Football, basketball and a farewell to Friendly Corners

With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror and Christmas right around the corner, here's a helping of some leftovers to enjoy. * * *
bigjoe
Jul 25, 2010

With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror and Christmas right around the corner, here's a helping of some leftovers to enjoy.

* * *

How many of you overdosed on football over the weekend? And how many of you Ohio State fans suddenly care about the Oklahoma-Missouri Big 12 Championship game?

An Oklahoma win Saturday would put Ohio State back into the national championship game against, most likely, West Virginia.

Reflector Publisher Andy Prutsok is from West Virginia and is an avid Mountaineer fan. The trash-talking already has started. This could get ugly before it is over.

Q: How many players will West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez dress for the national championship game?

A: Twenty. The rest will dress themselves.

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Here's a tall tale for you.

Norwalk High School senior Kyle Smith is listed at an even 7 feet in the winter sports program. Some say he's a little smaller, but when you're that tall, does it really matter?

The Truckers opened their season Friday with a resounding 67-31 win over Perkins and they'll be riding Smith's broad shoulders in their chase this season for a Northern Ohio League title.

When I was a young basketball player in the early 1970s at Stevenson High School in Livonia, Mich., we had a team full of tall players but no 7-footers.

I was a strapping 6-foot-6, 165-pounder in my day. A young reporter for the high school paper described me as lean, lanky and lethal. He was a very good writer, and I couldn't have said it better myself.

My coach, however, had different thoughts. He would have described me as lazy, lethargic and lousy.

I never liked my high school basketball coach.

For a preview of the 2007-08 high school sports season, see the Reflector's Winter Sports Preview in Wednesday's paper. The preview is full of stories and pictures on our local athletes.

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Thanksgiving weekend has a number of traditions. One is the annual stomach-stretcher lunch Tuesday prior to the holiday at East of Chicago Pizza. A trained athlete wouldn't think of playing without completely warming up.

And it's the same with veteran eaters. The key is to start early and pace yourself. Huron County Juvenile and Probate Court Administrator Chris Mushett, a part-time Reflector sportswriter, again took top honors.

Bring on Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi.

Another tradition is putting up outside Christmas decorations.

It is a simple two-part process:

1. Carefully hang all of the decorations. Find that one bulb that is screwing up your whole string of lights. Make sure everything is just right,

2. Let the boss check it out and hold your breath. Lot's of luck.

If you are a budding Clark Griswold, send us a picture of your decorated house for a chance to win $500 in gift certificates from PnR Hardware. To enter, go towww.firelandschristmas.com. * * *

Here is a sad farewell to Friendly Corners Tavern.

The restaurant/bar closed its doors for the final time Wednesday night. Anybody who says running a restaurant is easy would be lying. Long hours and lots of aggravation. You might make money, but you never have time to enjoy it.

I have many good memories of the restaurant. It was a frequent meeting spot over the years for the parents following volleyball matches. I'll always remember the late Ron Leto holding court in the back room. And there were many others ... Mike Bockrath, Denny Camp, Mark Stoll, Bubba Spaar, Rick Fritz, Chuck Fritz, Pete Schaffer, Scott Nickoli, Tom Tracht and John Soisson to name a few. Tex Weisenberger was the No. 1 fan and the leader of the pack in the final years was Don Davis. He was worth the price of admission.

I'll miss the place, but I'll always have the memories.