RIP Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt died yesterday. She dominated women’s college basketball in the era before Geno Auriemma dominated women’s college basketball. Over the course of her career, her women’s teams at Tennessee won 1,098 games. Pat Summitt was 64 years old.

Rest in peace, Pat Summitt.

Yesterday, I wondered aloud about what effect Brexit might have on the EPL. While those costs and benefits are still to be known, England is in shock over another version of “Brexit” in the world of soccer. Iceland eliminated England in the first of the knockout round games in euro 2016; Iceland advances to the European equivalent of the “Elite Eight” while England will go home. I said about a week ago that Iceland was the Cinderella of the tournament simply by hanging in during the early matches in group-play; now, they are the “Official Cinderella” of Euro 2016.

The result was sufficiently shocking that the English coach, Roy Hodgson, did not wait to be fired for this stunning loss. He resigned as coach of the English National team immediately following the game in the regularly scheduled press conference. Hodgson had been under fire at home; his resignation simply preempted what was going to happen anyway.

Iceland now moves on to play France – the host nation for Euro 2016 – on July 3rd. The games for the round of 8 are set with:

    Poland vs. Portugal June 30
    Wales vs. Belgium July 1 (Wales has an aura of “Cinderella” too.)
    Germany vs. Italy July 2

Late last week, Johnny Manziel’s father, Paul Manziel, told ESPN that his son is “a druggie”. As surprising as that comment may be, he also added that jail “would be the best place for [Johnny Manziel].” That comment was part of the fiasco created when one of Johnny Manziel’s attorneys accidentally sent a text or e-mail to the Associated Press containing information about Johnny Manziel’s assault case. Part of that message said that the attorney was worried about his client’s ability to “stay clean”.

Prior to the publication of those sorts of comments from his attorney, Johnny Manziel was probably on a list of folks who are persona non grata on NFL rosters. With this new information, he probably moves from that list to a list of people who are radioactive within the NFL’s General Manager community. I do not know what it would take for an NFL team to invite him to training camp now.

Yes, I do recall that Andy Reid and the Eagles gave Michael Vick a second chance after he served his time in the dogfighting mess. However, at the time Vick had two things going for him that Manziel does not:

    1. Vick had been a successful and productive QB in the NFL prior to his time in prison. There was some reason to believe that he might regain his form and be a productive NFL player somewhere down the line. Manziel’s NFL appearances on Sundays have been mediocre-at-best and generally-insufficient. The idea that he has the potential to be a productive NFL QB is surely more far-fetched.

    2. There was no reason to suspect that Michael Vick would relapse into dogfighting again. That means that if he ever regained a meaningful position on an NFL team, that team could count on his being in uniform on Sundays. If Manziel is indeed “a druggie” – and we have seen pictorial evidence that he takes a drink on a more than occasional basis – that makes him “less dependable” in the eyes of a team. So, even if a team thought he might be good on the field someday, they would also have to worry about his availability for many of their games.

I think this is the end of the line for Johnny Football as it pertains to a pro football career. I hope he gets whatever sort of help he needs and buys into that help such that he sets his life on a more positive course than being “a druggie”.

Kentucky coach, John Calipari, has a habit of saying some “off-center” things. That should not, however, lead you to believe he is unintelligent. Calipari has lots of good ideas but good ideas rarely attract a similar level of public attention as compared to off-center ideas/remarks. Several weeks ago, Calipari suggested that the SEC should not hold a conference championship tournament at the end of the basketball season. His idea is that the regular season conference champion would claim the guaranteed NCAA Tournament bid and then the Selection Committee could pick and choose from the other schools in the conference to fill out the field. He believes that late-season losses in the SEC Tournament hurt teams in the conference with regard to selection and with regard to seeding.

In its place, he suggested that the SEC hold an early-season tournament that was not a single-elimination format. With 16 teams, every team would play 4 games; there would be an early-season tournament champion and every school would get 4 games under their belts early on. He thinks that would be a way to get lots of fans to engage with their teams. Here is Calipari’s general outline for this early-season tournament:

“You have to do it in November. Play a game or two and then, out of the gate, you have a conference tournament. You know you have it for one week. Maybe you have two sites in the same city. Maybe it’s in Atlanta. You’re doing it every year. Let’s all [have] our fans go to Atlanta and everything is geared for the SEC.”

Remember, the ACC and the Big-10 have had that inter-conference challenge for a while and the games have been generally well received. Calipari’s idea might be a different take on a similar track. The one question that I would have asked Calipari if I had had the opportunity is this:

    Will the wins and losses in the early-season tournament count in the conference record that determines the SEC Champion for NCAA Tournament purposes?

    I think the games would be a lot more meaningful if the results mattered…

Finally, here is a frightening thought expressed by Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:

“John Daly turned 50 last week. The frightening thing: He’s now at an age where a lot of men begin to wear weird looking clothes.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

2 thoughts on “RIP Pat Summitt”

  1. The problem Calipari has with that idea is getting SEC fans to forget, for a week in November, that it’s not football season.

    1. Doug:

      If they did this in the first week of December – after the SEC Championship Game – it just might work. The problem is that because Calipari – and Kentucky – suggested it, there will be several other schools that will oppose it for no other reason. This idea makes some sense; it deserves serious consideration before discarding it or implementing it. I doubt it will get even passing consideration.

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