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River Rat

  • RIVER RAT: MLB’s All-Star Game just not the same anymore

    I watched the All-Star Game on Tuesday and, well, it just doesn’t have the luster of my youth, back when baseball still was America’s Pastime.

    Of course, much has changed since those days.

  • RIVER RAT: Neal Brown talks UK football

    In Friday’s issue we had part one of my interview with University of Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown, a Bardstown native, on what it’s like coming back to the Bluegrass State after an assistant coaching career that included stints as OC at Troy and Texas Tech, where his offense was regularly ranked among the most productive in the nation.

  • Catching up with: UK OC Neal Brown

    With the University of Kentucky’s football coaching change, it afforded Bardstown native Neal Brown an opportunity to come home, so to speak.

    Brown — who in recent years guided some of the most productive offenses in the nation while serving as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech and Troy — took over that same position at Kentucky in the winter when new head coach Mark Stoops grabbed the reins.

  • RIVER RAT: Go west, young man

    I’ve occasionally been known to be overtaken by fits of spontaneous whimsy, and this past weekend was one of them.

    After a frantic month’s worth of postseason activity in the high school sports world that wrapped up last week, along with the heaviness of the tragic shooting death of BPD officer Jason Ellis, I felt a powerful need to get out of town, and didn’t really want to wait until next week for my scheduled vacation.

  • RIVER RAT: Talk Derby to me

    If you remember back to last year at this time, I was exploring a new and fanciful way of playing the Derby. I pieced together 10 exactas with various combinations. Half of them I played straight-up by my own handicapping; the other half were determined by having my mom and dad draw random numbers out of a hat to build my tickets.

  • RIVER RAT: Is this The Year of the Pitcher?

    Warning: This is totally unscientific.

    On the KHSAA/Riherd’s baseball scoreboard site Saturday morning, there are 24 games listed that were reported in from Friday, from around the state. Most others, including all those involving our local schools, were rained out.

    Of those games that actually did get played, nine of them saw the winner score five runs or fewer. On the losing side, a third of them were shutouts, and eight more saw the losing team score either one or two runs.

  • RIVER RAT: Louisville over Syracuse in the finals

    Well, I was sort of right on last week’s prognostication, correctly calling Syracuse to top Marquette in the East, and getting Louisville right coming out of the Midwest.

    The rest — not so much. But hey, there have been many a birdcage lined with incorrect predictions from sportswriters, so I’ll just dive right in.

  • RIVER RAT: Rewind the tape

    Last Friday morning, my mother called for some reason or another, but it was way too early for me to be coherent over the phone, so I ignored it and banked a couple more hours of sleep.

    She called again later on in the morning, but I still hadn’t awoken and didn’t pick up.

    I told myself I’d check her voice mail later, reasoning that if it were a life-or-death scenario, the phone calls wouldn’t have such a gap between them, and she’d keep calling incessantly until I had to pick up.

  • RIVER RAT: Building a better bracket, on the fly

    It’s 11:19 in the a.m. Thursday, one of the most exciting days of the year, less than an hour before Michigan St. tips off against 14 seed Valpo.

    It’s a game that will surely be a dominant win by the No. 3 seed Spartans. I’m just now getting brackets printed out for my first swing at winning the pool.

    That’s the procrastinator in me, I guess, but I’ve found my first instinct usually is better than when I spend a lot of time over-thinking it all.

  • RIVER RAT: Looking back at St. Joe's 1963 CSAA champs

    I got a call Tuesday from a fellow about two hours before deadline.

    He was calling to tell me about a special anniversary of something, but I was rushed at the time. I didn’t quite understand what he was referring to, as I have a tendency to block everything out when I’m in “drive time,” the mad, frantic period on deadline days where I’m usually cursing myself and my procrastinating ways.