Bill Turner
Well, here we are in the end of October, the pumpkin month. And, with another holiday countdown already in motion, we must be prompt to get to the arrival of Santa.
Even though The Chief remains secluded at his remote mountaintop retreat, the sports department is charged with making sure everything stays smooth in day-to-day newspaper operations. Everyone around here is a team player that appreciates the fact that we’ve had no furloughs, position eliminations or salary and benefit cuts. That being said, we jumped right in on deciding this year’s corporate headquarters Halloween protocol for wearing costumes and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters inside the corporate lobby.
While we will have ample candy to give out, a couple interns liked the idea of making our executive floor a walkway of terror. So, things rapidly went in motion to make our daily crib a virtual house of mayhem, horrific moaning and spooks. (Hopefully, we won’t get a publisher’s comment at this point about this all seems normal).
(Publisher’s Note: This does, in fact, all seem normal . . .)
The Chief’s office is set to house a coffin with a surprise when anyone dares touch the lid. Next door down, the coat closet has been transformed with a hunchback with snakes greeting anyone who falls for the “This Way to Candy Bars” sign.
Finally, we colored the water in The Chief’s new bidet with blood red food coloring, which will spray skyward along with maniacal screams coming from the potty-side CD player when motion is detected. We don’t expect any visitors to actually ask to use the toilet, because, let’s face it, who can possibly “GO” under these kinds of conditions. We’re holding our breath The Chief won’t stop by this week, hoping to take a seat while wanting to listen to Lawrence Welk.
Once Halloween passes, we clean up the place and jump right into Christmas. We’ll be less than 60 days to Santa’s sleigh landing on roofs, so getting our presents lined up now is paramount to a relaxing holiday season.
There’s nothing better than having your presents bought and wrapped, along with our corporate Christmas tree being decorated and lit, plus holiday music relaxing everyone once I ring the daily holiday happy hour bell around 4:30. (Remember to fall back one hour on November 1st when the time changes, thus allowing for another hour to enjoy an adult holiday beverage). After a couple, the staff typically breaks into a chorus of “All I Want for Christmas Is a Hippopotamus.” with taxis or designated drivers on standby.
Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.
Now, to likely to be FAR more calming local sports events.
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club welcomes guest speaker Mark Byington to its November 16th meeting at the Salem Civic Center. Byington, a Salem High graduate and basketball player, became the eleventh men’s basketball head coach at James Madison University in March, returning to Virginia after seven years as the head coach at Georgia Southern, where he led the Eagles to a 131-97 record, becoming the first Georgia Southern coach to win 20 or more games in three straight seasons in more than 30 years. The night kicks off with a 5:45 social, followed by dinner and the program. Guests are welcome and reservations are required by going to the club’s website, www.roanokevalleysportsclub.com.
As practices begin in limited fashion, high school basketball is presently set to begin games on December 21st with most VHSL schools limited to a 14-game regular season. Fingers will be crossed that no COVID-19 surprises will shake up the first high school major sport competition since March.
While we had no regular season Salem Red Sox games this past summer and no Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs ice hockey on the calendar for this winter, there’s no better way to keep local franchises funded and likewise give a great Christmas gift with a jersey or gear from your favorite team. Check each team’s website for items and how to purchase during the holiday season.
Now, to our grand finale in searching for an upcoming sporting event to talk about. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been much going on in the local sports scene, but’s here’s a winner that will last a month. Yes, a race that will last 30 days. Not a bicycle cross-country event, no cars involved and nothing involving dog sleds or carrier pigeons.
The tag line says it all; “When you move your feet, others can eat, it’s as simple as that.”
The 2020 Atlantic Union Bank Drumstick Dash goes virtual this year, a monthlong event that you can do anytime, anywhere between November 1st-30th. Walk your 5K or run the 5k or 8k on your own accord and receive all the awesome race swag you’d expect from a traditional race!
The beautiful part of this DASH is that it can be done anywhere you would like, and at any time of the day you would like. The virtual run can be completed in your own neighborhood, at a local park, or even the treadmill. Inside or outside, rain, sun or snow.
For years, everyone looked forward to getting out early on Thanksgiving morning to walk, run and work off all those calories you’re undoubtably going to bring in later that day. Making the trek to from your house to the race site, finding parking, standing shoulder to shoulder with well over 10,000 racers, then racing back home to get ready for the big feast can be tough. But, not this year.
I covered this event for years, camera in hand while interviewing participants in front of the starting line as my Roanoke Star journalist colleague, Joy Sylvester Johnson, oversaw the blast of the starter’s gun to get legs in motion for The Rescue Mission. Help us keep things moving again this year by registering at the Drumstick Dash website or contact Kevin Berry at [email protected] for questions.
Finally, to the mail bag where one reader is already curious about one Christmas present.
Dear Wild Bill: You’ve always had some of the craziest Christmas gifts for your Chief. What’s on tap for 2020? (Stuey/Remote Mountaintop Estate).
Well, Stuey, this looked suspicious from the get-go, especially since the return address noted “Remote Mountaintop Estate.” But, until our resident Columbo does her research that someone isn’t itching for a hint on his gift, I’ll proceed as if it’s legit. Yes, we’ve had the Chia Chief hair growing plant, Perfect Polly plastic talking bird and Go-Pilot auto urination device that all pleased the ole boy in prior years. But, this year we may do an exciting production of a Steve McQueen movie with The Chief cast in the starring role. More information will be forthcoming in next month’s column after we get feedback from Paramount Pictures.
Until then, send your Hollywood credentials to [email protected]
– Bill Turner