Category: Sideline Slants

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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Latest shoe scandal isn’t that shocking, just disappointing

Not everyone is cheating in college basketball. It just seems that way. The most recent scandal in the sport wasn’t uncovered by the NCAA. Rather, it was the FBI. As a general rule, if the FBI is investigating one of your major sports, it’s not a good thing. In the latest scandal, 10 people, including four assistant coaches at big-time […]

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Football is more than injuries; it also inspires hope

I was preparing to write a column about how dangerous it is to play football, but that’s nothing new. We know that in every high school, college and professional game, there’s likely to be a relatively minor or season-ending injury to someone. It’s the nature of the sport. It’s mind-numbing to think about the number of concussions resulting from contact […]

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To protest or not to protest isn’t the only question

There’s a saying that united we stand, divided we fall. If that’s true, the United States of America is in trouble. I don’t know that the United States was ever fully united, but if sports are truly a microcosm of life, we’re less united than ever before. The divisiveness in America was evident before the most recent presidential election. But […]

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