JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Dec. 28, 2014

Basketball Sports Generic

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Bo Scaife…

  • In Sports Illustrated’s current issue the cover features the college football playoff. They titled it “The Mayhem Begins.”They had four regional covers featuring the four teams that will battle it out for the first four-team national championship playoff.

    My copy has Alabama quarterback Blake Sims on its cover. Two others feature quarterbacks also. Heisman winner Marcus Mariota from Oregon is featured on the West regional covers. Ohio State’s third quarterback Cardale Jones is on the Midwest cover.

    When it came to Florida State, they failed to feature a player and went with spot-lighting the team. Former Heisman winner and quarterback Jameis Winston’s name was nowhere to be found, although his picture was.

    I haven’t seen an explanation, but I would imagine SI held back due to the recent investigation into Winston’s alleged violations of the student conduct rules. He was found innocent of all allegations, but SI couldn’t wait to see the outcome.
    It was Mariota’s fourth SI cover shot during his career at Oregon.

  • Has there ever been a bigger NBA draft bust than Greg Oden?The latest news had a Indiana TV station reporting the former Ohio State 7-foot center was arrested and booked on two counts of misdemeanor battery. He was accused of punching his ex-girlfriend after the police received a call at 3:30 a.m. last Thursday.

    Oden was the first player overall picked in the 2007 NBA draft. He missed three full seasons due to injuries. He returned this past year, playing 23 games, averaging 2.9 points, 2.3 rebounds. He is currently a free agent, but teams are not knocking down his door to sign him.

  • Titans veteran safety Michael Griffin enters the game today with 804 career tackles. That makes him the franchise’s leading safety in tackles in history.Griffin passed Blaine Bishop (788), Marcus Robertson (700), Steve Kiner (738), and Ray Childress (784).
  • The Old Timers Baseball Association hit a grand-slam walk-off home run by getting former Braves outfielder Dale Murphy as its 77th annual banquet’s guest speaker. It will be Jan. 22 (Thursday) at the Nashville Airport Marriott.

    Murphy played in the Major Leagues for 18 years, 15 of them with the Braves. He was a seven-time All-Star and ended his career with 2,111 hits and 398 home runs.

    Chris Mercado will be honored as Mr. Baseball. He coached the South Nashville Little League team in the LL World Series.

    Kenny Thomas, longtime coach at Vol State and now at South Carolina-Aiken, will be inducted into the Nashville Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. Area amateur teams and players will also be honored.

    Tickets are $60 and can be purchased from any Old Timers board member, at the Nashville Sounds office at Greer Stadium, Nashville Sporting Goods or Hit after Hit.

    The banquet starts with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30. Call OTB president Bart Leathers at 586-0352 or on the website at www.otbaseball.com.

  • Today’s final regular season game against the Colts will be officially listed as a sell-out, a streak the Titans claim is No. 164.

    True, they have sold out every seat since they re-located to Nashville. But the number of empty seats this season has arguably been the highest since they moved here.

    That means less concessions sold, less merchandise sold and less interest in the team. A number of fans are hoping they lose to the Colts and grab the No. 1 pick in the draft. At worst, if they lose, they will be No. 2.

    If they do get the first pick, will they take Oregon QB Marcus Mariota? Most analysts see him as a solid player at the NFL level, but not a franchise quarterback such as Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, etc.

    If I were Ruston Webster/Ken Whisenhunt and not in love with Mariota, I would trade down for multiple picks in the draft. They need numbers of those who can make a difference in the roster.

    It will be the most important draft Webster has had with the Titans. Jobs may be on the line.

  • Next season’s Titans schedule will not go far in attracting fans to LP Field.

    They have the Bills, Dolphins, Falcons, Panthers and either the Chargers, Chiefs or Raiders, depending on the final 2014 standings.

    Obviously they have the three AFC South opponents in the Colts, Texans and Jags. They travel to New England, NY Jets, Saints, Bucs and either the Ravens or Browns. Four or five of teams on their schedule may be breaking in a new coach.

    *Former St. Louis Cardinals shortstop and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith celebrated his 60th birthday the day after Christmas.

    I wonder if he did a back flip over the cake.

  • Here’s a Memphis story for you. Grizzlies personnel intern Brandon Henderson took a date to downtown Memphis recently. They drove in his 1993 Chrysler New Yorker. That’s right. A 21-year-old car.

    When they returned to where they had parked, the 24-year-old Henderson discovered the car had been stolen.

    I don’t know about you, but if I were going to risk jail time for auto theft, it wouldn’t be for a 1993 model New Yorker.

    To Henderson’s surprise, the Memphis players ponied up enough money to give Henderson a shiny new Nissan Altima as a gift. Now that is the kind of Christmas message we all need more of.

    Memo to Mr. Henderson: If you go to downtown Memphis again, take a cab. Interns have to learn the hard way.

    *A lot has been debated about college football teams’ strength of schedule.

    Alabama Coach Nick Saban has his own thoughts about the rankings.

    “I think our bye week was ranked No. 7,’’ Saban said.

  • Would former Vanderbilt and current Bears quarterback Jay Cutler be worth pursuing if the Bears part ways with him?

    Cutler has had an elevator NFL career. His best times were when he worked with the late Mike Heimerdinger, his offensive coordinator at Denver. The former Titans offensive coordinator got the best out of the strong-armed Cutler.

    Since then he has bounced up and down, especially in Chicago. Many of the fans have given up on Cutler, who hasn’t helped himself with an attitude that exudes dour vibrations.

    I don’t think Cutler is a fit with the Titans. There would be more pressure on him to excel in a town where he went to college and still has a house here. The Titans may not be competitive for two more years and Cutler is running out of time.

    I don’t see it happening, nor do I think it should.

Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at joebiddle11@gmail.com

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