Overtime with Kyle Brennan

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Kyle Brennan

All I want for Christmas … Err, I want a Jets win Sunday!

Round of Applause

Mike Wilson and the Naugatuck boys basketball team got off the schneid by earning their first win of the season Monday with a 52-41 victory over Derby in the borough. Naugy was the victim of a tough schedule to open up the season and plays in the more competitive Naugatuck Valley League Copper Division. Not only was the win the first for the Greyhounds in 2011, it was the first in the head coaching career of Mike Wilson. The program’s all-time leading scorer hopes the victory is the first of many in the process to return Naugatuck to the championship-contending team he led in the late 1990s.

The Seattle Seahawks pulled off one of the most surprising playoff upsets in NFL history last weekend when they beat the Saints, 41-36, in Seattle. The shocking parts of the victory were numerous—the fact that the Seahawks were the only sub-.500 team ever to make the playoffs in a non-strike season, that New Orleans was a full four games better in the regular season but had to play on the road, that Matt Hasselbeck outdueled Drew Brees, and that the Seahawks’ usually anemic offense scored a whopping 41 points. But none of those facts were the most surprising. Instead, the most intriguing part of the game came in the immediate aftermath of Marshawn Lynch’s incredible touchdown run in which he broke eight different tackles to score from 67 yards out. Apparently, area seismologists figured out that the intense celebration throughout Qwest Field during and after the game-breaking run caused a small earthquake and the vibrations made by the jubilation were picked up on the seismographs. Yep, just another day in the NFL playoffs.

Snow really is good. Sure, it’s not a heck of a lot of fun to clean up, but it looks great outside right about now. In fact, I’m writing this during the next sign of the apocalypse—the deluge of Wednesday’s storm. I woke up to whiteout conditions and was simply thrilled. I’m not even a huge snow activity guy—I don’t snowboard or ski—but I just like it. If you don’t like the snow, stop complaining about it because there’s nothing you’re going to do to stop the next storm, clean it up, and get some motivation to do work inside the house today. By the way, I hope all you local school kids have fun going to school in July.

Chorus of boos

College football can be so much better come the end of the season. Some of the bowls are just great and we were treated to some really good games over the last month. But the excessive number of bowls (some with frankly bad teams, awful attendance, and no-name sponsors) is an attempt to cover up the lack of a legitimate playoff system to determine the national champion. Luckily for the BCS, it may have gotten it right again this year with Auburn as the national champ, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if TCU had beaten the Tigers given the chance to do so. There were 37 days off between the end of the regular season and the national championship game Monday, in which Auburn beat Oregon in a thriller, 22-19. Nobody can justify to me how there wasn’t enough time for at least an eight-team playoff, if not a 16-team tournament. I think TCU, Stanford, Ohio State, and heck, even my Boise State Broncos, all could have given Auburn and Oregon a run for their money. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait until 2014 at the very earliest to hope that sanity returns and we get at least a four-team playoff. Oh well.

Naugy notes

The Naugatuck girls basketball team suffered a pair of tough losses this week in falling to 3-9 on the season. On Monday, Naugy helped Derby to its first win of the season when the Red Raiders beat the Hounds, 43-31. Naugatuck was led by Lauren Piroscafo, who scored a team-high 15 points. Stephanie Lima added five points while Michelle Troschler put in four. On Tuesday, the Hounds were blown out by Torrington, 60-19. Piroscafo reached double figures again, leading Naugy with 10 points, while Angelina Piccirillo added seven. Naugatuck visits Sacred Heart Friday before having the week off and hosting St. Paul Jan. 21.

Word from the woods

The Woodland girls basketball team enjoyed a week off following the postponement of its crucial NVL Brass Division matchup with St. Paul in Bristol last Friday. The Hawks are still 9-0 and are back in action following a 10-day layoff on Friday when they visit Seymour in their second meeting of the season. Woodland will finally meet St. Paul for first place in the Brass on Monday in Bristol before hosting Kennedy Jan. 21.

Lips to CN’s Ear

“It’s a weight off my shoulders. But in the same breath, I’ve been telling the boys it’s not about winning and losing for us this year. It’s really about building, life lessons, and getting better every time we touch the court. We showed some maturity tonight. Instead of going into the hole and putting our heads down and not making the best of a situation, we kept our heads up and fought out of the situation. I was really proud of them tonight.”

MIKE WILSON
Naugatuck boys basketball coach after the Greyhounds earned their first win of the season Monday night in a 52-41 decision over Derby. Not only was the win the first of the year for Naugy, but it was the first victory in the head coaching career of Wilson. Wilson is in his first season at the helm for the Hounds after setting the program’s scoring record when he played in the borough in the late 1990s.

Sick Picks

Overtime’s NFL Divisional Playoffs Picks

Steelers over Ravens: Joe Flacco seems to find a way, but Ben Roethlisberger does even better. Close, but Pitt wins at home.

Packers over Falcons: Packers might be playing the best ball in the NFC with a great quarterback, suddenly strong running game, and playmaking defense. Go, Pack, go.

Bears over Seahawks: Sooner or later, the 7-9 will have to come out in the Seahawks. Chicago’s defense should do the trick.

Patriots over Jets: Mark Sanchez will need to play phenomenally and the defense will need to create havoc. I don’t think it’s gonna happen.