Category: Sideline Slants

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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No shortage of cliches in sports

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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When sports are its best…

You may think sports is at its best when your team wins it all, whatever “all” is. Or, you may think sports is at its best when an underdog rises up and slays the giant in a huge upset. Or, you may think sports is at its best when two teams battle it out on the field or the court […]

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When sitting down is taking a stand

It’s the exception and not the rule when high-profile athletes take a stand against a perceived wrong in society. Beginning in the 2004 baseball season, Toronto first baseman Carlos Delgado decided not to stand for “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch of Major League Baseball games. Instead, he would stand silently in protest in the dugout. Delgado felt the […]

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Too many teachers are asked to coach

Many changes have occurred in secondary education during my lifetime, but perhaps none greater than the number of teachers who have added coaching to their resume. It’s not incompatible or inconceivable for teachers to coach and coaches to teach. After all, a good coach is usually good at teaching the aspects of a particular sport to student-athletes. However, it’s not […]

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Olympics had its share of drama

The Summer Olympics captured much of the world’s attention, with far more stories than any columnist has time to share. But if you missed them, here are a few highlights and lowlights from this year’s extravaganza. The United States is still king in terms of overall team success. While there are always disappointments, the U.S. team excelled in swimming, gymnastics, […]

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Sports teams push rules to the limit to win games

The major goal of every team playing a team sport is to win the game. Before you respond, “Well, duh,” let me assure you there’s more to that statement than first meets the eye. Athletic competition, at least at the professional and collegiate level, is a combination of trying to win games and entertaining the fans. If stretching the spirit […]

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‘Super’ players joining ‘super’ teams is NBA’s latest craze

Who can blame Kevin Durant for abandoning the Okla­homa City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors? Well, a lot of OKC fans, for starters. It’s not easy for a city to lose an icon and one of the best players in all of basketball, and go from contenders to pretenders. Durant had a good gig going with the Thunder. During […]

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