…so forgive them if they’re a little bit excited.
I’ve been meaning to post this piece about former Wylie quarterback Patrick Witt for a couple of days, but the new job keeps getting the way. After my summer of unemployment, I just keep telling myself that not posting due to work is a great problem to have.
Anyway, as I think I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Witt and his family lived three houses down from me while they were in Wylie. Patrick couldn’t have been a nicer kid and his family was just as great. While it’s true that his parents did move him from Atlanta to Dallas to get him into a better high school program, they aren’t your typical “get rich off your athlete kid” type of parents. Both are successful airline pilots who have raised two fantastic sons. Patrick’s older brother was the starting quarterback at Harvard before having his career cut short due to a shoulder injury.
It’s refreshing to read a story about a student-athlete who is just as interested in his intellectual pursuits as he is trying to win the starting job. In a day when most stories involving student-athletes involve arrests, suspensions or poor conduct, it’s guys like Witt and Myron Rolle who remind us that a few bad apples can’t spoil the whole bunch.
The city of Dallas continued it’s sports pwnage of the state of Minnesota last night when the Mavericks pulled off the largest comeback victory in franchise history. With the Timberwolves up by 29 points early in the third quarter, the Mavs pulled off a furious rally and ended up winning 107-100.
And thus, another Dallas sports franchise has one of their hallmark moments on the books against a team from Minnesota. In case you need a refresher, here’s a list of historical bitch slaps that Dallas teams have handed out at Minnesota’s expense:
* The invention of the “Hail Mary” pass. On December 28, 1975, Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson hooked up on a last second desperation pass to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in a divisional round playoff game at old Metropolitan Stadium. The “Hail Mary” has been a part of the football lexicon ever since.
* The longest run in NFL history. On December 3, 1983, Tony Dorsett had a 99 yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings. The best part was that Dallas only had 10 players on the field at the time, giving the Vikings a huge advantage.
* The most one-sided trade in NFL history. On October 12, 1989, “The Trade” as it would come be known was pulled off. The Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to Minnesota for what seemed like 55 draft picks, all 10,000 lakes and eventually, their NHL team. (The details of the trade are too long to list, so check out the link above if you want read up on the nitty-gritty.) The Cowboys parlayed the trade into three Super Bowl victories, several hall of famers and what ended up being one of the greatest runs in NFL history. The Vikings got a couple of seasons out of Walker and faded back into mediocrity where they became the poster child for getting completely raped in a trade.
* Dallas steals the “State of Hockey’s” hockey team. In the fall of 1993, the Minnesota North Stars packed up the Met Center and headed for the warmer, greener pastures of Dallas, Texas. For a state that claims to be so rabid about hockey, they didn’t turn out at all for the North Stars, leaving the team in the red and seeking a new home. The team, which had been in Minnesota since 1967, promptly won the Stanley Cup six years later in Dallas; a feat never accomplished in “hockey-crazed” Minnesota.
* The Cowboys, who are currently mired in a 12-year playoff funk, had their last playoff victory against….wait a minute….I’ll let you guess. The Minnesota Vikings! They laid down a 40-15 drubbing of the Vikes at Texas Stadium in December 1996. So even in their current state of failure, the Cowboys can look back on their long-time bitch with fond memories.
* If you want to go a bit further and apply this to the entire state of Texas instead of just Dallas, then you could include “The Comeback” also. On December 29, 2006, the Texas Tech Red Raiders completed the biggest comeback in bowl history when they overcame a 31-point third quarter deficit to defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Insight Bowl.
It hurts so good, doesn’t it Minnesota? Don’t worry, since you’re our little sister, we’ll make sure nobody else picks on you.
The man who led TCU to a national championship and who completely revolutionized the way pro football is played died last night at the age of 94. Baugh was a complete athlete who excelled at quarterback, punter and defensive back for 16 seasons with the Washington Redskins. He retired with 13 NFL records at those three positions.
Kevin Sherrington writes in the Dallas Morning News that, “His career punting average of 45.1 yards ranks second all time in NFL history, and he ranks second in NFL history in season completion percentage (70.3), most seasons (four) leading the league in yards gained and most seasons (seven) leading the league in completion percentage.”
In 1943, Baugh had a “triple crown” year. He led the NFL in passing with 1,754 yards, punting with a 45.9 average and defensive interceptions with 11. He was an All-American at TCU and a member of the first class to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It was released yesterday that Joe Paterno just received a three year extension that would carry him and the Nittany Lions through 2011. He would be 85. Let me point out a couple of things to preface this rant. I HATE Big 10 football. I hate Michigan. I hate Ohio State. I hate Penn State. I hate them.
I do NOT hate Joe Paterno, but I do hate that he is still coaching. How can he be relevant to the new generation of recruit? The recruit that listens to Kanye, has a profile on Facebook and sleeps with a different coed every night. I’m not naive enough to think he’s calling a lot of the shots at Penn State. I’m sure he’s got very good coaches and recruiters on his staff, but I don’t see blue chippers thinking all that much of a head coach that is rolled into their living room by a nurse pushing a wheelchair and carrying an oxygen tank.
But that is not even my biggest point of contention. I had a conversation with a buddy the other day about what I’d do if I won the lottery. My answer is absolutely nothing. His reply was that I’d get bored and restless. Nope. Not me. I have a firm belief that if the opportunity presented itself, I could do nothing the rest of my life. That’s what Joe Pa should’ve started doing 20 years ago. Please retire and save the dignity and tradition you’ve upheld all these years. I hate your school and football team but respect what you have done Joe Pa. I just don’t want to be watching the Liquid Diet Bowl or Shit In Depends Bowl over the next few years.
Actually, your list should have been of coaches who could NOT do better than 5-19 over the past two seasons at Iowa State. That list would include Bear Bryant, Tom Osbourne, Woody Hayes, Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi, Jimmy Johnson and Jesus Christ.
Iowa State is a college football black hole. It’s a program with no tradition and no appeal for potential recruits. I should know. I went there. The program has been in a free fall since it’s heyday in the early 2000’s. And by heyday, I mean going 9-3 and winning a low-level bowl game against Pittsburgh in 2001. I love you, Sage Rosenfels. You ran the shotgun draw for no gain on third and long better than anyone in college football history.
Anyway, I’m straying from my main point. Gene Chizik is a good coach. Iowa State’s loss is definitely Auburn’s gain. However, moron Auburn fans and commentators can’t take the time to scratch the surface enough to get past the fact that he was 5-19 in his two seasons at ISU. In 2004, Chizik was the defensive coordinator at Auburn. That was the year that Auburn went undefeated and got completely screwed out of playing in the title game by the BCS. Chizik parlayed that success into the defensive coordinator job at the University of Texas in 2005. Just so happens, that team won the national championship that year. And while everyone remembers the 2005 Longhorns for Vince Young’s antics, the defense played just as big of a role in that dream season. Just ask Colorado who lost 70-3 in the 2005 Big 12 championship game.
Any other coordinator in the nation with these kinds of skins on the wall could have their pick of any number of high profile jobs. It just so happened that Chizik ended up at Iowa State where it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to succeed. As Cyclone fans, we thought we finally had our connection to the south. Someone to funnel Texas talent up to the cornfields of Ames. And given enough time, I think Chizik probably could have made an impact. But when your dream job comes a-knockin’, you don’t stare a gift horse in the mouth. You count your blessings (and your money) and thank God (like so many other people who’ve attended Iowa State) that you’re getting the eff out of Iowa.
What happens when you go 5-19 during two seasons coaching a D1 Football team including losing your last 10 games? You get hired as Auburn’s new head football coach. Well done Gene Chizik…on sleeping with the AD to get that job! The bright side is that Steve’s alma mater can now hire another football coach at Iowa State…and if Iowa State needs help in the selection process, I’ve listed my top five candidates below that I think could do better than 5-19 and who might be available:
- Larry Eustacy (pictured) – he hasn’t finished his tour of the girls’ dorms on campus
- Governor Blagojevich
- Mike Leach – this is the only way he could play in the Big 12 Championship games is to coach in the North Division
- Bernard Madoff – he would be a helluva booster in “raising” money for the program
- Wade Phillips – we’ll pay you to take him.