Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Corliss Williamson…
- Those undrafted free agents trying to make the Titans and other NFL rosters need to take notice. There are numbers of players who previously walked in your cleats. They went on to not only make a roster, but set records.
The Lost Lettermen website came up with its list of top undrafted free agents who fooled the experts.
Arguably the most prominent name is quarterback Kurt Warner. He was bypassed in the draft, but the former Northern Iowa star went on to play in three Super Bowls (included was the 2000 Super Bowl win over the Titans) won two MVP awards and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.
Former Tennessee running back Arian Foster went undrafted after returning for his senior season. In hindsight he would have been drafted if he had come out a year earlier.
Foster signed with the Texans in May, 2009. They cut him in September, then signed him to their practice squad the next day. The next season, Foster started and led the league in rushing. He has since been to three straight Pro Bowls.
And if the NFL scouts cross you off because you are too small, that’s what they said about Texas Tech WR Wes Welker. How wrong were they?
Welker had three productive seasons in Miami, then was traded in 2007 to New England where he teamed with QB Tom Brady (who had been a sixth round pick) to break NFL records.
He led the NFL in receptions three times, went to five Pro Bowls and set a league record for most seasons (5) with 100 or more receptions. Welker is still reeling them in for Denver and QB Peyton Manning. Too small, huh?
- Vanity license plate on a Michigan automobile: IH8OHIO. The license plate frame stated the obvious: Michigan Alumni.
Can’t we all get along?
- John Dwyer wore many hats in his 18 years at WKRN-Channel 2. He was an award winning sports director. He hosted the Jeff Fisher Show for years. He then left sports and did the morning show, which starts before roosters awaken.
John then moved to news, anchoring weekends, filling in during the week as a reporter and anchor.
John announced last week that he is leaving television after 29 years in the business and taking over a non-profit business that helps at-risk teenagers get to a point where they have skills to enter the work force and/or further their education after they graduate. Thursday is his last day at WKRN and he will be missed.
A friend of mine since he hit town, Dwyer is going to be a one-man band that could use donors and volunteers. It’s a most
worthy cause that will lessen the number of high school dropouts.
I’ll miss him on TV, but he and wife Lynley are staying anchored in Nashville, which is a good thing.
- Vikings QB Christian Ponder and wife Samantha (ESPN) don’t seem to have any pretenses about who they are.
The day they got married, Christian picked up Samantha at the airport. She told St. Paul Pioneer Press sportswriter Bob Sansevere she had on jeans, a sweatshirt and a hat. They drove to Hudson township, got married and settled on Arby’s for their wedding meal. Romantic, huh?
“We get way more attention than we ever deserve or need or want because of our jobs,’’ Samantha told Sansevere. “I don’t need a day that’s all about me.’’
- One of my favorite sports columnists and longtime friends is Mark Whicker, who has taken a buyout from the Orange County Register.
His wife, Robyn Norwood, was an excellent sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times. She accepted a buyout several years ago.
I don’t see Mark and Robyn riding off into the sunset, although they have that option.
Mark’s one of those people I sought out in hospitality rooms, press conferences, etc. over the years. He always had a new joke
or a funny story to share. He told them with a deadest of deadpan deliveries.
My best to them as they go forward.
- The national Drive, Chip and Putt competition for boys and girls 7-15 years old will be Wednesday (9a.m.) at Smyrna GC. You must be registered at drivechipandputt.com website. The deadline was Friday, but go to the website and/or call the Smyrna course to see if they have an opening.
Winners advance to the sub-regional at Smyrna GC Aug. 27. Regional finals will be held at TPC Sugarloaf at Duluth, Ga., on Sept. 15.
National finals will be held at Augusta National on April 5 during next year’s Masters week.
Columbia’s Riley Rennell won the long drive portion of the nationals in her age group this year at Augusta National and finished third overall.
- Although the Major League trading deadline is over a month away, it promises to be active by clubs whose playoff hopes are dashed, or for those teams who need a player or two to bolster their roster for the dog days of summer.
Locals bearing watching include Tampa Bay pitcher David Price and utility player Ben Zobrist. Price’s price tag will be huge. It’s almost certain several playoff hungry clubs will vie for his services.
Zobrist can help a team, but can’t carry it like Price. He has played two infield positions, two outfield positions, has DH-ed and pinch-hit. He is hitting below his career average of .261, currently hitting .248. His salary this season is $7 million.
- Golf has been good to Australian Greg Norman. He has turned his years of playing on the PGA Tour into several lucrative businesses.
The Shark recently added a custom built 228-foot long yacht to his toys. He designed it.
It is the world’s largest aluminum and composite yacht and the price tag was a steal at $70 million.
The amenities include onboard diving equipment for 30 people. It includes a decompression unit.
He also has a number of other boats on the yacht. There is a 42-foot custom built Game Fisher for those overnight fishing expeditions. It includes a gourmet galley, so guests can be assured of cooking their catch right out of the ocean.
Norman also keeps a 30-foot SeaVee aboard, a 22-foot Novurania with an 800-horsepower engine to get you where you want to go in a hurry. Add to that two 18-foot Hewes Bonefishes, a 13-foot Narwhal rescue boat and four Yamaha Wave Runners.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.