Sports Editor

I get lots of press releases and interview requests in my email. Many get ignored and quickly deleted.

But one came in Tuesday that I had to glance at — and chuckle at.

“The Amazing Kreskin, the world’s most renowned mentalist, predicts what's to come in 2019. If you are interested in looking into the future with The Amazing Kreskin, please contact …”

Oh yeah, I contacted.

Are you telling me I should pass up a chance on improving my football picks, or cashing a winning ticket on the Super Bowl winner — or the winner of any big game — for the first time in my life?

“Dear Mr. Kreskin, can Drew Brees and Pat Mahomes keep this up?”

I still haven’t heard back. I guess I should have seen that coming.

But wait, I’m not the mentalist here. I’ve never even been called one in passing.

But what a perfect person to ask some of the burning questions in local sports, such as …

Will UCF ever get into a big-boy conference? That would take care of a lot of grief I’m getting from people about this “Why won’t they go play two games in Gainesville?” deal people were talking about last week, just because I’m a Knights fan/alum. A better conference would make the talk of UCF’s schedule die down. I’ve got two things to say on the “UCF/UF doesn’t want to play UF/UCF” whinefest: 1. I had nothing to do with it! B. There was never a formal offer or contract to play each other!

Where will the folks coming to town for the Citrus Bowl stay? So did you hear the report that Vacation Rentals By Owners (VRBO), a short-term rental site, has been caught price gouging fans on area accommodations for the Citrus Bowl game between Penn State and Kentucky.

Hosts for VRBO, an AirBNB-type portal, were found to be doubling or quadrupling rates for rental homes and villas in Orlando around Jan. 1.

I get that supply and demand dictate the marketplace. One thing I forgot to mention: the full name of the bowl game is … the VRBO Citrus Bowl. They’re a stinkin’ sponsor of the game!

Memo to Kentucky or Penn State fans: my neighbor isn’t using his RV. I’m sure he’ll let it go for cheap.

What am I getting for Christmas? I’ve been good, I hit all my deadlines this year and would help and old lady across the street, if I could find one. It’s definitely the year I score the Red Ryder BB gun. How can you tell me I’ll shoot my eye out if you don’t give me a chance? Geez, I really am a UCF fan.

Who should be in this week’s Mighty News-Gazette Divine Nine? Nah, I can handle that one myself …

1. Alabama. 2. The Saints. 3. Clemson. 4. The Chargers, who keep winning and nobody knows how. 5. Notre Dame. 6. Notre Pittsburgh Steelers (nearly the same uniform) 7. Oklahoma. 8. UCF. 9. UAB (Their program got shut down. They revived it. Two years later, they win a bowl game).

And, in the spirit of the Amazing Kreskin, here are the Picks of the Weak:

Baltimore at L.A. Chargers (-4.5): Actually a fun national game tonight, so at least one network has to talk about how good Phillip Rivers and his team is. L.A. by 7.

Tampa Bay at Dallas (-7): Only reason to watch is that ONG Editor Brian McBride is a Cowboys fan … and petrified they’ll blow it and miss the playoffs. Kreskin would probably tell him to relax, but who wants to see that? Cowboys by just 2.

Jacksonville at Miami (-4): Kreskin would probably pick them both to lose. I sure would like to, just like the rest of the fans in the state. Jags by 3 in “Somebody’s Gotta Win” Upset Special.

Pittsburgh at New Orleans (-6): Saints have the playoffs wrapped up. Steelers have to work because they didn’t prior to beating the Patriots, which even Kreskin didn’t see coming. Steelers by 3 in “Gotta Have It” Upset Special.

Pinstripe Bowl, Thursday: Miami vs. Wisconsin: the names sound fun, but do you have to be a mentalist to realize who’s going to be ready to play in New York, on Dec. 27? Badgers by 7.

Camping World Bowl, Friday: West Virginia vs. Syracuse: If Mountaineers’ QB Will Greer won’t play, can you be sure if the rest of WVU will be ready to play? Apologies to my coaching contacts who rep the ‘Neers, but Orange by 6.

Petey “The Gators Are Going To Win” Covino says: I’m storing peaches to feast on peach cobbler in anticipation of a Gator Peach Bowl win. I hope it does not become humble pie.

Brian “Big Man” McBride’s Super Sniffer of the Week: 49ers by 3 over Chicago.

Merry Christmas everyone … catch you next week to wrap up the Year in Sports 2018.