I had a thought yesterday! STOP THE PRESSES!! No, really I had this thought….. Of the five “major” college football programs in this state, as of June 27 I can only name ONE player in the upcoming football season – UNC QB Bryn Renner. Apparently I am not alone in my disattachment from sports as I used to know it….. and other related issues. ……..
Bryn Renner and…… Several hours after “that thought” hit me like a thunderbolt (not a Skye Bolt!) I was with three amigos. These three amigos have combined over 150 years of close involvement with the area college sports scene. These guys go back to Gabriel, Justice, Jurgenson et al but also have clear memories of TA’s fumble, Gio’s punt return and Leo Hart’s shoestring play. They all looked at each other. One thought he could name 2-3 other UNC players but zero on any other team.
We realize that over the next 60 days we will get a media tsunami of preview stories and key names will start percolating; but to be so out-of-touch with the local programs indicates something. I’m not sure what.
None of the four of us read “fan forums”. Duh! Each have “lives” and interests beyond a vicarious absorption in any partisan program. Each of us admit we “hold our noses” in order to enjoy the excitement of the games themselves. I’m pretty sure we are not included in any ESPN demographic targeting.
That same “avoid the smell…. enjoy the game” attitude applies even more so to college basketball now. All four of us were still giddy over the past six weeks of college baseball. A discussion of the growth of interest in Lacrosse ensued.
At least two prominent major college ADs read this column religiously. I’m not sure they can do much about this phenomenon. Design funky uniforms and cartoonish helmets and hope people will keep paying $60.00 / ticket and $5.00 for a bottle of water to watch “our team” play East Central McNeese A&M in 95 degree heat. Problem…. the market that likes the funky unis ain’t the market that buys the $60 seats. Uh Oh!
Bing Crosby and…… Apparently The Stanley Cup was played last week. Who knew? Bobby Hull’s Blackhawks beat Bobby Orr’s Bruins. I can only name ONE NHL player – Sydney Crosby who, I think, plays for the Penguins. I could not pick Sydney out of a line-up with five guys named Moe. I think the local teams – The Canes – have a bunch of guys named Stalh or Stahl or Stall and several named Ward….. I think.
Oh, that brouhaha over who controls who plays when at the PNC / RBC / ESA – NC State or The Canes. Chancellor Randy is now personally negotiating with Canes’ GM Jim “Fred” Rutherford (no kin to “Lumpy”). Frau, apparently, is no longer State’s “point of that spear”.
NBA Draft13….. I watched 15 minutes of last night’s NBA Draft. I was immediately struck that either Jos A Bank or Mens Wearhouse has secured the rights to “dress up the draftees”. Of the 4-5 draftees I saw, each was attired “traditionally” in what used to be called “a resume suit”….. navy. charcoal gray, hopsack. Really, it looked like Job Fair day at Wharton. No zoot suits….. no Huggy Bear pimp suits…… no capo bodyguard look. SOMEBODY has obviously convinced David Stern that toning down the rapper / pimp “Hey Look At Me” style might be a good idea. It is.
Speaking of “heard of”….. I had heard of three of the first eight selections. The Kentucky kid with the JR Reid “whatever its called” hair seemed upset.
Meanwhile in the NFL….. A prominent (ex) NFLer is up for Murder One. Have we had one of those since Rae Carruth? I saw a list of the 25 or so NFLers arrested in the past few months for all the usual gangsta thug-alete crap….. drugs, DWI, guns, beating up girlfriends and baby mammas, et al. Is 25 or so “a lot” based on 1,000+ players on NFL rosters? College/Pro thug-aletes behaving badly seems commonplace today.
I think we need Archie and Mrs Manning to “breed” some more.
No Mazeroski Factor at CWS? …… Is no long ball at CWS a problem? If so, whatchagonnadobout it? I’m not convinced it is a problem. The playing field dimensions of Ameritrade are EXACTLY what Rosenblatt was….. except it is flipped as far a prevailing winds are concerned. Does that necessitate a radical change in bats, balls, rules? Use special “juiced bats” for CWS ???’
Oregon “Ducks” NCAA Hammer….. Phil Knight’s college football franchise has “ducked” the NCAA hammer for its lengthy list of malfeasances. Three scholarships over thee years and the current head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles can’t text any high school kids in Texas for a while… ??? That doesn’t even rise to “wrist slap” level.
I loved Steve Logan’s line about this – “Cheaters Win Championships. So long as the rewards far out weigh the risks, coaches will continue to cheat.” So long as coaches win, their own fans don’t care. Sure, rival fans care but so ???
PJ Watch continues….. Apparently “authorities” are still investigating “the gun”, the grass”, “the SUV”…… AND “the sleazy agent”. Holden has left “that one” in his pending file for Charming Little Carol to play with.
That Derm t-shirt….. Did ya hear about “that t-shirt” being sold in Durham – “I’d rather be shot in Durham than die of boredom in Cary.” Murder Cty vs Stepford-ville? Not endorsed by either city’s Chamber of Commerce. I‘ll vote for Cary if those are my only two choices. Wonder if PJ and his posse have ever cruised down Kildaire Farm Road?
Pierce and I were….. Me and Pierce were comparing The Great Unpleasantness to this Barber Monday Mob Mess. In our biz you appreciate such exaggerated foolishness. Goobers Behaving Badly never gets old for us smart-alecks. When goobers start taking themselves really seriously, as goobers usually do, it makes’em really easy targets. Like shooting rats at the city dump.
Pierce’s piece on Barber as a Bond Villain even got some national play.