Wide right, cheese, and cud

Shots in the Darke

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Time to brew a concoction of high school basketball, NFL games, and a few general sports topics with a dash of trivia thrown in to hopefully brighten what evidently will be a few days of gloomy, rainy weather here in late January.

The Buffalo Bills continued to be jinxed when it comes to getting past Kansas City in the AFC playoffs, missing the chance to finally beat the Chiefs in Orchard Park, NY Sunday night. Tyler Bass missed a late potential game-tying 44-yard field goal “wide right” as the Bills fell short again, losing 27-24. For a little history, how many of you remember that Buffalo lost in four consecutive Super Bowls from 1991 through 1994, with the first coming as Scott Norwood missed 47-yard field goal attempt with eight seconds remaining in the game as the team lost to the Giants 20-19? You guessed it, the kick was “wide right”!

One of many football principles is “don’t throw the ball late in the play over the middle of the field”. Baker Mayfield of the Buccaneers, somewhat, and Jordan Love of the Packers in particular will probably be hearing that in their sleep for months if not years as both threw costly interceptions with the outcomes in question. The Lions were the beneficiaries of Mayfield’s toss while the 49ers capitalized on Love’s miscue.

The Ravens meanwhile routed an overachieving young Houston ball club and standout rookie QB CJ Stroud; Baltimore is one tough team on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

So who do you like in the conference championship games this coming weekend, the Niners or Lions, the Ravens or Chiefs? I like both San Francisco and Baltimore at home but expect both games to be close contests.

Another quick update on area high school basketball as we near tournament seedings and brackets in the next week or two. In the Miami Valley League boys standings Tipp holds a three-game lead over Butler in the Miami Division while Stebbins and Sidney are in a close fight for the Valley Division title. On the girls side of the MVL Butler at 10-3 leads Tipp at 9-3 with Sidney holding a one-game lead over Stebbins and West Carrollton. Looks like Tipp, Butler, Sidney, and Stebbins have it going in both boys and girls programs at present doesn’t it?

In the Western Ohio Athletic Conference state fourth-ranked in D-III Preble Shawnee and D- III ninth-ranked Tri-Village are undefeated in boys action and appear headed to a showdown in New Madison on Friday, February 16th. Franklin-Monroe stills has a chance at league honors but must defeat the Patriots at the Battleground this week. In girls standings T-V holds a one- game advantage over Mississinawa Valley, edging the Blackhawks by one-point early in the season. T-V faces a tough non-conference schedule the rest of the season with Versailles, Butler, and Bellbrook all on tap.

Up north in the Midwest Athletic Conference the Coldwater and Delphos St. John’s boys are tied for first with Parkway, St. Henry, and Versailles still in the hunt. Marion Local, Minster, and Versailles head the pack in girls play.

How about a few True-False questions to make you think? Answers to follow!

—Cheese is the most shoplifted food in the world.

—Legally, a 1,000 piece jig saw puzzle must have exactly 1,000 pieces.

—Cows lie down when it’s about to rain.

—At any given time, one of your nostrils is doing most of the work.

The University of Dayton Flyers mens basketball team has won 12 straight and drawn national attention ranking 16th in this week’s polls. Led by DaRon Holmes, coach Anthony Grant’s squad seems to be the real deal and a favorite to win the Atlantic Ten.

Great college women’s basketball game in Columbus Sunday as the Lady Buckeyes defeated the second-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes and Caitlin Clark 100-92 in overtime in front of a crowd of 18,600. Clark tallied 45 points but Cotie McMahon and Jacy Sheldon countered with 33 Great and 24 respectively to draw within a half-game of first place in the Big Ten.

Speaking of THE, the Bucks went shopping in the transfer portal signing two starters from Alabama, a quarterback from Kansas State (to go along with five-star QBs from a Georgia high school program and an Alabama recruit. Think the two holdovers who played in the Cotton Bowl debacle are a little anxious?) and the SEC’s leading rusher from Ole MIss. We’ll see if money buys success for the Scarlet and Gray. College athletics has changed hasn’t it?

Also, the hiring of new THE athletic director Russ Bjork has been lauded by many but check out some of the past controversies involving him and make up your own mind.

Finally, the answers to the statements above—

—Four percent of cheese production is stolen annually, making it a dubious number one.

—Most jig saw puzzles have 1,026 pieces (38 x 27).

—Cows usually are chewing their cud when lying down. Cud you ask? The portion of food in a ruminant’s stomach that returns to the mouth to be chewed a second time!

—Nasal flow switches from side to side every couple of hours.

Have a great week, stay healthy and active!