FEATURED
Dynastics
Category: FEATURED
Tags: sports dynasty three-peat

 

Midsummer Sundays are a good time to reflect rather than rant. Let's reflect on what, in pro sports (or elsewhere), constitutes a dynasty. Sometimes it's easy to tell. Sometimes it's debatable. One thing is sure... if you win 3 in a row, you have a valid dynasty --- even if it's a short one.

We haven't heard the expression "3-peat" for a bit now, at least since it became obvious the Miami Heat were going to be the latest to fail in reaching that pinnacle. These days, with free agency giving teams musical rosters, dynasties should be hard to come by anyway.

Or are they? Not too many years ago, the Patriots had a shot at the elusive goal. Around the same time frame, Shaq's Lakers did it. And barely before that, Joe Torre's Yankees got there. Just before that, Jordan's Bulls did it. Twice.

Yet in recent years we've seen how elusive the prize can be in all levels of sports. The past decade saw Carroll's Trojans and Meyer's Tide within a baby step of the elusive achievement, with everyone assuming a foregone conclusion, only to be dumped at the 11th hour. Most thought the same about the Heat before this year's NBA finals.

How does that stack up with more remote history? Let's just take a look at the books, sport by sport.

 

Baseball:

Baseball has been with us for a while. In the 1800s, the National League vied with a few other leagues, the most notable of which was the American Association. Teams like the Chicago White Stockings, the Boston Beaneaters and the Baltimore Orioles did the trick in the NL. The St. Louis Browns did it in the short-lived AA.

Starting with the modern era, i.e. 1903 and onwards, the last two decades of the Dead Ball Era were dominated by a variety of teams. The Red Sox won six titles in that 17-year span (including the 1904 by-default title when John McGraw of the Giants ill-advlsedly snubbed Boston's challenge for the unofficial postseason series), but they never won 3 in a row. Boston itself at one point won 3 in a row, but one of the winners was the Braves.

Tinker, Evers and Chance's Cubs are the stuff of legend, but even they didn't win 3, losing the first of their 3 consecutive series appearances to the crosstown White Sox, the Hitless Wonders. Connie Mack's mighty Athletics came close, but no cigar.

Then came the Live Ball Era, mostly courtesy of one Babe Ruth (the ball wasn't changed in 1920). Amazingly the Ruth Yankees of the 1920s, the most legendary team in history, never won 3 in a row. Their absolute nemesis, Connie Mack's A's of Lefty Grove, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons, Mickey Cochrane and many more greats, the team that crushed the Ruth/Gehrig Yanks three years running, only won the classic twice.

It would take the money-laden Yankees until 1936 to begin their first run. McCarthy's Yanks won not just 3 but 4 in a row. Following World War II, Casey Stengel's team would win five straight. It is telling that they won 102 games in 1954, more than in any of the prior five seasons, and finished 9 games behind the 111-43 Indians. That's what it took to dethrone them.

Even the Yanks wouldn't do it again until Joe Torre arrived. But the incredible Athletics, freshly bounced from Philly to Kansas City to Oakland, stunned the baseball world with a roster of unknown names seemingly taken from comic books with 3 in a row in the early 70s. And that, folks, was it for the old 3-peat until Joe Torre's team became the last to do it.


Basketball:

Somehow the NBA has had a run of dynasties, none of course so overwhelming as Boston's but still some impressive runs. The Spurs are clearly a dynasty, though a 'spread' one. But as the league took shape in the late 40s, a team came out of Minneapolis called, sensibly, the Lakers, and with the league's first superstar roster led by center George Mikan, they proceeded to win five years out of six, including (of course) 3 in a row. 

They hit the end of their run just as the game changed with the advent of the 24-second clock. One man realized what this meant, and put together a team of racehorses. Red Auerbach's Celtics featured, at least at the start, a HOF player at every starting spot, and they ran the fast break well enough to fly by the rest of the league an incredible 11 times in 13 seasons, that run containing an equally incredible 8 titles in a row.

With their demise the 3-peat became history for a while. No one in the 70s did it. Bird's Celtics and Johnson's Lakers of the 80s never did it. Jordan's Bulls, though, did it twice as they dominated the 90s, followed rapidly by Shaq's Lakers. The Kobe Lakers had a shot but were beaten the first time around by their old nemesis from Boston. And the Heat failed, Lebron left, and nobody expects another run from Miami, at least not in the near future.


Hockey:

Lord Stanley's Cup has a confusing early history. From the end of the 19th Century up until the onset of World War I (which drew in many Canadians) a few HCs (Health club? Hockey club?) had some dominant runs, but sometimes 'won' the cup several times in a year as challenges from multiple leagues were in effect. Even up until 1926, the NHL managed to win most of the Cups but played another league champion to get it. In fact, the Victoria Cougars of the WHCL became the last non-NHL entry to win the Cup as late as 1925!

Following that period, the NHL champion was given the Cup. In the first of these modern series, the Ottawa Senators (in an earlier incarnation) defeated the Boston Bruins 2-0-2. One wonders why the last game was played. But no one --- not Montreal, not Boston, not Detroit --- would win 3 in a row until the Little Major's Toronto Maple Leafs took the last 3 series of the 1940s.

By 1956, in an era that saw a number of dynastic runs in sports, Toe Blake's Canadiens asserted themselves and would begin a run of dominance that brought home 5 Cups in a row. But they wouldn't do it again, thwarted primarily by Punch Imlach's largely forgotten Toronto Maple Leafs, who won in 1962, 1963 and 1964. They even broke up Montreal's next run at 5 in a row by beating the Habs again in 1967.

But the rest of the way? For a long time there was a 3-peat drought, with a couple of notable exceptions. Orr's Bruins didn't do it. Shero's Flyers didn't do it. Even Gretzky's Oilers and Lemieux' Penguins didn't do it. But the rebuilt Canadiens won 4 straight in the late 70s, only to be stunningly supplanted by Al Arbour's incredible upstarts from Long Island, who would win it for the next 4 years.

Since then? Nobody's done it.


Football:

Maybe the most interesting thing about the NFL is who didn't win 3 in a row. Montana's Niners? Nope. Luckman's Bears? Nah. Brown's Browns? Sure, but only in the AAFC. Unitas' Colts? Nope. Surely Bradshaw's Steelers. No again. The Perfect Fins? Went to 3 in a row but won 2. Aikman's Cowboys? Uh-uh. Brady's Patriots? Nix.

Ok, so who did?

The early years of the NFL are a bit 'different', as in all sports. There was only 1 division, and whoever won the 'pennant' won the title. In this early Roaring 20s time, two teams actually did it. Sort of. The Canton Bulldogs won 3 years in a row --- except they were the Cleveland Bulldogs the final year. Later that decade, Curly Lambeau's Packers did it.

It wouldn't happen again until Vince Lombardi's Packers won their last 3 titles. The last two overlapped the Super Bowl era. Fortunately, they won both times so no asterisks are necessary.

Meanwhile, in the 10-year span of the independent AFL, only one franchise, the Chiefs (nee Texans), won 3 titles, period. They were not consecutive. Only Houston and Buffalo won consecutive titles.

And into the Super Bowl age we go. It's the criterion we use today. Lotsa repeaters. Green Bay. Miami. Pittsburgh. San Francisco. Dallas. Denver. New England.

Absolutely zero 3-peaters. None. Squat. It's been nearly 50 years.


College Sports:

This generally means only one of two things: football or basketball. A quick look at the annals tells you that football is an impossible mishmash for most of its near-150 year history. Recently things have been in order a bit more, but nary a 3-peater. The closest arguable (though unofficial) achiever, at least in an era that featured more contenders than Yale and Princeton, may be Army (well-stocked during WWII), which lost not a game from 1944 through 1946 while going a cumulative 27-0-1.

Basketball is different, and there have been conclusive champions for a long time. Astonishingly, there is only one 3-peater and that's John Wooden's UCLA, who won 7 in a row from 1967 to 1973.


What conclusion do we draw from all of this? Nothing. Who needs conclusions? Some teams that never won 3 in a row can be argued to have been better than some that did. It's nothing more than a fascinating trip through sports history and the teams that achieved (and didn't achieve) a most difficult feat --- winning three in a row.

Weekly Grumble with IHM 8/9
Category: FEATURED

  Well folks, it’s that time of the week once again… time for another visit from your old pal IHM. This week, there are plenty of things to piss and moan about; so let’s get to it!

  The biggest story of the week, of course, is the return of football with the start of the NFL preseason. We got started last Sunday night with the Hall of Fame game and inductions of the class of 2014, and Sunday night’s matchup of the Giants and Bills. Now we’re balls deep into the first full week of games, with just a few teams left to play their first preseason game of 2014. Tonight’s slate includes Johnny Football making his NFL debut against the Lions second team defense (which is more like most teams’ third team defense), the Giants and Steelers facing off, Green Bay against Tennessee, and the Texans traveling to Arizona. Even if it is only one series with actual starters in the game normally, it’s good to have football back!

  Last night’s big event happened in St.Louis, where history was made in the National Football League as a 7th round pick made a tackle and had a pressure on the QB during the third quarter or so. Of course, Sammy Brown, an undrafted free agent in 2012 actually made two tackles and had a QB pressure of his own… but he’s into vagina, so who gives a shit about him. Michael Sam is the story of courage, perseverance, and pride… even though nobody has ever done anything but praise him and ballyhoo him since he announced his private life to the public a few months ago.

  But it happened… Sam made a tackle, the game was stopped… photos were taken… rainbow colored confetti fell from the rafters… The Weather Girls came on the PA system with their chart topping hit “It’s Raining Men”… dozens and dozens of men in hot pants streamed onto the field flying rainbow flags… and the world was finally just and fair again in one, historic moment.

  Of course, that is all overreaction… nothing else happened. A football player made a fucking tackle. He also got shoved around like a rag doll on most other plays, put next to no pressure on the quarterback, and generally looked like a guy who should have gone undrafted and was frankly a step slow… exactly what the scouts said all along, before they even knew or cared what his sexual preference was. So here’s the real question… who cries for justice for a guy like Sammy Brown if he gets cut in favor of Sam despite his superior performance just because the Rams might be afraid of the bad PR that could come with cutting Michael Sam now?

  As for the other rookie debuts from this week, how about Blake Bortles of the Jags? The guy went 7/11 with 117 yards in his first NFL action, but was outshined by Bucs starter Mike Glennon, who is looking to beat out Josh McCown for the starting job in Tampa. Glennon threw for 140 yards and a TD pass while McCown was just 2/4 with an INT in limited action. That has to be a good sign for a Jaguars team that hasn’t had any kind of QB play to write home about since the days of Mark Brunell!

  Another rookie to watch is Kelvin Benjamin of the Panthers, who made an impressive 29 yard TD catch, his only catch of the ballgame, in his preseason debut. Sammy Watkins of the Bills caught 4 passes for 31 yards after being shut out in the HOF game last weekend.

  Eagles starter Nick Foles threw as many interceptions in Philly’s opening preseason game against the Bears than he did all of last season, throwing for two picks in his limited action last night. Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame fame looked impressive off the bench for the Bears, throwing for 150 yards and 2 TDs… watch out Jay Cutler!

  Big news in the world of college sports as a judge sides with Ed O’Bannon, meaning the NCAA will now have to pay for the use of players’ likeness. Of course, there are still some fucked up aspects to this, such as the fact that the athletes don’t see a dime until they are out of school… and the fact that the cap is set at $5,000 per year… meaning the maximum a guy can make is $20,000 over four years… far below the market value of advertising contracts. So, in the end, these kids are still stuck with nothing until they leave school… and I’m sure there are plenty of other loopholes being worked in by the bloodsucking assholes known as the NCAA’s legal team… so I highly doubt we’ll see anyone reaching that ridiculously low $20,000 amount. Oh, and the NCAA still gets a two year buffer to make billions of dollars off of kids, because these rules don’t set in until 2016 recruits come in. So I guess it’s a win… just not for any of the kids who are making hundreds of millions of dollars for the joke that is the NCAA right now. Wonder how that will work out for the kids that come in in 2016 while the previous classes are still not getting any sort of compensation for their hard work? That won’t cause any type of issues, I’m sure…

  It’s progress… just not very much progress. We’re still a long way away from fair treatment for college athletes.

  So the city of Akron had a big welcome home rally for their native douchebag  LeBron James yesterday. Just fucking nauseating. Of course Brian Windbag was there, hanging off of LeBron’s sack and ready to report every detail of his day to ESPN.

  The Tigers offense woke the fuck up last night, with Castellanos and Suarez hitting back to back homers in the bottom of the ninth to top the Blue Jays 5-4. This comes off the heels of a six run, four game series against the Yankees last week, in which the Tigers wasted great starts out of Porcello, Verlander, and Scherzer… not to mention David Price, who went 8 innings with 10 K’s in his Tigers debut but got a no decision. The Royals have moved up to 2.5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central now after their 5 game winning streak.

  That’s all I’ve got for this week, folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great weekend, Gabbers.

Sports Friday with Hal: First Football
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

Ahhh, NFL football.  Welcome back!

 

A lot of NFL action at last this week with the Hall of Fame game on Sunday and Thursday night full of action. I know I spent Thursday night glued to the tube watching the Patriots back-ups (No Tom Brady, Darrelle Revis, etc) face-off against the Redskins second squad.

NFL NOTES:

 

The Curious Case of Jon Baldwin:

24 year-old wide receiver Jon Baldwin was a 2011 first-round draft pick in Kansas City and dealt to the 49ers last year during training camp for fellow high-draft pick washout wide receiver A.J. Jenkins. The 49ers cut Baldwin this week and he was claimed on waivers by the Lions. He lasted two days and was waived as he failed a physical (knee issue presumably).  Here is a kid out of football three years after being a first-round pick after a fantastic college career at Pitt where he ripped up the Big East with his size (six-foot-five and 228 pounds) and sub 4.50 speed. He suffered a wrist injury in his first training camp as a rookie in a fight with a teammate and never got on track. Another disappointing year had him traded and now he is on the outside looking in.

 

Baldwin is down to his final chance. When he gets healthy, he may have one chance left. Hard to believe a first-round pick could fall so far so soon. You just do not see teams miss on a pick like this these days.

 

A Couple of Losers:

Former NFL quarterback Scott Mitchell who was once supposed to carry the Detroit Lions to glory, is on the Biggest Loser this fall. No, not just because he lost football games, but rather he has ballooned to 366 pounds and is looking for help to get back to a more suitable weight. He is joined by former Jets, Lions and Patriots offensive lineman and current ESPN analyst Damien Woody who is tipping the scales at a shade under 400 pounds.

 

Two former Lions on the “Biggest Loser”--that’s cruel, NBC.

 

Another First-Round Pick out of the League:

New York Giants running back and 2012 first-round draft pick was forced to retire due to a recurring neck injury. Just 23 years-old, Wilson was an All-American in two sports out of high school, All-American, honor roll and ACC Offensive Player of the Year in college. Doctors advised him to retire from football due to his neck injury and the risk of further damage.  Two years, just 21 games and he is now looking at a career change.

 

It is a tough break for the Giants, but so much better to see he was smart enough to retire rather than end up with a horrible debilitating injury.

 

A Real Pisser:

Ending the Notes on an funny note here. Franklin, OH citizen Paul Serbu was arrested by Baltimore police. Posting on YouTube a video of himself urinating on former Browns owner Art Modell who had moved the team to Baltimore (and fired Bill Belichick--that was his biggest crime!) tipped off the police. Modell broke the heart of many Cleveland fans by moving the Browns to Baltimore. Posting as “BrownsFan4Life” Serbu had a little rant, ripped off a Ravens jersey to reveal a Browns jersey, and using a tube and catheter he proceeds to urinate on Modell’s grave. Could he have got away with it? Sure, just do not post it in a public location where thousands can see it and identify you

 

OK, time to overdose on football. Have a great weekend, all!

 
OH Thursday, with Shorty
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL MLB Pre season

  

“Another day in the City, what a freaking grind just for another dollar”

That was one of my father’s lines when he would walk thru the door at the end of the dayafter driving home from the City.

It was usually followed by “hey Marge what’s for supper? And grab me a cold beer…………..please dear”

Fields corner in Bostons' Dorchester neighborhood, this is where my Dad is originaly from.

Sully has family from here as well...that's why we sometimes call each other cuz

My Dad was an avid yet critical Red Sox fan.

At the age of 7 in 1959 I saw my first game at Fenway. I was in awe and later learned that I saw Ted Williams play.  Thru the 1960’s I must have been to Fenway a hundred times with Dad, my brother and buddies.

Dad would not ever see the Red Sox reach the promised land as his death pre dated the 2004 championship by 15 years. He would call these guys today a bunch of prima donnas a bunch of overpaid babies.

Fenway in the 60's ready for the Patriots                       Same view today

I remember him telling me that Ted Williams was a war hero and he was getting paid $100,000.00 to play a game for a little over half a year and he was the only player worth it. None of these other ball players would ever be worth that kind of scratch. They called it scratch back then because you had to scratch your way along the straight and narrow and scratch for every thing you had.

If my Dad saw the contracts of today’s players… two hundred million for 5 or 6 years of playing a game he would have been cursing.

here is pilot Ted

The Red Sox were traders at this year’s deadline.

I’m coming to terms with that.

Former Patriots TE and now mid day sports radio talk show host Christian Fauria laid out the 8 steps to recovery on his show last week.

Most of his co hosts and callers were angry and shocked that the Red Sox traded away 4/5 of their starting rotation and other pieces. Fauria told them to calm down and listen because there was hope for each of them…nobody need to jump of the Tobin

be aware of where you are along the eight steps:

1.shock and anger

2.depression

3.slight up tick

4.reluctance to talking about it

5. measured acceptance

6. acceptance

7.guarded optimism

8.getting back on the bus

A week removed I’m currently hovering around 3,4 and 5…I go back and forth.

This is baseball and you can’t tank for Andrew Wiggins or suck for Luck to get a good draft pick…MLB doesn’t work that way. You have to build from scouting, low A, AA, AAA and try to manage these kids, keep them out of trouble and keep them healthy so someday they can be a productive member of the Major league team.

The Red Sox won the WS last year and finished 5th the year before. They are destined to finish last again this year. This isn’t the Florida Marlins…or is it?

Opening day rotation                            Today’s rotation

Jon Lester          (Oak)                         Clay Buchholz (highest ERA in MLB)

John Lackey       (St. Louis)                  Brandon Workman  maybe a 4-5

Clay Buchholz                                     Ruby Delarosa   needs work

Jake Peavey          (San Fran)               Alan Webster   needs control

Felix Dubront       (Chicago)                  Joe Kelly  100mph but where's the plate

Brandon Workman                               Anthony Ranaudo just a kid but bright future

 

Only time will tell…and heal the wounds of we Red Sox fans that are spoiled by the 3 championships of ’04, ’07 and ’13. But as Mo pionted out Monday and Radatz on Sunday, we are a spoiled and greedy bunch.

Maybe this team of young guys will be fun to watch…maybe they will play hard and maybe they will win…games and the hearts of the fans…again

Is this step six?

 

ON to the NFL... the North divisions

 

AFC North, last season final records

Cincinnati                  11-5           3-3

Pittsburgh                    8-8            4-2

Baltimore                     8-8            3-3

Cleveland                    4-12          2-4

 

Cincinnati defends the division championship with Andy Dalton playing with a new contract (6 years 115 million) . AJ Green is a stud, Gio Bernard wants the ball on every down in every situation. Geno Atkins has been taken off the PUP list and hopes to lead the Bengal’s D. How good are they…Shorty says they could make the playoffs.

Pittsburgh is coming off an 8-8 season and Ben Rothlesburger still has a big arm. Bens arm is almost as big as his two main receiving weapons 5-10 Antonio Brown and 5-9 Lance Moore. Heath Miller is back at TE and Le’Veon Bell at RB. Ex Patriot LeGarrette Blount is ready to take every carry available and pound defenders by running over them. Blount is a workhorse, listed at 6-1 and 250 but 250 is without lunch and dinner for a week.  I like the Steelers, and Shorty sees them winning this division.

Baltimore took a step back last season and could fall further. Joe Flacco gets paid like an elite but is not. He has all the weapons at receiver and TE and has a stable of RB’s behind him and hopefully an improving O Line but Joe has to step up and be the man. The defense will play well but this division has no gimmys anymore. The Ravens have a brutal schedule with the week 11 bye. The schedule looks like this: Cin,  Pitts, @ Cleve, Carolina, @ Indy, @Tampa Bay, Atlanta, @ Cin,  @Pitts and Tenn. Playoffs? Doubt that.

Cleveland made headlines in the off season with the drafting of Johnny Manziel late in the first round. Brian Hoyer will most probably be the starting QB for the Browns and with Gordon not expected to win his appeal it will be the Browns defense that carries this team in’14. The other first round pick,  CBJustin Gilbert will play opposite Joe Haden and make this defensive backfield good.

But shorty says not good enough to be even dreaming of the playoffs.

Shorty’s picks

Pittsburgh           11-5

Cincinnati           10-6

Cleveland             7-9

Baltimore            6-10

 

 

NFC North

Final standings ‘13

Green Bay               8-7-1                             3-2-1

Chicago                     8-8                                 2-4

Detroit                       7-9                                  4-2

Minnesota                 5-10-1                           2-3-1

 

Green Bay won this division with Aaron Rodgers watching 7 games. Healthy, Rodgers is the best QB in the NFL today, giant arm and can throw on the run and he has WR’s Jordy Nelson  and Randall Cobb just waiting for him. Lacy and Starks will carry the ball and this team will score with anyone.  This defense should be improved over the one that surrendered 26 ppg in ’13. Shorty likes the Pack to win the division.

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall has declared that Jay Cutler would be the NFL MVP in 2014. Shorty doesn’t agree. The Bears did score a load of points in ’13, only Denver and New England scored more offensive points. Aiston Jeffery and Marshall both were over 1000 yds and combined for 189 catches and can be a nightmare for defensive backs but sometimes Cutler makes bad decisions and the ball doesn’t go where it should. He isn’t a disciplined as the elite passers ( Brees, Rodgers, Brady and Peyton Manning) and can’t be included in this bunch. MVP? No I doubt it very much, playoffs??? Just maybe squeek in.

Detroit the big tease. The Lions took a TE with the 10th overall pick and book ended their frustrating draft by taking a kicker at 229. The need was on defense, and they didn’t really address that. Calvin Johnson is the best receiver on the planet, Golden Tate is a nice complementary player as long as there is a sideline to escape to. Pettigrew is a decent TE and why draft Eric Ebron we will never know. Stafford can heave the ball for a load of yards by sending it in the direction of Johnson…easiest play in the NFL. Stafford will easily surpass 4,500 yards but 19 Ints will be the downfall of this team.

Shorty has the Lions out of the money again.

Minnesota will stage a QB battle to see which guy, veteran Matt Cassell or rookie Teddy Bridgewater gets to hand off to Adrian Peterson. Norv Turner’s job is easy. The WR’s, Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jarius Wright and Jerome Simpson will be asked to block down field and will get rewarded with an occasional pass their way. This defense gave up 30 ppg last season and that won’t get it done. Sorry Vikings fans. Shorty says nah.

The NFC North will play the AFC East and the NFC South

Shorty’s picks

Green Bay        11-5

Chicago             9-7

Detroit              6-10

Minnesota        6-10

 

Next week the AFC West and the NFC West and the post season Shorty picks.

thanks for the visit and I'll take a page out of Jeff's book here with some parting humor

Bill Cosby said,

I sometimes wonder if clouds look down at people and say

"hey Jerry, look at that one over there...it kinda looks like an idiot"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Thoughts 8-6-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Charlie Strong Establishing trust What is a Redskin Trombone Shorty Opah Trifecta

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Last week, we were waiting for my son to arrive from California. We waited and waited for his arrival, and finally at 3:30 in the morning…he walked out to greet us. Air travel is not much fun, but when you miss your original flight, bad things generally happen. An extended layover in Phoenix was made longer by a malfunctioning plane. It will be a funny story for the future, but I suspect my son won’t be so cavalier with his future arrival times at the airport. Despite the late hour of arrival, it sure was good to see the boy again.

As I am a former coach and father of an athlete, there is something that I have realized in the past few years. Coaches play players they trust. Of course, talent has much to do with creating trust; but this does not completely explain exactly how coaches come to trust their players. When my son began playing high school football, he started his first varsity game as a sophomore against a very talented team. All five offensive linemen ended up playing D1 football at one school or another. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous before a game. I did not think Blake was ready to face this level of talent and I was right. Oh…he made a few plays, but he was a boy playing men. Predictably, the coaches made changes and moved Blake back to the MLB position where he was more comfortable. Honestly, I could not blame them for making those changes. The DC could not trust Blake after his first test. By mid-season, Blake began to understand the defense. I felt he was finally ready to play…but he continued to back up the junior MLB…because the DC trusted the kid. Honestly, I could not blame him either…he was a great kid and a very steady player. The next year was more of the same. That junior MLB was now a senior and although Blake played well when he had the opportunity…he did not play full time until his senior year. That initial game as a sophomore could not be erased from the mind of that DC. Blake had a great senior year and I suspect that the coaches regret not finding a way to have him on the field earlier.

I must admit, even though I am still very much in the baseball mode…when the HOF football game happens, part of me begins to look ahead. Fall is ahead of course and that means another football season approaches. Even though I no longer have a son playing under the Friday night lights…I cannot help but feel the pull of the season. Locally, the news continues to focus on the changes taking place on the forty acres. I read a terrific article about Charlie Strong and I would advise that it is a great read. The video in the article is also worth a few minutes to view. Here is the link:

http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/87448/strong-is-deep-in-the-heart-of-texas    Be sure to click more to continue reading...

 

Yes, it is an article by ESPN, but it is a quality piece by Tim Keown. As I have begun to know Charlie Strong, I hear words that are familiar. He wants his players to have the toughness to do the right thing. In Coach Strong’s words…he wants to put the T back in Texas. Longhorn players are no longer allowed to flash the hook-em horns gesture…yet. The familiar Longhorn logo has been removed from the player’s helmets as well. In essence, this team is beginning anew. Players must earn the trust of the players and the trust of each other. There is that word again…trust. In order to play, players must earn trust. In order to win coaches must earn the trust of the players. Trust is paramount in any successful team. It is one of the bedrock of any permanent foundation. Coach Strong is not trying to throw up a building, but is rather attempting to build something that will hold up for many years to come. It was interesting to read in the article about Coach Strong words from his old coach, Lou Holtz. As Holtz said, Mack Brown was a great chairman of the board. But this is not who Charlie Strong is. Brown enjoyed overseeing the work being done, Strong enjoys getting his hands in the clay…so to speak.  In the words of Coach Holtz, “Charlie Strong will do what has to be done to be successful.” This process has already begun and I am one Longhorn fan that trusts that Coach Strong is the right man for the job.

 

I should probably wait until Texas plays OU for this, but what the hell…it is too funny to save. Yeah...football season is just around the corner...and OU still sucks!

 

 

 

 

 

A local radio sports guy calls the Redskins the Washington racial slurs. This has really bothered me as the team in Washington will always be the Redskins to me. But, this has caused me to stop and consider if the term Redskin could really be considered racist. Honestly, I have wanted to pick up the phone and call the radio station and challenge the sports guy, but I really did not have anything to counter the fact that at one time Indians were called Redskins. I had a moment of clarity this week. I realized that I have never heard this word used as a racial slur. In fact, except for the professional football team in Washington…I have never heard the word Redskins used at all. Granted…I don’t live on a reservation, but this is really a term from our past. Daniel Snyder believes that the term Redskin is used with pride. He points out that you need only to listen to the Redskins fight song to understand this. Hail to the Redskins…are not words used to create a feeling of hate. I saw a poll this week that asked if the Redskins should change their name. 71% of the voters said no. Why will this issue simply not go away?

 

I saw a great story about a musician named Trombone Shorty this week. He is predictably a trombone player that lives in New Orleans.  A young kid was robbed of his trombone coming home from school Shorty saw the story and decided to replace the trombone with one of his own. Very cool act and worthy of a feature tune in my blog.

http://news.yahoo.com/trombone-shorty-replaces-boys-stolen-trombone-235305174.html\

 

 

                  They could call him Trumpet Shorty as well, as I am not so sure he is not better on the trumpet. A very talented cat...

                   with a big heart!

 

 


Another cool story that I saw this week was about the man that was once again playing the piano. Why did he stop, you might wonder…he lost both of his hands to infection. Dude has transplanted hands is able to do things that I am sure he never figured to do again. Now that is an awesome thing…

http://news.yahoo.com/double-hand-transplant-man-piano-152812632.html

 

In honor of fishing trip in the near future, I had to give this story a mention. I have never heard of these fish, but they look like giant sunfish! I will settle for a few redfish and a mess of speckled trout. Hopefully, next week I will have pictures…

http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/socal-anglers-score-rare-opah-trifecta/

 

 

That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

 

"You know what's probably a good thing to hang on your porch in the summertime, to keep mosquitos away from you and your guests? Just a big bag full of blood."

 

"It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man."

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…

 

 

 

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