Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cowher says he has no plans on coaching

Last week reports surfaced that former Pittsburgh Steelers coach and current CBS studio analyst, Bill Cowher, would eventually return to coaching. I guess that report was wrong.

Today on the CBS NFL pregame show Cowher must've had a change of heart because he told host James Brown that he's not going anywhere.

“Coach, this week it was reported that you are looking to return to the sidelines,” Brown said.  “You’ve been asked this for six consecutive years.”

“Contrary to reports, I have no plans on coaching,” Cowher said.  “I plan on being with one team.  And that is this team here at CBS.”

I have no problem with a man changing his mind, but don't contradict yourself and say that you plan on returning and then say you have no plans to do so. Unless what he said was taken out of context.

I wouldn't blame him not returning. He has a pretty cushy gig at CBS, has his money and has his ring. What more could he possibly ask for.

Frieder regrets announcing he was taking over Arizona State

Hindsight is 20/20 in almost everything we do in life. Most of the time it's regarding a bad decision that someone has made and was burned by.

When former Michigan basketball head coach Bill Frieder took the Arizona State job, to him it seemed like a good idea. Arizona State was said to be a sleeping giant (the same thing still is said about the program), nice weather and an easy sell to southern California high school basketball players. So Frieder, who was a good recruiter, figured he could build up Arizona State like he had built Michigan up to that point.

However, there was a problem along the way to the desert. For starters, Frieder announced that he was taking the job on the eve of the 1989 NCAA tournament. Number two, the media knew this before then athletic director, Bo Schembechler. So Schembechler fired Frieder, uttering the famous phrase "A Michigan man will coach Michigan". Top assistant Steve Fisher took over and the rest is history.

A report in the Detroit News says that Frieder regretted announcing that he was leaving for Arizona State too early.

"I came out of practice that Tuesday and there were media there starting to ask me questions," Frieder said Thursday. "I didn't want to lie to my team, I didn't want to lie to the media and I didn't want to lie to the community, so I thought at the time that I'm just going to be honest (and say), 'When the season's over, I'm going to Arizona State.'

"That was a bad mistake and I shouldn't have done that. I was honest."

"The bottom line was I put myself in that position," he said. "What I should have done is just not announced that I was going. I said at the time that if that's the worst thing that happens to me, I'll have a great life. I've had a great life and I've got no complaints."

Personally I think Frieder sees some similarites in his 1985-86 Big Ten championship winning team and today's team which is ranked number two and is undefeated (16-0) and feels that he should've won the championship that year.

I've always felt that Frieder was a good recruiter and a not so good game coach who couldn't get two of his better teams (1985,1986) out of the second round of the tournament. I really don't think the Wolverines would have won it all had Frieder remained.

It's a decision he has to live with and he sounds like he realized that he made a mistake in leaving Michigan.


Pirates' Andrew McCutchen chosen to be on cover of MLB '13

The newest sports video game cover man is Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen was chosen by a fan voting to be on the cover of MLB '13 The Show.

McCutchen beat out CC Sabathia, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Kemp, Bryce Harper, Buster Posey and Ryan Braun to win the honor of being on the cover.

 McCutchen tweeted out a big thanks to the fans for voting him the winner. Congratulations, because unlike Madden there is no known curse for being on the cover to this game.

Nate Dogg's son is a legitimate college prospect

When you have a famous parent it's easy to navigate a career path following in their footsteps. True, while you may have to put in some work, it may be a little easier for your career depending on who your parent is.

Naijiel Hale may seem pretty anonymous, but when you realize that he's the late Nate Dogg's (Nathaniel Hale) son, some may think he's just someone trying to piggyback of his dad's fame. This isn't the case as the younger Hale has made a name for himself on the gridiron. Naijiel is one of the top defensive back prospects in the class of 2014. 

Hale reportedly looked like one of the top cornerback prospects on the west coast after his performance at the JuniorRank Proving Grounds Combine. As of now he's getting interest from Northwestern, UCLA, and Oregon. Hale is proving to be more than Nate Dogg's son.

Hale had seven interceptions in his sophomore season at Lakewood (Calif.) High School. He transferred to Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco and had four more picks, three of them for touchdowns. But football wasn't his first love. Like most kids basketball took up a lot of his time until Snoop Dogg got involved.

“At first, I was a basketball player and then at about 12, Snoop (Dogg) had talked to my dad and said he wanted me to play football,” said the junior. “He basically made me who I am today. I was actually scared of contact and that’s why I never wanted to play.”

Right now Oregon is the favorite for Hale's services, but you know how recruiting is, never say never. The list of interested schools should grow in the coming year. But since Hale does like the uniforms as most kids do, also he has a good relationship with Ducks running back DeAnthony Thomas.

 “I actually got an email from Coach (John) Neal of Oregon [on Tuesday],” he said. “They were really interested in me and he was going to take a trip here in a couple of weeks and keep in touch. Oregon is my top school and that’s been my dream school and they know that.”

“Just growing up, the uniforms got me and then after the uniforms I really looked into it and thought, ‘man, this would be heaven.’ Then after talking to DeAnthony, it’s just like ‘whoa’. 

It's good to see a youngster trying to carve out his own path rather than one that is set up for him.

Red Sox trying to reduce Mike Napoli's deal to one year

The Boston Red Sox are in a retooling mode right now. They're trying to make more budget conscious decisions, which is an oxymoron since any signing in baseball is hardly budget conscious. But nonetheless they're not going hog wild like in years past trying keep up with the New York Yankees.

One of the signings the Red Sox made was a three year, $39 million contract to former Texas Rangers catcher/first baseman, Mike Napoli. Napoli was one of the best sluggers out there on the free agent market, so why not. The signing was Boston's biggest splash in free agency.

Fast forward to today and the Red Sox are trying to reduce that contract to a one year deal since there are concerns about a hip condition that was revealed during Napoli's physical after signing the contract. This has led to a stalemate between Napoli and the Red Sox. The Red Sox have a hole at first base and are now looking at Washington's Michael Morse as an option if Napoli and the team can't resolve it's issues.

I can see why the Red Sox are doing this. They're covered in case Napoli misses a significant amount of playing time and they won't have that contract as an albatross. However, look for the union to get involved and get some kind of resolution hammered out. The big loser in this is Napoli since his market undoubtedly will drop if he and the Red Sox can't agree to terms.

Los Angeles Kings donate $1 million dollars

Teams in the NHL have a lot of making up to do to their fans. Some are rolling back ticket prices while some are offering free concessions for a limited time. That's a good start to attempt to get the fans back in the fold.

The Los Angeles Kings have taken it up a notch by donating $1 million dollars back to the Los Angeles community. Even though fans won't benefit from that donation directly, it impacts thousands of others in the area. Depending on how it's used of course.

There should be more promotions during the season, but Kings fans will get the best deal of them all.