Sunday, March 20, 2005

Aloha Means Goodbye

Mark Stein with more on Nelson leaving

Colishaw puts a positive spin on the occasion

Either Cuban, Nelson, new coach Avery Johnson and assistant Del Harris did a masterful job of getting their stories straight, or there really isn't much to this other than Nelson thinking it was time to move on.

And it really was.

You don't see this much. The coach gets a golden parachute and the team gets a shot in the arm.

Or maybe a kick in the pants from Avery, but even that has a chance to achieve the same result.

David Moore suggests the change was soon anyway

Nelson has another year on his contract to coach after this one. But we all knew where this was headed.

Nelson leaves the team for 10 games early in the season to undergo shoulder surgery he could have postponed until the summer. He takes another three games off to be with his wife, Joy, to see her through surgery.

Avery Johnson goes 9-4 in those games. There were five other games Johnson coached that weren't announced. Nelson said his assistant won four of those games.

The time away allowed Nelson to disconnect from the team and make this move easier. More importantly, it allowed the Mavericks to become Johnson's team.

Johnson ran practice. He set the emotional tone. He was calm and decisive during games. This earned the respect of the players and the confidence of Cuban.
The owner said he would not have approved the change if Johnson hadn't handled himself so well during that 10-game stretch.

"I trust A.J., and I trust Nellie's judgment," Cuban said. "But seeing A.J. and how the guys responded to him and how much he absorbed from Nellie really made it easier for me to accept."

Galloway on the loss of a drinking buddy

More Sunday Links:

Lebreton on Soriano and Park

KRLD and the Rangers to divorce?

Gammons on Selig and Fehr

Ricky Williams to return to Miami?

The latest developments in the saga of retired Dolphins running back Ricky Williams is that he stopped avoiding the calls of coach Nick Saban by talking to Saban last week and said he stopped smoking marijuana more than a month ago.

Williams also is expected to stop his legal battle with the Dolphins over an $8.6 million judgment the team has against him for breach of his contract.

Whether that means Williams is considering a comeback to the NFL is speculative at best, but it made several people close to him believe that might be the case. Williams, who continues to take classes at a school for holistic medicine in Northern California, was in India this week.

Bonds’ ex-girlfriend says he used steroids

Liverpool needs to beat Everton this morning …Badly…

While putting my little baby boy to sleep last night, which means standing with him laying in my arms with his pacifier in his mouth and softly rocking him until he fades into slumber, I watched some NFL Films with the volume down and closed captioning on. The feature for a few moments was Red Badgro (above). He is one of those Hall of Famers I have never heard of, but I really enjoyed learning a bit about him.

Here is his biography from the Pro Football Hall of Fame

In 1981, Morris “Red” Badgro at the age of 78 became the oldest person ever elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame at that time. The 45-year span between his final game with the National Football League’s 1936 Brooklyn Dodgers and his election also was a record. The Badgro saga is even more unusual in that he wasn't even sure he wanted to play pro football and, in fact, retired after one year with the NFL’s 1927 New York Yankees to give pro baseball a try.

Red played in the major leagues for two years with the St. Louis Browns but eventually decided to give pro football another look. The football Yankees had folded so Red signed with the New York Giants. During his six-year tenure with the Giants that began in 1930, the team was a solid championship contender every year and Badgro, a two-way end, was one of the most honored stars. He was named to an all-league first or second-team in 1930, 1931, 1933, and 1934.

Badgro, who was born in Ordillia, Washington on December 1, 1902, was highly regarded as a sure-tackling defender and an effective blocker on offense but he was also a talented receiver. In 1934, he tied for the NFL's pass-catching crown with 16 receptions, a significant number in those defense-dominated days when most NFL teams concentrated on grind-it-out football. He also had the distinction of being the first player to score a touchdown in the NFL championship series that began in 1933.

Red made many other key catches that were converted into Giants' victories, including a 15-yard reception that was a key play in a long drive for the game’s only score in a 3-0 New York divisional title win. Badgro had his big defensive moments as well. Playing against the Boston Redskins in 1935, Red blocked a punt and returned it for a go-ahead touchdown. Badgro passed away on July 13, 1998 at the age of 95.

I was fascinated by a guy who was such a great athlete that he played one year of pro football, then left for two years in major league baseball, and then returned to compile a Hall of Fame career in the NFL. Also of major note was that he was the oldest player ever elected into the Hall, and had to wait 45 years to get inducted. 45 years! So much for feeling sorry for those not elected on their first ballot (Mike Irvin).

Badgro’s baseball stats

A nice article on Badgro from Football

He played Right Field for the St Louis Browns. On the feature last night, he talked about the occasion in which Babe Ruth hit a homer run ball over his head. Back in those days, if you knocked a ball down with a thrown glove, it was ruled an automatic triple. He tried, but the ball missed his glove, and Ruth had hit his 60th Home Run of the season. Any baseball experts out there want to share when that rule was changed?

Sunday Tournament Selections: Wisconsin, Duke, Michigan State, Ga Tech, Oklahoma State, UNC, Uconn, Florida

Record so far: 30-10


Observer said...

I read that article about the Rangers possibly changing stations. One of the principals said that it was a matter of cost and also signal strength. Here's the quote from the article:

"The size of the check, years on the contract, programming and signal strength all will be under consideration. 'All these factors go into a hopper, and you make a decision,' Rangers president Jeff Cogen said."

Am I stupid, or is there a connection between ongoing negotiations between KTCK and the Rangers with the recent announcement of full power 104.1 FM broadcasting? Not to mention 1700 AM. Has this been in the works for a long time, maybe? Is that part of the original motivation for 1700 and 104.1?

I would love for the Ticket to become the home of the Rangers. But then would they have to open their clubhouse to Corby's various characters and/or Gordo's antics no matter what? That would be some very uncomfortable radio.

Maybe that's what Cogen is referring to when he talks about "programming" being a factor?

P1 Rooster said...

I read Mark Stein's reaction to the Aloha, and was surprised at some of the insights it contained - Nellie & Cuban's "Icy" relationship and players like Daniels and Howard tiring of Nellie's criticisms....I listen to the Ticket daily and watch EVERY Mavs game, yet this stuff was news to me. I have long felt that Nellie just doesn't give a damn anymore, and that's not the type of coach you want. After hearing what Sean Elliott said about AJ at his banner-raising ceremony, I was convinced that AJ is The Man. I'm glad Cuban recognizes this as well. Bottom line: Nellie deserves credit for acting now instead of waiting; Cuban deserves credit for making it easy for Nellie to stay on as Godfather and save face in the process. A good day for Mavs fans, don't you think?