Wednesday, September 3, 2008

R.I.P. Don LaFontaine

After this weekend's UF and Miami matchup it will be five years before we see another during the regular season. It's too bad, because it would be a fun game for the fans as opposed to the 1-AA crap UF's got lined up the next few seasons like Charleston Southern and Furman. I understand why Jeremy Foley won't go along, though.

Leigh Torbin used to be the number two SID guy for football at Florida before he left for UConn. He just returned to the state as director of the UCF SID office, and set up a George O'Leary media teleconference. Typos can make a big difference sometimes, as anyone who tried to phone in and reach coach O'Leary got a phone sex line instead. The real question here will be how many reporters tell their boss they had to stay on the line for an hour "just in case" O'Leary got patched in.

NFL cuts and the resulting fallout are always interesting, but I've never heard a story quite like this. Detroit signed Rudi Johnson to take running back Tatum Bell's place. There've been stories throughout Lions camp about Bell not seeming to care much about the game anymore, so being cut shouldn't have come as a shocker. Apparently Bell was trying for some version of the George Costanza "pretend it didn't happen and eventually they'll forget about it" approach to his firing. (In case you weren't a Seinfeld fan, Costanza just kept showing up for work after he'd been fired by the Yankees.) According to Pro Football Talk, Bell opted for the "he can't play if I steal all his stuff" approach and stole Rudi's bags.

One of the most distinctive voices in America has died. I can't imagine there's a person in this country who hasn't heard Don LaFontaine's work, even if they had no idea who he was. Here's a nice look at the man and his work.

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