- The joy or grandpa-hood and Little League
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
The joy of grandpa-hood has been the best part of my life.Share
And today it gets even better.
Soccer was fun.
Basketball was cool.
But nothing on this earth is better than kid baseball.
And at 5:45 p.m. today, little Nicholas will play his first Little League game.
Move over, A-Rod.
Make room for N-Rod.
There’s a new star on the horizon.
And he’s playing shortstop for the machine-pitch Red Sox.
I remember my first kid baseball game.
We didn’t have T-Ball or machine-pitch back then, and the first time I stepped to the plate, Steve Hatch hit me square in the butt with his blazing 15 mph fast ball.
I wish I could say that I brushed it off, stepped back up to the plate and blasted the next pitch over Scotland Park’s “green monster.”
Instead, I think it scared me and I kept jumping out of the batter’s box ever time “Even Steven” went into his windup.
But before long, I became a pretty decent little ballplayer.
And I loved every minute of it — even those hot summer days hawking Kid Baseball buttons downtown.
They don’t sell buttons anymore.
Still I I paid out 25 bucks buying raffle tickets and Coca Cola before Nicholas ever hit the field.
But watching a grandson playing Little League — that is priceless.
- Finally, a blue dot on TRN’s op-ed page
Monday, March 29th, 2010
Welcome to the TRN, Roberta Sund.Share
You are truly a breath of fresh air to an op-ed page that has been dominated by right wing radicals for way too long.
Having Larry Petrash and Mark Levy — as our two community columnists for the last 300 or so years has turned us into Fox News Southwest.
They are a couple of Fox puppets who just regurgitate the Republ;ican views of Beck, O’ Reilly and Hannity.
It is about time we heard from the other side — my side.
Yet the same day that your excellent column on heath care appeared, there was a headline on the front page saying:
Health Care: GOP aims to repeal, replace; McConnell: Common sense solutions sought.
A Republican senator seeking common sense?
Does he not remember our last GOP president? The one with no sense at all.
Was health care reform even talked about during those 800 long years than Bush was in office?
Or was he way too busy looking for those weapons of mass destruction?
Welcome to my world, Roberta.
From another tiny blue dot in a big red state.
- Area 2010 Quarterbacks
Friday, March 26th, 2010
Although it’s a little early, I though it would be a great time to look at the quarterback situation for next year’s area teams.Share
A lot of good quarterbacks are graduating this spring. In fact, I think the 2009 class might have been the area’s deepest since I have been around.
But there are some guys coming back who had stellar years, and some others who played well on varsity at different positions.
The schools are broken down into a few different categories. Here we go:
- Everything is happening except basketball
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
We left Wichita Falls 75 hours ago.Share
It seems like 75 years.
Obama got his health care bill.
Randy Neugebauer made an ass out of himself on the floor of Congress.
Jerry Lueck is dead.
Lots has happened, but no MSU basketball.
And that is why I am here.
But finally, now we are just four hours away from that first Elite Eight.
MSU will beat St. Cloud State of Minnesota today.
That could set up a possible No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup on Thursday if Indiana, Pa. gets past Valdosta State.
And No. 1 didn’t make it here so 2 vs. 3 would be a game between the top two ranked Division II teams in the country. In other words, although the championship game is officially scheduled to be played on Saturday, the title could be decided if MSU plays Indiana.
Gotta go now. Heading to the MassMutual Center.
Twitter with me.
- Soup or salad? You won’t get it here
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
My boss said an “old-timer” called to complain that I had not been reporting on what the MSU players were doing and eating on their trip to the Elite Eight.Share
Do you really care what these guys have for supper?
Channel 6 does. The sports reporter for that station reportedly did an “exclusive” on Sunday night about where the players were eating and sleeping.
I am still a journalist.
I know some of you probably think I’m not a very good one, but that is my trade.
I have covered 81 straight MSU postseason basketball games over the past 31 seasons.
I promise I will give you the very best coverage of this team in its run for a national title.
But if you want to know if they chose soup or salad, turn on the TV.
- Jacksboro's Brown headed to Clifton
Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Jacksboro coach Brandon Brown will become the new coach at Clifton if he gets accepted by that school district’s board in a meeting, which is set for Tuesday night. It was originally scheduled for tonight.Share
Brown has been with the Tigers for three seasons — it was his first coaching job — and he went 15-17 there during that time with two playoff appearances.
Clifton doesn’t have Jacksboro’s tradition or nice facilities, but it sounded like Brown was making the move to be closer with family.
I would bet the Tigers’ job gets a lot of outside interest. I guess we’ll see. I’m being told they’d like to get fill the spot by the end of April.
Also, later this week will be a look at every area team’s quarterback situation for next year (I promise this time).
- Here I am in Enfield, Connecticut, wherever that is
Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Greetings from Enfield, Connecticut.Share
Never been here before.
Never even heard of the place.
But here I am.
Traveling is not glamorous in the world of Division II basketball.
I came here with the MSU basketball team on Sunday. The day started at 4 a.m. behind D.L. Ligon Coliseum. To get here, I rode two buses, two airplanes and spent time in six states.
That is a bus to Oklahoma City, a plane to Baltimore, another plane to Providence, R.I., a bus trip through Massachusetts and finally into this town in Connecticut just outside of Springfield, Mass.
The entire trip was 12 1/2 hours.
But there we are. And as I right this there is still 52 hours or so until the first game tips off.
I sense a real confidence with this MSU team.
These guys think they can win a national championship here.
And they just might.
Hopefully, you turn to the best source for MSU basketball news — the Times Record News and timesrecordnews.com to find out everything you would ever want to to know abot this team and its run to glory.
- MSU’s past and present will meet today
Friday, March 19th, 2010
The present meets the past today.Share
For the first time, current Midwestern State basketball coach Grant McCasland and former MSU coach Gerald Stockton will get together.
And I get to be there to see it.
These are the only two coaches to have 31-win seasons at Midwestern.
Stockton did it in 1975 when he took the then Indians to the NAIA championship game. He also had three other Final Four apperances in the NAIA and is deservedly in that organization’s hall of fame.
He coached 24 seasons at the school and won 493 games.
McCasland is an outstanding young coach in his first season at MSU.
His team is 31-2 and making its first ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
Now all he has to do is win 462 more games and he will be right with there with Dr. G.
- Filled out my NCAA bracket and didn’t get a Vasectomy
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
So, don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but March Madness, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, is one of the most popular times of the year for the dude to get his stuff snipped, his goods tangled, his tubes redirected.Share
Or in more professional terms, to get a vasectomy.
Something about it is a perfect time to give yourself or others an excuse to sit down and not move for about 3 to 4 days.
The first few rounds of the NCAA tournament are amazing, and if you need an excuse to get the potential taken away from your baby shooter, so be it.
“They” like to turn March Madness into Vas Madness with “their” little marketing schemes.
I say take a couple of days off and just watch basketball. The pain down there is too difficult to imagine. I might be in the minority with some guys my age because I want kids.
All in all, I don’t want a doctor down there with a scalpel. I’m more interested in actually sinking buckets in a game situation than simply practicing for the rest of my life.
- Syracuse to win it all; But don’t bet on it
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Welcome to March Madness — the one time of the year when I donate a portion of my hard earned money to the poor.Share
Come the first week in April, some slave here at the newspaper will have five of my bucks in his or her pocket/
Today I decided to fill out my NCAA bracket while talking to you.
Should you decide to copy my picks, you, too, will most likely be making a donation.
I’m starting off by picking all the 1 and 2 seeds to advance to the second round. That’s a really safe bet.
People in Syracuse may argue after seeing their No. 2 Orangemen fall to No. 15 Richmond back in 1991. But I like my chances.
Now I will pick all the double-digit favorites against the spread. That’s Georgetown, Michigan State, Pitt, Wisconsin and Baylor. I’ll also take New Mexico, and Maryland, both 9-point favorites.
I am taking two 8′s (Texas and UNLV ) and two 9′s (Florida State and Louisville) in the tough 8-9 pairings. I like Florida State and Louisville because they are playing two teams — Gonzaga and Cal — which have to travel across the country for the first round.
Doing the same with the 7-10 matchups. I take a couple of 7′s — Richmond and BYU — and a couple of 10′s — Georgia Tech and Missouri.
Now I need a big upset in each region:
Midwest: 11 San Diego State over 6 Tennessee
West: 11 Minnesota over 6 Xavier
East: 11 Washington over 6 Marquette
South Old Dominon over Notre Dame
Didn’t mean it to be four 6-11 matchups, but it just happened.
Now I will take all the remaining favorites — Butler and Vanderbilt out of the West; Temple out of the East and Texas A&M and Purdue out of the South.
That completes the opening round.
Advancing the the Sweet 16 will be:
Midwest: Kansas (1), Michigan State (5) Georgetown (3) and Ohio State (2)
West: Syracuse (1), Butler (5), Pitt (3) and BYU (7)
East: Kentucky (1), Wisconsin (4), New Mexico (3) and West Virginia (2)
South: Duke (1), Texas A&M (5), Baylor (3) and Villanova (2).
Regional championship games will be:
Midwest: Kansas over Georgetown
West: Syracuse over BYU
East: West Virginia over Kentucky
South: Villanova over Duke
The championship game: Syracuse beats Villanova
Now forget everything I have said.
Warning: Bracketology may be harmful to your financial health.
- Whoa Nelly, MSU
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Last night, with the Midwestern State Mustangs playing Central Missouri for a spot in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, might have been the most exciting basketball game I’ve seen live.Share
Sure, I’ve seen some big names play basketball, including his Airness, Michael Jordan, but when the UCM player missed a point blank shot from about 3 feet out and missed as time expired to seal the victory for MSU, well, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Last night had it all.
MSU had the big early lead, then they went cold in the beginning of the second half. The UCM Mules came back on outside shooting and the huge inside presence of Sanijay Watts.
Watts was a monster down low. He got where he wanted to on the court and MSU wasn’t slick enough to double team early to get the ball out of his hands.
Then MSU did just enough to hang on.
All of the Mustang basketball players deserve a ton of credit. Those guys used all of their resources last night to win.
I’m not sure what the awaits them in Massachusetts (they play Saint Cloud St. Wednesday at 11 a.m.), but I wish them the best of luck.
- Madonna, Elton John my Super Bowl halftime choices
Thursday, March 11th, 2010
Most people didn’t like The Who’s halftime performance, but old guys like me kinda liked it.Share
Yeah, a deaf 64-year-old Pete Townshend is not the same 24-year-old Pete Townshend who performed 24 songs on Day 2 of Woodstock, but I still admire him for trying.
My question now is who will perform at halftime of the next Super Bowl in Dallas Cowboys Stadium?
Will they stereotype us Texans and give us a bunch of pretty-boy country and western yodlers?
The first Super Bowl I ever covered was 1994 in Atlanta and it had a country and western hafltime (Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt and The Judds). It bombed.
Halftime entertainment at the first Texas Super Bowl (Houston’s Rice Stadium in 1974) was simply the UT band and a fiddling Miss Texas.
Thirty years later at Reliant Stadium in Houston we had Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake and the famous “wardrobe malfuction.” People may have forgotten that P Diddy and Kid Rock were also that stage.
My top two choices for halftime at Cowboys Stadium are Madonna and Elton John.
Let Willie Nelson give us a real Texas national anthem before the game.
Tell me who would you like to see.
- Daddy was wrong; Basketball is a great sport
Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Pardon my absence the past week or so.Share
I have been busy covering this amazing MSU basketball team.
My daddy is responsible for giving me a love of sports.
But daddy hated basketball.
He never came to my games. He never took me to any games.
Daddy said “anything your mama can play is not a sport.”
My mama had played six-on-six basketball at Petrolia High School.
Daddy was dead wrong.
Basketball is a great sport.
And March Madness is a really fun time of the year.
I love MSU basketball even more than I do the big NCAA Tournament — and I have covered both in my career.
I grew up listening to Jack Britton broadcasting Midwestern games on the radio. (Remember I told you daddy never took me to the games).
When I got to high school, Midwestern played in our gym and I stayed after school to watch guys like John Henry Young and Earl Beechum.
When I decided to be a sports writer, I got to cover MSU games for the school paper.
Then at the TRN, my old boss, Ted Buss, would sometimes let me go cover some games.
When I became sports editor in 1980, I took on MSU basketball as a beat and have now covered 78 straight playoff games — 52 wins, 26 losses.
This weekend, MSU is hosting the South Central Region tournament at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Some of my best basketball memories were made under the old Dome.
So go to MSU or to Jerry’s Sporting Goods and buy your tickets right now.
The place will be packed every time MSU takes the court on Saturday and hopefully Sunday and Tuesday.
To quote my old friend Joe Tom White — “Don’t you dare miss it!”
- Sorry I left y'all hanging
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Been meaning to post about the job that could have opened up last week but without getting into specifics, I was not able to.Share
After a couple people sent me emails wondering what was going on, I was able to do it today.
The job I mentioned, which will remain nameless, will not be opening. The candidate did not get hired at a place where he interviewed; the school made the hire last week.
I’ve been told the guy was not looking to leave where he is at. It would have been a move beneficial to his family.
That is about all I have right now. Still waiting to see what Quanah does. And I think next week I will blog something high school football related, maybe looking at all of the returning quarterbacks for next year (and who some new ones might be).