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Opinion & Analysis

  • Sports Commentary: New on the New

     

    At some point in a man's life, he's the New Guy.  The new kid at school or on the block or on a team.  The new guy at work or at church or at the old folks' home.

    Being the New Guy is a rite of passage, and we all go through it.  I understand there is a similar dynamic for the fairer sex but,  having no experience as a New Gal, I'll stick to what I know.

  • Sports commentary: Dribs and drabs

     

    Some dribs and drabs for you to consider.

    *****

    While Virginians can't unite behind any single college football team, I think we all agree on one thing:  The Commonwealth's teams aren't timid when it comes to scheduling.

    In the first week, we got UVa taking on a UCLA team which is among the favorites to take the national title.

    Liberty, meanwhile dared to take on North Carolina, with its top-25 preseason ranking.

  • Sports commentary: Sheesh-cago!

     

    Forgive me if I come across as a sourpuss in this week's column.  But I'm a Cubs fan which, almost by definition, tends to make one dour.

    That sentiment was magnified this weekend, as the Cubbies swept the Baltimore Orioles at Wrigley Field.

    "Wait a minute," you might be thinking.  "Isn't a trio of victories a cause for celebration?"

    Not in Cubs World, my friends.

    You see, in that magical (albeit not wonderful) place, the Cubs have a way of torching things by winning.

  • Sports commentary: Things I've learned

     

    Well, the school year cranked up last week, believe it or not.  Yep, we were barely halfway through August and the kiddos were heading to schools.

    I really don't have a vested interest in when the schools get cranked up, but the early start is puzzling.  At least to me.

    After all, why would you want the kids in school during the hottest part of the year?  Doesn't that mean cranking up the air conditioning?  At my house, at least, you have to pay money for that luxury.

  • Sports commentary: To have not

     

    Uh-oh.

    The rich just got richer.  And, I'm not talking about our economy's one percenters.

    I'm talking about how the NCAA has just formally split itself into the haves and the have nots.

    Last week, the NCAA's board of directors granted college sports' five biggest conferences great independence and great power.

    The Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Pac 12 may now act  in unilateral fashion, while the rest of the college sports world will have to follow those pesky old rules.

  • Sports commentary: Buffaloed

     

    I have many friends who are fans of the Washington Redskins.

    As such, they are often asked for their opinion on whether the team's nickname should stay.  

    I wish I had such worries.

    My team is the Buffalo Bills.  Fans of that team have much bigger concerns.  Whereas my friends are worried about the long-term prospects of their team's last name, we Bills fans are more concerned with what's going to happen to our team's first name:  Buffalo.

  • Sports commentary: Test dummy

     

    You'd think a job such as the one I have would hold a lot of perks.

    Such thinking would be faulty.

    Now, don't get me wrong.  I still consider being the sports guy at the Bedford Bulletin to be among the greatest of jobs in the world.

    Well, at least it's among the greatest jobs in this geographic area.

    For which I am qualified.

    Or, at least for which they're willing to make exceptions.

    When I took this job, eight years ago, I assumed I'd get all kinds of side benefits.

  • Sports commentary: I'm gonna...

     

    "Crack"

    "Thwock"

    "Thud"

    That was the chain of sounds I heard the other day.

    Playing senior softball (for those 50 years and older), we had a bit of a situation.  My good friend Marvin was pitching.  Another good friend, Al, was at the plate.

    The cracking sound was the ball coming off Al's bat.

    The thwocking sound was said ball hitting Marvin squarely in the coconut.

    The thudding sound was Marvin hitting the ground.

  • Sports commentary: Cup-idity

     

    I hope none of you depend upon me when placing your wagers.

    If so, you'd have really been in trouble for any World Cup betting.

    In last week's column, I blithely selected Brazil to top the Netherlands in the finale.

    When you read that, you might have thought, "What a dummkopf!  Those two teams didn't even make the finals."

    You may have especially thought that if you are from Germany, the country that actually won the crown.

  • Sports Commentary: Third place?

     

    Well, this World Cup business will finally be settled this Sunday.  Even though this column isn't about the World Cup, per se, I'll still throw out a prediction.  It could be way off, however, since the semifinals haven't taken place yet as this paper goes to press.  Nevertheless, I'll boldly go with Brazil over Netherlands, the former seemingly the New York Yankees of FIFA, and the latter the Buffalo Bills (three title games, three losses).