By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, where I am risking breaking my arm patting myself on the back. First of all, I gave you the Washington Nationals to win the World Series before the season began.
Then I gave you the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl before the playoffs began. And I predicted a 34-28 Chiefs win over the San Francisco 49ers. And I said the Chiefs would fall behind and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would bring them back from the dead.
My favorite big league manager, Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees, did even better. He predicted a 31-20 win for the Chiefs — the exact score.
And I shall be checking with Boonie before I make my 2020 baseball predictions, but I fear he might be prejudiced toward a certain team in The Bronx.
—As a 17-year-old high school quarterback at Whitehouse (Tex.) in 2013, Patrick Mahomes wrote, “I bet it feels amazing to be the quarterback who says, ‘I’m going to Disney World,’ after winning the Super Bowl.”
He found out Sunday and shortly after the game he said, “I’m going to Disney World.”
With those three comeback wins in the post-season, it is a good bet he just wants to meet Cinderella.
QUOTE: From Cinderella herself: “Be kind, have courage and always believe in a little magic.” (She had to be talking about Mahomes, right?)
—An NBA scout who has watched the University of Dayton’s Obi Toppin in person: “That guy is NBA-plus ready. In all my years I have never seen a star player pass like he does.”
—Speaking of the Flyers, have those who attend games at UD Arena noticed what every member of the team does when it runs on to the floor pre-game. They pass the young kids who are ball boys and ball girls and every player slaps palms with every kid.
And UD coach Anthony Grant walks the length of the scorer’s table on the west side, where the teams sit, and gives a fist bump to every person at the table.
As the Flyers display, it takes no effort to show class and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
—When has this ever happened? I’ll tell you right up front. Never. Tickets for Saturday’s Saint Louis-Dayton game at UD Arena are being offered on the internet for $500 each in the 100 level.
I’d offer my media pass for $1,000 but all the great security people would recognize that it wasn’t me sitting at my seat. And I’m fibbing. I wouldn’t think of missing this game.
—QUOTE: From legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant: “It is not the will to win that matters, because everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” (The Flyers have had a week to prepare for Saint Louis and nobody prepares better than Flyers coach Anthony Grant.)
—After Trotwood-Madison scored 153 points against Northmont last week, Rams coach Rocky Rockhold said he wasn’t running up the score. He said he didn’t pay attention to the scoreboard. Yeah, sure, and I never paid attention to Christie Brinkley in her Sports Illustrated swimsuit.
And what do you get when you take the ‘c’ and the ‘l’ off class? Some folks believe that Trotwood is leaving a going away present after the GWOC kicked them out of the league.
—And speaking of running up scores, my friend/colleague Carl Beyer, a retired copy editor at the old Dayton Journal Herald, relayed this story to me.
“Back in the late 1940s, West Elkton (Preble County) High School coach Columbus Hines was known for running up the score on downtrodden opponents. Asked about it he said, “I’ve seen too many teams get hot against your reserves and almost cost you a ball game. When I walk down the street I want people to say, ‘There goes that old SOB Hines, rather than there goes poor old Columbus.’ I was there when he said it.”
When I came to Dayton in 1962, Columbus Hines was a coaching legend and won state championships at New Lebanon Dixie High School in 1962 and 1966. In 14 years at Dixie he was 277-57 and he was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
—QUOTE: From legendary Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes, when asked why he went for two points after a touchdown when the Buckeyes led Michigan, 50-14, in 1968: “Because I couldn’t go for three.”
—How did Houston’s sign-stealing cheaters affect other players? In many negative ways and here is one.
Atlanta All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman was in tears when he talked about teammate Kris Medlen. Medlen gave up seven runs in the first inning in his final big league game in 2018.
It was in Houston, where they banged the trash can slowly. Medlen retired shortly after that game. Freeman and the Braves wonder how the cheating ruined careers and they feel Medlen clearly was one.
Now, excuse me while I go bang a trash can.
—QUOTE: From San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria on the Astros scandal: “What happened to the term ‘Cheaters never prosper’?” (That’s a fancy way of saying, ‘Cheaters never win,’ but we get the point.)
—Wright State’s Loudon Love was hit with a flagrant II foul and ejected from last Friday’s game at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At the time the Raiders had the game well in hand. But without their beast around the basket they barely held on to win.
The flagrant II foul? A mystery. I saw at least four replays and still haven’t seen what Love allegedly did. He and a Milwaukee player were on the floor contesting for a loose ball.
Officials said Love spent too much time on top of the Milwaukee player and wouldn’t let him up. Hey, Love is one big guy and it takes time to lift that heft off the floor.
It was a bogus call, to say the least.
—QUOTE: From comedian Jim McGaffigan: “Don’t you think it’s strange how many referees work at Foot Locker?” (Yes, the Foot Locker employees wear referee shirts, but the ref who called the flagrant foul on Love should be selling shoes on the street.)
—Who remembers these ‘pro’ football teams? Some were NFL teams and some were members of the All America Conference from 1946 through 1949:
Dallas Texans, Chicago Hornets, Chicago Cardinals, Chicago Rockets, Miami Seahawks, Los Angeles Dons, Boston Yanks, Brooklyn Tigers, Buffalo Bisons, Cleveland Rams, New York Bulldogs,