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August 25, 2011 8:54 am

SPORTS GUY: Attack of the insects

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Just when I thought I’d seen everything the sporting world had to offer, the results of Powell’s first golf tournament came in. At first, I have to admit being taken aback — either the numbers were some of the worst 18-hole totals I’d seen since covering a regional tournament in 40-50 mile an hour winds in Nebraska, or the 36-hole Lander event must have been moved to the nearest miniature golf course because the scores were that low.

As it turns out, neither was true. The event had scores from nine holes thrown out due to an abundance of grasshoppers. In the opinion of tournament officials, the insects were judged to have made play unfair for nine holes of the tournament.

Now I’ve been around sports for a long time. I’ve seen any number of reasons for contests to be cancelled, moved or postponed.

I have never — ever — seen a golf tournament shortened due to insects. Not even when a swarm of bees took up residence in a tree beside the second green briefly while I was in high school.

So it was with that bizarre mental image playing in my head that I sat down to watch baseball on Monday night. As it turns out, it was just in time to take in St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday suffering the sort of injury bug that sends shivers down my spine.

The more squeamish among you may wish to stop reading now.

Standing in left field, Holliday took himself out of the game in the eighth inning after a moth flew into his right ear. And stayed there.

Trainers tried to coax the insect out by taking Holliday to a dark room and shining a flashlight above his ear. The moth — still alive and crawling around — was unmoved. The moth was eventually evicted with a pair of tweezers to fly off into baseball immortality.

By which point I would have long been leaping out of my skin had I been in Holliday’s shoes.

So as sporting events begin throughout the community this weekend, I’d like to wish safe travels to those teams journeying away from home, the best of luck to our squads competing here in Powell and lots and lots of effective insect repellant for those of us watching from the stands.

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