We understand that ESPN, FOX, George
Steinbrenner and all the big dogs are gonna get wined and dined.
That State Farm, Cat and all the big corporations are gonna get
catered to since they foot a lot of the bills. We have no problem
Some of my friends say that we’re just
the poor stepchild of the whole thing and that the only reason that
we get to cover anything is that they probably feel sorry for
us. That they’re throwing us a bone because we appear harmless.
We don’t care! We just enjoy doing it.
When I’m on vacation or spending time with my family, every once in
a while we’re gonna end up at a sporting event. And if that opens
the door so that our loyal LDN readers can also take a peak at the
action, so be it. Thursday afternoon was just such a case. After
work I moseyed over to the Rail with really one plan in mind: to see
Nancy Lopez for probably the last time. She has always been one of
my favorite golfers — and not because of her association with Ray
Knight! Her whole story is a made-for-TV movie.
And the class that she exudes may be
second to none in the world of sports. In fact, they ought to let
her hold classes for all athletes on manners, how to handle
and carry yourself, and being gracious everywhere you go. Nancy has
few peers in that department.
She has done so much for women’s golf
and golf in general that it’s incredible. I could probably go so far
as to say that she has done so much for women’s sports,
Because of my late arrival I got to see
only four or five holes, but enough to get the gist of the day.
Many of the LPGA workers and volunteers
that I spoke with were surprised that there weren’t a few golfers in
double figures below par. They felt that with the rain we got, the
greens would really hold and make for some lower scores. Perhaps
they have never played the Rail themselves.
The Rail is one of my all-time favorite
courses. I have actually hit a few good shots on that course. I’ll
never forget the 3-wood I hit across the water on 8 or 17, depending
on how it is routed now. Yesterday I saw one of the biggest hitters
on the tour, Laura Davies, almost knock her tee shot over the water.
That lady can really spank a golf ball. I also made a few long,
adventurous putts over there. I guess it’s a little harder to do all
that with so much pressure and money riding on every shot; I’ll
probably never know.
At any rate, that course is one
beautiful jewel nestled here in beautiful central Illinois. And
these ladies only make it look better.
As I had a chance to speak to some of
them, I pointed out to them that this is the one truly major sport
that does come to our neighborhood every year. They seemed pleased
by that and indicated to me that the Springfield stop on the tour
compares favorably with other tour destinations.
What follows are some stray shots —
just like my game!
[to top of second column in this
To Lincoln Developmental Center
The Lincoln Parents'
Association would like to express our sincere appreciation for the
excellent care you have given our loved ones over the years. You
chose to make a career in caring for the most fragile of individuals
with disabilities. For this, we are most grateful.
stress of this past year has been almost unbearable for you and for
us. In spite of poor management, politics and constant scrutiny, you
have maintained your excellent level of care. There are not enough
words to express our thanks.
Members of the
Lincoln Parents' Association
brushes with greatness
The LDN did get to speak to Nancy
Lopez, and here’s what the legend had to say:
LDN: Nancy, thank you for the
wonderful memories over the years.
Lopez: Thank you.
Very informative and compelling, don’t
We also had a conversation with U.S.
Open contender Laura Diaz:
LDN: Laura, you’re on fire…nice
It’s insightful reporting like this
that makes a guy like me indispensable!
[Photos provided by LPGA.com]
If you play fantasy golf or can get
publicly traded stocks on an LPGAer, put your money on Miss Diaz.
This gal is the cat’s meow! She is extremely athletic and has all
the tools and all the skills to give Annika and Karrie a run for
their money. I really like this young lady’s game. She seems to have
the perfect golf build along with a sweet swing. If I had a swing
like hers, I wouldn’t have to work for a living!
On the par-5
fourth, Nancy Lopez hit a titanic drive; but that was nothing
compared to her second shot. I think she hit either a 3-wood or a
5-wood to within 6 feet of the hole. It was a magical shot — the one
I want to remember Nancy by! Then she snaked in the putt with a
great read for the eagle! What a hole!
Almost three years
ago, I got my start with the LDN sports department in what I thought
might be a very short-lived endeavor. Three years later we’re going
strong, and new possibilities are cropping up every day. One such
opportunity has presented itself currently.
My good friend Greg
Taylor and I will be hosting a new concept for our area, starting
tonight in beautiful downtown Lincoln. We will be simulcasting our
sports show via Lincoln Daily News and FIX 96.3 radio from our own
local cable station, LogOn Productions, Channel 15. The simulcast
will start at 6 p.m. and run an hour. Our goal in the future is to
be your sports hangout leading into "Monday Night Football."
To say that we’re
excited about this development would be a huge understatement. But
actually it’s you loyal LDN readers and FIX 96 listeners who made
this thing happen. Apparently dozens of you have been talking up our
show at the doughnut shops and the local eateries. The right people
overheard some of those conversations, and then I was approached
about our interest.
Jim Ash of FIX 96 and
Tim and Celeste Rogers of LogOn took it from there. They have worked
very hard on this concept all summer long. Tests have been conducted
to see how well this format will work, and the possibilities are
getting more exciting by the moment.
clarification’s sake. Tim, Celeste and Jim are all professionals;
Greg and I are not. The only time we can give them is
whatever free time our wives graciously allow us from "honey do"
list work and family stuff. I’m sure it would be easier for the
professionals to work with other professionals, but we do come
cheaply. We also love to do it.
Our jobs have
intensified so much in the last couple of years that oftentimes we
haven’t even mulled over any sports stuff until we go on the air. So
this program, along with our work with the LDN, really gives us a
chance to put a handle on things.
On the weekends I try
to make a mental note of what sports things people are talking about
at Mel-O-Cream, at Guzzardo’s, at Bonanza, while I’m shopping
downtown on the square or wherever I am. I then make a list… and if
you’ve read our stuff or heard our show you know that we’ve covered
more ground than we probably even should have.
BUT, we were serious
when we said that this is YOUR paper and this new show is YOUR show.
We do have a few
sports and a few athletes that are probably our favorites, but I’m
not going to apologize for that. Many of these people and sports
have been loyal to me through the years, and if you can’t understand
that you never would anyway. For instance, we’re going to root like
crazy for Illinois, Illinois State and Lincoln athletic teams. They
give us access to their players and to their sports. We think that
since we live in this area that most people occasionally care about
how our local teams are doing. On the other hand, we’re not going to
belittle you if you happen to root for Georgetown, let’s just say.
We might ask you why... but we’ll try not to make it personal.
[to top of second column in this
There is ONE THING
that I would like to ask ALL of our great area residents. Many of
you told me during the school year that you listened to Greg and me
on the air but that you didn’t call in because you thought that your
comment or question wasn’t going to help the show. PLEASE don’t
think that. Every single person that has called in, with the
exception of Donnie Aeilts (we busted him when he called in), has
made a positive impact on the show. In reality, the success of "Fandamonium"
will rest in your hands.
Oh, don’t worry about
Greg and me. We’ll have plenty of material. Our friends comfort us
often by saying that we could spend hours talking about nothing
because we just like to hear our own voices. Isn’t it great to have
encouraging, supportive pals?
We promise to do our
part to make this one of the most exciting new shows on Channel 15
and on the FIX 96 networks. We hope to do some zany and absolutely
crazy things that will help rescue YOUR Mondays and get the rest of
your work week off to a great start. We hope to do some remote
broadcasts, and we hope to interview some celebrities and bring them
right into your homes each week.
This very first week
we plan to spend some time promoting the re-emergence of Lincoln
High School football. If head coach John Oaks is available, we hope
to have him in the studio tonight for our very first telecast. This
man and his staff have poured themselves into this football program.
In some ways, that alone should command some of our respect. I’m
hearing good things about Railer football on the streets… I hope you
hear them straight from the horse’s mouth tonight on our first
installment of "Fandamonium!"
Other guests have
been contacted, and we think you will really enjoy hearing from
local as well as national celebrities. It could be an amazing ride,
and we’d like you to take the journey with us.
So, set your radio
dial to FIX 96.3, your TV dial to 15 and your browser to Lincoln
Daily News, and the world will be a better place in which to live.
Have a great week,
everybody. See YOU tonight at 6!!!
Team of the week
I go outside of the
sports bubble to name my TOW for this week. The winner: Bobbi
Abbott, her chamber of commerce staff and hundreds of volunteers
from Vern Turner on down.
I love this festival! I love the art and
I love the balloons! These selfless workers basically killed
themselves for several months so that our community could have an
event that we could all be proud of — not to mention the thousands
of badly needed dollars that are trickling through our town because
of their efforts. I never want to take any of them for granted — and
just in case no one has bothered to say thank you to any of you
great volunteers, on behalf of the LDN, I say THANK YOU by naming
you as my team of the week!!!
[Aug. 19 column: "August
Gearing up for another great year of sports"]