Miami Heat fans should be absolutely ashamed of themselves for leaving Game 6 of the 2012 NBA Finals early.
I need to hear from fans of Indiana University, and I need to hear from alums of Indiana University.
Do you have a clue on what your baseball program has been accomplishing? Do you realize the program coach Tracy Smith has built, which has become the first Big Ten team in 29 years to reach the College World Series?
Or did your support of Hoosiers athletics end in ephemeral fashion when Tom Crean, Cody Zeller, and Victor Oladipo were eliminated from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament?
The committee stresses geography much more than what you would see in basketball due to budgetary concerns, virtually none of the top teams will be playing too far away from home. One charm is Omaha being the College World Series venue since literally the beginning of time, which is a nice, central location that continues to work, especially now in a modern new venue.
And despite the top teams having home-field advantage, do not necessarily look for chalk to advance to Omaha. In 2012 upstart Stony Brook shocked perennial power LSU in a Super Regional and were joined in Omaha by MAC representative Kent State, who upset Oregon to become part of the final eight.
The most notable team left out of the field is 2012 National Champion Arizona, they finished with a RPI of #60, not good enough to get the Wildcats even into this year’s dance. The Pac-12 in all has just four representatives this year.
Robert Griffin is this year’s Adrian Peterson scenario. In a world where nothing happens to his knee at the end of last season, Griffin is a first-round pick and arguably the first QB off the board.
But Griffin is coming off a knee injury. All the propaganda says Griffin is way, way ahead of schedule and will be good to go Week One. But the last time the Adidas hype machine pushed someone who sustained a serious knee injury in the playoffs, things did not work so well. Griffin could end up like Adrian Peterson and perform like nothing ever happen, or he could be like Derrick Rose and miss much of the season.
Obviously Griffin’s final fantasy draft position will hinge on his progress during camp. By mid-August the picture should be much clearer.
Thankfully it only happens somewhat sporadically, but racism reared its ugly head in sports again this week.
It started with the Sergio Garcia versus Tiger Woods tiff, which began when the two were paired together during the third round of the Players Championship. The twosome accused each other of making distracting actions during swings. After play concluded, Garcia made a remark during the interview that Tiger “is not the nicest man on Tour.”
The media and rival competitors taking issue with the prickly personality of Tiger Woods is nothing new. And the spat between the two was actually considered in some ways good, because rivalry sells. To me, Sergio v. Tiger just seemed like a tiff straight out of NASCAR world that would go away quickly.
That was until an event this week in advance of a European Tour event. The emcee jokingly asked Garcia if he would have Tiger Woods over for dinner during the United States Open.
One of world soccer’s most legendary managerial careers came to a close Sunday when Sir Alex Ferguson toed the touch line for the final time as Manchester United’s competitive 2012-13 season ended with an improbable 5-5 draw away to West Brom.
With 13 league regular season championships, five FA Cup tournament titles, four League Cup tourney wins, and two Champions League crowns, how does Sir Alex’s career compare to American coaching icons such as Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, John Wooden, Pat Summitt, or Bob Knight??
For one, staying 26 years with one club speaks volumes, even if it is true that managing a team with one of the world’s largest war chests does not hurt.
As an eight year-old, Trickle was involved in a serious accident at home that left him with a broken hip that took three years to recover from and left him with a slight limp for life. While recuperating, Trickle attended a race at a local track and was immediately hooked and set on eventually becoming a driver himself.
tricklebobsledThere were obstacles however, for starters, his parents were on welfare – and racing, even at the local levels, was a profession where prohibitive start-up expenses must be absorbed for a would-be racer to even be able to dream of making it.
But by age 17 Trickle was out on the track, before being kicked out of his local venue after his age was discovered. When finally able to legally race, Trickle regularly contended but did not have the equipment needed to seal the deal. By slowly making deals with others in the business, that eventually changed. During the 1960’s Trickle became one of the top drivers in the region.
With only 64 spots, it takes much more than a yellow jacket from Canton to make the cut, especially as an at-large entrant. Even if I were to expand the field to 128 I would be honestly still be leaving a lot of all-time greats out. Only if I were to expand to 256 I would be covering most whom are currently enshrined in Canton.
As an at-large, it would take an RPI number of about 50 or lower to realistically make the list. As is the case with the NCAA Tournament, the number 15 and 16 seeds comprise of players who would not be on the list if not being given the crown as their team’s UFP. Three of the 15 seeds would rank borderline top-100 while the 16s are ranked between 230 and 300 per Pro Football Reference.
As might be expected, quarterbacks have by far the greatest representation – comprising nearly 25 percent of the field, eight of the automatic bids and 15 players from the position overall. 19 of the overall bids and 35 players overall are from the skill positions. In all, 39 players are on offense, 25 on the defensive side of the ball.
The final writing determines the Washington Redskins UFP over 80 years of franchise history. Since I decided to go with a 43-entrant field in my recent Titans/Oilers piece since Jerry Glanville dabbled with the stock cars, then I definitely got to do another list for Coach Joe Giggs – who is the Bo Jackson/two sport legend of management. Gibbs has been in the NFL Hall of Fame since 1996, I would expect him to make the NASCAR Hall as well in the near future.
And besides, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been known to ask for Redskins scores to his crew chief during races. No word on whether Robert Griffin III has ever asked for the up to the minute running order of the Helluvagood 400 during the two minute warning.
Here is my final UFP countdown, does that second defensive back get in, or do I go old, old, school…
In February 2002, it was fitting that in the final Super Bowl that Pat Summerall called, the game ended with Adam Vinatieri’s long game-winning field goal. Vinatieri also kicked an improbable long field goal in the snow two weeks earlier in the infamous Tuck Rule game – much like Summerall once kicked a 48-yard field goal in the snow to win a critical late-season game in 1958.
‘Adam Vin-a-TIERI!!’ Was Pat’s call as the kick went through the uprights. No other explanation was needed, there was no need explaining that the New England Patriots had just won the Super Bowl.
Learning from Ray Scott many years before, Pat understood that the story could be told on television using minimal words, letting the action tell the rest of the story.
There are other outstanding talents in the business, now as in the past. Al Michaels has now been at it himself for three decades, Jim Nantz has an incredible way of somehow bringing numerology and history into the equation. You can easily consider Keith Jackson just as legendary in regards to calling the college game.
Pat Summerall, who passed away this week at age 82, remains the gold standard to live up to however.
The final two team installments for UFP are kind of like the Big Ten Championship tipping off at 3 PM ET. The selection committee has already been hard at work determining the brackets and seedings – the final two automatic inductees are already assumed to have a place in the field regardless.
The real question will be where the second and third place finishers with our final two teams stand in terms of getting one of just 32 at-large bids out of thousands and thousands who have stepped on a NFL playing field.
Which brings us to our list of Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans greats – a field so large that we decided to do like NASCAR and let 43 drivers onto the track in honor of Jerry Glanville, who moonlighted behind the wheel during his coaching days without a lot of success.