Ramble on the roof

Torrin Thatcher

As I am sitting here looking
at the empty page in front of me,
I am trying to think of something
that can fill it.
I could talk about hockey,
again, as the fantastic game for
gold was the most watched game
since our victory at Lake Placid
– is it lame that a friend of mine
watched “Miracle” over the weekend?
Maybe I could talk more about
Tiger Woods, or maybe I could tell
you a tad about TigerText – look
into it if you don’t know what I’m
talking about. I think it would be
best for me to stay away from
those things, so I will just go ahead
and stick with the usual masterful
bits that I bestow upon all of you
every week.
So I have been untruthful in
saying that I was going to push
hockey to the side, but I saw a
video this week with Ryan Miller,
our Olympic goalie. In the Buffalo
Sabres’ – Miller’s team – first
game back after the long intermission
for the Olympics, they traveled
to Pittsburgh to take on the
Penguins. Of course, the star for
the Penguins is none other than
the guy who scored the gamewinning
goal for Canada against
the U.S., Sidney Crosby.
Seeing that the fans of the
Penguins would more than likely
cheer for the gold winners on their
squad, it was a great surprise who
was awarded the loudest cheers
and applause to congratulate the
Olympians. It was Ryan Miller, the
night’s opponent.
Just a bit after those cheers,
the winning goal was played for
the fans, and there were plenty of
audible boos and jeers, and even
some for Crosby himself when
he was introduced. It is definitely
nice to see a sense of country
pride in the puck fans over in
Ryan Miller actually took the
night off, and the Penguins did end
up winning, but that’s not really
my point. Picking your country
over your favorite player seems
like the right choice to me and I’m
happy the fans did just that.
Speaking of making choices,
I thought I’d have some fun
with Google. I typed “DUI” and
“ESPN” into the search engine.
Here were the people in the top
results: Vincent Jackson, Will
Allen, Anthony Dixon, Nikolai
Khabibulin, Carlos Dunlap, Marcus
Vick, Tony LaRussa, Al Jefferson,
Carmelo Anthony, Billy Gillispie,
Rey Maualuga, David Freese and
more – that’s just on the first
three pages of results.
Next, I typed in “violence”
and “ESPN” to see Warren Sapp,
Brandon Marshall, Tom Cable,
LaMichael James and Ron Artest
on the first three pages. I am sure
I could think of some good ones
to balance out the obviously bad
ones, but where’s the fun in that?
The best part of this is – since
not all of these are recent – is
trying to remember what the story
was behind the athlete or coach’s
problems. Could be a new form of
entertainment, right?
Sometimes, I wonder what it
would be like to act like a spoiled
boy from Colorado who can toss a
hard fastball. Since I am not able
to throw like I once could, I just
have to look at Kansas City Royals
pitcher Luke Hochevar. With the
help of baseball-reference.com and
a certain series of tubes, I was
able to learn a bit more about this
The story goes like such: Great
in high school, drafted by Dodgers
in the 39th round in 2002, but he
instead goes to Tennessee. Here it
is in bullet points: wins SEC pitching
award, drafted by Dodgers
40th overall in 2005, switches
agents, accepts $3 million deal,
reneges on deal, goes back to original
agent and never pitches for
Dodger organization.
Then he gets drafted first overall
by the Royals in 2006 and signs
a $5.3 million four-year deal with
a $3.5 million signing bonus. On
Tuesday, he picked up a one-year
deal worth another $1.7 million.
I am not going to worry about
how much of that money he actually
made, or how much his contract
was loaded with incentives.
But I do worry now that this guy
had a career record of 13-26 with
an ERA of 5.88. Last season, he did
have two complete games, but his
ERA was also 6.55!
Yeah, I know, “he’s a strikeout
pitcher,” blah, blah, blah. This guy
just simply annoys me, but you
don’t have to take my word for it.
I’ll see you next time. And now, we
cue the Reading Rainbow music…
boop beep beep boop beedoo boop