Belichick’s new post, Vikes erase a ghost, and Jagr is toast
By Mike Ashley
DO YOUR NEW JOB: Bill Belichick is reportedly leaving coaching for a career in ventriloquism. He won’t play the big theatres and clubs at first. ‘On to Hoboken,’ he said.
HOW GREEN WAS MY GROUND: If I were an NFL coach, all my receivers would wear green gloves so it would be harder to discern their hands from the grass on plays where they need to ‘survive the ground.’ And yes, ‘survive the ground’ makes me laugh.
CONNECT FOUR: Super Bowl favorite? Let’s answer with a question – which of these isn’t like the others: Case Keenum, Nick Foles, Blake Bortles and Tom Brady?
ROCKETS BY A WHISKER: James Harden has been out two weeks with a sprained beard.
SKOL ROLL: Happy for the long-suffering and never-been-to-the-mountaintop Minnesota Vikings fans, but you have to wonder which Vikes will show up in Philadelphia – the Minnesota Miracles with momentum or the guys that blew that 17-point second half lead?
TIMEOUT FOR TRIVIA: Vikings got redemption for ‘Hail Mary’ loss in 1975 to Dallas – Roger Staubach to Drew Pearson in a 17-14 Cowboys’ comeback. Can you name the Minnesota defensive back involved in the play who was either pushed or slipped, depending on your point of view?
WHOA NELLIE! THE Voices: Vin Scully- baseball; John Facenda – NFL, Marv Albert – NBA (Marty Glickman was before my ears’ time), Jim Thacker – college basketball (#regionalbias) and Keith Jackson – college football. That’s the list.
SHE CAN’T DRIVE 55: Aaron Rodgers is dating Danica Patrick? Now his car insurance rates are really going to go through the roof.
STEEL AWAY: Must be nice to be a Steelers fan – win 13 games, your division by four games, playoffs last four years – and now you want your coach fired. There is the drawback of those team colors on the bumblebee uniforms, but I don’t think that’s Mike Tomlin’s call.
APOLOGIES TO TOMMY JOHN: I’m considering Sean John surgery so I can fit into cooler pants.
THE FAKE SHOW: Just so you know, Lakers are 0-6 without Lonzo Ball as we write this. The real problem, though, is Los Angeles isn’t much better with him. And we’d all be better off without his dad.
HOWE MUCH LONGER: Looking more and more like 45-year-old Jaromir Jagr’s NHL career is over. Calgary put the 13-time all-star on injured reserve Sunday, his second trip to IR this season. The Flames have been hot enough lately they don’t need Jagr, who is eligible for NHL Social Security.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Nate Wright was in great position, whatever happened, and accordingly earned a place in NFL history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, Athlon, Lindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.