The only two sunny mornings we had in quite a while in Warsaw were February 1 and February 2, the latter being Groundhog Day. With all the miserable variations of winter’s climatic offerings, it’s only fitting the sun would be out long enough for a corpulent rodent to see its shadow yesterday.
Whether there will be six more weeks or four more weeks of winter, February offers a few things to take us out of the winter blahs.
The opening round of sectional play did not fare well for the Lady Tigers basketball squad, but all five starters return from next season, and they’ll all be juniors and seniors. I’m eager to see rematches against Columbia City and Homestead, who also bring back talented rosters. Since those two teams are paired in the same sectional, only one gets to suit up for practice Monday afternoon.
Good luck to all those other area teams who survive and advance tonight.
Hereafter, all winter sports aside from boys’ basketball and gymnastics will only compete on Saturdays.
Matt Thacker’s move to head football coach at Wawasee will be a welcome addition to the green and gold. This added to some of the new month’s great news. He takes the reigns of a team who gave fits to Mishawaka, and Northridge, and the Warsaw Tigers needed big fourth quarter plays to maintain possession of the W Trophy.
Thacker, pending board approval, joins a program who was a young team and a tough out in 2023. Wawasee had some strong football teams in decades past, and the Northern Lakes Conference (NLC) foes will certainly get more firsthand experience defending another team using the triple option.
Thacker was Warsaw’s head track and field coach too, so he values multi-sport participation. He’ll have several Warrior gridders running on the oval each spring.
Thacker on-boarded at Fairfield when numbers were slim, and no seniors showed up for the first season. Two seasons with a combined 6-15 record were then followed by a 24-17 record among the following four years in a football rich small school conference.
Best wishes to Coach Thacker. He’s proven he can turn schmatta into a nice suit. Wawasee will likely have the NLC’s smallest enrollment when the numbers are released soon, but NorthWood – who has been the NLC’s smallest high school among most years - proves (almost every year) size has little to do with the quality of a program.
February offers NFL fans Super Bowl LVIII Sunday, February 11.
For those of you grousing about how much screen time Taylor Swift gets in NFL broadcasts, the greatest number of seconds on screen in a three-ish hour broadcast is nearly 45 seconds.
In relative terms, did you know years ago NFL games broadcast on delay overseas were condensed? Well, fans learned – when attending live games played overseas - there is somewhere around 18 minutes of action among the three hours it takes to watch a live game.
I cannot believe the broad range of high-profile people tweeting about the Super Bowl being rigged, and they’re even throwing Taylor Swift into the mix of their conspiracy theories. If it were rigged, people like Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes, and - on the losing end of the AFC playoffs – Lamar Jackson would have been reared in labs and groomed for their big days as NFL operatives, not in random home states like Ohio, Texas, and Florida.
Conspiracy theories – even beyond the scope of politics, NFL championships, and entertainment – tend to lack common sense.
There is at least one person feeling great joy in all of this. He, too, is another corpulent rodent - come to think of it - who will have plenty to say throughout February.
It’s entirely likely he still has an axe to grind with the NFL, so he’s not calling off his dogs. In fact, he’s usually the one blowing the dog whistle.
The owner of the original USFL’s New Jersey Generals won an anti-trust lawsuit in the 1980s against the NFL but was humiliated by the adjudicated award of one dollar. His bid to purchase the Buffalo Bills also failed.
Do you really believe there is no bad blood between the man - who said at a rally, “I am your retribution.” – and the NFL?
I managed, among scores of prior weeks, to avoid this disastrously blended recipe of sports and political commentary, but like a moth to a flame, that card needs to be played this morning.
I’ll leave you with this thought. For what it’s worth, I’ve engaged in (very) casual discussions about crossing over to another Times-Union newspaper section before.