Articles By: Joe Kleinsasser

Signs of the season: Hoops madness continues

The wannabes are dropping like flies. It’s one thing to make the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Winning it is another matter entirely. Cinderella is a good and fun story, but more often than not, Cinderella works better as a fairy tale than on the hardwood. Watching the major conferences duke it out in conference tournaments is fun, but what does […]

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A coach critical of officiating? What else is new?

Sorry, coach. We’ve all heard your tired story before, and frankly, it’s getting old. Hearing you criticize officiating after a loss is as sure as death and taxes, and it’s a whole lot easier than blaming yourself or your players. But what if the calls are so lopsided that you might actually be right? Sorry, as a former official, I […]

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Super Bowl, Winter Olympics, boxing keep things interesting

“I give up,” said analyst and former pro football wide receiver Cris Collinsworth, after a ruling on the field upheld a critical catch by the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl game against the New England Patriots. Collinsworth and broadcaster Al Michaels, along with millions of fans, watched a replay of a touchdown catch that they expected to be overturned. […]

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Behind the arc: Live by the three, die by the three?

The three-point line changed the face of basketball since the 1980s, although it had been tested to varying degrees before that time. These days, the 3-pointer is second-nature to basketball players and fans. It’s a safe bet that nobody under the age of 30 has any recollection of watching college or pro basketball without a 3-point line. When I played […]

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We are against violence in sports, unless …

When my agent I.M. Slick stopped by for a rare visit, he brought up a subject that was unusually profound, at least by his standards. Slick: So where do you fall on the spectrum of violence in sports? Joe: I’m generally opposed to it. Slick: Really? I find that most people enjoy the violent collisions in football and crashes in […]

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So, this is what happens when best-laid plans go awry

By now, most of us have broken our New Year’s resolutions, assuming we were silly enough to make them. But never fear. Those of us who call ourselves sports fans know what it seems like for best-laid plans to go haywire. Take Louisiana Tech football, for example. Early in the fourth quarter while trailing Mississippi State 57-14 last fall, Tech […]

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Tabor football: End of an era?

Isn’t winning fun? The football program at Tabor College has been living the dream. The Bluejays finished in a tie with Sterling for the KCAC championship with an 8-1 record. It’s the third consecutive year the Bluejays either tied or won the title outright. The amazing thing is how few games were close. Tabor’s margin of victory in the games […]

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Coaches know best most of the time

After officiating a difficult game, I’d sometimes ask myself, “Why does anyone officiate basketball?” I managed to stay with it for 40 years, so apparently I convinced myself that it was a good avocation. Truth be told, the good memories far outweigh the bad memories. I suspect that coaches go through a similar kind of thought process. I’m told that […]

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Losing games doesn’t make someone a loser

If you’ve lived very long and paid any attention at all to sports, you’re aware of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I’ve never handled defeat very well. I’m not proud of it, either. I don’t like losing, period, whether it’s checkers or whatever. However, losing was easier to handle as a student-athlete than as a fan. […]

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NCAA finds no academic fraud by UNC – surprised?

If you were waiting for the hammer to come down on the University of North Carolina after a three-and-a-half year investigation by the NCAA, you’re likely disappointed but unsurprised by the outcome. In summary, here’s what we know: • The university sponsored fake classes for nearly two decades. • This was considered one of the worst academic scandals in college […]

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