Sunday, September 10, 2006

Look Out Below!

Brett Myers came up small again when it counted. That is Myers’ MO more often than not. Two batters into the game and he and the Phillies were behind 2-0.

All of this wouldn’t have mattered as much if someone other than Chase Utley had delivered, but this was not the case, especially with RISP, as the Phils managed to strand 17 runners last night, three shy of a franchise record. Suffice it to say, teams don’t normally win under those circumstances. They didn’t. Still, you cannot put your team in an instant hole if your are the putative ace.

An opportunity was missed to gain ground on the Wild Card-leading Padres, who also lost. Instead, the Phils are now tied with the streaking Giants.

Enough baseball for the moment. I’ll pick up again tomorrow.

* * * * * * * * *

I digress.

What is this business with state troopers, Smokey the Bear hats in plain view, escorting more and more head coaches across the gridiron at the end of football games? I could more or less understand it when Bear Bryant was the top man at Alabama; after all, he was considered a demi-god in that neck of the woods, a much more important figure in the minds’ [sic] of that state’s general population than any governor, George Wallace included. I could also imagine had there been a shortage of manpower when the call went out to the police barracks that the Tide were playing that weekend that The Bear would have had first dibs on any available detail.

These days, however, every Tom, Dick and Harry with a headset and clipboard gets an official police escort. Is this post-9/11 thinking or is it merely a recognition that football coaches make a lot more enemies than friends these days? (Another option is the number of people with a few loose screws attending sporting events these days, but we'll leave that subject for another post.)

Speaking of football, which I do infrequently with good reason, it was a tough day to be a Division 1A Pennsylvania football team yesterday. The Nittany Lions were smoked in South Bend. Yes, they made too many mistakes, but Notre Dame moved the ball through the air almost at will. We can expect some people to begin questioning Joe Paterno’s fitness at his advanced age though in reality he is only six months older than the same coach who was being touted at the end of last season for returning State to glory. The simple truth is his current squad may not be good enough on offense to keep the talented defense off the field.

Meanwhile, back at the Linc, Temple fell to, nay, were beaten into submission by nationally ranked Louisville, 62-0. The loss, their second of the season under first-year head coach Al Golden, is sure to bring new cries for Temple to drop further thoughts of Division 1A football, if not for their fans then for the players, who do not deserve to be the sacrificial lambs on other teams’ schedules.

Villanova made the move several years ago and has continued to play competitive and exciting football ever since. Temple needs to do the same. These endless lopsided losses are taking too heavy a toll on everyone and it should not continue. The holdouts for big-time football on North Broad Street have been appeased long enough.

No comments: