Mr. Sports: Super Sunday, National Signing Day and Rodeo

By Bob Labbe
By Bob Labbe

Super Sunday is upon us and this year’s battle for the annual championship of the National Football League is looking to be one for the ages…the age of Peyton Manning, that is.

The soon to be 38-year old Manning is believed to be on his last leg of a spectacular career that some have called the best quarterback in the game…ever. He’ll lead his Denver Broncos, which are a 2 and a half point favorite, to face the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams look to be savage and relentless in their play both on offense and defense. Quarterbacks have different styles as Seattle’s Russell Wilson has a good arm with nice passing technique, but he can also be very mobile when needed to be. Manning on the other hand is more of the traditional pocket signal caller, but with a football computer for a brain to go along with his physical talents.

The game kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday on Channel 54.

If you’re like me, you’ll be joined by family and friends at a gathering to watch the annual Super Bowl, halftime entertainment and the eye-opening commercials. The four-hour or so broadcast should be a spectacular evening. The weather looks as though it will be cold with a chance of snow in the New York area where, for the first time in Super Bowl, the game will be played in a cold weather stadium. Let’s hope the weather does not play a deciding role in either the game or halftime show.

I see the Broncos taking the title by six points.

National Signing Day

The annual big signing day for high school football players is next Wednesday, Feb. 5th with numerous athletes putting their names in ink on athletic scholarships for what will change their lives forever. For most of the athletes I have covered over the 40-plus years I’ve been in the news media, the recruiting process is exciting, rewarding and just plain fun. Many of the young athletes use the process as a way to increase their worth, their knowledge, their experience and their self-esteem.

Christian Hess of Bob Jones, worked an intern job at Boeing last summer as he wants to further his education and earn a degree in mechanical engineering and is using the football recruiting process to try and secure an institution where he can face the tough road ahead. He’s had a handful of offers and will sit down and figure out what he wants and needs in an education. He said he would choose which offer gives him the best opportunity.

Congratulations to all of those student-athletes who will receive scholarship offers and sign with the college of their choice. For the remainder of those in the hunt for a future in college football, good luck and don’t give up.

National Finals Rodeo

This weekend, the 2nd Annual Sheriff’s Lone Star National Finals Rodeo will make its way into the confines of the VBC arena as the top 10 cowboys and cowgirls in eight different events will battle to be named national champion. Competition will be held over the two nights in Bare Back Riding, Calf Roping, Barrel Racing, Bull Riding, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Cowgirl Breakaway Roping and Saddle Bronc Riding.

Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning is the official host for the National Champion event, which is a huge fundraiser for the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) and the Army Emergency Relief Fund. On Friday (Jan. 31), it will be First Responders Night with a $2 discount on tickets for emergency responders. On Saturday (Feb. 1), the same discount will be given to all active and retired military as part of Military Night. On Friday, the first 200 children under 12 will receive a free flashlight while on Saturday the first 200 children under 12 will receive a free cowboy hat.

Last year’s event was wonderful with the action non-stop in the championship finals featuring the top 10 contenders in each event; The Best of the Best. Check it out. The rodeo is always great family entertainment. Competition begins at 7:30 both nights with live entertainment, including children’s pre-rodeo and gold rush slated to begin at 6 p.m. Of course with every great rodeo comes the entertaining rodeo clowns. This year Mike Wentworth, two-time Rodeo Clown of the Year will take to the dirt of the VBC for family fun.