Alex Farrer

Calhoun Times Sports Editor Alex Farrer

You can’t help but root for Charlie Culberson

A few weeks ago, I watched almost every single pitch of the World Series between the Dodgers and the Astros. I can honestly say I haven’t watched that much of a World Series since the Braves played the Yankees in 1999. There’s a simple reason (or person) why I was so locked into the Fall Classic, and that was Charlie Culberson.

It’s obviously incredible and a rare opportunity to see someone from your own town go on to do great things in sports or any other big stage. That was reason enough for myself and anyone else in Calhoun or Northwest Georgia as a whole to be tuned in to see Charlie get his chance in the spotlight. But if you know Charlie or have ever been around him, you understand why you want him to succeed that much more. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with Charlie as well as his parents on multiple occasions, and the thing is, you just can’t come away from those encounters without liking and respecting the guy.

No matter what Charlie has accomplished or the fact that he is a professional baseball player, he is just an all-around good guy. He has no sense of arrogance whatsoever. He treats everyone around him as equals. And if you’ve ever spoken to him, you can just see how much he loves the game of baseball. It has been a part of his life since as long as he can remember, and there’s no doubt that he has worked as hard and devoted as much time as anyone to being where he’s at today.

Charlie’s performance spoke for itself too. He went 8-for-16 combined between the NLCS and World Series with a homer (in extra innings of Game 2 of the World Series), two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. Defensively, he played multiple positions and made some outstanding plays in the field, specifically at shortstop. He showed how good of a player he is, especially in the clutch, and if he isn’t on a Major League roster on Opening Day next Spring, I will be completely shocked. Not only does his ability on the field warrant that chance, but his attitude and demeanor off the field and in the clubhouse should add even that much more to his value to MLB teams.

I know I will never know the sting of coming one game short of winning a World Series, but I hurt with Charlie when the Astros won Game 7 to take the crown. And I’m sure many others shared that same feeling. But I know one thing…Charlie will work even harder now to get back there again and hopefully finish the job with a ring, whether that’s with the Dodgers or someone else. And I will be right there pulling for him like I was this time around. There’s a team right down the road that could use a player like him by the way, but I’ll leave that to the professionals.

Football Picks for the weekend

Well, it’s a been a few weeks since I made my picks in a column, but just know for the record that everyone who won a game in that time frame, I would’ve certainly picked. You trust me, don’t you?

Anyway, we have another jam-packed weekend of great games so here are my picks for a few:

Georgia at Auburn

This is Georgia’s biggest test since their trip to Notre Dame, and the pressure is on now as they still hold that No. 1 ranking in the College Football Playoffs Poll. Some say that Auburn’s defense and running game could pose a big problem for the Bulldogs, but I disagree (as much as I don’t want to).

I’ve watched Georgia play a lot this year, and I’ve watched Auburn play a lot this year. There’s one team that is clearly better, more balanced, and deeper, and that is the Bulldogs. I think Georgia wins this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is pretty big.

Score: Georgia wins, 38-21.

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech

The Jackets are in scramble mode to salvage something out of a once-promising season. Tech needs at least one more win to even be considered for a bowl game and two to insure they’ll get a bid with six wins.

Tech usually responds well with their backs against the wall as they did last year down the stretch, which included a win at Virginia Tech. That Hokies team was better than this one. I think the Jackets rebound with a big effort at home.

Score: Georgia Tech wins, 35-27.

Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons

This is pretty simple to me. The Falcons absolutely have to get a win to turn things around, and the Cowboys are going to be without Zeke Elliot (I think, unless he wins his 39th appeal to avoid his suspension).

Falcons are due for a good performance on both sides of the ball, and the Cowboys are due for a letdown.

Score: Atlanta wins, 32-26.