Connie lost her  year-long battle with cancer Saturday, passing away at St. Anthony's Hospice in  Henderson.

Connie was loyal participant of our little contest for more than 15 years. But most of all,  she was a true friend. For many years, Connie worked at the EZ Shop in Providence and  that's where our friendship began as we visited every Wednesday morning when I dropped  off papers. She started playing 'BTE' and on her very first week, she won the contest by  picking a handful of upsets. I accused her of having "insider information" and said she  must be some kind of secret agent with "spy" contacts to pick all of those upsets. From  that point on she was known as "007".

Connie was always loaded with information and had stories to tell. She could always make  me laugh and was quick with the 'comeback' no matter how much trash talk I could dish  out. She always delivered her picks to the J-E office, usually the first entry in the folder.  And she was quick to let me know when she did well or picked an upset.

After she won  many weeks, year after year, we took a cue from the old saying ... "if you can't beat 'em,  join 'em" ... and invited '007' to join our 'Experts' panel. She was hesitant at first, but I  told her I'd put her photo right between Greg (Pirtle) and Mack (Townsend) and it would be  like "a rose between two thorns." That sealed the deal and she accepted the challenge.  That was in 2002 and she's been a mainstay of our contest every since.

During football  season we would have a 10-15 minute conversation every Monday morning and she would  offer her unique insight on the upcoming games and teams and why she was making her  "upset" picks. Again, she always made me laugh.

Despite her weakening condition through  all the cancer treatments, Connie continued to make her picks, even as recent as last  Monday. Three weeks ago, '007' pulled out another winner and when I talked to her on  Monday she was quick to boast ... "I beat you ole men again," she said with a weak yet  mischievous chuckle. "You be sure and tell those men that '007' is still kicking." My  laughter soon turned to tears as I knew she wouldn't be with us much longer.

Connie not only was a good friend, she became a part of our extended J-E family. She hit  the door at our office always "running wide open", telling stories about her family and  bragging about her beloved son Aaron and daughters Loretta and Barbara. No matter the  day, business at The J-E came to halt when Connie came for a visit. Our thoughts and prayers are with Connie's family during the difficult time and she will  be truly missed. I know they have tons and tons of great memories ... we do as well. '007'  will always be a part of the 'BTE' contest and will always be a cherished friend. This past  Monday morning was a bit empty without being able to talk to Connie, I feel sure it will  always be that way! -Charlie

The Real Guru

A brief recap of this week's contest shows a rough outing for the entire crew. 6-4 ... that's right 6-4 was the winner as five players, along with 'Guest Expert' Emily 'the  Human Bruise' Begley, all topped the charts. But Chris 'Boy' George was one of the few to  pick the Spartans over the Wolverines with a nifty tie-breaking score for the winner.

Other 6-4 players that couldn't 'cut the mustard' included Doug 'Double D' Dennis, 'Tiny'  Tim Sharp, Jacob 'the Gipper' Knight and Kent 'Muscles' Boswell. 'Muscles' was last seen  editing Bobby Cox's retirement speech ... ran out of ink slicing all the 4-letter words.  Emily 'the Human Bruise' is in a bit of trouble as her recent power-point presentation was  so explosive, it blasted Joe Biden's hairpiece right of his head.

Are you kidding me ... we're dropping all the way down to 4-6 players including Andrew  'Mr. Propaganda' May (last seen picking up cigarette butts outside the Oval Office), Keith  'Storm Chaser' Cartwright, Gary 'the Professor' Goodaker, David 'Miquel' Brown, Phillip  'Hot Tub' Teer, and Andrew 'Mountain Man' Hudson.

"I feel like a monkey sitting on rock  this year, just can't find my mo-jo," Mountain Man stated. "Well, Mountain Man, if you  gonna be a monkey, might as well be a Gorilla."

Also finding the 4-6 switch were 'Experts' 'Ninja', 'the Knife' and 'the Brain'. 'Ninja' is still  nursing a sore throat after screaming "in the hole" all of last week and he's still cleaning  the Mississippi mud from his golf clubs. We've just learned that 'the Knife' and 'the Brain'  will be on next year's Amazing Race ... dubbed as 'Old White Guys Who Thought They  Were Auditioning For Let's Make A Deal'. 3-7! Are you kidding me ... 3 out of 10 is the best they could do! That's weaker than  Steven Stegall's new TV show.

OK, let's name names.  Clinton 'Big Mo' Thornberry (engagement deal already has you distracted), 'Toddler'  Griffin, Ralph 'D1' Sharp, and another hottie that just received several voice mails from  Brett the Viking ... Shaun 'Little T' Townsend. Is that Forrest 'Rambo' Teer, yep, it sure is.  Hey 'Rambo' that white neck brace and fake limp won't help you out this week. Holy Crap!  Like a mutt-dog in the chicken house ... Alan 'Karate Kid' Banks got spanked again this  week ... just another day in his perpetual 'downward dog' life. He's decided to give up  yoga and start pole dancing lessons. Last seen in Cally applying anti-aging creme and  admiring the "BTE Rules" tat on his 'good' leg.

All we can say to our final player Aaron 'Cougar Tamer' Teer ... from this point on you'll be  required to submit a background check and have a 5-day waiting period before another  entry is accepted. No family plan bonus in this game baby, 2-8 basically sucks. Kinda like  that Sliver Star lip gloss you've been trying to peddle. Get those picks in  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , fax 270-667-9160.

Paul Dunbar @ Scott County
Owensboro @ Hopkinsville
Murray @ Caldwell County
Ohio State @ Wisconsin
Arkansas @ Auburn
Cincinnati @ Louisville
Baltimore @ New England
San Diego @ St. Louis
Atlanta @ Philadelphia
Tiebreaker: Dallas @ Minnesota

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Posted on 2/2/14
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3/13 - 16

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