Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Scott Ferrall off the milk carton

This probably isn't big news to anyone unless you're a sports talk junkie like me, but Scott Ferrall guest hosted for J.T. The Brick yesterday, which is the first time the once up-and-coming sports talk host has been heard on national radio in about 5 years.

And, frankly, it was good to hear Ferrall's raspy voice and hyperactive style on the air again.

I don't think it means he's coming back to Fox Sports Radio permanently, but if he does go national again, that's really his only option. He's too interesting for ESPN Radio to consider.

Lance back on top in France

Thanks to Team Discovery Channel's third straight win in the Team Time Trial, Lance Armstrong is back in the Yellow Jersey at the the Tour de France, four stages in.

Before you say, "Wait a minute, wasn't he on a different team last year?" No, it's the same team, it was just called U.S. Postal last year. The sponsorship asking price for Lance's team got too rich for The Post Office to afford. (The team in the past has been sponsored by 7-Eleven and Motorola).

As for the Tour, there's about 4 more flat stages before they hit the mountains, so the maillot jeune could change hands a few times before then. But Lance Armstrong usually just keeps close to the leaders until the mountains, then slingshots around them in the mountain stages. That is, if he's the same Lance Armstrong.

What I think is significant is the fact that Armstrong took the yellow from another American, David Zabriskie. Why? It means that Lance Armstrong isn't the only American who could be a featured cyclist.

Zabriskie, by the way, is also a blogger. Check out his personal site. You'll find out such personal tidbits as his preference of religion (not Mormon), movies (Batman and Star Wars), and that apparently was once hit by a car (a peril I'm sure most American road cyclists have either been through or narrowly avoided).

My advice, Dave: move to Austin. They actually give cyclists some respect here

Note of trivia: Yesterday's stage started in Tours (which, coincidentally, is pronounced similar to "Tour" in French). Tours was the site of one of the biggest turning points in Western European history, a 732 AD battle where the Frankish general Charles Martel (great-grandfather of Charlemagne) defeated Muslim jihadists under Emir Abd er Rahman al-Ghafiq. The battle effectively stopped the Muslims advance into the Christian areas of Europe, and was the last time a Muslim nation would seriously threaten a Western nation until the 1970s.

R.I.P Hank Stram 1923-2005

Hank Stram's soul matriculated to heaven yesterday, after his body was in declining health for several years due to diabetes.

Stram got his pro coaching debut in Texas with the Dallas Texans and won the AFL championship in 1962 before the franchise moved to Kansas City. Stram, who was previously an assistant at "The U" and SMU before that (where he was position coach for Texans' owner Lamar Hunt), beat out legendary Oklahoma coach Bud Wilkinson for the job

Stram, however really shined when the franchise moved from Dallas to Kansas City due to stiff competition from the NFL's Cowboys. The re-christened Chiefs appeared in the first Super Bowl, where Stram's stack defense forced Vince Lombardi to change tactics and rely on short passes rather than the power sweep (If you know anything about Lombardi's style of football, you'll know that it was a pretty significant shift). Granted, the Chiefs lost, but the Packers had to play AFL-style football to win it.

In 1970, the Chiefs returned to the Super Bowl, this time to face the Vikings, whom they destroyed 23-7. This was notable for 3 things: First, it was the first time a coach was wearing a microphone on the sideline, which gave us such gems as "matriculating the ball down the field" and brought the fan virtually onto the sidelines. Second, it showcased the stack defense and the moving pocket, Stram's contributions to the game as we know it today. Third, it proved the New York Jets' victory the prior year was no fluke and that these AFL teams really are on par with the NFL.

Tomorrow: I'm R.D. Baker, and I approved of this message.
Post a Comment