Back to the Sports Desk

I’m clearly falling down on the job of keeping up the Power Line sports book, as promised back in January. And I gather there’s some kind of college basketball tournament under way at the moment, but I leave that kind of thing to better qualified collegiate analysts. Like Obama.
Of much more interest to those who revel in carbon footprints is the Monster Jam World Finals that have just wrapped up in Las Vegas. The perennial favorite, Dennis Anderson’s Grave Digger (profiled a week ago in the Wall Street Journal!), started out strong Friday night taking the Double-Down trophy for the fastest qualifying race, but he faded in Saturday’s finals in both head-to-head racing and freestyle. The racing winner was Tom Meents and Maximum Destruction, who tends to play Moriarty to Anderson’s Holmes in these high octane melodramas. In the freestyle competition, Jim Koehler’s Avenger came out on top, though it took a tie-breaker to determine the winner.
I wasn’t able to make the trip out, but the skeptical spouse took our nine year old, and files this exclusive Power Line report:

You really need to see Meents racing to believe it. I don’t know if his truck is engineered differently or he just has talent no one else can touch. But let’s face it – there’s nothing as improbable as racing a monster truck. They are engineered to topple over. But Tom can hit the curve at some considerable speed and you can forget for a second that what he’s doing is impossible.
Dennis Anderson is the most popular guy in the stadium. When you see him out with fans you can see why. He seems genuinely happy to meet thousands of people and sign all sorts of things. He had truck issues last night and did not do as well as people hoped.
Jim Koehler has the reputation of being the clown but you can also see he has skill and real showman chops. He tied the freestyle but was named champ after they added back the high and low scores. The stadium didnt have a water feature this year, but they brought out a hot tub towed by a limo. He jumped in of course.
FWIW I thought the freestyle judging was erratic. The Air Force Afterburner
driver had a great freestyle but did not score that well. In any case it was a great time. Incredibly nice fans, beautiful stadium and well run event. I’m a believer!

Well, um, I gather, from this photo of the skeptical spouse and freestyle winner Koehler.
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P.S. Set your TiVo: The World Finals will be broadcast on CBS on April 17 at 2 pm.
JOHN adds: The sports desk on this site has always been iffy. Paul has told me and many others more than we probably wanted to know about the Everton Toffees. Sure, if it were Tottenham Hotspur–greatest name in the history of organized sports–I could see it. But the Toffees?
Beyond that, I have sometimes reported on Minnesota sports, with additional contributions from Scott. Currently, however, Minnesota sports are at an appallingly low ebb. The only thing we have to look forward to is Opening Day for the Minnesota Twins, coming up on Friday. Of course, Opening Day won’t be here in Minnesota, since we still have two or three feet of snow on the ground. But give us one week, to April 8, and Target Field will once again be rocking. That will keep us going through the summer, when the international beauty pageants begin. Miss World will be some time this summer, I think, but no date has yet been announced. Miss Universe will be in Sao Paolo in September. So we have a ways to go.
Now we have the monster truck beat. Is that really a sport? I don’t know, but Mrs. Hayward is definitely a good sport, so we welcome her reports. Monster truck rallies take me back to my South Dakota roots, for better or worse.
Until the local sports scene really heats up, I would suggest that we sing, all together, the greatest team song in American sports: We’re gonna win, Twins, we’re gonna score. We’re gonna win Twins, watch that baseball soar….

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