Last weekend’s NFL playoffs in order:
*Vinatieri beat Stover, 15-6. It was a foot-ball game. It was the good (the defenses), the bad (the quarterbacks) and the ugly (the game).
*Great game. Lots of offense on both sides. The key was the Saints defense stopping Philly when they had to after the late fumble. GO SAINTS!
*Based on Seattle’s injuries all season, it’s a wonder they got this far. They did have Chicago, but let it get away. The Bears showed they can be had.
*A game replete with mistakes. The Patriots did all they could to lose the game, but the Chargers did it better. Tom Brady is Clark Kent.
*All four dogs covered the lines, and two of them won straight up. So how important is the bye week?
Larry Brown’s employed again; he’s back with the Sixers as a V-P, soon to be coach, no doubt. After the 2005-2006 NBA season, the NY Knicks withheld the remainder of Brown’s contract, which had four years and more than $40 million left, saying they fired Brown for cause. The two compromised in October. Brown got $18.5 million to walk away.
Not bad for one year of employment, even for vagabond Larry Brown, but it’s chump change. The king of employment walk-aways is Robert Nardelli. Employed by Home Depot for six years, his severance package alone will be $210 million. Apparently there are people who run their corporations with the same ineptitude as Isiah Thomas.
Story of the Week
Vin Scully is an artist. He is the Picasso of sportscasters. The comparisons he draws during his displays of brilliance at the mic make the most boring of games something special to the ears.
Scully holds the distinction of the longest consecutive service of any current major league broadcaster for one team. When you think of Vin Scully, you naturally think of the Dodgers.
Scully, whose status as one of the top sportscasters in history was reaffirmed recently when he was named “Baseball’s All-Time Best Broadcaster,” concluded his 57th season as the “Voice of the Dodgers.” The Hall of Famer’s 57 years of consecutive service with the Dodgers is the longest of any current sports broadcaster with one team. He recently signed an extension that will keep him with the team through 2008.
Born in the Bronx on November 27, 1927, Scully began his broadcasting career while attending Fordham University. He announced baseball games over the university’s radio station, and also got some experience in the field by playing for the team for two seasons. A year after graduating, Vin joined the Dodgers in 1950, where he worked alongside Radio Hall-of-Famer and baseball legend Red Barber.
Because he has been with the Dodgers both in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, Scully has described the heroics of some of the greatest players of the second half of the 20th century. The exploits of the greats in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles have unfolded before the perceptive eyes of Vin Scully.
Scully is so well-regarded for his mastery of the English language and his enviable demeanor that the “voice of the Dodgers” has become the “voice of the World Series” year after year for the CBS Radio Network. In 1976, Dodgers fans voted Scully the “most memorable personality” in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
Vin Scully was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
A few of my favorite Vin Scully quotes:
"All year (1988) long they looked to him (Kirk Gibson) to light the fire and all year long he answered the demands. High fly ball into right field. She is gone! In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened."
"Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day. Aren't we all?"
“Baseball is theatre. The star is the spotlight on the mound, the supporting cast fanned out around him, the mathematical precision of the game moving with the kind of inevitability of Greek tragedy, with the Greek chorus in the bleachers!"
"Good is not good when better is expected."
"Bob Gibson pitches as though he's double-parked."
"How good was Stan Musial? He was good enough to take your breath away."
"It's a mere moment in a man's life between the All-Star Game and an old timer's game."
"It's a passing (the last NBC Game of the Week on October 9, 1989) of a great American tradition. It is sad. I really and truly feel that. It will leave a vast window, to use a Washington word, where people will not get Major League Baseball and I think that's a tragedy."
"Losing feels worse than winning feels good."
"It was typical of him, Ted Williams, to become a Marine Air Corps pilot and see action and almost get shot down. He was a remarkable American as well as a remarkable ballplayer. His passing so close to a national holiday seems part of a divine plan, so we can always remember him not only as a great player but also as a great patriot."
“Let’s all take a deep breath as we go to the most dramatic ninth inning (1956 World Series. Don Larsen's perfect game.) in the history of baseball. I’m going to sit back, light up, and hope I don’t chew the cigarette to pieces."
Last Week’s Trivia
One Boston Braves team was very well known as a MLB franchise. The team moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and then to Atlanta in 1966. The other Boston Braves team was actually a NFL franchise. The club joined the NFL as a 1932 expansion team. One year later, the club changed its name to the Boston Redskins, in honor of their head coach, William (Lone Star) Dietz, who was part Sioux. The team moved to Washington, D.C. in 1937.
Trivia Question of the Week
In 2006, Tiki Barber rushed for 1662 yards, but scored only five rushing touchdowns. But that’s not the record for the fewest rushing touchdowns for a running back with at least 1600 rushing yards in one NFL season. Who owns this unusual record? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.