Thursday, January 20, 2011



Written by: Mike in DA
Date posted: 1/20/2011



Much of local sports talk has become so bad, as it has been watered down so much over the last five years or so, that I don’t listen to it as much as I used to when I first came here in 1997. If I listened to it as religiously as HMW’s Lamont Mann does, my fingers would wear out from criticizing a lot of these guys.

On Tuesday night’s (1/18) Evening Show on SR610, Elvin Hayes was a phone guest with Barry Warner and Shaun Bijani, so you know that the name of former University of Houston coach Guy V. Lewis was going to come up in the conversation. People continue to say that Guy belongs in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.

As I’ve been saying at least once each year on my phone call-ins to radio stations when the topic comes up, Lewis will never be in that Hall.

Back in February 1963, when Loyola (Chicago) came to play UH, Lewis chastised Loyola coach, George Ireland, before the game for starting “four Niggers”. If that isn’t racist, then what is? This was documented on one of ESPN’s Sport Century shows about a decade ago. Lewis later did apologize to Ireland for what he said after his team lost the game.

I mentioned this on SR610 a bunch of times and asked Guy Lewis or any of his family members to call in and refute my comment. So far, I’ve never heard from his camp. Hey Barry Warner, how about having Guy or one of his family on your show as a guest to refute me.

Of course, you’re going to say that Adolph Rupp (1969) and others inducted into the Hall were racist, but they were inducted into the Hall of Fame in earlier years before all this PC (“political correctness” for the acronym-challenged) and diversity stuff came along.

Then you’re going to say that Guy was one of the first Southern coaches to hire Blacks (Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney). Well, he saw how good teams with Blacks, such as Cincinnati (1961 and 1962) and Loyola (1963) win NCAA Championships in those years and he didn’t want to get left out, so when UH opened enrollment to Blacks, Lewis got smart.

And talking about racism, Jeppesen Gym was “racist city” in the late 50’s and early 60’s when Black players on opposing teams came in. Just ask Oscar Robertson, Jerry Harkness, Dave Stallworth, and Chet Walker, just to name a few.


Earlier this week, there was a story and Green Bay TV station video on the Internet concerning Green Bay Packer QB, Aaron Rodgers, who supposedly ignored Jan Cavanagh, a cancer patient and big Packer fan at a terminal at Green Bay’s Austin Straubel Airport, as a group of Packers fans were seeing the Packers off to Atlanta last Friday (1/14).

The story in question was written by site editor, Mike Florio, in which he strongly criticized Rodgers for ignoring Ms. Cavanagh.

In the video, Ms. Cavanaugh explains that she has a pink hat that she hopes Rodgers will sign. And the very next shot shows Rodgers strolling by with buds in his ears and the demeanor that we often see from celebrities who are being pursued by the paparazzi.

Florio and many others cringed at this, but not the Peanut Gallery. The PG googled Rodgers’ name and saw several news stories and Packer fan forum posts praising Rodgers about his generosity and charity affiliations in Green Bay, so the PG gave him a pass on this story because he seemed like one of the good guys and nothing like Florio, bloggers, and sports talk hosts painted him.

But Florio and a lot of bloggers and sports talk hosts did what they all too often do. They criticized Rodgers without considering anything else about the other things he has done, both publicly and privately, over the years.

On Tuesday (1/18), the truth came out putting to sleep the absurd Florio/Rodgers/Cavanaugh story. Florio's character assassination was uncalled for and an embarrassment to blogging & sportswriting. Florio wrote a well thought out apology to Rodgers, Packers fans, and Jan Cavanaugh. That apology was classy.

Hopefully, this is a lesson to him, bloggers, sportswriters, and sports talk hosts everywhere to not jump to hasty and judgmental conclusions about athletes. Time will tell if that lesson has been learned and this kind of unnecessary attack doesn't happen again, but you know it will.

It's too easy to try to grab headlines and page views with sensational stunts and so-called journalism instead of taking the effort to search for truth and context. I applaud Florio's humility and being man enough to apologize after coming under heavy criticism. He did the right thing and now we can all move on and focus on football this weekend. GO PACK!

One of the topics coming up in two weeks on our local sports talk shows will be the voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If interested, you can google the 17 finalists (15 modern-era finalists and two senior nominees).

The Hall’s 44-member Selection Committee meets in North Texas on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, which is the day before Super Sunday. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent (35 votes for the mathematically-challenged).

Please note that ex-Oiler, Robert Brazile, is not on the list of finalists and will probably never be on the list. SR610 can sign petitions up the gazoo every year, but "Dr. Doom" is doomed from the Hall of Fame. There are still plenty of seniors who deserve consideration before him. He'll have to wait his turn until all those others get in, which may be a very, very long time (

I was reviewing the list of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There was one name on the list that made me stop and think more than any other name on the list: Ed Sabol.

Eighteen people in the Pro Football Hall of Fame are categorized as “Contributors” to the game. Team founders, owners, and former commissioners dominate that category. However, one name in that category is Hugh “Shorty” Ray who was the Technical Advisor on Rules and Supervisor of Officials from 1938-1952.

Ray is credited with “modernizing pro football” with innovations in the rules such as the creation of the hash marks on the field. He also added more officials on the field to reduce the violence of the game and to make it a sport that fans could appreciate. They came to see football not foot-brawl.

Well, if “Shorty’s” contributions to the game merit recognition, then I suppose that Ed Sabol’s contributions are just as important. (Please don't confuse Ed with his son, Steve, who is a co-founder of NFL Films.)

Ray modified the rules of the game and made it more appealing to fans; Sabol took the game and created a way to present it to fans in an entertaining way all-year round. Moreover, NFL Films really represents an audio-visual archive of the NFL for the vast majority of its existence. Obviously, Ed Sabol did not do this all by himself, just as no running back in the Hall of Fame achieved all of his yards and TDs by himself, but he had the vision and the persistence to make NFL Films what it is.

Ed Sabol definitely deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a “Contributor” to the game.


On Tuesday night’s Evening Show (1/18) on SR 610 with Barry Warner and Shaun Bijani, Dale who is a regular caller to the show used the term, “Nuts”, in his call, which is a reference to the response made by Brig. Gen Anthony McAuliffe to the Germans at the battle in Bastogne during WW2, when McAuliffe was asked to surrender his troops.

You may have heard the “Nuts” story before, but did you really believe he said "Nuts!" If someone asked you to surrender your troops and you were a general, is that the kind of response you would give? My eleven year-old might say that, but a fuckin’ US Army General? The Germans probably didn’t even know what the word “nuts” meant.

In a Spring 1954 interview that McAuliffe gave in his office to a group of ALOs (Air Liaison Officers for the acronym-challenged), McAuliffe was asked what he really said, and McAuliffe replied he wrote "SHIT" to the German delegation.

Just in case you’re not familiar with the story, a note was brought to the U.S. office command during the siege of Bastogne in December 1944. The siege was between American and German forces at that Belgian town, as part of the larger "Battle of the Bulge".


The note was read by McAuliffe’s chief of staff, Lt. Col. Ned D. Moore. The note said that the Germans wanted the Americans to surrender. Annoyed, the general tried to think of a suitably defiant and contemptuous reply and came up with: "To the German Commander, SHIT! From the American Commander", which was typed and brought to the German Commander by Col. Moore.

The story goes that the Germans didn’t understand the reply, so “Go to Hell” was sent back, with a promise to kill every German that attacked.

Obviously, when the historians came in to tell the story, ‘Shit” was sanitized for 1940s public sensibilities to “Nuts” because “Aw, Nuts” was one of the general’s favorite sayings, so that word was used in place of the actual response word.

And that’s the rest of the story, which puts another fictional urban legend to rest.


The NFL in conjunction with the Dallas Cowboys are going to sell standing room only tickets to the Super Bowl at $200 a pop, but not standing room in the stadium itself. These tickets will give fans access to an outdoor plaza adjacent to the fan plaza near the stadium. The two operative words there are “outdoor” and “near”. Being a skeptic, this sounds like paying to watch the game on TV from the stadium parking lot. I think I will pass on this opportunity.

These tickets will count in the Super Bowl paid attendance. The NFL released a statement affirming that the outside the stadium/NFL Fan Plaza tickets would count in the paid attendance of the game, which is significant if the team can sell 15,000 tickets or more to people willing to stand out in whatever weather Super Sunday brings. The old record was set in 1980 when 103,985 filled the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

Whether or not 15,000 people will loiter around outside Cowboys Stadium throughout the game remains to be seen, but I’m sure that Jerry Jones will find a way to sell enough of them, even if its just ‘on paper’ to break the record.

The team is billing it as the ‘Party on the Plaza’ which suggests they’ll bring in some drinks, food, and a DJ from a local radio station to better facilitate a ‘party’ atmosphere. ’Party Plaza’ attendees will also get a commemorative scarf, a program, and enjoy entertainment from the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The Cowboys have confirmed that these $200 tickets will initially be offered to Club Seat season ticket holders, who’ll be able to buy up to four tickets.

Beyond that, they haven’t released any plans to sell tickets to other ticket holders or the general public. The thinking is that if the season ticket holders aren’t buying them up quickly enough, they’ll do whatever it takes to get the 15,000 sold needed to break the record.

In any case, don’t be surprised to see some Super Bowl betting props on whether or not the game will break the aforementioned attendance record. With the outside standing room seats counted in the total, it looks all but certain that Jerry Jones will get at least one record out of the game being held in Dallas.

You may have read of, heard of, or seen on TV these things that you can buy called “Power Balance Bracelets”. Scientists have evaluated them and have said in more professional and scientific language that they ain’t worth a shit, as far as what they’re supposed to do.

Not fearful by such pronouncements, Arco Arena in Sacramento where the Kings play will become the “Power Balance Pavilion” as the Kings enter into a “strategic marketing relationship” with the company that makes these things that do not work. Included in this “strategic marketing relationship” will be “retail incentive programs”, which could mean that if you buy tix to the Kings you can get a discount on the dysfunctional bracelets or vice versa.

This seems to me to be a marriage made in Heaven. The Sacramento Kings, a team floundering in losing and futility, will play in an arena named for a product that doesn’t work.


1. Anyone remember just a few weeks ago when our local sports talk hosts were focused on which head coaching opportunities the “ring-bearing coaches” such as Billick, Cowher, Dungy, and Gruden would take? Unless some current coach gets dumped creating a new opening, the answer is that none of them will be taking a coaching position in 2011 and all will remain on TV. Any chance the hosts will go back and say anything like “my bad”!

2. Ted Williams - the homeless guy and not the headless one - is entering rehab soon after becoming nationally famous for his great voice. I do not know how many times he appeared on Dr. Phil’s show but appearing on Dr. Phil’s show is rarely a good idea. Who knows, maybe Williams views rehab as a place where he can go to get away from Dr. Phil. That would not be a bad idea.

3. Given the number of times the Auburn/Oregon BCS Championship game has been replayed, you might think that was the only dramatic moment of the college football season. Don’t forget that Alabama had Auburn down 24-0 and Auburn rallied to win that game. The second half of that game was equally interesting and exciting.

4. Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute. It seems as if the prostitute was only 16-years old meaning that LT will need to register as a sex-offender. You may recall the statements made by LT’s attorney early on in the matter that Taylor not only did not have sex with this teenager but that he did not have sex with anyone that night. Any chance we will hear that lawyer stand up now and say something along the lines of: Now Taylor says the girl told him she was 19. I wonder just how many times that defense/justification has been offered in statutory rape situations.

5. Several weeks ago, you may have read or seen on TV the story about the mass deaths of red-winged blackbirds that fell out of the skies over Arkansas. Investigators still don’t know what caused those thousands of birds to fall from the sky, but here is something else for investigators to consider. Last Saturday night, a flock of Atlanta Falcons, also red and black in color, also fell from their heights in a massive crash landing. Is there a color connection here? However, we know the latter were done in by a type of cheese disease.

6. The Patriots’ have beaten all four of the teams who will be playing this weekend. On a side note, during the 2010 regular season, the Washington Redskins beat both teams (Bears and Packers) that are playing in Sunday’s NFC Conference Championship Game.
7. Cam Newton’s decision to enter the NFL Draft this April is no surprise, but it has been suggested by some that he get a much more experienced agent to handle his deal with whoever drafts him than his father. Cecil Newton's savoir-faire in placing his son in a college creates more than a small doubt that Cecil could close a good deal with an NFL team. The good news for Cam Newton is that in negotiations with the NFL, it's okay to ask for “up front money”.

8. Last Friday (1/14), almost all the local talk shows made fun of Brett Favre’s younger sister, Brandi, who was arrested in a meth lab last week, as the Favre siblings continued their battle to see who could embarrass the family more. Actually, I saw that story as sort of a “Good News/Bad News” situation. The Bad News is that Brandi Favre was arrested in the proximity of a meth lab. The Good News is that she has not texted any pictures of her junk to anyone so far as we know.

9. Denver’s willingness to trade Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey or elsewhere has been full of snags and rumors. What we have here is a “Melo-drama” developing.

10. Last week here, we talked of the coaching carousel, including Jim Harbaugh's move from Stanford to the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners are hoping lightning strikes twice. Remember that Bill Walsh also came from Stanford to coach the Niners a little over 30 years ago. When you talk of teams with QB “issues”, imagine yourself as Harbaugh taking over in SF. His depth chart at the moment in alphabetical order since these guys seem interchangeable is David Carr, Alex Smith, and Troy Smith. I wonder if Harbaugh thinks to himself as he watches film that he could go out there and compete for the starting job against that crew. For the record, it is not a good thing when the coach thinks like that.



Yesterday’s Record ATS (excludes “pushes”): 7-2-1
Cumulative Season Record ATS (excludes "pushes"): 262-163

Today’s Action (for reading purposes only):


True to his word, Coach Paul Silas has unleashed the demons and allowed his team to run a little. In four of the first six games he coached this season, Charlotte scored triple digits. Bobcats’ best player had this to say about the firing of Larry Brown. Stephen Jackson: “At the end of the day, when you make a change like that it has the domino effect of getting everybody up and loving the game.” Interesting, but it’s more about loving their numbers. Brown won championships. Jackson won’t. But he can help beat Philly. You don’t have to be a champion to be able to beat Philly. CHARLOTTE, 107 - 94

DALLAS at CHICAGO* (Over 183)
Just about every team in the league is starting to get into a groove and they will pick it up a notch after the All-Star Game. Dallas got off to such a good start, but key injuries put them into a recent funk. Dirk is finally back for them, but the Bulls are on a cozy home stand now and they should go all-out here with Cavs visiting in 48 hours. CHICAGO, 105 - 101

The Clippers have lost their last four in the Rose Garden, covering once. Blazers were in Sacramento two nights ago, but have a nice stretch here with next four after tonight at home. Portland won the first two meetings with this team by a total of 19 points. PORTLAND, 108 - 100


FLORIDA (-13) over AUBURN*
Watch-charm Gator guards will be able to clearly see what they’re doing against this minimalist competitor, already looking ahead to next year. FLORIDA, 74-56

A pair of WAC bookends do battle, and while Tech tries, they don’t boast the athleticism or size to deal with this juggernaut. The best time to lay big numbers is when the favorite has demonstrated a consistent ability to score and win by cozy margins and the visitor, which in this case has traveled a long, long way, has few redeeming offensive qualities. UTAH STATE, 80-52


Give Badgers power points for putting away Illini contingent which has given them more trouble than most foes in recent times. Date with desperate Northwestern’s ahead, so look for even-keel, controlling effort against youngish foe at a loss when under pressure when away from Assembly Hall. WISCONSIN, 68-49



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