Archive for July, 2005

Mandatory update

July 25, 2005

I was walking out of Sunday School this morning when my teacher, former Shelby High quarterback Matt Webber, reminded me that my blog was older than the cheese in my fridge. OK, he didn’t say that. He did, however, point out that my blog is woefully lacking in recent material. He’s right, so here’s a fix:

I am a fantasy baseball wizard. Well, maybe not, but I am currently kicking serious booty in the Fighting Libertarians League, which includes one of my bosses, Star editor Skip Foster, my mailman and two of my predecessors – Bryan Hanks and Drew Loftis. I won’t bore you with the details about how I snared Pedro Martinez, Brian Roberts, Adam Dunn and Mark Prior in later rounds, befuddling my foes. I’ll just say that, as of Sunday night, I have a 20-point lead over Hanks and Foster…

I can’t begin to explain how ready for football season I am. Here are the questions I want to see answered:

1. How good will Crest’s offense and Burns’ linemen be?
2. Which Charlie Whitehurst (Heisman darkhorse or 7 TD, 17 INT choker) will take snaps for Clemson this season?
3. Can anybody give Southern Cal a decent game?
4. Can the Redskins bring their offense into this century?

Stay tuned…


Putting a match to the fuse

July 4, 2005

The 2005 American Legion Baseball season in Area IV has been much like an underground fireworks shop.You can find plenty of bang there, but you don’t always end up with the best show.
A series of “fireworks mishaps” have plagued area teams this season.
First, you have Roman candles gone wrong in terms of the blame game. Teams caught violating the rules are more concerned with who blew the whistle than with correcting the actual offense.
While we’re on the subject, let me get this on the record. If two kids were caught shooting Roman candles at each other, you wouldn’t ground one of them for a week and the other for a month, would you?
Then you had a couple of teams, McDowell and Kings Mountain, get caught with black market M80s, or illegal players to be more precise.And from the getting your signals crossed department, you had a team forget to light a box of fireworks on a night when another team was in town for a show. (That’s Huntersville not showing up for a home game with Cherryville, if the fireworks imagery is getting out of hand.)

AS WITH any fireworks display, it’s always best to save the most amazing spectacle for last. American Legion, thanks once again to the good folks in Huntersville, kept with that tradition.
Apparently, Post 321 had too many people burn their fingers on bottle rockets and sparklers to keep going into the peak fireworks season, also known as the Area IV Playoffs.
So the event coordinator went and dusted off a box of tanks previously marked for the garbage pile — Burke County — and sent them over to Shelby to make sure the skies were lit up above Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium.Being a South Carolina native, I have plenty of experience with firecrackers. They are fascinating creations, equal parts wonder and terror, depending mainly on the hand holding it.

LEGION BASEBALL in this area is exactly the same way. The purpose is great, the idea is great, but some of the keepers of the flame need to realize the awesome responsibility that comes with being role models for young people.
This isn’t about assigning blame. It’s about following the rules (or since I can’t resist another analogy, reading the safety instructions) both on and off the field.
After a season of making headlines for all the wrong reasons, the Area IV Playoffs are finally getting under way.Here’s hoping that the best show going for the next few weeks comes from the field, and not from another smoke bomb from the sidelines.
OK, I’m through ranting now. I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July.