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River Rat

  • RIVER RAT: 49ers are my pick

    Well, here we are at the end of the road, with the glory of possible redemption hanging in the air. For me, that is, and my recent string of bad picks.

    I’m not sure what ESPN and the other national sports media is feeding you lo this past fortnight. I’ve been on SportsCenter blackout since the Super Bowl entrants had been decided two weeks ago, wary of the massive amount of hype that two weeks’ worth of a 24-hour sports news cycle can vomit onto our living room floors.

  • RIVER RAT: Is this Bardstown's last All A?

    The Touchstone Energy All A Classic is this week at Frankfort’s Farnham-Dudgeon Civic Center, and Bardstown goes into the boys’ draw with an air of confidence.

    Disappointment from a last-year’s heartbreaking last-second loss in the championship to Covington Holy Cross is still fresh in the minds of Tiger players and coaches. “Unfinished business” was a common theme when I did postgame interviews after their 72-48 win over Bethlehem in Friday’s 5th Region All A Classic championship.

  • RIVER RAT: Look for Pats, 49ers to advance

    For the purposes of great storylines, this round of playoffs has plenty.

    Tom Brady trying to cement his legacy with one more Super Bowl. Will former WKU coach Jack Harbaugh enjoy the pleasure or be distraught with nerves over seeing his coaching sons face off in New Orleans in two weeks, assuming San Francisco (Jim) and Baltimore (John) win Sunday? And what about Atlanta and Matt Ryan, who got the playoff win monkey off his back with a dramatic last-minute drive for a winning field goal?

    Definitely intriguing.

    Here’s how I’m seeing it:

  • RIVER RAT: Expect blowouts

    By now, you’ll know whether or not my picks for the Saturday games are correct.

    As I noted, I feel strongly enough about them that I see no need to alter strategy or do anything crazy like go completely against my initial instinct out of fear of bad mojo, or whatever else jinx possibilities might be at play.

    And besides, I wasn’t that bad last week, was I? After all, I did hit two of the four. That’s pretty good, right? (This bargaining with myself doesn’t seem pathetic, right?)

  • RIVER RAT: Wrong? Not this time …

    Well, my first-round playoff picks went … ehhh. Nothing special. Nothing remarkable. Nothing more to see here.

    I’m hoping to remedy that poor performance, starting Saturday. I feel very confident this week. Of course, I did last week as well, but anyway.

    Here’s how Saturday should go down, at least as far as I’m concerned.

     

    AFC: Baltimore at Denver

  • RIVER RAT: More playoff picks

    This goes to press Saturday morning, so I’m just going to have to operate under the assumption that I was right on my picks for Saturday’s games (see Friday’s issue). As a result, why change my thinking for the Sunday games?

    Here are the picks:

     

    Colts over Ratbirds

    So far, Andrew Luck’s been pretty special as a pro, finding a way to win games against all odds all season long. Sure, logic says to go against the rookie QB on the road in his playoff debut, especially against a good defensive team.

  • RIVER RAT: Playoff time

    Well, we’re at the end of the road.

    OK, I’m at the end of the road with the Steelers failing to advance to the playoffs. I guess it goes hand-in-hand with me missing the playoffs in both my fantasy football leagues — it’s been that kind of year.

    But it’s now a new year, and while I won’t be hitching up the bandwagon to any of the other teams during the playoffs, it does figure to be an exciting playoff season, even without the Black’n’Gold. I am, after all, an NFL junkie.

  • RIVER RAT: Top 10 sports stories of 2012

    Each year, a number of stories capture the local scene; big moments and big happenings that shape the yearly landscape of the local sports world.

    Many are singularly momentous events on their own merit, while others still are part of a larger picture.

    Here’s a look at the big things on the local sports scene in 2012.

     

    10. Carter ends career in style

  • RIVER RAT: Boys only?

    For whatever reason, the local basketball coaching ranks seems as hesitant to welcome women’s participation as much as Augusta National has been over the years.

    This year, with Bardstown’s hiring of Jamie Neal to take over the girls’ hoops program, marks the first time since the 1970s a local school has had a female hoops coach. I consulted a few people well-equipped to know that history, starting with Minor Harmon.

  • RIVER RAT: Catching things up

    I haven’t had much column chances lately, so I’ll do some housecleaning on a rainy Tuesday …

     

    Congratulations to Nelson County quarterback Dylan Beasley and lineman Reed Montgomery, for being picked to participate in the Best of the Bluegrass All-Star Game. The game is set for 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Xavier High School, pitting Beasley, Montgomery and other standout seniors from the Greater Louisville area against their counterparts from the rest of the state.