Super Sunday, Olympics, and Harbaughs

Shot in the Darke

One week until Super Bowl LVI kicks off between the Bengals and the Rams so get fired up all of you fans of the Stripes! Is this the year that Cincinnati finally breaks through with their first championship in what has been an unexpected surprise to not only the so-called experts but also the regular Joes and Janes who bleed orange and black?  

Can Joe Burrow become the first player ever to win a Heisman Trophy, National Championship, AND a Super Bowl? Will the Bengals offensive line hold up enough to give the Joes (Burrow and Mixon) the chance to do damage to a vaunted Los Angeles defense? Will  the Bengals defense be able to hold Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Odell Beckham, Jr.  in check? My prediction, for all it’s worth, coming up at the end of this column! 

Two interesting side notes to next week’s game:  

Rams’ safety Eric Weddle retired two years ago after 13 years as a pro. Four weeks ago he received a call from LA imploring him to come back at age 37 and help a depleted Rams secondary during the playoff run. Although he had stayed somewhat in shape physically playing pickup basketball and working out with weights and daily running he was far from football ready. Amazingly enough he’s performed above expectations and is now getting his chance at a Super Bowl ring! 

Rams head coach Sean McVay is a graduate of Miami University’s famed “Cradle of  Coaches” as is Raven’s Super Bowl winning head coach John Harbaugh (yes, Jim from The  School Up North is his brother). The Harbaughs’ father Jack was the head coach of what two Greenville High School football opponents back in the ‘60s? Answer to follow for all of you football fanatics! 

Seedings and pairings were determined for this week’s first round games of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s girls basketball tournament. As expected Tri-Village’s Lady Patriots earned a number one seed in D-IV play and will face eleven seed East Dayton  Christian Wednesday at Trotwood-Madison High School.  

The Lady Trojans of Arcanum were selected a number one seed by D-III coaches and will  match up with nineteen seed Springfield Northeastern Thursday at Covington. Greenville’s Lady Wave are a nine seed in D-II and will play the two seed Trotwood-Madison Saturday at Tecumseh High School.  

Earning the top seed is a reward for a successful regular season and once again offers what  should be easy paths to at least the district finals so hats off to both T-V and Arcanum! For the rest of the county schools pairings check out the OHSAA website. Good luck to all of the local squads! 

Shovel enough snow the past few days? At least Darke County was spared most of the icing the southern part of the Miami Valley experienced! 

I’m having trouble getting too excited about the Winter Olympics this time; Beijing, politics, etc. just haven’t grabbed my attention. The athletes are tremendous, the competition fierce but for some reason I’m just not into it; what about you? 

This appears to be a year where the NCAA has no clear-cut favorites when March Madness begins next month. The perennial powers like Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, and UCLA  along with defending champion Baylor and relative newcomer Auburn all could be upset in  early rounds. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a dark-horse make it to the Final Four (see Butler in back-to-back years 2010-11)? 

Finally, (I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath!) I think the Bengals are a team of destiny so I’m going Cincinnati by a 23-20 margin. Don’t bet the farm on my prediction! Also,  Jack Harbaugh compiled an 11-8-1 record in ‘64-‘65 as head coach at Eaton, followed by an  8-1-1 mark at Xenia in ‘66. The BGSU grad then moved into the college ranks, eventually becoming the long-time head coach at Western Kentucky. Enjoy the Super Bowl!! 

 

Dr. Alex Warner | Correspondent for Darke County Now

Dr. Alex Warner / Correspondent

Alex Warner is a retired Greenville chiropractor as well as a former educator and high school coach. He has over 30 years experience in broadcasting high school sports on both radio and public access television in addition to producing over 50 episodes of the local television series “Our Town”. A man of many interests, he is naturally curious with a “gift of gab”. He currently writes the weekly sports column “Shots in the Darke” and hosts “Talk of the Town” featuring people, places, and events that make Darke County the place we choose to reside.

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