Here’s to the Saints and one of my all-time favorite cities, New Orleans. The Saints finally return home to the Superdome Monday night for the first time since catastrophic Katrina. They’ll host Atlanta. Both teams are 2-0. The ceremonies will be a celebration to remember, one the people of New Orleans certainly deserve after what they’ve been through. I hope the Saints do their part with a victory. PS: I'm pleased to report that all Saints home games for 2006 have officially been sold out.
The two N.Y. teams have the best records in baseball. History shows that stat means little heading into the playoffs. The last time the team with the best regular season record won the World Series was 2000.
University of Northern Colorado starting punter Rafael Mendoza is recovering after police say he was stabbed in his kicking leg by a teammate last week. Who did it? Reserve punter Mitch Cozad wanted the starting job so badly that he intentionally shoved a shiv into Mendoza’s kicking leg. And to the credit of the school’s football program, after a week filled with adversity, Northern Colorado’s football team pulled together for a 14-13 upset win over No. 23 Texas State on the road Saturday night. Cozad is off the team and faces criminal charges. But all is not lost; he could yet meet his soul mate, Tonya Harding.
Greg Maddux is 40 years old. His fastball is virtually non-existent. In reality, his fastball was never one to write home about. But Maddux is a pitching surgeon. He’s always been able to thread a needle from 60’-6”. Now in his 21st. season in MLB, he has relied on great precision and ball movement. I thoroughly enjoy watching the guy pitch. The Dodgers made a great late-season acquisition. Cooperstown, here he comes.
Do you remember the days of Al Davis’ “Commitment To Excellence?” The “Raider Nation” still exists and they still believe the have a football team. I’d hallucinate as well if I were on every known drug. Hey, dude, pass the frickin’ powder.
Four consecutive homers by the Dodgers in the ninth inning against the Padres Monday night. The last time that happened was 42 years ago. Ya really don’t think the ball is juiced, do ya? Yeah, right! Dodger Stadium is in downtown L.A. Nomar’s tenth inning game-winning homer bounced off the Marriott……………in Pasadena. The Dodgers won, 11-10. That’s more offense than you saw while the Jaguars were beating the Steelers, 9-0. No doubt about it; the NFL has to do something to that football.
Story of the Week
NATE “TINY” ARCHIBALD
In the second round of the 1970 NBA draft, the Cincinnati Royals took a chance on Nate Archibald, a shy and diminutive scatback guard from the University of Texas-El Paso. Although Archibald had scored more than 20 points a game as a junior and senior, the Royals had hoped the 6-foot-1 Archibald could handle NBA pressure and become the Royals' steady point guard, much like Cincy’s coach, Bob Cousy, had done in Boston.
Cincinnati got much more than expected. Archibald was a penetrator supreme, a pinpoint passer and an outside shooter with great range. "Tiny's" quickness and swooping passes made him difficult to guard in the open court, and he was a potent triple-threat with his penetration, passing and shooting. When the Royals moved to Kansas City/Omaha in 1972 and became known as the Kings, the nickname fit "Nate the Skate" perfectly. In Kansas City's first season, ’72-’73, he averaged 34 points a game and 11.4 assists per outing, becoming the only player in NBA history to lead the league in those two categories in the same season.
The player who proved the "little man" could excel in professional basketball logged 14 NBA seasons playing for Cincinnati (1970-72), Kansas City-Omaha (1972-76), New York Nets (1976-77), Buffalo (1977-78, injured did not play), Boston (1978-83) and Milwaukee (1983-84). His swift drives to the hoop were virtually unstoppable; either "Tiny" scored or was fouled. Consequently, Archibald led the NBA in free throws made three times and free throw attempts twice.
He competed in 876 professional games, scored 16,481 points (18.8 ppg), and dished out 6,476 assists. He was an All-NBA First Team selection three times (1973, 1975, 1976), an All-NBA Second Team selection twice (1972, 1981), seven-time All-Star Game selection, and MVP of the 1981 All-Star Game. From 1978 to 1983, Archibald was the floor general and a crafty member of the Boston Celtics, a team he helped win the 1981 NBA title and lead to the best NBA record three consecutive years.
Nate Archibald was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time team. He is, as you would expect, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Archibald was one of the most exciting players I’ve ever seen.
FACT SHEET ON “TINY” ARCHIBALD:
G FG% 3PFG% FT% Rebs RPG Asts APG Stls Blks Pts PPG
876 .467 .224 .810 2046 2.3 6476 7.4 719 81 16481 18.8
Full Name: Nathaniel Archibald
Born: 9/2/48 in New York
High School: DeWitt Clinton, (Bronx, N.Y.)
College: Texas El-Paso
Drafted by: Cincinnati Royals, 1970 (19th overall)
Transactions: Traded to New York Nets, 9/10/76; Traded to Buffalo Braves, 9/1/77; Traded to Boston Celtics, 8/4/78; Signed with Milwaukee Bucks, 8/1/83
Weight: 160 lbs.
Honors: Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1991); NBA champion (1981); All-NBA First Team (1973, '75, '76); All-NBA Second Team (1972, '81); Six-time All-Star; All-Star Game MVP (1981); One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996).
Last Week’s Trivia
The star player who preceded Peyton Manning as QB at the University of Tennessee is a much bigger name than Manning, at least in baseball. He is Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies.
Trivia Question of the Week
He set the NFL record for the most rushing attempts in a single season. Who is he? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.