A different view of sports

Clearing my mind and notebook while noting that soccer’s World Cup is a little more than two months away. It can’t get here soon enough:

Unforced error

Score it an E-5. Error, Fifth Estate.

The Denver Post produced a special section Friday to celebrate baseball’s opening day, which was also the home opener for the Colorado Rockies.

Alas, there was an error on the cover of the “Ultimate Visitors Guide To Coors Field.”  A huge error. The section cover was anchored by a photograph of the Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizen Bank Park instead of Coors Field.

The Rockies responded by tweeting a photo of their home field with a comment, “As beautiful as you remember. #LoveCoorsField?”

The Phillies fired right back by tweeting, “What a lovely photo of Citizens Bank Park. Right, @denverpost?”

The newspaper blamed the mistake on a “production error.” That’s shorthand these days for all the cutbacks in staffing newsroom have been experiencing. The Post newsroom has been repeatedly reduced in size since 2010, and just last month staffing was cut an additional 30 percent.

Next Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus came away with another unforgettable memory at The Masters on Wednesday when he stepped away from the tee to let his grandson G.T. play the final hole in the Par-3 Tournament.

He invited his 15-year-old grandson hit off the tee on the last hole, No. 9, after G.T. Nicklaus had caddied for him during the Par-3 Tournament. What happened next is apparently something The Golden Bear had predicted.

G. T. aced the hole. It was his first career hole-in-one and it came at Augusta National with hundreds of spectators looking on, including his famous grandfather and a couple other legends, Gary Player and Tom Watson.

Nicklaus later Tweeted: “With all due respect to @themasters, allow me to put aside my 6 Green Jackets in the closet for a moment. I don’t know if I have had a more special day on a golf course.  To have your grandson make his first hole-in-one on this stage. Wow!”

Watson went on to claim his second win in a Par 3 Tournament at The Masters.

Golf talk

There are just some things that are frowned upon at Augusta National.

Like these words and catch phrases that The Masters committee deems a distraction. Most phrases come straight from television or movies.  Or a beer commercial, like this year’s inclusion of “dilly-dilly.”

Shout any of them and risk being removed from the premises by security.

Also included on the list of things you shouldn’t say are these gems:

“Baba booey, mashed potatoes, you da man, sweep the leg Johnny, to infinity and beyond, bikini wax, can you hear me now and hashtag (anything). In all, there are 23 words or phrases that never should be said during The Masters week.

March Madness

ABC comedian Jimmy Kimmel on all the TVs being off at work because the NCAA tournament is over: “Nobody knew what to do. Someone said maybe we should work, and then everyone laughed and started checking Instagram again.”

Comedian Steve Hofstetter in a Tweet: “The majority of people who didn’t watch a game of college basketball all season had a better bracket than Stephen A. Smith. So if he could stop yelling at all of us, that would be wonderful.”

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “If Kansas’ basketball coach takes a photo of himself, is that a Selfie squared?”

CBS’s Charles Barkley on why he didn’t want to get into a war of words with Loyola’s Sister Jean: “It was pretty much 80-20 on me going to the Pearly Gates or the other way … I don’t want to give that other 20 percent away.”

They said it

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, hesitant about buying in to the Tiger hype at The Masters: “I’m not saying don’t jump on the Tiger Train, I’m just saying to board at your own risk and tell the engineer to pump the brakes just a little bit.”

Former Virginian-Pilot columnist Bob Molinaro: “There’s a lot of  hubbub over Dwight Howard producing the first 30-point, 30-rebound game in 36 years. By the way, Wilt Chamberlain accomplished the feat a mere 124 times.”

RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com:  “A Behr paint expert quoted in USA Today said tennis balls are neither green nor yellow. Which tells us it was a really slow day in sports.”

Humor writer Brad Dickson in Tweet on talk of a Floyd Mayweather-Connor McGregor rematch: “I haven’t been this excited since ‘Rocky V’.”

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, 88, who received an award from the Maxwell Football Club for his contributions to the sport, on getting old: “(Wife) Ann was going to let me hide my own Easter Eggs this year.”

NBC comedian Jimmy Fallon: “The Yankees had to postpone their home opener because of a snowstorm. You can tell it was cold because the foot-long hot dogs were only five inches.”

Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com: “Okay, who had the Pacers being the only NBA team to sweep the Warriors this season? (And I bet all you liars had UMBC over UVA too.)”

Jerry Kill, 56, on serving as an advisor for the Southern Illinois football team because of health concerns that make it difficult for him to coach full-time:  “Just trying to keep my feet in the grass and out of the ground.”

Hockey history

Even the Stanley Cup has to play a painful game of give and take.

Yes, hockey history will take another hit when Gordie Howe’s name is among those removed from the NHL’s championship trophy. Howe’s name, along with the other players who won titles from 1954 to 1965 are being stripped off the Stanley Cup to create room for a new layer of names.

If the league didn’t agree to do that from time to time, the trophy would continue to grow too large. Unlike other leagues, the NHL awards its historic trophy each year to the next champion rather than handing out a new trophy every year.

As part of that tradition, the name of every player on the winning team is added to the trophy. But those names aren’t displayed permanently.  At most, they are part of the trophy for 65 years.

Fat stats

Fans at Major League Baseball games will consume an estimated 19 million hot dogs and 4.6 million sausages this season, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.


Fark.com: “Sergio Garcia goes all Tin Cup at The Masters.”

TheOnion.com: “Sister Jean wheeled back into rectory closet until next season.”

SportsPickle.com: “Josh Rosen’s draft stock skyrockets after he eats bowl of paint chips for room of NFL scouts.”

TheOnion.com: “Kobe Bryant creates foundation to help children struggling with severe narcissism.”

Fark.com: “In South Korea, you are considered too tall to play basketball at 6’6″.8

TheOnion.com: “Jack Nicholson banned from sitting courtside after spilling Tupperware full of homemade chili.”

SportsPickle.com: “Augusta National installs artificial turf to save on mowing costs.”

Fark.com: “Tony Bennett adds AP Coach of the Year to go with his multiple Grammy and Emmy awards.”

My takes

Rehastagging this week’s top Tweets from @Randy_Beard11:

  • Villanova joins Duke (1991, 1992), Kentucky (1996, 1998) and Florida (2006, 2007) as schools to win pair of titles in 2-3 year span since 1975. Wildcats also won in 2016. UCLA won 7 in row from 1967 to 1973.
  • It’s only halftime of the NCAA championship, so there’s still at least another 20 minutes of this season to savor, so why am I feeling the first hints of withdrawal symptoms?
  • Sister Jean must now be a Notre Dame women’s basketball fan. Irish prayers were answered on Easter Sunday. @SisterJean98@JackieYoung3@Arike_O@ndwbb@MuffetMcGraw
  • Amazing! Arike Ogunbowale hits another buzzer beater as Notre Dame wins national title, beating Mississippi State 61-58. It was her only 3-pointer of game and she was just 6 of 21 for game.
  • Leading IU men’s and women’s scorers were raised just 40 Miles (and about 25 years) apart. Evansville’s Calbert Cheaney (785) and Mt. Carmel, Ill.’s Tyra Buss (757) also finished just 28 points apart.

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