Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX


October 26, 2012

Don Newbury: On flips, flops and flip-flops


Writers who have tackled media assignments for any length of time at all realize their literary efforts, however brilliantly composed, rest squarely on readers’ decisions to read in detail, scan quickly, or flip over to another section of the newspaper.   

In the case of this week’s epistle, I realize readers may opt to “flip” — or even “flop” — to other options.   

Whatever, I fully acknowledge that combining unrelated news stories with “flipping, flopping and flip-flopping” angles risks comparison with preachers’ “Mother Hubbard sermons.” You know the ones I mean — like “Mother Hubbard dresses — cover everything but touch nothing.”


Let us begin.

High school football coaches thought we already knew it.  At most games, the “coin-toss” — conducted at midfield before alma mater music is rendered — is totally ceremonial. The “real” one typically occurs an hour or so earlier, with coaches making the calls while the coin is still in the air.

They explain that too often, players are so hyper-excited that they make ill-advised choices concerning whether to kick off, take the wind, choose end of field, etc. Coaches say it’s been a decade or more since players routinely made the calls.

And to think that for years I’ve joked about pitiful teams whose fans get excited when they win the toss. So much for “flipping.”


Basketball fans realize that in the NBA, “flopping” is an art form. “Flops” to the floor are “performed” by players whose response to bodily contact might suggest they’ve been flattened by Mack trucks. They hope, of course, to activate officials’ whistles, signifying that they’ve been dealt with harshly by an opponent.

Starting this season, NBA moguls are taking a harder look at “flops.” They’ll study them at length following contests, and from many angles. If they feel “floppers” add too much theater to falls, fines will be assessed.

Text Only
  • Don Newbury: Observations, thoughts and scatter shots

    Like a Mother Hubbard dress, the column is covering everything and touching nothing.

    June 27, 2014

  • Don Newbury: Two thumbs up for cruising from teens

    The dots could have been connected quickly by a 2-year-old during the few weeks or months between pacifier-sucking and iPhone text messaging. Predictably, my mental connection of the dots stretched over a few hours.

    May 23, 2014

  • Don Newbury: Most is ‘right’ with the world

    It was a source of amusement — for folks outside my family, anyway — when my 27 fellow seniors honored me during our final year at Early High School in 1956. I was elected — unanimously, I might add — most likely to remain left-handed.

    May 16, 2014

  • Don Newbury: Flappables twisting in the wind

    One can determine much about a man by observation, taking note of the way he dresses and carries himself.

    March 14, 2014

  • New Newbury-Don color.tif United States: A nation big on words

    We Americans are a wordy bunch, particularly after election to public office.


    January 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Newbury-Don color.tif On matters of disagreement

    A dozen people — maybe more — have laid claim to the admonition we’ve all heard many times. For all I know, it may have first been stated by Emily Post, Amy Vanderbilt, Miss Manners or Little Miss Muffett. Anyway, it is well-worn: “We can disagree without being disagreeable.”

    January 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Newbury-Don color.tif New thoughts from an old guy

    I’m guessing my Uncle Mort’s forward thinking for the new year more likely is akin to slumgullion stew, or simply a hodge-podge of thoughts he’s carried forward to the new year.

    January 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don Newbury Social media’s Christmas miracle?

    Likelihood is great that airlines of the world — most of them maligned by flustered flyers venting their feelings when flights go awry — owe much gratitude to a single member of their flock.

    December 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • New Newbury-Don color.tif Bypassing the friendly skies for a road trip

    For the longest time, Americans by the millions were pampered and charmed by airlines in general. One ad urged us to “fly the friendly skies.” And we did, with pleasure.

    December 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • Don Newbury: The courage of his conviction

    Our citizens, in general, wait — too patiently, too quietly — for a big dose of indignation.

    November 15, 2013

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