Playoff Point Spreads

St. Ignatius is favored by 9 1/2 points Saturday night because the oddsmakers believe the Wildcats will devise a plan to slow down Mentor’s amazing quarterback Mitch Trubisky and his unstoppable passing attack.

Look at what Mentor did to St. Ed’s last week in its incredible 63-56 come from behind win. At least for one night Tribursky was the best high schoiol quarterback I have ever seen in half a century. He completed 36 of 48 passes for 478 yards and four touchdowns. Big and strong, Tribursky also ran 25 times for 98 yards. Mentor piled up 39 first downs and rolled up 726 yards and ran a staggering 92 offensive plays from scrimmage. That does not count conversions, kickoffs and punts. Of course, Mentor punted only once and St. Ed’s only twice. By the fourth quarter when Mentor outscored St. Ed’s 21-0, the Eagles’ defense was gassed. Imagine chasing the Cardinals all over the field for 92 plays. St. Ed’s, meanwhile, ran 68 offensive plays.

Anyway, here are the lines for this weekend’s third round playoff games.

DIVISION 1
Ignatius 9 1/2 (67) Mentor
Massillon 1 1/2 (54) Toledo Whitmer
Pickerington North 8 1/2 (37) Hilliard Davidson
Colerain 2 (65) Moeller

Division 2
Aurora 12 (46) Chardon
Toledo CC 13 (54) Avon
New Albany 4 1/2 (52) Marion Franklin
Trotwood Madison 7 (49) Cin. Turpin

Division 3
St. V-SM 8 (62) Chagrin Falls
Napoleon 7 (46) Bellevue
Dover 5 (49) West Holmes
Thurgood Marshall 31 (79) The Plains Athens

Division 4
Norwayne 14 1/2 (61) Brookville
Col. Hartley 11 (51) Ottawa Glandorf
St. Clairsville 13 1/2 (56) Johnstown Monroe
Clinton Massey 14 (64) Milton Union

Division 5
Youngstown Ursuline 7 1/2 (51) Kirtland
Liberty Benton 3 (45) Patrick Henry
Lucasville 4 (41) Liberty Union
Coldwater 21 (54) Covington

Division 6
Mogadore 11 (43) Youngstown Christian
Delphos St. John 3 1/2 (46) McComb
Newark Catholic 1 (41) Danville
Maria Stein Marion Local 7 1/2 (51) St. Henry

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Do you know this woman?

Harriet, a church activist in a small town, considered herself the gold standard for morality. She also was a notorious gossip and when she noticed George’s pickup truck parked in front of the town tavern, she spread the rumor that George was a degenerate drunk. She even confronted him outside the tavern and, wagging her finger in front of his face, loudy accused him of wasting his life in a bar.

George said nothing. He did not defend himself and he did not deny her withering accusations. That night he parked his truck in front of her house and walked home. He left it there all night.

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Bank Robber

A priest told me this one.

As the bank robber turned to leave, his mask slipped down. He quickly pulled it back up, but worried that the handful of customers had seen his face.

One by one, he asked them.

“Did you see my face?” he asked a man.

“Yes,” said the man.

The bank robber shot him.

“Did you see my face?” he asked the second man.

“Yes,” said the man.

He shot him, too.

A man and a woman were left.

“Did you see my face?” he asked the man.

“No,” said the man, “but my wife here did.”

Signing off for now.

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High School Playoff Point Spreads

Here they are for Week 2 of the playoffs. I’ll just give you the favorites and the numbers. The second number is the over/under.

First, however, are the odds for winning the state championships.

D-I — Ignatius 2-1; St. Ed’s 3-1; Colerain 3-1; Moeller 5.2-1; Whitmer 12-1; Massillon 14-1; Pickerington North 15-1; Hilliard Davidson 16-1; Hilliard Darby 18-1; Mentor 19-1. (Six team field 11-1)

D- 2 — Toledo CC 280-100; Trotwood Madison 320-100; Aurora 520-100; Marion Franklon 6-1; Avon 6-1; Winton Woods 6-1; Tri Valley 7-1; Turpin 8-1; New Albany 9-1; Tiffin Columbian 16-1; Kenston 19-1; Chardon 19-1. (Four team field 13-1)

D-3 — Thurgood Marshall 160-100; Akron St. V 240-100; Chagrin Falls 460-100; Napolean 6-1; Doiver 7-1; Sprinfield Shawnee 8-1; Bryan 11-1; Perkins 11-1; Bellevue 11-1; Steubenville 12-1; West Holmes 13-1. (Five team field 16-1)

I will post the odds for Division 4, 5 and 6 later Thursday. Now, here are the lines for this weekend’s playoff games.

Division I
St. Ed’s 12 1/2 (70)
St. Ignatius 27 (59)
Massillon 7 (57)
Tol. Whitmer 17 (42)
Pickerington North 3 1/2 (46)
Hilliard Davidson 8 1/2 (38)
Cin. Colerain 13 1/2 (60)
Cin. Moeller 20 1/2 (66)

Division II
Kenston Pick (48)
Aurora 14 1/2 (59)
Toledo CC 24 1/2
Tri Valley 3 1/2 (57)
Columbus Marion-Franklin 14 1/2
Cin Turpin 13 1/2
Trotwood Madison 3 (36)

Division III
Chagrin Falls 26
Akron St. V. 24 1/2
Napolean 6 (52)
Sandusky Perkins 1 (46)
Dover 8
Steubenville 1 1/2
Thurgood Marshall 29
Springfield Shawnee 8 1/2

Division IV
Brookfield 18
Norwayne 27
Col. Hartley 29 1/2
Ottawa Glandorf 12
St. Clairsville 29
Ironton 11
Clinton Massie 38
Milton Union 6 1/2

Division V
Kirtland 20 1/2
Young. Ursuline 28
Lima Catholic 8
Patrick Henry 14 1/2
Lucasville Pick
Liberty Union 6 1/2
Coldwater 26
Covington 19

Division VI
Mogadore 16
Malvern 5 1/2
McComb 18 1/2
Delphos St. John 18
Danville 7
Newark Catholic 13
St. Henry 1 (49)
Maria Stein Marion Local 4 1/2 (46)

Good luck. That’s all for now.

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I’m back, spread the word

Yes, my hiatus is over. My computer was hacked back in August. Actually, it was vandalized. The hackers erased my entire address book and screwed up many of its innate functions.

Well, I’m back in business. I’ve had so many ideas in the last few weeks, most of them forgotten by now, but I’ll never forget the torment inflicted on us over the last couple months by the presidential campaign and that pipsqueak senator candidate.

It has come to this. I hate Obama and Romney by now. I despise their faces. I wish there were a credible third party candidate. The robo calls grew so incessant that Maddy and I refused to answer our house phone unless we heard a friend leaving a message. The telephone campaign by both parties was intrusive and inconsiderate. Every time Obama, Biden, Romney and Ryan visited Ohio, they selfishly disrupted traffic. Roads were closed. According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, Obama’s campaign still hasn’t paid its bill to the city of Cuyahoga Falls for city police security for an earlier visit. What arrogance!

The owners of Ohio television stations are not complaining, though. Millions upon millions of dollars were spent on endless TV spots. I understand that Fox 8 was the number one recipient of this political largesse.

Finally, it ends today and we have to live with one of these characters for the next four years.

England has a better system. Prime Minister David Cameron appeared on the Letterman show about a month ago and said that political advertising is not permitted on English television and the typical campaign lasts only six months. Cameron said that when he was elected prime minister, his campaign budget was $150,000.

That’s all for now. Spread the word. The old curmudgeon is back in action.

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Final Friday Night Touchdown

This Friday will be the season finale of Friday Night Touchdown on Fox 8. We’ll also say goodbye to co-host Allie LaForce, who has moved to Los Angeles to work for the CBS network’s new sports cable channel. She’ll fly home for the final show. She’s a true pro, only 23 years old and headed for stardom. I guess we won’t be “better looking” anymore, but we’ll be just as enthusiastic. Can’t wait till next year.

Thanks to Tim Hudak, who writes the Monday Morning Quarterback blog for St. Ignatius High School, for keeping everyone current on national high school football polls. He’s a wealth of information. He tells us that St. Ed’s is getting a lot of attention, for example #1 Cal Preps, #4 Rivals, #4 Max Preps, #10 Sports Illustrated, #15 ESPN and #24 USA Today.

Stayed up late last Saturday night to watch Colerain manhandle St. Xavier, 35-14. Colerain is impressive. However, don’t write off Ignatius. Remember, St. Ed’s beat the Wildcats on a trick play and a blocked punt.

This weekend’s high school football betting lines will be out Wednesday night. I’ll try to get them posted soon.

That’s all for now.

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Rivals Forever

Saw many old friends at Bill Sheehan’s funeral at St. Raphael’s earlier today. Maddy e-mailed brother-in-law Dan Holland and said that we ran into Terry Hayes.

“Wish I had seen him,” said Dan, who was at home in Boston. “I would have thanked him for throwing me that interception.”

Terry Hayes was the St. Ignatius quarterback. Dan Holland was a linebacker for St. Edward. That was in 1953. They are both 76 years old. Don’t tell them to get over it. Moving on is not an option for rivals for life.

That’s all for now.

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Built on Beer and Cheese

Was in Milwaukee over the weekend for a wedding and to research the great pitcher Warren Spahn. The research consisted mainly of sharing a few beers with people who remembered the Hall of Fame lefthander.

When it comes to American cities, Milwaukee is our best kept secret. Its entire Lake Michigan shoreline is a continuous beach of white sand. There are no railroad tracks, landfills or garbage dumps getting in the way. Too bad we don’t have the same thing here. It would be the greatest summer ever on the Lake Erie beaches. Water temperature off Cleveland is now an all-time record 80 degrees. Our water temperature usually peaks at about 76 degrees. Eighty is like swimming in a tepid bathtub. It’s a good time to be a fish.

Their old neighborhoods are well maintained and clean. They have street festivals every weekend and neither vandals nor hooligans ruin them. I saw no pot holes, vagrants or bums.

Their old downtown office buildings are respected and preserved. Their ornate architecture is reminiscent of their European origin, much of it German. They did not tear down their old buildings and replace them with taller, ugly ones.

Milwaukee is still the home of some of the most venerable brand names in American history — Miller Brewing Co., Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz and Old Milwaukee.

Maddy and I discussed this and concluded that compared to Milwaukee, Cleveland has completely screwed things up. We once had breweries — Erin Brew, Gold Bond, Leisy Light, POC, Carlings, Schmidt’s, to name a few. But they dried up or went away.

“It’s better to build a city on beer and cheese than steel and car parts,” Maddy remarked.

That’s all for now. As for Warren Spahn, I’ll tell that story in my next book that will be out in time for Christmas of 2013. However, you know the old saying. If you want to give God a good laugh, tell Him your plans.

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Jimmy Bivins’ Funeral

We finally said goodbye to former boxing great Jimmy Bivins this past Saturday. There were less than 100 people in Liberty Hill Baptist Church at E. 82nd and Euclid Ave. because of the confusion caused by Jimmy’s nutty daughter, Josetta Banks, who cancelled his wake and earlier funeral. Many people missed the notice when it was rescheduled.

“But his true friends were there,” said Jerry Fitch, Bivins’ biographer. Fitch’s updated edition of the Bivins biography will be out this fall.

James L. Bivins was 92. He was never a champion, but he defeated five light heavyweight champions who held the crown from the 1930s to the ’50s. In its boxing heyday, Cleveland turned out some great fighters, including featherweight champion Johnny Kilbane and light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim. Many others from Cleveland fought on the world stage. Jimmy Bivins stood right up there on the podium with them.

When his boxing career was over, Jimmy coached kids in the sweet science and he went to work. He drove a bread truck for Laub’s Bakery and a pretzel truck for Dan Dee until well past retirement age.

By the way, I thought it was interesting that three of the greatest athletes who grew up in Cleveland came from the same neighborhood on Cleveland’s near East Side — Jesse Owens, Harrison Dillard and Jimmy Bivins.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned.

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St. James Reopens

We went to the re-opening Mass at St. James Chuch in Lakewood Wednesday night and it was nothing less than spectacular. The church itself is majestic with 16 marble columns at least 80 feet high. A standing room crowd of 1,400 packed into the church and there were 10 priests on the altar, including, naturally, the new pastor Father Joe Workman, a young fellow in his early thirties.

Like many priests today, Father Workman will perform double duty. He also is the pastor of St. Clement, which is about two miles away in Lakewood.

One priest for two parishes is becoming routine. Two priests were talking. “I just got my new assignment,” said one. “Where is it?” asked the second. “St. Mary’s,” said the first. “Which one?” said the second. “All of them,” said the first.

“Father Workman is a young pastor and he already made a big mistake,” a veteran priest said as he reflected on the sellout crowd. “He did not take up a collection.”

That is true. Many people came with their checkbooks out ready to make big donations. Maybe Father Workman did not want to intrude on the joy and solemnity of the occasion by passing the basket.

“Maybe in the chaos of the reopening, maybe they couldn’t find the baskets,” someone said. “Too bad. This would have been like Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day all in one.”

Keep reading down. I’m not done.

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