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Come on, ref, you're killin' us

Posted on February 16, 2012 |
By Karl Lindholm



A meditation on basketball officiating, stimulated by recent events:

My late brother-in-law, the football coach, didn’t watch much basketball, though he was an avid fan of sports generally. He said, “I don’t like a game where the official is so important. The whistle is blowing all the time. It seems the refs often control the outcome, not the players.” He preferred ice hockey in the winter.

That’s a valid criticism. This dependence on officials is basketball’s greatest limitation. Nonetheless, it’s a great game.

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Glory Years: Middlebury basketball

Posted on January 19, 2012 |
By Karl Lindholm



The glory years of Middlebury College men’s basketball are right now.

This year’s Panther team is 15-0 after their win Tuesday night and ranked number one in the country in Division III.

Under Coach Jeff Brown, Middlebury has earned a berth in the NCAA post-season tournament for the last four years, making it all the way to the final four last April before losing by two points to the eventual national champions from St. Thomas, Minn.

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He's getting a kick out of an NFL player

Posted on December 22, 2011 |
By Karl Lindholm



In pro football this year I follow closely the fortunes of the Patriots — and the Seattle Seahawks.

I try never to miss a Seahawks’ game. My favorite player is a Seahawk.

I am absorbed every week by the performance of the Middlebury College graduate who is playing a crucial role for the Seattle team.

Steve Hauschka, Middlebury 2007, is the placekicker for Seattle and is having an outstanding season. He has converted 22 of 26 field goal attempts (two over 50 yards) and all 30 of his extra points.

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Players, coaches, teams, Murph: Thanksgiving

Posted on November 23, 2011 |
By Karl Lindholm



Here’s a Thanksgiving sports story for you:

The last football game in a season is an emotional time for any team. For seniors, playing their last game, the emotional stakes are high. It was especially so for the Middlebury College team two weekends ago.

Middlebury came into the game with three wins and four losses, so was hoping to get to .500 with a win. Tufts University, their opponent, was winless, 0-7; a victory against the Panthers on Senior Day in Boston before the home folks would salvage their season.

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The All-Blacks, Bluto, Wormer national champs

Posted on October 27, 2011 |
By Karl Lindholm



The All-Blacks from host New Zealand triumphed before their adoring public last week in the Rugby World Cup, defeating France in the final. Perhaps you watched the match on national TV.

Rugby is a sport of great international scope, the national game in Wales, South Africa, and New Zealand and popular in many other countries of the world. Rugby’s following in the U.S. is growing.

I had a chance to travel to rugby-crazed New Zealand some years ago. I came home with a suitcase full of cool All-Blacks gear as gifts for kids and friends.

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Sports, schools, communities: Character revealed

Posted on September 29, 2011 |
By Karl Lindholm



John Castle uses a sports analogy to explain the beginning of school this year for him and the schools and communities he serves:

“When I was captain of the football team at Middlebury College in my senior year, I was injured in the second game, and missed the next three games.

“I was devastated and set my mind to ‘recovery’ so I could continue to play. I wanted to come back as quickly as I possibly could. Often you don’t appreciate something ’til it’s lost.

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Elgin, Artis, Bill, Doctor J: Hoop royalty

Posted on September 1, 2011 |
By Karl Lindholm



“Don’t look now, Pete. Dr. J.”

Sure enough, there he was, Julius Erving, not 10 feet from us, chatting amiably with friends, dignified, impeccable, with his closely shorn grey hair now turning white, no evidence of the flamboyant trademark Afro of his playing days.

This was a big deal. Dr. J!

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Grass skirts, 'Grins & Lies,' baseball clowns

Posted on August 4, 2011 |
By Karl Lindholm



Imagine: black men, barefoot, wearing grass skirts, shirtless, with war-painted faces, uttering gibberish, affecting a crude stereotype of African tribesmen, straight out of Tarzan movies. These were the Zulu Cannibal Giants, African-American baseball players in the 1930s, making a living, clowning, barnstorming the country, delighting white patrons.

Later, this team evolved into the Ethiopian Clowns, and finally the Indianapolis Clowns. The Clowns were a powerful force in black baseball from 1935 to the mid-1950s.

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L-screens, old jocks, denial

Posted on July 7, 2011 |
By Karl Lindholm



I love the L-screen.

It makes me feel years younger. I am always on the lookout for ways to feel younger these days. I have a bad case of Old Jock Syndrome.

The L-screen is a simple concept: It’s netting on an aluminum frame shaped like a fat “L.” It has revolutionized batting practice in baseball.

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Panther skipper is Coach and Mom of the Year

Posted on June 9, 2011 |
By Karl Lindholm



Kelly Bevere — Coach of the Year. It rhymes.

Kelly Bevere — Mom of the Year. That also works.

Kelly’s Middlebury College softball team won 26 regular season games this spring, swept through the NESCAC tournament undefeated (3-0), and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Just a couple weeks later, she gave birth to Owen, a slugger, born on May 27, weighing in at nine pounds 15 ounces.

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