Those of us old enough to remember Dandy Don Meredith announcing Monday Night Football decades ago will remember a favorite line of his: "If candy and nuts were ifs and buts, every day would be a holiday."
What the former pro quarterback was trying to say is that all the "if we did this" and "but we should have done that" in the sports world will not turn a loss into a win.
Thankfully, Payson Little League All-Stars coach Craig McMullen and his players didn't return from the state tournament spewing the "ifs" and "buts" so many do in today's sports society.
McMullen made no excuses, blamed no poor officiating calls, never complained and asked his kids to walk tall, hold their heads high and remember with pride their efforts in the state tournament.
McMullen said, "The players represented themselves, their town, their league and parents and coaches with sportsmanship, heart and dignity."
He also lauded the parents.
"The superior commitment and support provided by the parents was absolutely critical to the level of success and the quality of the experience for the players," he said.
The coach also thanked the sponsors who donated time, money, equipment and supplies during the Little Leaguers amazing ride into the state tournament.
They included Brett Carnes of Sharper Image Glass Works, Reese Randall at Intermountain West Constructors, Slade Gibson of Trinity Homes, National Bank of Arizona and Richard Calta.
The Arizona Cardinals have reported to training camp at Northern Arizona University. Their presence in Flagstaff allows football fans the opportunity for a free, up-close-and-personal look at the players.
It can be had by motoring north to take in a practice session amidst the cool pines of the high country.
The best sessions for viewing are usually the morning practices that begin about 8:45 a.m. and continue for two hours.
Afternoon sessions, which usually begin about 4 p.m. can be walk-throughs only and of not much interest to the casual fan.
The Cards will continue two-a-days until Aug. 11 when they have one session.
Autograph seekers have the best chance if they align themselves along the road from the lower practice field to the locker rooms. Players must pass through there after practice.
But don't expect to get an autograph from first round pick Matt Leinart. He still doesn't have a contract signed and is reportedly not in training camp.
Practice times are subject to change. Check the team's hotline at (928) 523-2273 before leaving for Flagstaff.
If it rains, practices are moved inside the Walkup Skydome.
Payson High School sports schedules in football, cross country, soccer and volleyball have been finalized and will be published in the Aug. 8 edition of the Payson Roundup.
PAHH needs volunteers
The Payson Area Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to help host an inaugural 5K and half-marathon fund-raiser to be held Oct. 28.
PAHH member Wayne Donnay says the Mazatzal Casino has stepped in to become a major sponsor, but volunteers are needed to help with registration and serve as course marshals on race day.
"There are also many other areas where help is needed," he said.
The rewards include self-satisfaction for helping out a worthwhile cause, a T-shirt, pasta dinner and a lot of fun.
For more information, log on to the Web site www.rimcountrychallenge.com or call Bev Graff at (928) 472-6198.
The Payson High School spirit line is accepting advertising orders for space on athletic T-shirts.
The price for a large ad is $500. For a small ad, it is $125.
All sponsor information will be printed in black and white and logos will be used whenever possible.
For more information, call Barb at (928) 978-5466.