POSTED ON FEBRUARY 11, 2009:
Bongs, Roids and New Shoes
Amid national pollution, Tulsa sports receive breaths of fresh air
Burned. Whether Phelps is a role model is debatable. I mean, he swims fast and makes money through endorsements. Is that role model material in 2009? Didn't he lose relevance the minute the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony concluded?
Thanks for reading. I truly appreciate the next five valuable minutes of your time. I know you are inundated with news outlets providing you with "their" version of sports. Allow me to put a spin on a few Tulsafied topics as well as national stories.
Have you seen the picture of Michael Phelps hitting the bong? Did you do a double take?
Here is my toke(n) comment on the issue: He's a dope. Not because he dabbled with marijuana, but because he did so at a college party in front of strangers wielding camera phones. Gold medals do not equal common sense.
Whether he is a role model is debatable. I mean, he swims fast and makes money through endorsements. Is that role model material in 2009? Didn't he lose relevance the minute the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony concluded?
A 23-year-old kid smokes weed. Oh my! Someone call the DEA. I'm not here to champion the cause of legalizing pot. No one wants to read a sports writer's take on how the government could stop throwing money away at a losing cause. But, can we at least agree that Phelps hitting a bong isn't CNN front page news?
One more "big" national news story before we localize. Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has had a rough couple of weeks. First his ex-manager Joe Torre basically said A-Rod obsessed about teammate Derek Jeter. That is a direct question of manhood where I grew up.
Last week news broke on A-Rod's 2003 drug test coming back positive for steroids. Another big non-wow in my book. If baseball has taught us a lesson during the past 20 years it's this: Players like steroids and human growth hormones in their bodies.
The question I have is why six years later? Did A-Rod's pee sit in a sealed cup on a shelf for six years waiting to run through the machine? I would hate to work in a lab full of decade old urine.
Furthermore, if the urine sample from '03 was tested in '03, why are we just hearing about the positive test? Baseball gets lamer and lamer every year.
Of the three major sports (sorry hockey), which commissioner would you say does the worst job? I'd venture to say Bud Selig wins the title of "Most Incompetent Sports Commissioner" hands down year-in and year-out. He makes $18 million per year- which is far and away the most of any commissioner. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 baseball season.
That's the sound of someone being choked unconscious. Luckily I've never been put in this predicament. Former Oklahoma State wrestling standout Jake Rosholt cannot say the same. He lost this past Saturday night in his first UFC bout. He tapped out to a guillotine choke at 1:03 of the first round. His opponent, Dan Miller, was too experienced for the young fighter.
Rosholt is now 5-1 in his MMA career. He is a member of Team TakeDown. Here's hoping his training partner Johny Hendricks and fellow OSU alum fares better in his March 1 fight. Check your cable provider for the VERSUS channel.
Tulsa baseball will sound different this spring. Mark Neely was the voice of the Drillers for the past 14 seasons.
Neely will now call games for MLB's San Diego Padres. The Drillers fielded applications from every Tom, Dick and Harry. I tossed my hat in the ring. Drillers' public relations guru Brian Carroll knew I was kidding but indicated I may be the only person across the nation who did not apply for the radio gig.
They chose California native Dennis Higgins. Would a local voice familiar with the Drillers history have been ideal? It's debatable.
However, it is hard to knock the credentials Higgins brings to T-Town. He worked with Jon Miller on the San Francisco Giants' broadcast in the past. He also brings 13 years of experience in calling minor leagues action. This includes five seasons in the Texas League with the Wichita Wranglers.
"We are fortunate to have an announcer with the experience of Dennis Higgins to take over our broadcasts," said Carroll. "Listeners used to listening to Mark Neely will appreciate Dennis. Like Mark, he will bring an informed and entertaining broadcast to our great fans."
Drillers' games will air once again this season on AM 1430 The Buzz.
"Since coming to the Texas League in 1995, Tulsa has always caught my eye," said Higgins. "I would not have taken a job with just any team, but Tulsa and the Drillers have always been attractive to me. Mark Neely says great things about the fans, and I look forward to entertaining and getting to know many of them this summer."
One final note I must squeeze in here: The Tulsa Rampage play junior hockey in the Western States Hockey League. Chances are they'll make the playoffs and I'll write about their attempt to capture the WSHL title in the coming months.
For now, take a minute to check out their Web site www.tulsarampage.com. It details a wonderful event taking place February 21. They are accepting items and monetary donations to support the Blue Star Mothers. General Manager Julie Wilson runs a first-class organization. They provide excellent career-building opportunities for burgeoning hockey players.
Let's help the Rampage help the Blue Star Mothers. If you're not familiar with the work of the Blue Star Mothers, you really need to quit hanging out with Michael Phelps.
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