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Bits & Pieces



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Bits & Pieces

By Kim J. Harmon

There was a moment there on Saturday night when I thought that all my years of filling out NCAA Tournament brackets had finally – finally – paid off but then Hassan Adams hoisted up a brick that nearly broke the backboard and just like that my dreams had been dashed yet again.

If Arizona had won that game, then I would have won our little pool here at the office … but then I would have know the Apocalypse was coming because, gosh, I have never won a dime in one of these bracket pools.

Not a dime.


Sometimes I can only shake my head.

It already amazes me that I see so many people, in so many different situations, talking on cell phones. Who in heaven’s name are they talking to? And whoever it is they are talking to, why can’t they wait until they pull that big behemoth of a vehicle out of that tight parking space?

The worst was a couple of summers ago when my wife and I took the kids to Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. We walked into a small schoolhouse, which had become sort of a dress up and play area for kids, and this couple – with a couple of kids of their own – walked in behind us.

The woman was on the phone the entire time her family was in that building. The father played with the kids, helped them dress up in period costumes, and showed them how to use the chalkboards and readers kids from that era had used.

And still the woman talked.

I heard a lot of the conversation only because she was sitting right next to me as I read a book to my son and the gist of the whole thing – if you can believe this – was how much her cellular phone plan was costing and what a great deal it was.

The conversation lasted for 30 minutes!

People never cease to amaze me.

And then on Sunday night, I’m watching the Austin Regional final between Michigan State and Kentucky and when Patrick Sparks cans a three-pointer the CBS cameras spin around the crowd and I see fans frantically opening their cell phones and dialing numbers.

For god’s sake, who are they calling?

“Hey – did you see that?”

“Of course I saw it, you idiot! I’m watching it on teevee.”

It’s amazing: here they are caught up in one of the most dramatic moments of the entire college basketball season and instead of cheering or breathlessly watching the replays on the monitors overhead, they have to get on the phone.

There was one guy who was clutching something (I forget what) in his left arm, holding his phone in his right hand and talking to someone, and trying to buy something off a vendor.


Friends, there is waaaaay too much communicating going on in this world.

Let’s stop the madness.


ESPN2 has been running and re-running its Top 25 shows and Monday night I caught the Top 25 Blunders of the Past 25 Years and aside from the migraine-inducing photography and graphics, I have to wonder if these people have lost their minds.

Some poor girl – with 15,000 people in the stands – stumbles on the words to the national anthem at an NBA game in Portland in 2003 and ESPN has the temerity to call that a “blunder,” set somehow completely overlooks Bill Buckner letting the ball roll through his legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

No, when it came to baseball ESPN picked as its biggest blunders the time Montreal Expos outfielder Larry Walker forgot there were three outs and mistakenly handed a ball he had caught (for the second out) to a young fan; the time New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine was ejected from the game and snuck back to the dugout wearing dark sunglasses and a fake mustache; and the time New York Mets pitcher David Cone stood arguing with an umpire over a call at first while two players ran around third and scored.

Yeah, that last one was a pretty big blunder.

But where was Buckner?

The worst blunder I ever made (at least this week) was watching that show.

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