Category: Sideline Slants

In sports, fairytale endings are usually that: fairytales

Sports fans are all too familiar with the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” Our local basketball teams are a case in point. The ongoing success of Tabor College men’s and women’s basketball is remarkable. If dynasty isn’t the right term, try juggernaut. Both teams annually continue to win either the conference or KCAC post-season tournament. The fact […]

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You say it’s fun to go traveling? Not refs

It won’t surprise K-State basketball fans who watched KU benefit from a missed call at the end of a game in Lawrence this year that traveling is one of the calls most often missed by officials. For what it’s worth, I don’t blame the officials for the Wildcats’ loss. The call was a factor in the outcome, but it wasn’t […]

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Officials often double as fashion police

One frustrating aspect of being a basketball official, or any official for that matter, is having to double as the fashion police and babysitters. Rules specify that uniforms are to be worn properly. That sounds simple enough, right? Ah, no. Those seemingly simple rules can lead to confusion when discussing those concerns with a coach before the game. One of […]

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A reminder: life is fragile for everyone, famous or otherwise

Yordano Ventura was only 25 when he died. He’s not the first and won’t be the last professional athlete to die in their prime. Football player Pat Till­man was 27. Baseball player Jose Fernandez was 24. Basketball players Len Bias and Hank Gathers were 22 and 23, respectively. The cause of these deaths varies, but each one was a shock. […]

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Officials’ reviews create lengthy delays

Anyone who watched the national championship football game between Clemson and Alabama saw a classic. But only true fans stayed up until the end of the four-plus hour game. One reason the games are so long is to allow an official to review whether a player was in or out of bounds, or whether the ball was caught. My agent, […]

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College football’s highest paid coaches

Can you name the five coaches who make the most money in college football? Honestly, if you follow college football closely, it shouldn’t be too hard compiling the list, although getting them in the correct order may be a challenge. Former Texas coach Charlie Strong wasn’t on the list, although he was close behind at No. 6 with a salary […]

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Remembering some of the ups and downs of 2016

As 2016 nears the finish line, it’s time to recap some fall sports happenings. • The presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump demonstrated that political prognosticators aren’t any better at making predictions than weather forecasters and sports columnists. • Maybe the best line I heard on the morning of Election Day came from Mike Golic on ESPN Radio. […]

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Basketball officiating 101…

Officiating is an avocation rather than a vocation for most basketball officials. Yes, if you make it to the NCAA Division I level, the money is significant, but at the small college, high school and nonvarsity level, you officiate mostly for the love of the game. During my 40-year officiating career at the grade school, high school and college varsity […]

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Fan behavior mirrors society—are you surprised?

Unless you live in a cave or you ignored all media coverage and the debates, you may have noticed the recent presidential campaign featured two candidates and vociferous supporters who set aside professional decorum and civility. Not surprisingly, sports fans often do the same. During the recent baseball playoffs, the Toronto Blue Jays apologized to the Baltimore Orioles and Major […]

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With sports, at the end of the day, it is what it is…

Cliches are a way of life. They’re unavoidable. Listen to any sports broad­cast or interviews with coaches and athletes, read any sports stories or columns, and you’ll hear or read the inevitable cliche. I tend to empathize with those in the profession, because there are only so many words in our vocabulary. In this day of 24/7 sports, why shouldn’t […]

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