Joe Biddle: Sunday Notes: Feb. 17, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Scotty Thurman. …

  • After watching all the flip-flopping by high school football players before National Signing Day, it's high time the NCAA allows an early signing period.

    That would save university athletics departments a ton of money, as the recruits who know where they want to go could lock in during that period and eliminate other recruiters from hounding them and their families for months.

    It has reached the ridiculous stage. Recruiters don't honor verbal commitments, instead pulling out all stops to get those players to change their minds and sign with their school. It's too easy for an adult to change a teen-ager's mind and almost unfair for the recruit.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that approximately one-fourth of the state's 190 D-I players to sign (more than 50) flipped before National Signing Day.

    AJC Super 11 prospect Demarcus Robinson was a four-time flipper this year, leading that state.

    The problem will be agreeing on when, and how long, that early signing period would be. It's become a three-hat circus with ESPN outlets broadcasting the entire day.  How silly is it when recruits have three or four hats in front of them and tease the high school and TV audience by picking one or two hats and putting them down before settling on his choice. What drama — drama we all could do without.

  • Bury the Wave (thank goodness). Now we have the Harlem Shake. Vanderbilt's baseball team recently made a video of the group's Shake session.

    Other college groups have done the same. You should see Minnesota hoops coach Tubby Smith leading his team in the Harlem Shake after a win. And there was Louisville's team breaking down the Shake as an amused Rick Pitino looked on. Central Florida University students has a large Shake on YouTube and it will be the next big thing for the Guinness Book of World Records — to see who can stage the world's largest Harlem Shake.

  • Orlando's NBA veteran Hedo Turkoglu has been hit with a 20-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, methenolone.

    Turkoglu hardly looks like someone who has benefitted from a performance-enhancing drug. He has been injured most of the season and admitted he took something last summer in Turkey to help heal a shoulder injury. He was tested in December.

    “I didn't do my research well,'' he said at a press conference. Oh, really?

  • The Yankees spring training site in Tampa won't be the same this year. The Yogi master is missing. Yankee legend Yogi Berra is sitting it out for the first time since anyone can remember.

    At 87, he is too frail to fly and doesn't like dealing with the throngs of fans who flock to the team sites.

    It reminds me of his quote when Yogi was asked why he quit eating at a popular restaurant.

    “No one goes there anymore,'' Yogi noted. “It's too crowded.''

  • Former Heisman winner Charles Woodson has been released by Green Bay to free up $10 million in cap money. It came one year after that year's Heisman runner-up Peyton Manning was let go by the Colts.

    It turned out OK for Manning as he was voted NFL Comeback Player of the Year and narrowly missed being NFL Player of the Year.

    Maybe Woodson can use Manning as inspiration to do the same.

  • Even though Dwight Freeney tortured Titans quarterbacks and offensive tackles for years, don't look for the Titans to pursue the free agent who was released by the Colts.

    His sack total has declined for three straight years and it's questionable how much gas he has left in the tank.

  • With all the NFL head coaching changes, two in particular struck comedian Chris Rock's not-so-funny bone.

    Andy Reid wins four games and everyone wants him,'' Rock said. “Lovie Smith won 10 games and can't get a job.''

    Makes one wonder.

  • Sports Illustrated's Peter King must work 36-hour days. How he finds the time to develop material for his must-read Monday Morning Quarterback column, is amazing.

    On the eve of the Super Bowl in New Orleans, King  was checking the weather in New Jersey, the site of next year's Super Bowl.

    It's scheduled for the open-air MetLife Stadium across the river from New York City, a choice that has been widely panned by critics.

    King found on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, the time next year's game will kick off in East Rutherford, N.J., the temperature there was 27 degrees with a 10 mph wind from the West and a wind chill of 17. A light snow began to fall 90 minutes later.

    The NFL does a lot of things right, but awarding Super Bowls to NFL owners who build new stadiums is ludicrous. The traffic and weather in Jersey will likely produce a less than desired Super Bowl experience. There are also a large number of parties and other outdoor events that surround the Super Bowl.

    My favorite Super Bowl sites are 1. New Orleans 2. San Diego 3. Arizona.  My least favorite SB sites are 1. Detroit 2. Minneapolis 3. Atlanta.

    Despite having to see annual local stories about Nashville hosting a future Super Bowl, it's not on the NFL's radar. An open-air stadium, not enough hotel rooms, unpredictable weather would be the main reasons. Although they could advertise Nashville as the only city in the country where visitors can experience all four seasons in just one week here.

  • Randy Moss is such a wordsmith. Moss, who had a cup of coffee with the Tennessee Titans, was asked recently who his favorite NFL players are.

    Walter Payton is one,'' Moss replied. “Myself is two.”

  • Speaking of a cup of coffee, Jeff Fisher's Rams brought in free agent WR Titus Young, only to let him go before they signed him.

    The 2010 second-round draft pick from Boise State had three incidents when he was with the Lions, including punching teammate Louis Delmas.

    Fisher said he brought Young in to see just where his head was and what kind of person he was. Fisher obviously didn't like what he heard and Young was sent on his way.

  • girl Danica Patrick may not win any NASCAR races, but no one can say she's not fast. She recently got a divorce from her husband of the past seven years.

    Now she and race driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., are an item around the pits.

    Ray Charles seen that one coming,'' noted driver Joey Logano.

  • Vanderbilt rebounded from its home court loss to Tennessee Wednesday with a 63-55 win over Texas A&M Saturday. The Commodores won despite leading scorer Kedron Johnson being held to five points in 27 minutes. Rod Odom led Vandy with 19 points and 7 assists, while Josh Henderson came off the bench with an 11 point-5 rebound effort. Vandy is 10-14 overall, 4-8 in SEC play.

    Their defense paved the way. They held Aggies star Elston Turner to 14 points as he hit only 7 of 19 from the floor and misfired on his five attempts from behind the 3-point line. The Aggies are 15-10, 5-7 in the SEC.

  • In Knoxville, the Vols kept building on a modest 3-game win streak by clobbering Kentucky, 88-58, as the Cats were playing without power forward Nerlens Noel for the first time since he went down with a torn ACL against Florida.

    Vols guard Trae Golden kept his hot hand with 24 points and 8 assists while Jordan McRae added 15 points, 6 rebounds. The Vols were an uncharacteristic 5-for-5 from the 3-point line. They got out of the gate early and often against the Cats behind the play of Jarnell Stokes, who fell just short in his quest for his seventh straight double-double. He scored nine points, grabbed nine rebounds.

  • ESPN bracketologist Jerry Palm has Kentucky on the bubble at this point and only three SEC teams making the field.

    Palm has Florida a 2-seed, Missouri an 8-seed and Ole Miss a 9-seed. It's a down year, indeed.

    The last time the SEC had as few as three teams in the NCAA Tournament was 2009. Before that, you have to go back to 1990.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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