Luke Graham: News and notes from the week that was
December 18, 2006
A reflection on the past week in sports:
– Has there been a more impressive team this winter season than the Steamboat Springs hockey team? After being a big underdog a couple of weeks ago in a tournament in Vail, The Sailors swept through the competition. They haven’t lost this year, and with the way things are going, they probably won’t for a while. Maybe most impressive was Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Aspen. Coach Jeff Ruff said the Sailors would dump the puck and wait for their opportunities against the skilled Skiers. After falling behind 1-0 early in the second period, Steamboat didn’t stray from its gameplan and scored with two minutes left in the third period. That’s a sign of good coaching and disciplined players.
– Playing high school basketball in Colorado, I always heard of Kelly Meek and how he was a good coach. I didn’t deny it, but I hadn’t seen it in person. Now that I have, everything is true. I shouldn’t be surprised. You don’t get 500 wins or a gym named after you if you’re not a good coach.
– I love college basketball, usually making a trip to Vegas for March Madness. This year is especially interesting. I’m not sure if there has ever been a year where so many teams could win the whole thing. I see at least 10 teams that could win it: UCLA, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Kansas, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Arizona, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Texas A&M and Wichita State. That’s 12, but you get the point.
– Continuing with college basketball, I can’t wait for the season to end. That symbolizes the end of the Ricardo Patton coaching era at Colorado. Problem is, it’s about four years too late. Patton hasn’t recruited players from Colorado in his tenure. Excluding Chauncey Billups, Patton has missed out on current players Sean Ogirri (Wichita State’s second leading scorer), Nick Fazekas (averaging 20 points and 13 rebounds a game for Nevada) and Matt Bouldin (a freshman starting at Gonzaga). Imagine that lineup with Richard Roby and anybody else. They’d actually compete in the Big 12. This year they might not win a game. Now if we can only get Air Force’s Jeff Bzdelik to make the two-hour trip up north.
– A farewell to Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry. He’s always been one of my favorite coaches. He wins, he has a southern drawl and you’re absolutely never quite sure what’s going to come out of his mouth.
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– Lastly, what has happened to Major League Baseball? The Kansas City Royals gave Gil Meche a five-year, $55 million contract. The Red Sox spent $103 million on a Japanese pitcher who has never pitched in the big leagues. My 50 mph fastball has to be good for two years, $2 million at least. Seriously, let’s get a salary cap going in baseball. Hey, it’s not like it will fail. It’s worked in football and basketball – both sports more widely popular than baseball because of their parody.