Tres Bobbleheads at the GAB

I’m a Motowner by birth.

A Little Leaguer in my youth. Playing baseball was what we did.

My dad was such a fan, he was the Commissioner of the my Little League.

Though I have seen but a smattering of big league games through the decades, a mere handful of Tigers’ games, I was at Michigan & Trumball while on a visit back for the home opener of the ’56 season, watching Al Kaline, youngest AL batting champ ever, hit against the Indians’ Mike Garcia.

I also saw former ace Jack Morris shut down the the pin stripes in Yankee Stadium years later.

Anyhow, it had been awhile since I’d been up to Cincy for a game, a good while frankly, so I checked the Reds schedule before the season to discover my team would be playing there this past weekend.

I commandeered my pals SABR Dude and Smarts for the road trip. Continue reading Tres Bobbleheads at the GAB

Diss&Dat(a): Plates Shift, Eruptions Ensued

“You can’t tell the players without a program!”

When I was a yout (Cousin Vinny pronunciation), that was the first thing you’d hear when walking into the gym or ballpark or stadium.

Yes, kids, in the days of yesteryore, you could actually purchase a collectable booklet with lineups, bios, stories about the teams and players alongside ads from the local hardware store and Dizzy Whiz.

Today, the question is whether the foe of your favorite team is in the same league or not?

Programs would help.

Which I really needn’t advise anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to the erupting college sports landscape.

July 1 was the day the plates shifted, and the lava started spewing.

It may slow when we get used to it. But there shall be flare ups. Continue reading Diss&Dat(a): Plates Shift, Eruptions Ensued

Pat Kelsey’s Latest Eye Opener

By all accounts, Pat Kelsey knew of U of L’s monumental basketball tradition and place in the hierarchy of the sport before being tapped as the Cards’ coach.

That has been underscored by his reception in the community, his schooling how this area is the epicenter of college hoops fanaticism. How intense is the level of hunger for some success among the citizens of the Red & Black Nation.

Yet . . . yet . . . yet . . . he still seemed genuinely taken aback when walking into the media room at the Floyd Street practice facility for a presser on Thursday.

The place was so jammed there weren’t enough chairs for all. So many cables from so many TV cameras, a couple of folks nearly tripped when trying to maneuver about.

His opening comment was an expression of wonder that on a Thursday afternoon in June there would be so much attention being paid.

So it is. Continue reading Pat Kelsey’s Latest Eye Opener

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Joey B Predicts

These three words that more than any others fill the heart of a too long suffering 24/7/365(6) Cardinal Hoopaholic.

Magic words these days, truth be told, all things considered.

“Last Four In”

My main man, Joey Brackets. Gracias.

I’ve always admired a person who made a career out of their personal obsession. Or their default personality.

Dick Vitale. Even as hard as it was to listen to him after the shtick wore off. But always himself.

Joe Lunardi, who while working in the St. Joseph’s athletic department, started crafting bracket predictions. He’s far from the best these days. But he has the biggest platform at ESPN. Plus he invented the thing, Bracketology, bless him. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Joey B Predicts

Say Hey & Farewell

That there was a time when any endeavor would be universally regarded as the National Pastime seems quaint in retrospect.

So it was in the early 50s with baseball.

Johnny U hadn’t transformed pro football yet. The NFL still had local telecasts.

College pigskin was also regional. Two platoons. T formations. Five bowl games.

The NBA style was stiff and slow with teams in Fort Wayne and Syracuse. Before Bill Russell and the Joneses that is.

Kentucky, Indiana, Philly and maybe North Carolina were the only places where fans really cared about college hoops.

Hockey as today was but a niche.

But baseball . . . Continue reading Say Hey & Farewell

Diss & Dat(a): Sponsored by (Your Name Here)

I have attempted to evoke chortles before with this shtick.

That the ACC should rename itself the Great A&P Conference. We got Stanford and Cal now, right?

Which would not only be geographically correct, but pay respects to my mother’s favorite grocery.

So more’s the pity that in an ever changing world of commerce, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company shuttered its doors a decade ago.

Because an incredible naming rights tie in would now present itself.

That the Big 12 is about to slap a commercial sponsor’s name on the league seems frankly inevitable. Much more than Oh Really? And, pretty danged clever all context considered.

Infusion of moolah. Attempt to keep up with the Sankeys and Petittis. Acceptance of the landscape as it has evolved today.

One has to admire the out of the box, forward thinking Brett Yormark, who leads the Big 12.

At least, I do. Continue reading Diss & Dat(a): Sponsored by (Your Name Here)

Diss & Dat(a): Tuesday’s Riffs

On holiday in the late 80s, I ran into a Memphis State fan.

Who was actually a good dude. True.

When he extolled the virtues of 50s star Win Wilfong, I realized he was a lifer/ acolyte for the Tigers as I was for the Cardinals.

At some point during the good natured back and forth, he said, “You know we always thought the McCrays played for six or seven years.”

“Yeah,” I parried, “we said the same thing about Keith Lee.”

Well, ye followers of collegiate cagers, pigskinners and liberos formerly known as Student Athletes, those snarkisms are now reality.

There’s a tight end on the Miami Hurricane squad whose first collegiate season was 2016. Continue reading Diss & Dat(a): Tuesday’s Riffs

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: We Have Lift Off

(The graphic that accompanies this post should be credited. Except that I haven’t the slightest idea who created it? If anybody reading knows, please let me know so that credit can be given where it’s due.)

Transparency here.

I haven’t a whole lot to talk about this time around.

Snark Alert: Other than, you know, the Cards have a full roster. But other than that . . .

Truth is, some FB friend posted the above graphic. Which immediately entered my Top 3 Cardinal graphics of forever. Along with Dunking Card. Duh. And the cover of the ’74-’75 SI preseason hoops issue.

So I just wanted to post something to use it.

And, minor matter. we got a new COO around here. Some former Aussie footy player named Glock Dementus. Whose management style is, uh, heavy handed. Can’t imagine why similarly inclined Glorious Editor might have hired him. Anyway, he not so subtly advised I had contractual obligations to meet.

 * * * * *

It is a phrase often heard to describe what’s just happened with Cardinal basketball.

“He hit the ground running.” Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: We Have Lift Off

My Bill Walton Moment

Monday evening on PTI, in closing his appreciation of the now departed Bill Walton, Michael Wilbon said, “Everybody’s got a story.”

To that I can attest.

In ’91 still recovering from major injury having been hit by a car while jogging, I finally made it to Freedom Hall for some Cardinal hoops. On crutches.

I was struggling down the steps to my seat. When Bill Walton, who was doing the game on TV, came walking up the aisle.

He stopped, asked what happened, and how I was doing? Continue reading My Bill Walton Moment

Diss & Dat(a): $$$$ Part Zwei

So after he made reference of the boatload of moolah 502Circle threw at Kasean Pryor to complete his student athleticism at U of L, and not under The Rick or Coach Cal, I inquired of Glorious Editor how much?

He gave me a ballpark reference. Hint: A lot.

At which time, I thought maybe Ol’ Seedy should enter the portal, see what a defection down the road might bring were I to convert to Bluediasm?

GE saw through my ruse. He knew it was but a feign. Offered me not a nanofarthing uptick in the pittance I get for dodging my readers’ barbs.

So, here I sit, tethered to my red & black keyboard, buying my vittles on time at the company store, to which I owe my soul.

But excited for next academic/athletic year. Which can’t come soon enough. Continue reading Diss & Dat(a): $$$$ Part Zwei