Before Basketball Takes Over...

It's March, and Madness is in the air. From now until the conclusion of the NCAA men's basketball tournament on April 2 in the HHH (Hubert H. Humphrey: the Waverly, MN native who is more well-known for having a major sports venue being named after him than for being the U.S. Vice President from 1965-69) Metrodome in Minneapolis, college basketball will dominate-in addition to office pools-print, broadcast, cable, and electronic sports media. And rightly so.

Still, don't forget that the world goes on beyond basketball. That is, plenty of other important sports stuff besides school-boy slam dunks transpires in March. Golf, tennis, boxing, racing (auto and dogsled), baseball, and football (sort of).

This week, to prove that ACE is truly an "alternative" newspaper, you'll be reading nothing about basketball. Here, out of reverence to those sports above, you'll be reading (a little) something about everything else... for right now, anyway.

And here goes:

Last Sunday, March 4, Tiger Woods hit his driver into the rough, put his approach shot in the drink, and consequently double-bogeyed the par five 18th hole in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic, played in clement Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This marked the first time that Woods failed to win a tournament in which he led or was tied for the lead going into the final hole, and is a sure sign that the apocalypse is upon us.

Tiger is winless in 2001, which seems strange enough, almost, to qualify for that cheesy cable show, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, hosted by former Clark Kent/Superman and Ivy League defensive back, actor Dean Cain.

Aging Evander Holyfield, 38, lost a unanimous decision and the WBA belt to John Ruiz in Las Vegas last Saturday. Ruiz becomes the first Hispanic ever to hold part of the heavyweight title. And Holyfield, who says he'll be back, becomes yet another big-name boxer who refuses to accept that he's beat, and washed up.

The man who holds the other two pieces to the heavyweight puzzle, Lennox Lewis, the Brit who reigns as the IBF and WBC heavyweight champ, has no plans to fight Ruiz, though. Instead, Lewis is trying to pick a fight with Mike Tyson. After which, Lewis says he'll retire.

Unless, of course, he loses.

Jeff Gordon won the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 in Las Vegas last Sunday and earned himself the "No Bull 5" bonus. Explaining precisely how the No Bull bonus works is pointless. Just know that, for the fourth time, Gordon earned for himself, and for some lucky sucker in the crowd, $1 million extra.

All three NASCAR races this year have been won by Chevys. What's up with the Fords? (This said hoping to incite the infamously pointless Chevy/Ford dispute.)

In more and much slower racing news, the Iditarod is underway in Alaska. They had to move the start north of Anchorage this year because-get this-there was too little snow. How can there be too little snow in Alaska, even in March? (Can we still blame stuff on El Nino?)

Regardless, the Iditarod is still going to be cold and still going to be long. And, unless you're the lead dog, the view still isn't going to change.

The UK women's tennis team is unbeaten at home in 2001. Home, for them, is the Hilary J. Boone Indoor Center. Boone was the captain of the 1939 UK tennis team. The men's team.

Playing its home games outdoors and across the street from the tennis team, the UK baseball team (5-7) is, at deadline, also undefeated at home. They've beaten Kent St. twice in Lexington. By the time you read this, they'll also have likely beaten EKU on March 7, unless the game gets rained out. (More of El Nino in action.)

After that, the Bat Cats have only 47 regular season games left to go.

The Orlando Rage is 5-0 and the XFL's only undefeated team with five games to go.


No disrespect to the talented athletes who play in the league, but much disrespect to Vince McMahon and the other goons in charge who are making a sacrilege out of an American institution: football.

Other buffoons at the goon ball are the XFL announcers. Among them is Jesse Ventura, who has been trying to instigate a verbal "Blood Feud" with Los Angeles Xtreme coach Al Luginbill by constantly criticizing his coaching.

Ventura, by announcing (and doing a poor job at that) in the league owned by the WWF, is doing plenty to remind Americans that he was a former professional wrestler (actor) who wore neon pink feather boas and little to remind us that he is a current governor-his priorities certainly seem suspect. He is making a sacrilege out of another American institution: democracy. (Actually, America is not a true democracy but a representative democracy, but nevertheless, you still get the point-and Ventura's still a disgrace.)

Wonder what the people in "his" state of Minnesota think about this?

Probably nothing. Because they're too busy getting ready for the Final Four.



Men in Dresses... looked better than they probably should have.

When you think of grown men parading around in women's clothing, you may conjure up images of Bacchanalian-like behavior. However, that's not all that went down last Friday night at Common Grounds Coffee House. With the help of Ace Weekly and Z103, Common Grounds put on one helluva show that lasted into the wee hours of the night.

The first of its kind after-hours event raised more than $1200 for AVOL (The AIDS Volunteers of Lexington), a locally run, non-profit organization that is committed to providing education, outreach, and advocacy about HIV and AIDS in Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Much of this success is due to the lovely, talented and rather feisty Tracy Taylor "Empress 19 of the Imperial Court of Kentucky." As emcee, Tracy entertained (and harassed, but in good-natured kind of way, sort of) the crowd of over 160 people. Fortunately, the fire department did NOT show up to enforce crowd control but after a series of near panic attacks by several audience members (namely the author), they may have been welcomed.

Seriously though, what made this event unique was that EVERYONE was having a really good time - young, old, gay, or straight. AND it took place at a coffee house (no booze) AND it was in the middle of the night (the show wrapped up around 3:30am) AND a lot of money was raised for a very worthy charity.

Stay tuned for more Ace Weekly events like this. We're on a roll... -EC


Big news at the Lexington Herald-Leader last week, announcing the forthcoming departure of editor, Pam Luecke. For all the flack the paper takes as "the Herald-Liberal" from the right wing, and the insistence from the left that the paper is far too conservative, there can be no doubt that it has been a luxury to live in a mid-size city that has a strong woman with the courage of her convictions at the helm of the local daily. -RR

Do you know this family?

We all know about famed photographer and longtime Lexingtonian Ralph Eugene Meatyard. But James Rhem, who is writing a book on the photographic visionary, needs more information. Namely, he's trying to identify the folks seen in the photo below taken by Meatyard. The clues are sparse: Rhem has stated the family pictured might have been "one of Lexington's more prominent racing families, and perhaps associated with horse breeding, horse training or racing. The image would have been made sometime in the mid to late 1960s." If you can help identify the family, email Rhem at -RB