Aside from the ruffle of fantasy magazines as a nation prepares for its drafts (mine's in mid-August...I'll probably get some sleeper picks up in the next couple of weeks), there's just not much noise being made in the sports world these days. There's that beautiful whiffing sound just before A-Rod heads back to the bench, and the steady refrigerator-esque drone of cliche emanating from SEC Media Days, and that's it.
But there's been a few things happening here and there of interest to this blog. Think of these as stocking stuffers ... I'll start unwrapping the serious presents when football season grows a touch closer.
-- To the surprise of no one who knows anything about anything, Duane Reboul resigned as Birmingham-Southern's head basketball coach after 17 years of ... I guess "excellence" would be the word here, but it's really been something even better than that. Even in the official BSC version, Reboul doesn't really try to hide ("with the many changes occurring here on the Hilltop...") that coaching basektball isn't the issue, it's coaching D3 basketball. Who can blame him? (It goes without saying his cross-town buddy doesn't.)
The news really deserves its own post, but between the babbling I've already done here and an aloha-means-goodbye piece on the situation I've done for Hoopville.com (when it might be posted, I don't have a clue) I just don't feel like covering the misery of this situation anymore. Besides, I've discussed the mountain of respect I have for Coach Reboul before, and no matter how much I write it doesn't really get any more complicated than this: Of all the coaches for all the sports teams I've ever rooted, Duane Reboul is the one whose hand I would most like to shake and tell him, "Good job."
--As you've likely heard, Charles Barkley is once again making noise about trying to become governor of Alabama. And, naturally, we now have preening know-it-alls who have probably never set foot inside the state discussing how Barkley will get elected because, basically, Alabamians don't know no better.
Now, if you'd asked Bayless a year ago who Alabamians would vote for--the guy who famously sacrificed his career in defense of the Ten Commandments or the incumbent governor who tried to push through the most comprehensive tax increase in state history--I'm sure he'd have said the first guy. He wouldn't just have been wrong, he'd have been double-digit wrong. Same thing this time--it's possible-bordering-on-likely that Barkley's opponent in the 2010 Democratic primary would be Artur Davis. Davis is extremely well-spoken, well-respected both in Washington and especially back home in his Congressional District, and has already discussed running in 2010. He would flatten Barkley. Even if Davis doesn't run (there's talk he'd move to the Senate), Alabama voters aren't going to pony up to Barkley just because he 's funny and on TV and once upon a time he grabbed a lot of rebounds for Auburn. His name recognition would help, sure, but despite what condescending jerkwads like Bayless would have you believe, it takes more than just notoriety to beomce Governor in Alabama--just ask Roy Moore.
--As expected, nothing to see here.
--Because old habits die hard, I feel like I ought to link to ESPN's SoCon Summer Session, in which Kyle Whelliston relates the details of a meeting between Bobby "Runaway