Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The "He's transferring" speech by Mama Portis probably won't get its own plaque

Remember Josh Portis? I imagine it's becoming harder for most people to do these days, but once upon a time he was supposed to be Florida football's bright future at quarterback. After spending the 2005 season in Gainesville, the highly touted QB from California transferred to Maryland (in large part because his mother insisted he should, just like him switching high schools at her behest). He sat out 2006 under NCAA rules and then was suspended for 2007 due to an academic issue. Portis has transferred again, to Divison 2's California of Pennsylvania. Think of everything that has gone right for Tim Tebow and Florida since 2006, and then imagine it never happened. If Portis stayed at UF, Tebow likely plays at Alabama and who knows how either party ends up. Little things can add up to huge stuff sometimes.

In recruiting coaches will use any advantage they can get, which makes this Philadelphia Daily News article something important for Gator football. The story maintains that most NFL teams expected Cornelius Ingram to reinjure himself because of concerns about his knee surgery when they looked at it during his pre draft process. I know and like UF team doctor Pete Indelicato, and he worked in the NFL with the Dolphins for years before and during his UF tenure. The idea implied by this article is that Indelicato's skills at repairing knees are inadequate compared to NFL doctors and that's why Ingram re-tore his ACL. I think that's ridiculous, but you can count on other schools trying to capitalize on it. Florida better get their spin on this story together now, because they'll be hearing about its claims for years.

The news an NFL coach had allegedly punched one of his assistants and broken his jaw came out yesterday. Without knowing anything other than that information, you likely know where it happened. The Oakland Raiders are a circus act. It's disconcerting to see what Al Davis has allowed this franchise to become. When Davis was moving the team or showing his paranoia toward the NFL management by refusing to vote in league decisions, at least there was a feeling he had reasons for his behavior. Hiring a bed and breakfast operator who'd been out of football for seven years as offensive coordinator, picking random college assistants as NFL head coaches (remember, he was originally trying to hire Steve Sarkisian but got turned down), drafting a guy in the second round no one had ever heard of - all just a few of the recent Raider sins. Their downfall has been bizarre and sad in that no one seems to be able to get Davis to acknowledge his train is no longer running on the tracks. Until he does, nothing can or will change in the worst run franchise in sports.

Rich Rodriguez wants a preseason game for college football as a way to work out the early kinks before the year begins. I like the idea as a concept, but there's no way this would be allowed to work in modern college football. Schools compete intensely over things like who can have better attendance at a spring game - what are the odds that their fanbases could handle a preseason "loss" to Duke?

The latest cast of Dancing With the Stars was announced yesterday. There was the requisite "what the hell?!" choice with former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, as well as the usual assortment of sports choices including Michael Irvin. Some jocks survive on that show through fan goodwill and loyalty that a former star from "Perfect Strangers" just doesn't have, but I suspect Irvin will do very well. When you start your career as a Hurricane and spend it in Dallas, not much about being on a big stage will intimidate you. Irvin's spent lots of time with dancers too, although to be fair some were "self employed models".

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