One of the things I am eternally thankful for is that the day after Thanksgiving almost always turns out to be a Friday. You`d think the calendar people would mix it up more than that, wouldn`t you?
Which reminds me. If you were one of those people who were standing in line at 6 a.m. - in the cold and utter darkness - on Black Friday, waiting for the department store doors to open so you could be one of the first of the suburban elephants to stampede inside, did you ever once tap yourself on the shoulder and ask, "Why, exactly, am I here? Might not my time be put to better use? Say -- by sleeping?"
* At last count, some 247 Domers (people who either went to Notre Dame - or pretended to because they once attended St. Reggie The Redeemer High School) were institutionalized for shock treatment after ESPN`s Lou Holtz called ND`s victory over little ol` Duke "impressive." Father Holtz, who once coached at Notre Dame and never quite got over it, said this out loud on TV.
The amazing thing is that ESPN not only employs an aging missionary like Holtz, but that it puts a man on the air who speaks like his dentures are three sizes too large. Holtz`s credibility, along with his diction, has been shot six ways to Saturday for a couple years now.
The best thing about the Last Saturday of the regular collegiate football season is the traditional rivalry games (Alabama-Auburn, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida State-Florida, etc.). In the Mid-American Conference, this means Toledo vs. Bowling Green and Miami (Ohio) vs. Ohio U. Naturally, Kent State plays -- Buffalo.
Some schools never can do a thing right. Why not Akron-Kent?
Not so fast on that Last Saturday business. The Last Saturday doesn`t happen until Army plays Navy. I believe the military academies have it in their contract that they get to play the last game of the season - alone - with no other games going on so they can be guaranteed a TV audience of at least, oh -- 87 people.
Prediction: As the NCAA, in its infinite wisdom, keeps expanding the regular college football season -- to 13 games -- to 14 games and up -- look for the Army-Navy game to eventually be played in that dead zone that is the week before the Super Bowl. Either then or on St. Patrick`s Day - whichever comes first.
* If Mitch Albom - the reformed sportswriter (Detroit Free Press) turned hand-wringer and advocate cum laude for all things good and spiritual (he watches Seventh Heaven and likes it) - cranks out one more touchy-feely thing I am going to projectile vomitÂ onto my shoes. Also, proceeds from one more touchy-feely missive will put Albom in Grosse Pointe, which is just the other side of heaven.
* Browns GM Phil Savage faces a "do I dare?" challenge when the NFL season ends. Does he dare to:
(a) Trade Derek Anderson for a high draft pick?
(b) Keep Anderson and trade Brady Quinn for a No. 1 draft pick - plus another player?
(c) Trade Anderson for an already established defensive player?
(d) Keep both Anderson and Quinn and live without a first-round pick?
The thing is, if you were the GM of another team, exactly how high a draft pick would you go to obtain Anderson? A first? A second then? Well, how about a third?
* While we applaud the resolve of Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry on the Mexican standoff he has going with Anderson Varejao, we retain the right to turn our mitts into a megaphone in case we have to boo Ferry should he do nothing to address the team`s myriad problems.
Ferry`s been rather inactive in the trade mart the last couple years and as his trigger finger grows cold, the clock keeps ticking toward LeBron`s free agency. Before we can say "Jay-Z and Beyonce," the Nets will be Brooklyn - and so will LeBron.
The only thing that can keep LeBron from leaving is a championship team and the Cavs - no matter which of their 53 uniforms they dress up in - are NOT a championship-caliber team. And it`s not even close.
* Kobayoshi. Wasn`t that the name of one of the villains in The Usual Suspects? Or was he the glutton who crammed all those hot dogs down his throat? Remember when we looked to Japan for cameras and Toyotas and sushi? Now we go there for middle relievers. Ain`t life grand?
* An open letter to any would-be grownup given to writing letters to an athlete, begging him to pretty please come play for the home team:
Just don`t --
Not now --
Not ever --
* Try as you might, you won`t be able to stifle a giggle or three watching Lars and The Real Girl. Utterly charming.
* You know that Frank guy who does the imitations (the promos were draped all over the baseball playoffs and World Series)? Bottom line: the promos are better than the actual show.
* The high school football playoffs don`t seem quite the same without St. Ignatius, but the Mentor-Brunswick clash tonight at Parma`s Byers Field should be worth the price of admission. If you aren`t up to the trek (getting in and out of Parma is always an adventure), you can catch it on tape at 11 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio.
* If it`s not yet noon, you still have time to catch the Case-Wabash Division III playoff game over at University Circle.
* And finally, remember there is no such thing as too many leftover turkey sandwiches.
Wait -- I just heard my favorite word.
Contact Doug Clarke at 329-7135 firstname.lastname@example.org.