Tom Sorensen

Short takes on sports: Seeing Ashley Judd at an NCAA game may yield chilling results

Seeing actress and Kentucky fan Ashley Judd during an NCAA tournament game may yield chilling results.
Seeing actress and Kentucky fan Ashley Judd during an NCAA tournament game may yield chilling results. AP File Photo

In 1998, the NCAA men’s Final Four, like the men’s Final Four this season, was held in San Antonio’s Alamodome. Kentucky won the championship, beating Utah 78-69. Ashley Judd, the actress and Kentucky fan, was at the game. When it ended a group of Kentucky students saw her. They were moved. They moved from the San Antonio River Walk into the San Antonio River. They jumped in.

A group of Utah students encountered them and, despite their school’s loss, offered to help.

“Are you OK?” a Utah student yelled.

“We saw Ashley Judd!” the Kentucky students yelled back.

“But are you OK?”

“We saw Ashley Judd!” the Kentucky students yelled.

“Do you need help?”

“No! We saw Ashley Judd!”

Satisfied that the Kentucky students were OK, the Utah students, still concerned, reluctantly walked away.

The Kentucky fans stayed in the water…

▪  The Charlotte Knights open the season Thursday in Durham. They play seven games on the road, and return to Charlotte a week from Thursday for their fifth home opener at BB&T Ballpark. They’ll play the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, the New York Yankees’ AAA club. It better be spring by then. It has to be…

▪  I don’t know how to cook. I own one bowl and two plates. Hey, my ex-wife had a better attorney. I’ve never cracked an egg and haven’t made a burger since the 1970s. I made pancakes for my kids when they were little and unintentionally burned them. They had a meeting and asked me never to make them pancakes again.

I had a dream last week, however, in which I was in a designer kitchen making designer oatmeal. My dreams are not necessarily good. I promised I’d cook one thing this year, and it won’t be oatmeal. Pasta is doable, I’m told. I like to eat pasta. So…

▪  The Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL play in Las Vegas. NASCAR races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The NFL’s Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020. I feel bad for those great fans in Oakland. But Oakland’s stadium is terrible. Somebody in the NFL was going to move to Las Vegas.

The NBA and Major League Baseball will join the Raiders. The gambling mecca no longer is off limits to any league, and there’s no reason it should be. The population of Las Vegas in 2017 was 668,000. The population of the county in which Las Vegas is located, Clark County, was about 2.25 million.

Unfortunately, any team that wants a new place to play can say, “You know, we’d like to stay in town, but Las Vegas likes us better.”

T-Mobile Arena, where the Golden Knights play, opened in 2016. It seats 20,000 for most events. Come on down, NBA...

▪  I kept waiting to tire of the Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee Final Four commercials. I didn’t. Jackson and Lee are great straight men, Jackson especially. And Barkley is hilarious. If he were a police officer, and knocked on your door to tell you that you were under arrest, you’d smile.

I’d watch TNT’s “Inside the NBA” with Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson even if there were no games. Shaquille O’Neal, also part of the show, is fine. But his role is similar to Barkley’s. And Barkley does it better.

I talked to Barkley during his Round Mound of Rebound days at Auburn. There were stories about how much he ate, and I asked if the stories were true.

“I don’t eat that much,” said Barkley. “I just eat all the time.”

Some fans might know Barkley as a commentator/comedian. But that man could play.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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