Pregame festivities hit snag

Pregame ceremonies can add excitement to sporting events.

But Tuesday's opening act at Rangers Ballpark missed the mark.

A U.S. Army skydiver was left dangling from a flagpole after his parachute got entangled during a jump before the Texas Rangers hosted the Minnesota Twins.

Rangers officials said the unidentified jumper was uninjured after he unbuckled himself from the chute and dropped a few feet to a work platform on top of the scoreboard, the highest point of the stadium. The jumper could been seen walking away.

The skydiver was among several members of the U.S. Army Parachute Team known as the Golden Knights who jumped on the breezy night. The rest landed on the field.

■ AH, NUTS -- One-third of major league baseball teams have designated at least one section of their stadiums as a nut-free zone.

That's not a commentary on the personality of the fans allowed to sit there.

But it means no more peanuts and Cracker Jack in certain seating areas.

The precaution is intended to protect children with peanut allergies. Severe reactions can cause children to quit breathing and possibly die.

"A lot of parents out there don't understand the severity," said Carolyn Blaylock, whose peanut-allergic sons, ages 4 and 5, sat with her in one of two glass-enclosed peanut-free suites during a Washington Nationals game in July. "When we found out there was a peanut-free suite, we jumped all over that."

The Nationals go to great lengths to ensure the safety of the peanut-free seats, including washing the sections twice before peanut-free games. They also make sure that fried foods throughout the park are cooked in canola oil, not peanut oil.

■ (BLEEP) RIVALS -- Trash talking is in midseason form in the NFL.

New England quarterback Tom Brady kicked it off Monday when he said he hasn't watched HBO's "Hard Knocks" because he hates the rival New York Jets, this year's featured team on the reality series.

Rex Ryan, the Jets' outspoken coach, replied, "Hell, he knows we hate the Patriots, so what's the difference?"

Here's the difference: Ryan's G-rated language.

Ryan was criticized in some circles for dropping almost as many F-bombs during the first episode as Terrell Owens drops passes in 60 minutes.

What Ryan probably wanted to say in response to Brady was, "Hell, (the bleep) knows we (bleep) hate the (bleep) Patriots, so what's the (bleep) difference?"

■ WATER HAZARD -- Golf course groundskeeper Donald Kelber, 74, is recovering from minor injuries he suffered Monday when the 2,200-pound lawn mower he was operating at a golf course in Plainsboro, N.J., slid down an embankment into a pond and pinned him in the water for more than 20 minutes.

He was assessed a one-stroke penalty and can resume mowing from where he entered the pond.

■ COOL IDEA -- Moments after Taiwan defeated Canada 23-0 in four innings Monday at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., the Canadian fans should have broken into a unique baseball cheer:

"Let's play hockey! Let's play hockey!"

Or curling, for that matter.

Anything but baseball when it comes to facing the Taiwanese.