Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 29, 2014

RAY MOSCOWITZ: Of Luck, Harbaugh, Carmelo, A-Rod ... and more

Washington Post: Peru's Brian Howey among best political reporters.


MC Weekly

---- — Have a helping of sports hash.

In more than 65 years of avidly watching sports, I have admired my share of athletes, none more than Andrew Luck.

The Colts quarterback is the most self-effacing jock I have observed.

If played well, which was often, he spread the credit around. Other great athletes do this too. Luck does it lavishly.

Whenever the Colts lost, Luck took the lion’s share, if not the full share, of the blame — even when he had glowing stats. I have never seen anyone do this like Luck.

What’s more, Luck is totally believable.

When San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was coaching Luck at Stanford, Harbaugh said:

“I was thinking just the other night that two people in my life, my wife and our quarterback, Andrew Luck, have a lot in common in that they are just perfect. With most people you say, ‘If they only didn’t do that. Or they do this.’ Or you wish they could do this, or you wish they could do that. But I don’t do that with my wife Sarah or Andrew Luck. They are just absolutely perfect the way they are. For a football coach that’s pretty great — to have a great wife and a great quarterback.”

•••

Speaking of Harbaugh and his wife, she gave him some heat recently for wearing pleated khakis on game day. On a radio show before the NFC championship game, she said she has tried to get rid of them.

She complained that after she tossed his old pairs, he bought new ones for $8 a throw at Walmart.

So he switched to flat-front khakis. “So happy wife, happy life,” he said.

I know of at least one woman who applauds Harbaugh for his frugal ways in buying $8 khakis.

I have been married to her for 45 years.

•••

More Harbaugh:

Levi Strauss, which is based in San Francisco, has the naming rights to the $1.3 billion stadium that’s planned for Santa Clara, down the road apiece.

Levi’s makes the Dockers casual trousers, so the company sent Harbaugh a package with apparel, including Dockers khakis without the pleats — and with a higher price tag.

Not to be outdone, Bonobos, which makes Chinos, offered Harbaugh 10 pairs of pants free, plus $10,000 to donate to a charity of his choosing.

But after winning eight straight games before losing to Seattle in the NFC championship contest, Harbaugh may want to go back to pleated khakis.

•••

Jessie Vett, the hockey goalie for Team USA women that will compete in next month’s 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, has been ordered to remove an inscription bearing “We the People” from a custom face mask made for her.

The International Olympic Committee said it violated regulations.

The mask’s artist, Ron Slater, told FoxNews.com that he thinks the IOC sees the inscription as propaganda promoting the United States over other countries. That runs afoul of the Games’ spirit of all athletes being regarded equally.

Slater told Fox his mask is still allowed to have depictions of the Statue of Liberty, a screaming bald eagle and a “USA” shield to show “figures that scream ‘America.’”

But “We the people” is a no-no?

This is a matter of free expression that should apply to all countries if they wish to practice it.

In fact, it should be encouraged.

•••

Why do I have a feeling the Pacers won’t get past the first round of the playoffs?

•••

After the Knicks recently lost to the Pacers — a game in which Carmelo Anthony was rejected again by Roy Hibbert — Anthony called out Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

“[The Pacers] made adjustments the way they played the pick-and-roll, the way they packed the paint and stayed with our 3-point shooters,” Anthony said. “They made that adjustment. We didn’t make the adjustment back to it.”

Do you think Melo would have spoken out publicly if his old college mentor at Syracuse, Jim Boeheim, had been coaching the Knicks?

Methinks not.

•••

Is Kobe Bryant done?

Methinks maybe.

•••

Will Tiger win at least one more major?

Methinks he will.

•••

Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees’ third baseman, told nypost.com that being suspended for the entire 2014 season “could be a big favor that [Major League Baseball] has done for me because I’ve been playing for 20 years without a timeout.”

Rodriquez will be 39 at the start of the 2015 season. And he will be coming off injuries the last few years that have cut into his playing time and production sharply. He hit 41 home runs and drove in just 138 runs over the last three seasons.

If A-Rod comes back strong in 2015, I will be surprised. By strong, I mean he would need to:

• Hit at least 25 home runs. His lifetime season average is 41.

• Drive in at least 90 runs. His lifetime season average is 124.

• Hit at least .285. His lifetime season average is .299.

I wouldn’t bet on this happening.

Then, again, A-Rod might not come back at all.

•••

Baseball will introduce a replay system that will use major league umpires as replay officials. After viewing video feeds, the replay official will determine whether to overturn a call based on clear and convincing evidence.

Smart move by MLB. The NFL should follow suit.

•••

And here’s a closing, non-sports mash note (although some people think politics is a sport).

Peru’s Brian Howey, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago, has been named by the Washington Post as one of the best reporters in the country for local and state government and politics.

The Post asked readers, journalists and lawmakers for their input on the best government/political reporters in each state.

Howey, who publishes daily and weekly online reports dealing with politics, was named one of four reporters for Indiana. The other three are The Indianapolis Star’s Tony Cook, AP’s Tom LoBianco, and the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette’s Niki Kelly.