Happy Herald - Sports Feature https://www.happyherald.com/articles.sec-8527-1-sports-feature.html <![CDATA[NFL Preview For Florida Teams? No Joy in Mudville]]> As is our custom this time of the year, we continue our pigskin preview, this time with a look at the state’s professional football fortunes. I realize the season may be nearly a quarter over by the time you review this article, but it’s still fun to predict the outcome for our respective teams. ]]> <![CDATA[We Preview The College Football Landscape And Say Goodbye To A Legend]]> As is the tradition in these parts, the college football season kicks off the Fall schedule of events, and ushers in what my friend Dean used to call the “Social Season.” But this year, there’s a twist, as the college football poobahs (see ESPN and college presidents) decided September 1 (or more accurately, August 31) was just too long to wait, so they moved it up a week. ]]> <![CDATA[The Changing Face of the Sports we Love]]> Gulfstream Race Track would be the only venue to run live racing, but if you’ve been there you know horse racing is a decidedly underpublicized option for patrons. Between the promotion of the poker room, the shops, the restaurants and the shows, live racing is, to use a term of art, up the track in terms of popularity.]]> <![CDATA[Mid-Season Baseball Report: Favorites And The Long Ball]]> In 1969 baseball made the decision to expand into two divisions, and later that morphed into three divisions with two wild card teams added to the post-season, so the idea of being in first place at this time of the year is no longer a rock solid predictor of success. We’ll get to the races (such as they are) in a second, but the big story in baseball this year is the return of the home run. Or should I say the explosion of the home run.]]> <![CDATA[Fathers And Sons – And The Mothers Who Raise Them]]> As we sit between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I’m thinking about the importance and influence mothers and dads have had – not only on our lives, but on the lives of stars in the sports world. I realize we could begin with the countless stories of sacrifices made, especially by parents of Olympic athletes, who spent hours ferrying their children to and from practices, competitions and training sessions.]]> <![CDATA[Redemption Thy Name is Sports]]> About seven years ago, when I first began this column, I wrote about the saga of the then world’s best golfer who was discovered to be a serial philanderer, was soon separated from his wife, and in the process, lost not only an estimated 100 million dollars in the subsequent divorce, but also the adulation and respect of many a sports fan. He was vilified as a phony, lost countless endorsements, and was relegated to alsoran status following a series of injuries. Still, I wondered: If his family could forgive him (which they did), why couldn’t the sporting public? That was Tiger Woods’ life.]]> <![CDATA[A Few Thoughts About…]]> Normally, when we meet in this space, time and relevance limit the discussion to only one topic per column, which is usually good enough. But for this month’s visit, I thought we’d do something a bit different. As a teaser, in the future we’d like to get the view of an expert for a baseball overview, but with so many things going on in the sports world, I thought it better to review a range of topics relevant by the time you read this note. So, here goes… ]]> <![CDATA[Why Our Sports Heroes Live On Forever]]> When you care about someone who dies, it affects you in different ways. The loss of a parent, or God forbid, a child, or anyone close to you, forces you to reflect on who you are, where you are in your life and sometimes, crystallizes what you still want to accomplish. What does this have to do with sports, you ask? Plenty, when it’s one of your sports heroes who passes away.]]> <![CDATA[Winter Sports Teams Hope for a Spring Spurt]]> But at least the Heat make the playoffs, which is more than one can say for the other winter sports tenant we have down here, the Florida Panthers. You see in the NHL, 16 out of 31 teams make the playoffs, which makes the odds of getting in slightly better than 50%.]]> <![CDATA[2018: Dolphins Miracle Play Highlights a Tough Year]]> Usually when compiling the end of year “Best Of” top 10 list, it’s not a difficult task. With all four professional sports represented locally, along with a strong collegiate presence, as well as a bevy of professional tennis and golf opportunities, the idea of highlighting 10 memorable sports moments is generally not difficult. ]]> <![CDATA[The What-Ifs of Sports That Keep Us Wondering]]> I’m pretty sure when John Greenleaf Whittier wrote that immortal phrase some 150 years ago, he didn’t have the modern sports world in mind. Or maybe he did, who knows? Perhaps he knew of some equestrian who’d had a bad meal the night before and subsequently lost. ]]> <![CDATA[Searching For Eddets Field]]> Sometimes, while thinking of stories to entertain the masses, you’ll stumble across an idea in the strangest of ways. So it was with this column. You see, as a person of a certain demographic group (it still creeps me out to have to check certain age boxes) I have not yet acceded to the idea of growing old. It’s as if I believe that if I can ignore the issue long enough, the reality of it will pass.]]> <![CDATA[2018 NFL Florida Preview: Jacksonville is Quite the Best]]> In keeping with our annual tradition, early fall means a time for us to look upon our true national past time – gambling on football. Just kidding (sort of). Actually, truth be told, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision which legalizes sports gambling, the popularity of football – especially professional football – now climbs higher.]]> <![CDATA[State College Football Preview Brings A Surprise At The Top]]> For as long as we’ve been meeting in this space, at this time of the year, the college football preview has generally included the state’s Big Three universities. And with good reason: Between UF, FSU and UM they’ve accumulated eight national titles, numerous conference championships and a ton of guys who now play for your favorite NFL teams on Sunday (that preview appears next month) – so it’s natural to focus on their chances. No more. Many national publications now include the Knights of Central Florida.]]> <![CDATA[Modern Medicine is Big Winner for Injured Athletes]]> Actually, it’s not uncommon for athletes in all sports to return to competition within weeks of surgery, something unheard of only a few years ago. People of my dad’s generation will tell you long before there was a Barry Sanders or a Reggie Bush, there was the Kansas Comet – Gale Sayers. Electrifying. Breathtaking. Head shaking. The guy was unreal. Don’t believe me?]]> <![CDATA[Hypocrisy Thy Name is Sports]]> While watching the drama surrounding this year´s U.S. Open golf championship, won for the second year in a row by FSU grad Brooks Koepka, we were treated to what I call the fogging of sports reality, this time courtesy of the United States Golf Association and its handmaidens in the sporting press.]]> <![CDATA[Legalized Sports Gambling? Hardly a Sure Bet]]> With the news that the U.S. Supreme Court has made it legal to bet on sports in all 50 states, and not just Nevada, those places which choose to ante up and offer point spreads on college and professional sports are betting big that they can corner a small percentage of the sports gaming market now owned by a certain former military weigh station in the desert.]]> <![CDATA[Movies and Sports: A Can't Miss Combo]]> There are countless stories of famous – and not so famous – people who used that special, intimate form of entertainment to escape their own troubles, and I’m sure virtually every person who reads this column has, at one time or another, found solace in a great flick, a Hulu or Netflix original series, or a terrific television show.]]> <![CDATA[Springtime Memories]]> April in Maryland is the classic springtime tease – you’re sick of winter and the hint of summer is around the corner, but you endure the cold mornings, which eventually give way to warm afternoons. Opening Day meant something too, and I’m not just talking about getting out of school for one day (although that was pretty cool), as it brought a sense of promise, of hope that filled you to the brim. New year, new time, new team.]]> <![CDATA[Can You Go Home Again?]]> So, as Heat fans welcome Dwayne back to “Wade” County, they best temper their expectations and hope for the best. Or, maybe a certain King would consider returning to the land of palm trees for one more run?]]>