River Rat

  • RIVER RAT: Manning's 'last rodeo' won't be fun

    This weekend marks the culmination of the Peyton Manning lovefest, as it appears it will be his “last rodeo,” as he told Patriots coach Bill Belichick two weeks ago.

    Regardless of how Sunday’s game turns out on the scoreboard, it will serve as a celebration of all that No. 18 has done over his storied career. If you don’t believe me, listen to how Jim Nantz and Phil Simms gush over every single completed pass Manning makes.

  • RIVER RAT: Pats, Panthers should move on to Super Bowl

    I’m writing this on Friday in an empty office, occasionally glancing outside — yep, still snowing.

    Hopefully, all of you received your papers on time Sunday morning, as forecasts on Friday suggested the worst would be over by Saturday morning. And even if you are hunkered down for the weekend waiting for all the snow to melt, if nothing else, there’s some good entertainment and superb storylines on tap for Sunday afternoon’s AFC and NFC championship games.

  • RIVER RAT: Sunday Funday coming up

    Another Sunday, two more huge playoff games to plow through.

    It will be interesting to see if this week’s games play out in similar fashion as last week’s Wild Card round, with the late game Saturday and early game Sunday being nailbiter thrillers, bookended by a pair of snoozers.

    In Friday’s issue, I listed my picks for Saturday’s games, picking the Chiefs and Cardinals. Today’s games are even more intriguing, so let’s dive right in.


    Seattle at Carolina

  • RIVER RAT: Home cookin'?

    Last week’s NFL Wild Card round provided some interesting theatre with the dramatic wins by Pittsburgh and Seattle in the closing seconds, almost making up for the snoozers we saw with Kansas City and Green Bay.

    It was a historic weekend as well, with all four road teams winning for the first time ever. This week’s Divisional round, historically, tends to go the other way, as all four home teams are well-rested following their first-round byes, while the Wild Card winners will undoubtedly be a bit beat-up (some more than others, such as my Steelers).

  • RIVER RAT: CFP title game one for the ages

    On Monday afternoon, I was at a bit of a loss for what I might do for entertainment on a cold night in front of the tube, scanning the paper for what games might be on.

    “Oh yeah,” I thought. There was a football game I had completely forgotten about.

    I love college football, but there’s just not enough time in my week to follow it closely, especially since I usually work long days on Saturdays. I cast my lot with NFL Sundays a long time ago, since that’s really the only full day that I’m off work, and, well, it is the Steelers.

  • RIVER RAT: Today's NFC WC picks

    Friday’s edition featured my picks for Saturday’s AFC Wild Card games, so if you’re reading this Sunday morning, you’ll know whether I was right or wrong. My picks were Pittsburgh and Kansas City, in both cases, the road team. Weirdly enough, all four road teams this Wild Card weekend are favored, but I’m not picking all of them, as you’ll see in a moment.

  • RIVER RAT: Bo Jackson curse continues

    Playoff time is here in the NFL, and look who back-doored their way in.

    That’s right, the Steelers, the team nobody wants to have to face in the playoffs, especially a certain team that hasn’t won a playoff game in more than two decades.

    The sense of dread and self-loathing coming out of Bengals fans is downright comical in its sadness. I get the feeling they would rather have played anybody else than Pittsburgh in this game.

  • RIVER RAT: Top Sports Stories of 2015

    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: Hard work key to grid success

    It takes a lot of hard work to be successful in football, and those countless hours spent in the weightroom, conditioning, drilling and fine-tuning technique will finally start to pay off for our local teams this week.

    I’m starting my ninth year here at the Standard, and while I get excited about football, I’ll confess I regularly dread the long hours it takes to put together a section such as this, and all the preparation that goes into wrangling everything together.

  • RIVER RAT: Welcome to Ky. Standard Sports

    Those of you who are regular readers of the Standard’s sports section have a pretty good idea of what you can find in these pages on a regular basis.

    But for those of you who may be seeing our paper for the first time, allow me to give you a bit of a primer on what you’ll generally find here in this section.

    High school sports coverage tends to be the bread-and-butter of most small-town newspapers, and this paper is no exception to that rule. For 10 months out of the year, these pages are filled with the exploits of our local adolescent athletes.