Nuts And Bolts
No-Tradecentre - Watching the NHL Network's Tradecentre 2013 on Wednesday reminded me of Weather Channel coverage of a big winter storm.
How many times have you seen a Weather Channel reporter in the field standing in perfect weather talking about the big storm that is on the way and many times it never arrives?
That's what was happening on Wednesday as a majority of the NHL trades were completed earlier in the week or in the previous week. With one hour left before deadline, the studio crew switched to Mike Milbury of the NBC broadcast team and he was asked if his phone was ringing.
Milbury said, ''It's as dead as your show right now.''
Fortunately, in the last hour before the trade deadline the action really picked up.
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Perfect Timing - I have been reading a biography about the late Bill Veeck, the owner who shook up baseball with some of his promotions and stunts such as sending a dwarf to bat and letting the fans manage a game.
Right in the middle of reading it, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced he is considering drafting Baylor's Brittney Griner.
By the way, Griner is 3-feet-1 taller than Eddie Gaedel, the dwarf Veeck sent to the plate.
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Beilein's First Chance For A Title - Michigan coach John Beilein will be at his first Final Four today and will be enjoying every minute of it in front of a packed house.
He felt the same way on March 6, 1982, when he was coaching the Erie Community College Kats in the NJCAA Region 3 championship game at Jamestown CC.
The Jayhawks came into the title game ranked sixth in the nation with a 29-2 record while Erie was 15-10, but the Kats had peaked in the three-day regional tournament at JCC with 24- and 32-point wins.
About 90 minutes before the championship game I saw Beilein and asked his feelings of not only having to play the defending regional champion, but also playing it on the JCC court. He said he loved it and so did his players because the game would be played in front of a packed house with plenty of excitement. In those days, the JCC gym was filled for Jayhawks' games and the additional rollout-bleachers always had to be used. Beilein said if the game was at ECC it would attract maybe 100 fans.
JCC went on to win, 65-50, and made a second straight trip to the national tournament at Hutchinson, Kans.
That was Beilein's last game at Erie. The next season he was coaching at Nazareth College followed by stops at LeMoyne, Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia and then Michigan.
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Ironman Pitchers - The baseball season is under way and so is the constant talk of pitch counts. But that wasn't a concern 50 years ago when Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants and Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves took the mound on July 2, 1963, in a game at Candlestick Park. And they never left the mound.
The game went 16 innings and the Giants won 1-0 on a Willie Mays' home run. Both Marichal and Spahn pitched all 16 innings.
It should be noted that Marichal was 25, but Spahn was 42.
There is a great article about the game in the spring issue of Memories and Dreams, the official magazine of the Hall of Fame.
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Wall's Green Jacket In Limbo - Some of golf's best were here in 1959 when Art Wall, Jr. played in an exhibition with Arnold Palmer at Moon Brook Country Club. Wall had won the Masters that year while Palmer won it in 1958 and then again in 1960.
The Masters green jacket that Wall won that year eventually disappeared, but appeared again last year when an auction house put it up for bid and a golf collector paid $62,000 for it. He was trying to sell it recently in another auction, but a judge put a hold on the sale until ownership of the green jacket can be determined.
Augusta National claims the jacket was one of a few stolen from there.
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Those Guys Were Good- A PGA Tour ad uses the tag line - These Guys Are Good.
Maybe they should say they are still good.
In the current issue of Golf World, Billy Casper said his wife asked, ''How come you didn't have a swing coach, a short-game guru, a psychologist and all the others they have with them today?''
Casper said, ''Honey, I guess in those days we were just good.''
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Hinky-Dinky Bowl- From 1960 to 1969, the National Football League held the Playoff Bowl which was a matchup of the two conference runner-up teams at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla.
It was not a popular game, much like the consolation game that was held for years in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. In Bart Starr: America's Quarterback and the Rise of the National Football League, author Keith Dunnavant noted that Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel once said about the Playoff Bowl, ''You're playing for third place in the NFL, which is like playing for third place in a war.''
Packers coach Vince Lombardi had even more to say about the meaningless game.
''A hinky-dinky football game held in a hinky-dinky town, played by hinky-dinky players. That's all second place is - hinky dinky!''
Also in the book is the mention of a terrible trade Green Bay made in 1974 when it traded with the Rams for 34-year-old quarterback John Hadl. The Packers gave up their first- and second-round picks in the 1975 draft and their first-, second- and third-round selections in 1976.
An assistant coach called it ''the Lawrence Welk trade'' - A one and a two, and a one, two, three...''
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Special Deal - I was wondering if the Milwaukee Brewers and the Nashville Predators have a shared travel plan and shared housing between their two cities.
Why? Because the Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League are the top farm club of the Brewers. The Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League are the top farm club for the Predators.