Posted on: July 7, 2010 6:48 am

Broadcasters Have Demeaned the word “Great.”

If you look in the dictionary at the word “great” you will see:

Impressively large

Bigger than others

Much: extreme or more than usual

Lasting long time

Important: very significant

Exceptional talent or achievements

Being a good example

Emphasizing exceptional qualities one possesses

Every time I listen to a broadcast, sportscast, or reading another analysis I am always looking and listening for the word “great”. As someone that has hosted a sports radio show, written articles, and seen sporting events for over 50 years, we and I include myself have overused the word “Great” to the point that almost every athlete and play is great.

Now I try extremely hard not to use the word unless I really mean it. I may categorize it by saying, that was a great play” but not make the athlete great. After all in pro sports they all got there because of exceptional talent and possessing qualities that others did not have. Still once at that level great has to take on much more.

One way I would choose to define great is that it must possess almost all the attributes assigned to greatness.

Does it:

Stand out large over everything else in the game or the event?

Is it bigger than others I have already seen? The caveat might be to say something like. “He played a great game tonight.” The greatness stands for one night only and doesn’t make the athlete great.

Go outside the envelope? Was it a new move? Maybe that athlete has a signature move that no one else can do. That has to be a great move but when others can do it, well how great is it?

Will the performance stand the test of time. This goes to points one and two in that I might withdraw the word “great” in defining a player one night when I have seen them perform at a much higher level and others as well.

Did the play or performance make a significant change to the outcome?

Also has this achievement been accomplished by several others. Can everyone be great. The HOF is supposed to help us define greatness with a combination of several criteria. Perhaps if broadcasters applied the same principle to defining a play, a game, a performance, a season we would know what is truly great.

Being a good example. Is that on the field or off the field? Should we caveat by saying, “Pete Rose was a great baseball hitter.” He certainly wasn’t the best baseball player at any position and his gambling exploits would hardly make him a shining example off the field. I use Pete as an example because I believe he did great things in baseball and is deserving of the HOF but if we understood the criteria perhaps we wouldn’t need to be still arguing this point. There were many in the HOF that were not of great morale character.

Again doe the athlete have exceptional qualities that define greatness? I believe this is something that reveals itself over time. A high school athlete my have exceptional talent against his or her peers but when they move to the next level the word great needs to be removed until such time the performances measure head and shoulders again above the peers on the field, court or whatever.


Category: World Sports
Posted on: July 5, 2010 9:24 am
Edited on: July 5, 2010 9:39 pm

How Do You Determine A True Fan?

I have been listening lately to a lot of discussion on how to really determine a true fan? Some of the discussion centered around can you like another team and still be a true fan? There have been a lot of good answers, "A true fan is never wavering. They root for the same team win or lose. " Here is another, "A true fan never roots for another team even if it is the same conference against a team from another conference." Both of these answers would have me saying to myself I am not a true fan. However I believe I am a true fan and a true fan like the majority of sports fans. What I would like to find out is am I right or am I wrong?

First of all I must give you some background on my “Fanmanship”. I decided while looking at my profile this was something deserving of hearing so you would know how I have listed those favorite teams, etc. It also would give you fodder for expressing more opinions allowing you to comment on my “fanmanship” and yours.

So first let me begin by commenting on my “fanmanship”. I grew up in Tennessee and watched the NY Yankees on TV. I simply loved Mickey Mantle. He was the best. On radio I listened to Waite Hoyt and the broadcasts of the Cincinnati Reds. In the process I became a fan of Frank Robinson and dad took me to my first baseball game at Crosley Field. My allegiance shifted from the NY Yankees to the Reds and the 1961 World Series sealed the deal when I could root for Mickey and still be a solid Red‘s baseball team. Thus the beginning of double allegiances.

Football was Cleveland and the best running back in the game, Jim Brown. Then Cincinnati got a football team. My allegiance shifted again. On the college front Mom taught at Vanderbilt and got her secondary degree from there so we were Vanderbilt fans. Basketball was great but football left a lot to be desired. When the decision came to where I would go, I chose Cincinnati because Dad and my sister went there and because Vandy did not recruit me. I had a bad Achilles tendon my senior year so I guess honorable mention was not enough. Thus I became a fan of everything Cincinnati, the Royals in pro basketball, the Cincinnati Swords in hockey. I previously had rooted in hockey for the Nashville Dixie Flyers.

Football would end for me after my freshman year and I did some color for the radio station at UC before joining the Navy. That is when I began rooting for the Vols since no one hardly ever heard of Vandy. I was still a Cincy fan in pro football but we lost our hockey and our basketball. I was rooting for our state and the SEC. Cincy had been an Independent and we were not very good under coach Callahan.

As fate would have it Houston moved to Tennessee. I did not root for the Titans initially. I offered a prayer that Cincy go to Tennessee but my hated rival the Houston Oilers went instead. I only began rooting for Tennessee when they were put in different divisions. This meant unless they met in the playoffs I could have double allegiance. So I root for Vandy and I root fort he Bearcats. I root for the Titans and the Bengals. I root for teams my children went to and even schools where I also did my graduate work. So there you have it, am I a true fan?

Posted on: May 20, 2009 10:09 pm

Vandy Upsets LSU in SEC Tournament Opener

The Vanderbilt Commodores looked like an entirely different team in a 4-1 winner in the SEC Tournament opener this evening.  Vandy scored one run in the 4<sup>th</sup> and 5<sup>th</sup> innings and two in the seventh before LSU finally scored in the bottom half of the seventh inning.  Vandy’s first run came off a Giobbi homerun to left field.  In the 5<sup>th</sup> inning Harris walked and Jonathan White doubled advancing Harris to third.  Steven Liddle then got the intentional pass and Casali hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that allowed Brian Harris to score.  In the top half of the seventh White led off with a single, Liddle followed with a single up the middle that advanced White to third.    That was the night for Austin Ross who gave way to Daniel Bradshaw.  Bradshaw was immediately greeted with a double by Casali scoring White.  Liddle had to stay at third but was able to score on the sacrifice fly by Westlake.

   Mike Minor was the winning pitcher for the Commodores, pitching a complete game.  Minor struck out 5 along the way.  Minor also got good defense tonight from his defense which turned three double plays.  Minor finished the night giving up 6 hits, 1 ER, 3 BB.  Andrew Ross was the losing pitcher tonight for LSU.  Ross went 6 innings giving up 8 Hits, 4 runs.

    Vandy’s offensive player of the game was Giobbi going 3 for 4, scoring 1 and knocking in 2 RBI.   

Posted on: February 13, 2009 9:39 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2009 9:47 pm

Tennessee Scuttlebutt

Tennessee Sports Observations

Climrev and "Talk Back Sports"

It was several years ago when I did the sports talk show "Talk Back Sports" from a new talk radio station that never quite made it in Millington, Memphis.  We had the Cardinals, we had the New Orleans Saints, USA Baseball (Jim Abott was pitching then), and I was able to land for the first time ever Commodore football to be broadcast on a station in Memphis.  I would like to think I was not the cause for the demise however it did bring about an end to any real other radio opportunities.  Well, I would like to get back into it again with a blog to "Talk Back Sports" with anyone interested.  Of course if you happen to be an insider somewhere and would like to fill me with some information on your team, etc, I would be happy to oblige in being the forum for getting that information out to the public.

Tonight I want to talk back a little on University of Tennessee football.  I will be the first to say, "I did not want to see Fulmer run out of town in Knoxville."  I would have liked to seen him end his career on his own terms.  Nevertheless his career with Tennessee is over and now we are into the Lane Kiffin era.  If the truth be known I am not one of Kiffen's supporters either.  You will have to admit he has done some things already that probably have you wondering if Hamilton and the Vols made the right choice.  In fact I almost began this entry with the title, "I told you so" but by better judgement I refrained from that for now.  Still I can't help but wonder what might have happend if you has hired my choice, coach Kelly from Cincinnati.

If publicity is what you wanted the Tennessee fans got it.  First Kiffin accused Urban Myer of recruiting violations which he did not do and then went out and committed a couple of recruiting violations of his own.  Coach Kiffin said he was just kidding around. Well, here is a tip, Lane, you are not funny. The SEC and Tennessee media are listening to everything you say so since you have a knack for saying the wrong things, it is time you kept your mouth closed and your notebook open.  Concentrate on Spring Footaball and X's and O's.  Yes, coach Kiffin is drawing attention to Tennessee football but I believe he has gone about it the wrong way.  Don't think for one minute that Florida will not be chomping at the bit for the opportunity to beat Tennessee as badly as they can next season.

So let me open up the forum and ask you what kind of grade would you give Coach Kiffin today?



Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com