JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: July 13, 2014

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: July 13, 2014 (Image 1)

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to V. Stiviano…

  • I don’t know which story I wanted to go away the most. Donald Sterling’s hearing or where, oh, where was LeBron James going to play?

    LeBron was the main, sometimes the only, topic on local sports talk radio shows for weeks. Like any of them knew what he was going to do. Bron-Bron was plastered all over ESPN and it’s endless supply of authorities. They, likewise, were clueless as to his next destination. But they all knew what was best for him. Right.

    No matter the Middle East was a powder keg, ready to explode. Never mind that thousands of illegal aliens were coming into our country, some of them unaccompanied children, others who were older and at-risk criminals.

    Oh, no. We were only interested in where the NBA’s best player was going to be next season. And, which players would follow him like lost sheep?

    So Cleveland won LeBron’s favor, or more likely his wife’s favor. As we all know, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

  • As for the Sterling debacle, things got nasty during testimony in Los Angeles’ Superior Court.

    Sterling and his estranged wife, Shelly, both took the stand last week.

    He went first. She followed, and after her testimony as to his mental capacity, she left the stand and walked toward the Donald.

    When she got close, he yelled: “Get away from me, you pig!!!!’’

    Shelly is claiming Donald is mentally unfit to block the LA Clippers’ $2 billion sale, of which she would get the lion’s share.

    Shelly testified that for the past 2-3 years, he has been getting more forgettable and slurring words. Sounds like a normal 80-year-old to me.

    Donald later fired a shot straight at the NBA.

    “Make no mistake. Today I will never, ever, ever sell this team! Until I die, I will be suing the NBA and trying to make them pay!’’ he yelled.

    When this sordid scenario first hatched, I wrote that this crusty old billionaire would not give up without a fight. It is in courtrooms where this attorney has fought and won many a battle. It’s his comfort zone.

  • One story I didn’t want to see was the passing of The Tennessean’s John Seigenthaler. I knew he was in the hospital and it didn’t look as if he would leave there. Fortunately, he got to die at home with his family.

    Seig had dined with presidents and the bluest of blue bloods. He also connected with the man on the street and was equally at ease with all.

    For years, you could find Seig every Sunday morning at Percy Warner Park’s nine-hole golf course.

    He was one of the early members of the infamous Doughnut Gang at little Percy. They would drink coffee, eat doughnuts and debate the news of the week.

    Then they would draw names to play a scramble. They came from different walks of life. Jack Redgren was a Vanderbilt athletics trainer. Mac McAnally was Jimmy Buffet’s guitar player. The late Bill Stewart was Vanderbilt’s sports information director. Percy managers Jerry and Sarah Shively would play, as would the retired Belle Meade Police Chief, Jim Binkley.

    John Morgan was manager of a local tire store who later worked in the Davidson County clerk’s office.

    “(Seigenthaler) liked playing with us,’’ Morgan said. “For an intellectual, he was an every day guy. If people wanted to join the Doughnut Gang, John would tell them if they were a good player, they couldn’t join.”

    “(Auto dealer) Bob Frensley loved to make John clubs. John showed up one week with three drivers in his bag. We used pull carts to play and John had so many clubs, I told him he needed to bring a wheelbarrow to carry them in,’’ Morgan said.

    Seigenthaler was once named Doughnut Gang Player of the Year and Morgan presented him with a Masters-like worn green blazer he got at a thrift store.

    I had the honor to have lunch one day with Seig. I was seeking his counsel, which he freely extended. I was at The Tennessean then, but had been with the Banner for 18 years, where we battled it out with The Tennessean’s sports department.

    During lunch at a midtown location, it seemed every person who was there that day stopped by to say hello and pay their respects to who I consider the most influential person this city has ever known.

    Seig kept up with sports and recognized its importance to newspapers. I always hoped to work for him, but the timing never permitted it.

    He was a giant of giants in the industry, but with the Doughnut Gang, Seig was just one of the guys.

  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s team just completed three games with the neighboring Washington Nationals.

    For years, baseball would not allow Washington to have a team because of the close proximity of the two teams.

    Buck, a former Nashville Sounds player who married a former Soundette, was interviewed about the games drawing so many Orioles fans to the Nats’ park.

    “Our owner (Peter Angelos) was kind enough to let them have a team here,’’ Buck said. “I understand that a lot of people here are people that used to come over to Baltimore.’’

    That stirred the pot.

    Actually it was not out of the goodness of Angelos’ heart, but an exchange for a new lucrative local TV deal that favored the Orioles.

    As usual, follow the money.

  • This week’s U.S. Senior Open at Oak Hill CC in Oklahoma had some local participants.

    Germantown amateur Tim Jackson was top qualifier at Hillwood CC with a 68. But Jackson had to withdraw due to a back injury and at the last moment, Nashville’s Bill Breen was called up as first alternate.

    Playing in his first U.S. Senior Open, Breen shot an 80-81 to miss the cut by 11 strokes.

  • USA soccer goalkeeper Tim Howard’s name did not appear on FIFA’s Golden Glove Award’s list of three finalists. Despite a stand on his head 16-saves game in a 2-1 loss to Belgium, Howard didn’t measure up to the goalies from Costa Rico, Germany and Argentina.

    Mexico’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was also left off the finalist list.

  • Today, Argentina meets Germany for the World Cup title.

    The two countries have played head-to-head 20 times in World Cup competition. Argentina has won nine, Germany took six and five games ended in draws.

    This is the third time the two teams have met in the World Cup finals. Each has won once.

  • Congratulations to Trevecca Nazarene University, which has been accepted as a NCAA Division II school for athletics.

    In Lebanon, Cumberland University has applied to go NCAA Division II and is going through a transition period that usually takes approximately three years.

    Both schools left the NAIA to join the NCAA. With Athletics Director Mark Elliott leading the way, the Trojans have a big upside.

  • Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera have both declined invitations to be in this year’s Home Run Derby.

    It is part of All-Star Game week, but some believe competing in the Home Run Derby is not good for their swings.

    Cabrera may be one of those.

    “I don’t want to mess with my swing anymore,’’ he said.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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