Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup!

Bill Turner

Well, here we are. Early October and so much going on.

Once again this year, I’ve officially begun my countdown to Christmas for you readers. It’s less than 90 days until the best holiday of the year, and I’m already previewing artificial trees, waiting for the first snowfall and picking out a present for The Chief (last month’s Uro Club looks like a good bet). More on Christmas in a moment, including outrageous gifts for the hard to buy on your list, that you’ll only see reviewed in this column.

Likewise, we still have Halloween to get through. No word if The Chief is throwing a Halloween masquerade party, but I’m dressing up as the old boy if he does, assuming I can find a Robert Redford mask. (Publisher’s Note: Wild Bill is never subtle when bucking for a raise or airfare to his next favorite sporting event that is more than an eight hour drive over the horizon . . .)

That brings us to the second of three installments celebrating the tenth anniversary of The Star. For those curious about the exact date, it was November 22, 2007, the same date in 1927 that the first snowmobile was patented by Carl Eliason, the same date in 1928 that “Bolero” by Ravel was first performed in Paris (who can forget Bo Derek in “Ten” running on the beach…wow), and the same date in 1989 that Aneta Kreglicka of Poland was crowned the 39th Miss World. The boys at the old Star Sentinel knew how to pick a great opening day. And, yes, you always learn something in this column.

In these last ten years, our sports pages have been dominated by our local “Big-11” high school sports. And, I still have a claim on the “Big-11” moniker, so if any of you conferences want to buy me out, bring your checkbook and we’ll talk.

But, we’ve also had our spots in the professional arena in the last decade. None better than being a dugout photographer for the Washington Nationals until 2011, covering the PGA Tour at the Greenbrier Classic, meeting Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino, and watching The Chief show his racing talent at Bristol Motor Speedway during a NASCAR media day shootout.

The Chief won going away in the vintage car racing feature, while I got disqualified for CFIC (couldn’t fit in car–based on height, not weight, you wise guys). Thankfully, I redeemed myself in the speed lap portion with NASCAR driver Greg Biffle. Regardless, The Chief goes down as The Star’s Richard Petty; the only guy around here that looks sharp with turkey feathers on the front of his hat. (Publisher’s Note: See previous.)

Now to our housekeeping segment, where ice hockey takes center stage this month.

The Roanoke Valley Sports Club will hold its monthly meeting at the Salem Civic Center on Tuesday, October 17 to honor the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of professional ice hockey in the Roanoke Valley (see today’s feature article in SPORTS). Special guests from the 73-74 Southern Hockey League championship team, Claude Piche and Pierre Paiement will be introduced by yours truly with a surprise twist.

Also, Rail Yard Dawgs principal owner Bob McGinn is expected to be on hand to give a preview of the upcoming season that opens at the Berglund Center October 20th. Guests, hockey fans and perspective new members are invited to join in the fun evening. Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 for information and to purchase tickets. Things kick off at 5:45 with a social and dinner, with the meeting to follow.

On to local “Big-11” high school football where three of our teams remain undefeated. William Byrd moved to 6-0 with their win over William Fleming, Glenvar won their sixth straight with a victory over James River and Roanoke Catholic stayed perfect at 6-0 with a win over Virginia Episcopal, the Celtics’ sixth straight road win. Falling from the undefeated ranks were Lord Botetourt, after a second half rally by Staunton River, and North Cross, which lost their first to VIC powerhouse Blue Ridge.

Finally, to our first late-nite product Christmas stocking stuffer. This one is for those who know the importance of saving. We bring you the flatulating Fanny Bank. It’s a guy’s (supposedly a plumber) hind-side with his pants pulled down. The fellow’s…well, crack, is where your coin is deposited like a Piggy Bank, leading to a blast of gas. You get a free jingle with this product, “A plumber named Manny, is exposing his fanny. He laughs at the trickle, of a shiny new nickel. So just drop the loot, to hear the fanny bank toot.”

No way I could make this stuff up.

Independent reviews call the Fanny Bank a wildly popular gift, a hit at the company’s gift exchange and great for corporate business gifts. Dang, I always got a pen or cheap t-shirt.

Not wanting to buck other reviews, I give the Fanny Bank a Wild Bill 5-Star rating. “If it’ll make me that rich, I’ll put up with the pitch.”

Until next time, sends some coins in this direction at info@newsroanoke.com.

Bill Turner