I have been away speaking at schools and visiting family in Massachusetts. Whenever we go away, our neighbors save our Washington Post newspapers. One of the great things about coming home is reading all the saved papers and catching up on the sports news. Here are some of the stories I missed while I was away.
Bowl games: The college football bowl schedule is set. Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma will play in the College Football Playoff to decide the national champion.
But what I noticed is that there are so many bowl games. Forty in all. In other words, 80 college football teams go to bowl games. Because there are fewer than 130 Division I college football teams that are eligible for bowl games, that means more than 60 percent of the teams go to bowls. Three teams — San Jose State, Nebraska and Minnesota — are in bowl games despite having losing records.
College football is becoming like a kids sports league where everybody gets a trophy at the end of the season. Shouldn’t we have fewer bowl games?
Pitchers: David Price, a left-handed pitcher, signed a $217 million, seven-year contract with the Boston Red Sox. Price will make $31 million a year.
Zack Greinke signed a $206.5 million, six-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. So Greinke will make even more than Price next season: $34.4 million!
I don’t usually like to talk about money, but these contracts are unbelievable. To give you some idea how much $34.4 million is, one year of Greinke’s salary could pay for somewhere between 440 and 530 public schoolteachers in the Washington area (depending on the county where the teachers are working).
Is any baseball pitcher worth more than 500 schoolteachers?
Tiger Woods: It’s looking more as if Tiger Woods is finished as a top-flight professional golfer. Woods has had several surgeries and other procedures on his back in the past two years. He recently admitted there is “no timetable” for when he might return to tournament play. Woods may never be back.
If Woods never plays again, he may still be considered the greatest golfer of all time. Woods won 79 Professional Golf Association (PGA) tournaments. He also won 14 so-called “major” titles — the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA championships.
That is about the same number of PGA and major tournament wins as World Golf Hall of Famers Tom Watson and Phil Mickelson combined.
There is more news, of course. The Caps are winning. The Wizards are up and down. And surprise, the Washington Redskins are tied for first place. Okay, their record is only 5-7 (five wins, seven losses). But still . . .
It’s great to be home.
Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He is the author of 21 sports books for kids. His latest soccer book, “Out of Bounds,” was published in August.