Category: Sideline Slants

How important is making the right call?

It’s easy to bash officials in sports. Even though replay has demonstrated that officials are right more often than not, replays have also shown officials often are wrong. During my 40-year officiating career, I didn’t have to deal with replays. At the small college and high school level, replays weren’t an option. I knew I missed some calls, but I […]

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There’s a hole in TC’s Athletic Hall of Fame

When Tabor Athletics started its Hall of Fame in 1999, the initial inductees were easy: Rolland (Bay) Lawrence and Leroy Dick. Lawrence was a great football player who went on to star for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL. He also was a good basketball player and great track star at Tabor. Dick, who attended Tabor in the early 1960s, […]

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Drafting pro players is harder than it looks, isn’t it?

They say hindsight is 20/20. What looks like a good draft pick on draft day often goes up in smoke, while an unexpected late-round pick turns into gold. Welcome to the highs and lows of being a general manager in the NFL. Talk about being second-guessed. General managers know all about the blame game, but then, it comes with the […]

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Big 12, Kansas basketball overrated?

Before the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, my agent I.M. Slick received a letter bragging on the quality of men’s basketball in the Big 12 Conference. Rarely have I seen him laugh so hard. Slick: What a letter. Do you mean to tell me that area sports fans still think Big 12 basketball is the best in the nation? Joe: Well, […]

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Reed plus Ratzlaff equals hoops success

Tabor College hasn?t always been at or near the top in basketball, but it must seem that way to fans in the KCAC. What the men?s and women?s teams accomplished this year may not happen again in my lifetime. The two teams were a combined 39-1 to finish first in the KCAC, and both teams won their conference tournament. Neither […]

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TC football, hoops a huge feat

What Tabor College accomplished in football and basketball this year is one for the ages. To call it amazing or extraordinary is an understatement. Throw around almost any superlative you can, and it?s still an understatement. What are the odds that a football team goes unbeaten in conference, followed by an unbeaten season in KCAC men?s basketball (20-0) and only […]

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Tick, tock: Does high school basketball need a shot clock?

Shot clocks are everywhere in professional and college basketball. But they?re still the exception and not the rule in high school basketball. A recent article in the Wichita Eagle suggested that shot clocks won?t be used in Kansas anytime soon. Shot clocks have been used in the NBA since the 1950s. Women?s college basketball started using them in the 1970s […]

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Do we care about good sportsmanship anymore?

Is good sportsmanship an oxymoron? Do we really care about good sportsmanship as long as our team wins? Is good sportsmanship overrated? Should there be a law against bad sportsmanship? Uh oh. That just gave politicians an excuse to make up another law. Surely they won?t trample on our freedom of speech, will they? I witnessed some good sportsmanship and […]

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Classics basketball games are fun to watch anytime

In 40 years of officiating I saw a lot of good basketball games, so-so games and ugly games. Only a few games were truly great or instant classics. The three-overtime OU-KU basketball game last month on ESPN qualified as an instant classic. From an official?s view, well-played games are easier to call than games in which teams struggle to make […]

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KCAC?s new transfer rule has an origin

Tabor College football coach Mike Gardner garnered another Coach of the Year award in the KCAC. And why not? The Bluejays finished first in the KCAC with a 9-0 record, 10-2 overall. Actually, a good case could have been made as well for Kansas Wesleyan head coach Matt Drinkall. In his first year at KW, the Coyotes were near the […]

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