Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wilder Commits(?) To Florida State

James Wilder Jr. just committed to attending Florida State University next Fall. 

Wilder, a rising high school senior, is considered to be the best running back in the country.

That said, Seminole Nation is holding its collective breath.

Seems as young Master Wilder of Tampa is having a bit of difficulty making up his mind and sticking to his decision. 

According to Yahoo, Wilder was going to commit to play for the Georgia Bulldogs or Florida Gators. In fact, early in the week it was reported that the Gators had been stiffed and Wilders trip to Athens booked.

Florida State fans have to be extremely excited that they were not only able to get a blue-chip prospect, but at the same time seem to have stolen away a recruit from their hated rivals in Gainesville.

What it will unfortunately do for Wilder, though, is put an even bigger spotlight on him, and presumably a target when he takes the field against Florida. The Florida State vs. Florida game in 2011 just became a whole lot more interesting.

Stand by to stand by...

Dean Smith: A Life Well Lived Is Getting Harder To Remember

A July article in the The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer has the ACC abuzz over Dean Smith’s mental condition.

According to a recent article in U.S.A. Today, “Dean Smith still plays golf, still pops into his campus office and still savors watching the North Carolina program he led for more than three decades take the court under Roy Williams' direction.”

Unfortunately, his family now says the Hall of Fame coach is also losing some of his memory of past events.

Smith's family sent a letter to former players and coaches discussing the 79-year-old's health after generally declining to comment for privacy reasons. Smith's condition was described as a "progressive neurocognitive disorder that affects his memory."

"He may not immediately recall the name of every former player from his many years of coaching, but that does not diminish what those players meant to him or how much he cares about them," the letter said.

"He still remembers the words of a hymn or a jazz standard, but may not feel up to going to a concert. He still plays golf, though usually only for nine holes instead of 18."

The situation was brought to our attention a little over a month ago when John Feinstein commented on his blog about Smith’s condition saying he was planning on writing a book with the former Tar Heel coach. While he was unwilling to break the story, Feinstein commented after the Fayetteville newspaper article made the story public. The book is unfortunately on hold.

Bryant Gumbel also commented on the story this week during his HBO show Real Sports, saying:

“Just as fishermen are inclined to rue the one that got away, I'm regretting having waited too long to do a story about a Hall of Fame basketball coach who somehow managed to take on important matters in the real world as successfully as he impacted the game he coached. This coach who I wanted to profile won 879 games and two national titles while leading his team to the Final Four 11 times. But the real story I wanted to tell was how he was a bigger man off the court, a man who fought segregation, worked to ban the death penalty, promoted a nuclear feeze, spoke out against the U.S. involvement in Iraq and in support of gay rights.

Unfortunately it's a story I won't get to do. I won't because just last month, the family of Dean Smith released a letter stating that the 79-year-old former UNC coach has a progressively neurocognitive disorder. It's not Alzheimer's. But it's enough to make it impossible for Smith to accurately discuss the exemplary life he's led as a sports legend with a proper sense of priorities.

Unlike some of his peers, Dean Smith never embarrassed his family like Rick Pitino or his program like John Calipari or himself and his school like Bob Knight. Instead he showed as much self-discipline as he asked of his players. And in the process, he gave them an example on which to model their lives. Too often we all wait until good people die to give them the praise that they’re due. Dean Smith's not dead. Not by a long shot. But having waited too long to do his story justice, this abbreviated version is the best I can do."

News Flash: Brett Favre Loves Football, Hates Training Camp and Pre-Season

When will the mainstream media learn? According to several sources who turn out to be actual Minnesota Vikings, the players never doubted that their quarterback was coming back for another season in spite of mainstream media reports to the contrary. (Stop listening to what Favre says already…jeez!)

To truth of the matter his simple.

Favre hates training camp. He hates the preseason, he hates practice and he hates getting hurt. As a result, he tries to minimize the time spent on the former thus minimizing the likelihood of the latter.

Why is that so hard to figure out?

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images North America)

Adios: Rasheed Wallace

Affectionately know as “Rashweed” Wallace, former North Carolina Tar Heel Rasheed Wallace has retired.

A four time All-Star forward, Wallace decided to end his 15-year NBA career after his Celtics bowed out in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Wallace played for five teams in his career, but most successful was his tenure with the Detroit Pistons.

After being traded from the Atlanta Hawks mid-season in 2004, Wallace helped the Pistons win their first championship since 1990 in a five-game upset of the Lakers.

Wallace averaged 13 points and nearly eight rebounds per game in that series. He will perhaps be remembered most for his always-publicized confrontations with officials, retiring as the NBA's all-time leader in technical fouls.

Adios: Bobby Thompson

We learned about the heros of America’s past time by reading books. Hard to imagine now isn’t it? One of the great stories is about Bobby Thompson’s pennant winning home run which spawned this famous moment in the sport:

“The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”

Thomson, the man immortalized with the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” in 1951, died Monday night at his home in Savannah, Ga. He was 86 and had been in failing health for several years.

Funny Horse Race Call

According to the Daily Racing Form, Turf Paradise announcer Frank Mirahmadi, who doubles as comedian and impressionist, delivered a race-call masterpiece Sunday in the $50,000 Hasta La Vista Handicap. He used nearly two dozen voice impressions during the 1 7/8-mile turf marathon: Marv Albert, Tony Calo, Mark Johnson, Richard Grunder, Michael Wrona, Larry Collmus, Keith Jones, Dick Stockton, Jack Buck, Hank Stram, Phil Georgeff, Dave Johnson, Robert DeNiro, Marlon Brando, Andy Rooney, D. Wayne Lukas, Mike Battaglia, Vic Stauffer, Rodney Dangerfield, Trevor Denman, and Ed Burgart.

The Johnson, DeNiro, Brando section is particularly good…

Pictures of the Day

I SAID JUMP, DAMN IT!!! Perhaps frightened by this crazed woman (note what we assume is urine flying from the airborn amphibean), a frog takes flight in this year's Valley City (Ohio) Frog Jump Festival on Aug. 15. (Photo by Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated)
LIKE A FROG. Like the frog above, this unidentified Tampa Bay Ray takes flight to avoid being hit by a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles.  (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
FACE PLANT. Cliff Pennington #2 of the Oakland Athletics safely slides past J.P. Arencibia #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays to give the Athletics a 3-0 lead over the Blue Jays in the third inning at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 18, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)

I BELIEVE I CAN FLY!  Niklas Laustsen of Denmark leads the field in his quarter final of the Junior Men's BMX on day five of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympics at Tampines Bike Park on August 19, 2010 in Singapore. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
CUTE GIRLS, UGLY HAT. Winner of the San Sebastian Classic cycling race, Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez (C) poses on the podium, in San Sebastian, on July 31, 2010. (Photo by Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images)
DON’T GET MAD, GET EVEN. French Matador Sebastian Castella is gored by a Jandilla fighting bull during a bullfight of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. (Getty Images)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dear Mr. Snyder:


Dear Mr. Snyder:

Whatever it is you’re not doing, please continue not doing it.

And, whatever you do, please leave these two men alone.

Sincerely,
Your Biggest Fan – no, I guess that would be Albert “Krispy Kreme” Haynesworth, but you get the point.

Things That Make You Go...

Hmmm...

Pictures Of The Day

SNOW NO LONGER REQUIRED. Thomas Morgenstern of Austria takes 2nd place during the FIS Grand Prix Tournament on August 13, 2010 in Courchevel, France. (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)
WE’RE SORRY, FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. Counties Manukau fan show's her support during the round three ITM Cup match between Southland and Counties Manukau at Rugby Park Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Invercargill, New Zealand. (Photo by Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images AsiaPac)
I WANT IT, I WANT IT. Magic Bus! A general view of atmosphere during Day 1 of the Vintage at Goodwood Festival on August 13, 2010 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe)
WE’RE NOT SURE WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE. But, we are guessing it’s basketball of some flavor. Catherine Cox of the Diamonds celebrates a goal as Georgia Gordon of Sunshine Girls looks on during game two of the Holden Netball Test series between the Australian Diamonds and the Jamaica Sunshine Girls at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on August 11, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images AsiaPac)

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