SIDELINE SLANTS

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JOE KLEINSASSER
Is it a sign of the end times that Tabor and Bethel have played a meaningful football game this late in the season?

— When the two Mennonite-affiliated colleges play football, is it inappropriate to call it a holy or just war? As is the case with most holy wars, the behavior of all combatants and their related civilian populations may not be entirely holy.

— After narrowly losing to Tabor, the Friends coach was quoted as saying that he wasn’t satisfied to leave Hillsboro with a moral victory. It wasn’t long ago that no KCAC coach would have been satisfied to leave Hillsboro with anything short of a blowout victory.

— For what it’s worth, the KCAC is very balanced in football. Blowouts are rare this season. The gap between the best and worst teams isn’t too great, which may result in a lot of gray hair for coaches.

— Tabor’s offense may not be as explosive as last year’s, but it looks more balanced. The Bluejays lost some talented skill-position players to graduation, but the players who took their place are more than holding their own.

— Ricky Ishida has a pretty good record as Tabor’s starting quarterback. The fact that he played most of last season after an injury sidelined the starting quarterback has benefited Tabor this season.

— If you’re one who looks at the glass as half empty, you’re rightly concerned that Tabor has had a penchant for starting games slowly several times this season, and the kicking game is erratic at best. An extra point is an adventure. On the other hand, the punting is a real weapon.

— What would happen if Tabor played a complete football game? They have rarely clicked on all cylinders during games, but it’s hard to argue with the results. Lest you forget, five or six years ago Tabor’s football team didn’t have many cylinders to click on.

— Tabor football has had a few loyal fans over the years, but community interest has increased in recent years. Winning will do that. Plus, they are fun to watch.

— I’m sure there’s a logical reason for how the KCAC football schedule is set, but I still don’t understand why Tabor has played Friends and Sterling in Hillsboro for two consecutive years, and has played at Saint Mary’s, Southwestern and Kansas Wesleyan two consecutive years.

— Team speed, a strong suit of HHS football in recent years, was largely absent this year. The Trojans had some hard-running backs, but it’s tough to consistently move the ball without a breakaway threat. You can’t teach speed.

— Volleyball may not be followed as closely as football and basketball, but Tabor is right in the thick of the conference title chase again. The program is a winner.

— Kudos to the HHS volleyball team for qualifying for state after a slow start this season.

— Did anyone watch an entire game between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway Park during the playoffs? Games 4 and 5 each lasted five to six hours, longer than some new TV mini-series.

— The Yankees and Red Sox provided great drama and showed how dramatic baseball can be. However, if you had time to watch games in their entirety, you don’t have enough to do.

— Yankees/Red Sox garnered most of the national media attention, but the Cardinals/ Astros series may have been one of the most exciting playoff series not seen.

— The masses don’t seem to care much about the WNBA or the NHL. The summer professional women’s basketball league struggles to find a national audience, and the strike by professional hockey athletes isn’t causing a public outcry. Could it be that we’ve reached a saturation point in professional sports?

— I really thought Kansas State would beat KU in basketball before KU beat KSU in football, if for no other reason that in basketball they play each other two or three times a season. Just goes to show you how much I know.

— All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

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