Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 11/21/15

What I'm Thankful For At Thanksgiving (the "mostly" SPORTS version).........

*an American named Pat Tillman was born in 1976

*I was able to watch a man named Walter Payton play football in his prime--"Sweetness" in all its splendor

*I was born to parents who greatly fostered my love for sports--and recognized it EARLY ON

*jumbo pretzels that are sold at various sporting events

*I was brought up in an era where trash-talking/showboating was minimal--and the concept of T-E-A-M was emphasized

*I was able to coach youngsters in the past who simply BOUGHT INTO a very disciplined approach--and it paid off for them

*having had some great coaches MYSELF as a kid

*the Phillie Phanatic

*I had a VERY good, healthy set of legs--for 40 years or so, that is

*having heard my Dad tell me stories about players that I NEVER saw play--such as Jim Brown, Bobby Layne, Whitey Ford, and Sandy Koufax

*comeback stories a la Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs

*having watched Usain Bolt run like no human being ever has--or ever WILL

*the fact that I'm not coaching vs. the Golden State Warriors anytime soon

*having been privy to the joy, camaraderie, competitiveness, and endorphins associated with long-distance running

*being able to watch the 1971 Baltimore Orioles pitching staff (FOUR 20-game winners)

*the fact that there aren't any HOOTERS restaurants within a decent driving distance of my home

*the Harlem Globetrotters

*The Wiffle Ball, Inc.

*the Farrah Fawcett poster I had in my bedroom as a kid (didn't EVERY teen boy have one?)

*not breaking EVERY bone in my body during my lifetime (just MOST of them)

*getting to see the 1976 "Big Red Machine" play in Cincinnati

*the fact that Thanksgiving--along with its COUNTLESS calories--occurs only once per year

*being able to witness a MLB no-hitter in person (Dave Righetti, 1983)

*being able to attend a World Series game (1978, LA/NY--the "Nettles" game)

*being able to attend Fordham University--and being exposed to ALL that NY sports had to offer (and NYC in general) during the 70's/80's

*I was privy to "Franco's Italian Army" and "Gerela's Gorillas" in Pittsburgh back in the 1970's

*unlimited, free Ben & Jerry's ice cream bars for media members covering the Travelers Championship each year

*the realization that the horrific traffic/gridlock/madness at the Yale/Harvard game in New Haven happens only ONCE every two years--and NOT yearly

*the 'powers that be' haven't torn down Fenway Park or Wrigley Field yet

*seeing "Wild" Bill Hagy spell out O-R-I-O-L-E-S with his body during the 70's/80's in Baltimore

*Barry Bonds did NOT have a twin brother

*O.J. Simpson did NOT have a twin brother

*having copies of my Mom's Italian sauce recipe

*I was able to watch "Dr. J." play both in the ABA AND NBA

*having been able to watch Joe Namath release the football

*having great memories of stickball games as a kid

*NOT being given trophies for "just participating" in youth sports during the 60's and 70's

*NOT living inside the BEARD of NY Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

*having been able to hear Vin Scully call a baseball game

*having interviewed ex-football players like Rosey Grier, Lem Barney, and Warren Moon--and witnessing what greatness OFF the gridiron is all about

*seeing Roberto Duran fight in his prime

*the aroma of freshly-mowed turf during springtime

*the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders

*the N.Y. Jets "Flight Crew" cheerleaders

*hell--ALL NFL cheerleading squads

*having interviewed Denny McLain--MLB's last 30-game winner--and experiencing his passion for the way the game USED to be played

*having experienced the wondrous nature of a small town called Cooperstown on numerous occasions

*having some great Italian aunts who NEVER left me hungry/desiring more food on a holiday like Thanksgiving

*NOT having tons of technology at my disposal as a kid; we had something called "OUTDOORS"

*being able to talk sports each week on the radio with 94.9 FM's Lee Elci--the best in the "biz"

*having worked with radio/TV co-hosts like Tony DeAngelo, Chris Mascaro, Dave Rattigan, and Rich Marazzi--all SOLID individuals

*I was able to witness the pure, unmatched magic possessed by a man named "Pistol" Pete Maravich

*fat-free frozen yogurt

*having seen a Bert Blyleven curveball in person

*having seen a Ron Guidry and Steve Carlton slider in person

*I'm NOT Greg Hardy's PR person

*being able to attend most NY Yankees games in the late 70's/early 80's and paying $1.50 for a ticket

*seeing guys like Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, and the aforementioned Walter Payton score TD's and NOT showboating

*collecting baseball cards as a kid

*not becoming violent when my Mom cleaned my room and DISCARDED all of my baseball cards as a kid

*seeing Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn handle baseball bats as if they were magic wands

*I was able to watch both Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux play in person

*having childhood friends/neighbors who were SO involved in backyard sports/pick-up games so many years ago--on a DAILY basis

*Finally, a terrific audience of readers for the past 15 years or so; a few more columns to come, folks.


At 8:31 AM, Blogger ThursdayNight Tailgate said...

And I'm thankful that 4+ years ago you were willing to put up with a nobody like me on View from the Lone Red Seat and later take over as Co-Host of Thursday Night Tailgate with me. No matter who our guests are, the biggest privilege of ever show is getting to do it with you...Thank YOU Bob!...Chris


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