JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: September 15, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Steve Taneyhill…

  • While the majority of the country was enjoying a perfect weather day for college football, many Colorado residents in and around Boulder were just trying to survive the flooding that washed away homes, cars and people.

    First-year Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre saw their home game against Fresno State postponed.

    The flood brought back memories of Nashville's devastating flood three years ago, in which Mike came close to losing both parents, former Vanderbilt football coach George MacIntyre and his mother, Betty.

    They lived in a Bellevue condominium complex bordered on one side by the Harpeth River. Coach Mac was confined to bed with multiple sclerosis.

    It took their younger son, Matt, two hours to reach the complex. The Harpeth was raging all around the condo. Matt knew he needed help rescuing both parents. He prayed for God to send someone. He went out on the front porch and started yelling for help. Tennessean photographer George Walker IV was in the vicinity. He heard Matt's plea for help and responded.

    “I saw this fullback looking guy running down the hill full speed,'' Matt told me then. “He hit that water and swam across the current and jumped up on our porch.

    “He told me his name was George and I started laughing. I told him I had prayed for God to send someone and that He sent a George and my Dad's name was George.''

    Walker and Matt swam across the raging current with Betty and another woman in their condo. The hardest part was to figure out how to get Coach Mac out.

    Matt remembered they had an alternate mattress, an inflatable mattress. They put Coach Mac on it and Matt told his Dad to hold on as tight as he could.

    One of them got in front, the other in the back. They floated Coach Mac to dry ground.

    Mike was in his first year at San Jose State and flew home to move his parents into an in-law's home. The bottom floor of their condo had to be rebuilt.

    Those memories were rekindled last week in Boulder.

    “Seeing the devastation and living through it myself, I understand what some of the people here in Boulder are going through,'' Mike MacIntyre told Denver Post writer John Henderson last week. “It is a life-changing event. It is not just water flowing.''

  • Eye-catching sign in ESPN's GameDay crowd at College Station: “I bought this sign from Johnny Heisman.''
  • Talk about a well-rounded young man, take a look at Dallas Episcopal's Armand Fernandez-Pierre. He is a 335-pound defensive tackle on the football team. He is also on the school's cheer team, sings in the school choir, works part-time for Best Buy's Geek Squad, plays lacrosse and powerlifts.

    He was talked into coming out for football as a senior. He had suffered a severe neck injury playing the game as an 88th grader. Pierre made a deal with the Episcopal coach. He would play football, but would be with the cheer team at halftime.

  • At Sun Devil Stadium there is a portrait of the late Arizona State and Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman. It's a rear profile, making him look as if he was going out the tunnel.

    Of course, Tillman left the NFL in the midst of a lucrative contract and joined the Army. He and his younger brother became Army Rangers and were sent to Afghanistan.

    It was there that his unit was ambushed and Tillman died from wounds later determined as friendly fire.

  • Two weeks ago, Johnson City's Science Hill football team beat David Crockett, 90-21. That's no typo. Ninety points? And the mercy clock ran the entire second half.

    This week the Hilltoppers threw a 42-0 shutout against Morristown West to run their record to 3-0. Again, the mercy clock ran during the second half.

    You can see South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier's alma mater when they visit Murfreesboro Siegel this Friday. Siegel is 2-2.

  • I knew the late Big Bill France, who ran NASCAR with an iron fist.

    I knew the late Little Bill France, Big Bill's son who carried on the family tradition of being NASCAR's sole governing body.

    I don't know Brian France, little Bill's son. He is no Big Bill France. Nor is he Little Bill France. He seems to be a major reason that NASCAR has been losing a significant number of fans.

    Brian France added an unprecedented 1313th driver to the Chase after heavily fined Michael Waltrip Racing for what France considered manipulating Saturday night's race at Richmond in order to get MRW driver Martin Truex Jr. a second wild card.

    In an effort to regain control, France brought in drivers, crew chiefs and team owners for a mandatory meeting Saturday. They planned to lay down all the ground rules moving forward. The decision met with mixed reaction from some drivers.

    A writer asked Brad Keselowski's response. “I am not looking forward to it. Do you want to go in my place? You can have the inside source and I can take a nap.''

  • Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this off-season. He is a free-spirit off the field and it takes one to know one in former NBA star Charles Barkley.

    Barkley discussed Manziel last week on an ESPN Chicago program.

    “He's doing something that I never thought was possible. He's going to make me root for Alabama this weekend,'' the Auburn alumnus said.

    “The only thing saving Johnny Manziel is Miley Cyrus.''

    Now that may be the cruelest cut of all.

  • Vanderbilt made a late run at South Carolina Saturday night, but it was too little, too late.

    South Carolina's defense is vulnerable and will likely cost them a game or two down the road.

    Jadeveon Clowney was never a realistic Heisman Trophy candidate. A defensive player has to dominate games and Clowney is now finding opponents running away from him.

  • Tennessee found out that Austin Peay and Western Kentucky are not Oregon.

    The No. 2 ranked Ducks put their big boy pants on Saturday night and gave the Vols 59 reasons of how far they have to go to play at the top level.

    Butch Jones must be patient, keep coaching them up, keep upgrading the talent level and it will pay off. Playing Oregon on the road was a good experience for players and coaches alike.

  • How about Central Florida beating Penn State? Those things are going to happen as there are more and more football players that can play at a high level and Central Florida in Orlando is an attractive place to play.

    And Ole Miss beating Texas 44-23 in Austin could be another nail in Mack Brown's coaching coffin. The Rebels blanked the Longhorns 27-0 in the second half. Did they quit? Texas simply is an average team and the big money boosters are starting to jump off the ship.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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