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posted: 1/22/2013 5:36 AM

Real sports world can be stranger than fiction

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  • New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez and his wife Cynthia talked with Katie Couric 2007 after the release of the Mitchell Report, which accusing scores of Major League Baseball players of using steroids. Now the family of All-American linebacker Manti Te'o has agreed to talk with Couric this week about the hoax involving a fake girlfriend linked to Te'o.

      New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez and his wife Cynthia talked with Katie Couric 2007 after the release of the Mitchell Report, which accusing scores of Major League Baseball players of using steroids. Now the family of All-American linebacker Manti Te'o has agreed to talk with Couric this week about the hoax involving a fake girlfriend linked to Te'o.
    AP Photo/CBS News/2007 file

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Insider

You just can't beat this past week's sports stories, both on the field and off.

First, we have the Manti Te'o story unfolding, with an off-camera interview with Jeremy Schaap. (By the way, isn't that just called a radio interview?) And now Te'o will have a TV interview with former news anchor and now talk show host Katie Couric.

Couric may have a lot of experience interviewing heads of state and celebrities, but I would have preferred a sports journalist ask the questions. My guess is she didn't know much about Te'o before this unfolded, and he will go on with her and lament he was a victim in their gabfest.

Second, there was Lance Armstrong, who finally fessed up to Oprah. Many people were not satisfied, even though he admitted to just about everything she asked him. In my opinion, it put him in even a worse light because he was exposed as a steroid raging bully!.

Finally the weekend came, and relief from those two outrageous stories with some actual on the field play.

Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons could not build on a 17-0 lead. Ryan's two turnovers and Atlanta's defense were exposed in the second half by Jim Harbaugh's very good San Francisco team.

So there was one Harbaugh in the Super Bowl and many were looking for the second.

In the later Sunday game, we had John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens destroying the aura of Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Instead of playing it safe, you saw the Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throw against the wind, and not play to lose when the Ravens were up 28-13.

So now, for the first time, we have two brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl.

Yes, it really was a great week in the sports world, and also one of the most unusual.

High school hoops at its best

For those who don't know, I am an assistant basketball coach at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles. I had the pleasure on Friday night to participate in one of the best basketball rivalries in high school sports between the Saint Patrick Shamrocks and the Dons of Notre Dame.

There is no love lost between the two neighborhood schools, but despite the differences, both teams played well, both coaching staffs did a great job and the game had plenty of drama.

There was an enthusiastic overflow crowd, and despite a close victory by Notre Dame, there were no issues afterward. St Pat's security kept the capacity crowd -- inside and out -- under control.

Our team has traveled to Farragut, Whitney Young, Benet Academy, Marian Catholic, Loyola and dozens more and it has always been incident-free. Every week there are high school games all over the city of Chicago and the suburbs and there are very few problems.

Sadly, last weekend there was a fatal shooting at Chicago State University after the Simeon/Morgan Park game. The incident will make the news, and it's a shame that's all we will hear about, because 99 percent of high school basketball is fun and crime free.

Just thought I'd bring it up.

Program note:

Look for me on Mancow on WPWR Ch. 50 at 6 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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