Tom Brady is the GOAT

I hate Tom Brady, just as much as anyone else, although I do enjoy watching Gronk.

This is going to upset a lot of old-time football fans. And I myself am upset to officially admit this – Tom Brady is the best quarterback to ever put on an NFL uniform.

Many fans of the NFL, who grew up watching the old greats like Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, and John Elway are going to whole-heartedly disagree with me on this, but numbers do not lie. These naysayers will say that the beloved Joe Montana ‘Joe Cool’ is the NFL’s greatest quarterback of all-time. However, although this all-time great is in fact one of the best, it doesn’t mean that he gets a pass in the statistics column just because he may have been your idol growing up.

Joe Montana has set the standard extremely high, a standard achieved by none – until Tom Brady. Some great quarterbacks – Hall of Fame quarterbacks – have come ever so-close to the standard, but only one man has reached and potentially will completely pass this mark.

Tom Brady – as much as I have disliked him over the years – has reached and some would say has already passed the level of play of the great Joe Montana. However, with another potential Super Bowl win on the way, a win in the big game would cement Brady in the football world as the greatest.

Like it or not, Joe Montana would never be mentioned in the GOAT talks if it weren’t for his four rings which he earned with the 49ers. However, this was at a time when the NFC dominated the NFL world winning 15 of the 16 Big Games when Montana was still an active player. Now in 2017, the landscape is much more competitive as the AFC league actually leads the NFC by a count of 9-7 in the big game, ever since Brady has been in the league (2000).

This to me, doesn’t suggest that Montana had much opposition once he reached the big game. He was ahead of his time, but a trailblazer doesn’t equal the greatest by default. Yeah an unblemished 4-0 record in the biggest game of the year is fantastic, but Montana only reached that game four times. His postseason struggles are well documented – look them up, there is a reason he didn’t reach the big game every year when playing with the best wide receiver ever, Jerry Rice. Montana was great in the playoffs but with a 16-7 playoff career record, one wonders why he didn’t reach the big game more often.

Sounds eerily similar to another all-time great and eventual Hall of Famer – Peyton Manning coupled with Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.

Manning currently holds countless passing records in the NFL, but is commonly known as ‘the best regular season quarterback’, due to his 14-13 record in the playoffs. Sure, Manning earned a ring with both the Colts (2006) and with the Broncos (2015). Manning a near-lock for an appearance in the playoffs each year of his 17 seasons, proved to be a human when it came to the playoffs.

This hurts to write, due to my love of everything Colts and Peyton Manning. It hurts to say that the Patriots are and have been doing better what the Colts were all about for years. I started liking Manning when I was a young kid, he was winning, he was a role model, he played for this upstanding high-class organization. Yet somehow, over the years he was bested by his rival – Tom Brady and the Patriots.

However, even though Manning is the reason I started watching football, the truth is the truth. Peyton Manning was never the quarterback he was in the playoffs that he was in the regular season. Even though a younger version of myself, a more childish version would have defended Manning as the best ever, at some point you have to come to terms with reality. Even if that means a sports legend, a sports idol isn’t all that you once viewed them when younger.

And to think Manning could have potentially been 4-0 in the big game just like Montana – as he made four appearances in the big game with losses coming to the Saints in 2009 and the Seahawks in 2013. Then who would we be talking about?

Two losses, that is it. Two losses has dropped Manning essentially out of the minds of the public, as ever being a contender for the GOAT spot. Instead, two wins simply has catapulted Montana into a lock that can never be broken at the top spot? Explain this.

Look at this, Peyton Manning who played 17 seasons (13 Colts, 4 Broncos) and has 14 Pro-Bowls, 7 All-Pro selections, and is a five time NFL MVP – having a regular season record of 186-79 in 266 games; while holding a 65.3 percent career completion percentage, and throwing for 71,940 yards, with 539 touchdowns to 251 interceptions.

Those numbers dwarf Montana – Montana who has only eight Pro-Bowl seasons, three All-Pro selections, is just a two time NFL MVP – but somehow, is viewed as the best. How do these numbers say Montana is the best, when he had 192 games in 15 seasons (13 49ers, 2 Chiefs) with a 63.2 percent career completion percentage, with 117-47 record, while throwing 273 touchdowns to 139 interceptions for only 40,551 passing yards.

This is somehow the GOAT? The greatest of all-time? Just because he has four rings in four appearances.

Enter Tom Brady. Brady has the Peyton Manning like stats to go along with the hardware of Montana.
Tom Brady, in my opinion, will win the big game against the Atlanta Falcons, led by heavy favorite to win the 2017 NFL MVP quarterback Matt Ryan.

I can see a tight game for this weekend’s big game, but who seriously bets against Tom Brady and company? I call the game going down to the wire but the Patriots pull out the win with a 27-21 win come 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.

Brady will walk away from the 2016-2017 season with a big game record of 5-2. Wait did I just say Tom Brady will have five rings?

That is right, for all the old-time fans who praise Joe Montana for his 4-0 record in the big game, Brady has already met that mark and raised the ante. Brady will be playing for his fifth ring come this Sunday.

In my opinion, it hurts to write what I am about to, but Brady has already cemented his legacy in the NFL, he is simply just waiting for the cement to harden.

Brady currently blows away the careers of both Montana and Manning – due to his you know, 17 seasons played with one team and one head coach. Where in New England, Brady has amassed 12 Pro-Bowl selections, two All-Pro selections, with two NFL MVP awards under his belt.

And while these accomplishments match generally what Montana and Manning have done, add in the 237 games with 456 touchdowns to 152 interceptions in the regular season, throwing for 61,582 yards while snagging a nifty 24-9 playoff record with four rings and three MVP’s in the big game. Brady has the most wins by any quarterback in NFL history – surpassing Manning – and will now own the record of most appearances ever by a quarterback in the big game.

Some may still look at the numbers and whine that Brady is a cheater, that the NFL is soft now, and that may be so. But I was once told by a great coach of mine that “you aren’t trying to win if you aren’t cheating.”

Just because Brady has bent some rules does not negate him from the conversation. And just because the NFL is a pass-happy league that favors the quarterbacks and receivers over the old-ways of hard hitting defenses. That is not Brady’s fault, that is the fault of all the old players who are now suffering from brain trauma they received when playing in Montana’s era of football. This brain trauma and therefore lawsuits that ensue toward the NFL, have pushed the game to become ‘soft.’ Step back and think about the fact that the old, hard-hitting football that you may miss, might be the reason when it is all said and done that Brady surpassed Montana.

Football is all about winning, and that is something Brady does very well. Brady may have some scandals on his resume, but even when suspended from the league for four weeks at the beginning of this season (2016-2017), where he had zero contact with his team or coach.

Brady resorted to throwing passes in the backyard with his wife, as well as longtime friend and old receiver Wes Welker. He came back into the NFL in week five at 39 years old, and simply torched the league that suspended him – mind you at the age of 39 – and threw for 3,554 yards with 28 touchdowns and just two interceptions, en route to a 14-2 overall record (11-1 record of games started by Brady).

To deny Brady and possibly the best head coach ever in Bill Belichick, the credit they have earned is childish in so many ways. Records were meant to be broken, and the game, and life, changes dramatically each year. It is our job to keep up with, adapt with and accept the changes.

With a new year, comes new records, new greats, and sometimes things we do not enjoy – in every facet of life, not just football. However, one must adapt with the times, or get left behind.

That does not diminish what Montana and all the other Hall of Fame or soon-to-be Hall of Famers have done for their teams, and the league itself. It simply means that a rational human can realize when a mark has been bested. And Tom Brady has already bested the golden standard mark.

Although I will be rooting for the Falcons, and will enjoy watching Matty Ice and Julio Jones hopefully carve up the Patriots – in reality I know I will be watching the greatness of a sixth round draft pick – Tom Brady – turned NFL superstar take the field, while the genius of Belichick manipulates the game any which way to his favor.

Or I suppose I should say I will be watching ‘Tom Baby’, as my younger cousin has hilariously named him – either way I will be watching NFL history in the making.

Note that two of the three quarterbacks heavily mentioned above are retired, everyone who watches the the big game this Sunday, I implore you to appreciate the current greatness. At 39 years old, who knows when Brady’s last game will come, as even the best quarterbacks generally fall off the cliff at the daunting 40 years old mark.

And once that eventual retirement happens, Brady will be enshrined as the GOAT of the NFL – that is until the next quarterback maneuvers his way into the conversation.

Remember, records are meant to be broken.

NFL Playoffs: Appreciate greatness

So last week I was off in such a big way, going 2-2 on predictions. But what can you do when trying to predict a game against the high-powered Pittsburgh Steelers, or the unpredictable Green Bay Packers.

Last week I predicted correctly the games of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots defeating the Texans; and the Falcons beating the injury riddled Seattle Seahawks.

However, although I knew a great game was on the way with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Steelers, I never could have guessed that the Running Back Le’Veon Bell would have the day he did – leading the Steelers to a controversial holding call win at 18-16 over the Chiefs. I had mentioned star power, and although the Chiefs played a fantastic game, the Steelers showed just how hot their team can be.

With my correct prediction of the Patriots winning and the Steelers powering through this sets up an AFC Championship for the ages. In the last 14 seasons, it has been Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger taking the crown in all but one year – which was Joe Flacco in 2012.

Which brings me to my point of this piece – although I will officially give my prediction of the Patriots winning tonight 27-24 over the Steelers. I would implore people to watch the game because anything is possible. Although, the Patriots ‘never’ lose at home, the idea of a Roethlisberger – Brady matchup, this may never happen again. Tom Brady and Big Ben are getting up there in age and therefore these two great franchises may be looking to move on from these two first-ballot quarterbacks. One must truly appreciate the game, which is about to be played, with Peyton already retired; there may never again be such a matchup as Big Ben and Brady.

I would love to see Big Ben and the Steelers prevail over Brady – if they are not able to do so and Brady advances to another Super Bowl, the only thing that will be accomplished is Brady strengthening his case to be named the greatest quarterback of all time. Currently, this argument can be made but due to Joe Montana’s phenomenal Super Bowl record, and Brady having lost a few Super Bowls along the way this argument is still not solidified.

So in conclusion, lets wave those terrible towels, but lets sit back and watch two of the best quarterbacks on two of the best franchises go at it.

Last week I predicted the Cowboys would win – I was wrong in such a big way. I picked the Cowboys to win 27-21, but the real score in reality was 34-31 – as the Cowboys battled back in a huge way with kicker Dan Bailey tying the game up at 31-31 with: 35 seconds left. Looking like it was going to overtime, Aaron Rodgers pulled off his magic to drive down the field to set up a magical Mason Crosby field goal for the win as time expired. I was wrong, and I should not have betted against a hot Rodgers.

He has me convinced and I am jumping on the Aaron Rodgers train, therefore I am giving my prediction of the Packers winning 31-27. I do think the high-flying Falcons – who I correctly predicted to defeat the Seahawks – will put up a solid fight, possibly even taking the early lead. But I think we cant count out the Packers who have gone on a crazy run through the second half of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Rodgers will make it a game, Rodgers will come back from an early second half down, and Rodgers and the Packers will advance to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Regardless of if I get my predictions correct or I am vastly wrong, I hope everyone is able to set aside some time to watch this week’s AFC and NFC championship games, as the four remaining teams and their quarterbacks have set the public up with some solid historical matchups.

We may never see matchups again between teams as good as we are getting this Sunday, enjoy watching history in the making. Do not take advantage of great moments in sports history.

Sports Editor’s note: This blog was written prior to the start of the Falcons vs. Packers game, but could not be posted due to computer and internet issues.

NFL playoffs: the best time of the sports year

Playoffs in any sport are exponentially more exciting and enjoyable than the regular season. Oftentimes regular seasons in any sport can drag on and become monotonous. Add in the fact that sports with many games over the course of that time, subsequently then each game is ‘less important’ due to the sheer volume of games.

This brings me to why I feel the NFL Playoffs are truly better than any other in American sport. There are 16 games in the 17 week regular season. The playoff landscape of win or go home – one game matters and your whole 14-2 season is down the drain. This adds excitement to a sport that is already viewed as America’s most popular sport.

This is not a knock on Hockey, Baseball, or Basketball but I feel personally coming from playing sports in my past that sports are meant to teach a lesson. One such lesson to be taught is the importance of the here and now – every play counts, every game counts – and therefore even though watching Lebron James and the Cavaliers come back after a huge series deficit to win the NBA championship was fantastic – that mentality shows that it is okay to lose a few games here and there, because eventually you can pull off the big win. In reality, sporting events are a microcosm of the real world, and therefore, it is all about winning and the lessons you take away from the losses to win later on down the road.

In football, all too often you see a red hot young team go into the playoffs with high hopes, and just dissipate in the face of a more mature team. The bright lights can be too much for some, no matter how good they were during the regular season. Therefore, I enjoy watching teams go through this process of playoff football, everything is on the line, it is sink or swim.

For instance last week, The New York Giants lit up social media when their receiving group was photographed partying on a boat in Florida some time before their first playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. The Giants then went into their game against Green Bay and lost by a terrible score of 38-13, as the more veteran Packers were able to take control in the second half of the game. This lack of focus on the grand prize of a Superbowl championship shows the immaturity from the Giants, as receivers like Antonio Brown were notably home training vigorously before and after the Wild Card game– as his Steelers are now advancing further into the playoffs after defeating the Miami Dolphins last week 30-12.

I appreciate when I see teams win a game and instantly focus on the next game, this ‘we made the playoffs’ mentality needs to end as far too many teams – and people in life – are happy just making it to the big stage. This should never be the goal, the goal is to go all the way, reach your dreams and goals, and this cant be completed if you are celebrating a minor accomplishment.

Wild Card weekend was full of disappointing games as the many young up and coming teams fizzled out when faced with the veteran teams who have been in playoff situations in years prior.

Some may argue that the playoff series over just one game is a better aspect when it comes to the game itself and it allows a team to recover and persevere through for the win. However, just speaking logistically and even though the NFL’s ratings are hurting in 2017, the Superbowl will still have the most viewers when compared to other championship games. When speaking on a game or life level it is evident that games become more lax in a game one of a World Series, rather than the tension felt in a elimination game.

The mindset of having the Giants and the Packers – both highly successful in years past, and in the 2017 season – with everything they have worked for all year be on the line, all compact in one 60 minute game intrigues me.

Therefore, I will get to the part where I give my take on each of the upcoming Divisional round games of the NFL.

This week on Saturday, Jan. 14, we have the 11-5 Falcons hosting the 10-5-1 Seahawks at 4:35 p.m. and the 14-2 Patriots taking on the 9-7 Texans at 8:15 p.m.

The first matchup is quite intriguing, as the Falcons are a team with a potential MVP winner of a quarterback at Matt Ryan and hold the better overall record. As much as I would like to see the Falcons overcome the Seahawks I can see this game going down to the final minutes in order to be decided. The Seahawks have battled through injuries but hold the maturity level over the Falcons as they have made multiple playoff runs and even Superbowl runs in recent years. I am going to go against my better judgement and choose the Falcons to win this one by a close score of 27-24.

The later game on Saturday is cut and dry. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will devour the young Texans led by below-average quarterback Brock Osweiler. This will not even be a matchup, as the Patriots and potential MVP Tom Brady win in a landslide at 30-7.

On Sunday, Jan. 15, is when the one and done scenarios get real exciting. The early game at 1:05 p.m. features the 12-4 Chiefs taking on the 11-5 Steelers. While the later game at 4:40 p.m. will have the 13-3 Dallas Cowboys hosting the 10-6 Green Bay Packers.

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers will come down to star power, and how these stars respond in a big playoff game. The Steelers are riding off of their quarterback Ben Roethlesberger’s arm as well as the talent of wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell. If the star studded Chiefs defense is to overcome them – in what could possibly be their best chance at a Superbowl run – they will need to play with composure as they have all of 2017. I am calling it the Chiefs win over the Steelers in a nail-biter 20-17.

With the most recent news of Packers star wide receiver Jordy Nelson not being medically cleared to suit up for the Packers vs. Cowboys game on Sunday, I am unfortunately changing my prediction. Originally, I was going with the hot and more weathered team in the Packers – due to Dallas relying on too much inexperience with their rookie phenoms Dak and Zeke. However, as football is a team sport, it does come down to all the team being ready to play. Although, I think quarterback Arron Rodgers and the Packers will use the next man up mentality and it will suffice, making it interesting, I can not see them pulling off the win in Dallas. Dallas wins 27-21 at home.

With having the top seeds advancing to the Conference Championships in each the AFC and NFC leagues, I am looking forward to see if my predictions hold strong, or if I will be proved wrong.

With one last shot here I do appreciate the fans of all teams who can step back and recognize when their team is lousy or when their team loses. This rational approach to sports, while not being so infatuated in the love of their team, allows for a more complex look into whatever sport it may be. Let’s see if the fan-bases of the Packers, Cowboys and Patriots can hold up to this if a loss does occur and not simply slump into oblivion, grasping at every excuse they come across.

As for me, I will sit back and watch some solid football games this weekend, knowing my Indianapolis Colts had a very subpar season at 8-8. I am happy to say their terrible season is okay with me, as I know no excuse can change it and life goes on, no amount of me saying they’re the best can change the scores of 16 games.

Enjoy the weekend of playoff football and stay safe in the New York weather.

DEA sweeping new laws under the rug?

Days ago, the DEA took yet another stab at marijuana by amending its already bizarre classification of pot as a Schedule I drug. Thumbs down to yet another bureaucratic overreach. Now, all extracts, including cannabidiol (CBD), will be listed right up there with heroin as a “drug with no medical use.” No medical use? Tell that to the thousands of epilepsy sufferers, who are mercifully enjoying relief from intractable epilepsy and polymorphic seizures. No, I’m not some pot head, and, but yes, (full disclosure) I do feel that responsible recreational consumption of the drug should be legalized—but more importantly the efficacy of the plants internal compounds with regard to it’ medicinal value absolute should not be fodder for DEA classification as an infamous Schedule 1. Interesting, since the DEA can only carry out the law, not create it. But even as the DEA is now considering CBD oil to be a federally illegal Schedule I drug (let’s face it, they always have), there are temporary safeguards in place that protect patients in many states from federal prosecution over possession of the oil—such as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. This 2014 amendment to a Congressional appropriations bill prohibits the Justice Department from spending funds to interfere with the implementation of state medical cannabis laws; upheld as recently as August in Federal 9th U.S. Circuit Court in the face of a challenge brought by federal prosecutors.

Bike lanes? We’ve got ‘em!…One.

While I appreciate the idea of there being dedicated space for our biped brothers and sisters, what exactly is the point of having only one designated “bike lane” at an intersection that historically has had that space reserved for motorists making a right turn north onto Silver at East Main? It seems unnecessary and confusing, especially given the amount of traffic that busy intersection sees being adjacent to downtown’s only gas station. No slight to bicyclists, but to me and others in the community I’ve spoken with about it–it seems like a per usual, ill-planned and half cocked idea. The City’s traffic commission (or whomever) should either embrace the idea of accommodating bicycle lanes with a sweeping execution throughout the entire City at all major intersections, or scrap the idea altogether. How awesome would it have been to have a paved bike rail trail that (much like the on in Vestal) travels from the north side of the city to the south plaza or even WalMart?
That railway has not been used since the spring flooding of 2006, and when a group of rail trail proponents addressed the Industrial Development Agency about creating a rail-trail the entire length of the unused railway—the IDA turned a blind eye to envisioning anything other than re-establishing the railway and their vision of heavy industry returning in Chenango County. Even though there were no local customers for the railway service when the trains stopped running 10 years ago, and even though there are no current or expected customers, the IDA has been unable to envision tourism as an industry that should be a part of their mission for the use of the railway corridor, which they own.
I spoke with Tom Holmes who was one of the community members advocating for the mixed use trail, and have to agree with his position that it’s ” not only sad, but also very unfortunate that they are unable to see the use of that corridor as a major attraction for young people who are interested in active transportation and living in a small community. I believe that it is a major opportunity lost to help re-vitalize our community.”
Not only would a rail trail have made commuting through the city more enjoyable for pedestrians, cyclists and health enthusiasts, it also would have addressed another ticking scenario: those who walk the unlit shoulders of Highway 12 in the dark of night to get to the only major department store in the Town of Norwich.
Many of these people are working poor who cannot afford transportation. And with the City/county’s dismal excuse for public transportation, these unlucky and less-than-fortunate have absolutely no alternative but to walk along a unlit, two-lane stretch of highway to buy their staples. Often pushing strollers. No side walks. Not even a “pedestrian” sign.
While creating precarious situation where 3,000 lb machines, bicyclists and pedestrians all meet just seems like a bad idea, and it’s only a matter of time before someone is physically hurt— lacking the foresight to make the types of enhancements other small communities are embracing is likewise damaging.
I feel it’s an absolute shame that our county’s leaders are more invested in the bleak possibility of future industry than the present safety and good of the public that has historically been dealt the dirty end of the stick by said industry, leaving them and their families high and dry whenever is was possible to make a buck elsewhere outside of the County.

News flash: tourism is a viable industry. How many people come to town for the Turkey Trot, Allegro Run for the Arts, and Colorscapes Color Dash?

Let me know when the County makes a dollar from that restored railway.

Evening Sun Football Contest comes to a close

CHENANGO COUNTY – And so marks the completion of the 10 week contest that The Evening Sun offers each and every football season, for its avid readers, residents of Chenango County, and well over 500 contestants throughout the year.
Each week in the football contest 10 local individuals along with myself – our ‘experts’ – submit their choices on 20 football games ranging from the NFL, to the collegiate level all the way down to local high school games.
This year the employees at Snyder Communications and The Evening Sun would like to congratulate all 10 experts in their participation and cooperation throughout this past 10 week span. A special congratulations goes out to Todd Hall of Ye Olde Shanty, located at 44 South Canal Street in Oxford, as Todd was our 2016 champion of the experts. Todd finishes the 10 week span on a low note – only choosing eight out of 20 games correctly, however, the lead he had amassed allowed him to safely cruise to a three point win over second place Andy Lagoe of Gilligan’s, located at 64 North Main Street in Sherburne.
Marking the contest’s completion in week 10, there was a new winner of the 39 weekly contestants – other than the 11 experts. Thomas W. Fahy, of Norwich took home the final win of the 2016 season. Fahy, a regular contestant, earned the win on the final week with a weekly high of 15 games chosen correctly – effectively beating out even the experts – while also and more importantly edging out Polly Hopson of Norwich for the $25 weekly prize – Hopson guessed 14 games correctly.
The Evening Sun would like to thank all who help make this contest possible, all who advertise with us, and especially the Parker Walsh Team, Matthews Ford, Sherburne News, Gilligan’s, Greene Bowlodrome, Ye Olde Shanty, Nina’s, McCredy Motors, Inc., and The Stadium.
Expert standings after 10 weeks: 1) Todd Hall – 8-12 on the week – 136-64 (.680) on the year; 2) Andy Lagoe – 8-12 on the week – 133-67 (.665) on the year; 3) Kevin Walsh – 11-9 on the week – 132-68 (.660) on the year; 4) Sean Miller – 11-9 on the year – 130-70 (.650) on the year; 4) Gary Tackabury – 10-10 on the week – 130-70 (.650) on the year; 5) Cameron Turner – 13-7 on the week – 128-72 (.640) on the year; 6) Scott Seiler – 14-6 on the week – 125-75 (.625) on the year; Dave Shull – 11-9 on the week – 124-76 (.620) on the year; 8) James McDaniel – 13-7 on the week – 123-77 (.615) on the year; 9) Rebecca Walling – 12-8 on the week – 121-79 (.605) on the year; 10) Mike Grant – 7-13 on the week – 119-81 (.595) on the year.
Week 10 game results: 1. Georgia 2. Oklahoma 3. Ole Miss 4. West Virginia 5. Ohio State 6. Georgia Tech 7. Stanford 8. Miami 9. Notre Dame 10. UCLA 11. Chiefs 12. Broncos 13. Cowboys 14. Seahawks 15. Rams 16. Eagles 17. Texans 18. Buccaneers 19. Redskins 20. Dolphins.
Sports Editor’s Note: Due to slow delivery of on-time mail – on a semi-weekly basis – Fahy has been named the winner as of press time on Nov. 16. During week nine of the contest, Alan Ingerto was the winner of the 39 contestants, with his 17 games chosen correctly. Ingerto would win the fourway tie-breaker at 17, due to his closest score chosen in the Virginia vs. Wake Forest game for the tie-breaker game. Ingerto did have an on-time mailed in entry, however, his submission was delivered late.

Evening Sun’s Football Contest: Week seven and eight

With the change of season’s and the constant influx of local sporting events in Chenango County, my body finally gave in to the bombardment. This past weekend I got pretty rundown, so therefore this writeip is a little recap of last week’s Football Contest as well as this week’s.

Week 7: In week seven of The Evening Sun’s weekly contest, the winner was announced as Logan Smith of Norwich. Smith took the prize with his 15 correct games guess in a week where the majority of people managed around to guess only 12 or 13 games – 10 contestants and eight contestants respectively.

Smith guessed the winning number of 15 on the backs of three very pivitol games on the week – Greene over Harpursville-Afton, and Bainbridge-Guilford over Unatego-Franklin in the high school games, and in the college world Syracuse over Virginia Tech,

Greene upset then fifth in the state ranked Hapursville-Afton when they stripped the division title from the Hornets by shutting them out 23-0. Bainbridge-Guilford managed a huge upset as well on the week – which Smith predicted correctly – as they hosted then undefeated Unatego-Franklin, beating them 25-7. Syraucuse tacked on an underdog win over Virginia Tech by a score of 31-17 – marking only their third win of the season.

Therefore, of the 45 submissions on the week, Logan Smith landed the $25 winnings for week of many upsets.

Weekly game results: 1. Chenango Forks 2. Oxford 3. Greene 4. Holland-Patent 5. Bainbridge-Guilford 6. Walton 7. Alabama 8. North Carolina 9. Arkansas 10. Ohio State 11. Army 12. Syracuse 13. Stanford 14. Redskins 15. Patriots 16. Giants 17. Texans 18. Seahawks 19. Titans 20. Chiefs.

Week 8: In this most recent week’s competition – week 8 – another Norwich resident was the winner of the $25 prize.

Janice M. Coleman guessed the magic number when she predicted 15 total games correct for the week. For the second strait week 15 has been the winning number, as an abundance of upsets seems to happen more and more often as the season progess.

Notably for week 8 of The Evening Sun’s contest, this marked the first week with a reduced amount of high school games. The reason being that playoffs in the Section IV Class D schools had begun and therefore it is always uncertain if non-playoff teams will be afforded extra games.

However, with the only local game of the 20 contest games chosen being Norwich against Oneonta, an astounding number of contestents kept it local choosing Norwich for the win. Which in retrospect was a solid choice for the 43 contestants, as Norwich pulled off the comback win over Oneonta, winning by 35-34.

While the NFL world was a mess with upsets this past week – Eagles defeating the Vikings, Colts over the Titans, Chargers over the Falcons, just to name a few – what truly set Coleman ahead of the five individuals who guessed 14 games correct was her choice of North Texas defeating Army West Point.

As we move into the last few weeks of the weekly contest, I encourage all the readers of The Evening Sun to submit a contest form – it is free of charge and there is a weekly winner regardless.

Sports Editor’s Note: The game between the Seahawks and the Cardinals of the NFL, which ended in a 6-6 tie, resulted in every individual receiving a correct choice for the 13th place slot on the form.

Weekly game results: 1. Norwich 2. North Texas 3. Louisville 4. Syracuse 5. Auburn 6. Wisconsin 7. Alabama 8. Utah 9. Penn State 10. Washington State 11. LSU 12. Colts 13. Seahawks vs. Cardinals 6-6 tie 14. Patriots 15. Lions 16. Eagles 17. Giants 18. Jets 19. Dolphins 20. Chargers.

Small Town living, Big World Problems

It’s no secret that there is an epidemic taking a hold of our small little community, and it threatens to envelop us more and more each day. That epidemic comes in the form of drugs. Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine have infiltrated our tranquil, humble abode slowly and have begun to take over.
However, there is an even bigger threat to our community that many remain unaware of; whether it’s because of the fact that they chose to ignore it, or that they simply just don’t know about it. That threat comes in the form of prescription drugs.
Many people say that marijuana is a ‘gateway’ drug.
I witnessed a court case just the other day where a Father came in to support a son who had stolen an item of great value from him in order to fuel his drug addiction. That Father testified in court that his son’s addiction began at the tender age of 15, when he was prescribed Oxycontin by a doctor to treat a minor injury. That is what, in my personal opinion, can be classified as a ‘gateway’ drug.
Whenever someone reads a story in the paper or watches a news piece regarding a drug arrest, they are quick to assume that the individual has always been a ‘less than reputable’ character. While sometimes that is true, it is usually not the case. In fact, most times, the individual was a grade-A student who happened to be led astray by hanging with the wrong crowd, or in some cases, inadvertently got addicted to prescription medications, and needed to find a cheaper alternative to reach that ‘high’ when their prescription expired.
The District Attorney’s Office and the Judges around the County are doing their best to help solve this immensely troubling problem, but by the time most of the drug-related cases reach them, it is often too late. Sure, they can sentence someone to drug treatment court, but we need to put preventative measures in place to ensure that cases never even have to get that far in the first place.
The other alternative to drug treatment court is a hard dose of reality; meaning prison. Sending these poor, young, misguided souls to prison, some of whom are first-time offenders, won’t help solve or curb the addiction problem in our community.
I believe Macklamore said it best in his new song ‘Drug Dealer’
“Best friends with the thing that’s killing me;
Enemies with my best friend, there’s no healing me.”
What people need to understand is that addiction is a disease, just like any other. Counties have multiple programs dedicated to addressing alcohol addiction and mental health issues, so why not drug addiction?
We need to start programs to help those who are afflicted with this terrible ailment, before it’s too late.
It is a welcome change to see initiatives like the ‘Shed the Meds’ event and free narcan training that was held in Greene in late September, which was also attended by Senator Fred Akshar. During this event, attendees were invited to turn in their unused prescription medications in an effort to prevent them from getting on the streets. The event also aimed to provide awareness of opioid abuse.
With more initiatives such as this, we can help raise the awareness needed in the community to get new programs instituted, which will hopefully ensure that someone else doesn’t just become a statistic.
We all need to play a part in taking back our community, and making it a happy, thriving, drug-free place to live once more.

Oil changes, yoga, golf, and air filter clocks

I had the pleasure of attending Classic Casino Night at the Northeast Classic Car Museum Friday. I found there is something I may enjoy more than Blackjack: Silent Auctions.
The items on the tables for the silent auction varied from jewelry to sports memorabilia to automotive items and beyond.
The tables – set up just before the entrance to the dining and gambling location in the NBT Bank Event Room – were filled and staffed with volunteers.
The organization of the silent auction was fantastic.
I did seek the insight from friend Joe Angelino on how it all worked. From that point, it was game on for Mrs. Managing Editor.
Golf packages, wrote my name down. Yoga set, wrote my name. Oil change? I need one, so why not? Framed and signed Syracuse University Basketball Final Four photo? Thought I needed it. A ring that was two and a half sizes too big for my fingers? You betcha. A signed football from a team I don’t like … Sure. A crockpot even though I already own two? Wrote my name down. A clock made out of a vehicle air filter … Need it.
I arrived a little late and the Kate Spade handbag and signed SU basketball were already claimed, so I lost out there.
It’s just nice to see some friendly competition outside of the gambling tables where those winnings could be used at the live auction.
A gentleman and I went back and forth on bids for a golf package at least four times.
I’d write my name on something, then eat, then go back out and check and see if someone out-bid me. If they did, I’d go up the required amount, then back into the main area.
Has the good golfing weather passed? I have no idea. But I learned that in a silent auction I have more control over the outcome than at a Blackjack table.
It was all in good fun, and all for a fantastic cause and a wonderful establishment, so it was well worth it.
Did I win everything I wrote my name on? Negative. I came to a point where I realized I wouldn’t be able to carry everything if didn’t draw the line at some point.
But I’d like to extend my gratitude to all of those who donated items for the silent (and live) auctions, the volunteers who kept the tables organized, and to the folks who went back and forth with me on various items.
Now, I can schedule my oil change and tire rotation, make sure I’m not late by checking the time on my air filter clock, while doing yoga as the husband is out playing golf (a total of 72 holes, if I’m not mistaken).

Football Contest: week six

And with this week completed, we have another winner of The Evening Sun’s weekly Football Contest. This week’s winner is David L. Wentworth of South Otselic who won the three-way tie earning the top spot and $25 weekly winnings. Wentworth moved above the other 42 contestants for the week to claim the win.

Wentworth and the two individuals who matched his score for the tie, Alan Ingerto of Smyrna and Mike Eldred of Norwich, each guessing a total of 16 games correctly – earning the top spot, besting each of the ‘experts’ for the week as well.

The three-way tie was decided after Wentworth correctly chose the Bills to defeat the Rams in the NFL, while also choosing the closest total points to the actual score of the game. Wentworth guessed a 47 point game to which the actual game panned out to amount to 49 points. Wentworth ran away with his two point win in the overtime game, as Ingerto guessed the game correctly but only guessed a total of 41 points. Eldred finished in third as he chose the Rams to beat the Bills.

A college game which gave each of the three top contestants trouble this week was Penn State verses Maryland. Each – Wentworth, Ingerto, and Eldred – chose Maryland to win, which they did not in-fact.

On the NFL level each of the top three chose the Eagles and their rookie quaterback Carson Wentz to contnue their winning wasy, however, the unpredicatle Lions overthrow that notion with a win.

Impressively, all but one of the local games was chosen correctly by the top three contestants. The only missed local game was Harpursville-Afton at Chenango Valley, by Ingerto.

Harpursville- Afton did infact command that game remaining undefeated on the season, while also upping their New York State Ranking to fourth in Class D standings.

Leading the ‘experts’ on the week’s choices was Gary Tackabury of Matthews Ford, Sean Miller of the Greene Bowlodrome, and Todd Hall of Ye Olde Shanty. These three guessed 14 correct games to further their standings on the 10 week contest.

Through five weeks: Kevin Walsh leads the ‘experts’ with 77 correct, followed by Todd Hall with 72 correct, Sean Miller with 69 correct, Gary Tackabury with 68 correct, Andy Lagoe with 66 correct, Dave Shull with 65 correct, Cameron Turner with 64 correct, James McDaniel with 63 correct, Mike Grant with 62 correct, Scott Seiler with 61 correct, and Rebecca Walling with 57 correct.

Weekly game results: 1. Susquehanna Valley 2. Sidney 3. Greene 4. Canastota 5. Bainbridge-Guilford 6. Harpursville-Afton 7. Texas A&M 8. Alabama 9. Florida State 10. -postponed- 11. Washington 12. Oklahoma 13. Penn State 14. Cowboys 15. Packers 16. Titans 17. Raiders 18. Lions 19. Redskins 20. Colts.

Sports Editor’s Note: Due to Hurricane Matthew, the game between LSU and Florida was postponed and therefore everyone received a free correct game at that spot for this week. Notably, this previous week marks the last week that local football will be heavily included due to their seasons wrapping up.

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