1. Quick Hits
- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, accused of rape by a fellow student, will not be charged. The state prosecutor says the decision was not prompted “by any Heisman demands or football schedule.”
- Reports are that talks between the Seattle Mariners and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano have broken down over excessive demands by Cano’s team.
- If the Jacksonville Jaguars win three straight games and nobody notices, does it really count? Jacksonville beat Houston last night 27-20, Houston’s 11th straight loss.
2. Nelson Mandela 1918-2013
The daily rhythms of sport seem inconsequential when compared with the life of Nelson Mandela. He was living proof that one man can make a difference. And he used sport as a tool. His support of the mostly white Springboks rugby team, as depicted in the movie Invictus, helped unite a nation with their unlikely win in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. If it weren’t for Mandela, there’s no chance that South Africa would have hosted the world’s biggest sporting event, the World Cup, in 2010. Here are his thoughts on the power of sport.
Next time someone says “you can’t fight city hall,” tell him about Nelson Mandela. He did and he won.
3. Art Kaminsky
The average sports fan doesn’t know the name, but everyone in sports knew agent Art Kaminsky and even people out of sports. Like Woody Allen’s Zelig, he showed up everywhere. He was in law school will Bill and Hillary Clinton at Yale. He told me at the time he thought Hillary would be President before Bill. Art sat between Al Michaels and Ken Dryden in the broadcast booth in Lake Placid for the “Do you believe in Miracles?” game. He told me Michaels came up with that line while playing Dryden in a table hockey game. He had a million stories and full disclosure, he was my agent for a while. Art died the other day at the age of 66. The sports world is a little less colorful today.
4. Friday eMailbag
With Delta airlines bumping an entire flight so that the University of Florida basketball team could get to their game, H.K. writes, “Will the passengers take Delta to basketball court over this technical foul? Sounds like a case of illegal substitution.”
Editor’s Note: They were in the bonus situation. The bumped passengers got vouchers for future fights.
As for Ohio governor John Kasich banning the letter “M” on Saturday before the “ichigan Ohio State gae, Top 5 subscriber D.B. wrote, “Good thing Kasich lifted the ban on the letter “M” before much of Ohio had to attend Sunday Ass.”
This from unhappy sports consumer B.S. “If you ever need to know who is about to get traded – I have a fool proof way of predicting – it is the player (any team, any sport) that we just spent $75 for a jersey for my kid for…never fails!!”
And a suggestion for announcer John Sterling’s home run call for the newest Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury from C.B. “Obi-One Jacoby.”
5. Spanning the World
This week’s Spanning the World highlight of course comes from the Auburn “miracle” against Alabama. This fan got a bit excited.
Spanning the World airs on NBC’s Today Show. Next up: Spanning the Year, Friday December 27th.
Happy Birthday: Johnny Football. Heisman winning Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. 21.
Bonus Birthday: Former Major League player and manager Larry Bowa. 68.
Today in Sports: Syracuse’s Ernie Davis became the first black Heisman winner. 1961.
Today in History: Slavery is abolished in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. 1865.
Attention holiday shoppers! Need a gift for that young sports fan in your life? Check out my books. And if you’d like a personally autographed copy contact the Dolphin Bookshop at 516-767-2650.