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What a wonderful world
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I was sincerely hoping that I would be able to recount to my son that just months after he was born the San Francisco Giants won their fourth World Series title in seven years.
Alas, that is not the case.
The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series instead.
It’s weird typing that because my first exposure to the idea of the Cubs came in 1989 – the first real year of my collective sports consciousness – thanks to Robert Zemeckis and his Back to the Future franchise which pointed out that it would take traveling into the future to be able to say those words out loud.
Albeit poetically, the movie was just one year off of when it actually happened, and the fact that it was a year later is only more poetic for the long-suffering franchise with some of the rabid fans in all of professional sports.
And some of those fans are local. The Thomsen Family – Sierra head baseball coach Jack and his wife Paula – are die-hard Chicago fans. I remember when Scott, who I graduated with, would be the only kid in the class that wasn’t wearing a 49ers or Raiders sweatshirt during football season. He liked the Bears as well as the Cubs, despite the fact that neither of those teams had any real success during his young life at that time (there was 1986, but we were really too young to remember that).
So for all of those who worship at the shrine of Wrigley, I’m happy for you. It was one of the best World Series’ that didn’t feature a team I was actively rooting for, and how do you say anything bad about a team that counts Bill Murray and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam amongst its celebrity supporters?
And when I read the story of the man who drove 600 miles to listen to the Cubs win the World Series at the grave of his father – fulfilling a promise that he made to him before he died – I finally saw the gravity of such a momentous victory.
Congratulations Cubs fans. You waited a long time. Enjoy it.
Getting My Facts Straight
It appears that I have struck a nerve with some who didn’t appreciate my last column that focused on some of the happenings in Lathrop.
So I was hoping to clarify a few things.
First, these words are my opinion are not intended to be taken as a news story. That’s the difference between a column and an article. Second, I’m not saying that I’m completely right on this – I know the facts that I have seen as they pertain to both instances that were referenced, and I tried to present that information as clearly as possible.
As it pertains to Lathrop Road, I have apparently offended some people who live along the route who found my comments to be insensitive. And I’m sorry that people were offended (I’m not being told to write that, for the record). I can’t imagine what it must feel like to know that things as they pertain to your home – your castle, your investment – are going to change so drastically in the name of progress.
With that said, I also don’t see how the City of Lathrop is to blame for any of this. There’s a belief that somehow the city didn’t adequately notify the residents that this is something that was coming, and I can’t for the life of me see how that is possible. The city maintains that it sent out adequate notification as per law, and I remember hearing in a meeting at the westerly grade separation – which takes Lathrop Road from one lane to two over the flyover – that eventually Lathrop Road would become two lanes in each direction.
And they built not one, but two of those. Both of which had meetings with concerned homeowners because they were notified that said meetings take place.
One woman that I spoke to said that it wasn’t fair that the city didn’t notify the real estate businesses about the plans, because her realtor didn’t tell her that this was coming.
It just appears that’s there a lot of misinformation and innuendo swimming around as to the intentions behind the project, and that’s basically what I wanted to point out.
As far as misinformation goes, hopefully this next part will clear some things up.
Last week I got a copy of Lathrop Manteca Fire Chief Gene Neely’s contract, and what he told me in the clarification story is in fact true – he is paid a base salary of $135,500 (with a one percent cost of living increase between 2014 when the contract was inked and 2015, and presumably between 2015 and 2016).
It does make it appear that he received obscene raises when his strike team pay is added to that base salary, but that’s only on the line item that is posted at the California Controller’s website as well Transparent California – which doesn’t distinguish between the two.
So while his annual salary breakdown looks like he received a 24 percent increase in his base salary between 2014 and 2015, it’s misleading.
He did receive that amount of compensation, however it wasn’t a raise given by the board.
The Picks Of The Prideful Pack
So we have an interesting situation that just came up after last week.
Since Condit and I had abysmal weeks at 2-3 – and Teicheira and Wohle didn’t fare much better at 3-2 – we have a tie heading into the last week of the season.
Currently Condit and I are 25-5, Wohle is 23-7, and Teicheira is mathematically eliminated at 17-13.
It’s okay Chris – we’ll get you a massage for your troubles.
So here’s the solution: If Wohle manages to somehow pick up a game this week on Condit and I, then we’re going to have a three-way tie for first place. To rectify that, we’ll have a 3-man punt, pass and kick competition – somehow we were roped into that as a solution by a grown man who actually practices for said events every single year. I’m still trying to figure out how that happened.
It should be pointed out that there’s a side bet between Teicheira and Wohle for the Manteca vs. East Union rivalry game tonight with the funny farmer laying 40 points to the swimming architect. Supposedly Wohle stammered and hemmed and hawed before accepting the bet – and then went and chose East Union outright to beat the Manteca machine. You’ll read about that in minute.
It should also be noted that these three individuals are some of the most fun people that you could ever spend a season handicapping high school football with. Teicheira always talks about how he’s proud to call Manteca his home, and I have to say that I’m proud to say this town produced gentlemen like this – degenerates the whole lot of ‘em.
Without further ado:
*Campbell – This week I’m taking Manteca over East Union, Sierra over Weston Ranch and Lathrop over Kimball. We added the Lathrop game since all three Manteca schools are encapsulated in just two games. I’m also taking both road NFL teams – Denver over the Raiders and New Orleans over the 49ers. Unfortunately these picks weren’t as provocative as I thought because…
*Condit – Picked the exact same way that I did! I even tried to seal my picks before the week began so we could have some drama, but no – he had to go and mess everything up. Just to make it official he’s taking Manteca, Sierra, Lathrop, New Orleans and Denver. We will tie because of this, and he will likely shame us all into hiding with his impressive PPK skills. But if he loses, I’m making the demand here and now that he wear his Boss Hogg outfit and drive me around his neighborhood in his white Cadillac convertible as the hoist the trophy we may or may not get made for this annual exercise.
*Wohle – Here’s where things get interesting. Wohle had some sense when he took Sierra, Lathrop, New Orleans and Denver, but then he had to go and get all provocative on us. While he’s taking the 40 points Teicheira gave him in the bet, he’s also picking his Lancers to win outright and throw him into the three-way tie for first place. Something about pride and self-respect, but I can’t quite figure it out.
*Teicheira – It’s pointless to even print his picks here because he’s not going to be wearing a Buffaloes jersey no matter what happens (Manteca, Sierra, Lathrop, Oakland and New Orleans). Also, he’s going to have to buy a brick with his name on it to express solidarity with the East Union Class of 1991. But to hear him tell it, he doesn’t mind that because it’s incentive for him to have a son so that he can teach him to break into the campus and steal his father’s brick back since “no Teicheira should ever have to be there.”
There you have it. It comes down to one final week. Do the Lancers have what it takes to pull off the upset of the year and send Wohle straight to the top? I think that such a bold prediction means he should lead the team onto the field tonight, but that’s just me.
See you guys at the finish line.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.