Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Jeremy Sowers. …
- It has been a long road for the Memphis Grizzlies, but here they are one series win away from playing for an NBA Championship.
It's an unbelievable success story that included several major hurdles such as ownership changes, coaching changes, struggling to retain top free agents, etc.
While Middle and East Tennessee media have always ignored what the NBA team in Memphis was doing, the success they have had this season is beginning to attract attention from outside West Tennessee.
Vanderbilt grad and Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins has a nice piece on the Griz in last week's magazine.
The Griz are a fun team to watch and although getting by San Antonio will be difficult, it can be done. They will be more rested than the Spurs, a team growing long in the tooth. Sometimes that time off works for a team, sometimes it allows some rust to develop.
Memphis Coach Lionel Hollins has been around the block. It's not his first barbecue and I look for them to have no problems adjusting.
Will the Middle Tennessee fan and media attention climb on board the Griz band-wagon? I believe the NBA team draws more fans from Arkansas and north Mississippi than Middle Tennessee. Nashville is more of a Titans town with the Predators having developed a larger core following. With one of the worst teams the Predators have had, they still managed to sell out the Bridgestone Arena on a regular basis in a strike-shortened season.
I have never fully understood the Memphis-Nashville rivalry, which has been there long before Nashville got an NFL team instead of Memphis, which had tried for years to bring the NFL to the Bluff City.
It is Memphis, whose NBA team is currently much more successful than either the Titans or Predators. Their fan-base needs to enjoy the ride.
- With all the hub-bub going on in Washington politics, it was good to see former Florida quarterback Danny Werfel named interim director of the IRS.
What? It wasn't that Danny Werfel? Oh. The real Danny Wuerrfel is doing great, thank you. No audits or investigations of impropriety in his background. Wuite the opposite. Wuerffel was recently selected to this year's College Football Hall of Fame class. He will be inducted in December in New York City.
Wuerffel is most deserving. He led the Gators to two national championship games, winning one as a senior against state rival Florida State. He won a Heisman Trophy and compiled a 45-6-1 career in Gainesville.
He now lives in Atlanta, having moved his Desire Street ministry there from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina wiped out the Ninth District, which was the home base of his ministry.
For the past two years, Wuerffel has battled Guillain-Barre syndrome, a central nervous system disorder that can cause paralysis. He says he is now 90-95 percent recovered and the 39-year-old father of three arguably remains the most popular and successful Florida quarterback in school history.
- Titans draft pick Justin Hunter and Raiders rookie quarterback Tyler Wilson were among NFL players attending a recent Maxim magazine party in Hollywood.
Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te'o gathered the most attention as Maxim celebrated its hot 100 list.
The former Notre Dame linebacker's imaginary girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, earned No. 69 on Maxim's list and Te'o had nothing but fun with it. There were enough real young ladies at the party to keep his attention.
- Sad to hear of former Chargers running back Chuck Muncie's death.
Muncie died of an apparent heart attack. He was 60. In his prime, Muncie was the epitome of an NFL running back who combined speed and power. Defensive backs didn't want any part of Muncie in the fourth quarter of games. He was a load.
- I saw video of O.J. Simpson for the first time since he was locked up. Wow. Did he swallow an air hose?
Sportscaster Jim Rome ripped Simpson on his CBS Sports Minute radio segment.
He accused Simpson of "hanging in the food court.'' Rome wondered aloud if it was O.J. Simpson or Milkshake Simpson. "Is it the Juice, or the Moose?''
Rome noted Simpson is seeking a re-trial on his armed robbery conviction.
"I want a refund,'' Rome said. "Here I thought our tax dollars bought O.J. three squares a day but apparently we've been paying for seven.''
A New York Post headline read: "O.J. Does Lard Time.''
They funniest line I saw came from a post on Rome's website where Rome noted Simpson was wearing a 5XL prison jumpsuit.
To which a reader commented: "If the jumpsuit still fits – there's room for a banana split.''
- It was good to see Metro officials name the West Precinct on Charlotte Ave., the Joe D. Casey Building. Casey was Nashville's Police Chief from 1973-1989 and is highly deserving of the honor.
Casey coached a lot of youth sports teams over the years and impacted a lot of those players. He was quite an athlete in his own right and had a solid golf game for years.
- I would imagine some Lipscomb University basketball fans had to take a seat when it was announced former Belmont point guard and longtime assistant coach Casey Alexander is now the Bisons' head coach.
It's like the Hatfields hiring a McCoy.
As far as I know, Casey doesn't have any Church of Christ ties, which really shouldn't matter, but still does with a lot of Lipscomb boosters and alumni.
It tells me there is a lot of Belmont envy at Lipscomb and they decided if you can't beat 'em, hire 'em. The next move Lipscomb should make is to leave the Atlantic Sun Conference and move to the Ohio Valley Conference.
- So Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is teaching former Baylor center Brittney Griner his famous old school skyhook shot. As if she needs any more help in dominating the women's game.
Jabbar is 7-2, while Griner is 6-8. His hands are larger than hers, but her shoe size is a size bigger.
- One of Vanderbilt's top freshmen basketball players, Sheldon Jeter, is leaving the program and will transfer to another school.
The 6-7, 215-pound Jeter played in 33 games last season, with seven starts. He averaged 5.5 points, 3.4 rebounds.
He says he wants to be closer to Beaver Falls, Pa., his hometown.
I don't mean to pry, but did Jeter not realize how far Nashville is from Beaver Falls? Or did he just discover it in a Geography 101 class?
Smells fishy to me.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.