Sunday, September 9, 2012

More dumb sports bytes

Chances are, something in the following will offend most every sane sports fan with an ounce of common sense -- but hey -- somebody's gotta do it. It was a crazy day in sports

The Univerity of Michigan football team, after predictably getting sounding thrashed by Alabama, came home to face Air Force, supposedly a "patsy".  They barely squeaked by. The only thing that saved them was QB Denard Robinson running wild. That should have come as no big surprise. It was Air Force. The fly boys. They don't know anything about boots on the ground. Had it been Army, things might have been entirely different. Doh.

Funny thing about that game. I noticed the QB for Air Force was named "Service". It was stitched right across his shoulder blades on the jersey. No wait, the running back is named Service too. On closer inspection, there was a whole bunch of Services playing for that team. Tackles, guards, they were everywhere. I'd heard of Band of Brothers, but this was getting ridiculous. Then I noticed a few "Freedoms" that played for them as well. OK, I finally got it. Another little not-so-little subliminal gem the brainy boys in the military cooked up. Roger that. "Service" must have been the seniors, because that's exactly what they're looking at for a few years once they graduate, unless they're good enough to where a pro team offers the Pentagon millions to conveniently overlook that obligation. Money has a way of changing standing orders. Remember David Robinson, the 7 foot basketball player at Navy? In another stroke of genius, he somehow got assigned to the cramped quarters of submarine duty. For some reason, that didn't work out so well, Robinson was released from his military obligation, and went on to make millions in the NBA. Imagine that.

Some poor kid from the Tulane football team, after a helmet to helmet collision with one of his own teammates, suffered a broken neck, collapsed lung, and had to be given an emergency tracheotomy on the field. It was reported he would likely require surgery. Well, duh. Ya think?

The Arkansas Razorbacks of the mighty SEC, also a Top Ten preseason pick, just got taken down in their very own Hog Heaven by the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Forget LSU. That might be akin to the above mentioned University of Michigan's Flint Campus offshoot, waltzing into South Bend and whupping the Fighting Irish. And Flint doesn't even HAVE a football team, to my knowledge. Amongst ULM's noted alumni are a couple pharmacists, a business man, an author, the usual assortment of small time lawyers and penny ante politicians, and a judge or two. Plus a guy named Tim McGraw, a country singer quickly getting over the hill, except the one named Faith.

Mike Trout, the outfield rookie phenom of the LA Angels, continues to impress, while Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, reigning AL Cy Young and MVP holder, seems to be sliding back to being average. Though barely 21 years old, with still almost a month left to go in the season, Trout already has 25 home runs, 75 RBIs, and 44 stolen bases. His batting average has cooled a bit lately, though. He's down to a mere .330. A short while ago, Trout clubbed a home run off Verlander in the first inning of the Tigers/Angels contest, then made yet another spectacular catch for the final out to end the game, robbing Prince Fielder of a home run. Besides his batting and running prowess, Trout's made such a habit of leaping above the wall to catch balls that would normally be home runs -- it's no longer that surprising. Unless Trout totally goes into the tank in the next few weeks, rookie or not, he should be the MVP.

Poor Penn State. Besides all the other stuff that has swirled around that program in the last few months, none of which involves the current players and coaches, they have a glaring hole. At kicker. Sure, the one they used to have transferred out, along with many other players once the NCAA sanctions came down, which put them in a bind. But what they have going on right now is pitiful. Extra points blocked. Field goal attempts from little more than extra point range sailing wide left or wide right. It's embarrassing. Calling all kickers. Walk-ons. Men. Women. Mules. Whatever. If your leg packs a punch, there's a job opening in Happy Valley. Then again, I'm not at all sure how comfortable a young lady might feel getting her kicks at Beaver Stadium, but perhaps that's a scenario best left to people much smarter than me to sort out.

The University of Oregon, also another Top Ten team, seems to be on a never ending quest to come up with the most hideous jerseys imaginable. Every time we see one set and say, wow, it can't get any worse than that -- they will. Who's in charge of their wardrobe department anyway? Dennis Rodman?

And what's up with the PGA anyway? First it was the Deutsch Bank Championship in Boston. Now it's the BMW Championship in Carmel, Indiana. Whatever happened to good old fashioned American sponsors like General Motors, Ford, IBM, and Hustler magazine? At that, surprisingly, old pros VJ Singh and Phil (Lefty) Mickelson find themselves atop the leaderboard after three rounds of play. Not so surprisingly, Rory McIlroy leads Tiger Woods by a couple shots, but both are well-positioned for a Sunday run at another championship. Let the criticism roll if I'm wrong, but yours truly suspects VJ and Phil will fold up like a house of cards on Sunday afternoon, another player will get hot and join the fray for a while, only to fade at the end, and Rory will ultimately give Tiger another spanking. In my humble opinion, it will be Tiger, not Rory, that blinks when the stare down contest begins on the back nine. We'll see....

Last but not least, the Lions finally tee it up for real against the St. Louis Rams. Head coach Jim Schartz has quickly turned the Lions from a joke into a contender. Now he'll match wits with his former mentor, Jeff Fisher, who's responsible for Schwartz ever getting a foothold in the NFL to begin with. The Lions are favored at home, but you never know how such things may work out.

Regardless, that's only a football game. A much more important matter might be in play. While yours truly will be in attendance at a certain local watering hole to whoop it up with a room full of crazed Lions fans, a normally reliable source has informed me that we could all be graced with a cameo appearance of royalty. Perhaps for a spot of tea, I suspect, while briefly deigning to associate with the hoi polloi, before being whisked away back to a palace somewhere. Then again, one never knows what might happen. A beer here, a touchdown there, a few high fives with the peasants, and even a Princess might come to enjoy it and hang out for a while. Stranger things have happened.

I think.


  1. OMG JOHN, you need some serious rest. But I did enjoy our banter over the Lions game.

    The Princess

    1. I totally agree, but every time I try to catch a few extra zzz's, I'm not so gently reminded that I sleep too late. I wish people would make up their minds. As for the banter? My pleasure, Your Highness. Anytime.....