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Missing a Plane, Hooking, The Taylor Twins, and more…

Remember when the coach told you if you weren’t there to catch the bus you’d get left behind?

Well, same goes for team planes, only two South Florida players apparently didn’t grasp said rule. Instead, they snoozed at the Houston airport and the team plane departed without them. In the aftermath of the fiasco, a mother of one of the players voiced her displeasure with the school.

Is it just me, or should the mother have been more like, “Damn Junior, how hard is it to catch a plane?”

Winniepeg Jets star Dustin Byfuglien loves to ice fish, prompting R.J. Currie of SportsDeke.com to write:“He has to be fast, though: He only gets two minutes for hooking.”

Some have asked if Dorsey McWhorter, the protagonist in my novel, The Streak, was inspired by Wade Boggs.  The answer is no. Boggs played at Plant High while I was there, and, obviously, he was really good.  But if anybody influenced Dorsey’s character, Tim Norrid would be the guy.

Norrid was a senior at Plant when I was a sophomore and he starred on the baseball and basketball teams.  I’d watched him play sports for most of my youth. He had the sweetest left-handed swing, and he epitomized cool. Everybody looked up to him, even guys in his own age.

Norrid signed with the Indians out of high school and almost made it to The Show.  If you asked Boggs about his hero growing up, chances are he would tell you Tim Norrid, too.

I’ve got a lot of stories from years of working construction.  Many involve the Taylor twins, Jessie James and Jessie Gene, who finished concrete for Norman Chastain Construction, Inc.  According to Jessie Gene, they once worked on a job that ran for 24-hours, seven days a week for several  months. Even though Jessie James worked one shift, and Jessie James worked the other, their boss did not know twins were working for him. Thus, the checks were made out to Jessie Gene–complete with countless hours of overtime.  The brothers split the dough and enjoyed a laugh at the expense of the man.

Anybody else love to watch Atlantic 10 basketball? Teams like  Dayton, Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth are always dangerous come tournament time because they are composed of four-year starters. They might not have as many athletic players, but they really know how to play the game.  Dayton’s Soochie Smith is fun to watch, cool name and a pretty  good point guard, too. Keep an eye on him.

I understand that most generational sports comparisons are meaningless. Having offered that disclaimer, I believe Pete Maravich and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would be bigger stars today than they were when they played–and both are in the Hall of Fame.

Maravich for the simple fact he had the size, he would have been knocking down 3-point shots–the NBA did not have the 3-pointer for most of his career, and his wide-open game would have been embraced rather than shunned as it was during his day. And Kareem… I still believe he’s the best player to ever play. Nobody could stop his sky hook then, and they wouldn’t be able to stop it now. Plus, when he played, the referees would let him get pushed around to equalize games with the big, bad giant. I don’t believe that would happen today.

Finally, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and fleeing the scene in Arkansas. Tweeted former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, whose Sooner teams ran a wishbone offense with athletic signal callers: “They couldn’t have caught my quarterbacks!”

bchastain19@gmail.com

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Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bobby Ross. The former college and pro football coach led Georgia Tech to a share of the national championship in 1990 and later led the San Diego Chargers

©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography