I've been out of the loop a bit...and it gets no easier in the coming weeks. We took a family mini-vacation at the end of last week and I'll be out of town for chunks of July...but fret not, J's holding down the fort, quite well, and we'll be at full-force as camp starts up in August.
While I was away, a lot happened....and I'm not even going to talk about the pop-culture stuff.
Volunteering for Duty
Tennessee and Lane Kiffin got a solid verbal commitment from Evan Berry, brother of current Vol, Eric Berry...Evan has a lot of upside; he's 13. THIRTEEN!
Nice. And while I wasn't rock-solid in my thought process at that tender age I'm sure Evan's word is like gold...and I'm also sure he's a sure-fire blue-chipper. Have no fear, Coach Kiffin says he didn't offer the peach-fuzzed super-athlete...because that'd be a rules violation, and Kiffin wouldn't dare violate an NCAA rule!
George Out Officially
I told you this was coming over a month ago...it's now official. Tony George is no longer in charge at the IMS. Sorry to all of you who didn't believe me, I hope you've learned your lesson...the only thing I was wrong about was it wasn't a week, but a month before it officially happened. George's "resignation" sounds precisely like the terms of what George's family wanted. And they got it because the board decided it to be so.
Racing on Meth
I'm not a fan of Nascar, but I don't like hearing about things like this. Jeremy Mayfield, who is widely disliked, has tested positive for methamphatimine. A lot of people say he likes to party...well this isn't that. Due to his protest, the meth head was cleared to race this weekend. Thank God his sponsors don't agree with the court and don't want him in the car right now...nor do many of his competitors. He's brought this one on himself. Hopefully, he doesn't ruin the immense amount of opportunity he seems to be squandering.
Henry Rock Solid
Blue chip recruit, Xavier Henry and his brother are definitely, maybe going to be Jayhawks, says Bill Self.
X "committed" to KU and Coach Self...but had second thoughts as Coach Cal reminded Xavier that he always would be welcome at Kentucky. Xavier's brother, Carl, a current Jayhawk, thought, aloud to the press, mind you, that they might end up in Bluegrass country as the month of June closed. Now, once again, all is well. And the two Brothers Henry are "as committed as they've ever been" to coming to Lawrence. That must make Kansas fans breath a real sigh of relief.
Detroit- City of Good Ideas
Some great news has been coming out of Detroit in the last few months...but the best news might have just come out yesterday. No, not that the Pistons signed Gordon and Villenueva, making the Pistons the NBA's UConn extension. The really good news is that the Pistons are using their WNBA sister-team to groom their future coaches.
Unlikable guy, Bill Laimbeer's name is in the running for the Piston's opening. And honestly, as a guy who really doesn't like the Pistons at all, I gotta say, I love it! Mr. Dumars- please ignore the voice of reason telling you to hire Avery Johnson...that'll never work. Go with the girl's coach.
Opportunity Now for Everyone
You've heard how J loves the "ONE" campaign...I do too. But, I like it even more now that I know it wasn't a Nike idea or the brainchild of a marketing company.
Purdue safety, Adam Wolf came up with the idea of O.N.E. to be an internal motivational tool for the team...and it took off. Who knows if this team, widely picked to be 10th or 11th in the BT, will make some noise, but it seems their perspective and overall mentality is right on. I don't know if their depth will allow a great season, but I'm beginning to believe that a 6-7 win season is a possibility. You can say it- I've been brainwashed...I'm OK with it. At least I'm not dreading the beginning of the season, at this point.
And if nothing else, Wolf, Elliott and others are right on- the opportunity is great this season.