MIKE BURKE

Allegany Radio Corporation Sports

To begin, on Friday it was suggested here it would be the Chiefs and the Rams in the Super Bowl. It won’t be. However, the last thing said here on Friday was the gnawing suspicion was it would be the Bengals and the Rams in the Super Bowl, and that’s what it’s going to be.

The said inclination was for the Chiefs, favored by seven with an over of 54.5, to win the AFC Championship Game, but not by seven. I said to take the Bengals and the points, which would have been a good bet, but to take the over because it would be a crazy game.

It was a crazy game, but the Bengals won, 27-24, which means it missed the over by 3.5 points.

In the NFC game, the Rams were favored by 3.5 at home with an over of 46. I said take the under, which would have been a winner by nine points, and to take the Rams to cover, which they did not do. They won, 20-17; not 21-17, or 20-16.

All of which further proves those who put those numbers out there for us to gamble our hard-earned money on know what they are doing – with very scary accuracy.

Kids, do not try this at home. Or anywhere else for that matter.

It is … #NFLTheTVShow …

Maybe we’ll talk about the TV Show later this week; maybe not. Beginning today, though, Mondays are going to be baseball days here, at least until spring training starts – if it ever does. It’s been reported there was progress made in the negotiations by the players and the owners last week to help find an end to the owners-imposed lockout.

That there were negotiations at all is progress in itself. That there were two sessions of negotiations last week is a more hopeful sign of progress.

Thus, until a new collective-bargaining agreement is reached and spring training begins, we’ll be talking baseball here on Mondays, as well as on other days at this point of the abyss that is known as February. But for sure on Mondays.

We’ll follow the lockout negotiations; we’ll look ahead all things baseball; we’ll look back. We’ll talk memorable games, events and players in the history of Our Great Game. We’ll talk about how nerdy Rob Manfred, the so-called commissioner of baseball, seems to be trying to destroy the game and the institution of baseball.

We’ll talk theory, beliefs and memories. We’ll talk about the art of and the art that is baseball. We’ll talk books, documentaries and movies of baseball, anything just to keep baseball and the thought and hope of warmer days and evenings in our hearts and in the dialogue; and we’ll begin with a capsule-review of the movie “A League of Their Own,” which, for my money, is the greatest baseball movie of all-time.

Apparently, MLB Network thinks pretty highly of it as well, as it will host a 30-year anniversary premiere of the film on Wednesday, which will be hosted by none other than the great Bob Costas, who is, other than Bob Uecker, in my book, the true Mr. Baseball.

From August 2021, my synopsis:

  1. A League of Their Own (1992)

An absolutely beautiful film from the late Penny Marshall, from the music of Carole King and Madonna (who also plays centerfield) to the perfect storyline and cast.

It is the story of the real-life World War II-era All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the growing rivalry that exists between two sisters (unbeknownst to the oldest sister) who join the league. The cast features Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, Bill Pullman and Jon Lovitz, who steals every scene he’s in.

It’s gripping, heartwarming, heartbreaking, funny, accurate and factually based. And the actual baseball in the film is pretty darn good too. The only myth about League is that the film’s most famous line — “There’s no crying in baseball.” — is the film’s best line. Not even close.

The best line of the film is delivered by manager Jimmy Dugan (Hanks) when he tells his best player Dottie Hinson (Davis), who is about to quit because baseball has become so hard for her, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard … is what makes it great.”

And besides, everybody knows there is most certainly crying in baseball. The game, after all, as Bart Giamatti reminds us each fall, “is designed to break your heart …”

Update: It still makes me cry every time I watch it.

Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Radio and Pikewood Digital. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT