Friday Sports Funny: Pa-role Models in Sports

MIKE Comic 73 JailblazersToday’s Friday Sports Funny warrants (pun intended) a premier spot in my comic book Worst About Sports.

Entries on this blotter, I mean list, are obvious to most sports fans.

Instead of reciting names of the accused, I’ll just focus on the knuckleheaded behavior that earned these athletes a spot, or should I say time, in a chapter all their own in my comic book Worst About Sports.

My collection of pa-role models includes wayward athletes of all races, sizes and sports.

Pa-role models are athletes who should be locked up rather than paid millions to run, block, skate, pass, hit, or shoot – a ball, that is.

They’re the foolish football, basketball, baseball and hockey felons who think they’re above the law and fail to exhibit respect or regard for it.

They’re the reckless renegades who endanger the lives of others with guns, alcohol, drugs and other rebellious endeavors.

They’re the hormone charged guys who sneak far too many past the goalie in far too many NFL, NBA and MLB cities. They don’t understand that any male can father a child, but raising a child takes a real man.

Totally dedicated on the field, these athletes lose all personal discipline when they leave it.

They’re the louts, cheats, drinkers, druggies and batterers.  They believe their athletic prowess gives them immunity from the laws that bind those not as fortunate to be paid to play professionally.

Pursuing their errant ways, these jailhouse jocks give their fellow law abiding athletes black eyes and cause their loyal sports fans to see red.

Idolized for far too long, these famous, yet foolish felons need to be locked up.

Instead of serving as role models in arenas and stadiums, they should be serving time behind bars.

Lock ‘em up and throw away the key until these pa-role models understand and appreciate the burden, unwanted or not, of being a role model in sports. Case closed. That’s why pa-role models warrant (lol) a spot in Worst About Sports.

Read what else is Worst About Sports in MIKE’s FREE book!

Worst About SportsClick on the yellow image above and download the book for FREE.

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#TBT Sports Blog: Chicago Cubs’ Mordecai Three Finger Brown

Former MLB Pitcher Three Finger Mordecai BrownToday’s #TBT sports blog recalls Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown of the Chicago Cubs. He’s one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball history.

In the book Three Finger:The Mordecai Brown Story, Hall of Fame Chicago Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins comments on a fellow Chicago Cub Hall of Fame pitcher who played 50 years before him. “When you start out with a disadvantage, you have to work harder to do what others take for granted. In the end, that gives you an advantage.”

Jenkins was talking about Mordecai Brown, who was missing parts of two fingers on his throwing hand due to a farm injury suffered as a youth. The noticeable missing fingers on his right pitching hand led to his Three Finger nickname.

Oddly, Brown’s missing fingers served him extremely well. He overcame his physical limitation to become one of Major League Baseball’s best pitchers ever.

I also feature Three Finger in one of my sports books on Amazon named Favorite Overcoming Athletes.Favorite Overcoming AthletesBrown’s childhood injury forced him to grip a baseball differently than all other pitchers. Brown’s unique grasp of the baseball added tremendous spin to all of his pitches. Because of the surprising extra movement on his pitches, batters could not make true contact on any ball Three Finger Brown threw at them.

Brown’s lively fastball, wicked curve and surprising change-up prompted baseball legend Ty Cobb to call Mordecai Brown one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the sport.

Brown excelled on the mound in a Cubs uniform between 1904 and 1912. During that time span, Three Finger won 20 or more games six times in a season. He helped the Cubs win World Series Championships in both 1907 and 1908.

One of the most amazing stories of his career centered on Brown’s rejecting repeated attempts to convince him to purposely lose when he pitched in the 1908 World Series.

As the story goes, Three Finger pitched victoriously in Game 1 of the series against the Detroit Tigers on October 10, 1908. Brown pitched brilliantly even though he carried several notes from the Italian Mob in his baseball uniform’s pants pocket threatening him if he won the World Series game.

Mordecai Three Finger Brown died in 1948 and was inducted into Cooperstown on the first ballot in 1949. He still holds the Major League Baseball record for lowest career ERA at 2.06 for pitchers with 200 or more career wins. His impressive 239 – 130 lifetime record included 55 shutouts and 1,375 strikeouts.

Ferguson Jenkins’s remark couldn’t be any truer for Mordecai Brown or anyone else in life, whether they play a sport or not.

In the case of Three Finger, his disadvantage proved to be a major advantage every time he took the mound. What an overcomer!

And, what a terrific #TBT sports memory!

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2 Cent Tuesday: Fighting Father Time in Sports

2 Cent Tuesday sports blog

Today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog highlights a chapter excerpt from my sports comic book Confusing Things in Sports.

It’s about athletes foolishly continuing to compete against Father Time.

Here’s Chapter #2 from the book.

His stats are impressive.

From time immemorial, his record remains unblemished.

And, quietly, he’s posted an unrivaled unbeaten record in every sport.

Though many athletes, including Hall of Fame icons, have risen to challenge him, no one has ever emerged victoriously.

Father Time stands undefeated, and this old guy shows no sign of relinquishing his perfect record.

Incredulously, many have tried to defeat him, but none have ever prevailed. Father Time remains resolute. He’s strengthened by the knowledge that no one will ever beat him.

Despite his superiority, some still try.

That’s what confuses me and that’s why Father Time easily settles into the #2 spot in Confusing Stuff in Sports. Click on the red cover below to buy from Amazon.

Confusing Stuff in SportsAs illustrious careers start to dim, some athletes insist on trudging on in a sport that they once so easily dominated. What are these aging athletes thinking when they go toe-to-toe with the ageless man named Father Time?

Are their egos that big? Has overweening pride clouded their thoughts? Did their own limelight disorient them?

Sadly, too many pro athletes lose grasp of reality and continue to play the same sport after enjoying long, injury free, successful careers.

Many sports fans claim that their heroes’ egos always need to be tested.

They argue that these stars possess an overwhelming unction to compete against the best – even if he’s Father Time himself.

That’s why they do what they do even when their actions seem confusing or foolhardy.

Take hockey icon Gordie Howe. He skated admirably against Father Time for five decades. But, he eventually lost, finding himself checked right off the ice at age 52.

Hockey great Gordie Howe

Ageless QB Brett Favre courageously fought Father Time in a brutal sport. Inevitably Favre succumbed to Father Time, suffering from chronic injuries and, more importantly, listening to common sense.

Even the indomitable Michael Jordan took a shot at the undefeated old man known as Father Time. Despite his former prowess, Jordan met the same consequence. Instead of the brilliant basketball player effortlessly rising above the rim, His Airness ultimately looked like a struggling, aging baller tethered to the hardwood floor below.

Former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan

Sadly, our sports heroes eventually display their humanity. Living on athletic borrowed time, these proven athletes can no longer outrace their fleeting mortality.

Tomfoolery beckons many to continue. It constantly woos them into believing they will be the first to defeat Father Time.

They may be confused to believe the endless adulation from fans as well as the poppycock of their own purported immortality in sports.

But, they’re even more foolish to think they can prevail against undefeated and universally unchallenged Father Time.

And, that’s my 2 cents!

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Sports Comic Book: Favorite Sports Quotes

Favorite Sports Quotes combines 25 of my all-time favorite sports quotes with clever, individual sports comics.

Each brief chapter offers a bit of history about the actual quote and the person responsible for it.

Laugh when recalling a boxer who feared he would slide into “Bolivia” instead of oblivion.

Smile when remembering a fumble mouthed sportscaster who regularly reported on “spews norts” instead of sports news.

Recite “yes!” and “no mas!” – two of the simplest, but arguably most famous, sports quotes that we’ve all utilized in our own lives.

Learn about the genesis of Diaper Dandies and the NFL linemen known as The Electric Company.

More Favorite Sports Quotes

Recall the brazenness of two NBA icons. One said, “Those young guys are out there playing checkers, while I’m out there playing chess,” and the other boasted “I just wanted to see who would finish second.”

Find out which NBA Hall of Fame giant said, “Nobody roots for Goliath,” and which tiny MLB Hall of Fame outfielder attributed his incredible hitting prowess by stating, “Hit ‘em where they ain’t.”

Smile at the chubby sportscaster who claimed, “I may be wrong, but I doubt it,” and the likeable extra-large former NFL lineman who said, “I was big even when I was little.

Even if you can’t “pair up in threes,” won’t “believe in miracles” or don’t “float like a butterfly or sting like a bee,” you’ll still enjoy this sports comic book.

Reading Favorite Sports Quotes is fun. To safely download the ebook from Amazon for only 99 cents, simply click HERE or on the yellow cover above.

But, just remember that the ending “ain’t over til it’s over” and definitely not until “the fat lady sings!”

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#TBT Sports Blog: Phillies’ Hall of Fame 3B Mike Schmidt

Philadelphia Phillies' Mike SchmidtToday’s #TBT sports blog remembers Philadelphia Phillies’ Hall of Fame 3B Mike Schmidt.

Voted in 1983 as the greatest player in franchise history, this slugger spent his entire 18 year career in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.

More than 25 years after hanging up his cleats, Mike Schmidt, or Schmitty, still holds 12 individual offensive records as a Phillies player.

Whether with a bat at the plate or a glove at third base, Schmidt’s total body of work in Philadelphia was impressive.

A sure-handed third baseman, Schmidt won 10 National League Gold Glove Awards while protecting the hot corner on the lightning fast synthetic turf of Philadelphia’s old Veterans Stadium.

Schmitty also utilized his raw power as a sculpted 6’2” and 205 lb. slugger to win eight home run titles during his career.

Schmidt Ranked 15th All-Time in MLB HR’s

In spite of an unorthodox batting stance, Mike Schmidt finished 15th all-time in Major League Baseball history with 548 dingers.

Schmidt kept himself in such great shape that legendary teammate Pete Rose made the following comment in his authorized biography Pete Rose: A Biography by David M. Jordan. “To have his (Schmidt’s) body, I’d throw in mine and my wife’s and some cash, too!”

He’s also an easy walk-off pick for my #3 spot in my FREE sports comic book  Philadelphia Sports Icons.

Philadelphia Sports Stars and LandmarksIn addition to winning the National League MVP award in 1980, 1981 and 1986, the 12-time all-star retired with an enviable .267 batting average, 2,234 total hits and 1,595 RBI’s, 36th all-time.

Perhaps the highlights of Schmidt’s career were twofold: he hit four home runs in one game on April 17, 1976, and he won the MVP award while guiding the Phillies to the franchise’s first ever 1980 World Series title against the Kansas City Royals.

It’s no surprise that baseball writers voted Mike Schmidt into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1995 on the first ballot with 96.52% of the total vote. That ranks as the 4th best all-time.

The Phillies formally retired his #20 in 1990. In addition, the franchise honored Schmidt by adding him to the team’s Wall of Fame in Citizen’s Bank Park and erecting his statue. It was fittingly placed just outside the stadium’s third base gate to the ballpark.

The Sporting News Honored Mike Schmidt Twice

The Sporting News recognized Schmidt’s stellar career twice. The publication named him Major League Baseball player of the decade in the 80’s. It also honored Schmidt as #28 on its list of top 100 greatest players ever and as the highest ranking third baseman on the esteemed list.

A rotator cuff injury derailed Schmidt’s career in 1989, but his memory continues to flourish in Philadelphia.

That’s why this Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman is an easy choice at #3 in Philadelphia Sports Icons and the subject of today’s #TBT sports blog.

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MIKE on Sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday: The Heckler: Irritating or Entertaining Sports Fan?

the hecklerToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday blog focuses on the Heckler – the sports world’s most irritating and entertaining fan.

Because I enjoy his antics, this big mouthed sports fan is an easy choice for my weekly post.

This bumptious babbler has been barking from the stands at sporting events since Rome’s first chariot races and Greece’s original Olympic Games.

He’s that garrulous guy who plays the role of the annoying fan at games. He’s been seen and heard at every pro game in every sport for as long as fans can remember.

Many observers would say he’s just as bothersome, or entertaining, “now” as he was back “then” at sports events like at Rome’s Coliseum!

Today, the colorful and, at times, irritating big mouth sits court side at NBA games, in the end zone at NFL games or behind home plate at Major League Baseball games.

The obnoxious or entertaining blow hard creatively maligns the opposing team’s players. His duty is to toss barbs at the other team and their fans.

Super Fan: The Heckler

Universally known as the Heckler, this super fan ironically may not boast too many fans of his own.

Some fans may find him irritating and insulting, but I like him and think he’s an expected, entertaining part of attending a professional sports event.

He’s pretty funny, especially if he’s rooting for the same team.

Plus, I can handle his non-stop heckling – provided he’s seated far enough away and doesn’t make the little hairs on the back of my neck stand at full attention with his non-stop jibber-jabbering.

And, I get a kick out of watching rival fans deal with the Heckler during a game. The guy’s entertainment factor wears off quickly, especially when he’s not cheering for their squad.

Soon, opposing fans within earshot realize this guy has a bullhorn for a voice box and no off switch for his grating trash talk.

During the rest of the game, these same rival fans are constantly on edge, much to my delight and that of all of my fellow fans.

For the rest of the game, I’m entertained by watching these rival fans try to keep themselves in check.

In a fight to the end, they struggle to restrain themselves from dumping their beer on this loud mouthed Heckler.

Because of the entertainment factor the Heckler has always provided at games since fans can remember, this timeless irritant and big mouthed sports fan secures a spot in today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog.

Out of curiosity, whether you find the Heckler irritating or entertaining, what’s your favorite Heckler line?

Let us know.

Just keep it clean and leave everyone’s mother out of your response. LolShop for Official Game Day Gear at Fanatics!Also, for fans interested in authentic sports merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Fanatics logo above.

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MIKE Sports Comic Book: MLB Favorites

MIKE MLB Favorites

Volume 2 of the MIKE Sports Comic Book Series focuses on my personal picks for all-time MLB Favorites.

MLB Favorites transports readers through the Fall Classic months of October and even November.

It also spotlights baseball legends from recently retired to a lifetime ago.

My baseball favorites include one incredible team from a century ago and a baseball landmark that has wooed fans and players for 100 years.

This book includes eight famous big leaguers. Six are in the Baseball Hall of Fame and one will be there soon.

Another worthy choice is someone many believe should be inducted because of his record breaking career and all out hustle whenever he took the field.

Each of my player picks has positively impacted baseball for their accomplishments on the field. None are still active on an Major League Baseball roster.

You’ll recall a colorful catcher who stopped everything behind the plate and hit everything thrown to him in front of it.

You’ll also read about the tiniest player to ever play the game of baseball. He dominated the sport with both speed and a unique ability to hit pitches whenever – and wherever – he wanted.

More MLB Favorites

One of my choices, a dominating, machine-like team, is a perennial fan favorite.

Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds

Plus, we’ll celebrate a famous piece of Boston baseball real estate that is one of the most revered and recognized icons in all of sports.

All in this book are worthy of being recognized by unique, immediately recognizable nicknames like the sports comic below.

Fenway Park's Left Field Wall

In addition to the comics, I include a little history in each chapter about my selection. I explain why I believe my choice belongs in MLB Favorites.

Lastly, my affiliate partner – Sports Memorabilia – features lots of Major League Baseball sports merchandise. Check out the site if interested. And, yes, I do earn a small commission if you happen to buy something, so thanks.

Sports MemorabiliaIf you don’t see your favorite in the MIKE sports comic book MLB Favorites, then I definitely want to hear from you.

Email me at mikeonsports@yahoo.com and state your case.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks

Mr. Cub Ernie Banks

Today’s #TBT sport blogs remembers Ernie Banks, the greatest player in Chicago Cubs history.

To Banks, the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field served as home for 19 Major League Baseball seasons.

Affectionately known as Mr. Cub, the soft spoken Ernie Banks easily stole the hearts of loyal Chicago Cubs fans.

Defined by his passion and purpose for the game, Banks excelled in a multitude of ways for the only Major League Baseball team he ever knew.

However, during his lengthy and storied baseball career in Chicago, the beloved #14 amazingly never saw post season action. Never!

Ernie Banks Enjoyed Only 1 Winning Season in 19 Years

Ironically, Banks experienced 18 out of 19 losing seasons with the Chicago Cubs. As a result, he became known as the consummate good sport. He never complained openly about the Cubs’ losing ways.

Because of his bright smile, gentle spirit and always positive disposition, Banks also picked up the appropriate nickname Mr. Sunshine.

In spite of the Cubs’ futility, Banks gained a 1977 first ballot entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He posted impressive career statistics as both a shortstop and then first baseman for the Chicago Cubs.

A two-time National League MVP in 1958 and 1959, Banks retired with 512 dingers, 2,583 total hits and a lifetime .274 batting average.

Although Banks was named to baseball’s All-Century team in 1999, he often expressed during his playing days that he wanted to be remembered as more than a baseball player.

Fortunately, he has.

Since his retirement in 1972, Banks has been revered for the way he comported himself both on and off the baseball field.

In addition to his stellar play as an athlete, Banks brilliantly followed Jackie Robinson’s lead as an esteemed example of baseball integration.

The Baseball Hall of Fame player also was greatly respected for advocating for assistance for Chicago’s poor.

In 2013 President Barack Obama Presented Ernie Banks with Presidential Medal of Freedom

What is perhaps this Chicago sports legend’s greatest lifetime achievement came to fruition in 2013. That’s when President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The award not only acknowledged Banks’ outstanding baseball career, but, it recognized #14 as an extraordinary human being. Despite a quiet demeanor, Ernie fought racism in our country with an excellent and courageous spirit.

His example to overcome adversity through quiet strength and determination helped unite people of all races.

For that reason, Mr. Cub will always be remembered as more than the Chicago Cubs’ greatest player ever. It pleases me to pen this #TBT sports blog.

Ernie Banks will be forever recognized as both a hero and a great man who proudly represented baseball as the sport’s unofficial ambassador.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday: Favorite Baseball Cliches

2 Cent Tuesday sports blog

Today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog focuses on my top 10 favorite baseball clichés.

I think they’re a grand slam!

Plus, they’re included in my FREE book Best About Sports for fans of MLB, Babe Ruth League and Little League Baseball to enjoy.

My list captures the ridiculous, inventive and, at times, exaggerated way we report on or describe America’s favorite pastime.

A perfect example is the see-saw baseball comic that begins this article.

MIKE Sports Comic: See Saw Battle

Baseball fans instantly get these sayings. They’re confidently spoken in the familiar lingo of metaphors and hyperbole that all sports fans understand.

Here’s my top 10 list:

10. Stranded three ducks on a pond – What a sight it would be to actually watch three mallards quacking away on the bases in frustration as a batter takes a third called strike to end the inning.

9. The batter hit a frozen rope – It would be pretty neat to see an icicle encrusted 350’ long rope extend from the batter’s box to the left field wall.

8. The pitcher handcuffed the batter – Too bad we’ll never actually witness a pitcher leave the mound with a set of cuffs in his hand and head toward home plate to shackle the batter.

7. The infielders are throwing the ball around the horn – It would be a literal blast to see four infielders sitting around the pitcher’s mound, playfully tossing a baseball around a giant trumpet?

6. The outfielder got on his horse to chase down the fly ball – This would never happen, but it would be hysterical to see a center fielder catch a long fly ball with his glove in one hand, while his other hand holds the reins of the horse he’s riding?

5. The pitcher took something off the ball – One day, I’d love to see this actually happen – a pitcher standing on the mound after a pitch holding a frayed baseball cover in his throwing hand.

MIKE Sports Comic: Pitcher Took Something Off the Ball

4. The batter reached for the fences – How ridiculous a sight this would be watching a batter at home plate extend his arms like a transformer robot and actually touch the right field wall.

3. This team is manufacturing runs – Just imagine a team turning its dugout into a manufacturing plant’s assembly line.

2. It’s a pitcher’s duel – Duels don’t happen anymore, but it would be a blast to witness two saber wielding pitchers squaring off around the pitcher’s mound.

1. The base runner got caught napping – The word picture associated with this comic probably says it all. It’s a wonderful way to end this featured list on my favorite baseball cliches.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Former Baltimore Orioles Brooks “Hoover” Robinson

Brooks Robinson or HooverToday’s #TBT sports blog features Brooks “Hoover” Robinson – a Hall of Fame athlete with a household appliance for a nickname.

Brooks Robinson played the hot corner for the Baltimore Orioles better than anyone else in baseball history.

Instead of an oven or a stove top grill, this third baseman was known as Hoover, short for the old American standard in vacuum cleaners. He sucked up every baseball hit his way.

In the same way Hoover vacuums were the predominant household appliance of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Brooks Robinson was the undisputed best fielding third baseman who ever played the game.

Named to Major League Baseball’s All Century Team in 1999, Brooks Robinson played third base for the Baltimore Orioles for an incredible 23 years.

Brooks “Hoover” Robinson Won 16 Gold Gloves in His Career

Robinson’s skill at third base is legendary. With fast hands, quick feet, uncanny expectation and an accurate strong arm, Robinson won an astounding 16 consecutive American League Gold Gloves from 1960 through 1975. He was also named to 15 consecutive American League All-Star teams during the same time. In addition, he finished tops in fielding percentage among third basemen 11 seasons in a row and was voted American League Most Valuable Player in 1964.

Thanks in large part to Brooks Robinson’s consistent stellar play at third base and at the plate, the Baltimore Orioles boasted the best record in all of baseball during Hoover’s 23 years with the organization. Robinson ended his career with a very respectable lifetime batting average of .267 and 2,848 total hits, 268 home runs and 1,357 runs batted in.

Hoover participated in four World Series. He won two of them with the Birds, one in 1966 and again in 1970 in which he was named the Most Valuable Player.

The Orioles retired Brooks Robinson’s number five jersey in 1977. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1983 during his first year of eligibility.

This former Baltimore Oriole is also my #23 overall pick in one of my sports comic books Favorite Sports Nicknames.

Favorite Sports NicknamesNow an accomplished public speaker, Brooks Robinson may be the most popular player in the history of the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Comparing Robinson to baseball legend Babe Ruth, Gordon Beard, an Associated Press Baltimore-based sports reporter remarked about the player called The Hoover Vacuum Cleaner, “Brooks never had a candy bar named after him. But, in Baltimore, people named their children after him.”

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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