Idle thoughts from an idle mind, while wondering why it is the older I get, the colder I get.
Getting a memorable quote from an NFL coach is a rarity, which is why new Lions boss Jim Schwartz must be the darling of the media corps at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
The Lions, winless last season, own five picks in the first three rounds of the upcoming NFL draft, giving them an opportunity to make significant strides with some good decisions.
I ve compared it to playing blackjack, Schwartz said. You can go play blackjack in Vegas, play $5 tables, make bad decisions and lose 100 bucks. You go play the $5,000 or $10,000 tables, you make bad decisions and you re walking home, not flying.
The Lions have been hoofing it home for years.
Not many college football recruiting analysts pay very much attention to mid-majors like the Mid-American Conference, but Rivals.com does and that site recently produced a report unlike anything MAC fans have seen or, perhaps, even imagined. Believe it or not, recruiting classes signed by Kent and Akron were overwhelmingly rated 1-2 by Rivals, which included both of those programs among the top 70 classes in the nation.
Toledo s class was ranked fourth in the MAC and 86th nationally while Bowling Green was tied for 11th in the league and tied for 109th nationally. Of course, that s all conjecture. Like all recruiting classes, the proof will be on the field in two or three seasons.
I started covering golf about 25 years ago and I can hardly remember a time that Tom Wolf was not an officer and tournament director coordinating the S.P. Jermain and Toledo Amateur events for the Toledo Metro Golf Association. His death 10 days ago leaves a huge void, and he should soon be enshrined in the Toledo Golf Hall of Fame.
Cancer also claimed the classy Jim Desmond, a local legend in basketball officiating circles whose funeral is today. Through that striped shirt and whistle, Jim had an extended family that blankets the Midwest, and he ll be missed by many.
With a trial scheduled to begin on March 2, the government s case against home run champ Barry Bonds took a big hit when a federal judge disallowed urine samples that tested positive for steroids, saying prosecutors could not prove conclusively they belong to Bonds. Indeed, that would seem to be a fairly major problem.
Speaking of baseball and steroids, I m sure we d all like to thank Alex Rodriguez for con-necting all the dots in his case. We re all out of questions now, eh? He must think we re idiots.
Sorry to have missed last week s Penn State-Illinois basketball game. The Nittany Lions, who shot 28 percent from the field, including .176 from 3-point range, won 38-33. On the same night, Nebraska beat Colorado 46-41 to set a Big 12 record for lowest combined score. Can t anybody shoot anymore?
Expect a scarlet-and-gray theme at Thursday s Make-A-Wish Celebrity Sports Auction at the SeaGate Convention Centre. Ohio State linebacker Marcus Freeman is an added starter and will join teammate James Laurinaitis and his father, pro wrestler Joe, as featured guests. Nearly 800 tickets have been sold for the annual fund-raising dinner.
Pins will be flying in the south end next month. More than 550 women will be coming from around the state to compete in the 51st Ohio State Auxiliary Bowling Tournament at Southwyck Lanes. It all starts March 7 and action will continue every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month. The Maumee Eagles are hosting the event.
Andre Smith of Alabama was once considered the top prospect at left tackle for the upcoming NFL draft, but not now. First, he was suspended from the Sugar Bowl for violating team rules, then his weight and conditioning became a concern, and on Saturday he unceremoniously walked out of the NFL Combine after refusing to work out. Supposedly, he ll still take part in Alabama s pro day on March 11, but there are an awful lot of red flags for NFL teams that don t like red flags.
Today s last word goes to loyal reader Denny, who said by e-mail he is concerned about the Tigers pinning all of their hopes on new closer Brandon Lyon. After all, as Denny pointed out, he s now a Detroit Lyon.