If my daddy had named me John, these would be Dear John letters. Of course, we don't go to the mailbag anymore. We go to the inbox:
“I was so disappointed in the Daytona 500. The delays for the pothole just ruined it.” – Robin.
Nothing ruined that finish. And while they were running, the race was better than anything NASCAR has produced in several years. They were swappin' paint and lockin' bumpers and shreddin' sheet metal. Did we mention the finish? I agree that you don't expect to see a superspeedway fall apart before your eyes, but consider that Daytona hasn't been repaved since 1977. Really. Our cul-de-sac hasn't gone that long.
“I agree with your column that Mid-American Conference basketball isn't very good. But if the reason is resources being diverted to football, then I'd say that hasn't worked either. MAC football isn't very good.” – Jeff.
It's better than it was. Lots of TV exposure and five teams in bowl games are steps up from a decade ago. If you expect more, like bowl wins, then you're right.
“You infer that the MAC, as a mid-major basketball disappointment, is overextending itself with Division I-A football, but you forgot that Miami, Western Michigan, and Bowling Green are supporting Division I hockey too.” – Jim.
I did overlook that aspect, although including BG may be a stretch.
“Hey, Hack. Guess who has the longest current win streak in the NFL?” – H.R.
The Dawg Pound is easily excited.
“OK, so Gene Cross is a nice guy, looks good in a suit, and is holding up under fire. But when UT hired him the perception was he would be a great recruiter. I know his team is young, but is it talented?” – Geo.
Ask me in a year. And read on …
“Be honest, nearly two seasons into the Cross era won't you admit you expected more at UT? Does anybody see an NCAA berth even remotely on the horizon?” – Nick.
Finally, my Jim Mora moment: “NCAA? Don't talk about the NCAA. Are you kidding me? NCAA?” After 16 straight losses, a better question would be if a win is even remotely on the horizon.
“Regarding UT basketball: I once heard a coach say, ‘The good news is we have everyone returning. The bad news is we have everyone returning.' BG lost its top three scorers from last year, and you don't hear Louis Orr alibi about how young his team is.” – Joe.
True, but Orr isn't 3-23. Nor does he escape the inbox unscathed …
“Orr gets a pass because BG won the league last year, but I say Nate Miller won the league. All I see now are low-level mid-major players. I expected better from Orr's recruiting.” – A.L.
Miller, Brian Moten, Darryl Clements, and Chris Knight are all gone. Orr could be coach-of-the-year for having the current Falcons above .500.
“Like you, I cringed through The Who's Super Bowl halftime show.” – Jerry.
On the other hand, my radio cohort and classic rock expert, Mark Benson (Thursdays, 8 a.m., 94.5 FM), insists that Roger and Pete can still bring it.
“Could you mention Swanton naming the gym at its middle school, the old high school on Cherry Street, after former coach Bob Fisher, who spent so many years coaching and winning in that gym?” – Jeane.
You just did.
Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at:firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6398