13) Watching the Maui Classic Monday, got to hear Bill Walton do two games, along with Roxy Bernstein on ESPN2. Walton is a classic, a true original. Here is a partial list of the things he was discussing during the Tennessee-Wisconsin and Oregon-Georgetown games:
— Grateful Dead and his love of music
— the Dakota Pipeline (Roxy got him off this subject pretty quickly)
— Banana bread
— the world record for amount of time holding your breath (24 minutes?)
— the origin of Georgetown’s mascot (Hoya)
— Davey Crockett (he is from Tennessee)
Walton does a lot of prep; I learn something new every time I listen to him, just that often it has zero to do with basketball. He is upbeat and fun to listen to.
12) Get well soon to Arizona Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians, who was hospitalized Monday with chest pains. Original prognosis was apparently positive; hopefully he’ll be back on the sidelines very soon.
11) NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets have a player named Matt Calvert, who got 36 stitches in his face during a game with the Rangers last week. Mr Calvert got his stitches, came back into the game and wound up scoring the game-winning goal. Hockey players are tough.
10) Ryan Fitzpatrick is back at QB for the Jets this week; they play New England Sunday, in a game that was supposed to the Sunday night game until NBC flexed out of it and into the Chiefs-Broncos game.
9) LSU has to hire a football coach soon; Les Miles leaves big shoes to fill, but rumors are out there that big-name candidates are shying away from LSU, because AD Joe Alleva has a bad rap amongst coaches and administrators. People are hesitant to work for a guy who fired a coach with a record as good as Miles has.
8) Bears QB Jay Cutler may be out for the year with a shoulder issue; Matt Barkley is the backup right now— he’s played in five NFL games, but has never started one.
7) Quick basketball story: Long time ago I’m watching a high school basketball tournament with some friends; this is the first night of the tournament. Best player on the team that is losing gets his layup blocked, and he goes down in a heap, pounding the floor in pain. Three people carry him off and help him to the locker room.
One of my friends speaks up: “He isn’t hurt; his pride is hurt. He was getting his ass kicked and didn’t want to play anymore.” It was a bold statement bordering on rude, but we’re there again the next night, and the kid is out there against a lousy team, scores 30 points without a limp.
My friend was right; the kid had begged out of the game the first night. Go figure.
6) UCLA’s football team is not having a great year, in part because they had eight kids drafted by the NFL in April, the most Bruins picked in one draft since 1988.
5) Jim Grobe is the Interim football coach at Baylor this year, where one of the two best players they’ve had is Robert Griffin III. It is ironical that RGIII’s first game at Baylor was against Wake Forest, where the coach at the time was……Jim Grobe.
4) Mexico City is twice as big a city as Houston and Oakland….combined.
3) West Virginia got spanked at home by Oklahoma Saturday, but RB Justin Crawford ran ball 24 times for 330 yards, creating 11 missed tackles. He also fumbled near the goal line, which hurt West Virginia when they still had a chance to win, but 13.8 yds/carry is damn good.
2) FS1 (channel 219 on DirecTV) mainly televises just Big East basketball, which means you get to see a lot of low or mid-majors from now until Christmas, since Big East teams mostly take it easy with their pre-conference schedules.
It is fun to watch how low-major teams who are usually getting whacked use the game as an education, calling timeouts to teach certain situations; that’ll hopefully pay off for them when their conference play starts in January. But there are other reasons these games are played, too……
1) Speaking of which, I may not have these numbers exactly right, but if not I’m close; I got into a Twitter dialogue about this with ESPN’s Seth Greenberg last year.
Long Beach State pays basketball coach Dan Molson roughly $200K a year, but he actually makes around $600K, lot of money for a guy who has taken the 49ers to one NCAA tourney in his nine years in Long Beach. Where does the extra $400K come from?
Here are Long Beach State’s first five D-I games this season, all on the road, all coming with sizable guarantee checks attached: Wichita State-North Carolina-Louisville-UCLA-Washington. The extra $400K comes out of the guarantee money Long Beach gets for playing these games.
Long Beach has lost the first four of those this month, allowing 96.8 pts per game, with 26 points the closest loss of the four. Wonder what the players think about getting their butts kicked, just so their coach can fatten his bank account?