Ever since getting off the plane a couple of weeks ago after our quickie trip to South Florida, we continued to have symptoms of coming down with some kind of illness—like post-nasal drip, scratchy throat, a nagging cough.

So we took a trip to the family doctor to find out that the main culprit of our feeling so lousy was allergies, the same stuff we get each spring from the pine pollen.

Well, it’s much too early for pine pollen in Southeast Texas, especially with the winter-like temperatures hovering in the 30’s and 40’s most of the time and cold rain falling every other day.
But after thinking back to all that green mess that covered the vehicles when we were in Florida it makes sense that our allergy kicked in several weeks prematurely. Throw in the cold, wet climate we’ve been having here the past few weeks and it’s understandable why we feel so rotten.

So we’ve been taking it easy the past week after getting a shot in the hiney, a 10-day supply of amoxicillin, some kind of miraculous nasal spray and some pretty potent cough syrup. 

We’ve been spending more of our daylight hours taking “unpowerful” naps, reading newspapers, sports magazines and watching plenty of TV, mostly sports shows.

We watched the pre-Olympic festivities with all of the participating countries parading into the Vancouver site in alphabetical order. We learned that although certain countries have populations of several million people, there were only a handful of Olympians representing those places—mostly Third World countries or places where it never snows.

The tragic news of the Georgian men’s luge fatality certainly made the opening day festivities a much more somber event.

We’re certainly not the greatest winter sports buff around, but we found it very interesting how most of the best athletes in events such as the ski jump, one-man luge, cross-country skiing and some of the speed skating appear to be nearly equal in ability and time.

There also were dozens of men’s and women’s college basketball games to watch and lots of Tiger-less golf to view on the television.
Lanky, 6-4 Dustin Johnson became the first player in 20 years to win back-to-back Pebble Beach National Pro-Am titles Sunday afternoon on the PGA Tour. He was out-driving his playing partners by over 50 yards on many holes.

Johnson needed to birdie from the sand trap on the 72nd Par-5 finishing hole and he did for a one-shot victory over J.B. Holmes and David Duval. His final round 74 was the highest by a Pebble beach champion since Johnny Miller closed with a 74 in 1994. The victory netted Johnson a nifty check of $1,116,000.

There were several exciting college basketball games played over the weekend with No. 25 Pittsburgh’s triple overtime win over No. 5 West Virginia at the top of the list.

We watched one of our favorite coaches, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski win the 1,000th game he coached over his 30 years at the school. The Blue Devils won an easy 77-56 verdict over Maryland in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.

“A guy couldn’t have a better job than I’ve had for 30 years,” Krzyzewski told the crowd who honored him after the game. The victory was Duke’s 40th straight at home against an unranked opponent.

But the college game we enjoyed most was Sunday afternoon when the University of Houston Lady Cougars traveled to Dallas to play SMU. Former West Orange-Stark Lady Mustang star Brittany Scott led the Lady Coogs to a come-from-behind 73-67 victory on ESPN2.

The sharp-shooting Miss Scott kept her team in the hunt the first half by connecting on four-of-four three-pointers and had 18 points at the intermission, although her team trailed SMU for the entire first half.

SMU double-teamed her in the second half which enabled a teammate to always be free and the Lady Coogs took advantage of the situation and finally went ahead for the first time in the final three minutes of the game. 

Miss Scott led all scorers with 25 points, which marked the ninth time this season that she eclipsed the 20-point barrier. The ESPN2 announcers were very impressed with the way she handled herself on the court and heaped accolades on her several times during the broadcast.

The victory gave the Lady Cougars a 13-11 record for the season and upped their Conference USA mark to 7-4.

KWICKIES…Besides high school softball starting this week, major league pitchers and catchers also are slated to report to their respective spring training sites this week and next. Several teams are due to report today (Wed.) while others like our Houston Astros are slated to show up Friday with the first workout set for Saturday.

The road problems returned to the Lamar men’s basketball team as they were trounced 81-67 by Texas State Saturday in San Marcos, evening their Southland Conference record to 5-5 and dropping their overall mark to 14-12. The Cards are in a three-way tie for fourth place in the 12 team conference where the top eight teams reach the SLC tournament next month. The Redbirds host the top-ranked Sam Houston Bearkats today (Wed.) at the Montagne Center in Beaumont.

However the SLC-leading Lamar Lady Cards had a much easier time with Texas State Saturday, whipping the Lady Bobcats 86-71. The victory gave the Lady Cards a 9-1 record in the Southland Conference and 19-5 overall. The Lady Cards travel to Huntsville today (Wed.) for a showdown against Sam Houston.

JUST BETWEEN US…It’s amazing to this Korner why three Orange County high school football teams elect to travel halfway across the state to play non-district games this fall when they could be playing each other in a rivalry that would be guaranteed to fill the home team’s stadium. Class 3A West Orange-Stark would be a perfect opponent for either Class 4A schools Vidor or Little Cypress-Mauriceville or even both of them, but it’s not happening for whatever reason. And what makes even less sense to this Korner is why the UIL put Deweyville into a district where its nearest opponent is 90 miles away.