Running off at the typewriter …
Did you see the story the other day where Daunte Culpepper lost his $3.6-million house in South Florida to foreclosure? It would be sad if it turns out Culpepper is yet another in a long line of professional athletes who were multi-millionaires during their playing careers but ended up having money troubles when they retired. So many athletes make bad investments and trust the wrong the people. Most of us regular working schlubs don't understand how they could make tens of millions of dollars in their careers and not have anything saved. Three words that all pro athletes should memorize: Certificate of Deposit. … Speaking of fiscal issues, I'm not buying the hunky-dory story that longtime Orlando Predators owner Brett Bouchy is selling his interest in the team just so he can pursue other interests. Sounds to me like the Preds have some serious financial problems. …
Former University of Florida and Jacksonville Jaguars player Monty Grow was arrested a few days ago after he left a kid in the car so he could go to a strip club. Immoral dilemma: Is it worse leaving a kid in the car to go into a strip club or taking the kid into the strip club with you? … Next time I write something that is controversial and unpopular, I'm just going to identify myself as Columnist B-37. … I'm thinking the signing of Jason Maxiell will take the Magic from a 20-win team to a 21-win team. Blue and White, Sit Tight! … The hottest book out right now is entitled "The Cuckoo's Calling" and I'm thinking it's about a football recruit's telephone communication with LSU coach Les Miles. …
Three of my favorite quotes from SEC Media Days: (1) Will Muschamp on Ohio State turning in the Gators for an NCAA non-violation: "We appreciate our friends from Ohio making sure we are compliant with NCAA rules. They certainly know something about NCAA rules." (2) Nick Saban on the media picking Alabama to win the SEC title: "In the last 21 seasons, you as the media have only picked the right team four times to win the SEC. Now, if I was 4-17 as a coach, I would be back in West Virginia pumping gas at my daddy's gas station." (3) Miles on why he doesn't ban his players from Twitter: "It would be like saying when cars were first invented, 'I'm not allowing any of my players to drive cars. Why? Well, I like my old buggy. It's safer. The horse is a problem, but as long as you keep the horse pointed in the right direction, you're OK.' " …
By the way, I saw ESPN's Joe Schad at SEC Media Days and was reminded of the days he covered the University of Florida for the Orlando Sentinel. Former UF coach Ron Zook once referred to Joe as "Jumper Cables" because Zooker said he was always trying to start something. … Hard to believe Mariano Rivera was named the MVP of the Major League All-Star Game for getting three outs — two of them on fairly hard-hit balls. And herein lies the problem with baseball: The hottest young star in the game (Yasiel Puig) doesn't play in the all-star game even though he deserves to, and an aging relief pitcher gets the MVP when he doesn't deserve to. … Johnny Manziel says he gets so much media scrutiny that sometimes he thinks he's Justin Bieber. In related news, Justin Bieber says he drinks so much Natty Light that sometimes he thinks he's Johnny Manziel. … And did you see where Tim Tebow left a voice-mail message for Manziel the other day? I'm guessing he wanted to tell Johnny Highball to stop using his Heisman as a beer bong. … There were 243 media members who voted for the All-SEC team and 20 of them left South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney off their ballots. Just call these 20 Bozos: "Clowns Against Clowney." …
Last word: "We are proud to say that Los Angeles has one of the lowest crime rates of any major city. You know why? We don't have an NFL team." — Jay Leno
Don't forget, you can click on OrlandoSentinel.com and read the wildly popular Open Mike blog and interactive extravaganza to get my freshest takes on what's happening in the world of sports. Here's a blog on former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy lauding the Houston Rockets for rebuilding without having to go into the tank to do it.
The Houston Rockets prove that you don't have to bottom out in order to make your climb toward the top.
Or so says former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.
Van Gundy points to Houston GM Daryl Morey, who has chosen to always try to put a competitive product on the floor while the Rockets have built themselves into a contender. The Rockets have had six straight winning seasons and still have managed to acquire Dwight Howard and James Harden over the last two offseasons to make themselves a serious contender to win the Western Conference next season.
Van Gundy says former Magic GM Otis Smith had a similar philosophy.
"Even the harshest critics would have to say one thing, and that's that every move Otis made was to try to make the team as good as possible and to try to win that year or the next year," Van Gundy said the other day on our critically acclaimed and wildly popular Open Mike radio show. "People get really critical of GMs who go that way while you see these guys [GMs] in these long-term building projects get praised.
"It's one of the reasons I'm really happy that Dwight went to Houston and they now have a chance to contend. I think it's accepted wisdom that the way you build a team now is to get as bad as you can and then build it back — and that's the only way to do it. But that's not how Daryl Morey has done it. He has at no time made that effort. They [the Rockets] have not had a top-10 draft pick and yet he's built this thing into now being a contender. There is another way to do it: You can try to win. You can try to give your fans a good product every year. I'm not saying the teams that go the other way are wrong; I'm just saying it's not the only way to do it."
Do you agree with Van Gundy or disagree?
Would you rather see the Magic rebuild on the fly like the Rockets or bottom out and try to rebuild that way?
(Most interesting reader retorts, radio rabble, tangy tweets and message-board mockery of the week):
On the Magic signing of free agent journeyman Jason Maxiell: "He's exactly the type of player the Magic need to get one step closer to drafting Andrew Wiggins."
On LSU coach Les Miles using the term "legal entanglement" to describe the situation of running back Jeremy Hill: "That's code for: simple battery charges after a previous sex-crime conviction."
"I heard Papa lean toward Mama. I heard Papa tell Mama, 'Let that boy boogie-woogie.' Was ZZ Top talking about Johnny Manziel?"
(In honor of the Open Championship this weekend in Scotland, three of my favorite quotes about the British Open):
"Any time you leave the U.S.A., you're just camping out." — Sam Snead on his losing streak at the British Open
"How can they beat me? I've been struck by lightning, had two back operations and been divorced twice." — Lee Trevino on his prospects for winning the 1983 British Open
"Would I have to learn the rules and all that crap? Then forget it." — John Daly after being asked to join the Royal & Ancient after winning the '95 British Open
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