Archive for Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chinstraps and Mouthpieces: Holiday cheer as sports take winter break

December 21, 2005

I'm a little bummed these days.

I know, I know, I should be jolly and sharing glad tidings and all that jazz, but I'm slightly gloomy -- courtesy of the San Diego Chargers.

Yes, the Bolts dropped the Colts on Sunday and spoiled Indianapolis' quest to become the first undefeated NFL team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to go undefeated. The Dolphins went on to win the Super Bowl that year, something the Colts still are capable of doing -- even though they dropped to 13-1.

Ultimately, I'm a Dolphins hater. More specifically, I'm a 1972 Dolphins hater. Each year, players from that team get together and toast each other, usually with champagne, when the last undefeated team falls.

This year, Don Shula and Bob Griese, coach and quarterback of that 1972 team, were in a skybox suite in Miami watching the Colts-Chargers game. With no champagne available, the two toasted with Diet Cokes.

The 1972 Dolphins are the only team to go through the season undefeated. Now, that distinction will stay intact for one more year. It's a great accomplishment for that team, one that may never be emulated, but it's a bit pompous to guzzle some champagne when a current unbeaten team loses.

Those Dolphins have been upset about how some people perceive their celebration.

"We're depicted as being happy about somebody's misfortune," Shula said in an article that appeared in Monday's Lawrence Journal-World.

Interestingly enough, Shula became visibly upset during the Colts-Chargers game when a San Diego player tried to field a punt near his own goal line.

"I got up and displayed some anger," Shula said. "I was sort of upset. Wouldn't you be?"

I'd be more upset that the franchise I coached for so long hasn't been anywhere near the Super Bowl in recent years. Yes, It's no easy task and one that might never be repeated. However, if I were those Dolphins I'd rather be popping champagne for another Miami Super Bowl trophy than another team's demise.

Yes, my ramblings about the Dolphins weren't very festive nor are they in line with holiday spirit. To make up for my grumpiness, I've assembled a little holiday poem highlighting local athletics.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays:

'Twas five days before Christmas, and all through the town,
The sports world was silent. Not a game could be found.
The Chieftains and Bulldogs were on winter break,
To practice 'fore Wednesday would be a mistake.

Chieftain girls basketball's the talk of the town,
The team is 5 and 0, with a tourney crown.
During the past fall, our teams were successful too.
THS football finished strong, at 9 and 2.

Over in McLouth, the townspeople cheered with glee.
An undefeated year -- a first since '53.
And THS harrier teams had their fun.
They both went to state -- a first since '91.

Now we turn our attention to winter sports.
Where our girl and boy Chieftains play games of all sorts.
Wrestling teams get ready for a new year's slate.
Chieftains girls are hopeful they will return to state.

On Bogard, on Baska!
On Pistora and Stauch,
Now ranked in Class 4A,
They're proving they're no slouch.
Sports offers me much cheer.
And reporting's a cinch.
And as for the old Dolphins,
I'm sorry I'm a grinch.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.