- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
BOOM BOOM AND BUST
Before traveling East this summer from my rural, agriculturally based hometown of Atascadero, Calif., I had seen the effects of our ailing economy only in the real-estate and construction businesses. It was quite an education for me, a fourth-year college student, to witness firsthand the economy's adverse effects on our nation's industrial cities—Youngstown, Ohio especially. I spent three days in Youngstown wishing there were something I could do to help wipe the anguish off the faces of the many unemployed there. It was on my fourth and final day in the Mahoning Valley that I realized there was at least a temporary cure: Talk about Boom Boom. The mention of Mancini's name seemingly led every bartender in the Valley to boast, "The champ was in here just the other night," and the unemployed to say, "Yeah, I'm unemployed, but at least it's in Boom Boom Mancini's hometown." Let's just hope the boys on Capitol Hill can deliver as much relief to the Mahoning Valley as has Boom Boom.
None of this is Mancini's fault. He is, as you note, an "attraction." Still, he has yet to acquit himself in a winning effort against a quality lightweight. Neither Art Frias nor Ernesto Espa�a was a true test for Mancini: Between them they have lost four fights in a row. If you must ride tigers, why not tell us what happens to them after they've been declawed—which is another way of asking, where's Sean O'Grady now?
BILLS FACTS (CONT.)
I also recall reader Joe Overfield as a fine man and heady student of sport who taught me the fundamentals of baseball while coaching the neighborhood team when I was a kid. Obviously he is also a loyal Bills fan. His remarks (19TH HOLE, July 26) and those of other readers highlight how vulnerable many Buffalo residents are to comments such as Douglas S. Looney's tired reference to Buffalo geography. Being away for a number of years adds dimension and perspective to one's view of Buffalo and the Bills. One may then indeed laugh at circumstances less than ideal pertaining to either, or both. The fact that one may laugh at such events, however, in no way implies any less esteem for either Buffalo or the Bills. In that sense, Chandler and Simpson are right.
HIGH SCHOOL ALL-STARS
To say that making the transition from high school basketball to college ball is tough is an understatement. A student-athlete just entering college soon realizes what true work really is. As a member of the McDonald's West team who is headed for Oregon State, I say this not from experience, but from knowledgeable expectations. A college player sometimes can spend up to 40 hours a week playing, learning plays and attending chalk talks. It's just common knowledge that playing a sport in college is like having a job.
I believe that all of the players in the McDonald's All American Game know that they have their work cut out for them. For some, it may take a little longer to realize how severe the work is. But, in fact, isn't everything we players do a challenge? Whether it be the McDonald's game or stepping up into the ranks of college basketball, the life of a basketball player is one big challenge. It is something a person learns when entering junior high or high school: You may be better than some players, but there is always another better than you are. This is why all-star games are important. Players get a chance to play with and against those whose talent is equal to or better than their own.