News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 26, 2012

HUGHES, NEWS & VIEWS: Questions abound for Indy 500, Manning, baseball sectional

David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Phones are ringing less frequently in the Tribune-Star sports department this week.

Now that are our spring teams are gradually being eliminated from their high school and college tournaments — with the exception of a few determined survivors — it’s time to transition into summer.

That also means it’s time for my annual questions column — a light-hearted, inquisitive look at sports and other headlines.

So while you’re grilling up burgers or lying by the pool today, I hope you enjoy:

• Although I’ve enjoyed covering several Indianapolis 500s over the last 13 years (but won’t be doing it this year), will I miss fighting traffic jams and parking hassles for three or four hours to find my pressbox seat only to watch most of the race on television monitors Sunday? I think you can guess the answer.

• Speaking of this year’s Indy 500, how many drivers will miss the absent Danica Patrick stealing her fair share of the media spotlight, regardless of how high or low she would have finished?

• Will certain people ever quit predicting the demise of the Terre Haute Action Track? Track promoter Bob Sargent told me the Tony Hulman Classic drew a large crowd Thursday night.

• Will former Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos), Dallas Clark (Tampa Bay Bucs), Jeff Saturday (Green Bay Packers), Pierre Garcon (Washington Redskins), Joseph Addai (New England Patriots) and Jacob Tamme (Denver) find happiness with their new teams? And will Reggie Wayne regret not leaving the Colts for a more experienced team when he was a free agent a few months ago?

• How much time will Colts rookie Andrew Luck need to become an elite NFL quarterback?

• Was anyone else as surprised as I was that Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North and Northview all fell short of winning the Class 4A Northview Sectional for high school softball this week? I thought for sure one of those three would emerge victorious.

• How likely is it that one of those same three schools will capture the Class 4A Plainfield Sectional baseball title Monday? Considering Martinsville is the only other obstacle and all three of those teams are good, I’d say pretty likely.

• Will anyone join me in congratulating 64-year-old Steve DeGroote, who racked up his 500th coaching triumph in high school baseball Monday when his West Vigo team beat Shakamak 6-3? The Vikings added another victory, 10-3 over South Vermillion, in the Class 3A Greencastle Sectional on Wednesday before they lost to Owen Valley 10-6 Thursday. DeGroote’s 26-year career as a head coach includes stints with West Vigo and Corwith Wesley (Iowa).

• Will the Terre Haute Rex baseball team continue to be a box-office success in its third year of existence?

• Would anyone argue that “The Office” TV show has been just as funny since Steve Carell left as it was before he left?

• Will Terre Haute and Wabash Valley sports fans really get behind Kylie Hutson and/or Erica Moore if either or both qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London?

• Will the Indiana Pacers continue to improve next season and regain the popularity it enjoyed when Reggie Miller and Rik Smits were leading them to dramatic NBA playoff victories in the 1990s?

• Will injury-plagued Greg Oden, a former Terre Haute resident, ever play in the NBA again?

• Will Albert Pujols reach 25 home runs for the Los Angeles Angels this season? Before Friday’s games, he had four.

• And will longtime Tribune-Star employee Bobby Lewis do handstands in the middle of South Seventh Street if his beloved Cincinnati Reds win the National League Central Division this season? They have been hot lately.

David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.