Wild Bill’s Weekly Round-up

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by Bill Turner

 Well, the new Roanoke Star banner now has a week under its belt, with everything being very well-accepted by the reading public.

I’ve had numerous compliments on the new banner and masthead we now display. (OK, readers, take a 30-second timeout and glance at page one, then get back to my column.)

One reader suggested I should take advantage of another Roanoke Star to promote my column. Apparently, there is a web-cam atop the Mill Mountain Star where you can watch people as they stroll onto the overlook, doing what most people do on an isolated mountain late at night.

I noticed a lot of public dispalys of affection (do these people have any idea they’re poetentially being watched in Taipai?) despite it being a clear night where watching airplanes land in the distance would seem to be the obvious activity.

I decided the mountaintop web-cam would be the perfect place to promote Wild Bill Sports, so I headed up there last weekend for a test run. Unfortunately, there is no audio, so IplannedI’ll have to hold up signs displaying key scores, standings and breaking sports news.

To run the test, I employed my on-camera news desk, which for logistics is a card table and lawn chair. I also thought it may be appropriate, in case the FCC was looking in, to open my broadcast with a test-pattern.

I’m staying with protocol, using a test- pattern that has Indians in headdress displayed in each corner. No idea how this got started, since, as a longtime fan of Westerns, you usually see Indians circling the wagons, robbing a stagecoach, or shooting bow and arrows  I can’t ever recall Indians sitting around the teepee watching television.

Anyway, it’s all been put on hold until next week. Right when I was ready to go on the air, with quite a gathering on the overlook, the star went dark with its 11 o’clock cutoff.
Live and learn.
This Saturday is horse racing’s Preakness Stakes, so we continue with Wild Bill’s, “‘Know Your Triple Crown Racing.”

The Preakness is actually two years older than the Kentucky Derby despite taking second fiddle.

In 1918 there were 26 horses in the race….so many that two winners were declared. Now, it’s limited to 14 nags. And, in 1994, Adrea Seefeldt became only the second female jockey in Preakness history.

Local high school baseball and softball hit the final week of the regular season this week, with most district tournaments set for next week. Rain played havoc Monday and Tuesday, with athletic directors now pushed to reschedule games

At this point, it would be safe to assume that several Roanoke teams will be in the thick of things to potentially advance to the Spring Jubilee in Radford the first week of June.

The Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ Top-3 in baseball finds Lord Botetourt (17-1), Northside (16-1) and Hidden Valley (11-5-1) holding the top three spots. Potential shakeups are in the crystal ball as Botetourt and Northside were set for a Wednesday rematch, as well as a Hidden Valley-Cave Spring showdown on tap Thursday.

In the ‘Big-11’ softball poll, Northside (18-1) remains the prohibitive favorite, with William Byrd (14-5) and Glenvar (14-4) taking second and third.

Finally, to the mailbag, where one UVa fan chimed in on the recent basketball upheaval at Virginia Tech.

From Hoofan Bob in Roanoke: How appropriate that the Tech basketball folly occurred one century, to the month, from the 1912 sinking of the Titanic. The similarities are glaring. The ship was in trouble and began going down. Captain Greenberg was tossed overboard, leaving yeoman Weaver to pilot the ship. Fortunately, James Johnson was on a nearby shore, renting lifeboats. Despite the SOS being answered, others began jumping ship as well. She went under among a flurry of bubbling.

Send your own nautical and aviation inferences to: [email protected]