The Sports Beat
Brad Pye, Jr.
LOS ANGELES — Notes, quotes and things picked up on the run from-coast-to-coast and all the stops in between and beyond.
The Oakland Raiders with a new head coach Dennis Allen, a new general manager, Reggie McKenzie, and a new owner ,Mark Davis, the son of the late maverick owner Al Davis, the heart and soul of the Raiders since 1963 and a new slogan “A New Era of Excellence.” should be contenders in 2012.
I hope so for the sake of my dear departed friend Al Davis.
Al thought he could dominate everything except death and he did as the first owner to hire the NFL’s first black head coach, Art Shell, and at his death his head coach was another man of color, Hue Jackson, the former all-city QB from Dorsey High. Yes, Al Davis was the Branch Rickey of pro football.
More on the Raiders: With the addition of Matt Leinart, to go along with Carson Palmer, the Raiders now have two Heisman Trophy winners from USC and former Ohio State Rose Bowl star, Terrelle Pryor. The Raiders are loaded with, former QBs who were headline makers.
Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl winner has high praise for Andrew Luck, the overall No. 1 pick in the 20012 draft. After watching Luck’s first day of practice Dungy said: “He looked like a third or fourth year guy in this first practice.”
For the record several black head coaches will be on their jobs in 2012. Included are the Cincinnati Bengals’ Marvin Lewis, who agreed to a two year extension this week, Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier, Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin, and Kansas City Chiefs Romeo Crennel.
Cullen Jones was the only person of color to win a medal (silver) for the USA winning 400-meters relay teams in the London Olympics. Jones ran one of the fastest laps on the USA’s 4 -400 silver medal relay team. Jones swam a blazing 50 meter first round, but he didn’t repeat his Beijing 50-meter win.
Lia Neal copped a bronze medal in swiming.
Matt Barnes latest arrest for failing to cooperate with a Manhattan Beach police officer, who attempted to arrest him on a traffic ticket warrant, means he can forget about ever returning to the L.A. Lakers. The Lakers stated they were no plans to re-sign Barnes.
UCLA may have its first black starting QB in years. The man for this position is red shirt freshman Brett Hundley. Hundley was the most impressive QB in spring training and Coach Jim Mora seems set on naming Hundley his starter after the second week of training camp in San Bernardino.
The Plain Dealing, La. (my hometown) natives had their annual Olympic Games style picnic Saturday at the beautiful Eldora Park in Long Beach. The star of the gathering was C.W. Player, owner of the famous Fish Restaurant on Western Ave. C.W probable knows more people from Plain Dealing by the sound of their voices than seeing eyes folks. C.W. may be blind, but he can see in the hearts and souls of hundreds of his fans and customers by the sound of their voices.
C.W. is a miracle and the most loved native of Plain Dealing, La., in the world. The love and hugs shadowed on C.W.for more three hours by the young and the old is indicative of the love and affection, people have for my blind friend from Plain Dealing, who can really see, by recognizing voices.
How great can you be? As great as Jamaica’s Usain Bolt repeat world record setting 100-meters (9.63 seconds) champion? Bolt’s Countryman Yohan Blake, who upset Bolt in the Jamaican trials in the 100 and 200 meters, won the silver and the USA’s Justin Gatlin won the bronze.
A four year heartbreak in Beijing turned into joy, tears and excitement for Sanya Richards-Ross after her gold medal (49.55) victory in the 400-meter. Richards-Ross’ bronze medal in 2008 wasn’t as full filling as her 2012 gold. Richards-Ross also picked up relay gold medals in 2004 and 2008. Her husband Aaron Ross two-time Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants. Ross is currently a defensive back with Jacksonville Jaguars.
Two of the biggest stars in the London Olympics have the same last name, James. The USA’s basketball leader, Lebron James and Grenada’s Kirani James. Kirani James won his country’s first medal. And it was an Olympic gold medal in the winning time of 43.94 seconds in the 400-meters.
The other James, Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Chandler Tyson are favored to return to America with a load of gold as Olympic Games champions for the second straight time. The USA Women’s basket team is virtually matching the record-setting pace of the men. The women tied a 20-year record for points and set a record of 52 made field goals in a 114-66 victory against China on Aug. 5. The men beat Argentina, 126-97 to advance to the semi finals. Kevin Durant and Lebron James hit for 28 and 18 points respectively. The bronze and gold medal games are set for Sunday Aug. 12.
The USA’s Gabby Flying-Squirrel Douglas is the darling of the London Olympics. Douglas won the individual all-around gold medal in gymnastics. This is a first for an African American woman. Or should I say 16-year old girl, who looks like a 12-year old. Her talents and mile wide smile have captivated the world. And soon you will see her gold medal winning smile on boxes of Kellogg cornflakes. She was called by President Barack Obama and tweeted congratulations from Oprah Winfrey, Lil’ Wayne, Justin Bieber, Samuel L. Jackson and virtually the rest of the world.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., was released from jail Aug. 3 after serving a little more than two months of his three month sentence. It’s unclear if Mayweather (43-0) will fight again in 2012.
Just like her big sister, Serena now has a remarkable Olympic Games double like Venus—the straight out of Compton pair. Serena declared: “Crazy, I’m always copying her; I forgot that she did it in Sydney, and I do it here. We’re the same doubles team, we just split this to singles, so it’s cool.” Venus and Serena won the Olympics doubles for the third time.
Terrell Owens is back in the NFL with Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks. T.O. hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010. He had no takers in 2011.
And the beat ends.
Brad Pye, Jr can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org