The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Random Thoughts: winter, fall and more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s Random Thoughts centers around the end of the winter sports season, fall sports and football season, Malaki Branham and NIL revisited.

Finally over

This sounds weird to say in late June, but the 2021-2022 winter sports season is finally over.

It ended Sunday night when the Colorado Avalanche won the NHL’s Stanley Cup. Had Tampa Bay won, the winter sports season would still be going on.


Yes, summer means baseball but it won’t be long before fall sports practices (cross country, football golf, girls tennis, soccer and volleyball) begin. In fact, August 1 is when practices may begin.

Football’s regular season starts August 19 and ends October 21. Both are early due to the expanded playoff format. Both are too early for my taste but that’s the way things are.

On a different football note, without looking it up, how many people can honestly say they know who will play in Saturday’s USFL championship game?

I’ve watched some of the games on and off this season. Some of the games were better than expected. Who knows, this league could stick around for a while. Given the choice though, I think I’d rather see the return of Arena or indoor football during the spring and summer months.

Malaki Branham

I’m no expert but I can’t help but think Malaki Branham should have spent at least another year at Ohio State, instead of entering the NBA Draft.

After being projected as a lottery pick, Branham fell to the No. 20 spot and was picked by the San Antonio Spurs. Admittedly, San Antonio is one of the better landing spots among NBA organizations, which should bode well for Branham.

Still, another year at the collegiate level would almost certainly have benefited him. If it was a money thing (yes, it’s tough to ignore first round money), one would think he could have earned some sort of NIL deal.

Regardless, here’s hoping things pan out for Branham and teammate EJ Liddell, who was picked in the second round by the New Orleans Pelicans.


This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about this and it probably won’t be the last.

Apparently, some people (adults) are upset that the OHSAA’s Name, Image, Likeness proposal didn’t pass. Some have been anything but shy when expressing their opinions, but they also appear to be very misinformed.

Yes, it’s true that the issue failed by a hefty margin, but it was the member schools that voted it down. Apparently there’s a belief that the OHSAA office struck down the proposal, which is wrong.

Comparing high school and college NIL is literally like comparing apples and oranges, but that’s a discussion for a different time.

For those who think NIL at the high school level is a good idea – you’d better hope it’s more organized and defined than the NCAA level.

As always, if you have thoughts or comments on any of the above subjects, feel free to email me at

POSTED: 06/28/22 at 3:47 am. FILED UNDER: Sports