was in the air we breathed. The Dow Jones average was holding around 12,000, Ike was barely forming as a tropical storm, Sarah and the First Dude didn't know Bristol was pregnant, Heff was still dating Holly, Blago was hawking stuff for sale on eBay for good returns, the animal faithful had yet to be made aware of Einstein's cosmological constant, ACORN was some kind of nut, the only pirates anybody cared about played baseball in Pittsburgh, and absolutely nobody knew what a credit default swap derivative was. To shine even more positive karma on all, the Buffalo Bills would start the season 5-1 and Notre Dame would beat Michigan. Surely this was the year that the fates would be kind and we would bid dame fortune to serve our pleasure with sheer will. The results of WEEK SEVENTEEN are now in, and, in the immortal words of the great Don Dunphy: "It's over. It's all over." Or, as Howard Cosell would have said, "Down Go the Bucs! Down Go the Bucs! Down Go the Bucs!"

And when the dust had lifted and men saw what had occurred, there were 72 FOOTBALL GENIUSES standing tall in the midst of it all, clutching their ultimate prize - a negotiable document drawn on the bank of the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL POOL, and much more proudly, the satisfaction that they had gone where far more animals had been unable to go. Their self promoting triumphant cheering now sounds loudly over the silent heap of 6,557 tied for second place animals, who gaze sullenly at the litter of their JACK SCHITT hopes and dreams strewn about in the rear view mirror of LMS XV like so many empty Muscatel bottles in a sea of discarded cardboard cheese block containers, mockingly stamped with government approval.

But isn't that the fate of all men? To be executed for a crime they never truly committed? The difference is that 72 of your best friends don't think so, and they'll be glad to remind you of that over the course of the next year. Such risk is one of the costs for this journey that we all take when we aspire to compete with the greatness that is true football genius.

SPONSORS: Please send me the names and addresses of your winning animals and any special instructions that you may have for distribution of their rightful plunder. Do the math yourself, but, in the end, each will receive a check for $2,302. Requests for foreign currency will not be honored.

ANIMALS: Don't panic. Bask in your glory. Don't panic. Revel in your glory. Don't panic. Give me a couple of weeks (no more than 2-3) to get all payments out. It's not the check writing that's an issue, but our official LMS money managers, Randolph and Mortimer Duke, need to access some liquidity that they entrusted to Bernie Madoff. They have assured THE ZOOKEEPER that their will be no issues once they reason with clear logic to him.

And that brings us to yet another chapter's close in this, THE WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL POOL, my caged friends. Soon, as Guy Lombardo will be heard coming softly from THE VAN in sound ever so faint, the peaceful melody of Auld Lang Syne lifting from the poly-vinyl disc warbling on the RCA Victrola, THE ZOOKEEPER will unstack the last of the cages needing cleaning, finish the annual inventory of the few remaining Muscatel Bottles, pop the "Miracle on 34th Street" video into the VCR (the 1973 version with Sebastian Cabot as Kris Kringle, of course - can't believe the Oscar voters screwed him again that year), and take himself off for a deep winter's nap to regenerate his tired soul. Be well, animals. May you prosper in the New Year. Hopefully we will meet again some 390 million miles or so down the road that we all must travel across the gridiron of time, and, hopefully, next year will be YOUR year to show your true football genius.

As Sergeant Preston would say: "Well, King, this case is closed."

Peace. Out.

ZK