ANTACIDS, MONSTERS, AND THE IRISH

Shots in the Darke

1603

Admit it folks, all of you were reaching for the Tums shortly after four o’clock Sunday
afternoon as the Bengals and Browns teetered on the brink of disaster on their home fields.
First the Stripes survived the Seahawks comeback efforts by a narrow 17–13 count despite
being outplayed statistically by the visitors from the Great Northwest. Then minutes later the Boys by the Lake took down the undefeated (and according to the national media, best team in the NFL) 49ers as San Francisco’s rookie kicker missed a potential game-winning 41-yard field goal with seconds remaining. In case you didn’t know, the aforementioned booter, Jake Moody, is an alum of The School Up North, making it all the sweeter!

With the win the Bengals improved to 3-3 heading into their bye week with the 49ers
awaiting in two weeks. The offense was average at best while the defense bent but didn’t
break in securing the victory. The Brownies advanced to 3-2 as third-string QB PJ Walker
performed capably enough in the absence of Deshaun Watson (does anybody get injured as
much as he does?) and the defense stifled the San Francisco offense, sending Brent Purdy
back to the Bay Area a loser for the first time in his short career as a starter. The Browns travel to Indianapolis next week to take on the 3-3 Colts who lost to the Jaguars.

Again, according to the national media, it appears at this point of the season that the AFC
North will be a dogfight through Week 18 with three of the four teams likely to qualify for the postseason. Better stock up on your favorite antacids!!

Dick Butkus, one of the all-time great linebackers in NFL history, passed away last week at
the age of 80. The 6’3” 245-pounder was a standout for “The Monsters of the Midway”, the
Chicago Bears, his entire nine-year career. Here’s today’s trivia questions—where did he play his college ball and, later, he became noted for what television advertisements?

How about some tips of the hat to local high school teams and individuals? Ansonia’s
Tigers clinched at least a share of the WOAC football title with a resounding win over Preble
Shawnee Friday night and can claim sole possession of the trophy with a win over arch rival
Mississinawa Valley this coming week. Ranked second in the state in D-VII, their narrow win earlier in the season over Tri-Village proved the catalyst to their success as they await the playoffs.

Versailles’ Tigers lost a heartbreaker to Coldwater up in Mercer County Friday evening but
still will claim a high seed in the upcoming playoffs in D-VI while T-V’s Patriots will roll into the postseason on a high providing they beat neighboring National Trail down on Route 40 in Week 10.

Over in Miami County Troy and Tippecanoe both are headed to the playoffs, sharing the
MVL North lead with Vandalia-Butler, another likely postseason participant. Throw in Milton-
Union, Sidney, Eaton, Valley View, Marion Local, Minster, Celina, and others and it makes for an interesting few weeks of pigskin action to come!

The Greenville Green Wave’s young squad has undergone growing pains this year and will
be seeking their first win against a 1-8 West Carrollton team on Senior Night at Harmon Field in what should be a competitive game—here’s hoping for a Wave win to establish some momentum going into next fall’s campaign!

Some area golfers concluded outstanding seasons this past week—in D-I competition,
Greenville’s Ethan Sunsdahl posted a 78 in finishing tied for 31st in the always tough district outing held at Springboro’s Heatherwoode golf course while Troy’s Mitch Sargent recorded a 75 in placing in a tie for 13th. In the boys D-III state meet held at OSU Minster’s boys finished sixth paced by Louis Magoto’s 12th place finish while Russia’s Raiders ended the season with tenth place honors being led by Felix Francis among others. In the girls D-II state meet, Versailles’ Ella Porter finished 19th with a two-round total of 167. How good are the girls at the state level? Siena Maschke of Laurel (where the heck is Laurel?) won the competition with a 143!

Finally, a few quick thoughts—

The league championship series begins with the Rangers traveling to Houston to face the
Astros in an all-Texas American League best 4-of-7 showdown while the upstart
Diamondbacks tangle with the Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love. Who do you like to make it to the World Series? I’m pulling for the Rangers and Los Serpents!

Did you know that people over 65 accounted for 22% of all spending in the States last
year?

I went with my two sons-in-law and a grandson to the Notre Dame-USC football game in
South Bend Saturday night as the home team demolished the previously undefeated Trojans 48-20. If you ever get the chance to see the Fighting Irish in action at home you’ll be in for a real treat as the traditions, tailgating, and fan enthusiasm are amazing, not to mention the “Band of the Irish”, the nation’s oldest college band now in it’s 135th year of playing at football games! Even though there will be some squabbles over this from Michigan and THE fans among many others, it’s hard to dispute the claim that the Notre Dame Victory March is the nation’s finest fight song!!

Dick Butkus was a two-time first-team All-American at Illinois, leading the Fighting Illini to
the 1964 Rose Bowl. His playing days were shortened by chronic knee issues and he began a career in movies but was most noted for his Miller Lite beer commercials—“less filling, tastes great!” Stay healthy and active!!