News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 22, 2009

Amey Takes Aim: An epiphany visualized in high definition

By Andy Amey

TERRE HAUTE — Until last Father’s Day, I was a TV snob. Couldn’t see what people saw in that idiot box. Looked down on folks in couch-potato mode every night.

Now, in my flat-screen, satellite-fed, high-def universe, I find myself rooting for the St. Louis Blues to stay alive in the National Hockey League playoffs because if they lose, I’m cut down from four potential hockey channels to three (actually I might have five hockey channels, but I haven’t searched for the Columbus Blue Jackets yet, and don’t have much time left to do so).

One of those hyphenated compound adjectives in the previous paragraph is the best thing that’s ever happened to hockey (and by extension to me), so I’m not really looking forward to the Stanley Cup Finals all that much. By that time they’ll be on NBC, I think, and I don’t have high-def there.

I don’t know if the pairings allow, but my dream series for the conference finals would be Penguins-Caps and Red Wings-Canucks. Although if the Blackhawks stay alive, I maintain three channel possibilities.

And yes, I know if the Blues stay alive the Canucks won’t, but I’m afraid I’m going to lose Fox Sports Midwest for hockey pretty soon. The Canucks are better and a little more entertaining than the Blues, although the Notes (that’s what they call them in the St. Louis area, I learned recently from the Post-Dispatch: see logo) don’t take a back seat to anybody in grit.

Two examples from the series opener with Vancouver. First defenseman Barrett Jackman takes a slap shot in the collarbone, which glances up and nails him in the jaw, snapping his head back and causing an injury that kept him off the ice for … about 15 seconds. Then another defenseman thwarts a Vancouver breakaway by diving at the puck and flinging his stick ahead of him … thus leaving himself no way to stop and sliding headfirst into the goal post, knocking the net off its moorings. He stayed on the ice, of course.

I haven’t seen effort like that in any NBA games, but I do have to admit that in high-def even that league looks good once in a while.

I’ll be on my couch if you need me. Try not to need me.

I I I

• Basketball catchup — The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association recently released its lists of the state’s top 15 senior boys and top 15 underclassmen. R.J. Mahurin of Rockville and Jake Odum of Terre Haute South were on the first list, with Northview’s Austin Akers in the honorable-mention list, and South’s John Michael Jarvis was an honorable-mention selection among the underclassmen.

The girls coaches named Stan Benge of Ben Davis, Mark Redding of Fort Wayne Elmhurst, Todd Law of Oak Hill and Scott Kreiger of Fort Wayne Canterbury as coaches of the year in each class, while Curt Benge of Plainfield was this district’s coach of the year. Dragana Grbic of South was a first-team all-stater, with Heather Gonser of Owen Valley on the second team.

And Elizabeth Cheatham and Brandon Moon of Cloverdale; Becky Grivas, Mallory Miller, Hannah Spencer, Nick Hutcheson and Ashton Marshall of Greencastle; and Oceaia Boetjer and Noah Boswell of South Putnam were named to the all-West Central Conference team.

I I I

• South food and Falcon dogs rule — HickoryHusker.

com recently announced a pair of awards, with Bruce Grimm Jr. of Rochester named its Player of the Year and receiving the George K. Evans Award. I might have gone in a different direction, but I can’t argue with a few of the site’s earlier choices — Michael Menser of Batesville in 1997, Maynard Lewis of South in 1998 and Brody Boyd of Union in 2000.

But the really important announcement was the Readers’ Choice concession stand awards. One winner was picked per conference — and some conferences must not have had a nominee — so South’s Braves will represent the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference and North Vermillion was the winner from the Wabash River Conference.

I I I

• Did you notice? Local kinesiologist Bob McDavid, inventor of a bunch of things to keep athletes safer, got some publicity in a recent Sports Illustrated article for the protective pads his company has developed for basketball players.



Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. for comments or news items at (812) 231-4277 or at 1-800-783-8742; by e-mail at andy.amey@tribstar.com; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.