By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while watching the University of Kentucky beat No. 1 (at the time) Michigan State. Was thorughly impressed with UK guard Tyrese Maxey. It is evident he loves the game because his smile is so bright they could play the game without lights.
—There are some in Chicagoland who wonder if new manager David Ross might be too close to some of the Chicago Cubs, many of whom were his teammates just a few years ago when he was a Cubs catcher. Can he be stern with them?
Said Ross: “If I would have been mic’d up for some of my conversations on the mound, they were rarely friendly conversations. The Grandpa Rossy thing is a little bit overblown.”
—QUOTE: From Joe Maddon, the manager Ross is replacing: “Try not to suck.” (Maddon had his players wear t-shirts with that ‘motto’ and, of course, it is good advice for anybody — but extremely hard to accomplish. We all suck at some point.)
—Maybe some day fans will hear about the Cleveland Browns winning a game instead of what color and style of cleats Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are wearing, what Jermaine Whitehead tweeted after a game and why Baker Mayfield shaved off the lower portions of his fu manchu mustache.
It appears the Browns locker room is a frat party right out of Animal House.
All that stuff doesnt hide a 2-and-6 record, more penalty yardage than the distance covered by Lewis & Clark and plays that look as if they were drawn with a stick in the dirt on the sidelines.
—QUOTE: From Nik Wallenda, high-wire daredevil who was the first to tight-rope walk across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon: “I’ve trained all my life not to be distracted by distractions.” (He knows if he makes on false step. . .)
—The Seattle Sounders play Toronto FC Sunday in the Major League Soccer Cup, kickball’s version of the NFL’s Super Bowl. One of Seattle’s owners is Drew Carey, host of TV’s The Price is Right. Hey, Drew. C’mon down.
And furthermore, Drew, as a Cleveland native can you possibly purchase the Cleveland Browns? But I’m not sure if the price woud be right.
—Where do you find a job that pays you $20 million to go away and do nothing? How about Tallahassee, Fla.? Florida State University hired Willie Taggart to coach its football team a couple of years ago — six years, $30 million.
After only a year-and-a-half they fired him in mid-season this year. The alumni and boosters wanted him gone so adamantly that they are paying the $20 million they still owe him.
—QUOTE: From former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz: “Coaching is nothing more than eliminating mistakes before you get fired.”
—(Holtz is the only college football coach to lead six different schools to bowl games and four different schools to finish in the Top 20. Holtz must have been The Great Eliminator. He was fired only once and that was at Arkansas under dubious circumstances. Some believe it was because former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, the athletic director who fired him, was expressing jealousy.)
—Ohio State and Georgia have scheduled home-and-home football games. But not next year or the year after or the year after that. The games will be played in 2030 and 2031.
As my awesome buddy Mark Schlemmer of WING said it, “The kids playing in those games are now in first or second grade.” (Geez, that means my great grandson, Liam, might play in those games.)
Ohio State and Georgia have only played each other once. It was in the 1993 Citrus Bowl, won by Georgia, 21-14. In fact, Ohio State hasn’t played an SEC school duing the regular season since 1988 when the Buckeyes beat LSU, 36-33.
—Playing Georgia certainly is about three steps up from playing Florida International or Miami of Ohio. And why would Miami want to take a 76-5 mauling? Miami was paid $1.3 million to act as tackling dummies. But as Miami athletic director David Sayler said, “Hey, we led at one point, 5-0.” And he took a photo of the scoreboard to prove it.
SOME OF MY FAVORITE college nicknames:
UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs (A nickname with ap-peel), Centenary Gentlemen (Yes, the women’s teams are the Centenary Ladies), Presbyterian Blue Hose (Why not Blue Sox?), Campbell Fighting Camels (It helps them get over the hump), Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (Are the women called Wonder Girls?), Texas A&M-International Dustdevils (Isn’t that a portable vacuum cleaner?), Youngstown Penguins (The last time a penguin was spotted in Youngstown, or even Ohio, was never. Couldn’t they at least call themselves ‘The Fighting Penguins?).
Webster University Gorloks (Huh? What’s a gorlok? Nothing. The school is at the corner of Gore and Lockwood in Webster Grove, Missouri), Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (Huh again. A chanticleer is a rooster if Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales.’), Saint Louis Billikens (Supposedly, the mascot resembles former Saint Louis football coach John Bender. Check out the mascot. That’s no compliment to Mr. Bender.), Stetson Hatters (Yes, the school’s first and biggest benefactor was John Stetson, manufacturer of the Stetson hat.), University of Akron Zips (because the zipper was invented in Akron, but the team mascot is Zippy the Kangaroo. That doesn’t sit well with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, whose nickname is Kangaroos.).