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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Nobody asked me but...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nobody asked me but...the football stadium in Sikeston is getting a face lift and it is looking great.

As far as high school stadiums go in the state, Sikeston has one of the best. Now, with the remodeling of the track facilities around the stadium, Sikeston's facilities will be second to none. If you haven't seen the new track, make a point to do so. It is nearly finished.

The stadium is getting a fresh look for the future and I have one suggestion for the school board, rename the stadium. Sikeston Public Schools Stadium has worked for a number of years but it is time for the school and the town to embrace our football history.

When Sikeston plays Caruthersville on Sept. 1 for the first game of the year, imagine if the Bulldogs ran onto Vickery Field at Sapp Stadium. I would like to see the field and stadium named for two of the greatest coaches in Sikeston football history, Charlie Vickery and Bill Sapp. And for those that like another former great Sikeston coach, you could call it Kenny Knox Athletic Complex.

* The NFL has gone too far. Some call it the "No Fun League" with their Draconian rules on celebrations and uniform codes. Last Friday night I was all set to watch the Rams take on the Indianapolis Colts in exhibition action.

Call me crazy, but I was fired up about the game. If you know me, football, any football will do. I had my chips and "grown-up" sodas ready and waiting. Promptly at 7 p.m. I clicked over to the local Fox station ready for action.

Instead of football, I get "First Blood." While the dialogue in the Rambo movies are top notch, I wanted football. Five minutes into the movie, Fox scrolls a message across the screen stating due to the fact that the Rams did not sell out the game, a blackout was enforced per NFL rules.

It was a preseason game! The NFL should realize those games give the fans a look at the new players on the team and the league should want the fans to be excited about the season.

I got salt in the wound the next night when the local NBC station showed the Tennessee Titans game against New Orleans Saints. I guess we are in Titans country!

* The Rams preseason fiasco underlines a fundamental problem with our local TV coverage of sports. Fans of the Rams get the Titans, college football fans get SEC football instead of Mizzou or SEMO and college basketball fans get the University of Kentucky instead of Mizzou or SEMO.

I understand why the Paducah, Ky., station supports the Wildcats. But why can't KFVS-12 support the Tigers? Instead, every college basketball season Channel 12 somehow becomes Kentucky Central.

* Is it just me or does Reggie Bush of the Saints look like the second coming of Barry Sanders?

* Bob Dylan sang about changing times and that sums up the PGA from 40 years ago until today. The change in professional golf is jaw dropping. By age 30, Jack Nicklaus had earned $360, 000 in winning nine majors. Tiger Woods, by age 30, has won $14.4 million and won 11 majors.

And finally, nobody asked me but...I have been accused of taking high school sports way too seriously. However, look at it from my perspective. Instead of being a sports-only equation, look at it from a societal angle.

High school sports, especially in small towns, should be a major part of the fabric. Think about it, what else in a small community can everyone rally around and support in full throat? All races and social classes come together to cheer for the local team.

Can anybody from Sikeston remember the last time blacks and whites, rich and poor congregated together in large masses?

I can.

When the Sikeston basketball team reached the final four in 1995, blacks and whites, lawyers and minimum-wage earners sat side-by-side in Columbia. All the perceived racial and class tensions in the town wiped away by a basketball team. It happened again this past season when Sikeston reached the final four.

That is what high school sports can accomplish. For a moment there isn't racial and class division. Just fans, pure and simple.