OK, I realize that the Weekly has a Sports Guy and a Weed Guy, but, without infringing too much on their respective domains, there are just a couple things I have to mention.
Before I get started, I have to note a shift in the wind out in the world. For years, the biggest and most common shot I would take from people who didn't like me, my writing, or the paper in general was, "You write for a rag that has porn ads in the back (of the publication)." These days, that has been replaced with "You write for a paper that has a Weed Guy."
Guilty as charged...three words that bring me right back to the worlds of sports and marijuana.
I read with great interest the article about former UA star point guard Damon Stoudamire being hired as an assistant to Wildcat basketball coach Sean Miller. I've always taken a special interest in point guards and Stoudamire helped cement Arizona's reputation as Point Guard U. A successful point guard has to be the smartest player on the floor. (It's about blood not having to travel as far to get to the top of a guard's brain.)
My appreciation for Stoudamire dimmed after he kept getting popped for marijuana possession during his NBA days. It's like, "Really, dude?"
Anyway, in this article in the Sunday paper, Stoudamire addressed his drug use by stating, "That's a part of growing up and to be honest that's a thing that I allude to with these kids because I bumped my head before you can bounce back." (Jeez, in terms of sentence structure, I hope that's the residual weed talking and not a reflection on his University of Arizona education.)
He continued, "Probably the worst thing in the world was the selfishness that I had during that period of time and I didn't realize how selfish I was until my own kids came home and told me that somebody at school was talking about me. I'm not running from it and I'm not ashamed of it because it's helped form who I am today."
That's all well and good, but was everyone at the presser so wowed by the joint appearance of Sean Miller and Lute Olson that they all failed to ask The Most Obvious Question of All Time? As in, "So, Damon, do you still smoke that crap?"
Didn't anybody think that was a reasonable question to ask someone joining the coaching staff in a collegiate sport in which, with each passing year, the rosters get younger and younger?
I'm a huge Wildcat basketball fan. I wish Stoudamire the best and I hope the Cats' future is filled with trips to the Final Four and beyond. I just wish that somebody had asked that question and/or, when they failed to do so, I wish Stoudamire had addressed it himself.
It doesn't matter where you stand on marijuana use; none of us wants that (ahem) cloud hanging over the basketball program.
Many of you may not know this, but there is still such a thing as Major League Baseball. I, myself, dialed back my interest by about 70 percent after the Greed Fest (Strike) of 1994 wiped out half a season and the World Series. From there, I dialed it back another 70 percent after MLB refused to do anything about the performance enhancing drugs that were turning the game into a freak show. That explains my current 9 percent interest in what used to be a great sport.
I have taken notice of the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks have been in first place this season, despite having a payroll that is dwarfed by the defending world champion San Francisco Giants and the bloated Los Angeles Dodgers. However, unlike Michael Corleone, every time I feel like going back in (to baseball), they push me back away.
The most recent example came on Memorial Day, when the Diamondbacks played a game in the morning for which they charged people to attend. Then they emptied out the stadium and played a different game at night, for which they charged people separately to attend. And they billed it as a "double-header," which it most certainly was not.
Jody Oehler, on his talk show, referred to the abomination as "an old-fashioned double-header." Jody's young, so I'll set him straight. An old-fashioned double-header was when they would play two games back-to-back for one price of admission. The games would be separated by about 30 minutes, during which time the players could change unis and the fans could go the bathroom and walk around a little bit to keep their butts from falling asleep. It was baseball heaven.
I understand that some teams have to have day-night "doubleheaders" to make up for rainouts. At least that term is partially honest. What the Diamondbacks perpetrated on the fans was not a doubleheader. It was a stick-up.
And finally, would you fake-ass "purists" stop using "RBI" (singular) to mean multiple runs batted in? You might think you're advancing the game, but you wouldn't use "POW" to mean multiple prisoners of war, or "MRE" to denote multiple meals ready to eat. The term RBIs goes back more than a century. It's not broken and doesn't need to be fixed.
So, stop it! It sounds stupid.