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Off The Beaten Record: WBL Proving Hard to Predict

By ROSS BISHOFF A big part of me loves it when things are messy and chaotic. I’m not a fan of following the script.   Templates, my friends, are for weaklings. So, through three weeks of the Western Buckeye League, I’m More

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Off The Beaten Record: Could Browns and Bengals Fans Both Have Reason For Optimism?

 By ROSS BISHOFF Trivia question I asked myself this weekend: When was the last time the Browns and Bengals had a winning season in the same year? I then asked Google. If you’re better than me, you won’t cheat, you’ll More

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Off The Beaten Record: Ohio Football Fans Get Best of All Levels

  Football fans in Ohio are pretty spoiled. I’m not complaining, I’m just pointing it out. A friend of mine grew up in New York. We were talking about our favorite football teams recently. He’s a Jets fan, which is More

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Off The Beaten Record: Best Area Week 1 Games

By ROSS BISHOFF Whenever Week 1 of the high school football season begins, I think of Mike Tyson’s quote, “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.” Preseason optimism is everywhere. And that’s a good thing. But More

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Off The Beaten Record: College Football Not Intended For Fright Nights

By ROSS BISHOFF On Aug. 9, the National Federation of State High School Associations adopted a resolution to re-affirm the importance of high school football having its own stage on Friday nights and urging college and professional organizations to stay More

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Off The Beaten Record: Notes On College Football Polls, Defensive Talent, and Heisman Odds

By ROSS BISHOFF I try to be fair to contrary points of view. I try to play devil’s advocate with myself quite often. But over the years, I’ve just never understood the necessity of preseason football polls in college football. More

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Off The Beaten Record: Innovation Needed to Recruit Officials

By ROSS BISHOFF My good friend and former colleague Brandon Hannahs recently wrote an interesting story in the Zanesville Times Recorder that caught my eye. The story is about Zanesville High School offering students a sports officiating class as an More

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Off The Beaten Record: Re-evaluating The Stress of Fantasy Football Ownership

By ROSS BISHOFF Football season is approaching … and no, it can’t get here fast enough. Last year, I skipped out on fantasy football. It was the first time in many years I didn’t have at least one fantasy football More

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Off The Beaten Record: The Secret Life of Sports Parents

By ROSS BISHOFF As a sports writer and sports editor, I struggled with sports parents. Nobody complained about the media, the coaches, the athletics directors, the officials, the other team, the other parents, the officials, their own team more than More

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Off The Beaten Record: A Jolt For the Sport of Boxing

By ROSS BISHOFF I’m not a fan of complimenting ESPN, especially after what has become of Sportscenter, but I am a massive fan of what it’s doing for boxing. In June, ESPN went to Australia to broadcast the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff More

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