TOP OF THE TOWN ‑ They keep dropping like they know our country is going to the dogs and they are getting out before it happens. Tom Seaver started this and now it’s Bob Robertson and Lou Brock who have gone to the heavenly father. Robertson was 92, Brock, the base stealing wizard for the St. Louis Cardinals and a Hall of Famer, was 81. Robertson was a great guy, a charmer with a God-gift for a voice that thrilled Washington State Cougar football fans for 50 years. My closest interaction with Robertson besides doing a column on him for the Kitsap Sun was when we sat together at a table in the hotel bar at B.C. Place in Vancouver in April of 1993 where the Seattle Mariners were playing an exhibition game prior to the regular season. That game was noted for the hamstring injury Edgar Martinez suffered that kept him out of the regular season for six weeks and caused him to go on season-ending DL in late August of that year. The side note was me and Robertson sitting together, chatting along as the beer flowed. The beer flowed because I bought it all. Every time Bob and I would run out, I ordered another round. I kept waiting for Bob to buy a round. Never did. But that’s life. I’m sorry to see Bob go. He was a great guy with a wonderful voice. We don’t get many of his types and when one goes it sort of empties the cupboard. We likely will never see another one as good as Bob. Maybe when I get to the “other side” I’ll run into him and this time I’ll let him buy the drinks. …I’m getting a little nervous. This time of the year I expect to read about high school football. I’ve been going to high school football games since I was six years old and went to my oldest brother Ray’s games. Then it was to brother Ron’s games and finally brother Dave’s games. There were my own high school games and while going to college I attended Friday night games where I could find them, and then when I worked in Tulsa, Oklahoma I saw a few high school games there. The games in Tulsa usually attracted 5-6000 fans. Since 1970 I have been going to games in Kitsap County. So to have it quiet on Friday nights during high school football season doesn’t seem right. I did watch two high school games on TV last weekend. One pitted teams from Illinois and Ohio and the other was a game between teams in North Dakota. I must say the quality of play was much better in the Illinois-Ohio matchup. I was thinking about Bryan Hinkle the other day. Hinkle, who would go on to play for Oregon and in the NFL with Pittsburgh, was the quarterback for Central Kitsap and I have a picture of him in my mind running around right end with his long blonde hair flowing, and then suddenly he steps into a hole in the turf and tumbles to the ground. He wasn’t injured badly, but I remember that like it happened just now. As I thought about Hinkle, I suddenly thought, “Hey, Hinkle must be 62 now because he graduated in 1976, I think. Wow. Where did all the time go?” …  I can’t believe Chuck Semancik has been gone for 21 years. Semancik, the hall of fame coach from Bremerton/West Bremerton was THE COACH when I first got to Bremerton in 1970 to be a sportswriter. Chuck and his ground and pound offense was all the rage at the time. He probably wouldn’t fit in today with the way teams have taken to the air. He didn’t like to pass the football. His teams just lined up and said here we come, try to stop us. Not many teams did.  I have to think Ed Fisher at South Kitsap was the best coach we had during my time at the Kitsap Sun. He, Phil Pugh at North Mason, Semancik, Gordon Prentice at Bainbridge (he would die young), Ted Berney, East Bremerton/Bremerton,  Doug Smith (father of Alex) at Olympic High School, Jerry Parrish and Jeff Weible at North Kitsap, are some of the better coaches. … I feel bad for those seniors who have had their fall football seasons cancelled. We have gotten so use to seeing kids get college football scholarships based on what recruiters see from them their senior seasons, and now they don’t have their season. Even if they are permitted to have a spring football season I’m sure some of the seniors will not play. They will have decided not to risk injury at that late date and hope recruiters will still sign them based on previous seniors. It’s sort of a wing and prayer, but it’s better than nothing. I can’t get excited on a spring football season. It just doesn’t seem right. I remember going to my brothers’ games with my dad and walking into the stadium and having the aroma of hot dogs being grilled swarm over me and dad buying me one. It was great to have the feel of a hot dog in my hand while watching a brother play. Ah, the good ‘ol days.  Ok, that’s it for today.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.