The Golden Age

The Golden Age could apply to many parts of history…the Romans, Greeks, Middle Ages, etc….it also applies to the sports world…
…the golden age of each World Series dominates the sports cycle for 10 days-2 week period. As I write this on Sunday afternoon, while many expected Houston to out-hit the Nationals, the Astros have only permitted 9 runs in 4 games. The 4th game seemed like the key…..either Washington could balance the series at 2-2 or Houston would take a strong 3-1 lead. Jose Altuve blasted yet another HR in the 1st inning to put the Astros up 2-0. Altuve is clearly living up to his “superstar” status in this post-season. Other random notes on players…Nats’ Trea Turner is a terrific shortstop….He blasted 19 HR, held a .298 average, stole 35 bases, and is a very good shortstop defensively. Antony Rendon will be driving the Brink’s Truck this winter as he signs a mega-deal with some team. The 29 year old has an OPS of over .900 for 3 straight yeasr. Apparently, Houston’s 25 year old Alex Bregman is the unofficial batting coach of the Astros. His astute observations are shared with all in the dugout. He backs it up with OPS averages in the last 3 years of 1.019, .926, .827. Will Harris, a middle reliever, entered the 4th game in a tight spot for Houston and the momentum ready to swing back to Washington. He got the key out, ended the inning and snuffed out the smell of a rally. He had 26 holds this season. In 5 years with the Astros, he has 104 holds! Final thoughts…..the games are…in my opinion….way too long…..I watched an hour of game 3 and saw 2 innings…period. Ugh!! Between half innings must be 3 minutes…put those ads on the screen between batters…. more people would see them anyway.
…some say the Golden Age of MLB drafting was the 2011 Draft. Part of that star-studded class was the Astros George Springer, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon who all were all 1st rounders. Others selected were Javier Baez, Trea Turner, the late Jose Fernandez, Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer,and Francisco Lindor. That’s quite a team right there!
….the Golden Age of Baseball, or sometimes called the Baseball’s Golden Era began around 1920 to app. 1960. The Golden era of baseball links the Dead Ball era with the Modern Era of baseball. During this time the 1st baseball game was broadcast in color in 1951. By the mid, 1960’s all baseball games were in color. The Golden Age included super stars like Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Hank Greenberg, Rogers Hornsby and especially Babe Ruth. Ruth was an iconic figure who’s popularity mushroomed the size of interest in the MLB. Also, during the Golden Era-specifically 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color line and led to the growth of the sport. Some of the Modern Era stars began their careers in the Golden Era. Players like Bob Gibson, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Warren Spahn, Ernie Banks were some of the prime examples of this nature.
…The Nats thought that Bryce Harper would lead them to the Golden Age of baseball—the World Series. Doesn’t one have to wonder if the departure of Harper this season was a major reason for the success of the Nationals THIS year. I guess they got tired of trying to make the door way wider so that Harper could get his big head…..and salary…. through the door 
….in college football, the SEC is living in the Golden age currently. As one looks at the Head Coaches, it’s very surprising to me that 7 of the 14 Head coaches..exactly ½… are in their 1st Head Coaching College Position. Barry Odum (Mizzou), Matt Luke(Mississippi), Jeremy Pruitt(Tennessee), Derek Mason (Vanderbilt), Ed Orgeron(LSU) ,Mark Stoops(Kentucky), Kirby Smart(Georgia). Now, Orgeron and Stoops have built up long careers coaching college football. Orgeron has been coaching college football for 36 years—but mostly just as a defensive line coach. Stoops has been in the business 29 years, with 9 years as a defensive coordinator. Kirby Smart’s 20 year coaching resume includes 3 different stints …total 11 years…with Nick Saban. Saban…btw…is in his 47th year of coaching college or pro football. To expect a 1st year head coach to compete successfully in a league with so much pressure is probably unrealistic, unless they have tons of experience. So… it any surprise that the other 4 first-time coaches are all experiencing difficulties? Why would schools hire the most important position on the athletic staff who have NEVER been a Head Coach previously?
…Speaking of coaches, CBC soccer has been in the Golden Age for 49 years now under the leadership of Terry Michler. Coach “Micks” recorded his 1000th victory recently. He’s the winningest high school boys soccer coach in the nation. Think about it…..almost 50 straight years of 20 wins are needed to nail down that 1000 win bullseye. Coach attended CBC as a student and was a star athlete as he was the starting QB in football in the fall and obviously….starred in soccer in the winter…..yes….for you younger readers, MO played boys soccer in the winter until the late 1970’s. For years he held some of the passing records @ CBC until the run & shoot offense evolved. He graduated from Rockhurst University in 4 years. He turned down an opportunity to coach @ CBC upon graduation so that he could play professional soccer. Terry went on to play professional soccer in the days when the newly formed American league REQUIRED 2 Americans to be on the team. As I recall…there were 16 American born players in the league, Coach was one of them. Two years later, the CBC opened up again…this time, Coach accepted the offer. He moved back to CBC …and the golden age began. He has taken several trips to Holland to stay current in the “latest” soccer approaches and strategies. His current record is 1000-283-117. Congratulations to our friend for his skill, quest to keep improving, teaching skills and love of the game! …College Football is golden in many ways. It has the Golden Gophers (Minnesota), Golden Eagles (So. Mississippi), Golden Hurricanes (Tulsa), Golden Panthers(Florida International), Golden Knights (Cen Florida), and of course the Golden Dome @ Notre Dame 
….In the College Football mode….it was a Golden week of games…surprises galore! …I was really surprised that #19 Michigan manhandled #8 Notre Dame 45-14. The Wolverines dominated the line play and pounded ND’s defense all day with a fierce running game inside the tackles. Michigan’s Head Coach, Jim Harbaugh, needed the win badly to hold onto any claim of being a national power. His Michigan team had only beaten 1 top 10 ranked team in 11 games prior to Saturday….I was shocked as I scanned around the multitude of NCAA-F games on TV on Saturday afternoon, early in the game, to see K-State ahead of Oklahoma. The Wildcat crowd was extremely enthusiastic and their energy carried over to the players. The final of K-State 48, OU 41 was shocking! It wasn’t surprising to see OU with 41 points but for K-State to put 48 on the board was incredible. Offensively, K-State was as balanced as can be…213 rushing and 213 passing. On Defense, K-State sometimes rushed only 3 players on many downs, hoping to “cover and take away the quick score. As I watched Mizzou, the QB’s in the “shotgun” formation on running much more often on the college level. Kentucky’s QB wasn’t a good passer, so MU went man-man coverage on passing. Using the others to rush the passer….it often worked…but on occasion, when the Kentucky QB broke through the initial wave of players, usually on a QB counter run play…it was a huge gain. Mizzou’s loss hurt.
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