Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup

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High school basketball has reached its pinnacle, with three of our local Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ teams advancing to state championship Final-4 play last week.

North Cross made its second straight trip to Petersburg and the campus of Virginia State University, where the Raiders defeated top-ranked Carlisle 34-33 on Matt Doughty’s two free throws with 4.7 seconds left to win in the semifinal round.

Bill Hodges’ Raiders came up just short, losing 54-49 in the final against Amelia Academy Saturday afternoon, but should be congratulated on a very successful campaign.

The Salem boys and girls teams advanced last Saturday afternoon to the VHSL Final-4 in Richmond this week, and the Salem boys followed through Tuesday night in the 76-69 semifinal win over Potomac Falls. The boys play for the state championship Saturday at 9 p.m.

The Salem girls were on tap for a Wednesday morning semifinal tipoff against Loudoun County.

The monthly meeting of the Roanoke Valley Sports Club will convene at 5:45 on Monday, March 18th at the Salem Civic Center. Guest speaker Roger Ayers, long-time college basketball and ACC referee, will address the gathering after a social and dinner. Guests and prospective new members are invited to attend. For more information and reservations, contact Maggie Drewry at 540-725-7387.

This is what we call the “shoulder season” for high school sports. Basketball is mostly over, and we’ve got a week off before baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse and soccer get rolling.

So what’s going on in the Wild Bill headlines? How about the recent Academy Awards in Hollywood?

Admittedly, I was hoping the Chief would send me to Tinseltown to hang out on the red carpet. I’d blend in with Affleck, Clooney and Kate Upton pretty well; especially Upton. I’d also be right at home with the apres-awards cocktail party crowd. For you out-of-state readers, apres means ‘after’ in French.

The Chief likes us to be on the cutting edge of news and entertainment, so with that being said, what’s more appropriate than a Wild Bill 2014 Academy Award preview of a potential film set for next year’s red carpet eligibility.

I’ve got to admit, “The Sequester” initially caught my eye as the next “Gone With the Wind”, with such an intriguing name that even sounded dramatic. That is until I found out the word sequester means something like ‘foolhardy’ in Sioux Indian parlance.

This film goes south from the opening credits. The plot centers around an invasion of Earth by super-intelligent beings from Mars.

The Martians, eavesdropping on American defense budget cuts, decide the time is right to conquer the universe. They promptly send a fleet of flying saucers to Earth to make demands and give a show of force, as well as taking a spaceship of hostages on a direct flight toward the sun for extortion purposes.

Noted horror-film actor Bela Pelosi makes a cameo appearance at this juncture and pleads with B.O. to save the world.

Since “The Sequester” has lot of similarities to the 2005 Tom Cruise/ Dakota Fanning hit “War of the Worlds”, what better time to take a brief intermission for some Wild Bill movie trivia.

“The War of the Worlds” was partially fimed in Rockbridge County with several Roanokers as extras. And, I bet you didn’t know that the producers rented a special Porta-Potty from a Roanoke outfit, exclusively for Cruise’s use, that had special security so his DNA couldn’t be stolen.

See, you always learn something when you read this column.

Now, back to our film.

“The Sequester” hits its only high note during a cut-away when the Three Stooges, filling in as White House plumbers, have water shooting from the chandeliers, rangetop and toilets in the executive mansion.

Down Pennsylvania Avenue, Bela asks B.O. how he’ll oversee a hostage rescue mission to the sun, considering the 10,000 degree Fahrenheit surface. B.O., wanting to appear executive in demeanor, calmly tells Bela, “We’ll go at night.”

John Blamer, not to be outdone, retorts, “No, we’ll launch in the daytime so we can see where the economy and our deficit is heading.”

Finally, as with all disaster films, there’s a happy ending when the big-wigs at Mars control-central look at each other and ask aloud, “Who’d want this place?” recalling all the saucers for a future venture to Uranus.

We’re holding off on giving this movie a rating until we see how moviegoers react to “The Sequester” in the coming months, the ridiculous price of theater popcorn notwithstanding.

And, how Larry stops the water from flowing from Niagara Falls out of the front of the oval office flat screen TV.

Until next time, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. OK you wiseguys, send your reviews to: [email protected]