SPORTZ' BIRTHDAY: Ah....31 years ago, a young pup named Sportz Assassin was brought into this crazy world.
In the sports world, Joe Smith...the former Maryland Terp who was the #1 overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft....was born on that exact day....so he's enjoying his 31st birthday. So were Fabrice Fiorese and Jose Karl Pierre-Fanfan....both are soccer players from France.
Others that are celebrating today as their birthday?? Mick Jagger, Dorothy Hamill, Kevin Spacey, Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Piven, Kate Beckinsdale, Rebecca St James and Taylor Momsen [the little girl who played Cindy Lou Who in "The Grinch" with Jim Carrey].
BENNY PARSONS HAS LUNG CANCER: Again, I'm not the biggest NASCAR fan to say the least [though I am in a NASCAR fantasy league, which is very fun!]...but I know Benny Parsons. Not personally....but when you grew up in Charlotte, Benny Parsons was as regular on the newscasts as the weatherman. He was pretty much how I was introduced to NASCAR. Sure, he has the prequisite NASCAR-y things about him. A life-long southerner [though he did run a gas station in Detroit for a while], he has that twang in his voice and just that love for motorsports.
He has been diagnosed with lung cancer, though the last cigarette he smoked was in 1978. In a statement, Parson said "I'm determined to pull through this and I appreciate everyone's concerns and prayers during this time. Everyone I work with has been gracious and accommodating. I plan to keep on talking about racing for as long as I can."
Get well Benny!
REGGIE BUSH HOLDOUT: The amazing thing in this is the fact that it is already being blown up. I know he's the highest unsigned draft pick...but there are picks all over the place that haven't been signed either.
But this one is interesting in a few ways. One, the Saints hold a bit of leverage here. They have Deuce McAllister who they figure will be healthy enough to get a lot of touches. He was the focal part of the offense heading into last year before he screwed up his leg. And, heading into this season, he was penciled in as the starter anyways. So while they want to get Bush in...it isn't season threatening. Also, the Saints have the PR in their favorite, just a bit. With the team coming back to New Orleans and the entire emotional aspect of the return, the SuperDome reopening and the uncertain future of the franchise....Bush could be made out to be the greedier party in this. The Saints won't persue that, but it will be in fan's minds.
I think he'll sign sometime during camp.
SLATE.COM: Just read this site about baseball cards.....Requiem for a rookie card. By Dave Jamieson
ESPN MUM ON HAROLD REYNOLDS: Apparantly, Reynolds was canned sometime this weekend...possibly Monday. Yet, there was nothing on ESPN.com about it and it was kind of quiet on the network. It was on the other sports sites [FoxSports, Sports Illustrated, AP] today...and I threw it up on this blog.
Still, ESPN has been quiet. Tonight, on ESPN.com, there was the limited AP report [which is shorter than what I put on my blog] which said nothing. Curious.
Either Reynolds is caught up in something that we don't know about yet [see below]...or the relationship soured very quickly. He was on Baseball Tonight on Sunday and there was no talk that led up to any dismissal. Also, with Peter Gammons currently recovering from a brain aneurysm suffered a month ago...it would seem odd that the network would shed off another popular member of the baseball department.
The New York Post is reporting that Reynolds is being accused of sexual harassment. That nugget plus the abrupt firing lead me to think that the accusation was made by someone currently working at ESPN. ESPN had been under fire, sort of, about sexual harassment issues. In a 2000 book "ESPN: The Uncensored History", there were accusations of rampant sexual harassment at the network [according to the NY Times, Mike Tirico was suspended at one point because of it]. Still...this seems to be a bold move by ESPN, since other people [Michael Irvin for drug possession; Rick Sutcliffe for on-air drunkeness; Gary Miller for peeing out of a window in a intoxicated state] did wrong and weren't punished as severely.
Apparantly, Reynolds wants to come back to the network...and I hope he and ESPN can get back together and work something out. He was a key and long time member ofthe network....and helped made Baseball Tonight one of the network's jewels.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL BEING RENAMED: In a rather dumb move that is essentially trying to call "toilet paper" into "bathroom tissue"....college football is renaming it's divisional format. As you know, Division I football is broken into I-A and I-AA. The Division I-A conferences [ya know, the ACC, Big East, Sun Belt, etc] will now be known as "The NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision"....while Division I-AA [conferences like the Ivy, Gateway, Atlantic 10, Southern, SWAC, etc] will be known as "The NCAA Football Championship Subdivision".
This is mainly done so the I-AA schools feel less like a pile of crap. Normally, media outlets say "Division I-AA ________" when describing a school from that division. Now, they will just say the school's name instead...so everyone feels like they are somebody special.
The names are an attempt to lump Division I conferences together...but to seperate them with the "Bowl" and "Championship" qualifiers. The I-A schools play bowl games at the end of their season....while the I-AA hold a 16-team tournament.
A-ROD COMPARES HIMSELF TO TIGER WOODS: Hold on there cowboy! Look, I agree that A-Rod has gotten quite a bit of heat lately and some is uncalled for. He had a bad weekend and his defense, for some reason, has been shaky this year. Still, he's one of the best players in baseball and the reigning MVP. But, Alex...ya can't compare yourself to Tiger. Not when the biggest gripe against you is how un-clutch you are. I agree with that assessment: A-Rod isn't very clutch. Tiger is kinda known for being clutch. So, stop with that. Oh, and happy 31st birthday tomorrow.
IVERSON NOT BEING DEALT: For the, what, 6th straight season...Allen Iverson was shopped but not dealt. I'm happy because Iverson and Philly seem to mesh well...and the Sixers cannot get value for him [especially with that roster]. Also, it's tough to find a spot where Iverson would fit in seemlessly.
However, they all need to stop this crap. I understand that players get traded and Iverson has value. Also, the Sixers haven't done much since their NBA Finals appearance in 2001. But this is your franchise player who you've dangled out there during the summer for the past 3-4 years. Either deal him or lock him down.
ACC HAS HURRICANE PLAN: With the new 12-game schedule and the ACC title game....ACC football has devised a scheduling plan in case a hurricane affects any of their member schools. Miami and Florida State seem to be the schools most affected by this....but NC State, North Carolina and Duke have been affected by hurricanes in the past.
There isn't much wiggle room....but the ACC has a plan. If a hurricane is approaching, the league may move the game to an earlier date, provided both schools have had the same amount of rest. They are also looking at opening the weekend up prior to the ACC title tilt in order to fill up any possible postponed games....or rescheduling the game during the same weekend as the ACC title game, provided it doesn't mess with the outcome of that game [which would be hard to do, since hurricane season tends to top out in September and races aren't close to being determined yet]. If they can't get that done, the ACC is holding measures to move the site of the game....to either the road team's stadium or to a neutral site.
I know this all seems pretty simple to do...but this is the first "plan" in place for such an issue. Instead of being caught off guard and trying to make something work, the league is taking initiative to have a plan in place that all 12 member schools know about and can make any rescheduling issues as seemless as possible.
KEVIN LOVE TO UCLA: Crap! For two years now, I've expected Love to come to Chapel Hill and be another in a long line of great Carolina big men. Instead, he goes to a crappy school in the middle of nowhere who has no history and no history of developing big men. Stupid UCLA! [By the way.....yep, that is sarcasm].