Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Wie Bit Wrong

Remember when you were a little kid…?

Your parents would make a point to take you to the circus when it came to town. There was the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey troupe that had Gunther Gebel Williams as the lion tamer. They packed arenas all over the planet- and I’m sure most of you saw them. You may still do if you have kids.

If you lived in a smaller town, or if you do these days, there’s that creepy-looking circus that settles down in the middle of some dusty field on the city limits. They had that goofy lay-out and the rigged games where you couldn’t win the big, stuffed animal if you laid your life on the line.

They had the woman with the green skin. They had the bearded lady. They had the dude wandering through the whole gig on ten foot stilts. They had the guy you thought was a girl, or the girl you thought was a guy.

Remember what you called all of them…?

A New Brand of Circus Freak…

She’s tall. She’s talented. She’s a girl who hangs out with the guys- probably too much for her own good. Her handlers and her family are one and the same.

That’s not a good thing.Michelle and BJ Wie

It hasn’t been the entire time this particular individual has tried to be a success in her field. Her peers question her existence dealing with those who, really, aren’t her peers.

“She was so good a couple of years ago when she finished second a few times. I think she should just keep working on winning. Winning is tough - it takes a different mind-set. I think if she wants to be a golfer she should really concentrate on being on the women’s tour. I just don’t see the interest really on being on the men’s tour.

“I thought she had quit that idea, but obviously not.”

That’s a quote from Helen Alfredsson…

She won the Evian Masters tournament last week. It was her first win on the LPGA tour in five years. Her lack of successes haven’t kept her away from battling her peers week in and week out.

“I really don’t know why Michelle is continuing to do this. I mean, we have a major this week and if you can’t qualify for a major I don’t see any reason why you should play with the men.”

That’s a quote from Annika Sorenstam…

She’s the greatest women’s golfer of all time. She gets a pass with her thoughts.

When Annika was invited to play in the Bank of America Classic in 2003, she was Number One in the world. She decided to see what the challenge would be like to take on the guys. It opened her eyes, by her own admission, to a lot of different things. Texans cheered for her for two days while she was grinding around the course trying to make the cut. And while, no, she didn’t make the cut, she didn’t look like someone staring in to a funhouse mirror either.

It was a one-shot deal. She hasn’t played in Hawaii on a home course. She hasn’t played in Silvis, Illinois. She didn’t play in Japan. She didn’t play in South Korea. She didn’t finish last in a European event. She hasn’t missed the cut in eight PGA events that she could have been entered in.

Annika also hasn’t bailed on a tournament citing an injury, and then go and practice for an extra week to get ready for a major;

“I just feel there's a little bit of lack of respect and class just to kind of leave a tournament like that and come out and practice here.”

She hasn’t bailed on a tournament citing “heat exhaustion” trying to dodge the “Rule of 88.”

She hasn’t gotten advice from her father, allegedly, during a round- which is against the rules.

dot…dot…dot…

So, yeah, I’m talking about Michelle Wie and her father, BJ…more michelle wie

I’m tired of all the manipulating by her family to turn her in to some multi-national corporation of one. It reminds me of all the parents that think their kid will be the greatest in whatever sport they’re participating in at the age of 10, and will be a world champion at 13. It burned out too many tennis players ((Jaeger and Capriati come immediately to mind)), and Wie is headed down that road.

I think it would serve her dad right…unless Michelle wants to continue to be this/close to being this/close, then sign a scorecard now and then. And do what you were supposedly supposed to do…

Dominate the women’s game. Take on the likes of Pressel, Creamer, and Ochoa on a weekly basis.

Then, we can see what you’re supposed to really be worth…

If Wie is supposed to be the second coming of the second coming when it comes to women’s golf and the LPGA ((there are those two entities again)), then go out and prove it

Personally, I think Alfredsson was right when she addressed the issue at the Women’s British;

“I think the exhibition time for her is over. I feel kind of sad for her,” she said. “I think she’s a very good person. I feel sad for the guidance that she seems not to have in the right direction.”

I have two words for BJ Wie- “Marv Marinovich.”

Look it up…

Play it safe, everyone… I’ll talk to you soon…

Manny Being Hollywood, Ken Griffey, Jr. Traded To White Sox






What a day in baseball on the final day of the trading deadline. The trade wins were blowing some blockbuster deals. First the Cincinnati Reds traded Ken Griffey, Jr. to the Chicago White Sox after Griffey approved the deal. The Reds receive pitcher Nick Masset and infielder Danny Richar.

You can read more from the Chicago Tribune HERE and read the Cincinnati Enquirer’s take HERE.

Meanwhile the other blockbuster is Manny Ramirez got the hell out of Boston and is bound for Hollywood. It’s probably not the 3-way Ramirez would prefer but the Red Sox got together with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Dodgers to make the un-happy Ramirez happy. The Dodgers get Ramirez, the Red Sox get Jason Bay and the Pirates get what the Pirates always get, cheap labor. The Buccos with receive 2 prospects for the Dodgers and 2 from the Red Sox.

More on Manny being Hollywood from the Los Angeles Times HERE and from the Boston Globe HERE.

The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy says Ramirez had so Manny memories in Boston.




Ken Griffey, Jr photo: Courtesy The Nasty Boys.wordpress.com
Manny Ramirez photo:Courtesy Boston.com

Time For Another Episode Of The Brett Favre Soap Opera


The bizarre saga between the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre continues to reach higher levels of the absurd. First Packers President Mark Murphy flies down to Mississippi to reportedly offer Favre $20 million just to go away and stay retired. Now every Packer fan or reporter including some poor production assistant at ESPN is tracking every flight out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi in case Farve shows up at the Frozen Tundra.

More on that Thursday’s Green Bay Press Gazette

Favre’s agent Bus Cook says his client understands he would be walking into a media frenzy but that he is willing to do so and not have retirement forced upon him.

“He’s prepared to deal with it.” Cook told the Associated Press Thursday. “He’s ready to go back, but he can’t go back until the commissioner reinstates him.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday that the Packers are so desperate that the team has discussed internally about trading Favre within the NFC North. That would include the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.

Meanwhile Packer fans seem to want Brett Favre back in the Packer colors. There seems to be a lot of support for Farve according to Lori Nichel’s article in Thursday’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Ex-LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux Moves On To Jacksonville State


Ryan Perrilloux thought he was above the law and bigger than LSU. That was no to both. Perrilloux was caught using a fake ID at a Louisiana Casino, didn’t go to class and skipped workouts. Finally, LSU Head Coach Les Miles had had enough and kicked Perrilloux off the Tiger team. One of the most heralded players coming out of high school was an athlete without a school.

So the 2007 SEC Championship Game MVP will now display his talents at Jacksonville State in Alabama, a Football Championship Subdivision school. On paper, Perrilloux should dominate at that level of college football though he will face one of the top defenses in major college football when Perrilloux and the JSU Gamecocks play Georgia Tech in Atlanta to open the 2008 season. Wasn’t Atlanta the city Perrilloux won the SEC Title Game MVP? Interesting.

You can read more on Perrilloux from this A.P. story from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
(Photo courtesy: The Baton Rouge Advocate)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hudson Chooses Rehab Over Surgery... For Now...

According to David O'Brien from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the MRI coming back on the injured elbow of Atlanta Braves ace Tim Hudson shows significant damage. Doctors are recommending ligament-transplant elbow surgery to Hudson, and the sooner the better.

This way, Hudson can attempt a return by the latter half of the 2009 season- the end of his current contract with the Braves.

The telling paragraph:

"A dye-injection MRI done Monday showed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that typically requires "Tommy John" ligament-transplant surgery and a 12-month recovery period."

Hudson is expected to make a decision after a discussion with Dr. James Andrews later in the week.

And those are three words you never want next to each other and having anything to do with you-

"Dr. James Andrews"

UPDATE FROM THE BALLPARK: According to the Braves Media Relations Guru, Brad Hainje, after the end of the game tonight with the St. Louis Cardinals, both doctors that were consulted ((Andrews and Lewis Yocum in LA)) agree that surgery was "likely," however Hudson has decided to rest and rehab for the next few weeks. He will re-evaluate after that time period...

Braves broadcasters said on the air tonight on FSN South that Hudson was at the ballpark, and would be available for reaction and self-reflection on their air. How-evuh, Hudson wasn't hanging around long enough for their supposed sound. This sent local crews scurrying to the ballpark in an attempt to get Huddy to talk at a supposed media availability.

Huddy, however, had left the building.

The Buckwheat Scenario, Day 2

“Wait a minute, we have some breaking news!”. “I believe that we’ve got some videotape” “Okay, let’s go to the videotape” “That’s right, former child star Buckwheat, has been shot” “Take a look, let’s go to the videotape” “Again, Buckwheat, the former star, America’s darling, has been shot” “We’ll have more on this soon”

STOP!!!!!

Brett Fah…fah…faaaah….fav..favra…Farve has sent his paperwork to the NFL. So what? Does that mean he has filed before the tax deadline? Will he get his green card? I DON’T FREAKIN’ CARE!!!!!!! There are what, maybe 372 other stories going on in Sports right now! Just stop, please stop, and make it go away!!!!! Stay tuned as the “Four-Letter Word” brings us the Fahv…fah….faaahhh…favra….Farve Channel (ESPN 4)!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

West Virginia Tops Big East Pre-Season Poll



Can you name the head coach of the West Virginia Mountianeers? If you said Bill Stewart you win a vacation to the West Virginia mountains. Stewart has had a long honeymoon in Morgantown after defeating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl as the interim after Rich Rodriquez high tailed it to Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has a ready made powerhouse with Pat White returning and a team loaded with speed at the skill positions.

The Big East released it's pre season poll and West Virginia is the choice to rule the Big East this year.

Here's your Big East Pre-Season Poll:
1. West Virginia (22) 189
2. USF (1) 149
3. Pittsburgh (1) 128
4. Rutgers 110
5. Cincinnati 98
6. Connecticut 97
7. Louisville 69
8. Syracuse 24
First Place Votes in Parentheses

Favre Files Reinstatement Papers! Buckwheat Scenario Continues...

NFL League spokesman Randall Liu confirms that Brett Favre has faxed over his reinstatement papers to the league offices in New York City.

So now Brett Favre really does want to come out of retirement???
Well, okay then...

The next move is now in the hands of the Green Bay Packers and their front office- fronted by General Manager Ted Thompson. Favre also spoke to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell by phone to reiterate his re-intention to un-retire... or is it "Re-quarterback..."

The Jolly Roger will give all parties Packer 24 hours to come up with some kind of resolution...
Enjoy that one... why don't you...???

Mike Vandermause and the Green Bay Press-Gazette are hyah and hyah

Teixeira Traded!


Say Bye, Bye!

It’s official. The biggest player in the baseball free agency game is already gone. According to both SI.com article hyah and the four-letter-word version hyah

The Atlanta Braves trade Mark Teixeira ((Pictured, thanks Getty Images)) to the “Fill in the blank Angels” for Casey Kotchman ((pictured, thanks LA Times/Alex Gallardo)) and a minor league pitcher named Steven Marek, who until this afternoon was pitching for the Angels AA-affiliate in Arkansas.

We know why the Braves made the trade, what we don’t understand is why they got so little for “Tex”. Kotchman is a nice ballplayer, but who is Marek?

Pity the poor Braves who have had a huge run of injuries this season, they have totally underachieved, but it is due in part to the lack of healthy bodies to play. Maybe this will be their clue that it is time to rebuild.

Continuing coverage from Mike DiGiovanna and the LA Times hyah

JUST STOP!!!!!!!!

The Buckwheat Scenario…

“Ladies and Gentleman, we are getting reports of an incident involving a beloved star from our past.” “Hold on…we apparently have some videotape” “It appears as though someone has been shot” “Let’s slow down the video…it appears to be none other than former Our Gang star Buckwheat”

“Yes, that is correct, apparently, Buckwheat has been shot” “That is right, Buckwheat has been shot!” “Let’s take a look at the videotape” “It appears that Buckwheat, getting out of his vehicle has been shot” “Let’s take a look at the videotape” “Buckwheat has been shot” “Once again, let’s take a look at the tape”

Stop it! Just Stop!

Let me put out a warning now! I will continue to post the “Buckwheat Scenario” at every opportunity until we and the rest of the Sporting community quits reporting every time that Brett Fah…fah…faahv…faahhvrah…uh Favre takes a dump.

If you agree with me, tell us! Let’s make this a Fah…fahh…faaahv….faaahhvrah…uh Favre free zone! ARE YOU WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Your Monday Brett Favre Update

Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says that Packers GM Ted Thompson was asked whether or not Number 4 would ever be traded to a team within the NFC North Monday.

His answer- "No."

And that was it for the answer... one word...

Other questions and answers included this one having to do with a Packers-bought-and-paid-for cell phone...

“There are no, and none that I have ever heard of, certainly since I’ve been back — and I think I would know — any cell phones that any of our players have that are issued by the Packers.”

So much for that theory...

The rest of Craig's daily blog is hyah

The Jolly Roger was at Toronto Buffalo Bills camp in Rochester, New York and answered a few questions on behalf of The Shield today... a sample...

"Brett Favre’s a great player, a great competitor, and I think it’s been a great reflection on the Packers and the NFL. So if Brett Favre wants to return and play , I think that would be a great thing for the fans and for the league."

The rest of Tom Pelissero's work from the Green Bay Press-Gazette is hyah

If you go down one more story in his blog, you get more notes from the Ted Thompson press conference...

And away we go...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Favre Won't Report To Packers Training Camp...UPDATE

Brett Favre won’t report to training camp, at least not yet. SI.com’s Peter King is reporting that Favre backed off on reporting to Green Bay Packers camp today after General Manager Ted Thompson asked him to give him a few days to figure this out.

You knew something was going to go down today. All this does is prolong what has been a frustrating summer for Packer fans.

Check out Peter King’s report RIGHT HERE

You know there will be another edition to this soap opera so if your not a Packer fan, enjoy the show.

UPDATE: According to Chris Mortensen at the four-letter-word... Favre has signed his reinstatement letter, but has yet to send it to NFL HQ in New York City. It is anticipated that he'll wait until Monday or Tuesday to ship it.

Apparently, Brett's wife, Deanna, and his agent "Bus" Cook are none too pleased that he's sitting on the letter and don't appreciate the way they feel the Packers front office is "playing them..."

Mort's work is hyah
Pete Dougherty's update from the Green Bay Press-Gazette is hyah

Dougherty reports that Favre looks like he's giving the Packers until mid-week to figure something out or he'll report to camp...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

College Football: Head Coach Rivalries

College Football thrives on rivalries. We know the best ones that have stood the test of time involving the teams but let’s take it deeper, are there any good rivalries involving head coaches. Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes comes to mind. Heck they had the 10 year war. Tom Osbourne and Barry Switzer… yea but kind of a vanilla way. Frank Broyles and Darryl Royal… great for the old schoolers.

Are there any current rivalries between head coaches today? I like the one developing between Les Miles and Nick Saban but who do you pull for. They both need a seminar in people skills.

(Bob Stoops Photo: Courtesy scout.com)
(Mack Brown Photo: Courtesy collegesports.com)
The best one is going on in the Big 12 Conference. Both Bob Stoops at Oklahoma and Mack Brown at Texas compete in the same division in the same conference and have each won a national title. It doesn’t hurt that they face off in one of the best rivalries in college football, the Red River Shootout in Dallas each year.

It was a topic raised recently by Barry Tramel of The Oklahoman., It’s a great read for college football fans.

SEC Media Days, Day 3

End of the Chaos…

The end of SEC Media Days brought to a close one of the more interesting three day stretches that I’ve seen in quite a while. The “Media” traffic slowed, a little bit, but it didn’t slow the craziness, the oddness (if that really is a word) but it did give a look at what some would call a media vendetta.

Meet the Petrino…


You could have had a nice debate on day 3 as to what the big story was. For the Alabama folks, Tommy Tuberville was in the house. Tuberville however is a great guy; pretty much universally liked, has a great sense of humor and doesn’t take himself nearly as seriously as the Auburn fan base does.

The other early visitor was Kentucky’s Rich Brooks. Brooks was also somewhat of an amiable sort, he smiled a lot and like everyone else, wasn’t really sure what to expect out of his team this year.

The fireworks however were still to come. The afternoon brought the guy who is generally considered one of the true characters in College Football, Steve Spurrier and the guy who made headlines for leaving the NFL, the day after a game in the middle of the season to go back to college, Bobby Petrino.

Attack!

Upon his arrival, Petrino got pretty much the same treatment as all the “Big Name” coaches got, which was the phalanx of cameras walking with him as he walked. The Atlanta TV Stations were there as were several from the state of Arkansas.

I’ve got to say here that I never really felt sorry for Petrino before, despite the bland press conferences when he was with the Falcons and the whispers of his distant, cold and sometimes odd behavior with the folks up in Flowery Branch. He always came across as someone who would rather be anywhere other than on a podium, speaking into the lights, faces and cameras looking for something, anything that was usable to report.
This time was a little different. When he arrived into the TV rooms, the questions were all the same “Why did you leave the Falcons like you did? “Did you really hate pro football so much?” “Why did you bail out on the players like that?” His answers were pretty calm and thought out and again nothing special, the funniest, at least to me was the last question he was asked; “How will you feel if you have to come and play in Atlanta?” The answer was a good one; “I’ll be happy because that means we are playing for the SEC Championship and if we can win that, we may be playing for the national championship, that sounds like a good thought to me”.

Don’t forget the ‘Ball Coach!

I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention Steve Spurrier. The guy, though he has some faults is one of a kind, an original. He had us laughing the whole time he spoke, not something easy to do in this cynical age.

The ‘Ball Coaches presser went something like this: “Well, I-hm really lookin’ forward to how our team’s gonna play this year. We got us a tall team, big and we look good in our uniforms” “We should look real good comin’ out of the tunnel. Unfortunately, I cain’t sit here and tell you if we’ll play as good as we look, we’re just gonna have to wait and see”. Great stuff, and he kept repeating this theme the whole afternoon.

Predictions…

If you read my stuff regularly, you probably know how much I hate “Pre-season Predictions”, but because I am doing my best to inform and entertain, I give the you SEC Media (70 ballots out of 700+ credentials) Predictions for the upcoming season.

SEC East
1. Florida
2. Georgia
3. Tennessee
4. South Carolina
5. Kentucky
6. Vanderbilt

Pretty much the same way the conference is picked before the season every year. In fact I don’t know that I can even remember the last time that it wasn’t picked this way.

SEC West
1. Auburn
2. LSU
3. Alabama
4. Mississippi State
5. Ole Miss
6. Arkansas

Again no surprises here, Auburn and LSU seem to just take turns in this poll. The only disappointment is Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were 8-4 last year, a pretty good team, in fact, don’t be surprised if they finish in the Top 2 here in the west.

“The time has come, my song is over, thought I’d something more to say”- Time (Pink Floyd)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rawhide Assault in Dayton

Peoria Chiefs pitcher Julio Castillo ((pictured, thanks Dayton Daily News)) is now the proud owner of a $50,000 cash bond issue and a felonious assault charge in the Thursday incident where he, apparently and even on video tape, tried to make a statement in a Midwest League brawl between his Chiefs and the home-standing Dayton Dragons.

The statement being "Stand still while I attempt to throw a baseball at your person as you charge me."

Castillo's Problem - he missed his intended target and hit a fan in the stands at Fifth Third Field in Dayton. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9AM August 1.

James Cummings article in the Dayton Daily News is hyah

WHIO-TV's coverage is hyah
WDTN TV has team coverage hyah

WHOI-TV's in Peoria has coverage hyah

WEEK-TV has coverage hyah

Their details are below...

"The out of control brawl lasted 10 minutes and resulted in 15 ejections. But since that didn't leave enough players to continue the game without putting pitchers in the outfield the umpires were instructed by Midwest League President George Spelius reverse the ejections and resume play. All but Castillo were allowed to return. But Spelius plans to review video of the incident and hand down penalties.

The original ejections for Dayton were Scott, Justin Reed, Kevyn Feiner, Phipps, Mesoraco and pitchers Henry Arias, Jeremy Horst, Jeff Jeffords and Luis Montano.

Brandon Guyer, Jovan Rosa, Mario Mercedes, Cliff Andersen, Castillo and pitchers Stephen Vento, Audy Santana and Martinez were banished for the Chiefs.

When play resumed Dayton took a 5-0 before eventually holding on to post a 6-5 victory over Peoria."

The short version is hyah...
video

Department of Indian Givers Affairs

Wednesday morning Caleb Campbell got a phone call while he was getting ready to fight for a job with the Detroit Lions in their first day of training camp.

It was his agent. Campbell was being alerted to something of a stink regarding his status as a West Point Cadet training for a job in the National Football League.

Someone higher than a three-star general couldn’t keep him from staying at camp, so he’s back at West Point as a cadet… or, as he was making the rounds on sports talk radio, driving back to West Point.

Something stinks from high heaven. Or, maybe, something stinks from Capitol Hill.Caleb Campbell

I think the latter is more accurate in this situation. I don’t have any concrete evidence of it, but it’s what I’m gleaning from his interviews.

And, for another time in too short a time table, the United States Government comes out looking like a collective group that can’t get out of its own way.

And that is a shame…

Department of Indian Givers Affairs…

Ever since Caleb Campbell ((pictured, thanks freep.com/Eric Seals)) was playing as a sophomore at the Naval Academy, the school and his superior officers were answering his questions about the possibility of being a professional athlete. All the words he was hearing were indicating that he could pursue a dream of being a pro.

All he had to do was balance his time between athlete and recruiter while he was serving his mandatory term as a cadet. That was the deal that had been figured out.

He had done interviews leading up to the NFL Draft all over the place. He was allowed to train by his supes to get a good look-see for that purpose. And, on Day Two, he was picked up in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions. Campbell, in his heart, thought he had a good chance of making the squad. For that matter, so did Head Coach Rod Marinelli- an Army veteran.

And I can’t think of a better example for kids and adults to have someone from the Armed Services of the greatest country on this or any other planet playing as a poster child for all that is right about chasing the American Dream and balancing it with the ideal of showing what the Armed Services can do for character, morale, pride, and effort all year long.

It’s an unmistakable opportunity. And leave it to some superior somewhere to make a mistake.

Someone with an axe to grind, maybe…? Someone thinking that the Army was getting to play favored son…? Over that juggernaut Merchant Marine or Coast Guard football team…?

“Hey. None of our nuclear physicists get to go straight to the private sector, so why should a football player head straight to the NFL…?”

Yep. The logic is staring me right in the face on this one…

After all the negative press the military is dealing with after all the Pat Tillman findings in the Oversight Committee manifesto, you want to pull the rug out from one of your own…?

Where is the honor there…?

Simply put. There is none.

If that is one of the tenets that the defense of a nation is based, then when was a bait-and-switch allowed as part of the by-laws in the proceedings…? But in the land of $900 toilets and $265 screwdrivers through military contracts, why should anything be expected to be different…?

Hell, any soldier that serves this country should be fortunate enough to get a paycheck with a contract that warped… so why is it as equally warped to think that in the land of “Honor, Code, Country” that the code should be a constant…?

dot…dot…dot…

Here’s the Army’s take…

“The U.S. Army revised its policy related to Soldiers participating in professional sports. The policy change now allows for a request for waiver of service after two years of active duty. This action was taken to uniformly apply military service obligations for all members of the U.S. Army. Once those affected complete two years of active duty, they are eligible to pursue professional sports opportunities.

“Once 2nd Lt. Campbell completes a minimum of two years of active service in the Army, he may apply for release from active duty for the purpose of pursuing a professional sports career. Clearly, 2nd Lt. Campbell deserves the well-earned recognition he's received for his outstanding football career at West Point and subsequent selection by the Detroit Lions. He is an outstanding athlete who displayed the dedication, determination and discipline required of a champion. He has the qualities we expect of our leaders, and is the kind of leader our Soldiers deserve.”

This change was, apparently, made July 8th but no one told Campbell until mid-week. He was at West Point as late as last week. There wasn’t even a sniff of this change in the by-laws by anyone close to the situation. Campbell even stayed at West Point after that Sophomore year because he was under the impression that he could do what he had done…

Until Wednesday…

With someone as high-profile an example as Campbell was turning out to be, how was he left to hang and operate under what he thought was his SOP…?

And with someone as high-profile an example as Campbell now is ((and should be)) for anyone who looks at our Armed Forces with a cocked head or raised eyebrow these days, how can anyone in Washington look themselves in the mirror and justify their decision…?

Got me…

Hopefully, now that Campbell will be a Graduate Assistant Coach at either West Point or NAPS next season, cadets can learn what it means to exhibit honor at every turn, adhere to a code as a way of life, and love a country for its failings and faults as much as its freedoms and fine points by following his superior example of being a blue print for all.

If only teaching went up the ladder as much as it can work downstream…
Well done, Lieutenant…

Play it safe, everyone… I’ll talk to you soon…


SEC Media Days, Day 2

Nuggets…We Got Nuggets (SEC Day 2)

Yes, we have stepped into what can only be described as Bizarro land here in beautiful Hoover (outside Birmingham) Alabama. It was truly a strange, strange day here in well, I’m not sure really how to describe this place.

You Got Served…

Obviously, the big news of the day was Tennessee Coach Phil Fulmer receiving a subpoena upon his arrival at the luxurious Wynfrey Hotel. There are a few different versions of how this occurred. I’ve heard it was handed to him as he walked through the hotel, before making the rounds with the media hordes.

The new information is that according to ABC 33/40 (Can’t think of the call letters) here in Birmingham, the document was “Thrown” at Fulmer when he got out of his vehicle. He supposedly picked it up and upon realizing what it was, kept it and went about his business. Unfortunately nobody got this on videotape, but, what can you do?

Fulmer didn’t want to talk much about it today, but he didn’t have to. When he arrived in the room I was in and was asked about it, he said “There are a lot of nice fans who are dedicated to rooting for there team, but there are also some who are just plain Jerks. I’ll stick to that word since this is going to be on TV”. Nice, he obviously wasn’t happy about it, but didn’t deny it like he did to the Knoxville News-Sentinel either.

Great Satan…

The other pariah today, none other than Alabama Head Coach/Traitor Nick Satan…I mean Saban. If you haven’t been to Alabama you probably don’t realize how the people worship and I’m talking fawning at the mere sight of there “Football Coach”.

Much to my amazement, Saban actually had my favorite line of the day. When asked about having to go to LSU (one of several former employers), he responded this way: “When we get on the busses to head over to the stadium, I’ll probably be on one bus by myself, I’m pretty sure that my guys will not want to be near me”. Wow! Self-Deprecating humor. Somewhat out of character for the Great Satan, but amusing never the less.

Other Stuff…

Really there wasn’t much else to report. Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs were in the house today. There really wasn’t much to report on with the ‘Dawgs, they were asked a gazillion times about this years high expectations and last years Florida game, but that was about it. Both the Coach and his players, Jeff Owens and Mohammed Massaquoi were classy and answered every question…except when someone asked Massaquoi “If you don’t win the SEC this year, who do you think will?” He kind of smiled and just said “I’m not really thinking about that”. What else can you say.

Friday’s session should be interesting, among the scheduled guests, Tommy Tuberville of Auburn, the ‘Ol Ball Coach himself and the happy wanderer Bobby Petrino, currently of Arkansas (for now). There probably won’t be much hoopla with the first two guys, it’ll be real interesting how Mr. Stiff Petrino, answers questions from the Atlanta media in attendance.

“The time has come, my song is over, thought I’d something more to say”- Time (Pink Floyd)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

25 Years Ago George Brett Lost His Mind

When I was a junior in high school I was up in the Kansas City area with a friend and his family. We stopped at I think a Quik Trip store in an upscale part of Kansas City, Kansas when a sports car pulled up with a hot blonde as I recall in the passenger seat getting out and buying some alcoholic beverages (beer). By the time we saw the car pull out my friend and I noticed it was George Brett driving the car. George Brett(Thanks SI.com)

George Brett was my idol growing up. I loved the way he played the game, always going all out which explains why he was injured a lot. I even pattered my batting style after him.

I bring this up because as I’m writing this, it’s been 25 years since the infamous Pine Tar Game when George Brett absolutely lost his freakin’ mind at Yankee Stadium. Pine Tar Game(Thanks Baseball-Almanac.com)

Here’s the history lesson for you kids. Back then the Kansas City Royals mattered in the American League and the Royals/Yankees rivalry was on par with the Yankees/Red Sox today. It was a hot lazy Sunday afternoon in Yankee stadium and the Royals were trailing the Yankees 4-3 when George Brett stepped to the plate facing the best reliever of the game then, Goose Gossage, with 2 outs in the top of the 9th with U.L. Washington on base. Brett promptly launched a Gossage fast ball into the seats to give the Royals a 5-4 lead.

Yankee manager Billy Martin claims Brett used an illegal bat, too much pine tar. Umpire Tim McClelland examines the bat, looks toward the Royals dugout and calls Brett out, game over Yankees win, Thaaaaaaaaaa Yankees win. That’s when Brett changed out of the dugout to confront McClelland and had to be physically restrained. (You kids do yourself a favor a watch the video, its good TV.)

Brett told Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star: “When I was running out of the dugout I had no idea I looked like that,” Brett says. “When I first saw (the video), I said, ‘You gotta be (kidding) me. I ”really did that in public?’

George Brett accomplished a lot during his 20 year career. A championship ring 3,000 hits and a first ballot induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But he will always be remembered for an at bat on July 24, 1983. I’m sure that’s better than being remembered for sitting out Game 2 of the 1980 World Series because of hemorrhoids.

The post script to this is that American League President Lee McPhail ruled that Brett’s bat was illegal it did not violate “The Spirit of the Rules.” That the rule only provided for the removal of the bat, not calling a batter out. McPhail ordered the game resumed at the point of Brett’s home run. They played a month later with the Royals winning 5-4 and oh yeah, Billy Martin got tossed from that game.

Now let’s have some fun. Just think if the Pine Tar Game happened today. Can you imagine the wall to wall coverage on ESPN. The Baseball Tonight Crew demonstrating in studio how Brett broke the rule, Bob Ley would have an Outside The Lines show ready within hours and Jeremy Shaap would have an investigative piece done for the next days Sports Center. It would be gavel to gavel coverage for months.

Of course the Par Tar Game 25 years ago happened before sports talk radio came along. This would give Mike and the Mad Dog, The Herd or Point/CounterPoint (wait, damn, we not on the air right now, sorry.) months and months of material. You think the Brett Farve saga has a shelf life beyond its expiration date, this would be replayed, rehashed and re told to the point where you a screaming ENOUGH. That’s the difference between 1983 and 2008. Of course where I live, it might have been talked about today but SEC Media Days took priority and it was Georgia’s day to talk.

Kind of ironic that the stars of the “Par Tar Game”, George Brett and Goose Gossage, are in the Baseball Hall of Fame but they will be forever linked to a bizarre afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

That's it... I'm spent...

--John Wilkerson

Fulmer Served At SEC Media Days

And we're not talking about the food at the Wynfrey Hotel...

The lawyer for the Head Football Coach at the University of Tennessee says his client received a summons on the property after his making the morning rounds at Radio Row. Fulmer has now been ordered to give a deposition in late September in regards to the libel and defamation case against the NCAA brought forth by a Chattanooga, Tennessee car salesman.

Robert Wendell Smith has been alleged to be a high-falooting booster for University of Alabama football. He has been linked to the recruitment of Kenny Smith, a defensive lineman prospect who ended up at Alabama in 2002. RW Smith has admitted to helping out the other Smith family with automobiles, but not to get the blue chipper to Roll Tide.

It's just out of the goodness of his heart...
Allegedly...

OSG HQ's favorite passage of the Bryan Mullen article is as follows:

A Tennessean reporter saw the subpoena this morning but during an interview shortly after the news broke, a clearly agitated Fulmer denied he had been served.

“A couple of guys have asked me about that and I haven’t seen anything like that,” he said. “We spent three or four years ago putting up with all of the (nonsense) and it has nothing to do with football and the Southeastern Conference. "And darn if I’m going to start it again if I don’t have to. So somebody is just screwing around, sounds to me like.”

However, Drew Edwards' piece in the Knoxville News-Sentinel claims that Fulmer ain't seen nothing yet...

More from Brother Phil in Hoover, Alabama as situations warrant...

Trojans Picked To Rule Pac-10

Here's a shock, the Southern California Trojans were picked to win the Pac-10 Conference by the media. I know, what's new. It was near unanimous except for the dude that gave Cal a first place vote. Remember, USC did have to share the Pac-10 title last year to Arizona State, see what happens when you lose to Stanford. The Sun Devils will give Southern Cal hell again this year.

Here's your Pac-10 Conference Media Poll

1. USC (38)389
2. Arizona State 330
3. Oregon 295
4. California (1) 274
5. UCLA 204
6. Oregon State 192
7. Arizona 185
8. Washington 139
9. Stanford 76
10. Washington State 61

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's Tim Tebow's World

It’s Tebow’s World!

Well, I was looking for something to write about for day 1 of the SEC’s Media Days in beautiful Hoover, Alabama, and suddenly it became clear to me. Clear enough that I had to think about where I was, what I was doing and all that other clichéd stuff.

You see when I walked into the lobby of the Wynfrey Hotel, the clouds parted, the sun was a little brighter and I could see things closer than 5 feet away from me.

Tim and Chuck

It’s amazing how things suddenly come into focus when you are around people from outside the area from which you live. Part of the fun of “Media Days” is standing around in crowded conference rooms waiting for people to appear for interviews. While partaking in this merriment, you tend to strike up conversation with the folks around you. And, if you are lucky enough, sometimes those folks will tell you about things that you didn’t know.

I was fortunate enough to be in a room populated by several crews from the Florida area. The guys, all very nice, told me about the “Legend” of Tim Tebow. Tebow you see is apparently everything that personifies a “Legendary” athlete. So much so that there is now a mythology that goes along with him, one that includes several websites (check out the link hyah!)
http://sportzwriter316.blogspot.com/2007/09/tim-tebow-is-real-chuck-norris.html)

Looking for Clues

So the first clue that I was in a different place was the gathering in the lobby. Little kids and grown ups all with his jersey, all waiting for him to appear.

The second clue was the cameras. Not 5, not 10 but 20 all poised waiting to get a glimpse. And then he arrived…and all sprang to action, only to see him ushered to an elevator, away from all.

The third clue, another group of cameras, lights ablaze and walking at strange angles, all following him, all looking for the magical shot: Tim Tebow WALKING!

Really Nice

I have to admit, he really is a nice kid. He finally made his way into the room of cameras and patiently answered his fifth set of 10 minutes of questions. He answered them all and answered well. He actually said the football was only a “Means to accomplish an end” not “What he is about”. I can respect that.

Heck, anyone who spends his off-season/downtime traveling on missions to the Philippine Islands and mentions his favorite accomplishment this spring as “Assisting in Surgery”, how can you not respect that. I mean heck, it sounds like a freakin’ comic book, but it really is true. The only thing he hasn’t done at this point is run out onto the field in Blue Tights with a Big “S” on the front.

And so goes day 1….

“The time has come, my song is over, thought I’d something more to say”- Time (Pink Floyd)

Big 12 Media Days Report




The Big 12 Conference put 2 teams in the BCS last year. Oklahoma got the automatic bid and Kansas, yes Kansas got the at-large bid. It was a split decision for the Big 12 in the BCS. Oklahoma saw its BCS losing streak extend to 4 games losing to West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl 48-28. I don’t blame Bob Stoops if he never wants to step foot in University of Phoenix stadium again because life for the Sooners is no fiesta in the desert. Kansas, yes Kansas rolled into Miami and took the Orange Bowl over Virginia Tech 24-21, now that’s representing the Big 12.

This year, Oklahoma and Missouri are the picks to click in the Big 12 with Oklahoma the pre-season favorite to win the championship game. Do the Sooners a favor BCS, send OU somewhere else than Phoenix, Arizona.

Bringing Back The Nebraska Way

Bo Pelini faced the media for the first time at Big 12 Media Days Monday. Pelini’s job is to restore the Nebraska way that Bill Callahan dropped his doors and defecated on. The Cornhuskers have a quarterback that can get the job down. Senior Joe Ganz was the only bright spot once the 2007 season went down the toilet. Ganz threw for 1,435 yards and 16 touchdowns but that didn’t impress Pelini until this spring. Ganz showed his talent, leadership ability and confidence during spring football and won over his new coach keeping the starting job.

“He’s more athletic than I thought when I first got here.” Pelini said. “And he’s a dynamic leader, somebody who plays with a tremendous amount of confidence and has that toughness about him, attitude.”

If the Nebraska way is truly back in 2008, Ganz won’t have to win games on his own. He’s got Marlon Lucky in the backfield and an offensive line, always a beefy bunch and off the scale strong during the Tom Osbourne/Frank Solich era, is almost to that level. Expect a big year for Ganz.

Lubbock, Texas Is On The Map

Let’s face it, Lubbock, Texas is out in the middle of nowhere. Not much happens out in West Texas but Mike Leach has brought excitement to the Red Raider fans from all over the prairie. This year Texas Tech is catching the attention of the national media who do see that Lubbock, Texas is on the map. This has the potential to be the best Red Raider team ever. Head Coach Mike Leach isn’t succumbing to the hype.

“Expectations are already high. So what that means to me is we just need to ignore expectations and everybody needs to do their job, improve on their role and just do their job within the scope of what it is.” Leach said.

Leach’s studs, Quarterback Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree didn’t make the trip to Kansas City. You got to go to Lubbock to catch them “where we have some great steak places.” Leach said. OK if there are some great steak places in Lubbock, I might have to make a return trip.

Sherman Catches The Spirit Of Aggieland

Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman returns to College Station, Texas where he coached as an assistant earlier in his career.

“I know the landscape well and I know what it’s all about.” Sherman said. “It’s as similar as I can get to a place like Green Bay, Wisconsin, where you come to work every day, the expectations are very high and the fans are very passionate.”

I love to see Joe Kines back in college football. Sherman hired the veteran coach in February as Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach. I was covering the Arkansas Razorbacks when he was Defensive Coordinator there in the early 1990’s. He’s a stand up guy, an ole ball coach if there ever was one. Coach Kines has football in his blood.

“This is a guy that thinks about football when he goes to bed and thanks about it when he wakes up.” Sherman said. “When you combine that with the passion he brings to the table, it’s just a great mix for us and he fits in very well.”

Expect the A&M defense to be in full attack mode this year.

Mizzou ‘ Rah


As a fan of Mizzou football, it’s great to see that football matters in Columbia for the first time in my lifetime. The Tigers accomplished a lot last year including a #1 ranking, a Big 12 Championship Game appearance and a Cotton Bowl win over Arkansas. That alone should have Mizzou fans in frenzy but leave it to Head Coach Gary Pinkel to provide a cold splash of reality.

“We certainly haven’t arrived.” Pinkel said. “We won the Big 12 North last year. University of Missouri hasn’t won the Big 12 championship yet.”

That might change with Chase Daniel running the show again and with weapons like Jeremy Maclin and Chase Coffman, the Tiger offense will be potent. The Defense is stout to. This group just might get the Big 12 Title this year and perhaps play for the crystal ball in January plus, Chase Daniel might want to rehearse his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech in November.

They Do Play Football At Kansas

Kansas may have won another NCAA Championship in Men’s Basketball but the expectations for the Jayhawk football team are just as high.

“You know, coming off a pretty good season last year, expectations are very high for our program in Lawrence, the state of Kansas and around the country.” Said Head Coach Mark Mangino. “We embrace those expectations because there was a time when I first arrived here that there were no expectations for Kansas’ football program and the fact now that people are taking a look at our program and seeing that we’re competitive and we’re able to compete at a high level here in a great conference like the Big 12.”

Kansas’ schedule is brutal. The Jayhawks pick up Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech from the Big 12 South this year and has a non conference game at South Florida. It will be tough to repeat a one loss season like 2007.

Cowboy Up

This year, Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy is still a man…. He’s 41 now. “I’ve been a pretty popular guy over the last year.” Gundy said. Yes his tirade last year is still on the radar screen.

“I don’t care much for the off-the-field issues and it’s not something that I contemplated.” Gundy said. “It was something that happened in a reaction and I felt it needed to be talked about from a head coach that should do the right thing for a player on his team.”

The Pokes have a talented team and if they put it together, might upset things in the Big 12 South. Should OSU fall into mediocrity again, Mike Gundy might have another blow up for all of us to enjoy.

2008 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team (Media Vote)
Offensive Player of the Year: Chase Daniel, Missouri (QB, 6-0, 225, Sr/3L, Southlake, Texas)Defensive Player of the Year: Auston English, Oklahoma (DE, 6-3, 257, Jr/1L, Canadian, Texas)Newcomer of the Year: Darrell Scott, Colorado (TB, 6-2, 215, Fr/HS, Ventura, Calif.)

Hawks Statement Regarding Josh Childress

“We were informed this morning by Josh Childress’ representatives that he has signed with Olympiakos in Greece, and we want to wish him the absolute best with his future career in FIBA.

“We have a great deal of respect for Josh and appreciate his contributions to our franchise. We were very comfortable when we began this process that if Josh were to play in the NBA, he would remain with the Hawks. This is a unique situation with Greece, and to my knowledge it is believed to be the highest contract ever awarded in Euroleague history.

“We feel we presented a very fair and competitive offer to keep him in Atlanta, and we will now move forward with the options we have to improve our roster.”
– Hawks GM Rick Sund.

((Admin. note- What this means is that the Atlanta Hawks can;

A) Spend all their available cap money and sign Josh Smith- probably to a one-year tender offer. At the point of the trading deadline in the 2008-2009 season, he will then be dealt to a contender in a sign-and-trade situation.

B) Let Josh Smith go and try to replace him and Josh Childress with bulk.

C) Continue to tell fans that this will be a team who "took the Boston Celtics to the brink of elimination" in an attempt to sell season tickets.

D) Try to spin that "they lost a player to the most expensive contract in FIBA history."

Congratulations on all of the above...))

WNBA Brawl

OK, I know you've seen this everywhere by now, but I couldn't resist posting this. Candace Parker and Plenette Pierson going at it...

Also, Rick Mahorn was involved in the nasty 2004 fight between the NBA's Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.

Connection? Coincidence?

Hawks Lose Childress to Greece

Hawks' fans...you no longer have to worry about the status of free agent forward Josh Childress.

He's decided he wants to eat falafel in the original Athens...Greece, that is...not the home of Sanford Stadium and R.E.M.

Childress confirmed the deal to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Sekou Smith this morning.

"It's official, I just signed," Childress said by phone Wednesday morning from Athens, where he and agent Jim Tanner will be until Friday. "I think it was . . . a situation where I didn't know who/what to expect coming in, coming over to Athens. But it's a great city and a great organization. They do whatever they can to make you feel at home."

The deal is the most lucrative current contract in European basketball (worth more than $20M reportedly), and is the biggest in Euroleague history. Not bad from a boy from Stanford. Childress will be playing for Olympiakos, as you can see their logo below...

You can read the rest of Smith's AJC article hyah...

I wonder if the Kid-N-Play look will jive in Greece. Who knows...

Good luck, Josh.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ACC Football Kickoff Rap

The ACC Football Kickoff ended rather quietly at Reynolds Plantation, Georgia. No surprises in the pre-season. Clemson is picked to win the Atlantic Division and Virginia Tech the Coastal Division. The Tiger Paws at the pre-season favorite to hoist the ACC Championship Trophy in Tampa Bay this December.

No Margin Of Error For Clemson

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden feels there is no margin of error for the Tiger Paws.

“Anything other than a championship would be a failure.” Bowden said. It’s a feeling shared in Tigertown this year. Clemson’s opener against Alabama is critical. If they win that game in the Georgia Dome than look out, this Clemson team could be on a roll to a high BCS finish. If they stumble against the Tide, the natives would get very restless.

Papa Bowden Still Has The Itch To Coach

Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden isn’t leaving the sidelines anytime soon. Bowden still has the fire in his belly to coach football. What Bowden hasn’t liked has been the results on the field the last 2 years.

“Back to back 7-6 years, yes that’s unacceptable at Florida State. It was ok when I first got there but not today.” Bowden said. “We haven’t dropped all that much no, but the league has come up to us.”

Offensive Questions


I was lucky to be the last person to interview new Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson. Of course I was the one millionth person to asked coach Johnson about his triple option offense. Johnson is a very straight up and classy individual and answered my question, probably his standard answer. Yes the Yellow Jacket fans will see something different this year but they will be exciting.

Duke Has Hope

Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of ACC Football Kickoff was the demeanor of the Duke Blue Devils. The past few years the players weren’t all the enthused about facing the media answering questions about turning the program around. Not this year. Eron Riley and Vince Oghobasse, who represented the Blue Devils, felt genuinely excited about the upcoming season.

New Head Coach David Cutcliffe has been the reason. He’s brought hope to Durham. One statement he made impressed me. “I want the seniors on this team to enjoy themselves and have fun because they haven’t won many games.” They may not win many games this year but coach Cutcliffe just wants his team to work hard, execute and have fun playing the game.

Here’s your ACC Pre-Season Media Poll

Atlantic Division

Clemson
Wake Forest
Florida State
Boston College
Maryland
NC State

Coastal Division

Virginia Tech
North Carolina
Miami
Georgia Tech
Virginia
Duke

ACC Champion: Clemson

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's Greek to me!

Times They are a Changin'

Came across an interesting story on Yahoo.com. Or let me rephrase it, brother Jon did. Apparently Atlanta Hawks Restricted Free Agent Forward Josh Childress (the guy who looks like Kid from Kid-n- Play) has recieved a serious offer for a contract from a Professional Team in Greece. So serious in fact that he's actually considering it.

See the Yahoo story right hyah

Interesting thought process here and a good topic to discuss as the foreign sports leagues try and step up to compete with their American competition. This has been pretty common with Hockey and you hear all the time about the NBA signing guys who played overseas, but like the rest of you, this is the first time we've heard of it going the other way.

What sayeth ya'll?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

ACC Football Kickoff Day 1

There is not much of a buzz at the ACC Football Kickoff this year. The chances an ACC team will be in the BCS Championship Game is remote which tones down the hype but the big buzz kill is lack of star power. The most recognized quarterbacks here are Drew Weatherford of Florida State and Virginia Tech’s Sean Glennon, QB’s like the economy right now, up and down with rumors of recession.

There are some stars in the making, Cullen Harper should have a great season with the weapons his has at Clemson and Duke’s Vince Oghobasse will be a monster on defense for the Blue Devils. My star watch is focusing on North Carolina’s Hakeem Nicks. Nicks has great hands and can get yards after the catch. If T.J. Yates can get the ball to Nicks, he could be a 1st team All-American.

The Duke Diet

Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe is watching the waste lines of the Blue Devils. In talking with Blue Devils’ Eron Riley and Vince Oghobasse, Duke’s dropping some pounds. Oghobasse, who plays at or around 300 pounds on the defensive line, has lost 7% body fat and said that the team has trimmed to a total of 59% of body fat lost. Will losing the pounds mean winning some football games? Hey when your Duke and have won 3 games the past 4 years, you will do anything.

We Are Going To Sic Them Dogs

It’s July 20th and already the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have circled November 29th on their calendars. That’s when the Yellow Jackets take on arch rival Georgia. Both Georgia Tech Defensive Tackle Vance Walker and Offensive Tackle Andrew Gardner told me they want to win the ACC and beat Georgia. Gardner took it further already talking smack about them Dawgs. For the sake of the Yellow Jackets, I’m not going to repeat what Gardner said but let’s just say it brings a whole new meaning to the term clean ole fashion hate. Georgia Tech just needs to focus on game #1 against Jacksonville State which features Ryan Perrilloux, who was the SEC Championship Game MVP last year for LSU.

Weather – ing The Storm

One year, Drew Weatherford dressed up as Gilligan for Halloween. Well lately the S.S. Minnow has gone way off course as Florida State is coming off back to back 7-6 seasons with Weatherford under center most of the time. I asked Weatherford if he was the starting quarterback of the Seminoles and Weatherford said he was. Perhaps all this talk about a quarterback controversy in Tallahassee is media driven. If Weatherford should struggle again, the hook might be swift and sudden.

Dumb Move Of The Day By Yours Truly


After filling out my ACC pre-season ballot, I left it face up on the floor. Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper picked it and checked it out. I showed Clemson a lot of love picking the Tigers to win the Atlantic Division and the ACC Championship however; I picked Harper’s teammate James Davis as ACC Pre-Season Player of the Year. Harper called me on that so I changed my vote and told him he had to have a big season to make me look good. Let this be a lesson to you, hide your ballots.

SEC Chomping Mad At Gators


OSG sources close to the Southeastern Conference reveal a group of individuals none too happy with the University of Florida and their television and Internet content plans. Those individuals are located in Birmingham at 2201 Richard Arrington Boulevard North- otherwise known as the SEC Office.

The SEC is none too pleased with the University since they free-lanced their own deal with Sun Sports- recently reported here as 10 years and $100-million. The main bone of contention is the timing of the release of that information- before SEC Media Days- set for this week in Hoover, Alabama. The SEC now has to face national media asking questions about a rumored and/or anticipated SEC TV Network and its future with this UF deal already on the table.

What do you want to bet that conversations between the Florida Athletic Department and the SEC Offices have had some choice words...?

Daniels Injured, Talks Begin with Taylor


OK, this is not exactly the news you want to hear on the first day of Redskins' training camp.

DE Phillip Daniels tore his ACL Sunday during the first day of camp. The 'Skins played it safe during the offseason, banking on Daniels and Erasmus James at end - without much insurance.

With Daniels going down today, talks have already started between the 'Skins and the Miami Dolphins, about a possible trade for DE Jason Taylor.

According to the Miami Herald, Taylor's agent, Gary Wichard, is close personal friends with Vinny Cerrato, 'Skins' VP of Football Operations.

I will have to admit, having JT in burgundy and gold would bring back memories of Charles Mann and Dexter Manley.

NOTE: We want to extend our well wishes to Phillip, and hope his knee heals quickly. We'd like to see you back on the D-Line, baby!

UPDATE 20 JULY: Talks Begin And End With Taylor

That was fast... the Skins give up a 2nd-rounder in 2009 and a 6th-rounder in 2010 for Taylor. He has two years left on his contract and has told Washington he will not need a renegotiation of his salary and contract. He reportedly has also told the front office that he will honor the two years left on the deal. Taylor has been on record with the Dolphins this pre-season as saying he only had one year of football left in him. Taylor's numbers fit under the cap space that the Redskins had available.

David Elfin's story from the Washington Times is hyah

Jeff Darlington's piece from the Miami Herald is hyah

Redskins, TE Davis Agree to 4-Yr Deal

The Washington Redskins have finally signed their last 2008 draft pick. TE Fred Davis, who played his college ball at USC under Pete Carroll, agreed to a 4-yr, $3.5M contract.

Will Davis be the next Jerry Smith or Clint Didier? Who knows. He may not even be the next Stephen Alexander. However, it is very nice to start training camp with all draft picks signed.

More to come, once we get closer to the season...

--John V. Wood

IRL Catfight

OK, I can't resist. Deadspin's Matt Sussman just posted this video...and it's hilarious! Danica Patrick vs. Milka Duno...my money's on Danica.

"It's not my fault that you're slow!"



The original story is hyah.

Enjoy!

--John V. Wood

Washington Redskins' Training Camp Schedule

OK, everyone knows I'm a long-time 'Skins fan. That being said, if you're in the Landover MD area, you can go see Campbell, Zorn, and the Skins during Training Camp on the following dates and times...



Sunday, July 20
Open Practice, Morning
8:30 a.m. ET

Monday, July 21
Open Practice, Morning
8:30 a.m. ET

Tuesday, July 22
Open Practice, Morning
8:30 a.m. ET

Wednesday, July 23
Open Practice, Morning
8:30 a.m. ET

Thursday, July 24
Open Practice, Morning
8:30 a.m. ET

Friday, July 25
Open Practice, Morning
8:30 a.m. ET

Saturday, July 26
FAN APPRECIATION DAY
Includes Intra-squad Scrimmage
Individual drills begins at 1:20 p.m. ET
Scrimmage begins at 2 p.m. ET

Sunday, July 27
Open Practice, Morning
8:30 a.m. ET

Monday, July 28
Open Practice, Morning
8:30 a.m. ET

Enjoy!

--John V. Wood

Breaking News: Thunderstruck in OKC?

If you can believe KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City, the Supersonics have now become the OKC Thunder.

Sources close to the NBA confirmed to KOCO's Mark Rodgers that the NBA registrar has reserved the domain names "okcthunderbasketball.com" and "okcthunderbasketball.net."

Mike Baldwin with newsok.com is reporting that the partnership who brought them team from Seattle to OKC "listened to the people" when they chose the team name. They had a poll with various names for people to vote on, in an NCAA Tournament-style bracket. Thunder defeated Outlaws in the final round.

The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel, a friend of OSG, had some interesting thoughts about the Thunder. My favorite - NBA fans of OKC would be called the "ThunderGround."

More information as it becomes available...

--John V. Wood

Packer Made the Right Call

Grey Blackwell, from the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, is known for his hilarious animated cartoons. He's picked on UNC's Roy Williams, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, and NC State's Chuck Amato.

His latest victim: Billy Packer. Click the picture for the video.



Enjoy!

--John V. Wood

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bears With No Claws

There are those schools that are constant homecoming opponents in the conference. They are always the punching bags that have very little chance of a winning season much less a league championship. Duke comes to mind in the ACC, Vanderbilt in the SEC and Northwestern in the Big 10.

Then you have the Baylor Bears. Baylor has been the league patsy since joining the Big 12 conference in 1996. The Bears have won 11 Big 12 games. It’s been a struggle for B.U. but there appears to be hope in Waco. Art Briles takes over as the new head football coach at Baylor and aims to restore the roar in Waco. Briles has a reputation of a program changer. He took over a University of Houston program that was flat lined and brought the Cougars back to life. Briles is hoping to do just that at Baylor.

It can be done. When Grant Teaff was head coach in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Baylor was very competitive winning the Southwest Conference title in 1974 and 1980. That 1980 team featured a great linebacker Mike Singletary. Baylor’s last conference championship was an SWC title in 1994.

Art Briles intends to bring back the excitement to Floyd Casey Stadium. You can read more from Saturday’s Tulsa World from Jimmie Tramel’s column

--John Wilkerson

Friday, July 18, 2008

UCF Claims They Notified Plancher of Condition

In a statement released on their university athletics website , University of Central Florida Athletic Director Keith Tribble claims that the Knights administration relayed their medical information on sickle cell trait to 19-year-old Ereck Plancher ((pictured left from Orlando Sentinel and Plancher's Facebook profile)) as he continued to participate with the UCF football program.

The Medical Examiner's report on Plancher's death was released and revealed Plancher had sickle cell trait as a pre-existing condition. He died during an off-season workout on March 18.

From Kyle Hightower's article in the Orlando Sentinel ((thanks orlandosentinel.com)): Plancher photo

"The analysis conducted by the Wuesthoff Reference Laboratory in Melbourne found Plancher's collapsed and died because of the "sickling" of his cells in the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, adrenal glands and thymus.

The toxicology analysis as well as the internal examination of all his systems showed no defects or irregularities."

Points of view on the circumstances surrounding Plancher's collapse, death, and treatment that day at practice differed from players to coaching staff. The "mat drill" Plancher and others participated in was initially reported to be 10-and-a-half minutes long, but later it was revealed to be twice that length. Players came forward telling the media that coaches yelled at Plancher since he was running last in his drill. Head Coach George O'Leary said he did not see Plancher fall at any time, but did see him get up from the ground. Offensive Coordinator Tim Salem said he did not see Plancher have any difficulty. UCF performed an internal review of the events surrounding Plancher's death and, according to Tribble:

"...we have acted compassionately toward Ereck's family and with a thorough review of the facts."

The National Athletic Trainer's Association release on sickle cell trait can be found hyah

Ereck Plancher's Report of Autopsy from Orlando is hyah

The Orlando Sentinel's full coverage of Plancher's death is hyah

David Whitley's column on the new findings is hyah

The call to UCF Police and Orange County (FL) 911

UPDATE 19 JULY: A family member tells the Sentinel that no one was aware of Ereck Plancher's medical condition. Cousin Wood Faugue says the release of information in the autopsy was a surprise to everyone close...

"None of us had any idea, and I'm sure if they did inform him of that he would have told at least one of us."

Ereck Plancher's parents are currently visiting relatives in Haiti. They have not been notified of the Medical Examiner's report. Word is they also have retained counsel and are set to return to their Florida home in the town of Naples next week.

UCF Head Coach George O'Leary released a statement Friday:

"The health of our student-athletes is our top priority, and we provide superb medical care at UCF," he said. "I am confident our medical staff will evaluate this report in detail as part of our ongoing review."

The weekend update from Iliana Limon and Kyle Hightower at the Orlando Sentinel is hyah

Dear Four-Letter Word (ESPN)

Dear Four-Letter Word (ESPN)

Actually before I get into my letter, I just want everyone to know that I just found out that the All-Star game is over. Apparently (since I didn’t watch it), the game lasted almost 4 days and ended in the bottom of the 117th inning. I guess that is my payback for slamming the game in my last column (Damn!)

Dear Four-Letter Word (ESPN) again…

Dear Presumptuous Producer,

I am looking for someone there in the land of arrogance and self-promotion to explain to me why I have been subjected to 2-weeks of non-stop stories on Brett (Whinny Bitch) Favre. The constant “Will he or won’t he?” speculation and the “What should he or the Packers do?” comments have officially driven me to the edge of insanity.

I say this because despite the occasional fits of arrogance and self-promotion, I do generally enjoy the product that you put out. However, it really is getting under my skin that whenever “YOU” decide that a story is a “Big Deal”, “WE” are subjected to a non-stop barrage of commentators, experts and players both current and former, all of whom engage in non-stop speculation.

If I sound bitter about this, I’m not. I am just trying to figure out why, with everything else that happens on I don’t know, pretty much a daily basis, you seem to think that Mr. Whinny Bitch is important enough to qualify for a slug on your nefarious “Bottom Scroll”? It almost seems as though we are getting the long feared, not used much anymore Saturday Night Live “Buckwheat has been shot” treatment.

I get that Mr. Bitch is a future Hall of Fame player with an insanely long list of credentials. I also understand that his 3rd, and this time official for a couple of months retirement was a big deal. Whenever a “Sports Legend” retires, it is a big deal, I know that. What I don’t understand is why there is a need to say that “He should be allowed to come back” or “He’s earned the right to do what he wants”. Yes, I know this is America and you can do whatever you want, but in Mr. Whinny’s case, he is holding a football team, and you could argue an entire football division hostage.

Too often, you (Four Letter Word) seem to get hung up on the overkill and oversaturation of your stories. Not only do you subject us (the viewer) to 5-7 minutes each night on your main show SportsCenter, you also subject us to the nonsensical ravings of the endless parade of former, not-quite successful former players on each of your non stop stream of Specialty shows that seem to air in an endless loop throughout the day.

My point is this, everyone knows that there is a story here and we aren’t naïve enough to say that you should ignore it. But my god, there seems to be an automatic 5 minute analyst segment every time that Mr. Bitch or anyone from the Packers emerges from the bathroom. Much in the same way that you have slaughtered Chad Johnson by giving us non-stop, weekly one-on one interviews with him, we (the people) are tired of coverage overkill. All we ask is that you slow down; report facts when they happen and let the story play itself out. Do we really need to know about text messages and possible rumored meetings if they aren’t confirmed? No!

Thank you for your time and understanding. It is my sincere hope that you understand that I bear no ill will towards Mr. Whinny Bitch at all, as I along with everyone else eagerly look forward to the next insincere statement that he makes.

Thank you,

The Staff of OnlineSportsGuys

Thursday, July 17, 2008

That Tour de France Thing...

Hey, it’s that time of year again…

Yeah, you say, the slowest time of the sports calendar… since the Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton, pretty much, carried us through the Professional Baseball Mid-Week Popularity Contest and Baseball Game with his performance ((dare we say- “Ruthian” performance?)) in the Bronx. And now we have to kill time until college football teams are allowed to practice…

Nah…not that…

The Tour de France…

What???!!! Isn’t that the bike race where Lance Armstrong had Sheryl Crow wave and wish him good luck before he was seen with the Olsen twins and Kate Hudson???

Well, yes, it was… But he doesn’t race in it anymore…

He’s busy being seen with the Olsen twins and Kate Hudson these days, remember…?

Hey, they’re all clean riders now… or at least they say they are clean…

We’re supposed to believe in that concept, right…?

It’s Not About The Bike…

But, apparently, and to no one’s surprise at OSG HQ an entire team has exited the proceedings after one of their riders came up on the plus side of an International Cycling Union-mandated testing procedure after the 12th stage of this year’s Tour.

I know what you’re saying… they’ve already gone 12 stages this year…?

Riccardo Ricco had won two stages, and the A-sample of his test had what was referred to as a “new generation EPO” in it. Two marginal riders had been bumped off with positive tests earlier in the race- one of them, Moises Duenas Nevado, was still being questioned by authorities when Ricco was being led away in handcuffs. Ricco’s team, Saunier-Duval, decided enough was enough and pulled out as a group.

You realize that this is the third year in a row that something like this has happened…? And some of the riders are talking out of both sides of their mouth when they see their peers checking in to the French equivalent of the Po-Po.

Australian Cadel Evans said that “that the sport is being cleaned up in serious, fair and transparent way. Our sport is being crucified for doing the right thing.”

Understand, simply, that if you guys didn’t keep thinking that you could win in one fashion- enhanced- that the rest of us wouldn’t laugh at you and your too-tight tights, your six-hour rides, your aerodynamically efficient helmets, your Schwinns-turned-into-rockets, and your sport in general.

Simple, really… isn’t it...?

You don’t cheat. You play fair. You take your tests. You pass your tests. You win.

See Jim bike. Bike Jim bike.

See Jim cheat with a needle in his ass. Cheat Jim cheat.

See Jim suspended by his sport

See viewership go away.

Go viewers go.

"It's just amazing. It's irresponsible," British cyclist David Millar said. "This guy does not have any love or care for the sport."

You think…? And fans are leaving in numbers as well… or at least they should…

I’m half-tempted to say that either all of you should be allowed to cheat, or none of you should be allowed to cheat. The UCI should make up their mind once and for all. Let all of their hearts explode on the French countryside in some reckless, over-speeding, Autobahn induced excuse of a peloton.

Or shut it all down…

dot…dot…dot…

Ricco had been under some watchful, and appropriately-raised, eyebrows ever since he admitted that he’s had high hematocrit levels “ever since he was a child.” For those who don’t have PhD’s in hematology ((that’s English for the “study of all things bloody…” Got that one…?)), hematocrit levels are the indicators for red blood cell count levels inside the body. High hematocrit levels make people suspicious of EPO use, and you can circumstantially add one and one to come up with EPO use.

You just can’t connect those dots outright. The UCI did, anyway.

All you have to do is check other things, like hemoglobin levels, for back-up.

The two cycling teams based in the US, Garmin-Chipotle and Columbia, independently test their riders- separate from the UCI or Tour testing procedures. They are making pledges to cycling fans they will ride clean or the rider busted is out of a job.

I think it’s too late to bring interest into this country, even with such a noble thought. Ricco is 24 years old. If younger cyclists think they can skirt the system with new, designer drugs they will think of themselves as “bulletproof” until further notice.

Irony of ironies… after Ricco’s win in the 9th stage, he said:

"I hope soon that everybody will stop speaking about that."

Maybe later…

Play it safe, everyone… I’ll talk to you soon…