The Barry factor
Ex-Barry Bonds mistress Kimberly Bell’s tell-all, reveal-all spread in "Playboy" hits finer newsstands (or at least those not near churches, schools or in select Bible Belt counties) across the country today. An excerpt (of the interview, not the pictures, though the Google-adept amongst us won’t have too much trouble tracking those down) published in the New York Daily News on Thursday lists some less-than-flattering details about Bonds’ private life — enough embarrassing dirt to drive a lesser man into hiding. Is it time to finally give up and stop bagging on the guy? Maybe after this weekend. Or, if he signs with the Yankees, once he can collect Social Security — or until Alex Rodriguez and his normally sized head smash both home run records.
Remember the flap when a Tracy mom appeared in "Playboy"? If that was any indication, six pages’ worth of pictures featuring a nude 37-year-old woman in between a wholly damning expose of their hero will be enough to send local Giants fans into an epic Spartan-esque blood frenzy. Avoid orange and black until further notice. It’s for your own good. Repeat — do not approach the orange and black.
Dancing through an investigation
At 5 p.m. today, the Stockton Unified School District has to respond to the California Interscholastic Federation investigation into the illegal use of American Samoan football players at Franklin High. I wonder if SUSD will respond the same way the Yellowjackets did before their game last Friday — eyes bulging, tongues hanging out, screaming the haka. Who knows — if it works for the New Zealand All-Blacks (YouTube them if you haven’t seen them in action) why not for CIF-SJS commish Pete Saco?
Must not see TV
With their game this week not until 1 p.m. Saturday, the Tracy High football team has a rare autumn Friday night off. They have practice, but the evening/night is all theirs. If I were them, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I’m guessing "Halo 3" isn’t high on the agenda — though you never know. I hear there’s some good TV on, too.
Definitely not preferred Friday night viewing: last week’s game against Downey, in which the Knights racked up more rushing yards in three quarters than West, Stagg and Manteca had in three games.
That does mean, of course, that the Bulldog players, coaches and fans will miss their Saturday afternoon college football — and so will the intrepid reporter who covers their games. I don’t like Saturday afternoon games so much either. What will Notre Dame and Stanford do without us? (Oh, right ….)
Girls on the gridiron
Any local women looking to make local sporting history — or to make their insurance carrier very, very angry — can sign up to play semiprofessional tackle football with the Modesto Magic. If you do go to the tryouts, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s a cool thing you’re doing. If any one (man) gives you flak or grief, give him a chop-block. That’ll give him something to think about.
West grad keeps running
The leading rusher on the football team up the road at San Joaquin Delta College is a familiar face to local football fans — it’s 2007 West High alum Montrel Richardson, who, a year after winning every award he could as a 5-foot-9, 140-pound tailback, continues to defy the adage that size matters with 232 yards on 48 carries. And that’s in college.
Come rain, or sleet or big-rig accident
If you see an angry man on crutches prowling the West High football sidelines, that’d be 1983 Tracy High alum and current coach John Diamond. Why is he gimpy? He had a tussle with a semi. On the freeway. While on a motorcycle. It ran over his leg. On game day three weeks ago. He still made the game. That’s hard core.
Say a little something
And let’s all take another page from the Delta College football team’s book and say or do something — a prayer, a poem, whatever it is you do — for 2007 Tracy High alum and current Mustang Mike Ligon, who suffered a hairline fracture in his neck against Sacramento City on Sept. 22. He underwent surgery and has full motion of movement, but his football career is in doubt. And that’s OK — there are far more important things in life, especially when you’re 18 and you’ve got your entire existence ahead of you.