Eye On The Ball: Explain these sports to me… | SierraSun.com
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Eye On The Ball: Explain these sports to me…

Jamie Ball

As the new sports guy I feel obligated to give you a brief introduction to myself. (Which reminds me of the part in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery when Mike Myers says something like, “Allow myself to introduce…myself.”)

I’ve lived in Tahoe for two years now. I grew up a little north of Atlanta in the North Georgia mountains where football is not a sport, not a recreation, but a By-God religion.

I went to the University of Georgia where Herschel Walker took our Bulldogs to the National Championship in 1980 in the Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame. New Orleans was a heck of a place to be that night.

My alum only lost two games this season, one to Tennessee and one to Auburn. Both teams played in the SEC championship this weekend and I sat there only wishing one thing – that they could both somehow lose the game.

Ask a Southerner like me why college football is so important and I’ll tell you it’s because a game like the 1980 Sugar Bowl is not just a game; it’s about our way of life against theirs.

I think people in Truckee are that way, too. Mavericks, fiery independents who don’t like being told how to live. I like that.

In the South, we have three sports – football, baseball and golf. We invented cow tipping, but that’s more of a recreation. Everything else falls under “etc.”

So you can understand why I have trouble understanding some of the things people consider sports around here. For instance…

Kids in the road

In almost every newsroom I’ve worked in, there is a police scanner constantly crackling and spitting out calls. Occasionally, a few gems come across.

Monday, Dec. 8 – local law enforcement reported five juveniles on snowboards and four juveniles on snowmobiles in the middle of an icy, busy, residential Truckee street.

Hmm.

Whenever it came time for science class in high school my eyes glazed over like Jack Nicholson’s at the end of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, but I remember a concept called natural selection, whereby inferior members of a species are weeded out by their inability to adapt to their environments.

To the snowboarders in the street, four words: hook-billed dodo bird.

Installing chains

Take your hands, slice into them with dull razor blades and stick them in the freezer. Then burn two $20 bills to warm back up.

This will give you the same experience as buying and installing tire chains.

Negotiating the summits

I come to work over Brockway Summit every day.

That, in itself, is a sport. The problem is never your own vehicle or driving skills, it is the vehicle and driving skills of the person in front of you.

Why am I always behind a late’ 70s two-wheel drive vehicle that rides the middle line when we get to the passing zone?

Maybe I’ll start a school for fellow summit drivers. (Lessons on chain installation not included).

Photo opportunities

Finally, my favorite sport. Snow shoveling.

Behind every photo there is a story, some good, some OK, but there’s always a story.

As I was taking this week’s A section cover shot, of a man digging out his car, I happened upon a little story with a twist.

Indolfo Herrera, Reno, was stuck in his, well, late ’70’s two-wheel drive vehicle on Deerfield Drive.

Shovel in hand, he was pretty glad to see me drive by. I made him a deal; let me take a few photos and I’ll help dig him out. Paparazzi wouldn’t do that.

He said “O.K.,” I got my pix, and he got unstuck. As I drove away, naturally, I got stuck.

Indolfo was happy to pull out the shovel and start helping me. Without his shovel, I would still be stuck there now.

After a few minutes, I was free and we both had a laugh over it all. He didn’t even ask to take my picture.

There are good people here, and the more of them I meet every day, the happier I am I moved out here.

Thanks, Indolfo. I owe you one.


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