JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: September 29, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Bucky Dent. …

  • A new list of the 20 worst sports franchises can be found in GQ magazine. Although Rob Tannebaum's list is subjective, he seems to have his bases covered.

    The worst franchise belonged to Cleveland. Actually they packaged the dubious honor and included every sports franchise in the home of the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers.

    No. 2 went to the Detroit Lions, as who could forget Barry Sanders retiring at the age of 31 and announcing his retirement via his hometown paper in Wichita? The team's playoff record since 1960 is 1-10. Ouch. They are also the only NFL team to go 0-16 in a season. Oh, almost forgot. Hired former GM Matt Millen despite the fact he never coached, scouted or had any front office experience.

    No. 3 was the Chicago Cubs. No explanation needed.

    No. 4 belonged to the Clippers. Clippy Dippy Do's have been an utter disgrace under unsavory owner Donald Sterling.

    Completing the top five was the Charlotte Bobcats, under the mismanagement of Michael Jordan.

    And lest we slight No. 6, you can see them today at LP Field. No, not the Titans, but the J-E-T-S. Mark Sanchez's butt fumble to Bill Belichick's writing his resignation on a napkin just before he was to be introduced as Bill Parcells' successor.

  • Speaking of hiring and firing, you had to love Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge, who beat the front office to the punch when he announced his resignation recently.

    Wedge thought the team was leaving him twisting in the wind.

    “It's tough,'' Wedge said. “I feel like I'm hanging out there. That's the reality of it. But I'm coming here and doing my job.''

    Hired in 2010, the Mariners have posted three losing seasons. Not all his fault, Wedge insisted.

    “I didn't get here 12 years ago. I didn't get here six years ago. I got here less than three years ago. So, this is what we're doing.''

  • The Steelers are in a downward spiral. Their defense looks nothing like it used to, as the core of the defense is no longer there.

    Their offensive line is nothing to write a book about. Coach Mike Tomlin has had enough. In the first half of last week's game, Tomlin rotated a backup offensive lineman at both tackle spots on every other series. It was intended to carry a message to the starters at that position. No soap. Da Bears, behind former Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler, melted the men of Steel.

  • I don't know how to explain it, but Rutherford County has become a home for outstanding high school football teams.

    I imagine the fact that Murfreesboro is the fastest growing city in the state would be one reason.

    In the AP state poll through Sept. 23, Rutherford County schools ruled the 6A polls.

    Murfreesboro Oakland was No. 2, Blackman was at No. 4, Siegel was No. 6 and Smyrna was No. 10.

    Siegel is a team no one wants to play. It knocked off a previously undefeated Johnson City Science Hill team, 64-38, and this week toppled Beech, 54-21. Siegel lost its first two games, one to Blackman, but it is a team that has improved every game.

    Former Rutherford County and state power Riverdale has dropped in stature, partly because of the losses of students to other new schools. It has cost Riverdale a lot of good football players.

  • One of my all-time funny signs in past ESPN Gameday audiences was the one that declared: “Even Forrest Gump got into Bama.''
  • Page High School senior Houston Herbert is a defensive end for the Patriots. Through the first three games, he recorded 14 tackles, five of them for losses.

    But he also is the state bareback champion on the rodeo circuit. According to a story in the Williamson Herald, Herbert's father was a rodeo champion.

    Houston won his title at the National High School finals in Wyoming this August. He will graduate in May and plans to study nursing at Tennessee. Smart guy. He'll be able to treat his bumps and bruises.

  • In Sports Illustrated's NHL preview, the Predators are ranked ninth in the West, with the Blackhawks No. 1 and picked to beat the Penguins for the Stanley Cup.

    They do predict the Predators as a team a year away from contending. To get there, they need to improve on what was an NHL worst 2.27 goals a game average.

    Preds goalie Pekka Rinne is listed as the second best at his position. The Rangers Henrik Lundqvist, who had a .926 saves percentage last season. Rinne was at .910 in saves.

  • Things aren't going so swell for former Titans coach Jeff Fisher. They haven't thrown Fisher off the top of the St. Louis Arch yet, but the Rams play and smell like dead fish.

    After stinking the joint up in a 35-11 loss to the 49ers in the Edward Jones Dome Thursday night, Fisher broke for the exit after taking only two postgame questions from the media.

    He can't run from the truth and the truth is, his offense is anemic. St. Louis columnist Bernie Miklasz skewered Fisher and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for the vanilla, predictable offense that included 188 yards on offense against the 49ers, who played without two defensive starters.

    Part of the problem is QB Sam Bradford. The past two games (losses), Bradford has been sacked 11 times, took five hits and was hurried 24 times.

    In the past four games, Bradford's passing rating has progressively dipped from 100.7 down to the 59.4 rating against the 49ers.

    It prompted Fisher to revert back to focusing on the run game.

    Bradford looked like a deer in the headlights when captured on video as he sat on the sidelines looking at game pictures and the playbook. Needless to say, this is not the old Greatest Show on Turf.

    Help is on the way. All is not lost. After a bye week this week, the Rams play the Jacksonville Jags.

  • I don't think you will see South Carolina visit Central Florida anytime soon. The Golden Knights were pumped up to play the SEC power on their home turf and left with a 10-0 halftime lead.

    UCF trailed 14-10 at the end of three quarters and outscored the Gamecocks 15-14 in the fourth quarter. Not exactly what South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier wanted to see.

    It was obvious South Carolina's team was overlooking Central Florida. Gamecocks QB Connor Shaw was knocked out of the game with a sprained shoulder that will keep him out for 2-3 weeks.

    Spurrier could not be happy with his team's defense, as it gave up 358 yards through the air to UCF quarterback Blake Bortles, who was 25 of 36 for two touchdowns but was intercepted three times and suffered one sack.

  • Officials are still having trouble identifying helmet-to-helmet hits. South Carolina DB Brison Williams was flagged for targeting, which called for an ejection. But replays showed he led with his shoulder and hit the opponent in his shoulder area.

    Williams was allowed to remain in the game. But a 15-yard penalty was allowed to stand. If it wasn't targeting and the pass was incomplete, why would there be a penalty on the play? An official was right on top of the play and missed it.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at  

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