Monday, June 4, 2007
Sorry about the delay in posting this, but I woke up to find my basement flooded thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry Lyons making its way up north. So without further ado:
ARod had the last laugh in what had to be the 10th or 11th most tumultuous week of his life. After creating a stir earlier in the week for purposely distracting a Blue Jay trying to catch a pop fly and getting caught possibly cheating on his wife I was very interested to see how ARod would bounce back. He was relatively quiet in his first two games and looked like he was going to draw the ire of Joey Meatball (the identity I give to the average Yankee fan) when he popped out with a man on third and one out late in the game. But ARod is safe in NYC for now (except if the NY Post is lurking around, which it most assuredly is) until the next time he does something un-Jeterlike.
Billy Donevan in Orlando
Rarely does a party breaking a contract benefit both sides quite like this. Orlando Magic fans (all twelve of them) will be thanking their lucky stars that Billy D. has decided that he'd rather stay in Gator country. Donovan has been very successful in the NCAA because is a dynamite recruiter and motivator. Donovan is at his weakest however, when drawing up X's and O's on the dry erase board. His substitution patterns were erratic and he all too often insisted on running the full court press to his team's detriment. Though he is a cut above former St. John's coach Mike Jarvis and his controlled freelance offense.
Donovan wins for several reasons. He gets to remain in his comfort zone in Gainesville where he will most likely get the royal treatment for as long as he remains. Outside of Coach K, I can't think of a college basketball coach who has greater job security. While Donovan cited recruiting trail travel as a main reason for leaving for the NBA, Florida is almost to the point where the school and its reputation recruits for itself. I don't think Coach K pounds the pavement that hard anymore, rather leaving it to his assistant coaches and the aura of Duke to bring in the nation's top talent. Billy will be taking a bit of a pay cut by leaving the Magic ($5.5M/yr to $3M/yr), but he is still making a lot more than he netted last season ($1. something million) and I believe his salary increases over the life of the contract. And as former Gainesville resident I can attest to the fact that he can live pretty comfortably in that town making $3M/yr, as long as he doesn't hit up Swamp on gameday weekends- those markups are brutal.
The University of Florida wins because they hold onto the coach they never wanted to leave in first place. Also they have come away victorious out in tug of wars against Kentucky and the NBA.
There are two losers in this saga however. The first is VCU coach Anthony Grant who was in line for the Florida job had it been permanently vacated by Donovan. I'm sure Grant will land a big time program job sometime in the not too distant future, but Florida is his dream job at this point. The second loser? Stan Van Gundy. Why? Just because last time I checked, he was still Stan Van Gundy.
That Wedding Had a Lot of Hart
So this past weekend fellow poster Greg Ostertag Body Spray and I attended the wedding of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart's youngest daughter. While we were initially disappointed by the lack of established professional wrestlers in attendance (Niedhart was the only one), we were overjoyed once we saw The Anvil walking his daughter down the aisle while doing his trademark goatee stroke. Ostertag and I got pictures with the former tag team champion and he even gave us a tidbit of inside information- namely that Greg "The Hammer" Valentine had tiny sausage fingers. My personal highlight was dancing to "Hey Ya!" with Diana Smith, the widow of The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith, who was one of my favorite wrestlers growing up. She is also the sister of Bret and was one of several Hart's that we met throughout the reception. We also met Harry Smith, the son of Diana and Davey Boy who just signed a contract with the WWF as well as his friend TJ Wilson who also signed a contract with the federation and was trained in the famous Hart Dungeon. TJ was extremely affable and talked to us dorks about the wrestling industry for quite a while. Here is a link of them cutting a promo and then wrestling in the now defunct Deep South Wrestling promotion.
The closest I came to receiving a running powerslam? I caught the garter belt and had to put it on Nattie Neidhart (the older daughter) while a sunglass adorned Anvil stared me down. I placed it halfway up her lower leg before chickening out and calling it quits. In retrospect I think it was a wise decision though.