Quick Take

    Once in a while, a subject will present itself that will cause me to deviate from the SPORTS JUNKIE format, and add a quick editorial to the column. When that happens, I’ll call it a Quick Take. This one’s about the 2001 Division 1-A football season, and the BCS.

    Colorado hammered Nebraska, 62-36, a 26-point annihilation. Colorado clobbered Colorado State, 41-14. But because lowly San Diego State also beat Colorado State, Colorado was penalized by the BCS formula.

    Oregon lost one game, that to a terrific Stanford team, by seven points; not 26 points. The BCS formula wasn’t fair to Oregon either.

    So the BCS formula says Nebraska belongs in the championship game. Why? What am I missing here? I’m missing absolutely nothing; the NCAA is. 

    The BCS formula is a farce. Colorado won the Big 12, but runner-up Nebraska gets to play for the national championship; apparently, it’s more important to win on the computer than on the field. 

    The Fiesta Bowl on January 1st. has Colorado vs Oregon. The winner should hop a plane and play Miami in the Rose Bowl on January 3rd. for the national championship. That obviously can’t happen, but it makes more sense than the ludicrous BCS formula that let Nebraska in.

Story of the Week


    The Brooklyn Dodgers finally won a World Series. It was the Fall Classic of 1955, and the one they won was against their hated rival, the New York Yankees. The Dodgers had been in five World Series prior to 1955; they lost all five to the Yankees. So it was poetic justice that it would be the Yankees that ‘Dem Bums’, as they were referred to with great affection, finally beat for their first-ever World Series championship. Finally, my idol (see my article dated 8-9-01), Jackie Robinson, would wear a World Series ring.

    The Brooklyn Dodgers had the most devoted fans a sports team could have, and their reward was years of frustration and second-bests until 1955. That World Series went the full seven games, and was thrilling to any sports fan in America. 

    I was not cynical about sports then, and that era in baseball, ‘when it was a game’, provided me with the greatest of memories. The 1955 World Series occupies a special place within those memories.

    This would be Brooklyn’s one and only championship. To win it, Walter Alston’s team broke an old World Series jinx by becoming the first team to ever win a seven-game World Series after losing the first two games.

    My most pleasant memory of that series was Jackie Robinson’s steal of home in game one. I loved it, but in the final analysis, it was a play of no importance to the Dodgers as the Yankees won that game anyway.

    What was of great significance to the Dodgers in that series was the pitching of Johnny Podres. Podres started game three, a game the Dodgers had to win as they were already down 2-0 in the series. Podres pitched a complete game as Brooklyn won, 8-3. Then, with the series tied after six games, Podres started game seven and shut-out the Yankees 2-0 for the title. He went the distance in both games, allowing but two earned runs in 18 innings, including the shut-out in the series’ clinching game.

    What was of great significance to the Dodgers as well was a play made by their most obscure position starter, left-fielder Sandy Amoros. With the Yankees batting in the last half of the sixth inning of game seven, Billy Martin led off with a walk, and then Gil McDougald bounced an infield single. Yogi Berra hit a fly ball deep into the left field corner. Amoros made a one-handed catch at the last second, then got the ball back into the infield to double-up McDougald. Without that specific play, the Dodgers might not have won the 1955 World Series.

    For great Brooklyn Dodgers reading, I suggest ‘The Boys Of Summer’ by Roger Kahn, and ‘Bums’ by Peter Golenbock.

Last Week’s Trivia

    What team owns the record for fewest yards passing in a Super Bowl? The Denver Broncos passed for 35 net yards in their loss to the Dallas Cowboys, 27-10, in Super Bowl XII.

Trivia Question of the Week

    What is the fastest clocked speed that a hockey puck has been known to travel, and who is given credit for it? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.