Sports column: Random sports thoughts for a February Thursday

Published 8:00 am Thursday, February 27, 2020

Lots of thoughts and little time rattling around the old brain today, so here is your late February edition of random sports musings:

• The parade of teams floating in and out of Sports Force Parks these days is something to behold. In addition to our local high school baseball and softball teams, the facility has become a refuge for displaced teams from across Central Mississippi.

Central Hinds, Jackson Prep, Hinds Community College, Raymond and Alcorn State, all of whom have had their own fields rendered unusable by steady rain, have migrated to Sports Force Parks like animals seeking high ground in a flood. It’s hard to say who will show up from day to day, but if you’re a high school baseball fan there is almost always a game going on that you can catch until the weather breaks.

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• Speaking of Sports Force Parks, I think it might be the coldest, windiest place in Mississippi. When the wind is blowing out of the north, as it often seems to do, there aren’t a lot of trees around to buffer it and you feel the full effect.

In addition, somehow the fields were built so that almost anywhere you can stand near the dugout and backstop is in the shade. That’ll be great when it’s 95 degrees this summer, but right now it’s miserably cold. Bundle up if you head out there.

• The XFL, Version 2.0, is now a month old and seems to be finding a niche as an enjoyable sports party.

It might not be great football, and never will be, but it also doesn’t try to pretend it’s at the same skill level as the NFL. Players seem to enjoy the laid back vibe of the league, which serves the purpose of keeping their name out there. Fans enjoy an excuse to watch sports, drink beer, and spend a cheap afternoon at the stadium.

Crowds are averaging around 20,000 people — enough to fill the lower bowl of the league’s biggest stadiums, or most of the smaller ones. Time will tell if that translates into a second season for the league or not, but things appear to be trending the right way.

• The “Hello World” C-Spire spot that plays incessantly has put Aloe Blacc in the lead for musical artist with the most songs used in television commercials. He’s just ahead of Fitz and the Tantrums and Imagine Dragons on the cash-in rankings. These rankings are unofficial.

You’ve been a great audience. Now go look up Aloe Blacc and Fitz and the Tantrums on Spotify.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

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 139-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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