Round of Applause
Richard Sherman is now on my short list of favorite players in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks cornerback is already one of the best players in football, and he cemented himself as a legend in his postgame interview Sunday. In case you live under the covers and missed it, Sherman made the game-saving tip to beat the San Francisco 49ers and send his team to the Super Bowl. Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews tracked down Sherman, who launched a tirade against 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (the receiver from whom Sherman tipped away the ball and had challenged Sherman prior). It came off very much like an old WWF promo by the Ultimate Warrior, and it was just magical with how much raw emotion Sherman showed. Some people have lashed out against Sherman, calling him anything ranging from “poor sport” to “thug.” We oughta clear that up right now. Sherman is not a thug. He’s an alumnus of Stanford who is among the most well-spoken players in the league and doesn’t engage in any of the criminal activities that many of his colleagues do. Just because he has dreadlocks and puffed out his chest a little bit doesn’t make him a bad person. Also, why is everyone on a guy’s case for showing some pride in himself that he clearly won out over a guy who has repeatedly challenged him? Every athlete out there thinks the same sort of thing as Sherman said, except most athletes are afraid of showing their real emotions and being forthright in interviews. As a reporter, I dream of athletes saying things like that in postgame interviews. When players don’t give us that emotion, what’s the use in talking to them? You wouldn’t want to hear from them if it’s boring, either.
Chorus of Boos
Any CIAC plan that messes with Thanksgiving is not a good one, as far as I’m concerned. The powers that be can figure out something to make it work. Playing four games in three weeks at the end of the season just doesn’t work anymore — it has nothing to do with finishing a little bit later in December. It can just as easily snow on Thanksgiving as it can on the second weekend of December, so that rationale needs to be taken completely out of the mix. To be perfectly honest, the CIAC lets way too many teams into the playoffs right now. I know, 32 teams in football pales in comparison to the 100 that make it in other sports, but that’s a problem for the other sports that let in way too many teams. The old system of six classes with four teams each was fine by me, but the selection criteria needs to be a bit better. The tech school-type teams can’t be allowed into the playoffs because they get demolished every year and take up a spot that could be given to a team that proved its worth better. That could be a little complicated, but it’s probably worth it. My best scenario would be to have six classes plus one overall class in which there is some selection criteria to put the top four teams in an overall class and play for an overall state title. That probably won’t happen, so we’ll just have to settle for one thing: Don’t mess with Thanksgiving. Don’t start the playoffs before Thanksgiving, and don’t play the playoffs on Thanksgiving. That’s one of the most special things we have in Connecticut sports.
Word from the Woods
Woodland won its second meet in a row last Friday with a 94-70 victory on the road against Seymour. Event winners for the Hawks included the 200-yard medley relay (Andy O’Dell, Alan Katrenya, Jimmy Jensen, Brian Smith), Aidan Music (200 freestyle, 100 free), Katrenya (200 IM), O’Dell (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke), Julie Hinckley (500 free), the 200 free relay team (Smith, JD Dyckman, Jensen, Music) and Patrick Conway (100 breaststroke). Woodland (2-2) will visit Torrington on Friday and Watertown on Tuesday.
Naugatuck (5-7) stumbled to its third straight loss last Friday in a 51-18 home defeat against St. Paul, one of the Naugatuck Valley League favorites. The Greyhounds played again without leading scorer Angelina Piccirillo and struggled to get much offense going, as no player scored more than three points. Naugy’s scheduled game at Torrington on Tuesday was postponed to next Monday due to the snowstorm. The ‘Hounds will sandwich that contest with home games against Holy Cross on Friday and Crosby on Tuesday.
The Greyhounds fell last Friday in a tri-meet against Pomperaug and Conard. Naugatuck (2-3) was scheduled to face Seymour on Tuesday, but the snowstorm forced its postponement to a date to be announced. The Greyhounds will stay on the road Friday against Sacred Heart and Tuesday against Wilby. The team hopes to hold a home meet sometime in February when the renovations to the pool at Naugatuck High are finally finished.