This archived article was written by: David Osborne Jr.
While the weather is cooling down sports are heating up. College and professional football are separating the contenders from the pretenders, and the teams on the bubble for post season are fighting to clinch the final spots. College basketball has just started and Duke is ranked as the no. 1 team in the preseason power rankings. There have been quite a few stories that could have made the Sports Editor’s Choice this week, but unfortunately there is only space for five.
5- 400 and counting
The head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions Joe Paterno has reached career victory 400. Some in-depth research by our sports staff has figured out that to gain 400 wins, Paterno would have had to coach for at least 33 years playing at least 12 games a year. “JoePa” as he is affectionately referred to by the Penn State faithful has been coaching for 44 years; his coaching career started in 1966. Among his many accomplishments Paterno has already been inducted to the hall of fame, coached more bowl game wins than any other coach and spent his entire career with Penn State.
4- Coaching and Commitment
Many coaches tell their players that “winning isn’t everything … it is the only thing.” Then there is the rare coach like John Wooden of UCLA, and Amos Stagg from the University of Chicago, that have the philosophy of, “winning is great but what my players become is more important.” Recently a new coach from a small university in New York has proven to be one of those rare coaches. Coach Clayton Kendrick Holmes of SUNY Maritime College has taught his players a lesson more important than winning. The football team that Holmes coaches has managed its second winning season in 23 years, and to make that even sweeter they are undefeated. Holmes will be there to coach the team in the first playoff game, but after that everything is up in the air. Holmes is a member of the Naval Reserve and will be deployed to Afghanistan soon. His pre-deployment training will probably take him away from his coaching job. Holmes legacy may be that he led his team to a perfect season but even more, he has taught his players more about life than football. In talking about the whole situation, Holmes said, “When you make a commitment, when you decide to do something, you stick with it.”
3- Last minute Jazz
The Utah Jazz may not be the best team in the NBA but you definitely need to give them credit for their heart and effort, especially since the team has earned the nickname “the comeback kids.” Starting on Nov. 6, the Jazz have come back from double-digit deficits in five games to come back and win. On Nov. 6, the Jazz beat the LA Clippers with a final score of 109 to 107 in overtime. On Nov. 9, the Jazz headed to Miami to take on the big three and ended up winning 116 to 114 in overtime. The next night held Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic for the Jazz, in which they upended the Magic 104 to 94. The third game in the East road trip had the Jazz playing the Atlanta Hawks, where they won 90 to 86. Ending their road trip, the Jazz headed to Charlotte, where a last-second buzzer-beater put the Jazz on top, 96 to 95.
2- Baseball’s Top Rookies Honored
Arguably one of the best rookie classes in baseball had many wondering who would be the “Rookie of the Year” from each side of the league. Who would have ever guessed that the two players that won had both already experienced their first World Series? From the National League, Buster Posey was the one to win the honor. Posey’s powerful bat and excellent work behind home plate helped the San Francisco Giants win the World Series. From the American League, Neftali Feliz was the player to claim the honor. Feliz set a record with 40 saves as a rookie, helping the Texas Rangers reach their first World Series.
1- Coaching shake up
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, did something that he never wanted to do; that is firing his teams’ head coach, Wade Phillips, right in the middle of the season after a meager 1-7 start.
What happened the first game after Phillips was fired? Well the Cowboys beat one of their greatest rivals in the NFL, the New York Giants. Hopefully for the Cowboys, Sundays win over the Giants wasn’t just a fluke, and interim head coach Jason Garrett will be able to help them win a few more games even though the play-offs are out of the picture. Maybe a few more owners should take the hint from Jones and get rid of their coaches.
Some teams that might consider this are the Carolina Panthers with their coach John Fox with a record of 1-8, and the Minnesota Vikings with Brad Childress and their record of 3-6.