JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Nov. 18, 2012 - WKRN News 2

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: Nov. 18, 2012


Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Rod Dowhower...

  • How impressive was it for local Major League pitchers R.A. Dickey and David Price to win the Cy Young Awards in their respective leagues?

    I'm not sure that has ever happened before, to have two players who grew up and live 30 miles apart to win both Cy Young Awards.

    While Price was ticketed for stardom from his Vanderbilt days, Dickey's life story is filled with peaks and valleys, as so aptly chronicled in the book he wrote. It has been hailed by critics as the best book ever written by a professional athlete.

    I have known R.A. since he was about eight years old when his father would bring him to the Downtown YMCA. Harry Dickey would play basketball while R.A. would go to the other end and shoot hoops. R. A. grew up to be a star athlete at Montgomery Bell Academy and signed a baseball scholarship to Tennessee, where he became an All-American and won an Olympic silver medal in the 1984 Atlanta Summer Games.

    Born without an ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm, it cost R.A. hundreds of thousands of dollars in signing bonus money when Texas Rangers doctors discovered the ligament was missing after the team drafted him in the first round.

    R.A.'s desire to play professional baseball was stronger than the disappointment of losing the money. He spent more time in the minor leagues than he did in the big leagues. Only after developing a knuckleball that would get batters out did his career take off.

    Price didn't spend much time in the minors, after being named the Golden Spikes Award winner after his junior year at Vanderbilt.

    Both men epitomize the best of professional athletes in their personal lives. Both give back through charitable events in Middle Tennessee and beyond. Both are solid citizens.

    With the Goodlettsville Little League team winning the United State World Series and Price and Dickey earning Cy Young Awards, this has been a once in a lifetime year for the Boys of Summer.
  • Former Georgia running back and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker has a nephew playing high school football, one who is making a name for himself.

    Milan Richard is a 6-2, 223-pound tight end for Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day school. A junior, Richard is being recruited by Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, UCLA and Ole Miss among others.

    Richard's mother, Veronica, is Herschel Walker's sister.
  • Here is how the wiseguys in Las Vegas think of the top five BCS ranked teams' chances to win the BCS Championship Game.

    They have No. 5 Georgia at 20-1. They give No. 4 and once-beaten Alabama 13-2 odds.

    The current unbeaten teams are No. 3 Notre Dame, also at 13-2 odds, No. 2 Oregon at 1-1 and No. 1 Kansas State at 3-2.

  • Speaking of relatives being recruited, this one is in basketball. Solomon Poole is the brother ofStacy Poole Jr., whose father played at Florida.

    Solomon is a 6-1 point guard who is rated a 5-star player and the No. 7 point guard in the country by one recruiting service. Stacy Jr. is a sophomore at Georgia Tech, and Solomon has verbally committed to the ACC team.

    Solomon averaged 21 points a game last year at Terry Parker High and is attending North Florida Educational Institute this year.

    Also casting his lot with Georgia Tech is Quinton Stephens of Marist School in Atlanta. He is a 3-star small forward who averaged 18.9 points, six rebounds and three assists as a junior. His father, Bob, played at Drexel and played professionally 10 years overseas.

    • Check out these Yahoo! prognosticators on their college upset picks. Columnist Pat Forde picked Wisconsin to beat Ohio State and Utah State to upset Louisiana Tech.

      Former Titans star Eddie George picked Rutgers to topple Cincinnati. He also predicted UCLA would upset cross-town rival Southern Cal.

  • NY Jets backup QB Tim Tebow has enough problems in the Big Apple, but they haven't prohibited the former Florida star from watching Johnny Football, aka Johnny Manziel.

    Tebow likes what he sees of the Texas A&M quarterback, an unheralded freshman who stepped in for the Aggies starting QB and has played his way into the Heisman Trophy race.

    "I like his swag,'' Tebow told reporters. "It's fun to watch.''

    Manziel was a 3-star recruit at Kerrville Tivy in Texas and early on committed to Oregon. He wasn't even ranked in the top 10 dual threat quarterbacks in the country by recruiting services, but how do you like him now?

    He passed for 293 yards, ran for 93 more in the 29-24 upset win over top-ranked and undefeated Alabama.

    While Tebow was the first sophomore to win a Heisman Trophy, can Manziel become the first freshman to win the award? As a Heisman voter, there is no rule that says the winner cannot be a first-year player.

    It goes to the best college football player in the current season. Period.

    The Aggies are 8-2, ranked No. 8 in the BCS poll and Manziel is gaining momentum in the Heisman race. Stay tuned.

  • Stig Severinsen recently broke the world record for holding his breath under water.

    Severinsen has been around the water all his life and was able, aided by breathing pure oxygen before going under, to hold his breath for 22 minutes.

    Oh, if only those politicians in Washington could hold their breath for 22 minutes.

  • Former Goodpasture quarterback Keenan Reynolds is still steering Navy's football team as a freshman.

    Reynolds and the Midshipmen saw a five game win streak come to a halt, courtesy of Troy. Yes, the same Troy that gave Tennessee fits.

    The 5-9, 170-pounder was 8 of 15 passing for 159 yards and added 130 yards on 21 rushing attempts and three touchdowns with a long run of 70 yards.

    The Midshipmen are bowl eligible at 6-4 with games remaining against Texas State and Army.

  • According to 24/7 Sports' football recruiting rankings, Vanderbilt is presently No. 23 in the country with Tennessee at 26.

    That's pretty good until you see SEC schools Alabama (2), Florida (5), Auburn (7), LSU (9), Georgia (10), Texas A&M (11), South Carolina (14), Ole Miss (17) and Mississippi State (22).

    Vandy has verbal commitments from three 4-star recruits and 17 3-stars. The Vols have two 4-star recruits and 16 3-stars.

    By comparison, Alabama has two 5-stars, nine 4-stars and seven 3-stars.

    Don't get hypnotized by how many stars a recruit have by his name.

    Remember, Johnny Football only had 3-stars.
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