Aviation Loses a Legend: This might have only a tangential relation to sports, but Bob Hoover's long time promotion of the Reno Air Races and his former captaincy on the US Aerobatic Team should qualify. Bob Hoover died on October 25 at the age of 94. He was a former Naval aviator, aerobatic performer, and corporate test pilot for North American Aviation. One of his "signature" performances was his demonstration of the capabilities of the North American "Shrike" Commander, a variant of the twin turboprop corporate Aero Commander business aircraft. He would take the aircraft through a series of maneuvers, and for the climax he would kill both engines, feather the props, execute a full loop, and land the aircraft precisely "on the numbers" (that is, the numbers at the end of the runway). His skills were unmatched. My working life was spent for the most part being in, on, under, and generally around aircraft, and Mr. Hoover was one of the giants I respected greatly.
NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Pairings are Announced: The "Shivering (not Sweet) Sixteen" for 2016 have been selected. Quinnipiac (1), East Regional; St. Cloud State (2), West Regional; North Dakota (3), Midwest Regional; and Providence, Northeast Regional, are the top seeded teams. Northeastern has to be the "Cinderella" team, having overcome a 1-11-2 start to go 21-2-3 in its next 26 games to finish 22-13-5. The regionals start on March 26, and the Frozen 4 begins on April 7 in Tampa, FL.
Montreal Canadiens Jean Beliveau dead at 83: Montreal Canadiens have reported that Hockey Hall-of-Fame member and Montreal legend Jean Beliveau has passed away at age 83. Beliveau played 20 seasons for Canadiens, winning 10 Stanley Cup Championships, 5 of them coming when Beliveau wore the captain's C. He also served as a member of the team's management, earning 7 more cups along the way.
The Big Guys Get Their Way: The NCAA Board of Directors has given the 5 big conferences what amounts to near autonomy to set their own rules. It appears that football teams will now be ranked from Division 3 through FCS and FBS, with the largest 5 conferences in a new division called the Juggernaut Division.
Celtics Guard, Lakers Exec Bill Sharman Dies: Bill Sharman, high-scoring guard for the Boston Celtics, and later coach and executive with the Los Angeles Lakers has died at age 87. In the championship years with the Celtics, the mantra "Russell to Cousy to Sharman", describing the Boston fast break, was the equivalent of baseball's "Tinker to Evers to Chance".
The Bridgetown Senators?: This from Christopher Stuart Taylor of the Huffington Post tries to explain a possible bit of Canadian tax evasion on the part of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. The dodge involves setting up business relationships between Canada and Barbados. The businesses will then be taxed at the 2.5% Barbadian rate rather than the 30% Canadian rate. While the author leads with a Senators' connection, the actual investigation conducted by the CBC has nothing to do with the team. I'm sure Melnyk is clever enough to keep purely Canadian businesses out of the "Bajun" connection. Note: No matter which side (Canadian or Barbadian) is puling a fast one here, I'm on the bad side. My dad was from Nova Scotia, my mom from Barbados, and I still have family in both places.
Johnny Pesky, 1920-2012: Boston Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky died today at 92 years of age. He had been associated with the team in one capacity or another nearly continuously since 1942. Pesky, nee Paveskovich, is most remembered for the right-field foul pole that bears his name in Fenway Park.
Big deals at the deadline; help or hurt?: Here is a team-by-team sampling of the in-season trades that had an effect on that year's pennant race. This year's deadline was about 15 minutes ago. Who did well, who did poorly, and who did nothing? I disagree with at least one of the author's selections, but I'll add that as a comment later.
Hockey HoF Selects 4: Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic, and Matts Sundin are the newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sakic and Sundin were in their first year of eligibility, while Bure waited 6 years. For Oates, who was in his 5th year of eligibility, it was quite a day, as he was named head coach of the Washington Capitols shortly before his selection to the Hall.
Looking Back at 100 Years of Baseball: From The Christian Science Monitor comes a look back at 10 seasons, every 10 years from 1912. If you have the time, look through all of it. Links to each of the covered seasons appear at the top of each page, so selecting a single season is easy. Lots of fun facts about the highlights of each season, such as the season long pitching duel in 1912 between Smoky Joe Wood and Walter Johnson, or pitcher Jim Tobin of the Boston Braves hitting 3 consecutive home runs in a game an 1942.
Cross Country Skiers, Don't Try This at Home.: 75 years ago a 2-man cross country ski race covered the 100 miles from Portland, ME, to Berlin, NH. That neither skier was seriously injured, and how the race was run is chronicled here.
400 for JoePa; How Long Will He Go?: Joe Paterno's 400th coaching victory came in a 35-21 comebacker over Northwestern. Paterno was hoisted onto the shoulders of his players and briefly carried before being met on the field by his wife and a mob of reporters and well-wishers. The milestone having been achieved, the question remains; when will JoePa decide he's had enough?
Does Bad Behavior Cost Athletes Big Bucks?: In a blog from forbes.com, the financial news magazine's web site, Kurt Badenhausen looks at the highest paid athletes and their popularity. Less than stellar behavior has already cost some, but others seem to "get away with it".
The Players Won't Be the Only Ones Scoring at the World Cup: Despite the link title, this is a very serious problem. I pulled liberty in Kenya some years ago, and we were warned that the HIV rate among prostitutes there was as high as 90%. Add to this the victimization of the women, and you have a first-rate disaster on your hands.
Winning Without a Pitch? Try This!: Alan Embry has been one-upped, as a former Washington Nationals pitcher wins one after having been traded. It's hard enough for a Nats pitcher to get a win; too bad they have to give one to someone several hundred miles away.
The Last DiMaggio Brother is Dead: Dominic DiMaggio, the last survivor of the 3 baseball brothers died early this morning at his home. While he may have been overshadowed by his more famous brother Joe, he was a very talented player and a member of the Red Sox teams that featured Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Bobby Doerr.
Phoenix Coyotes May Move: The Phoenix NHL Franchise has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, meaning that they wish to reorganize, not that they will liquidate. Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie wants to buy them and move them to Southern Ontario, probably to the Hamilton area.
Player traded for Bats Found Dead: In what is a sad end to what to most of us was an amusing story, John C. Odom was found dead on November 5, 2008, from an overdose of drugs. Did the notoriety affect him, or was it only a part of his troubles?
Is US High School Basketball Really Behind the Times?: The author, a high school and youth basketball coach in England, thinks that high school basketball in the US needs a significant change in the rules. I think his argument makes sense. (I also wish I'd been around to see that tournament game he writes about.)
The Knicks Shed Some Cap: It looks like the Knicks are trying to dig out of the Isaiah Thomas mess by shedding salary. This is not going to help the Knicks' performance this year. When I watched their game against Boston, Jamal Crawford appeared to be the only player interested in playing.
What Might Have Been:: My first impression upon seeing Herb Score pitch (on TV) was, "The Red Sox will never beat this guy." Those who knew him best sum it up when they say he would have been better than Koufax or any other left-hander.
100 Years ago, he "pulled a Merkle": September 23 is the 100th anniversary of what was, at the time, the biggest bonehead play in the history of baseball. Or, as Bob Ryan points out, maybe it wasn't such a dumb play.
Title IX, Curse or Blessing?: Title IX opened a door for women in athletics. Its impact has been great, and has led to more and more opportunities for women to excel. Particularly at the high school level, I have seen many young girls become confident young ladies from their participation in athletics. Many feel that Title IX has led to decreased opportunity for male athletes. In this article, the author raises many valid questions concerning the way in which Title IX is interpreted.
Buzz Bavasi - The Beginning: Buzz Bavasi's death on May 1 at age 93 prompted this article from the Nashua, NH Telegraph. Bavasi's impact on the game has been recognized, but not much has been written about where and how he started.