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Caleb Nelson: Be careful, little mouths, what you say

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Caleb Nelson: Be careful, little mouths, what you say
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

At the risk of sounding much older than I really am, I’m going to say that Sunday afternoon’s AFC title game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots was just like old times. Tom Brady squared off with Peyton Manning in the postseason for the fifth time in the last decade. What could be better?

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Then, in stark contrast, there were the postgame interviews at the NFC game. I think FOX Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews’ face was a priceless one of shock and disbelief when she put the microphone in front of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

For those who think that professional football is all about entertainment, they certainly got that here. Let’s just say Sherman went off. He literally unloaded with a tirade that was tinged — or, should I say, laden — with arrogant antics and attacks on one of his opponents of the day, Michael Crabtree, a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers.

As a side note, Sherman did, however, utilize his communications degree from Stanford University by keeping eye contact with the camera at all times and refraining from cursing on national television.

“Well, I’m the best corner in the game,” Sherman told Andrews after the game, when asked about a pass deflection he made in the game’s closing minute while defending Crabtree. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s what you’re going to get.”

But wait, he wasn’t done. That was only the beginning of the rant.

Sherman’s success on the field speaks for itself, no doubt, and so does Crabtree’s. There is no denying a league-best eight picks Sherman collected through the regular season. But, does it give Sherman free reign to carry on about himself? He thinks it does, but I’m not buying it.

Sherman’s coach, Pete Carroll, apparently isn’t buying it either, and I like the way Carroll addressed the situation.

Carroll met with Sherman and asked him to apologize publically. To his credit, Sherman did that on Monday, saying that he should not have singled out an individual as he did in front of the media. Whether the apology was heartfelt or not, that’s not for me to decide. I will let him deal with that.

What I especially liked about Carroll’s response, however, was when he spoke on a Monday radio show about a team rule that handles “protecting the team.” Carroll wasn’t about to admit he’s perfect, either.

“We try to stick to rule No. 1, which is to always protect the team,” Carroll was quoted as saying, in a story printed by the Daily Globe on Tuesday. “It’s the rule we live by. You always represent us. In a time like that one, it was a little bit of representing yourself.

“How we handle it is we try to grow and learn and work our way through who we are and figure out who we want to be,” Carroll added. “This was an extraordinary learning opportunity. You’ll see some benefit from it.”

I hope we do see some benefit from it. I enjoy when athletes I interview speak well of their teammates almost more than what they’ve accomplished individually. It is a good life skill to master.

In the past few days, I have pondered the value of saying good things about people; the value of actually speaking well of somebody rather than finding the worst in them and speaking accordingly. Building somebody up with words that carry life and weight based on who they really are — because they’ve earned it — is something that should be celebrated. I guess Sunday showed me I’m not the only one who needs to grow in these areas.

Homestretch is on the horizon for area gym rats

Plenty of basketball is yet to be played across the region and for many teams, urgency will heighten as the postseason looms. It’s an exciting time of the year. Here are a few things I didn’t want to go unnoticed from gyms across the area recently:

- Fulda senior Melissa Gehl and Harris-Lake Park senior Noreen Morrow each surpassed 1,000 points for their girls basketball careers at their respective schools.

Gehl’s milestone came despite a 56-48 loss she and her Raiders took on their home floor last Friday against a balanced Southwestern United club. She has averaged 26 points per game so far. Morrow, on the other hand, averages 18.5 points per game on a 12-4 team that has won eight straight contests. Her milestone came in a Monday night win for the Wolves over Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn.

The Fulda Raiders, now 9-4 on the year and 6-1 in the Red Rock Conference with Gehl’s help, had won five straight tilts before falling in overtime to Canby, and then on Friday to SWU.

Southwest Christian and Fulda each are 6-1 atop the Red Rock Conference. Fulda will also have big challenges down the stretch with non-conference opponents Worthington (11-1) and Minneota (12-0).

- Marshall’s girls basketball squad (13-1, 6-0 in Southwest Conference) sits with a one game advantage on Worthington (6-1) in the Southwest Conference. The Trojans’ only loss came from the Tigers. Redwood Valley (4-2), Windom Area (2-3), Luverne (2-5), Pipestone Area (2-5) and Jackson County Central (1-7) round out the league’s standings.

n In boys basketball play, Mountain Lake Area senior Andrew Hempeck shattered his school’s career assists record in a loss recently to St. James. MLA head boys basketball coach Shawn Naas also got his 300th win when the Wolverines defeated Adrian on Monday, Jan. 13.

The Wolverines (14-1, 9-0 in the Red Rock Conference) are in sole possession of first place in the league followed closely by Ellsworth (13-3, 9-1) and Southwest Christian (10-2, 7-1).

- Marshall and Redwood Valley currently sit as frontrunners in boys basketball contention for the Southwest Conference and, barring any major blunders, it appears they’re in the driver’s seat to stay that way and battle each other for a championship.

The Tigers are unbeaten at 7-0 in the SWC while Redwood Valley is 5-1. Worthington and Pipestone Area each have three conference losses and Jackson County Central has four. Windom Area (1-6) and Luverne (0-6) round out the standings.

- In Iowa, girls basketball pairings will be released sometime early next week, with matchups based on season record and location. Harris-Lake Park, at 12-4, leads the pack of Iowa girls basketball teams in the Daily Globe coverage area. Sheldon and Sibley-Ocheyedan are 9-5, George-Little Rock 5-8 and Central Lyon 4-9.

- On the boys side, things are a little more concrete in Iowa. Postseason matchups are based on a team’s record in games five through 15 and district assignments have already been divied out. A few teams still have a couple more games remaining in the all-important 10-game stretch.

In Class 1A District 2, Ruthven-Ayrshire/Graettinger-Terril leads the way at 7-0 in games five to 15 while Boyden Hull (7-3) and West Lyon (7-1) are closely in tow. Central Lyon is 6-3, Harris-Lake Park 5-5 and George-Little Rock 4-4.

In Class 2A, Western Christian, Hull leads District 2 with a perfect 8-0 record since game five. Sibley-Ocheyedan is 0-7 in that span.

In 2A’s District 1, Sheldon comes in at 1-8 since game five and Sioux Center leads the way at 6-1.

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Caleb Nelson
Caleb Nelson is the Daily Globe sports writer. He hails from southwest Iowa and served as sports editor at the Audubon County Advocate Journal there for 2 ½ years before moving to Worthington in October 2013. Caleb trys to enjoy life and everybody that he meets. He enjoys music, playing guitar and drums, and is an avid sports fan. 
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