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Walk through a giant colon for Lights opening game

At first blush, having spectators stroll through a giant inflatable colon might seem like just another in a long line of crazy stunts dreamed up by Lights FC owner-huckster Brett Lashbrook.

But as anybody who has awaken from a routine colonoscopy only to be told they had developed a polyp so large that it will require surgery, the subject of colon health is not exactly a playful elbow to the ribs.

“We’re starting uncomfortable conversations that need to be had,” Lashbrook said about the return of “Colleen the Colon” which will welcome — if that’s the right word — fans at Lights home games in March, a nod to national colorectal awareness month. “We’re saving lives here.”

The pink inflatable color measures more than 12 feet wide and stands more than 12 feet tall and will allow soccer aficionados to simulate walking through a human colon. The idea is to educate people about colon tissue, Crohn’s disease, polyps and colon cancer, the third-leading cause of domestic cancer-related deaths.

“From the team that has regularly brought you match-day fun with llamas, water balloon world records and sideline mattress seats, Lights FC is ready to use our platform to help raise awareness about colorectal cancers,” Lashbrook said.

“In all seriousness, this is how to start a conversation when men don’t want to do it. I’m approaching my 45th birthday and I’m (concerned) and I don’t want to do that (undergo colorectal screening). But you have to.”

Strolling through a giant, inflatable colon might not provide as much match-day fun as chasing dollar bills that are sent fluttering into the air by a helicopter or posing for a selfie with a llama.

But it just might save your life.

That said, it still would come us a surprise if Manchester United inflated its own “Colleen Colon” before its next fixture at Old Trafford.

Around the horn

— Do you remember the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, a booby prize of sorts for college basketball teams not selected for the NCAA and National Invitation tournaments? Well, it now is called The Basketball Classic, and it has shrunk from 32 teams to 21. One of those is Southern Utah, coached by former UNLV assistant and interim head coach Todd Simon.

The Thunderbirds Wednesday defeated Kent State (which twice beat an Akron team that nearly upset UCLA in the NCAA Tournament) 83-79. It was Southern Utah’s 21st win of the season, the second-most in school history.

— It was announced Wednesday the Pacific Coast League and the familiar names of 10 other historic baseball minor leagues (International, Eastern, Southern, Texas, Midwest, Northwest, South Atlantic, California, Carolina and Florida State) — will be reinstated in 2022 after Major League Baseball, which now runs the minors, acquired their rights.

Founded in 1903, the PCL will include the Aviators and nine other Triple-A clubs who played under the banner of Triple-A West last season. A new PCL logo will feature mountain tops, a Redwood forest and evergreen and palm trees.

— To commemorate Pi Day March 14, the Aviators tweeted a list of alums who have batted .314 (the date and averages resemble the 3.14 mathematics ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, called Pi.)

So here’s a big piece of Pi to Rusty Tillman (1986), Dan Bilardello (1991), Koyie Hill (2003), Luis Garcia (2004), David Cooper (2012), Eric Campell (2013), Alex Castellanos (2015) and Patrick Kivlehan (2018).

Now there’s an analytic you won’t even find in Bill James’ Historical Baseball Abstract.

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— “A tradition unlike any other: Finding where the heck truTV is in my local listings.” — various social media contributors during the opening day of March Madness.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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