By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, all set to praise Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco for his game against the Los Angeles Rams. . .then he throws that late-game interception and one Browns fan within ear shot was heard to say, “He did that on purpose to help his old team, the Baltimore Ravens.” We Browns fans are a tough audience.
—NOT SWEET ON LOU: There are few things worse (Part I) than having a committee make an important decision.
Ask Lou Piniella.
For the second straight time, Sweet Lou received the sour end of a 16-person Contemporary committee’s decision. For the second straight time he missed making baseball’s Hall of Fame by one vote.
The committee elected just one person, former manager Jim Leyland and he received 15 of 16 votes. Yes, he belongs. I may be prejudiced because of my long-time association and friendship with Piniella, but dammit, he belongs, too.
Piniella won 1,835 games as an MLB manager and Leyland won 1,769. And Lou lost fewer games, 1,713 to Leyland’s 1,728. Just sayin.’
One quick story about Leyland, as told to me by PressProsMagazine publisher Sonny Fulks, who once was a minor league umpire and made it to Triple-A.
Everybody knows Leyland was (and maybe still is) a chain smoker, even puffing away during games in the dugout.
He was puffing during a mionor league game when he disagreed with a call. As Fulks put it, “He rushed on to the field, forgetting he had a cigaret in his hand. He stuffed the cigaret into his back pocket and commenced arguing. Then he headed back to the dugoout. . .and his pants were on fire.”
As for Piniella, man, those guys are not only not on the same page, they aren’t even in the same library. The decision was enough for Piniella to enact that Dierks Bentley song, ‘Get Drunk on a Plane.’
—QUOTE: From newest Hall of Famer Jim Leyland, who managed at Pittsburgh, Miami, Colorado and Detroit: “I knew we were in trouble on Opening Day when we lined up for the National Anthem and one of my players said, ‘Every time I hear that song I have a bad day.’”
—NOT SWEET ON FSU: There are few things worse (Part II) than having a committee make an important desicion.
Ask the Florida State football team?
What a travesty. The Seminoles went unbeaten (13-0) but the College Footballl Playoff committee said, “Nope. Not good enough. We’re taking two teams that lost a game — Alabama and Texas.”
One reason the committee said no to FSU was that it lost its two top quarterbacks. So what? A third-string quarterback led the Seminoles to a win over a good Louisville team in FSU’s last game.
How lame is that? Remember when Ohio State was playing with third-string quarterback Cardale Jones and the Buckeyes not only participated in the inaugural playoffs, they won it.
They said they are taking what they believe are the four best teams? If that’s so, they left out the best team in the country. Georgia.
—QUOTE: From Georgia Tech coach Brent Key on the CFP snub of Florida State: “As a massive fan of the game of football, I hate it for Florida State, I hate it for Mike Norvell (FSU’s coach) and I hate it for those players.” (I couldn’t say it better, Brent.)
—OF HIS OWN (Mc)Cord?: Is it so shocking that Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord entered the transfer portal with one year of eligibility remaining?
It leaves some questions:
^^^Is he leaving because some school is ready to make him a millionaire through NIL if he plays for them?
^^^Is he leaving because of the rampant rumors that quarterback Arch Manning might leave Texas and come to Ohio State? Manning is a grandson of former New Orleans quarterback Archie Manning and a nephew to former pro quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning.
One might say quarterbacking is in Manning’s jeans and genes.
^^^Is he leaving for the reason former President Harry S. Truman once said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” And McCord has to be scorched from the heat he received for not beating Michigan and having the last pass of his OSU career intercepted.
^^^Will he start in the Cotton Bowl against Missouri? (And isn’t it funny that Harry S. Truman is from Missouri?)
One thought: The Transfer Portal is dirtier than the bottom of a trash barrel, especially in college basketball. Some players end up wearing the colors of four different schools.Talk about mercenaries. Makes you wonder what some guys might do for a Klondike Bar? And they certainly aren’t familiar with Cyndi Lauper’s song, ‘True Colors.’
—QUOTE: From Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., on Kyle McCord’s departure (They were high school teammates and won three straight Pennsylvania state high school championships together):
“Love my brother man. What you dealt with and sacrificed this whole (season) to be out on that field when you didn’t have to, man no one could ever question your toughness and your willingness to give it your all for this team. A true team player. God has a great plan for you, brotha.”
—ON THE ‘AIR’: Another reason why Kyle McCord is on the run is a quarterback named Prentiss Air Noland. He goes by Air, the middle name on his birth certificate. . .and what a great name for a quarterback.
He is lefthanded, he is one of four five-star quarterback recruits in the county and he is coming to Ohio State.
As a junior at Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, GA., the 6-3, 195-pounder threw for 4,095 yards, 55 touchdown and only four interceptions.
Of his middle name, Noland said, “My dad was nicknamed ‘Air Jordan’ in high school. He played for the South Florida Explorers in Naples and wore Air Jordan (shoes). He was bald (like Michael Jordan) and was skinny. They started calling him ‘Air’ and he just passed it down to me. It’s on my birth certificater. I love my name.”
And look for him to ‘Air’ it out for the Buckeyes.
—HE WAS ‘THE SHOT’: Have you ever heard of Jack ‘The Shot’ Foley? If you haven’t, and you are a basketballl fan, you should know about him and his exploits at Holy Cross with another player with a great name. . .Togo Palazzi.
And here is a wonderful way to get acquainted. Pick up a copy of a book entitled ‘Jack The Shot Foley, A Legend For All Time.’
It was written by Mark Epstein, whom I met at the Charleston Classic, an amiable man who was associate director of the tournament and gave me the story about how University of Dayton’s fans saved the tournament in 2012.
Foley was a pure shooter and it was nothing for him to score 55 or more points in a game. The book is a fascinating read.
—QUOTE: This time we divert from Steven Wright to comedian Red Skelton, or is it from Clem Kiddlehopper or Heathcliffe: “I wonder where people in hell tell people to go?”
Now that sounds like Steven Wright.