Random Thoughts

Greetings From The Booth!

The Booth is a little chilly, with lows expected in the teens to single digits forecasted this week. To add insult to injury, CBS is teasing me with promos for The Masters. As I make my daily drive on Rt. 37, Rock Harbor looks anything like Augusta National. I would, however, get plenty of roll on the icy fairways this week at The Rock. At age 62, I am always looking for a few extra yards on my shots.

Anyway, in today’s VFB, I wanted to weigh in on a few random topics, and I’ll start with Shenandoah University men’s basketball. The guys played arguably their best half this past Monday at home against a good Lynchburg team, and continued the solid play well into the second half. SU had energy, they were taking care of the basketball, and playing great defense. The clock would then strike midnight for Cinderella, however. Leading 61-53, Shenandoah saw Lynchburg switch to a zone defense, and finish the game on a 31-7 run to win going away. The lesson for the young Hornets is that games are 40 minutes, not 30. Baby steps…

The NFL conference championship games are this Sunday as we are now down to the league’s version of the Final Four. In your lifetime, you probably won’t see another weekend like last, when all 4 divisional games were won on the game’s final play. The weekend was punctuated on Sunday night by one of the best playoff games of all time, as the Chiefs outlasted Buffalo in OT. You’ve heard the old cliche about “it’s a shame someone had to lose.” And certainly Bills QB Josh Allen didn’t deserve his fate. Allen was one tough SOB, bringing his team back time and time again, only to never touch the ball in overtime, thanks to Patrick Mahomes. The game was one for the ages.

In the aftermath of the Bucs’ loss, the speculation begins about whether or not Tom Brady will retire. Brady has said that the perfect ending for him is to win a Super Bowl. That would certainly be the ultimate storybook ending. The problem is that very few athletes get to go out on their own terms. Just ask Joe Theismann, whose career ended on a Monday Night game with his leg snapped in two. Most players play a year or two too long (Willie Mays, Joe Namath, and OJ Simpson come to mind), unwilling to admit that the game has passed them by. And, it’s not easy winning a Super Bowl. That being said, Brady is still playing at a high level, and with the right pieces around him, is capable of walking into the sunset with the Lombardi Trophy. The football world awaits his decision…

Finally, David Ortiz was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week on his first try. “Big Papi” hit over 540 home runs in his career, was a 10-time all star, and is really the first DH to get a bust in Cooperstown. There is no one that can argue that decision by the Baseball Writers of America. I also applaud their decision to once again deny Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens a place in the Hall. Bonds and Clemens were products of the steroid era, and used performance enhancing drugs to help them achieve their lofty resumes. If you believed Bonds when he said he thought he was using flaxseed oil, I’ve got some prime real estate on the Moon I’ll sell you. I’m also sure that being a jerk to the press over the years didn’t help Bonds’ cause. As for Clemens, he finally had to acknowledge his steroid use after years of lying about it. Maybe in the future there will be a Steroid Wing or Asterisk Section in the Hall Of Fame , but for now, Bonds’ and Clemens’ rightful place should be on the outside looking in.

Enjoy the conference championship games on Sunday, stay warm, and until the next visit from The Booth…GO HORNETS!