JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: June 16, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Keith DeLong. …

  • Who heads the Forbes Magazine list of the highest paid athletes? It's an obvious answer, as Tiger Woods led all athletes from 2001 to 2012. He's back, with a $78 million year in 2013. Not bad for the 37-year-old PGA Tour star.

    You might think Tiger's ex, Elin Nordgren, would be No. 2 on the list, and just might be if she played a sport.

    But tennis star Roger Federer holds that spot, by adding $71.5 million to his bank account this year. Kobe Bryant isn't too shabby as a breadwinner with $61.9 million in 2013.

    Heat star LeBron James was fourth, at $59.8 and NFL QB Drew Brees rounded out the top 5 at $51 million. Is it a coincidence that all five athletes have Nike endorsement contracts?

    Tennis star Maria Sharapova leads female athletes with $29 million. That ranks No. 22 overall.

  • The Atlantic Sun Conference, as we knew it, is withering on the vine.

    East Tennessee State and Mercer are leaving, joining VMI in the Southern Conference. Mercer will become the last original member of the A-Sun to leave.

    The Southern Conference will lose Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Davidson and Elon by next summer.

    That would leave UT-Chattanooga, Furman, Western Carolina, Wofford, UNC-Greensboro, Citadel and Samford as Southern Conference holdovers. ETSU, Mercer and VMI will make it a 10-team conference.

  • We would be remiss if we didn't pay homage to all the fathers on their day. You do know today is Father's Day, right?

    It is also the day that former Mets and Phillies outfielder Lenny “Nails'' Dykstra is scheduled to be released from a Gray Bar Hotel.

    Dykstra was sentenced on three counts of grand theft auto and filing a false financial report. The 50-year-old Dykstra will have served less than half of a three-year sentence.

    I'm sure that will teach him.

  • Mississippi State got off on the right foot in the College World Series, beating Oregon State in a tight, 5-4 game.

    Once again the Bulldogs leaned on former Blackman High pitcher Ross Mitchell. Mitchell came on in relief and pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball. It was good enough to give him the win, running his record to 13-0.

    Mitchell is the son of former Major League pitcher Charlie Mitchell, who played his high school ball at Overton. Charlie is a member of the Old Timers Baseball Association Board of Directors and his last professional season was with the Nashville Sounds. His brother, John, played five seasons in the Major Leagues.

    Ross Mitchell now has a 1.31 ERA on the season. Against Oregon State, he gave up three hits, a walk and a strikeout.

  • Sergio Garcia had a great 17-hole round Saturday at the U.S. Open.

    Garcia, who is still searching for his first major title, will have to wait. He started his third round on the 11th hole Saturday. He shot a five-over 75. That included a sextuple 10 on the 397-yard par-4 15th hole. It included three shots out of bounds. If Sergio makes a par on 15, it gives him a 69 and he's in the hunt.

  • Nashville's Brandt Snedeker made the cut by a stroke after the projected cut was 7-over long after Snedeker had finished his second round at 8-over. But a few golfers had not finished when darkness halted play.

    The former Vanderbilt All-American made the cut and had his best round of the tournament with a par-70 Saturday. He hit 10 of 14 fairways, 71.4 percent, and hit 13 of 18 greens in regulation, a 72.2 percent average.

    Snedeker is tied for 25th place going into Sunday's round. He trails third-round leader Phil Mickelson by nine strokes. On Saturday, Snedeker had two double bogeys and two birdies on the front nine, then rallied on the back with birdies on No. 16 and 17.

  • Ireland's Rory McIlroy is also nine strokes behind Mickelson. The day before the first round, McIlroy visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

    It's not what you're thinking. He didn't go there to critique the art. It is the scene of one of an early Rocky Balboa movies.

    In one scene, Rocky runs up the 72 stone steps to the top of the museum. So McIlroy walked up the steps, turned around where the view of the city is inspirational. His arms were raised and he had a Phillies baseball hat on backwards when someone snapped a picture and tweeted it out.

  • In the Rich Get Richer Dept., Alabama received a verbal commitment from quarterback David Cornwell from North High in Norman, Oklahoma.

    He is the No. 1 ranked pro-style quarterback in the country and the first quarterback commitment for the Tide. He is ESPN's 24th overall prospect and the Tide's 11th commitment.

    ESPN's national recruiting ratings has Michigan No. 1, but Texas A&M is second, Alabama fourth, LSU sixth, Tennessee seventh, Florida ninth, Kentucky No. 12, Georgia 13, Auburn 14 and Ole Miss 15. Vanderbilt is ranked No. 25. That gives the SEC 10 teams ranked in the top 25, five in the top 10.

  • Clemson was the victim of a sick prank when it was discovered that someone had vandalized Howard's Rock. It belonged to legendary Coach Frank Howard and is rubbed by every player as they run down a ramp and onto the football field.

    A large part of the rock was broken off and missing. A plastic protective cover was found on the ground close to the gate. Police were able to get a partial fingerprint, but so far no one has been apprehended.

    Damage is estimated to be $500, but the money can't replace the tradition. Kids can be kids, but this was crossing the line.

  • The last player picked in the 2010 Major League Amateur Draft was Western Kentucky catcher Matt Rice.

    Rice played at Johnson City's Science Hill and while at Western, was All-Conference on the field and carried a 4.0 GPA, majoring in mechanical engineering.

    He played a season in the minors before giving up the game. Rice is enrolled at Cal-Berkeley's School of Law.

  • Are there two more blessed fathers today than Archie Manning and Jack Harbaugh?

    Manning has two sons in Peyton and Eli who won Super Bowls. Harbaugh's two NFL coaching sons, John and Jim, met each other in this year's Super Bowl.

    John's Ravens topped Jim's 49ers in a game that Jack and Jackie Harbaugh had to remain neutral in.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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