Archive for the ‘Rumor Mill’ Category

A summer plea for college sports

July 6, 2009

Nobody needs to see this

I thought I’d take a quick look around this morning to see how college sports blogs are handling the dry “boys of summer” months.

How’d it go?  Er, make your own calls.

Take a look at Rocky Top Talk’s Jimmy Clausen fashion exposé… if you dare.

Over at EDSBS, examined are the merits of Ben Franklin, The Kool Aid Man, Fried Chicken, Evil Knievel, coitus with old ladies, and Raising Arizona.  Yeah, I don’t know either, but it made me feel a little more patriotic than I was before I read it.

We Want the Lion takes a look at tailgating games, so that you may be more prepared the next time you go to Lowe’s (and with plenty of notice no less).  Washers, Ladder Golf, and (our favorite) Cornhole are covered.  All of which can be built in your garage with PVC, 2×4’s, plywood and elbow grease.  If you are the type of pretentious jerk that buys them pre-made, steer clear of our tailgates this fall or risk wearing the residuals of a Jack & Coke on your Lacoste shirt and croakies.

I’ll keep looking around the web in search of College Sports news for you guys as we plug through the humidity and dial in to August.

Happy 6th of July, all.  May your weekend hangovers end promptly before dinner tonight.  And let’s all pray the hillbillies a block down from me have finally extinguished their 2009 firework allotment so I can watch baseball outdoors in peace tonight.  Assholes.

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Bruce Pearl engaged to Tennessee woman

May 4, 2009
Pearl and Miller (center) at the Knoxville Symphony league in June of last year. (knoxnews.com)

Pearl and Miller (center) at the Knoxville Symphony league in June of last year. (knoxnews.com)

The news today out of the Big Orange Caravan stop in Sevierville, TN is that UT’s BP is engaged to the local Brandy Miller.  Speaking on the news and last month’s speculation regarding the Memphis coaching vacancy, Pearl noted, “If you think I’m leaving that for Memphis, you’re crazy.” (emphasis assumed)

I found the photo above from June 2008 here.

You’ll all recall that after his 2007 divorce, his ex-wife Kim setup a beauty salon in Knoxville called Alimony’s (video here).  And business is good.

No word yet on whether Miss Miller will be opening a business called… yeah, I’m not gonna make that joke.  Best wishes to BP and Miller.  The sweetest setup in Knoxville just got a new resident and the quest for the Elite Eight can continue.

Photo knoxmag.com

Photo knoxmag.com

[Tennessean] [KnoxMag]

Thanks to Smooth for the heads up on the story.

Can This Actually Be Happening?

April 16, 2009
Brady...Harbaugh...Grbac...Henne...This Guy?

Brady...Harbaugh...Grbac...Henne...This Guy?

Irony hates me.  It absolutely wants to watch me squirm and burn in hell.  When all of you were ripping on Greg Paulus for the last four years while he flopped around Duke, I was trying to take the high road.  “He’s the type of guy you hate to watch play for someone else, but if he were on your team you would absolutely love him… He’s a coach’s dream.”  Yeah, whoops.  ESPN relays this quote,

“There has been an opportunity given there,” Paulus said Thursday morning on a conference call with reporters. “I thought it was a really good visit. It was really helpful to get to be on a campus and meet with coach [Rich] Rodriguez and see the system and understand what types of opportunities are out there.”

Now, as a Michigan Football fan, I am forced to come to grips with myself.  Can I actually root for this tiny bastard?  Hmm… do the numbers 3-9 mean anything to you?  Look, if the guy can win the Wolverines some more games, I could care less how many times he was getting dunked on in Cameron Indoor.  And as hard as it is to say, the guy is a hell of a leader.  He has played on some of the lesser Duke teams, but that’s still not an easy job to have.  Then, when forced into a backup role midway through this past season, he took his demotion gracefully.  So, I guess I’ll support the little guy.  What the hell else do Michigan fans have to lose?  10 games in a season?

[ESPN]

Think about it… it makes sense

April 2, 2009
Get used to this--and the gutter--vol fans

Get used to this--and the gutter--vol fans

Take a big step with me here.  Let’s make plenty of assumptions.  Let’s assume Bruce Pearl isn’t as loyal as he’d want the Big Orange to think and just evaluate the purported offer on the table.  Let’s assume he got his audience with Memphis higher-ups and the FedEx CEO.  Let’s assume somewhere in East Memphis is a nice country club.  You still with me?

WMC in Memphis is reporting U-Mem has offered BP a $21 Million dollar, 7-year deal. 

How could he not take it?

You get to take a step down in competition.  The SEC East sure as hell didn’t get any easier with the 2 highest-paid coaches in the game currently planning for the ’09-’10 tourney. 

Memphis just won about 145 straight conference games, en route to consecutive top 2 seeds (read, a much easier path to a Final Four).  And as my bud Smooth points out, Memphis is a basketball school.  While UT is toiling in the land of never-been-past-the-sweet-16, Memphis just played for a National Championship 2 seasons ago.

And that was far from their first taste of success.  The Tigers have banners for 3 Final Four appearances and 2 National Runners-up.

Hell, if not for having to live in or around Memphis, even I’d take that job, and I hate Tiger Blue.

So it’s settled then.  Pearl to Memphis.

Now who’s his replacement on Rocky Top?  Usually, I’d let 2SL take this one, but it’s my alma mater, and I want to take a first guess.  Follow me to freedom.

(more…)

Afternoon Wake Up Call: It’s Almost Over

March 31, 2009

wakeupKentucky basketball has been everywhere recently.  From the WWL to UK message boards and fan sites, the Interwebs have been abuzz with UK’s men’s basketball coaching search.  It all kicked off Friday afternoon when Billy Gillispie was officially shown the door by UK.  Since then the server for about every UK blog, fan site, and even many actual news outlets have been shitting all over themselves.

The big question remains: who will replace Gillispie at the helm?  Most reports have John Calipari of New Jersey Nets fame.  In fact, the ever-reliable Wikipedia already has him as the head coach (as of the time of this post).  ESPN still has Coach Cal as undecided so we’ll go with that today.

One thing that is absolutely true is that Cats fans are salivating at the idea of having Calipari on the sidelines next year.  A potential first ten of Wall, Meeks, Miller, Orton, Patterson, Hood, Harris, Stevenson, Galloway, and Cousins would make any fan smile.  That appears to be a strong possibility if Lee Todd and Mitch Barnhardt do indeed tap Calipari for the head man job.

There’s not much to say about this that hasn’t been discussed but let’s think for a moment what would occur if Calipari does get the job.  First, the UK-UL rivalry would ratchet up another notch as the old Memphis-UL rivalry was pretty heated when they were CUSA opponents (they’re even in a commercial together).  A second rivalry is the UK-UT showdown.  Bruce and John had turned the Memphis and Tennessee face-offs into serious games.  Just two years ago the teams were ranked #1 and #2 in the nation and playing on ESPN.  There appears to be no love loss between these two men either.  So UK’s main rivalries could be getting another shot in the arm with the addition of Calipari.

In other news (yes, there is other sports news) baseball kicks off in less than a week.  This particular blogger could not be more excited.  In fact, the old MLB.tv account will be paid up tonight to avoid any last second rush on Monday.  Can’t miss the A’s (and Tigers) first games now can we?

On the A’s front, young pitching is the name of the game.  It appears that all 5 members of the opening day starting rotation will be 25-years-old or younger.  That sure as Hell makes a guy feel old when his entire starting staff is younger than he is!  The off season acquisitions of some big name position players should give the youngsters some time to settle in, and even if they don’t there is a stable full of arms down in Sacramento just waiting for their opportunity.

The Tigers want to show everyone that 2008 was an anomaly.  With one of the best lineups in baseball again this year, and a heatly Sheffield, the Tigers will look to score in bunches again.  Offseason acquisitions of Jackson and Lyon will help push the pitching over the hump as well.  Don’t sleep on the Tigs in the AL Central this year as that race will be hotly contested again in 2009.

The Final Four also kicks off this weekend.  Give me UNC to hold off Jay Wright and his band of midgets.  Then give me Roy Boy to take down the sleigh dogs.  Just a hunch.

Our favorite thing today is going to be Pizza Hut.  This is only because it is about to be my dinner and absolutely no other reason.

That’s all for today folks.  Go out and enjoy the weather before the rain gets here.

NOTE:  While typing this ESPN has reported Calipari will take the UK job and Sheffield was released by the Tigers.  The sports world has gone nuts in the last 15 minutes.

In Defense of My Coach, A UK Fan’s Perspective

March 26, 2009

billyglastRumor around these parts is that it’s a done deal.  Billy Clyde Gillispie is hittin’ the bricks.  That’s what nearly every journalist, blogger, and fan with an opinion seems to be saying.  We’ll find out tomorrow, when the University has their press conference, what the final decision on Coach G’s future with the University of Kentucky will come down to.  For tonight he’s still our coach, and I want to say a few things about that.

Two years ago Kentucky was relieved of a good coach.  Tubby Smith said goodbye to the Bluegrass and went far, far North.  Most media outlets will say he was run out of town, pitchforks blazing.  That may or may not be true.  To me, the man looked tired and ready to move on.  I was one of the ones championing his departure.  Partly because I felt he had grown very Fulmer-esque in his approach to the game.  He could still win 20 but he wasn’t going to win another championship.

Be that as it may, the Big Blue went out on the wire and tried to hire their Prince-in-Waiting. Billy Donavon.  The courtship wasn’t quite enough for a coach coming off two national championships so we “settled” for a coach that was the most basketball oriented mind we could find.

That’s how Billy Gillispie was presented to us.  No one in the state knew much about the Texan at the time.  All everyone knew was that he lived, slept, and sweated basketball from the time he awoke every morning until the time his exhausted head hit the pillow every night.

The honeymoon wasn’t the classic story of romance.  Conduct rumors swirled before the first game was played and an early tenure loss to Garner Webb sealed Billy’s fate in many UK fan’s mind.  I still hear the argument from fans that “we shouldn’t be losing to the VMIs of the world.”

He prevailed though, in the 2008 season, by getting senior guards to get on board with his dogged work ethic and bruising style of play.  Any fan that doesn’t think the man can make adjustments should take a long look back at last season.  In particular, fans should take note of how he learned to take the handcuffs off Bradley and Crawford and let them reign free at times.

We all know that’s not his style and we saw some of that again this season.  Miller, Liggins, Galloway, and a whole host of other players looked scared to commit to moves this season.  A lot of that has to do with coaching, but a lot of that has to do with young men realizing that they have played this game a long time and they have to trust in their abilities.

In the end I will defend the man we call coach (if only for another 10-15 hours).  Kentucky fans got what they wanted in a hard working coach.  Someone who would bring in some talent (Orton, Hood, and others would potentially be on board for next year), and someone who would work as hard as they possibly could to win games for this University.

Could he have made more adjustments, handled his personnel differently, ended up with a few more W’s on that record?  Of course he could have.  Any coach could.  Ask any coach worth a damned how they could have won any game and they’ll begin with “we could have done x, y, and z better.”  Billy Gillispie certainly does that, and anyone who doesn’t think he doesn’t lose sleep over losses to Louisville, South Carolina, and LSU this year is crazy.

When the dust settles, if he’s gone, no one will be able to say Gillispie didn’t give everything he had for this team.  He may not be the most polished, the most prone to change, or the most lovable man to ever walk the sidelines, but he gave everything he had to this team the past two years.  Isn’t that all we ask from our players at any level (professional included)?  Why should the coach be any different?

California Pederast Arrested

February 4, 2009

calif_2slThe only thing this has to do with sports is that a college softball team was practicing.  The only thing that this has to do with this web site is that 2SL will be doing 18 months in a Southern California pen.

Via Deadspin

            “While retrieving books from her car parked next to his, she saw him in the driver’s seat, committing the lewd act with his shorts down.”

The 4 Keys: Vols-Memphis Preview

January 24, 2009
JP Prince had a breakout game in Memphis last year.

JP Prince had a breakout game in Memphis last year.

Saturday afternoon, the Memphis Tigers roll into Thompson-Boling Arena understandably still irked at the Vols.   Around this time last year, Bruce’s boys from the East gave Memphis its first (and one of only 2 total) loss last year.

Calipari ranted and raved all off season about Bruce and his recruiting of Memphis, going so far as to say that Bruce not bother sniffing around the city, because anybody John wants, John gets.

Leslie McDonald then immediately signed with UNC.

This year, he still hasn’t cooled off much.

John Calipari was asked this week to describe his relationship with Tennessee men’s basketball Coach Bruce Pearl.

“We coach in the same state,” Calipari deadpanned.

He quickly noted it was said mostly in jest — key word: Mostly.

Pearl, to his credit, keeps stoking the fire, “My thing with John has always been his contention that this series does more for Tennessee than it does for Memphis.  I try to remind him from time to time that Tennessee does hold the all-time advantage (12-7) in the series and that it’s good for both teams.”

So what are we looking at on Saturday, other than another bruiser of a budding rivalry matchup?  Let’s take a look at the 4 keys after the jump. (more…)

Early returns on the MLB Network

January 5, 2009

mlb_networkJanuary 1 marked the debut of the MLB network on (some of) the major cable and satellite carriers around the country. Personally, it is not available on my particular TV network, but I’ll be changing that soon enough, dumping my regional-sports blackout-happy cable provider and moving to DirecTV where it is available–along with most Vols games on SportSouth.  The network claims to be available in 50 million homes, currently.

I thought I’d take a look around Blogfrica this morning and see how MLBN is being received.

The main focal point of the network so far is its baseball-only version of ESPN’s SportCenter called Hot Stove featuring Harold Reynolds, Barry Larkin, and Al Leiter.  The show is aired from Stuido 3 (honoring The Babe) and has a simulated indoor baseball field for demonstrations called Studio 42 (honoring Mr. Robinson).

More winter baseball televiewing after the slow-roller to third… (more…)

Kiffin Commentary; week four

December 22, 2008

In this installment following the first days of new Volunteer head coach Lane Kiffin, there is plenty of excitement, more commitments… and of course a few more jabs at Ol’ Stevie Carolina.

On the heels of naming Tampa Bay D-Coordinator Monte Kiffin to the same post at UT, many expected that some of the country’s defensive talent would start lining up to play for him.  Few of us thought that would start happening before Pops Kiffin moved to Knoxville.  Well, it has.  Sarasota D-Tacke Arthur Jeffery has committed to UT over South Florida.

It was between USF and Tennessee, but when I heard that Kiffin was going to run the defense it flipped them ahead,” Jeffery told media representatives when announcing his choice. The decision is non-binding, but Jeffery says UT is who he will sign with on Feb. 4.  “It’s solid as a rock… Coach Kiffin was the key for me. There is something he brings to the table that makes his players play better and I want to find out what it is.”

Kiffin wasted little time taking another inside jab at the ol’ ball coach, bringing up (what seemed to me to be unprovoked) Spurrier’s comment on the recruitment test… again… before the UT Hoops game Saturday.  Kiffin mentioned that he’d scored a 39/40 and wondered aloud what Coach Spurrier had scored himself.  Spurrier took the bait yesterday.

“I have always passed it,” the South Carolina coach said Sunday. “I know he’s smarter than me. There’s no question about that. I barely graduated from college. I know I’m not the smartest guy out there. No big deal.”

This is going to get fun!

In that same discussion, he made a few comments regarding returning players that sound on one hand, quite genuine, and on the other, like a national recruiting broadcast for ’09 seniors.

 “We don’t have a depth chart. We don’t know anything about these guys is the way we’re going into it. We’re watching film to evaluate just to understand their athletic ability but not to evaluate them on what they were doing in the scheme. This spring is going to be huge for these guys. They’re going to get a great evaluation period through spring ball and the spring scrimmage. And then after that in the fall we’ve got to push these incoming guys, these great freshmen, right to the front and see who can stay up there and be championship players for us.”

This week in Kiffin Cover 2 watch.  Still not good.  41 points, 370 yards, River was 31-41.  Let’s hope that’s due to his impending departure and not a sign of his impending coaching ability.

Til next week.  Happy Volidays! (boo)

 [TriCitiesSports] [WVLT] [WRCB]