Sunday Notes: June 3, 2012

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: July 7, 2013 (Image 1)

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to David Gossett…

  • It has been 10 years ago this month since Memphis was the site for a WBC and IFC Heavyweight Championship fight between champion Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.

    It took place, and there were doubts that it would ever happen, at The Pyramid, a venue no longer used for major sporting events.

    If you were into people watching, the ‘Mid was the place to be. It's safe to say Memphis had never seen anything like it. It was a mini-Las Vegas, if only for that one night.

    Tyson had vowed he would not fight that night and the betting odds were heavy on whether he would show, or not. The two had brawled during a press conference in January of that year and the fight had to be moved to Memphis because Nevada would not give Tyson a license to fight.

    Lewis landed a right cross to Tyson in the eighth round and Tyson never got up.

    Celebrities showed up in droves. Among them, according to Wikipedia, were Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Clint Eastwood, Hugh Hefner, LL Cool J, Wesley Snipes, Donald Trump and heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield.

    It was a pay-per-view event, shared by HBO and Showtime. It still remains the highest grossing event in heavyweight pay-per-view history. It grossed $106.9 million in the U.S. and they had 1.95 million buys in the United Kingdom. An announced 15,327 fans attended the fight.

    It was a night those of us in Memphis would not forget.

  • Nashville's Brandt Snedeker made the cut by four strokes at The Memorial Tournament with a 69-74. He played the second round early in the morning when the weather was unseasonably cold with a lot of wind, which made it feel even colder.

    Snedeker experienced some pain in his side during the round.

    “It got worse that night and I was coughing and it hurt. I went to the course (Saturday), got some treatment then tried to warm up and it wasn't any better,'' Snedeker said from his Nashville home Saturday. “I thought I better withdraw before I did more damage.

    “I don't know what I did. I'm going to get an MRI Monday and we will know more then. I am going to let it heal and get ready for the U.S. Open.''

    Snedeker told me he and his wife, Mandy, are expecting their second child later this year.

  • Former Tennessee Tech golfer Scott Stallings was paired with Tiger Woods in Saturday's third round. It was the first time in Stallings' career to play with Woods and the Oak Ridge resident got more TV face-time than ever before.

    Stallings hit first and Woods' tee ball was behind Stallings on the opening hole. Woods made a birdie putt from the fringe to take the lead at that point. Stallings birdie putt was too hard and touched the hole and ran past.

    Woods begins today's final round four shots back of the leader, while Stallings shot a third round 75 and is likely out of the chase.

    Stallings tore cartilage in five ribs in mid-January and had to sit out six weeks. He shot 66-73 to shoot 5-under, same score as Woods after two rounds.

    Stallings had missed six straight cuts coming into the Memorial.

  • What was James Franklin thinking? Maybe the Florida heat got to him in Destin.

    Franklin's comments on a local FM radio sports talk show about not hiring assistant coaches unless they had an attractive wife, got the Vanderbilt football coach in hot water, especially with his boss, Vanderbilt Vice-Chancellor David Williams. Williams is the person responsible for hiring the former Maryland assistant coach.

    Those listening to the show maintain the co-hosts and Franklin were joking around. It's the slow season for sports talk shows. Franklin has said similar things in the past, but this time it went viral.

    In Franklin's position, he can't afford to joke around in this politically correct climate we live in. Lesson for Franklin to learn: When you go on a show with goofballs, you don't go there. Then you become a goofball.

  • It is looking more and more like a San Antonio-Miami Heat NBA Finals.

    They are the two best teams this season. Boston is a team aging before our eyes and Oklahoma City's youth works for them and against them in a playoff environment.

    Tim Duncan is a dinosaur that played at Wake Forest before San Antonio took him in the draft. But even though he has been there forever it seems, Duncan still commands respect. He never gets in a hurry and is fundamentally sound.

  • If you lived in this area while the late, great Fred Russell was writing sports columns for the now defunct Nashville Banner, you will want to get the newly released book, “Life of Dreams: The Good Times of Sportswriter Fred Russell.''

    Vanderbilt alumnus Andrew Derr has written the first complete biography of Russell, a gentleman I had the pleasure to work with 18 years until the newspaper was closed and sold back to Gannett for $65 million.

    Russell was an icon in his time, and what a time it was. He worked 69 years at the Banner, something that will never be duplicated in this profession.

    Derr does a masterful job profiling Russell, telling many of his practical jokes, which were legendary. He also writes about Russell's relationships with the giants of the sports world.

    Mr. Russell had a picture in his office of him, former All-American running back Red Grange, heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and the world's best amateur golfer Bobby Jones.

    I asked him how he ever got three mega-stars from different sports together to take the picture. It happened when the Banner publisher hosted a dinner/reception to celebrate Russell's 25th year with the afternoon paper.

    Russell was the consummate professional, hated mistakes in the sports section worse than Communists. His storytelling ability was second to none and his wit never-ending. He died at age 96, having written columns into his 90s. Oh, by the way, all of them were written on manual typewriters.

    Derr captured the essence of Freddie Russell.

  • Tom Seaver never did it. Dwight Gooden never did it. Neither did Nolan Ryan. No NY Mets pitcher ever threw a no-hitter in the history of the franchise until Johan Santana spun a no-no Friday on the Cardinals.

    It brought Santana's record to 3-2, as he has gotten off to a slow start. He has flirted with no-hitters in his past, but never pulled it off.

    Meanwhile, the Mets best pitcher continues to be Nashville's R.A. Dickey, a longtime minor league player who learned to throw a knuckleball and found a team that believed in him.

    The former MBA and Tennessee right-hander is now 7-1 on the season and earned a career-first National League Player of the Week award last week.

    Dickey was 2-0, gave up one run in 14 1/3 innings for a 0.63 ERA. He had a career-high 11 strikeouts against the Pirates and 10 against the Padres.

  • The closer Predators defenseman Ryan Suter gets to unrestricted free agency, the less likely it is the Predators can keep him.

    You can't blame Suter for testing the waters. He can command top dollar on the market.

    The Predators and Suter's agent have been talking and they will reach a decision in the near future. Suter likes a lot of things about the Nashville area and the franchise. Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side. 

Got a sports tip to share? Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s