Local sports better than big-time in bang for the buck, enjoyment

There?s a saying that ?you get what you pay for.? When it comes to sports, I?m not so sure. Yes, the talent of major college athletic programs and professional sports teams far surpasses what you?ll see in Marion County. But for your money, I?d say the enjoyment value is far greater watching local athletes compete.

With the exception of a few local athletes who have moved on to play for big-time sports programs, most of us don?t know any of the athletes at KU, KSU, Kansas City Chiefs or fill in the blank. There?s something refreshing about watching local kids participate purely for the joy of competition.

The plus for fans is that game tickets and concessions are a whole lot less at the local level, and you are a lot closer to the action.

It?s no shame that the majority of high school athletes we watch will not play sports in college. That?s not to say our high school athletes aren?t talented. It?s simply acknowledging the fact there are fewer college programs than high school programs. It doesn?t take a math scholar to know that means fewer slots are available for student-athletes who want to pursue athletics in college.

Enjoy rooting for your favorite local teams this year.

And now for some miscellaneous observations and ramblings?.

  • How important is it for new Tabor football coach Mike Gottsch to experience some success this season and stop the bleeding in the program?

    It wasn?t unexpected that the football program would drop a notch or two after the resignation of Mike Gardner and the departure of some talented student-athletes.

    Even though Tabor?s win/loss record was better than average last year (6-4), Tabor can ill afford the appearance of an out-of-control atmosphere, and another one-and-done situation with its head football coach.

  • Can the Tabor volleyball team continue its amazing run of success?

  • I don?t know anyone who realistically expects the girls? teams at Hillsboro High School to produce state championships this year after last year?s amazing success. But it will be interesting to see how the new up-and-coming athletes fare minus the big three who graduated?Chisholm, Frick and Marsh.

  • I found the following Bill Simmons blog/running diary column during the NBA playoffs rather humorous:

    Michele Tafoya: ?You had an easy time getting into the paint until LeBron (James) started to guard you. How much of a difference does he make defensively??

    Tony Parker: "Well, he?s a little bit bigger, uh, more athletic, obviously. So he?s got a better chance to block my shot.?

    Simmons: ?Again, it?s so great to have sideline reporters there. What would we do without them? If you?re scoring at home, we just learned that LeBron is bigger and more athletic than Larry Hughes.?

  • Here?s another classic observation courtesy of Simmons. ?They just showed a promo for the NBA Cares program, a successful and generous charity program by all accounts, so forgive me as I make this joke: The clip included Shawn Marion cutting the ribbon for a new reading and learning center in Arizona. That?s right, the same Shawn Marion who left UNLV after three years and never graduated. Come on, that?s a little funny. You have to admit.?

  • Writing on ESPN.com, Tim Keown, commenting on the reaction of baseball commissioner Bud Selig to the home run that Barry Bonds hit to tie Hank Aaron: ?OK, Bud, so you decided not to clap for No. 755, but could you at least do us one small favor? At least look like you know what you?re watching. Because, the way it looked from here, when Bonds hit that homer, Mr. Selig, you looked a lot like an old man who was napping in front of the television and was startled awake when the dog started barking.?

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