By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Editor
1. Welcome to the last sports column you will ever read in the history of Town Square Buzz. I mean, with the world ending and all on Friday, I want to make this final edition extra special for all you loyal TSB readers. Now I hope I get to write another one of these next Thursday as well, but who knows? Those Mayans can be annoying, huh?
2. District 10-5A will be represented well on Saturday night when the Allen Eagle football team will take on Houston Lamar for the Class 5A Division I state championship at Jerry Land. I had to pleasure of watching the Eagles twice this season, in back-to-back weeks in fact. Allen did not mess around when playing Boyd and McKinney, winning both games by a combined 101-21. Now what makes Allen good enough to get to the state championship game? It’s pretty simple: exceptional speed and superior size.
3. The Eagles are known for using various units on the offensive line, often times alternating between linemen every couple of drives. Not only do they have some big boys along that line, but also they are able to get down field quick and block linebackers and safeties in the second level with ease. Now run-blocking in high school football is a must in order to compete, but it also helps if you have some of the most athletic playmakers running around to assist your line if blocking ever gives way. Sophomore quarterback Kyler Murray, senior running back Marcus Ward, and senior wide receiver/kick returner/Mr. Everything Oliver Pierce combine to make one of the state’s most explosive offenses. Murray, who did not get the full-time starting role until game six, has thrown for 1,955 yards and 16 touchdowns and run for 1,227 yards and 23 touchdowns. Ward has rushed for 1,420 yards and 15 touchdowns, while Pierce has 898 total offensive yards and 12 touchdowns. Pretty much, the Eagles score when these three players touch the ball.
4. And while Allen’s offense can steal the show, the defense is no slouch. The Eagles held Boyd running back Bryan Driskell to just 29 yards on 17 attempts, while also limiting the second most efficient passer in the 5A area in MHS quarterback Robert Somborn to under 55% completion. Their linebackers have tremendous ability to move sideline to sideline very quickly, and the defensive line can plug up gaps and keep speedy backs from breaking long runs.
5. Most experts around the state are saying Allen will run away in this state title game, but having not seen Houston Lamar in action and purely reading stats and looking over other scouting reports, I won’t make any kind of prediction. I will say that any team that can knock off Allen better be an extremely disciplined team and one that can control the clock. If Lamar can grind out the game and get some early momentum in the game, they have a chance to make it a great state championship game. If you want to try and make it out to Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night, the game kicks off at 8 p.m. It can also be heard on 1310-AM The Ticket.
6. Last Saturday I had to privilege of participating in the first annual McKinney Boyd Baseball Alumni Game. Seeing all the former Bronco players, many of whom have gone away and started making names for themselves, was so great and made for a tremendous afternoon. I got to face my brother for the second time in our playing careers, and I regret to inform you that I am still hitless against the little guy. I worked the count from 0-2 to 3-2, but a curveball on the inside black right at my kneecaps struck me out and sent me back to the bench. Curse you, Alex.
7. The Rolling Stone Top 50 albums of 2012 were released this past week, and I have to say that I didn’t mind the list all too much. Neil Young’s Psychedelic Pill was extremely odd to see in the top 10, considering the record wasn’t the greatest and four of the songs are almost half an hour long. I had never heard of the Japandroids, who came in at No. 9, but upon listening I kind of enjoyed the punk-rock duo. No. 8 was my favorite group of all-time, Green Day, whose first album of three entitled Uno! made the charts. I think Tre! would have been in the top ten had in been released earlier in the year, but the first of the trilogy is still awesome. I love the Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.a.a.d city made it at No. 6, because there have not been too many hip-hop albums in the last five years that can hold up with that record. I respect Bob Dylan and understand his place in musical lore, but you cannot honestly tell me Tempest is the fourth best album of 2012. At No. 2 Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange is well deserving of the honor and is well worth the spot at No. 1. In terms of R&B albums, it may go down as one of the more influential records of the decade. From his ability to open up about his sexuality on several tracks to collaborating with the likes of Earl Sweatshirt and Andre 3000, the Odd Future member has a bright future ahead of him. And at No. 1, say hello to Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball. While I love “The Boss” and cannot say a bad word about him, I found it tough to really get too in love with this record. It is one of those that I felt like I had to power through and didn’t want more when it was over. But in terms of pure production value and musical sound, the album is almost flawless and it is understandable why it comes in at No. 1.
8. However, don’t try and tell me that Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is the second best song of 2012. Don’t go there, Rolling Stone.
9. Congrats to Bryan Driskell on committing to the Air Force Academy to play college football next year. In my first full season of covering high school football, it was a lot of fun watching him play every Friday night.
10. I hope everyone enjoys his or her Christmas holidays if we all manage to survive past Friday. In the next week you can expect to see the Top 10 sports stories of 2012 be released on TSB, with an entry dropping on the site each day until New Year’s Eve, when we announce the top sports story of the past year. This countdown is sure to cause a lot of table arguments over the next couple of days.
11. Before I go for the week, I would like to take a moment to pay respect to the victims of the horrific events that occurred in Newtown, Conn. I have found myself at times sitting around and imagining how a human being can possibly feel like committing such unspeakable acts, and I know that the families of those 20 children and six adults will not want to remember this holiday in the years to come. Rebuilding the lives of those townpeople will take many, many years, and even then may not be enough, but keeping them in our thoughts and doing what we can to try and make life as normal as possible again will get things going in somewhat of a good direction. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.