Ben's Babbles: Right place at the right time

March 12, 2011

Thursday morning I drove out to Dee to go fishing. Not fishing with a rod and reel, but fishing for a fish photo.

I trooped out to the confluence of the Hood River in Dee and waited on a jetty a few hundred yards from Punchbowl Falls. I stood there, hoping one of the steelhead currently making their way up the river would jump out of the water.

I waited and waited and waited. No luck. The fish simply were not jumping for me. I didn't even have a rod, but I was still sucking at getting a fish. Let's put it this way: I am the world's worst golfer, and I am even worse at fishing - apparently even when it comes to doing it with a camera.

Eventually I gave up, realizing that the fish just were not jumping, and that even if they did jump, I would probably blow the shot anyway.

So I hiked back to my car and began driving away. As I stopped at the intersection of Punch Bowl Drive and Green Rd I happened to look out my passenger side window. Standing at the side of the road was a chicken. Which then began to cross the road. The chicken was crossing the road! Before I even had the chance to wonder why, I was diving into the back seat of my car to grab my camera to get a picture.

I had come out to Dee to get a picture of a fish, but I would up with something better - a chicken crossing the road.

I found a diamond in the rough.

I was in the right place at the right time and stumbled upon something great.

That's a bit of a theme this month across the sporting landscape.

It's spring training month for major league baseball, where players young and old alike are trying to prove they deserve a spot on a team.

Some of them are unknown commodities; others have been around the block time and time again. Odds are a few of them will become this year's breakout players, the kind that are unknown in October and then get features devoted to them during the world series about their long journey to the Show.

This Sunday is selection Sunday for the NCAA basketball tournament. At some point in the coming week, some small school from nowheresviille from a conference full of nowhere schools is going to shock the world by beating a big-time school. It happens every year.

Also this week I've been making the rounds of the high school teams getting ready for the spring sports season.

All of the teams have various questions: Who is going to step into key roles? Who is going to get the most playing time? Who is going to play where?

Typically every year I can look at a roster and predict who I think is going to play well or who I think is going to be counted on to fill a certain role. But inevitably injuries happen, things don't work out and another player steps into the void.

They are in the right place at the right time.

I may not know why that chicken crossed the road, but I do know why I was there to capture the picture.

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