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Jordan Hare Stadium

On my way to a training gig in Montgomery today, I naturally had to stop on the campus of Auburn
University. My main priority was to stop by Toomers and pick up a tshirt for my Auburn fan wife, but checking out campus wasn’t far behind, even if it was 95 degrees.

The funny thing is, even as I think now about the name of their stadium, in my head I hear Verne Lundquist saying it.

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This Week’s Sports Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

So Will There Even Be a Clippers Season Next Year?

So if Donald Sterling is successful in hanging on to the franchise, even if it’s just temporarily, and Doc refuses to coach and the players refuse to play, and no one in the NBA will play against them, what happens to the Clippers for 2014-15?

Can the NBA simply force the team to cease operations for the year while the court battles get dealt with? Will every team that refuses to play against them forfeit and we end up with an undefeated Clippers winning the NBA championship? Or will the Clippers be a zero win team because no one will play for them? (But really, surely Donald can find 7-10 dudes who will play just to be able to play in the NBA, or possibly he can field a hooded team, if you get my drift. Somewhere, someone will put on the uniform and play, despite how everyone else feels about it.)

At this point, I think just about anything is possible, including David Stern coming back to mediate by driving Donald out into the California desert never to be seen again. It’s ugly, and it’s ridiculous, but I don’t think anyone knows how this ends either.

Paterno Son Suing Penn State

I understand why Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney are upset. The fact is they probably are unfairly tainted by what went on at Penn State and I’m not sure their reputations can ever recover from that. The general public was horrified by what came out about Jerry Sandusky and the possibility of a cover up by people running the school and the football program, and whether they had any knowledge of the situation or not, that stink stays with you when you’re in the middle of it.

That said, however, I think their lawsuit against Penn State is a long shot at best.

At the end of the day, whether Penn State kept them on or not, they were going to have that stink on them to one degree or another. The damage done to their reputation wasn’t done when they got replaced by the new head coach. Heck, new head coaches come in and replace guys who worked for the previous coach all the time, just because they want their own people in there. The damage was done simply by being there when all of this went down. Penn State getting rid of them didn’t do them any favors in that department, but they are going to be hard pressed to prove that was why they got fired, and not just because Bill O’Brien wanted someone else, or that the firing specifically caused them any damage that wasn’t already done.

I guess they are just collateral damage from a very public, messy situation at this point, until someone gives them a chance.

Question About Slaying the Badger

If you didn’t get to watch the latest ESPN 30 for 30 film, Slaying the Badger, about the battle between Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault in the 1986 Tour de France, check it out when it’s replayed. It’s fascinating. As someone who was a teenager during the LeMond victories, I have some fuzzy memories of those and it was good to fill in the blanks.

For example, I thought for sure that LeMond had won a Tour on a time trial on the final day, but could never figure out how that happened when the final day is traditionally just a celebration day into Paris, but seeing the bit about winning the 89 Tour by 8 seconds showed that my memory was correct, that year the ride into Paris was a time trial!

Frankly, since LeMond is now officially the only American to ever win the Tour, it’s nice to see him get his due.

However, there was one thing about the film that made me furrow my brow a bit. The producers and the cyclists being interviewed clearly state that 1992 was the start of widespread doping in the world of cycling. That puts us right at the beginning of 5 straight Tour wins by Miguel Indurain. As far as I know, his victories have not been called into question.

Looking at the winners list in Wikipedia you can clearly see where the questionable, and even stripped, Tour wins start, 1996.

So the question is, should we consider Indurain part of the doping era, or a cyclist that was so dominant that even others using performance enhancing drugs couldn’t beat him?

This Week’s Sports Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Even Mild Concussions Can be a Problem

According to a recent study, parents should be concerned about even mild concussions.

Initially, those with concussions had thinking and memory test scores that were 25 percent lower than those in healthy people. One year after injury, however, while the scores for those with and without concussions were similar, those who had had brain injuries still had evidence of brain damage on imaging tests, with clear signs of continued disruption to key brain cells.

It sure seems like the more we learn about concussions, the worse it gets. I can’t help but wonder what that’ll do for participation rates in some sports for kids. On the other hand, kids can get a mild concussion from a lot of non-sport activities too!

Watching the Tour

Tour Pack

I’ll admit it, watching a bike race in person probably isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. I imagine it would be difficult to really know what is going on, and to even identify who is who as they simply race past you. My experiences spectating at smaller aces like the one above, obviously are no comparison to watching the finish of a Tour De France stage. So, I wasn’t exactly shocked that someone described the experience as agony.

That certainly sounds like agony. Still, I’m not taking being on the Champs D’Eylsees on the final day of Le Tour off my bucket list. Seems like it might be a bit miserable in terms of crowding and waiting on the riders, but it also seems like that stage would be a heck of a party too! Plus, they do laps up and down the boulevard, so you would get to see them go by several times. That’s got to be better, right? ;-)

Speaking of agony though, this year’s tour has been full of that. Crashes, injuries, rain, and now bronchitis-like symptoms spreading through the field? IT certainly seems as though everyone else is just falling by the wayside and Nibali is on his way to dominating this thing, but we’re not done in the Alps, so it’s far from over!

Head Injuries at the World Cup

There has been some criticism of FIFA after players suffering from what certainly appeared to be pretty significant concussions were allowed to continue playing after a very minimal evaluation. Given what happened to Christoph Kramer during the final, I don’t believe this criticism is going away any time soon.

“I can’t really remember much of the game,” he told the German newspaper Die Welt (as translated by The Independent). “I don’t know anything at all about the first half. I thought later that I left the game immediately after the tackle. I have no idea how I got to the changing rooms. I don’t know anything else. In my head, the game starts from the second half.”

No, in fact he played for 18 minutes after the injury, until he literally fell over and had to be helped from the field. But, no the examination he was given was thorough. Sure it was.