sports: January 2005 Archives


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Growing up on the east coast of Iowa, my sports loyalty was always to the teams from Chicago. And while most of my early years are now a blur, I still have memories of going to games at Wrigley to watch the Cubs. Heck, I still remember watching Rick Reuschel and Dave Kingman on WGN after school.

My all-time favorite Cub? Ryne Sandberg. The only qualification I can add to my joy over his election today into the Baseball Hall of Fame is that it took the voters three years to elect him. The recent explosion of power shortstops has left us jaded, I think; how else to explain the fact that the voters failed to recognize a guy who worked his tail off to become the best fielder and hitter at his position for years. Yes, yes, Robbie Alomar, but Alomar took that slot over from Sandberg, who was easily the best player at his position for several years, and who helped change the way that middle infielders were perceived. He didn't have a great deal of fielding range, especially there at the end, but he was amazingly consistent, and his bat anchored the Cubs lineup for at least a decade.

Congratulations, Ryno. Now if the voters will just trouble themselves to remember how Bruce Sutter dominated the game and introduced an entire generation to the split-finger...

Bowled over

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Just for the record, and this is a post mainly for my fellow college football fans, the main thing wrong with the BCS isn't the stupid, interminable, year-end, "mythical national title" debates. It's not even the fact that the voters in the polls are unduly influenced by those debates, over-ranking the conference champions of down conferences so that the BCS bowls end up looking better than they actually are.

No, the biggest problem is that the BCS bowls make all the other ones look like small potatoes. Case in point was today's Capital One Citrus Bowl, which pitted Iowa against LSU. I'm a total Iowa homer, I know, but this was one of the most exciting bowl games (and finishes) I've seen in a long time. Both teams are somewhere around the tail of the top 10 (depending on the poll), neither had a real chance at a "big" bowl, but both teams came to play, both have great coaches, and the result was a back-and-forth game that was decided on a last-second 56-yard touchdown pass to Warren Holloway, who scored the first and last touchdown of his career at Iowa. Wow.

And it wasn't just this one. Michigan-Texas? Great game. Boise State-Louisville? Great game. Unfortunately, the BCS guaranteed that Utah would not have a worthy opponent in the Fiesta. Ditto for tomorrow's matchup of Auburn and ACC champ (?!) Virginia Tech. Hopefully, Oklahoma-USC will be decent.

March Madness is still my favorite time of year, but the 2-3 days of Bowl intensity are pretty good in themselves, as long as I get to spend them watching good football (as opposed to bubbleheaded announcers droning about the BCS). Oh, and didn't Keith Jackson retire once already? Isn't it about that time again?



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This page is a archive of entries in the sports category from January 2005.

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