Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July holiday. From reading a few blogs, it appears that weather and work made the weekend less than a perfect holiday. For a change, Austin was not scorching hot and we took full advantage of the nice respite. Last July 4th, Julie and I happened to be headed south of the river about dusk and stumbled upon a really awesome fireworks display. This year, we planned ahead and took a few friends to check out the show and then grab some awesome Mexican food. As I sat on the bridge waiting for the show to begin, I began to think what an awesome place Austin is to live. There was a time that I was out and about listening to music and doing the many things that 20 and 30 year olds do. Raising kids and settling fully into the mid- life rut, I sort of forgot how beautiful and unique the Austin area is. It sure was fun being in the middle of high school sports, but I am beginning to dig this next phase of life.
I have seen many fireworks displays over the years, but until last weekend…I never really stopped to acknowledge just how amazing the fireworks have become. Growing up, you lit the rocket and it went up and either exploded or sent out a bright shower of light. This year, I saw happy faces, hearts, Saturn with rings...just an amazing exhibition of technology. My video camera does not take the best pictures, but at least I was able to capture the moment. I hope you enjoy…
Sky divers started the proceedings in a very cool manner.
Carl Spackler, my wife Julie and friend Joe...getting ready for the big show.
The Austin Country Club allows members to sit on the fairway to watch the show.
I had an epiphany Tuesday night while watching the Astros whack the Rangers again. It is so obvious, that I had to laugh. The Texas Rangers have gone from being playoff contenders to being in danger of being the worst team in the AL West. I know…the Rangers have had an insane amount of injuries; but could there be something more at play? Do you remember when the Rangers got good? For me, there was no coincidence that the Rangers playoff teams coincided with Nolan Ryan joining the Rangers front office. Is it possible that the karma of chasing Ryan away has caused the Rangers all the maladies that have afflicted Texas with this year? If you look at the moves that Texas has made, nothing has worked out for them. The most glaring example is the Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade. Yeah…it looked like a good deal until it was not. Kinsler is having a terrific year in Detroit and the player the Rangers made room for (Jurickson Profar) is out for the season with a torn muscle in his shoulder. If not for bad luck this year, the Rangers truly would have had no luck at all. Players have dropped like flies in Arlington this year…especially pitchers. Here is a list of pitchers on the DL…Tanner Scheppers-out indefinitely with right elbow inflammation. Martin Perez-out for the season due to Tommy John surgery. Joseph Oritz (who?) is on the 60 day DL with a fractured foot. Alexi Ogando-out indefinitely with elbow inflammation. Nicholas Martinez- on the 15 day DL with side discomfort. Derek Holland- on the 60 day DL recovering from knee surgery. Matt Harrison- out indefinitely recovering from spine surgery. Pedro Figueroa-out for the season due to Tommy John surgery. On Tuesday, the Rangers announced that Nick Martinez was headed to the DL…honestly; the guys called up from AAA are headed to the DL as well. It is pretty clear that this is a lost year for Texas, but is far-fetched to think that the current play may just be what we should expect? The Rangers do have some talented position players…(Beltre and Rios). Choo got big bucks in the offseason, but has been anything but the OBP darling that so many of the Sabre Metric boys dreamed he would be. The pitching staff aside from Darvish is lacking at best. The bullpen? Ogando was not great before he went to the DL and Soria has been just awful in the past 6 weeks. I could be wrong, but I see the fortune arrow pointed down for Texas in the foreseeable future.
Could this be the Nolan Ryan curse? Or better yet...the Nolan Ryan effect. It certainly does seem that whichever team Ryan hooks up with is able to make the right moves. I read this week that the Astros are having issues signing their top pick Brady Aiken. It appeared that they were set to sign Aiken for $6.5 million until a physical turned up potential elbow issues. The Astros team physician Tom Mehlhoff is quickly gaining a reputation as a great mind in the field of sports medicine. So, when he raised a red flag, the Astros wisely listened. The signing bonus has been reduced to $5 million and Aiken is now weighing attending UCLA. I could not help but think about Prince Fielder’s physical and wonder if perhaps a more complete examination might have changed their thinking. For me, the reality is that Houston is pulling the right levers for the future. You can argue that Ryan has nothing to do with the Astros improving fortunes, but I would not bet against it.
Did you see that a Yankee fan fell asleep at a ball game is suing the TV crew for poking fun of him sleeping? Andrew Robert Rector has filed suit against MLB, The New York Yankees, ESPN and announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk. Rector is looking for $10 million to compensate for “defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” It is too bad that BOB has already handed out his douche bag of the week award as Mr. Rector would be a likely candidate. Honestly, I am not a big fan of Kruk the color analyst, but did you hear him say anything that was out of line? The funny thing is that instead of being some anonymous guy sleeping at a baseball game, we now have a name to go with the crooked neck.
BOB wrote a classic rant about Johnny Manziel on Tuesday. If you have not read the blog, you really need to check it out. It is funny that everyone is up in arms about Manziel’s behavior, as I think that Johnny is just being Johnny. I mean if you think about Johnny’s track record, he is right about where he usually is in the offseason…partying hard. The thing that does continue to amaze me is that we expect something different. The Cleveland Browns had to know what they were getting when they called Manziel’s name on draft day. If ever there has been a college player that did not hide who he was, it is Johnny Football. For Manziel’s sake…the best thing for him would to have been undrafted and forced to walk on somewhere. The funny thing is I still believe that Manziel has the talent to succeed in the NFL. As I was saying to Sully this week, in some ways…JM reminds me of Michael Irvin. He has the same bad habits that Michael had and the same strong work ethic while on the football field. Like Irvin, Johnny seems to get in trouble during the off season. The difference is that Johnny Football is a QB. Hey Johnny…just ask Vince Young how easy it is for a QB to get a second chance in the NFL. The job of an NFL QB is the toughest job of any position in any sport. I see a different future for Johnny and my hunch is that it will not be pretty. Johnny being Johnny is a dead end street. Hopefully, he finds this out before it is too late.
I read this week that Texas is passing a law called the “slow-poke” law. You know those drivers that get on the interstate and drive 10 miles under the speed limit in the left lane…now they can get a ticket. Hell yeah! This is a pet peeve of mine and I say, it is about damn time.
I read a story this week that really got me steamed. This story makes Michael Vick’s dog fighting history seem pretty tame. I will never understand how someone can treat animals with such disdain.
It is hard to believe, but today is the 23rd birthday for my middle daughter Shelby. Happy birthday sweetheart! Where does the time go?
That’s all I have this week, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
I remember how my Great Uncle Jerry would sit on the porch and whittle all day long. Once he whittled me a toy boat out of a larger toy boat I had. It was almost as good as the first one, except now it had bumpy whittle marks all over it. And no paint, because he had whittled off the paint.
"If you lived in the Dark Ages and you were a catapult operator, I bet the most common question people would ask is, 'Can't you make it shoot farther?' 'No, I'm sorry. That's as far as it shoots.' "
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Last week, I spent some time complaining about the unseasonable cool weather that Austin had been experiencing. Well, it is now June and that coolness has disappeared. June is the beginning of summer and our weather has finally acknowledged that summer is here. I am sure that I will soon grow weary of the heat and humidity, but I sure do dig shorts weather. When the calendar turns to June, I cannot help but take a few moments and remember the summers of my youth. June was the beginning of freedom. The long days and warm nights are still there when I close my eyes. Although, my youth is long gone, the beginning of June allows me to remember. Summer is here again…
Many weeks ago, I wrote that the worm was turning for my Houston Astros. George Springer was soon to be called up and more talent would follow. It was my belief that teams should get their licks in this year as this Astros team would soon be a team to be reckoned with. I had no illusions about this year. The AL West cellar would surely be the finishing spot for Houston. A funny thing happened on the way to last place…the Astros began to win. Although now 11.5 games out of first place, something is different. The Astros are in the news again this week. Jon Singleton was called up to join George Springer on the big league team. Since the Astros have virtually no production at 1B (.181 batting average and an OPS of .561 and last in MLB), this is great news. But there is more to this call up than just another player coming to the “show”. The Astros did something very unusual with Singleton. Houston signed Singleton to a long term deal. What makes this so unusual is that Singleton has never played an inning of major league baseball. Singleton’s contract is a 5 year deal worth $10 million…$1.5 million this year, $2 million for the next 4 years. The Astros have options for 2019, 2020 and 2021…2019 is $2.5 million with a buy out of $500,000. 2020 is $13 million with a buy out of $250,000. 2021 is $13 million with a buy out of $250,000. So, who wins with this deal? If you listen to MLB pitcher Bud Norris and former pitcher Mark Mulder, the Astros are the big winner. Their tweets indicate exactly how they feel:
Just saw contract this #astros prospect signed. Either he doesn't believe in himself to be great or he has a terrible agent who wants the 4%
What these guys seems to overlook is the fact that Jon Singleton was suspended last season for 50 games for second failed drug test. Before you jump to the steroid conclusion, Singleton admitted earlier this year that he has had struggles with alcohol and marijuana addiction. He openly talked to the press about his month long stay at a treatment center. I think it is great that Singleton has done something to fight his addiction; there remains the fact that there is risk for the Astros and any other MLB team. As we have seen with Josh Hamilton and others, relapse is a real possibility. When you consider that Jon Singleton was being paid $40,750 per year as a Triple A player and was scheduled to make only $500,000 once he was called up…this is a good deal for him. How many top prospects have failed to perform at the major league level? Although Singleton has shown excellent power in the minor leagues, there is no guarantee that he will rake at the highest level. To say that he should have listened to the union or that his agent was selling him out is just wrong. Jon Singleton is 22 years old. After this contract and options are complete, he will be 30 years old. As we saw with Albert Pujols, if you put up the numbers you will get paid.
This truly does look like a win/win for both the Astros and Jon Singleton. For the record…Singleton hit a HR in his first game Tuesday night. The HR helped propel the Astros to a 7 to 2 victory over the Angels. There is something special brewing in Houston. While some may not like the way that the Astros are going about their business, the fact remains that the Astros are suddenly better. I am not making any bold predictions, but perhaps the cellar is a place for another AL West team this year. I do know that very soon, playing the Astros will not be as easy as it has been the past few years. Oh..and the Astros have the first pick for the draft this week as well. I hope the make a wise choice because I have a feeling that this is their last #1 pick.
Congratulations to Jason Lane on being called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lane was once a power hitting outfielder for the Astros, before he lost his stroke. Now he is a left handed pitcher for the Pirates. It is amazingly difficult to make it to the bigs one time, but to return at a different position is almost unheard of. Best of luck Jason!
Tuesday also was the 10th anniversary of Yadier Molina’s first major league game. Molina is one of my favorite players. It is hard to believe that it has already been 10 years.
Wasn't this about the time the Sox ended their losing streak?
You have probably heard about the incident last week with David Price and David Ortiz. In the first game since Ortiz took Price deep in last year’s playoffs, Price drilled Ortiz with a well-placed fastball. Warnings were given to both benches, then Price “accidentally” hit Red Sox player Mike Carp. The umpires deemed that Price really did not mean to hit Carp, so they did not throw him out of the game. So, the Sox took action by having Brandon Workman throw at Evan Longoria. Although Workman missed his mark…the pitch was thrown several feet behind Longo. Message received and Workman was ejected from the game…along with manager John Farrell and a couple of other coaches. Ortiz went on record to let Price know that if he is hit again, Big Papi will pay him a quick visit. On Tuesday, MLB fined Workman and suspended him for 6 games. The surprising thing to me is that Price received no fine or suspension…even though Price admitted that he hit Ortiz on purpose. Really MLB…I don’t get this decision. To be honest, this is exactly how brawls are created. This will not go away. Ill feelings are going to fester and at some point this season, there will be an ugly incident…you can mark it down.
Do you remember Vlad Guerrero? Dude was the best bad ball hitter of all time (for my money). If you saw 50 Cents embarrassing first pitch...you might have wondered if Vlad could hit that garbage. Here is your answer.
Last week we learned that the LA Clippers are worth an amazing figure of $2 billion. I saw a crazy report today that in “Clipper” dollars the Dallas Cowboy are worth $8.004 billion. That is about a billion per win, if you are keeping score. Has everyone completely lost their mind? In case you are wondering, the Pats are 2nd in NFL value at $6.264 billion. Here is the article with the complete list:
(I'm having some awful writers block, and really tired from a long weekend at work...So I decided to go back in the archives, and share a post from our old friend ThirdStone...Enjoy -The Beeze)
6,723 Receiving Yards
5 Pro Bowls
AFL All-Time Team
First With 101 Receptions In A Season
Charles Taylor Hennigan joined the expansion Houston Oilers as an undrafted 25-year old in the fledgling American Football League in 1960. He had previously been a high school teacher at a high school, where he earned $4,000 annually. He kept a monthly pay stub of $270.72 in his helmet for inspiration on the gridiron.
He had initially went to college at LSU on a track scholarship, where the coaches of the school had designs for him to compete in the Olympic games. The Tigers were the SCC mile-relay champions in his freshman year, an event Hennigan specialized in.
Football became Hennigan's primary interest soon after his high school sweetheart passed away from cancer. LSU did not want him switching sports, so Hennigan transferred to Northwestern State University and played running back for three years.
After college, he was invited to try out for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He was cut after a week, so he had a stint in the United States Army before returning to Louisiana to teach biology and gym class while also coaching both football and track.
Hennigan used his time as a track coach to run and stay in shape, along with using isometrics. Red Cochran was a former NFL player who later became a scout. He happened to live nearby Hennigan, so Cochran got him to try out for the newly founded Oilers. Cochran's career would last 52 years in the NFL, ending up in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
Having no real experience as a wide receiver, Hennigan asked Cleveland Browns legend Dub Jones for some help. Jones, whose son Bert would later become a Pro Bowl quarterback with the Baltimore Colts, was a former Pro Bowl receiver who happened to live close by Hennigan as well.
Jones, who still shares the NFL record for six touchdowns scored in one game, drilled Hennigan on how to fake the defender and not the area. NFL defenses employed man-to-man coverage in those days, as opposed to the zone coverage most teams use in the game today.
Hennigan went into a Oilers camp that had a few stars trying out for the team. The team cut future stars like Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown and Pro Bowl wide receiver Homer Jones. Jones, who still holds the NFL record for yards per catch in a career, is known best for inventing the football spike after a score.
A big reason Brown didn't make the Oilers is because he had difficulty covering Hennigan in practice. The two would butt heads many times over the years, often complimenting each other as the toughest opponent either had faced in their careers.
There was a few hundred men trying out for the Oilers and Hennigan began to hear rumors he was about to be cut as well. Yet he made the team and had Browns great Mac Speedie, a former teammate of Dub Jones, as his wide receivers coach.
He and Oilers teammate Charley "The Human Bowling Ball" Tolar are the first persons at Northwestern State to play professional football. The school would later produce such greats like Hall of Fame tight end Jackie Smith, Pro Bowl players like quarterback Bobby Hebert, cornerback Terrence McGee, wide receiver Mark Duper, running backs Tolar, John Stephens and Joe Delaney. They are amongst the 44 players from that school to play professional football.
The five Pro Bowls Hennigan accrued is tied with Smith as the most ever by a Northwestern State Demon. Also a track star, he has been named one of the 100 greatest football players in school history.
He soon won a starting job in camp and developed an amazing repertoire with Hall of Fame quarterback George Blanda. Hennigan scored the first touchdown in Oilers history, which happened in the first game in franchise history against the Oakland Raiders.
Separating his shoulder in the first half of that game, Hennigan then sat out for three games as he healed from the injury. He returned to be second on the team in receiving yards and touchdown catches as the Oilers eventually reached the first ever AFL title game.
Playing against the Los Angeles Chargers, Houston came back from an early deficit to capture the championship with a 24-16 victory. Hennigan's four receptions for 71 yards were both the second best totals on the team.
The 1961 season started out strange for the Oilers. After stumbling out to a 1-3-1, they replaced head coach Lou Rymkus with Wally Lemm. This awoke the Oilers roster, as they would then explode upon the AFL with 10 straight wins on their way to winning the second, and so far last, title in franchise history.
The offense was ranked first in the league in offense, total yards and passing yards. They also finished second in rushing yards, points and total yards allowed. It was also the finest season of Hennigan's career.
He had to share receptions with Pro Bowlers like Tolar, Billy Cannon, Willard Dewveall, Bob McLoud and Bill Groman. Groman led the AFL with 17 touchdowns off of 50 receptions for 1,175 yards that year, as well as leading the league in yards per catch.
Hennigan racked up 82 catches at an impressive 21.3 yards per reception average that was second best in the AFL. He led the league with a career best 1,746 receiving yards, breaking an 11-year old record previously set by Hall of Famer Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch.
He had started out the season charting out a way to break Hirsch's record. Hennigan once calculated the number of receptions and receiving yards he needed to break the record by writing on a bathroom mirror with soap as he shaved.
Not only did he set a career best mark by leading the AFL with 124.7 receiving yards gained per game, he also caught a career high 12 touchdowns. The 124.7 yards mark stood as a record until 1982, when Wes Chandler surpassed it in a strike-shortened season that lasted nine games that year. Hennigan appeared in 14 games 21 years earlier and his average still ranks second best in pro football history.
Yet he also piled up more records. He still owns the record for three games of which Hennigan had over 200 yards receiving. He also owns the record for seven straight games of at least 100 yards receiving, which is how he started out the 1961 season. Hennigan was also the first player ever to have 10 games in a season with over 100 receiving yards.
Hennigan had 11 total games that year of at least 100 yards receiving. It, as well as his streak of seven games, was tied in 1995 by Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. Irvin needed 16 games to tie the record.
His streak of seven games ended after getting 232 yards and two scores against the Buffalo Bills. After missing his eighth straight game by 22 yards the next week in a game Houston won 55-14 over the Denver Broncos, he did not catch a pass the following game.
While the Oilers beat the San Diego Chargers for the 1961 AFL Championship, they did a good job limiting Hennigan to 43 yards on five catches. The reason was because they concentrated on him after he had burned them for 214 yards and three scores just three weeks earlier.
Not only did his 1,746 total yards lead the AFL on 1961, Hennigan began a streak of five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. The record of 1,746 receiving yards stood as a record until 1995, when Isaac Bruce and record holder Jerry Rice surpassed it. Yet Hennigan's total still ranks and the third most ever.
The difference between Hennigan's record setting seasons to those who tied or surpassed him is the fact he passed Hirsch's record in 12 games, the same number of games Hirsch had played in 1951. Rice and Bruce needed 16 games, two more than Hennigan played in 1961, to surpass him.
Another difference is that only Irvin was on a championship team like Hennigan was during these record-setting years. Rice, a Hall of Famer, and Bruce would win titles in different seasons.
Hennigan, who was named First Team All-Pro in 1961 and 1962, then continued his excellence after his incredible year. He grabbed 115 balls for 1,918 yards and 18 touchdowns over the next two seasons. The 1962 Houston team reached the AFL title game for a third straight season, but lost in overtime.
Some say Hennigan's 1964 season was his best, while Hennigan prefers to think his 1961 season was. Though he was good friends with Denver Broncos legend Lionel Taylor, he set out to break Taylor's 1961 record of 100 receptions.
He broke the record by grabbing 101 passes that year. This mark stood 20 years until Hall of Famer Art Monk had 106 in 1984, a record would stand for. Hennigan also had 1,546 receiving yards, which also led the AFL and still ranks as the 21st most in pro football history.
The 110.4 yards gained per game receiving average he has in 1964 also still ranks as the eighth best ever in pro football history. Hennigan is the first pro player ever to have two seasons of over 1,500 yards receiving, and he is also the first to have four games of 200 or more receiving yards.
Concussions began to catch up to Hennigan by 1965, as well as the fact he was running around on an injured knee. He gutted it out over the next two years, catching 68 passes for 891 yards and seven touchdowns over that time.
One game against the Chargers saw San Diego cornerback Claude Gibson hit Hennigan with a rabbit punch, knocking the Oilers star out cold. Hennigan woke up in the locker room, but was dazed. He was put back out on the field, but didn't know where he was most of the time because of the concussion he suffered.
It turned out to be a mistake by Gibson, a great punt returner who led the AFL in punt return yardage and average twice. Player in those days took care of their own teammates.
Unbeknownst to Hennigan, two of his teammates set up Gibson during a preseason game a few years later. He was hit in the knees, which ended Gibson's career. Hennigan was told this story at a 50th anniversary reunion by his teammates.
Concussions went untreated back then, and medical technology was not good enough to do a good job repairing knees either. Houston traded Hennigan to the Raiders for a future draft pick, but he failed the physical and decided to retire.
Not only was Hennigan on the gridiron for the love of the game, but he was able to pursue his doctorate in education with an increase in salary compared to what he earned as a teacher.
He once asked Oilers owner Bud Adams for a raise after his monster 1961 season, but was refused. Instead, Adams cut him a check for $10,000 and sent Hennigan out of his offices.
When Hennigan retired after the 1966 season, he basically owned every receiving record there was for the Oilers and AFL. He still has the most touchdown receptions in franchise history, as well as the fourth most receiving yards and sixth most receptions in team history.
He owns the Oilers record of most catches and receiving yards in a game, when he went for 276 yards on 13 receptions in 1961. His 26 games of at least 100 yards receiving is also a franchise record.
His 71.8 receiving yards per game is not only the best in team history, it is still the 12th best ever in pro football history. Four of the players ahead of him on this list are still active, so Hennigan could move back up the list as the years go on.
The 16.8 yards per reception average is excellent for any era of football, especially one that dealt with the 10-yard chuck rule. Not only does it rank 39th best ever in yards per touch in pro football history, it is the second best in Oilers/ Titans history behind Oilers great Ken Burrough.
I do not know what disgusts me most. Hennigan's exclusion from the Pro Football Hall of Fame or the fact Adams has seemingly spit on his teams earlier history.
Blanda and Jim Norton are the only early Oilers in the franchises Hall of Fame. Ken Houston and Elvin Bethea, two more Hall of Fame players, are the only other AFL Oilers inducted into the teams Hall of Fame.
Hennigan should have been inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Oilers/ Titans Hall of Fame by now. Not only is he the greatest wide receiver in that franchises history, he is one of the very best in AFL history. Hennigan is a member of the AFL All-Time Team.
There are the obvious signs of the continued AFL disrespect by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of the reasons to why Hennigan has not yet been inducted. Even though the building in Canton does not say NFL Hall of Fame, it has become just that.
The NFL's anger of being forced to merge with the successful AFL still seems to burn brightly. The voters obviously cower and heed this anger by inducting modern inferior players instead.
Not only did Hennigan have to deal with the 10-yard chuck rule, which is a lot harder to have success in compared to the modern five-yard rule, he dealt with playing fields that were nowhere as near as pristine as they have been the past few decades.
Football used to be a game for men in Hennigan's era. Players had to actually earn their accolades then, as opposed to the rule changes that guarantee successes like now. Yet the numbers he put up easily match or exceed many players today that are deemed as stars.
Some detractors will point at he fact he lasted just seven seasons, but the Hall of Fame is filled with men who had careers of that length or less. Men who put up inferior production as well.
While Hirsch is in the Hall of Fame, he went to two less Pro Bowls and had one less First Team All-Pro honor than Hennigan. Though a great wide receiver, Hirsch had two excellent seasons and several decent ones.
Lynn Swann, another Hall of Famer, lasted nine years but many of his number pale in comparison to Hennigan. Swann was finalist 13 times before induction, while Hennigan hasn't even been named a semi-finalist once. Hennigan also has more receptions than Hall of Fame receiver Bob Hayes, let alone the fact he either owns or shares several other records with some of the best receivers to ever play the game.
Blanda, who was later a teammate of Brown's, often lamented the exclusion of Hennigan from the Hall of Fame up until his death. Hennigan set his receptions record after catching nine passes against Brown, who also agrees with Blanda that the Oilers legend deserves a bust in Canton.
Not only did Hennigan's 101 reception season stand as a record for 20 years, his 1,746 yards gained stood as a record for 34 seasons. He is the only player ever to have three games of 200-yards receiving in a season.
Voters should look at the travails Hennigan had to persevere through compared to the game now. Not only the rules to empower the modern offense that he did not have to help him nor the shoddy fields he played on often. How the hash marks placement greatly differed then and the goal posts used to be placed hazardously on the goal line in his day.
How the defenses of his day actually were allowed to play defense and even extend it further to the realm of crossing the lines of fair play. Even with medical care that didn't have as much expertise as now, Hennigan went out there and performed at a Hall of Fame level no matter how hurt he was.
There is no doubt that Hennigan belongs in Canton. The seniors committee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is afforded just two nominees each year, which is unfair to the tremendous backlog they have to sift through annually. Yet Hennigan should never have reached the seniors pool, because it is obvious he should have been inducted long ago.
While he is in that deep seniors pool now, Hennigan easily rises to the top of the best wide receivers not yet inducted. Yet too much times has passed in his omission, so the voters must get it together now and put him in so Hennigan can enjoy his long overdue induction.
It is easy to see Charlie Hennigan is the greatest wide receiver not yet put into the hallowed halls within Canton. He belonged long ago, but now is the time to right the wrongs made by past voters. Contact all of the voters and tell them that Hennigan deserves his rightful place inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Last week I wrote about the Houston Cougars reportedly looking into hiring a corrupt as hell coach to build their men's basketball team back up and get out of town ahead of violations that will leave the school on NCAA probation.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the school will indeed hire Kelvin Sampson as their new head coach.
No word on if the people who will officially announce the hiring have any shame.
Danny Manning seems poised to leave Tulsa in the dust after taking the team to the NCAA tournament in just his second year with the team. He has been touring current ACC doormat Wake Forest for a couple of days and the Demon Deacons look like they'll have their new coach sooner rather than later.
I'm all for advancing in your field, but is it really worth leaving behind a school where you have had success and could very well continue that success in a conference that is not a powerhouse only to head to the ACC?
The ACC is a conference where coaching careers go to die if you aren't coaching Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and as of next year Louisville.
Yes, there was a time when Wake Forest was a solid mid level program in the conference, but with the increasing conference realignment bringing in more traditional basketball power schools, this potential move seems a bit short sighted.
Yes, there is more prestige saying you coach in the ACC, but come on now, it's Wake Forest!
Speaking of the ACC, Boston College has hired their new men's basketball coach. The new man in charge is former Ohio coach Jim Christian.
I'm all for giving the new guy a chance and all, but seriously, my first reaction to hearing about the hiring was WHO?!
He did well in two seasons at Ohio, going 49-22 but the Ohio is not the same as coaching in the ACC.
The last coaching news involves a former national power in women's basketball. Louisiana Tech made a splash and got more media attention than they have in years when they announced the hiring of Tyler Summitt as their new head coach.
After the firing of Teresa Weatherspoon following two straight losing seasons, the Lady Techsters were looking for someone to rebuild the program back to its glory days.
Summitt's hiring was not universally acclaimed though. I take part in a women's basketball message board and while some were taking a let's wait and see approach, others were furious that he was hired.
Why you ask? Well, Summitt is just 23 years old. And of course, another part of the complaining was that he got the job on name recognition alone.
After all, he is the son of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt. And despite being an assistant at Marquette for two years and coaching numerous AAU teams while a student, that's all a lot of people will see.
And the unspoken aspect that I got from tone of the message board posts was that people were pissed that either A. a woman wasn't hired for the job or that a black woman was fired (despite an overall winning record) and a white guy was hired. Again, just my impression of the tones of some of the respondents.
During his introductory press conference Summitt announced that he'd hired for Lady Techster player Mickie DeMoss to be his associate head coach. DeMoss, who was a longtime assistant at Tennessee, left the WNBA's Indiana Fever to take the job at La. Tech.
As for me, of course I'm in the wait and see crowd but I do know that the hiring does make me actually care about how the new season goes for the Lady Techsters, something I never would've said in the last 10 plus years.
There's been a certain amount of coaching carousel news and/or rumors in the last few days and I thought I'd hold forth what I thought about each of the following five stories.
Steve Masiello led the Jaspers into the NCAA tournament this year and then almost immediately bolted for the South Florida job. But Masiello now finds himself dumped out of the South Florida gig after the school learned the claim of a degree from Kentucky on his resume was a flat out lie.
So now, he's still the Manhattan coach. But that may not be for much longer either. The school has placed him on leave while they look into the situation.
I'm not one who believes you have to have a college degree in order to coach college basketball, though a lot of schools apparently do have that requirement. But if you say you have said degree, you actually should.
I'm sure he's a good coach but Masiello should be headed towards the unemployment line. Manhattan should fire him as soon as possible, with cause.
Yahoo Sports is reporting that Kelvin Sampson is the leading candidate to take over the Cougars.
To that I say....ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME?
Kelvin Sampson has proven that there are no rules he won't break. He got out of Oklahoma ahead of an NCAA posse which eventually leveled a 3 year probation on the Sooners.
Sampson was so corrupt at Indiana that the basketball team which had never had a violation of NCAA rules under Bobby Knight and Mike Davis, ended up on probation as the program fell apart.
The school president Michael McRobbie apologized to the NCAA for hiring Sampson and said it was a mistake that shouldn't have happened. And the NCAA hit Sampson with a five year show cause order which effectively blackballed him from college coaching until last year.
And now Houston wants to hire Sampson? Why not just offer the NCAA space at the school so they can get their investigation started as soon as the introductory press conference is made.
Sampson has no business being allowed to coach a college team now or ever again.
I don't know how much weight to give the reports I've heard about saying that the Pistons are considering Tom Izzo as their next potential coach.
Hey, Izzo is a great coach. The Michigan State Spartans are a threat to win the title just about every year.
But I think he'd be making a galactic sized mistake if he leaves MSU for the Pistons. Even if his team was to win the title this year and people could make the argument that he'd accomplished all he could at the college level, the NBA is just a bad move for him.
Coaching in the NBA does not hold the same level of awe as it did back in the day. Nowadays it is mostly a joke. A grown man presiding over 15 guys more interested in being a brand than basketball players.
There are some NBA coaches who actually coach (Greg Popovich with the Spurs, Brad Stevens with the Celtics), but for the most part coaching in the NBA strikes me these days as a way to pad the retirement fund rather than building a team with your own personal philosophy.
If Tom Izzo wants a new challenge, go to a new school without much of a basketball pedigree and build a program. Otherwise, he should stay at Michigan State. At least in college, it still resembles actual COACHING.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
It appears that things are so rosy behind the scenes with the Warriors and coach Mark Jackson. For the second year in a row, he hired an assistant coach and then forced the team to reassign the assistant after things apparently broke down with them.
This time it was ex-Boston Celtics player Brian Scalabrine, and the move managed to let some light into the entire scenario as it now appears things between the team and Jackson are coming to a head. And that doesn't even begin to address the news that Jackson was chasing other head coaching jobs while employed by the Warriors.
I know that Jackson had knocks against him when he got the job with no coaching experience. But he had managed to make the Warriors relevant again. He's got an up and coming set of players. But his inexperience (at least in terms of interpersonal skills) seems to be coming out in buckets.
How do you go looking for another job when you already have one of the better ones in the entire league? And what is this obsession that is developing with head coaches basically firing their own assistants with seemingly no reason. (Scalabrine is still with the team, which apparently likes what he brought to the table.)
Jason Kidd and now Mark Jackson? Is it because they are know it alls who don't like to be challenged by non-yes men?
Here's hoping things get straightened out and the team moves on from what day by day seems to be a worsening work environment. If that means they cut ties with Jackson, so be it.
The Eagles are looking for a new head coach after firing Steve Donahue a week or so ago. First there was the rumor that Jim Calhoun wanted the job. But he came out and said he had no interest in the job yesterday.
Now comes the news that one candidate is current Boston Celtics assistant Walter McCarty. He's not only on the list but he's vocal about wanting the job, saying "I want to be highly considered."
I don't know what he brings to the table as a coach. He's been an assistant with the Celtics, the Pacers and at Louisville under Rick Pitino. But it is a big change moving to the front of the pack.
As a BC fan, I'm not interested in being the starting point for a head coaching career. Hire a guy, watch him do well and then bolt at the first higher visibility job is not what the Eagle need.
Can McCarty recruit? You need to be able to do more than say that you were a sought after recruit at one time yourself.
I'm not opposed to McCarty, but I want him to be not only up for the challenge of rebuilding what was once a proud program, but READY to do it as well.