Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Other....

If you are a person who possesses at least a passing interest in sports, then you have no doubt seen by now the highlight of the final play of Saturday's Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn on which Auburn's Chris Davis returned a missed 'Bama field goal 109 yards.  Davis's run was impressive.  However the kid who I am excited about - and cannot pretend even to know his name - is Auburn's #6.  He first appears in the film at or about the time that Davis reached the 'Bama 20 yard line - several yards ahead of Davis....running backwards.  Forward fast is one thing.  Backward fast is a whole other level of fast.  

Tough break for the Alabama players who - had they defeated Auburn - would have played in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday for the right to play for a third consecutive National Championship.  I feel sorry not at all though for the Tide's humorless dink of a coach, Nick Saban.  Saban is one of those guys who gives off the "Who's the smartest guy in the room?  Me that's who!" vibe every time I see or hear him speak.  Him getting hoisted on his own too cute by half petard on Saturday's final play was simply a great big delicious slice of irony pie.  While I am not a Nick Saban fan, even I am forced to acknowledge that he shall forever occupy a tiny place in my heart for the beatdown his Tide administered to Notre Dame in last year's National Championship Game.  

In the hullabaloo that was the extended Thanksgiving weekend I missed the best off-season news thus far to originate in the Bronx:  Phil Hughes filled out his change of address cards.  Apparently the Minnesota Twins - having just announced that their hometown hero Joe Mauer is moving permanently from behind the plate to first base - want to be certain that Mauer has a lot of people to chat with while manning his post.  Signing Hughes to a three-year contract that shall pay him $24 Million (in U.S. dollars and not "Go For Broke" bucks) is a surefire way to make that happen.  Wrap your skullcap around those numbers for a moment.  In 2013, Hughes was 4-14 with an ERA of 5.19.  Yet, in 2014 the Twins shall pay him $8 Million.  Just think of what they might have offered him if he had not been dreadful in '13?  $15 Million a year?  Minority ownership interest in the ballclub?  A couple dozen of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes?  Momma don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.  Put a baseball in their hand and teach them how to throw a cutter and a curve.

While it is impossible to know what one would do unless and until one has walked in antother's shoes, knowing myself as I do I feel it is a fair statement for me to make that had what happened at USC on Monday happened to me, I would not have reacted in a manner similar to the manner in which Ed Orgeron did.  Orgeron had been USC's interim coach since Athletic Director fired Lane Kiffin eight games ago.  Under Orgeron's guidance, the Trojans went 6-2 but lost to their two biggest rivals - Notre Dame and UCLA.  Orgeron rather openly campaigned for the SC job during the final three weeks of the season.  he did not get it.  On Monday, SC hired away Steve Sarkisian from the University of Washington.  Reportedly, when he hired Sarkisian, Haden offered Orgeron the position of Assistant Head Coach and to bump up his salary to make him the highest-paid assistant coach in college football.  In response however, Orgeron reportedly had himself a bit of a hissy fit, which he capped off by resigning his position at SC effective immediately.  Class move Coach.  The kids you have spent this whole season with - and for whom you served as their Head Coach for the past couple of months - have one more game to play.  The Trojans will play in a bowl game within the next few weeks.  And now they will do so without their latest former adult-in-charge - reminded yet again of disconnect between age and maturity. 

Finally - it has been a rather down past several years on the gridiron for my beloved Colorado Buffaloes. One of the bright spots - arguably the brighest spot - has been the play of Paul Richardson.  The Buffs' 2013 season ended on Saturday.  In twelve games, Richardson caught 83 passes, ten of which were touchdown passes.  All in all, he racked up 1343 receiving yards.  As a Buff he set twenty school receiving records.  On Monday, Richardson announced that he is giving up his final year of athletic eligibility (he shall graduate in May '14) to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.  His departure will leave a hole that candidly the Buffaloes will not be able to adequately fill next season.  That matters not.  By all accounts, he is a better person than he is a player, which is indeed saying something.  He is making a move that best serves his interests and those of his family.  He shall be missed at Folsom but he shall be long remembered and well-regarded.  


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