Claremore Daily Progress

Sports Columnists

November 30, 2012

COLUMN: Arkansas coaching search gets weird

TAHLEQUAH — On some levels I can relate to John L. Smith’s plight.

Much like Smith, my employer recently made a personnel decision that directly impacted my workload. Like Smith, I went from merely setting a kick return unit, to calling plays, barking orders, and attempting to figure out what’s going on inside Paul Petrino’s head.

Of course, there are discrepancies. I didn’t high-five the Weber State Press before performing an about face in pursuit of greener pastures — I just moved down the hall. Smith’s pay increase was quite a bit larger than mine — yet, my debt to income ratio is far more favorable. My Paul Petrino looks nothing like his Paul Petrino, though he/she is equally frustrating to work with — and I am sure far more demonstrative.

The point is, however, such routine-altering changes — especially changes for which the individual is ill-prepared — can make a person crazy; crazy enough to forget the name of the state in which they reside, crazy enough to demand inappropriate smiles from those around them.

Fortunately, I’ve yet to completely flip my lid. Contrarily, I actually enjoy my added responsibilities, both for the modest entertainment value, and for the résumé enhancement. I have, to my knowledge, managed to avoid infuriating multiple area codes, and Les Miles has not been approached as my potential replacement.

The only element of my newfound circumstances that may be considered disadvantageous is the impediment that the increased burden has placed on my ability to consistently churn out a column. In fact, since earning said promotion, I have failed to produce a single by-line; a statistic that I am not proud of. For that, I apologize.

The plan, as of now, is to work this new gimmick that I originally intended to call, “Three-Point Stance.” Catchy, right? That is, until I remembered that my column was once referred to as “Paxton’s Point After,” and during last season’s NBA Playoffs we already played on that whole three points thing. Then, this fall, the idea was to write a column called “Four Quarters,” with one quarter dedicated to each of the four FBS universities in our coverage area. Sorry about that, Tulsa.

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Sports Columnists
  • COLUMN: McDermott gets last shot to leave mark on the game

    You never know when a great basketball story is going to peak, so keep an eye out for Doug McDermott. If college basketball's power brokers get their way, you'll be seeing plenty of him over the next few weeks.

    March 18, 2014

  • COLUMN: Michael Sam bravely comes out. Now what?

    Michael Sam could've taken the - well, not the easy, but certainly the easier - way out by staying mum on his sexual orientation, at least until after the NFL draft.
    Instead, one of the nation's top college football players bravely decided to speak now, to tell the world he is gay at a time when NFL teams are grading the guys they'll be picking in a couple of months.

    February 10, 2014

  • COLUMN: Sherman wins the games, then loses his mind

    The bookies in Vegas reported a rare split picking the early favorite for the Super Bowl. At least there's no question about who's going to steal the show.
    That would be Seattle's supremely confident Richard Sherman, who's already staked a claim to being the NFL's most quotable cornerback since Deion Sanders. Fresh off making the game-saving play in the last minute of Sunday's NFC championship, Sherman gave America a taste of how juicy things could get over the next two weeks if his coach, Pete Carroll, doesn't clamp the equivalent of a ''Denver boot'' on the mouth of his All-Pro first.

    January 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Petrino says he's changed; yeah, right

    Bobby Petrino insists he's a changed man.
    Not the scoundrel who secretly interviewed for someone else's coaching job without telling his bosses, who abandoned the Atlanta Falcons with three games left in the season, who wrecked his motorcycle with his mistress aboard and lied about the sordid affair as long as he could.
    We're supposed to believe he's not that guy anymore.
    Yeah, right.

    January 11, 2014

  • COLUMN: A nation grieves and the NFL plays on

    Americans grieved in front of their television sets on a brutally grim Sunday afternoon 50 years ago as a horse-drawn caisson took the body of President Kennedy from the White House to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

    November 24, 2013

  • COLUMN: Fitting ending in cards for final BCS

    The Bowl Championship Series is in its death throes, and few are mourning its passing.
    Come next season, the path to the national championship will go through two playoff games, and a blue ribbon panel will pick the lucky participants. It's hardly a perfect system because invariably some worthy school will get left out, but it is a major step toward deciding the title mostly on the field instead of inside somebody's basement computer.

    November 6, 2013

  • COLUMN: Hard to imagine another chance for Tebow

    There was never any real reason to dislike Tim Tebow, who never pretended to be anything he wasn't. Blame him for the Tebowing craze, if you will, but even that was worth a few laughs in a league that doesn't always embrace fun.

    September 2, 2013

  • COLUMN: Time for baseball to really clean up act

    Of all those penalized in baseball's biggest doping scandal, at least Nelson Cruz had a good story to tell.
    No, his drink wasn't spiked with testosterone in a bar one night by a Texas Rangers fan desperate for a World Series win. That would be a bit hard to believe now, wouldn't it?

    August 6, 2013

  • COLUMN: Bruins stir OKC hockey memories

    Seeing the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals brings back some childhood memories going back to the days of the original Oklahoma City Blazers, who were a Bruins farm club from 1965-72.

    June 22, 2013

  • COLUMN: Perfect ending to OU's championship run

    Really, that’s about right.

    On the day Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso saves the nation’s best pitcher for a possible winner-take-all national championship game, the nation’s best pitcher’s back-up tosses a shutout and the nation’s best pitcher rips a three-run home run and drives in all four Sooner runs.

    June 5, 2013