Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Crossing the line?


OK, I get as a member of the media we have to report on more then just sports...Box scores and X's and O's just don't sell, especially on the radio. It was a reward to share the moments of Thom's family leading up to the birth of his grandchild, that is why we all could relate...we were all tied in. We love the story, the feel good story, or the bad guy to good guy redemption story...either way we love a winner. Yet one thing we as human beings simply cannot do is look at people strictly as athletes, or hosts, or writers, or contractors, or truckers...Everything we do is molded together and the outcome is how we are perceived. The Tennessean reported with details about Albert Haynesworth's divorce, and I believe that as necessary as it may be to get the story out...to leak details I believe is irresponsible and unfortunately more the norm in this business. If there are criminal charges as in Adam Jones' case then that is something that should be out there, however to nitpick a marriage and the divorce proceedings to follow is an injustice. How many writers on that staff have been divorced or are dealing with a bad marriage? Where as with reporting about crime it's safe to say the paper doesn't employ criminals...or at least the type of criminal reporting on those specific crimes. Let Albert be judged by his performance, mistakes, and redemption on the field; not by us fans who can't separate the nonsense from relevant.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Radio Free Pacman

Well, for a day, Pac was back...on the Michael Irvin Show on ESPN Radio in Dallas. Pac tried to say all the right things and for his part, Irvin was not a pushover. When Pac said "Goin' to the strip club ain't a sin", Irvin said, "Well, actually it is...." and when Pac said his first three arrests were bogus, Irvin said, "That's what all the guys in jail told me about them too...". But Jones' general ignorance aside, you have to wonder if anyone can break through to this guy. His on field talent is unquestioned, though not quite as great as some would have you believe. But there is so much more to being a teammate. He needs to be trustworthy. He says he respects the Titans, yet he continued to behave in a way that betrayed them. He says he takes responsibility for his acts, yet he's done nothing wrong. He says he'll stay away from the strip clubs for 3-4 years, then 2-3 and finally a "couple" of years. He says he's going to change his life "360 degrees". That's what I'm afraid of.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Many Thanks...

From the beginning, right or wrong, I have always made my family a part of the show, and many of you have been through all the ups and downs with us. Well March 19th was definitely an "up" as I became a Grand Pappy for the first time! (With 9 kids, my guess is this won't be the last!). Since I couldn't be at the hospital at the time, I really appreciate the listeners allowing me to make that part of the show. My wife's call to the show from the delivery room had to be one of the rawest moments of emotion ever heard on live radio. We will have it posted soon on the Audio page on the website.

I am very proud of my Daughter Kristen and her husband, Al, and, of course, Crimson Olivia. Now, a note on that name. Kristen is an accomplished artist, and she has always wanted to name a daughter "Crimson". She couldn't find Tuscaloosa with Mapquest, and I certainly had NOTHING to do with naming the kid! If it was a boy, the name would have been Dominick Joseph....and no, they weren't going to call him "Nick"! Thanks again for all the great e-mails, they have been sent along to be a part of her baby book...Finally....hope your brackets are holding up!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ostracised


The nature of our sport, America's sport is this: The MLBPA is examining possible collusion against Bonds and others, but namely Barry Bonds. Bonds is yet to be hired for his guns 1 more year as he continues his *Assault on the history books. Now the Union is going to claim foul play because nobody wants to play ball with Barry...Boo Hoo. I find it very hard to bite the bait on this one that we should feel sorry for him. The union hasn't named anyone else they feel has been mistreated by the owners yet, and my guess is they wont. This is about Bonds and their agenda...Don Fehr has mentioned he is OK with the future punishments handed down by Bud Selig to all players mentioned in the Mitchell Report. So Don is cool with any punishment handed down as a result of this document, but cant accept punishment handed down by owners to Bonds, as a cause of the same document? If we cant prove he took roids let's just come out and say it, but to backtrack in the name of hypocrisy just exposes the union for flip-flopping. Too bad Fehr hasnt used this as an opportunity to remain silent and actually call a bluff from Ol' Buddy Selig on this so called "punishment".

Sunday, March 16, 2008

First Blush...

Random first thoughts on the Bracket...Tennessee a 2 in the region the overall number 1 is in? So Texas, Duke and Georgetown, all with more losses and a lower RPI than the Vols, get "higher" 2s?...Duke comes in 2nd in their conference, and loses in the Semis in their tourney....Wisconsin wins the Big Ten regular season and tournament and is a 3? Memphis is the 1 seed in the south and would play 2 seed Texas in Houston in the regional final? South Alabama is in as an "at large" but Arizona St. is not? Looking for a "Sleeper" in each bracket? Pitt in the South, Notre Dame in the East, Clemson in the Midwest and maybe Western Kentucky in the West...at least for the first upset... Easiest route to San Antonio? UCLA. First 1 that could be done? Memphis at the hands of Michigan St. Toughest region...South. I'm just sayin'....

March Madness...And Not Just Hoops!

What a weekend of Sports! The SEC Tourney turns into Bizzaro World with Georgia winning it all in front of 1000 fans in on an ACC court on CBS on ESPN2...OK...And I didn't even mention Steven Hill beating the Vols on his only basket of the game in the final seconds of the Semi-Finals......Clemson upsets Duke, Pitt dumps G'town and the wacky brackets come out...The Preds squeeze one out in Detroit to keep playoff hope alive....The Rockets dump the Lake Show for number 22 in a row, and the top spot in the west...and then there's Tiger. 20th place on Saturday morning and he rolls it around for 63-66 over the weekend and caps it with a 25 footer on 18 to win his 7th IN A ROW! Reality TV? Tune in a game!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Woman's Intuition....

The Show had ended at the Georgia World Congress Center (left) and I really didn't want to leave downtown. I had a great plan...I'd check my wife and the kids into the Omni Hotel, right across from Dome and Centennial Park, and she could take the kids swimming while I walked over to take in
the Bama-Mississippi St. game. I was preparing all the angles about how I "Had" to be there, even though my work week was over...I'd hang for the UK-Georgia game as well....My wife had a different plan..."let's go back to the hotel in Buckhead, grab some dinner and you can watch the game in the
room"...Yeah...that made sense...and would look better on my expense
report. As usual, it was a solid call by her.

In the meantime, Mikial Riley's 3 to send the game most likely kept
hundreds of people in the Dome when the storm hit. The biggest losers were the Blue Nation who showed up Thursday to prepare to cheer their beloved Cats, who wouldn't play until late Friday...and then they didn't play. To make matters worse, when they did play, on Saturday on Georgia Tech's floor, the fans weren't invited. The final insult was having to listen to Cats lose to Georgia.
As for UT, I would not be shocked at all if they have blown a number one seed for the Big Dance. That spot will go to the winner of the Big Twelve Title game between Texas and Kansas. Here's one suggestion...GET RID OF THE NASTY BLACK SHOES!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hypocrisy or Just Good TV...


Well look who's making their ESPN debut tonight...Everyone's FAVORITE bad guy Bobby Knight...The man who made his legacy off the court with tirade after tirade, mostly directed towards the media, is kicking off his coverage of the game he so dominated way back when. I think it comical that of all stations ESPN would hire him, as they have been overly critical of Knight and barely covered his retirement. The snub of press coverage he has received over the last years of his career is proof positive. Which brings me to the 1 point I want you to take home...The one thing Ben Is would even agree on with me! This is all a sham...It's for lack of a better term BS. Look it's so clear, this station has spent the past 5 years either bashing or ignoring the man who finished his career as the best. They rarely focused on any achievement on the court, except of course a new tirade topping the last belligerent outrage...So ESPN is hiring this dude simply for the shock factor...for the Rush Limbaugh factor. That is what Bob Knight has become, a gimmick. Oh don't worry, you will get some analysis but this is the American Idol of NCAA Coverage. I wonder if we would be holding such high standards to John Daly if he were as successful as Bobbo was...I for one will have the TV on mute.

More MLB Stupidity

It's our game, our National Pasttime. Oh, football is our passion, but baseball is still our pasttime. So why the facination to take it overseas? For REAL GAMES? Now I'm no Red Sox or A's fan; in fact, I'm with Hank on the whole "Red Sox Nation" thing. I think ESPN stands for Especially Sox Programming Nation...but I digress. For any team to have to open it's regular season half way across the world, and then resume Spring Training is ABSURD! Most of the team doesn't want to take the trip, none of the fans want to see them take the trip and what is the POINT? Baseball is already huge in Japan. Here's an idea...why not take the games to small town America! Teams won't even play exhibitions anymore in their Minor League towns. And we lost the Hall of Fame Game due to scheduling difficulties. No scheduling problem kicking the season off in JAPAN though! This is another example of the twisted management of baseball...I don't blame the Sox for inventing as many injuries as they need to. But how will Sox Nation respond if they miss the playoffs by a game or two?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Why Not?

Let's see...born and raised in Kentucky, starred at Alabama, stuck in Seattle who just signed TJ Duckett and Julius Jones. Mix in the fact that Titans GM Mike Rienfeldt came over from the Seahawks and is very familiar with Shaun Alexander...kinda seems like a no-brainer to me! Look, I don't know what all the money ramifications are, but you don't go from MVP to BUM in two years. Alexander is young enough to resurrect his career in a new surrounding. Jamal Lewis had over 1300 yards for the Browns last year and a 4.5 yard average...yeah, he's washed up too.
Alexander could get back to the southeast, play on natural turf, and provide some serious veteran leadership for the Titans new look offense. The Titans have the cap room...and this is one deal that would make sense.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

End of an Era...

He didn't win the most championships, or have the highest QB rating of all time, but he sure was fun to watch! Several major sports outlets are reporting that Brett Favre has decided to hang 'em up after 17 years in the NFL. Favre hold most of the "most" records in the league. Most yards, most TDs, most INT's, but those things are the numbers of an accumulator. Vinny Testaverde is in the Top Ten of most of those lists as well, but you won't find him in any "Greatest QB" polls. The two things that made Favre stand out was his ability to answer the bell every week...every week, and his incredible leadership ability. Through youthful passion for the game, whether leading a 4th quarter comeback or carrying a teammate off the field in joyful celebration, Favre was a special player.
The things that made him great may have also cost him at times. Optimism, a key component in leadership, often made him think defenders were imaginary, or couldn't possibly catch his lasers. Fittingly, his last pass was an overtime interception that sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. No matter. This guy is why they invented NFL Films. He is a true legend in the history of the game...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Who Knows?

UT loses to Vandy then squeaks by Kentucky, Memphis struggles with Southern Miss, UNC struggles with BC, Duke struggles with NC St. and UCLA has to hold off a sub .500 (in PAC-10) Arizona. So you tell me who's number one? Maybe Kansas, who avenged a loss to K-State...or not. The key will be, which 4 are number 1....as in number 1 seeds in the Big Dance. With so much parity, I don't see any of these teams mailing it in during their conference tourneys, which is good for the fans. But not so much for the teams themselves who can be susceptible to upset in the really big tourney. All I know is that the Madness is here, and if this past weekend is any indication, we're in for A HECK OF A RIDE!