Green thumbs, shufflers, and beheadings

Shots in the Darke

How about a series of quick thoughts after a great weekend in downtown Cincinnati? 

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans spent nearly $73 Billion last year  on flowers, seeds, and potted plants, up 48 percent from 2019 after adjusting for inflation. For all of you green thumbs out there the various nurseries, etc. are geared up for the traditional  Mother’s Day kickoff of plant and flower sales so get out the sprinkling cans, garden tools, and plant nourishments, it’s time to dig in the dirt! 

The NFL draft took over the sports airwaves for three days, particularly Thursday’s first round selections. Six quarterbacks were chosen in the first twelve picks—what are the odds that three or fewer will become Pro Bowl worthy or win a Super Bowl? 

The most puzzling selection of the first round was Atlanta drafting QB Michael Penix with the  eighth choice. The former Indiana and Washington athlete will supposedly back up veteran  Kirk Cousins who just signed a four-year, $180 million contract with the Falcons. Cousins is  soon to be 36 and coming off an Achilles tendon injury but you have to wonder if he isn’t a little surprised by the addition of Penix to the roster—most so-called analysts were, that’s for sure! 

For you THE fans, only four Buckeyes were selected in the 2024 draft, the fewest chosen since  2013. Marvin Harrison Jr., Mike Hall, Cade Stover, and Tommy Eichenberg were the only choices although several other Bucks signed free agent contracts over the weekend. 

What’s going on at the shuffleboard courts in the Greenville City Park you might ask? The  construction of a new awning/pavilion will be finished just in time for the June 6th Ohio  Shuffleboard Association (bet you didn’t know that organization existed!) sanctioned singles  tournament featuring both mens and ladies divisions. The only state mixed doubles  tournament competition will be held August 8th at the local site.  

The Treaty City Shuffleboard Club plays Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 1:00  to 3:00 until June, then will play mornings from 9:00 to 11:00 the rest of the season. For further information on the Club you can contact Tom Luebcke at (937) 414-2868.  

Evidently Caitlin Clark won’t have to live on the $76,000 contract she signed as the number  one draft pick in the WNBA. The former Iowa player who has transformed womens basketball and newest member of the Indiana Fever just inked an eight-year, $28 million dollar contract with Nike that should keep her, as my grandfather used to say, “living in the high grass”! Nike’s hoping that she becomes the female version of Michael Jordan when it comes to promoting high-priced shoes and other athletic apparel. 

Will the winds ever die down in this part of the country? I know that I, along with every other golfer in the area, am tired of seeing my shots being blown off line (or is it my constant battles  with a baffling slice?)! The breezes have made the grounds dry enough for farmers to get out  in the fields and begin planting their crops, so some good has come from the gusts of Mother  Nature! 

For you baseball fans the Guardians continue to play outstanding ball so far the first month of  the season, compiling an American League best mark of 19-9 and opening a 2.5 game lead in the AL Central. I hate to say it but I would have trouble naming more than five or six of the  team’s most recognizable players—can you? Off the top of your head who is the only team to  hold a better record as of this writing than Cleveland? 

Meanwhile the Reds are 15-13 and masters of inconsistency, world beaters one day and  beaten down the next. Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy had an interesting thought in his column  today in the Dayton Daily News—he’d move high-priced pitcher Hunter Greene to the bullpen  and groom him to be the team’s closer. What are your thoughts on that? 

The NBA and NHL playoffs continue to near the end of first-round series—you can’t turn on your television without coming across one of the leagues’ telecasts.  

Finally, my wife and I spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning in downtown Cincinnati with our daughters Alison and Lauren and had a great time while the sons-in-law gallantly volunteered to stay home and take care of the grandkids. We stayed in the historic The  Cincinnatian Hotel, ate at Prime, a great but pricey steakhouse, and walked across the street to the Aronoff Center to watch a performance of the smash hit Broadway musical “SIX”. “SIX” is based on the six wives of English monarch Henry the Eighth who ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. An entertaining pop-rock musical with an all female ensemble of only six and a band of four, it will have you rocking in your seats! As the title song goes,  “Divorced, Beheaded, Died. Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” which describes the fate of each of the six wives of that charming devil Henry! It’s a must see if you get the chance although the  Cincinnati tour ended with the performance we attended. 

Oh yeah, just about forgot, the Braves have the major’s best mark presently at 19-7. Also, if you watched any of the Reds-Rangers games this weekend on Bally Sports Ohio what did you  think of the Rangers’ new stadium? Pretty deluxe isn’t it! Have a great week!