Aaron Yoder, who is the Bethany College track coach has set a world-record for the fastest mile, RUNNING BACKWARDS! He set the record of 5:54.25 in November. That got me to thinking, “What other things are “running backwards” in the world of sports?
Who is running backwards? The Dallas Cowboys immediately come to mind. You know, “America’s Team”, currently in residence in Jerry Jones’ plush, palatial stadium, but owners of a 4-12 record for this year. They play in the weakest division in the NFC and they still couldn’t win. Nobody has “run backwards” faster in the NFL than the Cowboys! Meanwhile, owner Jerry Jones looks bewildered. He is standing on third base and thinks he hit a triple to get there!
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association sped backwards when they recently sent out a memo to member schools reminding them that they should not allow students and fans to shout “air ball” when an opposing player put up a shot that missed everything. You could just as easily insert Kansas and several other states in place of Wisconsin here. It seems like their goal is to prevent any and all from actually having fun at high school basketball games. Will they be happy when NO fans, NO students show up? Political correctness run amuck!
The University of Missosuri. Now, now, Jayhawk fans, you don’t need to say that sure, they are going backwards, the whole state is backward! The point here is their athletic department. Running backwards? They are in a full sprint! Backwards.
Their football program stumbled to a 5-7 record this year BUT, two of those five wins came against lower-level FCS teams. The coach has resigned and prospects for 2016 don’t look rosy. The basketball program has been in a 3-year slide culminating recently in the University themselves putting the Basketball program on probation and forfeiting an entire season. The departed Frank Haith-who has caused probation troubles at every stop-has left the once-proud Mizzou basketball program in shambles. The Tigers are 8-9 this season with seven of those wins coming against lower division opponents. The only Div. I win came against Auburn.
There are a whole host of political problems at Missouri so it’s not just an athletic issue. It’s not a good time to be a Mizzou Tiger! What about “Da Bears?” The Chicago Bears. They’ve been running backwards for years now and still don’t seem to have figured it out. The Bears of George Halas, Gayle Sayers and Dick Butkus have lost their “mojo.” The “Monsters of the Midway” are feared no more. The Bears closed this season at 6-10, last in the NFC North. They once caused fear in their opponent’s minds. Now, their opponents don’t mind going to the Windy City to play. It’s a breeze! Remember when the seemingly crazy Jim McMahon quarterbacked the Bears with that white do-rag around his head? The Bears were fun, entertaining. Now they’ve completed the lap, running backwards.
Some teams have been stuck in reverse, “running backwards” for a long time. The Chicago Cubs come to mind. What about the Boston Red Sox? The team of Ted Williams? They’ve recently taken up the sport of running backwards and finished in the American League East basement this year with a 78-84 record. Ditto for the Detroit Tigers who, not long ago, were contenders. Now, they’ve run to the basement of the AL Central, thankfully making room for our Royals at the top. There’s also the Philadelphia Phillies, a team our Royals lost a World Series to in 1980. It was only 2008 that they won a World Series over Tampa Bay. They ran backwards to the WORST record in the Major Leagues this year at 63-99!
So, sports fans, it’s not ALWAYS good to run backwards UNLESS they give you a world record for it!
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.