Brian Hoffman, Sports Editor
bhoffman@ourvalley.org

I find it amusing that New York Mets fans are raising a fuss about Tom Brady’s supposed attempt to trademark the name “Tom Terrific.” You know who should be upset? Tom Terrific, that’s who.

While Brady is certainly a terrific quarterback and New York Mets pitching great Tom Seaver went by the name “Tom Terrific” long before Brady was playing pro football, how about the little guy with the funnel on his head and his pal, “Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog?” That’s who I think of when I hear “Tom Terrific.”

Part of getting older is remembering things most people around you don’t know about. Apparently the “Tom Terrific” cartoons fit into that category as I polled the office and no one had actually heard of them. I found that disturbing as that was one of my favorites as a child and I clearly remember Tom and his lazy, but loveable, dog Manfred.

To refresh my memory even more I “Googled” Tom Terrific and discovered the cartoons were originally five-minute segments on Captain Kangaroo, which makes sense as that was a show I watched faithfully as a child. The original cartoons were on that show from 1957 to 1959, when I was 5 to 7 years old. Then, in the early ’60s, Tom got his own gig, most likely on Saturday mornings. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say to describe the show.

“Drawn in a simple black-and white style reminiscent of children’s drawings, it featured a gee-whiz boy hero, Tom Terrific, who lived in a treehouse and could transform himself into anything he wanted thanks to his magic, funnel-shaped “thinking cap,” which also enhanced his intelligence. He had a comic lazybones of a sidekick, Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, and an arch-foe named Crabby Appleton, whose motto was, “I’m rotten to the core!”

That brought back a lot of memories, and I bet if you asked a lot of Mets fans from the Tom Seaver era they were fans of that cartoon as well.

So, if anyone has a right to trademark the name “Tom Terrific” it shouldn’t be Tom Seaver or Tom Brady or anyone else. You don’t have to put on your “thinking cap” to figure that one out.

Next thing you know Draymond Green will be trying to trademark “Mr. Green Jeans.”

NEW FAVORITE IN THE NBA
One trade and the Los Angeles Lakers went from a team missing the playoffs to favorites to win the 2020 NBA title.

When the Lakers obtained Anthony Davis for three players and three draft picks they went from 7 to 1 to 7 to 2 among the oddsmakers to win next year’s championship. That’s according to Scott Cooley, who sends me betting odds in my e-mail with regularity.

Before the trade, Milwaukee was listed as the favorite at 9 to 2. Or, in other words, you’re risking two dollars with a chance to win nine.

The trade had a ripple effect, as the Warriors went from 5 to 1 to 10 to 1 following Davis’ move to LA. It marks the first time in four years the Warriors are not the favorite to win the next championship during the current off-season.

After the Lakers and Bucks, the Rockets are next at 9 to 1, followed by the Warriors, Raptors and Clippers at 10 to 1 each. Of course, those numbers will change when Kawhi Leonard decides what he wants to do. The Sixers are seventh at 12 to 1, then the Celtics are eighth at 14 to 1. Rounding out the top 10 the Nets, at 20-1, are actually ahead of the Nuggets, who you can currently get at 25 to 1. Of course, all the teams in the West saw a bump downward when the Lakers rose to the top.

I know I won’t be rooting for the Lakers, as that’s like rooting for Goliath against David. The Lakers should never be bad as they have an advantage of being located in a city where players want to live. Greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Davis either sign there as free agents or hold their current team hostage as they force a trade to LA. As a Sixers’ fan growing up I still remember when Wilt was traded to the Lakers for a bunch of stiffs who most of you never heard of, Archie Clark, Darrell Imhoff and Jerry Chambers. Who did the Bucks get for Kareem? Elmore Smith, Brian Winters and two draft picks.

We’ll see if the “haul” the Pelicans got for Davis turns out to be any better than what the Sixers or Bucks received for their star players who forced a trade to LA. I expect the Pelicans did as well as they could under the circumstances.

By the way, eight teams will get you a return of $100 on a one dollar bet if you act now and they win the championship next June. Those teams are the Hornets, Timberwolves, Pistons, Heat Wizards, Hawks, Suns and Cavaliers.

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