Category: Sideline Slants

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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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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