Sunday, February 28, 2010

Edward Salcedo: Don't Forget the Name

The Atlanta Braves announced this week the signing of 18 year old Edward Salcedo. They consider Salcedo the same caliber as a first round draft selection, which is especially important since they don't have one this year because of their signing closer Billy Wagner. The Dominican Republic native has the right combination of hitting and fielding ability to make it to the Atlanta infield in a few years as either a shortstop or third baseman. Another plus about Salcedo is that with Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar holding down the left side of the Braves infield, the club won't have to rush him through the minors. Just remember the name Edward Salcedo. He'll be at the forefront in a few years.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Damon Evans & Trey Thompkins: "Look-a-Like" Dawgs

Is it just me, or does Georgia men's hoopster Trey Thompkins bear a striking resemblance to UGA athletic director Damon Evans? Nevertheless, Evans made a great move in his hire of Bulldogs basketball coach Mark Fox, and Trey did a great job in Georgia's upset win over Florida in Athens today. By the way, one UGA student held up a sign that asked: Does Tebow cry when the basketball team loses too? Ya gotta love it!

Gatorade: Not in Tiger's Tank

Gatorade has severed its relationship with Tiger Woods. No, actually Tiger severed it himself with his off the course activities. When Accenture dropped Woods as its primary spokesperson, he was actually the face of their company. Not everyone knew what Accenture was/is, but they knew/know who Tiger Woods is. They felt one who lived by the Icon could also die by the Icon. It isn't quite the same with Gatorade. We all know what Gatorade is and what it does. Now they don't see a role for Woods in the marketing of their product. I agree with them, unless perhaps they come up with a theory and advertising campaign that Gatorade enhances your sexual prowess. In that case they might want to bring the golfer back. But I digress.. Think about this: We, John Q. Public, feel that a six figure income is adequate in supporting a comfortable life style for the most part. Woods has now topped the TEN FIGURE mark in career earnings. When you're that big do you feel the income loss from an Accenture, Gatorade, and AT&T? Do they really matter to you? Is it a big deal? I expect it hurts his pride more than his pocket, especially when Nike says they are firmly behind him. But if he ever looses that Swoosh, it will be a totally different set of circumstances.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Randy Moss: Not Very "Krafty" of You...

There is this old saying that goes like this: Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Well, if Randy Moss hasn't bitten the hand, he sure is nipping at it a little bit. He says he doesn't think he will be in New England after the 2010 season because the Patriots ownership isn't willing to pay the price to hold on to top talent. Pats' owner Robert Kraft begs to differ, reminding everyone he has paid Moss more that $20 million over the past two years. If I were the player, I would strive to have a great year this season and force management to cough up the big bucks to get me to stay. But then again, I guess it's all about talk and hype this time of year. There's another old saying in the South that begins: Frankly, Scarlet... Just let me know if I need to finish it for you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If It's Phoenix, It's Gonna Be Wild

The next stop for the PGA touring pros is Phoenix, Arizona and the absolutely unreal Par 3, 16th hole. An enclosed spectator friendly hole like no other in golf, the 16th can be an imposing challenge for even the most seasoned of golfers. There is bustling, there is movement, there is noise, and there is unpredictability all rolled up in one. A Pro might hear his old college fight song, unflattering remarks about his hair or appearance, orchestrated chants, and just about anything under the Arizona sun the crazed fans in the stadium atmosphere that is the 16th can concoct. Golfers get cheered and booed, heckled and applauded, and then get the heck out of Dodge when they complete the hole. Kenny Perry returns as the defending champion at Phoenix, because in between all the mayhem, there really is a golf tournament going on.

Muhammad Ali: "I Shook Up, The World!"

On February 24th, 1964 Muhammad Ali defeated Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston when the champion failed to answer the bell for the seventh round. This was the fight when it was believed that an astringent was used on Liston's gloves to impair Ali's vision. Also, it was the fight that claimed the championship for Ali, and made the entire boxing world acknowledge him as a formidable heavyweight boxer. He was no longer just about his mouth, he was about skill and toughness in the ring as well. After the fight, he stood on the ring ropes and proclaimed "I am the greatest! I am the greatest! I'm king of the world!" Perhaps he really was.

Joannie Rochette: Courage Personified

Joannie Rochette is full of character. And class. And fortitude. And she's a pretty good ice skater on top of that. For a young lady to continue to compete in the Olympics 72 hours after your mother dies suddenly of a heart attack takes all of the above traits. She skated well enough in the ladies short program to move into third place heading into Thursday's free skate. She managed to capture the hearts of everyone, everywhere in the process. If I had been an Olympic judge last night, I would have given her points for courage, fortitude, and willpower. I think she deserves an award for inspiration, because she inspired so many people all over the world with her performance. Thank you, Joannie. Your mother would have been many times more proud of you than all of us are. And that's a heck of a lot of "Proud".

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Do You Believe In Miracles?"!

Today is the 3oth anniversary of perhaps the greatest upset in sports history, when the USA hockey team defeated the heavily manned Soviet Union team in the winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet team was considered by many to be the best hockey team in the world at that time, while the American team was made up of amateur and collegiate players. ESPN has been focusing in on this anniversary of "The Miracle on Ice", and the highlights and Al Michaels famous calling of the game will bring back those 'goose bumps' every time. U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.!

The University of Georgia ranked 6th in the nation in football attendance in 2009. The Bulldogs sold out the season in Sanford Stadium, averaging 92, 746 per game "Between the Hedges". Including road/neutral site games, Georgia games were attended by more than a million fans, earning them a national ranking of 10th. The Southeastern Conference drew more spectators than any other conference in the country for the 12th consecutive year. For the record,Michigan led the nation in average home attendance, drawing 108,933 to the 'Big House'.

Friday, February 19, 2010

No Tears For Tiger

The long awaited press conference by Tiger Woods is over. Tiger resurfaced publicly today from the depths of his unfaithfulness to tell us all that "I am deeply sorry". That's fine with me, but I didn't really need to here it. I don't think the apology restores Woods' off-the-course credibility at this point. It doesn't for me, but I don't usually buy a product because a certain 'jock' endorses it anyway. I'm more apt to not buy a product that a certain guy might endorse. Kind of like me pulling against a certain team in a game more than actually pulling for their opposition. But I digress. Since we all know that the only place Tiger Woods is above anyone at all is on the golf course with his exceptional talent for the game, let's just get on with it. His personal behavior did not disappoint me because I didn't know anything about him to begin with. Now I know the words 'character', 'integrity' and 'class' do not fit Woods. Perhaps they never did. He is unquestionably one of the greatest golfers ever. I say 'one of' because I have no way of knowing what Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Nicklaus, etc. would have been like with today's ball, today's equipment, and playing on today's perfectly manicured courses. We'll never know those answers but it really is not an issue. The bottom line is Tiger Woods appears to be a much better golfer than a person. As far as I'm concerned, Tiger can swing anything he wants as much as he wants. On or off the course. There still will be no tears here for Eldrick "Tiger" Woods.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy "50th" Mark Richt

Georgia head coach Mark Richt turns 50 years old today. The upcoming season will be his 1oth in Athens, and he is already the dean of current SEC coaches in respect to longevity at his current school. He was born the same year as Jim Kelly, the quarterback he played behind at Miami (see above). Happy Birthday Coach, and I hope your next birthday with a zero behind it finds you preparing for your 20th campaign as Georgia's "Head Dawg".

U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.!

The United States had never won six medals in a single day at the Olympics. We have now! On Wednesday, the U.S.A. team captured 3 Golds, 1 Silver, and 2 Bronze. No other country has ever garnered more than six on a single day. Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White (above), and Shani Davis all won their events. Julia Mancuso took home a silver, giving the Americans a one-two finish in the women's downhill, and Scotty Lago and Chad Hendrick earned bronze for the United States. No one was surprised at White's victory, and Davis has been an American hopeful as well. However, the sweetest triumph had to be Vonn's victory in the downhill. Only a week ago she wasn't even sure she would be able to ski due to a severe shin injury. But ski she did, overcoming the course as well as her injury. A great day for the American team, and a great day for Lindsey Vonn!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bode Miller: Bronze "Bodes" Well

Bode Miller captured the bronze medal in the men's downhill at the Vancouver Olympics Monday. With the bronze, the 32 year old Miller becomes the most decorated American Olympic Alpine skier of all time with three medals. It's great that these accolades are coming this year after he actually considered retiring from the sport just six months ago. Miller is a gifted athlete who has certainly experienced the ups and downs of a long career. We're glad you stayed around, Bode!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bill Clinton: Just Another Old Stogie...

Hey Bill, that's not that same cigar is it? You know the one: you, Monica, the White House, etc. Got it now? Whew, oh good, a different one. You had me worried there for a minute. I don't think the Scots would like you disrespecting Loch Lomond Golf Club with that old used Stogie anyway. By the way, you look somewhat disheveled there Bill. Rough day on the links? Here's a positive thought for you; it's a lot better to be at Loch Lomond playing poorly than at home with Hillary with your "A" game. Feel better now? Thought so...

It's the Daytona 500: Really?

In the past when I've posted about NASCAR, which hasn't been that often, I've been pretty critical about the sport. I think the governing body of the sport has micro-managed it to the point that it sometimes seems orchestrated like a WWE wrestling match. I know in racing (pronounced "racin'") the winner isn't predetermined, but everything else appears to be scripted. Too many rules, too many regulations, not enough "old fashioned" racin'. After watching different segments of the 2010 edition of the Daytona 500 (Hall & Oates had a great concert on Direct TV at the same time), I've discovered watching a NASCAR event is a lot like watching an NBA game. You just have to turn in for the last five minutes (at the most) to get it all. Back in the days of Petty, Pearson, Yarborough, Allison, Lorenzen, "Fireball" Roberts, etc, racin' was exciting like smash-mouth football is exciting. Now it's just plain boring. It's follow the leader for the most part, wait for the "Big One" (wreck) to happen, and listen to the commentators rip the English language to shreds. Not to mention this year the track sprung a leak, as in a big pot-hole that caused the race to be red-flagged on two occasions. NASCAR calls this race its Super Bowl, and I was trying to imagine the real Super bowl being halted in the third and fourth quarters because a cavernous hole appeared on the thirty five yard line. Or the World Series coming to a halt before the center fielder falls into an abyss. But I digress. The race was eventually completed in breathtaking fashion on the final lap. Like I said, it only takes less than five minutes of viewing.

The Head-Coach-In-Waiting: Why Wait?

I've never been a big fan of the title "Head Coach in Waiting". It seems to me to put both the school and the designated coach in the throws of too many variables in the future. Things change over the course of time for both parties, and I think it could put both of them at a disadvantage, or awkward situation, at some point. Texas (above) and Maryland are the only two schools with CIWs on staff currently, so perhaps it isn't going to be as 'trendy' as it appeared. And it certainly won't if the NCAA passes yet more legislation. For example, a college head coach is allowed only one visit per recruit, and cannot leave his campus to recruit during the spring evaluation period. Assistant coaches are the ones doing the majority of the road work by far. Now the NCAA wants coaches-in-waiting to be bound by the same recruiting restrictions as head coaches. This would put a heavier work load on other assistants on staff, and thus be a detriment to the entire recruiting process for that particular school. Sounds o.k. to me. If you're going to be the 'next' head coach , you might as well start acting like it.

Lindsey Vonn: Let Her Games Begin

Lindsey Vonn, the two time overall World Cup Champion, skied Sunday for the first time since February 2nd, and pronounced herself almost ready for the first event of the Vancouver Olympics for women downhill skiers. The American skier is our best hope for Olympic medals in women's downhill events, expected to capture three or four medals. Her first event will be the 'Downhill', which begins Wednesday. The downhill is her best event, where she has won five of six events this season. All downhill events have been moved back due to weather and slope conditions, which has proven to be a huge benefit to the recuperating Vonn. She suffered a severe shin injury that has threatened to keep her out of these Olympic Games altogether, but the extended time off the slope has enabled her to be able to recover just in time. I have a feeling she will be "Von-tastic"!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Excessive Celebration: Is It Really That Excessive?

I don't think you make a controversial rule better by making the penalty for it tougher. But that is what the NCAA is considering doing with the excessive celebration penalty in college football. They would like to make the penalty a live-ball foul, which would nullify the play and impose a fifteen yard penalty from the spot of the infraction. Although the proposed new rule would only impact live-ball unsportsmanlike personal fouls, the rules committee doesn't seem to be addressing the inconsistent nature of the foul and the way it is called by officials. This call is far too subjective, and fails to consider the genuine emotion of the game. The ultimate goal in a football game is to score touchdowns,and when players do it is a big deal. Emotions do take over, and the NCAA has done a good job now of getting players to understand it is a team celebration rather than an individual sideshow. I agree with the penalties for taunting and down right showboating, but let the kids enjoy the thrill of a touchdown. Revamp the perception of celebrating, and quit adding to the penalty for players enjoying the standard of success in a football game.

A Little "7 on 7" to Start the Weekend...

Just a little "7-Up" from around the Georgia blog world. Try these seven on for size:

  • Davis Hale has an interesting breakdown of UGA football coaches' salaries.

  • Bernie wants to give you some help with your Valentine shopping: Dawg Style!

  • The Senator wants to know what's with the math in Alabama over at G.T.P.

  • Bubba & Earl let you know why they aren't real happy at the moment.

  • The guys over at The Grit Tree are worried about the Lady Dawgs.

  • All PWD has to say at the Georgia Sports Blog is "Damn", and I agree.

  • Kit might have lost his razor, but he always has some interesting views on the Dawg-Gone Blog.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Johnny Damon: Could He Become A Brave?

The Atlanta Braves made an initial offer to free agent Johnny Damon, they had their All-Star third baseman, Chipper Jones, make a recruiting call to him, and now they have reportedly made a more competitive second offer to him. It appears that Atlanta is aggressively trying to sign Damon. The second offer is said to be at least a match to the $6 million offered by the Yankees. This action by the Braves does make a lot of sense. Even though they have a couple of bona fide young outfielders in the minors who are close to being ready for the big leagues, the addition of Damon would allow those guys to develop further in the minors and not be rushed up to Atlanta. Damon would also provide the lead-off hitter Atlanta has been sorely missing, and his veteran leadership in the clubhouse would prove to be invaluable. The offer is only for one year, and that might be as long as Atlanta would need the veteran outfielder. No one is sure how much money the Braves have left in their budget, but spending enough to sign Johnny Damon could prove to be worth the price.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ed O'Bannon -vs- The NCAA: It Is A Big Deal...

Ed O'Bannon has won Round One in his heavyweight match with the NCAA. A San Francisco judge denied the NCAA a dismissal this week in the class action law suit filed by the former UCLA Bruin. This is a big deal to the NCAA, as well as former college players like O'Bannon. For one, the NCAA is going to have to open its books to the public, allowing everyone to see how much money is being made on the "likenesses" of college athletes on video games (and it is one big chunk of cash). Furthermore, it could lead to these former collegians being compensated retroactively (and that's another chunk of cash). Just consider big plays portrayed on video games such as Christian Laettner's game winning shot against Kentucky in the NCAA tournament, or Vince Young's winning touchdown against Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl. These two guys, as well as, teammates and defenders in the games would be entitled to compensation.
This battle will wage on for quite a while because the implications and ramifications are broad. Stay tuned, this one might be a photo-finish before it's done.

Monday, February 8, 2010

SEC: Georgia On My Mind

The state of Georgia provided more SEC signees in 2010 than any other state. Georgia's 65 high school athletes accounted for 21.3% of the conference's total recruitment. The state of Florida was a distant second, providing 46 kids or 15% of the total. The University of Georgia kept 14 Georgians at home, while Vanderbilt University snatched 9 peach state athletes, followed by Auburn University's 8. Mississippi State was the only SEC school not to reel in a player from a Georgia high school. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Kentucky only produced 4 kids who were signed by Southeastern Conference schools. Realistically, only Georgia and Florida could be self-sufficiently successful with home-grown talent. All other SEC schools have to rely on out-of-state recruitment to field 4-Star and 5-Star talented teams. Stay at home boys, and "Let the Big Dawg Eat"!

The Super Bowl: Just the Facts...

Just a few interesting facts the day after the Super Bowl:
  • Pittsburgh has the most Super Bowl Victories (6)
  • Two teams have five Super Bowl trophies: Dallas & San Francisco
  • Three teams have the most Super Bowl losses (4): Buffalo, Denver, & Minnesota
  • Four teams have never played in a Super Bowl: Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville
  • Fourteen teams have never won a Super Bowl: Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Carolina, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, & Tennessee
  • Three men have won Super Bowls both as a player and a coach: Mike Ditka, Tony Dungy, & Tom Flores
  • Miami has hosted the Super Bowl the most times (10)
  • Only one on-sides kick has been attempted in a Super Bowl before the fourth quarter: New Orleans Saints - 2010

Sean Payton: "Ambush"!

Sean Payton did not bring his New Orleans Saints to Miami to just play in the Super Bowl. No, he brought his Saints to Miami to win the Super Bowl. And win they did, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17. In winning, Payton showed more play-calling guts than all other NFL coaches combined. The biggest of which was the on-side kick to begin the second half. Never would I have attempted that. If it fails you give Peyton Manning a short field to work with and all the momentum to carry him to his second Super Bowl victory. And Payton was asking his rookie kick-off man, Thomas Morstead to attempt his first on-side kick EVER. In fact, he only practiced the kick, appropriately named "Ambush", for less that two weeks. Yikes! But the gamble paid off, even if it did take 90 seconds for the officials to confirm "Saints ball". The Saints have their first Super Bowl victory and the city of New Orleans has yet another excuse to throw a party. Now we can all collectively say: "Great call, Coach!". You just gave new meaning to the phrase "in it to win it".

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV: Ready For 100 Million?

NBC holds the Super Bowl record for average viewers with 98.7. Today, CBS hopes to see that record fall and be the first network televising the big game to draw 100 million viewers. If the game is close and interesting, the network thinks it's a gimme; if not that close but has some interesting sidelights going on, the 100 mil is still possible. The fact that NFL regular season ratings have been very good all season is another point in the favor of CBS. It is also a 'Super' plus that the game features the top two seeds from each conference for the first time since 1993. Indianapolis is the favored team with the experience of having been here before, while New Orleans is the extremely hungry underdog playing in the league's showcase spectacle for the first time ever. Las Vegas has the Colts as a 5.5 point favorite over the Saints going into the contest. Veteran Jim Nantz will be calling his second Super Bowl, along with partner Phil Sims who has the experience of five previous Super Bowls. CBS will be televising its seventeenth NFL championship contest. Are you ready?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Jason Heyward: It's Just A Mattter of Time

Jason Heyward is the top prospect in the Atlanta Braves farm system. For that matter, the twenty year old is the top prospect in all of Major League Baseball. Baseball America named the 6'4", 245 pound slugger the 2009 minor league player of the year. He will arrive at the Braves spring training facilities shortly with a legitimate chance to earn the starting right field job for the big league club. Making the opening day starting roster is the only way Heyward starts out the year in Atlanta, because the club does not want their still-developing phenom to be sitting on the bench anywhere. It's an all or nothing proposition with regards to the big show. Having had only three at bats late in the season at Gwinnett, Heyward would be pretty much skipping Triple A ball if he starts in Atlanta. Last year he hit .323 in A and AA ball, and he has only 173 at bats above the Class A level. None of this seems to phase the young Heyward in the least. His attitude is to have fun and let everything else take care of itself. I think things will take care of themselves very well in Jason Heyward's baseball future. After all, he's what they call a "can't miss" kind of guy.

Friday, February 5, 2010

NCAA: Enough Already

I didn't agree last year when I heard that several high school sophomores had verbally committed to certain colleges. That's just rushing things a bit, getting the cart before the horse, if you will. Now this story out today regarding a thirteen year old's commitment to Southern Cal. Yep, you read correctly: thirteen years old. That's 'thirteen' as never been inside a high school classroom yet, doesn't even have a learner's permit to drive yet, and hasn't even thought about putting a razor against his cheeks yet. That's absurd. It's crazy for the kid at this point, and crazy for the college as well. However, according to the story, none other than Lane Kiffin has already given David Sills a "verbal" scholarship offer. (Note: We all know how much Kiffin's word is worth.). This is where I think the NCAA should step in and put yet another rule for college coaches to abide by. I know, most of their rules aren't even worthy of the paper they're typed on, but I think this one could be good: No offer of a football scholarship can be tendered to a high school athlete and no verbal commitments can be made before September 1st of his SENIOR year. That might sound late, but think about it. It would give the player the entire summer before the 12th grade to attend camps, travel to different campuses with his family, and determine which schools he wants to take official visits to (it wouldn't hurt to reduce the number of official visits as well). That would also give colleges more time to study film and talk to high school coaches before extending offers. They would know who they wanted to offer before football season begins, so there would be no problem there. Both parties would have over five months at that point before National Signing Day. Perhaps this process would make recruiting easier and smoother for everyone involved. And at the same time let thirteen year old players be thirteen years old.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

National Signing Day

National Signing Day 2010 has come and gone. Basically, the rich got richer, so some got all but all got some nevertheless. There's so much high school football talent now that all major programs really do have a legitimate chance to be successful. However, the flip side to that is, of course, that the competition is so fierce. Not only the competition to sign certain kids, but the competition on the playing field. Much of the suspense of signing day has evaporated because most high schoolers verbally commit to schools long before that magical day in February. Most of the suspense comes now from kids who back out on their commitments and sign elsewhere (Just ask Georgia). Recruiting analysts rank recruiting classes by the number of 5-Star, 4-Star, and 3-Star players they sign. That's understandable, because you do have to have talent to succeed. Like I always say, "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken 'poop', you've gotta have the chickens!" But with that being said, I think there are three main goals for a school to accomplish in having a successful class:

  • Sign the best athletes you can

  • Fill immediate needs with quality and quantity

  • Keep the "Stable Stocked" in conjunction with the eligibility chart

When schools do these things, they might not be ranked high in recruiting polls, but they'll probably be ranked consistently high in the post-season polls. It's not hard to figure out which one is most important. Do you think your school was successful this recruiting season?

Willie Martinez: The "Willie" Has Landed

No, Willie Martinez will not be coaching defensive backs at Stanford as was thought to be the case less than two weeks ago. Yes, Martinez will be coaching the DBs at Oklahoma. He is now officially part of Bob Stoops defensive staff of the Sooners. Apparently the Georgia and Oklahoma coaching staffs have worked together in the past, and that is where Stoops' familiarity with Martinez comes in. Martinez was fired by Georgia's Mark Richt on December 2nd. Good luck Willie, Boomer Sooner!

Tom Watson: Not "Tip-Toeing" Around the Issues

Tom Watson expects professional golfers to protect the spirit of the game. From using golf course etiquette to avoiding rules loopholes, Watson expects his fellow golfers to respect the game they play. He specifically mentioned Tiger Woods, saying Woods hasn't carried himself with the same statue as other great golfers before him. He doesn't feel golfers should use profanity and throw clubs, two things Woods has been guilty of, but not traits associated with Nicklaus, Palmer, or Nelson. He basically feels Tiger needs to 'clean up his act', and I concur with him on that. On the topic of the loophole in the rules that allows players to use twenty year old Ping Eye 2 wedges in order to use 'box grooves', Watson feels players should not take advantage of that. Box grooves are actually against the USGA rules, but a court agreement between Ping and the USGA in the early 90s allows those clubs to be "grandfathered" in. Phil Mickelson is one golfer who has taken advantage of this and used an old wedge, but Watson believes it is pretty much a cop-out. He does not understand why golfers would take advantage of the integrity of the game that way. Neither do I.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jose Canseco: Always Feeding Near the Bottom...

It seems that Jose Canseco has always got a lot to say about a lot of things, but always after the fact. He's always sticking his nose into someone's business, always having the 'inside scoop' on something that went down earlier, often calling someone a liar, and now trying to get a little piece of the action from Herschel Walker. Canseco had one MMA fight and got lambasted; Herschel had his MMA debut this past weekend and walked out of the ring victorious. So, after Walker has received some positive press, here comes Jose. Today, Canseco "called Herschel out", saying he might have "to show Herschel Walker who the real bad boy of the Sports Industry is". I don't know about the 'bad boy' deal, but Canseco is definitely the original "bottom-feeder " of the sports world. And if the truth be known, Jose Canseco doesn't want any part of Herschel Walker in the ring. But I would almost pay to see that one.

John Wall: Just a Little "Frustrated Love"

John Wall insists he loves his coach, John Calipari. He said his negative comments to the contrary about not listening to his coach were just a result of his frustration after putting up only 13 points with 9 assists and 7 turnovers against Vanderbilt last weekend. Regardless of the numbers, Wall didn't think he played that poorly to get ripped by Calipari. However, after talking things out with his coach, as well as watching the game film to go over mistakes, everything is fine now in the land of the blue grass. Whew, for a moment there I thought this was going to turn into another Allen Iverson/Larry Brown thing. Didn't that turn out to be a player/coach "love thing" too? Oh well...

Ben Hogan: "Bantam Ben" Did Strike Again

On this date in time, February 2, 1949, professional golfer Ben Hogan survived a near fatal automobile accident in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus. Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time, suffered a double pelvic fracture, a fractured collarbone, a chipped rib, a broken left ankle, and near fatal blood clots. The 36 year old golfer remained in the hospital for nearly three months before being released with his golfing future very much in doubt. However, Hogan returned to the course only eleven months after his ordeal and went on to win six of his nine majors (T4th best all-time) following the accident. He also came out of his accident as a more popular and 'approachable' golfer with the galleries and fans. The 5'7" Hogan, know as "Bantam Ben", is famously recognized for his theory of the golf swing, as well as, his tremendous ball-striking ability.

Bernard Lagat: He Owns the Wanamaker Mile

Thirty five year old Bernard Lagat won his record making eight career Wanamaker Mile at the infamous Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden. His time was 3:56.34. Irish Runner Eamonn Coghlan, the "Chairman of the Boards", previously held the victories record with seven. The things that stand out to me regarding Lagat's victory are his age, his mastery of the Wanamaker where the competition is usually very commendable, and his sub-four minute time. It's no wonder that the 11,510 track enthusiasts on hand gave him a much deserved standing ovation.