JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: February 3, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to John Rocker.

  • Much has been said and done about the Harbaugh brothers coaching against each other in Super Bowl XLVII.

    Publicly, they haven't tried to avoid the inevitable, but privately I would think they would rather be coaching against an opponent they were not related to.

    I remember Watson Brown and brother Mack wanted no part of playing each other twice when Watson was Vanderbilt's coach and Mack coached Tulane.

    Watson took the Vanderbilt job in 1986 and the Tulane game had been on the schedule and had to be played in 1986 and '87.

    “Neither one of us liked it and we said we would never do it again,'' Watson Brown told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in a recent article.

    “Mack isn't just my brother, but my closest friend in the coaching profession and we couldn't talk much during those two years. Being out there before the game and shaking hands after the game were hard for me.''

    Former BGA coach Ralph Brown called to tell me about the time he was visiting Watson and Mack's grandfather, Eddie “Jelly'' Watson, who had a 106-51-3 record as a Cookeville high school football coach.

    “He told me had two young'uns that really liked ‘ball.' I guess they were about five and six years old then. He knew what he was talking about,'' Brown said.

    When the two brothers coached against each other, Jelly Watson wore a two-billed baseball hat to the games with Vanderbilt and Tulane on opposite sides. Tulane won both games, 35-17 and 27-17, and they never played each other again.

    I'm sure John and Jim Harbaugh have similar feelings, but they will go down in history, win or lose.

  • Area football players were a big part in Navy's 8-win season, in which the Midshipmen beat Army for the 11th straight time and won the Commander in Chief's Trophy for the eighth time in the past 11 years.

    Leading the way was freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who was voted by teammates as the Most Valuable Player. He led them in total offense, averaging 119 yards a game after being promoted to the starting position after an injury sidelined the starter.

    Reynolds played at Goodpasture and was honored by the Philadelphia Sportswriters Assn. as the MVP of the Army-Navy game. He was the first freshman to claim the honor.

    Cornerback Parrish Gaines was tied for fifth in tackles with 69. The former Smyrna High star had two interceptions this season.

    Brentwood Academy had three players on Navy's roster. Sophomore cornerback Kwazel Bertrand had 39 tackles, a sack, and recovered a fumble. Junior linebacker Josh Tate had 23 tackles and a sack while senior noseguard Barry Dabney had 21 tackles and a fumble recovery.

  • New Colorado football coach Mike MacIntyre was in town for the recent American Football Coaches Association's annual convention.

    He also got to spend time with his father, former Vanderbilt coach George MacIntyre. Coach Mac continues to be bedridden as he fights the years long effects of MS, but if you want to learn the meaning of “faith'' it is Coach Mac.

    Mike's not too shabby in the faith department, as he was honored at the AFCA convention with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Grant Teaff National Coach of the Year Award for leading San Jose State to its first 10-win season since 1987.

  • In the last nine Super Bowls, only two running backs managed to gain more than 100 yards.

    Give up? It happened in the same game when Dominic Rhodes ran 113 yards for the Colts and the Bears' Thomas Jones got 112 yards as both broke the century mark in Super Bowl XLI.

    Will a third or fourth running back add to the list? More probably it will be 49ers veteran Frank Gore as they have a better running game. The Ravens would love to see Ray Rice accomplish it because if he does, they would likely win tonight's game.

  • The number 13 was a lucky one for WKRN-TV Sports Director Cory Curtis and his wife, the former Rachel Martinez.

    The couple welcomed their first child after 13 years of marriage. Eva Alexandra Martinez Curtis arrived Jan. 24 at 8 pounds, 19½ inches.

  • If anything, golf fans at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale have fun above all.

    They fight for seats at the par-3 16th hole where it's a college football game atmosphere. They yell, they cheer, they boo, and they delight in ribbing the players, as they do extensive homework on the players' personal lives.

    Most of the players join in on the frivolity. Bubba Watson passed out dozens of golf visors before leaving the hole and Padraig Harrington kicked a number of footballs up in the stands Saturday.

    Even the caddies race from the tee box to the green on No. 16, carrying golf bag and all. It got spicy when brothers Kip and Brett Henley were in the same group Saturday. Kip caddies for Brian Gay while little brother Brett loops for Robert Garrigus.

    Brett had a huge lead in the race before falling flat on his face, bag and all, just before reaching the green. Stunned by the fall, he could only watch as Kip lumbered by him to win the race.

    Before the race, Brett tweeted: “May have some blood shed in the caddies' race. Kip and I are kind of competitive.''

    Brett should know about blood shed. In the June AT&T National at Congressional, Brett hit his head on a sharp edge as he was leaving the caddie trailer. It took 40 stitches to close the wound and he had to miss the round, but showed up the next day.

    Kip is a former winner on Golf Channel's Big Break series. They grew up and still live in East Tennessee. Kip worked as a pro in the Fairfield Glade golf complex for years while Brett is based in Ooltewah, outside Chattanooga.

  • NBC/Golf Channel golf analyst Johnny Miller doesn't have many positive things to say about players during a telecast.

    Miller may have used up his month's quota on Nashville's Brandt Snedeker, as the former MBA and Vanderbilt grad continued playing outstanding golf.

    “He has got a chance to be the best in the world,'' Miller said. “He's just a notch away right now.''

    Snedeker has scored in the 60s in 11 of his last 12 rounds. On three tournaments prior to Phoenix, Snedeker has finished tie-2, tie-23 and tie-2.  In successive weeks, he has had to chase leaders Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

    Despite rounds of 64-66-65, Sneds starts today's final round six strokes back of Mickelson. In Snedeker's four Tour wins, he has had to come from behind.

    “I'm going to have to get off to a really hot start (today) and hope Phil is off a little,'' Snedeker told NBC Saturday.

 Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at




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