Now that the Green Bay Packers' season is over, the spotlight has shifted to other parts of the sporting world. This week, headlines are dominated by cycling legend Lance Armstrong telling Oprah Winfrey about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The Texan, who did most of his work in France, is competing for airtime with NFL teams from California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Georgia. And we're being told that the return of NHL hockey, a sport in which no Wisconsin teams compete, is somehow important.
But that doesn't mean we have to consume what TV is serving. These midwinter months can be a time for pursuing low-profile indoor sports played by relatively anonymous athletes, some of whom might live right down the street. Why watch from the couch when we can actually participate, as fans, by heading out to area gyms and rinks for games? If we find merit in shopping and eating locally, why not look for ways to cheer locally?
A loud, bright high school gym is the best way to interrupt a dark, cold winter night, and on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m., all four Madison high school boys basketball teams are in action. Memorial, which continues its firm hold on the top spot in the Big Eight conference, visits third-place East, which makes up for its lack of height and star power with a frenetic and aggressive defense. Sixth-place La Follette, which almost knocked off Memorial last week, travels to seventh-place West, which might have the city's best player in junior Malik Clements. Clements is drawing interest from Division I colleges.
And on the college hardwood, the second-place Edgewood women's team, featuring Memorial grad Dareon Henderson at center, hosts Wisconsin Lutheran College at 2 pm on Saturday, Jan. 19, in the Edgedome.