There are only a few days left until the first Saturday of the college football season and SportsPickle is counting down the top stories of 2009. Today: No. 6, Terrelle Pryor.
There are only a few days left until the first Saturday of the college football season and SportsPickle is counting down the top stories of 2009. Today: No. 7, Joe Paterno.
There are only a few days left until the first Saturday of the college football season and SportsPickle is counting down the top stories of 2009. Today: No. 8, Big 12 Conference.
August 28, 2009 Column
Tweet of the Week
Tweet of the Week
From @alleniverson AKA NBA guard Allen Iverson
His gym teacher says he is one of the clumsiest children she has ever had in her 25 years of teaching. His Little League coach only plays him because the league requires it. And his father can't bear to watch any of his games.
Yet Eric Raglan loves sports.
And that's what is so sad.
"My favorite thing in the whole world is sports," said Raglan, 9, while sitting on the bench at his soccer game. "And I may not be the best now, but I know that if I keep working hard I'll be able to be a professional one day like Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning."
"It doesn't matter how hard Eric works, he's going nowhere in sports," said the boy's soccer coach, Sara McLain. "He struggles just to stay on his feet when he runs. He usually misses the ball when he tries to kick it. He's asthmatic. He has no vision, no natural aggression. He's got nothing going for him."
McLain says that at first day of practice, she actually thought Eric was physically disabled.
"I asked around," she said. "No, it just turns out he's the worst athlete ever."
Eric's parents have tried to steer his interests away from sports to anything that won't taunt his physical limitations his entire life.
"Music, art, science camps we've tried everything," said Eric's mother, Cathy Raglan. "We tried fishing. Turns out fishing is definitely a sport because Eric sucked at it. He kept hitting himself in the back of the head with the fly."
But the more people try to pull him away from sports, the more Eric is drawn to them.
"I love sports more than anything," he said. "And when I keep growing and get bigger and stronger, I'm going to be really good. You'll see."
Eric's father says he wants to apologize in advance to everyone his son encounters athletically along the way.
"Please know that I've done my best to steer him away from sports," he said. "I can't forbid him from playing. I can't do that to my son. But I can apologize to every rec league softball team he dooms, for every family reunion volleyball game he destroys and for every pool table he rips. I'm sorry. And I'm sorry for my son that he's destined to a life of heartbreak and disappointment."
The 2009 golf majors may be over, but Tour players didn’t go their separate ways for the off-season before first voting overwhelmingly to re-institute a ban on black players that was lifted in 1961.
“Look, black players have had 48 years to make their mark on the PGA Tour and it hasn’t happened,” said Mark Calcavecchia. “There is only one black guy on Tour. It’s not like we’re denying a bunch of people their rights. It’s just one guy.”
But while Calcavecchia and others paint the 179-1 vote – only Tiger Woods voted against the measure – as simply putting an end to a failed experiment, others see it as a desperate means of ending Woods’ domination over the Tour. Most notably, Woods himself.
“Obviously, they’re tired of losing to me all the time,” said Woods, who leads the PGA Tour in wins again this year. “They’ve tried to beat me in the past by doing stuff like Tiger-proofing courses, but nothing has worked. So they’ve resorted to something so pathetic and racist that it’s almost comical. Thing is – I’m not even half black. I’ve got a lot of Asian and Caucasian in me, too.”
Woods said he plans to circumvent the ban on black players in 2010 by playing up his non-black heritage, but one rival is very much against that tactic.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” said Vijay Singh. “I had to lobby pretty hard to not get banned. A lot of players want to get rid of me almost as much as they do Tiger because on the rare occasion he doesn’t win, I'm one of the few guys who is a real threat. But if he’s going to come in with that Cablanasian crap, he’s going to get people with any color in their skin banned. And then I’m out of a job.”
Phil Mickelson says he wholeheartedly supports a Tour ban on people of color.
“This is totally not about me repeatedly getting humiliated by Tiger Woods. Not at all,” said Mickelson. “This is only because golf is a game rich in history and tradition. And the history of this game is whites-only. There’s even more history of whites-only in golf than there is a history of me getting beaten by Tiger Woods, if you can wrap your head around that.”
Woods says that if he doesn’t play next year as non-black or fight the ban in court, he will start up a golf tour of his own.
“Me, Vijay Singh, Michael Campbell, Camilo Villegas, Anthony Kim, some of those South American guys who smoke all the time – would you rather watch that group on TV on a Sunday afternoon,” said Woods, “or a bunch of dorky country club crackers hacking away? And I say ‘crackers’ with all due respect. In fact, sometimes I refer to myself as a Crackblanasian.”
August 28, 2009 Column
Stuff You Might Have Heard
Scheduling mix-up forces team to take games two at a time
Despite their desire to take games one at a time, a scheduling error in their league is forcing Central Dallas High School in Dallas, Tex., to take games two at a time.
“I always stress to my players to take them one at a time, bring their A-game and give a total team effort,” said head coach Mike Desalves. “But because of some error with the league's scheduling program left us with two games every Friday night, we’re having to split the team up and take them two at a time. It’s really messed with my all-cliché coaching approach.”
Desalves says his team is handling the adversity well, however.
“They’re giving 110-percent,” he said. “They’ve stepped up and made plays.”
DRAFT: Kevin Walter, WR, Texans While Andre Johnson will draw double teams on the opposite side, and with Steve Slaton drawing attention out of the backfield, Walter will get plenty of opportunities to put up big numbers in Houston's high-octane attack and should easily improve on last season's totals of 60 receptions, 899 yards and and 8 TDs. We're talking numbers akin to the best years of I don't know Ed McCaffrey? No. How about Ricky Proehl? No, still not a good comparison. Brandon Stokley maybe? No. Not even close. You know, Walter may force me to break the cardinal rule of sportswriting this year and compare a white receiver to a black guy. Whoa.
There are only a few days left until the first Saturday of the college football season and SportsPickle is counting down the top stories of 2009. Today: No. 9, Michigan.
In Rick Pitino's first press conference following the news about his restaurant tryst, he invoked 9/11. In his latest press conference, he tried to shame the media for focusing on his story "on the day Ted Kennedy died" and said the media coverage of his dalliance and subsequent "health insurance" payment has made life "pure hell" for his wife.
A new SportsPickle play examines what Pitino's press conferences might look like this season.