The good, the bad, and the ugly


Patrick Newell

From this weekend’s games we have gleaned some highlights, lowlights, and moments we would prefer to forget among high school, collegiate, and professional games.

THE GOOD
* Unadilla Valley’s football team won at home for the first time since the 2010 season, and the shutout of Roscoe-Downsville’s was the first by the Storm since the 2004 season.
* Aaron Rodgers threw for a league-best six touchdowns leading the Packers past previously-unbeaten Houston. A-Rodge was producing tepid numbers the first month of the season, but last night’s offering reminds us why he was last year’s NFL MVP.
* The Alabama run defense is darn near impenetrable. Following last week’s game, the Crimson Tide are on record pace allowing 55 rushing yards per game. The defending national champs have yet to be tested, and were easily the number one team in the first BCS poll.
* Greene junior striker Paige Wilcox reached 100 career goals in just her third season on the varsity soccer team. She added three more goals Monday, and is on pace to set the school’s all-time mark – boys or girls – established by Alex Driscoll a season ago.

THE BAD
* Norwich football’s playoff situation. The Tornado did not get the division title – and home playoff game – they craved losing to Chenango Valley last Friday. The Tornado finish the regular season with a non-league game against Greene this week, and will travel to number one ranked Maine-Endwell next week for the Class B semifinals. Yes, the same M-E team that beat Norwich 49-7 two Fridays ago.
* Jose Valverde, Detroit Tigers reliever. Relievers were known as firemen years ago. Lately, Valverde has acted as an accelerant for other teams’ offense. The Yankees nearly pulled out another dramatic victory in game one of the ALCS knocking Valverde around in the ninth inning. Valverde was equally dreadful in his last ALDS appearance getting rocked by the Athletics.
* West Virginia’s hype. The number five team in last week’s AP poll was completely outplayed by Texas Tech. We’d like to think the Big East Conference has a relevant national title contender, but the Mountaineers’ poor showing discourages any of those thoughts.

THE UGLY
* Jeff Nelson’s missed call. Maybe we should call the other Jeff Nelson out of the bullpen. Okay, he’s retired, but could he do any worse? Nelson blew a call at second base Sunday night allowing the Tigers’ eighth inning to continue. The two insurance runs made it a 3-0 lead heading to the ninth. Closing the final inning is by no means a certainty in Tigerland (see Valverde), but the mindset with a three-run margin changes for both clubs. This wasn’t a bang-bang close play. Nelson was in position to make the right call, and he saw it wrong. Instant replay, anyone?
* Blowouts in high school football. That same Maine-Endwell team that rolled over Norwich last week by six touchdowns beat Susquehanna Valley, 71-0. Waverly also reached 70 points routing Dryden, 70-21, and in an exhibition, Schuylerville toppled Groton, 67-7.
* The face of Fabio Maldonado. This is a more obscure reference, but if you have an opportunity, take a look at post-UFC 153 photos of Maldonado. He was beaten to a pulp by Glover Teixieira in Saturday’s fight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Follow Patrick Newell on Twitter @evesunpat