My dad, Floyd Clark, has kept up with football as long as I can remember, always having a soft spot for the Detroit Lions. I was born in Port Huron, Mich. on May 22, 1956.
In the 1960s, I remember him sitting in front of our black and white TV console and moving his arms as if he were in the game. I wasn’t interested. I was more into watching Tarzan wrestle crocodiles or Roy Rogers get the bad guys.
We moved to Mississippi in 1969. He transfered with the Mueller Brass Company, who he stayed with until his retirement.
I still wasn’t much into football. I was in the band at Itawamba Agricultural High School and at Itawamba Junior College, so marched onto a variety of fields throughout the early to mid-1970s.
I did buy a copy of the “Ballad of Archie Who” by The Rebel Rousers. I was always into music.
I really didn’t get into football until I married my wife, Linda “Thomas” Clark. As a little girl she watched football with her dad, the late Loyd Thomas. She also told me many times about playing football in the yard with her “Bart Starr” football.
I still have Loyd’s “Denver Broncos” cap which I treasure.
As we grew older I began to get a handle on all the rules and regulations, and if I didn’t understand a particular call I’d ask Linda.
She would sound like Fred Stanford — say something like “you big dummy,” sigh and explain.
Linda was still, obviously, more into the sport then I was, so this past year I said something to our daughter Amy “Clark” Stone about getting Linda into a Fantasy Football league. I knew Amy’s husband, Scott, played, as did our grandson Connor.
What I didn’t know was Amy took it a step further and put a family Football Fantasy league together — so I reluctantly joined and named my team “Jimbo’s Junket.”
Jimbo is what my wife calls me, unless I’ve done something wrong.
Our granddaughter Suzanne, and Connor asked what a “junket” was. “A wild adventure” I said, which I thought was appropriate. This was just adventure, no money involved.
Our family team was 10 strong, a little more than half of them are extremely competitive and the “trash talk” began.
Members live in Pensacola, Arkansas and we’re in Fulton. We learned of a program called “draft wizard” where you could practise your draft. Linda was frustrated - the program grades the team you pick A-F. She was getting lower grades and kept doing it until she got a “B.”
Connor posted the real draft was in a week and added “Yep, ready to smoke ya’ll.”
Linda kept after me to try the draft wizard thing. I just put in the players the apt suggested and went through it very quickly. She sent Connor a text “Best I could do was a B — Jim did it first time and got an A.”
Connor responded “BRUH.” She asked what does that mean? He sent back a little video of a man on the phone, who drops his phone and almost falls out of the chair. The caption read, “bruh my dog died,” which was explained as “A term used when a person has laughed so hard that they ‘almost died.’”
So now you know.
Our fantasy football draft (the real one) was set for Aug. 25 at 6:15 p.m. That’s when all ten of us would be on our personal cell phones and pick our teams. Of course, you are randomly given a position. Connor had first pick. I was fourth. Linda was fifth. Amy was tenth, but then it goes backwards. The eleventh pick was Amy again, so by the time the fourth or fifth round comes around a lot of the best players are gone.
I turned to my dad for help. He recently was diagnosed with congestive heart, and after three separate trips to the hospital, a month of therapy, he is finally back at home. He’d say he is doing “fair.” I’d say he’s doing “pretty good.” I credit his recovery the result of “prayers.” Some of you did that and we certainly appreciate those (please continue).
Saturday it poured rain and a crosswind took out two trees, which were on some property across the road from us. The power and phone lines went down 9:30 that night. We live on a dead end street, only two houses were effected so fortunately I’m good friends with the mayor, Barry Childers so he got a crew out there and the power came on about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, but the road was still a mess and the phone lines were still down.
It’s then we realized we had no WiFi, so we couldn’t do the draft. I knew somehow this would be my fault.
I figured out we could park in the road and access WiFi from somewhere. So about 5:30 we were sitting in the rain, closed off from society in two separate vehicles and staring at our phones waiting for the “go” sign.
About 6:05 my WiFi went out. Linda’s stayed on because she had blue tooth in the car she was in. Our SUV did not have it.
Darkness had fallen. The rain was coming down. The road was a mess. I texted Linda, who texted back I needed to get to a fast food place, so I pulled down the road, running over the smaller limbs and debris and headed towards the interstate where all the food joints were.
I pulled up into Burger King. Their WiFi was not working.
I pulled into Hardee’s - same thing.
The draft had begun. The grandkids were texting me “Gramps you have less than a minute.”
I bumped back out into the highway, the rain was coming down faster then the windshield wipers could move it. I hopped over into the shopping strip across the street where Fred’s was. Fred’s was closing for good Aug. 31 but I could still tie into their WiFi. I missed my first pick.
The computer picked for me, but after that — in the rain, in a parking lot, I completed my draft.
Amy texted, “Gramps (me) is projected the highest scorer in week one.”
Linda answered, “Sounds about right.”
On no. I bet I’m in trouble again.
P.S. If you’d like to wish my dad well - Floyd Clark, 111 Sidney Dr., Fulton, MS 38843.