Category: Sideline Slants

Things I wish I had done as an official

If I had a mulligan on my basketball officiating avocation, here are some things I’d like to do differently. The most obvious do-over would be making all the right calls. But I never had a perfect game and it was becoming more and more obvious, even to me, that it was never going to happen in my lifetime. Consider that […]

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Insanity here, there, everywhere

Let me apologize in advance to any sane coaches who may be reading this column. But then, if you are as sane as you claim, why are you reading this column? When I officiated basketball, officials often joked that coaches are temporarily insane during games. Of course, most coaches are reasonable, rational and all-around good people before and after games, […]

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When a catch is not really a catch

Whenever there’s a play in a major sporting event that is controversial, it’s inevitable that rule makers will be asked to consider changes. It happened again recently in the NFL playoff game won by Green Bay against Dallas. Dez Bryant apparently caught a long fourth-down pass, which would have given Dallas a first-and-goal from inside the Green Bay one-yard line. […]

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Football, football and more football

The college football season has finally ended and the Super Bowl is just around the corner. Here are some tidbits that you may find interesting about football. • Watching college football on TV became virtually impossible by mid-December without access to ESPN. Out of 39 bowl games, I counted only four that were on network TV. Is that a good […]

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Every important game needs its own trophy, right?

College football provides an endless supply of entertainment, and I’m not just talking about the games. No, I’m referring to some of the bizarre trophies attached to games played in the regular season. The University of Minnesota may have the best stories associated with its three, now four, trophy games. I only know this because I have a cousin who […]

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Tabor football season good, but falls short of expectations

Let’s be clear. The final record for Tabor College football was disappointing. Expecta­tions were high, with many picking them to win the KCAC. Let’s also be very clear that while the Bluejays fell short of expectations, it wasn’t completely unexpected. Injuries always play an important role in how successful a team will be. Injuries to key positions such as quarterback […]

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Encourage retired referee to stay retired

I.M. Slick: Greetings from Joe Kleinsasser’s agent. I talked Joe into letting me write his Sideline Slants column this week. Well, not exactly. It took considerable arm-twisting. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. He insisted on seeing the column before it was submitted, so I let him read a bogus column, submitting this one instead. * * * Dear Marion Countians: […]

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Discipline dispensed in variety of ways for student-athletes

It may surprise you to know that my behavior during baseball practice at Tabor College many years ago required some extra running. I’m sure some of you are shocked and appalled that such a model student-athlete would do something to warrant even this mild form of punishment or corrective behavior. Let’s just say that my freedom of speech wasn’t fully […]

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World Series was fun while it lasted

Wow! Was that an exciting World Series or what? The Royals exceeded all expectations by being in the World Series in the first place and coming so close to winning it all. You can say, “So close and yet so far.” Or, “Turn out the lights; the party’s over.” Or, “What a bummer, er, Bumgarner.” Yes, in a team sport, […]

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Can a coach be both liked and successful?

Back in the day, Vince Lombardi was extremely successful as coach of the Green Bay Packers. His persona was gruff, rough and tough, but he was considered to be a great coach. His line, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” became legendary. I don’t know how well- liked he was by players, but he won, so it didn’t really […]

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