After unendurable agonies indefinitely prolonged over many years of sports color broadcasters, I compiled a collection of little known sports oddities.
The perpetrators responsible for this mess have been assigned fictitious pseudonyms that bear no semblance to the truth or reality. Actually, these names are assigned to events that may or may not have happened.
The real evildoers in this farce were members of the IT (Information Technology) team that built a database on these happenings. Only you can judge the veracity of times and events.
My sports career was marked by a remarkable lack of performance and talent. Track events were a spectator sport for me. I batted in practice and helped pitchers achieve their performance and control by swinging and missing.
My highlight was a one-time pole vault (maybe 5-6 feet). My bamboo pole helped me get off the ground. Unfortunately, I landed on my back — totally flat and seriously gasping for breath.
Additionally, this was a country school with practically no facilities. Football was played on dirt; no grass. And from there, it was all down hill. If “JW” failed to bring his ball and bat, the practice was cancelled.
After walking five consecutive batters in the first inning of a softball game, “Maryjolynn” was replaced by a walk-on freshman with no game experience. The game was called in the fifth inning.
The statistics and words from this one game were good for five minutes and three commercials of air time. Just consider this as an exercise in useless trivia.
“Aloysius” was a walk-on for the college football team during his senior year. He left without a tryout when one of his canes broke during warm-up exercises. His lawsuit alleging discrimination was the 19th in a series of charges against an unnamed university.
As his football team was busily involved in a conference championship game, “Albert” left the field to answer a call of nature. His team was penalized for not enough players on the field and went on to lose the game.
At this same university “Jobilly” attended a banquet in his honor. One of his many honors was for longevity. He claimed to be the only player to have worn the same jersey for his entire college career. He promised to wash it before he wore it again.
An incomplete check of track and field records was deemed to be inconclusive. It seems as how “Samuel G.” compiled an amazing record in one year. He had managed to finish fourth in seven different contests in one season. That was the high point of his career.
While visiting a small college in the Hill Country, one young unnamed student had served as a field trainer for every athletic event. Intense questioning and an investigation caused the athletic director to quietly resign. This skilled trainer had never been enrolled, not even as a correspondence student.
Many readers follow the game of football in Texas and can quote real statistics for 15 or more years. Most listeners can verify or challenge the accuracy of happenings.
They only shake their heads and change the subject when some local stars are asked about. A little known and seldom quoted number is the 1,329 hometown football heroes that faded into obscurity.
One event has been memorized and saved for years. A certain junior college always fielded a football team that played extremely well in its conference/league.
One year, a little-known kicker boomed the ball near the opponent’s goal. In the ensuing runback, there was a bone-jarring tackle, and the ball went flying. “Pat” the kicker grabbed the ball in midair.
With fancy footwork and deceptive hip swivels, the kicker managed to score the winning touchdown but did not make the point after. At the year-end banquet, the coach was accompanied by his wife and a young lady. It seems that “Pat” was really Patricia but received her football letter with the team.
Granted, all of the preceding has sprung from a fertile mind that has gone rapidly to seed. Even so, these tall tales can fill the silence better than any commentator in the announcer’s booth.
As a sports fan, especially football, I have been more than a little disillusioned as every move has been announced and heralded as setting some kind of inane record for athletic performance.
Truthfully, I would enjoy a few seconds of silence rather than learning this was the 75th completed pass thrown by a left-handed quarterback to a receiver who eluded seven tacklers before diving over the goal for a winning touchdown.
Wanna hear about the world record-setting performance for the 100-meter dash that was run on an indoor moving sidewalk? And in record time, no less.
Grady Easley is retired and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org