Monday, September 05, 2005
AFC Playoff Teams
East - Patriots - until someone beats them
North - Bengals - this is the toughest division; surprise, surprise
South - Colts - Manning to Harrison is like bread and butter
West - Raiders - bad defense, but super offense
Ravens - finally has a few decent receivers
Jets - somehow this team just gets it done
NFC Playoff Teams
East - Giants - if Eli develops just a bit, this team will surprise
North - Packers - this is their last hurrah
South - Panthers - solid defense and a good coach
West - Cardinals - why not, they are the "sexy" pick
Falcons - they will tie Carolina for the division but lose out on the tiebreaker
Cowboys - Parcells edges Eagles out of playoffs
Colts over the Patriots
Falcons over the Panters
Falcons over the Colts
Now for this weeks 2 big college games
Notre Dame @ Michigan - the Wolverines were not impressive in their opening win over NIU while the Irish smoked Pitt . . . I’m telling you right now, in two years, Charlie Weiss will have the Irish in the national title hunt . . . I just love this guy . . . the graduated from Notre Dame but never played football there . . . he’s fat and overweight . . . he looks like someone sitting at the end of the bar at your local saloon . . . Weiss will exploit Michigan’s defense . . . but luckily Michigan’s offense can also put up points . . . this is a tight one but Michigan wins 27-24
Texas @ Ohio State - flash back 3 years ago when the Buckeyes were going to play Miami for the national title, Ohio State fans and players were complaining that Miami was arrogant and talking trash before the game . . . now back to 2005, which team opened its mouth first in this match-up? . . Ohio State’s Bobby Carpenter guaranteed the Texas quarterback Vincent Young will leave Columbus on Saturday no longer in the Heisman hunt . . . bit arrogant don’t you think? . . . Texas will outplay the Buckeyes, but Ohio State will get a turnover late in the game and pull one out of their asses . . . Ohio State 21-20
Too all the Buckeye fans I have two words for you
Sunday, July 17, 2005
The Cleveland Indians have dropped nine of their last 10 games . . . after firing hitting coach Eddie Murray, at the beginning of June, the Tribe’s bats heated up and The Plain Dealer began insinuating that Murray may have been the cause for Cleveland’s slump at the plate . . . well, in their last 10 games, the bats have cooled down . . . the Chicago White Sox swept the Tribe four in a row since the All-Star break . . . In fact, the White Sox never trailed in any of the games and shut out the Indians in two of the four games . . . how come The Plain Dealer is not responding about that? . . . somewhere a rare event is happening – Eddie Murray smiling . . .
The Plain Dealer’s Roger Brown reported in Sunday’s paper that the Cincinnati Reds may trade outfield slugger Adam Dunn to Cleveland for Chi Chi Sabathia . . . if the Indians brass had any brains, they would make the deal . . . Sabathia has brought nothing to help the team this year . . . In my weekly Chi Chi watch, Sabathia got rocked on Friday night to bring his season record to 6-6 with a 4.63 ERA . . . he is 1-2 since opening his mouth and stating that he "is back and ready to dominate the rest of the season" . . .
Don’t be surprised if the Indians unload catcher Victor Martinez in the off-season in order to get a true starter . . . after his All-Star season last year and new long-term contract, Martinez has dropped off considerable as he is batting .243 and has not been effective behind the plate . . . he has been the Indians biggest disappointment . . .
The Yankees pitching staff is depleted . . . rookie Chien Meng Wang has been lost for the season with a rotator cuff injury . . . that has forced New York to trade for 39-year-old Al Leiter . . . besides starting pitching, the Yankees need to reinforce its middle relieves being that the starting pitchers are very old and can no longer pitch seven innings . . . the Yankees should consider acquiring 37-year-old Hideo Nomo who was released this weekend by Tampa Bay . . . Nomo is done as a starter, but he may prove effective as a middle reliever who can pitch one inning . . . its something the Yankees should consider . . .
I think it is safe to say "Tiger is Back!!" . . . Watch out! . . .
NFL training camps will be opening next week . . .
I already saw the first "Back to School" commercial . . .
A nice article appeared in Sunday’s Pittsburgh Post about the Big 33 Football Classic that is played every summer between the Ohio and Pennsylvania All-Stars . . .
It is amazing that every Super Bowl had at least one player who participated in the Big 33 game . . . here is the link to learn more about the game:
On a personal note, Friday I had a meeting in Boardman near the Southern Park Mall . . . so I stopped in the mall’s food court to have lunch – first big mistake!!! . . . first off it was like a daycare/pre-school . . . there were more double seated baby strollers than there are taxi cabs in Manhattan . . . there were so many kids and young mothers . . . with all the noise, I decided to get something quick, so I decided to get a Big Mac at McDonald’s – second big mistake!!! . . . for being a "fast food" place, I waited a good 5 minutes for my food along with a mother and her screaming child in a stroller . . . the entire time waiting, this kid kept screaming while the mother did nothing . . . after finally getting my meal, I barely found a table where there were less populated kids . . . through all this chaos, I noticed an elderly woman sitting peacefully eating ice cream from Dairy Queen . . . my only thought was that this woman had to be hard of hearing . . . overall, I learned never to eat a mall food court . . .
I went grocery shopping this past week and picked up a bag of Doritos . . . before tossing it in the cart, I noticed written on the front of the bag was "improved taste" . . . does that mean for the last 20 years I was eating not good tasting Doritos . . .
Speaking of Doritos, the last issue of Vanity Fair had a story of the U.S. soldiers who had to guard Saddam Hussein . . . the soldiers stated that Saddam loved Doritos . . . in fact they said he could eat a family bag of Doritos in about 15 minutes . . . I could just picture what Saddam looked like after that – he probably had cheese stains, from the chips, all over his face and mustache . . .
Until next time . . . the beat goes on . . .
Sunday, July 10, 2005
And the beat goes on . . .
I want to spend a few seconds on the Olympics . . . it was unfortunate that New York City did not get the call to host the 2012 Olympics . . . however, congratulations to London in surprising the arrogant French in winning the bid . . . Paris was a heavy favorite and all the French were ready to celebrate . . . but all for not . . .
One more note about the Olympics . . . how could the International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote to not have baseball and softball in the 2012 Games? . . . for many Central American nations, especially Cuba, Olympic baseball is an important sport . . . give the IOC two Errors on this . .
Why isn’t golf in the Olympics? . . . it’s played worldwide and it would be interesting to see the professional men and women represent their countries . . .
Talking about golf, 15-year-old Michelle Wie choked on the last four holes in the 2nd round of the John Deere Classic which is a stop on the PGA Tour . . . it’s just a matter of time though before Wie starts to make the cut and one day win a PGA event . . .
I read recently read an article in The Plain Dealer about Wie . . . she is a prodigy . . . she was able to read when she was like 2-years-old . . . Wie’s goal is to play and win the Master’s someday . . . with her determination and rare ability there is no doubt that she will indeed accomplish this goal within the next 20 years . . .
Also, I believe she has that natural swing that will enable her to compete with the men . . . when I watch her swing, I see Tiger Woods . . . plus, for being only 15-years-old, she is already six feet tall and wears a size 10 men’s shoe . . . to put it simply, I am a big fan of Michelle Wie . . .
Last Friday, Chi Chi Sabathia pitched seven strong innings against the Baltimore Orioles and proclaimed that "he was back" and that he was going to dominate the rest of the season . . . five days later Chi Chi and his fat ass could not make it out of the fifth inning as the Detroit Tigers tattooed him for five runs . . .
The "ace" has a record of 6-5 and an ERA of 4.50 . . . when will the Indians front office realize this man is not a number one starter . . . in fact, Jake Westbrook, Kevin Millwood, and Scott Elarton are all better pitchers than "the ace" . . .
Why is the Detroit Tigers Jeremy Bonderman not on the All-Star team especially with the game being played in Motown? . . . Bonderman is 11-5 with a 3.99 ERA . . .
The San Francisco Giants organization notched its 9,999 team victory on Saturday when they down the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 . . . the winning pitcher was former Youngstown State University pitcher, Brad Hennessey who gave up only three hits in seven shut-out innings . . . Hennessey is 3-2 with a 5.23 ERA . . .
Major League Baseball handed down a 20 game suspension for Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers after he deliberately shoved a cameraman during batting practice . . . with Rogers being a starting pitcher, it means he only plays every five games . . . so basically this turned out to be a four game suspension which is nothing . . . Bud Selig needed to suspend Rogers at least 35 games which is equivalent to seven games . . .
Rogers made a mistake and has apologized for it . . . and he should be given a second chance after he serves his suspension . . . however, there is no place in sports for that type of behavior from an athlete . . . the cameraman was not following Rogers by sticking the camera directly in his face . . . the guy was doing his job – that’s all . . . the same job that helps jerks, like Rogers, get their mug on television so they can sign those million dollars contracts . . .
I pick the American League to win Tuesday’s All-Star Game . . .
Even though Tiger is the favorite, my surprise pick to win next week’s British Open is Peter Lonard . . . I’m also putting money on Ernie Els . . .
I’d like to see President Bush select an African-American female to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court . . . interestingly, it is not the Democrats, but the Republicans that may balk if he nominates current Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez . . . the conservatives are worried that ‘Berto may be a tad moderate . . .
Why isn’t an Asian-American being considered for the position on the high court . . . remember, the president can nominate anyone he wants – there is not a prerequisite that the nominee has to have experience on the bench . . .
Finally, our country’s prayers should go out to our friends in London after the dastardly act of cowardness by terrorists this week . . . sometimes we all forget that we are fighting "the good war" . . .
God Save the Queen
Until next time . . . the beat goes on . . .
Sunday, July 03, 2005
And the beat goes on . . .
For years my friend, John Valentine, and I talked about producing a fantasy football magazine . . . our magazine was going to be different from others . . . instead of just football, we were also going to have articles about beer, gambling, and of course chicks . . . and to differentiate our publication from all the other fantasy football mags, we were not going to have a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady on the cover . . . instead we were going to have chicks in skimpy football jerseys . . . . our publication was going to be called T.A.G. Fantasy Football Guide . . . T.A.G. stood for "Two Average Guys" . . .
But someone has beaten us to that idea . . . the other days I was looking through the magazine rack at my local Giant Eagle when I came across this hot chick on a fantasy football book . . . I knew right then and there that our idea was shot . . .
So remember, if you ever have an idea for something – go for it before it is too late . . .
The Boston Red Sox will not win the World Series this season if they keep Keith Foulke as their closer . . . Foulke has a whopping 5.82 ERA . . . the Sox need to get a closer before the trading deadline if they want to repeat as champions . . . it takes 11 playoff games to win the World Series, and your closer is going to be needed in at least seven of those wins . . . it ain’t happening for Boston if Foulke remains the closer . . .
That’s it, the American League Cy Young Award race is over . . . this year’s winner is going to be Cleveland’s Chi Chi Sabathia . . . after an impressive performance on Friday night in Baltimore, Chi Chi proclaimed that "he is back" and he has turned around his season . . . okay, he opened his mouth, so we will have to keep track of his record beginning with Friday night’s win . . .
A few weeks ago it looked like Bob Wickman was going to be the Tribe’s lone All-Star representative . . . Travis Hafner is sure working his way toward a spot on the team . . . Pronk is swinging a hot bat once again . . .
It was reported in The Plain Dealer that the Indians are looking at the Reds’ Joe Randa, the Royals’ Mike Sweeney, and the Giants’ Moises Alou for a possible trade by the end of July . . . it is doubtful the Tribe will acquire Sweeney or Alou being that they make $11 million and $7 million a year . . .
What do you get for $17 million these days . . . for that price the Yankees got themselves a 41-year-old "has been ace" who is 7-6 with a 4.24 ERA and who got shelled this week in Detroit . . .
Whatever happened to Jimmy Key? . . .
The Milwaukee Brewers Rickie Weeks is showing that he may be the real deal . . . the rookie second baseman has been instrumental in a couple of the Brewers wins of late . . .
At Wimbledon, I knew Lindsay Davenport was cooked after she blew a championship point against Venus Williams . . . never let a match or championship point slip by when you are playing the Williams sisters . . . they will make you pay . . .
Davenport, who has won three Grand Slam titles, will be nothing but a footnote in women’s tennis history because her prime came at the same time as the Williams sisters . . . that is unfortunate for Lindsay . . .
I pity whoever President Bush nominates to fill the seat on the Supreme Court . . . it will be a brutal nomination hearing in which their personal life will be scrutinized more than any other nominee. . .
On the local beat, the second coming of East High School will occur in 2007 with the opening of the soon to be constructed new high school . . . of course, nothing happens in Youngstown without some controversy . . . the new East High will not be known as the Golden Bears with the colors of blue and gold . . . no, the YCS Board has chosen to name the school the Panthers with the colors of light blue and silver . . . the East High alumni are upset . . . and rightfully so . . .
Finally, Happy Fourth of July to all . . . and God Bless America . . .
Until next time . . . the beat goes on . . .
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Shhhh, what’s that noise? . . . listen real close, you can hear it . . . it’s all the Indians bandwagons rolling out of town after the Tribe’s nine game winning streak came to a screeching halt this week . . . they now have a four game losing streak . . .
Like I said last week, the Indians have improved, but that nine game winning streak was an aberration because it came against inferior opponents . . .
When will the Indians front office come to the realization that Chi Chi Sabathia is NOT a number one starter . . . time after time this season, the "ace" has come up empty when he had to come across with a win . . .
Sabathia is not a pitcher – he is a thrower . . . he rears back and tries to pump the ball in there 100 mph . . . and once someone taps him for a home run, he becomes increasingly frustrated and loses his control . . . Sabathia has to learn to be a pitcher, not a thrower if he is ever going to live up to his potential . . .
The one current pitcher who comes to mind who transformed from a thrower to a pitcher is Pedro Martinez . . . back in the day, Pedro used to come with the gas . . . but now he has an entire repertoire of pitches . . .
Another pitcher who has come up empty when needed is the Small Unit - Randy Johnson . . . even though the Yankees came back to win the game 20-11, Johnson got shelled by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday . . .
After sweeping the Pirates and Cubs, the Yankees had an opportunity to make up even more ground as the lowly Devil Rays and Mets rolled into "The Stadium" . . . instead the Yankees have lost four of five . . . it just ain’t happening this year . . .
Did anyone see the great catch Nationals outfielder Ryan Church made on Wednesday in Pittsburgh? . . . Church, a former Mahoning Valley Scrapper, is my new "boy" . . .
Talking about the Steel City, the Pittsburgh Steeler games will not be the same anymore after longtime analyst Myron Cope announced his retirement this year . . . opposing fans, especially the Browns, detested Cope’s screeching rants about his beloved Black and Gold . . . but Cope was something special . . . whether you liked him or not, he was funny and entertaining . . .
What most people don’t know is that he was an accomplished sports journalist . . . before jumping into the broadcast booth, Cope was one of the premier writers for Sports Illustrated . . .
Guys like Cope do not come around everyday . . . I will miss hearing him . . . Yoi, it won’t be the same . . .
Tonight is the battle between Arturo "Thunder" Gatti and Floyd Mayweather Jr. . . . Mayweather is a heavy favorite to win the fight which will take place in Atlantic City . . . Gatti is most famous for his exciting bloodbath fights between Mickey Ward . . . Gatti was like Boom Boom Mancini - a brawler, not a boxer . . . but that has changed . . . in watching Gatti fight over the last year or so, I have noticed that he is now a boxer . . . his fights are not that exciting anymore, however he has learned how to fight with his brain instead of his face . . . I say Gatti pulls an upset tonight and beats Mayweather . . .
Whatever happened to "The Hawk" Aaron Pryor? . . .
I’ve been watching the College World Series this past week . . . there have been some very good games . . . the championship series begins tonight between Texas and Florida in a best of three . . . Hook ‘Em!!! . . .
I just love the Red Stripe beer commercials . . . Hooray Beer!!! . . .
Sunday, August 28th is the day . . . my annual fantasy football draft . . . did I tell you I have the first pick? . . .
I almost was correct about the Detroit Pistons . . . . when will teams learn never ever leave Robert Horry unguarded in the last 10 seconds of a big game . . . NEVER!!! . . .
I can’t believe how down the media were on the Spurs after losing game six . . . the national sports shows were like, "the Pistons will win game seven" . . . "Tim Duncan looks lethargic" . . . "the Spurs don’t have the momentum anymore" . . . blah blah blah . . .
The Spurs don’t have the momentum anymore????? . . . so, they lost game six – big deal!!! . . .
I took Maria Sharapova to win Wimbledon . . .
This is the best time of the year to just sit back and read all the pro, college, and fantasy football magazines . . .
Sometimes you have to rattle the cage when you are at work . . .
I bought that new men’s body spray, Tag . . . I haven’t had any women jumping on me like it shows in the commercial . . .
Well, until next time . . . the beat goes on . . .
Sunday, June 19, 2005
The Cleveland Indians have been hot and it hasn’t taken the Cleveland media long to once again show its lack of class . . .
On June 4th the Tribe fired hitting coach Eddie Murray . . . since his departure the Indians have been swinging a hotter stick - and The Plain Dealer is making sure the public knows it . . . they now have a box inside the sports section showing the players batting average under Murray and since Murray was fired . . . yes the statistics have improved, however it has been only 15 days since Murray has been gone . . . are the Tribe hitters going to keep this up for the remainder of June, July, August, September, and of course October when the Tribe goes to the World Series? . . .
My only question is this – when the Indians bats begin to cool down, will The Plain Dealer run a special box showing the decrease in batting averages? . . . I highly doubt it . . .
Here is something else to chew on, bench coach Buddy Bell left around the same time as Murray to take over as manager of the Kansas City Royals . . . maybe the Indians are playing better ball now that Bell is gone . . .
Take it easy Tribe fans . . . the Indians have won eight in a row and are the hottest team in baseball . . . however, the majority of these wins have come against a weaker opponent such as San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies . . . starting Monday, the Indians begin playing teams a few levels higher, such as Boston, Detroit, New York, and Cincinnati, than the roadkill they have just splattered . . .
Back in May, the Yankees went on a hot streak however it was a bit deceiving as they piled on the wins against the likes of Seattle and Oakland . . .
Now don’t get your wigwam all upset Indians fans . . . I will say, the Tribe has improved since April . . .
By the way, whatever happened to Albert Belle? . . .
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers open its season on Tuesday night at Eastwood Field . . . the Scrappers are the defending New York-Penn League Champions . . .
One former Scrapper who is playing some good ball is Ryan Church . . . Church is now with the Washington Nationals . . .
Like I said last week, even if the Pistons go down 2-0 against the Spurs, they were still not out of the series . . .
Phil Jackson could spin it all he wants, the fact is that he rejoined the Lakers because of: 1) money; and 2) Jeanie Buss . . .
Why isn’t the NBA as exciting as it was during the 1980s and 90s? . . .
Michael Jackson is one lucky person . . . he was fortunate enough that the alleged victim’s family was not credible . . .
What are the odds of the NHL playing next year? . . .
John Madden hit for the cycle this week when it was announced he will be the analyst for Sunday Night football on NBC starting in 2006 . . . Madden has worked for CBS, FOX, ABC, and now NBC . . .
How many days until the start of the NFL? . . .
I rolled into the City of Brotherly Love this past week for a conference . . . nice city but poor service at restaurants . . . we waited, on average, of at least 25 minutes from the time we placed our order until we received our food . . .
The best service was at Pat’s Cheesesteaks . . . Pat’s has been in business since 1930 . . . in fact, the establishment appeared in Rocky . . . the scene - Rocky just signed to fight Apollo Creed . . . so Rocky meets Gozzo outside of Pat’s and Gozzo gives him $500 to use for training . . .
Looks like William Rehnquist is going to announce his retirement next week . . . the Washington Post has a story of the three possible replacements . . . Washington Post
Finally, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there and especially to my dad who is the best . . .
Until next time . . . the beat goes on . . .
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
I was fortunate enough to have him for a journalism class at YSU . . . he was an outstanding teacher and like everyone has said, he was a nice guy . . . think about it, how many of today's news people act like their "crap doesn't stink" when out in the public . . . not Tom Holden . . . Holden would talk to anyone and always had a smile or nod when passing by . . .
As a young kid, my family always watched TV-27 news with Tom Holden and Don Gardner on sports . . . Holden was one of the "good guys" who stayed loyal to the Valley . . . he was a staple of this area . . . there was no doubt that he could have moved on to a bigger city, but he was content doing the news at TV-27 and living on the southside of Youngstown . . .
I interviewed him for an article and he said that he was fortunate to have a good job . . . think about it, most people today want to keep moving up in the job market in order to show they are successful . . . Holden wasn't like that -- he was a simple person . . . he loved his Mahoning Valley and especially his Youngstown . . .
What I also think made Holden unique is that he had his flaws just like the rest of us . . . it was widely known that "back in the days" Holden would like to have a nice cold one or two . . . but that is what made him real . . . he was not some plastic glamour wonk hired to attract viewers . . . he wasn't too good to sit next to the average Joe and have a beer . . .
This Valley needs more people like Holden in order to improve . . .
Tom Holden will be missed . . .
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Will Mike Tyson just go away already . . .
Anyone who spent $50 to watch the Tyson fight on Pay-Per-View has to be either: a) filthy stinking rich; or b) a moron . . .
Tyson was done after he lost to that tomato can in his last fight . . . but the hype continued for last night’s fight . . . during the pre-fight conference, Tyson was talking how he was going to "kilt (instead of kill) Kevin McBride . . .
After reading the post-fight story, Tyson was a cheap shot artist in the fight . . . he blatantly head butted McBride and then tried to break his arm out of desperation . . .
The sports world needs to turn its back on Tyson . . . it’s over for him . . . and the media should no longer cover his fights . . . .
If it wasn't for that third place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Afleet Alex would have won the Triple Crown . . . this horse would have taken the nation by storm if he would have won the Derby . . . yesterday's Belmont Stakes was a beautiful ride by jockey Jeremy Rose . . .
These are the hardest working teams in baseball: Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers, and Pittsburgh Pirates . .
Pirate manager Lloyd McClendon has taken his share of flak over the last few years, but he always has his team playing hard every game . . . and don’t look now, but the Pirates are at the .500 mark . . .
Sports Illustrated reported this week that Jim Leyland is interested in returning as a manager . . . the magazine reported that Leyland may end up with the Rockies or Indians . . . hmmmm, what’s going on within the wigwam up in Cleveland . . .
Did you know that 10 current Major League Baseball managers never had minor league managing experience? . . . they are: Dusty Baker (Cubs), Phil Garner (Astros), Ozzie Guillen (White Sox), Lloyd McClendon (Pirates), Bob Melvin (D’backs), Lou Piniella (Devil Rays), Willie Randolph (Mets), Frank Robinson (Nationals), Joe Torre (Yankees), and Alan Trammell (Tigers) . . .
Who should be the manager of the United States team next spring in the first ever World Cup of baseball? . . . early favorites are: Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, or Ron Gardenhire . . .
Which team would Manny Ramirez play on? . . . Baseball America lists him as part of the Puerto Rican team, but Ramirez is now an American citizen . . . so shouldn’t he be playing for the U.S. team? . . . where’s the rule book????
Supposedly Phil Jackson is going to announce if and where he is going to coach next season . . . all reports indicate he will go back to the Los Angeles Lakers . . . I guess Phil’s girl, Jeannie Buss, (who’s father owns the Lakers) has a greater pull if Phil is wanting to put up with Kobe Bryant once again . . .
Whatever happened to Paul Westhead? . . .
Even if the Pistons lose tonight and go down 2-0, I still think they have a good chance at winning it all . . .
Pre-draft rumors indicate that the Milwaukee Bucks may take former North Carolina six man Marvin Williams with the first pick in the draft instead of Utah’s Andrew Bogut . . .
Donald Trump turns 59 this week . . .
Everyone remembers Joe Namath’s famous guarantee before Super Bowl III . . . however, during the regular season, Namath threw only 15 touchdowns and 17 interceptions . . .
Until next time . . . the beat goes on . . .
Friday, June 10, 2005
- I have never been a big fan of Angelina Jolie, but dang, she looks incredible in her new movie with Brad "Arm" Pitt
- If Natalie Gulbis ever starts winning consistently on the LPGA, she will be a huge star
- Imagine if Anna Kournakova ever won the U.S. Open or Wimbledon . . . her star power would have tripled
- Former Chicago White Sox Ron "Ma and Pa" Kittle has a new book out . . . in the book, Kittle claims that Barry Bonds refused to sign some merchandise that Kittle was going to put up for auction at a charity event . . . Kittle claims Bonds said, "I don't sign for white people" . . . true or not, imagine if someone claimed that a white star such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Roger Clemens said, "I don't sign for black people" . . . hmmmm, imagine the uproar
- Talking about Tom Brady, how about his new contract . . . Brady didn't squeeze every last dime out of the Patriots . . . instead he gave the Pats some wiggle room with the salary cap in order to sign another player or two to keep winning
- Imagine if Ohio State had a freshman quarterback who went 9-3 and led the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl in his first year . . . Ohio State fans would be clamoring that this kid is a Heisman Trophy front runner . . . hmmm, didn't Chad Henne do that for Michigan last year?
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
- I'm still undecided on my prediction for the NBA title . . . I like both teams and their emphasis on "team" play
- The Yankees may be done this time . . . after a losing streak early in the season, the Yanks erupted in early May behind the hot stick of Tino Martinez . . . suddenly the Bronx Bummers are 2 games under .500 and have lost nine of ten . . . if this continues the ax may fall on Joe Torre which is something that I dread
- A great site for Ohio high school football is www.jjhuddle.com . . . however, let me warn you right now -- if you log-on to the college football forum section, DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING REMOTELY CRITICAL OF THE OHIO STATE FOOTBALL PROGRAM . . . trust me . . . even the slightest hint of questioning St. James and his band of hoodlums will get you a one month boot . . .
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Kellen Winslow Jr. made a boneheaded mistake by goofing off and getting hurt on a motorcycle . . . okay, the kid made a mistake -- it's time for the media to lay off him already. . .
I sure wish the Cleveland media would get after the criminal activities going on with the Buckeye football program with the same gusto they have with Winslow . . .
I still say Winslow is going to be a beast in the NFL . . .
It was disappointing to see former Buckeye standout Mike Doss get charged with various violations including discharging a gun outside of Canal Park in Akron . . . Doss was the leader of the 2002 National Championship team. . .
Face it Ohio State fans, the Buckeye football program has the criminal reputation of the Miami Hurricanes of the 1980s . . .
Speaking of the Canes, if you ask me, I think head coach Larry Coker needs to have a big season . . . I don't have any inside information, but I get the feeling the pressure is starting to mount on him . . .
Does the island of Hawaii have any slums or housing developments? . . .
If the baseball playoff began today, here would be your match-ups:
Anaheim vs. Chicago
Minnesota vs. Baltimore
Atlanta vs. St. Louis
Chicago vs. San Diego
Before the season began, how many people predicted San Diego, Baltimore, and the White Sox in the playoff race . . ..
Honestly now, how many people predicted that the Yankees and Red Sox would not make the playoffs? . . .
Derek Lee for the Triple Crown? . . .
The Cleveland Indians finally dumped Eddie Murray as a hitting coach . . . Murray better change his attitude if he wants to get back into Major League Baseball . . .
The Michigan softball team may be the first Big Ten team to ever win the college softball World Series . . .
NFL training camp is coming up fast . . .
I got the first pick in my fantasy football draft . . . I leaning toward LaDainian Tomlinson . . .
Great article in last week's Washington Post sports section about Redskins rookie quarterback Jason Campbell . . . he is a good kid . . .
Calling coach Tressel, it's 9:46 a.m., do you know where your star players are? . . .
Whatever happened to former Buckeye tight end John Frank? . . .
I know there are people out there who don't like Shaq, but when was the last time you heard his name in the news linked to drugs, DUI, assault, rape, etc. . . . it was reported that the Big Aristotle is going to pay for the funeral of former Minneapolis Laker great George Mikan . . . Shaq is a good person. . . you gotta love the giant . . .
My money is going on the Miami Heat in Monday night's game seven battle with the defending champion Detroit Pistons . . .
Is Mike Brown the real deal as a head coach? . . .
I say Giacomo will win the Belmont Stakes on Saturday . . .
Remember Thunder Gulch? . . .
What has Smarty Jones been up to lately . . .
Until next time, the beat goes on . . .
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Last 5 years.....
1. Oklahoma: 31-1 (.968)
2. Michigan: 30-2 (.937)
3. Miami: 28-3 (.903)
4. LSU: 30-5 (.857)
5. Nebraska: 29-5 (.852)
5. Ohio State: 29-5 (.852)
7. Florida State: 25-5 (.833)
8. Florida: 24-7 (.774)
8. Southern Cal: 24-7 (.774)
10. Tennessee: 25-8 (.757)
11. Oregon: 24-8 (.750)
12. Texas A&M: 21-11 (.656)
Last 10 years.......
1. Florida State: 54-5 (.915)
2. Michigan: 58-6 (.906)
3. Nebraska: 60-7 (.895)
4. Ohio State: 57-9 (.863)
5. Tennessee: 56-9 (.861)
6. Florida: 52-9 (.852)
7. Miami: 49-12 (.803)
8. Oregon: 48-14 (.774)
9. Oklahoma: 45-14 (.762)
10. Texas A&M: 47-15 (.758)
11. LSU: 49-17 (.742)
12. Southern Cal: 44-16 (.733)
Last 15 years......
1. Florida State 81-6-1 (.926)
2. Nebraska 90-9 (.909)
3. Florida 81-11 (.880)
4. Miami 78-13 (.857)
5. Michigan 80-15 (.842)
6. Ohio State 81-15-1 (.840)
7. Tennessee:81-16 (.835)
8. Texas A&M: 76-16-1 (.822)
9. Oklahoma: 67-21 (.761)
10. Oregon 69-24 (.741)
11. Southern Cal: 59-26-2 (.689)
12. LSU 63-33 (.656)
Last 20 years......
1. Florida State: 105-11-1 (.901)
2. Nebraska: 118-13 (.900)
3. Miami: 107-15 (.877)
4. Michigan: 106-20-1 (.841)
5. Texas A&M: 103-21-1 (.828)
6. Florida: 101-21-1 (.825)
7. Ohio State: 103-23-1 (.814)
8. Tennessee: 105-23-3 (.812)
9. Oklahoma: 91-24 (.791)
10. Southern Cal: 83-31-3 (.722)
11. Oregon: 84-33 (.717)
12. LSU: 84-42-2 (.664)
Last 25 years.....
1. Nebraska: 144-20 (.878)
2. Miami: 127-23 (.863)
3. Florida State: 126-21-1 (.854)
4. Michigan: 131-26-1 (.834)
5. Florida: 127-25-2 (.831)
6. Ohio State: 129-29-1 (.814)
7. Oklahoma: 112-30-1 (.786)
8. Tennessee: 126-34-4 (.780)
9. Texas A&M: 119-35-1 (.770)
10. Southern Cal: 103-38-4 (.724)
11. Oregon: 95-48-4 (.659)
12. LSU: 104-54-3 (.655)
Last 30 years........
1. Nebraska: 169-26 (.866)
2. Michigan: 158-30-3 (.835)
3. Florida State: 144-30-1 (.825)
4. Miami: 140-31 (.818)
5. Ohio State: 153-34-2 (.814)
6. Oklahoma: 138-32-1 (.809)
7. Florida: 142-33-4 (.804)
8. Texas A&M: 138-41-1 (.769)
9. Tennessee: 146-46-5 (.753)
10. Southern Cal: 128-42-5 (.745)
11. LSU: 126-64-4 (.659)
12. Oregon: 104-65-4 (.612)
Last 35 years.....
1. Nebraska: 197-30 (.867)
2. Michigan: 189-30-4 (.856)
3. Ohio State: 179-37-3 (.824)
4. Oklahoma: 163-35-1 (.821)
5. Florida: 159-40-5 (.791)
6. Florida State: 158-44-1 (.780)
7. Tennessee: 173-50-6 (.768)
8. Miami: 154-48 (.762)
9. Southern Cal: 147-46-5 (.750)
10. Texas A&M: 151-53-1 (.739)
11. LSU: 155-68-4 (.691)
12. Oregon: 117-78-4 (.597)
Monday, May 02, 2005
Ivan Maisel - 1. USC; 2. Texas; 3. Michigan; 4. Iowa; 5. Florida
Pat Forde - 1. USC; 2. Michigan; 3. Texas; 4. Tennessee; 5. Iowa
Bob Davie - 1. USC; 2. Texas; 3. Va. Tech; 4. Tennessee; 5. Ohio State
Mike Gottfried - 1. USC; 2. Ohio State; 3. Texas; 4. Florida; 5. Miami (Fla)
Mark May - 1. USC; 2. Texas; 3. LSU; 4. Iowa; 5. Miami (Fla)
Sunday, May 01, 2005
It’s a marathon, not a sprint . . .
What blooms in the spring will wilt in the fall . . .
Well, actually the last saying I just made up, but my point is clear – one month of the baseball season is complete and there are some things that many people would not have expected, such as:
- the New York Yankees 10-14 including a dismal 7-9 at home
- the Cleveland Indians 9-14 with a 3-7 record at home
- the World Champion Red Sox with a 12-11 mark
- the Los Angeles Dodger, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox leading their divisions
- the Washington Nationals with a winning record
There are still five months left in the season, but it is time for some teams to start to make a little move so they don’t drop too far back from the pack . . . here are my thoughts on the Yankees and Indians:
New York Yankees
The Yanks look old . . . they have not been consistent at the plate . . . they scored 19 runs in one game only to come back with a two run clunker the very next day . . . just this past week, 11 and 12 runs against Texas and Anaheim only to score two runs in the next three games . . .
Tony Womack, Gary Sheffield, and Alex Rodriguez have been playing well . . . Derek Jeter has been hot and outspoken in the locker room trying to get his teammates to play better . . . however, the Yanks no longer get the key hits when they need it most as they did six-seven years ago . . .
The pitching staff sucks . . . the best thing to happen to the staff is that Jaret Wright got hurt . . . Steinbrenner and Cashman made a huge mistake by signing this lunkhead . . . Kevin Brown and Mike Mussina are inconsistent and always give up that one big inning that is costly . . . it finally looks like Randy Johnson is starting to come around a bit . . . the bullpen is atrocious . . . Tom Gordon must be let go before he costs the team any more games
The Yankees need to start bringing up their youngsters in the minors . . . the young kids could do just the same as Gordon, Sturtze, Wright, Stanton, etc and for a lesser price . . . the Yankees have issues that may be difficult to correct
The famous line coming out of Cleveland, "it’s only April" . . . but so far, the Indians look like they have taken a few steps backward in what was supposed to be a division winning year . . . Cleveland played well last year as some of the "kids" such as Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, and Ben Broussard played well . . . but not so fast my friends . . .
After a decent 2004 season, the fans and organization believed the Indians would automatically make the next move in its progression – win the Central Division . . . but they forget what happened to the Kansas City Royals just two years ago . .
In 2003 the Royals played a lot of young kids and finished with a record of 83-79 . . . some predicted Kansas City to possibly win the division last year – instead, the Royals finished with a 58-104 mark . . . all the young talent fizzled last year – and that may be what is happening to Cleveland . . .
Who is to say that Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner didn’t have their career year last season? . . . sure Larry Dolan is signing all these young guys to three-to-four year contracts to keep them from going elsewhere, but who is to say these players are that good?
Bob Wickman is shot as a closer . . . let’s also face facts, Cliff Lee and Jason Davis are below average pitchers . . .
As far as the offense goes, Grady Sizemore was ballyhooed as the next great Indians star . . . instead he may be the next Jody Gerut, Russ Branyan, etc . . . Jhonny Peralta is struggling in the field and prize prospect Brandon Phillips hits well in Buffalo, but falters in the Big Show . . .
Rafael Bettancourt has been impressive out of the bullpen . . . and I like the hard nosed play of Casey Blake . . . Chi Chi has also gotten off to a good start . . .
The names have changed in Cleveland but the same ole public relations machine is at it again – all these young players are supposed to be the next Jim Thome or Albert Belle – instead they look like just ordinary average ball players
The Top 10
Here are the 10 best teams in baseball after the month of April
1. Marlins - I just like this team – they may just win it all again
2. Cardinals - this team will be on cruise control until playoff time
3. White Sox - the South Siders have something going
4. Twins - Santana is the best pitcher in baseball
5. Dodgers - who would have thunk it – the Dodgers are in first place without closer Gagne
6. Orioles - Angelos spent a little money and had a winning April
7. Braves - what would a top 10 list be without Bobby Cox and his new look Braves
8. Red Sox - the Champs have some issues with their pitching staff
9. Athletics - the A’s are hanging tough despite losing Hudson and Mulder in the off-season
10. Nationals - they are the inspirational story of the year – a change of scenery does a body good
Friday, April 29, 2005
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Considered one of the greatest all-around backs to ever come out of the City, Gus Hlebovy was also one of a bevy of football players who upon graduation from Woodrow Wilson H.S. brought national recognition to the area with his exploits on the collegiate field of play.
Born on October 28, 1928, Hlebovy this year joins Chaney H.S. stars Jim Calcagni and Matt Cavanaugh from a more recent grid era as one of three City Series stars to be so honored with enshrinement into the Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame.
A 1947 graduate of W.W.H.S., he was a three-year letterwinner and an integral part of their undefeated 1946 squad, a team that many arguably still call one of the best high school teams from the area ever to lace up their spikes.
He was an excellent underclassman, but his star never shone so brightly than during his senior season when he was named the “Outstanding Halfback” on the league’s First-Team, then topped off his accolades that year when he was named to both the All-County and All-State squads as well.
Upon graduation he earned a scholarship to the University of Georgia where he played for famed head coach Wally Butts, a familiar face who heavily recruited players from the Mahoning Valley area.
Butts compiled a 140-86-9 overall mark as the head coach of the Bulldogs from 1939-60, and during Hlebovy’s collegiate career (from 1947-50) the Bulldogs contributed a 26-15-5 ledger in 46 contests with three winning seasons, three trips to a post-season bowl game and just one losing campaign.
As a freshman in 1947 the team posted a 7-4-1 mark with Hlebovy playing in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day, a 20-20 tie against the University of Maryland.
As a sophomore the following year he helped the team to a 9-2-0 overall mark and the Southeastern Conference title. The team didn’t fare too well in the post-season, however, as they fell to the University of Texas, 41-20, in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.
His junior campaign was a forgettable one record-wise as the team posted a sub-average 4-6-1 mark, but in his final year of eligibility in 1950, the Bulldogs went 6-3-3 overall and earned a trip to the Presidential Cup Bowl, a 40-20 loss at the hands of Texas A&M University.
He and his wife, the former Carolyn Premozich, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and they are the parents of a daughter, Kathy (Powell), and three sons, Terry, Gus, Jr. and James.
His grandson, Gus, is currently a member of the Vermont Expos, a Class “A” minor league affiliate of the parent Washington Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos) farm system. He and his wife currently reside in Coitsville.
JIM CALCAGNI - FOOTBALL
As one of three football inductees in this year’s Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame class, Jim Calcagni could very easily have been considered in the baseball category as well.
Born August 2, 1952, he was a star Little Leaguer in the Uptown Kiwanis League (he was an All-Star as a 12 year-old), played for the Local 1330 entry in Pony League (he was an All-Star as a 14 year-old, leading the team in batting that post-season) where he helped the local squad to the state finals then after one year and an All-Star selection in the local Colt League, played for Curbstone Coaches Hall of Famer Al Boggia and his Falcon Foundry Class “B” entry.
While injuries to both knees and shoulders took their toll when he played the diamond game, he was just getting tuned up as a scholastic grid star at nearby Chaney H.S., then collegiately at Adrian College.
His grid career began when he attended St. Brendan’s Catholic School, his first year of organized competition coming as a seventh-grader for the school’s 105-lb. entry.
He later played for the 125-lb. squad and as a running back/linebacker, helped both teams to their respective league titles.
The following year he played for the 125-lb squad, and in the title contest helped his squad once again to the league crown as he ran for over 250 yards and four touchdowns in the championship game.
He attended Volney Rogers Junior High School and had to settle for the hardwood game as the school fielded no football team. He served as a manager for the Cowboys’ varsity, but that would be the last time that he’d roam the sidelines as a non-participant for the next three years.
In 1967, his sophomore season, he played on both sides of the football as he lettered for Head Coach Red Angelo by playing halfback, fullback and tight end on the offensive side of the ball, linebacker, cornerback and safety defensively while returning both punts and kick-offs as well.
As a junior he led the team in fumble recoveries and was the second leading tackler, helping the team to the City Series title. For his efforts he was voted to the All-City Series squad.
During his senior campaign the team won their second straight league title (they went 8-2 overall) as he played both halfback and linebacker, earning his third straight letter under Angelo’s tutelage. He led the team in tackles, was second in both rushing and scoring and was voted the first recipient of the Mike DeNiro Award, emblematic of the team’s top defensive player for the season.
An All-City Series selection for the second straight year (this time at halfback), he was also voted to both the All-State and All-Northeastern Ohio squads as a linebacker.
His junior year (1972) was the final season with Davis and the team responded by winning their third straight conference title. He was voted team “Most Valuable Player” as he led the squad in tackles for the third straight season, earning runner-up conference MVP plaudits as well. This time he was named to the All-M.I.A.A. First-Team defensive unit.
As a senior he earned his fourth letter, playing for another local product, Tom Heckert who succeeded Davis as the head coach. In all, he played on nine football teams and seven won their respective league titles.
Along with brothers Ron and Mark, the Calcagni name on the West Side is as recognizable as any sports’ family name in the entire Mahoning Valley.
For the past 30 years he has been employed by Delphi Packard Electric Systems where he presently works as a manufacturing general supervisor. He also is the co-inventor and holder of a U.S. patent for a cable returnable container.
He is married to the former Debbie Naples and they are the proud parents of a son, Chris, and daughter, Angie. They reside in Canfield.
JOE FALGIANI - POSTHUMOUS AWARD - (Contribution to Sports)
The Curbstone Coaches organization is currently in its sixth decade of existence, and between its weekly gatherings and hall of fame selection committee meetings that are held, many dedicated individuals have helped to make it one of the most formidable groups in the Mahoning Valley.
During the 1980’s and well into the new millennium, a three-decade span, arguably no individual took to heart his assignment with both the weekly meetings and its glorious hall of fame banquet than Joe Falgiani.
Born on October 12, 1937, Falgiani enters this year’s hall of fame as a posthumous selection in its contribution to sports category.
A product of the Youngstown School System and a native of the city’s Brier Hill section, he graduated from The Rayen School in 1955. Although not an active sports participant, his enthusiasm for sports was second to none and he made sure that he helped to develop both young men and women academically and athletically.
Upon graduation he was hired by the Youngstown School System to teach English and Latin at Hillman Jr. High School. He eventually moved to Volney Rogers in 1966 where he continued to teach his favorite subjects, leaving in 1982 when he was named Director of the Skills Training Center for the Youngstown Public Schools.
He remained at that post until 1989 when health problems forced him into premature retirement, but during his time with the Skills Center he met then President of the Curbstone Coaches organization, Val Carano, and it was Val who he credited with bringing him into the organization, circa 1980.
Falgiani held numerous positions within the organization and during his tenure was a longtime trustee who served as a chairperson for it numerous committees.
A moving force behind membership drives, the Hall of Fame banquet and a number of other activities, there was no one more important or contributed more to the success of the high school football and basketball recognition banquets than Falgiani.
During his tenure as the chairperson of the aforementioned events, most notably the hall of fame banquets, all achieved unparalleled success. His organizational skills, his unselfish dedication and devotion to today’s student-athletes and his contributions to the Curbstone Coaches organization as a whole will never be forgotten.
On May 22nd, the day will mark two years since his passing.
His contributions, most especially his affectionate smile and valuable input on key decisions that had to be made, are sadly missed to this day by the organization.
Since winning the world over after his "tear jerking" performance in the ALCS and World Series last year, Schill has been running from the mouth as if God, or at least the ghost of Happy Chandler, made him "premier of baseball" . . .
After a series of beanballs on Sunday between the Red Sox and Devil Rays, which have been on going for the last few years, his "royal highness" spoke about the atrocities committed by Tampa manager Lou Piniella . . . King Schill proclaimed,
"The problem is when you're playing a team with a manager who somehow forgot how the game is played, there's problems. This should have been over a little bit ago. Lou's trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys, and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying, 'This is why we lose 100 games a year, because this idiot makes us do stuff like this.' They [Rays players] said that on the field."
It’s funny how Schilling is all high and mighty and "knows how the game should be played" . . . it took him a while because for the early part of his career, Schilling was a screw up who never lived up to his potential . . . but I guess after beating the Yankees, King Schill feels he is the authority of the league . . .
#1 - Know Your Rights
Lusty ladies don't take a cross-your-fingers approach to climaxing. Men assume they'll reach their pleasure peak, so why shouldn't you? Call it self-fulfilling prophecy, but if you get under the covers believing sexual nirvana is inevitable, that faith - along with you actively doing what you need to do to make it happen - will get you there
#2: Let Loose
Relaaaaax. Sex is not rocket science. It won't cure cancer, or promote world peace, or change lives. So getting all worked up and stressed out about it makes about as much sense as worrying you're not eating your chocolate cake right. Just have fun!
#3: Sharpen Your Mental Focus
Have you ever caught yourself composing your grocery list or thinking back over your workday while you're in the act? That's a big no-no for highly sexual women. They've learned that to really achieve bedroom bliss, they must harness their biggest sexual organs: their minds. Clear your mind of nagging worries and distractions and you'll clear the way for mind-blowing sex.
#4: Don't Wait for Lust to Strike
Highly sexy people don't save their lascivious thoughts for the half-hour they're actually making love. Au contraire! Their sexiness rests on a foundation that encourages erotic thoughts, antasies and plans, all day long. It sure breaks a tedious board meeting, that's for sure.
#5: Know Thyself
She knows exactly what spot on her inner thigh makes her shudder with pleasure or what kind of kiss makes her swoon with delight. Just as important, she'll be happy to give polite directions to all bedroom visitors and can read her partner's own road signs to the promised land.
#6: Don't Discriminate
Highly sexual women are equal-opportunists; they don't discriminate against climaxes. Hey, a million bucks is a million bucks -- would you complain if it came in gold bars instead of bills? So don't worry if you can only achieve your peak one particular way... just keep on getting there.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The 20 Most Depressed Cities
1. Philadelphia, PA: F
2. Detroit, MI: F
3. St. Petersburg, FL: F
4. St. Louis, MO: F
5. Tampa, FL: F
6. Indianapolis, IN: F
7. (3-way tie) Mesa, AZ: F, Phoenix, AZ: F, and Scottsdale, AZ: F
10. Cleveland, OH: F
11. New York, NY: D-
12. Salt Lake City, UT: D-
13. Atlanta, GA: D
14. (3-way tie) Yonkers, NY: D, Pittsburgh, PA: D, and Kansas City, MO: D
17. (3-way tie) Long Beach, CA: D, Los Angeles, CA: D, Nashville, TN" D
20. Portland, OR: D
Monday, April 25, 2005
Braylon Edwards, Michigan, wr - I compare his game to a big time homerun hitter in baseball; while you get the long ball, there are also a few strikeouts that come with them . . . in Edwards case you sacrifice a drop every now and then for his overall talent and tremendouse big play. game-changing ability
Brodney Pool, Oklahoma, s - Pool has the overall package of skills you look for in a free safety . . . last year Pool wasn't able to deliver the big play type of performances . . . qualifies as a good, not a great pro prospect
Charlie Frye, Akron, qb - Frye has a knack for making the best of whatever situation he's thrust in to . . . while he won't necessarily turn heads in practice, when you combine his skill level with his tremendous desire and competitive spirit, it's easy to see why he almost singlehandedly elevated the Zips to a bowl game . . .
Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma, cb - Perkins has ability in the secondary, but it's on special teams where he presents outstanding value with his superior punt return ability
David McMillan, Kansas, de - If he can align his football skills with his athletic ability, McMillan has a chance to be a nice prospect at the next level
Nick Speegle, New Mexico, olb - no data written about him - was ranked 34th best at his position
Andrew Hoffman, Virginia, dt - no data written about him - was ranked 20th best at his position
Jon Dunn, Virginia Tech, ot - no data written about him - was ranked 24th best at his position
Sunday, April 24, 2005
BILLY JOHNSON - BASKETBALL
For 38 years, Dom Rosselli roamed the sidelines as the most successful coach in YSU basketball (and baseball) history.
He posted 589 wins in the cage sport and another 418 on the diamond, coaching All-Americans and All-League performers in each sport along the way.
He refuses to pick an all-time team in either sport for fear that he might overlook someone or not afford them the due of which they have coming.
Deep down though, if he were pressed hard enough, one can almost be assured that he would tell you that former guard Billy Johnson, of all the former players he had the good fortune to coach, has held to this day a very special place in both his and his family’s hearts.
Born on August 27, 1949, this Canton, OH native is a 1967 graduate of Canton Lincoln H.S. where he earned All-City Second-Team laurels, led the team in assists and free throw shooting his final two seasons while helping them to a state semi-final appearance his senior campaign.
He earned a scholarship to Youngstown State University and from the moment he stepped foot on the YSU campus, the Rosselli-Johnson combination seemed to click.
That combination produced an 82-25 overall mark resulting in two NCAA/Division II post-season appearances in the Mideast Regional, those coming during his sophomore and senior seasons.
He scored just 148 points his freshman year as the Penguins posted a 19-7 overall mark. His acclimation to the college game, however, was now complete and opponents the next three seasons would pay when they faced the Johnson-led Penguins.
As a sophomore during the 1969-70 season, his 582 total points (23.3. ppg) set the all-time sophomore scoring standard as the team posted a 22-5 overall mark en-route to post-season play at the Mideast Regional in Reading, PA. He led the team in assists, was named to the NCAA Tournament First-Team, earned The Pittsburgh Press’ First-Team All-District “Player of the Year” honors while their 18 consecutive wins that season is still the most ever recorded by any Penguin cage team.
He earned Associated Press Little All-America honors his junior season, led the team in scoring with 474 total points (an average of 19.8 per game), was tops in assists (7.1 per outing), once again earned First-Team All-District honors from The Pittsburgh Press while his 20 consecutive free throws set the standard in that category.
As a senior in 1971-72 he led the team with 522 (18.0 ppg) points while his nine assists per outing was tops on the squad for the third consecutive season. His 239 assists that year set the all-time mark (the record still stands today) while the Penguins returned to tournament action, this time competing in the Mideast Regional which was held on the campus of the University of Akron.
For his efforts he was once again named by The Pittsburgh Press’ as its “Player of the Year” (the only player to win the award twice), earning First-Team All-District honors and United Press International All-America honors as well.
He scored 1,726 career points (still seventh all-time) and was selected to play in both the North-South Basketball Classic in Erie, PA, and the first-ever NCAA-NAIA All-Star Game.
His 20 consecutive free throws is still fifth on the all-time YSU legend while his 706 career field goals and 314 career free throws made are sixth all-time in those respective categories. His 408 free throws attempted are seventh most all-time while his 392 assists is fourth overall in that category.
Upon his graduation from YSU (he earned his BS in Elementary Education in 1972) he underwent a serious lung operation as many YSU fans and family members donated monies necessary to help defray the cost of the operation, a gesture to this day that still brings tears to his eyes when he thinks about their love, prayers and generous, giving ways.
Retired after 30 years of service as the Canton Recreation Director, his versatility extended way beyond the boundaries of the basketball court since his graduation.
In 1979, he won an Emmy for comedy material that he had written for a Cleveland television show while from 1978-81, he wrote and produced a comedy service for radio disc jockeys throughout America and in several foreign countries.
He teamed with legendary Cleveland radio personality John Lanigan from 1980-84 to produce a radio show called “Sports Shorts” and in 1992 he began writing and drawing cartoons that were published in many national magazines.
Always the entrepreneur, he invented a product called “Wheel Easy” in 1998, a cleaning stand for motorcycles that was picked up by Harley-Davidson and is sold worldwide.
In 2000, the tennis complex in his hometown of Canton was named after him (he teamed with wife Karen to win the national mixed doubles tennis tournament, played at Flushing Meadows, NY during the U.S. Open) while in 2004 he won the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Lincoln, H.S.
He and his wife of 35 years, Karen, are the parents of a daughter, Tiffany (Justin) Atkinson. They have one grandson, Troy, and they reside in Canton.
DAVE COLLER - GOLF
When you look at the list of area golf notables over the years, one name surely to come up is that of Dave Coller.
A native of Hubbard and a 1965 graduate of Hubbard High School, Coller has been a golf professional for the past 35 years, winning numerous sanctioned professional tournaments in both California and Ohio during that span.
Born on September 7, 1947, he was a four-year letterwinner for the Eagles from 1961-65, playing his first varsity match as a ninth-grader during the 1962 season.
He helped the Eagles to a third-place finish in the state of Ohio during his sophomore campaign in 1963 and was District medallist his senior year in 1965, shooting a District record 67 to claim top honors.
He was an integral part of Ohio State University’s links team from 1965-69, majoring in Turf Management during his four-year stay on the Columbus, OH campus.
He later coached the golf team at his high school alma mater from 1969-71, leading the Eagles to the 1971 O.H.S.A.A. (Ohio State High School Athletic Association) golf title.
From 1973-74 he served as the head golf professional at the Escondido Country Club in Escondido, CA, returning to the area as the head golf professional at the Henry Stambaugh Golf Course in 1974, a post that he held until 1978.
In 1978 he became the head golf professional at the Hubbard Golf Course, remaining in that capacity until 1995 when he accepted the head golf professional post at Oak Tree Country Club in West Middlesex, PA.
Since 2000, he has served as the Director of Golf at the Pine Lakes Golf Club in Hubbard.
He was named the 1971 Ohio “Coach of the Year” when the Eagles won the state title and in 1985, was recognized by the Northern Ohio PGA for his contributions to Junior Golf.
He and his wife, Beverly, reside in Hubbard and they are the parents of two daughters; Christine (Windt) and Lori. They have two grandchildren.
DONALD LEONHART - POSTHUMOUS SELECTION - (Bowling/Golf)
As one of two posthumous selections in this year’s Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame class, Donald F. Leonhart had the unique distinction of being an excellent bowler and masterful linksman.
A Youngstown native, he was born on February 7, 1919 and passed away on October 5, 1999. During his athletic heyday, however, he commanded the respect of his peers at both the alley’s and on the golf course, a claim that not many from the two sports can make.
He attended Chaney and graduated from Austintown Fitch H.S. in 1937. It was upon his graduation from Fitch that he had posted the highest grade point average in the school system up to that time.
He entered The Ohio State University School of Engineering and later attended the Alexander Hamilton Business School in Philadelphia, PA.
A Navy veteran who was stationed in Guam during World War II, he worked for 33 years at the Youngstown Steel Door Co., retiring as the vice-president of manufacturing in 1972.
He also served as office manager for Powell Systems for 20 years upon his retirement.
A charter member of the Church League, he bowled in that league for over 60 years and was the last remaining member of that famed local aggregation. Over the years he bowled in many leagues, was a part of 32 City Tournaments, 14 ABC Tournaments and 10 Ohio State Tourneys.
He maintained a 180+ average for most of his 60 participatory years, including a personal high 206 mark in the mid-1950’s.
In 1965 he won the Youngstown City Tournament Singles crown and on April 1, 1969, his 786 set at Gran Lanes in the Suburban Scratch League set the standard at the time for highest set at that particular alley.
On April 5, 1975, he was enshrined in the Y.M.B.A. (Youngstown Men’s Bowling Association) Hall of Fame then on September 9, 1979, recorded the first of his two holes-in-one, that coming on the #18 hole at the Tippecanoe Country Club.
He recorded his second “ace” on October 9, 1988, also at the Tippecanoe Country Club only this time on the #3 hole.
He both bowled and golfed in many charity events over the years and in 1994, captured the Senior Golf Championship (for 70 and over entries), again at the Tippecanoe C.C.
He won many medals for bowling while competing in the local Senior Olympics, continuing to bowl and golf up until the last three months of his life despite losing his sight in his right eye some six years prior to his death.
He and his wife Lucille were the proud parents of two sons, Al and Dale, and daughter Donna.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
- Why did ESPN hire St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tory Holt as an analyst? . . . he did not provide any good insight and continually mispronounced players’ names . . .
- As usual, Mel Kiper and Chris Mortenson were solid with their analysis . . . that is what us draftniks want . . .
- Every person watching the draft had to feel for Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers . . . after being projected as a top 7 pick, Rodgers had to sit for hours and watch his stock fall until the Packers picked him at number 24 . . .
- I love Miami’s selection of running back Ronnie Brown . . . I watched him at Auburn and was impressed . . . Brown never ran out-of-bounds, instead he would drop his shoulder and take on defenders . . .
- The Browns have weapons . . . Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, and Antonio Bryant are three receivers who will stretch a defense . . .
- Joey Harrington will be done in Detroit if he gets off to a poor start . . . with three stud receivers in Roy Williams, Charlie Rogers, and now Mike Williams . . . whew!!!
- I was impressed with Texas running back Cedric Benson . . . during the last few months, Benson was often compared to another former Texas back – Ricky "I never met a joint I could refuse" Williams . . . but Benson got clean shaved and lost the dreadlocks . . . like he told Suzy Kolber, he considered himself being interviewed for a job just like anyone else and he wanted to leave a good impression . . .
- Talking about Suzy Kolber, she looked good -- as usual . . .
- Mort and Mel stated that first pick, Alex Smith will probably be the starting quarterback for the 49ers this season . . . I just don’t understand why the media, last year, kept making a big thing about Eli Manning starting for the Giants as the season wore on . . . cripe, let the kid play so he can learn . . . I still believe that Bill Parcells stayed with Vinny Testaverde too long instead of giving Drew Henson or Tony Romo an opportunity to learn . . .
- Jacksonville jumped on Matt Jones early . . . this will be a hit or miss pick . . . how many 6'6" white boys can run the 40 in 4.39? . . .
- Detroit got a steal of defensive lineman Shaun Cody in round two . . .
Friday, April 22, 2005
1. 49ers - the latest indicates Alex Smith – A. Smith, qb, Utah
2. Dolphins - they are blowing smoke by talking about Edwards . . . they go with a stud back - R. Brown, rb, Auburn
3. Browns - Cleveland needs a star playmaker . . . they get him - B. Edwards, wr, Michigan
4. Bears - Chicago needs a good running back . . . plus, with Thomas Jones there, the rookie isn’t rushed into the fracas - C. Williams, rb, Auburn
5. Buccaneers - Rodgers star has fallen . . . and Gruden is there to pick him up - A. Rodgers, qb, Cal
6. Titans - the team needs corners, but will get a familiar weapon for Norm Chow - M. Williams, wr, Southern Cal
7. Vikings - Vikes will try and move up . . . if Edwards is gone, they go defense - P.M. Jones, cb, West Virginia
8. Cardinals - if they make the trade for Travis Henry, they go cb here . . . if not, they go running back - C. Benson, rb, Texas
9. Redskins - there is so much talk coming out of Redskin Park who knows what is really happening . . . if they stay here with this pick, the choice is easy - A. Rolle, cb, Miami
10. Lions - "experts" have them taking Johnson from Texas . . . not so fast my friend - S. Merriman, dl/lb, Maryland
11. Cowboys - Parcells likes those guys from little schools - D. Ware, de, Troy State
12. Chargers - surprise surprise . . . look who is here - D. Johnson, lb, Texas
13. Texans - they go with best offensive lineman on the board - A. Barron, ot, Florida State
14. Panthers - John Fox loves defensive lineman to team up with Peppers - M. Spears, de, LSU
15. Chiefs - this is a perfect fit . . . the emotional Dick Vermeil needs defense . . . who better than this textbook kid whose motor is always going - D. Pollack, de/lb, Georgia
16. Saints - who knows which way this team is going? . . . T. Johnson, dt, Florida State
17. Bengals - Cinncy will love it if this guy is here - C. Rogers, cb, Auburn
18. Vikings - Tice missed out on a receiver earlier . . . not this time though - R. White, wr, UAB
19. Rams - it seems like they always need defense - D. Cody, de, Oklahoma
20. Cowboys - team needs a receiver . . . and this guy has slipped - T. Williamson, wr, South Carolina
21. Jaguars - they need help in the secondary - M. Jackson, cb, Michigan
22. Ravens - they lost Baxter to free agency . . . need to fill that hole - J. Miller, cb, Clemson
23. Seahawks - Holmgren will quickly snatch up this pass rush specialist - E. James, de, Wisconsin
24. Packers - they need help on defense . . . S. Cody, de, Southern Cal
25. Redskins - I’m going with what the talk is - J. Campbell, qb, Auburn
26. Raiders - they traded cb Buchanon earlier in the week . . . they go with this burner - F. Washington, cb, Nebraska
27. Falcons - Mora planned on going with defense, but he cannot pass up this kid - M. Clayton, wr, Oklahoma
28. Chargers - they went with a linebacker earlier . . . they might as well stay on that side of the ball - M. Roth, de, Iowa
29. Colts - defense!!! - T. Davis, lb, Georgia
30. Steelers - this is a perfect fit - M. Jones, wr/te, Arkansas
31. Eagles - they go with best player at his position - H. Miller, te, Virginia
32. Patriots - the Champs have some holes to fill . . . they go with a versatile player - D. Baas, ol, Michigan
Here is where I predict some individual players end up:
- Maurice Clarett, rb, Ohio State - 5th round - Seahawks or Cardinals
- Mike Nugent, k, Ohio State - 2nd round - Chiefs
- Walter Reyes, rb, Syracuse - 4th round - Steelers
- Charlie Frye, qb, Akron - 2nd round - Saints
Thursday, April 21, 2005
The Cavs meteoric fall from a playoff spot has obviously left a sour taste with Lebron James as rumors continue to swirl that he will bolt from his hometown team once he becomes a free agent in 2 years . . . we will now see if the Cavs are truly serious about winning a title or is this once again lip service from another Clevelander . . .
If the Cavs are serious about keeping Lebron and winning a championship, then they need to show it by putting down the money and committing to Phil Jackson . . . I don't want to hear names like Flip Saunders, Mo Cheeks, Jim Calhoun, etc, etc, etc . . . don't get me wrong, these are all good coaches . . . however, they don't bring that instant credibility like the name Phil Jackson . . . when you sign Phil Jackson then you make a statement to the rest of the league that you are committed to winning . . .
Money is not the only thing that will make Jackson commit to Cleveland . . . the Cavs ownership must also secure another quality player or two in order to help Lebron . . . Jackson is not coming to Cleveland if the owners don't promise to get him the parts he needs in order to win . . . Lebron himself cannot do it . . . over the last month it is clear that Lebron is the type of player who can take over a game -- but he also needs help such as a Scottie Pippen-like player who can score and play defense . . . Lebron is taking them as far as he can by himself -- he needs help which means the Cavs have to open the wallet . . .
When Cleveland drafted Lebron they had to understand that they have to spend not only on him, but for other quality players as well in order to keep him happy to stay in Cleveland . . . Lebron is not going to give the Cavs a "hometown" discount . . . ask the Indians if Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome gave them a "hometown discount". . .
The ball is in the Cavs court -- the best coach is out there for their taking -- but will we once again wait to see if another Cleveland sports team refuses to put up the money in order to make a full out effort to win a championship . . .
The clock is ticking . . .
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
- ESPN reports that the Redskins are hot for Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell . . .
- I think the 49ers are bluffing about taking Alex Smith at number one . . .
- Minnesota will not sit pat at number 7 because they covet either Braylon Edwards or Mike Williams . . .
- Someone is going to drop -- will that be Cadillac Williams, Pac Man Jones, or Cedric Benson? . . .
- This is the best draft in years because of the uncertainty . . .
- I'm not sold on Aaron Rogers or Alex Smith . . .
- Maurice Clarett will get drafted - why not? . . . I would gamble on the kid in the fifth or sixth round . . . you have nothing to lose . . . if he is a lunkhead in training camp -- you cut him . . . Clarett may be able to play in the NFL if he is in the right situation . . . it would be best for him to get drafted by a team far away from Ohio . . . he would fit well with Arizona because Denny Green is used to dealing with lunkheads (ala Moss) . . .
- Remember when Auburn's Aundray Bruce was the first pick of the draft . . .
- If the Browns draft Braylon Edwards, they will have two weapons next season . . . don't forget they also have Kellen Winslow . . . suddenly the Browns could become a bit dangerous . . .