June 23, 2018
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Time for some bailouts in the sporting world


All this bailout talk got you down? I know the feeling. Personally, I’d like to hear some bailout talk in sports, the kind that would assure those like you and me that we, the fans, could get bailed out from having to deal with certain issues that seem to dominate the games we love and return us to the halcyon days when things were simple and free of concern.

Let’s list some bailout issues for us.

No. 1 — Bailout from all this dreary steroid news.

Let’s start with Major League Baseball and all the steroid talk. Gosh, I’d like to be bailed out from the ongoing din of this negative stuff, beginning now until the end of the season.

Not going to happen, you’re saying. Maybe you are correct, but try this.

If every big league violator had to pay a huge fine — and, yes, each of them can afford it — followed by a loss of all stats during the period in question, and a forfeit of wages during said period of abuse, I think it might get better fast.

The recipients of this bailout would be you and me. Baseball, then, would bail us out of the necessity to read and hear this, other than a listing of violators, money returned, a loss of stats, and a tearful press conference.

No. 2 — Unwarranted interscholastic coaching dismissals.

This is one area of high school sports that could use a bailout.

Spring is the time of the year when coaching contracts in Maine are due for renewal. It is also an area of high school sports that needs repair.

Presently, our system in the public school sector provides no job security for the head coach or those who operate under him or her.

We need a bailout from the annual number of coaches who are let go each spring, often for no reason at all.

Lack of job security — coaches work for one-year contracts in most settings — is hurting the quality of the profession from top to bottom.

It’s time for tenured, continuing contracts in all extracurricular activities in Maine.

No. 3 — Bailout from negativity.

What we need is a bailout from the negativity surrounding media coverage of all this sports stuff.

Whether it’s TV coverage of a pro athlete emerging from a night club, or a radio guy criticizing the quality of high school hoops in our state, we need to get back to what made the quality of media once great: respect.

Yes, we need a bailout from pessimism to first-rate coverage again. Too much editorializing hurts the entire process.

Seek the upbeat, positive stuff. There’s a fine line between criticism and abuse.

30-Second Time Out

I found out by accident that my new cell phone gets all this “bracketology” stuff. You know, the NCAA men’s and women’s brackets for the upcoming basketball tournaments?

This time of the year always reminds me of my late friend Dennis Mason, the former basketball coach at Greenville High School, who enjoyed March Madness as much as any person I ever knew.

Other conference championship observations include seeing just how rough college basketball has become physically. I asked a national observer, who chose to remain nameless, just how rough it was. “More rough than the NBA,” he said. Wow, I’m thinking, that is rough.

One highlight for me was watching freshman forward Luke Babbitt from Nevada. The 6-foot-9 Larry Bird-like player is a name to remember.


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