Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Bernie Kosar...<
- It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. As former Predators fan favorite Jordin Tootoo was leaving the rink, he spotted a young fan standing near the exit.
Tootoo was playing for the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins and stopped to say a few words to the kid. Tootoo handed the kid his hockey stick and the smile on the young boy’s face was priceless.
Tootoo played in only 11 games for the Detroit Red Wings this season. He had no goals, one assist. Sent down to Grand Rapids, Tootoo played 38 games there with four goals, 10 assists.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it certainly was in this case. Tootoo could have handed him $1 million and the kid wouldn’t have been any happier.
Other athletes could take a lesson from Tootoo.
- New Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall has now released all four recruits who had committed to the Vols under Cuonzo Martin.
As if the cupboard wasn’t bare before, it is now. Not that they were all that highly rated recruits, but two of them were bigs and that was the one position that was decimated when Jarnell Stokes opted for the NBA draft and Jeronne Maymon used up his eligibility.
The Vols lost four of five starters, representing 72 percent of the scoring and 69 percent of the rebounding.
Look for Tyndall to go the junior college route to hopefully fill the needs with experienced players.
The former Southern Miss coach was in a state with a number of junior colleges and some names should start popping up in the coming weeks. One of those could be East Mississippi CC forward Devonta Pollard, a 6-8 forward who averaged 12 ppg and 6.3 rebounds. Pollard’s coach is Mark White, a Russellville, Ky., native who is an Austin Peay graduate. I would think White and Tyndall have crossed paths several times.
Considering the losses, next season could be real ugly. But given time, I think Tyndall was the best fit the Vols could get and he will be successful.
- If the voice on the audio of a tape released by TMZ is Clippers owner Donald Sterling, he’s a bigger idiot than anyone outside of those who wear sheets and cover their heads with hoods so no one can identify their acts of violence against non-whites.
The audio is a man, presumably Sterling, telling his girlfriend not to hang around blacks, not to bring them to games or pose with pictures with blacks such as part-owner Magic Johnson.
I wonder how much starch the person on that tape gets in his sheet and hood. Get a clue, pal. You’re living in the past.
- Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija (can I buy a vowel?) was also an outstanding wide receiver at Notre Dame.
He totally agrees with those Northwestern football players who favor forming a union for college athletes and said so on the Dan Patrick Show.
He does understand it could lead to produce problems.
“If you gave me $1,500 bucks when I was in college,’’ Samardzija said, “You might not have seen me again.’’.
- We know they do things big in Texas. Really big when it comes to paying their college football coaches.
Talk about a weak national economy, it obviously doesn’t apply to Texas. How would you like to get a $1.9 million a year raise?
That’s what Texas A&M did to Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin, when his $3.1 million a year contract jumped to $5 million a year with a new six-year contract.
That’s Nick Saban money and Texas signed former Louisville Coach Charlie Strong to a five-year contract worth $5 million a year and pay raises in each year of the agreement.
No wonder college football players are asking to be financially rewarded for their services. The money the top football coaches are making is ridiculous.
- When you examine the Titans new footprint, the word versatile keeps popping up with General Manager Ruston Webster and first year coach Ken Whisenhunt.
It makes sense, especially if the current roster limit is 53 players.
Former Ole Miss star Dexter McCluster epitomizes the type players the Titans want.
It will be interesting during this week’s mini-camp to see how many ways Whisenhunt can utilize McCluster’s skill set. Whisenhunt all but licks his chops when someone mentions McCluster.
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton is also emphasizing getting players who can play different positions, as he forms what is being termed a “hybrid 3-4’’ defense.
Horton calls them “football players.’’ If you want an example on the current roster, veteran Bernard Pollard is a football player. Football players make plays and last year’s defense could have used more football players.
- Look for the Titans to acquire another quarterback who can serve as a dependable player who can step in if starter Jake Locker is out of action for an extended time with injuries.
I don’t think Whisenhunt wants current backup Charlie Whitehurst to be that guy.
Given Locker’s past three seasons, they better get some insurance behind him. It only makes sense.
- Bringing a Champions Tour event back to the Nashville area has been talked about for months. The big snag has been securing a title sponsor and that hasn’t been easy.
Now that Fred Couples is playing the Champions Tour, he would be a big hit if Nashville could secure an appearance from him. Couples has played in four Champions Tour events to date with four top 5 finishes, including a first and a tie-second. Couples has played 12 rounds and shot in the 60s in all but three of those rounds.
Most of the players who played in the then-Seniors Tour at Gaylord Opryland’s course are no longer competitive and it is the new blood, led by Couples and Franklin, Ky., native Kenny Perry that are providing birdie fests now.
Couples played in 15 Champion Tour events in 2013 and had 10 Top 10 finishes. He earned $1.7 million that year which included the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
They would be draws if Nashville gets a Champions event. Organizers could move fairly quickly if they get a sponsor and a course to commit. The time of year they could secure is vital. They don’t want to play during football season, college and NFL.
- What kind of knucklehead would smoke weed while playing in the NCAA basketball tournament?
That is what Michigan sophomore Mitch McGary apparently did. He was drug tested after Michigan eliminated Tennessee and was suspended for a year by the NCAA.
So McGary escaped any kind of punishment by going into the NBA Draft. Of course he came out with apologies all around after he got caught. He had been projected as a lottery pick as a freshman, but missed all but eight games with a back injury.
- An Augusta resident purchased a 1934 Masters program for more than $16,000 recently. It was originally a gift from Augusta National’s Clifford Roberts to Doris Wells and her late husband, Reginald.
The purchase price was not released, but another 1934 program brought $16,000 in January at an online auction house.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at email@example.com.