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COPYRIGHT Š 2008 Bill Rogan, Downtowner Media, LLC Published by Downtowner Media, LLC. Littleton, Colorado No Part of this publication may be reproduced in any format, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Requests should be delivered to Downtowner Media, PO Box 90, Litleton, CO 80160 or faxed to 303-4960991, or by email to editor@thedowntowner.com, or www.downtownermedia.com. Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy of or completeness of the contents of the information contained herein and specifically disclaim any implied warranties. In authoring this book the author has made reference to names, any similarities are for humorous purposes only and are not in any way intended to be taken as factual accounts of history or actions taken by any individual, organization, or entity whatsoever. Any attempts to sue the author or publisher for libel will be met with gut wrenching laughter. ISBN - ____________ Printed in the United Stated of America


This book is dedicated to the scrubs, bench-warmers and underdogs everywhere.


CONTENTS About the Author

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Preface

xii

Acknowledgements

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THE LEGEND OF ROSCOE ROUNDABOUT MAPLE BATS PROTEST USE OF MAPLE BATS SHEFFIELD HAS AFFLICTION THE COLUMNIST THE DREAM DIES…LITERALLY TOP PITCHING PROSPECT JOINS ROYALS THE PRESSER A LOOK INTO A-ROD’S FUTURE A MANNING IN DEMAND INFANT ATHLETE MOURNING ADMITS FOUL MORE SPYGATE? NOT LIKE THE OTHER KIDS AN HONEST SCUZZBALL UNLOVED LITTLE LEAGUER IT BE COLD OUT THERE SALTY TRAINER RECOVERING COMEBACK ABORTED PACMAN…DENIED! OLD-TIMER LISTED AS DAY-TO-DAY PANIC BUTTON THE NFL’S SMARTEST MAN INDIAN MAN NOT INDIANS FAN



1 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28


THE REAL KENYON MARTIN ROCKIES OUTFIELDER MIFFED CRAB CAKES RAP NOT IN NBA PLAYER’S FUTURE TAMPA BAY ALL THE WAY! FENCING TRAGEDY HOOPIN’ HIGH STYLE BOXER’S BRIEF CAREER OVER IN THE DARK CLARKE CARD SOLD FOR RECORD PRICE CHECKMATE FOR KLOBEY WORDS AND PINS FLY POPULAR ANNOUNCER FREAKS! FAN-U-MENTAL KARL-JAVA MAN LINK? HEIDEMANN STAYS RETIRED WHAM BAM JAM BABY!!!!!! RESPECT BROKEN LEG WORTH IT IT IS ABOUT THE MONEY! THE COMEBACK KID HAMMY INJURY FAILS TO STOP FAN KID FAN DISOWNED BY FAMILY MAN MISTAKEN FOR NBA PLAYER ASSAULTED COUGAR SLUGGER HITS JACKPOT ESPANOL ES BUENO NOVICE SKI JUMPER RECOVERING PITCH COUNT A WEE BIT HIGH STENCH NEARLY KILLS TEACHER LISTENER SUES RADIO STATION HOPKINS JOINS ROCKIES SALES TEAM SUNS EXHAUSTED SCRUB QUITS SQUAD

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29 31 32 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62


TOT HOOP TRYOUTS CANES STAR WR TO SIT OUT UPCOMING GAME A MOST DEDICATED GROUNDS KEEPER YANKEES FAN EJECTED HORSE RACING INDUSTRY SUED CLAYTON DOESN’T DWELL ON NFL CAREER SKATER DECLARES HETEROSEXUALITY POLLSTER ELIMINATED FROM VOTING ROSIN BAG INVENTOR DIES SUMO WRESTLER RECORDS SHUTOUT HECKLER QUIETED EXCUSES NOT TOLERATED BY PIZZOLI ECKSTEIN UNDER FIRE CHAMPION OF THE DORKS COACH KIEFER CANNED SOCCER PLAYER RECOGNIZED THE SAGA OF TOMMY SCHMELTZ HIDEOUS FACIAL TATTOO FAILS TO CATCH ON DUFFY SHELVED BRUTAL ATHLETE SUES PARENTS MR. OPTIMIST 2006 FANTASY LEAGUER JAILED OLD SCHOOL COACH SENT PACKING CHEERLEADER SUSPENDED NEW TV TIME SLOT FOR MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL MILLER WHO? TURF CANCELS SPRINGSTEEN INTERVIEW THE WIMPY WORLD OF RUGBY VIDEO GAME KING LEPRECHAUN WARS COMPULSIVE GAMBLERS = LOSERS BECKHAM GLAD TO BE BRITISH

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63 64 65 67 68 69 70 71 72 74 75 76 77 78 80 81 82 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 97 98 99 100


SHOCK DAMAGE LOCKER ROOM FANTASY OVER FOR CAMPER STAT MAN SUFFERS CRUEL INJURY THE CONVERSATION MARATHONER SAFE AND SOUND TABLE TENNIS CHAMP SUSPENDED PULITZER PRIZE REVOKED SON DISAPPOINTS FORMER GRID STAR THE FOUL BALL KAYAKER COMES UP A BIT SHORT SANDY, BEN AND DOCTOR GOLDSTEIN HELP WANTED THE PEP TALK HOODWINKED BOWDEN DISHES OUT PUNISHMENT THE PLAN NFL TO HONOR LOMBARDI EX-BIG LEAGUER HAS ONE REGRET 128 MARCH SICKNESS WICKMAN STILL LACKS STREET CRED. EDDIE’S SHORT ‘CAREER’ COSTAS ON THE RADIO THOSE WACKY BOWLERS MAN WHO LOST BIG GAME DIES SAMARDZIJA CONSIDERS NAME CHANGE PREP STAR KEEPS IT REAL PREP STAR KEPT IT REAL CHAMPIONSHIP EARNS HUNTINGTON EXTENSION SPORTS ANNOUNCER WANTED JIMMY MAC WOMEN’S PRO V-BALL A SMASH A LEAN CHRISTMAS SIMPKINS HANGS UP THE GLOVES

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101 102 103 105 107 108 109 111 112 114 115 117 118 120 122 124 126 129 130 131 132 134 135 137 138 140 142 143 144 146 147 149


LOWERY NO FRONT RUNNER QB’s BREAK OUT SEASON LIONS FANS WANT TO KILL MILLEN SPORTS YAKKER STUDY SHOWS RAIDERS FANS MOST RABID THE NEGRO LEAGUE’S UGLY SECRET NBA STAR SUMMER CAMP LAST MAN STANDING MAN COMES CLEAN SIDELINE REPORTER FIRED ANOTHER SATISFIED LISTENER BULLY CONFRONTED SINGER HUMILIATED ROCKIES NEED NEW DIGS HOMELESS MAN ANGRY AND ASHAMED WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN COMING TO YOUR TOWN SOON! BRAIN MATTERS JETER DISAPPOINTS FANS THE LONGEST LONGSHOT SUPER JOE…HE TALKS…HE SCORES! SIMPKINS IN HOT WATER CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES OVER...QUICKLY WHERE ARE THEY NOW? WESTERN CONFERENCE APOLOGIZES TOUGH TIMES FOR TOMMY THE DEBONAIR MR. BELICHICK CITY OF LOSERS GET WELL SOON RICHIE THE DAREDEVIL AN AWKWARD SITUATION

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151 152 153 155 156 157 159 160 161 162 163 164 166 167 169 170 171 173 174 175 177 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 189 191





About the Author Bill has more than 24-years of sports broadcasting experience in both radio and television. He was the basketball and hockey play-by-play broadcaster for Army for 11 seasons and announced 5 seasons of minor league baseball. He estimates he has broadcast well over 1,500 live sporting events and conducted over 5,000 interviews. A graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Bill was a light-hitting infielder on the Dukes baseball team. His proudest athletic moment though was winning the Artificial Turf Bowling tournament in February of 2004. Currently, Bill is the sports director at KNUS Radio in Denver and is the morning sports anchor. He also broadcasts amateur wrestling, including the Colorado High School State Championships, as well as high school football and basketball on television. Bill has also announced horse racing at Arapahoe Park and says it was the most difficult sport he has called.

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Preface It never crossed my mind that my Turf Tales would become a book. My career intentions didn’t even include the word author. When I was a kid people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always answered “I’m going to play for the Yankees.” That was my career intention. Unfortunately a million other kids had the same aspirations. I played baseball through high school and college and in various summer leagues. Around age twentyseven I came to the realization that I probably wasn’t going to get drafted. Looking back, only two things kept me out of the Major Leagues. Talent and ability. Since my baseball career (ahem, ahem) didn’t pan out as expected, I had to have a back-up plan. I would put my journalism degree with a minor in eligibility to use by becoming a sports writer. My first assignment was covering a high school football game. I was paid five dollars. I was then offered a job announcing high school football on the radio for twenty bucks a game. Since I had been speaking non-stop since the age of seven, I jumped at the opportunity to quadruple my income and become a sportscaster. Talking sports was always fun for me and I never considered it a job. Still don’t. I was working in sports and it wasn’t heavy labor. So while Derek Jeter is living the life I was supposed xii


to live, I can’t complain one bit. That brings me to Turf Tales. I’ve always liked writing and had to fill my web-site with something. Blank pages are boring. I figured that since I have trouble dealing with reality, I would craft sports stories from my imagination and put them on the web-site. Those stories are now in this book, Turf Tales. One person who has enjoyed my stories told me that I live in a fantasy world of sports. I had to correct him. While I love sports and enjoyed writing the Turf Tales, my fantasies don’t involve sports. They involve... well, never mind. I hope that you will enjoy these tales as much as I enjoy writing them. I welcome you to buy a copy for your brother and your dad, and your mom and your grandparents. Remember... keep it real. Bill Rogan Denver, Colorado

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Turf Tales Spoofs & Other Hilarious Stories based on

American Sports by BILL ROGAN

PUBLISHED BY: Downtowner Media, LLC xv


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THE LEGEND OF ROSCOE ROUNDABOUT When speaking of the greatest athletes of all-time, names such as Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Jim Brown, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali and Joe Montana are among those thrown into the discussion. Some might include Secretariat, the Triple Crown winning horse of 1973. But if you allow animals to enter into the greatest athletes of all-time discourse, then you must submit the name of Roscoe Roundabout. Get ready for a little history here. Roscoe Roundabout was not a horse or some wimpy show dog. No, Roscoe Roundabout was a swift and sleek greyhound that raced during the halcyon days of dog racing in the 1930’s. Known as “The Babe Ruth of Greyhound Racing,” Roscoe Roundabout dominated his sport like no other athlete has, then or since. Other than former heavyweight champeen Rocky Marciano (49-0), I can’t think of another professional athlete that has never experienced the bitter taste of defeat. From 1935 through 1938, the incredible Roscoe Roundabout won 143 races and lost none. That’s right, 143-0. Most of those wins, according to the book, “The Definitive History of Greyhound Racing,” by Thomas Mattison, were in convincing fashion, where the only race was for place. After beginning at small greyhound racetracks in the New England region, Roscoe Roundabout started




touring other tracks around the country. Owner Raul Romero sought the best competition for his prized greyhound but no dog could come close to beating Roscoe Roundabout. His records still stand at some of the older greyhound tracks still in operation. On more than one occasion, the freakishly fast greyhound actually caught the lure much to the delight and amazement of the patrons. Greyhound racing historian and film maker Dick Themura said in a 1985 documentary on the sport that famed race horse Seabiscuit and Roscoe Roundabout were, arguably, the most popular athletes of the 1930’s, drawing enormous crowds whenever and wherever they raced. The end of Roscoe Roundabout’s career was dramatic and emotional. The famed greyhound was hitting the California circuit and a greyhound track was built inside the Los Angeles Coliseum for a one-time appearance by Roscoe Roundabout. A throng of more than 83-thousand people, still a greyhound racing record, turned out to see Roscoe Roundabout run. What they saw that July 11th day in 1938 was perhaps the greatest greyhound race in the history of the sport. Grainy film footage shows that, as expected, Roscoe Roundabout dominated the race, but down the stretch with about 30-yards to go, the amazing greyhound broke his right front ankle. He pulled up briefly in pain but with the other greyhounds closing fast, Ros-




coe Roundabout sprinted across the wire first despite the injury. It would turn out to be his final race. Roscoe Roundabout was taken away by ambulance with the crowd watching in stunned disbelief at what they has just witnessed. Roscoe Roundabout recovered just fine but his racing career was over. He was adopted by Patricia O’Keeley and lived out his life on a farm in Newport, Rhode Island. As a matter of fact, you can visit Lincoln Greyhound Park outside of Providence and view the bronze statue of Hall of Fame Greyhound Roscoe Roundabout, maybe the greatest athlete of all-time and, unfortunately, perhaps the most forgotten athlete ever.




MAPLE BATS PROTEST USE OF MAPLE BATS Many followers of baseball have scrutinized the use of maple bats in the major leagues this season, bats that have been shattering at an alarming rate. Pundits fear a splintered bat spinning out of control could do severe damage to a player, coach, umpire or fan. The call to outlaw the use of maple bats has picked up another supporter in maple bats themselves. L305, a 34 inch, 31 ounce maple bat said, “As union leader of maple bats and a maple bat myself, we are outraged that our constituents are being shattered constantly. Johnny Damon alone has killed more than 25 maple bats this season, most of them in horrific, blown to smithereens fashion. This must stop. What is wrong with using ash bats?” Woody (33/32), leader of the ash bats said, “Maple bats are breaking constantly? Yeah, so? Not our problem. Just get tougher.” Easton Destroyer, from the aluminum bat family, had no official comment but could be heard laughing hysterically at L305’s predicament.

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SHEFFIELD HAS AFFLICTION Perpetually angry and hostile baseball slugger Gary Sheffield has been diagnosed with a case of “terminal unhappiness,” according to Doctor Hans Johannsen. Following the 2008 baseball season, Sheffield was upset that he had to go into the off-season with 499 career homers instead of 500. “Yeah I’m pissed off and you would be too,” Sheffield told the media. “If you don’t get that microphone out of my face I’ll rearrange it.” Doctor Johannsen said, “On the surface, most people would see Gary as someone who is successful, a potential Hall of Famer and someone who makes more than 10-million a year. They wonder how he could be suffering from ‘terminal unhappiness.’ After carefully examining Gary I have reached a similar conclusion. What the hell is this guy unhappy about?” Sheffield, who has feuded with managers, teammates, the media, fans and everybody else you can think of said, “It’s not easy being unhappy all the time. I mean, even when I hit a walk-off game-winning homer I’m unhappy. I get a nice meal in a five star hotel on the road and I’m unhappy. I’m just one unhappy dude and I really just want to kick your ass right now you #$%##%^!” There is no known cure or treatment for ‘terminal unhappiness’. It appears that Sheffield will live the rest




of his life unhappy. When told of Sheffield’s affliction, Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said, “Terminal unhappiness? You kidding me? Interesting. And here I thought he was just a prick.”

THE COLUMNIST By Paul Giddings This is my first sports column for the Herald News. Many people didn’t think I would last long enough to become a columnist because of my track record of quitting jobs before I could see the fruits of my labor. This proves that I’m no quitter and that I….this is insane. I’m a columnist for the largest paper in Montana and I’m only getting paid 32-grand a year? That’s it. I quit. This is BS.

TT

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THE DREAM DIES…LITERALLY The Bethlehem man who dreamed of catching touchdown passes for the Eagles, died last week at the age of 58 while working out at a local high school. Ron Santorini, who was employed by Luciano’s Deli for 32-years, suffered a heart attack last Wednesday as he caught passes from Bethlehem High JV quarterback Tommy Rossilino. “Mr. Santorini always had me throw passes to him each Wednesday at lunchtime,” said Rossilino. “He always wanted to play for the Eagles but when he keeled over I knew it was over. Then I went back to class. I would have called 9-1-1 but I didn’t have my cell phone with me. My bad.” The Eagles sent an autographed football and a jersey with Santorini’s name on the back to the funeral. Santorini was buried with the ball while wearing his jersey. “I feel like he finally made it,” said his teary-eyed wife Marjorie. “He lived as a Philadelphia Eagle and he died an Eagle. Well, now I guess I’ll look for a new husband…one who doesn’t want to play professional football and who has a better life insurance policy than what Ronnie had.”

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TOP PITCHING PROSPECT JOINS ROYALS Prized left-hander Dan Paige, the former first round pick of the Royals, has been called up to Kansas City from AAA Omaha. “It’s a dream come true,” Paige said. “I’m looking forward to winning many games with the Royals.” Because Paige is just 20-years old, Kansas City Manager Trey Hillman says they will take exceptional care of the promising rookie. “We’ll watch him closely,” said Hillman, “but we won’t baby him.” The current plan calls for Paige to join the starting rotation but he’ll be on an eight-pitch pitch count. “We feel that eight pitches are enough for a prospect of his age and caliber,” explained Royals General Manager Dayton Moore. “We don’t want to hurt this kid’s career so when he is able to become a free agent he’ll be healthy enough for the Yankees or Red Sox to sign him to a multi-million dollar contract. We can’t jeopardize Danny’s future.” Hillman added, “We’ll see how he does with eight pitches. If he show’s no ill effects, we could bump his pitch count up to 10 after a few starts. But let’s not rush things.” When told he’d be on a pitch count of eight, Paige said, “Well, maybe I’ll get an out or two. But I’m guessing I won’t get any complete games in until I’m a free agent and can sign with a real team.”

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THE PRESSER Reporters from every media outlet in town raced to Yankee Stadium. Newspapers, radio, television, you name it, they were there. Former Yankee slugger and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson had called a noon press conference. If Jackson, a Yankee advisor, called a press conference, the media darned well better be there. At noon in a room near the Yankee clubhouse, the media anxiously awaited Jackson’s arrival. The conditions were hot. The room was packed. Speculation was rampant. With General Manager Brian Cashman out of town, Reggie perhaps would be announcing a big trade. Maybe Manager Joe Girardi would be fired. Whatever it was, it had to be big and the longer the media waited for Jackson the more tension filled the blue and gray painted room. Finally, at 12:45, Jackson emerged from an adjoining room. He strode to the podium as flash bulbs went off. Reggie stood at the podium gazing out at the media, a wry grin on his face. “Reggie, what’s the news?” bellowed Yankees beat writer, Petey Caldera, from the Bergen Record. After a dramatic pause Reggie finally spoke. “The news is…there is no news.” New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro demanded,




“What the &#$% is going on Reggie?” Jackson smiled and said, “I just called a press conference to see how fast y’all could get here. Nice job. Thanks for coming everybody.” That was all. Reggie exited. The media was quietly packing up their equipment when a radio man was overheard saying, “Man, that Reggie. What a jokester. That’s why we love that guy.” Actually, what really happened was Reggie tried to leave the room. The media though ganged up on Jackson and beat his Hall of Fame ass from the Bronx to Yonkers. The media now had a story and Reggie Jackson never called another press conference.

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A LOOK INTO A-ROD’S FUTURE It was 35 years ago today that Alex Rodriguez set the all-time Major League Baseball home run record when he belted 763 off Mariners lefty Jeff Francis. Rodriguez ended up with 823 home runs, a total that many feel will never be approached. Now 78 years old and living in Florida, the still spry Rodriguez sat down with Artificial Turf for an exclusive interview in his Miami home. Artificial Turf: Thanks for the time A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez: You’re welcome. And you can call me Alex. A-Rod was a long time ago. AT: Ok…Alex. How has the game changed from the time you played until today? AR: How much time do we have? (Chuckles). Well, when I played, we played for the love of the game. Guys weren’t interested in the money. It was nice to get paid, don’t get me wrong, but putting on the uniform was the main thing. AT: Well, at one point you were the highest paid player in the game. AR: That is true. But it really wasn’t that much especially compared with the salaries of players today. The

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highest I made was only 27 million dollars a year. Now you can’t even get a decent middle infielder for that. I read that the average salary of Major Leaguers today is 175 million dollars. Who can relate to that? That is why it is hard for me to follow the game. Shoot, fans could relate to players in my era. We were one of them. Now these guys make so much money that it takes away from the enjoyment of the game. AT: You were born too soon. AR: (laughs). Yes I was. But I was able to make an ok living doing something I love. AT: The stadiums have certainly changed. AR: That’s right. The old Yankee Stadium was outdated and I remember when we moved into the new Yankee Stadium across the street. I enjoyed that place. Of course they tore it down 15-years later to build the new mobile Stadium entirely comprised of luxury boxes. Who would have ever thought they would build a stadium that could travel? The Yankees had vision. Unlike the Red Sox. Too bad Fenway Park collapsed. When was that, 2025 or something? Then they moved to become the Corpus Christi Red Sox. That was a day I’ll never forget. I feel bad for the Boston fans. They were always so good to me. AT: Wasn’t there a drug problem back when you

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played? AR: Some players did use performance enhancing drugs back then. Looking back it wasn’t a big deal. Some guys did use and some guys didn’t. But take a look at the performance enhancing scandals of the modern era. I mean, guys getting cable transplants to replace their tendons? Metallic muscle twitch fibers? That was unheard of in my day. AT: How do you think people remember you today Alex? AR: Well, of course the home run record. But besides that I think people remember me as a clutch player. When the chips were down and when the team counted on me the most, I came through. I never let the pressure get to me. AT: Alex thanks for your time and congratulations on a great, Hall of Fame career. AR: No thank you. It’s been a pleasure. Before you leave, feel free to visit the gift shop on the way out… first door on the left past the kitchen.

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Turf Tales is available in paperback or download at http://downtownermedia.com/Turf_Tales.html

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Turf Tales