Sports stuff is still churning even during this COVID-19 hiatus.

Former San Gorgonio football star Chris Hayes has written a book called “I Ain’t Playin' “, about the strategies and business of pro football.

Another ex-Spartan, heroic Ron Rivers, will absolutely verify to anyone who’s paying attention that pro football is truly a business.

Over six weeks into the social distance pattern, I’ve learned I don’t have patience to do a jigsaw puzzle…

Can only do so much reading …

Am suffering from TV burnout …

My 8-year-old black labrador, General Buster Brown, gets three walks a day instead of just two.

On the plus side: I’m putting in 8-to-12 miles a day on my bicycle …

Folks, newspapers ⎯ layoffs, furloughs, dropping circulations (meaning fewer readers) ⎯ are on their last legs.

Get the word out: We need readers. And thank goodness for our advertisers.

Finding good local sports stories is no trouble …

Only if I can get telephone numbers.

I know it sounds like I’m taking aim on the Highland community, but Redlands’ sports participants provide 500 percent more story tips than this area’s readership.

Yes, you read that right: 500 percent more. I took an accounting over the past month.

Some stories just flow in; others you’ve gotta dig for.

Like this one: Hayes recalled being coached by Heidi Thompson, the mother of future Spartans’ All-CIF star Dion Thompson, in Junior All-American Football during his Pee Wee days.

Yes, she was the head coach.

Dion authored the Big Dog Bowl, said Hayes.

“She coached me!” Hayes screeched to me during a Saturday morning workout.

Dion? Heidi? You out there? Get hold of me, please!

Stories like that don’t grow on trees.

Really, really wish readers would offer more tips — participants, achievements ⎯ to the local scribes.

I’m learning that I’m getting tired reading all the COVID-19 buzz.

Story to come on an East Highlander basketball player, Gabriel Torrez.

Speaking of hoops, I’ve been in contact with Danny Wolthers in recent weeks. He played at Redlands High in 1959-61, the two seasons that Jerry Tarkanian (working on his masters degree at the University of Redlands) coached the Terriers.

In a nutshell: Wolthers had his choice of Cal-Berkeley or UCLA, then coached by John Wooden …Chose the Golden Bears over the Bruins.

Said Wolthers: “I remember Coach Wooden in the Redlands High coach’s offices, his back up against the glass window, talking to Tark.”

Lots more to come on Wolthers in future weeks.

Part of San G’s CIF championship roster from 2018, DB Ronald Williams, has landed at Briar-Cliff University ⎯ 5-6 last season ⎯ which is in Sioux City, Iowa. An NAIA school that’s part of the Great Plains Athletic Conference.

The Rams definitely had to find people to replace RB Todd Gurley, WR Brandin Cooks, LB Clay Matthews and CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, among others.

Some of those reinforcements that came from last week’s draft included Florida State RB Cam Akers, Florida WR Van Jefferson, Alabama LB Terrell Lewis, plus a couple of safeties ⎯ Utah’s Terrell Burgess and Ohio State’s Jordan Fuller.

I’m wondering if Highland’s Marty Barrett had anything to do with scouting those picks last college season.

Barrett, who is an L.A. Rams’ scout, has helped build Super Bowl rosters in Chicago (2005) and Philadelphia (2018) and, of course, Los Angeles in 2019. I’d love to pick his brain sometime.

Tina Barrett is married to Marty Barrett, but goes by her maiden name, Tina Raddish.

San Gorgonio is a kind of iconic place for football players, but only two have ever been drafted into the NFL.

Two others, Ron Rivers and Nathan Meadors, made it by free agency after being assassins during their high school playing days.

Just by happenstance, I happened to be driving on Base Line, near Church, on April 22, right around 1 p.m. Without the COVID-19 pandemic, I would’ve faced barricades, a police presence, a bunch of bicycle racers ⎯ men and women ⎯ and a few hundred spectators.

It would’ve been the first day of the 36th Redlands Bicycle Classic.

(Got a sports tip? Want to talk sports? Contact me at baseballolb@hotmail.com)

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