May 11, 2021

Smurf Turf: End of the run

Lately in sports we have seen them end in good and bad ways.

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This archived article was written by: KC Smurthwaite

Lately in sports we have seen them end in good and bad ways.
We can start off with our Susan Polgar, the former head coach of chess at Texas Tech University.(Yes, fans, Texas Tech has a chess team. What comes next? ESPN televising poker games? Oh wait. They already do.) After Polgar led her team of brainsters to her second Chess National Championship, she resigned to leave for Webster University. Polgar, who started Tech’s chess team in 2007, built Texas Tech into one of the world’s best chess teams. Supposedly her program became so popular and grew so fast that she and the school were unable to keep up and “There was simply not enough funding.” The Smurf asks what is their budget? I mean, really, it’s chess. Kings and rooks must be expensive these days. But that’s not the end of the story.
Here comes the best part. Shortly after her resignation to take the head coaching jot at Webster University in St. Louis, her whole team from Tech put in transfer papers for the one and only Webster University. Now that really leaves the Red Raiders in check. Expect the Gorlocks of Webster University (what in the world is a Gorlock?) to become a national powerhouse in chess. Did I really just say that? In the deal, Polgar’s team all will receive chess scholarships (I would have flipped out if they called them athletic scholarships) and the team will get more funding plus access to a 6,000 square-foot learning center on the campus.
I think I should have taken chess more seriously in my early years. Take my queen.
A little to the south, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, things are not happy, thanks to the antics of the 51- year-old former head coach of University of Arkansas football team, Bobby Petrino. Petrino, was fired last week due to his scandal involving a former Razorback volleyball player, Jessica Dorrell. Petrino and Dorrell were involved in a motorcycle accident. Petrino, who is married (check back in a few months on that status) and the father of four children, told the school it was just him on the bike. Not a smart idea. Police reports later revealed the truth and after his initial denial of his relationship with Dorrell, the truth came out and was it ever ugly. We won’t get into details but go ahead and Google it. We all win some and lose some, and Petrino lost this one. He is not even fighting his firing and Dorrell was put on administrative leave at the school. Yes, I did write that, Dorrell works at the university, and I will give you one guess which athletic team she worked for, yep,–Petrino’s football team. Kudos to the Arkansas athletic director who fired the formerly popular coach. In that case, chalk up a win for the Razorbacks. Petrino is reportedly spending more time with his family – including nights on the couch at night, or one would assume.
Well, it’s is time to sign off from Smurf Turf. Unlike ex-coach Petrino, the Smurf will continue to find success in his chosen field. In fact, he has become a freelance sports writer at bleacherreport.comm, the nation’s fourth largest sports media site. If you need a Smurf fix, you might catch it there.
I thank you for the time you spent reading “Smurf Turf” this year and hope you enjoyed it. I thank my fans – both of them – who say “the best part of the paper is Smurf Turf,” even though I’m not sure they were sincere. I enjoyed the ride.
Keep swinging hard, pumping up the three-pointers, and setting it up just right for the spike. It’s the Golden Eagle way.

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