Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kay Yow Remembrance Special


This is one of those rare television moments...
WRAL-TV gets major kudos from those of us at OSG HQ for blowing out early-prime time programming for a half-hour special Friday night. They spent the entire time reminding us of the impact Kay Yow had on not just athletes, but supporters and those who were fighting cancer along side her...

Well done...

The Class of 2009

((HT:: Pro Football Hall of Fame))

Wide receiver Bob Hayes, guard Randall McDaniel, defensive end Bruce Smith, linebacker Derrick Thomas, owner Ralph Wilson, and defensive back Rod Woodson make up the Class of 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame ((pictured, thanks to the Hall of Fame)) enshrinees.

The six-man class was elected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee who met today in Tampa, Florida. The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 17 finalists that had been determined earlier by the committee.

Hayes, a gold medalist track star in the 1964 Summer Olympics, combined his world class speed with great hands. “Bullet Bob,” a three-time All-Pro pick, caught 371 career passes for 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns.

McDaniel was named All-Pro nine straight seasons and voted to a record 12 consecutive AFC-NFC Pro Bowls during his 14-season career with the Minnesota Vikings (1988-1999) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000-01).

Smith, the first overall pick in the 1985 draft by the Buffalo Bills, is the NFL’s all-time sack leader with 200 career sacks. A member of both the NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s, Smith was named first-team All-Pro nine times and voted to 11 Pro Bowls.

Thomas amassed more sacks during the 1990s than any other player. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls, named All-NFL three times, and was All-AFC seven times in an eight-year stretch.

Wilson founded the Buffalo Bills in 1959 and has watched his team win back-to-back AFL titles in the mid-1960s and become the only team ever to advance to four consecutive Super Bowls. He was an integral part of the AFL’s success and has also served on a number of important NFL committees over the years.

Woodson, a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team in 1994 and selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, intercepted 71 passes which he returned for an NFL record 1,483 yards and a record 12 touchdowns. He was named All-Pro six times and voted to 11 Pro Bowls.

The 2009 class will increase to 253 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Enshrinement of the Class of 2009 will take place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Enshrinement Ceremony will be televised live by both ESPN and the NFL Network.

Friday, January 30, 2009

PGA Tour Suing Ginn Resorts

The PGA Tour sued Ginn Resorts on Friday, citing breach of contract after the real estate company dropped sponsorship of the Champions Tour Ginn Championship.

Ginn, which has seen its financial well-being take a serious hit in the worldwide economic downturn, announced on Wednesday it was ending all golf sponsorships immediately, including the Champions Tour event and the LPGA's Ginn Open.

"We regret having to take this legal action, but feel we have no other recourse than to try to recover what had been guaranteed to our members through existing agreements with Ginn Companies," PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said in a statement.

Ginn still had three years remaining on its title sponsorship contract with the Champions Tour and had planned a $2.5 million purse for 2009.

The lawsuit was filed in Flagler County, near the PGA's Florida headquarters, and was first reported by the Florida Times-Union. The tour is seeking unspecified damages, with the lawsuit only saying they would exceed $15,000, which is the standard language used in lawsuits of this type filed in Florida.

"The tour will incur monetary damages, including but not limited to Ginn's agreed-upon contribution to the tournament purses and other expenses of each tournament, as well as lost television fees and other revenues from the tournaments,"
the lawsuit reads.

Ginn said late last year that it was dropping the PGA Tour's sur Mer Classic because of the ailing real estate market. But the LPGA event in Reunion, Florida, and the Champions Tour stop in Palm Coast, Florida, were both to be played on Ginn courses.

"We also had no forewarning that Ginn was planning to cancel the 2009 Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach, and only learned of the decision when the company issued a release late Wednesday,"
Votaw said. "In fact, we had been in discussions with them on possible modifications to the agreement."

However, the lawsuit suggests that there were signs many months ago of Ginn being in financial distress.

As noted in the suit, Ginn Development president and CEO Robert Gidel wrote to the PGA Tour on Aug. 11, saying "economic and other factors have caused Ginn to re-evaluate its ability to sponsor the remaining tournaments" in the company's five-year contract for Champions Tour play.

"Ginn will not be in a position to sponsor any remaining tournaments after the March 2009 championship tournament," Gidel wrote at the time.

Three weeks later, according to the lawsuit, Ginn failed to provide the PGA Tour with a letter of credit that would have secured the prize money for this year's Champions Tour event at Hammock Beach.

Ryan Julison, spokesman for Ginn in Celebration, Florida, said the company does not comment on pending legislation.

Last week, Ginn ended its real estate sales and marketing operations "due to the loss of revenue" that was the primary source of funding the purses and buying television coverage for the LPGA and Champions Tour events.

"We did the best we could, but the economy got the best of us," Gidel told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Kay Yow's Video Statement

This was the video that Kay Yow produced when her cancer returned.
It was played at her funeral Friday afternoon...

It is simultaneously touching, prescient, and a little eerie.
Coach Yow's faith and humor in the face of what she went through is all on display.

Yow: It's Been A Wonderful Journey


The extended family of Kay Yow gathered Friday ((photo courtesy/Chuck Liddy, Raleigh News and Observer)) to say their final goodbyes to North Carolina State University's longtime women's basketball coach. Yow, 66, died last Saturday morning after her third recurrence of breast cancer in five years.

"We did not lose one of us, we lost a part of us," said Rev. Stephen Davey, senior pastor at Colonial Baptist Church, told the hundreds of people gathered in the church for her funeral.

Davey said the memorial service was Yow's last chance to "challenge and impact all of our lives."

Yow taped a 20-minute video where she discussed her faith and said farewell.

"I don't want you to fret over the fact that I'm not here or question why I'm not here. God knows what he's doing," she said. "It's been a wonderful journey."
The video elicited laughs from the crowd as Yow related a story of a florist that mixed up cards on two floral arrangements, sending a "Congratulations on your new location" card to a funeral.

"Rejoice," she then told those in attendance. "I'm in a new location, a wonderful location."
People began streaming into the Cary church Friday morning for a public viewing of Yow's quilt-draped casket before the afternoon funeral for the coach who made her mark in women's basketball and the fight against breast cancer.

"Normally in your life, you affect maybe one or two people. She's affected thousands of young women and young men with her witness," said Tom Burleson, a former N.C. State basketball player. "We're just ... proud of what she's done and what she's accomplished, and whatever we can do to honor her is not enough."
University of North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell, Pat Summitt of the University of Tennessee, Geno Auriemma of the University of Connecticut and Debbie Ryan of the University of Virginia, who also has battled cancer, were among Yow's former competitors who attended the funeral.

"Kay has had such an influence on my life," said Summitt, who tapped Yow as an assistant coach for the 1984 Olympic team. "She was just a great woman that had such great influence on me and everybody that she knew."

"Kay was a very, very big part of my life and (was) just a person that was very special," Ryan said. "It was just important that I be able to (attend her funeral)."
Yow arranged the funeral service before her death, including taping the 20-minute video a few years ago when her cancer returned and writing a poem about the limitations of the disease that was handed out to all who attended.

She didn't allow any current of former players speak at the service for fear of displaying favoritism, said Rev. Mitchell Gregory, pastor of Yow's church, Cary Alliance Church. Instead, he read notes and remembrances from a number of players.

Gregory said gentleness was Yow's hallmark, and she displayed it both on and off the basketball court.

"She was zealous about cultivating that virtue," Gregory said, "although gentleness dripped from her every action."
Yow's burial was scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in her hometown of Gibsonville. The burial service, which is open to the public, ends a week of public remembrances for her.

More than 4,100 people packed Reynolds Coliseum Thursday night for the Wolfpack women's first game since Yow's death. The team wore pink uniforms and shoes to honor her fight against breast cancer.

The campus also held a public tribute to her Wednesday night.

Coverage from the Raleigh News and Observer is in black...

Lawyer: Vick To Halfway House "Any Day"

((HT: YahooSports))

A lawyer for Michael Vick told a federal bankruptcy judge Friday that the imprisoned NFL star could be transferred to a halfway house in Virginia any day.

The judge presiding over Vick’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case asked about the transfer during a hearing at which he also approved procedures to sell some of the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback’s property.

“He’s in the process of being released to the halfway house,” attorney Paul Campsen told Judge Frank Santoro. “We expect it to occur any day.”

But the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has not given Vick’s attorneys a specific date for the move, which Campsen said could occur with only “a day or so” notice. Vick is serving a 23-month sentence at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, for his role in a dogfighting conspiracy. He is scheduled for release July 20 but could serve the last few months of his term at a halfway house in Newport News, his hometown.

“We believe he is ultimately going to be reinstated by the NFL,” said another Vick bankruptcy attorney, Michael Blumenthal.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not said whether he will lift Vick’s suspension after his release. Vick once was the league’s highest-paid player before his indictment and guilty plea left both his finances and his reputation in tatters. He filed for bankruptcy protection in July, claiming assets of $16 million and liabilities of $20.4 million.

Papers filed in his bankruptcy case show exceptionally poor management of Vick’s fortune, including lavish and often unexplained spending and an array of questionable investments. The case has been complicated by poor record keeping and Vick’s sketchy knowledge of where his money was going.

Santoro said Vick’s finances could be “charitably described as in freefall” when he filed his bankruptcy petition. As part of the case, Vick’s lawyers had to file a financial disclosure statement along with his proposed plan for reorganization. Santoro last month rejected the statement and ordered a new one, which he rejected again on Friday.

The judge said he found no fault with Vick’s lawyers’ efforts to sort out a complex mess but still found the disclosure statement difficult to comprehend.

“It’s clear to the court that the statement is the result of a very diligent effort to bring order out of what could accurately be described as the chaos of the debtor’s financial situation,” Santoro said.

But he said creditors who must read and understand the statement before voting on whether to confirm the bankruptcy plan probably would be confused. He gave the lawyers until February 11 to draft a simplified version, including a chart to help creditors understand how Vick’s assets will be handled, and set another hearing for February 27.

Santoro approved the hiring of brokers to sell five boats and four cars owned by Vick.

The judge also approved Vick’s plan to sell his suburban Atlanta home at auction. Blumenthal said the eight-bedroom home in a gated lake community has been shown to about 30 potential buyers, and a deal to sell the home for $3.15 million fell through at the last minute. Now the plan is to start the bidding at $3.2 million.

No date has been set for the auction.

Grieving But Giving Their All

Thursday night the NC State Wolfpack women's basketball team played their first game since the death of their beloved head coach, Kay Yow. While NC State lost to Boston College 62-51 that's OK for the Wolfpack are still grieving the loss of their head coach, their leader.

It's easy to say NC State was emotionally spent when the game began. The Pack only shot 14% from the field in the 1st half and were down 36-15 at halftime.

Fight and resiliency have always been trademarks of Kay Yow's teams. Down 50-19 and with over 4,000 fans in Reynolds Coliseum cheering to rally the troops, that trademark returned as NC State began to rally back.

Kay Yow would always remind her teams to never give up and this team didn't.

Shayla Fields channeled her emotions and sparked a 24-4 2nd half run to cut Boston College's lead to 11. Fields scored 15 of her team high 17 points in the 2nd half.

Though they gave their all toward the end NC State was emotionally spent and Boston College prevailed.

Disappointment in losing a game? Not now, the emotions were to raw for that. It was a victory just to suit up and play.

As for me, to quote the late, great Jack Buck "Pardon me as I stand up and applaud."

Here's a game story from the Raleigh News & Observer
And here's WRAL-TV's coverage as the Wolfpack community prepared for Yow's funeral Friday...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not Such A Wise Ole Owl

Sammy the Owl is a lovable mascot for the Rice Owls. Wednesday night though, Sammy got his feathers ruffled when his beloved Owls played Tulane at ancient Autrey Court and was tossed from the game.

Check it out from CBS College Sports. Thanks

Curtis Shaw is the official that ejected Sammy the Owl from the game so let that be a lesson to all you mascots, especially those from Temple & Florida Atlantic (all owls). If you really, really give a hoot you just might get the boot.

Sammy the Owl missed what was a great ending to this game witnessed a maybe 100 fans. With the score tied at 59 with 5.2 seconds left, Tulane's Kevin Sims goes coast to coast, throws it up and wins it on a wing and a prayer for the Green Wave 61-59.

Then things get a little interesting on the post game handshake line. It seems Rice head coach Ben Braun took exception to Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson's celebration after the basket was deemed good. Roll the video tape.

It was near mayhem but nothing more. Sammy the Owl missed it. He had left the nest but I'm sure he flashed the bird to the Tulane team.

Rahal - Letterman Out Of Indy Car

The world of motor sports is getting killed by the economy. NASCAR teams have either folded, merged or layed off employees. It's just as bad with the open wheels as IndyCar has lost one of its teams. Rahal Letterman Racing has pulled out of the 2009 IndyCar Series because it cannot find a sponsor to support its program.

RLR won the Indianapolis 500 with Buddy Rice in 2004 and brought Danica Patrick to the IndyCar Series.

"At this time Rahal Letterman will not be in the IRL in 2009," team co-owner Bobby Rahal told The Associated Press in an e-mail Thursday.

American driver Ryan Hunter-Reay drove for RLR last season and won the race last July at Watkins Glen.

Rahal - Letterman Racing say it will continue to seek sponsorship as well and concentrate on its sports car alliance with BMW in the American Le Mans Series.

RLR is co-owned by talk-show host David Letterman.
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Could Felton be Fired?

Coaching Chaos Continued...


It looks like the latest casualty in the College Coaching ranks may be upon us soon. The University of Georgia has called an 11am Thursday Press conference to "Speak about the state of the Basketball program".

You can read into it what you will, but with the 'Dogs sporting a 9-10 overall record along with no SEC Conference wins combined with a very evident lack of effort in most games, you can draw a pretty obvious conclusion. The 'Dogs lost last night to Florida 83-57.

We aren't saying that they are going to fire Coach Dennis Felton, because nothing has been made official...yet. But, he probably would have lost his job last season had the 'Dogs not pulled off one of the greatest miracles in College Tournament History by winning 3 games in 2 days at th SEC Tournament.

((photo courtesy of Streeter Lecka/Getty Images))

Stay tuned here to the OSG and we will update this story as we learn more.

**UPDATE 10am- ESPN is reporting that Felton is fired, check out the story here **

**FURTHER UPDATE 10:30- OSG Sources confirm the firing. Also, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirms the story and adds that Pete Herrman will be the interim coach. Check out there story here **

Alabama Coaching Soap Opera

It appears Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith isn't looking for work. Smith's name has been mentioned toward the Alabama job, one that C.M Newton is advising Alabama athletic director Mal Moore. You see Newton hired Smith at Kentucky in 1997. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Smith isn't interested in moving to the South again.

"I'm happy here in Minnesota," Smith said Wednesday. "I'm not looking for any jobs. We've got a great recruiting class coming here next year, so I'm excited about where the Gopher program is, and I'm not a candidate for any other jobs. "

"So I don't want any more questions about it.''

Not a problem we won't ask.

Missouri head coach Mike Anderson commented on looking for work (Alabama?) after Mizzou was upset by Kansas State 88-72 in Manhattan, KS.

"Right now, this is the most important right now," Anderson told reporters. "I'm the head coach at the University of Missouri. I'm focused on having a great season. We're in a battle right now, so that's where my focus and that's where my energy is right now."

Interesting if you read between the lines. Anderson is a Birmingham, Alabama native and did have success at UAB. He seems willing to listen.

So Much For That Idea: Wake Knocks Off Duke


Here's your wrap on Wake Forest's last-second win over Duke...
Jason Jennings and Jeff Gravely share the details on James Johnson's lay-up that salvages the night for the Demon Deacons...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Now, If They'd Only Listened To Melissa...

They'd have beaten Oregon State...
Go Trojans, but more importantly... Go Melissa!!!

FOSG Melissa Ponzio completely chases after Pete Carroll's playbook below...
Get your heads out of the gutter kids, we're being literal...

Ray Emery Does Not Like To Wear The Hat

((HT: Rogers Sportsnet))

And to think former Ottawa Senators goalie Ray Emery was having such a good season in the KHL...

After getting pulled after two periods in a 5-1 loss Wednesday night, he was approached by a guy behind the bench. The guy wanted Emery to wear a hat the guy had in his hand, but Emery wanted nothing to do with either the guy or the lid.

Emery took a swing at the gentleman and chased him down the entranceway...
Emery's agent, JP Barry, knew nothing of the incident below...
Of course...
Now, why did the Sens have an issue signing the free agent again...?

Tom Penders= Richard Nixon

((HT: Awfulannouncing))

The University of Houston Head men's basketball Coach Tom Penders thinks that the four-letter has it out for him...

We showed you the video of the University of Arizona's Chase Budinger getting curb-stomped by the Cougars Aubrey Coleman over the weekend. Penders was a guest of Lance Zierlein's program on KGOW/1560 AM The Game this morning...

Penders thinks he knows that the folks in Bristol doctored the video from the game and claims they've done that kind of stuff before. Hey, he used to do some work there...

Here's Zierlein's blog at the Houston Chronicle... with audio goodness from Penders...
Here's the curb-stomping again...
Just because...
((HT: FSN/NCAA/the youtube))

Another Great Moment In Sideline Reporter History

Yes, I'm being sarcastic but it's about time a head coach let a sideline reporter know that a question is a dumb one on live TV. It happened to ESPN's Jeanine Edwards who asked Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie about Jodie Meeks. And coach Gillispie reminds Edwards there is no "I" in team.

I have to respect Jeanine Edwards though, she didn't flinch. She moved right on to the next question.

A Losing Proposition

This Explains a few things...

You kind of have to feel sad for the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers. Apparently, neither team is capable of making their owners some...well any money.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constituition, the Atlanta Spirit Ownership Group, mentioned many times here on the OSG, have tried in vain to keep the teams afloat despite the fact the teams have lost over $174 Million Dollars since the 2002-03 seasons.

Check out the story...right here

Unfortunately this explains several things, like the perennial poor performance of the Thrashers, one of the worst teams in the NHL over the past 6 years. The Hawks have been right there with them, though they have shown signs of life over the past 2 seasons, including this one where they are on a pace to win 50 games.

The fun part of this story is that this report is coming out in advance of what will be a very nasty and very public court case pitting the Atlanta Spirit against a member of their group, Steve Belkin. The case, set to begin February 17th in Montgomery County, Maryland for some strange reason, should be a very surreal and possibly very telling story....Stay Tuned.
((logos courtesy: Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers))

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Live Coverage of That Game In Florida

Since it worked so well during the professional baseball championships, we're going to see if it works for the football championship in Florida this weekend...

We know that covering the Super Bowl is no fun, really... you're trying to create something out of nothing and fight the journalistic traffic jam for satellite space and making slot for an entire 8-day period...

Not fun...
But we decided to give you a look at how things are down in the Gulf...
Enjoy... watch for FOSG Angela Jacobs all week as she does her normal stellar work...

Kelvin Sampson Has Grapefruits

And we don't mean in the checkout aisle...

According to Mark Alesia's article in the Indianapolis Star, the former Indiana University head men's basketball coach ((pictured, thanks IBJ)) is appealing his five-year banishment from coaching in the NCAA.

We think he just realized he's an assistant coach in Milwaukee and wants out...

The article says the appeal will be based on two points:

"The first is that the infractions committee misinterpreted testimony by former IU assistant Rob Senderoff, which led to a conclusion that Sampson knowingly placed impermissible recruiting phone calls, and thus was guilty of unethical conduct.

The second is that the NCAA enforcement staff, essentially the prosecutor in the case, was biased and showed a prejudgment of guilt by requesting a hearing before all of the interviews were complete."

Sampson can get away with the first point through strict interpretation. If Senderoff made the phone calls, and Sampson was present on the line as a third-party then Sampson did not officially punch the digits on the phone. He let Senderoff's fingers do the walking... we get that one.

But, apparently, Sampson has an issue with multi-tasking in Point 2...
Because of his shenanigans, remember, he was given a five-year "show cause" order, which means he can't play with the NCAA unless the school that picks him up wants penalties imposed on them for signing him.

Sampson isn't talking. His attorney isn't talking. The NCAA isn't talking.

But the Bucks are taking on the Pacers Wednesday night in Indianapolis.

Court Documents Yield Questions In Gilpin Case

((HT: Fox 41/WDRB-TV))

[ed. note- this was a posting from WDRB's website from January 6]

Jerry Wyman, Director of Activities and Athletics for the Jefferson County Public School district, was questioned by Gilpin family attorneys saying that "proper protocol were followed" after the collapse and later death of Gilpin.

He admits to going to the school before Gilpin had died to retrieve documents about the teen's physical, the head index, and proof that Gilpin had paid his district insurance. He says he talked to head coach Jason Stinson at the hospital, but didn't take a statement from him. He says he also talked to the athletic director Craig Webb about responding to Max by getting him water and some ice on him.

Wyman says from the evidence he found, "It looked like they had acted appropriately based on my knowledge of what action they should have taken, which are limited."

JCPS says some people may be critical of him not officially interviewing the coaches, but the district says that's not part of his job. It says his responsibility is to look for athletic guideline compliance.

JCPS' security and investigation division is working its investigation. The district says it's already interviewed hundreds of witnesses, but a few interviews haven't been completed.

Mary Frazier is one of dozens of people who witnessed PRP's practice that day.

"Couple of the boys wanted to take drinks of water, go over to the fountains, and the coach said that it wasn't time to go for water yet and get back out and practice some more. I was upset that day thinking. 'I hope I don't read about him in the paper,' " said Frazier.

JCPS says its investigation is still on-going.

Meanwhile, the Louisville Metro Police Department gave its information to the commonwealth's attorney's office several weeks ago. It's under review to be possibly presented to a grand jury for possible criminal charges.

Court documents show Max Gilpin's mother says her son was taking Adderral, which is primarily prescribed for ADHD patients.

She also says Max Gilpin had taken a nutritional supplement called Creatine, but stopped using it a month before his death.

Who Will Be The New Head Men's Basketball Coach At Alabama?

You want to be a head basketball coach in the SEC? There's an opening at the University of Alabama. There are a few banners hanging from the creaky rafters of Coleman Coliseum so the Crimson Tide has had success. Yes there's talent there to be had.

Then again the fan base treats college basketball as something to do before spring football, Sarah Patterson's gymnastics program sells out Coleman and you probably won't and then there is the Nick-tator, who casts a menacing shadow on campus.

With that said, names are being thrown around and lists are being compiled. Here's a few names making the rounds and a few to think about.

Anthony Grant - VCU head coach: Grant should be coaching in the SEC anyway at Florida but Billy Donavan decided there was no Magic in Orlando and came crawling back to Gainesville. Grant might feel he has maxed out at VCU and ready to make the next step. He would be a great hire but VCU is not a bad mid-major job.

Sean Miller - Xavier head coach: Xavier is the gold standard of the mid-majors. A program willing to spend much of it's resources on it's basketball program and they do take care of Miller financially. He won't get kind of love at Alabama. Unless you are chomping at the bit to coach at a big boy school, stay with the Musketeers.

John Calipari - Memphis head coach: Yeah right, Calipari is the king of Memphis. He's got all that talent in the city to recruit and an NBA arena that draws big crowds. Heck, the Tigers outdraw the Grizzlies. Thanks but no thanks.

Mike Davis - UAB head coach: He is an Alabama native and played for the Crimson Tide under C. M. Newton for a year (don't be surprised if Newton assists in the search.) and then played for Wimp Sanderson. Davis did lead Indiana to the NCAA Title game in 2002 so he has proven to be a success at the elite level. The question with Davis is whether he is charismatic enough with the media to sell the program to recruits?

Mike Anderson - Missouri head coach: He's struggling at Mizzou, not likely.

Scott Drew - Baylor head coach: What Drew has accomplished with the Bears is simply remarkable. He took a program from the lowest of the lows to the upper division of the Big 12 conference. Drew should be at the top of Alabama's list but it will be a tough sell to lure him to Tuscaloosa.

Tubby Smith - Minnesota head coach: It's going to take a you know what load of money to lure Tubby from Minnesota, he's got something going on with the Golden Gophers. The SEC I'm sure is a been there done that deal for him. But hey the weather is warmer.

Frank Haith - Miami head coach: Haith knows what it's like to be a head basketball coach at a football school and in many ways upgraded the Hurricane men's basketball program. Under Haith Miami is always a factor in the ACC. In other words, playing a game at Miami has been a pain in the butt for the ACC elite. This is a guy that should be in Alabama's cross hairs.

All those names are head coaches already and might command a large paycheck to make the move. Alabama could go the cheap rout a find a hot shot assistant coach foaming at the mouth to be a big time college head basketball coach. Crimson Tide fans, play out the string and enjoy the silly season.

Your Monday Jason Stinson Wrap-Up/Louisville

((HT: Fox 41))

Here's Bill Alexander's piece from the late news in Louisville...

F-You, State!!!

((HT: George Sipple, Detroit Free Press))

Michigan State coach Rick Comley suspended sophomore forward Corey Tropp and freshman forward Andrew Conboy for the remainder of the season Monday, following an incident Saturday night in a 5-3 loss at Michigan.

Conboy grabbed U-M defenseman Steve Kampfer from behind and knocked him to the ice. Tropp then slashed Kampfer with his stick in the neck area as he lay on the ice. Kampfer was not seriously injured and is expected to play this weekend. Kampfer was playing in his 10th game this season after suffering a cracked skull and fractured neck in an on-campus incident in October.

“What happened near the end of the game this weekend is not the way in which we want our hockey program represented,” Comley said in a statement. “We cannot condone their actions. We felt that we had to send a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated. However, one thing needs to be clear — this was an incident that was an emotional, split-second action, for which these players are being punished. I don’t want this to be portrayed that this was anything premeditated or that any single player was targeted.”

Just so you know, the headline comes from one of the lovely chants that the UM students dropped on Tropp and Conboy while Kampfer was trying to figure out what day it was as he was laying on the ice...

For the record, it was a real punk-ass move...
((HT: FS Detroit/the youtube))

Monday, January 26, 2009

Your Weekly Western Hockey League Brawl

((HT: Brooks/the youtube))

The play-by-play under this is priceless... from the Enmax Center in Lethbridge, Alberta...
It's the Medicine Hat Tigers and the Lethbridge Hurricanes ((we think)) from last Wednesday.
Courtesy: 94.1 The Lounge with Pat Seidlecki and Dick Gibson calling all the action.
We are, now, quite fond of Dick's descriptions of what he thought of the Tigers play...

By the way, Lethbridge won 7-5 on Beech's empty-netter... the 'Canes are now one point out of 5th in the Eastern Conference 6 points behind Medicine Hat.

Mountain West Wants Part of BCS

Steve Weiberg of the USA Today lets us know that Commissioner Craig Thompson of the Mountain West Conference is ready for his seat at the big-boy table for the holiday meal instead of that nasty, rickety old card table in the next room.

You know which one we're talking about... the one that, as an elementary school kid put you in some kind of adult-meal limbo. You weren't old enough to sit in the big chair, so you still had to sit with the distant cousins who were four and five years old and still tried to make "Devil's Mountain" out of the mashed potatoes and peas- thinking that if you hid the peas under the potatoes that you'd escaped eating a vegetable.

Or if you gave them to the dog under the table when the adults weren't looking, you'd gotten away with it again.

Thompson has had no such luck, yet- not for a lack of trying...
Even with three teams finishing in the Top 25, he gets it...

"The argument I will hear back (from the BCS) is, 'Craig, here it is. It's done. It's been agreed to. It's signed,' " Thompson says. "That doesn't mean you can't put it on the table

"One of the options would be to visit with the BCS coordinator … just to lay out our position."

He adds, "I would not be optimistic. As I explained to them (the Mountain West presidents), it's a series of legal contracts among 11 conferences, four bowls, two TV partners with yet another TV partner coming in. I would not see much of a relaxation."

So, we'll all just leave you with this... and laugh at Alabama football in the interim...

Stringer Lawsuit Settled By NFL

((HT: Minneapolis Star-Tribune))

The widow of Minnesota Vikings lineman Korey Stringer ((Pictured, thanks Columbus Dispatch)) reached a settlement with the NFL over his heatstroke death during training camp in 2001. Under an agreement with Kelci Stringer, the NFL will support her efforts to create a heat illness prevention program.

No other terms of the settlement announced Monday by a family spokesman were released.

Kelci Stringer had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the league, claiming the NFL hadn't done enough to ensure that equipment used by players protected them from injuries or deaths caused by heat-related illnesses.

"We were able to find what we feel is a very fair settlement that helped us move to the next step," said James Gould, a spokesman for the family who also was Korey Stringer's agent.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the heat illness prevention program will be for children and older athletes.
A separate lawsuit against equipment maker Riddell Inc. remains pending in federal court in Columbus, Gould said. The lawsuit alleges Riddell fails to warn players and coaches that wearing its helmets and shoulder pads in hot temperatures can be dangerous.

It seeks a jury trial.
Korey Stringer was a 27-year-old, 335-pound lineman. He died from heatstroke July 31, 2001, during the second day of training camp in preparation for the 2001 season. He practiced in the sweltering heat and humidity, which pushed his body temperature to 108.8 degrees.

Stringer and his wife both attended college at Ohio State, where Stringer left for the NFL in 1995 after his junior season.
And those of us here at OSG HQ think that same school in "Central Florida" was watching this lawsuit's ending as well... just a thought...

Stinson Arraigned in Kentucky Court

Former Pleasure Ridge Park High School ((KY)) football coach Jason Stinson was arraigned on one count of reckless homicide Monday for the death of PRP student Max Gilpin from complications of heat stroke back in August of 2008.

Stinson appeared in Jefferson County Circuit Court and entered a "not guilty" plea. He was released on his own recognizance with no bond required. His court date is set for March 20th. Late Monday afternoon Stinson was booked, fingerprinted, and had his mug shot taken. He has 24 hours to turn himself in to authorities and is not considered a flight risk.

"...This is not about football and not about coaching, it's about an adult human being who had training and is responsible for the health and welfare of a child," said Dave Stengel, Commonwealth's Attorney.

A reckless homicide charge is sought when according to Stengel:
"a person fails to perceive a risk that a reasonable person in that situation would have seen and that person’s actions cause a death..."

Co-counsel Brian Butler has said publicly that his team will be looking in to the overall health condition of Gilpin leading up to the August practices. There is also the distinct possibility that the body of the teenager wil be exhumed.

"I am fighting for a coach who is a human being fighting for his innocence. If the rest of the country wants to use this as a test case, so be it," said Alex Dathorne, Stinson's attorney.

If convicted, Stinson could receive a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Those of us here at OSG HQ think one coach and school in "Central Florida" will be paying close attention to this case to see how it turns out.

The arraignment of Stinson is below...
((HT: WDRB/Fox 41 Louisville))

The Louisville Courier-Journal's coverage from Antoinette Konz and Jason Riley is in black...

Tide Turns For The Worse For Mark Gottfried

Mark Gottfried quit Monday as the head basketball coach at the University of Alabama. Here's the statement released by the University:

University of Alabama head men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried has resigned effective immediately, UA Director of Athletics Mal Moore announced today. Crimson Tide assistant coach Philip Pearson will assume the role of interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

"My number one priority is to do what is best for the University of Alabama, this basketball program, and these young men," Gottfried said. "Mal and I sat down today and we talked. At that point, I notified him of my intention to resign as head coach of the men's basketball program. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity and the privilege to lead our men's basketball program at Alabama for the past 10 and a half seasons. It has been a wonderful decade for me and my family, and I love the University of Alabama, but I feel that it is in the best interests of everyone involved. I want to thank our players, their families, our coaching staff and their families, and our great fans for all of their support over these last 11 seasons."

"I accepted Coach Gottfried's resignation," Alabama athletic director Mal Moore said. "I respect Mark's decision and will begin immediately working on a permanent replacement. I agreed with him that it is in the best interests of the men's basketball program for us to move in a different direction."

Assistant coach Phillip Pearson will take over immediately as interim head coach.

Gottfried has been criticized over the recent departure of star guard Ronald Steele, who skipped the end of his senior season. The school cited an injury, but Steele said there was more to his decision than that.

This move is probably a couple of years to late. Alabama hasn't done anything on the hardwood for quite some time. Judging from Ronald Steele leaving the team, the players were fed up and tuning Gottfried out.

Lately Alabama has been at best mediocre to the point the Crimson Tide were irrelevant to their fans who have drunk the Nick Saban cool aid. Gottfried's early success at Alabama was old news.
Photo Courtesy: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Card-Pitt: A Marriage That Went To Hell

65 years ago the 2 teams battling for the Super Bowl championship were one team.

Back in 1944, World War II was still raging and many NFL players were dodging bombs rather than catching them in the European and Asian theater. Wartime sacrifice was greatly effecting the NFL as teams could not even field a team. Some franchises folded while others merged.

The year before, the Pittsburgh Steelers were down to 6 players so owner Art Rooney got permission from then NFL commissioner Elmer Layden to merge with the Philadelphia Eagles, who were also down in numbers. That year the Steagles as they were known had moderate success.

In 1944 the Steelers merged with the Chicago Cardinals to form Card-Pitt. Now the Cardinals were in the middle of a 29 game losing streak so they were bad. Combined with the Steelers it became god awful.

The Card-Pitts were a team of no talent, no chemistry and no clue and finished 0-10.

It got so bad that 3 players on the team were fined for "indifferent play" following a 34-7 loss against the Chicago Bears. In today's terms, they were fined for playing like crap. The players were ticked off and fought with the coaching staff. So much for team chemistry.

Steelers owner Art Rooney called Card-Pitts “the worst team in NFL history.” That they were.

So when you watch Super Bowl XLIII lets hope the game doesn't go down the toilet like there combined efforts did in 1944.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Your 2009 NHL All-Star Recap

We just figured we'd skip to the ending...
It was 11-11 going to the Shootout...
The rest we leave up to Jim Hughson and the folks at the CBC...
((HT: CBC/NHL/the youtube))

Jason Stinson Speaks- Charges Expected Monday

Saturday night, former Pleasure Ridge Park High School ((KY)) head football coach Jason Stinson ((pictured, thanks Fox 41 Louisville)) spoke to supporters outside his home 36 hours before he was set to face reckless homicide charges.

Stinson is charged in the death of a PRP sophomore, Max Gilpin, who collapsed during an August 2008 practice and died three days later from complications of heat stroke. Gilpin's body temperature reached 107. Stinson is accused of failing to render aid and denying his players water.

PRP students and Stinson supporters, assistant coaches included, arrived to show their support for Stinson on the football field at PRP and on Stinson's doorstep. The embattled coach briefly appeared to say a few words to those who showed.

The report from Fox 41 in Louisville is below...
It is understood the Gilpin family will be in a Jefferson County ((KY)) courtroom on Monday to see Stinson's case as it is brought to a judge.

Garrido Apologizes, Gets Suspended


University of Texas head baseball coach Augie Garrido ((mugshot courtesy, KEYE/APD)) apologized for his DWI arrest last week at a press conference with Texas AD Deloss Dodds. It was announced that Garrido would be suspended for the first four games of the 2009 baseball season as a result.

"I made a serious mistake," Garrido said Friday at a news conference with Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds. "I drank alcohol, I got behind the wheel of a car, and that's a bad decision."

For the record, those first four games of the season are a series against Illinois-Chicago in Austin.
We fully realize the loss of Garrido will shake college baseball to its very foundations for those four days. We cheer for the Flames during that weekend...

The coach immediately receives the "No Joke, Sherlock" Award for January.
Nolo contendere...

Chase Budinger's Face Gets Waffled...

((HT: Deadspin/ESPN))

Couldn't resist this bout of stupidity...
The University of Houston's Aubrey Coleman wanted to clean off the soles of his shoes during the game against Arizona at the McKale Center in Tucson.

One problem- he used Wildcat Chase Budinger's face as his welcome mat...

And Houston WAS UP 12 AT THE TIME!!!
We laugh in Houston's general direction since they lost by six in overtime.
Bear Down To You, too, pal...

We imagine C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky's phone rang shortly after the game was over...

Coach Wins 100-0, Fired By School

((HT: Dallas Morning News))

You've all heard the story by now...

Bottom line is that some high school athletics teams are better than the opponents on their schedule. When the talent level is as disparate as it was when Dallas Academy lost to the Covenant School ((pictured, 100-0, the whole world knows about it or finds out about it soon enough.

After the game on January 13, Covenant posted a statement saying they regretted the incident- calling it shameful and an embarassment. Their 100-0 win didn't reflect a "Christ-like approach" to competition.

Dallas Academy people were chapped over the idea that Covenant kept the defensive pressure on late in to the contest. Covenant Head Coach Micah Grimes then challenged the school's assessment by saying in his own e-mail posting:

"...I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls’ basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed,” Micah Grimes wrote in an email sent to The Dallas Morning News. “We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.”

After the posting Sunday, Grimes was fired. Kyle Queal, the school's Headmaster, went on to say that Grimes "only represents himself." Queal also could not relay the notion that Grimes' firing was a result of his open disagreement with the school hierarchy.

Two-and-a-half hours after Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News wrote about the disagreement, he had to do a re-write.

And the original piece from KTVT, re-worked by CNN...

Chara Rocks The MPH- 105.4

As much as we are pimps for the puck here at OSG HQ, the Saturday NHL All-Star Skills Competition was pretty boring- save for the Breakaway Challenge, Alexander Ovechkin and the yupset that almost was in "Hardest Shot."

The Mighty Chara rocked the short hair cut to the tune of a new MPH record- 105.4- bereaking the old record of Al Iafrate's 105.2. Iafrate's record was set the last time the All-Star Game was in Montreal 13 years ago.

So much for showing the Skullet every year as a highlight...
Enjoy the new champ...
((HT: Versus/NHL))

Fedor Keeps Rolling

The beauty of one punch... but none of us really saw the punch that did the damage...

Fedor Emilianenko and Andrei Arlovski went at it over the weekend for the WAMMA title...
And for most of the first round, it was Fedor picking his spot...
He did... and Arlovski was gone after one shot late in the round...
We smells a rematch... and there was no way this was going to go the full 25 minutes...
((HT: Affliction/the youtube))

Is It So Joe?


Joe Torre takes some harsh swings at Alex Rodriguez, Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees in a book due out early next month, according to New York newspaper reports.

"The Yankee Years'' reveals that Rodriguez was called "A-Fraud'' by his teammates and the star slugger developed an obsession with shortstop Derek Jeter, the New York Post and the Daily News reported Sunday.

Torre, who managed the Yankees from 1996-2007 before taking over the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, also says he was betrayed by Cashman, New York's longtime general manager, the Daily News reported on its Web site

Torre had a hot-and-cold relationship with Yankees ownership, including George Steinbrenner, but Cashman was thought to be a consistent ally. The GM did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.

The book, co-authored by Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, is due out Feb. 3 and is being published by Doubleday. It is not a first-person account but instead a third-person narrative by Verducci based on dozens of interviews with Yankees players and employees, reported, citing an unidentified source.

In the book, Torre also says Steinbrenner learned the manager had prostate cancer (during spring training 1999) before Torre even had a chance to inform him.

Torre guided the Yankees to the postseason in all 12 years as manager and won four World Series titles from 1996-2000. But he was offered a one-year contract with a pay cut after the 2007 season, following New York's third straight first-round playoff exit.

Torre turned down the proposal, saying he felt insulted by the offer of bonuses based on postseason performance. He soon agreed to a three-year contract with the Dodgers and led them to the NL championship series last year before they were eliminated by the Philadelphia Phillies, who went on to win the World Series.
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

The Skinny On Vinny... On The Move...?

Depends on who you talk to...

It could be that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier could be on his way to Edmonton for a truckload of stuff... just when everyone thought he was on his way to Montreal to put them over the top in the centennial season.

But, if you read Bruce Garrioch's column in the Toronto Sun, the front office for the Bolts is in full spin-and-denial stage.
GM Brian Lawton sayeth quote:
"It's just a pipe dream that people think we're going to trade him."

Not if you have problems making ends meet with your current economic policies...

The idea was for Lecavalier to go north on Monday for three players, two prospects, two Number One draft picks, and a third-rounder.
Rogers Sportsnet's Louis Jean is tracking as well. According to Jean, the Oil have made a strong play for Lecavalier, but the Lightning won't do anything unless they alert the captain as to their intentions of a trade- and to whom. They apparently haven't had those kinds of talks.

The numbers ((according to
Tampa Bay is at just over US$51-million with about US$5-and-a-half million left in space.
Lecavalier is signed to a monstrous US$85-million extension through, what seems, the year 2250. It's only for the next ten years on paper...
Edmonton is at US$54.5-million and has, about US$2.2-million left to play with.
This would, probably, mean that Dwayne Roloson is done after this season at US$3-million, and the goaltending with be Dany Sabourin and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.
Gilbert Brule and Robbie Schremp may be on the table as cheap, young talent.
Erik Cole, as a UFA after this season, may be a sign-and-trade at US$4-million-ish...
Dustin Penner as the, currently, highest-paid Oiler at US$4.25 through 2011-2012 is in play.
Shawn Horcoff as the ((after this season)) soon-to-be highest-paid Oiler ((4 years US$26-million starting next season)) is in play.
Lubomir Vishnovsky, defensively, with his long-term deal at 4-years left at $21-million may be in play.
Our ear is on the Transactions train tracks...
Keep you posted...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kay Yow Passes Away

OSG has learned that NC State Head Women's Basketball Coach Kay Yow passed away Saturday morning after a long a heroic battle with breast cancer. Yow was 66 years old.

An updated story from WRAL Channel 5 in Raleigh:

An inspiration to thousands as she battled cancer while leading the North Carolina State University women's basketball team, Kay Yow died at Wake Medical Center Saturday morning, The Associated Press reports. She was 66.

The university announced that Yow died on Saturday morning. She had been in the hospital since last week. Yow was first diagnosed with the disease in 1987.

During her 38-year Hall of Fame coaching career, Yow won more than 700 NCAA games – one of only six women's basketball coaches to top 700 victories – and an Olympic gold medal. She coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, won four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships, earned 20 NCAA tournament bids and reached the Final Four in 1998.

But her biggest victories came off the hardwood, where she repeatedly beat back cancer and shook off the pain of the disease and the medical treatments to lead her teams. For many fans, Yow was best defined by her unwavering resolve while fighting cancer. She raised awareness and money for research, and stayed with her team through much of the debilitating effects of the disease.

"Coaching lifts me up," she once said. "Once the ball is tossed up, I forget pretty much about everything and just focus on the game. If I just do nothing, I feel like I'm giving in to the disease."

Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in conjunction with the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research

Click on the image to donate!

Here is some of WRAL-TV's ongoing coverage of Yow's passing...
Bob Holliday has a look back at Yow and her legacy...

NC State color analyst Tony Haynes discusses the legacies of both Yow and Jim Valvano
((HT: 99.9 FM The Fan/Raleigh))

Long-time friend Pat Summitt discusses Yow and her legacy
((HT: ESPN/the youtube))

Friday, January 23, 2009

Preds To Buy Their Own Tickets To Assure League $$$$....????

Apparently so...

The Nashville Predators are looking to buy unused tickets in an attempt to secure a game attendance average of 14,000. If they hit that number, then they get the maximum allowed share of the NHL's revenue-sharing plan.

Owner David Freeman told Michael Cass in an article in The Tennessean newspaper that they haven't done that yet, but they're really thinking about it.

From the Cass article:

"We've consistently said that we're here to give everything we've got to make this work," Freeman said.

Through 22 home games, the Predators' average paid attendance stands at 13,744, said Ed Lang, president of business operations. That's 256 tickets short of the 14,000 average required for a full share of the NHL revenue-sharing pool.

The team also must increase its revenue at the same rate as the rest of the league to qualify. That means the owners can't just buy up tickets on the cheap to get to the attendance requirement, Freeman said, adding that they would buy them at market rates.

Teams that don't fully meet the criteria can receive partial revenue shares, Lang said. For example, falling just short of one target might mean a 75 percent share. The revenue-sharing plan was worth a full share of about $12 million to the Predators after the 2007-08 season. The plan exists for small-market clubs like Nashville, which receive money from a pool the NHL collects from the 10 highest-earning teams.

Lang declined to discuss the Predators' expected earnings from the revenue-sharing plan, but he and Freeman said the money is key to the organization's business plan.
"It's absolutely critical to us," Freeman said. "We're doing everything we can to grab as many dollars as we can so we can build the best hockey team we can build."

City officials said they weren't concerned about the possibility of the Predators' owners boosting the attendance numbers without actually putting more people in the seats.

"If it's fair to do and it's OK with the league, I don't know why anybody would question it," said Arnett Bodenhamer, who was elected last week as chairman of the Metro Sports Authority, the Predators' landlord at city-owned Sommet Center.

Other than calling frozen shenanigans in order to save your own ass, those of us here at OSG HQ would like to suggest that Mister Freeman either put up or shut up where the franchise is concerned.

If it means selling the other 73-percent share to Jim Balsillie to make the team profitable- and movable- then, so be it. If Balsillie is awarded the 27-percent share from US Bankruptcy court over the "Boots" Del Biaggio fiasco, it should only be a matter of time anyway.

We have always thought that hockey in Nashville is a cool idea- pardon the pun. Barry Trotz has been forced to work financial miracles in trying to turn ice water in to wine. It should serve as a small-market model of success.

And Trotz should be awarded an official order of the Volunteer for all he's done...
But there's only so much bailing of the bath water before you reach the baby...

AHL Player Leaves Ice On Stretcher After Fight


Philadelphia Phantoms forward Garrett Klotz ((pictured, thanks TSN/Comcast Sportsnet)) left the ice on a stretcher Friday after a vicious fight with Kevin Westgarth of Manchester ended with the winger suffering from a seizure. Klotz was immediately taken to a hospital, where it was revealed he suffered lacerations but no fractures to his face. He was fully responsive and alert while being treated.

"It was a scary incident," said Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. "But we just got word from our doctor that he's clear - there's no facial fracture. They're stitching him up - his jaw is fine and there's no tooth fracture or anything. It's a scary ordeal, but he's going to be fine."
Immediately following the opening faceoff, Klotz and Westgarth dropped the gloves. With their helmets off, the two went toe-to-toe at center ice, exchanging glancing blows. The duel shifted towards the Monarchs' bench and Westgarth steadied before unleashing several haymakers to the head. Klotz was hit with an uppercut that caught him off guard and Westgarth continued with a pair of pin-point rights, the latter sending Klotz to the ice.

On his way down, Klotz appeared to land awkwardly on the boards. Though he did not hit his head on the ice, his knees were shaking uncontrollably and his eyes rolled to the back of his head as the stretcher quickly made its way towards the bloodied player. Westgarth concernedly looked on from the penalty box as several Phantoms helped Klotz onto the stretcher and off to a local hospital.

Both fighters stood at 6-foot-5 with Westgarth weighing in at 247 pounds and Klotz at 235.

Watch the clip by clicking in black...