Turducken, Turkeys, and Thanks

Shots in the Darke

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It certainly feels more like Christmas than Thanksgiving weather-wise doesn’t it? Hats off (or maybe keep them on!) to football fans from high school through the pros for braving the  elements over the weekend to support their teams. Frigid temperatures and wind chills were  prevalent in the Miami Valley as regional finals were played. Congratulations to Tipp City of the  MVL as the Red Devils earned their first trip to the D-III state semi-finals knocking off top ranked Hamilton Badin for the chance to take on Bloom-Carroll from the Columbus area Friday  night in London.  

Former Arcanum quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer completed 26 of 29 passes for 278  yards and 2 TDs in leading his new team, the Wildcats of Springfield, to a win over Olentangy  Liberty and a trip to the Final Four in D-I where they’ll face traditional power Cincinnati Moeller  Friday. Meanwhile Milton-Union fell to Valley View in D-V in a rematch of an early season  SWBL game won by the Bulldogs. The Spartans will play a strong Ironton eleven Friday at  Princeton Stadium on the north side of Cincinnati. 

How about a few other football thoughts?  

The MAC continues to have multiple teams in the football state semis—Marion Local in D-VI  and New Bremen in D-VII move on with convincing wins. 

THE and The School Up North will settle the Big Ten East championship in Columbus  Saturday, only the second time in their long history that both teams enter undefeated, both  coming off tough wins over the weekend. The West champion the winner will face in  Indianapolis? Iowa, Purdue, or Illinois (otherwise known as sacrificial lambs!). 

TCU on a last second (literally!) field goal remained unbeaten, USC escaped UCLA to  capture a spot in the PAC-12 title game, South Carolina upset Tennessee, and two-loss LSU  somehow has a chance to make the four-team college playoff IF they can beat Texas A&M and  then Georgia in the SEC title contest.  

How about some turducken for Thanksgiving? For those unaware (and there can’t be that  many) you take a deboned chicken, stuff it inside a deboned duck, and finally put both into a  deboned turkey. Roast the whole thing and, as the late, great NFL coach and broadcaster  John Madden would say, “POW, BAM, GRAB A LEG”! As for me, I’m not a huge turkey lover,  so pass the side dishes my way, please!! 

Speaking of turkeys, certain individuals and teams in the sports world qualify for that term in  my humble opinion. Let me start with the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA and their petulant trio of  Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons. I am so tired of the attention given to these  three that I automatically tune out any mention of them (and there is plenty of that on ESPN!).  Let’s throw in the Los Angeles Lakers as well—while LeBron is still one of the best even at his  age the team is barely mediocre but gets largely unwarranted press coverage because, “hey,  they’re the Lakers!” 

While I’m on a roll let’s add the front office of the Reds—in the latest in a long line of gaffes,  the powers that be just traded one of the mainstays of the team, Kyle Farmer, to the Twins for a  minor league pitcher. While never a star, Farmer was a solid player who was a great influence on the younger players on the roster and a clubhouse leader. Evidently he didn’t fit in with the  constant rebuilding plans of the Boys by the River, becoming yet another to depart in the past  few years (think Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, Wade Miley, and many other proven veterans)  leading to this year’s 100-loss record.  

And include Ticketmaster in the notorious list for the massive foul-up in the supposed sale  of Taylor Swift concert tickets for next summer’s tour. There are a lot of miffed mommas and  daughters out there this weekend!! 

The premier sporting event in the world (according to most people not living in the USA) is  the quadrennial World Cup, being held this month and next in Qatar. The controversial choice  to hold the futbol (soccer) games in the Middle Eastern country (with temperatures reaching  over 110 degrees in the summer, the event has been moved to the winter and, along with the  human rights violations concerning immigrant labor during construction of the lavish facilities  and stadiums, caused considerable angst among the media) has led to many restrictions for  the duration of the games, some just brought to light in spite of previous assurances to the  sport’s governing body. 

No alcohol is allowed to be brought into the country and beer sales won’t be allowed in the  stadiums (imagine Budweiser’s surprise as they are one of the event’s primary sponsors!). Any  criticism of Islam and the Qatari government is subject to criminal prosecution and heaven  forbid that any “immoral” acts of a sexual nature, any pork products brought into the country,  and any flesh exposed that doesn’t fall within Qatari codes be brought to the attention of the  authorities. Sounds like a fun time for those in attendance doesn’t it!! 

Finally a wish that all have a Happy Thanksgiving. There is a lot to be thankful for—family,  friends, freedom, and hopefully good health in addition to all of those personal things each of  us sometimes take for granted. Have a great few days and pass the mashed potatoes and  gravy, hold the tryptophan!!

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