By now, most of us have broken our New Year’s resolutions, assuming we were silly enough to make them.
But never fear. Those of us who call ourselves sports fans know what it seems like for best-laid plans to go haywire.
Take Louisiana Tech football, for example. Early in the fourth quarter while trailing Mississippi State 57-14 last fall, Tech lined up in the shotgun for a would-be TD-pass attempt on second-and-goal from the 6-yard line. Then, according to ESPN.com writer Ryan McGee, that shotgun backfired.
The football tumbled and fumbled all the way back to La. Tech’s own 7-yard line. Now it was third and goal. Trust me, there aren’t many third and 93-yard plays in the playbook.
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Speaking of things not going according to plan, the “No Pledge, No Play” pledge from College of the Ozarks means no national basketball tournament for the school this March.
The NAIA announced it was relocating its Division II Men’s Basketball Championship to a new location. So what caused the change? College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., announced it had revised its contracts in competitions in all sports to reflect its pledge to support the national anthem at sporting events.
Not only will athletes and coaches at the college stand for the Star-Spangled Banner, the opponent will as well, said school president Jerry C. Davis.
Davis reportedly said, “I don’t think it’s a partisan issue. It’s an American issue, how we feel about our country.”
“Because the NAIA is made up of 250 diverse schools, the association believes it is in the best interest of the institutions to let them individually decide what actions are acceptable for their coaches and student-athletes,” according to a statement from the NAIA.
Lest you think the NAIA is completely anti-American, it encourages everyone to stand for the national anthem, but stops short of making it a requirement.
College of the Ozarks has been host to the NAIA Division II tournament for the past 18 seasons.
I doubt the NAIA tourney is a big money-maker for the school, although area businesses will likely feel the loss economically.
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What’s this world coming to when even dogs are allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs? For the first time in the history of the world’s most famous sled dog race, several of the high-performance animals have tested positive for prohibited drugs.
Several dogs tested positive for the opioid pain reliever Tramadol, the governing board of the nearly 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said in a statement.
Following the race last March, officials said they likely could not legally prove intent on the affected musher’s part. Really? Maybe this world really is going to the dogs.
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Let’s end this column on an encouraging note. There is a tradition in the high school football program at South Central, a cooperative between the towns of Protection and Coldwater in southwestern Kansas in which every senior gets a chance to score a touchdown in a game.
South Central senior Zach Jellison carried on that tradition during South Central’s 53-6 win over Ingalls, as he scored a one-yard touchdown on his first career rushing attempt.
Jellison, who was born with spina bifida, carried the ball into the end zone while being pushed in his wheelchair by his cousin, Hunter Huck.
A South Central player broke free for a long run, but instead of scoring, stepped out at the 1-yard line. Zach was pushed straight up the middle for the touchdown and both teams congratulated him in the end zone.
Ingalls coach Veral Teeter said, “I would give up a touchdown like that every day of the week. To have a young man be able to fulfill a dream I’m sure he’s been dreaming since he was young, well, that was very inspiring to see. It was such a surreal moment.”
Maybe there’s some hope after all.
Hillsboro resident Joe Kleinsasser is director of news and media relations at Wichita State University. You can reached him at Joe.Kleinsasser@wichita.edu.