Friday, July 13, 2007

Quick Hits

The Beckhams have arrived in America.....I was reading this week that Posh Spice has promised that she will smile more so that Americans can see that she is more than just a woman with a constant the way, what was up with those provocative photos of Becks and Posh in W magazine?....

The New York Yankees have taken the first steps to give a contract extension to Alex Rodriguez....however, A-Rod’s agent Scott Boras is talking that Rodriguez has the chance to make $30 million a season.....WHAT!?!.....I like A-Rod and he is a helluva player, but he alone cannot carry a team to a World Series title which is being proven this year....I would like the Yankees to re-sign him, but there is no way I would pay him $30 million a year....nope!.....

Finally, I would like to acknowledge a good friend of mine down in North Carolina.....he sent me an email this morning that his dog Sanders died overnight.....some people may laugh and think it is crazy that some people get upset when their dog dies....their comment is always, “it’s just a dog”.....those are the people who don’t get it.....I know Sanders meant a lot to my friend and his fact Sanders was the one responsible for him meeting his wife....I have lost three dogs during my life and I will say, it is not I understand the sadness my friend is going through....Sanders was more than just a pet - he was a friend - he was family.....the photo is of Sanders and my friend’s son....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

College Football at its Best - The U - Miami Hurricane Football

It's another installment of "College Football at its Best".....and today we focus on The U -- the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes.....providing his thoughts about The U is Manny Navarro.....he is 29-years-old and has been a reporter at the Miami Herald since he was a 17-year old senior at Miami Braddock Senior High....he was born and raised in Miami and grew up a huge Miami fan in general....he wrote that his job is a dream come from true....he has covered the Hurricanes beat for two years now and has been running the Eye on The U blog for two years.....I want to thank Manny for his time - it is much appreciated....
  • Eye on the U

  • 1. Who would you take as the head coach to lead an All-Miami team - Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson (photo), Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, or Larry Coker - and why?
    Tough one and I'm kind of torn between Schnellenberger and Johnson. But beca
    use I believe the Hurricanes were at their best when Johnson was coach, I'll take Jimmy. Nobody really personifies what UM was during its most exciting period than Johnson. This was a man who not only recruited some of the best players in UM history, but loved to gamble on fourth down and really loved to take chances and maximize the talent he had. Yes, Erickson won two titles, more than any other UM coach. But he won his first one with Jimmy's players. And let's not forget how the Canes would have won another title in his last season in 1988 if not for a bad call at Notre Dame in a 31-30 loss. That Canes team by the way opened the season with a 31-0 drubbing of top-ranked Florida State, an thrilling come-from-behind win at Michigan, an 18-16 win at home against 8th-ranked Arkansas and a 23-3 blowout of Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Johnson basically had Miami ranked No. 1 or No. 2 going into its bowl game from 1985 to 1988. And he also knew how to put together a great staff. The choice is simple -- Jimmy.

    2. What is the greatest Miami football game that you have seen - whether it be in-person or on television? Explain the game and why it was so great.
    Wow. How in the world do you pick just one. If I could, I'd pick the entire UM-Florida State series and all of the Wide Rights and the Wide Left, the first national championship game in 1983, the
    2002 national title game (Yes, I know they lost to Ohio State, but what a game), the great comebacks at Michigan in 1988, against the hated Gators at home in 2003 and any of the big wins against Notre Dame, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

    But honestly, of all the great games to choose, I'd have to go with the 1998 home game against third-ranked UCLA. The Hurricanes were not ranked and had just lost 66-13 at Syracuse the week before. It seemed like for every step forward the program was taking under Butch Davis, a bad loss to Virginia Tech, Syracuse or some other Big East school was holding the Canes back. Then, UCLA walked into the Orange Bowl looking for a spot in the national title game. Edgerrin James (photo) ran wild and Miami won possibly its most important game on the comeback trail from scholarship reductions and the dreadful 5-6 season of 1997. The game was back-and-forth and while likely not the most exciting, the most meaningful because it helped net the recruits that would make up the 2001 national title team and put the Canes back on the map.

    3. Who do you hate more as a rival - Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech, or Notre Dame - and why?
    Another great question that is awfully tough to answer. For Mia

    mi fans, no team is honestly a better rival than Florida State. The games, the battles have always been classic. No two programs mirror each other more as far as the players are concerned. The speed is equal. The talent is usually equal. I think if you asked a Canes fan, they'd say their favorite rivalry is with Florida State because the Seminoles are really the only team Miami has played on a yearly basis for a long time. But the most hated? That's a whole 'nother topic.

    While Notre Dame is a program UM fans hated during the 1980s when the teams actually met on the field, Miami has not played the Irish since 1990. And while there will always be a special place of hate for Notre Dame, no team is more disliked than the Gators. Florida, now at the top of the college football world, ducked UM when it was on its own magical ride and backed out of the annual series because they didn't like get blasted by the Canes. UM fans took their beatings from Florida in the 1960s and 1970s and never liked the fact the Gators decided to take a step back after 1987 and only renewed the series in 2002 after UM had gone through its struggles in the 1990s. So, to most Canes fans, the most hated rival has to be the Gators.

    4. Since 1970, who are the five greatest players to wear a Miami uniform and why?
    At any other college football program, this might be easy to answer. But at The U? Home of the most first round talent-producing NFL school in the country. Good grief. First name that comes to mind is Michael Irvin (photo - right). The Playmaker was all that and a bag of chips. One of the greatest receivers in NFL history and a cornerstone of the 1987 national title team. Does anybody honestly bleed orange and green more than Michael? I don't think so.

    Second name that pops into my head is Vinny Testaverde. Quite possibly the best UM quarterback ever. Heisman trophy winner. Went 21-1 as a starter and has played for 20 seasons in the NFL.

    Next is Ray Lewis. If he doesn't get you excited to watch football. I'm not sure who will. He was a first-team All-American and honestly has become one of the best linebackers in NFL history.

    My next choice is Ed Reed. Probably will never be a greater playmaker on special teams and defense. Ed picked off 21 career passes at the U and returned five for scores. He produced turnovers and blocked kicks that led to 106 points and was a key factor on the 2001 defense which produced a record 45 takeaways during the national championship season. We all know what he is doing now with the Ravens.

    And finally, my last choice, is Edge. Edgerrin James started the recent run of talent in the backfield. He won two NFL rushing titles with the Colts and was responsible for what I think was UM's most important victory in its comeback from scholarship reductions, the 49-45 win against UCLA in 1998.

    5. Make your case why Miami football, as a whole, is the best football program in the country?
    I could sit here and try and convince you why UM is currently the best football program in the country. But the truth is, it is not. Right now, the Canes have a ways to go in terms of matching the long-established history of the Michigans, Notre Dames and Ohio States of the world and the current dominance of Florida and USC. But pound for pound at least in the last 25 years, no program has produced more talent or delivered more excitement and championships than the University of Miami. The five national titles since 1983? Unmatched. The 89 players taken on the first day of the NFL Draft? Unmatched. The 47 players taken in the first round since 1984? Nobody is with 15 of that number. The 12 top five finishes since 1983 in the Coaches Poll. Unmatched. There are other reasons. The 58-game home winning streak. The Orange Bowl, one of the best home-fields in the history of college football. The fans.

    But honestly, the reason the University of Miami is the best college football program in the country to watch is because of the swagger. I challenge you to tell me there has been a team more entertaining to watch in the last 25 years than the Canes. Who could have scripted anything like UM showing up to the 1986 Fiesta Bowl wearing battle fatigues. How about Randal "Thrill" Hill bringing out the pistols against Texas after running under the stadium after scoring a touchdown in a 46-3 blowout? How about 3rd and 43 followed by a bomb and a first down? How about a Ray Lewis or Sean Taylor knockout blow? How about Wide Right Part I, II, and III? How about Kellen Winslow's 'I'm A Soldier' speech? How about Michael Irvin's All About The U campaign? How about the backfield? Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Frank Gore? How about Devin Hester in the open field? Or Warren Sapp in the middle. I could go on and on. But the bottom-line is the University of Miami has owned the eyes of college football fans everywhere for the past 25 years. And I know I'm not the only one who can't wait to see what the next 25 years brings us....

    Once again I want to thank Manny for his time....on Monday, Penn State will be the featured football program...

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Unitas vs. Manning - Who's better?

    With the NFL training camps getting closer, Stiles Points will be featuring views of various bloggers and sports reporters about the NFL teams....what better way to start than with the World Champion Indianapolis Colts......BigBlueShoe from the blog Stampede Blue took a few minutes to respond to my two questions concerning who is the better quarterback Peyton Manning or former Colt and Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas....I want to thank BigBlueShoe for his time....
  • Stampede Blue

  • Q1. Who would you take as the all-time Colts quarterback Peyton Manning or Johnny Unitas?
    It is obviously very hard to compare the two men by today's standards. John Unitas created the modern passing game we have today. Because of that, and because you are asking this today (July 2007), I'll still say Unitas is the Colts all-time QB. However, in about 5 years or so, Manning will surpass Unitas in that category. It's funny, but before Unitas' untimely death, he never had good things to say about the Indianapolis Colts... unless he was talking about Manning. Unitas loved watching him play, supposedly. Now that Manning has won a Super Bowl, he is creeping up there and will soon surpass Unitas as the #1 Colts QB of all time.

    Q2. Where does Peyton Manning rank among the all-time NFL quarterbacks?
    Give me your top 10.
    All time? He is top ten, no doubt. Anyone who doesn't rank Manning in the top 10 is either a closet Patriots fan or an idiot (sometimes they are one in the same). Top ten:
    1) John Unitas
    2) John Elway
    3) Peyton Manning
    4) Otto Graham
    5) Dan Marino
    6) Fran Tarkenton
    7) Brett Favre
    8) Dan Fouts
    9) Steve Young
    10) Joe Montana

    You'll notice I rank someone like Steve Young slightly better than Joe Montana. The rankings are based on what the player himself brings to the table. Montana won 4 titles because he played on tremendous teams stacked with talent. He also played in the non-salary cap era, where teams (like the 49ers) could buy a Super Bowl. Unitas is still #1 because despite not playing in over 45 years, he is still ranked 10th in all-time passing yards. This man played in a league where they penalized you for throwing, yet still dominated. Peyton Manning ranks third because he simply is better than guys 3-10. He's more accurate, scores more, and works more with less than the other guys did.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    The American League has won nine of the last 10 All-Star games (the other game was the infamous tie).....put your money on the National League tonight.....they will win....

    What a great photo of AT&T Park that appeared on yesterday (above)...

    MLB started having honorary captains at the All-Star Game beginning in 1975....Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial were the first honorary captains....

    Willie Mays holds the All-Star record for most hits with 23....Mays played in 24 All-Star Games....Stan Musial has hit the most All-Star homeruns with six....

    With 51.6% of the baseball season complete, here are my mid-year awards.....
    American League

    1. Alex Rodriguez, New York - he has elevated his game to another level and has single-handedly won the Yankees at least 5 games....
    2. Magglio Ordonez - Detroit - a few years ago it looked like his career may be kaput after a serious knee injury.....
    Cy Young
    1. Chi Chi Sabathia, Cleveland - those red beans and rice have packed on even more pounds, but finally the big guy is fulfilling his potential....
    2. Josh Beckett, Boston - with Schilling’s bum shoulder, Beckett has stepped up to be the #1 pitcher in Boston....
    Manager of the Year
    1. Mike Hargrove, Seattle - who would have “thunk” that the Mariners would be in contention....has the award ever gone to a manager who quit in the middle of the season?....
    2. Bob Geren, Oakland - the A’s have not missed a beat with Geren....

    National League
    1. Jose Reyes, New York - he is the most dynamic and exciting player in the game....he is a game changer....
    2. Orlando Cabrera, Florida - New York stud David Wright gets all the glory at third base, but Cabrera is the better player....
    Cy Young
    1. Jake Peavy, San Diego - people are starting to recognize him as the best young arm in the game....
    2. Brad Penny, Los Angeles - Penny has been so consistent the last two years, but he gets zero respect....
    Manager of the Year
    1. Ned Yost, Milwaukee - finally the Brewers young talent is being harvested by Farmer Yost....
    2. Grady Little, Los Angeles - the Dodgers are right on track for another playoff run....

    In other tidbits, what is wrong with Fox football analyst Bill Maas?....the 45-year-old Maas was arrested this weekend in Peoria, Illinois and charged with drug possession and weapons charges....Maas was pulled over for a routine safety check and police found a .22-caliber revolver, 5 grams of suspected marijuana, 6 grams of suspected cocaine and 28 pills of Ecstasy....isn’t it time that Maas grew up and stopped acting like Pacman Jones or some other 20 something year old athlete....Fox Sports did the right thing by canning the loser....what a freaking waste....

    Did I miss something, but I thought war protestor Cindy Sheehan said she was done protesting and was going back to her home in the northwest?....then why is she now giving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an ultimatum that she better bring impeachment charges against President Bush or Sheehan will run against Pelosi for her House seat.....Sheehan is another whacko who says it’s not about her, but in the end, it is always about her.....also, Sheehan is back down in Crawford, Texas planning another protest.....well, maybe she would be a good politician since she flat out lied about not being involved in anymore war protests....

    Finally, the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa admitted to having an affair with Spanish-language TV anchor Mirthala Salinas (photo).....on June 8th, the mayor announced that he was splitting from his wife after more than 20 years of marriage.....the news was announced on Telemundo by none other than Salinas who was the anchor that night....

    Monday, July 09, 2007

    Dan Patrick Leaving ESPN

    After 18 yaers at ESPN, Dan Patrick will be leaving the station in August...

  • Dan Patrick Leaving
  • College Football at its Best . . . Georgia Bulldog Football

    The Georgia Bulldogs are the fourth football power that I am featuring in the series "College Football at its Best".....Kyle from the blog DawgSports took some time to respond to my questions about Bulldog football....he is 38-years-old and will be attending his 21st consecutive season-opener in Sanford Stadium on September 1st....from 1999-2004 he co-hosted "The Dawg Show" - a local cable access program that was devoted to Georgia football.....Kyle began blogging in July 2005 at KyleonFootball before moving over to SportsBlogs Nation in February 2006.....he is married with one son and has been engaged in the general civil practice of law for almost 10 years....I want to thank Kyle for his time - it is much appreciated....

  • Dawg Sports

  • 1. Is Herschel Walker the greatest college running back ever?
    Without question, the answer is yes. The Goal Line Stalker ranks ninth on the all-time N.C.A.A. rushing yardage list and the guys above him (Ron Dayne, Ricky Williams, Tony Dorsett, DeAngelo William
    s, Charles White, Travis Prentice, Cedric Benson, and LaDainian Tomlinson) all had four-year college careers, whereas Herschel spent only three years wearing the silver britches. (If you don’t believe me, you can look it up in the .pdf version of the N.C.A.A. record book. Appropriately enough, the data are on page 34.) Dayne’s record-setting 6,397-yard career at Wisconsin eclipses Walker’s three-year career mark of 5,269 by just 1,138 yards. (The next-best three-year rushing career belongs to Herschel’s contemporary, Nebraska’s Mike Rozier, who gained 4,780 yards. Rozier ranks 21st on the all-time list.) In statistically the worst season of his college career, Herschel gained 1,616 yards.

    Had the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner spent the 1983 season with the Georgia Bulldogs rather than the New Jersey Generals, he would have set a career mark somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,000 yards. Barring injury, four collegiate seasons of Herschel Walker would have established a record that not only would stand today, it would be unassailable, a high water mark for which there is no analogue to be found in college football. We would have to go to the realm of baseball---to Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak or Ted Williams’s .406 average in 1941---to find a sports record similarly untouchable. Some contemporary stars like Texas’s Cedric Benson and Memphis’s DeAngelo Williams benefited from the 2002 rules change that allowed postseason yards to count towards career totals. Had that rule always been in place, Walker would have tacked an additional 337 yards onto his collegiate tally by virtue of his three Sugar Bowl appearances.

    More important than that, though, is the fact that Walker did what he did in an era before supplements, before sophisticated weight training regimens, and before scientifically sound nutritional guidelines. What Herschel did, he did with God-given talent and personal drive. Add to that the fact of his great quality both as a human being and, even today, as an ambassador for his alma mater and it is clear that the Goal Line Stalker is without peer as college football’s greatest running back ever.

    2. What is the greatest Georgia football game that you have seen – whether it be in-person or on television? Explain the game and why it was so great.
    This was the toughest question for me to answer, because so many memories flooded into my brain as soon as I began to think about it . . . the 1980 Florida game (photo - below right of Lindsay Scott) . . . the 1981 Sugar Bowl . . . the 1984 Clemson game . . . the 1996 Auburn game . . . the 1997 Florida game . . .the 2001 Tennessee game . . . the 2004 and 2005 L.S.U. games . . .In the end, though, it came down to two choices. The best game I ever saw on television was the 2002 Auburn game, in which Georgia, down to its last gasp on a cold night on the Plains, called 70 X Takeoff on fourth down and connected on the touchdown pass that put the Bulldogs into their first S.E.C. championship game.

    The best game I ever saw in person came exactly one year later, when the Tigers came calling in Sanford Stadium looking for a little revenge. For the first time in a dozen years, Georgia beat Auburn between the hedges, handing the Plainsmen a 26-7 beatdown that was nowhere near as close as the score indicated. The Auburn rushing attack was limited to nine yards in the first half and the War Eagle was held in check throughout the day. David Greene handed off to Michael Johnson (he of 70 X Takeoff fame) on an ostensible reverse, but the Georgia wide receiver uncorked a 40-yard pass to Fred Gibson to set up a touchdown. What made this game so perfect was a play at the start of the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs were leading 19-0 but Auburn was driving and hoping to claw its way back into the contest. Jason Campbell’s would-be touchdown pass was tipped and Odell Thurman snagged it out of the air at the one yard line. 99 yards later, the Georgia linebacker rumbled into the end zone to put the home team comfortably ahead at 26-0. It was the most electrifying play I have ever seen from the stands, as Odell’s end-zone-to-end-zone rumble---which seemingly took half an hour---was accompanied by the shouts of 92,058 screaming fans, including me. When Odell scored, I felt like I’d run 99 yards.

    3. Who do you consider Georgia’s biggest rival – Auburn, Florida, or Georgia Tech?
    I probably tipped my hand a little with my answer to the previous question, but I will walk you through the explanation, just the same. The in-state series with the Yellow Jackets has lost much of its luster since Georgia Tech left the Southeastern Conference and Bobby Dodd retired. At one time, the Ramblin’ Wreck was the very portrait of stability, as the Golden Tornado had just three head coaches in the first 75 years of Georgia Tech football. In the 40 seasons since, the Yellow Jackets have been led by eight different head coaches, not counting the interim coach for the 2001 Seattle Bowl. That instability has cost Georgia Tech dearly and the rivalry has been diminished accordingly. I have been alive on the planet for 38 years and I have seen Georgia defeat Georgia Tech 28 times. As the old saying goes, “Georgia Tech fans think about Georgia every day of their lives, but Georgia fans only think about Georgia Tech when Georgia Tech is good.”

    As maddening as the Gators’ recent run of dominance in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has been, the Georgia-Florida series has always been streaky in nature. The Orange and Blue have won 15 of the 17 series meetings since 1990, but the Red and Black won 15 of the 19 series meetings from 1971 to 1989. The closeness of recent games suggests that the pendulum is swinging back Georgia’s way, especially in light of the Bulldogs’ 5-1 record against defending national champions since 1965. We’re proud to be Gator-haters, but a program whose tradition dates back to the 1890s cannot claim as its chief rival a program whose tradition dates back to the 1990s. That (dis)honor goes to Auburn.

    The Plainsmen are the Classic City Canines’ oldest rivals; the series dates back to 1892, when the two teams met in Auburn’s first game and Georgia’s second game . . . ever. Georgia has played Auburn more times than Georgia has played Georgia Tech and Auburn has played Georgia more times than Auburn has played Alabama. Since 1897, it quite literally has taken a World War to prevent the Bulldogs and the Tigers from tangling. The rivalry is heightened by the proximity of the schools and the extensive cross-pollination between the Deep South’s oldest enemies: Georgia’s most successful coach, Vince Dooley, went to Auburn and Auburn’s most successful coach, Pat Dye, went to Georgia. Each program has at least one of the other school’s alumni on the football coaching staff to this day. Finally, there is the quirky nature of the series. Auburn has a winning record (18-9) in the Classic City. Georgia has a winning record (13-9-2) in the Loveliest Village. The home team has won just three times in the last 15 series meetings and, more often than not, the higher-ranked team comes up short on the scoreboard.

    Thanks to the bizarre nature of this heated rivalry, the series is about as close as they come. In 110 showdowns between the two, the all-time score is 1,685 points for Georgia and 1,665 points for Auburn. Such is the stuff of which one of the great rivalries, not just in the history of the schools, but in the history of the sport, is made.
    By the way . . . I hate Auburn.

    4. Since 1970, who are the five greatest players to wear a Georgia uniform and why?
    I’ll play within the rules, but it should be noted that three of the four retired jersey numbers in Bulldog football history were worn by players whose collegiate careers concluded well before 1970. The fourth, of course, was Herschel Walker, whose status at the top of the list cannot be gainsaid, for the reasons provided previously, as well as others. During the Goal Line Stalker’s three-year career at Georgia, the Bulldogs went 33-3, never lost a conference game, captured three straight league titles, and won a national championship. The Red and Black’s losses during the Herschel Walker era came against Clemson in 1981, Pittsburgh in the 1982 Sugar Bowl, and Penn State in the 1983 Sugar Bowl. Those three teams finished those seasons ranked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 1, respectively, in the final coaches’ polls. Georgia was good; like no other player since Frank Sinkwich (photo), Herschel made Georgia great.

    Second place probably goes to David Pollack, the emotional leader of the Bulldogs’ 21st century resurgence and the only Georgia player other than the Goal Line Stalker to have been a three-time consensus all-American. After that, it starts to get a bit tricky. I’m not altogether convinced that at least two of the other three fellows in the top five aren’t on the Red and Black roster right now, but they haven’t earned their way onto the list quite yet. Likewise, George Patton, Jake Scott, and Bill Stanfill would have contended strongly for a spot in the standings, had the cutoff point been just five years earlier.

    With apologies to Boss Bailey, Buck Belue, Kevin Butler, Robert Edwards, Bill Goldberg, David Greene, Rodney Hampton, Andre Hastings, Rex Robinson, Lindsay Scott, Jon and Matt Stinchcomb, Richard Tardits, Hines Ward, Scott Woerner, and Ben Zambiasi, though, I’m going to round out my top five with Champ Bailey, Terry Hoage, and Garrison Hearst, in that order.

    Bailey was probably the most versatile player to have suited up for Georgia since Charley Trippi in the mid-1940s. In 1998, the year after Michigan’s Charles Woodson won the Heisman Trophy as a sometime two-way player, Champ was on the field for more than 1,000 plays as a cornerback, wide receiver, and return specialist en route to the Bronko Nagurski Award. Over the course of the 1998 campaign, Bailey racked up 49 punt return yards, 261 kickoff return yards, 744 receiving yards, 47 catches, 52 tackles, three interceptions, and five touchdowns.

    Hoage’s Georgia career overlapped with one of the three great periods of success in Bulldog football history, the Red and Black’s 43-4-1 run from 1980 to 1983. That was no coincidence. A two-time all-American both on the field and in the classroom, Hoage posted what was at the time the highest finish ever by a defensive back in the Heisman Trophy balloting, coming in fifth in 1983.

    Hearst revived Georgia’s “Tailback U.” tradition in 1992, when he finished third in the Heisman Trophy race. While averaging 6.8 yards per carry in his final year with the Bulldogs, Hearst set a new conference mark for rushing touchdowns in a single season (19) and capped off his career by being named the S.E.C. Player of the Year, the Doak Walker Award winner, and the Citrus Bowl M.V.P.

    5. Make your case why Georgia football, as a whole, is the best football program in the country?
    After 20 years of wandering in the wilderness, Georgia football has been restored to its rightful place in the college football firmament by Mark Richt, who guided the Bulldogs to four straight 10-win seasons, four straight top 10 finishes, two S.E.C. titles, and three Eastern Division championships. The totality of the Red and Black’s restoration is attested to by the fact that a nine-win season in which the Bulldogs lost a seven-point game to the eventual national champion and finished the season with three straight wins over ranked opponents now counts as a “down” year.

    Historically, Georgia has been a storied program, even if the Red and Black have not been celebrated widely outside the region. The Bulldogs have been victorious in the Cotton, Orange, Rose, and Sugar Bowls, something few other programs can claim. In addition to capturing a dozen conference crowns in what arguably is the toughest league in the country, Georgia has been at or near the forefront of college football on numerous occasions since making its first real national impact under Harry Mehre in the 1930s.

    Now, with a visionary young athletic director, an efficient and highly solvent athletics program, and the man who already is the third-winningest head coach in school history just six years into his tenure in the Classic City, the Bulldogs are poised to cash in on stellar recruiting and upgrades to the coaching staff, the facilities, and the schedule by clearing the hurdle that will make one of the great college towns and one of the most talent-rich states the home of the No. 1 team in the land. Count on it . . . by the time Georgia’s 1980 national championship team celebrates its 30th anniversary by being honored at halftime of the 2010 homecoming game, Buck Belue and Herschel Walker will not be members of the Bulldogs’ most recent national title-winning squad.

    Once again I would like to thank Kyle...on Thursday, The U - Miami Hurricanes will be the next football program to be featured

    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    The Sunday Baker's Dozen

    Sunday Fast Fact - Did you know the Major League Baseball All-Star Game began in 1933 as part of the Worlds Fair that was being held in Chicago. The idea of an All-Star game did not come from the braintrust of MLB, but from Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward.

    San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea does a one-on-one interview with Bud Selig..... "Q: Have you decided whether you'll attend Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run game? A: I have not yet. I'll do that in the upcoming weeks."....
  • John Shea

  • San Francisco Chronicle’s Michelle Smith writes how Giants broadcaster Jon Miller is getting a night off on Tuesday with the game being played at his home park - how will he spend it?..... "I gave my tickets to my brother, my dad and my son," Miller said."....
  • Michelle Smith

  • Carl T. Hall of the San Francisco Chronicle writes how AT&T Park was designed to keep the wind at a minimum.... "Fans and players can expect a relatively wind-free experience, at least compared with the ball field AT&T replaced: Candlestick Park, . . ."
  • Carl T. Hall

  • San Francisco Chronicle columnist John Shea has been busy writing....this small piece focuses on San Francisco Giants pitchers in All-Star games..... "Nobody was a more dominant All-Star Game pitcher than Juan Marichal, whose ERA was 0.50, the second-lowest among pitchers with at least nine innings."...
  • John Shea

  • Newark Star Ledger columnist Jerry Izenberg writes about how Larry Doby broke the color barrier in the American League 60 years ago... "Somehow baseball historians seem to act as though it all ended on the day Jackie Robinson came up the dugout steps at Ebbets Field, taking baseball's first grudging steps toward entry into the real 20th century.".....
  • Jerry Izenberg

  • New York Times reporter Joe Lapointe writes how former New York Yankees great Reggie Jackson is no fan of the upcoming ESPN series "The Bronx is Burning"..... "And they didn't have the decency to ask me a question," Jackson said. "Portray me when you don't know the story? Why would you do something like that and no one asked me?" ....
  • Joe Lapointe

  • The Albany Times-Union senior sports writer Mark McGuire writes how the Baseball Hall of Fame sent their diplomat - Jeff Idelson - to speak to Barry Bonds..... "Bonds keeps most of his memorabilia -- much of it on display at home in Beverly Hills, Calif., the rest cataloged in a San Francisco area storage facility."....
  • Mark McGuire

  • Pittsburgh Post Gazette sports columnist Chuck Finder writes how it could have easily been Junior Griffey breaking Hank Aaron's record.... "Were this a Griffey Chase, there inarguably would be more warm and fuzzy feelings for the hunter, so much so that Aaron and commissioner Bud Selig might never have hesitated to pledge their attendance.".....
  • Chuck Finder

  • Associated Press reporter Hal Bodley looks back on the great Willie Mays.... "When baseball's brightest gather in San Francisco for Tuesday night's All-Star Game, they'll bring along a buzz of anticipation, the kind of excitement that only the game's top players can generate. Willie Mays would know all about that."....
  • Hal Bock

  • St. Louis Star-Dispatch sports columnist Jeff Gordon writes that those who cheered Mark McGwire should hold their tongue when dealing with Barry Bonds.... "Don't come to the game dressed in a lab coat. Remember, most of you rallied behind Mark McGwire as he chased -– and broke -– Roger Maris' single-season home-run record. McGwiremania sucked in an entire region of fans.".....
  • Jeff Gordon

  • Louisville Courier-Journal sports columnist Rick Bozich writes how former Louisville and current Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino will have one major question to deal with when camp opens - Michael Vick.... "Will you solemnly swear that Vick is your quarterback? Will he still be your quarterback if federal authorities charge that he is connected to the extensive dog-fighting operation they believe was run on property Vick owned in Virginia?" ....
  • Rick Bozich

  • Minnesota Star Tribune reporter Rachel Blount writes how boxing trainer Calvin Williams has not let blindness stop him with help from a non-traditional boxer.... "When his sight abandoned him, so did most of the athletes he trained. Griffin and his 15-year-old daughter, Annie, stayed, penetrating Williams' darkness with the light of friendship and purpose.".....
  • Rachel Blount

  • New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick writes how sportscasters have their own on-air language.... "That's because normal people don't normally speak that way; only sportscasters, on the air, speak in sportscaster. Anywhere else and by anyone else, it's considered crazy talk."....
  • Phil Mushnick