Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Kimbo Slice…
- Pacman Jones made headlines again last week, for all the wrong reasons. The former Titans cornerback was ordered by a judge to pay $11 million in damages to two Las Vegas strip club employees.
They were injured in a 2007 incident where shots were fired in the club's parking lot in the wee hours of the day. One of those hit wounded is permanently paralyzed.
The accused gunman claimed he only did what Jones asked him to do and demanded $15,000 from Jones for “services rendered.''
Jones is hanging on with the Bengals, used primarily as a returner. They have better cornerbacks.
- Despite missing the U.S. Open cut by a stroke, Casey Martin became the story the first two days. It has been 14 years since Martin took the PGA Tour to court to allow him to use a golf cart in PGA Tour tournaments. It went all the way to the Supreme Court before they ruled in Martin's favor, due to a leg with severe circulatory problems.
Martin is now 40 years old and Oregon's men's golf team. He has not played competitive golf in six years, yet went out and qualified for the Open at Olympic Club.
The golf course won.
“It is off the charts difficult – difficult for the best players in the world who are at the top of their game, let alone for a 40-year-old golf coach with a disability,'' Martin said of the course.
A former teammate of Tiger Woods when both played for Stanford, Woods knows how close Martin came to having his leg amputated.
“Unless you really know him, I don't think people really have an appreciation of how much pain he's in,'' Woods said.
- Reports on TMZ claim Lakers star Kobe Bryant may have not made the NBA Finals, but he apparently is keeping his marriage out of divorce court.
He and his wife Vanessa are working to agree on what would be a full reconciliation. They have two young girls.
Kobe had previously given his wife their three mansions. Bryant has made a reported $221 million from the Lakers since signing as an 18-year-old player who went from high school to the NBA.
- I like professional athletes who get it. Brandon Jacobs is one of them. The former Auburn power running back that finished at Southern Illinois, played seven seasons with the New York Giants, winning two Super Bowls during that time.
Jacobs developed a big fan in six-year-old Joe Armento, a rabid Giants fan who wore Jacobs' jersey number (27) in his flag football league.
Joe couldn't understand why Jacobs would leave the Giants and move all the way across the country to play for the 49ers. His mother explained that the Giants would not pay Jacobs what he wanted to stay.
So little Joe goes to his piggy bank and empties it, all $3.36 of it, and had his mother mail it to Jacobs. Jacobs tweeted that he got the card and money from Joe and when he came back to New York he would treat Joe to a visit to Chuck E. Cheese for pizza and return his money to him.
It won't be the money Joe actually mailed Jacobs. He is keeping that money in the envelope it came in to remind him just how important professional athletes can be to young fans.
- The tenacity and patience is paying off for R. A. Dickey.
The former MBA and Tennessee pitcher had spent so much time at Triple-A Oklahoma City, he even jokingly compared himself to the lifer minor league catcher Crash Davis in the movie, Bull Durham.
Dickey was smart enough to realize his pitches were not going to keep him in the major leagues. He had played around with a knuckleball as a kid and got serious with it, knowing that if he could perfect the pitch and control it, he would give opposing batters fits.
He has done just that. Dickey became the first pitcher to record 10 victories this season. He did it against one of the best, Murfreesboro and former Vanderbilt star David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Dickey's one-hitter was the second in his career, more than good enough to put the Rays away, 10-1.
The 37-year-old Dickey could easily pitch well into his 40s. Born without an ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm, he will never be a candidate for Tommy John surgery.
But if he keeps this pace up, Dickey could be a Cy Young candidate.
- Speaking of the minor leagues, who should show up at a Charleston (S.C.) River Dogs game but comedian/actor Bill Murray.
Murray is a part owner of the Class A farm team of the Yankees.
Murray came out to run the bases during a rain-delayed game where the teams had to cover the field with a tarp.
It was his act that mimicked former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey whose base-running escapade on a tarp climaxed with him sliding head first into home plate, sending water spraying everywhere.
- How's this for the current state of newspapers and their managerial decisions?
Former Nashville Banner writer Doug Segrest has been with the Birmingham News for years. Monday night Segrest and his family were on vacation and in Salisbury for him to be honored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association as Sportswriter of the Year in Alabama.
“The next morning they called me from the paper and told me I was fired,'' Segrest said.
He will be a guest Monday morning as I host the final hour (8-9 a.m.) of the Steve Gill Show.
We will also have Rick Bozich, longtime sports columnist of the Louisville Courier-Journal, who left the paper to take a job with the Fox TV station in Louisville and Steve Cavendish, who was a top page designer with the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune and was also a layoff casualty. He returned to Nashville as of The City Paper.
We will discuss the future of newspapers.
- A couple of familiar names participated in the NBA Players Association's Top 100 High School Camp.
Included in the array of high school underclassmen were Darin Minniefield, son of former Kentucky point guard Dirk Minniefield and Reggie Theus Jr., son of the former UNLV and NBA star.
It was for high school seniors and a few rising juniors. The camp was run by former NBA guard John Lucas.
- I don't know about you, but I want no part of playing the Olympic Club, site of this year's U.S. Open.
Difficult doesn't begin to describe the layout that has been a giant pain for the best players in the world.
At one point in the third round, no golfer was shooting even par or better. And they have had perfect weather conditions for the Bay area.
Maybe 17-year-old high school golfer Beau Hossler was too young to feel the pressure. And there was Memphis golfer Casey Wittenberg in the final two rounds.
Wittenberg completed Saturday's third round 5-over, which was in the hunt for Sunday's final round.
Veteran Jim Furyk and Ireland's Graeme McDowell lead the field today, both at 1-under.
- Congratulations to voice of the Predators, Pete Weber. Weber was honored last week in Salisbury, N.C. as the Sportscaster of the Year in Tennessee.
Titans beat writer Jim Wyatt won sportswriter of the year for the state.
They are two of the best at their craft, as you will find in any state.
Got a sports story tip? Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.