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Keeler: In garbage argument over garbage time, Broncos coach Vic Fangio was justified in trying to score. And John Harbaugh is full of it.

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Keeler: In garbage argument over garbage time, Broncos coach Vic Fangio was justified in trying to score. And John Harbaugh is full of it.

John Harbaugh is full of it. If you were Broncos coach Vic Fangio, down 23-7 at home and driving with 30 seconds left and timeouts burning in your back pocket, you’d be chucking the rock, too.

Before everyone stands and applauds Harbaugh, Fangio’s contemporary with the Baltimore Ravens, for getting in the last word during Monday’s garbage argument about garbage time, keep two things in mind:

1. While we’re down with riding The Teddy Bridgewater Train all the way to the end of the line, No. 5 has, shall we say, a bit of a track record when it comes to injuries. Broncos backup quarterback Drew Lock needed — and needs — all the low-leverage snaps in “game” situations, at “game” speed, that you can possibly give him.

2. If you are going to lose, NFL rules incentivize close losses over blowouts.

Seriously. You have to squint a little. But it’s right there in the books. Point differential actually matters.

See, in the case of a tie to settle a division-winner or a wild-card spot, the No. 9 tiebreaker is “Best net points in common games” — i.e., games against AFC opponents.

The No. 10 tiebreaker? “Best net points in all games.”

The No. 11 tiebreaker? “Best net touchdowns in all games.”

So, yeah. Even trailing by 16 late, a hopeless cause, I’m pushing it.

It’s why the New York Giants, down 27-7 to the Broncos at home, went gonzo after the 2-minute warning in Week 1, tacking on a garbage-time touchdown as time expired.

“So you’re throwing the ball in the end zone with 10 seconds left?” Harbaugh countered Monday after being called out by Fangio earlier in the day. “I don’t know that there’s a 16-point touchdown that’s gonna be possible right there.”

Spare us, Johnny. NFL bushido says that if you’re trailing, you keep swinging. Even if it’s stupid, cartoon-character swinging while the other guy is stiff-arming your face.

It also says that if you’re up big with the outcome decided, be a gentleman. Be a pro. Put the sword away.

Fangio, who’s carried the NFL shield for almost four decades, stuck to the written — and unwritten — rules. Harbaugh stuck to his ego.

Something about all this feels a little … personal. Doesn’t it? Uncle Vic knows everybody in this league. He worked with John on the Ravens staff in 2008 and ‘09. Then, more significantly, he served as the defensive coordinator for Jim Harbaugh, John’s brother, from 2010-14 — first at Stanford (2010), then with the 49ers (2011-14).

In December 2010, Fangio told the San Francisco Chronicle that his departure from the Ravens was “very mutual.” Multiple outlets reported that Uncle Vic had been courted by Jim Harbaugh “a number of times” before finally agreeing to join the Cardinal staff.

“This is a miracle (that) it took place,” Jim said to The Mercury News in September 2010 when asked about working with Fangio.

Gushing stuff, mostly. If there was bad blood boiling, underneath the surface, either everybody did a great job of covering it up, or it’s relatively fresh.

When Harbaugh and the Ravens elected, with three seconds left, to run the ball with star quarterback Lamar Jackson from their own 20 rather than take a knee, Fangio went ballistic. Footage from Channel 9 showed the Broncos coach first frantically waving at his defense to get closer to the line of scrimmage, then, after the play was over, removing his headset and flinging it to the ground in disgust.

Temperatures got heated again on Monday morning, when Fangio called the final play “bull (expletive) … but I expected that from (Baltimore). In 37 years of pro ball, I’ve never seen anything like that. But it was to be expected. And we expected it.”

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Snow on the way? Massachusetts forecasters tracking possible nor’easter

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Snow on the way? Massachusetts forecasters tracking possible nor’easter

Hope your shovels are at the ready.

The Bay State could be in store for the season’s first widespread accumulating snowfall this week, as meteorologists track a possible nor’easter that could impact the region on Wednesday.

Forecasters over the weekend continued to stress that many questions remain about the system, and specific snow amounts and details are uncertain at this point.

“We’ll have to see what happens,” said Bill Simpson, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Boston office. “There are models showing different things, so it’s much too early to say right now.”

There’s also a lot of uncertainty about the track of the storm. One model shows that it will go too far south and east of the region.

And forecasters are still tracking the placement of the rain/snow line.

“The question will be whether it is cold enough for 1 inch per hour snowfall rate to materialize and how much snow can accumulate before potential mixing or changeover to rain especially along the Boston-Providence corridor,” a National Weather Service forecast discussion reads.

“There is above average uncertainty with the Boston-Providence corridor because either it could be a mostly rain event or it could be the sweet spot for significant snowfall accumulation if the colder air holds its ground,” the discussion continues. “So plenty for snow lovers to ponder over and continually monitoring over the next couple of days.”

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Stillwater residents upset with towing company’s plan to remove 97 trees

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Stillwater residents upset with towing company’s plan to remove 97 trees

When a Stillwater towing company announced earlier this year that it planned to cut down 181 trees at a proposed new location, residents of the Forest Hills neighborhood cried foul.

But Stillwater Towing officials announced Friday that they were changing their plans at 1749 Greeley St. in light of the neighbors’ concerns. Under the new proposal, 97 trees would be removed from the 5 acres of land, which is zoned business park/industrial, to build a new impound lot.

The tree removal is necessary to create a relatively flat surface for vehicle storage, according to the company’s variance application.

Under city code, Stillwater Towing can remove up to 35 percent of the 265 significant trees on the site — 93 trees in all — without replacing them, city planner Abbi Wittman said.

Stillwater Towing hopes to avoid removing the other four trees, but is prepared to replace them if necessary, Cameron Kelly, the company’s attorney, said. If they can keep those trees, they won’t have to obtain a variance to the city’s tree-replacement requirements.

“The goal is to take as few trees as possible,” Kelly said.

Gloria Hatchel was shocked when she heard that 181 of the trees on the other side of her backyard might be cut down. Hatchel, who lives on Rainbow Court, said the wooded area and nearby wetlands are a habitat for wildlife and birds, including foxes, coyotes, deer, turkeys and cardinals.

Although the company’s proposal has changed, she said Friday that she still objects.

“I don’t want them to even touch the property,” she said. “It’s a sanctuary back there with all these trees and the pond. It’s beautiful, and they want to build a parking lot in the middle of it.”

Stillwater Towing, she said, should look elsewhere.

But Stillwater Towing officials say the company, founded in 1975, must be in a central location in the city to handle its calls. The company employs 25 full-time and five part-time employees.

Owner Rick Ritzer, who took over the family business from his father in 1980, began looking to expand 15 years ago, Kelly said. “They were starting to outgrow their lot, but they wanted to stay in the area,” he said. “It’s centrally located, which is key for their business.”

The new location is the former site of Croix Oil and Olson Transport, Kelly said. “This lot has handled commercial trucks since 1940,” he said. “It’s a much safer location from a traffic perspective, proximity to stoplights, etc.”

Washington County owns a strip of land between Stillwater Towing’s property and the neighbors, Kelly said, and there is about 300 feet of land between the back of the proposed impound lot and the nearest house. The land “is pretty heavily wooded, and it’s down a large slope,” he said. “The impound lot is higher. It’s a long way away, and the houses are a lot lower.”

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Gophers flip Wisconsin offensive lineman from North Dakota State commitment

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Gophers flip Wisconsin offensive lineman from North Dakota State commitment

The Gophers football program picked up a commitment Sunday from Ashton Beers, an offensive lineman from Slinger, Wis.

Beers, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 296 pounds, flipped his pledge from North Dakota State. The three-star recruit had offers from Central Michigan, Buffalo, Toledo and others.

“I would like to thank (coaches and staff) for giving me the opportunity to play at NDSU,” Beers tweeted. “However, after being offered a scholarship, I have decided to commit to The University of Minnesota.”

Beers is the 16th commitment in the U’s class for 2022 and the first from the state of Wisconsin. Beers was named second-team all-state by the Associated Press and was on the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association’s large-school all-state team.

The NCAA early-signing period opens Dec. 15.

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