I’m in – hook, line and sinker. Like that fish along the bottom of the river I am dumb enough to keep biting at the worm on the hook.
You see, I am a Chicago Cubs fan. I have bitten the worm before. Most painfully in 2003. That was the year the Cubs were two innings away from the World Series when things fell apart against the then-Florida Marlins.
While some blame Steve Bartman, I blame Steve Webster. Steve, a St. Louis Cardinal fan who has celebrated many a World Series, called and congratulated me in the seventh inning – one inning before the infamous collapse.
This year I am again biting that worm. This year is the year the Cubs return to World Series for the first time 61 years. Maybe even win it for the time in 108 years.
Steve is again trying to jinx them. But like the Curse of the Billy Goat, it is not going to work this time.
I am no longer apprehensive in my thoughts of a pennant. This is finally the year. I feel it. I think. I hope.
Former Athlete/Coach update
It’s time for At the Mike to start the Ray Bechard watch again. We will keep track of Coach Bechard and his Kansas University volleyball team from time to time during the season. Most recently the preseason ACVA Top 25 poll came out for the NCAA and Bechard and his Jayhawk are ranked No. 5.
Last season Kansas caught some teams by surprised as it rolled to the Final Four. The ranking is the first time the Jayhawks have been ranked in the preseason poll. Kansas ended the season ranked No. 4 last year and it is the 15th straight week the Jayhawks have been ranked. The 11th straight time in the Top 10.
The former Barton volleyball coach has definitely taken the Kansas program to unprecedented heights.
I remember as a youngster CB radios were all the rage. It wasn’t just for truck drivers but nearly everyone in Glen Elder had them. Everyone had nicknames or ‘handles’ for the CB radios. I was the Bubblegum Kid.
While they are no longer as popular, the trucking industry has not only remained popular but is a vital part of the economy. Barton has been offering classes to get a CDL license and now has been named a test site to acquire those licenses.
The program in just one of many ways Barton continues to adapt to the needs of the community.
The dreaded two-a-days. The time when football practice was in session before school started. Anymore those days are not quite like they were. Now school starts about the same time football practice is allowed to get underway.
There are still some early morning practices. But when I was playing football for Waconda East High School, we didn’t start school until the day after Labor Day. In fact the first Friday of school was the first football game of the season.
Much of the two weeks leading up to that involved the dreaded two-a-days. It didn’t help those in Mitchell County that many times the first day of practice was during the Mitchell County Fair.
That 6 a.m. practice after being out late at the fair made for a long couple of hours. I hated the crab drill. I hated the up-downs. I couldn’t wait until that third day when we could finally put the pads on and do more than what seemed like endless conditioning.
But it never failed, we still had to do the crab drill and up-downs. It was just in pads on the fourth day.
Things have changed a lot since the 80’s with the KSHSAA. Restrictions are in place for contact days, non contact days, etc. To counter, the state has allowed more football-related activities during the summer to help teams prepare before the official start of practice.
While the term two-a-day may not strike the same dreaded fear into the thoughts of kids now, bring them up to someone from a generation ago and they may still grimace.