River Rat

  • Playoff picks: Do the Bengals finally get that elusive win?

    Sunday’s group of playoff games are intriguing, for many reasons.

    The near blowing of last week’s game against the Cardinals notwithstanding, the 49ers are playing their best ball of the year and appear to be a big contender to get back to the Super Bowl after winning six straight.

    For their recent and season-long 12-4 effort, they get to go to Green Bay, where temperatures will be zero or below all game, and they get a Packers team that is at least healthy on offense, if not so much on defense.

  • RIVER RAT: So close …

    Driving back from Iowa on Sunday was a stressful proposition, and not just because the icy roads that dominated the central Illinois portion of the trip, sending a number of cars skidding into the ditch.

    No, it was largely football-induced, a by-product of my being stuck behind the wheel with only a boring radio broadcast of the Colts blowing out the Texans to finish out the regular season.

  • RIVER RAT: Toots for Tots: Stripes make the call for charity

    It might go against some of you fans’ better (worst?) instincts, but when the high school hardwood season heats up starting next week, I’m asking that you take it easy on the guys and gals in the stripes for a change.

    I know, I know. They’re always wrong, or at least hopelessly biased against your team. But hear me out here.

    This year — as they have for the past decade — the refs are making the right call, and it’s indisputable. It’s a call for charity.

  • RIVER RAT: Local teams made it an October to remember

    You don’t always get a good appreciation for what you did, where you went, how hard you worked, until you start reviewing your mileage logs.

    Did that Thursday, and I eclipsed 500 miles over the past couple weeks, which will make for a nice expense check at a time when I need to pay some bills. I think back to the trips back and forth from Hardin County for soccer and volleyball regions, with some local miles, a jaunt to Louisville for a football game and a side trip to Springfield for the volleyball districts.

  • RIVER RAT: Sportsmanship is more than a handshake

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association found itself in the crosshairs of a social media fury this week, leading to some unwanted attention for the governing board. Then it went viral, being picked up by ESPN and other national media outlets.

    And the weird thing is, it was much ado about nothing beyond a couple of press releases by KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett, the first of which was just confusing enough to lead people to believe the postgame handshake line tradition was being banned.

  • RIVER RAT: Baseball, Reds and otherwise

    Two weeks ago this past Monday, I got together with an old buddy and former roommate from my Bowling Green days, Eugene, for a Reds game.

    Years and years after our running days, we still banter back and forth, ribbing each other about our respective teams — he’s a Starboys fan and I’m a Black’n’Gold guy, so we’ve always parted along NFL lines, leading to years of hilarious exchanges between us.

  • RIVER RAT: Local product Barnes an ace fundraiser

    For many young folks, a career in the sports industry means either playing or coaching professionally. But there’s more to it than that, as more and more kids find themselves drawn to pursuits such as sports journalism/broadcasting (fun, but not all it’s cracked up to be) or athletic training.

    Even those pursuits are just scratching the surface of available jobs in the high-dollar world of sports, though.

  • 2013 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Games 2 Watch

    Every year, there are a number of games that can define a season. Others are intriguing because of historical or rivalry purposes (sometimes both). Others still are opportunity-type games, a chance to take a step forward.

    Here’s a look at some of the games this season that may or may not be circled on locker room calendars.


    Aug. 23

    Spencer Co. at Thomas Nelson

  • RIVER RAT: UK’s Brown looks ahead to the 2013 season

    A few weeks ago, we featured parts one and two of my interview new University of Kentucky offensive coordinator and Bardstown native Neal Brown.

    We touched on a number of topics, such as recruiting and installing the “Air Raid” offense, as well as what it’s like moving back home and being closer to family, life in the SEC, as well as others.

  • 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.