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Hefferon: Wild events set tone for week (Sept. 12)

Jack Hefferon | Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When I was little, one of my favorite books was “Wacky Wednesday” by Dr. Seuss. I’d sit down with my mom and we’d read it together, but there wasn’t too much reading involved – probably why it was one of my favorites.

The book was about a boy who wakes up to go to school on a Wednesday, and everything about the day is off in some way. The red traffic light said “Go”, cars were flying through the sky, strollers got pushed around by fish – and it was my job to find all the wackiness. It was a toned-down version of “Where’s Waldo”, and it was very easy for four-year-old me to understand.

However, when I woke up this morning and took stock of the world of sports around me, things were far too wacky for me to sort out and comprehend.

It started when I checked out the weekend’s action in the NFL. I’m used to overpaid players holding out for better contracts well into the regular season, but now it seems that someone told the league’s referees they can do the same. Now, we have schoolteachers from Idaho filling in as officials, although after their ineptitude this weekend, some of them look like their only prior experience in stripes was working at Foot Locker.

And while lockouts may come with the territory in football, when I saw on the news that the NHL is in danger of missing the upcoming season due to a business dispute, I knew it had to be a joke. The players and owners realize they’ve just returned to full strength after their lockout in 2004, right?

And it doesn’t stop there. Somebody must have confused MLB with Little League, because Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals’ million-dollar phenom, will not pitch in the playoffs because he threw too many innings this year. Strasburg is a grown man, and one who gets paid to win games, not hit his growth spurt. To shut his young arm down would be like taking him out of a tied playoff game in the fifth inning – because it’s past his 9:30 bedtime.

Nowhere is the craziness more widespread though than in the realm of college football.

Oklahoma State purportedly beat a team 84-0, which is a classic example of how a typo can spread through the news cycle. And what kind of coach would be enough of a jackwagon to run up an 80-point lead in anything other than Skee-ball? Although I guess that’s a preferable alternative to what the Hogs did down in Arkansas in losing to Louisiana-Monroe, a school whose best player, if I recall, was Bobby Boucher from “The Waterboy”.

Elsewhere, some top-25 program has confused the gridiron for a baseball diamond, as it now has a starter, middle reliever and closer at the quarterback position – no word on a lefty specialist. Pretty soon, stadiums will need field-turf bullpens just for these throwers to warm up (I hear there’ll be room for it under the JumboTron).

And while this crazy, alternate universe now has touchbacks come out to the 25-yard line, it also is fixing the BCS – the biggest impossibility of all – so I guess it’s okay for now.

The usual day’s news has disappeared, and today I saw all this lunacy instead: Usain Bolt will try out for Manchester United, Chipper Jones received a standing ovation from Mets fans at Citi Field and ESPN has wall-to-wall coverage of a 50-year-old pitching for a semi-pro team named the Skeeters. I just can’t take it anymore.

So have the Wackiest of Wednesdays. And let’s all hope it’s all back to normal when we wake up tomorrow.

Contact Jack Hefferon at wheffero@nd.edu

The views expressed in this Sports Authority are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.