My Corner of the World

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I understand the temps are very spring-like this morning, but my neighbor is running his air conditioner! Heck, I was happy I didn't have turn on the heat last night. Maybe it will give my electricity bill a break because there ain't no telling what it will be after the two wintry episodes earlier this month.

Maybe I am just bored because the Winter Olympics have come to an end. I must admit I watched more of this year than I have in years past, but that's still not a lot. After all, the Austrian women's curling team wasn't featured every night. It looks like I wasn't the only one not watching, as Nielsen says it was the least watched Winter games since 1988.


First it was alleged former Texas QB Vince Young scored only a six on his Wonderlic test; then it was reported that was wrong & it was instead 16. Now, Longhorns head coach Mack Brown has rushed to his defense, rightfully so I might add. Just like the NFL's drug tests, the results are supposed to be private & confidential.

Sure, it was fun water cooler talk when the news hit, but is it really our business? The only person in this world who should care about the number is the general manager which is about to make Vince a multi-millionaire come draft day.

According to Wonderlic's website: NFL draft picks have taken the Wonderlic test for years because team owners need to know if their million dollar player has the cognitive skills to be a star on the field.

Obviously the test didn't reveal Ryan Leaf would be a bust. It didn't reveal Peyton Manning would continuously fall short in his quest for a championship. It didn't reveal Terrell Owens would have a big mouth.

The kid can play football. I know, I've watched him win a big game or two. Something tells me the Wonderlic test will have little to do with his success in the NFL. Go to this website & take a sample test. I answered 8-of-9 correctly in the allotted time. Do you think someone will hire me as quarterback?


After a one-week shakeup near the top of the AP's college basketball poll which placed the Memphis Tigers fourth, the team returned to no. 3 yesterday thanks to UConn beating Villanova Sunday. The Tigers remained third in the coaches poll.


Seth Davis reports in Sports Illustrated's online edition that former Cincinnati basketball coach Bob Huggins could be Florida bound... South Florida bound to be exact... as in head coach of the Bulls, currently the doormat of the Big East. Davis says Huggins' attorney has had conversations with boosters. Say it ain't so, Bob.


Pau Gasol scores a career-high 39 for the Grizzlies last night in their win over Washington, 108-98. The victory snaps a three-game losing streak.


Note to Ron Artest: When Kevin Garnett threw a basketball into the stands & hit a fan, notice the fan did not storm the court & cause a riot. Meanwhile, Garnett has been fined 5k for the incident which happened against the Grizz Sunday. He says it was an accident. I am sure it was. The fine should be double that, plus a game suspension as well.


Many fathers & sons have enjoyed a bseball game together. Many have played baseball in their own backyards & you know what a feeling it was when you could finally hit a soft pitch from your father. But think for a moment if your the son of Roger Clemens. Koby took Dad deep in batting practice yesterday in Kissimmee, Fla. Next time up the ol' Rocket game his son a 92 mph brushback. Fatherly love?


Former Philadelphia Phillies great Mike Schmidt has a book coming out soon called "Clearing the Bases: Juiced Players, Monster Salaries, Sham Records and a Hall of Famer's Search for the Soul of Baseball." In the book he tackles the issue of steroids in sports & writes that the record books are now tainted. However, he believes that those suspected of juicing it shouldn't be banned from the Hall of Fame.


Music quote of the day:

"Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there"

Train - "Drops of Jupiter"

Monday, February 27, 2006

Wow, three days since my last post & I apologize. Traffic here increases each day & I believe it has something to do with the fresh updates. Hey, I know the perfect place to start:

Since it is Monday it's old news that the Memphis Tigers won again Saturday night. After an easy win at Tulsa earlier in the season, the Golden Hurricane came to FedEx Forum with upset on their mind. In the end, the Tigers prevail, 78-67.

The postgame show I host is usually entertaining. Everyone has an opinion on Tiger basketball. The call of the night came from a young listener, maybe junior high age. He described himself as a die-hard Tiger fan, but all his friends at school like Duke. Wait a minute, Duke? Here? In Memphis?

There's many loyalties to many schools in our region, so if you aren't a Memphis fan that usually means you pull for Mississippi, Arkansas or Tennessee. Anyway, back to the story.

I was curious why so many Duke fans at this young man's school? Transplants? Mom or Dad graduated from there? What was the connection?

It was then my young caller offered an explanation I plan on using for years to come. He said these kids had no connection to the Blue Devils so he referred to them as "walk-on fans."

Now it's on to UAB this Thursday night.


With no. 3 UConn's win over no. 2 Villanova yesterday, what does that mean for Memphis in the polls today?


Former Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams was the subject of a feature article in yesterday's New York Times. Good read, although you will have to register with their site to see it.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Things must be real good at the University of Memphis when fans are bored with a 10-point win. That was the sentiment from many last night after the Tigers beat UTEP, 66-56.

Regardless of what you think of the Miners, until last night they were solidly in second place in Conference USA, winning 10 of their last 11 games. Coach Doc Sadler had spent the week rallying his troops by preaching how his team was getting no respect. Memphis was always expected to be the best in CUSA, then Houston or UAB would grab second. Where's UTEP? You heard an audio cut from Sadler on last night's pregame show stating the Miners were being ignored by the media.

UTEP even took the nostalgic route by breaking out throwback jerseys commemorating the 1966 Western Texas team, the team featured in the movie "Glory Road."

Look, folks, a win is a win is a win. Memphis is 25-2 & either no. 3 or no. 4, depending on the poll you keep an eye on. Sure, Memphis can't go far in postseason playing like they did last night. Then again, things change when March rolls around. This team & coaching staff is smart enough to realize some of the things they have gotten away with in conference play will give them an early exit in the NCAA tournament. The basketball IQ of this squad is one of the best I have seen in awhile.

Don't worry about the Tigers sleepwalking through the rest of the regular season. I am not sure what Tulsa will offer when the teams meet this Saturday for a second time this season; however, Houston, then especially UAB on the road should offer the tests Memphis will need before entering postseason.


So Stephen Ames makes a joke about Tiger Woods Monday, then Tiger tears the guy apart at the Accenture Match Play Championship, winning every hole on the front nine – seven of them with birdies – and eliminating Ames as early as mathematically possible. Wow.

Ames was an underdog from the start. He was asked what he thought his chances were against the no. 1 player in the world. "Anything can happen," he said with a teethy grin. "Especially where he's hitting the ball."

Uh oh. He might as well said Tiger's mom still dresses him funny, too.

When asked if Ames' comments motivated him, Tiger simply replied, "Yes."

No word yet if Tiger is asking the media to interview Ames or any other loose-lipped wannabe before each Major this season.


On the same day his state newspaper reports his job may be in jeopardy, coach Rod Barnes' Rebels are smoked by Kentucky, 80-40. Timing is everything, even if it is bad timing.

In some circles, Barnes is already gone. Sure, he's still physically present but the search is on for his replacement. The common concern I hear is if the University of Mississippi makes this move, they must do it swiftly & have their next guy ready to step in. Just call it lessons learned after firing football coach David Cutcliffe in 2004 & the weeks it took to hire someone before selecting Ed Orgeron.

On the list of replacements is UAB's Mike Anderson & Elston Turner, a former Rebel from the early 80s who played in the NBA & now is an assistant with the Sacramento Kings. The list could be longer, these were just the first two names thrown out to me in conversations.


If you got an extra 400-million or so lying around, you could be the owner of the Atlanta Braves. That's the rumored asking price for the team by Time Warner, so Falcons owner Arthur Blank has said thank, but no thanks. Blank believes the team is worth substantially less than the asking price. No word if the rumor is true he was willing to pay at least 300-million if Bobby Cox agreed to mow his lawn weekly & Chipper Jones clean the pool.


The circle of life: Penny Hardaway is with the Orlando Magic again.


Up in smoke: the agent for troubled NFL running back Ricky Williams is convinced his client is drug free.


The jig is up, the news is out: "We're going to win it this year. We're going after them this year," according to New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.


Don't do me like that: no good news to report out of a long meeting between the NFL Players Association & a group representing team owners in Indianapolis Wednesday. "There's been no progress," union chief Gene Upshaw said as he left the downtown Indianapolis hotel at which the meeting was held. "We told them our points. They understand our points. They think we're asking too much, and we think they're not offering enough. We're just not there, and I'm not sure we're going to get there... The positions are still the same."


Music quote of the day:

"Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone
Everything that I've got is just what I've got on
I ain't got a dime, but what I got is mine
I ain't rich, but lord I'm free
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo's where I'll be"

George Strait - "Amarillo By Morning"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

When the debate started several months ago of who & how many teams CUSA would get in the Big Dance in March, Memphis topped the list, followed by UAB & maybe Houston. Some of us forgot UTEP. Let's hope the Tigers don't make the same mistake tonight. Commercial Appeal writer Gary Parrish is right on the money in his story today about the implications of tonight's game on the conference's regular season champion.

UTEP has been in the spotlight for more than just its current basketball team in recent weeks. The movie "Glory Road" has brought attention to the school for its history when it was known as Texas Western. So to capitalize on it all, the Miners will where Texas Western throwback jerseys to 1966. What better stage to do it than on ESPN2 against the no. 3 team in the country. Typically, you would think such a special occasion for throwbacks would come at home.


The month of January was ugly for the Memphis Grizzlies. Let's hope they have escaped the funk that surrounded them. Last night was the team's fourth-straight win, 94-88 over Toronto. There's 30 regular-season games left, 17 are at home. Can the Grizz find the magic that made them one of the most-taled about teams the first two months of the season?


Could we be adding the University of Mississippi to the list of schools that will be searching for a basketball coach come season's end? Athletic director Pete Boone was non-commital during an interview Tuesday about the future of coach Rod Barnes. I guess that is better than being given the ol' vote of confidence. When that happens, you should go ahead & pack your bags.

I read somewhere recently that over the last 10 years there have been on average 49 division 1 basketball coaching changes annually. That numbers seems high until you consider the snowball affect one firing, retirement of resignation does to the coaching landscape. It leads to other coaches making moves to better their careers & next thing you know, boom, there have been nearly 50 changes.

This year could really get interesting if Kentucky's Tubby Smith jumps to the NBA, as has been rumored for many weeks. Add to the mix Indiana & Missouri... those are just the three we are sure of.


In college football, Melvin Smith is back with Mississippi State to coach the defensive backfield. Smith was part of Jackie Sherril's staff from 1996-2001, before he left to join the Dallas Cowboys. Smith returns to Starkville after spending a season at Texas A&M coaching safeties.

Meanwhile, former Mississippi offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone will coach wide receivers in the NFL for the New York Jets next season.


David Poole of The Charlotte Observer (plus, contributor to Focus On Racing Radio) is right on the money today about NASCAR's mishandling of Chad Knaus & his cheating prior to the Daytona 500. David writes:

Did you hear the one about how NASCAR is cracking down on cheating?

Stock car racing rules enforcement officially became a joke Tuesday when NASCAR announced the rest of its penalty against Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson, for the No. 48 Chevrolet's Daytona 500 qualifying violation.

Knaus is suspended for three more Cup races after also having to sit out Johnson's win in the 500 on Sunday. He is suspended until March 22. The season's fifth race, at Bristol, is March 26. Knaus was also fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

The punch line, though, is that neither Johnson nor car owner Rick Hendrick lost points.


Georgia Tech has called a 3 p.m. press conference for this afternoon to announce LSU associate AD Dan Radakovich as the seventh athletics director in school history, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Since they passed over their former coach for the job, I guess that means another season of Bill Curry in the broadcast booth, huh?


Music quote of the day:

"But when she puts her arms around me,
I can, somehow, rise above it
Yeah man, when I got that little girl standing right by my side,
You know, I can tell the whole wide world, "Shove it,"

Hey, here comes my girl, here comes my girl,
Yeah, she looks so right, she's all I need tonight"

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - "Here Comes My Girl"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Former Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams is getting a little press in today's The Tennessean. It's funny how he was all but ignored by the Nashville newspaper throughout his career. But now that the world knows Williams is a legit first-round pick, everyone is standing in line to talk to him, write stories, etc.

Jim Wyatt covers the Titans for The Tennessean & was an occassional guest on SportsCall when we were on-the-air. He does a great job with this story.


As mentioned on this blog yesterday, it appears Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has failed an NFL drug test. The Miami Herald reports this morning that sources tell them, yes, Ricky failed, but it wasn't for pot use.

Add to this, he's currently out of the country & may not return until late April, all while appealing this latest penalty.


Curt Gowdy, RIP.


Music quote of the day:

"Dream on
Dream about the world we're gonna live in one fine day
Dream on
Spend the night in heaven I'll be here to light your way"

Oak Ridge Boys - "Dream On"

Monday, February 20, 2006

The AP poll is out & the top four are just as I predicted earlier this morning:

February 20, 2006

Top 25

1 Duke (64)
2 Villanova (3)
3 Connecticut (4)
4 Memphis (1)
5 Gonzaga

It appears the Tigers are staying at third in coaches poll.

Memphis Tigers fans wait in eager anticipation this morning to see if the team drops in this week's top 25 polls. No, Memphis didn't lose a game last week or even play a close contest that would put their credibility in jeopardy. No. 4 Villanova's upset a week ago against no. 1 UConn has most of us wondering what happens. Duke will likely move atop both polls, followed by Villanova, UConn & Memphis. No. 4 in the country still ain't bad & all Memphis has to do is win out to get a no. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.

As a aside note, I will be hosting the Coach John Calipari Show tonight at 6 p.m. from the Variety Club on WMC-790. C'mon by & celebrate Tiger basketball with us.


What's the bigger story from yesterday's Daytona 500: a cheating team wins the race or Tony Stewart decided not to follow his own advice?

Jimmie Johnson won the race while his pit crew chief Chad Knaus was sitting at home for cheating. Oh, it was his seventh time to get caught cheating. I had a hard time admiring the effort put forth by his team yesterday because I honestly felt he shouldn't have been in the race. It's time for NASCAR to get serious about repeat offenders & Knaus fits the bill. They will only put an end to it when they start sitting drivers down instead of socking a crew chief for a few thousand bucks & sending him home.

But back to my point... Jimmie & the no. 48 Lowes team are celebrating & dedicating the race to their cheating crew chief. I know that Knaus isn't the only example out there of someone constantly bending the rules, but if NASCAR is serious about controlling their sport, then they need to make a bigger statement next time.

As for Stewart, let me say I am a fan. I believe Stewart to be the racer that takes the role of the late Dale Earnhardt. Now five years after his death, both fans & media have romantic memories of The Intimidator & we can all recite a story about how he won a race in dramatic fashion. We tend to forget how hated Earnhardt was in his prime. Sure, he was a great ambassador for the sport, but Dale Sr. would put his own mother into the wall if it meant grabbing a checkered flag.

The interesting part of Tony's story from last week was how vocal he was over bump drafting & driver safety at Daytona. "We're going to have another five-year tribute five years from now because we're going to kill somebody," he said. "It could be me, it could be Dale Jr., it could be anybody."

But there was Tony yesterday in an on-track squabble with Matt Kenseth which Stewart claims was started 20 laps in by Kenseth. Stewart had the quote of the night when he told NBC, "He started the whole thing and I finished it."

For most fans there was no middle ground when it came to Dale Earnhardt. You loved him or you hated him, all while respecting him & what he meant to racing. Even his worst enemies hated to see what happened to him at Daytona in 2001.

He speaks his mind, has two Cup championships & doesn't mind doing whatever it takes to win... sounds like Tony is ready to be The Intimidator II.


Today's Miami Herald reports Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has violated the NFL's substance abuse policy... again. It seems the story started when a Denver TV station reported Williams had violated the policy, meaning he either failed the drug test or refused it.


Is Barry Bonds calling it quits after 2006? He told USA Today he'll hang it up at the end of the season, regardless of where he stands in breaking Hank Aaron's all-time homerun record.

Meanwhile, an AP story is circulating today stating Bonds will play in 2007 if his surgically repaired knee is ok.


Music quote of the day:

"When love comes to town
I want to jump that train
When love comes to town
I want to catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town"

U2 w/ B.B. King - "When Love Comes To Town"

Saturday, February 18, 2006

It's gameday so here's a few fun facts about this year's Memphis Tiger basketball team, as posted at

• Memphis' 23 victories are the second-most in the nation (trails only Duke with 24).
• The Tigers' are tied for third-best won-loss percentage in the country (91.7 percent).
• Memphis is playing its school-record 18th-straight game ranked in the AP and Coaches' Poll Top 5.
• The Tigers' 12-game winning streak is second longest current one in the nation - trailing only George Washington's 13-game streak.
• Memphis has a 9-0 road record, making them the nation's only unbeaten road team - including wins at Providence (Big East), Cincinnati (Big East), No. 14 Alabama (SEC) and Mississippi (SEC).
• The Tigers have a 9-0 Conference USA record and are one of only six teams in the nation to have an undefeated league mark (joining Bucknell, Penn, Duke, George Washington and Gonzaga).
• Memphis has played more games (four) against teams currently rated in the RPI Top 10 than any other team in the country.
• Has a 7-2 record vs. Top 50 RPI teams and 10-2 against the Top 100 RPI (still has Top RPI 100 games left to play vs. #48 UAB, #59 Houston, #95 UTEP).
• The seven Top 50 RPI wins for Memphis are the fourth most of any team in the current RPI top 10 (Duke, UConn 10; Iowa 8).
• Of the Tigers' seven Top 50 RPI wins, six were against non-conference opponents, the most of any squad currently rated in the RPI Top 10. • The two losses were to teams currently ranked in the RPI Top 10 (Duke and Texas). Memphis is the only team in the RPI Top 10 that can claim that status.
• Ranked in the Top 15 of seven different NCAA statistical categories (NCAA has 15 categories); ranked in scoring offense (5th), scoring margin (7th), field goal percentage defense (11th), rebound margin (10th), blocked shots per game (7th), steals per game (14th) and won-loss percentage (T3rd).
• In its 10-man rotation, the Tigers are playing six first-year players (includes sophomore Andre Allen who sat out last season), three second-year players (includes JUCO-transfer Waki Williams) and one four-year player (Rodney Carney).


SMU's basketball team is under investigation by the NCAA. The AD has confirmed the investigation, but released no other details. Let's hope SMU is not cheating & the best they can do is their current record of 11-12, 3-7 CUSA.

Meanwhile, St. John's could face some form of punishment after meeting the with NCAA Committee on Infractions yesterday regarding alleged payments to Abe Keita from 2001-04. The university has already self-imposed penalties & hope that will satisfy the NCAA.


Georgia football coach Mark Richt is trying to avoid the same off-field problems some of his Dawgs put him through last year. Still, so far this season one player has been arrested & another faces removal from school for violation of the university's code of conduct.

"If a guy admits he made a mistake and he wants to make it right I will work with that guy. If he takes his punishment like a man and proves [he's willing to change] and learns a lesson in life, that is what it is all about. But if a guy acts like he didn't do anything wrong and feeds me a bunch of baloney, those guys go. They don't stay here. I owe it to these players that are here to their families and to the Bulldog nation that we set a standard and that we live up to it. But because a guy makes a mistake, do you just throw him out of the program on a first-time basis? That is very difficult to do. I look back on my life and I would've been thrown out of college if I had been caught for all the things I did."

No surprise yesterday as the Tennessee Titans opted not to exercise the 50-million dollar option on quarterback Steve McNair's contract. McNair is still signed with the Titans through next season for nine million bucks. I really believe Tennesse wants to find a way to keep McNair for the rest of his career, but I agree with management: 50-million was too high of a pricetag.


A medical examiner confirmed Friday the death of the son of Indy coach Tony Dungy was a suicide.


Despite Dodge's problems, my pick to win the Daytona 500 tomorrow is Ryan Newman. Then again I wouldn't be surprised to see Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt Jr. take the checkered flag.

Meanwhile, it has been five years since the death of The Intimidator. Fans of the sport will never forget the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 as teammates Dale Jr. & Michael Waltrip duked it out for the win, while Dale Earnhardt was poised to capture third... then the unthinkable. It what appeared to be a typical NASCAR wreck was much more violent behind the wheel & took the life of one of the greatest to ever race.

Some say NASCAR is still desperately seeking its heir apparent to the Earnhardt throne. Well, I think they arleady have it & that will the topic of a column I write next week & will be published at


After almost missing the cut yesterday, Tiger Woods withdrew this morning from the Nissan Open.


Music quote of the day:

"Deep down in Louisiana, close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play the guitar just like a ringin' a bell
Go! Go! Go, Johnny, go! Go!"

Chuck Berry - "Johnny B. Goode"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

We are barely half-way through the month of February & things are shakin' up in college basketball. It all got started last week when Quin Snyder of Missouri resigned. Oklahoma State's Eddie Sutton gets a DUI & takes a leave of absense, Mike Davis blames Indiana's problems on everyone but himself & there you go.

Add to the mix the interim status of Andy Kennedy at Cincinnati, rumors of Tubby Smith leaving Kentucky for the NBA, rumblings about Jim Boeheim at Syracuse & unhappiness in Fayetteville as Arkansas loses AGAIN, & this could be a very active off-season for coaching changes around the country.


Websites endorsing the firing of a college coach are nothing new. But to have three named in your honor must mean you are extra special. That's the case of Dennis Franchione of Texas A&M., & are all up & fully operational. I can only imagine what traffic at those sites must be like in the wake of Texas winning the national championship this year.

Such websites are nothing new. In today's world where you can buy a domain name for a few bucks, they are here to stay. Maybe I need to purchase If coach Fran wants a little good news, is no longer in service. Ain't it great how fans can change their tune over the course of a year. Winning cures everything.


The Houston Cougars have pieced together a nice seven-game winning streak in CUSA. Still, the team is nowhere near where they were in December when the Coogs snuck into the top 25 before an ill-fated trip to South Alabama. The players believe they can still make the NCAA tournament next month, & maybe that is true. But with an RPI around 60, they have their work cut out for them. First, they cannot afford another loss in conference play, which means they would need to score an upset win at no. 3 Memphis on March 4. A strong run in the CUSA tournament would help as well.


NASCAR is going to have officials sitting in all four turns Sunday at the Daytona 500 to watch for dangerous bump drafting. The move is applauded by some drivers, frowned upon by others.

Get ready for another stock car debate to begin. When an official calls a particular bump draft dangerous resulting in a penalty, it will lead to the same frustrations as NFL refs calling pass interference or holding. In both cases, they are simply judgement calls. Let's hope NASCAR doesn't hire the refs that Seattle fans claim screwed them over in the Super Bowl.


While on the topic of NASCAR, Teresa Earnhardt wants the no. 3 retired. Of course that was the number used by her late husband until his death five years ago on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Dale's former boss Richard Childress still owns the right to the number & is rumored to be holding it open for Dale Earnhardt Junior to use if the day comes he abandons Dale Earnhardt Inc., now controlled by step-mom Terea, & team up with RCR.


Three Florida football players are involved in the investigation of a shooting at a Gainesville apartment last weekend.


UT is self-reporting a secondary violation to the NCAA after a football signee attended a Lady Vols game with his mother.


In MLB, Sammy Sosa's agent says his client will likely retire after turning down an offer from the Washington Nationals.


Former Steelers wide-load Jerome Bettis wants to be in the broadcast booth next year. The Bus retired earlier this month after winning the Super Bowl & says he has spoken to Fox about joining their NFL broadcasts.


Music quote of the day:

"Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax," said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can checkout any time you like,
but you can never leave!"

The Eagles - "Hotel California"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Now that Quinn Snyder is out at Missouri, all the experts have their short lists of candidates for the job. Let me just say here at the beginning I do not believe Memphis coach John Calipari would ever take that job, even if some talking hear on ESPN throws his name out there for consideration.

Mike Anderson of UAB has seen his name appear on media wish lists over the past two seasons & he did little to extinguish the speculation when he said on the CUSA teleconference Monday that he's concentrating on his team right now. Yup, that door is wide open.

Want to slow the rumor mill just a bit? Follow the lead of Texas A&M coach Billy Gillespie. He released a statement Monday telling media & the fans he's not interested in Mizzou & feels it's "unfair to everyone" he even has to respond.


This spring could see a handful of high profile job openings at schools that know how to win. We already know Missouri is looking for the right guy, along with Cincinnati. Could Oklahoma State be in the same situation with Eddie Sutton gone for the rest of the regular season after his DUI? How about Stan Heath at Arkansas?

Or how about Mike Davis at Indiana? He said Monday he may not be the right guy for the job.

"I just think Indiana needs to have one of their own," Davis said during the weekly Big Ten Conference coaches' teleconference. "They need to have someone who has played here so they can embrace him. And they need that. I'm not upset about it. I'm not disappointed about it. I think they need that. They really do, because these players deserve something better."

Davis seems to want to lay blame in several directions as to why his team plays uninspired, looks out-of-shape & is in jeopardy of missing the NCAA tournament again. Just remember, coach, when you point a finger, three are pointed back at you.


Is Dick Vitale's proclamation in USA Today that Memphis will be a no. 1 seed nothing but a kiss of death? Let's hope not.


Great win last night for no. 4 Villanova upsetting no. 1 UConn. It's anybody guess how this affects the polls, considering there is still a lot of basketball to be played before they are released next Monday.


The Grizzlies make it two-in-a-row beating Golden State last night, 81-79.


In NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson's crew chief has been ejected from Daytona for cheating in qualifying Sunday for this weekend's season opening race. That's right, Chad Knaus, a six-time cheater, will not be there for Johnson in the biggest race of the year. If NASCAR wants to get serious about cheaters, they'll take it a step further & suspend drivers when their team cheats. Let Johnson miss a race or two & you would be surprised how fast Knaus cleans up his act or gets fired.


Is Tino Martinez hanging up the glove to move into ESPN's broadcast booth?


Music quote of the day:

"Countin' flowers on the wall
That don't bother me at all
Playing solitaire till dawn
With a deck of fifty-one
Smokin' cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo
Now don't tell me....I've nothin to do"

The Statler Brothers - "Flowers on the Wall"

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's been a few days since the last post. That's my fault. Things are back to normal... well, as normal as it can be.


The snow Friday was a lot of fun. It was a first for my two-year old daughter & she was able to use the authentic Radio Flyer Sled her grandfather gave her for Christmas. Okay, she was actually kinda scare of it... but I loved it. Well, for at least two trips down the hill. I need to keep reminding myself I am not as young as I used to be.

Even through the sledding, snowball fights with my wife & the construction of a snowman, I missed the radio side of such an event. Radio has the ability to shine when such events strike. Radio is immediate & it's portable & can provide the vital information the listeners need, IF the powers-that-be will do the job.


Another great win for the Memphis Tigers yesterday. I will admit there were some nervous moments in the first half of the game against Marshall. Robert Dozier was the spark the team neededm then Darius Washington helped put some finishing touches on in the second half.


The Grizzlies win a close one against the L.A. Lakers, 100-99. Is this the win that will break them from the month-long funk the team has been mired in? Too soon to answer that question just yet, but Grizz fans are keeping their fingers crossed. I must say a win over the Lakers is always fun, & I couldn't help but think of "Marcus," a frequent caller in the ol' days of SportsCall. As one of the biggest Kobe Bryant/Lakers fans I have ever encountered, somewhere last night he wasn't smiling.


Never thought I would read this: Kentucky "on the bubble" for the Big Dance. Next thing you'll tell me is Louisville is dead in the water... ooops, never mind.


I was a big fan of Art Shell during his original run as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. But with the announcement yesterday he's been hired to revive the program, it begs the question is this the right move? The Raider nation hopes so.

Whether it's fair or not, Shell's hiring comes across as an act of desperation. Louisville coach Bobby Petrino turned down the job, there was no intrest from Al Davis in Fresno State's Pat Hill & did fans really want a college coach? I felt sure all Davis was waiting on was Pittsburgh to get out of the Super Bowl so he could lure an assistant away to the west coast. Nope.

Shell brings with him credibility. He's been a winner on the frontline & sideline. Now being a former player is not a mandate for a coach, but in this situation right now, it can't hurt.


Music quote of the day:

"As the riders loped on by him he heard one call his name
If you want to save your soul from hell a-riding on our range
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
A-trying to catch the devil's herd across these endless skies
Yippie-aye-aaa, yippie-aye-ooh, ghost riders in the sky"

The Outlaws - "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky"

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I want to start today's blog with a personal note. I have always been appreciative of the support I had on Tigers broadcasts or on SportsCall. After nearly 20 years in this business, I am still one of those that get a kick out of meeting a fan of the show(s). The support I have continued to receive since SportsCall went away on Dec. 30 is quite humbling. Not a day goes by I don't receive a supportive email or someone stops me at the grocery store just to say hello.

From the beginning I refused to turn this into a daily blog of an unemployed DJ. No one really cares about how I spend my days while plotting my next move. However, one thing I have noticed is how personal some people get on their blogs. So maybe I will mix a little more of that in. But for the time-being I am content with this being a place you can come & get what's making headlines locally & across the country with a little opinion mixed in. Doing this each morning keeps me disciplined in my reading of dozens of websites & newspapers online to keep up with what's happening in the world of sports.

It seems I have spent all this time filling this much space just to say thanks to all of you. I hope to have an announcement soon on my future.


Speaking of blogs, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is using his to go after L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson. The headline reads "I own Phil Jackson." Cuban continues in the first paragraph by writing, "Not literally of course. That thrill belongs to the smartest businesswoman in professional sports, Jeannie Buss. Figuratively however, the coach formerly known as the Zen Master must now be considered my bucket boy."


Rumors are swirling that Kentucky's Tubby Smith will be the coach with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats next years.


The IOC had a chance to right a wrong today by re-admitting baseball into the Olympics. The proposal was rejected, 46-42. Baseball will be played in 2008 at Beijing, but then disappear for 2012 in London. A proposal to reinstate softball was also shot down, 47-43.


The University of Mississippi has self-reported to the NCAA a handful of secondary violations from football recruiting.


Whatever happened to former Alabama football coach Mike DuBose? He's been promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach of Division III Millsaps in Jackson, Miss.


apparently ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on his appearance with David Letterman referred to him as "Jay," obviously confusing CBS's latenight icon with NBC's Jay Leno. I am still looking for the audio. Letterman should have responded to Smith by calling him Dan Patrick.


After the labor strike which pushed the NHL to at least fifth on the list of major sports in the U.S., the last thing professional hockey needs is a gambling scandal. Especially if it's most recognizable name is involved: Wayne Gretky.


Music quote of the day:

"We can't go on together
With suspicious minds
And be can't build our dreams
On suspicious minds"

Elvis Presley - "Suspicious Minds"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The play, suspension, recruitment, & now signing of Cordova High's Jocques Crawford has been debated over & over locally in Memphis. He'll play college ball at Texas Tech, so what is being said over there about it? Kevin Blackistone of the Dallas Morning News gives his take.


Al Michaels is leaving ABC & will join John Madden for their coverage of Sunday Night Football. And yes, it's true: Tony Kornheiser will be on ESPN's version of Monday Night Football.


UT's win at Rupp Arena over Kentucky is big for coach Bruce Pearl. But did he really rip his shirt off in the lockerroom??? There's a mental image I just didn't need right now.


What's wrong with the Memphis Grizzlies? They have lost 10 of their last 13 games as they were defeated last night at Sacramento, 104-96.


NASCAR big mouth Kurt Busch received community service today for his incident Nov. 11 in Maricopa County, Arizona, where he had a run-in with officers, although he passed a sobriety test.


Greg Cote of the Miami Herald says Seattle fans should stop whining about their loss in the Super Bowl. He throws Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren in there, too.

Meanwhile, the NFL has defended the game's officials, "The game was properly officiated, including, as in most N.F.L. games, some tight plays that produced disagreement about the calls made by the officials," the league spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.


A Florida high school soccer player slugged a game official & faces a possible assault charge.


Music quote of the day:

"Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace
Like thoughts inside a dream
Heed the path that led me to that place
Of yellow desert stream
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon
I will return again
Sure as the dust that floats behind you
When movin' through Kashmir"

Led Zeppelin - "Kashmir"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Despite the never-ending pregame festivities, later start time, senior citizen halftime show & a matchup the experts tried to convince us was undesirable, ratings for Sunday's Super Bowl show nearly 46-million households were watching delivering 90-million viewers. It's the best number for the game since the Rams beat the Titans in 2000.


Speaking of the Tennessee Titans, head coach Jeff Fisher is co-chair of the NFL's Competition Committee & has offered his opinion on three of the contraversial calls from Sunday (which everyone is still talking about).


For those of you into conspiracy theories involving game officials, the technical foul called on Florida State's Alexander Johnson against Duke Saturday only fueled the fire that Coach K's temas get all the calls. On Monday the ACC suspended the crew a game.

Yeah, that'll teach them.


Was that the final nail I heard being nailed in the coffin last night for Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals? Cincinnati won the game, 74-68. At 15-8 overall, 3-7 in the Big East, you can forget March Madness. The Cards are in jeopardy of not even making it into their conference tourney which only takes the top 12 teams.


East Carolina basketball coach Ricky Stokes has suspended junior guard Japhet McNeil & sophomore forward Johnathan Hart for conduct detrimental to the team.


Changes in the broadcast booth as Fox's James Brown is leaving the network's pregame show to do the same job at CBS. But with the new job, Brown will add play-by-play duties for the network's March Madness coverage. Greg Gumbel is leaving the CBS NFL pregame to return to play-by-play duties for the network.

I will miss JB on Fox. They have clearly been the best of NFL pregame shows with Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw & Jimmy Johnson. Brown knew how to let his co-workers shine while keeping things in a flow & entertaining. That's not easy & he will be missed by Fox.

Meanwhile, CBS is adamant they are keeping 71-year old Dick Enberg & talks are underway to extend his contract.

Bonnie Bernstein announced Monday she is leaving CBS to begin a consulting firm; Armen Keteyian is switching from sports to the CBS news division; and finally, ESPN reporter Andrea Kremer is talking with NBC to join their coverage of Sunday night football.

Oh, I am still unemployed.


Athletes who decide to dope it up while competing at the Olympic Winter Games will be subject to criminal proceedings, an Italian government official said Monday.


Music quote of the day:

"Complicate this world you wrapped for me
I'm acquainted with your suffering
And all your weight, it falls on me
It brings me down
And all your weight, it falls on me
It falls on me"

Monday, February 06, 2006

The national cry over mediocre officiating continues after yesterday's Super Bowl:

Kansas City Star
Paul Tagliabue’s league has an officiating crisis. Bogus, inconsistent flag-throwing and rule-interpreting is making the national pastime difficult to take seriously.

Washington Post
Seattle should have been ahead by a couple of touchdowns, yet found themselves down 7-3 at halftime because the referees blew a call.

the officials who performed well enough throughout the season to earn the privilege of working Super Bowl XL performed Sunday as though they were trying to make it up to the Steelers by giving them the game -- not just any game, but the biggest game.

Fox Sports
Every single questionable, marginal or outright bad call went against the Seahawks.

A hail of blatantly bad calls went against the Seattle Seahawks which cost them 14 precious points, and ultimately the game.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won the Super Bowl. Coach Bill Cowher finally has a ring, along with bulky Jerome Bettis. Another football season has come to an end, leaving me counting day the days until next season. Here's my thoughts on the night:

Officiating: there were a couple of questionable calls, but did it cost the Seahawks the game? No. I cannot wait to read the Seattle newspapers in the morning. (Edited Monday morning: Upon further review, let me change my "no" to a "maybe." I still think despite mediocre officiating, the Seahawks hurt themselves at times.)

Rolling Stones: so I hear a couple of their songs were edited. I didn't even notice. No, I was not on another channel watching the "Fridge" coach in the Lingerie Bowl. I was watching a football game. Halftime is for a bathroom break & a refill, not watching a geriatric rock show. But hey, what little I did see was pretty good, better than Aretha Franklin & Aaron Neville's rendtion of the National Anthem.

Commercials: the ad wars were won by Budweiser, hands down. The streaking sheep was my favorite. Honorable mention to Ameriquest. Burger King should fire there ad agency TOMORROW & hire whoever Bud uses.

It's one of my favorite days of the year: Super Bowl Sunday!

I am so tired of the national talking heads moaning & complaining about the matchup. Blah blah blah! It's the NFL, millions will watch, I'll eat too much & Pittsburgh will win. What's wrong with this picture?

My prediction: Pittsburgh 27, Seattle 17


As I expected, the Oakland Raiders will talk to Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt sometime this week.


"Games like this with Memphis, with their ranking and the publicity that comes with playing them, it's easy to get up for this game and come with high intensity," said Morris Almond, after his Rice squad lost to Memphis yesterday, 84-79. "The key is to have that every game, against the Tulanes, SMUs — teams that don't get as much publicity as Memphis. And that will come with maturity."

The Tigers return to action next Saturday at 3 p.m. against Marshall.


I'm not sure yesterday's announcement of the latest class of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees will not do much to please the conspiracy crowd in Dallas, but it's a start. Troy Aikman & Rayfield Wright both deserve the honor. Skipping this time on Michael Irvin was also the right thing to do.

If making sure Wright got in this time can be described as righting a wrong, so can the inclusion of John Madden. Some felt he didn't coach long enough for inclusion. In his 10 years, Madden was 103-32, won a Super Bowl ring, a winning percentage against all the HOF coaches he coached against. What else did they want?


RIP former Mississippi football coach & athletic director Johnny Vaught. He died Friday at the age of 96.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I send prayers & a big get well soon to Memphis football coach Tommy West. He underwent triple bypass surgery yesterday. He's expected to go home next week, then it's time for several weeks of recuperating.

I am amazed at technology & medicine. They can open your chest, do all that work, get you up & walking in a few days, send you home, & you are back at work in six weeks. That's incredible.

Coach West's family has asked any cards or letters be sent to Univervsity of Memphis athletic office at:

Tiger Football Office
570 Normal
Memphis, TN 38152


The no. 3 Memphis Tigers basketball team goes for their ninth-straight win tonight against Rice. Airtime for the Tiger Pregame Show is 4:30 p.m.


I'll have more later.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The audio is up at from my one-on-one interview with Memphis coach Tommy West after the announcement of yesterday's signing class. Give it a listen.

The audio from my one-on-one interview with Memphis coach Tommy West should be up in a little while. I will post the link here when it is available, along with a morning update. In the meantime, or the recruiting junkies out there I have links to stories for every CUSA & SEC team. Enjoy!

Tommy West says Memphis class fill needs

USM's Bower signs 17 players in-state

Scelfo, Tulane overcomes Katrina-related probs to sign 'deep class'

UAB inks 24, nervous moments for Brown

Winning on TV pays off for Tulsa

UCF's O'Leary doesn't care what 'experts' say about his recruits

Holtz wants immediate help from ECU signees

Houston recruits speed & depth

Marshall signs 26 from 10 states

Rice's Graham targets skill positions

SMU recruits for the future

UTEP focuses on recievers, offensive line

Vandy's Johnson signs best class yet

UT class not as flashy as in past

MSU's Croom expects immediate help from signees

Georgia gets 7 from prep's top 100

LSU hoping to add one more

Florida's class proclaimed best in nation

Auburn's Tuberville likes what he sees

Wednesday was an extra-special day for Bama's Shula

Kentucky does well in-state

South Carolina's Spurrier raids the states of Georgia, Alabama

Orgeron likes what he sees on paper for Rebels

Arkansas hoping for help on offense

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It's college football's National Signing Day. Memphis coach Tommy West will make the official announcment of signees at 3 p.m. So far I haven't heard if anyone is carrying it live. You'll hear about the 2006 signing class on the Tiger Pregame Show tonight before the basketball game against Tulsa. I'll also try to have some audio from West tomorrow on


Fans of Mississippi, Mississippi State & Southern Miss can go to (just click) & keep up with today's signees. I have found they do a great job of updating the lists throughout the day. The best part is it is free with no registration.

Tennessee's signees can be found at, but you will have to register, then it asked for me to pay. You may want to know ASAP, but I can wait.

Finally, I am sure the Arkansas Democrat-Gazzette will do a fine job keeping up with the Razorbacks. Again, you will have to register.


Can you name the seven NFL teams without cheerleaders or a dance team? I'll give you a hint: one of the teams will be in the Super Bowl.I'll have the answer at the end of today's blog. Keep reading...


The NFL has agreed to fork over $20 million to help pay for the rehab of the Superdome.


It was 20 years ago William "Refrigerator" Perry scored a rushing touchdown in the Chicago Bears blowout of the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Nothing against the Fridge, but it is a travesty Perry found the endzone & Walter Payton did not. But that's another gripe for another day.

Fast-forward to 2006 & let's see what Perry is doing. Hot dog eating contest? Nope, that was last year. This Sunday Perry will coach one of the teams in the "Lingerie Bowl," the halftime pay-per-view that I had no idea was still around.

In an effort to legitimize his silly stunt, Perry said, "It's the same way you coach a football team. They just don't have pants on."


NFL internet rumor of the day: Louisville's Bobby Petrino still comes up occassionally as the next coach of the Oakland Raiders. Mentioned as his replacement at the Ville? Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe. I don't buy it. Something tells me the next Raiders coach is on the Steelers staff & Al Davis is having to wait until after the Super Bowl to talk to him.


Cable outlet TNT has compared the 2003 NBA draft class of Dewayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony & LeBron James to the historic '84 draft which delivered basketball fans the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan and John Stockton. If anything, Three's Company: 1996 featured Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant & Steve Nash; let's go old school when 1960 provided Oscar Robertson, Jerry West & Lenny Wilkens.


How many teams will the ACC have make it into the NCAA tournament next month? If history concerning team RPIs count for anything, it could be just five. If this happens, it would be the first time since 2003 the ACC got fewer than half of their teams into the Big Dance.

I also think all the talk of the Big East having nine or 10 teams make it into the tournament was premature. Again, just looking at the history of teams & their RPIs, it's looking more like seven. maybe eight. Still not bad.

Heck, there is still a lot of basketball to be played. Bracketology & such is fun to watch right now, but the field of 65 will be decided on the court.


Answer to the question if you could name the seven NFL teams with no cheerleaders or dancers: Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Since the Steelers are in the Super Bowl, it's interesting to note the team featured what many say was the first group of cheerleaders in professional football. They were paid one ticket per game. But the Steelerettes came to an end in 1969.


Music quote of the day:

"You shake my nerves, and you rattle my brain
To much love drives a man insane
You broke my will, but what a thrill
Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!"

Jerry Lee Lewis - "Great Balls of Fire"