Dot Dot Dot... Win 'suits' Mackovic, Wildcats
Tuesday September 4, 2001
After a twisted week of sports - one in which Fresno State shocked Oregon State and the Diamondbacks lost their hold on the National League West - I have picked an MVP.
To hear media members - and some fans, for that matter - tell it, UA's first-year head coach might as well have been wearing the Shroud of Turin on the sidelines when the Wildcats thumped San Diego State Thursday night.
Simply put, it was a change. Mackovic - as one local sportswriter said - pulled off the Lute Olson look better than Lute Olson does.
Former UA head coach Dick Tomey was often hard-pressed to wear a golf shirt on the sidelines during his tenure. Sportswriters - the group of people who keep the velour leisure suit producers in business - routinely outdressed him in post-game interviews. But that was Tomey's - God love him - personality.
Coach Mackovic's personality showed him donning a tailored black suit on the sidelines Thursday, joining Bear Bryant and Gene Stallings as the most popular coaches to bring the boardroom look to the gridiron.
So the suit - let's call it Blackie - gets my game ball this week. Mackovic started a new tradition here at UA, a school that has about as much history as my intramural team, and he deserves some credit for that.
Let's just hope the new tradition can make it through the 110-degree sideline temperatures in Tucson during September. I guess we'll find out Saturday, when the Wildcats play host to Idaho at Arizona Stadium ·
· A word of warning to anyone who thinks Idaho is a cupcake UA should roll through - Missouri lost its season-opener to (freaking!) Bowling Green Saturday. They did so with a new coach and a packed house, similar to what UA will expect Saturday. Following the game, MU players (in their infinite wisdom) admitted that they didn't take the game very seriously at all. Smart ·
· My pick of the week: Ryan Leaf - whose "Cryin' Ryan" moniker seemingly dogged him throughout a career with the Chargers and Buccaneers, the team that cut him late yesterday - will be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys by midseason. He'd be Jerry Jones if Jerry Jones were a quarterback ·
· There is nothing more satisfying than watching the Diamondbacks blow another lead in the N.L. West in September. It's become sort of a new sign of the coming of autumn. The weather gets colder; the leaves - if there were any in Tucson - turn different colors and the D-Backs start blowing leads like they're getting paid a commission for every run they give up. This weekend, it was the Padres who put a kink in the Diamondbacks' playoff run. The Friars rallied to win games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, putting Arizona's temperamental television announcers - Thom Brennaman and Jim Trabor - in a doomsday mood. After proclaiming Sunday's game "the biggest game of the year" Randy Johnson threw a near no-hitter and the twosome bummed out hard-core as the Padres broke it up with a hit in the seventh. The Padres finally won the game on a Ryan Klesko solo shot on the first pitch in the bottom of the 13th inning.
To make matters worse, the D-Backs open up a three-game set with the Giants today in San Francisco. You know what that means? Keep Thom and Jimmy away from shoelaces and belts for a while ·
· I'm not going to say much about the whole Danny Almonte thing. People who are all-too-willing to put the 14-year old little leaguer and his father on trial have beaten it to death already. But - and this is my only point on the subject - who in the hell brings their kid to the United States and then refuses to put him in elementary school? And you wonder why people from the Bronx all sound like Tony Danza ·
· John Madden has the All-Madden Team. I have the All-Finley Team, given annually to players with the best names in sports. Here are some of my early nominees in the college football category: Fata Avegalio, Arizona; Bobby Purify, Colorado; Jon Stoner and Lon Sheriff, San Diego State; Kila Kamakawiwo'ole, Hawaii; Eric Earthly, Missouri; Taz Decker, Utah; Andrew Zow, Alabama; Junior Coffin, Washington; Wesly Mallard, Oregon (he plays for the Ducks, get it?), and finally, from UA's next opponent, Idaho, Jamaal Ibn-al Cole.
They are all priceless peers of Peerless Price, one of the best sports names of all time.