JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: January 19, 2014

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Mark Lemke. …

  • They will finish the Metrodome off Monday in Minneapolis as they are tearing down the former home of the Vikings and the baseball Twins.

    In its prime it was an extremely loud advantage for the home team. Referred to as the Hanky Dome, the fans turned the air- supported roof into a scene resembling a blizzard.

    I was there covering the 1991 World Series for the Nashville Banner. The Twins won the Series in a decisive Game 7 when Ironman Jack Morris went the distance in winning two games in the Series and earning MVP honors. It was another heart-breaking Series loss for the Atlanta Braves.

    A new stadium is being built for next season.

  • What's wrong with this picture? The Vikings hire Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as their head coach and he was quoted as saying: “I've got a chip on my shoulder.''

    Really? There are 32 NFL head coaches in the world. You are one of them. Hopefully Zimmer meant that chip on his shoulder was an iceberg.

    He was one of the Titans top choices to replace Mike Munchak. Titans made the right choice with Ken Whisenhunt.

  • The Tampa Bay Rays presented former Vanderbilt pitcher David Price with the largest one-year contract in franchise history. He has to like the $14 million for 12 months, but there is no guarantee Price will be with the Rays for the whole time.

    Other teams may have something even bigger in mind for Price's services. The next two weeks should be interesting to watch.

  • Tim Brando, whose career started on a Louisiana radio station, is leaving CBS after 18 years of doing college football. He has been with the network doing play-by-play on games and also in the studio doing highlights and updated scores.

    He is expected to play a role with the new SEC Network, which debuts this August under the ESPN umbrella.

  • Those who have seen Station Camp's Josh Malone during workout as an early enrollee at Tennessee report that he is more polished than wide receiver Marquez North was at this time last year.

    Another Vol early enrollee, Beech running back Jalen Hurd has put on some weight and muscle during the lull after he had shoulder surgery this fall.

    Hurd is someone who can play several positions, but he wants to be given a chance to play running back.

  • Alabama has 24 verbal commitments and Nick Saban seems to be in full reloading mode.

    He has six commitments from offensive linemen. The Tide also has four commitments from the hardest position to find, defensive tackles. They also have two commitments from projected defensive ends.

  • Florida State's web site couldn't wait to start selling National Championship Tee-shirts. The first wave of T-shirts had a small problem.

    They had the wrong team winning. They read Tigers 34, Noles 31. I think they have it straightened out now, so Noles fans can see for themselves on

  • ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., has three Alabama players going in the first round of the May NFL draft.

    They would be linebacker C.J. Mosley, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.

    Texas A&M could also have three players going in the first round. They would be quarterback Johnny Manziel, offensive tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans.

    On an earlier pre-draft mock draft, Kiper had Manziel going No. 1. I doubt Johnny Football lasts past the top six. Until the NFL combine, we won't know Manziel's accurate height or weight. Yes, he is a rabbit in the pocket with some of the quickest footwork around, but one good hit in the wrong place could end Manziel's career. He may be fearless in college, but the NFL is another animal.

  • Trooper Taylor doesn't seem to be able to keep a job. The onetime Tennessee assistant recently was hired at Arkansas State.

    On Phillip Fulmer's last team, Taylor would spend most of his time during games running up and down the sidelines with his hat on backwards. His reputation was made in recruiting.

  • Former Vanderbilt basketball star Jeff Taylor's season is over with the Charlotte Hornets.

    Taylor tore his Achilles tendon. That is usually a year's rehab process.

  • Condolences to the family of former Vanderbilt football assistant Norm Parker. He died from complications of diabetes. He was 74.

    Parker was defensive coordinator for the Commodores and it was his 1997 defense that led the SEC in total defense.

  • Vanderbilt senior cornerback Andre Hal played in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg Saturday.

    This weekend other Commodores will be in action in the Senior Bowl in Mobile. It will be a showcase for NFL coaches. Vandy will be represented by offensive tackle Wesley Johnson from MBA, safety Kenny Ladner and wide receiver Jordan Matthews. They will play for the South team.

    Earlier this month former Vandy wide receiver Jonathan Krause and cornerback Steven Clark played in the Medal of Honor game in Charleston, S.C. Krause had two receptions while Clark had two tackles.

  • New Lions coach Jim Caldwell is retaining defensive line coach Jim Washburn, a former assistant under Jeff Fisher when both were with the Titans.

    On the college coaching front former MTSU and Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is still looking for a job.

  • Two-time Class AA state champion Christ Presbyterian Academy has another top basketball team. Coach Drew Maddux has one of the best high school teams in the state.

    They beat Ensworth Saturday night, 64-41, before a standing room only crowd at Ensworth. The Lions built a comfortable lead in the first half and were never threatened.

    CPA improved to 19-1 and will be a heavy favorite to three-peat.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at   

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