(I worked as a Sports Editor from late 2004 until the summer of 2006. This is one of the many columns I was able to save that were originally published in The Sun-Times of Heber Springs, Arkansas.)
There’s been so much going on in the sporting world the last few days, I had trouble narrowing it all down to one topic to waste space on 40 minutes before my deadline Tuesday morning. So, I took the easy way out and created another installment of ‘What a wonderful smell you’ve discovered’ for your reading discontent.
I couldn’t start this column without mentioning the epic battle between my Memphis Tigers and the Duke Blue Devils Friday evening in the championship of the Tip-Off Classic (nee preseason NIT). In what was probably the best game of the young season not involving Gonzaga, the young Tigers gave the Dukies all they could handle. Memphis held a nine-point lead in the first half and was tied with the number one team in the land with less than a minute to go.
Freshman Shawne Williams missed a game tying 3-pointer at the buzzer, but Calipari’s squad had made their statement: The Tigers are for real.
I was telling anyone who would listen that I thought it would be better for Memphis to lose a close game this early in the season, instead of upsetting the best college program in the last 15 years. But as the game wore down, I was rooting hard for the Tigers to win.
That loss will just make them better, and the rest of the nation is on notice.
Notice was given to Detroit Lions coach Steve Mariucci Monday that he wouldn’t be coming back to finish the season. Mooch had only won 15 games in three years, but I’m not sure if he deserved to be cut loose.
Matt Millen is the GM in Motown and is responsible for constructing the poor excuse for a team that he believes is “capable of making a playoff run”. A run to the store during halftime of a playoff game is the only playoff run anyone in Detroit will be making.
Millen’s been on the job since 2001 and has already aced three head coaches.
The genius that drafted three wide receivers in the first round, put together porous offensive and defensive lines has only won 20 games since he was hired. And he just received a contract extension!
At the beginning of the season, Terrell Owens wanted his contract extended or raised or just plain torn up. The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t comply, which led to Owens slowly melting down and scalding the entire organization. Philly applied some ‘we’re going to suspend you then deactivate you’ salve and put the fire out.
An NFL arbitrator ruled that the Eagles were within their rights to cut Owens, and also has the right to lose as many games as possible the season after almost winning a Super Bowl.
You would think that Terrell was free game now right? Wrong.
Philly filed a tampering charge against Dallas and owner Jerry Jones because Jones answered a hypothetical question on if the Cowboys would welcome a player like Owens. Jones replied in the affirmative and the Eagles began their whining.
Who cares if Dallas said they would take him? Philly doesn’t want him; are they going to try and dictate where he finishes his career? If I were Jeff Lurie, Andy Reid, or Rocky Balboa, I would want Owens to go and pollute the locker room over at one of my stiffest division rivals.
The more I hear about it, the more the Philadelphia organization seems intent on sticking it to Owens in a manner that is most uncomfortable. All the guy did was put them on the brink of their first championship and made public the fact that Donovan McNabb might be a tad overrated after all.
While former Cowboy receiver Michael Irvin was never overrated, his scrapes with the law have been over the top. In the mid to late 90s, Irvin had his share of crack, cocaine, pot, and hookers, but still managed to finish his career with dignity.
After retirement, he joined ESPN’s NFL studio crew and was a regular contributor to that network. He was also scheduled to have his name enshrined in the hallowed ‘Ring of Honor’ this season.
Then came news this weekend that Irvin was pulled over on an outstanding warrant, and a pipe was found in his whip. Irvin said that “it was a friend’s”, but then later changed his story and said it was his brothers. Do I even have to make a joke here? What, is he 14 or something? I want to believe him, I don’t know why, but I do.
But it seems a little far-fetched don’t you think? He has said he was talking to his attorney about “possibly” taking a drug test. If he was telling the complete truth, that should have been the first thing out of his mouth otherwise he should just change his story again and say that aliens abducted him and placed a pipe in his car.
And lastly, the only way I would miss the potential Arkansas State/Memphis bowl matchup is if the Romulans captured me. I hate to tell all you Indian fans out there that the Tigers have this running back from Wynne that’s pretty good. He’s the all-time NCAA leader in all-purpose yards, he’s fourth on the all-time rushing list, and he’s tied with Archie Griffith and Tony Dorsett for most 100-yard games.
His name is DeAngelo Williams, and if you haven’t heard of him or seen him play, you will. If not during the bowl season, then definitely on Sundays next year.
Maybe next year the Razorbacks will have an offensive coordinator, but then again maybe next year I’ll grow wings.