Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, January 16, 12:45 p.m.
The reality that Louisiana State University is the national college-football champion is settling in around here. A few Clemson fans are in denial, but most seem to have accepted that the Tigers wearing orange lost to the ones wearing yellow fair and square.
Clemson won 29 straight games. Into all, a little rain must fall.
One fellow quibbled about the quarterback’s unusual fallibility. Another assured me Clemson would be better next year. No one wants to fire Dabo Swinney, who could still be elected governor by acclamation if he so desired.
It was a good game. “Wait till next year!” is a healthy, sporting sentiment.
The game was about the only event on TV I’ve watched closely. I always seem to be working on something with the ballgames in the background.
Basketball, of all things, has put the football game behind many fans. Clemson’s men have miraculously beaten N.C. State, North Carolina and Duke consecutively. The South Carolina women are ranked No. 1 in the nation, and the men upset Kentucky last night, so the Gamecock faithful have found relief from the burden of having to root for a team named Tigers for the first time in their lives.
I didn’t see a second of any basketball games that did not include the county’s high schools and Presbyterian College, but Furman had a big win last night. I’d love to go watch the Paladins play at Wofford Friday night, but the Newberry-Clinton games beckon.
Auto racing, which was once the source of my living for 20 years, is still a month away from activation, and I have a lot to catch up on between now and then.
I’ve been scared to death the Red Sox were going to trade Mookie Betts, and come to find out, the guy who’s going to be missing is the manager, Alex Cora, who is a casualty of a sign-stealing ring. High technology has changed sports, and one of the ways is in the differentiation of what is cheating and what is not. I expect baserunners at second will still peer at the catcher’s signs from time to time, but if there’s some instantaneous algorithm (or something technological) at work, it’s no can do. Times change. I’m just scrambling for perspective. Rules are rules.
“Getting caught means getting fired,” as Johnny Cash sang.
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