Greetings from The Booth!
Knock on wood, it looks like we’re finally going to play some basketball at Shenandoah University! Starting today, the Hornet men will play a limited Winter schedule and will open today against Mary Baldwin at The Wilkins Center. No fans will be permitted at Wilkins, but be sure to listen to the action on The River 95-3…and check out my Sports Dogs Podcast this week on this website as coach Adam Walsh previews the season.
(because of the unpredictability of COVID-19, the sports situation at SU remains fluid, so stay tuned, and we’ll keep you up to date)
Well, we’re down to the NFL’s “Final Four” as we approach Championship Weekend. The AFC title game will match the Buffalo Bills against the Kansas City Chiefs. As of early this week, KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes was still in concussion protocol, and may miss the game. That would certainly even the playing field, but don’t sell the Bills short. Buffalo is a very good football team. They belong in this contest.
The NFC game gives us a matchup of 2 of the NFL’s best QBs in Aaron Rodgers of the Packers and Tom Brady (the GOAT), who is trying to get another ring, this time with Tampa Bay. With Rodgers’ home base being Green Bay, and Brady having played all those years in New England, both are used to playing in harsh weather conditions. With a winter storm predicted for Green Bay this weekend, we could have one of those classic “snow games.”
Which brings me to this: former NFL great Kurt Warner said this week that he is in favor of having the playoffs played indoors in a domed venue. While this would make for pristine playing conditions, we would miss out on some great moments.
Growing up, I loved the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikes played in the old “Met” in Minneapolis, and it always seemed to be snowing there. Quarterback Joe Kapp was a favorite of mine, along with the “Purple People Eaters” defense, but what I remember most were the snow banks all around the field, and the flamethrowers which tried in vain to soften up the frozen tundra. The Vikings were hard to beat at home in December.
And without the elements, we would have missed out on the iconic “Ice Bowl” in 1967, as Bart Starr of the Packers scored on a quarterback sneak on the concrete-like surface of Lambeau to beat the Cowboys in the NFL Championship Game in 16-below temperatures.
I could go on-and-on with examples: the Fog Bowl, The Tuck-Rule Game, and the Freezer Bowl 1981 AFC Championship, played in 40-below wind chills in Cincinnati. Point is, football isn’t meant to be played in perfect conditions, and the backdrop of snow, sleet, and arctic wind chills is part of NFL lore.
Easy for me to say, when I’m under a comforter and glued to my 55-inch HD television…
Enjoy the games this weekend…and GO HORNETS!