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Catching up on the world of sports with Walker

I've developed a real paranoia of late trying not to repeat myself in this column. I have a pretty vast knowledge of a few major sports and little or no knowledge of others. If you have been a regular reader, I'm sure you picked up on that. When I told Jason Smith of my concern and begged off for a couple of weeks, he suggested that I write about the Georgia Bulldogs spring football game. That's just what I was trying to avoid, making you sick of the Georgia Bulldogs.

There's plenty going on in the world of sports that I could write on. The Barry Bonds steroid story is still going strong; Thomson High is in the middle of baseball season, and the Braves and the majors just opened the season. Only a couple of weeks ago, the Florida Gators won the national championship in basketball and, of course, the Masters. Did I mention Duke lacrosse?

So here goes.

What more needs to be said about Barry Bonds? Love him or hate him, this story has been beaten to death. Even if Bonds suddenly became as contrite as a 10-year-old Gene Walker when his grandmother called his name, nothing will change. The baseball commissioner and Congress will just appoint some more committees and hold more hearings and investigations and hope they never get to the bottom of the steroid issue. The baseball commissioner and Congress operate like my old Ford truck: Only when they want to.

I've yet to miss a THS baseball game, and they've had their good moments and bad. I'll offer a full-blown opinion on my observations when the season ends. There's promise on the Bulldog diamond, but lots of work still ahead.

The Braves are off to a seesaw start as they have been often in the past. There is no need to even try and judge the Braves before about the middle of July. Manager Bobby Cox invented patience, so fans need to just chill out for a while.

Kristopher Wells was surprised that I actually pulled for the Florida Gators in the Final Four. I explained to him that I always pull for SEC schools to do well, and it would benefit Georgia and the entire conference for the Gators to win it all. I saw them play Georgia on Jan. 7, and the Bulldogs looked just like the UCLA Bruins did on April 3. The Gators were so thrilled that they paid the NCAA $70,000 for the floor from the Hoosier Dome to put in their own O'Connell Center.

The Masters is the only golf tournament that I ever pay any attention to. I seldom have a favorite, but I enjoyed watching Mickelson and Couples on Sunday. I thought Clark was the guy that got shortchanged by the TV coverage when he finished second. When Tiger Woods described himself as a "spaz" after his last round, I never dreamed that anyone would be offended. I contend there are more non-handicapped people that are spastic than handicapped ones, so that criticism was overboard.

What more can be said about the Duke lacrosse scandal? One, I already told you about lacrosse many months ago. Two, the Duke lacrosse coach that resigned must feel like Barry Switzer. Switzer was once the ultra-successful coach of the Oklahoma Sooner football team that was accused of running a loose ship. In his book, Bootlegger's Boy, he said the reason he was fired at Oklahoma is that he forgot to put up a sign in the football dormitory reminding his players not to do what the Duke guys are accused of doing. Read the book to get the full effect of that line.

My real fear from this mess at Duke is that it won't be long before we'll be seeing guys wearing "Duke Lacrosse" t-shirts. I heard they were already best sellers in Chapel Hill, N.C.

As for G-Day, it was the usual sloppy, hurry up and get it over with scrimmage before somebody gets hurt affair that it always is. Luckily, nobody got hurt, and you couldn't really tell a thing about the team except the defense is fast or either the offense is slow. We'll find out for sure in due time, and I won't worry about it until then.

There, only one paragraph about Georgia Bulldog football. Not bad for April.

Web posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006

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