Archive for the Sports Category

Daddy & Dylan Day, Part II

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by macmystery
Dylan and Grandpa Bill at Atlanta's Turner Field on Monday night. It was Dylan's first major league baseball game with daddy, and the Braves won 4-0.

Dylan and Grandpa Bill at Atlanta's Turner Field on Monday night. It was Dylan's first major league baseball game with daddy, and the Braves won 4-0.

Monday night was Dave Ramsey Night at Turner Field. As a result, the seats in the sections at the end of the upper deck, in both right and left field, were all $1.

It seemed like the perfect night to take Dylan to his first Major League Baseball game. The Braves were winning and still in the wild-card hunt. The seats were cheap.

Brooke called my dad, and he said he was interested. So I picked Dylan up early from school on Monday and we drove down to Atlanta. Brooke and Ella stayed with my mom, and Grandpa Bill, Dylan and I headed downtown.

After a quick dinner at Arby’s, we caught the MARTA train at the East Lake station. Dylan had been looking forward to the train ride as much as the game. As it turns out, it was easily his favorite part of the evening.

Our seats were not bad, but that didn’t mean Dylan had any intention of staying in one. It was a two-plus-hour effort to get him to be still. He was in the aisle, on the steps behind us and three rows down at the railing.

At one point, he was leaning at the railing and yelling below, “Hey you, hammer head! Hey hammerhead, up here!” I thought, “Oh my God. He’s yelling at a person.”

Boy, did I feel stupid. When I reached the railing to admonish him, I realized he was yelling at an actual hammer head. Braves sponsor Home Depot holds a race similar to that of the sausages in Milwaukee, only it’s a hammer, a saw, a paint brush and a drill that race around the outfield wall.

Dylan and I missed a Chipper Jones home run while we were in the souvenir shop. That’s where I spent 20 minutes convincing Dylan that we didn’t need a red foam tomahawk for $5 (I must have 10 in a box at home) or an $8 red big foam finger.

(The souvenir shop is also where a I was approached by a hot latin chick about the 2009 Little League World Series T-shirt I was wearing.)

We bought two drinks for $9 and a bag of peanuts for $6.25. Ouch.

We stayed through the seventh inning, and then we left to let Dylan play in the big Cartoon Network playhouse and then take some pictures with some big statues. (The most disturbing of which shos Dylan sitting on Ty Cobb’s lap as he slides into a base.)

Dylan complained about the walk back to the MARTA station as much as he complained about the walk to the stadium. I guess it was to be expected. But for the most part, while a bit hyper, he was good.

Will he ever be a baseball fan? Enough to sit through a game? I don’t know. And that’s fine. If it’s not his cup of tea, I won’t push it on him. But I can hope.

MJ’s Hall of Fame speech

Posted in Sports with tags , on September 12, 2009 by macmystery

Here’s Michael Jordan’s induction speech for the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night.

It’s pretty good. And the whole thing is much better than the edited clips on ESPN.

A strange anniversary

Posted in History, Sports, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by macmystery

I wouldn’t have even realized it if I hadn’t seen it on ESPN.

Fifteen years ago, today.

The slowest high-speed chase in history.

But you couldn’t stop watching.

It was Friday, June 17, 1994.

According to the ESPN report, it was actually a pretty big day in sports … Arnold Palmer’s final U.S. Open round, … a big Ken Griffey Jr. HR, … NBA Finals Game 5, … the New York Rangers’ Stanley Cup parade.

But if it hadn’t been the opening day of the World Cup, I may have missed any live coverage of that bizarre day.

What I saw of the slowest high-speed chase in world history I witnessed from a bungalow in the Bahamas. I was on vacation with my girlfriend, Eli, and her family. Her father was Italian and a huge soccer fan. The only reason we watched TV that day was so he could see the first day of the World Cup being held in the U.S.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

O.J. Simpson on the run. There was no way he did it. Had to be some mistake. He was framed, he was covering for someone. It had to be something else. O.J. Simpson? A double-murderer? No way.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt for quite some time. It was a sad story, in a way. But eventually I joined most sane people at the conclusion that he killed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and the unlucky Ronald Goldman.

I remember where I was when the not guilty verdict was read, standing with about 50 others, including my friend Tyrone Walker, in one of the lounges in Clemson’s old University Union. A bunch of people cheered. A bunch were angry. A bunch, like Tyrone and myself, simply couldn’t believe what we had just heard.

Our security guard at the newspaper, Mr. Black, and I talked about that trial tonight. It’s amazing the things and people who have become part of the culture as a result of that tragedy. It amazes me how easy it was to list their names. Some were famous before, but most were about to get their five minutes …

Christopher Darden and Marcia Clark.

Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran.

F. Lee Bailey and Alan Dershowitz. And Barry Scheck.

Judge Lance Ito and Henry Lee.

Roger Cossack and Greta Van Susteren.

Mark Fuhrman and Kato Kaelin.

A.J. Cowlings, Fred Goldman and Denise Brown.

Robert Kardashian and Traci Adell.

Do you remember them all? And what they did?

Remember how many people covered the trial. I t made Court TV. Cosack and Van Susteren had a show that ran for eight years that never would have come into being if not for the trial. Van Susteren is still on the air.

Did you know, despite leading the police on that ridiculous chase, no charges were ever filed against Cowlings? In fact, O.J. was never charged with evading arrest, either.

It just seemed so surreal. O.J. Simpson running. I mean really on the run. I spent the rest of my week in the Bahamas certain that by the time we returned home, all this would be settled. Little did I know ….

And it all started for me, like most Americans, with those oh-so-familiar film clips of a white Ford Bronco making it’s way down a California freeway.

Dylan and baseball

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , on March 12, 2009 by macmystery

So after two seasons of soccer (last spring and fall), Brooke and I convinced Dylan he’d enjoy baseball if we signed him up this spring. After several conversations about it, he agreed.

Back in the beginning of February, we registered him. And two weeks ago his coach called and told us when the first practice was.

So far, we’ve done three practices.Yesterday he told us that, had he known there would be so much practice, he’d have never signed up.

I’m not coaching, which will be better for Dylan and me. But it’s also good for the team, Dylan doesn’t whine for anyone but Brooke or me, so this should cut down on that.

Apart from the uniform he’ll be issued, we bought some pants, a new bat, a helmet with a cage and a chin strap, a couple balls, a sweet pair of red Nike cleats — he’s a red Raider — and a couple of red and white shirts. It all cost a little more than I’d hoped, but I really wasn’t surprised.

Dylan (when he’s interested) is ahead of most of the kids on the coaches pitch team in hitting. But he’s got quite a ways to go on catching the ball, or fielding it.

But it’s gonna be a lot of fun to watch him learn.

Thank you R.C. Edwards

Posted in History, Sports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by macmystery
R.C. Edwards sees Clemson football coach Dabo Sweeney off before the Tigers game with South Carolina one last time.

R.C. Edwards sees Clemson football coach Dabo Sweeney off before the Tigers game with South Carolina one last time.

Dr. R.C. Edwards passed away on Thursday at the age of 94. He’ll be missed.

Anyone who has a degree from Clemson University, as I do, owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Edwards.

As an editor for Clemson’s student newspaper, I was lucky enough to meet a few people in my time at the school that most students wouldn’t without a little extra effort.

Among those, my two favorites were easily former sports information director Bob Bradley, God bless him, and former University president R.C. Edwards. And though I spent a year as news editor, I met Edwards during my time as sports editor. There may have been no bigger Clemson sports fan than Dr. Edwards.

As a student, I was admittedly unaware of just how much Edwards meant to Clemson. What I knew was he had been president for a long time (21 years) and was quite popular.

And just by watching how those with influence at Clemson acted around him, it was clear how much respect he garnered.

When you understand what he did for the school, it makes sense.

“Except for Thomas Green Clemson himself, the founder of the university, Bob Edwards was the single most important person in the history of the school,” Donald McKale, Clemson’s Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of History, and my professor for a summer school World War II in Europe class, told the Greenville News.

He entered the school as a 15-year-old freshman, graduated in 1933 with a B.S. in Textile Engineering, returned to the school in 1956 as a vice president and became president in 1958.

He retired in 1979. Those 21 years were quite eventful in American history, and it was no different at Clemson. Edwards was president through three major turning points in Clemson history.

Edwards oversaw the transformation of the University from an all-male military academy to a co-ed university.

He took on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1950s when they initially wanted to flood 9,000 acres of Clemson’s campus and force the school to move in order to construct the Hartwell resevoir. Not  only did Edwards win, but he convinced the Corps to actually re-route the Seneca River in the process.

And possibly the most impressive feat … Edwards facilitated the peaceful, if not downright uneventful, integration of Clemson University in 1963 at a time when it certainly wasn’t the norm (Just prior to Harvey Gantt’s enrollment at Clemson, James Meredith’s enrollment at the University of Mississippi at Oxford in the fall of 1962 had forced the use of federal troops to quell violence).

According to the book, “Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University,” Edwards and Gantt both showed admiration for the way the other handled himself during the process.

Of Gantt, Edwards said: “If Harvey Gantt had not been the great person that he was and is, the situation at Clemson would have been a lot different.”

When Edwards retired in 1979, Gantt returned the compliment, telling the press, “President Edwards was very fair to me. He seemed to be singularly interested in making sure the change was peaceful.”

By the time Edwards retired, he had personally handed out more than 70 percent of the diplomas given at that point in the history of Clemson University.

When Edwards retired he didn’t go away. He was always around and  approachable, even to a student who didn’t enroll until more than a decade after he had left office.

Here’s the statement on Edwards from current Clemson president James Barker:

R.C. Edwards was a giant in the history of Clemson University. No president will ever surpass his dedicated service to his alma mater nor his impact on all aspects of life at Clemson. Dr. Edwards was my President and he has always been a part of my Clemson experience, from the day I first walked onto campus to today.  When he shook my hand at graduation in 1970, it was one of the proudest days of my life. I still stand in awe of all that he accomplished as president. He led Clemson through the transition from a small, all-male military college to a major co-educational, integrated university. He presided over an era of enormous, much-needed change with strong, steady and visionary leadership. He will always be remembered.

Edwards did what was best for the University, even if it wasn’t the most popular option, and he could do so because no one could question his love of Clemson.

Many people graduate from college, and as time passes, the school they attended becomes just that, where they went to school. But many who leave Clemson never get over the feeling that there is something special in those hills and about the family they are forever a part of. And for that, we owe a lot to Dr. Robert C. Edwards.

Thank you R.C. Edwards, you’ll be missed.

Sunday night election smorgasbord

Posted in Odd, Politics, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2008 by macmystery
Sensing the campaign is sinking with 10 days before the election, the Republicans have replaced John McCain with what they hope is a superior candidate, a cardboard cutout of McCain.

Sensing the campaign is sinking with 10 days before the election, the Republicans have replaced John McCain with what they hope is a superior candidate, a cardboard cutout of McCain. When asked, the RNC responded, "Hey, it's worked with Keanu Reeves' acting career."

Since I don’t want to make 100 different posts, I figured I could bunch all of this in one big one.

First, if you buy the rhetoric from the right, it’s only natural that virtually every newspaper in the country would endorse Barack Obama and Joe Biden. That crafty, slimy, liberal mainstream media! (If there was a sarcasm font, I’d use it here)

Back to reality, it might interest most that far more papers in this country endorsed Bush than Al Gore. Oops. There goes that theory/right-wing talking point/pile of horse shit. In addition, I work at a paper that would endorse Mussolini over Jesus Christ if the Italian were a Republican and the messiah a Democrat.

But you’d think McCain and Palin might get a break from the biggest paper in Palin’s state, a Republican stronghold.

Nope.

The Anchorage Daily News endorsed Obama/Biden. Just for kicks, here’s a link to the Fox News blog reporting the endorsement. As if the story isn’t interesting enough, try reading the Fox News readers comments at the end of the blog post. If the comments seem remotely rational to you, please get help as soon as possible, for your safety and others.

Next, speaking of endorsements, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, a President Bush ally-turned-enemy, endorsed Obama on D.L. Hughley’s new CNN show on Sunday night.

And sticking with endorsements, here’s one you don’t want: Al-Qaeda. More bad news for McCain. Here’s a news item and here’s a New York Times piece on why it makes sense. Take it with a grain of salt.

So Sarah Palin’s hairstylist is the highest paid person on the McCain campaign team, making twice as much as his foreign policy adviser? Haven’t they learned you get what you pay for?

Rush Limbaugh … what a piece of work … he first says that Obama really wasn’t in Hawaii visiting his ailing grandmother, but instead was on some secret mission to cover up birth certificate fraud, or something almost as absurd.

Then, in nearly the same breath, he criticizes Obama for not going to visit granny sooner. Well, Rush, if she wasn’t ill, why would he have needed to leave earlier? I wonder if Rush wears his brownshirt to bed at night, or only under his white sheet at Saturday night get togethers.

And last but not least, something fun.

Sarah Palin dropped the puck at another NHL game this week. This time in St. Louis. There were some boos, but nothing like in Philly, the armpit of classiness in America. (Not that, admittedly, I wouldn’t have booed.) For the most part, St. Louis fans were like they always are, polite and enthusiastic.

But maybe she ought to not go back to St. Louis for a while. Goalie Manny Legace caught his skate on the carpet laid on the ice for Palin and injured his ankle. He departed Friday’s game after surrendering two goals in the first period and didn’t return. The Blues fell to the L.A. Kings, 4-0.

Legrace didn’t play in Saturday’s game. The team doesn’t know how long he’ll be out.

Hockey fans mixed on hockey mom

Posted in Politics, Sports with tags , , , on October 12, 2008 by macmystery

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was in Philadelphia on Saturday night to drop the ceremonial puck before the Flyers game.

When Palin and her two daughters were announced, they got the traditional Philly welcome … she was booed. Read AP’s story here.

Much like Santa Clause at an Eagles game, she got an earful. After the initial booing, there was a mixture of applause, as well. But it was clear the hockey mom persona wasn’t unanimously received in the City of Brotherly Love.

Here’s a clip of the event from YouTube: