Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sorry for the lack of blogs...

I'm now writing for "What's Hot Tampa Bay," so catch all of my blogs there as well!

Tebow And The Draft

You have to tread lightly and be extremely careful with what you say in regards on Tim Tebow in the Tampa Bay area. According to Florida fans, it’s a reason to go if someone says something even remotely negative about the Gator superstar. To them, the young man is the greatest college football player ever, greatest leader ever, greatest human being ever, and can play all twenty-one positions on the field as well as beat teams by himself. Yeah, Tebow’s that amazing…and if someone comes up with a competent and intelligent argument against the former Heisman winner, it doesn’t matter. You’d be wrong and then Gator fan would want to go.

Why are people afraid to come out and say the negatives about Tim Tebow? The kid was a tremendous college player and will go down as one of the best, but his college career is over and it’s time to focus on his potential NFL future. He’s currently participating in the Senior Bowl practices and, from all accounts, looks awful. He can’t handle a snap from center, his accuracy is way off, his mechanics are atrocious, and his footwork reminds coaches of a person wearing cement blocks. With all of that said, scouts refuse to leave it at those critiques. Typically, they’ll follow all of that with, “But there’s just something about him.” What?! Because I would take a chance in my business with someone that has little skills, but I have a “gut” feeling about. Success in college does not necessarily lead to success in the big leagues.

I’m not trying to hate. He’s an unbelievable collegiate athlete as well as a great kid. The charities, volunteering, et cetera, are enough for me to know that this is a remarkable young man, but this is football and he has a giant target on his back because of the hype that has surrounded him throughout his entire football life. According to ‘50’s hairdo connoisseur and NFL draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr., Tebow’s an H-back with his physical style of play and athleticism. Most QB’s in the NFL have major egos. Can Tebow suck it back and switch to a different position if his quarterback stint fails or will he sulk and whine about it? I don’t know. I think it’ll be an interesting situation and I’m curious to see how it unfolds.

Tim may have to switch positions anyway because according to multiple sources in team offices, organizations don’t want to have to alternate their offenses to suit Tebow’s quarterback skills. If you switch to a different offense that means you’ll have to have a back-up QB the likes of a Tebow and they’re not easy to come by. Actually, they’re nonexistent. It’s a major risk, especially the violent way Tim plays QB. Hopefully, a stable team like New England drafts Tim so he can sit and learn how to actually play quarterback, not “wild cat QB that can throw.”

I’m trying to see this from a different perspective and play Devils Advocate, Gator fan. Relax and don’t try and beat me up. I truly hope the young man succeeds. Heck, you’re telling me Kiper and the rest of these draft nerds knew Tom Brady was going to be any good? Or Kurt Warner? Steve Young was seen as a serious project because of his unusual play and he’s one of the greatest NFL QB’s ever. Tim has the want to and heart to be great, but, in the NFL, it takes more than that. Good luck, Tim.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Leavitt Back In The News

The Jim Leavitt Saga continues with two more accounts of the Joel Miller incident. The situation becomes more bizarre and has taken a life of its own with two USF players speaking out.

Senior wide receiver, Colby Erskin, may have an axe to grind with South Florida Head Coach Jim Leavitt and Erskin is the reason why the alleged altercation has been revived. Erskin told AOL Fanhouse, who first broke the Leavitt accosting Miller story, that everything Joel Miller said was true. Erskin was part of the five unnamed sources that Fanhouse originally posted. According to Erskin, none of the “sources” wanted to speak out in fear of losing their scholarships. The senior broke his silence after Jim Leavitt supposedly emptied his locker and threw all his belongings into a trash bin. The equipment manager confirmed it was Leavitt that did it personally.

Erskin claims that Miller approached him for answers on how to handle the Leavitt situation a few days after it happened and Erskin advised him to seek Athletic Director Doug Woolard and tell him everything. As we all know, Miller was too afraid to say anything because he was afraid of being kicked off of the team. The Fanhouse story broke from that point and we know the rest from there. Leavitt supposedly emptied Erskin’s locker in retaliation for giving Miller counsel.

Now we have someone finally defending Jim Leavitt. Sophomore safety Jerrell Young says that everything Erskin and Miller have reported is bogus because Young was in the room when the alleged slap took place. According to Gary Auman of the St. Pete Times, when asked why more players haven't spoken out in support of Leavitt, Young said the players were specifically told by athletic director Doug Woolard not to speak publicly about the incident.

See, this is where the whole situation becomes ridiculous. If erroneous allegations are made about my head coach whom I respect and admire, I come out right away and back him up. The fact that USF football players were quiet throughout this whole process makes me believe that there’s actually something to this story. Why would Miller come out and accuse Leavitt of wrong doings then retract his statements the next day? Only one person saw what really happened and has the guts to speak out? Where are these other five “sources” that secure Miller’s side of the story?

This thing is far from over and I fully expect there to be more players that defend both Miller and Leavitt. Grab your popcorn, folks. This is will get interesting.

UPDATE: Leavitt fired. More to come...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NCAA Ruins Bowden’s Farewell

It’s weird for me to write this because his title was always Florida State “Head Coach” Bobby Bowden, but the 34-year ride has come to an end with an emotional 33 to 21 victory over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl on New Years Day. The 80-year-old Bowden has officially stepped down and did so in a nonchalant, classy fashion chalk full of post-game jokes and a heart-felt good bye.

It should have ended that way. It should have ended on a high note and the man who took a program from nothing to prestige should have walked off into the proverbial sunset and not have to ever look back. Alas, it isn’t so for the mythical coach. The NCAA has put a wrench into what could have been a glorious ending to a fabled career. It pains me to write this, but former Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden will have multiple games stripped from his record leaving him with 375 career victories due to the violations FSU reported to the NCAA back in 2007. The offenses were documented, investigated, and have been well publicized as well as criticized/defended throughout the sports world. My question to you is, “Does Bobby deserve this?”

Whether you love Bowden or hate him, the man gave his all to the University and did something unbelievable by taking a program on the brink of disbandment to national power and did so in only a few short seasons. I’m absolutely appalled and disgusted by the NCAA, who, similarly enough, operates much like the Soprano’s. Florida State hasn’t been making the NCAA money the way they used to and they’re now taking it out on the University and Bowden. FSU had much bigger troubles in the ‘90’s and not a single infraction took place, and if there were violations they were slaps on the wrist. The ‘Noles were also winning big games and National Championships. So why attack now?

Take a look at what’s going on at Southern Cal or Tennessee. The Trojans have been on top of the college football world this past decade and have been associated with many alleged wrong doings. Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo immediately come to mind. Google it if you’re not sure what I’m talking about. The NCAA has to protect its prized conference so nothing will come out of Tennessee even with multiple arrests. And not just “caught with marijuana” type arrests. These are student athletes with gun charges, aggravated assault, so on and so forth, and not a whisper from the NCAA.

FSU notified and reported themselves to the NCAA. They even suspended players for the Music City Bowl back in 2007, which probably cost them the game, due to these transgressions. Of course rival fans are going to cry, “Bobby should have known what was going on. It’s his fault.” How? How in the world is one man supposed to know what all his players are doing at all times? Did Meyer know where Dunlap was when he received his DUI? How about Lane Kiffin and his posse who robbed a man in his car at gunpoint like a pack of hoodlums? You’re kidding yourself if you truly think these coaches know what their kids are doing at all times. And you’re absolutely in denial if you think this doesn’t happen at every university. Yes, people speed every day and don’t get caught. It still doesn’t make it right and I’m going to laugh when it eventually catches up to your school.

Bobby Bowden still walks away with his head held high and he can still win a room with his southern charm and quick wit. He stole the hearts of Seminoles fans, as well as college football fans everywhere. This will certainly tarnish his legacy, but at no fault of his own. Bobby did what he was supposed to do and got reprimanded anyway. The United States is a forgiving country and this will all blow over in a few years. If anything, it’s good it finally came out now so the school can move on. Something I can never forgive is the NCAA and their sleazy operation. Thank you, NCAA. You killed a legend.