Well, here we are in the beautiful month of May. The month that beckons summer, and is similarly famous in the worlds of both sports and publishing for racing.
The first Saturday of May brings the Kentucky Derby, the world’s most famous horse racing event. We’ve been waiting for The Chief, an equestrian entrepreneur, to dive into the horse racing game for years. A couple years back, whispers around corporate headquarters had the majestic Nordic stallion, “Feihc Gnicar,” in the fast lane for the 3/4 mile pony circuit. But, a bad year for hay and someone figuring out “Feihc Gnicar” was “Racing Chief” spelled backwards, sent the whole idea into a tailspin.
The last Sunday of May brings the Indy 500, with speeds over 200 mph. The Star has also been noted in car racing circles, after The Chief won the Legends Car race at Bristol Motor Speedway several years back, and yours truly captured the speed lap title riding shotgun with NASCAR great Greg Biffle. We also had offers from Franklin County Speedway guru Whitey Taylor to have a Star race car in Callaway, but so far no green flag from The Chief.
May also brings us May Day, where British culture popularized maypole dancing. This traditional celebration had been declining for decades in the U.S., before a sudden resurgence in pole dancing, fueled by collapsible maypoles, erupted this year. I’m giving credit to Stormy Daniels for the bounce back.
Finally, we want to point out that if you’re in distress, you scream out “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” three times. Three “Maydays” are the universally accepted signal.
Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.
Now, on to conventional sports where we take a look at Carolina League baseball, an upcoming sports club meeting, the SPHL recap and a quick peek at May playoff action in the mail bag.
The Salem Red Sox are off to a good start in the Northern Division of the Carolina League standings, and the Sox open a 7-game home stand Monday, May 7th with three games against Winston-Salem followed by four straight against Lynchburg. A pair of 3-game sets starting with Wiimington May 18-20 and Potomac May 29-31 round out the month at Haley Toyota Field.
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club moves to a Tuesday night on May 15th at the Salem Civic Center where Dave Koehn, director of broadcasting and the Voice of the Virginia Cavaliers, will be the guest speaker. Festivities begin at 5:45 with the dinner meeting following at 6 pm. Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 for information or to purchase tickets.
Congratulations go out to the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs after their run to the SPHL playoffs for the first time in their 2-year history. Although they lost to regular season #1 Peoria in the first round, it was a great year in the Berglund Center. For the record, Peoria made it to the SPHL championship series before losing in the final game, 4-2, to the Huntsville Havoc. Peoria, trailing 3-1, made things interesting with a goal with 2:33 to play, but couldn’t score the equalizer with an extra skater before Huntsville cashed in on an empty-netter.
Finally, to the mail bag, where one reader wants advice on May playoffs in professional sports.
Dear Wild Bill: Daylight Saving Time keeps me up later, so what’s your advice on watching playoff sports? (Raleigh/Roanoke)
Not even close, Raleigh. Tune into the most exciting sport championship, ice hockey’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Non-stop action. On the other end of the spectrum, the NBA playoffs have been a total sleep-enducing snoozer. If all else fails, tune in to women’s tag team wrestling or pro beach volleyball. The apparel in both are worth the peek.
Until next time, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday.” Yep, The Chief is on the prowl.