The Orioles are stinking up the joint.

The Phils aren't much better, especially lately.

The Hershey Bears captured the Calder Cup again, which is certainly something to cheer about if you're a fan of minor league ice hockey. I'm not, but I know a lot of local folks are. So good for them. I'm glad they have something positive to get behind.

But Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback, has been tripping all over his stupid feet, making himself look bad and the Steelers, too.

The Big Ten, which has been the Big 11 since Penn State jumped aboard in 1990, is now apparently on its way to becoming the Big 12. I think. The word is that Nebraska plans to make it an even dozen next year.

To further confuse the matter, the Pac-10 will actually become the Pac-11 with the addition of Colorado, and maybe even the Pac-12 if Utah makes a switch, as expected. And the Big 12 now finds itself the Big 10, what with Nebraska and Colorado taking a hike.

It's confusing. Hey, maybe the Big 10 and the Big 12 could come to some sort of an agreement to switch numbers so that the names of their leagues, at the very least, match the reality of the current situation.

But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Makes too much sense.

All this jumping around has nothing to do with competition and everything to do with money. It's sad.


The best news I've heard lately, and it's local sports news at that, is the decision by the Quarterback Club of York and the high school football coaches in three or four different counties to bring the York/Adams high school all-star football game back to Thanksgiving Day.

It belongs there. It hasn't been played on Thanksgiving Day for four years, but that was just a case of brain freeze by those in charge of the game.

After 23 years of being played on Thanksgiving Day, the local coaches decided it made sense to play the football all-star game in the spring, six months after the high school football season was over and in conflict with the high school baseball/track/volleyball seasons.

And they did that for two years -- not very successfully, I might add, at least partly because the players weren't in football shape and partly because no one's thinking about high school football in May.

But the coaches recognized the mistake and did something to correct it.

Hooray for them. Seriously. It was the right thing for them to do.

So this year, the York/Adams all-stars will take on a team from the Mid-Penn Conference (Harrisburg area). It should be a good match-up. There will be a name change, of course -- the Quarterback Club of York's Mid-Penn-YAIAA All-Star Classic.

Try to spit that out in 10 seconds or less without making a mistake. I dare you.

As is the case for most high school all-star games, regardless of sport, it will be the last game for most of the kids playing in it. A couple of the players, the best, the fastest and the biggest, will go on to play the sport in college. Most won't.

So to have one last game rubbing elbows with guys and girls you played against for three or four years is a wonderful thing.

There's an added blessing. By the third week in November, Roethlisberger will have served his suspension and will be back in action for the Steelers. Plus, we'll know for sure if the Orioles will win 50 games this season.

The suspense is killing me.

Sports columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dispatch colum nist, run Thursdays. E- mail: lhicks@yorkdis