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I'M JUST GETTING WARMED UP.
December 28, 2001

by Bill Hogan

 

 
 

Can you believe another year has gone by?

Can you believe this is the forty-eighth Hogan's Alley Weekly Feature of the year? I'm gonna have to put some kind of search engine in the archives - it's getting so big.

 
 

I've had a chance in the past year to touch on quite a number of sports issues. Hopefully you found my writing entertaining. Hopefully, it gave you something to chuckle at and even supplied you with some interesting historical reference that you can break out at parties.

I've been critical of the sports media. I will continue to be critical of them as long as they stay so far out of touch with the average sportsfan.

I guess when you're wearing a press pass, you don't think about dedicating column space to subjects like how difficult it is for most fans to get Super Bowl tickets.

I think about those things. And I write about those things because I know you think about those things. That's why you're still reading. (Plus the fact that I bug the crap out of you each week to get into the site and read!)

And I promise that in the coming year I will continue to lobby the publishers at Webster to add the singular word sportsfan to their dictionary. "If a writer of sports is a sportswriter and a broadcaster of sports is a sportscaster, I proclaim that a fan of sports is a SPORTSFAN!!" (From our first feature January 19, 2001).

I've had the opportunity to talk about some of the legends of sports. Guys named Unitas and Namath, Koufax and Feller and my personal favorite - Nolan Ryan.

There have been references to the not so legendary as well. Less notable personalities like Bob Uecker, Choo Choo Coleman and Pud Galvin. (I told you early in the year that I'd find a way to slip Pud Galvin into another story).

I've been able to push the envelope of insanity with a zany comparison of Forrest Gump to Rickey Henderson (as well as the uncanny similarities between the XFL and Bay Watch).

I enjoyed telling PETA to lighten up and the NFL Refs where to go when they started talking about striking.

I've had a ball weaving "A Classic Tale" and "A Sportsfan Bedtime Story".

And where else can you go to find "Heidi", Art Buchwald and "Malcolm In The Middle" all mentioned in the same article?

I have a hunch next year's crop of Kentucky Derby hopefuls will provide great fodder for another amusing horse tale.

Then there's the big foam finger. What would a story designed to entertain sportsfans be without the obligatory reference to the big foam finger? I'm seriously considering writing a book totally dedicated to the big foam finger.

After the tragedy of September 11, the whole country became more patriotic. I've tried to be more patriotic in my writing as well. But then again, I've always thought of sportsfans as a patriotic sort. They certainly don't stand and sing the national anthem before a rock concert or the ballet. (Though maybe they should now.)

This has all been great fun for me. I'm sure you've noticed format and design changes in the website since February. To me, section115.com is still evolving. And it will continue to grow, to become more humorous, more informative and more poignant.

In my mind, I'm just getting warmed up.

I get excited about doing this because you continue to read, and by most accounts enjoy, my work. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. I know many of you are working hard at expanding the readership by passing along the site to friends, family and co-workers. Thank you and keep up the good work.

As we enter 2002, I don't know who will win the Super Bowl. Maybe it'll be my team, maybe it'll be yours. I haven't got a clue who the next World Series Champions will be or which of our great amateur athletes will bring home a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

But I do know that, in 2002, like in 2001 and 1987 and 1958, the fans will still be the most important part of the game.

Happy New Year, Sportsfans.

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