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No-Hit Wonders

Announcers Dick Bremer, Roy Smalley, and Justin Morneau, during the Twins-Yankees game Wednesday night in which Jake Odorizzi got reasonably close to no-hitting the Yankees, said no one pitcher had no-hit the New Yorkers since Baltimore’s Hoyt Wilhelm did in 1958. I don’t want anyone to think I’m old or anything, or that I might have grown up outside of Minnesota, or that I might have been a Yankee fan at one time, but I watched that game on WPIX-TV, Channel 11, in real time before it was called that. Remarkably, given the thousands of games I’ve watched in my life, it...

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Superbowl LIII Picks and Division Winners

With the NFL season set to kick off this week, I thought it would be a fun time to call my shot on who is going to wind the Superbowl and how the order of division finishes. AFC North Standings: 1. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Killer Bees continue to dominate this division. 2. Cincinnati Bengals: They were bad last year, but the rest of the division is worse. 3. Cleveland Browns: The Browns take a big step forward this year. 4. Baltimore Ravens: Upgrades to the wide receiving core and a healthy offensive line could make this look silly, but they still have Joe Flacco at...

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MN Rep. Keith Ellison boycotting NFL over new national anthem policy

In an attempt to neutralize the polarizing controversy over NFL players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem, NFL owners approved a new policy requiring players to stand for the anthem if they are on the field and if they do not, they will subject their teams to a fine. The policy gives players the option to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they prefer. Rep. Keith Ellison said he will boycott the NFL this year because of the “unfair cowardly and idiotic kneeling ban.”...

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Noteworthy Performances of All Kinds

How is watching basketball on television like listening to a string quartet in rehearsal?  In each instance, presuming you’re not a high-order expert in either basketball or string quartets, you will hear things said about what’s going on that you simply don’t see or hear. I think about things like this frequently, in large part because I watch too much basketball; an excess leavened, however, by how I’m always impressed by color commentators who see things such as changing defenses and other strategies I’m probably oblivious to. I also think about things like this because I still routinely recall watching the Guarneri...

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Believe in the Fairy Tale

In case you haven’t heard, there are a couple big games on TV tonight. The semi-finals of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament are taking place in San Antonio beginning at 5:09 pm when the Loyola Ramblers take on the Michigan Wolverines. The Ramblers are a special team. Loyola is the only basketball team in Illinois to have won an NCAA Division I championship, and the last time they did it was 1963. They haven’t even been to the tournament since 1985. Yet here they are, an 11-seed making a true Cinderella run for the championship trophy. There are so many reasons to...

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