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River Rat

  • RIVER RAT: Ugly times

    College basketball and football fans love to gnash their teeth about the NCAA and its lack of even-handedness when disciplining its member schools. Here in the Bluegrass State, the eternal impasse with North Carolina is a particular cause célèbre.

    There have been threats in recent years of schools making up the “Power Five” conferences (SEC, Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, ACC) splitting off and going their own way, so as to keep a bigger piece of the TV pie.

  • RIVER RAT: A trip down Memory Lane

    When I first came to town some 10 years ago, one of the first people I met was Minor Harmon.

    The deep-baritoned ballcoach was entering his final year heading up the Nelson County boys team, and he invited me out to snap a picture of the kids who attended his camp that day in June of 2007.

  • RIVER RAT: Falcons are the pick

    I’m admittedly a big homer when it comes to the NFL, and some of you have called me out on it at times. It’s a fair cop. I love my Steelers, and I was disappointed to see them go down in flames at New England two weeks ago in the AFC Championship.

    But that’s not why I’m going to pick against the Pats on Sunday.

  • RIVER RAT: Look for Pack, Pats to emerge

    It took a while, but we finally got around to having some entertaining playoff games last Sunday, after six other snoozers went into the books.

    And, as is per usual, I’m having a pretty good run with my picks in the playoffs, although not as good as most years. I stand at 6-2 so far, but really flexed my muscles with last Sunday’s selections, going against the grain to grab both Green Bay and Pittsburgh on the road in situations where the road team rarely wins.

  • RIVER RAT: Road teams prevail Sunday

    While I anticipate Saturday’s Seattle-Atlanta test to be a dandy, I’m feeling like Sunday’s divisional round playoff games will be the best yet.

    Granted, that’s not saying much. Last week’s games were, to put it mildly, stinkers. Three of my four picks were correct (I only missed my final score prediction on Steelers-Dolphins by two points!), but I was a little off on the margins in the Seattle-Detroit and Houston-Oakland contests.

    And boy, did I miss badly on the Packers-Giants game! Rest assured, it won’t happen again.

  • RIVER RAT: Things get serious now

    The first round of the playoffs is in the books, and I did pretty well last weekend, going 3-1, my lone blemish being the irrational confidence I had in the Giants to do something amazing. Your objection is duly noted, Aaron Rodgers.

    This is supposed to be the week when all home teams win, as that’s traditionally what happens in the divisional round. I don’t think that’s going to be the case this year, as you’ll see in today’s and Sunday’s predictions.

     

    NFC: Seattle at Atlanta

  • RIVER RAT: That old-time feeling

    Sunday’s Wild Card round games have a bit of a more familiar feel than Saturday’s, with old playoff hands such as the Steelers, Giants and Packers taking center stage along with a Miami franchise making its first playoff appearance since 2008.

    Prognosticators say if a surprise team is going to make the Super Bowl, it will be a team emerging from Sunday’s opening round. You can check out my picks from Saturday’s game online at kystandard.com — I’m planning for a big year.

     

  • RIVER RAT: Flawed teams should make for an entertaining playoff run

    Well, here we are at the end of the long regular-season NFL slog. We’ve managed to separate the wheat from the chaff along the way, but what we’ve really found is a bunch of flawed teams, each with some form of Achilles’ heel that figures to doom them at just the wrong time. It’s really just a matter of who’s fatal flaw is exposed sooner.

  • 2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: Looking back at the stories that shaped 2016 in sports

    Each year on the sports pages, a number of stories capture the fancy of local readers.

    At the end of each year, I take some time to reflect on just what it was we saw, and try my best to bring it all together in one list and bring context to it all.

  • RIVER RAT: Wild World Series

    Amazingly enough, the world didn’t end following the Chicago Cubs’ comeback from three games to one down to steal the World Series away from the Cleveland Indians.

    I was certain that Armageddon was the only natural reaction by the cosmos after one of the two longest-suffering franchises in Major League Baseball ended its generations-long drought — since 1908 for the Cubs and 1948 for the Indians. It seemed too historic for history to handle, with too many stunning, gut-punching disappointments endured by both tortured fan bases to wash away unnoticed.