Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Meet My Roommates

My roommates over the years. I guess my brother was my first roommate, first on Wimbush and later on Kathryn Drive.

1977-1978 North Island Drive in Sandy Springs, I lived in Aunt Martha's baseball without a roommate. Every night for dinner I'd eat a Ken's frozen pizza. Sometimes I'd add extra cheese. Breakfast was cereal and milk. Once I tried powdered milk to save money. No thanks.
1978-1979 Tempo Trail Apartments in Chamblee - the Fox Pad. Roomies Wayne "Small" Smith from Kentucky, Don "Cuz" Sells from Chattanooga, and Mike Kirkland from Enterprise Alabama. Pork chops and instant mac'n cheese. Graduating senior Wayne Price (of Augusta) bunked with us for a while. Small got me playing softball at SPdL. Wayne Price got me coaching Mighty Mites and playing putt putt. We all played intramural football and went to church at SPdL together. Purchased matching bib overalls and zipper-front baseball jerseys at Charlie's Trading Post, across from the Federal Penitentiary - our usual outfit. One weekend I road-tripped home with Kirkland to Enterprise, near the famous Boll Weevil Monument.

One winter morning Don rode to school with Mike, and Small was with me behind the on the Shallowford Road bridge. Kirk turned left onto the I-85 South on ramp. I tried to follow, impatiently turning when I shouldn't have. A car smashed my rear quarter panel, narrowly missing Small. Dumb decision on my part.

Smith, Sells, and Price are Facebook friends, but after Tech Kirkland dropped off the face of the earth. He may live in the Douglassville area. Wayne and Becky Smith are grandparents in McDonough. Sells is a cool architect back home in Chattanooga with wife Shirley. After years of bachelorhood Price married Paula, moved further and further up I-85 (now in Braselton). A longtime employee at Jordan Jones and Goulding, he was just named Georgia Engineer of the Year.

1979-1980 BSU Resident Manager with roomie Mike Jackson of Galveston Texas (Good Hands to my All-State). The soft-spoken redhead attended FBC Atlanta and sometimes quoted Monty Python. Mike played wide receiver and loved basketball. I served as a groomsman in his wedding at FBC. He and Lisa served as missionaries in St. Petersburg Russia before settling in northwest Houston, where they work with college students. We had a cool our room - "The Cave" (it had no windows and only one entry door). Huge walk in closet and matching desks and bookshelves. I'd never had it so good. So what did I do? Anything and everything but study. Soon I flunked out.
1980-1981 Peachtree Park Apartments, behind Benihanas in Buckhead, just north of Piedmont Hospital and the Darlington Apartments. Roommates Warren Hammonds of Decatur, Eddie Parker, and best friend Jeff Yearwood (above), who had originated the bib overall craze. Eddie worked at the Georgia Tech Research Center. I was in discipleship groups with Warren and Jeff, and served as a groomsman in their weddings - Warren at his home church (FBC Decatur) and Jeff at SPdL. Later Warren worked at the Southern Baptist Convention's Foreign Mission Board in Richmond. Jeff took a winding road back home to Pike County, where he pastors a church. He sang in my wedding.

Newlyweds Fred O and Cindy Pitts lived in the building across the courtyard, and we'd attend Bible Studies in their apartment. When a train would approach Fred kept talking, first lowering his voice as the train neared, then just moved his mouth as the train rumbled past just yards away. When it snowed Fred was outside building a snowman. He pantomimed for me to join him, but I pantomimed back an emphatic no. He insisted. Of course I relented.

1980 choir tour went to Colorado Springs. Walton high school senior Rick Statham picked me to be his roommate. Our girlfriends were best friends. Rick married his girlfriend Miriam. They went to Mercer, then seminary. Now Rick pastors Salem Baptist Church in McDonough.

1981-1982 back at the Baptist Center, Tennis England was my next roommate. A "campus minister intern" recently graduated from Southern Seminary in Louisville. I nicknamed him "Badminton Britton" or simply "Wimbledon." Not sure what ever became of ol' Tennis. One of my regular supper dishes was baked potatoes. I'd buy a bag of potatoes and eat one or two a night. Once I forgot and left it baking in the oven all night. The next morning it was black all the way through.

1981 choir tour went to Rochester New York. Was Yearwood my roommate? Or Don Head? One year I roomed with church organist Scott Atchison, who was my age - and a load of fun. When a host mom asked what we wanted for breakfast Scott would exclaim "Quiche Loraine!" Hard to believe Scott became organist at Peachtree Road United Methodist, where he directed all the choirs.

1982 Yearwood roomed with me in the BSU over the summer. In the fall the new campus minister intern moved in: Tom Leuze of Lenoir Tennessee, another Southern Seminary graduate. Tom was like a big brother. He liked baseball, MASH, and David Letterman. We wore Hawaiian shirts and preppy green pants. Good times.

1982 choir tour went back to Colorado. I roomed with Yearwood or Jim Johnson. I think.

1983 after graduation (and an extra quarter hanging out on campus) I moved to the Goldsboro Road Apartments, just down the hill from Little Five Points. Roomed with good buddy Jim Johnson - and who else? We may have lost a roommate. At chapel choir during prayer requests I mentioned we needed a roommate, and Lindsey McKinley spoke up. Jim and I were pals, singing in the Chapel Choir together and leading cheers at Tech games. Groomsman in his wedding, to bride Kimberly Kitchens at SPdL. Goldsboro was in a super cool neighborhood, overlooking a pool and basketball and tennis courts we never used. Within walking distance of Chandler Park Golf Course - but I hadn't taken up golf yet. High ceilings and hardwood floors. But I was unemployed, and it was a low time in my life.

1984-1986 next I moved into the legendary GT BSU apartment: "The Hubcap" - a dumpy nondescript L-shaped brick apartment for some reason plopped among aging Midtown homes on Goldsboro Road, just down the street from Grady High and Piedmont Park. Roommates came and went. Steve Givens and Doug Pace had just moved out. I lived with three other SPdL guys: Yearwood and two Augusta natives: Curt Shaw and Keith Harp. I remember staying out too late one night, then locking my keys in my car at the Texaco on the corner of Peachtree and Collier around midnight. I called the Hubcap but no one answered. I let it ring and ring, and Keith finally answered, groggily. He grudgingly drove over to pick me up. Keith sang in Revelation with Jeff. Now he and wife Karan live in Suwanee.

By then I had a real job, but living in the super cheap apartment was a great way to safe up a down payment for a house. Frozen pizzas wouldn't fit in the small over-iced freezer, so I ate canned BBQ, chili, or Brunswick Stew out of our only pan, dipped out with Kroger saltine crackers. For lunch at work I'd keep a package of hot dogs and a package of buns in the fridge at work. Once or twice a week we'd hit the buffet at Pizza Inn, or the Western Sizzlin potato bar. I'd be at church most of Sunday, and Wednesday night for church supper and choir practice. Monday night was the singles fellowship. Church-league softball or basketball on other nights. That was my life. The thought of nighttime graduate school or travel on weekends never crossed my mind.

When Yearwood got married Leuze moved in. We'd take nighttime runs through midtown and the park. We ran road races together, including one in Macon. Leuze took up golf. I should have. He road-tripped to Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. I should've tagged along. I was a groomsman for Curt in Macon and Tom in East Point. Curt and Paula live in Simpsonville SC and Tom and Vickie live in Louisville (I think). Maconite Billy Brundage moved in just as I was moving down the road to my grandfather's house on Hillpine.

1987. In March I closed on the Hillpine house. Tom and Billy vacated The Hubcap and moved in with me. Perhaps not a good idea - in April I proposed to Ceil. Perhaps the roommates were a good idea - in May my company announced it was closing its doors in June. Landed a job in July that started in August. In September Ceil became my final roommate.

Monday, February 27, 2017

As the Oscars Turn

The Academy Awards started off good enough, with a rousing opening number by Justin Timberlake. He had the entire audience on their feet, clapping and dancing. Then host Jimmy Kimmel did well to set a positive tone for the evening with a plea for unity. It didn't last long, with Kimmel himself repeatedly trashing Trump, going as far as to check Twitter to see if POTUS had not turned his entire focus to Hollywood. He hadn't.

I wasn't the only one whose ears perked up when Viola Davis declared "we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life." How narrow-minded. Miss Davis may be surprised to learn that unlike in Hollywood, many real world professions exist for the sole reason of celebrating what it means to live a life. It was at this point that the scant attention I had been paying began to wane. Another lady droned on about art and the global community, repeating "global community" over and over like it was a good thing. A third lady read the acceptance speech from a winner detained due to Trump's travel embargo. Somewhere George Soros was smiling.
Nice bit engineered by Kimmel to usher in the group off the tour bus, so the Hollywood elite could be shown mingling with the masses. The bit bombed badly when the fellow from Chicago declared on worldwide TV that he was only interested in the black actors. Others had similar feelings. Dude looked like our friend from Turner Field: the guy in the purple jacket.

But the evening will most be remembered for the Steve Harvey moment, when La La Land was erroneously declared winner of Best Picture. If these people can't get their own awards shows right, how are they supposed to solve all the rest of the world's problems?

Alternate titles: Oscars the Grouch, or Trouble in La La Land.
Back here on the old farm, it was a quiet weekend here in Normalsville. Had leftovers Friday night. Wheel. Jeopardy College Finals, won by the MIT coed from Decatur. Last Man Standing. Dr. Ken, the Duke grad. The Middle. The Hawks wore their pretty blue unis again.

Cleaned upstairs Saturday morning. C went to the Y and M left early to spend the day with friends. Ate a small PB&J early, an egg & cheese bagel for brunch, and black bean quesadillas for a late lunch. Started in on the laundry. Opened the upstairs windows. Watched some of the Honda Classic. Ceil made a run to the Dekalb Farmer's Market, a place I loathe. Anna attended a costume party.

A few weeks ago I had misplaced two checks and four CD's from the library. I was scared I'd have to pay the library for the CD's. I had looked everywhere: my car, my trunk, Ceil's car, the house, my briefcase. Finally Saturday I found the checks in my car, in a place I'd thought I had looked before. Five minutes later I was loading a plastic cart back in my car to take to Goodwill. The all-white cart had been in my trunk earlier in the month. As I looked down over the cart I spied the white CD sleeves in a lower pocket of the cart. Bingo! I loaded more bags for Goodwill and headed out for the library, Goodwill, NAPA, and bank. I felt like I'd accomplished something this weekend.
Ceil cooked pizza for dinner and watched the Hallmark Channel while I worked on my laptop. Posted several new items to eBay. Sales have been steady lately. In the past week I've sold an Olympic volunteer shirt, two Thrashers jerseys, two pairs of shoes, and a jacket. Got several people interested in an old worn out pair of Nike Air Max's.

Bryant is preaching the core values of JFBC, and saved missions and multiplying for this week's world missions conference kickoff. Wright interestingly took a different slant, that though with all the strife and wars and terrorism and suffering in the world, as well as the alleged global warming and climate change striking fear in the hearts of millions, these are but warning shocks in the lead-up to Armageddon, the return of Christ, and the end of the world. Things will get much worse, but the end of the world won't come until the Gospel has been preached to all the people groups in the world. In the last five years over five thousand more people groups have learned about Jesus - a tremendous achievement - but there are still over 20,000 people groups to go. Does that mean Christ will return in 2037? Get ready!

Andy preached at Decatur Community Church, about the refugee crisis. Bill and Kitti Murray took a break from their normal routine to attend. A friend recapped it thusly: "what's best for people is what's best. We are a Christianized country. Individuals have inherent value. No one should be treated or discriminated against. We are a nation of immigrants who, while maintaining cultures, values, and the Constitution of the United States. We are a nation of laws. Compassion and religion inform our legal system. We must not allow our legal system to be undermined. God, help us to make the right decisions when it comes to helping the refugees." Not sure what exactly this means, or if my friend's notes were complete. I'll try to listen on line and report in detail.

Stopped by Target after church, and grabbed lunch specials at El Porton. M worked from 7 am to 2:30 pm, then attended the baptism service at Passion City. C and I napped. She wanted to watch the red carpet and Oscars. I worked on my laptop. When I woke up Sunday morning my right knee was hurting. Hurt Monday morning as well. Not sure why. Might've crossed it wrong on Saturday.

Maybe the new GT coach is like Cremins. Bobby only played six or seven. Coach Pasteur. I'll call him Louie. Sounds like Lammers is known at the Tech Baptist Center.

Coworker Eric was sporting some cool-dude high priced new shoes today, to combat his painful knees: the Cole Hahn Zerogrand Wing Tips. Sweet. Dope. Below. Perhaps a potential Amazon buy. Perhaps in March I'll cash in all my Amazon tokens on an Apple Watch, in an effort to keep up with Nita and Brad. I need a sports watch but doubt I'll use a quarter of the functions. Just something to spend my Amazon points on, since I don't need more shoes. Even these.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Going from Bad to Good

A. Cancerous thoughts successful people quarantine, the first of three articles by Travis Bradberry for LinkedIn (ME: I post these for my own benefit, though everyone can learn from these words).
Your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can make or break you. They either magnify the negativity or help you turn a misstep into something productive.
Negative self-talk in unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating, sending you into a downward spiral that is difficult to pull out of. All self-talk is driven by important beliefs you hold about yourself. Henry Ford said “he who believes he can and he who believes he cannot are both correct.”
Successful people possess the ability to control negative self-talk so it doesn’t prevent them from reaching their full potential. Here are some common thoughts that hold people back more than any others:
1. Perfection equals success (wrong!) When perfection is your goal, you are always left with a nagging sense of failure. You end up spending time lamenting what you failed to accomplish, instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.
2. My destiny in self-determined. Blaming multiple successes or failures on forces beyond your control is a cop out. Life may deal you difficult cards to play, and other times you’ll be holding aces. Your willingness to give your all in whatever hand you’re holding is what will determine your ultimate success or failure in life.
3. I “always” or “never” do that. Since that is untrue, it’s just self-pity. It makes you believe you have no control of yourself and you will never change.
4. I succeed when others approve of me. You are never as good or bad as they say you are. Take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. Self-worth comes from within. ME: – and from God.
5. My past equals my future. Repeated failures erodes self-confidence. Most of the time these failures come from taking risks and trying to achieve something (if you aren’t doing these things, then shame on you). Success lies in your ability to rise in the face of failure. Anything worth achieving will require a little risk taking. You can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed.
6. My emotions equal my reality. Take an objective look at your feelings and separate fact from fiction. Otherwise your emotions will continue to skew your sense of reality, and make you vulnerable to the negative self-talk that can hold you back from achieving your full potential.
B. How complaining re-wires your brain for negativity: another Bradberry article. Research shows most people complain once a minute. It feels good, but it isn’t good for you. Like a laptop uses cookies, your brain connects neurons to ease the flow of repetitive information. Repeated complaining becomes the default behavior, which changes the way others perceive you. It also shrinks the size of your brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought – and could bring on Alzheimer’s Disease.
Complaining is also bad for your health – raising blood pressure and blood sugar, impairing your immune system, and making you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and obesity.
Like second-hand smoke, keeping the company of complainers can bring on the same effects as complaining yourself. The scientific term is Neuronal Mirroring – the basis for our ability to feel empathy.
Combat complaining by developing an attitude of gratitude. Shift your attention away from complaining. Research shows being thankful reduces stress, improves mood and energy, with less anxiety. In time the positive neuron bridges will become a way of life.
Combat complaining by solving the problem:
1. Have a clear purpose.
2. Start with something positive. Helps keep people from getting defensive.
3. Be specific.
4. End on a positive.
C. How to break a bad habit- a related article by Bradberry. Don’t give up too soon – research shows it takes 66 days for a good habit to form, or shake a bad habit.
Bad habits are formed: something triggers the bad behavior, then there’s the behavior itself, then finally the reward. Example: you’re stressed, so you numb out on Facebook for an hour and eat a bag of Cheetos. Once you repeat this enough, you do it without even thinking about it – even when you’re not even stressed.
The 66 day process of breaking a habit:
Look Inward (days 1-10): the problems are obvious (overweight). The real challenge is understanding the triggers, especially if the habit is so ingrained that you do it subconsciously (overeat, don’t exercise). What is the source of the habit? (unhappiness/stress?).
Spread the Word (days 11-40): accountability is crucial. Tell everyone you can about the habit you’re trying to break. The more vocal you are, the more likely people will call you out when you slip up. Let them know you really want them to say something. You might have to keep reminding them. A step I always avoid – erroneously.
Mind your relapse triggers (days 41-66): Be ready to make mistakes, but look for the common threads, and try to avoid those mistakes.
Reward yourself (day 67): celebrate – and chose the next habit you want to break.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Best by School: Football

Alabama J Hannah J Namath D Hutson Julio Jones K Stabler B Starr
Alabama A&M John Stallworth
UAB Roddy White
Arkansas Darren McFadden Steve Little Jimmy Johnson Jerry Jones
Army Glenn Davis Pete Dawkins Doc Blanchard
Air Force Dee Dowis
Arizona State Jake Plummer
Auburn Bo Jackson Pat Sullivan James Brooks William Andrews
Baylor Mike Singletary Robert Griffin
Boston College Matt Ryan Doug Flutie
Brigham Young Ty Detmer Jim Young Jim McMahon
California Steve Bartkowski Aaron Rogers
UCLA Bob Waterfield Gary Beban Mark Harmon Billy Kilmer
Central Florida Dante Culpepper Blake Bortles
Chicago Jay Berwanger
Clemson Deshaun Watson CJ Spiller Wm Perry B McFadden S Watkins
Colorado Kordell Stewart Rashaan Salaam Cliff Branch Hale Irwin
Cornell Pete Gogolak
Duke Sonny Jurgenson Wes Chesson
Florida Tim Tebow Steve Spurrier Emmitt Smith Danny Wuerffel
FSU Deion Sanders Charlie Ward Jameis Winston Eric McGill
Fort Valley State Shannon Sharpe JT Thomas
Georgia H Walker F Sinkwich T Hoage Gurley Pollack Greene
Georgia Southern Tracy Hamm
Georgia State Will Lutz
Georgia Tech Calvin Johnson Billy Lothridge J Hamilton B Shamberger
Grambling Doug Williams James Harris
Houston Andre Ware David Klingler
Idaho R C Owens
Illinois Red Grange Dick Butkus
Iowa Nile Kinneck
Jackson State Walter Payton
Jacksonville State Roger Jackson
Kansas Gale Sayers John Zook
Kansas State Isaac Jackson
Kentucky Jeff Van Note
LSU Billy Cannon Leonard Fournette Bert Jones YA Tittle
Louisiana Tech Terry Bradshaw Phil Robertson
Louisville Johnny Unitas Lamar Jackson
Marshall Randy Moss
Maryland Boomer Esiason Frank Reich
Maryland State Johnny Sample
Miami Bernie Kosar Michael Irvin Jim Kelly Vinnie Testaverde
Miami of Ohio Ben Roethlisberger
Michigan Tom Harmon Charles Woodson Gerald Ford
Michigan State Bubba Smith Morten Andersen
Minnesota Bronko Nagurski Bruce Smith Tony Dungy Dave Winfield
Mississippi State Dak Prescott
Mississippi Valley State Jerry Rice Deacon Jones
Morgan State Leroy Kelly
Morris Brown Alfred Jenkins Ezra Johnson Sol Brannen
Navy Roger Staubach Joe Bellino
Nebraska Johnny Rodgers Mike Rozier Eric Crouch
Nevada Marion Motley
UNLV Randall Cunningham
North Carolina Lawrence Taylor
NC State Roman Gabriel Russell Wilson Torry Holt Philip Rivers
North Dakota State Carson Wentz
Notre Dame Hornung Huarte Theisman T Brown L Hart J Lujack Bertelli
Northwestern Otto Graham
Ohio State A Griffin H Cassady E George P Warfield L Horvath L Groza
Oklahoma B Sims B Mayfield S Owens A Peterson J Washington
Oklahoma State Barry Sanders Thurman Thomas Jason White
Ole Miss Archie Manning Eli Manning
Oregon Norm Van Brocklin Marcus Mariota Bob Berry
Oregon State Terry Baker
Penn Chuck Bednerick Mark DeRosa (above)
Penn State L Moore J Cappaletti F Harris C Warner T Blackledge
Pitt Tony Dorsett Dan Marino Larry Fitzgerald Bill Fralic
Prairie View Otis Taylor Ken Houston
Princeton Dick Kazmaier Charlie Gogolak Dean Cain (above)
Purdue Bob Griese Drew Brees
San Diego State Marshall Faulk Ken Burrow Tom Hayes
Scottsbluff Junior College Night Train Lane
South Carolina George Rogers Sterling Sharpe Dan Reeves
USC OJ Simpson Marcus Allen Frank Gifford Junior Seau
SMU Doak Walker Eric Dickerson Don Meredith 
Southern Mississippi Ray Guy Brett Farve
Stanford Christian McCaffrey John Elway Jim Plunkett John Brodie
Syracuse Jim Brown Larry Csonka Ernie Davis Floyd Little
Tennessee Peyton Manning Reggie White Condredge Holloway
Tennessee State Claude Humphrey Joe Gilliam Mike Jolly
Texas Earl Campbell Tommy Nobis Vince Young Ricky Williams
Texas A&M John David Crow Johnny Manziel Tony Franklin
TCU Davey O’Brien LaDainian Tomlinson
Texas Southern Julius Adams
Tulsa Howard Twilley
Utah State Merlin Olsen Alex Smith
Vanderbilt Jay Cutler
Virginia Matt Schaub Tiki Barber
Virginia Tech Bruce Smith Michael Vick
Wake Forest Brian Piccolo
Washington Sonny Sixkiller
West Virginia Sam Huff
Wisconsin Alan Ameche Melvin Gordon Ron Dayne Russell Wilson
Wyoming Jim Kiick
Yale Clint Frank Larry Kelly Calvin Hill

Friday, February 24, 2017

Pistol Plays Athens

It must’ve been something to see Maravich play in college. According to that AJC article , Pete only made 16 of 25 foul shots in that famous game against Georgia, which seems low. Only 64% from the stripe. Also only 21-48 from the field – 43.8%. Herb White is quoted in the article saying he probably would’ve scored 75 had there been a 3 point line. That would’ve meant 16 of 21 of his makes would’ve had to have been from long range. Probably an exaggeration on White’s part.  
Made me think of the times I’ve been to Stegeman Coliseum. I hate it when people turn my story into their own story, but that’s what I’m going to do to you. In ninth grade the state science fair was held on the floor of the coliseum, which I thought was neat. 1974. In the winter of 1978 I rode over to Athens with a gang from the BSU for the GA/GT basketball game. My first road trip. We ate pizza before the game. Wayne Smith and probably Wayne Price were there. Good times. When W was in high school I won tickets from WSB for the UGA/Tennessee game. We took Will’s friend and his dad – who’d graduated from UT. After the game a UT player gave will a sweatband. Last winter C, A, M, and I went to the Gymdogs meet. I’m hoping Anna swings by Stegeman tomorrow to pick up a men’s basketball bobblehead.  



Young Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas was drafted 60th overall (last) in the 2011 NBA Draft. None of the 59 players drafted ahead of him have scored more NBA points. Thomas is 5’9” tall. I read a SI article about young Thomas to see if there was a silver lining, but not really. Wears the headband only in games, just for show – as a nod to his mentor Jason Terry. Terry wore his headband in honor of Slick Watts. All three are from the Pacific Northwest.
Former Piston Isiah Thomas is not his father – no relation at all. Young Isaiah Thomas’ father grew up scalping Lakers tickers, and took at bet that he wouldn’t name his son after the Laker nemesis. But mother – whose grandfather was a pastor – insisted on the Biblical spelling of Isaiah.  
Wednesday: C cooked chicken soup as well as black beans and rice, and salad. Wheel, Jeopardy, Hunted, The Middle. Bed at 10:30.
Thursday night: beef stew. Wheel. Jeopardy college tourney. Last Man Standing. The Middle. Bed. M and C went to the bookstore.
The new machine at work dispenses ice at a glacial pace.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Best by School: Basketball

A list of some of the greatest players in college basketball history, which turned into a list of the greatest college players by school. The player had to make a significant contribution to basketball to make the list. Who have I missed? 
Danny Ainge Brigham Young
Lew Alcindor UCLA
Steve Alford Indiana
Carmelo Anthony Syracuse
Charles Barkley Auburn
Rick Barry Miami
Len Bias Maryland
Larry Bird Indiana State
Manute Bol Bridgeport
Sam Bowie Kentucky
Bill Bradley Princeton
Cindy Brogdon Mercer
Wilt Chamberlain Kansas
Len Chappell Wake Forest
Bob Cousy Holy Cross
Bobby Cremins South Carolina
Stephen Curry Davidson
Adrian Dantley Notre Dame
Anthony Davis Kentucky
Walter Davis North Carolina
Elena Delle Donne Delaware
Tim Duncan Wake Forest
Kevin Durant Texas
Teresa Edwards Georgia
Pervis Ellison Louisville
Len Elmore Maryland
Julius Erving Massachusetts
Patrick Ewing Georgetown
Phil Ford North Carolina
Hank Gathers Loyola Marymont
Artis Gilmore Jacksonville
Brittney Griner Baylor
Tony Gwynn San Diego State
John Havlicek Ohio State
Grant Hill Duke
Robert Horry Alabama
Phil Jackson North Dakota
Ervin Johnson Michigan State
Kevin Johnson California
Larry Johnson UNLV
Michael Jordan North Carolina
Steve Kerr Arizona
Albert King Maryland
Bernard King Tennessee
Christian Laettner Duke
Maurice Lucas Marquette
Mark Macon Temple
Karl Malone Louisiana Tech
Danny Manning Kansas
Pete Maravich LSU
Kevin McHale Minnesota
George Mikan DePaul
Cheryl Miller Southern Cal
Maya Moore Connecticut
Rick Mount Purdue
Chris Mullin St Johns
Calvin Murphy Niagara
Steve Nash Santa Clara
Joakim Noah Florida
Hakeem Olajuwon Houston
Dan Patrick Eastern Kentucky
Scottie Pippen Central Arkansas
Mark Price Georgia Tech
Oscar Robertson Cincinnati
David Robinson Navy
Wayne Rollins Clemson
Bill Russell San Francisco
Ralph Sampson Virginia
Detlef Schrempf Washington
Connor Smith Oglethorpe
Rik Smits Marist
John Stockton Gonzaga
David Thompson NC State
Rob Wallace Clayton Junior College
Bill Walton UCLA
Charlie Ward Florida State
Chris Weber Michigan
Jerry West West Virginia
Dominique Wilkins Georgia

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Top Ten Patriots

The NFL Network's Top Ten Boston / New England Patriots. The only team who boasts the greatest lineman in history as well as the greatest quarterback in history. And maybe the best kicker in history.

HM: Bruce Armstrong OT

10. Adam Vinateri K - not because of his multiple Super Bowl-winning field goals, but because he once ran down and tackled Herschel Walker from behind.

9. Steve Nelson LB
8. Stanley Morgan WR
7. Troy Brown WR "Mr. Patriot"
6. Ty Law DB
5. Mike Haynes CB
4. Andre Tippett LB
3. Rob Gronkowski TE
2. John Hannah OG (below)
1. Tom Brady QB (above)
I only caught the tail end and missed other honorable mentions. These may have included Gino Cappaletti (below), Brew Bledsoe, LB Teddy Bruschi, and TE Russ Francis.

If Tom Landry can top the Dallas Cowboys list, you'd think Bill Belichek would make the Patriots list.

Even owner Robert Kraft could make this list. He's a cinch to make the "Pro Football" Hall of Fame. And he wears sneakers with suits. To the White House.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Short HOF Careers

Induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame remains a subjective prize. Winning championships and playing for winners in major markets means more than a long career of extended excellence. This year both RB Terrell Davis and QB Kurt Warner were elected into the HOF, despite shorter than usual careers. Note the following comparisons: 

Joe Namath won a legendary Super Bowl upset, but achieved little else in an injury- plagued career. After spurning the NFL (the St. Louis football Cardinals), Namath became the face of the rival AFL, a league that eventually merged with the NFL. The toast of New York City, playing for powerful owner Sonny Werblin. Namath is in the hall of fame.

Bob Griese had a long career quarterbacking the dominant Dolphins. Won two Super Bowls and appeared in a third. Coached by the legendary Don Shula. Griese is in the hall of fame.

Ken Anderson led the Cincinnati Bengals to two Super Bowls, getting past tough competition in the AFC: the Steelers, Chargers, and Bills. Coached by the legendary Bill Walsh. Anderson is not in the hall of fame.

Kurt Warner led two different teams to a total of three Super Bowl appearances, in a relatively short but mercurial career. Had a great story, rising from an inglorious small college career, through the Arena Leagues and NFL Europe. Coached by good soldier Dick Vermeil. A good foot soldier who later starred on The NFL Network, now rewarded with a bust and gold jacket in Canton.

13 129 1886 3762 50.1 27663 173 220 JN
14 151 1926 3429 56.2 25092 192 172 BG
16 172 2654 4475 59.3 32838 197 160 KA
12 116 2666 4070 65.5 32344 208 128 KW
Gale Sayers was a huge star in the late 1960’s, whose career was cut short due to injury. Subject of the popular movie “Brian’s Song.” Played for an average Bears team. Coached by the legendary George Halas, who was the face of the NFL for decades. Sayers is in the hall of fame.

After spurning the lowly Buccaneers, Bo Jackson played football as a hobby for bad boy owner Al Davis’ Raiders. Knocked hall of fame running back Marcus Allen out of a job. Bo was a shooting star, though snuffed out too early by a catastrophic hip injury. Jackson is not in the hall of fame.

Herschel Walker was the face of a rival league that remained an enemy of the NFL until its demise. Played in New York City for a powerful owner (Donald Trump). Was the first college junior to go pro – much to the chagrin of the NFL. When the USFL folded Walker landed in Dallas on America’s Team during a time of rebuilding, playing for legendary head coach Tom Landry. Walker knocked hall of fame running back Tony Dorsett out of a job. Landry put Walker all over the field: halfback, fullback, in the slot, as a wide receiver, and returning kicks. The trade of Walker to Minnesota was heralded as the trade of the century, stocking Dallas with three hall of famers who turned the Cowboys into a dynasty.

Walker also danced in the Dallas Ballet, was a world-class sprinter, raced a bobsled in the Winter Olympics, and retired undefeated as a mixed martial artist. In the NFL, NBA, and MLB, no non-Hall-of-Famer has garnered more Sports Illustrated covers. Despite retiring with the second most combined yards in NFL history – and the most ever in pro football history – Walker is not a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Terrell Davis had several great years in Denver, helping hall of fame QB John Elway to two straight Super Bowl victories. Unfortunately his career was cut short due to injury. Like Sayers, Davis has been voted into the hall of fame.

YR..GP..att..rush..TD..L..rec.rec yd.avg.TD.L.ret yd.TD.long
07 068 0991 4956 39 70 112 1307 11.7 09 80 3172 08 103 GS
04 038 0515 2782 16 92 040 0352 08.8 02 27 0000 00 000 BO
07 078 1655 7607 60 70 169 1280 07.6 05 35 0000 00 000 TD
12 187 1954 8225 61 91 512 4859 09.5 21 93 5084 02 094 HW NFL

tot yd.TD.avg/yr
09435 56 1348 GS
03134 18 0784 BO
08887 65 1270 TD
18168 84 1514 HW NFL

Comparatively, Jackson’s NFL career falls short of those of Sayers, Davis, and Walker. It may be unfair to compare Herschel to these three, though all four careers have extenuating circumstances.