Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Sporty Spice. …
- One of my friends has become one of the casualties of the mismanagement and decline of newspapers. In my book, there isn't a national college basketball writer in the country who can hang with Dick "Hoops'' Weiss, whom the geniuses at the New York Daily News recently decided to lay off.
Hoops lived and breathed college basketball. Working in Philadelphia for years, a perfect day for him was when there was a Big Five doubleheader at the Palestra.
When I got Hoops to come on Nashville sports talk radio as a regular guest, listeners were amazed. They could ask him about almost any team in the country and Hoops could rattle off the starting five, their stats, what they had on their iPod and other background information.
A walking encyclopedia, Hoops could do it before computers and iPhones. Today, two of the hosts keep mindless chatter going while the third host Googles the information and spits it out like he knew it all along.
Hoops will land on his feet because what's left of the business needs people like him.
- The 21st Vinny Pro-Celeb-Junior Golf Invitational is set June 2-3 at Golf Club of Tennessee. It's Vince Gill's annual contribution to raise money for junior golf in this state.
Nashville's Brandt Snedeker was a benefactor of Tennessee's junior golf program and will play in the Vinny.
Rams Coach Jeff Fisher will play, as will his quarterback, Sam Bradford. Unfortunately, the public cannot attend.
- Vanderbilt lost a great man, a man who I believe was its largest single financial donor to the athletics department in general and football program specifically when John Rich passed last week. He was 85.
John grew up in Marks, Miss., and came to Vanderbilt where he played football, left school and later returned to play baseball three years. He made his money in coal mining with Delta Coals becoming one of the top companies of its kind in the industry.
John was overly generous with his money, not only financing a weight room, the football practice field and gave a large contribution to the under construction all-purpose building that will house the football staff offices and other needed facilities.
John would offer his private airplane for coaches to use in recruiting.
In return, he told one newly hired Vanderbilt coach that all he hoped for was for the coach to give him just one winning season before he died. He was always optimistic before every season, yet realistic.
He held an annual dinner for football boosters at his Williamson County farm where they listened to the head coach who would preview his team.
Current football coach James Franklin had a Vanderbilt game jersey made up with "John Rich'' on the back. He gave it to John's family.
The day after John died, another Vanderbilt graduate and prominent businessman, Buzz Davis, passed away. It was a double blow to the school, our city and state.
- If you see a veteran or current military member, thank them for the sacrifices they have made, or will make, as this country celebrates Memorial Day weekend.
My father was a Navy bombardier in the South Pacific and died when he was 26 of a service related illness. I was two years old and never knew him. My stepfather served in the Navy, an uncle was an Army infantryman in the European theater.
My wife's baby brother, David McGinnis, was an Army dog handler in Vietnam, and was the first of five children in her family to die. He was 50 and succumbed to Agent Orange related cancers. The older of her two brothers, Stephen McGinnis, joined the Army when he was 17 and was a decorated Green Beret during Vietnam and retired out of Fort Campbell's Fifth Special Forces unit after 23 years.
- Oh, Jose. Give it up, brother. Jose Canseco is a ripe 48 years old and still trying to play professional baseball. He is on the roster of the Fort Worth Cats who opened their first home stand last week by beating the Edinburgh Roadrunners 4-0 as Canseco went 1 for 3, with an intentional walk, two strikeouts as the team's DH.
Last year Canseco was with the Worchester Tornadoes in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball. He quit the team after he wasn't paid, a solid reason.
- A retired Virginia law enforcement officer, J.R. "Butch'' Blessaro, had one sweet day at Ashley Plantation GC in Dalesville recently.
The 67-year-old Blessaro made not one, but two, holes-in-one during his round.
Not bad for an 11-handicapper. According to the National Hole-in-One Registry, the odds of any player making two aces on the same round is 67 million to one.
- If you're looking for a second home, I'm here to help. Alex Rodriguez is selling his Miami Beach home. For a mere $30 million, it can be yours.
The 54,000 square foot mansion on the water was purchased for $7.4 million and A-Rod pumped another $7.6 million into renovations.
Still, a $15 million profit is a lot of walking around money.
- NBA superstar Kevin Durant has a tattoo that covers his entire back. It was a portrait of Jesus Christ with scripture (James 1:2-4).
The last part is on faith: "Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed,'' but mature became mautre when it was complete.
I don't think white-out works on tattoos. Next time Durant better hire a proofreader.
- All of the off-season acquisitions the Titans made apparently didn't register in Las Vegas.
Bovada released the over-under number of wins for all NFL teams this season.
The Titans have an over-under number of 6 ½ wins, and Jeff Fisher's Rams have a 7 as their over-under number.
Some others: Falcons (10), Ravens (8.5), Patriots, Broncos, and 49ers all have an 11½ number to shoot for.
The Jets have a 6½ number. Good bye, Rex.
Teams coming in with 8½ include the Bears, Cowboys and Colts.
If the Titans don't get over the 6½ mark, it would mean no playoffs and that could mean the end of Mike Munchak's short tenure as head coach.
- It was no sweat Tech for Georgia Tech in its ACC Tournament game against Florida State. The Jackets were down a run in the ninth inning and down to their final out.
A.J. Murray parked a solo shot to tie it up and Mott Hyde followed Murray with a walk-off home run for a 4-3 win. The 7-seed Jackets lost their next two games and must await their fate at home today.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.