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FIELDER’S CHOICES: Is everything as it seems? Blame Mandela

I’ve been obsessed lately with the Mandela Effect. Have you heard of it?

Basically, it’s a theory that parallel universes exist based on a large number of people having the same alternative memory of a well-known fact.

According to Reddit, “the effect & name refers to people remembering Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s, when he actually survived long after his release.”

There are several other examples, like the mysterious spelling of the “Berenstain Bears” children’s books and how Darth Vader’s famous line isn’t, “Luke, I am your father.”

Or, the Southwest League football standings.

We all remember Durango and Sierra Vista struggling in recent seasons, right? Now, both teams are undefeated entering Friday’s first-place showdown at Durango.

The Mandela Effect is the only explanation. Just a glitch in the matrix.

I did pretty well with my “Rivalry Week” picks last week, so let’s see if I can keep it going.

■ Arbor View at Legacy (Thursday) — This is a pretty good hors d’oeuvre before the main course on Friday, as the Aggies would clinch their third straight Northwest League title with a victory.

The Longhorns trail 5-4 in the all-time series but had an extra week to prepare for the “Battle of the Bulls.” Wait, I could have sworn this game was called the “Battle for the Bulls.” No? Break out the tin-foil hats. … Arbor View by 11.

■ Sierra Vista at Durango — Go to Nevadapreps.com (don’t worry, I’ll wait), find the football standings and take a screenshot of the Southwest League. In 20 years, nobody will believe that the Mountain Lions were alone in first place this late in the season and you’ll need proof.

The winner of this game effectively clinches the league’s No. 2 seed and is guaranteed to be undefeated when it meets Bishop Gorman. It looks like an even matchup on paper, so I’ll go with the home team. … Durango by 3.

■ Shadow Ridge at Faith Lutheran — The playoff picture in the Northwest League is starting to take shape, and it should become much clearer after this game.

The Crusaders allowed a 300-yard rusher the past two weeks against Legacy and Cimarron-Memorial and still managed to win both games, which has to be some kind of national record. They can’t continue that charmed life against the area’s top rushing attack, right? … Shadow Ridge by 5.

■ Silverado at Liberty — Part of me thinks the Skyhawks have a chance to pull the upset on the night before their coach, Randall Cunningham, is honored at the UNLV game.

Part of me also remembers how much Silverado struggled to stop the pass in its loss to Basic. And part of me thinks “Westworld” the movie was better than the new TV show. That’s a lot of parts, I know. … Liberty by 21½.

■ Rancho at Las Vegas — I can’t forget the 60th version of the “Bone Game” or Grandpa Fielder will come over to the house and torture me with stories from when he went to high school.

The Wildcats have won 20 straight in the state’s oldest rivalry and outscored Rancho 381-37 in the past seven meetings. Hopefully this year’s game doesn’t feature a brawl like last year’s. That wasn’t cool. … Las Vegas by 24.

Moapa Valley at Chaparral — The dreaded No. 2 seed from the Class 3A Sunrise League goes to the winner. Dreaded? Allow me to explain.

The Sunrise League’s No. 2 seed is in the same half of the postseason bracket as the Sunset League champion and is staring at a potential state quarterfinal matchup against Desert Pines. The No. 3 seed, on the other hand, likely would face Virgin Valley in the second round of the postseason. Big difference. … Moapa Valley by 4.

Green Valley at Coronado — In phonaesthetics, “cellar door” has been cited as the most beautiful phrase in the English language. There is nothing beautiful about the cellar door in the Southeast League, however.

I’m not used to seeing the Gators at the bottom of the standings after making the playoffs five straight seasons. It’s sort of like the people who think New Zealand used to be located north of Australia on the map. … Green Valley by 6.

Needles at Lincoln County — “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all … in the Class 2A Southern League?” That’s what the Queen says in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” not the commonly misquoted, “Mirror, mirror … “

Totally messes with your head and makes you question reality, right? … Lincoln County by 10.

Last week: 8-2, 6-4 (with points).

Season: 51-16, 44-23 (with points).

Contact Fielder at Fielder@nevadapreps.com. Follow @FielderNVP on Twitter.

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