Winter Heroes, Scorigami,  and Dubious Picks

Shots in the Darke


Hopefully everyone has had a joyful and meaningful Christmas weekend, shared with family, friends, and loved ones. With all of the cold, wind, and, thankfully, no more snow than Mother  Nature sent our way the past few days, it’s time to pause and give thanks to the road crews  who made the streets, roads, and highways passable by Saturday and Sunday. Couldn’t have been much fun getting out of a warm bed early Friday morning to battle the drifting snow and icy road conditions!! Should give us reason to exhibit more patience when driving behind a plow truck going 25 miles per hour—thanks everyone for your service!!

With the frigid air affecting most of the NFL’s schedule throughout the country, the Bengals won their seventh straight game to up their mark to 11-4, clinching at least a playoff berth with  the Bills and Ravens coming to Cincinnati to complete the regular season. Meanwhile the Browns fell to the Saints, dropping out of the playoff picture, yet another in a long string of disappointing seasons for fans of the Orange and Brown.

The Bengals win over the Patriots was historic in that it was a “scorigami”! The 22-18 final count was the first of its kind in the long and storied history of the NFL, joining 1,074 other existing combinations of final tallies. I just happened to come across a short article on scorigamis—kind of makes you wonder what type of person actually keeps track of such  things doesn’t it?!?

How about a quick trivia question for all of you NCAA basketball fans? Can you name three of the top five teams in Division I according to the latest polls? Answer to follow!

The Third Annual “Night of Champions” honoring past GHS title teams will be held this Thursday night prior to the Greenville-Versailles varsity boys basketball game. Teams to be recognized include the ‘68 boys tennis, ‘68 boys cross country, ‘73 football, ‘77 girls basketball, ‘83 softball, ‘87 girls track, ‘92 wrestling, and ‘93 girls basketball squads. If you know of anyone who participated on those teams make sure they are aware of the event.  Registration begins at 6:00 with introductions around 7:15.

Christmas Day is always a big showcase for the NBA with five telecasts scheduled, usually involving the Knicks at home, the LeBron Lakers, and a bunch of big television market teams. I really struggle getting too enthused by the games at this point of the season but let’s at least look at the top teams in each conference. Boston, Milwaukee, Cleveland (the Cavs!), and  Brooklyn set the pace in the Eastern Conference while in the Western Conference Memphis,  New Orleans, and Denver lead the pack. Where are the four-time and defending champions of Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors as we near the half-way point of the schedule?  How about 15-18 and in fourth place in the Pacific Division!

For followers of the NHL the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricane are the best in the East while the Stars of Dallas and those Las Vegas Golden Knights continue atop the standings out  West. Plenty of fast-paced ice action on tap until mid-June!!

The college bowl season really heats up this coming week with many intriguing matchups but let’s just concentrate on the so-called New Year’s Six. Never shy to make public predictions of dubious quality, here are my best guesses as to the outcomes of the aforementioned contests.

Orange—Clemson too tough for the Volunteers of Tennessee

Sugar—Kansas State in a squeaker over ‘Bama

Rose—Penn State falls to those Utah Utes

Cotton—Tulane over USC just because they’re the Green Wave!

Fiesta—Michigan defense too tough for pesky TCU and quarterback Max Duggan Peach—Don’t hate me Buckeye fans but the almost home field advantage in Atlanta combined  with the best defense in the country makes Georgia the pick to play the Wolverines in the  national championship game.

Don’t bet the farm on my picks!! Finally, the top five NCAA hoop teams in this week’s polls?  Purdue, UConn, Houston, Kansas, and Arizona. Time to sit down and make those New Year’s resolutions—stay healthy and active!!

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