Sick of that kind of ad, Maryland’s sad, Duke’s glad & ‘Creed II’ may be bad
By Mike Ashley
DON’T START WITH THE ‘SHE-SHED’ THOUGH: With the political campaign TV ad season finally over, I vow to complain less about Saturday and Sunday afternoons being subjected to erectile dysfunction and gastrointestinal distress pitches.
BIG MONEY: I couldn’t get a raise out of my major employer, but they did agree to start paying me with those really large golf and tennis tournament-like checks so it’s more like a celebration. So I got that going for me.
WON & DONE: In the big match-up of Basketball Vocational Schools, the Durham, N.C., school easily bested the Lexington, Ky., school. Seriously, Duke looked like Coach K won’t have many L’s.
FEAR THE TURTLE: After last week’s debacle, look for some shake-ups on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ depth chart.
IF THE MOVIE DIES IT DIES: Dolph Lundgren has reprised his sports movie iconic role of Ivan Drago in the just-released ‘Creed II.’ Reportedly when he got the movie script, he simply said to it, ‘I must make you.’
SWING & MISS: The Washington Nationals made an ‘aggressive offer’ to free agent outfielder Bryce Harper. Coming off a league-leading 130 walks, not surprising Harper took the pitch.
TIMEOUT FOR TRIVIA: Harper also had a career high 169 strikeouts, representative of the way the game is played these days. And that brings us to this week’s column conundrum. What hitter holds the record for most career strikeouts?
ROOTING FOR LAUNDRY INSTEAD OF LANDRY: Jason Garrett has two playoff appearances in his first eight seasons in Dallas. Is the NFL’s Eddie Haskell done in Big D as the Cowboys stumbled to a 3-5 start in the eminently winnable NFC East?
EDGY: The Celtics’ Kyrie Irving was fined $25,000 for throwing a ball in the stands in Denver. In fairness, he thought it would just roll off the end of the earth and no one would notice.
TIDE CLEANING UP: The fact LSU lost 29-0 at home and only dropped to No. 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings shows how good everyone agrees Alabama is this year.
MUST BUCK UP: There’s still a path for CFP No. 10 Ohio State to get into the final four, but it only happens if the Buckeyes win at No. 18 Michigan State this week.
SAVE THE KO: With the hubbub about new NFL rules, it has gone unnoticed how the changes on kickoffs may have saved that part of the game. Concussions are way down on that play and credit special teams coaches’ input on the new blocking zone rules, the no run-up and banning of the ‘wedge.’
TRIVIA ANSWER: Reggie Jackson with 2,597 whiffs for four different teams over 21 seasons. By the way, Mr. October still ranks 14th all-time with his 563 home runs. My favorite thing in looking this up was that Boston’s Stuffy McInnis shares the American League record for fewest strikeouts in a full season (nine in 1921) by a right-handed hitter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, Athlon, Lindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.