Pains in the neck–literally and otherwise
The right side of my neck was killing me much of yesterday. It hurt to turn to my right. I probably slept wrong Wednesday night.
I took aspirin and used heat massage (good move carrying the massager in my travel bags) before going to bed. It reduced the pain, but when I woke up at 0400 this morning, it hurt again. I wonder what it could be. I’ve never had problems with sleeping at the TownePlace Suites at Briarcliff in Kansas City.
I did not take Seroquel last night before going to bed. I was groggy much of yesterday before leaving the hotel. I might be taking it early tonight. It’s supposed to rain anywhere from 1 to 3 inches in Kansas City between 1800 tonight and 0900 tomorrow. I wanted to stay at Buffalo Wild Wings until at least 2030 to play trivia, but Mother Nature might make me change my plans.
My neck may hurt, but nowhere near how much they’re hurting in Jefferson City.
A violent tornado tore through Missouri’s capital late Wednesday night, causing much destruction. The state capitol building was spared, but many homes were levelled. It happened on the eight-year anniversary of the monster tornado in Joplin, 205 miles to the southwest, which killed more than 100. Imagine if one of those tornadoes tore through Kansas City or St. Louis.
Russell is very fortunate it has never experienced the types of tornadoes in Udall (1955), Topeka (1966), Hesston (1990), Andover (1991) or Greensburg (2007). Katrina was horrendous, but I got out of town 48 hours before the storm arrived. I doubt I would have 48 minutes if a tornado as strong as the one in Jefferson City, or even worse, the ones in Greensburg and Joplin, were barreling towards Russell (or Hays if I were there for something).
The Missouri State High School Activities Association had to move its track and field state championships for Classes 3, 4 and 5 to other sites. Classes 3 and 5 will simply move 30 miles north on US 63 to Columbia, with Class 3 at the University of Missouri and Class 5 at Battle High. Class 4, however, has to go to Washington, 50 miles west of St. Louis along the Missouri River. Tough break for schools from the western half of the state having to make that long drive. Classes 1 and 2 held their state meet last Friday and Saturday.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association holds its mass chaos of a state track and field meet this weekend in Wichita. For the fourth consecutive year, I won’t be there. Praise Jesus. I absolutely despised covering that event. It may be great for the fans, athletes and coaches, but for the media who have to cover it, it is hell. It was much worse for me because I was trying to cover athletes from different classifications, and events were all going on at once in all six classes on Saturday. It sucked. It really sucked.
The KSHSAA began its baseball and softball state tournaments yesterday. The KSHSAA continues to insist on eight teams in every state tournament in those sports. Four would be far more manageable.
Another bad thing about KSHSAA state tournaments in many sports is the continued insistence on playing a third place game. Yes, I understand the KSHSAA insists the third place games are a reward, but in many cases, the coaches and players see it as a chore, one they would rather not undertake. They are heartbroken from seeing their state championship dreams die, and winning a meaningless game isn’t going to make it go away.
It has rained each of the last four days. It will rain again today. The KSHSAA is trying to beat Mother Nature and get these tournaments in. They were mostly successful yesterday, except in Salina, where evening games in Class 4A were suspended until today.
That’s what makes what I am about to type beyond asinine.
The KSHSAA has rescheduled all third place games in baseball, and in softball in Classes 6A (Lawrence), 5A (Maize) and 3A (Emporia), to be played after the championship games. Two sites in softball, 4A in Salina and 2A in Pratt, are using two diamonds simultaneously, so teams in the third place games won’t have to wallow in their sorrows waiting around.
WHAT. THE. F**K?
Third place games in baseball are a very, very, VERY bad idea. Many teams are out of pitching, and some pitchers can’t pitch, anyway, because the KSHSAA limits players to 105 pitches in any 72-hour period. They are a very bad idea in softball, too, although the underarm motion doesn’t cause quite the wear and tear.
It makes ZERO sense to play third place games after championship games. It’s bad enough the teams which lose in the semifinals have to stick around, sometimes on a very hot and humid day, to play a game for next to nothing (the winner gets a trophy, so there is technically something on the line). Now the KSHSAA is going to make the teams which lose in the semifinals sit for two hours or more and watch the championship game?
If I were coaching a team which loses a semifinal and then had to sit through the championship just to play a third place game, I would be livid. I would not want to subject my players to that humiliation.
Unfortunately, the KSHSAA holds the proverbial gun to the heads of its member school by threatening stiff penalties, including fines, suspensions, probation, and potential bans from future championships, for teams which forfeit a state tournament game. None have because of these threats. Administrators and coaches should be lauded for not exposing their student-athletes, and future student-athletes, to repercussions, but it has to be very unpleasant at times.
In recent years, third place games in baseball and softball state tournaments have been cancelled when rain delays occurred. Both teams received third place trophies. Why not go this route? The umpires who are scheduled to work the third place game are paid regardless of whether the game is played or not, so nobody will be out any money.
The state track meet has now been delayed until 1000. The first race was scheduled for 0730. Another reason I am glad to be far, far away from Wichita right now.