Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sports Stuff You Didn't Ask For

I took my election "victory lap" by wearing a solid blue suit and solid blue tie to church, so it was done kind of in secret. And I symbolically spiked the ball with a post or two to my favorite place to argue things on line. So, really, we can finally leave the election alone for while.

I know not everyone gives a hoot about sports, but the subject will continue to pop up here, though hopefully in an entertaining way. For instance, I'm of the opinion that if a dominant athlete has a dorky name, then it's perfectly OK to think of something cool to call him. The Detroit Lions have a wide receiver who's big, fast, powerful and has great hands, but carries the name Calvin Johnson. Detroiters have improved on that by referring to him as "Megatron". Makes for great T-shirts, too.

The 2011 Wisconsin football team was scary good. This year's team seemed to have most of the makings of another world beater, but they turned out to have a tendency to lose close games. They lost five by a total of 19 points, but because of penalties doled out to Ohio State and Penn State, UW still had a chance to play for the Big Ten slot in the Rose Bowl. All they had to do was beat Nebraska last Saturday, which is normally no small task.
The Badgers finally awoke to their potential by laying waste to the Cornhuskers, scoring 42 points in the first half. They finished with 70, running the ball for an almost unheard of total of 500 yards, with another hundred or so through passing. Now all they have to do is beat Stanford on New Year's Day, another large task.

A friend's tall, smart and attractive daughter has taken her basketball talents to Oregon Tech, where she is getting playing time as a freshman. The team is 8-2, but there's one thing that worries me a little. The Tech teams, for reasons I don't know, are known as the Hustlin' Owls. When the team takes road trips, who's in charge of making sure the locals don't start referring to OT women's teams as "Hoo..," you know - that restaurant with the semi-sleazy reputation? 

And finally, there's the story of Rasheed Wallace. Wallace is an NBA veteran, and if he never played another game, he would have earned plenty of respect for a fine career. There's just one little blot on his, ah, character. He's been married 14 years and has three children. I've never heard of him packing a gun at a strip club or crashing a car when drunk. But he does lead ALL active NBA players in collecting technical fouls, most of them issued for disagreeing with ref decisions. In some ways, he makes you laugh because his jaw seems to be attached to a single hinge at the back of his neck as he works his finely-honed verbal game for the New York Knicks. But the refs don't seem to agree, and are known to put "Sheed on a short leash when his trash talk involves their performance.
Last Sunday, Wallace put the bar up about as high as it can go. He collected two techs within the first 85 seconds of the game, and was ejected. This forced the Knicks to scramble their lineup a bit, but the team is capable of doing just that, and they won even without the seven foot big guy. All that, I guess, goes to back up Wallace's signature phrase, "Ball don't lie!"     



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