By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, remembering seeing George H.W. Bush, after his presidency, sitting behind home plate at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, wishing I could go say hello but knowing I’d be throttled and handcuffed by those four guys in dark suits and darkened sun glasses always seated behind him.
—Right away, Bengals fans were in a frenzy, believing Urban Meyer might be the next head coach.
Uh, as Lee Corso likes to say on GameDay, “Not so fast, my friend.” The man is quitting because of severe headaches. He doesn’t need that exacerbated tenfold.
It should come as no shock, not even a surprise, that Meyer is retiring, with an assist (acyst) from the cyst on his brain that threatens his health. It was evident on the sidelines during games that Urban was in pain, a pain that wasn’t necessarily caused by the Purdue game. They say stress makes it worse and there is no more stress than what Meyer went through this season.
He leaves an outstanding coaching legacy, a big winner at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State.
When he was offered his first head coaching job at Bowling Green, he was an assistant coach at Notre Dame under Lou Holtz.
He told Holtz, ”Well, I don’t think it’s a good job and I’m not going to take it.”
Said Holtz, “Urban, it’s not a good job, if it was a good job the other guy would still be there. Bad jobs are the only ones that open up. You take a bad job, you make it a good job and if it wasn’t a bad job why in the hell would they hire you?
“Then he takes the Bowling Green job, and the rest of it is history,” said Holtz.
—Love this unsolicited take from Ohio State basketball coach Chris Holtman during a post-game press conference:
“I have one more thing to say. There are a few things I don’t understand in life. I don’t understand why airlines overbook their flights when they know how many seats they have. I do not understand that.
“I don’t understand why Rocky III didn’t get an Academy Award nomination. It’s a heck of a movie. It’s a fine film.
“And I can’t, for the life of me, understand how we are No. 6 in the final football poll. I don’t get it. I’m out.”
–So there are three undefeated teams in the football championship series (Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame) and a one-loss team (Oklahoma).
To avoid all the controversy surrounding the fourth spot involving Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio State in the football playoffs, why didn’t the committee really stir it up and include Central Florida to make it an all-unbeatens playoff?
After UCF went unbeaten last year and wasn’t included in the playoffs, the school hung banners in its stadium proclaiming itself as ‘National Champions.’ And you can wager your lunch money they will do it again.
—Is this a positive? While Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw three first-half interceptions, he did throw for 396 yards and Houston’s Sack Pack, led by J.J. Watt, didn’t sack Mayfield one time. You take your positives where you find them, right?
—A man wearing a blue jacket with a white ‘K’ on the breast in Kroger failed to see my humor when I asked him if he bagged groceries. Yeah, I knew he was a University of Kentucky fan.
—When Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers led his team from a 16-point deficit Monday night to a 33-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was the seventh time Rivers led his team from 16 or more points behind to win a game. That tied Peyton Manning for the most all-time.
That’s one less 16-point comebacks (7) than Rivers has children (8), but he and his wife, Tiffany, are expecting their ninth, two short of a full team.
And speaking of kids, former San Francisco Giants infielder Tito Fuentes was upset after he thought the Reds were throwing at him and said, “They shouldn’t throw at me. I have five or six kids.”
—Anybody remember The Beastie Boys? I still laugh when I hear a line from one of their songs: “There’s more to me than you’ll ever know, and I got more hits than Sadaharu Oh.”
—And this tweet on The Billy Hamilton Botchery from one of my all-time favorite baseball writers, Jayson Stark: “The irony of the Cincinnati Reds non-tendering Billy Hamilton: I can think of at least four teams in the last two or three years who thought they had agreed to a deal or trade for him. . .Giants, Indians, Mariners Royals. . .but the Reds reversed course on all of them, presumably because ownership loved Billy and end up with zilch.”
Several teams, indeed, thought they had a deal for Hamilton only to have CEO Bob Castellini undo it. That’s why it is so strange that he would agree to let his front office kick Hamilton out of the clubhouse without so much as receiving two broken bats and a used catcher’s mask for him.
—Sports memorabilia collector Steve Wolters owns the original scouting report a Cincinnati Reds scout turned in on Ken Griffey Jr. when he played at Cincinnnati Moeller High School.
Part of the report said, “He is close to being major league ready right now but he does have a slight uppercut in his swing.” Well, duh.
—After watching so many blown and missed calls during Sunday night and Monday night NFL games, what Scott Russell wrote rings oh so true: “Regardless of one’s rooting interests, I’m thankful Sunday night’s NFL officials are not air traffic controllers.”