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!!