I like hats. I have a lot of them. And I certainly have no need to acquire any more.
But I also like when things match. My softball team wears green shirts, but I don’t have a green hat.
A recent trip to the mall did little to fill the void in my collection. Lids, my go-to store — customers can get 20 percent off all hats for a year for a one-time fee of $5 — had little to offer other than a green Boston Red Sox hat, and a couple Notre Dame hats with shamrocks as logos. I almost bit on the Red Sox hat, but thought I’d give Champs Sports a try first. I figured since there was a GREEN RED Sox hat, there might be a green Minnesota Twins hat.
I wandered over to Champs, only to find atrocities like the one you see here. The photo shown is of a hat off the Lids Web site. But at least Lids has hats with preformed brims, too. Champs had nothing except hats with no fewer than 27 logos (an estimation) and brims flatter than the 2-liter bottle of Sierra Mist that has been on my desk for two months.
The hats at Champs SPORTS had nothing to do with SPORTS (aside from the team affiliation) and more to do with the latest Lil’ Wayne video. Clearly there’s a market for hats with cocked logos and graffiti-infested tops, because I often see them when I drive past the Holiday Center in downtown Duluth. But are they so popular that stores won’t sell hats that one might actually be able to wear without looking like an idiot?
The time — 2 hours, 13 minutes, 55 seconds — wasn’t stellar. But the socks were. And so were the spectators. For that 2:13:55 on Saturday morning during the Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon, I wasn’t Jimmy Bellamy, I was: "Orange Socks," "Nice orange socks," "Go, orange socks," "I like your orange socks!" I’ll admit, I’m not a runner. I’m a soccer player. I lack a passion for running, which makes it difficult to dedicate the time to properly train for runs like a half-marathon and Grandma’s Marathon. That’s why the socks played such a huge role. I fed off the commentary from spectators who lined the 13.1-mile course from the North Shore Scenic Highway to Canal Park in Duluth. It gave me a much-needed boost each time those magical words — orange socks — were uttered. I thought, "I can’t possibly slow down now" each time someone called attention to my bright-orange Adidas soccer socks. I wore them in honor of my adult league soccer team, Joe Golcz State Farm Insurance Agency, and complemented them with a green Marvel superheroes T-shirt to show my Irish pride. Ironically, I opted for blue socks in my soccer team’s game later Saturday. Thanks go out to all the people who noticed the orange socks.
After running his mouth for six weeks, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown’s trainer, Rick Dutrow Jr. (perspiring at right), refused to be interviewed on ABC immediately after his horse failed in his bid for the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday in New York. Da’ Tara was the winning horse; Big Brown was ninth out of nine horses. Dutrow finally spoke with reporters almost one hour after the defeat. He wasn’t shy about finding his way in front of the camera at each of Brown’s previous victories, so why now did he feel the need to tell reporters "Don’t even think about it" when asked for an interview? Big Brown has suffered from a cracked hoof and ran Saturday like there was a problem. But I’m not buying the idea that Dutrow was avoiding TV face time because he was worried about his ailing horse. I think he was trying to get the taste of humble pie out of his mouth. You can’t have it both ways, Rick. Don’t hide when things don’t go your way. Suck it up and give the post-race interview.
It’s no coincidence that Pittsburgh’s Maxime Talbot (left) scored the game-tying goal with 36.2 seconds left in the Penguins’ season in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals Monday night in Detroit.
Pittsburgh went on to beat the Red Wings 4-3 in triple overtime, cutting Detroit’s series lead to 3-2 and setting up a Game 6 matchup Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. That’s the power of the playoff beard.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (see little-boy beard at right), except for his two-goal outing in Game 3, has been quiet in the series. He’s young; I’ll let it slide.
Detroit’s Kris Draper (left) is one victory from his fourth Stanley Cup title. With a playoff beard like that there’s no wonder why he has been successful.