Ingram Was Right: Miracles do Happen In Sports

By Ray Sanchez  

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The late Bob Ingram, sports editor at the El Paso Herald-Post for more than 50 years and the man who hired me as his assistant many years go, once told me that if I lived long enough I would see things I never thought could happen in sports happen Yeah, sure, I thought ... But boy, was he right Following are some of the things that I never dreamed Id live long enough to see that happened in 2006

 

I NEVER thought Id see the day when a woman from Mexico would win a professional womans golf tournament in the United States, much less six of them, and be named LPGA Player of the Year ... A man from Mexico, yes, but a woman from Mexico? But Lorena Ochoa did it this year Not only that, in one tournament Ochoa and another woman from Mexico finished first and second! It completely destroyed my stereotyped image of women from Mexico as strictly stay-at-home types, and thats a good thing

 

I DID THINK that an Hispanic could some day be a starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, but not that sometime hed be facing another Hispanic quarterback in a crucial NFL game But there was Tony Romo last week taking the snaps for Americas Team against Jeff Garcia and the Philadelphia Eagles Oh, there have been other Hispanic quarterbacks in the NFL. As a matter of fact, Jim Plunkett won two Super Bowls for the Oakland Raiders And Joe Kapp took Minnesota to one Super Bowl But two on the same field at the same time? Amazing

 

NOT QUITE so amazing but its nice that UTEP finally hired a minority for one of its major team sports There Tony Barbee is today at the helm of the Miners basketball team, teaching the players, pushing them, encouraging them Theyve responded with some super outings already, showing a lot of potential, athleticism and heart The future seems to be in good hands

 

ALL OF THE above seems incredible to someone of my vintage I dont know whats in store for 2007, but following are some of the things Id like to live long enough to see happen:

 

College presidents come to their senses and finally approve a Division I football playoff system ... A municipal golf course built on the Westside of El Paso ... KTSM-TV sports director Fred Albers picked as a PGA broadcaster but keep his ties with the local station so we can still have his expertise at least part of the time The Sun Bowl land Notre Dame as one of its teams

 

AN EL PASO high school team win a state football championship. Football is the only major team sport that has never been won by an El Paso high school The UTEP Miners make the Final Four again in basketball. Hasnt happened since 1966 UTEP go undefeated in the regular season in football and go to a BCS bowl. If any coach can accomplish that, its Mike Price Baseball return to UTEP An El Paso golfer win the Grand Slam of golf. Lee Trevino had a crack at it, why not someone else? The WinStar Derby at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino graded

 

ALL THOSE things impossible? Well, I guess you dont believe in miracles. But they happened this year. And they will again And Bob Ingram must be smiling and thinking up above that he told me so.

 

 

Ray Sanchez can be reached at 584-0626 or email him at rayf358@yahoo.com.