Opinions, Franchises, and Wind Turbines

Shots in the Darke


The first round of 41 post-season bowl games was played over the weekend, beginning a
two-week viewfest for college football fans. Congratulations to the Ohio University Bobcats as they won the Myrtle Beach Bowl over Georgia Southern despite losing their entire starting offensive backfield to the transfer portal! Condolences to the Miami RedHawks as they lost to the Mountaineers of Appalachian State in a driving rainstorm in the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl in Orlando, giving the MId-American Conference a split of the first two games in which league teams will participate.

Of the games played so far, two stand out—the D-III championship game between
defending titleholder North Central (IL) and SUNY Cortland (that’s State University New York) was outstanding as Cortland won 38-37 as North Central failed on a two-point conversion try to win the game in the last minute. No players entering the “portal” for either team which was refreshing!

The other was the FCS semifinal contest between Montana and North Dakota State, with
the Grizzlies winning in double overtime 31-29, moving on to the championship game against defending champion South Dakota State in Frisco, Texas on January 7th. Good solid football teams with athletes who are just a little smaller and slower than their FBS but with
just as rabid fan bases!

Another eleven games will be televised this week—unless you’re a fan of any of the schools
teeing it up the only game that might be of some note will be the Las Vegas Bowl between
Northwestern and Utah, a surprise team versus a good team that was decimated by injuries.

How about former Buckeye quarterback Kyle McCord transferring to Syracuse? He led his
team to an 11-1 record, threw 24 touchdown passes and 6 interceptions while completing
almost 66 percent of his passes and yet was basically run out of Columbus because of the loss to Michigan. Wish him well as he assumes the helm for the Orange in the Atlantic Coast Conference; no way near the pressure of wearing the Scarlet and Gray!

A great weekend for all Bengals and Browns fans—a comeback win Saturday for the Stripes
over the Vikings to move to 8-6 (how about Jake Browning and Tee Higgins!) while the Browns took down the Bears to improve to 9-5 (Joe Flacco to the rescue again). Here’s hoping both teams make the playoffs (how big could the season finale between the two Ohio teams be on January 7th at PayCor Stadium?).

Here’s a baseball trivia question for you fans who are awaiting the start of spring training in
a few months—nine current franchises have previously been located in other cities. Can you
name the former locales of the Braves, Dodgers, Giants, Orioles, Athletics, Twins, Rangers,
Brewers, and Nationals? Answers to follow!!

In addition to high school basketball, area wrestling, bowling, and swimming squads are
getting into the heart of their schedules. I’ll try to keep you updated as the season progresses for each—suffice it to say that this week will find the Versailles Duals meet being held Saturday while next week will see many area teams attending the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association tourney at Vandalia-Butler High School.

People often ask me where I get information on the local high schools—it’s easy to Google
the websites of the Miami Valley League, the Western Ohio Athletic Conference, the Southwest Buckeye League, the Shelby County League, the Three Rivers Conference, the Midwest Athletic Conference, the Central Buckeye Conference, and the Greater Western Ohio Conference.

It was nice to see UD and UC, for the first time since 2010, renew their basketball rivalry
Saturday, a Flyer victory. Those two schools along with Xavier, Miami, and Wright State should all play each other yearly. I still don’t understand why the “Gem City Jam” between UD and Wright State isn’t played annually other than a reluctance on the part of one of the schools. Who wants to see schools like Prairie View A&M, Texas-Corpus Christi, etc. matchup with our Southwest Ohio teams on a fairly regular basis when the fan interest would be high with local meetings?

Here’s your trivia answers—Atlanta’s Braves came by way of Milwaukee and earlier Boston.
The Dodgers of course moved from Brooklyn and the Giants from New York. The Orioles used to be the St. Louis Browns while the Athletics (evidently on the move again, this time to Las Vegas) originally came from Kansas City and earlier Philadelphia. The Twins once were the old Washington Senators, the Rangers were the latter reincarnation of the Senators, the Brewers were the former Seattle Pilots, and the Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos (who can forget Stade Parc Jarry?). How many did you get right?

From The Week magazine, one of my favorite publications, come these two items—Ford will
cut planned production of its all-electric F-150 Lightning by half next year, from 3,200 per week to 1,600. The company has sold only 20,365 of the trucks this year through November as dealers’ lots fill up with unsold models. What are your thoughts all of you pickup drivers?

Finally, the hottest job in the US is “wind turbine service technician”. Employment is
expected to increase by 45 percent over the next decade with an average salary of $80,000 not unusual. Those with a “fear of heights” need not apply! Candidates must be able to “lug 50 pounds of gear up long ladders to confined spaces up to 300 feet in the air. Any takers out there? Have a Merry Christmas while remembering the real reason for the season!!