Leo Kelley is back, sort of.
The Hall-of-Fame football prognosticator shook off the dust of retirement and returned to the 2010 Ada Evening News Football Prediction Race. But this time around, he’s sitting in as the Week 12 guest.
Kelley was second-guessing himself after his — and the five other competitors — picks were published Thursday.
“This may have been a bad move,” he said. “You know how fickle my Kelleyites are. If I churn out a 5-5 or — I shudder the thought — worse, they may covert to Cali-ites. And it’s crazy to give James Myers, Bob Forrest and The Beasleys an opportunity to best me. How did you talk me in to this?”
Kelley is also back in the journalism game, recently hired by the McAlester News-Capital as the CEO, president, general manager or some other similar title.
Not surprisingly, Kelley was the only one to pick the sixth-ranked Buffs to take down No. 5 Lawton MacArthur this week in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
The grizzled veteran said he tried to use the same methods that led him to success during his championship runs in the AEN Prediction Race, but found one of those didn’t work.
“I dusted off my trusty crystal ball, but it just laughed at me when I pleaded for some help. Man, everybody kicks you when you're down,” he said.
Myers was noticeably shaken when he heard Kelley was sitting in the guest spot this week.
“What? How could you let this happen,” he cried. “It’s bad enough that I have Bob Forrest and the Beasley Boys breathing down my neck, but Kelley will keep the guest in contention. Why?”
When asked if he would consider getting ‘back in the game’ on a full-time basis, he danced around the issue with Brett Favre-like skills.
“I just want to make it through this week. Hopefully, my skills haven't eroded too much. And no, I haven’t sent any off-color photos or text messages to Faith Hill. That’s just an ugly rumor,” he said.
Kelley was also worried about how a bad showing this week would affect his standing in the Prediction Hall of Fame in Allen.
“Man, surely one little 3-7 wouldn’t force them to move my statue to the back room with Jeff Cali’s,” he said. “What have I got myself in to. Did I really pick those no-count, worthless Dallas Cowboys to stretch their winning streak to two? They way they have been playing this season, I’m note sure they could beat the Allen Pee Wee team.”
Kelley was appalled to learn that there are those who claim to not read or who claim to dislike the Ada Evening News Football Prediction Race.
“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “Even though I’m no longer a full-timer in the race, you know it’s still the most-read section in the paper. I’m willing to bet those same stiffs that say they don’t like it, and don’t read it can tell you The Beasley Boys went 2-8 last week without looking.”