Tag Archives: SPORTS


ARMSTRONG: “A federal judge refused to throw out the U.S. government’s $100 million lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, meaning that the former cyclist will be going to court. Armstrong is being sued under the False Claims Act over his use of performance-enhancing drugs, which the government claims violated his contract with the Postal Service.”

Moby Dogfish, My First Shark

It was around 1997, off the coast of NC, that I brought my first shark aboard my brother’s center console. We were drift fishing around a manmade reef near Morehead City when some deadweight thing took my frozen shrimp and began pulling. There wasn’t any fight or sport. Just an exercise in lifting a piece of lead to the surface.

Once it surfaced my brother identified it as a dogfish and warned me about the sharp spine in front of it’s dorsal fin. We didn’t keep it but when I got back to Joe’s home I looked it up on the Internet and learned that it was the world’s most common family of sharks and highly prized for its food value. One major market is Northern Europe and the UK where it is sold in fish ‘n chip shops and labeled rock salmon.

American fishermen who harvest dogfish export almost all it to Europe. The fins are sold into Asian markets where it’s made into a cheaper form of shark fin soup.

Since that first dogfish I’ve caught a ton of them. In the colder seasons of NC they may be the only thing you catch and you’ll begin to see them as a nuisance. Most species of shark are great fun to catch. A common one in NC is the Atlantic sharpnose and a 10-20 pounder will let you know you’ve had your string stretched.

I’ve yet to eat shark meat but it’s on my bucket list. I have some trepidations about cleaning one since I’ve read that they urinate through their skin and if you don’t clean them properly the flesh will have the taste and flavor of ammonia. I need an old-timer to be with me and teach me the ropes.

The largest shark, and fish, I’ve caught was a 110 pound spinner shark. I caught it off the pier at Emerald Isle, NC. Took me about an hour to get it to the pier and I had to cut it loose since there was no way I could lift it.

Check out this short video of spinning sharks.

538 on the OSU Buckeyes

FiveThirtyEight doesn’t just do political stats. It’s owned by ESPN and is in the sports prediction business as well as politics. Here’s what they’ve got to say about the future of the Buckeyes.

In what may be the biggest college football rivalry game of the year, No. 2 Ohio State beat No. 3 Michigan in double overtime, 30 to 27. Last week, Ohio State had a 61 percent chance of making the College Football Playoff and Michigan had a 37 percent shot, according to FiveThirtyEight’s college football predictions. Ohio is now a 90 percent chance of making the playoff, and Michigan’s chances are down to 2 percent. I went to William & Mary, not exactly a big time football school, but as I understand it the College Football Playoff is a recent innovation that decides who gets to eventually lose to Alabama on national television.

Hope they do better with OSU than they did with Hillary!

I Want My Olympics

My earliest memories of the Olympics is watching news film of Jessie Owens in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I wasn’t born yet but sometime in my youth I learned about Owens and saw those films.

From there my memories pretty much jump to 1960 and more news footage of Cassius Clay winning the gold metal at the Rome Olympics.

Over my life the Olympics have become bigger, controversial, more inclusive, and more grandiose. Staging a modern Olympics has put more than one nation at the edge of bankruptcy.

There have always been things about TV’s coverage of the Olympics that have bothered me. If you enjoy a more obscure sport you’ll probably not find much attention given to it. That is such in my case since I’m especially fond of bicycle track racing.

Continue reading I Want My Olympics


The passing of the Globe Trotter’s Meadowlark Lemon got me thinking about the NBA during the 1960s. I lived in Los Angeles at the time and my roommate had a source for free tickets. So, when the Celtics or Royals came to town we’d get a couple of seats and take in the game. We’d also try to never miss a Celtics or Royals game when aired on TV.

5.-CelticsSomewhere along the line I lost interest in professional basketball. Last week, however, I saw that Cleveland was playing the Warriors and decided to give it a try. I didn’t set a timer but I doubt I lasted ten minutes before reaching for the remote and I don’t have a clue about why. The only time since the 60s that I’ve shown interest in the NBA was during the Jordan years with the Bulls. There was just something magnetic about watching Michael Jordan. It became more difficult once Dennis Rodman came on board.

Continue reading My NBA

Notes on Fishing

fishing lineBeen a couple of years since I dug out a rod and went fishing. But in late May a friend and I dragged my boat to the ocean and fed the fishes a little.

I was so busy getting the boat cleaned and ready I had no time left for packing a tackle box. Luckily my rods were still in my van from the last time I went to the saltwater.

During the week I had to stop at a tackle shop a few times and was floored over what has happened to the price of terminal tackle. Lead sinkers are triple what I remember, hooks double, and a spool of good 8 pound line that commonly sold for around $6 was not $15.

Making matters worse, I had everything I bought, and much more, back home in my garage. Where in my garage is another question but before the next trip I’m digging it out.

The Legends by Mark Rea

Many of you may know Mark Rea. He is from Washington Court House but his family has long-established roots in the Rainsboro mark rea legendsarea. Mark is married to Lisa Raike, a MHS graduate, and for years has written about OSU sports, especially Buckeye football.

Most recently Mark has written  a collection of vignettes about the legends of Ohio State football and assembled them into a book titled, The Legends: Ohio State Buckeyes, the Men, the Deeds, the Consequences.

I’m thinking anyone who calls himself a Buckeye fan will want this book. It’s available online at Amazon.

Pricey bikes of le tour

July around my house involves watching the Tour de France from start to finish. It’s a throwback to once being part owner of a bicycle tour de france logoshop and becoming familiar with both amateur and professional bicycle racing.

In that era a race quality 10-speed would cost $1000 or less. I owned a Falcon (English) bike with a Reynolds 571 (English) double-butted frame and all Campagnolo (Italian) components. You couldn’t buy better bike parts and my bike retailed for around $650. In today’s world that is chump change for a top of the line road bike.  A set of Campy components today approaches $4,000 compared to under $300 in the dark ages.

Continue reading Pricey bikes of le tour

Fishing Hole?

paint creek dti to felson pk
Paint Creek between SR 28 & Felson Pk.

When I was a kid in the 1950s Paint Creek was our video game or Internet chat room. We’d sit on the banks, fish, and talk about things face to face. Our favorite part of the creek was from the Mill Dam to Red Bridge near the sewage treatment plant.

Lots of things have changed since then with one being the water level between the DT&I trestle and Felson Park is much lower today. Back then there was a small stone dam near the park that raised the level so enough water was impounded to meet the needs of the village’s electric power plant.

This resulted in the banks being less steep and more easily accessible and possibly better fishing. Fishing was a major draw to that area and a principal source of recreation. I’d like to see some of that come back but I think it may need some research and thought.

Several years ago I asked the Army Corps of Engineers about replacing the dam and raising the water level. While they didn’t say it couldn’t be done they did mention something about hell freezing over.

That leaves us with a creek that may be too shallow for fishing and banks too high for many people. So, what I want to know is, how’s the fishing? Have any of you fished the stretch between the SR 28 bridge and the area around Felson Park? Could a wooden structure (fishing pier) be constructed near the beginning of the bicycle path for handicapped and others to fish from? Building such would need cleaning away some of the growth and all this would be in a flood plain and require the consent of the Corps of Engineers.

I’d certainly appreciate some reader input about this since it’s been years since I fished for frequented that area. Seems like it is a resource that should be better developed.

Crevalle Jacks; I may have been wrong!

I was recently at Jungle Jim’s International Market in Cincinnati. Most of my time was spent picking through their enormous beer selection but I did take a look at the fresh fish offerings. They had for sale several whole fish I’m familiar with from my days of saltwater fishing in Florida. Besides the Spanish mackerel and pompano, they had whole skate, black mullet, and crevalle jack.

crevalle jack
Crevalle Jack, a great sportfish and maybe something good to eat!

Mullet, being vegetarian, are usually caught in cast nets. Floridians haul them in by the tons and smoke them over orange and other local fruit woods. The finished product is eaten as is or made into dips, pastes, or spreads. They are oily and thus, perfect for smoking.

Most saltwater fishermen view skates and rays as nuisance fish. They don’t put up much of a fight and once caught are difficult, and sometimes dangerous, to land and unhook. While most people don’t consider skates a food fish there are others who specifically target them. An old Army veterinarian once told me that a goodly amount of what we buy as scallops is actually punched skate and ray wings. Just as much of the “fish” and chips sold in Europe is really dogfish shark.

Continue reading Crevalle Jacks; I may have been wrong!

Things Not on My Bucket List

The technological advent of mini video cameras, like GoPros, that can be mounted on just about anything has made for sights never witnessed from the comfort of one’s recliner. Check out this collage of things you’ll probably never experience first hand in your lifetime. Things certainly not on my bucket list.

Where it All Went Wrong

Larry 'n NassauAt the risk of sounding like an old codger doing that “back in my day” thing, and borrowing from my friend Dave Shoemaker, who loves lists, I’m creating a list of historical occurrences marking when the world began turning to shit.

  • When doctors, drug companies, and lawyers were allowed to advertises their services. I’m pretty sure that’s when doctors quit making house calls, medical cost began to skyrocket, pharmaceutical companies began inventing new diseases, and lawyers began convincing Americans they have a God-given right to sue regardless of how stupid their claim is.
  • The day gravel was removed from under the playground monkey bars and replaced with sawdust may have marked the end of kids being permitted a normal childhood. When they put safety belts on merry-go-rounds and teeter totters (if such can still be found on playgrounds) the thought of a Tom Sawyer-Huck Finn childhood became as dead as Mark Twain.

Continue reading Where it All Went Wrong

Chad Strahler Named Softball Coach at Southern State

Chad Strahler, a former head coach at Miami Trace High School, has been hired as the women’s softball head coach at Southern State Community College.

SSCC LogoStrahler served as Miami Trace Junior High School head coach for three years and Miami Trace High School JV assistant coach for two years before taking the lead as JV head coach for the year preceding his current appointment.

“I have a vast knowledge of the young athletes in the surrounding counties and have watched several of them play over the past three years via competition and scouting,” said Strahler. “There is some raw softball talent out there that can help take the current program at Southern State to the next level.”

Strahler says he will focus on academics while building a competitive, hard-working, dedicated, and well respected softball program.

“Success is defined as getting better day after day, and reaching team and individual goals,” he said. “That’s what I intend to focus on. I will build our strengths and refine our areas in need of improvement.”

A graduate of Miami Trace High School, Strahler and his wife Jamie have one daughter, Ciera, who currently plays softball at his alma mater.

“I look forward to engaging the current athletes and future recruits of Southern State’s women’s softball to build a more cohesive team,” he said.

To learn more about the athletics program at Southern State Community College, please visit http://www.sscc.edu/athletics/index.shtml or contact Athletic Director Adam Holbrook at 1-800-628-7722, ext. 2697. Southern State is a member of the Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Sidecar Cycle Racing, Then & Now

Larry 'n NassauBack in the days of Wide World of Sports I got a kick out of watching scenes of motorcycle sidecar racing, usually in Great Britain. It’s been ages since I’ve given it any thought but while perusing the Internet I came across an article about the current state of the sport. While not as popular as after WWII it still has its fans and like most sports, technology has not stood still.

The races I remember were basically a road bike with a piece of plywood, a grab bar, and a wheel bolted to the bike’s side. A driver sat on the bike and a second person rode on the plywood throwing his weight back and forth to avoid the cycle losing traction or centrifugal force propelling both into the next county. Speeds of that era rarely broke 90 mph.

In today’s world of sidecar racing the machines are specially built with the cycle and sidecar being an aerodynamic unibody design made of carbon fiber and other modern substances. The job of the team remains the same but the speeds today get real close to 200 mph.

I don’t know what the life expectancy of a sidecar racer is but I’m betting it’s lower than a mild-mannered librarian.

Check out this YouTube video clip.