Cleaning up at the end of another year

Before turning the page to a new year, I’d like to clean up a few sports stories at the close of the 2021 sports scene.

Cleaning up is literally what Wichita State basketball player Dexter Dennis did after helping to lead the Shockers to victory against Tarleton State in Koch Arena in November. Dennis was seen helping staff picking up trash and cleaning the arena after the game, according to reporters covering the Shockers.

Wichita Eagle sports reporter Taylor Eldridge said in a tweet, “Dexter is a different kind of dude.”

“Wasn’t in trouble or anything. Didn’t have to. He just wanted to help out the cleaning crew, ” Eldridge wrote in another tweet.

Cleanup can take up to three hours after every game, WSU facilities director David Gomez said in a story on the CBS News website. The director said seeing a student athlete staying to help is inspiring.

“We have several folks who have been here for decades and I know for some of them, that’s probably the first time they’ve seen something like that happen,” said Gomez. “And I just, from our custodial staff, out to him, we just want to say thank you for leading and showing us that there are still folks out there who recognize the hard work that’s done around here.”

“It’s insane that someone who just played the game helps clean up the stadium,” Wichita State student and golfer Max Wojciechowski told KWCH.

Dennis declined KWCH’s offer for an interview and didn’t respond to CBS News, but did address the viral moment on Twitter. “Didn’t do it for attention,” Dennis tweeted. “Just gives me perspective on life. It could always be worse.”

If you follow Major League Baseball, you know that the Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros in six games to win the World Series.

According to the Mediaite website, Atlanta fans who attended Game 6 of the World Series in Houston mercilessly booed MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred during the trophy presentation. The Braves won their first World Series in more than a quarter-century, and when Manfred stepped to the podium for the trophy presentation, the commissioner received a brutal welcome. For Atlanta fans, the boos were more than just customary; they were personal.

You may recall that near the start of the season, Manfred and the league announced the All-Star game was being pulled from Atlanta and moved to Denver, in response to recently passed Georgia voting laws that some considered to be suppressive.

Imagine the uproar that would have ensued if Manfred had moved Atlanta’s home World Series games to Denver because of politics?

Fortunately for Manfred, the World Series ended in Houston, so he was only forced to suffer through boos from traveling fans rather than a sellout crowd in Atlanta. But the jeers were still loud and purposeful, according to the website.

OU recently lost its football coach to USC. I wonder how many college coaches, maybe even Lincoln Riley, looked a recruit in the eye this past year and told the recruit they weren’t going anywhere, that they were going to be the head coach at a particular school for the long haul?

Some speculate that Riley figures it will be easier to win in the PAC-12 than in the SEC, where OU is headed in the near future. Maybe he just wanted a fresh start. Who knows?

It is ironic that the two teams soon to leave the Big 12 for greener football pastures in the SEC — Texas and Oklahoma — didn’t qualify for the Big 12 football championship game this year, and that KU beat Texas in Austin this season? Have fun in the SEC.

On Twitter, OU President Jason Kersey admits that “we would’ve liked more notice,” regarding Riley’s decision to leave OU.

To which former Denver Broncos star Shannon Sharpe tweeted, “Big 12 said the exact same thing about OU’s move to SEC.” Trey Wingo also tweeted “I think it’s time we forever stop questioning players who skip a bowl game when 2 of the highest-profile coaches bailed before their team’s season was over.”

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