March 14, 2002

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

I was sure heading into this week I would have something good to ponder in this outdoor report. Well at least one of my weekly sporting pursuits was actually outdoors, but it was not really worthy of this space. Still it beat the other two as far as newsworthiness so it will have to do for starters.

The first fishing outing of 2002 is under my belt. I call it fishing in name only as it was more like cast and retrieve practice. I tried two ponds and two separate approaches at each. The crappie jig provided no results so I switched to the bass rod with the old reliable springtime spinner bait. That got zilch for results as well. Oh well, at least it was a nice afternoon. Besides I still had my NCAA tournament bracket as well as the Saturday 3-on-3 tournament to fill the sports editorial void.

Well, if a fishless fishing trip took top billing then it's not hard to guess that my NCAA bracket is not doing well either. Things started well with my upset picks like North Carolina Wilmington #13, over fourth seeded USC and #11 Southern Illinois over sixth seeded Texas Tech (I just can't stand Bobby Knight). However my surprise Final Four pick, Florida, got knocked off in the opening round by Creighton. That just started a domino effect in the entire Midwest bracket where I really stunk with my picks. My brackets are in shambles but I'm still in high spirits courtesy of the Mizzou Tigers Sweet 16 run. I had them making it to the Elite Eight, so maybe they can prove me wrong and go all the way. Strike two.

My last hope was the annual Rotary Roundball Rendezvous. But I could not get up the nerve to put away my walker and come out of retirement and play again this season. Instead I was stuck baby-sitting while my wife (she's two years younger than me and in much better shape) played in the women's division. She likely will be joining me in retirement next year. We won't go into their performance. Since I did not play, about the only thing left to talk about was everyone else at the games. I think I have bemoaned sportsmanship, the treatment of officials and the behavior of parents at sporting events way too many times to go there. Hats off to the referees and the tournament promoters for putting up with all of that.

Maybe the weather will straighten out a bit soon so the fishing report can get better. If not there is always Cardinals baseball, local racing action and plenty of other sports reporting to do. I'll try for better results next week.

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