I've been known to make stupid mistakes.
Just ask my father. His jaw dropped when I - his youngest son - wasted away 16,000 of his hard-earned dollars by dropping out of Duke University mid-semester of my sophomore year.
But I stooped to another level last week.
I was dumb enough to publicly expose my college-football-picking stupidity.
In the first installment of The Daily Beacon's 2004 Football Picks Contest, I finished in an embarrassing tie for last place.
I even lost by two games to the Sorority Chick. Even worse, I finished behind a freshman female who just attended her first-ever college football game Sunday night.
Just saying this, my mind feels as empty as that of the person who would be created if Jessica Simpson had an affair with Mike Tyson.
My disappointment forced me to lock myself in my room and put R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" on repeat.
Thankfully, my roommate finally burst through my door to save me. Actually, as it turned out, his only intention in breaking down my door was to turn off the music.
But he left me with words of encouragement. He said that even when I experience obvious failure, he has always been amazed by my unique gift to spin any story to make myself look good.
You see, my ever-running mouth ensures my confidence always rises from the dead. So, forget the past...This week, I will rise above my sorry excuses for competition.
No more Mr. Nice High Holy Sports Editor.
To Four Eyes: Last week, I ended up in a tie with a guy who was proud of his extra set of eyes.
But nobody is less ashamed to sport his specs than you - this week's Four Eyes representative a.k.a The Daily Beacon's one-and-only academics editor.
If I lose to you, do we have to switch roles at the paper?
If we do, I quit.
To Hippy a.k.a. Red Eyes: last week's Hippy Mikel Grubb was the only person (probably in the world) to pick Oregon State to beat LSU last week. In my column last Friday I asked, "What was he smoking?"
Apparently, it was that really good stuff that convinces people to enlighten others with their deep insight by predicting an unlikely event to occur. But OSU lost, thanks to their down-in-the-dumps field goal kicker.
And Grubb's loser record was just more proof that no drug can help a hippy with football.
To Fresh Meat: Even though you claim to contradict your stereotype by actually knowing what a quarterback does, I refuse to lose to a freshman girl two weeks in a row.
I wouldn't know what to do if I lost again. My roommate threw my R.E.M. CD into the river.
To Frat Boy: You and your fellow Fratties somehow continue to attract the ladies (using that term loosely) while paying for your friends. Let it be known that no amount of money is enough to bribe me into conceding defeat to your type when it comes to knowledge about the gridiron.
To Sorority Chick: Well...If I had to lose to a girl again, you would be the one I'd choose.
You've already embarassed me at bowling.
Lauren, you have permission to dominate me any way you like (feel free to take that literally).
To The Ref: As my assistant sports editor, you help keep my ego in check.
But I won't let you hold me back any longer.
I'm giving you a warning now: You will want to bring your ear plugs with you to the newsroom next week.
Because after I quickly recover from shame with my inevitable 10-0 record this week, you will think your boss has transformed into Kelley "The Future" Washington.
To Redneck: You, Jordan Chitwood, went 9-0 last week with the postponed Florida State-Miami game still pending (you picked Miami).
You may have earned your stay in the contest for at least another week. But I predict your neck to get much redder after you choke on the pressure of sharing the top spot.
To The Price is Right: You, the football voice for this university's radio station, also went 9-0 last week (you picked FSU).
In response to your cocky smile and unacceptable behavior of showing up the High Holy Sports Editor, I thought long and hard about the perfect trash-talking message I want to send to you this week. I'm currently watching an ESPN special on Mike Tyson, and the words just hit me.
I want to eat your children.

- Matt Giles is the sports editor of The Daily Beacon and a senior in journalism. He can be reached at mgiles@utk.edu.