There are a couple of reasons why I’ve graced this article with a photo of the cover of Charley Pierce’s magnificent collection of essays.
Not the least of which is that they are adroitly perceived and exquisitely rendered.
Writing on any subject matter doesn’t get much better. Check it out.
But also, if like some around here, you have little other life and nourish yourself with athletic contests, meaning you’re a Sports Guy (gender neutral), it was a veritable smorgasbord of a weekend.
With the peripheral benefit for some, that they could watch without their favorite teams competing, thus eliminating the angst factor.
Like Buckeye fans. Like Cardinal fans. Like Lions fans.
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It all started, in these environs anyway, with a Friday night sighting of an octopus on the ice.
Some readers may get the reference, even if they could care less.
It’s a Detroit Red Wing thing. And the resurgent Wings under new coach Derek Lalonde opened their season with a 3-0 shutout of Montreal’s Habs. Then followed that up with a Saturday night W over the Devils in Jersey, 5-2.
Remember this name: 6-8 rookie Elmer Soderblom.
Speaking of athletic endeavors that old schoolers on this side of the pond pay little attention to, there must be a mention of Tottenham Hotspurs’ 2-0 victory over Everton on Saturday in the EPL.
Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Man City at Anfield on Sunday was also a hoot.
Sports Guy was on a roll.
Plus there was all that baseball, including one game that morphed into a double header.
Love that u-dogs Padres and Phillies advanced to NLCS. If the Guardians, who really should have been renamed Spyders to keep it in the Cleveland tradition, can close out the evil empire tonight, that would be really swell.
Sunday meant NFL Red Zone, which is always a treat. Especially for the hour starting at 3:15.
Especially when you’ve got a battle of elites like KC vs. Buffalo, Mahomes vs. Allen. Though Tony Romo could use a thorazine drip.
Especially when doormats like the Jets and Giants start to show some mettle.
Not so especially when U of L fave son Lamar Jackson continues his fumblitis. Should have signed a contract, my man.
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But of course it was all topped by college pigskin, where Saturday was a day like none since 1993.
It was first time since then that three games on the same day featured schools that were at least 5-0 battling it out.
Pennsylvania State at Michigan.
Oklahoma State at Texas Christian.
And the one that lived up to all the hype and then some, Alabama at Tennessee.
Which featured a QB duel between as poised a signal caller as ever played the game, Bryce Young, and rising star Hendon Hooker. Plus the emergence of new super wideout, Rocky Top’s Jalin Wyatt, who snared 6 passes for 207 yards, 5 of them touchdowns.
The game was won, after the Crimson Tide’s kicker missed a FG with :15 on the clock. Which was plenty enough time for Hooker to get the Vols into FG range, where Chase McGrath knuckleballed the pigskin through the uprights from 40 yards out for a 52-49 W at the buzzer.
Fans stormed the field, costing the school a hundred large SEC fine. “No prob” said the ebullient, cigar smoking school prexy.
The Horned Frogs corralled the Cowboys in OT. In the Big House, the Wolverines showed they are for real while trampling the Nittany Lions.
Plus there were three other games in which both schools were ranked.
Kentucky rushed past Cowbell State. The nation’s biggest surprise, that would be the Syracuse Orange, remained undefeated, besting the Wolfpack.
And, as if we needed any more drama, in the PAC After Dark nitecap, the Utes upended Southern California on a a two point conversion with seconds left, 43-42.
All that and college hoops is just over the horizon.
I know a Sports Guy in his happy place.
— c d kaplan