Click to see this week's specials at the North Bend Mini Mart!

The North Bend Eagle


Eagle Web Log

April 6, 2011

Track teams impress

It was a truly gorgeous spring day for the Running Tiger/Cadet Track and Field Invite Tuesday (April 5) in North Bend. The only thing that put a damper on the afternoon evening was the cloud of dust wafting over the stadium every time someone drove by on the gravel road west of the track. It wreaked havoc on my allergies and was almost enough to make me change my stance on the EPA's proposed regulation of farm dust, as I detailed in my March 23 "Banks" column. (Just kidding. Was it annoying? Yes. Should it be the government's job to decide when it's annoying and impose regulations and red tape in a futile and no doubt expensive effort to control the dust annoying me? No way.)

Dust aside, it was an impressive showing by the Tiger track teams. In a 10-team meet, the boys placed second and girls third. We knew the girls were going to be good, but when people asked me how the boys team was going to be, I may have undersold them a bit.

All three of the Tiger boys' relays placed in the top three, with the mile relay of Kale Wietfeld, Colin Murphy, Cody Main and Brady Renter winning. NBC placed in 15 of the 17 events and earned seven silver or gold medals. David Christensen jumped 6-2 in the high jump, giving NBC a legit 6-foot jumper for the first time in several years (back to Neil Hines in '02?).

Perhaps the most pleasing development was the fact that NBC had two medallists in the 100 meters. The sprints have never been a Tiger strong suit, so it was good to see Sam Lowe place third and Charles Miller fifth. And it wasn't just doing well in a weak field. They were legit times with Lowe running a 11.2 and Miller clocking in at 11.6. Add those two to Wietfeld (who placed second in the 200) and Renter, and NBC could have its most dangerous quartet in the 400-meter relay since the state championship team of 2001.

The boys's mile relay came in with a time of 3:38.3. With it still being early April, there's still plenty of time to get that down into the low 30's, where you can start making some noise on the state level in Class C.

The girls also had several impressive performances throughout the day, but probably none more so than the mile relay of Alyssa Brabec, Mallory Hull, Alexis Allgood and Cassie Schutt. Those four won the 4x4 comfortably in a time of 4:14.3. To put that in perspective, last season NBC had the state's fastest mile relay time heading into the state meet at 4:10. This early in the season, their 4:14 is likely to put them among the state leaders again.

Meanwhile, Logan View may have staked themselves as the team to beat in the East Husker Conference on the boys side. The Raiders won the meet with 115.5 points. NBC was second with 94. Three other EHC teams at Tuesday's meet, West Point, Lyons-Decatur and Tekamah-Herman, were non-factors in the team race. On the girls side, a legit challenger to NBC's conference reign has yet to emerge. The Tigers had 93 points Tuesday. The next highest EHC team, West Point, had 44.


April 4, 2011

If football had a basketball-style NCAA tournament...

As I referenced in my April 6 "Banks" column, the Wall Street Journal's Darren Everson did an interesting comparison between college football and the NCAA basketball tournament. Using computer rankings, he replaced the 64 basketball teams with their football equivalents from this past season. For example, the No. 1 seeds in the football tournament were Auburn, Oregon, TCU and Stanford. As you know, no No. 1 or 2 seeds made this year's basketball final four. Everson then completed the bracket the way the basketball tournament played out.

The result is a football final four made up of Oklahoma State, Air Force, Virginia Tech, and Northern Illinois. You would have had Virginia Tech (representing UConn basketball, a 3-seed) playing Northern Illinois (representing Butler) in the finals.

And, like I said in the paper, it's interesting the note that even when the Husker football team replaces the NU basketball team, we still can't win a NCAA tournament game. The 5-seed Huskers got upset in the first round by the 12-seed Miami Hurricanes (representing Richmond's upset of Vanderbilt).

To read Everson's entire column on the subject, click here. To go straight to the football version of the 2011 NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

March 30, 2011

Get your daily flossing...

I know I've been inundating you with Web Log posts recently, and you're probably getting tired of reading my diarrhea of the fingers, so I will be brief.

Like me, I'm sure you are always looking for ways to waist time at work. Actually, I don't look for ways to waste time at work, they find me. But if you need a break from Facebook stalking your ex-girlfriend or replaying the Friday video for the millionth time, here's a cool we bite that's even educational: Mental Floss. It's full of all kinds of interesting stories behind the stories and trivia. But sadly, it can't answer the vexing question: "Which seat should I choose?"

Jan. 25, 2011

Turn the radio up...

Saturday afternoon Little Ricky's temporarily reopened to host a video shoot for Dylan and the Dirtroad Detour's song "Turn the Radio Up." Frontman Dylan Bloom, a North Bend native, wrote the song about growing up in a "small town where the Platte River bends." The video, which features many North Benders, can been seen by clicking play below.

Jan. 2, 2011

2010 in pictures

Strom brewing in Kansas.
A farmer works in a field southwest of WaKeeney, Kansas, with ominous clouds looming overhead on June 20, 2010. Photo by Steven Hausler/Hays Daily News

Here's a cool link featuring the best photographs from around the world taken 2010, including the one above. Make sure you check out all three parts of the display. Sadly, most of these pictures were not taken by the North Bend Eagle staff. Except for No. 23 in the first part. I think I took that one at the Dodge County Fair and they just got the caption wrong. Or at least I could have. That one doesn't really fit in with the rest of the images, in my humble opinion. Anyway, enjoy.

Sept. 3, 2010

Big Red State of Mind...

Here's an entertaining way to kick off the 2010 Husker football season. It's a parody of Jay-Z's "New York State of Mind" from the Schick and Nick radio show on 1620 the Zone. Good stuff: Click here.

Aug. 18, 2010

An actuall chill...

It looks like our "Day in the Life" pictorial issue was a hit. I've received a lot of compliments and it sold well at the stands. I'm glad you had as much fun looking at it as I did making it.

Last Sunday was the annual Webster Bored meeting, a gathering of Webster alumni and residents. At about midnight I was outside and noticed something for the first time in months: a slight chill in the air. Before that the air was hot and sultry, even at nights. After an at times unbearably hot week last week, that chill was a welcome development. Though unfortunately it was also a sign that we've begun the long, slow decline into winter.

In case you missed it, this morning the Omaha World-Herald had a story about our neighbors to the north and the fight over the future of Scribner-Snyder schools. We just saw Prague make the tough call to close their school, and it looks like Scribers will be even more a struggle for the community.

Aug. 4, 2010

A day in the life...

Today I've been making my way all around town, taking random pictures of people doing random things in preparation for next week's "A Day in the Life" issue. This is an idea I've had for a while and finally got around to executing. Hopefully you will enjoy it (Sorry, no refunds if you don't). I think it will be neat for the out-of-state subscribers to get check in and see how the ol' Bend is doing today. I'm sure it will be one of those issues that people will come across years later and remark how old fashioned everything looks. Hopefully we'll end up with a real slice-of-life glimpse of our town.

One of my stops today was the pool, where I mentioned to one of the life guards that it was on a "pool shoot" my first summer on the job, way back in '06, where I met her for the first time while taking a picture of her playing with some kids she was babysitting. It's kind of weird to say, but I think I have a pretty good recollection of just about everyone whose picture I have ever taken and published in the Eagle. Usually I can remember what they were doing in the picture and why I took it. (Now that I write this, I'm sure this week I'll have a bunch of people say "Remember when I was in the paper?" and I will have no clue.)

I started my day all ambitious and got up at 5:50 in order to be ready for a sunrise picture, thinking that would be a good image to start our "Day in the life." Of course, it was overcast and there was no sunrise. I wish Mother Nature would check in with my schedule before just throwing out clouds like that.

July 19, 2010

The hunter...

You should enjoy the new Nike commercial featuring our very own Ndamukong Suh below, unless your name is Colt McCoy, that is.

I'm sure we can look forward to many more cool commercials featuring Suh. More good pub for one of the greatest Huskers of all time!

July 14, 2010

More on The Decision...

I just wanted to add a few things to this week's (July 14) column on LeBron James' decision to sign with the Miami Heat. Some of you might think I'm being hypocritical of by criticizing James' Decision. "Aren't you a Celtics fan? Didn't the Celtics just win a title with their own carpetbagging trio of all-stars?" you may be inclined to ask.

Why yes, let me remind you that the Celtics have won a championship with two Finals appearances in the last three years. Just thought I'd mention that.

But, no, I don't see it as the same thing. We held (past tense) LeBron James to a higher standard.

As I said in the column, I can certainly appreciate a player taking less money for a chance to win championships. Sports should be about winning, or trying to win, not about the money. In that aspect, I applaud James. Of course, while doing so he gave a big middle finger to Cleveland, his home state and the fans that have supported him since high school. He admitted in during The Decision that he didn't even give Cleveland management a courtesy call to let them know his plans. They found out when the rest of the world did. Not once during his hour-long special did he thank Cavs fans, players or personnel for all the support during the first seven years of his career. When you work at one place for seven years, special bonds form. James could at least have pretended to show a little gratitude. But he didn't.

Still, that's not my point. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen needed to switch teams to get their championship rings. By the way, they did this by trade. Their former teams agreed that it was time to move on and received compensation for giving up their all-star players. But that's still not my point.

LeBron James switched teams to get a better chance at a ring. Fine. He earned that right. He did it within the established system. But don't ever try to argue he's the best player of all time again. I might have agreed with you a few months ago. Then, after seeing James get a case of yellow socks in the second round against Boston and quit, yes quit, in the clinching Game 6, weI knew he wasn't even the best player in the NBA, much less of all time. Begrudgingly, the best player in the world title has to go to Kobe Bryant right now. And by admitting he can't win a title without another all-NBA player by his side, James and his fans must forfeit any claims to G.O.A.T. or even greatest right now.

So was Kevin Garnett going to the Celtics for a chance at a ring similar to James going to the Heat for a chance at a ring? Yes. Similar. But KG does not have a self-professed goal of becoming a "Global Icon." No one around KG is claiming that he is going to be the greatest player of all time. We held James to a higher standard because he could have been the next Great One, maybe even the Greatest One. By joining Dwayne Wade instead of trying to beat him, we now see that James just doesn't have the DNA to be The Greatest.

• A careful Web Log observer pointed out to me that there is indeed a Nebraska clip in the college football decade highlights posted below in the July 8 entry, though it's not really a highlight. At the 2:50 mark, there is a brief close-up of a Nebraska player. So that's what we get. No Stuntz to Crouch touchdown against Oklahoma. No Alex Henery 57-yarder to beat Colorado. No Crouch juking and weaving his way 100 yards through the Missouri defense. No Ndamukong Suh doing, well, anything he wants. No Crouch blowing up an Iowa Hawkeye on his way to the end zone. A 2-second clip of a player's face. Let's make sure we give them more reason to include Nebraska highlights this coming decade, shall we?

July 8, 2010

Highlights for the decade of college football...

If the following video doesn't get you ready for college football season, then nothing will. Although to cap it off the really needed a shot of Ndamukong Suh tossing Colt McCoy like a discus. Actually, I don't think there are any Nebraska highlights in it (not even Henery's 57-yarder to beat Colorado?), unless you count the Iowa State coach yelling "I am so proud to be your coach" after beating the Huskers last season. Still, very good video of highlights from the last decade of college football.

I am sure you are all nervously awaiting tonight's announcement by LeBron James as to where he will be signing a contract, which will be the highlighted in an hour-long special on ESPN. And no, I'm not kidding. Here's an interesting take on the situation by Bill Simmons, including his thoughts on why LBJ is taking a cop-out if he signs with Miami and why a James-D.Wade-Bosh trio wouldn't make the Finals.

For those of you who enjoyed the "Big 12 Farewell to the Cornhuskers" linked below, here's part two of the series by Barking Carnival.

July 4, 2010

Kind words from Texas...

Happy Independence Day! God bless America! Screw the British! Right now I'm rocking out to my favorite patriotic song, which is of course Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus.

Pardon me, I got a little caught up in the moment, not to mention the six hours of History Channel specials I've watched this weekend about the butt kicking we gave the redcoats back in the '70s (1770s of course). Six hours and counting, that is...

Just a couple of quick links to pass along this overcast Fourth of July regarding another Independence Day, Nebraska's independence from the Big 12:

A Big 12 Farewell to the Cornhuskers: This one is even more interesting since it was written by the Barking Carnival, a Texas Longhorn blog. BC usually does pretty funny stuff, even if it is Texas-centric. But it is nice to read about Nebraska looked upon with respect by a 'Horn. This particular column looks at how Nebraska found success in the middle of nowhere.

Devaney started NU to Big 10 talk: This is Lee Barfknecht's column from today's World-Herald in case you haven't seen it yet. The interesting thing is back in 1994 it was indeed the Texas schools agreeing to join the Big 8. Any Texas partisan will try to tell you that a whole new league was formed, not that the Texas schools joined an existing league. Revisionist history.

June 28, 2010

Old Settlers settled...

Curtis Tomasevicz speaks at Old Settlers
Curt Tomasevicz was one of the highlights of this year's Old Settlers Picnic.

Old Settlers 2010 is now in the books. With the way the past month has gone, what were the odds we were going to get three straight days without rain? Luckily, that's exactly what happened (maybe for the first time all month? I may be exaggerating here... but maybe not.) Saturday was a sweat-while-doning-nothing-but-standing-in-the-shade burner, but Sunday was perfect weather.

For those of you who missed Curt Tomasevicz's talk Sunday afternoon, it was very good. He didn't get all preachy about life lessons and everything, he just told stories from his experience, beating long odds twice to become a Husker (he made the team at an open tryout with 120 other people) and then an Olympic bobsledder (did we mention he's from Shelby, Nebraska?), then a gold medal winning Olympic bobsledder. He was entertaining and funny, and yes, the young ones even came away with a few life lessons.

A good time was had by all this weekend, I think. Now to the task of putting out this week's paper that we really haven't started. (This would be a good place to remind you that this week's paper will be a day late.) We'll have slideshows with a lot more pictures up later this week.

July, here we come!

June 25, 2010

Wilted shamrocks...

OK, a week later, I'm ready to talk about it. After the final buzzer sounded of Game 7 of the NBA Finals, I avoided all NBA talk for the next week. Didn't want to hear about it, didn't want to think about it. I almost missed the NBA draft Thursday night, one of my favorite non-sporting sporting events, because I didn't know it was that night due to my avoidance of most sports over the last week.

Someone asked me if I was still mourning the Celtics' loss in Game 7 a week later. I told them mourning probably wasn't the right word, it was more of a depression, actually.

All I know is that if Ray Allen was still alive, this never would have happened. After setting an NBA Finals record with eight 3-pointers in game 2, he shot 0-13 in game 3. I contend that if he just makes a single 3 in game 3, Boston wins. I know the Celts lost by more than three in that game, but if you tack on three extra points near the end it changes the whole dynamic of the game. In game 7, Ray not only missed shots, but made several dumb plays and turnovers. Down the stretch, Ron-fricking-Artest made more clutch shots than Ray Allen.

To his credit, Ray played great defense. For being the 30-something he is, he stuck with Kobe admirably and forced him into many bad shooting nights. Kobe shot 6-for-24 in Game 7, which of course led to his winning the Finals MVP. Whatever.

Still you have to give it to the ol' Celtics (and by ol' I do mean "old"). No one gave them a chance, but they proved that when healthy, they are still among the very best teams in the league, if not the best. Good for them.

• Moving on, Welcome Old Settlers! I look upon Old Settlers with bittersweetness. It's one of the very few times a year I get to see a lot of old high school buddies, but it's also one of the busiest weekends of the year as I try cover everything going on. So it's a careful balance between trying to have a good time myself and trying to be everywhere at once. Especially annoying are those events that choose to being before noon on Saturday and Sunday.

June 16, 2010

Choppy waters...
I had to run up to West Point today and was forced onto gravel roads because Highway 275 was closed. What someone should do is set up a white-water rafting business on the Elkhorn River right now. It is fast and churning. Although you really couldn't call it "white water." The water has more of a "chocolate milk" look to it, though don't let looks fool you like it did me. It still tastes like mud.

• After last night's beatdown of the Celtics, I am not too optimistic about Thursday's Game 7. Especially since Kendrick Perkins is out. Without him, the Celtics really struggle to match the Lakers' size. Now if Andrew Bynum isn't going to play because his knee is bothering him, then that will even things up a bit. I always overreact to the latest game anyway. I think, "They can't score tonight. Will they ever be able to score again?" But I've watched the NBA long enough to know that a blowout in one game means very little in the next. I will keep the hope, but I am not optimistic.

• The tagline in this week's paper (6/16) mentions Chip Brown, a reporter/mouthpiece for a Texas Longhorns web site. He was the one who insisted Nebraska didn't have a Big 10 invite. Basically, he spewed whatever information Texas wanted him to in order to spin things in Texas' favor in this whole conference realignment mess.

Yes Man at Husker gameCharacters played by Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel chant "Go Big Red." While this shot was filmed in Hollwood, several real shots from Nebraska were used in the scene.

• The quote on the bottom left of page 8 is from the movie Yes Man. Carl is the character played by Jim Carrey. There's a scene in that movie where Carl goes to a Nebraska game in Lincoln. When they show a shot of Carrey cheering in the front row of the stands, right behind him is a guy dressed like Herbie Husker (the original blond, overall-wearing version of Herbie, not the new brown-haired, dressed-to-go-to-town Herbie). That guys dresses like that to every Husker game and sits a few rows in front of me at games. (In the picture at right, he is right behind Carrey, with the right arm in white sleeve showing. He really does look like Herbie.)

During the Husker game scene in Yes Man, they show the team running out of the tunnel, led by Bill Callahan. You can tell this was filmed late in the 2007 season when he knew his job was not going to be saved. He just waved the team out of the tunnel and onto the field, while he got out of the way and just walked onto the field. He didn't run out of the tunnel in front of the team like he did when he actually gave a crap.

June 2, 2010

Tornadic memories..
For some reason we were talking about our earliest memories the other day. I narrowed my earliest memory to these: 1. Getting ready for a snowmobile race on the day my sister was born when I was three years and three months old. 2. The tornado of 1980, when I was 4 1/2. 3. Kindergarten round up when I was 5.

Since we featured the 30-year anniversary of the 1980 tornado in this week's paper, I'll focus on No. 2 (even though you're probably wondering what I was doing racing snowmobiles when I was 3). I showed up on the scene the day after the tornado destroyed everything except the house on my grandparent's farm. I remember pulling branches and small limbs out of the front yard and putting them into a pile. I remember the TV new helicopters landing in the pasture just south of the house.

The scene of devastation must have made quite an impression on four-year-old me because I also remember being deathly afraid of tornadoes for years to come. I had a box of some of my favorite toys under my bed so I would be able to save them from an oncoming tornado as we dashed to the basement. I had innumerable nightmares about tornadoes. In fact, I remember the break through dream where I dreamt about a tornado and wasn't terrified.

To this day, I have never seen a tornado. I hope that someday I do, providing I get to see it harmlessly whipping through a field or pasture and not a town or home.

• This week's (June 2 edition) tag line explanation: (I never know what to call that line that changes every week under the flag at the top of the Eagle's print edition. So I am calling it a tag line from now on.) It's a line from Samuel Adams beer commercial about the foam head that forms on the top of a glass of Sam Adams. I also quite accurately describes the Eagle, but cause you could set a bottle cap on top of your Eagle, and it will not fall through. So I thought the line was particularly appropriate.

• A quick link to get you primed for the Celtics-Lakers showdown starting Thursday:

Myths about the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, written before the 2008 finals

May 25, 2010

LOST and found...
For those of you still trying to wrap your mind around the Lost series finale from Sunday night, here a link to one of the best explanations I've found yet. I'll probably write more about Lost in my column in next week's paper.

By the way, sucky Celtics-Magic game last night in Game 4. The way the announcers and studio guys were talking about how well the Magic were playing, you'd have thought Orlando led by 20 the whole game, yet the C's were only usually three to six points behind. Let's hope they wrap it tomorrow night.

May 24, 2010

LOST fades into black, then history...
I liked it. The six year journey is over. Well, actually for me it was more like a four year journey because I watched the first two seasons on DVD. But Lost, one of the most captivating, theory provoking TV series in history, is now over.

At this point I'm not going to delve into my thoughts on the series and its finale. But I will pass on a couple of links, and a couple of Lincolns. My brother Lincoln attended a Lost watch party in Lincoln with some of his friends. Two of his friends write "The Dharma Blog," which analyzes the show on a weekly basis. The blog has gotten huge, with regular readers all over the globe. I linked to the blog a couple of weeks ago, and I do again now for you all you Lost fans.

Anyway, as the most famous Lost fans in Nebraska, Channel 8 news in Lincoln sent a reporter to Charlie and Maggie's Lost party. My brother was in attendance, dressed as Jack. Click here to see the news report. Lincoln doesn't get a speaking role, but he does get his own close up.


May 20, 2010

Just a couple of quick links to pass along..
If you've been trying to follow this Big Ten expansion mess, your head is probably spinning. Right now, all the rumors are probably just speculation and guesses or outright false. The Big 10 hasn't even decided for certain that it is indeed expanding. The school presidents have to vote on that later this summer.

But here's a couple of interesting and entertaining articles on the subject:

• ESPN's Pat Forde suggests the Big 10 should just add one team, and you'll be interested to see which one team he suggests (wink, wink).

• This one is pretty funny, because it takes ample (though justified) swipes at two of my least favorite college football entities: the Big 10 and Notre Dame. Paul Finebaum of the Mobile Press Register says all this expansion talk is just an attempt for the Big 10 to be relevant in college football again.

May 19, 2010

I've said it before, and I'll say it again..
Don't sleep on the Celtics! The C's are now up 2-0 over the previously-undefeated-in-the-2010-playoffs Orlando Magic and everyone seems shocked.

The best basketball studio show in the business is TNT's Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. Any time you throw Barkley into the mix, it's bound to be entertaining. Anyway, after Boston beat Cleveland in Game 2 to steal homecourt advantage, Sir Charles said the win was impressive, but the Cavs would still win the series because they were the better team. After the Celts dispatched Cleveland 4-2, there was little doubt about who the better team was. Even so, all the talking heads said Orlando would win the Eastern finals, some even predicting a quick, 5-game series.

Again the Celtics came through, winning the first two games of the series on the road. (In the Celtics long and rich history, they have never won the first two playoffs games of a series on the road.) This really shouldn't be a surprise. People forget that after the first two months of the season Boston had a 23-5 record at Christmas, and people (including Barkley) were proclaiming them the best team in the league. Then injuries after injury hit and the Green played .500 ball the rest of the season.

Now, the Celtics are as close to 100 percent healthy as they have been since Christmas, and for some reason everyone is surprised that they are once again playing like the best team in the league. Stan Van Gundy even went as far as calling them the prohibitive favorites during the Game 2 telecast (speaking with the qualifier that Andrew Bynum is starting to look like he's more seriously hurt for the Lakers than first reported.)

I don't know if I'd go as far as "prohibitive favorites," but I do enjoy listening to other people say it. Anything could happen, including a Magic comeback, but it feels different. Honestly, I was scared of Cleveland. I'm not scared of Orlando. At all. Even when they whittled Boston's large lead to 3 points in Game 1, I wasn't worried. Had it been Cleveland, I would have been feeling a sense of dread. With Orlando for some reason, I wasn't worried.

I'm ready to party like its 2008.

• So they are making an A-Team movie. My question is why didn't they just have Mt. T play the B.A. Baracus role? He looks exactly the same now as he did in the '80s when the TV show was airing.

• The 2.5-hour series finale of LOST is on Sunday. If it weren't for the likely birth of my twin nephews, it would be by far and away the thing I'm most excited for this weekend. As it is, the LOST final episode has only a slight lead as the No. 1 weekend event I'm most looking forward to. OK, that's probably not totally true. State track is probably the real No. 2. Check that, the Celtics-Magic Game 3 is probably up there, too. But the birth of my twin nephews is definitely in the top 5.

May 14, 2010

Guts, heart, and pain..
After a chilly start, yesterday turned out to be a great day for the district track meet in Oakland. Hopefully many of you were able to follow along with the live updates right here at or on the Eagle's twitter page.

Four district performances really stood out to me. First of all, sophomore Mallory Hull in the 800. What a gutsy performance. She led the first lap and three-quarters. Then on the final curve, a runner from Wisner-Pilger made a move to pass Hull.

There comes a time in every race when an athlete is faced with a decision: Do I A) give in and let the opponent pass or B) dig deeper, make it hurt more, shift gears and hold them off?

District C-4 800 meter finishMallory Hull, right, finished second by inches in the 800 meters at the district meet.

Mallory chose option B. She sped up, keeping the Wisner girl on her outside shoulder. By the time they reached the straightaway, the Wisner girl fell back. But Hull wasn't safe yet. A Bancroft-Rosalie girl then came up on the outside with about 80 meters left. It looked like she would take Hull easily, but again Mallory responded, giving everything she had until they reached the finish line, stride for stride. Mallory was picked second at the line, but it was close enough that both runners were given the same time: 2:29.7. This was 4.2 second faster than Mallory's previous personal-best time. While she didn't come away with the gold medal, the heart and good ol' fashioned guts she showed is what athletics is all about. If anyone ever earned a trip to the state meet, Mallory did.

Hull wasn't the only runner to display tremendous mental toughness, far from it. Cody Main also ran a great 800 in the boys race, setting a new personal best 2:06.5. He finished third by 0.4 seconds. Cody, a junior, just took up the 800 this year and has steadily improved throughout the season. Unfortunately sometimes your best isn't enough. The pain, both physical and mental, was evident in Cody's face as he crossed the line knowing he missed a state berth by mere inches. I gained a lot of respect for Cody this spring, and I hope he comes back with a vengeance as a senior and gets his trip to state. Update: It looks like Cody will get an invitation to state as a additional qualifier. He had the fastst non-automatic qualifiying time in Class C. Sometimes your best is enough. :)

The other two performances I'm going to highlight came from two individuals who had career days in the field. Eli Vosler had a personal best by nearly a foot in the shot put to place second at 47-1. Then he added 10 feet to his best discus throw to win that event at 150-1. The strides Eli made over the last half of the season have been remarkable, going from someone who didn't score in meets to a conference and district champion in a matter of weeks. Alyssa Brabec had her own personal bests in winning the girls long and triple jumps. A week after breaking the 33-foot barrier for the first time, she busted through 34 feet to win the triple jump by a half inch.

Those four are just an example of why I love track and field so much. No where else do you see character revealed like you do in track. When it's all on the line, how are you going to respond? There's no teammates to help you out, it's all up to you. Good luck to all the Tigers at the state meet next week.

• How about them Celtics? Even after the C's won game 2 in Cleveland to even the series, most talking heads were still picking the Cavs to win the series because they were "the better team." Well after watching Boston and Cleveland go head-to-head for six games, I never did see any evidence that Cleveland was the better team. If Mo Williams hadn't gone nuts in Game 1 and scored 10 straight points, the Celts likely would have won the series 4-1.

No, the regular season was over weeks ago, and the Boston Celtics won this series over the team with the best record in the NBA because the better team was wearing green. Bring on the Magic!

May 12, 2010

Web Log ramblings...
What a great day yesterday (Tuesday) was! The Lincoln arena was approved by capital city voters, the Celtics had a huge Game 5 win in Cleveland to take a 3-2 series lead back to Boston, and we had a great episode of LOST. The only thing that could have made the day better was if running back Aaron Green would have committed to Nebraska. I guess we'll have to save that for another day.

Just a few notes and thoughts:

• If you missed astronaut Clay Anderson's presentation at NBC Tuesday, you really missed out. He showed the official video of his most recent space flight, which he just returned from last month. It gave a pretty good overview of the whole mission and life in orbit with lots of breathtaking images from space. As someone who has always dreamed of being an astronaut, it made me feel pretty insignificant about my life.

• The tag line under the Eagle in the April 28 issue had a word crossed out. It read "Unlike Comedy Central, we aren't afraid to use the word -----------" The crossed out word was Mohammed. A recent episode of South Park on Comedy Central featured a group called "Super Best Friends," a take off of the old "Super Friends" cartoons featuring super heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. working together to fight bad guys. South Park's "Super Best Friends" had the same premise, but the group was made up of the world's religious figures: Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Joseph Smith (the Mormon), Krishna, Lao Tzu... and Mohammed.

After the first half of the two-part episode, Muslims complained about the show using Mohammed, even though he was never shown on screen (because showing images of Mohammed is against the Islamic religion). So in the second part of the show Comedy Central bleeped out the word "Mohammed" every time it was said.

And if you are really dense, the joke was that the Eagle tagline proclaimed that we weren't afraid to use the word, but apparently we (or our "censors") are, because it was crossed out. Get it?

• A few links to pass along to those interested:

An interactive map of Lincoln's Haymarket area once the new arena is built and the redevelopment is finished. Like I've said in my column before, if this can turn out to be like the Kansas City Live pavilion next to Kansas City's Sprint Center, it is going to be a very cool area and a big boost to Lincoln.

An interesting take on the Big 10 expansion drama playing out, saying that it is up to Texas to offer concessions if it wants to save the Big 12 and that Nebraska is holding all the cards right now.

If you're a fan of LOST, and haven't found this The Dharma Blog yet, well at least you can enjoy it for the series' final two episodes. Provides a lot of insight on the show, written by a pair from Lincoln. And if you're not a fan of LOST, you need to rent the season one DVDs right now.

Lastly, if you missed last night's woodshed beating of the Cavaliers by the Celtics, here's a review of a night that could change the face of the NBA (because of the ramifications on James's future), written by my favorite columnist, Bill Simmons of ESPN's Page 2. I dedicate this link to Kale Wietfeld.

May 1, 2010

Getting in the way
In my four years of covering high school golf meets, I've never gotten in the way of a shot. Until Wednesday's North Bend Invite, that is.

Actually, the only time I've gotten in the way in any sport came in softball. First of all, the North Bend softball field is the worst one to shoot pictures at. The only break in the fence is way down the baseline. Most fields have dugout doors closer to home plate. At districts in Yutan last season, there were even openings right behind home plate that I was able to use. At North Bend I used to sit just inside the fence behind first base and shoot. In two plus years I I never got in the way of a ball. Then one game the umpire decided I was too close and couldn't be there any more. He told me if I wanted to be inside the fence I had to go out on the edge of the grass.

I complied with his orders. While my new spot was further away from the action, it happened to be right in line where a softball would go if an infielder overthrew first base. After more than two years of never getting in the way, as soon as an ump told me to move to a spot of his choosing, I got in the way twice in one inning! The moral of the story: You call the balls and strikes, and let me do my job. This ain't my first ball game.

Anyway, back to Wednesday's golf meet. I was set up to shoot a tee shot of Connor Emanuel, who was playing for the NBC junior varsity's JV team. I was low to the ground about 15 or 20 yards in front of him, off to his left. As you have guessed by now, his shot came right for me, as you can see in the pictures below. After staring into the face of certain death long enough to snap several pictures, I deftly executed a ninja-like sprawl to my right to get out of the (range) ball's path. Luckily, I wasn't in much danger. By the time the ball finished its 15-yard journey toward me, it was barely trickling through the grass. Just another close call that I have to deal with in this line of work.

Look out!

April 28, 2010

Above and beyond (the solar system)
When we have some room in the pages of the Eagle that is unfilled and unspoken for, I like to fill the space with the NASA Space Place columns. (Get it? I used space twice in that sentence. Aren't I crafty?) These columns are intended for kids, and I guess they remind me of my youth when I was fascinated with space travel and dreamed of being an astronaut.

NASA's Space Place

Now, I am a semi-responsible adult. But I am still fascinated with space and wish I was an astronaut. The Space Place column in this week's issue (April 28) was particularly interesting, I thought. It talks about what scientists put on the Voyager spacecrafts in case they are someday found by alien life. The two Voyagers (aptly named Voyager I and Voyager II) were launched in 1977 and are now leaving our solar system after serving their purpose of photographing the outer planets.

They put a golden record on the ship filled with images and sounds or earth. At the end of the article, the writers ask, "Would you like to hear some of the sounds and see some of the pictures carried on the golden records?"

"Would I?" I replied. "Of course I would." So I followed the link, and I have conveniently linked the the link they provided in the following link: here.

When the extraterrestrials find these images, they are going to think, "Hey, it must still be the '70s there! These pictures aren't even in Hi-Def!" They will think this because of the golden record they find, not because they were able to play the record, since they got rid of all their record players for a buck each in a big garage sale last summer.

Luckily, our 1977 scientists thought of this, and included instructions how to build a machine to play the record. And if that doesn't work, those visionary scientists included several 8-track tapes as back up.

April 24, 2010

This is your daily reminder...
that Paul Pierce is still the truth. And that reports of the death of the Boston Celtics have been greatly exaggerated. Right now the Celtics are the only team in the NBA up 3-0 in their first-round playoff series (Though Orlando and Atlanta are up 2-0 and play today). The Cavaliers have lost. The Lakers have lost. What the C's need to do right now is sweep the Heat and get some good rest before the Cleveland series. Heck, Kevin Garnett has already gotten one game of rest during this series thanks to his suspension in game 2. Did the veteran Celtics flip the proverbial playoff switch? We'll see.

So far this kind of reminds me of the Celtics last title of the Russell era in 1969 (I say that as if I was alive then). An aging group (Russell was 34, Sam Jones 35) limped to just 48 regular season wins and a fourth seed. The champs rallied once more though, beating a heavily favored Lakers team featuring Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor in the finals for Russ's final championship. (BTW, this put the Celts at 7-0 against the Lakers in the finals over the previous nine years. :) )

Now, we have a long way to go before anyone starts claiming this year's team is a legitimate title contender- a second-round date with LeBron and the Cavs is still looming- but the similarities are there. The 2010 Celtics limped to 50 wins and a No. 4 seed. Their core is getting older (Garnett 34 next month, Ray Allen 34, Pierce 33). Do the champs have one last run in them? Stay tuned...

Tweet of the day: from Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock comparing No. 2 NFL pick and former Husker Ndamukong Suh to No. 3 pick Gerald McCoy, a defensive tackle from Oklahoma some say should have gone ahead of Suh, and No. 4 pick Trent Williams, also from OU: McCoy, Williams went straight to jewelry store. Suh donated to his university. Draw whatever conclusion u like.

Also from Whitock: McCoy wearing 100k n jewelry (2 earings, bracelet and watch). Suh wearing a watch. Guess who will b broke 5 years after retiring?

April 23, 2010

The competition matters...
The Tiger boys track team had its best outing of the season Tuesday, placing second at the Madison Invite. It just goes to show you what a difference competition makes. At last week's Logan View Invite, NBC scored 41 points against mostly Class B and large Class C schools, including reigning Class B champion (and probable 2010 favorite) Boys Town. This week, against mostly Class D and smaller Class C teams, NBC racks up 107 points- and that was without the team's leading scorer Jake Kroenke, who pulled a muscle early in the day. The Madison Invite also doesn't contest the pole vault. If you throw in a healthy Kroenke and add in the pole vault like a normal meet, and North Bend likely wins the thing going away.

A couple of people who won gold medals, Brady Renter in the 200 and Eli Vosler in the discus, had not medalled in those events this season until Tuesday.

This is a reason why Tiger fans (and athletes) shouldn't get too discouraged in some of the bigger meets. When it comes to district time, the competition is going to look a lot more like the Madison field, rather than Logan View's.

April 22, 2010

A fresh start...
Happy freaking Earth Day.

It's taken me a while, but is finally back up. I lost my external hard drive in the fire. On that drive were all the files for the Eagle web site. So I have basically had to start all over as far as the web site goes. Obviously, it's still a work in progress right now. Some of the links will still go to pages that haven't been updated since December, but I'll get to all that eventually. Probably.

As you can see, we're going with a more streamline look for the Eagle web site. By "we" I mean you and I. Though you really don't get much of a choice in it, do you? I've said this before, but I hope to be more active here in the Eagle Web Log, posing more links of interest, short commentaries, etc. Have a grand day, Eagle readers.

<<Back to the front page