Category: Sideline Slants

Columnist weighs in on life lessons and quotes about sports

In my job as director of news and media relations at Wichita State University, I’ve often told reporters, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” That usually elicits a laugh, a smile or groan. Well, this week I’m going to take it one step further with my column, which falls in the midst of the so-called dog days […]

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Teaching baseball players to sacrifice is hard to do

After my pastor gave a sermon on Romans 12:1-3 earlier this summer, the thought crossed my mind how unpopular this passage would be for professional baseball players. The context of what the Apostle Paul wrote wasn’t about baseball, but here it is anyway: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as […]

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NFL creates more heartburn over national anthem and patriotism

The NFL can’t get out of its own way when it comes to the national anthem. Last year’s controversy about how players were sitting or kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest had waned, only to have the NFL devise a policy on how players should behave. By season’s end, protests were at a minimum. No one […]

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Innovative ‘Slick’ ideas on how to improve baseball

My agent, I.M. Slick, took exception to my recent column on what’s right and wrong with baseball. It’s not that he disagreed with everything, but he thought I didn’t go far enough. Slick: Every so often you have a good idea, but then you waste the opportunity. Joe: I’m flattered that you think I have good ideas, but I’d like […]

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Here’s what’s right and wrong with baseball

A perfect sport doesn’t exist, although some are better than others. Baseball is America’s most popular summer spectator sport, but it isn’t without a few warts. Here’s an abbreviated and admittedly incomplete list of what’s right and wrong with baseball…. What’s right: Unlike football and basketball, there’s no clock that runs out on either team. Both teams get 27 outs. […]

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Sports drafts revive memories

Nothing says “childhood memories” quite like the NFL, NBA and MLB draft. Before you think I’ve lost it, hear me out. If you’re 60 or older, you may remember with fondness or dread the way we chose teams to play games in PE or for recess. The teacher would ask two of the more athletic kids to pick teams. The […]

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Audible advantage: Make noise! Louder, please!

In sports, when the home team plays well, fan noise follows suit and the sound can be deafening in large stadiums and arenas. At most high school and small college events, the cheering is left for the patrons to decide if any cheering is warranted, with the help of some cheerleaders, naturally. At the Division I level of college athletics […]

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When snubbed, claim your own national championship

Not many teams can win national championships. That’s why they’re so special. They’re very hard to come by. Even KU basketball in the Bill Self era, for all of its amazing and ongoing success, has found that winning it all is hard to do, even with some built-in advantages, such as getting to play games in the Sprint Center whenever […]

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Coaches Ratzlaff, Knoll: success path is possible

Nineteen years is a long time to be a varsity coach at the collegiate level, or any level, for that matter. Amy Ratzlaff concluded that 19 was enough as the head volleyball coach at Tabor College. Her record at Tabor was 368-227 overall and a remarkable 266-84 in the KCAC, including eight regular-season conference championships, four post-season conference championships, three […]

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What we learned from this year’s Big Dance

Regardless of how your favorite team did in this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, here are some things we learned or relearned: 1. Being seeded high is no guarantee of success. 2.,n fact, being a No. 1 seed is no longer guaranteed a win over a No. 16 seed, thanks to UMBC’s victory over Virginia. 3. UMBC showed that even a […]

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