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John Rooke - Thinking Out Loud

Saturday, April 27, 2013

 

Thinking out loud…and wondering how many times I can get the word “poobah” into a single story…

• The dismantling of the New York Jets may still have a ways to go…but a huge piece of the plane flew off this week when Darrelle Revis was traded away to Tampa Bay. Sure, he’s coming back from major knee surgery, but as many have said before – “cornerbacks don’t grow on trees.” Shutdown corners might come along once in a decade. That light at the end of the tunnel for the Jets? The train is steamrolling down the track, headed right for Rex Ryan

• As a result of the deal, the Jets had the ninth and 13th picks overall in Thursday’s first round, with CB Dee Milliner from Alabama and DT Sheldon Richardson from Missouri the selections. Not horrible. Four straight years for selecting defense in the first round, however, for the NYJ. And the Jets’ offense was 30th out of 32 teams last year. I almost feel sorry for Mark Sanchez. Ok, maybe not

• No huge surprise in New England’s shipping their first rounder, at #29, off for more picks in later rounds. Bill Belichick must have been giddy at the thought of getting FOUR for one in return from Minnesota. Poor Corrdarelle Patterson, the WR from Tennessee who was taken at 29 by the Vikings. He can’t possibly live up to 4-for-1 billing, unless he becomes an all-Pro. That’s a tough start for a rookie…

• And if you’re a fan who is upset with the trade-day philosophy on draft day for the Patriots, consider this: Belichick has overseen 52 draft day transactions in his 14-year career as head coach and chief personnel poobah. The only year where the team didn’t make a single draft day trade was 2004…

• A pretty cool way to honor the fallen – our local athletes and teams have all responded to honoring those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, but the Red Sox’ Jonny Gomes went on the offensive

• And David Ortiz’ X-rated comments to fans at Fenway AND on national television, while crass and pretty clueless, might have been the cure-all tonic we needed to hear the most…

• Gotta admit – there but for the Grace of God go all of us. Proof that even our stars (and we put them on these pedestals, no mistake about it) have their own “B.O.S.” (stands for Bag O’ S**t) to carry with them every day…

• I still haven’t gotten a tattoo. Am I in the minority? Neck tattoos? Please, I have some pride. However, some I’ve seen are artfully and tastefully done, and appear to be well-crafted. Even clever. But this may be the worst sports tattoo ever

• Good grief. Is this for real? Ok, this is just wrong, plain wrong. But I’ll have a dozen to go, please...

• With the Atlantic Coast Conference approving a Grant of Rights among its membership this week, we may finally have sanity prevail in college sports. The ACC’s move to get every one of its members to buy into the league – literally – for the next 15 years should solidify the Power 5 leagues. And leave AAC/old Big East members UConn and Cincinnati out in the cold… 

• In simple terms, the ACC Presidents basically said that any conference school wishing to move to another league can do so – but the school’s media rights (TV) will stay behind with the ACC. The Big 10, Big 12 and Pac-12 also have a Grant of Rights agreement, which means no one should be moving around any longer…because their worth to a new league is minimal without the TV rights coming along. The SEC is the only member of the new “Power Five” conferences without a Grant of Rights – but if you’re in the SEC, why would you move?

• Is Louisville living the charmed life? With the grant of rights, getting beat by WVU for the Big 12 invite might have been the best thing that ever happened to its athletic program…and one of the worst for WVU…

• Anyone else see the irony here? The ACC is the very league that has caused most of the angst in college athletics over the past decade – starting with the poaching of Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech from the Big East back in 2003. They then decimated the Big East again a year ago, luring Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame…along with Louisville for 2014. This agreement may end up being the end to a lot – if not all – of the movement for a while…stupid is as stupid does

• Here’s a sure sign age is creeping up on you…more and more, I tend to ignore what’s on my television during a game or a rare TV show (for me), and pay attention to the commercials instead…

• Speaking of aging…we have witnessed the calcification of the Celtics LIVE, and in living color, in each of the first two 2nd halves played against the Knicks…

• We have also witnessed what a basketball team really is without a point guard, or at least a dependable ball-handler. It’s like a headless chicken or a snake. Don’t ask me how I know this…I just do

• I started to yell at the TV screen during the 2nd half meltdown last Tuesday night, and just stopped midway through my rant. Decided it wasn’t worth it, and they can’t help it…

• While we’re on the subject of age, here’s a good quote that comes to mind: “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” – From the ageless one, the great Satchel Paige

• In addition to the lack of a lead guard, there is absolutely NO offensive rebounding, and no second chance points that follow for the Celtics. This is a symptom…for which there is no cure today, tomorrow or the next day, apparently…

• There are several reasons to like Tampa Bay Rays poobah Joe Maddon – not the least of which is his ability to get the most out of what he has to work with on the baseball field. But I like him because he’s just, well, different

• Talk about Living On A PrayerJon Bon Jovi’s son, Jesse Bongiovi, is walking onto the football team as a defensive back at Notre Dame for next season…

• Love this idea…USA Today has created a new website. For The Win is a new sports social media site that will be a place to find the off-beat, the interesting, and even awe-inspiring stories that so often get pushed under the rug by our everyday trials and tribulations. If you’re in need of some good news, give it a look…

• Woo hoo! Daniel Bard is back with the Red Sox! 0-1 with an ERA of 4.00 at Double A Portland. Is there a sarcasm font I can use with this?

• If Alfredo Aceves never threw another pitch for the Sox, it wouldn’t bother me in the least…

NESN’s Jenny Dell has actually done a representable job as the Red Sox sideline/dugout reporter, since replacing Heidi Watney. But the former UMass cheerleader sure keeps winning the hearts of some amorous guys in the Fenway stands… 

• Fellas, here’s a little tip for ‘ya. She ain’t gonna fall for you. Her acceptance of your, ahem, overtures is technically accepting payola…which is a no-no for people in the broadcast biz. She’s a pro, and too good for you anyway, right? Right? Yoo hoo, over here…

David Ortiz was 8-for-his-first-15 at the plate since returning to the Sox lineup. So much for needing spring training, or Triple A Pawtucket for that matter. What a colossal waste of time – unless your name is Jackie Bradley, Junior

• This week’s sign of the apocalypse: Tamerlan Tsarnaev potentially financing his terrorism activities with state-funded benefits. He was receiving Massachusetts welfare checks. From Massachusetts tax payers. And his wife (who reportedly works 70-80 hours per week in home health care), child and in-laws live in Rhode Island, seemingly oblivious. Words simply cannot express…

• Why am I left with an underwhelming feeling about the newly named “College Football Playoff,” which replaces the BCS after next season? Maybe I expected more from the marketing gurus on this one? Perhaps less will be more? Hmmm, maybe that’s worth a try…

• The new national championship game will debut January 12, 2015, pitting the semi-final Rose Bowl winner against the Sugar Bowl winner for the title at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Can we just cut to the chase here? With more than a year to go before the game even gets played, it will be so over-hyped it’s bound to fall short of expectations. “Jerry’s Follies” sounds about right…

• If you look closely, however, at this supposed “new” college football configuration…you’ll notice that it’s really nothing new at all. The SEC and the Big 10 are still running the show (with their bowl games serving as semi’s), and instead of being “all-inclusive” like the NCAA basketball tournament alleges, they’ve actually shrunk to five (from six) the number of major conferences who have direct access to the game…with the death of Big East football. The Power Five will each cash checks worth about $90 million. The rest of ‘em? $17 million and one berth in the six bowl rotation in the “playoff.” Yep, that’s different alright. Let’s keep it simple? Welcome to the “College Football Cartel.” Simple, catchy and truthful…

• And the NCAA just sits idly by, watching this modern-day bullying and thievery take place, and does nothing. Free enterprise? Free country? There’s nothing “free” about college football – or college sports in general – any longer…

• NCAA poobah Mark Emmert said this week that “intercollegiate athletics has never been stronger in America.” Of course, this comes from a man who oversaw the highly publicized missteps taken in the investigation at Miami. But I think we can take him at his word, right? Especially if you’re a fan of a school in the Power Five. Where’s the sarcasm font when you need it? Just sayin’

• Still nothing new to report from the Big East on a new commissioner. Sure seems like they’re taking their sweet time on this…with a staff to hire, an office to create, and schedules to make for next fall. What are they waiting for? The right hire? I gave two names last week (Dan Gavitt, Tom Odjakjian)…get either guy in there, and you’ve got something. Right now? Cue the crickets

• Those same crickets might still be chirping if Creighton’s Doug McDermott had decided to enter the NBA Draft, and not return next year. But he is staying. What a refreshing idea – sticking around to not only get a degree, but to play and enjoy a senior year. As a returning all-American, McDermott should be a clear-cut favorite for pre-season Player of the Year…especially with Georgetown’s Otto Porter leaving for the draft. Without him, the marquee players in the Big East would be mostly understudies to start…

Not for nuthin’…a big win for the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals again this past week, as Russ Smith (aka “Russdiculous”) decided to return to campus for his senior season. Here’s a refreshing comment: “I want to come back as a winner, as well as graduate.” A shame we don’t have more attitudes like this, especially around here…

• Big win for the Friars in the past week, however…Mike and Maura Chapey, both from PC’s Class of 1986, made the largest single donation in Providence’s athletic history…$1 million to support the construction of a new lacrosse and soccer facility. Chapey played lacrosse at PC, and the new Chapey Field will be located next to the newly-renovated Schneider Arena on campus…

• Why hasn’t this happened sooner – and at other places around here? Available to subscribers in August, The Ivy League Digital Network will be accessible on multiple devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, allowing for an all-new nine channel network of Ivy League action anytime, anywhere. Each of the conference’s eight schools will have their own individual channel (including Brown) and the Ivy League will have its own league-wide channel featuring all available digital content from across the conference…

• From our mailbag/comments and questions of the week: @nester_brian writes via Twitter, on the Patriots first round “selection” in the NFL Draft: “They really could've picked up another defensive player instead of trading their pick away. #endlesspossibilities” Brian: I don’t disagree, but seeing as the overall tenor of the draft had already gone with offensive and defensive linemen, what they might have been looking for had probably already been taken by #29. So…the chance to pick up a potential diamond in the rough increased with Minnesota’s offer. And let’s wait to see when all is said and done about the defensive side…they may find what they were looking for, after all…

• Just what IS a poobah?  Fred Flintstone told us years ago that the head of his beloved Water Buffalo Lodge was the "Grand Exalted Poobah."  So, an organizational head, if you will.  And by my count – I could be wrong, since I know some readers like to nitpick me, right Vincent? – that’s six poobahs. Which is probably six too many…

• Interested in having your questions on local RI sports (including the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics) answered in a somewhat timely fashion? Send ‘em to me! It’s your chance to “think out loud,” so send your questions and comments to [email protected]. We’ll share mailbag comments/Facebook posts/Tweets right here! Follow me on Twitter, @JRbroadcaster…and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/john.rooke ...

• Don’t forget to join us for GoLocal Sports on 103.7 FM, every Saturday from 7:00-9:00 am! Call in (401) 737-1287, or text 37937…and send email to the show - [email protected] .

• Congratulations to the Class of 2013 for the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. Good friend John “Coach” Colletto is a new inductee, having plied his trade over the past 30 years on the Salty Brine Show, as a Providence Bruins analyst and as a show host on the former WSKO “790 The Score.” Also in the class is former Providence mayor and current WPRO afternoon host Buddy Cianci, and former WHJY DJ Mike “Dr. Metal” Gonsalves, who tragically passed away in the Station Night Club fire of ‘03. The induction ceremony and dinner is open to the public, and will be held May 9th at Twin River. For more information on the Hall of Fame and to purchase tickets (deadline is May 1st) – visit the Hall website at www.rirhof.org. Proceeds from the event will benefit Special Olympics Rhode Island.

• The recently released “Rhode Island Radio” from Arcadia Publishing is available for sale, and the book tells the story of the 90-year history of radio in our state through photographs, clippings and memories from many of the personalities who have graced our airwaves. If you’re in search of the gift that says “Rhode Island,” you’ve found it. Or, find it in local bookstores and online right here… 

 

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