I recently attended the induction ceremony for the Delaware County Sports Hall of Fame. One of the inductees was the retired coach of Chester Basketball, Fred Pickett.We discussed his successful career and final season as state champs. I asked about one of his best players whose college choice was undecided. Fred explained that the young man came from a difficult environment and really struggled in school.
However, three colleges were willing to accept him on a probation basis the first year with no basketball involved until his academics improved. Then Fred made the most revealing comment of all, "It's been a real problem at times but if it wasn't for basketball, he'd be dead right now." I can relate. Been there, done that.
Today's Olympic trivia: Who is the only U.S. athlete to win two consecutive decathlon championships? Answer below.
As I wrote two months ago, is there anything wrong with the Eagles having three good defensive backs? Injuries happen. Guess what? They did and now Lido Sheppard is a valuable asset.
Brian Westbrook should honor his contract. What's up with Shawn Andrews?
ESPN did a report on its Outside The Lines segment concerning the recent off-field problems of Penn State football. Joepa came off as a tired old man in complete denial who refuses to face reality.
All major football powers face similar problems since the bottom line is winning. Joepa called it a "witch hunt" but in this case, there may be some real witches. The first step toward solving a problem is recognizing that there is one.
Our Olympic basketball team looked good against inferior opposition. Canada was over-matched but insisted on playing man-to-man. European teams won't do that; they'll sit in a 2-3 zone and make us hit from the outside.
We could use another 3-point bomber like Ray Allen or Kyle Korver. The center position is thin with no one to back up Dwight Howard, who has already been injured. Despite these issues, the U.S. team looks ready for revenge!
Lots of Phillies suff: Cole Hamels needs to grow-up mentally. If the umpire makes a bad call or there's an error behind him, he blows sky high. Toughen up, Cole. As Yogi said, "This game is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.". How much does Manuel have to see to realize Eaton and Seanez are NOT major league pitchers.. Madson isn't reliable either.. I've always respected Rollins' ability, never his attitude. MVP didn't help.. Blanton doesn't appear to be any better than Garcia or Eaton.. There isn't much talk lately about Chase Utley being MVP. Maybe he's the victim of a CURSE
Explain this: if there's a pitch in the dirt, the ball is immediately thrown out. But, if the batter hits a 3-hopper to the shortstop who throws it in the dirt to first base, the ball stays in play. Oh well.
I was happy that the Philly Soul won the Arena Bowl football title. However, let's be fair; they got every call and every break. For once, it went our way.
Answer to today's trivia: In 1948 and 1952, Bob Mathias won the decathlon, the first when he was 17 years old. After his athletic career, he was elected to Congress from California.
Sports Quotes of the Week: One of my all time favorites: A young Mickey Mantle asked Joe DiMaggio why he hustled so hard on every play in every game. The Yankee Clipper replied. "Because there might be some young kid in the stands who never saw me play before." You know, just like today's over-paid prima donnas.
Charles Barkley on his playing days in Phoenix: "That town is like a retirement community. If it wasn't for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, there'd be no romance at all."
P.S. My wife asked me to take her somewhere expensive for her birthday.. so I took her to a gas station.