Sources also reported
that the Railers had the game in hand from beginning to end. With
two long TD marches providing the first-half scoring, the defense
went the distance to claim the shutout. According to those in the
know, this was Lincoln's first shutout in 14 years. With the
victory, the Railers are off to their best start since the playoff
year of 1984. The win was also the first over Lanphier since a 3-0
triumph in 1978.
The Railers have had
to navigate through scores of adversity the last 10 years or so; now
they'll have to see how they can handle some prosperity!
just continues to salute their hard-fought efforts. We have long
believed that hard work, determination and doing things the right
way lead to victories -- both on and off the fields or the courts.
This determined bunch of Railers is the best illustration of our
point in quite some time!
Lincoln coach John
Oaks was also selected as the Chicago Bears coach of the week after
the Railers took the opener at Olympia! Coach Oaks will be the
featured guest TONIGHT as Greg and I restart "FANdamonium" for the
2003-2004 sports year. Good luck, Railers… and let's beat
Cubs in first…
In September?! That
has to have a nice ring to it, if you're a Cubs fan. You have to
admit if you're a baseball fan that last week's five-game series in Wrigleyville was about as nuts as it can get. And if you back
Chicago, you probably had a little fun along the way too. Probably
not at the expense of any Cardinal fans but fun nonetheless.
The Cub pitching
continued to hold the Birds in check, and once again Redbird
relievers couldn't get anybody out. But don't think Cardinal backers
were surprised at that. St. Louis fans have had to look at that all
I felt the game that
Matt Morris won was huge. The Birds leave town with still a chance.
If St. Louis loses that game, I don't think they stay in the race.
It will be tough enough when you figure that the schedule favors the
Cubs the rest of the way.
The Brewers did not
prove to be the nemesis that Cub fans were worried about. St. Louis
finally figured out how to beat the Reds, even though they lost a
tough one on Friday night. And why does Los Angeles give Chicago and
St. Louis fits but lies down when it plays Houston? Some of these
things… we're never going figure out.
Sox in first…
Too? Chicagoans have
a lot to cheer about when it comes to baseball these days. BOTH of
their teams are in first place. Dare they dream about an all-Chicago
World Series? Even I have to admit that that would be fun. That was
a huge come-from-behind win they took yesterday over Cleveland. And
how 'bout the much-maligned Frank Thomas? The Big Hurt really hurt
the tribe with a huge three-run blast, and Paulie Konerko continues
to swing a torrid second-half bat after a miserable bout before the
IF the Sox arms can
hold on, they might be able to stave off the Twins, but teams like
the Angels sure coulda helped more. The Twinkies are on fire!
Divisions and both wild card races are just that… wild! Bud Selig
takes a lot of shots from people, but I think his wild card idea has
at least given about 10 cities reason to hope that their playoff
ship may come in… not to mention the additional revenue that that
has to bring into baseball.
Here's to hoping that
the Sox can hold on and win the divisional race (see, Chicago fans,
I really am a stand-up guy)!
ISU proves point with Illini…
I don't know if
anyone ever doubted what the final outcome would be in the
Illinois-Illinois State game on Saturday, but I'm sure it didn't
play out the way most people envisioned. Even though the Illini beat
the Redbirds 49-22, the game was much closer than the score
That is a tribute to
ISU coach Denver Johnson. Johnson likes to play the role of country
coach coming to the city -- aw shucks and gosh darn -- then the next
thing you know his Redbirds have got a first and goal on the opening
drive. If the Illini don't force the fumble there, the whole
complexion of this game changes. I'm not saying ISU would've won,
I'm just saying they could've done a whole lot more strategywise had
that and the blocked field goal not happened.
[to top of second column in this
Who would've thought
that the Redbirds would out-gain the Illini in total offense? And
who thought that ISU could expose the Illini defense when even
Johnson did a really
smart thing in the Drake game. He didn't show the Illini scouts
anything. Heck, we were there, and I didn't even know that ISU could
pass vertically. I hope to see a lot more of that in the weeks to
come. I don't think many teams in the Gateway can slow that kind of
a passing attack down, much less stop it.
In some ways, I felt
like ISU looked better than I've seen them in the last couple of
years. I sure hope they take a lot of positives out of it and
springboard to a great season. The time is certainly ripe!
On the flip side,
Illinois left me with more questions than answers. IF ISU's pass
catchers are too speedy for the Illini, how will Illinois contain or
catch UCLA's? UCLA played a tough game at Colorado, almost escaping
with a huge upset win. Will they be setting up an ambush for the Illini? Will Illinois be able to get back to establishing the run
when they need it?
I do like Illinois occasionally playing teams
like UCLA -- just not this season. Coming off a season
like last year's, I would have preferred playing Whatsmadda U. three
or four times. Anyway, I wish the LDN would be going to my ol' stompin'
grounds for the game, but we're staying right here! This could be a
huge road win for Illinois and could vault them on a path back to a
Prediction: I don't have one…
I think I may sell my
J.D. Drew jersey during the off-season. Something tells me that he
won't be back with the Birds next year???
My San Diego State
Aztecs nearly shocked the world. They ended up losing to the
defending national champ Ohio State Buckeyes, but the score was
16-13. I have fond memories of going to see the Aztecs play with my
dad and brother in old Balboa Stadium. It never got any better than
How would you like to
face Andy Roddick's 130-plus mph serve? And you thought that Mark
Prior was an ace?! Too bad he and Agassi didn't get to go at it. The
girls bummed me out when Jennifer Capriati was bounced. I went to
the U.S. Open a few years ago and I highly endorse it. It was one of
the funnest sporting events that I've ever attended, and I don't
know tennis from bowling!
I wanted my 49ers to
get off to a good start, but not at the expense of so many of my
friends who are Bears fans. San Fran still has lots to work on, but
Chicago has so many holes and gaps that they may need to be
completely reworked. For those Bears fans who've been screaming for
changes, I think they're looming on the horizon. I didn't think they
were necessary last year and I said so here. After yesterday, I now
believe they are needed… maybe sooner than later.
I told you that Dusty
Baker would make a difference. It's not his shrewd baseball moves;
he's certainly open to question on many of them. BUT, the guy just
knows how to win! And more than that, he knows how to transfer that
to his players.
I'm still puzzled. It
was reported last week that 60,000-63,000 tickets were sold for the
Illini game Saturday. But the turnstile count turned out to be
56,000-plus. What gives? Did that many people stay home? Or, were
the numbers fudged to try to force a bigger crowd? It was such a
nice day, who could fault anyone for being anywhere?
Speaking of nice
days… Get out and enjoy it!
Have a great week, everybody, and we'll
see you TONIGHT at 6 via FIX 96 FM radio and CITV-5!!!