North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Local Sports

June 20, 2013

Robert Carter: Grab bag — All-stars, hockey and Lefty

COMMENTARY — Like the bag of Chex Mix that I just polished off, it’s time to dig into an assortment of sports items not big enough to fill a whole column...

Basketball all-stars in June? Well, the NBA is still playing, isn’t it?

I’ve been asked by a few folks why we are just getting around to naming our NJN All-Star teams in wrestling and basketball — two sports which wrapped up high school action more than two months ago.

The reason is very practical, and not just because I’m lazy (which I am). These days, the post-season schedules of winter sports overlap with the start of spring sports, particularly softball and baseball. We literally go from hoops sub-regionals on a Friday and Saturday to baseball the next Monday.

So in order to give enough space to everything as play moves from one sport to another, we simply put off handing out our winter honors until the end of the school year.

There’s another good reason: Once school is out for the summer, there’s not much for us to write about on the old sports page, since we are so heavily invested in our local high schools. Holding our All-Star teams until the summer holiday also serves to fill in that dead time.

Convinced yet? Well, I tried.

Old-time hockey! At the risk of sounding like Paul Newman’s character from the iconic sports movie “Slap Shot,” there are few things I like better than watching a couple of old-time NHL teams go at it on the ice.

However, with the huge influx of players from Europe, the current state of play bears little resemblance to the days when the boys would throw down the gloves and engage in fisticuffs at the drop of a puck.

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