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Idle American
Attention 'Chocoholics'
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 • Posted November 3, 2010

My Uncle

The 98-year-old guy down in the thicket is used to the linkage of his life rhythms to the beat of a far distant drum. His mind spins with "what ifs" during most waking moments and in some hours of sleep as well.

He recently spoke of dramatic changes made by the new ownership of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. The new bunch cut prices for parking, concessions and assorted souvenir items before ink dried on the sales contract. Granted, most of the "cuts" were in the 10-20 percent range. Charge for one item, however—hot chocolate—was lowered by two/thirds—from $3 to $1….

* * * * *A $1

He figures that oceans of the drink could usher in yet another new ritual. After fans flash the signs of antlers and claws, they can wipe away their chocolate mustaches. Then, expect a chant about "milk doing a body good."

Maybe hot chocolate at a buck a shot is as valid as dozens of other reasons bubbling to the top about the Rangers’ unprecedented success this season….

* * * * *There’s no

In 1960, the late Dr. Guy D. Newman, longtime president of Howard Payne University, offered a few young men partial scholarships in baseball. Ever the visionary, he wanted to resurrect the sport that had been dropped earlier by the Lone Star Athletic Conference.

Crawford signed on, finishing his degree in the then-typical four years. Sadly, the team never materialized….

* * * * *Some 30

Dr. Crawford’s tongue-in-cheek letter to the president’s office detailed his baseball "scholarship misadventures" and included a willingness to "throw out the first pitch" for the initial game of the renewed sport.

President at the time and a longtime friend of Crawford’s, I took a different view. Since he had enjoyed the benefits of an athletic scholarship without lifting a finger, perhaps he should first start paying back unearned scholarship benefits. That ended the vignette, or so I thought….

* * * * *More recently

Fast forward to real time. Dr. Crawford attended a World Series game in Arlington. If you happened to sit on either side of him—or behind him—or in front of him—you may have gotten earfuls of his "baseball scholarship" details. I chronicle it only because mine is the absolutely truthful version. If he stretched it a bit, no worries. Remember, baseball offers scads of memories, many of them worth both "fetching" and stretching. Baseball "buffs" joke that when the 2010 series is history, a million fans will claim to have been eye witnesses for at least one of the historic games at the Ballpark…..

* * * * *If hot

With their football fortunes spiraling downward, Cowboy players will find that fame is indeed fleeting. (Plumbers who came up with the name of "Romo Rooters" for the Tony Romo Fan Club are thinking of changing the name to the "Romo Brooders.")

After a recent Cowboys loss, several players scrambled to get autographs from fans….

* * * * *When Mort

He’ll re-read it, grumbling about typographical errors being with us always.

If he verifies this truth, he’ll swallow hard, then make a comment akin to this: "If the Horned Frogs and Bears are the only two Texas teams ranked nationally, we can expect snow to collect on the hottest hinges of Hades, or at least they’ll have their first-ever frost down there."…

* * * * *

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Email inquiries/comments to: Phone: 817-447-3872. Website:

gets the "news"—and it could be as far away as Christmas—he’ll be shocked to learn that for at least one week of the 2010 intercollegiate football season, only two Texas schools—Texas Christian University and Baylor University—made the top 25.chocolate for a buck helped the Rangers to World Series play, look for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to start giving it away., as president of the HPU Alumni Association, Dr. Crawford shared his story. With a new season at hand, he was invited to throw out the first pitch. At last, thought he, his participation in an HPU athletic event would come to pass. Alas, it did not; the game was rained out. years and four presidents later, the sport was reinstated at HPU on a non-scholarship basis. bigger Ranger fan than Dr. Dan Crawford. The retired seminary prof could easily have become disenchanted with the sport a half-century ago. concession item, Mort contends, is as rare as a skunk on a trampoline, a duck on skates or championship flags at the Ballpark in Arlington.Mort’s mind is awash in theories, and most of them—if tossed into the Throne Room of Great Ideas—would languish in the darkest corner, unclaimed by the rest of humanity.

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