Friday Sports Funny: Team Came Up Short

team fell short of winning

Today’s Friday Sports Funny recalls a sports cliche all sports fans have used to describe the outcome of a game.

Sure, the comic is totally ridiculous, but it’s also pretty funny.

The sophomoric depiction brings to life the over-used sports cliche about a losing team coming up short.

In this instance, the Lilliputian players are intentionally short to drive home the point.

I just love the look at the consoling look on this coach’s face. He even kneels down and cranes his neck to get closer to his players.

The undersized team just lost its basketball game by coming up short in the final score. The disposition of the tiny hoopsters says it all.

With hands over his face to hide disappointment, #6 certainly appears dismayed. The sitting player holding what seems like an over sized basketball is numb, while #10 holds back tears and #3 eagerly awaits encouragement from a caring coach.

No, I’m not picking on little tikes in this comic.

Actually, I’ve always been a fan of the vertically challenged. I’ve even authored a book touting smaller sports stars called Favorite Undersized Athletes.

Favorite Undersized AthletesHowever, there’s a silver lining to consider.

History reveals that it doesn’t take height to be big in sports and in life. The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, FIFA and the NCAA all have awesome stories of undersized athletes who have excelled at the professional level.

Just research the names Pocket Hercules, Doug Flutie, Olga Korbut, Muggsy Bogues, Wee Willie Keeler and Lionel Messi.

All may be short of stature, but have made huge accomplishments in life.

Yes, each is highlighted in Favorite Undersized Athletes.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Chicago’s 1906 Hitless Wonders

MLB Hitless WondersIn baseball, a team’s batting average normally mirrors its success.

However, the 1906 Chicago White Sox’s improbable World Series Championship stands today as a statistical oddity.

That’s why this meager hitting team bunts its way into today’s #TBT sports blog. With only seven team home runs and a woeful .230 team batting average during the entire season, the Chicago White Sox became known as the Hitless Wonders in the Chicago media.

The closest any other World Series champions have come to duplicating the White Sox’s inglorious feat were the 1968 Detroit Tigers (.235), the 1972 Oakland A’s (.241) and the 1969 New York Mets (.242).

Whatever the 1906 White Sox lacked in offensive production, they more than made up for in several other areas of the game. The team led Major League Baseball in total walks, hit batmen and sacrifices. Defensively, the team was extremely solid, committing only 194 errors the entire season.

In addition, the 1906 White Sox featured a pitching staff that posted a phenomenal 2.23 ERA. Although the team couldn’t hit very well, their crack staff of hurlers more than compensated for the Sox’s silent bats.

Led by Frank Owen with a 22 – 13 record, Chicago also showcased Nick Altrock at 20 – 13, Doc White at 18 – 6 and Ed Walsh at 17 – 13. During a 19 game winning streak in August, which enabled the team to capture the American League Pennant, the White Sox pitchers shut out their opponents on eight separate occasions.

1906 Hitless Wonders Start To Hit

Ironically, the 1906 Chicago White Sox Hitless Wonders started to hit at the most appropriate time of the year. In a World Series hosting two teams, both hailing from Chicago, the once light-hitting White Sox defeated the heavily favored Cubs in six games and clinched the championship.

The Cubs had dismantled all National League rivals en route to a history making 116 – 36 record. According to the baseball site, they entered a 1906 World Series labeled as a “laughable mismatch between a heavyweight (the Cubs) and a featherweight (the White Sox).”

The 1906 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox defied all acceptable baseball logic and statistical norms. Their poor team batting average of .230 should never have given them a chance to compete for a world championship, let alone win one.

However, the White Sox’s dormant bats awakened when the team upset the cross town rival and heavily favored Cubs.

That was when the 1906 Hitless Wonders suddenly – and surprisingly – started to hit.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Friday Sports Funny: Team Has Lots of Weapons

MIKE Sports Comic: Team Has Lots of WeaponsToday’s Friday Sports Funny lampoons sports media’s growing trend of politically correct reporting.

My intent is not to debate our country’s Second Amendment rights on gun ownership or take sides on whether the Washington Redskins team name should be banished from all NFL vocabulary. Nor am I arguing whether Christmas Basketball Tournaments should forever be renamed Holiday Tournaments.

However, the purpose of my writing is to demonstrate how some PC Police seek to squelch free speech and legislate our language in discussing sports.

As a result of their efforts, timeless sports adages and old-school cliches have now become extinct. They’ve been replaced by politically correct, watered down versions certain designed not to offend those most likely to be offended by just about everything in life.

The PC Police Have Infiltrated Sports Media

Whether left or right leaning in their political beliefs, all sports fans can agree that the PC Police have infiltrated sports media.

PC Police propose to expunge any semblance of sports media reporting that they feel is too Judeo Christian, too Anglo American, too heterosexual, too traditional, too male oriented, too warlike, too violent, too judgmental and too old school that may upset the three Little Lord Fontlaroys out of 320 million Americans who think all of Western Civilization has conspired to discriminate against them.

Here’s an example of a sports comic entitled “The Team Has Lots of Weapons.” Since the PC crews want to protect our little ones from any potentially heinous comic showing real fictional weapons, I’ve drafted the above comic to demonstrate the absurdity of the times. This armed and dangerous expression is readily apparent in the comic.

The police of political correctness probably appreciate my keeping real weapons out this image. However, the point is evident.

Even though depicted as a computer virus, water balloon or good old stink bomb, the soccer team in this comic has lots of weapons, indeed.

Hope the ACLU doesn’t excoriate me for calling a stink bomb a stink bomb instead of a malodorous tool or whatever politically correct, nonsensical term they expect us to utilize, so that we don’t possibly offend anyone.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: Soccer Footer

#TBT Sports Blog: Dennis Schrader’s Lil’ Cooperstown Baseball Collection

Dennis Schrader holding the Guinness Book of World Records' certifying his 4,400 baseball collection is the world's largest.

Dennis Schrader holding the Guinness Book of World Records’ certifying his 4,400 baseball collection is the world’s largest.

Today’s #TBT sports blog dusts off my popular interview from a few years ago with Dennis Schrader. The likeable Floridian is widely known for amassing an unparalleled collection of autographed baseballs that he calls Little Cooperstown.

Schrader’s love of baseball is evident. His enthusiasm for baseball history is infectious. But, his personal collection of autographed baseballs is nothing less than extraordinary. 

Dennis Schrader’s signed baseball collection, once housed in the spare bedroom of his Odessa, FL home, is now internationally recognized. It comprises the most comprehensive and coveted collection of autographed baseballs on the planet.

In 2011, London-based Guinness World Records certified that Schrader’s Little Cooperstown, with a whopping 4,400 signed baseballs, officially ranks as the largest.

The collector’s Little Cooperstown success has been decades long in the making. The immensely likable Schrader started collecting baseballs in 1956 as a kid in Largo, FL. Now his prized cache of coveted balls proudly reside in a museum in downtown St. Petersburg, FL.

Yankee legend Mickey Mantle signed his first ball during Spring Training. Schrader’s passion for the sport and preoccupation with baseball memorabilia, especially the autographed kind, quickly tuned into a lifelong obsession and one that other lovers of baseball can now enjoy.

Schrader declares, “There isn’t any big name who has ever played the game whose signature I don’t have on a ball.”

Schrader’s Collection Boasts 3,300 Certificates

A bold proclamation, but Schrader’s collection is corroborated by over 3,000 certificates of authenticity, scores of photographs and videos, and several testimonial letters that include the Mayor of St. Petersburg, FL and an ethics professor from the University of South Florida.

When interviewed, Schrader reflected how kids always ask to see his Jeter, A-Rod, Pujols and Longoria stuff. But Schrader smiles broadly in recalling how dads and grandfathers go nuts over his plastic encased Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio memorabilia. Schrader’s beloved DiMaggio ball even boasts the signature of the Yankee Clipper’s bride of nine months, the iconic Marilyn Monroe.

Despite generational differences, one name in Schrader’s collection emerges as baseball fans’ undisputed favorite. According to this collector, kids, fathers and grand dads alike are wowed by the nine baseballs signed by legendary Babe Ruth. This micro collection is housed with his other 4,000+ autographed balls in a 150 square foot bedroom, wisely protected with fortress type door and security system.

Schrader’s obsession has emerged as a baseball lover’s gift-wrapped Christmas present. In addition to featuring the Who’s Who of Hall of Famers in his Little Cooperstown, Schrader’s baseball cache also includes autographed balls from the Negro League as well as the famed all-female League of their Own. In addition, it boasts a Sadaharu Oh’s autograph with a prominently penned 868, his career home run total, proudly placed beside it.

Schrader’s Stash Includes a Signed “Shoeless” Joe Jackson

Not to be outdone, Schrader holds what is arguably one of baseball’s most coveted prizes: a Shoeless Joe Jackson. Legend has it that the disgraced Black Sox player rarely signed his name due to personal embarrassment of his poor penmanship.

MIKE Comic 70 Shoeless Joe JacksonSchrader’s boundless collection of baseball keepsakes may be amazing, but his personal story is equally compelling. The cancer survivor’s Little Cooperstown is a culmination of a 55 year commitment to collecting that has proven far more cumbersome and arduous than originally envisioned.

Schrader has spent years scouring the internet, phoning prospective sellers, attending countless sports memorabilia shows and forking over a personal fortune for, at times, someone’s barely legible John Hancock on an old piece of raw hide.

Yet is seems all these personal adventures, travels and events have only stoked the embers of Schrader’s personal passion for baseball.

Dennis Schrader, thanks for your persistence. Thanks for your commitment. Thanks for faithfully demonstrating your loyalty and love for a game whose roots date back to 1836. You’ve preserved for the rest of us a unique and unifying piece of what’s great about American history in Little Cooperstown.

Now, Mr. Schrader, I suggest you make one final addition to your collection. Go out, buy a baseball and sign it yourself. . . .

“Dennis Schrader, Owner of Little Cooperstown, largest collection of autographed baseballs in the world.”

MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday: Cost of Attending a Game

Cost of Attending a Game

Today’s 2 Cent Tuesday Sports Blog cites the obvious about the exorbitant cost of attending a pro sports game.

That’s because player salaries have soared.

Franchise values have ballooned.

And, television rights have skyrocketed to financial heights that no sane person could have possibly imagined.

These days, the cost of attending a professional sporting event, regardless of the sport, has vaulted to stratospheric heights.

Few fans will argue how going to an NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL or MLS game can financially set you back a bunch.

Plunking down what feels like a jumbo mortgage payment to watch your favorite team play comes at a very steep price these days.

Ticket prices to pro games are so outrageous that they’re now dizzying to the financial senses!

Forget about V.I.P. or Executive Suites at the park. So called budget priced tickets can pinch you, too. Even pigeon heaven seats can cost you an arm and a leg and maybe even your first born. Plus, you’ll still need to squint from your seat to see the action way below.

Ticket Prices Alone Won’t Blow Your Budget

It’s just not ticket prices alone that’ll blow your budget. But, it’s the entire experience of attending a game. Here’s what I mean.

Park your car and plan to empty your wallet by $60.

Buy a beer and brace yourself to shell out a $10 bill.

Enjoy that bag of peanuts and a soft drink and expect to hand over to the concessionaire what amounts to the price of dinner.

Go to any Major League Baseball game across the country and quickly learn that America’s favorite pastime now feels more like America’s biggest fleecing.

I love watching big games in person.

But, if I’m biting the bullet to go, I now load up on liquids and gorge myself before entering the park.

Hey, I’ll even wait to return home for dessert before forking over a small fortune for a little cup of Dippin’ Dots. They’re the tiny, cryogenically frozen candy coated ice cream treats with prices guaranteed to leave a huge hole in anybody’s wallet.

Some NFL, MLB and NBA players make megabucks, but they’re lifestyles are way above those of their fans.

These high paid jocks pocket more suiting up for a single game than most fans will make in a whole year teaching school, fighting fires, policing our neighborhoods, driving delivery trucks or even working arenas and stadiums.

Watching pro sports on tv instead of forking over a ransom payment to see the action live may become the new normal.

It’s no wonder that a growing number of fiscally prudent fans choose to stay home and save their hard earned cash – instead of dealing with the steep cost of attending a game in person.

And, that’s my 2 cents!

MIKE on sports!

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FREE Sports Comic Book: Favorite Non-Athletes

Rudolf Wanderone Minnesota FatsMy new FREE sports comic book Favorite Non-Athletes reveals a different side of sports to inquisitive fans.

If you’re as rabid a sports fan as me, you’ll agree that sports comprise the best form of entertainment.

NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and FIFA games showcase some of the greatest athletes on the planet.

But, sports entertainment is more than just watching phenomenal athletes ply their craft on the ice, field, diamond, hardwood or pitch.

What provide the extra sizzle in sports are countless non-athletes that make the games possible and entertaining. They enrich the overall fan experience.

A number of non-athletic performers and icons deliver invaluable appeal and bring the entertainment aspects of sports to greater levels.

I highlight them in my FREE book Favorite Non-Athletes in Sports.

FREE MIKE sports comic bookSome picks are as obvious as the bowtie I’m wearing. And, others on this list may surprise you.

None are actual athletes. A few aren’t even real at all. But, all of them show up at NFL, MLB, NCAA and NHL games.

You will adore one of the most unlikely sportscasters on television.

You will envy the driver of the baddest maintenance vehicle in sports.

You will wince at the thought of a big mouthed bloviator.

You will probably scowl at the refs I feature. But, you’ll immediately recognize that games don’t get played without them.

You’ll recite familiar lines from a series of iconic movies starring a fictional fighting sports character.

You might proudly don the ridiculous foam hats worn by the loyal fans of this historic NFL franchise.

You will certainly agree that this guy’s no athlete, but he was an incredible showman in a non-sport sport now seen regularly on ESPN.

You will smile at the awe inspiring godlike figure in an imposing mural, perhaps the most recognized image in NCAA college football.

You’ll cheer madly over packaged meat products racing awkwardly around a baseball field.

Finally, you’ll sing along with a likeable large lady who needs to belt out a few bars, so fans in the stands can finally go home.

Enjoy my FREE book Favorite Non-Athletes in Sports!

Email me at if you have a few choices that you think should have made it into this book.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: NBA Icon Isaiah Thomas on Bill Laimbeer

His Heinous Bill Laimbeer

Today’s Friday Sports Funny unearths a hilarious quote by former NBA champion Isaiah Thomas about Detroit Pistons teammate Bill Laimbeer.

“If I didn’t know Bill, I wouldn’t like him either.” ~ Isaiah Thomas

Teammate and friend Isaiah Thomas said this of his two-time NBA title winning teammate Bill Laimbeer, aptly known as His Heinous.

The mention of the name Bill Laimbeer instantly ignited heated basketball debates. Fans and opposing players cringed upon hearing Laimbeer’s name and quickly vented their disdain toward him.

Yes, the nickname His Heinous – meaning scary, evil, rotten, awful and beastly – expertly described Bill Laimbeer for his nasty play on the basketball court.

That NBA player most fans loved to hate, Laimbeer’s name comes up regularly as one of the league’s all time dirtiest players.

Sports MemorabiliaFor authentic NBA sports memorabilia on the two-time NBA champions the Detroit Pistons or former players Isaiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer, visit my affiliate partner Sports Memorabilia by licking the logo above.

Email me at if you have clever ideas for a future Friday Sports Funny comic or quote.

MIKE on sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday: Why Baseball Confuses Me

confusing baseball termsToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog focuses on why baseball confuses me.

And, I don’t think I’m alone. That’s why I compiled a list of befuddling bits of baseball banalities that probably confound you, too.

My list ranges from confusing baseball language to well known idiosyncrasies that comprise our country’s favorite past time.

Here’s my top 10 list of quirky baseball peculiarities:

10. Why call baseball’s foul pole a foul pole when it’s located in fair territory? The reference reminds me of the late George Carlin’s comedic line about driving on a parkway and parking on a driveway.

9. Why’s a stolen base called a stolen base when the base runner never gets to take it home or even pawn what he just pilfered? Just call it a newly occupied base instead.

8. Why doesn’t Major League Baseball completely eliminate the on deck circle? Have you ever seen an on deck batter actually stand in the on deck circle? Grounds crews should just ignore the area completely and save their white chalk for something worthwhile.

7. Why do fans tolerate the heckler who’s got a real bull horn for a voice box with no off switch? Why does this bloviating fan think that behaving like a jerk is a good thing?

the heckler6. Why do rotund baseball managers insist on wearing team uniforms that look like spray-on Halloween costumes? You never saw Phil Jackson wearing his old Knicks short shorts on the Lakers bench?

5. Why do players insist on poking their packages and adjusting their private parts when every fan is watching the action on their over sized high def TV in the comfort of their living room?

4. At a unit cost of 75 cents a dot, why do TINY frozen Dippin’ Dots you can only get at a game put such a HUGE hole in your wallet?

3. Stupid baseball statistics. Who cares how many times lefties born in Midwestern states to blond haired mothers whose brother’s uncle’s neighbor’s insurance salesman’s sister played AAA for the Yankees in 1997 whiff during rain delayed night games in August?

2. Why do clueless fans always stand in the 7th inning belting out the tune “Take Me out to the Ball Game” when we all know they’ve been there in the park for the previous six innings?

1. Why call a catcher’s testicular protector a cup when no sane person would EVER consider drinking from it?

I’m certain there’s more readers can add to my list.

I’d love to hear about some of the befuddling bits of baseball banalities that confound and confuse you, too.

Email me at

MIKE on sports!

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MIKE Sports Comic Book: Favorite Sports Royalty

Favorite Sports Royalty

A regal collection of eclectic choices comprises this MIKE sports comic book titled Favorite Sports Royalty.

Splendid sports figures, exalted teams and the mural of a college campus’ half-god, half-man deity are featured in this book.

One of my picks may not be instantly known to American sports fans. But, he secured a special spot in this book because of the clever nickname he acquired from his iconic international football father.

However, my other nine sovereign picks are immediately identifiable.

Represented here are a king, a kaiser, a princess, a prince, a sultan and a lord. I’ve also included an assortment of noble nicknames and imperial mascots.

You’ll revel in a soccer princess who unwittingly became a pied piper for her sport for young girls across America.

You’ll smile at the lofty labels of college and pro teams as well as their unique, majestic mascots.

You’ll laugh at the unabashed reporting of a chubby former NBA player who turned princely broadcaster.

You’ll agree that the way an incredible German dominated the soccer pitch made him worthy of his kingly nickname.

You’ll learn about how a genuine British lord commissioned perhaps the most cherished championship trophy in all of sports.

You’ll swoon over the staggering statistics this sultan of swat amassed during his unparalleled Major League Baseball career.

You’ll bear witness to the fact that this king of the hardwood transformed from one of the most reviled athletes on the planet to one of the most revered.

And, you’ll pay homage to the NHL’s greatest player ever who bore the name The Great One while wearing the Kings name on his jersey.

Enjoy the read and email me at with whom you think I may have left out in this MIKE sports comic book Favorite Sports Royalty.

Look forward to your comments.

MIKE on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: All Sports Footer

Friday Sports Funny: Fickle Fans

MRO 29 Faithful to ExitsToday’s Friday Sports Funny demonstrates how fickle fans can even, at times, be the most “faithful” ones.

With time still remaining in the football game, an angry nun, an incredulous priest, a disappointed rabbi and even a bummed out shaman are heading to the stadium exit.

Their favorite team, appropriately named the Angels, is getting whipped 35 – 14 by their bitter rivals, the Devils. The supposedly “faithful” Angels fans are not happy. Instead of remaining until the game’s final whistle to support their team, they’re quickly slinking out of the stadium.

Unfortunately, scenarios like this play out regularly in NFL stadiums, NBA arenas, MLB stadiums and NHL arenas. Fickle fans are not nearly as faithful as they could or should be.

Miami Heat fans are arguably the most notorious as evidenced in the epic Game 6 of the 2014 NBA Finals victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Heat fans prematurely bolted the American Airlines Arena thinking the game and season was over for their squad. However, a ferocious comeback and cold blooded Ray Allen three from the corner proved otherwise.

ESPN should expose the feigned faithful on Sports Center highlight reels by showing them prematurely, and quickly, heading to exits while their beloved squads are still competing.

That kind of revealing video footage would immediately separate the true sheep from the goats or, in this case, the truly faithful from the non-faithful, or fickle, sports fans.

MIKE Vol 7 CleverClick on the purple cover above to safely download my FREE sports comic book aptly named Clever Sports Comics.

Feel free to share the book with family and friends.

MIKE on sports!

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