Odds and Ends Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

"Have I got a coupon for that one!" ~ Peyton on Sunday Morning

“Have I got a coupon for that one!”
~ Peyton on Sunday Morning


Oh Brother Where Art Thou? It’s Sunday morning. That means retired icon QB Peyton Manning is either relaxing alone in his home TV man cave, mindlessly calling his brother, Eli, to come over and watch football when the latter still has a game to play – or else – he’s over at the grocery store check-out aisle # 18, cashing in a coupon, as he reminisces about how much the # 18 meant to him during his playing days with a teenage grocery checker who has no idea what he’s talking about. In either variation, singer Lionel Ritchie is playing the piano in the next room, singing plaintively about “Peyton on Sunday morning.” It’s a great fan-appeal TV commercial, except for the fact that some of us cannot remember what they are trying to sell.


Oscar De La Hoya (L) looked better in a 12-round losse to Floyd Maywether, Jr. in a 12-round decision loss in 2007 than he did in an 8th round TKO loss to  Manny Pacquiao in 2008.

Oscar De La Hoya (L) looked better in a 12-round loss to Floyd Maywether, Jr. in a 12-round decision loss in 2007 than he did (R) in an 8th round TKO loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2008.


New School and Old School Sports Objectives. As organized football on all levels tries to minimize the risk of concussions for its participants, including a prescribed recovery program for players who do experience diagnosed head trauma, the old school sport of boxing still ascribes to a 180 degree course on the objective of their one-on-one contests. That is – to match two foes who are both a dangerous potential punch away from rendering each other senselessly unconscious for the sake of fans who pay big money to watch in 100% anticipation of seeing a concussive conclusion to the fight.


"We may not be perfect, but we're always right!"

“We may not be perfect,
but we’re always right!”


Game Official Errors or Incompetence Should Not Be Allowed to Determine the Outcome of Any Sporting Contest on an Irreversible Basis. As badly as the umpires handled the 1908 Merkle Bonehead Play that set the stage for a dubiously legitimate force out at 2nd base – and after the home town Giants fans went home thinking their team had won – the wiley visiting Cubs managed to use “a” baseball to claim a technical force out at 2nd base that retroactively left the game tied at 3-3 with no hope of resumption in the chaos of player departures and thousands of fans filling the “post-game” field at the Polo Grounds. Because of all the chaos and obvious ball switching used prior to the late out call at 2nd, we have always believed that the umpires could have just left the outcome at 4-3 Giants and allowed the Cubs to take their protest to the NL President. The NL could have then affirmed the Giants win and addressed how they will deal with the “failure to touch the next base” by a runner on a play that unquestionably ends the game if the runner continues to the next base to remove the technical possibility of a force play.

Had I been the NL President in 1908, my ruling on the Merkle/Evers play would have read as follows: “Giants first base runner Fred Merkle was wrong to have not continued his run to 2nd base on the winning hit to center field that scored the winning run in a 2-1 victory for the Giants, even if he was following the trend of some runners that presume today in 1908 that completing the tag is unnecessary when it is obvious under the circumstances that he would have made it easily, had he done so. Allow me to put that presumption to bed. As long as the rules state that a runner has to reach the next base to remove the force out possibility that exists upon him until he does, and he will be subject to a force out that could be exacted upon him by an alert fielder who carries out the prescribed requirements of a force out: (1) The force out is only possible if the fielders return the actual verifiable game ball to the force out base and it is then used to either tag the bag with the ball directly – or by stepping on the base with the ball in clear possession by an official member of the defensive team prior to the advancing runner touching the base on his own. (2) If the ball is thrown out of play, or into the stands, or handled by anyone who is not a member the nine-man defensive team, or if it is not easily identifiable as the live game ball upon reaching the bag, the play shall be declared dead and the previous game outcome affirmed, even if the runner did not touch the force-out potential base. (3) On a game-ending walk-off play, and once a play is ruled dead by the defense failing to produce a force out with the verifiably still-in-play live game ball, there no longer exists any requirement for the runner bound into a force out-possibility base to actually complete the journey to the bag in question because the game is now officially concluded. (4) In yesterday’s dispute, the original game result is confirmed: New York wins over Chicago by 2-1.”

Yesterday in college football, Oklahoma State lost to Central Michigan because the referees errantly gave the latter an extra play that allowed them to pull off a “Hail Mary Plus” game-winning touchdown play on the errantly available opportunity. – Errantly unavailable? – Yes! The play that changed the game occurred one play after the game was actually over – had the refs known the rules. The refs realized their error after the game, but the NCAA upheld the undeserved CMU victory, saying that there could be no reversal. That needs to change. – Anytime a game ends with the wrong team winning due to a clear error by the officials, appropriate measures for a review and reversal of the outcome should be in place within 24 hours to reverse the game outcome, if proven that the game result was due to an official’s error in the rules that made the mistaken outcome possible.


Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon a Time.


Forget the Idea That Sports are Divided into Seasons. Here’s a wall we baseball fans need to quit butting into with our stubborn heads. – There is no baseball season that the other two sports should not intrude upon. There was once, but that was back when baseball was the only dog in the sports fan hunt. Baseball season began with spring training in February and it lasted through the completion of the World Series in October. Until football and then basketball began to encroach their way into the competition for athletes and fans, we began to blur our thinking that baseball owned the spring and summer, football owned the fall, and basketball inherited the winter. Even in those earlier times, the facts belied the reality. – Baseball season games lapped over into the space that football was starting to play their games. Basketball was starting to play their schedules prior to the big bowl games of football, and basketball was also quietly oozing over into the spring training time of baseball’s start. By the 21st century, we had to reach June to find the end of the NBA basketball season – and football was starting their pre-season training in early August. When you get right down to it, July is about the only month of the year in which baseball is the only big sport playing official games. – In truth, there is no such thing as a season that belongs to any one sport. It’s a 12-months a year competition between all sports with each other for players, fan interest,  and commercial support. In turn, American sports in general must also compete with all the other choices we have for paying our attention and our money elsewhere. And that’s probably how it’s always been. Some of us are just slower to put aside our romantic attachment to the idea that baseball was once known, all by itself, as “America’s Pastime.”


Comic Kate McKinnon and Hillary Clinton - Saturday Night Live, 2016

Comic Kate McKinnon and Hillary Clinton
– Saturday Night Live, 2016


If You Don’t Like the Way We Select Our President Today, Are You Willing to Give Up the Current System’s Value to the Ever Growing Needs of the Major Networks and Social Media for Its Current Entertainment Value? The Clinton-Trump presidential race is little more than reality television, now taken to an all time high for its direct entertainment value to viewers – and, even more importantly, for its value to late night television shows and Saturday Night Live writers for comic material. People don’t watch Trump to hear his specific plans for anything. They watch him to hear his next outrageous comment – or, s professional comics do, to sharpen their facial speach impressions. People don’t really watch Hillary in the expectation of hearing her clarify in a credible and exonerating way what happened to the 30,000 missing government e-mails. They watch her to hear if her laughter is a spot on match for the imitation version of her that Kate McKinnon does of  Ms. Clinton on SNL.




That’s Entertainment. That’s entertainment in 2016, baby! We aren’t expecting to be convinced by anything the candidates say. If it isn’t funny – or wide open as material for serious new parody – why bother? It most probably isn’t the best way to select  the POTUS – and the next most powerful person in the world, but – what the hell – it is funny, isn’t it? Besides, who wants to sit through a two-hour TV detailed discussion of the economy, terrorism, the military, social security, heatth care, or whatever – when we can watch “The Donald” and Hillary tee off against each other in a funny-as-feathers personal insult and gaffe-speak contest?



Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas






3 Responses to “Odds and Ends Thoughts on a Sunday Morning”

  1. materene Says:

    We live in a nation of laws on hold now, that mistake yesterday with the referees destroying a good game is unforgivable with all that is at stake now in college football and winning. It puts a terrible taste in everyone’s mouth, unless they might be politicians, no problem since they are the inventors of foul taste.

  2. gregclucas Says:

    I totally agree with both your sports decrees– Merkel and Central Michigan’s “win.” It goes back to common sense over-ruling all. We all know that common sense is used far too little these days and not just in sports.

  3. Wayne Chandler Says:

    You’re right, Bill, on the baseball and football decisions where rules get in the way of justice..
    I don’t like the Olympics sports such as diving and gymnastics where judgments are the final decision. In swimming and track there are decsions that are hard to fault. wayne chandler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: