February 24-March 1, 2012
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AROUND THE AREA
February 24-March 1, 2012 Volume 10, Issue 27 sportspagedfw.com
Tornado defenseman gives to patient
AROUND THE AREA
MYCHAL MONTEITH GOES THE EXTRA MILE TO MEET 13-YEAR-OLD ALLEN RESIDENT
THE ODOM SAGA
DON’T GET COCKY
SMU DEATH PENALTY
WORST DAY IN SMU HISTORY
SPORT SHORTS THE YU BANDWAGON
BACK & FORTH ON THE MAVS
On the weekend of January 13th, the Texas Tornado held their annual Winterfest to benefit Children’s Medical Center. The players donned special retro jerseys for the weekend’s two games, ones worn from the team’s inaugural season in 1999 until 2003. With wins in both contests, the games were an on-ice success for the Tornado. But what happened off of it is what made the event noteworthy. “Children’s Medical Center and the Tornado worked together on a successful event back in 2010,” Development Manager for Children’s Medical Center Kyra Barnett said. “In talking with the people with the team, we were excited to do another one here in early 2012.”
“My mom bought two-thirds of the jersey and my billet mom bought the other onethird,” Monteith said. “We wanted to give it to Chase.”
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As is typical with most sports jerseys, the last name of the player was visible on the back of each Tornado jersey worn during Winterfest. But as a special addition, each one was also affixed with the first name of a Children’s Medical Center patient. Tornado defenseman Mychal Monteith’s #5 sweater had the name “Chase” along the bottom. “When we were setting the event up, I asked for a list of our patients who might be interested in having their name on the jersey,” Barnett said. “When I got it back, Chase was one of the names that came my way.” “Chase” is 13-year-old Chase Adams, and is an athlete in his own right. In fact, he came to Children’s Medical Center after a he suffered a severe concussion in a soccer game. “When I found out my name was going to be on the jersey, I thought it was pretty cool,” Chase said. “Everyone’s going to know my name now!”
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“Children’s Medical Center contacted us and said that Chase’s name had been chosen for the event,” Chase’s father, James, added. “And we were also told that the jerseys would be available for auction.” In addition to a portion of ticket sales going back to Children’s Medical Center, the Tornado auctioned off each game-worn jersey and donated a portion of those proceeds to the hospital, as well. When Monteith’s jersey went up for bidding, he and his family had a plan.
4 February 24-March 1, 2012 | The Sports Page | sportspagedfw.com
“My dad told me over dinner one night that he had bought the jersey and wanted to give it to me,” Chase said. “My first thought was that I hoped I could get to meet him. Sure enough, the next thing my dad said was that he wants to meet you and give you the jersey.” The Adams family was unable to attend the game and auction on January 14th, but after
Wednesday afternoon’s practice, the Adams family made the short drive from Allen to Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco to meet Monteith for the first time. When they walked through the doors, Monteith was waiting for them with jersey in hand. They chatted not just about hockey pucks and rinks, but the soccer fields on which Chase plays, as well. “This was a really fulfilling experience,” Monteith said. “It felt good to give back to the community and really puts things in perspective.”
WEEKLY CALENDAR FEBRUARY
Nets at Mavericks 7:30 PM FSSW
Mavericks at Grizzlies 7:00 PM FSSW
Canucks at Stars 2:00 PM FSSW
Wild at Stars 7:30 PM FSSW
Penguins at Stars 6:30 PM NBCSN
Austin at Legends 7:00 PM Americans at Bucks 7:30 PM Tornado at Bulls 7:00 PM
Tornado at Bulls 7:00 PM
Rangers farm system making future bright by DIC HUMPHREY SENIOR COLUMNIST firstname.lastname@example.org
been the loss of front office personnel. Other teams have noticed what Daniels has built, and want to attract the architects of the farm system. Jerry Dipoto was hired to be the Angels' general manager this winter. He took Scott Servais with him. Thad Levine was mentioned to be of interest for GM openings this winter, and he likely will be wooed away in the near future.
When Jon Daniels was hired to be the Rangers' General Manager, he pledged to build a quality farm system. Ranger fan reaction was “ho hum.” They had heard this before. Then owner Tom Hicks let GM Doug Melvin go after the 2000 season citing the farm system bereft of talent as one of the reasons. He wanted a GM that would build a better farm system, but five years later the system had not improved, and Hicks once again changed GMs. The long and the short is that building a quality farm system is not very sexy. It doesn't sell tickets, and the term “rebuilding” translates to “we're not going to be very good this year.” RANGERS FINALLY GET THEIR MAN Daniels has broken the mold. The Rangers have been to the World Series the past two seasons, and are positioned to be a solid contender for at least another five years. The backbone of that success is the farm system. The Ranger team on the field is largely home grown with players essentially developed from within. All five members of last year's starting rotation made their Major League debuts with the Rangers. The farm system has also provided the currency to make trades for significant in-season additions to the team. Players such as Cliff Lee, Jeff Francoer, Mike Adams, and Koji Uehara were acquired because the Rangers had the prospects to make deals for the pennant race help they needed. The Rangers' farm system was ranked number one by Baseball America since Daniels took over. In the years since, the Rangers have graduated many of those prospects to the Major Leagues, players
such as Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland and Mitch Moreland. More of those prospects have been dealt in trades for pennant race help, players such as Justin Smoak, Blake Beaven and Michael Main. Despite the graduations and trades, ESPN's Keith Law currently ranks the Rangers farm system seventh, and that ranking did not consider Yu Darvish. As for individual prospects in the system, there is no better source for Ranger fans than Jamey Newberg. Each winter, he publishes a bound edition of The Newberg Report which lists the top 72 prospects in the Rangers' system. (Again, Darvish is not included as this was published before he signed,) Newberg's top 10 prospects are: 1. 2. 3.
SS Jurickson Profar LHP Martin Perez 3B Mike Olt
4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
OF Leonys Martin C Jorge Alfaro RHP David Perez 1B Ronald Guzman RHP Neil Ramirez RHP Tanner Scheppers OF Jordan Akins
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus rates the top 101 Major League prospects. He did not consider Darvish, and has five Rangers included: Profar 4th, Martin Perez 36th, Olt 45th, Ramirez 77th, and Alfaro 101st. Interestingly, Robbie Erlin (53rd) and Joe Wieland (74th) make Goldstein's list. These are the two players traded for Mike Adams last July. Baseball America revealed their top 10 this week and list Darvish fourth and Profar eighth. One indication of the success of the Rangers' farm system in recent years has
NO WHINING FOR ARMS ANYMORE For most of the history of the Texas Rangers, the problem has been pitching. Even the teams that made the playoffs in the late 90's had a tacked together veteran staffs. Now the Rangers have a log jam of starting pitchers, with seven solid candidates in spring training. Martin Perez and Neil Ramirez are the top two minor league pitching prospects. The log jam in Arlington probably sends this pair to Round Rock to start the season. However, these two will soon be knocking on the Rangers' door, or will be prizes for another organization to acquire for help the Rangers need in other areas. Having prospects of this ilk being blocked at the major league level rather than being installed as the number three and four starters in the rotation is another indication of how far this organization has come in recent years, and why the Rangers have become a model franchise rather than the laughing stock of baseball. ESPN's Buster Olney wrote an article recently where he named the top teams for success over the next five years. He took into account factors such as the team on the field, the farm system, and ownership capability. The Rangers graded out number one on that list. The ground work over the past few years to procure and develop quality players has this team set up nicely for the future.
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SPORTS TALK WITH MIKE FISHER
Odom dilemma: more than meets the eye The Very Human Issue: It might be incorrect to insist that Lamar "wants to be here.'' But it is certainly incorrect to insist that he doesn't want to contribute and doesn't want to win. That cannot be true.
by MIKE FISHER FISH email@example.com
Listen to LO for yourself: "We've got a chance to be a championship contender,'' Odom said. "As a team, that's where you really want to be."
“Lamar Odom sucks.'' Well, that's what everybody says, anyway. Last Sunday when he sucked in New York, fans clamored to toss their daggers via social media, to vent their displeasure as quickly as possible. A day later, the Mavs were back home … and the AAC faithful got their chance to either support or chastise a man who endured much emotional strain over the offseason and had recently given glimpses of rounding into form. Unfortunately, Odom did not forge the best path towards redemption, towards silencing the smattering of boos that first escorted him to the Dallas Mavericks court. He would remain scoreless until 8:48 remained in the fourth quarter, missing his first five shots, prompting boos to stack higher and higher on the back of each miss, all coming in a Mavs victory over Boston accomplished with no help from him. Coach Rick Carlisle has refused to turn his back on Odom, taking every chance to handle him publicly with patience, trust and support. Rick before the game: "We're not going to dropkick a guy to the curb because he has one bad game.'' Rick after the game, allowing himself to be slightly more critical of one of LO's problems: "If we're looking for a guy that's going to dazzle on a night-in, night-out basis with gaudy stats and a bunch of fancy stuff, that's not who he is as a player and that's not who he's been as a player." In other words: Quit attempting meaningless behindthe-back dribbles, OK? CANS THE FANS BE PATIENT? We must note that there is still time and the foundation of his personal history for Odom to find his footing and become the player we all expected him to be. At the same time, we must note the rising difficulty in holding close the patience to wait his struggles out. If Odom is to step up to the expectations he's used a career to construct, the time couldn't be better than the immediate future … as Delonte allows his injury to heal, as Carlisle will attempt to continue to manage the starter's minutes.
We spoke to two people on Monday who could be considered "close'' to Odom. Both people separately used terms like "in a funk'' and "needs to flip a switch'' and "must feel validated.'' And that's where Asset Management becomes The Very Human Issue. After halftime Monday, we had the opportunity to observe Brian Cardinal trotting up the tunnel but then stopping at the security rope to mete out two hugs and two pieces of gum to a pair of little ones wearing tiny CARDINAL 35 jerseys. This isn't a rookie, a raw physical talent struggling to learn the game, to find how the puzzle of his abilities will come together within the league. It's a prime contributor to two championship teams, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year. As difficult as the compressed scheduled may be the game hasn't mysteriously shifted rendering his bountiful skills outdated and useless. Housed within Odom are the tools to be everything we want of him on the court. So we wait. We hope. We watch him shoot 2-of-8 and wonder how close that might become to 4-of-8. We understand the boos cast his way … but we will refrain from our own, even as the doubts threaten to grow from specter to undeniable living flesh. That doesn't mean we'll smileyglad-hand his performances, but we will continue to harbor the faintest of hopes. Because … why not? As long as he's here, what's wrong with hope? What he's capable of bringing is worth at least that. There is an Asset Management issue here ... and then there is a very human issue here as well. The Asset Management Issue: The greatest way to get full value from Lamar Odom is to coerce him into playing well ... and then buying him out in the summer to free up more 3D Blueprint room. Additionally, staying on the good side of the LO camp has value, since the LO camp's agent is Jeff Schwartz, who is also the agent in the Dwight Howard camp.
They were his children, in town to see Daddy. And while the rest of us might treat Cardinal and other Mavs and other professional athletes, Odom included, as if they are cartoon characters, Wile E. Coyotes falling off cliffs for our viewing pleasure ... the reality is that they are humans, who right in the middle of their very important jobs, simply must pause to be ... human. "The kids are in town and they love when I bring them locker-room gum,'' Cardinal told us later. But of course, the little Cardinals don't really care about the chewing gum. That's not the draw and that's not the connection. They want to be close to a certain Maverick, and not because he's a TV celebrity but rather because he's a person. Because he's their daddy. You can boo; it's your money that buys you the ticket that buys you the right. And you can call us "soft'' But we do let ourselves be reminded of the fact that they're all somebody's husband, somebody's son, somebody's daddy.
Check out Mike Fisher on Twitter at FishSports, on the Mavs telecasts on Fox Sports Southwest, and at DallasBasketball.com
sportspagedfw.com | The Sports Page | February 24-March 1 2012
ITH TOM WARD
Get a Grip and stop being so...“Cocky” by TOM WARD S P E C IAL C O NTR I B UTO R firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s tip deals with the kind of “cocky” that can ruin your swing and deliver a devastating blow to your ego.
seams of your grip start coming apart, so will your hopes of hitting any good quality shots. SO WHAT CAN I DO? There are a few measures you can take to counteract this critical error. Some people have wedged a coin between their palm
ration in your grip by relying on good old solid fundamentals. If you never had any to start with then this would be a ideal time to visit a local golf professional in your area to help you. If that’s not feasible, then let me offer you this tip. As seen in the photograph on the right,
The “cocky” I’m talking about starts in your hands and wrists, not from your lips. You’ll need to pay special attention to this particular area of your swing because it’s the heartbeat of your golf game. Fortunately, my swing surgeon training has me on call 24 hours a day ready to resuscitate golfers who are on life support with their games. Your hands are the only contact with the golf club; this is your central nerve center. To elaborate more on this important issue I have two photos showcasing the same golfer’s hands as they make their way to the top of his backswing. The photo on the left is the incorrect way to swing the golf club. Compared to the photo on the right you can easily see a big difference in the manner of how the golfer’s hands are working. First, in the picture on the left you can see how the hands have begun to separate from the palm of the golfer’s right hand( for right handed golfers). That gap can widen as the golfer takes the club back to the top of his backswing, resulting in a loss of control over the club’s shaft. Commonly, you’ll see a lot of golfers over-swinging or “crossing the line” at the top of their backswing with that action. “Casting” or throwing the club head first, usually results as they make their downward move back in the impact area, and the ball could go all over the place. If the
ble and it’s tough to recover. Also, look at the back of the golfer’s left hand in both photographs. There is a tremendous difference in the two. The correct grip on the right shows how the players left forearm and back of his left hand have stayed uniform and connected as a one piece perfect lever system that will automatically keep the club head on the correct swing path. When you look at the photo on the left( incorrect) you’ll see not only a separation in the grip, but a cupping of the golfer’s left hand sending his club shaft on an upward motion or steeper swing path.
and grip. The idea is to make a swing without letting the coin fall out at any point. This can work, but it feels awkward and uncomfortable and people usually lose interest after a few swings. There’s the concept of keeping your palms pressed together like you’re saying a prayer. It works on the same principle as the coin, however you don’t have to deal with a physical object placed in between hands. Initially, it can feel forced and cumbersome, but hopefully you’ll just forget about after some swings. Another idea is to use a golf tee and wedge it in there like you did with the coin. Listen, all of these are well known bandaid solutions or quick fixes have been around for quite awhile with mixed results. I personally believe that the problem can be rectified if you just simplify your grip by going back to the basics. This is the best way to attack the issue of sepa-
which is the correct way to swing the club head, there is symmetry to a good golf grip. The player has total control of the club head throughout the entire swing. Your wrists will hinge properly in the correct sequence without any assistance from you if you stay true to the time tested formula of keeping your hands in check. “COCKY” HANDS ARE NO FUN What I mean by that statement is that If you allow your arms to control your hands and wrists instead of vice versa, then golf will be a fun activity. It’s really that simple! Take a closer inspection of the golfers hands. The picture on the right shows how well the golfer’s hands are connected to the grip, when in comparison to the photo on the left where you can clearly see there is a significant gap as the butt of the handle from his left hand has separated from the club. Once your hands have lost control of your grip, your swing is in big trou-
When your hands get too “cocky” a multitude of bad scenarios are going to be played out on the golf course. If there is a disease in the golf swing it starts in your hands. Your hands are the only physical contact you have with the club and when we get nervous and tense we start applying a death grip. The legendary golfer Sam Snead once said, ”If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork like they do a golf club, they’d starve to death.” I have to echo Sam’s sentiments on that statement. Remember, the whole purpose of the hands are to hold onto the club and nothing more. So give this tip a try, because I don’t want you to end up like the golfer I met the other day who told me” I’m not saying my game is bad, but if I grew tomatoes they’d come up sliced.”
Tom Ward can be reached at www.teetimewithtom.com
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Death penalty recollections - 25 years later by DIC HUMPHREY SENIOR COLUMNIST email@example.com Supporters of the SMU football program that were there for the announcement of NCAA sanctions on the program 25 years ago remember the day as cold, rainy and blustery on the outside, and extremely warm on the inside. The combination of the crowd and the tension made it hot in the room where NCAA lead investigator David Berst came to announce the sanctions. Reports in that morning's local newspapers speculated what penalties would be announced. They were the recommendations of Berst, and they did NOT include the suspension of play for the football program. There was hope that football would survive, retaining most of the current players and would be reasonably competitive in a few years. That hope was quickly dashed when Berst took the podium to speak. He announced the penalties, which provided for the suspension of play in 1987 and a reduction of the schedule to seven games in 1988, all of which were to be played on the road. A BAD SIGN OF THINGS TO COME The combination of the heat and the tension proved problematic for Berst. He fainted and fell to the floor as he left the podium. For many SMU supporters there was a feeling of sadness. Long time trainer Cash Birdwell wept openly. There was also a sense of frustration with the NCAA - why us? Even the most ardent fan at the time didn't dispute that SMU had been involved with serious violations. As one put it though, “It was like doing 80 along with everyone else on the highway in a 70 MPH zone. You wonder why you're the only one that got pulled over by the policeman.” Other schools were committing the same type of violations. The media had documented the transgressions. Any number of schools could have been penalized severely. Most received much lighter penalties or none at all. FEEDING FRENZY One of the stranger sights of the day, and one the NCAA most likely did not anticipate, was the number of recruiters from other institutions that were on campus for the news. They descended upon the Hilltop like buzzards, to pick at the carcass of the SMU football program. The
better players were besieged with offers from other schools, and the irony was that many of those schools were offering the same illegal benefits for which SMU had just received the harshest penalty ever assessed by the NCAA. What proved more problematic for SMU football though was the school's reaction to the penalty. President L. Donald Shields resigned in November 1986, citing health reasons. This was shortly after Dale Hansen's Channel 8 report brought the subject not only to light, but to a full crisis. Dr. William Stallcup, a professor in the geology department was named interim President. One supporter characterized him as a terrific professor and a likeable guy, but he was no administrator. THE “PYE” PENALTY There was a leadership void, and the faculty stepped in to grab the reins. Academia was going to run the show. There was definitely a negative bent toward the role of football in the University, and this was ironic. The team prospered in the early 80's, winning at least 10 games each season for four consecutive seasons at a time when teams played an 11 game schedule and there were no conference championship games. Academia was a beneficiary of the note the football program brought to the University, as the number of endowed chairs at the University DOUBLED. The academics were literally biting the hand that was feeding them.
Eventually, Dr. A. Kenneth Pye was hired as the new President. He proved to be a disastrous choice. Many alumni now feel the new regime was more of a problem than the NCAA sanctions. As one put it, “The Pye penalty was worse than the Death Penalty.” One of the first things Pye did was cancel the 1988 season. Many if not most of the players would have stayed had there been just one season of football lost. When SMU chose to extend the penalty to the second year, most players had no choice but to transfer. They of course were the best players, such that when the program restarted in 1989, it did so from basically ground zero talent-wise. Football was so pitiful in the beginning, that at one point there was strong consideration to giving up the school's status as a 1-A football program. SMU's Board of Trustees was no help. Dr. Pye left a position at Duke University to take the presidency at SMU. He loaded the board with cronies from the east coast, who by and large had no sense of the university and its culture or history. The administration then put even more stringent reins on the football program. For example, prospective players had to apply to SMU and be accepted prior to being allowed an official visit to the school. It took 20 years to undo the harm of regulations such as these. Another costly decision was to return to an updated Ownby Stadium on campus
when play resumed in 1989. It might have been state of the art in 1935 when SMU went to the Rose Bowl, but even updated, it was vastly inferior to the standards of the late 1980's. One of the most pitiful sites was the proud University of Texas football team playing in Ownby. The Texas players were forced to dress in Dedman Center, then walk in uniform across Airline to enter the stadium. When the Southwest Conference ultimately broke up, the inferior football facilities was a significant reason why SMU got left out in the cold in conference realignment. UNABLE TO RECOVER By the early 1990's, fund raising became almost impossible. Mustang Club members involved had trouble getting boosters to even accept their calls. When calls were accepted, the supporter was more likely to give the caller an earful than make a donation. There were certainly poor hiring decisions in the football program along the way. SMU's football fortunes didn't turn around until June Jones arrived, the fifth head coach since the sanctions were levied. He led the team to a 7-5 record in 2009. That garnered an invitation to the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, in which SMU handily beat Nevada for their eighth win. That was 25 years between bowl appearances for the school. Many thought at the time the sanctions were levied that the NCAA had killed the program. They almost did. It took more than 20 years for SMU to get rid of the damage done that day in 1987.
sportspagedfw.com | The Sports Page | February 24-March 1, 2012
The scenes and the fallout from Death Penalty Day by BO CARTER SENIOR COLUMNIST Scarter5@twu.edu
Eric Dickerson photo: macksminute.blogspot.com
It literally was a dark and stormy night and dreary morning Feb. 25, 1987 - 25 years ago. Your correspondent was making a long morning drive back from College Station, Texas, to Dallas from a nailbiting Arkansas men's basketball win over Texas A&M in double overtime 100-97 with the famed "Pistol Pete" Maravich doing analyst's duties on the USA Television Network. Less than a year later, Maravich died Jan. 5, 1988, of a heart valve disorder. But besides the bizarre events of that hoops game (Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson's daughter was dying of leukemia, a struggling A&M team lost to Baylor four days later and then won the Southwest Conference tourney in Dallas 10 days afterward), things of a previouslyunknown nature were brewing at SMU and the Southwest Conference office on the other end of Mockingbird Lane. ILL WINDS ON THE HILLTOP SWC media relations staffers were getting advance reports of major penalties for the SMU football program and dashed into late commissioner Fred Jacoby's office. Jacoby knew circumstances were dire but later said he did not think the NCAA literally would pull the trigger on the SMU football program. SMU assistant AD for media relations Larry White summoned a hastily-called morning news conference to brief the media and bring in the big guns of the NCAA and SMU administration. In fact, White (now retired after 24 later years at Alabama athletics post-SMU)
caught a fainting NCAA enforcement director David Berst near the news conference the podium as the bright lights, illness and sleep deprivation floored the always-thorough investigator, who remains with the NCAA some 38 years after joining the group in the early 1970s. Quick calls to the SWC office just before and after the news conference were met with: "You won't believe this...People are crying in the office...The Associated Press and United Press International New York bureaus have called; we don't have a definitive statement (Asst. Media Relations Director Charlie Fiss' name was misspelled in a later Sports Illustrated account)...Can you drive any faster?" It was organized chaos and a day that hopefully will not be repeated in college football
10 February 24-March 1, 2012 | The Sports Page | sportspagedfw.com
There are several backgrounds and main currents to the harsh judgment.
tigations (at one time, seven of the nine schools in that circuit – all but Arkansas or Baylor – were on probation or under investigation). In the 1990s the Southeastern Conference and Pacific-10 (now Pac-12) were saturated. Florida and the SEC were pressured to vacate one of the Gators’ football championships while several other SEC members lost scholarships or numbers of official visits. The Pac-10 literally stationed undercover persons near campus residence halls with media guides to check off football student-athletes if and when they attended their morning or early afternoon classes.
-The NCAA (sometimes even today) routinely has enforced rigorous punishment on various conferences over the last 30-35 years when the national office’s enforcement and compliance staffs grew larger. The SWC got the brunt of the late 1980s’ inves-
There seemed to be a “notch in the gun” mentality for years, and the NCAA endured several lawsuits or threatened legal actions over due process during secret interviews with alleged coercion of student-athletes, families, former coaches, or administrators.
annals. FIRST TIME IN FOOTBALL Though the informal “death penalty” had been applied by the NCAA to Kentucky basketball in 1952-53 and Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette in 1973-74 and ’74-75), no one ever had witnessed a crushing blow to a football program (or any collegiate program, for that matter) as the Feb. 25, 1987, rulings.
pulled the plug on the 1988 season while trying to regroup and retool. Besides the first-time ban on a NCAA Division I-A (now Football Championship Subdivision) season, SMU also lost an astronomical 55 scholarships from 198791, and that blow took years to alleviate.
With the hiring of Mustangs’ All-America lineman Forrest Gregg and the patience of Job, the school slowly scratched its way back to some respectability. After being credited by at least one agency with national titles in 1935, 1981 and ’82 along with 11 SWC championships from 1923-84, SMU scratched to within one game of going to a bowl in 1997 under than-head coach Mike Cavan with a 6-4 record prior to a loss at TCU in coach Pat Sullivan’s final contest with the Horned Frogs.
SMU hoping support for football program continues to grow.
At one SEC school being investigated, a NCAA Enforcement official asked athletics department staffers if he could get special reservations for some of the few racquetball areas on campus and what restaurant recommendations the staffers had for his dining and entertainment. Old Southern courtesy is one thing, but what can a department due when a NCAA official arrives in town with a prosecution message. For many schools, it was not a case of if or when but how to minimize the NCAA penalties and keep programs afloat. Conference offices and boards of directors (both at individual schools and in the governing bodies) labored long and hard over how much power the loop headquarters should and should have in the compliance and enforcement areas. “We tried to be the police,” said one former SWC official, “but we were operating without any firearms.” The Big Eight Conference under commissioners Chuck Neinas and Carl James attempted to subdue some of the major problems “within the family” at Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma, for example, but did not have the agreement of all conference constituents or firepower in many cases to nip the major offenders before the NCAA took over the investigation. Private calls during recruiting wars made a slight bit of headway, but negative recruiting (“You don’t want to go there because they discriminate against minorities…”They already have five running backs returning, you’ll never play there…”That school has-
The now “Miracle on the Hilltop” finally occurred in 2009 when former Hawai’i and NFL coaching mastermind June Jones
June Jones photo: rivals.yahoo.com
Probably the most amazing outcome of the “Bad Day at the Hilltop” was that SMU was able to keep its football program. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff called for a permanent end to the sport, and the United Methodist Church even eliminated its annual Sunday spring appeal nationwide for academic scholarships to SMU.
turned a 1-11 team from his first season in ’08 to a 8-5 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl winner in FBS’ largest victory turnaround (seven games) from the previous campaign. A record-tying three consecutive bowls from the 2009-11 seasons (along with the 198284 squads) and impressive 28-6 shellacking of Pittsburgh in the 2012 BBVA Compass Bow at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., may have signaled a complete rise of the SMU Phoenix from the 1987 grid ashes.
n’t smelled a bowl bid in 10 years; you don’t want to be a loser do you?...”We can get you a great summer job, and they’ll have you working in intramurals handing out towels and washing T-shirts…) cropped back up either from alumni or recruiters. The NCAA (again, even today) was trying to make sure the main administration (president’s/chancellor’s office) regained control over athletics departments such as Alabama, Southern California, Ohio State, Penn State, UCLA, Michigan, and others, who traditionally produced millions for university coffers but had little institutional control or safeguards. Compliance officers in all athletics departments now routinely report to the NCAA, conferences and university boards on potential problem areas and proactive programs. In the 1960s and 1970s most major universities did not hall fulltime compliance or student-athlete advisory offices, and assistant track coaches or grad assistants sometimes had to make rulings on eligibility or NCAA rules. THE FALLOUT That fateful day SMU had its 1987 season scuttled, director of athletic Bob Hitch and head football coach Bobby Collins resigned, and members of the ’86 team suddenly were eligible to play immediately at another college nationally without the required one-year transfer wait. Already banned from television and the SWC football crown by previous sanctions in 1985 and ’86, the Mustangs’ administration also sportspagedfw.com | The Sports Page | February 24-March 1, 2012
WITH KATE DELANEY
Time to start revving up Darvish Express RANGERS’ NEW HIGH-DOLLAR PITCHER ARRIVES IN SURPRISE
are tripping over the players to get a glimpse of the young legend?
Meanwhile, you can't read a blog, listen to one of three sports radio stations in DFW or pick up any paper without seeing a poll about whether the Rangers will return to the World Series. Most odds makers have staked it at 10 to1. Realistically, we all know how tough it is to make a repeat trip let alone a three-peat but I say we ignore Vegas and focus on the power of positive thinking.
by KATE DELANEY S P E C IAL C O NTR I B UTO R firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rangers newest weapon in the war to shut down hitters went through his first workout this week in Surprise, Arizona. Yu Darvish, the Pitcher turned rock star from Japan, throws with an air of confidence and fans are lapping it up. Make no mistake this plan was hatched a long time ago in those secret squirrel meetings that Rangers GM Jon Daniels had with scouts and “other” decision makers. As the shiny new object, Darvish is being followed all over the place by the media. This is nothing new for him, in Japan, he couldn't go anywhere without a pack of reporters following his every move. How do you fit in with your new teammates when guys with cameras and boom mikes
Wash and a few other Rangers so the skipper was happy to talk to reporters afterwards about what he witnessed.
All reports have fellow teammates shrugging off the media entourage following Darvish; the focus is more on what he brings to the rotation. THE REAL DEAL Manager Ron Washington says Darvish didn't disappoint after he went through a 30 pitch bullpen workout. Washington talked about his ability to keep the ball down and move it around when he wanted to and mentioned his power arm mixed with what he described as finesse stuff. No media witnessed the throwing session just
NOWITZKI CONTINUES TO ROLL Meanwhile, the Mavericks, who defied the odds last season, are trying to get back on on a roll; after dumping a big one to the Knicks earlier this week, they bounced back with an 89-73 win over the Boston Celtics last Monday night. Dirk Nowitzki made NBA history by batting away another blocked shot to give him 1,000 for his career. He also scored a season high 26 points with 16 boards moving him onto the Top 20 list of NBA Career Scorers. If I haven't heaped enough statistics on you
already check out the total points scored in 14 years - 23,354. (OBLIGATORY ‘LIN’ MENTION) Moving from Nowitzki, an 11 time All Star to the biggest thing going in the NBA: the Knicks’ Jeremy Lin. Mavericks fans unfortunately had a chance to see the unlikely star of the league first-hand with his 28 points and 14 assists in the 104-97 win over Dallas. I have to say, watching Linsanity dismantle our defending champs wasn't much fun but you gotta' love this guy's stor: goes to Harvard gets a degree in Economics and is tossed from team to team just looking for a real shot. He ends up on the Mavericks’ summer league squad (a sore subject for some of us in Dallas). Who ever thought that he would come off the bench for the Knicks because of injuries and turn in to one of the most exciting players to watch in the league - who cares if he plays for New York. Oh, by the way he just made the cover of Time Magazine. Stay tuned. Kate Delaney hosts "America Tonight," which airs from 11p.m. - 2a.m. on KKGM 1630AM.
The Cup will be decided by...Nick Grossman? by Richard S. Pollak, The Hockey Attitude SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR Dallasentertain@aol.com
Sounds good to me, after all the Stars have only manufacturered a grand total of 4 goals ( Tomas Vincour) From their last 3 draft classes!!!!!!!
I would like to thank Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Niewendyk for giving my Philly Flyers the 2012 Stanley Cup! By trading Nick Grossman to the Flyers, supposedly in order to stockpile draft picks, he may have given “us” a final piece of a championship puzzle.
MY SOLUTION FOR THE STARS? I say the Stars should give the Columbus Blue Jackets young goaltender Richard Bachman,defenseman Philip Larsen and just about anyone else they might want out of Austin for All-Star winger Rick Nash and Dallas have the next Mike Modano. Nash would be another potential Hall of Famer playing in teh AAC.
How can you trade away the Stars’ best defensive defenseman when you are only 3 points out of the playoffs? This is not to say that your are giving up; potential comeback player of the year, Sheldon Souray, is injured (Adam Pardy is suppose to replace him with a -11) and the new owner has plenty of money to pay to keep unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. However, it doesn't make sense unless, according to Bob Stevens of UPI Radio, " Niewendyk made the deal for the draft picks to package for a major deal before the trade deadline."
Get rid of the $9 million that you paid to those 4th liners and the last pairing of defenseman last season, bring up a bunch of kids from the AHL and you'll have plenty of money to pay Nash!
RE-ALIGNMENT BACK IN DISCUSSION NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently gathered the media to discuss a variety of league-wide and local issues of interest. The most interesting tidbits – at least regarding what Bettman would call “new news” – revolve around dealings with the NHLPA.
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Bettman’s comments: “The most significant thing I can say about that is the governors were overwhelming in support of the plan,” Bettman said. “It’s something that we, as a league, thought was the right thing to do for our fans, for the team, for the game. But we made the decision based on the position that the union was taking to try not to be confrontational right now. Ultimately, our goal will be to be to implement the will of the board [of governors].”
For the most part, Bettman didn't provide a whole lot of information about the negotiation process regarding the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. He did share an interesting little nugget about when the discussions could begin, though: “Well, Don Fehr has repeatedly said that he wouldn't be ready until after the All-Star [weekend],” Bettman said. “My guess is that at some point in the next few weeks, we'll probably sit down—assuming the union is comfortable doing that. There’s a pretty steep learning curve in terms of the business
from the union’s standpoint, what the players are focused on, and we've been respectful of that process. So whenever they're ready, we're ready. We've been ready.” Bettman spoke about what is likely the greatest fear of hockey people: another protracted work stoppage. “I'm not sure it’s about learning lessons, because the lesson that everybody knows – and it’s not one you have to learn – is that you want to not have work stoppages,” Bettman said. “They're not fun. They're counter-productive. But if, if you're in a situation as we were where there were fundamental problems that had to be addressed, you have to address the problems. Because you can't live with a dysfunctional system.” It’s not crazy to view that quote as a bit cryptic, especially if he views the current system as dysfunctional. It’s tough to imagine the league taking that stand, but that doesn't mean that a work stoppage is out of the question – especially with the aforementioned realignment talk in mind.
Mid-season discussion of Mavs pros & cons by Scott Rozsa & Mike Kravik email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org This is the first part of a two-part discussion of the Dallas Mavericks and the multitude of NBA storylines throughout the league for the first half of the season. Part 2 will run next week. -Ed. It seems difficult to believe that we are already at the halfway point of this accelerated NBA season - the halfway point, really (as of press time, the Mavs had just played their 34th game)? In just sixty days? Damn, my knees are aching just thinking about what this schedule must be doing to these players' bodies. With it being the All-Star break, it's time for the obligatory assessment - in two parts - of how things have played out thus far, both for our Dallas Mavericks, and the league as a whole. I decided to bring in my fellow Sportspage Weekly NBA/Mavs guru, Mike Kravik, in for a little tête-à-tête breakdown of how we've seen the action play out over the season's first two months. Being the Champs, the Mavs get the first analysis.
as a top seed in the West.
The reason for this, and the thing that has become one of the biggest story lines in the season thus far is the performance of the Mavericks defense. EVERYBODY said that it was Tyson Chandler who backstopped Dallas last year and was the primary reason for their defensive improvement, and with his relocation to NYC, the Mavs would revert to their turnstile-ish, Nellie-ball ways.
This season has been a showcase for Shawn Marion. He's the singular player the Mavs couldn't replace on defense, not Chandler. If somebody wanted to make the case that Marion is the first half MVP of the Mavericks, I wouldn't argue with them.
How does the number one-ranked FG% defense strike you (41.4%)? They are currently fifth in opponents' scoring (90.8 ppg). Last week, when they went down by fifteen points to Philadelphia, I knew they would come back to win the game. Their defense has become so trustworthy, even without Chandler, that I knew they would turn the screws on the Sixers and pull the game out. The Sixers shot 21.4% in the second half, and scored only 24 points. Ball game. Rinse and repeat. What's your top Mavericks storyline thus far Mike?
SCOTT: As the season started, it felt uncomfortable even calling Dallas “The Defending Champions.” The lengthy lockout had dulled much of the luster from their title run and it felt like they were being somewhat ignored as pundits began making their 2011-12 picks. This wasn't helped by the fact that the Mavs' brain trust had decided to let what many considered to be the heart of last year's playoff success, Tyson Chandler, and an important catalyst of their offense, J.J. Barea, to leave in free agency. Throw in walking papers for former starters Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson, and these moves seemed to defy logic to many fans. The moves were necessary, as owner Mark Cuban explained, to open up cap space next year (hopefully for some combination of Dwight Howard and Deron Williams) and were also brought about as a reaction to the new collective bargaining agreement's much steeper luxury tax penalties.
KRAVIK: My top story line with the Mavericks this year is the phenomenal job that Cuban & Donnie did in the off-season. Before the season, the goals were to remain competitive this year yet position the team to land Williams and/or Howard next summer. Standing pat and bringing everybody back would have been the easy decision but it would have also been ignoring the longterm. We just saw the Celtics…that's what would have happened to the Mavs if they would have brought everybody back.
With a deplorable opening three games and a 1-4 start out of the box, it took on all the markings of a lost season. Despite the abominable opening week, the merry-goround of players on the injured list, the AWOL performance by newcomer Lamar Odom and the fact that the team is the oldest in the league that has to deal with this truncated schedule, here we are at the break sitting 22-12 and firmly positioned
Regarding the defense being better without Chandler…I loved what Chandler brought to the Mavs last year but so much of his value was tied up in intangibles, things that don't show up on a stat sheet - presence, intimidation, attitude, all of which helped make him so popular with the fans and teammates. The truth is that Chandler's value was replaced rather easily by a combo platter of
Williams & Howard coming available is an incredible opportunity that would alter the direction of the franchise and take some of the load off Dirk. Our management not only did an excellent job in the past (built a championship team) and current seasons (22-12) but they've positioned the franchise to do well in the future. I'm very bullish about the Mavs short and long-terms mostly because of our management.
Scott, do you have any major concerns about the second half of the season? SCOTT: Excellent point on Marion there Kravik. Without Marion being the lone returnee to show up on Christmas Day in shape and ready to play, it would be scary to think how bad the team's start could have been. As of today, with things going rather swimmingly of late, other than the Linsane undressing of the Mavs' defense last Sunday by the Knicks, it would be easy to put blinders on and ignore some potential issues. A minor item of concern lately is the decline not only in Ian Mahinmi's minutes of late, but his play when he's on the court. In the last five games, his minutes have been halved and he hasn't registered a single point. No wonder Brandan Wright has been seeing so much run. However, I will start my biggest concern for this season with a puzzle for you. Fill in the blank: Troy Murphy (9.80), Rashard Lewis (9.79), Earl Watson (9.76), ______ (9.76), Larry Sanders (9.73). Answer: LAMAR ODOM. The eyeball test alone will alert even the most dabbling of basketball fans to the fact that Odom has struggled during his time with Dallas. However, when his PER (9.76) is in the company of those scrubs that surround him on the list above (and remember, 15.0 is what the most AVERAGE of players puts up) and it ranks him #276 in the entire NBA, things are not going bad, they are a catastrophe. During the Mavs-Knicks game, it seemed as though Odom was actively driving holes in the Mavs sinking ship - remember his perfect assist that led to a Jeremy Lin dunk to close the third quarter that blew the lid off MSG? - and even my 12-year-old was screaming for Carlisle to get him out of there. I don't see Odom's play turning around at any point this season, and he may end up being a pouting anchor that demoralizes the locker room. No matter how many
times Carlisle and Cuban try to tell us that Lamar is subtly playing well, all of his numbers are close to half of what they were last year, and his temperament and body language even has the AAC crowd booing him. Addition by subtraction may be in order. Any red flags that I haven't mentioned, Kravik? If not, how do you like the Mavs' chances in the playoffs this Spring? KRAVIK: The biggest red flag that nobody (media, management, team) is talking about is the decline of Jason Kidd. He's fallen off a cliff yet all I hear from Carlisle and some of the players is (when Kidd was hurt) “We miss him and we need him back.” Kidd is one of my all-time favorite players and I hate ragging on him but he's one step ahead of being done. You mentioned PER…Kidd's PER this year is 11.7 (it was 17.2 two years ago). This season he's making 32% of his shots (compared to 42% two years ago). His minutes, points, assists, rebounds and steals are down but his turnovers are up. I have concerns with Carlisle …Why is he so protective of Odom (he claimed his stats on a 36 minute per game basis over the last 15 games are right in line with the rest of his career) when his butt should be stapled to the bench? I can't understand his treatment of Roddy B. Carlisle also seems oblivious to what's happening with Kidd Odom took the brunt of the criticism for the Knicks loss but Kidd had 5 turnovers with 4 assists and shot 3 for 9 from the field. Better play from our point guard wins that game. Those concerns with Kidd's decline and Carlisle's process have to be somewhat muted because of the results (6-1 since Kidd came back). They have a ring and they're 21-8 (three losses came at the buzzer) since the bad start so it's tough to criticize anything they're doing because they're winning. I said before the season the Mavs would go 46-20 and that could still happen with good health. Can they repeat as champions? With Dirk playing at this level anything's possible but I say they make it back to the Conference Finals and fall short. Check back next week for the second installment of the mid-season NBA analysis...Jeremy Lin included!
sportspagedfw.com | The Sports Page | February 24-March 1 2012
TICKET WINDOW Mike Napoli on with Norm Hitzges Discussing his trade, the Rangers clubhouse and his injured ankle .
worked your way so much into the fabric of that team. Did it stun you when the Angels traded you? Napoli: You know what, not really. It wasn't bad blood or anything, but it wasn't really going the right way I don't think. I could kind of feel that they wanted to part ways and get as much value as they could for me. Norm: Did it get personal between you and Mike Scoscia?
Norm Hitzges Show Weekdays, 10:00 AM - Noon Norm: I was really stunned when I saw Anaheim traded you, and I wondered if you were too. It seemed you had
Napoli: I don't think so. I went into the clubhouse everyday, and wasn't really happy that I wasn't playing. I don't really get why I wasn't playing in the Angels organization. It got to the point where I guess they didn't like me behind the plate, and where my defense was going. It was something to where my catcher's ERA wasn't going good, and I lost playing time that way. Mike Scoscia asks a lot when you catch for him. Sometimes I think it's a little too much. You worry about a lot of little things, instead of the game. You're worried
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about how your setting up, or is my target low enough, and you're not really thinking about what's going on in the game. I'd give up a couple runs, and then i'd be worried about not getting to catch the next day. Coming over here to Texas, there was freedom. I could set up where I wanted, and be comfortable behind the plate and really just work with the pitchers and help get them through innings. Norm: You walked into a clubhouse that has turned into somewhat of a legend locally. Would you give us some feeling for what you felt when you walked into that clubhouse? Napoli: From day one, it was awesome. How everyone interacts with each other, and they get along, and you can really tell everyone cares about each other. It's like a family in the clubhouse, and even off the field the families are close. It's really nice going to the clubhouse, and knowing that you have people there that really care about you. That's the type of person I am, and I made a lot of great friends in the clubhouse and I
expect them to be my friends forever. Norm: How's the ankle you hurt in the playoffs? Napoli: It's getting better. I don't think i'm fully 100% yet, but by the time the season starts I should be good to go. I'm getting better everyday. I've been doing a lot of agility stuff, and everything seems like it's getting better. Norm: You're a high energy player at a position that takes a great deal of effort. Is Mike Napoli better when he only plays between 120 and 130 games? Napoli: I mean I want to play everyday. I know it's a grind behind the plate, especially with the Texas heat, but i've been getting myself in shape and I like the opportunity to see if I can be an everyday catcher.
ng o P er !! Wat ament to rn 667 7 Tou 4 9-37
! 46 i at r team d n u a l Br nter yo Cal e
sportspagedfw.com | The Sports Page | February 24-March 1, 2012
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Where’s the Beef? Hotel Intercontinental! by RICHARD POLLAK, The Traveling Gourmet SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR Dallasentertain@aol.com
Bearnaise Sauce which takes the meat to a whole new level of flavor.
WHERE'S THE BEEF? We have found all the the beef you can handle at Q De Cheval in the Hotel Intercontinental in Addison and it is GOOD! Every Friday night you get all the Prime Rib you can put in your Belly for only $19.95. During the Day, Q De Cheval is the Breakfast and Lunch Restaurant for the Hotel Intercontinental, but at night, it becomes a Five Star Dining extravaganza with Gulf Crab Cake in a Poblano Beurre Blanc, Red Chili Caesar Salad with a choice of Chicken Breast ,Grilled Tiger Shrimp, Tuna or Quail and Entrees of Braised Short Ribs, Steak Bearnaise and Chicken Fried Maine Lobster. But on Friday nights, this exceptional corporate hotel in Addison really gets humming to THE BEEF! I was immediately recognized by Executive
Chef Rex Turner, who once gave me the Sunday Brunch of a lifetime at his old cooking grounds at Coalvines on McKinney. After greeting me, Chef rushed to the kitchen and quickly returned, presenting me with a freshly butchered rack of meaty Prime Rib Bones. The tender beef was falling off of the massive ribs. While the Sous Chef ,who also knew me immediately from my visit to his old place of work at Nick & Sam's Grill, made sure that our extra large slabs of Prime Rib were perfectly sliced and then sent for a dip in a perfectly seasoned Au Jus to get it at the preferred doneness. Don't forget to crown your protein with Chef Rex's outstanding Crawfish
We smartly took a tour of the entire Buffet, a gracious tribute to the Old Infamous Sunday Brunch in their Malachite Show Room. Chef Turner tickled our taste buds with a self-served thick cup of creamy Crab and Corn Chowder and a hearty salad of roasted vegetables like FAVS Asparagus and Potbelly Mushrooms with a wonderfully fresh infused Herb Ranch Dressing. Once we were well stocked with 4 ridiculous Prime Rib bones, General Manager Tariq Fassal, attended to our wine selections. Normally looking for a Rich Robust Red Cabernet Sauvignon, I was unfortunately sent to the Penalty Box, not allowed to drink alcohol because of my new medication. A Restaurant Food and Wine writer, who can't drink? Readers please email me! Someone's got to handle the drinking for me. Tariq could not have been more gracious, as he displayed a wine bucket for us with a glass of the finest sparkling water. Manning our table,TJ ( not his real initials) could not have been more attentive. All evening long, he handled the major task of
bringing us garlic infused butter and cleaning our empty plates off of the table. In only his third shift in fine dining. I would nominate TJ for Best Buffet Waiter of the Year! Not only did Chef Turner succeed to fill our tummies with Best Prime in North Texas, but had both Baked and Sweet Potatoes perfectly prepared with all the fixings: perfectly Grilled Asparagus and Green Bean Casserole and in-house Baked Corn Bread. The only disappointment to the entire evening was that when it came time to attack the enormous 10 lb Apple Cobbler, accompanied by a Silver Punch Bowl filled with Vanilla Ice Cream that there was none of that delicious Cobbler crust left. Before I could even start to cry, the back of the house was hustling from the Pastry Kitchen with another Huge Display of Apple Cobbler which I though was just for me! InterContinental Hotel 15201 Dallas Parkway Addison, TX 75001 (972) 386-6000 www.ichotelsgroup.com
SPORTS BAR DIRECTORY
White Rock Sports Bar& Grill
2730 Commerce St.
OPEN DAILY 11 A.M TO 2 A.M.
718 N. Buckner Blvd #108 Dallas, TX 75218 214-321-6979
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6465 E. MOCKINGBIRD LANE 2 14 . 8 2 6 . 0 11 0
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Poke's Neighborhood Grill 14831 Midway Rd. Addison 972.385.7653
2390 PARKWOOD BLVD. FRISCO, TEXAS 75034 214.618.4450 3RDBASESPORTSBAR.COM
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1/2 price pizzas during cowboy games!
sportspagedfw.com | The Sports Page | February 24- March 1, 2012
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sportspagedfw.com | The Sports Page | February 24 - March 1, 2012
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