Sports reporter’s guide to vacation, happiness

Published 9:56 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

The wife and I are taking a little trip to the tropics this week for a mid-winter vacation. That makes me happy.

Here are some other things — some sports-related, some not — that make me happy.

• Warm weather during soccer season.

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Any time I have to spend three or four hours outdoors and the temperature is 60 degrees instead of 40, it puts a smile on my face.

If high school soccer season was in the spring instead of the dead of winter, I might even stop calling it “communist kickball” as one old friend so eloquently put it.

• The Royal Rumble.

Yes, I’m a pro wrestling nerd. Always have been, always will be on some level. The WWE’s annual Royal Rumble was last Sunday, and it’s one of the highlights of the year — a 30-man battle royal where a new wrestler comes down the ramp every 90 seconds. Last man to throw an opponent over the top rope wins. It’s simple, the surprise entrances are always great, and there’s always a little sadness when it’s over. That’s a good show.

• Wrestling jobbers and the WWE Network.

Keeping with the wrestling theme for a second, there might not be a better time waster than going streaming a 1980s era WWE card from Madison Square Garden on the WWE Network.

Those shows were full of “jobbers,” the guys who always lose and make the stars look good. Many of them were extremely talented performers who didn’t get their just due until the ins and outs of pro wrestling were exposed. I can relate to those guys.

• Street performers. We’re vacationing in Key West, Fla., this week, and there’s a guy there that I can’t wait to see. He calls himself Dr. Juice, real name John Allicock, and he’s a 5-foot-5, 110-pound acrobat.

He’s also 58 years old.

Dr. Juice’s 15-minute act is comprised of two stunts. In the first, he flips over a garbage can while grabbing a soda can.

For the finale, he pulls two people from the audience. The first leans over the handlebars of a bike while the second holds a hula hoop over their head. Dr. Juice then gets a running start from about 20 feet away and dives headfirst through the hula hoop.

If either assistant screws up, someone could die. I’ve seen the act probably a dozen times in the past decade. Dr. Juice has been doing it for about 30 years. He nails it every time, and it never ceases to amaze.

Well, back to vacation. Sunny days in the tropics don’t come along very often.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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