Category: Sideline Slants

Local coaches’ contributions matter more

The following men have a lot in common: Bill Self, Mark Mangino, Bill Snyder, Frank Martin, Darrel Knoll, Nathan Hiebert, Shawn Winter, Leonard Coryea, Mike Gottsch and Micah Ratzlaff. All are head coaches in football or basketball.

There?s also a lot they don?t have in common.

The first four are household names in Kansas. The last six are household names only in Hillsboro.

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The lack of black head football coaches is hard to explain

When it comes to diversity, America has come a long way, but not far enough.

Whether you liked the presidential election results or not, the election of Barack Obama is Exhibit A demonstrating that things are far different than they were a century, or even 25 years ago. But there are still some gross inequities in our world and the playing field isn?t level, notably in college football.

Following the dismissals of K-State?s Ron Prince and Wash?ington?s Tyrone Willingham, and the resignation of Sylvester Croom at Mississippi State, there are only three African-American head college football coaches out of 119 Football Bowl Subdivision programs, the lowest total since 1993.

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It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature

Dear Earthlings,

You crack me up. I thank you, because it?s healthy to laugh now and then.

You play baseball from April through October and football from September to February, and wonder why the weather doesn’t always cooperate.

To quote what I hear you say a lot, ?Well, duh!?

Perhaps my perspective is better than yours, because I?ve been around since God created the Earth.

I?ll give you credit. You?ve tried to outsmart me by building domed stadiums, or a stadium with a retractable roof. That?s OK, I guess, if you have millions of extra dollars to spend on such frivolity.

I enjoy watching baseball as much as you do, but I don?t understand why your season is so long. This year?s World Series will be remembered for a rain delay in Philadelphia that I caused. The game was suspended close to 2 a.m. with the field in a quagmire.

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A recipe for fielding football success

This season mirrors many other long seasons in Tabor?s football history. More often than not, the outcome of games is decided well before the fourth quarter, the Bluejays find creative ways to give away points by the bushel, and the sideline resembles a M.A.S.H. unit.

Much could be said about how this year?s team might have led the nation in most points given up in the first half of games, but I?m not going to dwell on the negative.

Even though the outcome of games was rarely in doubt, you have to respect the way the players kept competing. And there were a few bright spots along the way. As a loyal alum and a sports columnist, I feel compelled to offer Tabor, free of charge, a recipe for successfully fielding a more competitive and, on occasion, championship-caliber football team.

The recipe isn’t original, but very little is new under the sun.

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Trivial fun in a trivial column

For those of you who are depressed because of the economy, the upcoming elections and life in general, cheer up. It could be worse?you could be an investment banker. n Just for fun, here?s a trivia quiz courtesy of Linsay Carlson of The Montana Standard. Match the following schools with the correct team name or mascot below. 1. University of […]

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Banned or allowed, sports signs have a lot to say

In major college and professional football, signs are all the rage.

Signs praise players, belittle opponents, support teams and energize fans. Some are funny. Others are serious. Still others get personal.

TV cameras frequently zero in on the most eye-catching signs, because signs display an integral part of the college football atmosphere.

A few signs are outrageous. But what?s outrageous to me may not be outrageous to you. And that, my friends, is a conundrum for some administrators.

Cleverly worded signs can rally the crowd and at least generate some laughs.

Last season there were such signs as:

?We want a new Carr with Les Miles!? ? Michigan fan

?Kansas football: A tradition since September!? ? Jayhawk fan

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Personal foul price should rise to reduce the number of cheap shots

The Tabor College football team lost starting quarterback Jason Aubrey for the game and possibly the season when an Ottawa defensive back delivered a blow to his head when Aubrey was several yards out of bounds, according to several eyewitnesses.

Tabor coach Mike Gottsch was quoted saying, ?It was an unnecessary, uncalled for shot.?

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One rare football injury turns into lifesaver

Football is rife with injuries. We?re not surprised, because the older players get, the faster, bigger and stronger they are. Many collisions are violent. Rarely is a game played at the collegiate and professional level without at least one injury timeout.

However, it?s not often that you hear of a hit that was life-changing and possibly life-saving. And yet, that seems to be the case for Dylan Witschen, a high school freshman football player in Anoka, Minn.

As reported by the Anoka County Union, Witschen was practicing with the freshman football team when, from his safety position, he delivered a blow on a running back. Roughly 20 minutes later, Witschen, now practicing at the quarterback position, experienced some numbness in his throwing hand.

He thought he might have a stinger, a common football injury to nerves that causes a sudden, sharp pain and tingling down to the fingers. But he also was feeling slightly dizzy.

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Summer Olympics has room to grow

Americans were captivated by the swimming accomplishments of Michael Phelps during the recent Olympic Games.

While all of the plaudits and attention is well-deserved for winning eight gold medals and setting so many world-record setting performances, can anyone explain why there are so many world records set in swimming?

Of course, all of the attention given to Phelps took some accolades away from other outstanding performances. There are only so many hours of broadcast coverage that television can give, and it?s kind of hard to ignore eight gold medals by one individual.

Although to be fair, it should be noted that Phelps had a little help from his friends in three relay races.

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Paying to run or bike sounds like a racket, at least in summer

Maybe the summer heat is taking its toll. Or, maybe it’s just me. But here are some things I wonder about.

n A number of people from Hillsboro have run marathons or biked across Kansas. Those are impressive accomplishments, but why do you have to pay to participate? It seems like a racket, if you ask me. To my way of thinking, shouldn?t the organizers pay someone to run 26 miles and bike across the state?

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