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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
8:08 PM Sun, Oct. 21st

Sports Commentary

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Howard: Andre Agassi more than a great tennis player

My Point

Many moons ago when the Scottsdale Princess Resort held both a men’s and women’s professional tournament I had the pleasure of taking busloads of local tennis players down to watch some of the matches and at the same time interview the professionals playing matches there.

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Johnson: Making our way through Wheeler Peak

Hiking Arizona

I thought, “Nobody likes a quitter,” when Mark told me he was quitting. I yelled into his face, “You can do this,” knowing we only had a quarter of a mile to go to reach the summit. Sure the winds were howling and visibility was zero, but when the goin’ gets tough, the tough get going’, right? Mark was ill-equipped for the hike.

Kobritz: Athletes and social media, a toxic brew

Beyond the Lines

What do Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers, Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals, Sean Newcomb of the Atlanta Braves, and Sonny Gray of the Yankees have in common?

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Gunby: Putting is a mental art

Tee It Up

Putting is not a physical science, it is a mental art. Everybody tries to get too technical when it comes to putting. They put way too much emphasis on the mechanics.

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Kobritz: Brian France should do the right thing for NASCAR

Beyond the Lines

Brian France, CEO of NASCAR, announced he was taking an “indefinite” leave of absence to address his “problems” after he was arrested last weekend in Sag Harbor, New York, for aggravated DWI. He would be doing all of NASCAR Nation a great service if he made his leave permanent.

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Howard: ‘Red Oaks,’ a TV miniseries and trip down memory lane

My Point

My wife said to me, “Chris — you need to come watch a little of this.”

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Johnson: Exploring Weatherford Loop, be prepared

Hiking Arizona

Hiking beyond timberline involves a greater probability of exposure to high winds, heavy rain, lightning and snow any time.

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Kobritz: Urban Meyer saga won’t end well, for someone

Beyond the Lines

Winning in college sports is highly valued, no more so than in football. That’s why elite coaches, who are integral to the success of a program, are paid such astronomical salaries.

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Howard: Tennis inventions and how we got here

My Point

The most basic parts of playing the game of tennis are taken for granted, things like a racquet, the ball, strings, rules and such.

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Atherton: Is it pickleball or banger ball?

Paddle Up

I get a strange not all that familiar look when I refer to pickleball as banger ball sometimes.

Gunby: Putting, the great equalizer in golf

Tee It Up

A putt, even from two inches, counts the same as a booming 300-yard drive. The easiest area of our game (and score) to improve upon is putting.

Kobritz: The mental game of baseball

Beyond the Lines

Yogi Berra once said, “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” Berra, one of the most quotable baseball players of all time, was credited with innumerable sayings, some of which he never said.

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Howard: Playing sports throughout the aging process

My Point

Most of us have loved playing sports of some kind throughout our lives, and God knows we want to continue doing what we love and probably have gotten pretty good at.

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Bergner: Bret Burchard ready for next step with NAZ Suns

On The Ball

PRESCOTT VALLEY — Surrounded by basketball campers wearing white Suns T-shirts boasting about newly-learned moves on the court to nearby friends, Bret Burchard was all smiles Friday afternoon.

Kobritz: Parents behaving like, well, their children

Beyond the Lines

Earlier this month, parents of two 12-and-under girls softball teams participating in a USA Softball tournament in Kingsport, Tennessee, got into a shouting match when the parents of players on one team thought the umpire was favoring the opponent.

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Howard: An unconventional business idea, but why not?

My Point

There are millions and millions of sports fanatics, and have been for centuries, more now than ever before.

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Gunby: Playing the course during monsoon season

Tee It Up

We discussed playing in the wind and now we are in our monsoon season, which means playing in soft, wet conditions. I will share some things that I think are important to playing your best during this time of year.

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Kobritz: Baseball needs to address its declining attendance

Beyond the Lines

As MLB takes a break from the regular season to play the 89th All-Star Game, one of the hot topics this year has been attendance, or rather, the lack of it. According to Baseball-Reference, overall league attendance is down over 2.5 million this year, with 22 of 30 clubs showing a decline from 2017 numbers.

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Howard: What is the appeal, attractiveness of sport?

My Point

Every sport that has acquired millions of followers has found a niche in attracting people to either participate, spectate or both for a variety of reasons we’ve found appealing.

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Johnson: Hiking to the Top of Yavapai County: Mt. Union, elevation 7,979 feet

HIking Arizona

It’s not that easy to hike above 7,000 feet in elevation within Yavapai County.

Kobritz: Predictions of doom over the creation of super teams in the NBA is much ado about nothing

Beyond the Lines

The predictions of doom over the creation of super teams in the NBA is much ado about nothing. The wailing comes from people who aren’t old enough to remember the league’s early days or those who haven’t checked the history books.

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Howard: ‘Borg vs. McEnroe,’ the movie

My Point

I just finished watching the movie “Borg vs. McEnroe,” and I remember watching the finals with a “Breakfast at Wimbledon” back in 1980 when it was happening, but the movie is less about who won that championship and more about how each person, Bjorn and John, reached that point in their lives.

Gunby: In Prescott, they call the wind ‘Mariah’

Tee It Up

One of the weather challenges we face playing golf is the wind. And in Prescott, the wind blows a lot. Almost all golfers dread playing in the wind as it really plays havoc with their game.

Kobritz: Does Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich deserve a chance?

Beyond the Lines

In an increasingly polarized world, a host of issues are viewed in black and white – our President, climate control, abortion, to name a few. One issue may stand out above all others: sex abuse.

Howard: A family affair of tennis greatness

My Point

I personally like hearing success stories, and the one I’m about to tell certainly falls under that category.