Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Digger Phelps Phone Call

Well it wasn't like getting a call from the President, the Pope or Big Al himself (Al Davis-Raiders Owner), but I was just as excited and honored to hear Digger Phelps voice on my cell phone, Live!

Yes, Digger Phelps the former Notre Dame Basketball coach and current ESPN College Game Day analyst, that Digger Phelps. Digger to his friends.

So Digger and I............(he asked that I please just call him Digger), So Digger and I chewed the fat for a good twenty minutes or so talking about people and places we both know. He's really just a regular Joe who loves basketball with a passion. He's also a guy who hasn't forgotten where he came from which is how I ended up getting the call in the first place.

Digger's latest book "Undertaker's Son: Life Lessons From A Coach" just so happened to have found me while I was browsing at the Library last month. Since March Madness was just beginning I figured it would make a good basketball read during the tournament. What I found in the book was a very familiar voice talking about familiar people and places.

Imagine opening up a book of someone nationally known and reading of names, places and events that are in your hometown, population around 15,000 or so. Teachers from your high school, coaches from your pop warner league, go cart derby locations and stores on main street. Well, that's what I experienced once I began reading Digger's book.

Us who come from small towns will always have a bit of that small town in us. What Digger does in his book is show how the small town values he came from helped mold and prepare him for the many successful things he's experienced in life, basketball coaching included.

If you're a sports fan and are looking to read a fun action packed sports book, then this book of Digger's may not be for you, try his "Tales From The Notre Dame Hardwood." But if you wanna know the type of place, people and things that go into making a man like Digger then I strongly urge you to read his "Undertaker's Son." It really is a book on life lessons and its heartening to know that many of those lessons came from a small town in these United States of America. In a time when there's so much anger, resentment and distrust of the American way of life, I found Digger's book a much needed injection of what makes America and Americans so great.

After reading his book I wrote a letter to Digger expressing just how touched I was by the familiarity and the message in it. It wasn't just that I grew up in the same town, but that I felt the same way Digger felt about the town. I felt that this small town in upstate New York provided me with all the basic needs and character strength to be a success in whatever endeavors in life I chose. And I can be successful in any place in many ways. Knowing how to give back is one way and Digger seems to have done just that.

So the call from Digger was to thank me for understanding the message of his book and expressing it so well in a letter written to him. And my thanks to Digger was for just being a small town boy who went on to national fame and success yet still finds time for another small town boy like myself. True, the lessons of life never stop teaching.

Thanks Digger!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

So Far So Good!

  • 2008
Raiders Transactions


03/31/2008C John WadeSigned
03/28/2008LB Akbar Gbaja-BiamilaSigned
03/28/2008DE Kalimba EdwardsSigned
03/25/2008QB Jeff OtisSigned
03/24/2008QB Erik MeyerSigned
03/20/2008CB DeAngelo HallAcquired via trade (ATL)
03/14/2008DT William JosephSigned
03/12/2008WR Drew CarterSigned
03/06/2008T Cornell GreenRe-Signed
03/05/2008WR Javon WalkerSigned
03/05/2008T Kwame HarrisSigned
03/03/2008DT Warren SappReserve/Retired
02/29/2008OT Barry SimsReleased
02/29/2008S Gibril WilsonSigned
02/29/2008DL Tommy KellyRe-Signed
02/20/2008CB Nnamdi AsomughaFranchise Player Designation
02/13/2008RB Justin FargasRe-Signed
02/13/2008WR Todd WatkinsClaimed off Waivers (ATL)
01/16/2008RB Adimchinobe EchemanduReserve/Future Signing
01/11/2008WR Will BuchanonReserve/Future Signing
01/01/2008WR Drisan JamesReserve/Future Signing
01/01/2008C Jesse BooneReserve/Future Signing

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Lady Vols & Jayhawks Men Are Champions!

It's April, and the Madness of March is finally sprinkling showers of confetti for the two teams standing. Yes, the NCAA Championships, both women's and men's, have concluded tonight with one repeat champion and another returning after many years.

The Tennessee Lady Vols downed the Stanford Cardinal tonight in a fairly dominating way. Pat Summit wins again and all is normal in the Women's league. I wasn't able to watch the game, shame on me.

As for the Men's, league, it took a very lucky 3-pointer and over-time for the Kansas Jayhawks to whip the Memphis Tigers. Some may call this game a case of one team choking under pressure while others will say the other team wanted it more. Whatever your view, it was a great game, ranking right up there with the best.

Congratulations Tennessee Lady Volunteers and Kansas Jayhawks on your successful Basketball Championship Drives.

Final Scores

Tennessee 64
Stanford 48

Kansas 75
Memphis 68

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Good Luck Chris Carr

Chris Carr, the Oakland Raiders punt and kick-off returner since 2005, has been signed by the Tennessee Titans. Carr was and always will be a Raider at heart. He gives the game his all and has made the most of his playing opportunity.

I don't understand why the Raiders didn't re-sign Carr. Is 2 million dollars too much for a proven return man? He has been one of the few positives in these four win seasons of late. It would've been nice to have given JaMarcus Russell decent field position come this season. There must be a plan to replace Carr with someone better, though who that might be is a mystery to me. We can't risk injury to any of the highly paid speedsters. I suppose Johnnie Lee Higgins might be the guy, if he can hold on to the ball. That's the one thing Carr did regularly, hold on to the ball.

I wish Chris Carr the most of success with his new Titans team. And mark my words, Carr will help make the Titans a better team and a playoff contender.

My greatest memory of a Chis Carr play was when he intercepted that Ben Rothlisberger pass around the Pittsburgh goal line and returned it 100 yards for a Raiders touchdown. We beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers that day in our house. It was a game to savor.

Good Luck Chris Carr, and thanks for the Silver and Black Memories!