Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Things work out for Brown, Rams will rise

Former CU standout Chris Brown doesn't end up, as predicted by some media reports, in Chicago, where he would have been a good fit back in his home state, but instead decides to stay rooted in the South, resigning with the Tennessee Titans, where, if healthy, he will be a lock to be the team's starter, considering Travis Henry is now a Bronco, Lendale White doesn't want to act like a pro and is a future washout and draftee Chris Henry is more workout warrior than productive groundhog.

New CSU basketball coach Tim Miles says his job will be one of the biggest rebuilding jobs he's had. AD Paul Kowalczyk told me the program is a long ways away from where he hopes it will be. Yet, it says here, with Miles enthusiasm and Kowalczyk's proven history of success that there will be excitement on the floor, facilities and recruiting will improve and Rams basketball will become a factor in the Mountain West Conference within four seasons.

Funny how some in the NFL believe that Jake "the Flake" Plummer will one day return to play. Plummer could make things happen on the field but after experiencing the circus that was Arizona, then being dealt from Denver, a winning organization for rebuilding Tampa just plain ticked him off. Not motivated by money we all hear, it is doubtful that former Bronco will suit up again. Look for him to enjoy travel and maybe one day end up as an studio analyst maybe making connections with a new receiver, Keyshawn Johnson.

Know Chone Figgins? Remember that he was a fourth-round pick of the Colorado Rockies back in 1997? Well, he was, and that little fire starter just made news by banging out six hits in a game for the Angels against Houston on Monday. The diminutive one with the big game is a career .285 hitter, who over the last three seasons has averaged seven homers, 60 RBI and 49 steals. As an old friend of mine, a Red Sox fan (not mentioning names, Mike Rogers), used to ask me, why can't the Rockies get players like him?

So CU has lost Texas wide receiver verbal Chance Blackmon, supposedly because his pops believe Colorado is too far away from home. Bull. The reason Blackmon is now supposedly giving the Buffs the cold shoulder is as simple as "2-10." Word is that the other highly-touted WR recruit, Corey Surrency could also fly the coop. Once Dan Hawkins team starts posting winning records and earning bowl victories these kinds of things will stop.

The Rams have offered John Elway's quarterback son a scholarship. That's sweet, isn't it? Romantic. It's also like me sending an invitation to a party to Jessica Alba. Think she'll come?

The Yankees will be in town and regardless of their record, that series should still be a must-have ticket. Throw in future Hall of Famers on New York's roster and well, can you help me get a seat?

Rockies rookie catcher Chris Iannetta has fallen flat on his face this season but it would be foolish to forget how fast he rose through the farm system. He appeared ready for Denver. He wasn't. He would be best served by getting a little refresher course in Colorado Springs, where he can play and rebuild his confidence. There is no reason he can' still become a quality starter who can hit for average with moderate thunder in his bat while showing acceptable defensive and game-calling skills.

Nene has announced he's not too bright and the Nuggets just sigh. The big forward has decided he will play for Brazil's national team this summer. Huh? All we heard in 2006-07 was his body hurt like hell and with LaPhonso Ellis and Kenyon Martin's careers being significantly downgraded due to broken-down bodies, we really don't want to hear about Nene exposing his legs to more risk. Thought the big Brazilian got married? Where is Mrs. Nene when you really need her, unplugging this foolish decision.

Go read the Daily Camera and try to contain yourself over the motley crew of free agents the Nuggets have brought to town for mini camp. Mateen Cleaves is the big name but the problem there is the guy last was relevant as a player like, oh, I don't know when.

Sweeping the Nation

How big is a golfer when the birth of his child is big news to media outlets. Congratulations to you, Tiger Woods, that's what fame brings. Next up, the paparazzi will be digging in your trash, jamming a camera in the face of your baby and your wife and if you react poorly the world will judge you. While you are too classy to do such a thing, personally I wouldn't blame you if you
go Sean Penn on them all.

Word in the wind says that the NBA is upset that Portland and Seattle scored the top two picks in the draft and thus will be able to grab elite talents Greg Oden and Kevin Durant away from the East coast where the NBA would like to have those players for marketing purposes. Well, guess what? This East coast sense of entitlement is stink. And this idea that the NBA will suffer financially on a serious level without Oden and Durant is just sour grapes. Tough. The league instituted one of the biggest jokes in sports with the draft lottery so if Boston or whomever didn't land the big fish then look in the mirror and shut the hell up.

Am I old if I ask if tennis even exists as a sport anymore? Growing up, never played it but always would flip through channels if I could get my father off of watching golf (which I did play) to check for baseball and yes, tennis, because there was always a big name in action (Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and many others). Then as I grew up there was still Pete Sampras and wild child Andre Agassi. These days, who is there -- Roger Federer? Who is he? Is that the name of my accountant?

Warrior voices

From Greg Greene, who believes this space's assessment that CU's men's basketball program will be better off in the long run than Kansas State's supernova of a program due to the coaches in the equation -- Jeff Bzdelik and Frank Martin.
"Truth, I disagree with you on the future of Kansas State's men's basketball. I think Frank Martin will win and win big in Manhattan, and I also believe he will be able to replenish his squad with blue-chip prospects. The man can flat-out RECRUIT. Martin will surprise to the upside. Wait and see."
Greg, Greg, Greg. Contrary to popular belief I love optimism and yours has me ready to high five, sing the fight song and scope cheerleaders but have to break in with a reality update -- recruiters who can't coach, and what evidence is there that Martin can do that at the collegiate level, end up at the bus stop looking to get back in the game as recruiting specialists.

KSU went with Martin solely, sorry Greg, to prevent a jail break (Michael Beasley, Jacob Pullen, amongst others) that would send the Wildcats plummeting to the depths of the conference. Hey, hope the Cats can indeed build on their resurgence as it's good for the Big 12's reputation. Still believe that the Buffs hiring of Bzdelik will prove more astute as he has the pelts to prove he can coach.

Final Salvo

Peace and love sent the way of the family of Indiana Hoosiers football coach Terry Hoeppner.

Over the last 18 months, the man battled two brain surgeries and all the pain and anxiety that must go with them before passing away Tuesday at the age of 59, which seems old until you actually grow up and realize just how young it is.

The last couple of years I've seen family and friends fall to cancer and it gets me how our amazing human bodies can be so destroyed internally, how we betray it or it betrays us. For Hoeppner's family, may you be surrounded by great people.

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