OBSERVATIONS: Toppin, Grant need ‘Nice Guy’ awards, too


UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after an embarrassing loss to my wife, Nadine, in a backyard game of cornhole. Our game was made by Dave (Miamisburg/Centerville/Beavercreek) and features University of Dayton logos. Sweet.

—Is there a college player award out there that the University of Dayton’s Obi Toppin hasn’t won? Is there a college coaching award that UD’s Anthony Grant hasn’t won?

There is no such thing as ‘Nice Guy Award,’ but Toppin and Grant would finish 1-2, in either order, if there was one.

Yes, Jalen Crutcher has declared for the NBA draft. But he will be back with the Flyers next season. He is doing what Toppin did last year.

As long as he doesn’t sign with an agent — and he hasn’t — Crutcher can return to UD. Toppin did it last year and attended NBA camps to see where he needed improvement.

He returned to UD and everybody saw what happened — he made all his swishes come true.

Crutcher is doing the same thing. Prediction: Crutcher will be next season’s Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

—QUOTE: From legendary coach George Raveling: “Our fans never fall a sleep at our games because they are afraid they might get hit by a pass.”

—True story and I hope it doesn’t offend anybody.

I was covering the old Cincinnati Royals in the NBA and Wilt Chamberlain scored about 50 against them.

After the game I waited for Chamberlain to emerge from the shower for an interview. He walked up to me, stark naked, and stuck out his hand for me to shake.

The next day I was in the office retelling the story and I said, “Wilt was so nice, so gracious. He walked out of the shower, all 7-foot-2 of him, and walked up to me naked and I shook his hand.”

From across the room, assistant sports editor Jerry Howe asked, “Are you sure you shook hands with him?”

—QUOTE; From 7-foot-2 NBA legend Wilt ‘The Stilt’ Chamberlain, who once scored 100 points in a game: “Everybody roots for David and nobody roots for Goliath.”

—True story No. 2 and, once again, I hope it doesn’t offend anybody.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Pete Harnisch was one of the funniest men in baseball. One day in spring training he walked into the middle of the clubhouse stark naked with a toothbrush tucked between his butt cheeks.

He stopped and announced loudly, “Some asshole stole my toothbrush.”

OK, no more semi-offensive stories.

—QUOTE: From comedian Rodney Dangerfield: “I told my dentist my teeth are turning yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie. No respect. I get no respect.”

—Our neighbor’s son isn’t doing well studying at home. His teacher sent him some papers with a note, “Here is some TP.” He thought she meant toilet paper. She meant test papers.

—Jim Edmonds, who played briefly for the Cincinnati Reds, tested positive for the coronavirus and pneumonia, but is over it and OK.

Edmonds came close to knocking me senseless (if I’m not already senseless) one game. He fouled a ball into the pressbox.

I had my head down, looking at my laptop. The ball nearly parted my hair — I could feel my hair move. The ball crashed into the wall behind me, leaving a baseball-sized hole. Had I had my head up, it would have nailed by right between-the-eyes.

If you saw the movie ‘The Natural,’ Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) fouled several balls into the pressbox trying to hit sports writer Max Mercy (Robert Duvall). When I told Edmonds about his foul ball, he smiled and said, “Sorry I missed you.”

—QUOTE: From Roy Hobbs in ‘The Natural’ when sports writer Max Mercy told Hobbs, “You read my mind.”: “That took about three seconds.”

—Purchased a fancy new scorebook, Bob Carpenter’s Baseball Scorebook, in anticipation of a special season for the Cincinnati Reds. It sits empty and pristine on my home office desk. Wonder if I’ll ever get to use it for something other than a paperweight.

3 thoughts on “OBSERVATIONS: Toppin, Grant need ‘Nice Guy’ awards, too”

  1. Thanks Hal: brush up on your corn hole skills and watch who you shake hands with—imagine if you had fist bumped him—lol

  2. Frank Robinson while a Red was tossed from a game for saying nothing. He was staring down the home plate umpire for repeated bad calls. “What are you looking at?” the ump said. ” ” Nothing. When I look at you I’m looking at nothing! “

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