Written by Andrew Ottoson Thursday, 13 September 2007 03:28If you stayed up to watch the Cowboys/ Giants game on Sunday night, you probably saw Derrick Ward score on a pass from Eli Manning. That Derrick Ward is the same Derrick Ward who, while playing for Ottawa in 2003, came into Hillsboro averaging 175 rushing yards per game in the KCAC.
He’s the guy who scored four touchdowns against an undefeated Bluejay team that November. He’s the guy who piled up 236 yards on 36 carries.
I’m not sure I’ll ever forget the sight of him impersonating Superman, jumping completely over a stacked-up line of scrimmage to score a touchdown from three yards out.
Saying that he was—and still is—an über-talented football player is probably an understatement.
Anyway, I only mention him here because...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Friday, 31 August 2007 03:18It has been one year since I signed on to write for the Free Press.Unlike my friend Dan, who quit training the killer whales after a year,I really like what I do for a living. It really isn’t much of acomparison. Writing involves no scrubbing or heavy lifting, and I’mquite confident that I will not be swallowed whole by a two-ton mammalin the middle of my work day.
Plus, I can actually accomplish a lot while watching TV.
I hadn’t seen an episode of “Columbo” in probably 15 years. But everything is more fun when Columbo is involved in some way. Even when you’re sweating while watching because your fan can’t keep up with the heat.
I’ve been googling Columbo quotes for an hour, and it definitely makes me feel...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 15 August 2007 04:39Barry Bonds’ overtaking of the Major League Baseball home run record got most of the headline ink in national sports news this week, and rightfully so. It is a huge accomplishment to play as many years at as high a level as Bonds has. That said, Bonds has no chance at changing my mind about who the greatest player in baseball history was.
* * *
Even if I could somehow, for more than one moment, set aside the steroid allegations (which would be like asking a sculpture of Atlas to ignore the crushing weight of the earth on his shoulders), I can’t picture myself daydreaming about what it would be like to be Barry Bonds.
But because money and fame and records are the units in which our society measures athletic greatness, Bonds...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 18 July 2007 08:07I was pleasantly surprised on Friday afternoon when a publication previewing over 200 high school and college football teams came to my desk.
The first mention of the coming football season is something I’m never quite ready for, no matter how early or late in the year it happens. It always takes me a moment to adjust to my new surroundings.
It’s like walking into a really dark hallway, or one of those over-anxious retail stores that dials up Christmas music 12 seconds after the last box of Halloween decorations skids to a stop in the center of the storage room.
The only difference is that sooner or later, the eyes finally figure out how to cut through the darkness and the ears let the ambient electronic rendition of Jingle Bells...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Thursday, 05 July 2007 05:36Frank Thomas hit his 500th home run last week. I saw a headline for one of Rob Neyer’s columns on ESPN.com that read “500 is the new 400.” I didn’t read the whole thing, partly because I’m sick and tired of the idea that hitting a home run today matters less than hitting a home run 80 years ago did.
In 1921, Babe Ruth hit 59 homers, but all of six other guys topped 20 that season.
In contrast, Thomas plays in an era when the number of players who smack 20 home runs a year is huge. But I don’t think the era he played in should count against him when it comes time to decide if he should be admitted to the baseball hall of fame.
As far as I’m concerned, the only deal-breaker for a 500-home-runs guy is steroid use.
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