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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Pac-12 Weekend Football Scores and My Power Rankings

Pac-12 Weekend Football Scores:

Washington State 40, Washington 13
Utah 28, Colorado 13

Oregon 38, Oregon State 29
Arizona State 38, Arizona 15
UCLA 42, California 14
BYU 35, USC 31
Notre Dame 45, Stanford 14

Pac-12 Football Championship Game:
Utah vs. Oregon at Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas

USC at California

Now, at long last, my Pac-12 Football Power Rankings. Feel free to discuss!

1) Utah
2) Oregon
3) Washington State
4) Oregon State
5) Arizona State
7) USC
8) Washington
9) California
10) Stanford
11) Colorado
12) Arizona

Best of luck to Oregon and Utah this Friday night in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

I Know It Has Been Awhile

It has been a long time since I posted anything to Craw's Corner, so I figured that it was very much overdue.

During the summer, I covered Eugene's premier American Legion baseball team, the Eugene Overhead Door Challengers. The Challengers finished its season with an overall record of 50 wins and 14 losses, a second place finish in its league (Area 4) and an Oregon American Legion baseball state championship. The team also did extremely well at the Northwest Regionals in Gillette WY, but were eliminated on the next to last day of the tournament by the team from Idaho Falls ID, who ended its season winning its second straight American Legion World Series title.

Lately, I've been involved in covering high school football in the Eugene and Klamath Falls areas. This past season, I was a Public Address Announcer for the Marshfield High School football program during its game at Sheldon High School with Prairie High School of Vancouver WA and with Rainier High School at Cottage Grove High School. 

I was also a sideline reporter for two games for Mazama High School audio and video broadcasts on Wynne Broadcasting's 1240 AM and 106.5 FM The Winner (KRJW) and Medford-based Table Rock Sports and filled in for two radio broadcasts of Crescent Valley Raiders football in the Corvallis-Albany area on 720 AM KFIR.

An apology is also in order as I didn't have any 2021 Pac-12 Football Power Rankings posted this season. I should have, so I'll have the final regular season Pac-12 Football Power Rankings (my own) posted after this weekend's games.

Yours truly, Bill Crawford (no relation to Greg), will get back on the ball, so to speak, and post power rankings for Pac-12 Men's and Women's Basketball soon. 

In the meantime, nice to one another, pray for our leaders (no matter how good or bad you may think they are)...and have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!

<Merry Christmas, too!>

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

What The World Needs Now........


     "Tell the truth of the pain of exile and displacement and grief in the world, of the whole history of refugees and displaced persons who ache for not belonging. And then give a hint that even we are among those displaced people in our ache."     -Walter Brueggemann

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Lions Inside, Outside Punch Flattens Boxers


By Harry Cummins

     Playing their second game in two nights against the Pacific University Boxers, and without their starting center, the Multnomah University Lions parlayed the outside shooting heroics of Taylor Peppinger and Zach Richardson along with the strong inside game (13 points, 11 rebounds) of freshman Terin Johnson to square this 2-game weekend set with a wild 86-83 home win Saturday night in Portland.

     The often error-filled but hard-fought contest saw the Lions (4-2) stave off the late charging Boxers down the stretch thanks to Peppinger and Richardson, who both hit late shots from 3 point range to preserve the win.  A desperate full-court heave by Pacific fell short at the buzzer.

     Richardson, the nation's leading returning scorer, opened the game with a trio of corner 3's as the Lions jumped out to a 21-16 lead and the junior guard would finish the game with 18 points on 5 treys. Peppinger connected on 5 3-pointers as well, most of them late in the game with the outcome very much in doubt, and finished with 17 points.

      Along with his double-double night, MU freshman post Terin Johnson continues to impress with his aggressive play around the basket, as he blocked two more shots to give him eight in the last two nights. Multnomah starting center Tyrese Taylor (15.7 ppg) sat out the contest after slipping on a wet floor last night against the Boxers in Forest Grove. He is listed as day-to-day.

     Neyland Block continues to showcase a nuanced game for the Lions, narrowly missing a double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds while leading the victors with 5 assists. He also turned the ball over six times as the Lions continue to have trouble protecting the basketball, ranking 183rd nationally in turnovers.

      In defeat, the Boxers evened their season record at 2-2 and were led by the 16 points and 11 rebounds of Ethan Chung.  Mario Mora and Jacob Bolger had 13 points apiece. 

     Multnomah now travels to the College of Idaho tournament next weekend where they will face a pair of formidable foes in Simpson University of California and Western Montana. The Lions of the NAIA's Cascade Collegiate Conference, continue to be a work in progress.

     The emphasis, however, remains centered on progress.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Multnomah Soars Past Century Mark Once Again - Tops NAIA in Scoring

By Harry Cummins

     Zach Richardson and Taylor Peppinger scored 21 points each and Forrest Smith had 16 rebounds and 15 points as the resurgent Multnomah Lions (3-1) reached triple digit scoring for the third time in four games this season, easily dispatching West Coast Baptist Thursday night by a 122-89 score and regaining the NAIA national scoring lead in the process.

     For the second time this season, Multnomah scored 120 or more points in a game and now leads the nation in scoring at 110.3 points per game. Amande Uchime contributed 15 points,6 rebounds and 3 steals to the lopsided win. Teammate Kell Estep connected for 4 3-pointers and 12 points in just 18 minutes for the Lions.

      Multnomah post player Tyrese Taylor sat out the game, while fellow big man Terin Johnson played only briefly as coach Curt Bickley has elected to use these early season contests to sort out the team's wealth of rotational talent prior to the start of Cascade Collegiate Conference play.

     Such experimentation may be short-lived as the Lions play back-to-back contests the next two nights against NCAA opponent Pacific University.


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Lions Rest Top 3 Scorers, Still Romp 111-64

Jaeden Ingram, fighting for playing time and rebounds in a loaded lineup

 By Harry Cummins

     Jaeden Ingram enjoyed a double-double night with 13 points and 11 rebounds while teammates Kell Estep and Taylor Peppinger combined to score 43 points as Multnomah University continued their high scoring ways in toying with Portland Bible College 111-64 Tuesday night in Portland, Oregon.

     The Lions (2-1) chose to rest their top three scorers for the contest but still had plenty of offensive punch as they moved into fourth place in current NAIA stats with an impressive 106.3 points per game scoring average.  Estep hit 9 of his 12 shots for 22 points while Peppinger shot 6 of 13 from 3-point range to register 21 points to go with 5 steals and 6 rebounds. The Lions continue to impress on the glass, now averaging 51 rebounds per game, tied with fellow Cascade Collegiate Conference member Lewis-Clark State for sixth in the country.

     Amande Uchime chipped in with 9 points and 7 rebounds for the victors, while touted freshman Derrien Carter-Hollinger, getting his first significant minutes of the season, responded with 13 points on 6 of 10 shooting.

     Lions coach Curt Bickley elected to rest his top 3 scorers on the night, as Zach Richardson, Tyrese Taylor and Neyland Block did not play. Multnomah senior Wallace Ungwiluk led all players in assists with 10.

     Multnomah continues to shoot over 50% (52.6%) from the field for the season.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Lions Suffer Tough Overtime Loss At Puget Sound



By Harry Cummins

     Unable to find a defensive answer for Puget Sound guard Paul Johnson, the Multnomah University Lions dropped a winnable game in overtime to the Loggers 97-86 Friday night at Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma.

     With the contest knotted at 80, the Lions turned the ball over with .05 seconds left in regulation to send the game to an extra session, where Johnson proceeded to score 10 of his game and career- high 32 points to seal the win for the NCAA D-3 school.

     Tyrese Taylor led the Lions with 25 points and 9 rebounds, including back-to-back put backs that allowed the NAIA club to claw back from an 11 point halftime deficit and take an 80-77 lead with 2:30 remaining in the contest. Taylor had scored the game's first 9 points in handing Multnomah a quick lead from the opening tip, vitalizing the upset aspirations of the visitors.

     Freshman Will Pohland scored 21 points for the winners, including a pair of 3 pointers in overtime, while Jaeden Ingram had 17 and Zach Richardson 16 points in defeat. Neyland Block of the Lions narrowly missed a double-double night with 8 points and 8 rebounds while teammate Terin Johnson added 9 points on 3 of 5 shooting.  Puget Sound's Mussie Teclemarian led all rebounders in the game with 15 as the Loggers won the battle of the boards 53-43.

     The loss was Multnomah's first of the season, following a resounding 122-60 win at home to open the year. The 122 points were the most tallied in a single game by any team in the NAIA this season.

     Multnomah returns home for a pair of non-conference games next week, before meeting another NCAA foe in Pacific University for back-to-back contests on Nov 12-13.  In 2018, these same two teams hooked up to produce one of the great games in small college basketball history as they combined for a record 271 points, including an NAIA record 38 made 3's by Multnomah.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Multnomah Opens Season with 122-60 Rout - Six in Double-Figures


By Harry Cummins

     The NAIA's leading returning scorer, Zach Richardson, led 6 players in double figures while sophomore teammates Tyrese Taylor and Neyland Block swept the boards for a combined 22 rebounds in spearheading the Multnomah University Lions to a lopsided 122-60 win Wednesday night over neighboring Portland Bible College in a season-opening contest for both teams.

     The Lions, a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference, connected on 20 of 43 shots (46.5%) from beyond the arc, continuing their historic reliance on the 3 point shot. Multnomah holds the all-time NAIA record for 3 pt baskets in a game with 38, set 3 years ago against Pacific University.

     Kell Estep made 4 of his 5 attempts from three, while Grant Dunn was 4 of 6 from distance, and Forrest Smith was a perfect 3 for 3 from long-range.  Freshman Terin Johnson converted all 4 of his 2 point field goals and finished with 10 points.  The Lions concluded the night shooting 57.7% and amassed 66 points in the second half while shooting 60% for the stanza.

     Taylor (14 pts) and Richardson (15 pts) were both 6 for 11 from the field to pace the Lions.  14 Multnomah players hit the scoresheet and they enjoyed a hefty 61-38 edge on the boards. Jaeden Ingram and Amande Uchima had 7 rebounds each, while Taylor had 12 and Block added 10.

     Multnomah (1-0) seeks to erase memories of a 1-24 season last year, as they now travel to NCAA  University of Puget Sound on Friday.  Armed with a deep and athletic bench, Coach Curt Bickley will be challenged to find the right combinations to put on the floor.

     A nice problem to have.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Once They Were Warriors - Remembering #23... Jeff Mullins

Mullins drives past Jerry West for two of his 13,017 career points  (hcummins photo)

By Harry Cummins

     Opportunistic with a keen sense of the game, Jeff Mullins played a dozen seasons at the pinnacle of his sport. 

     The 6'4" shooting-guard was drafted 5th overall in the 1964 NBA Draft by the St Louis Hawks following a storied All-American career at Duke that culminated with an Olympic Gold Medal at the '64 Tokyo Games. Mullins was the first major talent to enter the free-flowing pipeline from Duke to the NBA.

     After a brief stint with the Chicago Bulls in 1966, Mullins was traded to the San Francisco Warriors for veteran NBA star Guy Rodgers.  He was the first player off the bench in a loaded Warrior offense that included Nate Thurmond, Rick Barry, Tom Meschery, Al Attles and Jim King.

     The next year saw Mullins blossom as the team's go-to scorer when Rick Barry bolted for the ABA in one of the most debated career moves in NBA history.  Mullins enjoyed a brilliant 4 year streak of averaging more than 20 points per game (1968-71).  In the 1968 post season, he averaged 25.1 ppg and shot 52% from the field.

     Mullins was at the peak of his stardom as he was named to the NBA All-Star Team in 1969,1970 and 1971.  His body finally riddled with injuries, the 33-year-old Mullins' career culminated in 1975, as the Golden State Warriors captured the NBA World Championship by sweeping the Washington Bullets in the Finals.  Mullins retired the following season after playing 804 career games, third in franchise history.

     Mullins would later go on to become the head basketball coach at UNC-Charlotte, where he compiled a 182-142 record over an 11-year span.

     I will always remember Jeff Mullins as a player who had some good breaks and some bad ones, all the while making the absolute best of both.  On a personal level,  I best remember Jeff from those post game late-night hours spent at our favorite San Diego eatery The Cotton Patch, or the visits to his Northern California home where his two young daughters would serve up pancakes for breakfast.

     Pork chops and pancakes endure... while pages from the basketball record books can blur. 




Thursday, October 7, 2021

NAIA Greats Recalled - Jimmy Bosco (2013- Baseball)

  By Harry Cummins

     James "Jimmy" Bosco  is currently a Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Montana, where he teaches Chemistry classes and spends his days in a research lab peering thru a microscope at the cell division in microscopic worms, findings that hopefully could one day lead to a cure for cancer and diabetes.

     Back in 2013, after previously playing for two high-profile Division 1 baseball programs at California and the University of Arkansas, Bosco found himself at Menlo College, an NAIA powerhouse based in California. 

      Bosco, a 5'9" outfielder, led the Oaks that year with a lofty .426 batting average. His remarkable season included a bevy of top marks that paced the NAIA baseball world that season, including first overall in total bases (153) and slugging percentage (.805). In the field he did not commit a single error in 104 chances.  

     Bosco's season in 2013 culminated in a runner-up finish in the NAIA West Group tournament, loosing to host Concordia University in Portland. He was later voted as the Player of the Year by the Group's head coaches.  He was selected later that summer in the 2013 MLB draft by the St Louis Cardinals and would play 4 seasons in the minor leagues.

     Bosco's power stroke from the left side of the plate was remarkable for his size. His 15th and final home run of his breakout season was a monumental blast in Portland, Oregon, that sailed completely out of the cavernous ballpark, landing in a parking lot and coming to rest on the front lawn of a nearby church.

     Eight years later, Jimmy Bosco is still going deep in his life.




Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Long Before They Were Amazin -- The 1964 New York Mets

 By Harry Cummins

Remembering the 1964 New York Mets and their inaugural season in Shea Stadium ---

" Been in this game one hundred years, but I still see new ways to lose 'em that I never knew even existed."

- Casey Stengel, mgr

Pictured above: Original game program from the day the lovable losers dropped a doubleheader to the San Francisco Giants, Memorial Day 1964.  The Mets would tear up the record books this day and cut an LP record of their own, as the second game loss took 7 1/2 hours and 23 innings to accomplish.  Surely this was one of those ways the 'Old Perfesser' was referring to.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

In Praise Of The Pre-Game Warmup

As a high schooler in 2015, Alex Kirilloff once swatted 8 consecutive home runs in a pre-game batting exhibition at Petco Park in San Diego.

 By Harry Cummins

     If you rarely pay attention to those often ignored pre-game rituals next time you attend your favorite sporting event, you just might be doing your self a major disservice.

     When the Seattle Kracken took to the ice last week for their first ever game as an expansion member of the National Hockey League, I proceeded to watch Morgan Geekie score a pair of nifty goals in the Kraken's inaugural win.

     For me, my mind immediately reverted to a pre-game warmup 5 years earlier in Portland, Oregon, when the now 23 year-old Geekie was then a member of the Western Hockey League's Tri-City Americans. I have never forgotten the dazzling stick handling drill Geekie showed off in the pre-game shoot-around.  It mesmerized me and the other fortunate spectators who bypassed the obligatory trip to the concession stand or idle pre-game chatter.... in order to witness what we seldom watch..sports warmup drills.

    I was now able to better understand why the Kraken seem to always position the agile Geekie in front of the opponent's net most of the night.

    I also recall years earlier, watching a 6'5 shooting guard from Montana State, Tyler Hall, perform similar pre-game magic.   Hall was the Big Sky Conference all -time leading scorer and one of the top 3-point marksman in NCAA history with 431 made 3's.   This past summer, he was a member of the New York Knicks Summer League team. Back then, he was a key member of the Montana State basketball team.

     In the Bobcats pre-game team warmups that night, I noticed Hall began to shoot nothing but three's, one after the other. After he made several in a row, I began  to start counting.  When the game time buzzer sounded for teams to clear the floor, my count had reached 41.  I could count the missses on one hand.  I don't remember anything else about the actual game that night.

     Perhaps my most memorable pre-game activity occurred on a Sunday afternoon when a high school baseball player, Alex Kirilloff, used a batting practice exhibition before the annual Perfect Game All-American Classic, to deposit EIGHT consecutive balls into the distant right field seats at Petco Park in San Diego.  Kirilloff is now a member of the Minnesota Twins and a big part of their future plans.

     So the next time you plan to only pay attention at game time, know that you might miss moments you will never forget. That pre-game hot dog could cost you a lot more than advertised.

Friday, October 1, 2021

More Than A Fleeting Glance - Athletes We Remember


By Harry Cummins

     A world record holder, a Gold Medalist and 3-time Olympian, an NCAA champion, and later a successful collegiate coach, Harvey Glance was consistently ranked one of the greatest sprinters in the world for an amazing 12 year run between 1976 and 1987.

     His coach, Mel Rosen, once said "Harvey's what I call world class -as an athlete and as a man"

     The greatest sprinter in Auburn history, and later it's head coach, as well as head coach at the University of Alabama, Glance is enshrined in the State's Athletic Hall of Fame.

    In our memories as well.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Possibility And Perishability - Red October Angst

The hunt for certitudes in a modern-day Red October.

By Harry Cummins

     For those of us who distill sports as a way to measure our seasons on this earth, the calendar now flips to October.  As it was in pre-pandemic times, many of our favorite fun and games converge this month in a rushing river of  entertainment. The MLB playoffs share the spotlight with the NFL and college football.  Exhibition games begin in the NHL and NBA.  College basketball begins this month with unrecognizable rosters altered by new eligibility and transfer rules.

     Is it just me.... but does this all feel notably different this October.

     We have all had to come to terms with living in an altered world.  Our disagreements now border on political and personal revolution.  Many are left with the question, 'What is it all about'?  In a search for certitudes, sport becomes distraction, with a Covid-shaped cloud circling our arenas and playing fields.

     No matter our age, we each are swept up in a subversive surge toward the inevitable hereafter. The next day.  The next year. Finally our death.  In a world where so many perishables exist, we instinctively long for something that lasts. Something to hold onto! Something to transcend mere time passing.

     So, as you search for what is real in this red October, perhaps still leave room for the changing landscape of sport. Look for those athletes in whatever sport, that seem to understand what is means to hold on.  To hold on to values and virtues and real possibilities. They embody the legacy of human effort that sport has traditionally typified. Moments of sheer beauty and possibility. 

     These are not easy markers to spot from the make believe heights of headlines and box scores, but it seems to be something to which many feel summoned this October, 2021.  Find that place in life where your grip was once the most hopeful and..hold on... it says to us.

     The French activist Simone Weil once said that the only real question to be asked of another is "what are you going thru?"  It is a question we are obliged to ask not only of our neighbors and strangers, but also of our athletes.

     Assuming duration (holding on to the right things) can ultimately create possibility, let our games go on with a renewed understanding of those who play them..and just why we should watch!





Friday, September 17, 2021

Spring Training 1985 - With Doc Gooden


  Spring Training 1985-

     "It says right here they think I could have a pretty good year"

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Places We Claim By Memory


Roads to worlds we once knew...

By Harry Cummins

     We each have them.  Places and landscapes from our past that remain indelible.

     Forty-one years ago I lived alone as caretaker in an abandoned mansion that is now part of a winery located west of Portland, Oregon.  For the two years I lived there, my only companions were a Great Dane dog and a friendly ghost who was often heard but never seen. Mostly, I was alone with my own thoughts.

     I resided in a small apartment above a 4-car garage connected to the back end of the house.  It overlooked a large lake that today is surrounded by mature vineyards with expansive and unspoiled vistas. My responsibilities included maintenance of a massive lawn and periodically dusting dozens of empty rooms for those potential buyers that seldom came.  I would ride my bike back and forth to a nearby town each day, where I held what most would consider a much more respectable job. It was merely a continuation of what has become for me a lifelong 'straddle' of inner work and outer work, the visible world along side the unseen one.

     Last week I paid an early September visit to my former "home" and instantly realized how easily we can repeatedly reclaim these special places thru the natural process of remembering.  Of course, memories become selective after four decades and offer little clue as to why and what we choose to remember and forget.

     As long as our memories remain unclouded by age, disease, or searing regret, I realized what a blessing it is to be able to simply recall.  There is abiding affection for these special places (and people) that have either vanished or changed over the years.  Or still remain.

     Places and people, like divine promises, that have lovingly persisted and unknowingly transformed us. We caretakers all.

"Try to remember the kind of September ....when life was slow and oh so mellow. Try to remember when you were a tender and callow fellow Try to remember.... and if you remember... ..follow.

                              -Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, songwriters


Friday, August 27, 2021

The 'Popsicle Kid' Goes Bananas


In 1953 - A boy's definition of yardwork

By Harry Cummins

     When I was 10 years old, my mother and I lived next door to a retired matador in the North Park suburb of San Diego.

     I would spend many afternoons in my neighbor's dimly lit living room, bullfighting posters from Barcelona decorating the walls. Spanish music and animated stories of his flamboyant capework would fill my impressionable senses.

     The year was 1953 and I was more interested, however, in hearing about Eddie Matthews and the recently re-located Milwaukee Braves than I was about some guy named Manolete.  My fascinating new neighbor's front yard soon became my own private playground where I soon became known to passerbys as 'The Popsicle Kid' and where I would invent the best game an only child could ever imagine.

     All I needed was an ample supply of discarded popsicle sticks from the curb in front of the corner convenience store  and a baseball bat and I could spend hours playing on this new-found field of dreams.  Before each "game", I would stretch a garden hose across the back of the lawn about 10 feet in front of a low retaining wall and about 30 feet from my batter's box.  This was the area where singles would land.

     There were two more higher white brick retaining walls stacked behind the first wall, each with its own landing area.  Perfect for doubles and triples.  

    Beyond the last wall was a massive grove of banana leaf palm trees.  The place where home runs became legendary and an imaginary crowd would go..well....bananas!

     It was no small feat to toss a oscillating popsickle stick in the air and make solid contact with a baseball bat.  My batting eye was soon sharpened to the extent that I seldom missed hitting the stick.  The trick, however, was to strike the stick on its thin end tip which would in turn propel the stick high into the air where it would often ride the wind currents to the outer reaches of my make believe stadium.  

     Runs would score, outs would be recorded and lineups of real life baseball teams would be exhausted in the playing.  Cracked sticks needed to be replaced. Pitchers duels abounded on those days with little wind.  Blustery days would see the palm trees peppered with wooden sticks.  Light hitting Braves centerfielder Billy Bruton once hit 4 home runs in a single game!

     Last night, some 68 years removed from my childish game, I settled in to watch a baseball game on television.  Another kid from San Diego, Bradley Zimmer of the Cleveland Indians, quickly launched a first inning drive deep into the faraway right field seats for his sixth home run of the season.

     My memories slowly circled the bases in celebration with Bradley. Yes sir.... that's what you'd call a bona fide banana belt!!!! 

      Keats was right, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.






Saturday, August 21, 2021

The End of Innocence.


By Harry Cummins

     The official end of my childhood came this week with the announcement that Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are ending their licensing agreement with Topps Trading Cards and forming a new alliance with Fanatics.

     The move came as suddenly as a pop from a wad of bubble gum and likely will signal the end of the most beloved brand of collectible baseball cards for the past 70 years.

     Just when mothers everywhere were nearly forgiven for tossing all those pieces of cardboard from the 1950's, and just when a 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps card sold for 5.2 million a few moths ago, The future of Topps is now in question in a sometimes merciless world of business.

     I am not sure what I will do with all those boxes of cards in the back of my closet.  First Corinthians 13:11 tells me that I no longer should reason like a child. It is good advice when dealing with childish things.  

     However, just in case, I am attaching a note to the Topps rookie card of modern day centerfielder Luis Robert of the Chicago White Sox.  "Whoever finds this, DO NOT throw this card away."

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Knowing One's Place

 By Harry Cummins

     I believe there are nearby places and landscapes we do not really see simply because we are so familiar with them. In our incessant desire to expand our horizons, we often miss our own back yard.

    Sitting in the time-worn green wicker on the side of my house, it becomes apparent to me that unless I can actually sense and comprehend what this particular place means every day,  how could I ever expect to assimilate what is happening in a wider world?

     We go down so many roads in this life, seeking and seeing so many things.  Do you ever feel these are simply representative of the things we could have seen at home all along?

     Pull up a chair and feel the home field advantage!  All the things we need to know are within easy reach thru a conscious awareness. What a day for a daydream!


"Mile of the Century" Celebrated


 By Harry Cummins

     Sixty-seven years ago today, before a packed stadium of 35,000 in Vancouver, Canada, they held a foot-race that captivated the world.

     Billed as the "Mile of the Century", it matched the two best milers in the world before there was Mondo track surfaces and 'super spikes' When it was over, Roger Bannister of England edged John Landy of Australia 3:58.8 to 3:59.6.  It was the first time in history that two men broke the hallowed 4 minute barrier in the same race.

     Today, as the world still revels in the Tokyo Olympic mile feats of runners like Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Timothy Cheruiyot, Josh Kerr, and Cole Hocker, history will remember fondly the Miracle Mile of 1954.  For Bannister, the first man to break the 4 minute barrier, it was his second, and last, sub-4 minute mile he ever ran.

     Many will remember that Landy had led for most of the race.  At the final turn, he looked over his inside shoulder to check where Bannister was and was suddenly passed on his right.  A bronze statue of the exact moment Landy glanced back now stands outside the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver.

     Landy once joked that while Lot's wife was turned in to a pillar of salt for looking back: "I am probably the only one ever turned into bronze for looking back."

     For the rest of us mile junkies, there is no such risk looking back to August 8, 1954.  


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Tokyo Track and Field Hurdles Into History

Sydney McLaughlin just one on a growing list of 'generational talents' to emerge from these Olympics 

By Harry Cummins

     In a series of performances so stunning as to render a singular summation nearly impossible, the track and field portion of the Tokyo Games nears it's conclusion.

     To prepare a list of individual accomplishments from these Games is not my intent.  Nearly every event final on the track, and in the field, produced moments full of drama and courage that will be remembered for a long, long time.

     In a sport defined by numbers, none stand as tall as the 45.94 gifted to the world by Norway's Karsten Warholm in the men's 400 meter hurdles race.  Or the 51.46 laid down by a 21 year-old Jersey Girl named 'Syd.' in the same discipline.

     The new lightning-fast track surface, however, that produced so many eye-popping records in Tokyo, also yielded an alarming numbers of leg injuries that dashed the dreams of far too many athletes. Perhaps a bit more study is needed from the folks at the Mondo Factory in Italy who manufactured the new surface. One suspects this rash of injuries may be more than over-training or the pursuit of fast times.

     Track and Field does face a bright future propelled by fresh new faces, but still must wrestle with  lingering questions surrounding doping and drug testing and just how much assistance athletes should be allowed thru advanced technology.

    Former double Olympic Gold Medalist Caster Semenya said it best a few years back when she responded to to an interview question with the words "when I come to a hurdle, I simply try to jump it."

     It is the perfect metaphor for a sport ...and a world... suspended in uncertain flight.


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Saturday Night Fever - Centro To Attempt Record Run In The Mile

Will the 14 year-old American Record Fall tonight?

 By Harry Cummins

     Shortly after 9:00 pm Pacific time tonight, reigning 1500 meter Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz will step onto a local high school track in Portland, Oregon in search of the one thing that has alluded him over the course of an illustrious career.

     The 31 year old Centrowitz, just days before he is set to defend his 1500 meter title in Tokyo, will attempt to break Alan Webb's 3:46.91 American mile record set in 2007 in a small meet in Brasschaat, Belgium.

     Centrowitz will have help in his pursuit from fellow Bowerman Track Club members Amos Bartelsmeyer and Josh Thompson, who will serve as rabbits in the record attempt.  Centrowitz's fastest mile ever came over 7 years ago when he clocked a 3:50.53 in the 2014 Prefontaine Classic, a race in which Ayanleh Souleiman ran the fastest mile ever on U.S. soil. (3:47.32)

     As improbable as tonight's attempt may seem, one must assume the fitness level is there for Centrowitz.  One of the designated rabbits, Thompson, is coming off a troubled trip in the 1500 meter race at the recent U.S. Olympic Trials. Despite tripping over the rail and being boxed in for much of the race, Thompson was in contention to make the U.S. team entering the final straight. He finished 6th in a race decided by a final sprint by Cole Hocker and Centrowitz.

     If Centrowitz can add an American record to his glittering resume, he should be considered the greatest miler in U.S. history.  If not, the hastily-assembled crowd gathered at Jesuit High School in near 90 degree temperatures, should still experience a sizzling way to spend a Saturday night.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Passion As A Pathway

Billy Mills - Lifelong advocate for social and racial justice

By Harry Cummins

 "The biggest lesson that running has taught me is to find your passion.  At some point in time, the  competitive running is behind use running as a catalyst to seek higher ground."

  -Billy Mills

Billy Mills won the Gold Medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games in the 10,000 meter run.  To this day, on the eve of another Olympics set to begin in Tokyo, Mills remains the only United States Olympian to ever bring home gold in the 10K event.  

By a life well-lived, Mills has shown us that there is also a prize beyond all podiums.  

Guard and grow your passions well!!!


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Multnomah Hoops Eying Herculean Turnaround


By Harry Cummins

     For most college basketball teams reeling from a recently concluded 1-24 won-lost season, this would be a woebegone autumn of commiseration.

     Instead, the pliable Multnomah Lions of the NAIA's powerful Cascade Collegiate Conference, are mere weeks away from unveiling the pieces of an entertaining jig-saw puzzle that if contoured correctly will represent one of the most enthralling comeback stories in small college basketball circles.

     Hope has replaced despair almost overnight at this small university situated on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. Michael Anderson starts his second season as Multnomah's athletic director, willing to absorb the blows from a covid-riddled first season in exchange for laying down the building blocks for future success.

     Off the court, a nation-wide recruiting effort has yielded dividends in the form of a Texas/California harvest of  high school seniors and transfer athletes.  The new arrivals are highlighted by freshman guard Derrien Carter-Hollinger of San Diego's Foothills Christian High School, a 6'4 rim-slasher and disruptive defender.  Height has also been added to a traditionally undersized front court with the addition of 6'7 Terin Johnson and 6'8 agile post, Tyrese Taylor.  The revamped backcourt will feature a pair of 6'4" gifted sophomores in Neyland Block and Amande Uchime.

     In a corresponding development, 6'3 leaper Jaeden Ingram has transferred back to Multnomah for his sophomore season, after his breakout freshman season two years ago.  This impressive influx of new talent will pair with the nation's leading returning scorer in the form of Zach Richardson, who finished runner- up in the scoring race last year to graduating senior and NAIA Player Of -The-Year Kyle Mangas of Indiana Wesleyan.  Richardson has already posted career high games of 49 and 50 points as he enters his junior year of eligibility.

     The most fascinating piece of this puzzle will emanate from the coaching ranks, where two- time NAIA scoring champion Justin Martin returns to his alma-mater to accept the position of Lead Assistant Coach under veteran Head Coach Curt Bickley.  Martin, who once scored a record 74 points in a single game and 71 in another, will be charged with injecting some of that on-court excitement into his players. Martin is expected to also be handed an expanded role in play-calling and player conditioning.

     Coach Bickley is nearing two decades of coaching experience and is instrumental in putting Multnomah on the basketball map with their long-range shooting heroics that once netted an NAIA record 38 made 3's in a single game.  Bickley finally has the on-court personnel to shift some of the emphasis away from the 3 point shot, but always expect some new wrinkles from this innovative coach.

     Indicative of the sea-change afloat at Multnomah, the freshman basketball program has been jettisoned in favor of  a new Player Development League, designed to work as a permanent feeding network for the varsity basketball program.  It will be headed by Assistant Coach Jason Patterson, a  key builder of player relationships for years at the NAIA school.

     Also joining the staff at Multnomah this coming season will be 4-year former player Quinn Curry, who will oversee housing, academics, travel, community outreach and NAIA eligibility issues.

     Like any formidable jigsaw puzzzle, the best way to begin is by grouping similar pieces together, perhaps assembling the borders first, even if you're not sure how they all will eventually fit.  Multnomah University basketball has done just that. They now await shapes and colors to interconnect in forming a cohesive future.

     The 2021-22 season is set to begin in Pocatello, Idaho on October 30, as the Lions travel to meet NCAA Division 1 Idaho State University in an exhibition game.

Zach Richardson (27.6 ppg)  is the NAIA's leading returning scorer




Monday, July 12, 2021

Well We or Won’t We

 By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

One big question for sports fans as we approach fall sports will we see fans in the stands or will we see empty stands or will we see how full stands.

Everyone who loves sports wants us to get back into seeing games Live. Decisions on the above will come soon from everyone, standby.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Joey Gallo Belongs in Discussion of Game's Best


By Harry Cummins

     A studied analysis of the individual skill sets required in determining the best baseball player on the planet seldom linger on the physical attributes of 27 year-old Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo.

     Perhaps that is all about to change.

     Gallo has sent 11 baseballs into orbit in his last 12 games.  He is hitting .378 over that span. He leads major league baseball in walks with 72.  He is set to participate in the Home Run Derby in Colorado is just a few days.  At 6'5", he has the foot speed to play center field and steal bases.(A perfect 6 for 6 this season)   You do not want to run on his outfield throwing arm, considered by many to be the strongest in MLB.  He won a Golden Glove in 2020.

      Are there others out there who can see past those frequent whiffs in order to take a closer look at one of the game's very best?  

     Let the overdue conversations begin! 


Craw’s Corner, Saturday July 10th

 By Gregory Crawford @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Canadian Football League—- The CFL is back in operation this past week after missing all of last year cause of pandemic. Ending their first week of practice, there was some real sadness when it comes to injuries. In Montreal on Friday two players suffered Achilles Tendon injuries. Equally as bad, in Saskatchewan, 4 players suffered Achilles injuries within a 6 minute span. The CFL players’ union is calling for a complete investigation.

Golf— Last year and half has brought a huge resurgence in people playing the game. In many areas of country private courses which have struggled for years to get members are now having to create waiting lists. Public golf, which accounts for 90 percent of golf rounds is seeing full tee sheets on most days. The big question is, will this sustain?

Heat—- We are heading towards the hottest year on record. We can’t in many ways stop that instantly, but be prepared. If you have never had air conditioning, if affordable get it. All of us should also check on our neighbors, especially the elderly. It is easy and one of greatest things you can do.

Craw’s Corner has content 5 days per week. We rest on Tuesday and Friday. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Vantage Point


" You want to be on the edge because that's where the vantage point is. That's where you can see."

  -Ruth Ozeki

Thursday's truth from Craw's Corner.

Were Record-Setting Oly Trials The G.O.A.T?

A limited number of spectators were privy to one of the best Olympic Trials on record.

 By Harry Cummins

     The recently concluded United States Olympic Track and Field Trials, contested in Eugene, Oregon amid the safety measures of a global pandemic, an unprecedented deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest and controversial doping suspensions, will go down in the record books as perhaps the greatest of all time.

     With competition as heated as the soaring temperatures emanating from the sparkling new Hayward Field track, a 10-day assault on the record books produced the following:

2 World Records

2 World U20 Records

3 World U18 Records

5 American Records

4  American U20 Records

3 American U18 Records

22 Olympic Trials Meet Records

     Our United States team heading to Tokyo this month is headlined by new world record holders Ryan Crouser (Shot) and Sydney McLaughlin (400H).  It also features a 17 year-old sprinter who broke Usain Bolt's youth records (Erriyon Knighton) and a long jumper/high jumper from LSU (JuVaughn Harrison) who accomplished things not seen since the days of Jim Thorpe.

     The Track and Field portion of the Games begins July 30 and continues thru August 8, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics, postponed for a year due to the pandemic, are set to begin on July 23.  Spectators will now be barred from attending events in the nation's capital.  This announcement comes just weeks after organizers announced crowds of up to 10,000 would be allowed at Olympic venues. 

     Must-see TV has now become 'the only way to see'.    Follow Tokyo Games T & F here on Craw's Corner

Monday, July 5, 2021

Craw’s Corner, Monday July 5th

 By Gregory Crawford @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Craw’s Corner print edition is back and here everyday but Tuesday and Friday. Each story you see here is guaranteed that you can read in 59 seconds or less.

Amazon—- Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon and world’s richest person is stepping down to today. The company will now be led by Andy Jassy. Some things will stay the same and expect at the same time big changes. Jassy wants even faster service and happier employees. Have any of you great readers ever met Bezos or Jassy?

Crime—- Crime is on the rise in United States at in some cases alarming rates. One example, in San Francisco both Targets and Walgreens will now close earlier to protect their employees and customers. Do you feel less safe than you did 10 years past?

NBA— I pick the Bucks to beat the Suns in 7 games and win the 2021 NBA Championship. How about you, who you got and do you even care?

Remember to watch each night on my Facebook Live, the Video Version, which is completely different than here. Thank you

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Thank You Readers

 By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

It is 10 year anniversary time for Craw’s Corner. More importantly it is time for big comeback.

Starting Monday July 5th, we will be returning and publishing every day of week, except Friday. Our style will fit today’s readership, short stories and easy to read.

Our content will include, sports, news and surprises. Stick with us and you will not be sorry.

Thank you,

Gregory Crawford,

Founder and Publisher of Craw’s Corner

Thursday, June 17, 2021

High-A West Scoreboard - June 16, 2021

Minor League Baseball

Wednesday High-A West Scoreboard
Vancouver 4, Everett 3
Spokane 4, Tri-City 2
Eugene 7, Hillsboro 4

High-A West Standings
Team W L Pct. GB
Everett 22 14 .611 --
Eugene 22 15 .595 .5
Vancouver 22 16 .579 1
Hillsboro 16 20 .444 6
Spokane 16 22 .421 7
Tri-City 13 24 .351 9.5 

Friday, June 11, 2021

High-A West Scoreboard - June 11, 2021

Minor League Baseball

Friday High-A West Scoreboard:
Vancouver 9, Spokane 4
Eugene 4, Everett 3
Tri-City 4, Hillsboro 2

High-A West Standings
Team W L Pct. GB
Everett 20 12 .625 --
Eugene 19 14 .576 1.5
Vancouver 19 14 .576 1.5
Hillsboro 15 17 .469 5
Spokane 14 19 .424 6.5
Tri-City 11 22 .333 9.5