September 4, 2013

Publisher's Notebook: A plot to kill husbands

By Willie Sawyers

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Many people are undertaking the Couch to 5K Running program to get themselves back into shape. The program claims to transform a couch potato into a marathon runner in a matter of weeks.

Personally, I think it’s an attempt by wives to kill off their husbands to collect insurance money. Look at it, they’re the ones pushing the program. I can’t imagine a man, now that college and professional football has started, getting off the couch to go run 5,000 kilometers. His heart just won’t be in it, and may stop beating all together when he tries to run after being sedentary for so long.

I applaud the people who are doing the C25K and hope they keep up the training after they’ve run their first marathon. But I’m thinking another program may be more appealing to most men during football, basketball and baseball season.

It’s called Couch to the Refrigerator.

• If La-Z-Boy could figure out a way to build a small refrigerator into one of their recliners, men wouldn’t have any need to leave their man caves during football season.

When I watch TV, I’ve got a remote that controls the TV, cable box and surround system on one arm of the La-Z-Boy. On the other arm, I keep an iPad for checking Facebook and Twitter periodically, and my cellphone in case someone calls or sends a text. I can reach out to the entire world from my entertainment cockpit.

If only it had a refrigerator, and perhaps a miniature Port-A-Potty, I’d never have any reason to go upstairs. I’ve sent my wife numerous text and Facebook messages telling her to bring me down some pop and chips, but she claims to never get them for some reason.

• I always enjoy watching “Hard Knocks” on HBO in preparation for the opening of football season. The show goes behind the scenes during training camp to give viewers an all-access look at how a professional team prepares for opening day. This year it was the Cincinnati Bengals.

It’s interesting how the Bengals also were featured on the program in 2009, probably because most of the more-popular NFL teams don’t want or need cameras everywhere during training camp. But for the Bengals, it’s a good fit and compelling sports television.

I enjoy listening to the silky smooth narration of Liev Schreiber, who does most of the voice-over work for HBO sports. Many people may not know that he also is the star of “Ray Donovan” on Showtime. That distinctive voice is hard to pick up sometimes because his tone is a lot different when he plays the tough, no-nonsense title character. I’m glad the show has been picked up for a second season.

• On the local sports level, I enjoy reading all the high school football coverage in “The EndZone,” the new publication that comes out Saturday in the Times Tribune and Monday in The Sentinel-Echo. It features all the Friday night scores, features, polls and other information.

I always felt it made sense for the two newspapers to collaborate on football coverage and put out a section that ran in both papers, since most of the area teams play each other. In the past, we’d have two reporters covering the same game, which was inefficient and redundant. Now, the guys can divide up and cover more games in person.

It has allowed the newspapers to provide unmatched coverage of the local high school teams and their players. Our sports guys are happy, and the readers are as well.

Hats off to Denis House, Les Dixon, Mitch Howard, Chris Parsons, John Stepp and Darrin Spencer for all their hard work in producing this new, exciting section.

• Holidays are the time for all my brothers and sisters and our families to get together, have a big meal and play some kind of sports. In our younger years, it was tackle football. But it wasn’t long before we gave that up in favor of non-contact sports like softball, horseshoes and cornhole.

The last few years we’ve been playing volleyball with an oversize beach ball, and that was on tap for Labor Day. But after we all stuffed ourselves and gathered under the shade, no one had the desire to get up and jump around. So, we just hit the volleyball back and forth while we sat.

I must say it was pretty sorry on our part. Somebody needs to bring a sign up sheet for the Couch to 5K to our next holiday.