By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave as once again the pre-game hype for the Super Bowl turns it into the Stupor Bowl.
—CASEY AT THE BAT: There is no doubt that Sean Casey could climb out of bed in silk pajamas and Ugg slippers and line a double up the right-center gap.
The only thing he lacked was speed. Somebody once told him, “You run like a greyhound, a Greyhound bus.”
He is the only player in MLB history to get thrown out at first base by the left fielder. While playing for the Detroit Tigers, he lined one toward left. He thought Chicago White Sox third baseman Joe Crede caught the ball.
So he stopped on his way toward first. And he stumbled. Left fielder Pablo Azuna saw Casey only part way to first and threw him out on a bang-bang play.
Embarrasing? To the enth degree. Casey, though, got over it and laughs about it now. He even showed a video of it last week at Wright State University’s First Pitch baseball banquet.
And he told a story about when the Cincinnati Reds traded him (foolishly) to Pittsburgh for non-descipt pitcher David Williams, who won two games total for the Reds.
“The day I arrived in Pittsburgh, manager Jim Leyland called me into his office,” said Casey. “He told me, ‘Case, when you get on first base, don’t even look for signals from third base coach Gene LaMont.
“‘Look right at me in the dugout and if I jumn in the air and don’t come down, that’s your steal sign.’”
Hey, it wasn’t that bad. During his 12-year MLB career Casey stole 18 bases. Former Reds manager Russ Nixon played 12 years and never stole a base. He was caught trying seven times.
—DON’T STAND PAT: Michael Jordan was cut from his junior high basketball team. Aaron Rodgers received zero scholarship offers out of high school. Tom Brady was the 199th player picked in the NFL draft.
And now. . .Patrick Mahomes.
Ever hear of Ryan Cheatham? Me neither, even though he must have been an all-world quarterback.
He was the starting quarterback at Whitehouse (Tex.) High School. His back-up? Patrick Mahomes.
In the third game of Mahomes’ junior year, the Whitehouse coach decided his two quarterbacks would split halves.
Mahomes started the first half but was so dazzling he started the second half, too. He led Whitelhouse to a 38-33 victory and accounted for 500 yards.
Guess who started the rest of the season? The same guy who will lead the Kansas City Chiefs in this week’s Super Bowl.
—QUOTE: From Patrick Mahomes, admitting that he isn’t afraid of defensive linemen or linebackers, but he is afraid of something: “I’m definitely not for any haunted houses. They all scare me.” (Maybe the Philadelphia Eagles should all wear Hannibal Lector masks.)
—KYRIE’S KAPERS: Remember the NBA player named World B. Free? Cleveland Plain Dealer sports columnist Bill Livingston calls Kyrie Irving World B. Flat. Irving actually said he believes the earth is flat.
Irving’s latest shenanigan had him demanding a trade from the Brooklyn Nets to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets traded him, but to Dallas instead of LA.
Irving already has been disruptive in Cleveland, Boston and Brooklyn.
It seems everywhere he lands the franchise is in turmoil and why would the Lakers want that? Guess they don’t, but Dallas does.
It was Irving who missed most of a season because he didn’t get a COVID-19 vaccination. It was Irving who posted an anti-semtic remark on social media. It was Irving who was fined $50,000 and docked two days pay for missing two games. He said he had family and personal issues, but never elaborated.
—QUOTE: From NBA problem-child Kyrie Irving: “One thing that somebody told me is that leadership is a lonely role – some people can do it, and some people can’t.” (Uh, guess who can’t.)
—TALL, TALLER, TALLEST: Before Saturday’s games, the University of Dayton’s 6-foot-10 DaRon Holmes II led the nation with 60 dunks, two more than Purdue’s Zach Edey.
Edey, though, has a six-inch advantage over Holmes at 7-foot-4.
Is Edey the tallest Division I player? Nope. Western Kentucky’s Jamarion Sharp is 7-foot-5. A dunk for him should be a drop in the bucket, right? Well, he only averages 7 points a game and 7.2 rebounds.
A few years ago, there was a 7-foot-8 player at Mountain State, an NAIA school in Beckley. W.Va. His name was Paul Sturgess and his nicknames were ‘Tiny,’ — of course it was — and a more legit nickname — Tall Paul. He eventually played for the Washington Generals, the nightly opponent for the Harlem Globetrotters. He wore a mask and was a villainous character called Cager.
He wore a size 19 shoe and should have been called Big Foot.
—JOKE: Being tall is no joke, but a friend who is 6-foot-9 asked me, “What do clowns and tall people have in common? Their shoe store.”
—SHADOWY FIGURES: A friend told me that on Groundhog Day the Cincinnati Reds’ front office people saw their shadows. Does that mean six more weeks of Phil Castellini saying dumb stuff?
—QUESTION: Why does Punxsutawney Phil get to tell us the good or bad news every year? Where is Paducah Paul or Cucamonga Charlie or Buffalo Bob?
—OH MY, MYLES: In an attempt to prevent injuries, the NFL changed the format of the Pro Bowl to three flag football games and some skills competition.
Did anybody get hurt? Of course. And would it surprise you that it was injury-prone Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett?
He stubbed his toe running an obstacle course and dislocated it. That’s what happens when you try to sack a wooden wall.
—GET STONED: Think about this one: Without Goliath, David would be just another kid throwing rocks.
—CANDY CORNER: How many different colors are in a bag of M&Ms? A basic bag has six colors — yellow, red, brown, blue green and orange. Some speciality bags also have pink, tan and purple.
There are 42 M&Ms in a regular-sized bag. And the rarest is brown.
—QUOTE: From a yellow M&M: “Never play leap frog with a unicorn.”