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From the good to the bad to the sad PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:43 PM

I realize the decision was made in June.

I refer to the decision by the Ohio High School Athletic Association to add eight championship final events to the State Track and Field calendar.

No big deal, right? Except that these are events for wheelchair-bound competitors, those that have a permanent physical disability that is verified by a licensed physician.

They will have four events for boys and girls: 100/400/800 meters and the shot put.

It is the first sport governed by the OHSAA to allow this as part of the state tournament and joins about 11 others.

I like it.

I am interested to see how many competitors will end up giving it a try — especially the first year — and how much it will grow in the next few years.

My guess is that it will slowly build momentum and numbers. They will have to compete in the regular season like other athletes and final details are nearing completion.

I have the feeling that the fans that attend the State Track and Field Championships will take to it rather quickly.

Good move, OHSAA and Commissioner Daniel B. Ross.

The reason that this was jarred in my memory was a recent event: Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius.

That name was in the headlines many moons ago for a good reason — as a bona fide track star as a double-amputee on cutting-edge prostheses in the 2008 Summer Paralympics and then amongst “able-bodied” competitors in the 2012 Games.

He wanted to give it a try and went through the disputes to arrive at London.

Who didn’t feel good about the resolve this man showed? After all, he could have settled but chose to strive for the highest goals in his sport.

How many among us wouldn’t love to have a legitimate shot to do that in whatever sport we love the most (take your pick)?

Now he is in the headlines for another reason — this one isn’t so good.

He is charged in the death of his girlfriend.

I make no special claim as to knowing his guilt or innocence — I leave that up to the lawyers, judges and juries that will decide that; my only concern here is how quickly a star can “fall from grace.”

Whatever the outcome of this case, he will likely be tarred the rest of his life: he will always be referred to as “Oscar Pistorius, former Paralympic/Olympic track star who was charged with (whatever they finally charge him with)” in some form or another.

Sad.

The National Basketball Association has lost one of its most colorful personalities with the death of Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Dr. Jerry Buss.

He was not only flamboyant — he fit right in with “Showtime” and the Hollywood characters that often make an appearance like the queen at Wimbledon (which makes me cringe every time I see Jack “The (original) Joker” Nicholson and all the other hangers-on at courtside!) — but he was a lot smarter than anyone gave him credit for.

He revitalized the Lakers when he traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976, brought in solid and skilled pros like Jamaal Wilkes and then drafted one Earvin “Magic” Johnson. However, if you watch those “old” Showtime Lakers, they were pretty fundamentally sound: they played much better defense than given credit for and they rebounded pretty well. They still had fun.

The only thing with them is that even if the other team scored, they still ran that withering break with guys like James Worthy and Norm Nixon, then Byron Scott, et al.
I think that is why the Lakers/Boston Celtics rivalry went up another notch when Magic and Larry Bird arrived on the scene because it was the flamboyant, fun-loving West Coasters versus the “old-fashioned and workmanlike” East-Coast Celtics of Dennis Johnson and Kevin McHale, et al.

Do you think Dr. Buss and Red Auerbach are — still — arguing now?

Dr. Buss will be missed.

Believe me, as a Lakers’ fan (Jabbar was my favorite player as probably the first one I really knew in my much younger days), “I know Dr. Jerry Buss and Mr. Jim Buss, you are no Dr. Jerry Buss!”

Don’t get me started on this Dwight “Superman” Howard fiasco!
Rest in peace.

 

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