JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: August 7, 2016

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(Graphic: WKRN)

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Johnny Manziel . . .

BAMA RB SAD TALE: Former Alabama running back Trent Richardson was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

Ten months later Richardson claims his family and friends have spent $1.6 million of his money. If that is not a cautionary tale for all professional players, I don’t know what it is.

ESPN’s E:60 broke the story last week, ironically on the same day he was released by the Ravens. Richardson claimed he was clueless anything was amiss until he studied his bank account after the Ravens cut him.

He found 11 Netflix accounts, eight Hulu accounts and a number of bottle

services at various nightclubs. None of those accounts were opened by Richardson. As he doesn’t drink, Richardson was stunned. The deeper he looked into it, the worse it got.

To rub salt in the wound, Richardson’s NFL career is in question.

He has been with the Browns, Colts and Raiders before the Ravens bid him farewell.

That makes four teams in four years, not something to be proud of. Richardson claims people took advantage of his heart. He needs to know he is in the pros, where you make decisions with your head, not your heart.


OLYMPICS FUTURE: It’s obvious the Rio Summer Olympics has become a joke in many areas.

Sky Sports in UK has reported an Olympics kayaker capsized after hitting a submerged sofa. You can’t make that up. What does it say about current affairs when they have more than 100,000 people working security for these Games?

It is time to give the Summer Olympics a complete overhaul. Someone suggested that Athens, Greece, birthplace of the original Olympics, be named a permanent host city. Not a bad idea, but other countries should be called on to donate enough money to make the Games profitable enough to not hang the burden on the host city. They hosted it last in 2004. Those venues are in ruins today.

A rotation between the five best cities from the past would be worthy of examining as well.


VANDY MURAL: As I passed the West End building that used to be You Greek, Me Greek, a business dealing with college Tees, sweatshirts and hats, I looked at the murals on the building.

On one wall of the building, the owners had an artist paint the likenesses of Vanderbilt’s football, men’s and women’s head coaches and later added baseball coach Tim Corbin.

There has been quite a turnover in recent months. Mens basketball coach Kevin Stallings jumped ship to Pittsburgh. Women’s basketball coach Melanie Balcomb was let go. But their pictures are still on the wall and new basketball coaches Bryce Drew and Stephanie White are missing. They had financial trouble making previous changes, but come on.

Money is not an issue and Vanderbilt should take ownership of the project. It has been there for years and gives them a lot of publicity for the money spent. It’s a brick billboard that stands out year after year, as long as the coaches stay.


NFL SALES: Merchandise for NFL teams rakes in a ton of money. From March to May this year, NFL jerseys of the Dallas Cowboys had three ‘Boys taking the highest three spots.

Dez Bryant was No. 1, followed by teammates Tony Romo and running back Ezekiel Elliott. They had four of the top five spots with merchandise.

A former Cowboy, RB DeMarco Murray was No. 20 in sales despite being signed by the Titans. The highest Titans player making the list was quarterback Marcus Mariota at No. 26.

Patriots QB Tom Brady will be suspended for the first four regular season games. That is a quarter of the regular season. Yet Brady’s merchandise number is a seven.


BACK TO RIO: Some USA men’s basketball players wanted to visit some Rio night spots. As TMZ reported Friday, some of the squad wound up in a brothel, thinking it was a spa. Yeh, right?

Included was former Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan and DeAndre Jordan. You can call them the 3-De’s.

Termas Monte Carlo in the Copacabana district of Rio was the spa, uh, brothel. According to one report the brothel will tell customers over the phone that it’s a spa that plays music, has a full bar and only serves male patrons. And, they couldn’t figure out what they were getting into? How about hitting the Google button before making a decision.


TOP 100: ESPN’s college football staff has named its best 100 college football players going into this season. Such lists are subjective, but worthy of debate.

No. 1 was Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, no surprise. Watson is followed by LSU RB Leonard Fournette, considered as the best RB in the country.

No. 3 was Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey is more than a running back. He can split out as a receiver. He can return punts and kickoffs.

No. 4 was Florida State RB Dalvin Cook who should get a ton of touches this season. No. 5 was the first SEC player on the list. It is Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is No. 6.

Oregon RB Royce Freeman made No. 7 and Iowa DB Desmond King is No. 8.

Rounding out the top 10 is Michigan RB Jabrell Peppers and No. 10 Alabama OT Cam Robinson, who made headlines this summer for being charged with possession of marijuana and a stolen gun. A backup lineman was with him in a parked car in a Monroe, La., park in the wee hours. A judge dropped the case, citing lack of evidence.

Other SEC players include Georgia RB Nick Chubb at No. 11, Alabama WR Calvin Ridley at No. 14, LSU safety Jamal Adams at No. 18 and Florida CB Jalen Tabor at No. 20.

Tennessee’s RB Jalen Hurd is No. 29. Vols DE Derek Barnett is No. 23. Those are two Mid-State players. Both are juniors and predicted to leave for the NFL after this season. Barnett is chasing the late Reggie White for career sacks and has to have a season like he had as a freshman.


Joe Biddle is a sports columnist. He is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He can be reached at

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