The Great Agent Scare of 2010 arrived in Gainesville yesterday, with Pat Forde of ESPN revealing UF was looking into allegations of Maurkice Pouncey having taken 100 thousand dollars from an agent during the weeks between the SEC Championship game and the Sugar Bowl. This didn't make sense to me, because Pouncey's a sharp guy. What would he be so eager to buy that he wouldn't be able to wait less than a month to line up the money legally as a likely first round pick? Especially with his brother still scheduled to play for Florida this season, why would he take that chance? It's being reported that the Pouncey family will deny anything of the sort today, and if Joe Schad's report for ESPN saying the claim was made in an anonymous letter sent from Canada is accurate then I see no reason not to believe them. The letter apparently contained photos of a supposed agent runner interacting with the Pounceys at awards shows. As someone who's been to the College Football Awards event at Disney for years, I can tell you that agents are everywhere. One guy would repeatedly follow players into the bathroom - either he had the weakest bladder ever, or he was trying to make a pitch while someone was taking care of business. I even had one approach me while I was on stage broadcasting and offer me money during a break to help him make connections with kids. Does this mean Florida's free and clear on any agent issues? Not necessarily, but I don't think this specific claim is going to be a problem going forward.
A website I've previously never encountered makes the claim Nebraska and South Carolina will be matching up in Atlanta's 2011 Chick-fil-a game to open their respective college football seasons. That would be Nebraska's first game as a Big Ten member, and while I'd be all for the two teams matching up I doubt the Huskers are willing to take the chance of playing their first game in a new conference against anyone with a pulse. The Gamecocks already have a game scheduled with East Carolina in Charlotte that day as well as games with Navy and Clemson out of conference that season. Hard to see what the benefit for them would be with a matchup against Big Red. Would love to see more Big Ten-SEC regular season matchups, but I don't believe this will be one.
The Tampa Bay Lightning finally appear to be on the right track for the first time since their Stanley Cup season. Yesterday's acquisition of Simon Gagne from Philadelphia is a terrific move. Gagne adds scoring punch and veteran savvy in the locker room, plus the deal shows that new ownership is willing to spend money. It's hard to imagine Gagne being willing to accept this deal and waive his no trade clause without Steve Yzerman being Tampa Bay's GM. It remains to be seen how Stevie Y will do in the job for the long term, but it's nice to finally be rooting for a team with credibility again.
All indications are that the one fight which holds the potential to genuinely excite boxing fans - Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather - will not be happening anytime soon. As usual, Mayweather is the one stalling to keep it from coming together. Unfortunately for all of us who want to see them match up, there's no way to but genuine pressure on either one to make it happen. Both are used to being able to dictate terms of their bouts, and they can with anyone else but each other. No sanctioning body has the clout to press them, and no one's likely to beat either one in the meantime so they can keep making money fighting lesser opponents. MMA is not my thing, but one thing fans of that sport know is that they will get chances to see interesting bouts. The heavyweight division is completely irrelevant to most fans these days, and the entire sport of boxing seems determined to go down the same path.
Inception is doing big numbers at the box office right now, with people raving about it being a complex and interesting piece of moviemaking. What does Hollywood have in mind as a possible followup? How's a remake of "Oh, God!" with Betty White standing in for George Burns as the deity sound? What do you mean, it sounds awful? This is BETTY WHITE we're talking about! The kids love her - have her say some dirty things and it'll be comedy gold!