Just because we self-quarantine and social distance doesn’t mean we stop communicating. Your emails have made me laugh, think and cry at a time we must do all three for our own good.
Let me hear from you this week. Please.
Here’s a sample of what I heard last week...
This made me laugh
Mark’s email last Friday: “I am working from home, as millions now are. One bright spot? Charlie, our Maltipoo rescue dog, is quite happy to have his master home all day. He has agreed to assist me, pro bono.”
Mark, by the way, said he took my advice and dove into YouTube for old games to help fill the void. He was watching Oklahoma’s 2015 football victory at Baylor when he wrote, the night the Sooners wiped the smirk off Art Briles’ face forever.
This made me think
Ken’s email last Tuesday: “Your sage advice will be good for a week or so and then what? Keep it coming.”
OK, Ken. Since we’re going to cooped up a while longer, let’s see…
YouTube: a condensed “no-huddle” version of Oklahoma State’s 1988 Holiday Bowl dismantling of Wyoming, starring Barry Sanders, Hart Lee Dykes and Mike Gundy, and featuring Tulsa favorite son Bob Carpenter on the ESPN call.
Netflix: “Raging Bull.” Robert DeNiro is fantastic in all of Martin Scorsese’s gangster movies, but he reaches his peak as 1940s/50s middleweight champ Jake LaMotta in Scorsese’s work of art.
Random time killer: Comprise a 64-player bracket of college basketball’s greatest nicknames. “Big Country” is an obvious 1-seed, but where do you put “Big Baby?” What about “Bingo?” “The Rubberband Man?” And Anthony “Woosie” Roberts?
And this made me think
Steve’s email last Thursday: “I’m reminded of one small silver lining to the dark cloud that forced the cancellation of March Madness. In a normal season, of the 68 teams that made the field, the combined record of those teams in their final games is one win and 67 losses. Only the national champion ends with a win…
“With the sudden end of the season, nearly half the teams ended with a win and with dreams of what might have been.”
To Steve’s point, OU and OSU both went out with dramatic, memorable wins fired by heroic individual performances, Austin Reaves at TCU in OU’s case and Isaac Likekele at the Big 12 Tournament in OSU’s.
It should be a lot of fun watching Reaves, Likekele, the Sooners and Cowboys try to pick up where they left off next season.
Back to laughing
George’s email last Sunday: “Feels like the time that Ronald Reagan called non-existent baseball play-by-play from a studio at a radio station, when the network lead had been cut.”
That got me remembering Randle P. McMurphy calling non-existent World Series play-by-play in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” after Nurse Ratched wouldn’t let the fellas in the institution watch the game.
Laughing some more
Good to see that COVID-19 hasn’t cut off all of your hilarious hostility.
This from Dean last Friday: “I understand Emig’s grief about the temporary cessation of sports, but I don’t share it. If there were a good and just God, that S.O.B. (Dean means me, not the Lord) would be forced to watch cricket 24/7.”
And this from Chuck last Monday: “I only read your column because there wasn’t anything else to read in the section you call a sports section. You and your ‘touchy feminine section (I think he meant side)’ have zero to do with sports.”
My man, my “touchy feminine section” is my best part. Sounds like you could use one yourself.
This made me cry
Priscilla’s email last Monday: “For 35 years we’ve been having a bracket contest. It started with my son, his best friend and the four parents. We now have many different friends of his and ours and family members participating, usually between 50 and 60…
“Originally we would meet, people would fill out brackets, then I would have a meal for us and we’d talk about the whole thing. After all the ‘kids’ had kids and spring breaks interfered with that pre-tournament bracket party, we changed it to after the final game. We all came together, I ordered a bazillion pizzas and everyone got winnings (or not).
“For me, the parties, seeing many friends we might only see this one time a year, and marking all the brackets as the games are played is really a highlight of my entire year. Sad, I know.”
It isn’t sad at all, Priscilla. The NCAA Tournament brings us together. It’s like so many sports events that way. We don’t just enjoy them, we often depend on them. We mark time by them.
I’m hurting without the games, too. Many of us are.
And this made me cry
Jolene’s email Sunday: “I want you to know how much I appreciate you and Bill Haisten trying to keep us informed sports wise. I am a rabid sports fan — football, basketball, golf and softball, and am devastated to lose them all. Thank you both for all you do.”
From all of us at the Tulsa World doing our best to keep you informed, occupied or entertained right now: You are truly welcome.
Thank you, in turn, for hanging in there with us.