Round of Applause
Hardcore kickball is the headline of this weekend’s docket, and I mean business. It’s Susie’s Kickball Classic, and it’s happening at noon Saturday in Beacon Falls. You’ll read all about my exploits in the tournament in these pages next week, and if my previous performances in such charity tournaments are any indication, it’s going to get out of hand in a hurry. I don’t want to spoil my team name and uniform before the event, but it’s a pretty awesome combination and is sure to make us far more intimidating than we actually are. Members of the team will include the same Steve who eliminated himself in exactly half of our dodgeball games in that tournament last year, and the returning Craig Genz, who will be in his first full day back from Army basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Our pitcher is set to be the Quinnipiac stud and Woodland legend Katie Alfiere. You can’t handle that, folks. I’m just glad I don’t have to face it.
The Naugatuck Valley League football record book is finally finished and is posted to my NVL Football Blog (www.nvlfootballblog.com) as of now. It’s the result of many months of work (and a week full of all-day and all-night labor) and is the most comprehensive look at NVL football records and the general history of the conference that I’ve ever seen. As is the case with high school records, there are sure to be some gaps. Plenty of the substances in these records are thanks in part to the work of great retired New Haven Register sportswriter Bob Barton’s state record book, and that has been invaluable. Much of the rest of the work comes from examining newspapers (yes, I’ve looked at newspapers from 1901 to 2012), and it’s been quite a trip full of nights ending at 4:30 a.m. and crossed eyes. Anyway, it’s as complete as it’s going to be for the time being, so I encourage all you football fans to check it out. Plenty of Hawks and Greyhounds make appearances on the lists, and I’ve included interesting newspaper clippings from the last century-plus to better illustrate the area’s history. And, most importantly, if any of you perhaps have information on records that might be missing, I would love to include it. Consider that an open call.
Chorus of Boos
Lifetime bans should be a thing again in baseball. If anyone had ever deserved one, it’s Alex Rodriguez. The guy skated with a suspension that right now sits at less than a season and a half, and after he’s done appealing it will probably be even less than that. Meanwhile, he’s playing with the Yankees as if nothing ever happened — and he wants you to feel bad for everything he’s going through. You did it to yourself, bucko. You’ve been on something every year for at least the last decade — probably a longer and more productive stint than any other steroid user (pardon me, they must be called “performance-enhancing drugs” nowadays because human growth hormone and other fancy substances are outside the anabolic realm) in the history of non-Soviet bloc sports. You’ve slapped a ball out of a future World Series champion’s glove and looked like somebody had just struck your mother when you were called out. You’ve taken bizarre photos of yourself in seductive mirror shots (that’s as worthy of a lifetime ban as any transgression). You’ve been a general loser since you left the rainy confines of The House That Griffey Built. Meanwhile, you’re held in higher regard than Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson. What a shame.