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Why they play the games
Charlies Inside Corner
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LARNED — There is a parallel of sorts between the Larned vs. Great Bend boys basketball game on January 28, and the Super Bowl featuring Denver and Seattle, played this past Sunday.
There is a lesson there and it is, “That’s the reason they play the games!”
The Great Bend Panthers, struggling with a 2-9 record, were on the home court of the Larned Indians who were cruising along with a solid 8-6 resume.
Finally, it was the year that the Indians would put a Panthers scalp hanging in their trophy case once again.
There weren’t many out there that thought that would not happen, and at halftime, with a 33-22 lead, the Indians looked well on their way to adding to Great Bend’s basketball woes this year.
Then, something strange happened.
Larned stopped scoring and Great Bend started, and continued!
Behind freshman Kody Crosby’s 32 points and two last-minute turnovers that were ghastly and costly for the Indians, somehow, some way, the Panthers did the near-impossible. They won a road game they couldn’t and shouldn’t win, leaving the Indians frustrated and searching for the answers to that age-old question, “What happened?”
Fast forward a few days and we have a Super Bowl featuring the high-powered offense of the Denver Broncos behind the Hall of Fame quarterback, Peyton Manning.
Yes, Seattle’s defense is good BUT, not Peyton Manning good! Besides, the Seahawks simply DO NOT have enough offense to keep up with the Broncos!
A bad snap, an interception or two and a couple of Russell Wilson touchdown passes later and another underdog was celebrating  and leaving a stunned foe to wonder, “What happened?”
Ah, the underdog.
Society’s choice for support. “Let’s all root for the underdog!”
It’s not just these two examples.
We’ve had countless examples in just the recent months. Oklahoma over Alabama. Auburn over that same Alabama. Just this last weekend California knocked off No. 1-rated Arizona on the basketball court.
Since David slew the giant with the slingshot and stone, the world has cheered on the underdog.
Winston Churchill might have said it best when addressing his countrymen in 1941: “Never, Never, Never, Never-in nothing great or small, large or petty-Never give in!”
There is a lesson in all of this for all of us.
That’s why they play the games.

CHALK TALK — I agree with Brett Favre who said, “it’s ridiculous that anyone would judge the totality of Peyton Manning’s career on the outcome of one Super Bowl game.” Shannon Sharpe are you listening? ... You are about to be inundated by the hype of the Winter Olympics, a socialist cocktail party that travels the world over. This time it is in a resort town in western Russia, Sochi, where it is usually as warm as, oh, say Atlanta! ... Yes, sports fans, Jamaica really will have a bobsled team! ... Yes, I DID pick the Broncos and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with a concussion suffered in the NFL! ... I loved this quote this past week. When asked about corruption in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee said, “The IOC stands ‘against any form of corruption.’ ” Be careful Tom, you can get splinters in your tuxedo standing “against” things! ... It’s a big weekend in Manhattan. If Kansas State is going to make any noise in the Big 12 basketball race, they need to beat Texas Saturday in Bramlage. I imagine the Jayhawks would appreciate it too! ... Is Dennis Rodman REALLY going to run for President?

Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned