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Friday, November 19, 2004

A Sports Enigma

I've always enjoyed sports. That is, I've enjoyed participating. My two brothers and I would play baseball every day in the summertime when we were young. And we were highly competitive. To the point where we hated to ever lose.

I remember a time when the three of us were visiting our grandparents in Gresham, Wisconsin one summer. We were there long enough to get to know the teenagers in the small town. A number of them gathered on the ballfield each day and would get up a game. They were kind enough to let us join in. One particular day the Fuhrmans were all on the same team, in a close game, when a controversial play occurred.

I was at bat. In came the pitch. I hit the ball; a slow dribbler down the first base line. The ball first rolled foul, but then veared back into fair territory. The first baseman picked up the ball, put the tag on me, and I was declared out. By everyone there except the Fuhrman boys.

We argued that, because the ball had gone foul before it rolled fair, it was a foul ball. The opposing team disagreed. An argument ensued, a rather heated one I must admit, resulting in the cessation of the game amid a lot of shouting.

Now I know a lot of you out there are saying to me, "Jerry, you and your brothers were wrong. You were out."

The fascinating aspect of this story is that we agreed that I was out too. But we didn't say that during the game. It was only as we were walking back to my grandparents home that we determined that we were all in agreement that we had been arguing in favor of what we knew was a bad call.

And then we laughed. That's how competitive we were back then.

I could mention too, the fistfight that I got into with Mike Jones after a football game (I was about 14 at the time, he was 16 and twice my size; not smart). I was a really sore loser and picked the fight with him mostly because he was on the winning team. He proceeded to beat the stuffin' out of me. Now, how smart was that? But I'll not dwell on this...

I reveal this only to give you an idea how much I love sports - and work to win.

Oddly enough, as much as I enjoyed playing baseball, football, basketball, tennis, etc., I hate watching any of it on television. I'm just not much of a spectator. It bores me. I gave up watching baseball years ago; I never watched basketball except perhaps college playoff games; and I rarely sit through a football game these days. After all, I've only so many days left...

Anyway, Virginia Tech crushed Maryland last night, for those of you who follow such things.
Virginia Tech scored two touchdowns in the first four minutes and cruised to a 55-6 win before 65,115 at Lane Stadium. Maryland's loss, its worst since 2000, eliminated the Terps (4-6, 2-5 ACC) from bowl contention ...