Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Boris Becker…
- Mississippi State continues to upgrade its football stadium. They are adding another 6,000 seats, which will be in place before the 2014 season.
They will celebrate their 100th anniversary of football that year by playing in-state rival Southern Miss on Aug. 30.
The addition will bring the stadium to just over 61,000 capacity. They have had 16 straight home game sellouts.
Vanderbilt, with the smallest capacity stadium in the SEC at 39,790, is adding a much-needed state of the art scoreboard and artificial turf for the upcoming season.
When he first assumed the role of an athletics director, David Williams said Vanderbilt would not get into an “arms race'' with other SEC schools when it came to athletics facilities.
It's funny how Williams changed his tune when other schools came after baseball coach Tim Corbin and now in football when he became the man who hired James Franklin.
Should Franklin continue to make his mark in the SEC, Williams will have to upgrade a lot more things in the football program.
- ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski is ranking the NFL's top 30 quarterbacks. He ranked Jags QB Blaine Gabbert one spot ahead of No. 30 Tim Tebow. Gabbert looked like a deer in the headlights in taking Jacksonville to a 4-10 season while Tebow sparked the Denver Broncos to the playoffs with a 7-4 record while the starter. Tebow even led the Broncos to an upset playoff win over the Steelers.
Jaws also came down hard on Rams QB Sam Bradford, whom he ranked No 20. Jaworski cited Bradford as having “cabin fever'' in the pocket and regressing in his second season.
Jaws would be skittish, too, if he had been sacked 70 times in 26 career games, as Bradford has.
- Florida Coach Billy Donovan raved about Tennessee's rising sophomore Jarnell Stokes and his play for Team USA in the FIBA Americas gold-medal winning team.
Stokes, who joined the Vols in mid-season after foregoing his senior season in high school, led a team of all high school players to the championship over host Brazil.
He averaged 14 points, 5.6 rebounds and hit 68.9 percent from the field while averaging 20.2 minutes a game as a starter.
Donovan praised Stokes for his leadership on the team during the five-game tournament. The 6-8, 250-pounder from Memphis is a beast once he gets position down low and Vols fans are in for a treat this season as the frontline of Stokes, Jeronne Maymon and Kenny Hall return from last season's team.
- After Nashville tennis pro Brian Baker won three qualifying matches, he finds himself in the Wimbledon draw with play starting Monday.
Baker will play Portugal's Rui Machado, ranked No. 96 in the men's world rankings. Baker is currently ranked No. 124 in the world and has made a remarkable comeback after six years away from the game due to a series of injuries and surgeries.
The 27-year-old Hillwood High graduate is holding up physically and playing the best tennis of his life.
- Former Vanderbilt tennis star Bobby Reynolds lost in the first round of men's singles qualifying at Wimbledon.
He turned pro after foregoing his final season at Vandy.
At 29 years old, Reynolds is no spring chicken after turning pro in 2003. His best Wimbledon showing was getting to the third round in 2008.
- Former Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino sold the family house in Fayetteville, but had to take a $550,000 loss on it.
Someone got a bargain on the 8,471 square foot home. He first put it on the market for $2.25 million four years ago.
It sold for $1.7 million. No, the most famous motorcycle in the state was not included. He previously sold it, as was.
- Exactly just what are those knuckleheads who yell “Get In The Hole,'' at the top of their lungs the second a PGA Tour pro hits a shot.
It could be the most improbable shot in the sport and yet here comes Larry Leatherlung yelling. I guess it is so he can ask all his buddies if they heard him on TV.
The same goes for those dopes that get behind sportscasters at courtside on college and pro basketball games and wave and make goofy faces. I especially like those rocket scientists that grab their cell phone and call their buddy to tell him they are on TV.
- Convicted child predator Jerry Sandusky checked into the Gray Bar Motel last night and if there is any justice in this world, he will never see outside a prison the rest of his life.
I wonder how he likes his three hots and a cot? He was placed on suicide watch, but that would be the easy way out for him.
- Oh, these Little League moms. A New Jersey woman was at a game, sitting at a picnic table adjacent to a bullpen that had a fence around it.
But Matthew Migliaccio, who was 11 at the time, was warming up a pitcher in the bullpen when his return throw went awry and struck the woman in the face.
So what does any red-blooded Little League Mom do? Sues the tyke, that's what.
Now 13 years old, Migliaccio is in the center of a lawsuit asking for more than $150,000 in damages to pay medical costs.
“I ran over to see if she was all right,” Migliaccio told the Asbury Park Press. “She said she was OK. I was just warming the pitcher up and I was not horsing around.''
The Manchester Little League claims its insurance covers coaches and players, but not spectators.
If you've ever watched a Little League game, you should know the farther away from any kid throwing a baseball, the better.
- Holley Mangold is a 22 year-old superheavyweight Olympic weight lifter. She is 5-8, and tips the scales at 350 pounds.
According to a story in the New York Times, Mangold played high school football and has to ice her arthritic knees after workouts at the Columbus, Ohio YMCA.
She can squat with 525 pounds on her shoulders. In the Olympic team trials, she finished second. She clean and jerked 319.7 pounds and snatched 242.5 pounds in Olympic team trials.
Her brother is Nick Mangold, center for the NY Jets who recently signed a contract extension worth $54 million.
She doesn't apologize for her unusual size for a female.
“I don't want to be small. That would be awful,'' Mangold said. “Nobody remembers the skinny girl's name.''
- And who should be one of the speakers be at the NFL rookie symposium that starts today in Ohio?
Your favorite ex-Titan, Adam “Pacman'' Jones. Certainly Pac could fill the rookies' notebooks with a laundry list of “Don'ts.
The NFL suspended him for the 2007 season after he was arrested six times in two years. Charges in three of the cases were dismissed.
- Beau Hossler, the 17-year-old high school rising senior who competed for last week's U.S. Open title until the final round, was playing in his second straight Open.
He became the first prep school golfer since Clarksville's Mason Rudolph to qualify for two consecutive U.S. Opens while still in high school. Rudolph was 16 years, six days old in his first U.S. Open in 1950. He rode a train by himself from Clarksville to the Open in Merion, outside Philadelphia. He arrived early in the morning, and with no one around, he took out his putter and began putting on the bent grass practice green.
A security guard showed up and in a menacing voice, asked Rudolph just what he thought he was doing on the green. They whisked him off to an area where the caddies were gathered. He produced the necessary papers to a group of red-faced officials.
- Doug Jones was playing a round of golf last week at Old Hickory CC with wife Lucy, a longtime popular employee with the Vanderbilt athletics department, now retired.
Doug got his first hole-in-one that day and Lucy was the only witness. That new sparked a wave of golfers questioning whether Doug had really made an ace. It was all in fun. They wanted to make sure he paid the bar bill.
Got a sports tip? Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.