By David Hughes
TERRE HAUTE —
During my recent 131⁄2-month battle with abdominal cancer and post-surgery complications, I got bombarded by questions from nurses, doctors and other hospital staff members.
I didn’t mind when they came at normal times, but I hated when they would enter my room at 4 or 5 a.m. and wake me up to ask:
“Mr. Hughes, before I stick you with this needle, what’s your date of birth?”
“On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?”
“How many bowel movements did you have yesterday?
TMI? OK, I’ll stop.
Anyway, thoughts of this reminded me of a Tribune-Star tradition that didn’t happen last May because I was unable to work — my annual questions column.
Now that I’m back, let’s resume this tradition, shall we?
Put your brain to work and feel free to answer if you can:
n Will the new Terre Haute Rex collegiate baseball team catch on with Wabash Valley fans as well as I think it will?
n Will the Indianapolis Colts become the third NFL team ever — Dallas and Miami in the early 1970s were the others — to bounce back one season after losing a Super Bowl by winning the Super Bowl?
n Will coach Trent Miles’ Indiana State football team surprise the Missouri Valley Conference and finish in the top half of the standings this fall?
n Will LeBron James desert the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign a big-money contract with one of the NBA’s big-city teams this summer?
n Will ISU senior Kylie Hutson recover from her hand injury — suffered in that scary pole-snapping accident last Friday in Bloomington, as seen on YouTube — in time to compete in the NCAA outdoor track and field championships? (The preliminary round will take place May 27-29 in Greensboro, N.C., with the top 12 regional finishers advancing to the finals June 9-12 at Eugene, Ore.)
n Considering that I’ll turn 51 next week and I’m gradually recovering from those above-mentioned health problems, will I ever get my bench press close to 300 pounds again?
n Speaking of my birthday, will someone (hint to Lisa) buy me a blue Colts No. 92 jersey with “Hughes” on the back? (That’s because the Colts drafted Texas Christian defensive end Jerry Hughes with their first-round pick last month.)
n Will the Terre Haute Action Track avoid the dreaded rainouts during its four-race 2010 season, starting with Saturday’s Union Hospital Don Smith Classic?
n Who will be the surprise team of the NFL in 2010? (I’m predicting the Detroit Lions with second-year quarterback Matthew Stafford, stud receiver Calvin Johnson and rookie running back Jahvid Best leading the way.)
n Now that Homer Bailey pitched his first major-league shutout Wednesday, a four-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates, does that mean the maturing Cincinnati Reds phenom will live up to his full potential?
n Once again, will Danica Patrick silence her growing number of critics and become the first woman ever to win the Indianapolis 500?
n Finally, even if this were the best sports column ever written, would Ken Griffey Jr. still find a way to sleep through it?
How can you reach David Hughes? By calling 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or (812) 231-4224 after 4 p.m.; e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org; or by faxing (812) 231-4321.