Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Its TOMMY Time

And The TOMMY goes to:  The list of things in the world of sports that gets my attention at the current time.

  So here we go:
The TOMMYs go to:
* I will get this one of of the way early but the Your Name is Still Bruce TOMMY goes to Kaitlyn Jenner. The Corner has never been about politics and that is not changing now but I was seven years old when Bruce Jenner won the gold medal in the decathalon. No matter what the now Ms. Jenner says or does, in my mind he, or she, will always be the long haired guy in red white in blue throwing a javelin on a box of Wheaties. Dresses, makeup and high heels can’t change that. I am not judging the woman for her choices, merely saying taking that win in Montreal all those years ago is still the way I choose to remember you.
* The Little Engine that Could TOMMY goes to Tiger Woods. Come on big guy, you are just a few steps from taking that next major. In his prime Tiger was the best golfer in history not named Nicklaus. Now golf fans hope to see that red shirt walking up 18 one more time to bring home a title. I think you can, I think you can!
* The Tiger Who? TOMMY goes to Jordan Spieth. This young man is inching towards history. A win this weekend at the old course at St. Andrews and the PGA championship gets real interesting. It would be ironic for someone to win the Grand Slam while Tiger is still playing.
* The TOMMY for Class Act of the Year goes to major league baseball. Putting Pete Rose on the field at this year’s All Star game made the day. It would be hard to have an all star game in Cincinatti without Charlie Hustle being part of it. He will always be number 14 in the program and number one in the hearts of Cincinatti baseball fans.
* The Best Athlete of the Year TOMMY goes to American Pharoh, making him the first non human to hang a TOMMY in his award closet. Winning horse racings Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment. I hope he is now enjoying his time in the pasture. Those of us alive may never see that done again.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

VP chimes in

Entry number 2 on my list of quotes involving the New England Patriots and their alleged Deflategate affair.
"Personally, I like my balls a little soft," Vice President Joe Biden.

Whole lot of smoke here, thinking there might be something to it. Former quarterback Troy Aiken made a good point. He said that there is no way someone on the team was purposefully deflating footballs without the quarterback knowing about it. Makes sense to me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Deflate gate

With the risk of being a little on the risque side, have to laugh at Tom Brady's comments on what is becoming known as Deflategate. For those who don't know Brady and his New England Patriots are accused of purposefully deflating footballs during the AFC playoffs last week.
When asked about it Brady predictably said he is innocent.
"My balls are perfect every game," Brady said.
Lot of smoke here and frankly Brady and his coach don't convince me. I have to believe there is something to it. Looks like the Super Bowl refs need to learn how to check ball pressure.
Another reason to dislike the Patriots. Prediction from The Corner, Seattle wins big!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Heroes getting few and far between

The greatest generation, for sure

I had the experience of attending the funeral of a World War 2 veteran today and it made me realize a few things. More than anything it made me appreciate heroes who are slowly disappearing.
I only had the privilege to meet Roland Johnson on a few occasions. That was my loss.
I never had the opportunity to hear about Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge from someone who was there. I never heard about charging against German lines, with deadly machines pointing at the invading American heroes.
 I never heard about serving on the other side of the world from family in a era when the only communication was a letter written and delivered to loved ones days, weeks and even months from when pen was first applied to paper.
I never had the chance to hear first hand accounts of things movies were literally made about.
The fact that Mr. Johnson was 98 years old makes a point. Many of the soldiers who served with him have long since left this world. The few who are still here won't be for long. Our opportunity to thank them are quickly dwindling.
There is a reason this generation of heroes is called the Greatest Generation. It is doubtful any other generation can even compare. It is doubtful if the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler arises that those 20 year olds now living could accomplish the task their fathers and grandfathers did. It is in some ways scary to think some day they might have.
 I lost my opportunity to thank Mr. Johnson, at least while we are on this earth, for his service to his country and these thoughts posted in my tiny little corner of the Internet are a meager attempt to do so. I hope if I see another member of the greatest generation, I won't make the same mistake again.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Remembering 9/11

This column first appeared in the Harnett County News in Sept. of 2011. Written in memory of those died on that horrible and historic day. Note the video to the right

Where were you?
By Tom Woerner

The tenth anniversary of a day that will forever change history is coming up in a couple of weeks and it is an appropriate time to reflect on that awful day when America was attacked on our home soil for the first time in more than 50 years.
The words of the Alan Jackson country hit say it best. The words are “Where were you when the world stopped turning that September Day.” Most of us will never forget.
Like Pearl Harbor of a previous generation almost every American who was old enough to remember 9/11 knows exactly where they were when news of terrorist attacks came from our televisions, radio stations or computers. 
I can see the exact place on the floor of this room where I now sit where I froze in place when someone told me a plane had hit the World Trade towers. I can look around the corner where a co-worker and I stood, silently praying people could get out of the second tower after the first one had collapsed.
It was only minutes before we started calling friends and family members making sure all were OK. Some rushed to the schools to be with their children trying to explain the unexplainable. Others of us waited for news with so many questions. 
Where was President Bush? We prayed our leader was not in danger himself. We found out almost no one in the world knew. History would show he quickly left a Florida classroom where he was speaking to go into hiding, making his way to different locations on Air Force One.
Where was the next attack going to occur? The first answer was a Pennsylvania field where brave heroes forced the crash of an airliner on its way to tear into the White House or likely the Capital. America will never knew what the brave band of air travelers, turned into amateur warriors, prevented. A direct strike on the Capital would have likely frozen the American government in place and killed many of our lawmakers. Chaos in the nation’s capital would have quickly turned to gridlock.
Through all of this mystery and speculation those of us in the news business slipped back into work mode as we basically started the paper over again even past the normal deadline. Each staff member took a different role. One of mine was talking to someone on the phone who watched the disaster unfold from afar.
It is hard to believe it has been ten years since that horrible day. It is unbelievable that American soldiers are still fighting the war Osama bin Laden started. The only unfortunate thing about the demise of bin Laden at the end of a Navy seal rifle is that he never saw the final demise of his organization.
Every citizen in this country should remember the motto of those of us with an interest in history. It is absolute fact that if you don’t remember the past you are doomed to repeat it.
Americans need to realize the unthinkable, another attack, may well be in the planning stages. We should never forget the brave firemen who lost their lives going into those doomed buildings. The citizens who died, in what have been a living hell, in unthinkable fear have to be remembered.
America is winning the war on terror but we must never move to the state of complaceny that opened the doors for our enemy the first time.

Friday, August 1, 2014

TOMMY time once again

TOMMY time once again
By Tom Woerner

The world’s greatest sports network, ESPN, beat me to the punch this year with their annual presentation of the ESPY awards but since I am the boss in this tiny little corner of the Internet, I can present the annual TOMMY awards on my own time schedule. Below are some of the things that have gotten my enough attention to earn TOMMYs this year.
I have been thinking about this TOMMY for a while, anyone with any interest in the world of sports hasn’t had another option, but the TOMMY for Biggest Idiot of the last 100 years, has to go to Donald Sterling. Mr. Sterling in fact gets a lifetime TOMMY, to be permanently displayed with dishonor.
The former, lets hope it stays that way, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers was set up by a jealous wife and girlfriend but the things he said about African Americans was beyond out of line. The way he insulted a race that made him a millionaire multiple times over is beyond disgusting. The way he attacked basketball icon Magic Johnson is an embarrassment.
And in a related TOMMY, the NBAs Adam Silver gets the TOMMY for Best Performance of a Sports Commissioner. The man who took over for the legendary David Stern did as my favorite comedic character Barney Fife would say, and nipped the Donald Sterling situation in the bud. He made a clear statement that he won’t tolerate the nonsense of racism in his league. 
Anyone who is involved with the NBA will know that this young man means business. It will prevent further problems in the future.
The TOMMY for best Hall of Fame Class This Century goes to this year’s class. It doesn’t get better if you are a Braves fan with Joe Torre, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Bobby Cox going through the doors at Cooperstown. 
Only us true Braves fans remember Torre’s stand with the team when during that we all know as “the bad years” Torre managed the one year the team made it to the playoffs in that awful period of the 1980s.  It was a little light in a grim period for Chief Nok a Homa and the boys. True fans of that period will know exactly that that means. 
Glavine, Maddux and Cox speak for themselves. The only Atlanta hero missing is John Smoltz and his time is coming. Those four and their teammates made the statement “Wait til Next Year” obsolete for Braves fans. Every year was next year with an unprecedented series of division championships.
We were no longer the laughing stock of the college dorms when we refused to give up our allegiance to the team. Thirty years later the words “wanna bet” are still a joke from college dorm mates in relation to the Braves. Enough said on that.
The TOMMY for Best Reunion with your home town goes to Lebron James. When James announced four years ago he was “taking his talents to South Beach,” he immediately leaped to the top of Cleveland’s most wanted list. 
Now he took an eraser to his name on that list and immediately became the “prodigal son” who returned. He did it in a classy way which has not always been the case for him. Lets hope next year’s season is as heart warming as his return. Cleveland is desperate for a  sports champion and this may be their best opportunity.
Finally, the TOMMY for Best Mystery on a Golf course goes to Tiger Woods. You never know what you are going to get with Woods. Still highly talented, he is always capable of a great win. He has lost the mental toughness more than physical skill. One shot into the woods or the water and he becomes distracted and often down right angry. As long as he doesn’t control his emotions he will have a hard time controlling himself.
The TOMMY for slack sports columnist of the year goes to yours truly. A goal for the future is to put more material through the doors of The Corner. I look forward to the challenge.

Monday, June 16, 2014

This year's presentation of the TOMMYs is coming later this week. Come back soon, there are lots of things that earned by attention in the sports world in recent weeks!