Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Obit watch: June 28, 2016.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Bad day for sports.

Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee basketball coach. Knoxville News-Sentinel. ESPN.

She was only 64. Alzheimer’s sucks.

Buddy Ryan, one of the great NFL defensive coaches. ESPN.

Noted without comment:

Ryan later punched offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride on national TV on Jan. 2, 1994, when both were assistant coaches with the Houston Oilers.

Musical interlude.

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Apropos of nothing in particular, a musical interlude to start your day:

Obit watch: June 10, 2016.

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Wanted to get this in before another busy weekend: Gordie Howe. ESPN.

By the time he retired for the second and final time in 1980 as the oldest player in N.H.L. history, Howe had set records for most seasons (26), games played (1,767), goals (801), assists (1,049) and points (1,850). He won both the Hart Trophy as the N.H.L.’s most valuable player and the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top points scorer six times.

I’ve never been a huge hockey fan, but even I knew who Gordie Howe was, and kind of liked the guy.

Firings watch.

Monday, May 30th, 2016

University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido has been “reassigned to a role as special assistant to the athletic director”. Which basically seems to me like a nice way to fire him without actually firing him.

During his 48-year coaching tenure, he led his teams to the College World Series 15 times, made 33 NCAA Regional appearances, won 16 NCAA Regional Tournament titles and 25 Conference Championships, while being named National Coach of the Year six times (1975, 1979, 1984, 1995, 2002, 2005).

At UT, his teams won two national championships (in 2002 and 2005) and went to the College World Series eight times.

On the dropping of shoes.

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

I have avoided writing about this for the past few days because there were a lot of rumors and “unconfirmed reports” floating around that claimed to be true, but were denied by the university.

Now I feel like I can write about this, because we finally have an official statement from Baylor University:

Art Briles out as football coach.

Ken Starr out as university president:

Starr remains the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law in Baylor’s Law School and has agreed in principle to serve as Chancellor on terms that are still being discussed.

Both ESPN and the Statesman report that while Starr is staying on, he will have “no operational duties at the university”.

All of this is fallout from a major scandal: basically, several people, including one Baylor athlete, stated they were sexually assaulted by other athletes (mostly football players, though “a former tennis player is the lone suspect in a sexual assault case that has been active for more than eight months”), and that the university responded badly:

Other former Baylor students have spoken to the Tribune-Herald about how the university mishandled their complaints, including one who claimed a Baylor police officer blamed her for being raped.

More: Statesman. ESPN. Timeline of events, also from ESPN.

Obit watch: May 25, 2016.

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Beth Howland passed away December 31st of last year, but her death was not announced until yesterday, in keeping with the wishes of her family.

She played Amy in the original Broadway production of Sondheim’s “Company”, and had a slew of other roles. Ms. Howland was perhaps most famous as Vera on “Alice”.

Unlike many actors, Ms. Howland had never worked as a waitress. “But I just kept sitting around coffee shops and watching how it’s done, and now I can carry four dinners,” she told Knight Newspapers.

I kind of wonder if she was typecast after “Alice”: the obit says she worked “sporadically”.

She had small guest roles on “Eight Is Enough,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “The Tick.”

Also:

She and the actress Jennifer Warren were the executive producers of the documentary “You Don’t Have to Die,” about a 6-year-old boy’s successful battle against cancer. It won an Academy Award in 1989 for best short-subject documentary.

(Wouldn’t “After Alice” be a great idea for a new TV series? Linda Lavin is still alive: she could have taken over the diner from Mel. Polly Holliday is still alive, too: she could be working the counter, and then you cast someone to play Vera’s daughter, who works as a waitress…Hollywood types, you know where to reach me.)

The AV Club is reporting the passing of Burt Kwouk, who sounds like a very cool and interesting guy. He was in three Bond films, but is perhaps best known as Cato in the Peter Sellers “Pink Panther” movies. (Edited to add: NYT obit.)

“They were always a lot of fun because after a while I got to know Cato quite well and I liked Cato because he never argued with me and he never borrowed money from me. I liked playing Cato quite a lot,” he said of the role in a 2011 interview with the BBC.

Not exactly obits, but worth noting in my opnion: both Bubba Smith and Dave Mirra have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Quickies.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Well, baseball season’s finally gotten underway with the ceremonial throwing out of the first manager.

Fredi Gonzalez out as manager of the Braves. The team was 9-28 so far this year; he was 434-413 overall while with the Braves.

The grand jury has decided not to indict former APD officer Geoffrey Freeman, who you may remember better as the officer who shot and killed a naked 17-year-old male. (Previously.)

Obit watch: Guy Clark, noted Texas musician.

Edited to add 5/18: More Guy Clark. NYT. South Texas Pistolero. A/V Club.

Not technically a firing, but…

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

…Scott Skiles out as head coach of the Orlando Magic.

Skiles had some questions about the direction of the team and its mindset, and he clashed at times with general manager Rob Hennigan.

Skiles coached for one season, and the Magic went 35-47.

But the team started the year 19-13, and Skiles felt the team’s inability to recover during an awful January in which they went 2-12 was indicative of an overall softness within the team and a lack of a professional mindset.
One of the disagreements between Skiles and the Magic front office was about the team’s point guard situation. Hennigan and the front office regarded — and still regard — Elfrid Payton as the franchise’s point guard of the future. Skiles did not.

Not so great Scott.

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Byron Scott out as coach of the Lakers.

17-65 this season, 38-126 overall in two years with the Lakers.

Scott, whose 454-647 career record stands more games under .500 than that of any other veteran coach in NBA history, finished last in his division in each of his past five seasons as an NBA head coach. He has also coached the Nets, New Orleans Hornets and Cavaliers. He led the Nets to two NBA Finals in his first head-coaching job, and he won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award with the Hornets in 2008.

Karl!

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Not Llamas with Hats, but coaches without teams.

George Karl out as head coach of the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento was 33-49 this season.

Randy Wittman out as head coach of the Washington Wizards. The Wizards went 41-41 for the season, and Wittman was 178-199 during his tenure (4 1/2 seasons, per ESPN.)

Neither team made the playoffs.

Hear that lonesome howl…

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Don Maloney out as general manager of the Arizona Coyotes.

In case you were wondering – I was – the Arizona Coyotes play hockey in the NHL.

Obit watch: March 24, 2016.

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Ken “The White Shadow” Howard. A/V Club.

I had completely forgotten he was Jordan’s father in “Crossing Jordan”, and didn’t know that gig only lasted two seasons. Then again, I checked out of “Crossing Jordan” after the first season: my fondness for Jill Hennessy couldn’t overcome the stupidity of the show.

Joe Garagiola. I think everyone of my age remembers him from television, but I’m too young to remember his baseball career, such as it was:

“Senator, how can you tamper with a .250 hitter?” Garagiola said.

And that wasn’t intended as a cheap shot: he was amazingly self-deprecating.

“Each year I don’t play, I get better,” he once observed. “The first year on the banquet trail, I was a former ballplayer, the second year I was great, the third year one of baseball’s stars, and just last year I was introduced as one of baseball’s immortals. The older I get, the more I realize that the worst break I had was playing.”