Wild Bill’s Weekly Sports Roundup

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by Bill Turner

We’re into the final two days of high school spring sports and, if Roanoke is to get any state championships in baseball or softball, the onus falls squarely on the shoulders of the Northside Vikings. Northside baseball has advanced to today’s (Fri.) state semifinal at Calfee Park in Pulaski (10:00am). Northside pulled the ultimate shocker Tuesday afternoon with a nine-run sixth inning to overtake Cave Spring, 12-11.

On the softball side, the Lady Vikings are in today’s (Fri.) state semifinal at Radford University (1:00 pm) after their 3-2 win over Abingdon Tuesday. A win in baseball or softball on Friday advances that Viking squad to Saturday’s (Jun. 11th) final at Radford where both the baseball and softball games are set for 1:00 pm. Good luck to both Viking teams.

The ultimate playoff for excitement, ice hockey’s Stanley Cup Final, may be on the greatest collision course in years. At press time, Vancouver led Boston two games to one in the best-of-seven series. Don’t be surprised if this goes seven games to test 10 million dollar man, Roberto Luongo, the Vancouver goalie. My money is on Luongo.

The Salem Red Sox have now hit a major slump in first-half play after having their worst May in 28 years. After Monday night’s loss to Lynchburg, the Red Sox had lost 11 of their last 13 and had fallen into last place in the Carolina League Southern Division. Granted, this is a developmental league, but you’d think at some point call-ups would be put in check to hopefully win a first-half (70 games) title. Simply put- win the first half title and you can call up or send down whomever, or lose all 70 second-half games and you’re still in the playoffs. Winning the first-half also is a good way to put fans in the seats for the second-half. People like being part of a winning label for those summer nights at Salem Memorial Stadium.

What caliber of celebrities will be at the J.J. Redick Celebrity Golf Tournament in July? A source close to the tournament, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told me the field would include major names from the ranks of basketball, golf and baseball, among others. One good sign that this information is on the mark is that it has been announced the tournament will be closed to the public.

The downfall of Tiger Woods continues as the one-time unbeatable golfer has fallen out of World Golf Rankings Top-10 for the first time since April, 1997. Another sign Woods has tanked – in the recently released Forbes Celebrity 100, Woods trailed Lady Gaga by five spots. Way to go Stefani ! Oops, I let that slip. Gaga only likes to be called Stefani (her real name) in certain situations. One of these days, our publisher may let me share with you readers my favorite Gaga picture in UVa attire. (Publisher’s Note: Not likely.)

We welcome any questions (nothing is barred in this column) and I’m inviting all sports enthusiasts to my Monday night (9pm) gatherings at IHOP on Franklin Rd. where the manager, Beverly, puts out the welcome mat for what has been dubbed ‘media central’. And, you never know who may show- there has been a Drew Barrymore sighting (just show up and see for yourself). Dr. Glenn gives us up-to-the-minute scores, cutey-pie Sara keeps everyone in a good mood and we recently threw a birthday party with talking birds and a lighted desatascador. No dull moments at IHOP on Monday nights.

Quotation of the week-” I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member.”  Groucho Marx

And, as a salute to Groucho from the Wild One-today’s secret word is “desatascador”

See you in a couple weeks. Until then, send your inquiries to: [email protected]