By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from the sun room after practicing walking with a cane so I can get rid of the walker. Remember, ye old-timers, how Amos McCoy from the TV show The Real McCoys walked with a limp, flailing out his elbow? Nadine says that’s how I’m walking with the cane. Well, why not? I’m a Real McCoy.
—With all the goofy and unnecessary college football bowl games, they missed one. Why not the Toilet Bowl in Flushing, N.Y.? Match 0-and-12 Akron against 0-and-10 Hiram to give one school a chance for a victory.
Speaking of bowls, whatever happened to the Poinsettia Bowl and the Bluebonnet Bowl? Of course, we do have the Cheez-It Bowl.
—Does anybody remember the one bowl game ever played in Dayton? It was the Aviation Bowl, played at Wellcome Stadium on Dec. 9, 1961.
The participants were New Mexico and Western Michigan, a game won by New Mexico, 28-12. It drew a whopping 3,500 fans, played in a near blizzard.
Nothing fell in place for the ill-fated Aviation Bowl. It was designed to invite the winner of the Mid-American Conference, with hopes of drawing Miami or Ohio U. or Bowling Green. But Wester Michigan? Who cared.
—QUOTE: From former Florida State football coach Willie Taggart: “I thought I was going to come here and have a bunch of turds, but we don’t.” (Turds or no turds, Taggart got fired. As Pete Rose always liked to say, “You can’t polish a turd.”
—If the Cincinnati Reds can concoct a trade for Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor, mark me down as giddy. Lindor is one of the top five players in baseball.
With the addition of Lindor along with second baseman Mike Moustakas and pitcher Wade Miley I would predict a National League Central division title for the Reds in 2020.
Without Lindor? Still a pretender looking for to be a contender. As of now, still too many holes not filled.
—At the risk of sounding like a homer, it looked as if the officials who worked the Dayton-Colorado game Saturday night permitted Colorado to perpetrate a public mugging.
The Buffaloes like to play rough and tumble under the basket and the officials permitted them to push, shove, whack and hack the Flyers, everything but bite.
And the Flyers didn’t help themselves during the 78-76 overtime loss by taking too many bad shots, committing too many turnovers (14) and not fighting back hard enough during the under-the-backboard scrums and skirmishes.
The Flyers certainly don’t deserve a large demotion in the rankings, but it probably will happen.
—QUOTE: From former TV host Jay Leno: “I wanted a career in sports but I had to give up the idea. I’m only six feet tall so I couldn’t play basketball. I weighed only 190 pounds so I couldn’t play football. And I have 20/20 vision so I couldn’t be a referee.”
—Wright State posted a nice victory Saturday afternoon at Toledo, a 79-72 win. It was the 8-4 Rockets’ first home loss this season and they had lost to Notre Dame by two points.
Freshman 6-foot-6 guard Tanner Holden from Wheelersburg had a game to remember — 29 points and 17 rebounds. He made 9 of 10 field goal attempts and nine of 12 free throws.
The 9-and-3 Raiders begin Horizon League play with two home games after Christmas against Green Bay and Milwaukee. The Raiders are worth watching in person at the Nutter Center.
—These are my favorite teams:
Cleveland Indians & Cleveland Browns (since 1948 when I grew up in Akron), Cincinnati Reds (since I began covering them in 1973), University of Dayton (basketball & football), Dayton Dragons (About whom I wrote before they ever played a game that a minor league team would not be successful in Dayton), Wright State basketball (I still miss Ralph Underhill, but Scott Nagy is a keeper), Sinclair University basketball (The only school in the nation that plays in a facility called Building 8),
Boise State football (love the blue field), University of Wyoming football (saw Josh Allen play there and hoped the Browns would draft him instead of Baker Mayfield), New York Yankees (hated them until Aaron Boone, one of the saviors of my career, became manager), Chaminade-Julienne High School baseball (when they won the state championship and I covered it, some of the players asked for my autograph — and how cool is that?).