Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Miami, Here We Come!


To say that I'm excited is an understatement. As a Colts fan for the last 24 years, I am beside myself with anticipation of the Indianapolis NFL franchise's first Vince Lombardi trophy.

It seems fitting that the Colts will face my childhood favorite Chicago Bears. Truth be told, I still rooted for the Bears through the mid-80's--yes, even the SuperBowl Shuffle team--while getting acclimated to my new team. But even through the Mike Pagel and Jeff George years, I faithfully supported the Indianapolis Colts and now this.

I cannot say enough about Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning and the entire Colts organization. They have proudly represented all that's right and good about my hometown. I was a proud Dungy supporter when he and I called Florida home because his Tampa Bay Bucs were always drafting players out of my alma mater, Florida State. When news broke of his move to Indy, I was elated. I knew that it was just a matter of time before he built a championship caliber team here, like he did in Tampa just a few years ago.

So bring on the Bears and the Miami Beach humidity!!! This is the year of the horse, no doubt about it!


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Coach Knight's Untarnished Legacy

Photo: Sports Illustrated/CNN

Is it just me or do most, if not all, sports writers have an axe to grind with The General? Can we not just recognize his accomplishment for what it is and say "Congratulations Coach!"???

After reading one columnist in the local paper and two more columns on ESPN.com, I am getting a little irritated with the asterisks they want to place beside the winningest coach's record. Is it really that important where the record number was reached? I mean, he could be coaching at Central Connecticut State University for all I care. The man is a legend.

If we're going to put an asterisk beside something, how about we put a bold, 48-point font asterisk next to his dismissal by Indiana. In the footnotes, it would explain how Myles Brand was an arrogant boob out to ruin the famed basketball program in Bloomington. Were it not for Brand's larger-than-Mt. Everest ego, Knight might well have finished his career at I.U.

I'm sure all the Knight-bashers, most of whom get paid to write sports columns, would be quick to point to Knight's declining stats as I.U. Head Coach, but I believe the arrogance of the school's administration and their handling of the situation may have been part of the problem there, as well. Have you ever stayed a week, a month or a year too long at a job where the bosses made it known that they didn't personally care for you? Did your performance suffer or your attitude slide as a result?

I am just saying that for all the negative angles you can take to tarnish Knight's image and his accomplishments, the facts and the statistics speak for themselves.

I challenge any sports writer to take a survey of past Knight players--at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech--and see if the overwhelming majority don't have great things to say about their coach...about how he molded them as players, and more importantly as men, or about how he held academics to such a high standard and helped them to degrees/careers...etc.

So you have a problem with his tact or lack thereof...you don't like the way he addresses the media when they ask stupid questions or display a clear bias...you don't like the level of his intensity or how it is displayed courtside...fine! GET OVER IT!

I, like so many other Knight admirers, will cherish this moment in history and each record-increasing victory. Congratulations, Coach Knight!