Shots in the Darke


Hopefully everyone enjoyed the traditional end of the summer season with a satisfying Labor Day weekend full of activities, friends, and families! Now come my two favorite months of the year, September and October—a fresh start for students, cooler and crisper weather, festivals, sports, and general good times await.

For all of you parrotheads out there, a sad day with the passing of the “King of Beach Bum Soft Rock” Jimmy Buffett at the age of 76. Here’s hoping he’s still wasting away in Margaritaville, where it’s always five o’clock somewhere! That leads to today’s trivia question— what did Jimmy like with his Cheeseburger in Paradise? Start humming that great song in your mind!!

College football got underway in earnest over the weekend with the usual first week blowouts in obvious mismatches that gave alumni of strong programs the chance, just like their teams, to get warmed up for the season; the faithful for tailgating and partying and the teams working out a few kinks and seeing where things stand before hitting the meat of their schedules.

The usual suspects for national title consideration including, among others, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, USC, Tennessee, and Notre Dame all coasted to easy wins over lesser opponents while THE struggled at times against a game Indiana squad. Still a few questions for Ryan Day to address for the Bucks here in the early going but “practices” with Youngstown State and Western Kentucky (although the Hilltoppers should be competitive for a half or so) should provide some answers before the trip to South Bend and a clash with the Fighting Irish on September 23rd.

What do you think about “Coach Prime”, Deion Sanders, taking his Colorado Buffaloes into Fort Worth and upsetting TCU (remember the Horned Frogs made it to the National Championship game last year). Love him or hate him, Sanders has revamped a team that went 1-11 last year by bringing in eighty some new players and hyped the program as only he can. Will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes but should be easy to follow the team as the sports networks will be using them as ratings leaders!

The annual Treaty City Invitational Cross Country meet was held Saturday in Greenville’s City Park with 29 schools represented, all looking forward to making the run over the 3.1 mile course and the famous Swinging Bridge. Fort Loramie’s girls took home honors in the twentyone team field while Versailles placed second, Fort Recovery third, St. Henry fourth, and Tipp fifth with Northmont’s Makenna Long crossing the finish line first in a time of 20:07.

On the boys side Versailles claimed the title followed in order by Tipp, New Bremen, Greenville, and Ansonia in a twenty-two team competition. Trevor Heitkamp of Fort Recovery led the way with an outstanding early season time of 16:28 while Matthew Lee of Ansonia finished second with a 16:45; Tony Moorman paced Versailles clocking a 17:04 and Greenville’s Trey Rammel ran a 18:03 to lead the Wave. Always a great event, nearly 900 runners including middle school entries toed the starting line.

How about a few quick hitters? Bengals-Browns kickoff the NFL season in Cleveland Sunday as the AFC North should be a dogfight all year with the Steelers and Ravens also having title aspirations.

With four weeks left in the regular season, the Reds are in a virtual four-way tie for the final Wild Card playoff spot in the National League. The Braves, Brewers, and Dodgers are locks in their respective divisions while the Phils and Cubs seem comfortably placed for the first two of three wild cards. The Reds, D’Backs, Marlins, and Giants will all battle it out over the last twenty-five games for the rights to take on, most likely, the Braves in the first round of the playoffs.

The Reds have used an almost unbelievable thirty-four pitchers so far this season, leading the majors with seven rookies starting games in their major league debuts. Can you name the two Reds hurlers who lead the team in wins? How about rookie Andrew Abbott, who wasn’t called up from the minors until June, and reliever Ian Gibaut (who scares me every time he takes the mound) with eight wins each!

Tipp and Butler lead the MVL volleyball standings thus far with perfect 5-0 records while Sidney and Greenville boast of 4-0 marks, the Lady Wave at 5-3 overall. In the WOAC, Arcanum, Preble Shawnee, Franklin-Monroe, and Mississinawa Valley are all undefeated in league action at 2-0. Lots of net action coming up in the next month, get out and support the girls!

Finally, are you still singing that Buffett tune? Jimmy sang “Cheeseburger in paradise, medium rare with mustard be nice, heaven on earth with an onion slice, I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise. I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French-fried potatoes, big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer, good God Almighty which way do I steer for my Cheeseburger in Paradise?” Here’s a toast to the late and great Jimmy Buffett!!

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