By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
Look at the picture. Look at it closely. This is what happen's when you don't send us an updated picture for this column. That's the senior picture of a person who turns 30 years old in less than one day.
Scary isn't it?
To me it is downright frightening. Not the picture itself. Sure the sweater looks like it was taken off the same material as a couch, but it was 1993. That was the style. It's too bad I couldn't find the one of him in a sweet tricolored silk shirt.
Since Scott Larson turns 30 on Saturday and I won't be there to help him celebrate (or sulk), and mainly because I am too broke to get him a gift, I decided to have him as our guest picker on this week's Armchair Quarterbacks.
By picking Scott, it not only allows me to ridicule my former college roommate in public, but also to write about something I have become obsessed with - turning 30.
I can't believe someone that I graduated high school with is turning 30. Four years from now when I turn 30, I am locking myself in my bedroom with a bottle of Crown Royal, DVD's of "16 Candles," "the Breakfast Club" and every "Beverly Hills 90210" episode, while crying about my lost youth.
I know what your thinking: Four years from now? Yeah, well I got moved up a few grades in my youth - four to be exact. Remember, "Doogie Howser, M.D." Yeah, I'm not him. Instead, I took my accelerated talents to the financial gold mine that is journalism. Still, I did deliver a baby in a shopping mall.
(At this time, pleas look up definitions of sarcasm and satire).
Anyway, Scott seems to be taking this 30-thing in stride. But then again, the guy acted 30 years old when he 18. I am still trying to work on acting 16 years old.
"It really doesn't bother me," Scott said of officially being three decades old. "The only thing that bothers me is that I'm still in school when I turn 30."
Technically, that doesn't really count either. Scott is in graduate school studying to be a forensic toxicologist. There's no reason to be embarrassed about being 30 and in grad school. Hell, most grad students wish they were 30. Now, if he was 30 and an undergrad going for a major in general studies, then we may have something to be embarrassed about.
I know what you're thinking again. What exactly is a forensic toxicologist? Well, you know Gus Grissom off of "CSI?" Yeah, that's not what Scott does.
"Basically, I check for drugs, poisons or anything that's toxic in a person's system," he said. "We usually test for drugs in post-mortem cases."
Before that, Scott conducted HIV research in a lab on the University of Montana campus. It was great. His office was right across from mine at UM. So on days when he was out saving mankind, he could see me out of his window, working on my column by sleeping on the lawn in front of the J-School.
It's obvious Scott is smart when it comes to that there book learnin'. But he is also quite knowledgeable when it comes to sports. He reads the sports page cover-to-cover every day, which takes just under three hours, five if he's eating something.
My litmus test for true sports fandom is the amount of time spent on the Internet reading about sports, competing in fantasy leagues or posting on message boards. I don't know the exact number of hours he spends on the net, but he did admit checking egriz.com at least once a day.
I've expounded about the message boards on this Griz fan site on numerous occasions. It was Scott who told me and George about the site.
Thanks a lot.
The site is so profoundly unexplainable that I asked him to sum it up in one word.
"Idiots is the first word to come to mind," he said. "The people on there are a little excitable. The thing I don't understand is that they write on those boards like they have kids on the team. They are worse than crazy high school parents. When it comes down to it, nobody cares about what they think, especially the players, the coaches and administration. It still is pretty funny though."
Obviously, I've teased George about posting on there countless times, and since Scott has known George forever, he wasn't surprised to see some posts coming from Havre.
"I knew it was either you or George when I read that first post," he said. "But when I read the second post, I knew it was Fergie. He always sticks up for the players and coaches, when everyone else is bashing them. But sometimes he sets himself up to get ridiculed."
Scott knew he was going to get ridiculed a little by being on this panel, but he made sure it wouldn't be over his picks. A typical scientist, he did as much empirical research as he could on the plethora of high school playoff games.
"I got on the Tribune website and went back and checked every score for the Class B and C games," he said. "I don't follow Class B and Class C much, but I'm not losing to you or George."
That's not saying a whole lot. Hopefully, the research pays off.
Scott went with pretty conservative picks, but he did pick against Malta, his birthplace, going with Huntley-Project. He also went with Fairfield in a mild upset over Loyola.
In college picks, despite his mother's allegiance to Northern, he took UM-Western. He also went with Tennessee over Notre Dame for logical reasons, "I hate Notre Dame," he said.
He said his pro picks were a crap shoot, but he did take the Cowboys over the Bengals, and Philly over Pittsburgh.
Last week was fairly even. Harvey led the week with a 16-5 record just by picking against UM and staying with the Cats. George, Julie and Jim tied with 15-6 records, while myself, Wells and last week's guest Patch Wirtzberger all came in with 14-7 records.
We are still taking applications for guest pickers. It's not an easy process and all prospective pickers must subject themselves to heavy scrutiny, heavier criticism and total embarrassment.