Category: Sideline Slants

Long sports seasons are one of life’s certainties

Three things in life are certain: death, taxes and long sports seasons. Especially in professional sports, the seasons drag on and on and on. The football, basketball, hockey and baseball seasons overlap to the extent that for a brief period of time, all four seasons are running simultaneously. Why? Follow the money. For everyone to become filthy rich, especially in […]

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How to respond when life is unfair

In sports, we obsess over endings and bad calls. It didn’t matter how many good calls I made during the course of a game as a basketball official; if I missed one late in a close game, all the good calls didn’t matter. Human error is part of sports. No matter how much money we spend trying to eliminate it, […]

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Growth, popularity of women’s sports have come a long way

America loves a winner. After the U.S. women routed Japan 5-2 to claim its third Women’s World Cup crown, the American team was the talk of the country. But that victory is already history. We quickly turn the page, because there’s always another sporting event just around the corner. The World Cup victory has faded into the background as sports […]

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Some golf course hazards are health hazards, too

The hazards faced by most Marion County golfers are rather routine—a little water here and there, a scorching Kansas wind and maybe an occasional wandering skunk or snake. When I used to golf, I found water in places no one else could find it. In fact, if you ever need help finding water anywhere, just give me a golf club […]

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Only in America can hot-dog eating become world famous

Anytime you see something proclaimed as world famous, you have to sit up and take notice, right? The self-proclaimed World-Famous Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest will be held on Independence Day. If you go to the website, you see the following unabashedly bold claim: “What started as a contest between friends to prove each other’s patriotism has become a […]

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A one-of-a-kind Father’s Day tribute

The scandal won’t go down in history like Deflategate or the Black Sox scandal, but my dad (Walt Kleinsasser) ’fessed up to a scandal of sorts when he was a young boy. My dad died earlier this year at age 92. Lest you think it’s inappropriate for me to share this story now, I can assure you that my dad […]

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Time to play baseball by same rules

Different can be good. But uniformity can be a good thing, too. Few, if any sports, allow as many variations as baseball. Yes, bases are 90 feet apart, the pitching rubber is 60 feet 6 inches from home plate, each team gets three outs per inning, each batter gets three strikes, and it takes four balls out of the strike […]

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Is Royals ‘Basebrawl’ good or bad for business?

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. When my agent I.M. Slick stopped by to share his, I let him pontificate and get some things off his chest. I.M. Slick: I’m telling you, the Kansas City Royals are the talk of Major League Baseball. Joe: Yeah, they followed their surprising World Series appearance last fall with a hot start this spring. […]

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You get what you pay for in basketball

Universities spend millions of dollars to succeed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. But according to an American City Busi­ness Journals report, spending can vary widely from one team to another. For example, the school with the highest men’s basketball expenses for the 2013-14 season was the University of Louisville, this year a No. 4 seed, which spent about $16.4 […]

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Court-storming a tricky debate

When I officiated basketball, I can recall being caught in a court-storming situation by fans at high school games. I don’t recall it as being particularly scary, although I had to weave my way off the court to the safety of the dressing room. By and large, the students rushing the court were oblivious to my presence. They ran onto […]

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