Off The Beaten Path Today …

Until I read a report last weekend about CheerSport, I was unaware that there was an annual national cheerleading competition.  Well, there is.  And it was in Atlanta GA last weekend drawing “40,000 people from across the country.”  I might suggest a motto for the organizers here and the participants:

  • “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor a pandemic stays these cheerers from their appointed routines…”
  • [Apologies to US Postal workers here…]

Participation is “significantly smaller this year” according to the organizers; only about 800 teams from around the country will compete.  Naturally, the organizers assert that they have strict and thorough health and safety standards in place and that they will be enforced.  I hope they are right because if they are wrong, this could be super-spreader event.

The danger of viral spread in, around and during the competition may be manageable with some precautions that are in place:

  • Teams will perform in isolation; only the team and family members will be in the arena during a performance.
  • There will be cleaning/sanitizing between the routines of all teams.
  • Masks will be worn at all times and there is to be no “high-fiving” or “hugging” after the performance.
  • You get the idea…

However, there is the potential for community spread because in the counties around Atlanta, more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 have been detected.  The participants and their families will need to be “out and about” in that area for some of the time to get to and from lodgings and to eat etc.  Hopefully, everyone will go home from this event virus free.

The cheerleading competition will go on and at the same time a high school basketball season had to be abandoned.  Yesterday, I got an email from a friend with a link to a story from  A high school in Michigan – Mio High School – has had to cancel its basketball season this year because its players have chosen to play for “travel teams” due to the uncertainty in Michigan regarding high school athletics this year.  The Michigan High School Athletic Association basketball season has not started yet but evidently “travel teams” are up and running.

The season was supposed to start on February 1st but an order from the governor put it back to “no sooner than February 21st.”  Evidently, that was enough for the players at Mio High School and their parents to “take their talents elsewhere”.  There is an irony here.

After the governor’s proclamation of no season prior to February 21st, the Michigan Dept of Health and Human Services reversed course and said the season could start on February 8th.  The problem is that kids had signed up and joined “travel teams” by then and in doing so those players were now ineligible to play on Michigan High School Athletic Association teams.

The linked story above calls Mio High School’s boys’ basketball team:

“ … the home of basketball heroes, legends and icons.   It is the home of a basketball heritage, tradition and pride.”

Even allowing for a lot of rhetorical license there, one might ask if the season was lost to the pandemic or to political/bureaucratic kabuki theater which then led parents to do something for their kids that made them ineligible to come back to their high school team.  Perhaps Alphonse and Gaston are alive and well and living in Michigan…

Another off-the-beaten-path event took place over the weekend.  FCF – – Fan Controlled Football – – made its debut and Johnny Manziel was back in action for the first time in a long time.  The last time Manziel was in a professional football game was in 2019 when he was with the Memphis Express of the briefly interesting Alliance of American Football.  Here in FCF, Manziel is part of a 4-team league that plays indoors with 7 players on a side.  His team is the Zappers, and they lost their opening encounter to the Beasts by a score of 48-44.  Manziel was 1 for 5 passing for 11 yards in the game and ran the ball 8 times for 68 yards and a TD.

After the game, Manziel said:

“The product will keep getting better as the weeks go on.  Good start even with the loss.  You know, win or lose we booze on the Zappers.”

Johnny Manziel has been out of the NFL since 2015.  I suspect that any folks at NFL HQs who heard or read that post-game statement had to feel a sense of relief that he was not representing an NFL team when he said that.

Finally, Bob Molinaro had this note in a column last week in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot.  I could not agree more that far too many writers and broadcasters have jumped the gun on the idea of “legacy” here:

Such nonsense: Anyone who honestly thinks — as apparently some talk-show hosts pretend to — that Patrick Mahomes seriously damaged his legacy by losing a Super Bowl at age 25 a year after winning the big game, should consider adjusting their meds. And why would anybody talk about a 25-year-old athlete’s legacy?”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



4 thoughts on “Off The Beaten Path Today …”

  1. Alphonse and Gaston,
    Beautiful Jack, I wonder what percentage of your followers had to resort to, as you say, Google is your friend.

    1. TC LaTorre:

      I know of one reader who is either a senior in high school or a college freshman. He probably had to resort to Google for Alphonse and Gaston…

  2. I think the first time I ever heard of them was when the Mets won a game from the Padres when two outfielders stopped and let a ball drop. the line was fitting, as one of the outfielders was Clarence Gaston….

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