OBSERVATIONS: Some final words of Bonds, Clemens

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave awaiting 11 1/2 inches of snow Thursday, wondering if Nadine should attack Kroger before everybody buys all the bread, milk, canned goods and Frito’s.

—Some final words (In this space) on the cause celebres, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. They no longer are an issue for the Baseball Writers Association of America.

They are gone. They no longer will be on the Hall of Fame ballot. Their 10-year window of opportunity is slammed shut and frosted over.

Forgotten? Never.

They have legions of supporters who adamantly believe they belong in The Hall. They, of course, are entitled to their opinions.

Bond was a record seven-time MVP. Clemens was a record seven-time Cy Young winner. Bonds hit a record 762 home runs. Clemens had the league’s best earned run average eight times.

Nobody in the Hall of Fame comes within a ten-foot pole of those numbers. But they cheated. Both got much, much better with the help of illegal substances. Taking anabolic steroids was against the law, even before Major League Baseball banned them and began testing. That’s why steroid users did it surreptitiously — in a toilet stall, in a broom closet, in the back seat of their Bentleys. . .anywhere they wouldn’t be seen.

Former Atlanta Braves slugger Dale Murphy, a straight-shooter (without a needle) who belongs in the Hall of Fame, put it this way, “Everyone knew it was against the law. It was also against the spirit of the game.”

Both Bonds and Clemens have their glossy awards hardware on their mantels and fat bank accounts from huge contract. They have tons of memorabilia in the Cooperstown museum for their supporters to view. They just don’t have a plaque in the hall of inductees.

They don’t deserve it. They CHEATED.

—The ultra-talented Tom Archdeacon wrote that when Joe Burrow was at Ohio State, coach Urban Meyer said he threw like a girl, was a D-II quarterback and he couldn’t throw.

If that’s the case, every NFL team should look for quarterbacks named Nancy, Olivia and Emmy. Maybe Burrow should change his name to Josephine. Geez, how many Heisman Trophy quarterbacks threw like a girl and how many Division II quarterbacks have won the Heisman? Or played in the Super Bowl?

—And all you suddenly visible Cincinnati Bengals fans who came out of your clothes closet wearing Bengals gear that smells like mothballs can wear them for two more weeks. I left room in my closet right next to my Cleveland Browns gear.

—QUOTE: From Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow: “If you got a good steak you don’t need A1 sauce.” (Burrow is eating naked steak this week and Patrick Mahomes is smothering his filet mignon with Heinz 57.)

—For some reason, place kickers get to use a special football when they attempt field goals and extra points. The regular ball is removed from play and something called a K-ball is put into play.

Is there a move afoot (a foot, get it?) to rename the K-ball the Evan ‘Shooter’ McPherson Signature Special?’

McPherson loves his nickname. It comes from the golf movie ‘Happy Gilmore’ and the character Shooter McGavin.

—Since baseball keeps changing the rules to ruin the game, let’s do it for football, too. Aren’t field goals too easy? Don’t field goals decide too many games? Aren’t too many points in the NFL scored by kicking specialists?

Let’s make every field goal 50 yards. When a team wants to kick a field goal and it is inside the other team’s 33, even if it is at the five-yard-line, place the ball at the 33 and make a minimum field goal attempt 50 yards.

If a team is outside the 35, say the 40, teams kick it from there, a 57-yard field goal

OK, as my good friend/author Scott Russell says, carry on.

—Some are making a great big deal out of what 7-foot Joel Embiid is doing for the Philadelphia 76ers right now.

He has led his team in scoring 19 straight games, he has had four straight games of 35 or more points and 16 straight with 25 or more.

Big deal? Well, maybe, but those numbers aren’t even close to the numbers put up by another Philadelphia player, . .7-foot-1 Wilt Chamberlain.

During the 1961—62 season, his third in the NBA, Chamberlain led the Philadelphia Warriors in scoring in all 80 games that season. And he averaged, AVERAGED, 50.4 points a game. Plus his streak of leading the Warriors in scoring stretched over 116 games.

—QUOTE: From Wilt Chamberlain: “Everybody pulls for David, nobody pulls for Goliath.” (Chamberlain hated the nickname ‘Goliath’ and hated the nickname ‘The Stilt.’ He preferred ‘The Big Dipper,’ a nickname somebody hung on him when they saw him have to dip his head to walk through a door.)

—Maybe cheaters never win, but some prosper.

Auburn University (Are they the Tigers or War Eagles?) presented basketball coach Bruce Pearl what they are calling a lifetime contract. Actually, it is for eight years and is worth $50.4 million,

When Pearl was at Tennessee the program was put on probation for four years for NCAA infractions and he was fired.

While at Auburn, a Pearl assistant, Chuck Person, was hit with NCAA infractions and Pearl was assessed a two-game suspension for failing to monitor Person.
While making the announcement about Pearl’s new contract, Auburn athletic direction Allen Greene said “We locked him up.”

There are those who believe Pearl should be locked up.

—While watching lefthander Rafael Nadal win the Australian Open, and being a lefthander myself, I wondered how many great tennis players were/are southpaws.

The list: Jimmy Connors (my all-time favorite), John McEnroe (my all-time unfavorite), Rod Laver, Guillermo Vilas, Tony Roche, Neale Fraser, Roscoe Tanner, Petr Korda, Renee Richards, Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles.

None of those lefties could have played jai alai or polo. Left handers are not allowed in those sports, but I wonder how many polo ponies were left-hoofed.

—Former NFL quarterback and TV advertising huckster Peyton Manning appeared on Saturday Night Live and said he missed a whole weekend of the NFL playoffs on TV.

He said he watched the first episode of ‘Emily in Paris’ and became enthralled and binge watched every episode over the weekend. And if you believe that, I’ll sell you the Brent Spence Bridge for $25. Yeah, I know. It isn’t worth that much.

Shows that Nadine and I have binged on: Yellowstone, Ozark, Joe Pickett, Harry Bosch.

—Oh, joy. The Winter Olympics are here and I can’t wait to skip Nordic Combined, Curling (How can it be a sport if you use brooms), Military Patrol (Wasn’t that an event in World War II?), Fencing (On ice?) and Cross Country Skiing (Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go).

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