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The Pioneer. (Rochester, N.Y.) 1951-2001, April 27, 2001, Image 7

Image and text provided by St. John Fisher College

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/np00090002/2001-04-27/ed-1/seq-7/

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Pioneer April 27,2001 7 A Hero That Should Influence All BY BARI MANCE Pioneer Spoils Editor Throughout time people have always worshipped athletes with exceptional abilities. In the Ancient Greek times there were the Olympians and in the Roman times the Gladiators, now a days people look up to self-centered, over-paid, and over-rated athletes who aren't in it for the game, they play for the dol­ lars. But there are some who aren't this way and these are the athletes that deserve the title of hero. Players who take the time to talk with fans, and enjoy the feeling o f playing, not for money but for the love of their sport. Dot Richardson is one o f these ath­ letes. She has been on the Olympic softball team in Atlanta and in Sydney. -Although retired now, Richardson still has a major impact o n the sport. She has softball bats with her name on it, and if y o n ask anyone within the sport who she is, y o u won't find a single per­ son w h o hasn't heard of her. People say that Richardson has done as much with softball as Mia Hamm has with soccer. Recently, Richardson was in Rochester. She was in town to help with the Special Olympics. Although she didn't have to, she spent almost two hours after the clinic hanging out with people w h o wanted to see her. Girls o f all ages lined up to see her, talk to her, take their pictures with her, and get her autograph. And Richardson stood there the whole time, with a smile on her face, talking to every single person there...every single person. Towards the end o f the session, as the people dwindled down, most would think that Richardson would be tired, but she just got more energetic, telling stories of Olympic glory and her trials on the team. Richardson said to everyone, \I looked around at my team and said, 'We are not going out like this. Look at us. Look at who is on our team. I am proud to be on a team with this much talent. I am proud o f every single one o f you. We are the best in the world. Now it is time to play like it.' And a s I said that more and more of tfhe girls stood up and started getting excited. I knew that we were going t o win i t all, and we had to win five i n a row in order to win gold, and we did.\ Looking around, the girls faces l it up with possibilities. Maybe I could be like Dot, they were thinking. Maybe that could be me. Maybe I could be an Olympian, or maybe I could influence someone lik e D o t Richardson has influence mer. That is what a hero should be, someone who has the power to let a little child dream. Jordan Would Ruin His Legacy With a Comeback BY JOHN FOLLACO Pioneer Sports Editor ■fc Believe it or not, all signs indicate that the greatest basketball player to ever lace up a pair of Nike's, Michael Jordan, will return to the NBA hard­ wood in October. Say it ain't so! Granted, his Aimess has insisted that it isn't so, claiming repeatedly that he is 99.9% sure that he will never again return to the court. Right- and Bill Clinton never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I f Michael Jordan wasn't planning on returning next fall, then he wouldn't be working out s ix hours a day, prac­ ticing with his Washington Wizards, or hiring his former coach Doug Collins to coach the Wizards next season. Instead he would he playing With his children, lowering his handicap, and banging his head against the wall try­ ing to turn around the woeful Wizards. Non-helievers claim Jordan won't return because he has nothing left to prove; that there couldn't be a more perfect ending to his magnificent career than the buzzer beating push off....errr,„. shot heard 'round the world that earned him his sixth NBA championship. Those would be valid arguments in most cases. But then again, most peo­ ple do not possess Michael Jordan's ego. That very ego lead Jordan to abort his lam e attempt to become a profes­ sional baseball player and return to the NBA several years ago. And it is that same ego, n o w bruised b y his failures as v ice president o f basketball opera­ tions for t h e Washington Wizards, which i s leading to the third coming of Michael Jordan Superstar. M ore than anybody, Jordan hates failure. And since becoming minority owner o f the Wizards a year ago, Jordan has done nothing but fail. He has spent the past year trying to rid his team of the ludicrous contracts pos­ sessed by Juwan Howard, Rod Strickland, and Mitch Richmond. Strickland and Richmond still remain. Leonard Hamilton, Jordan's hand picked coach of the team, did not prove to be NBA material. And instead o f jockeying for playoff posi­ tion, the Wizards spent the year jock­ eying for draft position. Michael Jordan has never been known for his patience, therefore the only solution he can see is dawning good old number 23 once again. Either that or admit failure: my guess is that he'll put on the jersey. It's a shame too. We've seen this all too often, great athletes not knowing when to hang up their high tops...and keep them there! Unfortunately, when Jordan finally does retire once and for a ll, our last memory o f his playing career will not be sinking the game winning shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Instead it will be of his single handed, unsuc­ cessful attempt to make th e Wizards into something they're note winners. Until this circus sideshow comes t o an end, Jordan fans w ill be force-fed highlights o f a man who w ill only b e a shadow of his former self. It just isn't right. For once Michael, Just DON'T Do It. Please, do yourself a favor and remain in your owner's box. atop MCI Arena. However, if that luxury suite isn't quite big enough to contain your massive ego, do the rest o f us a favor and PLEASE don't bring Charles Barkley with you. Raving to witness your un-retirement w ill be b a d enough as it is. NHL Playoffs Nothing Short of Spectacular BY JOE VENNIRO Pioneer Editor in Chief A s round one of the 2001 NHL Playoffs comes to end, I am reminded why the NHL has the best playoff sys­ tem among the four major sports. Every game, whether it was Buffalo vs. Philadelphia, or Colorado vs. Vancouver was an absolute dogfight. The goalteflding was tremendous, action was wild, and every team played with desperation. It seemed like every night for the past 10 days, anywhere from 3-5 pulse pounding NHL playoff games were being played and just about all o f them were able to be seen on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC. The key why the NHL playoffs have been s o amazing so far is that just about every game has been a 1-goal game. All of the games have gone down to the wire, with the exception of the Buffalo Sabres' 8-0 bombing o f the Philadelphia Flyers in game six o f their series. Thirteen, games have gone in to overtime so far in the playoffs, which is a little more than halfway from the record of 2 8 , set in the 1993 playoffs. Every time a game goes into overtime, it can end o n one shot. One mistake, could b e the turning point in the series. A game could last five minutes in overtime, o r an extra four hours, like last year when Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh 2 - 1 in a n epic five-overtime battle. Superstars become legends, and nohodies become some bodies in playoff overtimes. Y e s, there have been upsets. Toronto, wlio lost all five meetings to divisional rival to Ottawa during the regular season, and finished 18 points behind the Senators, pulled o f f a shocking 4-0 series sweep over Ottawa, who was the second best team in the Eastern Conference. Los Angeles, who was fortunate to even make the playoffs, was on the verge o f coming back from a 2-0 series deficit to stun heavily favorite Detroit as this story went to press. Included in that series was a miraculous comeback by L.A. in game four. Down 3 -0 with less than seven minutes to go, and many o f the fans in the Staples Center filing out, Los Angeles scored three goals in the final six and a half min­ utes, sending the game to overtime, where they won in overtime on a goal by fourth line player Jesse Belanger. Favorites such as New Jersey, Colorado, St. Louis advanced some­ what easily. Dallas and Buffalo, two teams that met in the Cup finals two years ago, also advanced, hut both in six-game wars. Dallas played upstart Edmonton for the fifth straight postseason. While Dallas ended Edmonton’s season for the fourth straight year, four o f the six games went to overtime and five o f the six, were decided b y a goal. Buffalo and Philadelphia, who were separated by two points in the regular season, played five tooth-and-nail games, before Buffalo, i n front of 18,690 rabid fans a t HSBC Arena ended the series in shocking fashion, squashing Philly and probable Vezina trophy winner Roman Chechmanek 8- 0. Buffalo hasn't scored eight goals in a game since New \Year's Day 2000, and did against one of tfhe league's most stingiest defenses no less. As far as tlie rest o f the ^playoffs go, I would have to say Buffalo and New Jersey will meet in tfae Eastern Conference final, while Colorado and Dallas will meet in the West final for the third straight year. 1 believe Colorado and Buffalo w ill meet in a hard fought Stanley Cup- final, and Colorado will give Patrick Roy his fourth Stanley Cup in a seven game classic over the upstart Sabres

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