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Just play ball
Charlies Inside Corner
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LARNED — Okay. I don’t get it. Call me out of touch, racist, a bigot.
Trot out all of the overused words that are tainted and slanted to intimidate. I’ve seen how “the system” works.
I don’t “get” why the sports pages have to be continually bombarded with stories of the latest homosexual to “come out.” Why the sports pages have been chosen to fight the latest round of racism.
Story after story after story about something or someone and homosexuality.
Ditto for racism and the “N” word.
Can’t you just give me a story about how “Old Swawmee Tech” upset Southeast Northern University?
For the last few weeks we’ve been inundated with the prosopography of Jason Collins, supposedly the first professional basketball player to announce his gay lifestyle.
Somewhere, there is a story every day. 
You know what?
I don’t care!
I wouldn’t care if he was a Dental Hygienist and I don’t care when he’s a power forward!
Mostly I don’t want to hear about it on the sports pages!
Ditto for stories about racism.
Not every white person is a racist. Not every black person is, either.
You would never know it from reading the editorial comments, the personal pages, of Sports Illustrated , the major newspapers and wire services in this country.
Nothing sells like a story of bullying, especially if there is a hint of racism involved.
If there isn’t something current then, by golly, dig up something that happened 50 years ago!
Keep the fires burning!
Don’t misunderstand me. I understand and have sympathies in both of these arenas.
I am just tired of having to read about this stuff on my sports pages.
Can we start a new section in newspapers, in magazines?
A place where all of these  overdone clichés can be put in one place? A place where those who are so-inclined can gather?
A lot of people from a lot of walks of life have suffered painful things in the history of this country.
The Civil War, WWI, WWII, the list goes on and on.
There have been tremendous sufferings and sacrifices, but all of them have places they belong in being studied, being discussed. 
Isn’t it funny that most of them don’t end up on the sports pages like today’s  “Cause Du Jour?”
So, when they say “Play Ball,” just tell me about the ball game. I am not interested in a social commentary!
CHALK TALK — It is a strange year in sub-state basketball. The Class 4A Division-II at Russell offers only one team with a winning record, Larned with a 12-8 slate. The same is nearly true at Goodland with Scott City 17-3 and Hugoton at 10-9. In 5A at Goddard, only undefeated Hays has a winning record  and Great Bend, Bishop Carroll and Wichita West only have a grand total of 17 wins between them. Newton is more of the same with only Wichita Heights over the .500 mark. Unless the favorites win every sub-state, there are going to be teams in the state tournaments with poor records. Is it time to revamp this playoff system? ... In Oklahoma, they are in love with Lon Kruger. They’ve found out that the “Kruger Construction Company” can rebuild a basketball program. Of course, he’s done it at Texas-Pan American, Kansas State, Illinois and Florida. The guy can coach a little bit! ... Former Oklahoma head football coach Barry Switzer raised a few eyebrows with his comment that if he were coaching he would “never recruit a white quarterback.” Barry loves to be “in the news” ... Go ahead, tell me the winner of the upcoming Big 12 Conference basketball tournament. Count out TCU and you could make a case for all of the other nine teams! ... In case you missed it, THEY’RE OFF! The dogs are off in Anchorage as the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is under way. Gosh, they could have held the race around here this year!
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned