Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday Sports Traditions

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

There are just a few hours left in 2011 as we get ready for another calender year.

So what better time to break down the Top Holiday Sports Traditions than now.

Which sports own what particular holidays?

1) New Years Eve in Detroit is big for Red Wings fans that began at the Old Olympia Stadium and carried over to the Joe Louis Arena. When I'm back in Detroit, I make it a point to cover the New Years Eve event but when I'm not at home, then I usually stay inside to avoid the crazy drunk drivers.

One New Years Eve I'll never forget was on December 31, 1990. The Michigan State Spartans defeated the USC Trojans 17-16 and I really enjoyed covering this game. I was in the midst of a cross country drive and it worked out where I could fit this in on the schedule. The Sun Bowl in El Paso Texas has been a New Year's Eve tradition on CBS for many years.

2) When there is no conflict with the NFL on Sunday, New Years Day or January 1 has always been a day to watch College Bowl Games. There used to be several bowl games played including the major ones, The Rose, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Cotton, in addition to the Outback, Gator and Capital One. This year the Rose Bowl and Fiesta are on the same night while the Sugar, Orange and Cotton will be played in prime time on other evenings. Nevertheless, if you're a college football junkie, this is a great day to stay home and have multiple TV's running.

I've had the good fortune to cover a Rose, Capital One and Orange Bowl. I enjoyed covering the Rose Bowl Parade and Game in one day. It was a long day but a lot of fun.

3) A new tradition that is on NBC is the NHL Winter Classic on January 1 or 2 depending on the NFL schedule. These outdoor contests, which features snow falling on the players thus forcing them to make adjustments in their games, are played in baseball or football stadiums. I'm looking forward to the day that the Detroit Red Wings get to host one and hopefully they'll play the game at Michigan Stadium (The Big House) before 100,000 fans to set new attendance records.

4) Christmas Day belongs to the NBA and this year there were five games played on three networks. If a new labor agreement wasn't reached and the Christmas games were canceled then there would have been no regular season because of the amount of money and exposure lost.

5) The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys own Thanksgiving Day. I am glad that the NFL added a prime-time contest to complete the holiday.

6) Sunday, Memorial Day Eve, goes to Auto Racing as fans can enjoy the Indianapolis 500 followed by NASCAR's Coca Cola 600, the longest race of the season. If there is a rain out then the races are run on Memorial Day.

7) Memorial Day Weekend also features the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Finals match-ups, Pro Basketball's version of the Final Four.

8) NASCAR usually has a race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI., in the Beautiful Irish Hills on Fathers Day. There are also a full slate of Major League Baseball Action.

9) July 4 belongs to Major League Baseball as fireworks shows follow after games. Tennis and Wimbledon usually play around this time, in addition to the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island in New York.

10) Labor Day is predominantly for Major League Baseball as the pennant races begin to reach their final stages. Fans also turn their attention to the start of the NFL Season with fall just weeks ahead.

I want to wish all of My Readers and Followers a Happy and Healthy New Year. Enjoy your sports and may all of your dreams come true.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.

Lions Meaningful Games

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The NFL Playoffs are now just a week away and there will die hard fans that will have their withdrawals when football season is over.

But one of those cities won't be Detroit.  For the first time since 1999, the Detroit Lions will be playing a meaningful football game after the ball drops in New York's Times Square signaling the day January 1, 2012.

In fact, the Lions will be playing a pair of meaningful games. On Sunday, January 1, 2012, the Lions are hoping to snap a 19-game road losing streak at Lambeau Field in Green Bay against the Packers. Will the Packers (14-1) rest QB Aaron Rodgers and some of their key players? The Lions need a win to keep the No.5 seed and avoid playing the surging New Orleans Saints in the first round.

We'll find out if the Lions break the Lambeau drought, but I don't put a lot of stock into this streak since many of these Lions losses have occurred earlier in this millennium during the Matt Millen era. During his eight year reign as President and CEO, the Lions had the worst eight year record (31-97) in the history of the modern NFL.

There is no way that Lions Coach Jim Schwartz could have worked with Millen. Schwartz has gone from two wins to six and now 10 in a three-year span. He's improved by four each year. At the rate he's going, he should reach 14 by the 2012 regular season. I can imagine what a 14-win season would mean to the Detroit fans. The Lions would likely have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and Ford Field (Capacity 65,000, expandable to 70,000) wouldn't be big enough but it would be deafening for the opponent. I know one thing. The Lions could easily pack 110,000 into Michigan Stadium if they were ever this good.

I'm glad Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones squashed any rumors that Coach Jason Garrett would lose his job if he lost to the New York Giants Sunday Night. Last year, Garrett posted a 5-3 record after replacing Wade Phillips and at 8-7, has his team fighting for a playoff berth going into the final week of the season. Thus far, Garrett is 13-10 and Jones isn't stupid because Garrett would easily land another job if he was dismissed. Garrett is one of the top coaching prospects in The NFL Today.

New York Giants Running Back Brandon Jacobs took exception to New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan's over confidence that his team would win their game on December 24, 2011 and saying his team were the Kings of New York. The Giants did their talking with a 29-14 win thus jolting the Jets playoff hopes. Jacobs and Ryan would exchange words after the game and he threatened to punch the coach in the face.

While Ryan's comments from time to time can be entertaining, and I'm sure that he's a hit with the New York Media, he needs to tone his act down very quickly and realize the Jets haven't been to a Super Bowl since 1969. The New York Media will eventually turn on Ryan and run him out of town.

I don't see the Jets getting to the Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez as their quarterback. The long term answer for the Jets could be former Alabama QB Greg McElroy (6-2, 225) who led the Crimson Tide to a National Championship and was 24-3 as a starting quarterback for an .889 winning percentage.  Despite being on injured reserve this season, I expect McElroy to compete with Sanchez for the starting in 2012.

Finally, I will be interested to see where Boise State QB Kellen Moore (6-0, 191) winds up in the 2012 Draft. If there is a sleeper in this draft, Moore is it. All he does is win. Moore holds the all-time record for wins by a starting quarterback NCAA Division I, FBS, concluding his career with a 50-3 record and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. In four years, he finished with 14,667 yards, with 142 touchdowns and just 28 interceptions.  I love QB's that simply win.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be also seen at www.scottsports3.com.

College Hoops Observations

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I've always had the belief that nobody pays attention to college basketball until after January 1 because there are so many other sports going on.

The beginning of the college basketball season does show some marquee match-ups, but there are a lot of mismatches. This makes me wonder whether these elite head coaches over the years in the eyes of Hall of Fame Coach Dick Vitale play too many "cupcakes" easy contests, thus their win totals become inflated.

But as I follow college basketball through the fall, there are a some things that stood out which I definitely feel are worth mentioning.

1) I was glad to see the University of Detroit-Mercy honor Vitale on December 5, 2011, by renaming it's court "Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall." The Titans defeated St. Johns University 69-63 to cap off the occasion. When the NCAA Final Four was held in Detroit in 2009, the university allowed Vitale to use his old office for live ESPN Reports. As coach of the Titans, Vitale's tenure was short and sweet. From 1973-77, he posted a 78-30 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1977. During the 1977 season, the Titans had a 21-game winning streak and the tournament field was 32-teams. During that winning streak, the Titans defeated eventual National Champion the Marquette Warriors on the road in Milwaukee during the regular season.

Vitale left the Titans and accepted the head coaching job for the Detroit Pistons but this decision fizzled as he finished with a 34-60 record from 1978-1979. He was smart enough to get out of coaching and called ESPN's first NCAA Basketball Game on December 5, 1979, when DePaul defeated Wisconsin 90-77.

How ironic is it that exactly 32-years later from the day he started working for ESPN, that a court would be named after him on My Own Father's birthday. Another irony is that in 2008, Vitale was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame with his old boss, William Davidson, the man who fired him in 1979 from the Pistons.

2) I hope Indiana University does the right thing and eventually honors former Coach Bobby Knight. All Knight did was lead the Hoosiers to three national championships and ran a clean program. It's old news that Knight's temper led to his dismissal at Indiana. But lets not lose sight of the fact that the basketball program overshadowed football and put Indiana on the map. It's fallen on hard times since Knight's departure.

It was refreshing to see Knight honored at halftime on December 20, 2011 with an alumni award from Ohio State where he graduated in 1962 in a game against Lamar University, coached by his son Pat Knight. Ohio State won the game 70-50. Bobby Knight was a member of the 1960 Buckeyes team that won the school's only hoops national title.

3) I saw that UNLV named its court after former Coach Jerry Tarkanian. There is no question that this is well deserved because he put this program on the hoops basketball map. From 1973-1992, Tarkanian made the Thomas & Mack Center an intimidating place to play as it was referred to as the "Shark Tank." He was 509-105 for a winning percentage of .829. He led the Rebels to the program's lone National Championship in in 1990, in addition to 12 NCAA Tournament Appearances and Four Final Fours. The last Final Four UNLV appeared in was in 1991 and this the program hasn't been the same.

Tarkanian left UNLV for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs but his pro career lasted 20 games as he finished 9-11 with a .450 winning percentage during the 1992-93 season. I actually met Tarkanian during a Pistons game at the Palace of Auburn Hills and he admitted that he may have made a mistake leaving UNLV because he wasn't comfortable coaching the pros. He told me that he was tired of all the headaches he had to deal with pertaining to the politics of the NCAA governing body thus he went to the NBA.

4) Please tell me one thing that makes sense that Louisville Coach Rick Pitino has announced that he will leave the Cardinals when his contract runs out after the 2016-2017 season. Will this help recruiting? What will gas prices be? Will electric cars replace our conventional vehicles? Who will be the next president? This is the most meaningless piece of news that I've heard since the start of my journalism career in 1979. Frankly Rick, nobody gives a damn about 2017! The ball hasn't even dropped to welcome 2012. Go see the movie Rick "Back To The Future" and let us all know how you like it.

5) It will be interesting to see how Nebraska Mens Basketball Coach Doc Sadler fares in the Cornuskers inaugural season in The Big 10. On December 27, 2011, The Wisconsin Badgers whipped Nebraska 64-40  in the Cornhuskers first Big 10 Conference home game in Lincoln.

Ironically, Nebraska played Wisconsin in their conference opener on the road in Madison and got drilled 48-17.

Nebraska is 8-4 and 0-1 but I have a feeling this will be a long year on the hard court for a school which is known for it's success as an elite football program. Athletic Director Tom Osborne knew this when he departed The Big 12, but is willing to get hammered in other sports as long as he reaps the financial benefits of the gridiron along with the TV exposure on the Big 10 Network. Good luck Nebraska and see you next fall.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33.com and his blog can also be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dodging A Bullet

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The 2011-2012 NBA Season will go down as the one which is a "Work In Progress."

The players and the owners saved their league by not canceling the Christmas Day Games thus preserving a 66-game schedule.

The five Christmas Games Sunday attracted large audiences, with the Chicago Bulls-LA Lakers match-up drawing the third highest preliminary rating for a regular season game on ABC.

The 6.5 overnight rating trailed only a 7.3 for last years hyped showdown featuring the Miami-Heat and Lakers, in addition to a 7.9 rating between Miami and LA in 2004.

Chris Paul's LA Clippers debut against the Golden State Warriors earned a 2.3 overnight rate, which was  a 77 percent increase over last year's Golden State--Portland match-up.

The shortened season at Christmas brings a few interesting points.

With a shorter training camp and two pre-season games, it's obvious it will take some teams time to find a regular line-up and build chemistry.

Normally, teams find out in January what they have, but this season, we should know by mid February or early March. A 35 win season during an 82 game schedule now becomes 25-28 wins with a 66-game schedule.

I expect there to be more blowouts during the first couple weeks.

Miami whipped defending champion Dallas 105-94. By halftime, I left the house and ate Chinese Food since this game seemed over before it started by 4 PM.

Oklahoma City, led by Kevin Durant's 30 points cruised to a 97-89 win over the Orlando Magic, while Paul's debut for the upstart LA Clippers produced a 105-86 thrashing over Golden State.

The duo of Paul and Blake Griffin spoiled the coaching debut of former ABC Color Analyst Mark Jackson, who probably wished he was broadcasting this game instead of roaming the sidelines.

Since the NBA Dodged A Bullet by salvaging a 66-game season, I believe the fans will give them a pass for losing just 16 games. Unfortunately, Comcast won't on their cable bills with the NBA Package.

I will give them a pass for the simple reason that with the NFL and College Football seasons peaking in November, in addition to the NHL, who really thinks about Professional Basketball until after Thanksgiving? Nobody cares about College Basketball until December.

That's why the NBA knew that if it lost Christmas Day then they were prepared to cancel the season as the ratings above indicated.

But the agreement was made at the right time. Many people would argue that 82-games is too much and a 66-70 game schedule would be enough. The solution is to eliminate a weak team or two. But we know that would never happen due to the money factor and lost revenues.

If the NBA Players are indeed the best athletes in the world then piling in a lot of games in a shorter period of time will definitely test their conditioning with the back-to-back games in addition to playing three games in a row periodically. But they'll deal with it since they are now collecting paychecks.

The only thing I learned about Christmas Day is next year's champion will be easier to predict.

I won't even put an asterisk by this team. After losing to the Dallas Mavericks in June in South Florida, the Miami Heat (3-0) are poised to win it all this year!

Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh had a quieter off-season therefore and had time to work on their games. They no longer have the "The Dream Team" or "New Big Three" slogans hanging over their heads.

I'm sure James has had a lot of time to rethink "The Decision" and realizes he made a big mistake.

There is nothing more humbling than being a part of a team's championship ceremony especially since they won their title on your home court earlier in the year.

Adding Shane Battier and rookie Norris Cole, a rookie out of Cleveland State, these are players that I expect to make a big contribution for Miami.

What will bother the Cleveland Cavaliers more? James leaving Cleveland or the Cavaliers not drafting a local kid in their backyard that is paired with their legendary traitor.

Instead of listening to music from "The Miami Sound Machine" get ready to watch dominating basketball from "The Miami Pound Machine" in 2012.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be also be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Going To School

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Three weeks ago, I wrote about the numerous coaching changes in college football.

There have been plenty of NFL coaches that decided to take their pro credibility to college to entice college recruits that they have the connections to play on Sundays.

There are cases it doesn't work out while in many others, it has.

Very few college coaches win Super Bowls.

The only cases that come to mind are former Dallas Cowboys head coaches Barry Switzer (Oklahoma) and Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State and the Miami Hurricanes). Switzer won his ring with Johnson's players.

Former Texas A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman was relieved of his duties after posting a 25-25 record. Evidently, his bosses didn't want him to guide the Aggies into the SEC in 2012.

Two BCS Conference Schools made some interesting hires.

In Lawrence, Kansas., the Jayhawks landed former New England Patriots offensive mastermind and Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis. Unlike his critics, I wouldn't classify the Notre Dame Alumnus five-year tenure a failure. The Fighting Irish, who always have lofty expectations, finished 35-27 under Weis.

Kansas would take that record in a New York second since KU was 5-19 under former Coach Turner Gill the past two years. Kansas all-time record on the gridiron is 573-570-58 for a .501 winning percentage. Weis has no big shoes in Kansas and at age 55, I like this hire for the Jayhawks.

There is no bigger credibility tool than to tell a potential recruit that he helped lead New England to three Super Bowls and developed future Hall Of Fame QB Tom Brady.  No NCAA violation here.

The other intriguing hire is in Los Angeles or should I say Westwood, California.

Jim L. Mora, 50, doesn't have to be the "Wizard Of Westwood" as John Wooden was, but if he becomes a "Winner In Westwood" then the UCLA Bruins can become relevant in Los Angles and put more fans in the Rose Bowl.

Mora's two stops include Atlanta where he and Michael Vick took the Falcons to the 2004 NFC Championship Game. From Atlanta, Mora became the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. His career NFL record is 31-33.

Add his recent time with the NFL Network, plus working under his father Jim Mora Sr. and recruits will see this guy has the connections to get them to the NFL.

Despite finishing under .500 in the NFL, there are coaches that had great runs in college.

Howard Schnellenberger, Lou Holtz and Gene Stallings won National Championships with Miami, Notre Dame and Alabama respectively.

Schnellenberger was 4-13 with the Baltimore Colts. Holtz was 3-10 with the New York Jets. Stallings was 23-34-1 with the St.Louis/Phoenix Cardinals.

Schnellenberger was able to tell recruits that he was on Don Shula's staff for the only undefeated season in NFL History posted by the 17-0 Miami Dolphins which began a string of two Super Bowl Titles.

So we have two coaches in their 50's that are Going To School.

As long as Mora doesn't lose 50-0 to USC like his predecessor Rick Neuheisal did, then his life coaching in the Rose Bowl will be less stressful than it was in the NFL.

As for Weis, his hiring is definitely going to energize the Kansas fan base and could force people to take the football program as serious as its legendary basketball tradition.

Three days ago, Weis landed a former Notre Dame top recruit, QB Dayne Crist, who will play his senior season in Kansas.

That's a good start.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

U-M VS MSU

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

In The Wonderful World Of Normalcy, the Michigan State Spartans should still be playing in a BCS Bowl Game despite losing to the Wisconsin Badgers 42-39 on Saturday, December 3 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

But this is NCAA Football where a computer ranking decides which two teams play for a National Championship.

In my home state, the sides are divided as to which team deserved a BCS Bowl Game.

Even though the Michigan State Spartans (10-3) defeated the Michigan Wolverines (10-2) during the regular season, MSU is going to face the Georgia Bulldogs (10-3) in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida on January 2.

My friends Gus Pantelides and Mike Pantel of Clearwater, Florida have to be elated they'll see MSU in their backyard.

But Spartans Head Coach Mark Dantonio, who has compiled a 43-22 record in five seasons, wishes his team was playing in New Orleans, Louisiana.

That's where Michigan is set to face Virginia Tech (10-2) in the Sugar Bowl.

According to the BCS Standings,  Michigan was ranked 13 while Michigan State dropped to 17.

But lets face the reality. When Michigan is winning, they're a hot property.

A win by Virginia Tech over Michigan will do wonders for the Hokies football program.

Sorry Michigan State. That's the way it works out.

Here is the Tale Of The Tape between these two in-state rivals.

Michigan State:

1) All-Time Record--633-427-44.
2) National Championships--Six, the last one in 1966.
3) Post-Season Bowl Record--7-14.
4) Conference Titles--Seven
5) Heisman Trophy Winners--Zero.

Michigan:

1) All-Time Record--894-310-36 which is No.1 All-Time in NCAA Division I, FBS.
2) National Championships--11, the last one in 1997.
3) Post-Season Bowl Record--19-21.
4) Conference Titles--42
5) Heisman Trophy Winners--three.
6) Highest All-Time Winning Percentage in College Football--.735%.
7) Most Winning Seasons--113.
8) Most Undefeated Seasons in Division I/FBS (23).
9) One of only three schools with a winning record against every Division I A/ FBS Conference.
10) Longest Current Streak Not Shutout Division I/FBS (348), last time was October 20, 1984 by the Iowa Hawkeyes.
11) Largest Crowd to ever attend an NCAA Football Game was 114,804 on Sept 10, 2011 at Michigan Stadium VS Notre Dame.
12) Longest streak in Home Attendance of over 100,000 (239 games) dating back to November 8, 1975 VS the Purdue Boilermakers.
13) The Most Televised School in College Football History--431 televised games.
14) On December 21, 1984, BYU (12-0) defeated U-M (6-6) by a 24-17 margin to win the Holiday Bowl in front of 61,248 a record at that time at Jack Murphy Stadium, to win the National Championship. It's hard to believe the National Championship was decided before New Years Day.
15) Before missing a bowl game in 2008, Michigan had made a bowl game 33-years in a row and had a winning season for 40 straight years.

Sorry Spartan Nation, it's hard to compete against these numbers.

But heck, who can complain about a trip to the Tampa Bay Area where you'll have plenty of transplanted alumni wearing green & white singing your fight songs. This consolation prize isn't all that bad.

But do the Big Ten and your fans a favor. Don't get blown out by another SEC team and duplicate a 49-7 loss to former Coach Nick Saban's Alabama team on January 1, 2011 in the Capital One Bowl two hours away across I-4 in Orlando.

MSU is 0-2 against Georgia in Bowl Games. The Spartans dropped a 34-27 decision in the 1989 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. Twenty years later at the Capital One Bowl, the Bulldogs bit MSU 24-12 in 2009.

Will MSU's third meeting against Georgia at a different venue be the charm? We'll find out in the coming days.

As for Michigan, I'm looking forward to see how the Wolverines fare against ACC powerhouse Virginia Tech and legendary Coach Frank Beamer in their 432 televised game.

The Sugar Bowl ratings figure to get a boost with U-M electrifying QB Denard Robinson, a Deerfield Beach, Florida, native. Robinson has thrown for 2056 yards and 18 touchdowns. He has rushed for 1163 yards and 16 touchdowns.

This will be fun to watch and hopefully MSU and Michigan will put on good shows in 2012. A win over Virginia Tech would be a great ending by the Maize and Blue for first year Head Coach Brady Hoke.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Geographic Sensibility

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Although it's a year away, I have to admit that I was very pleased the Detroit Red Wings will do much less traveling as the NHL begins realignment in 2012-2013.

Like most old school traditionalists, I was hoping for an "Original Six" Division!

Fat Chance. Commissioner Gary Bettman wasn't going to go that far.

But I'll settle for the Detroit Red Wings making at least one appearance to play the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers in the Sunshine State.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for the whining East Coast teams that they have to travel to the Pacific Time Zone. The Red Wings won four Stanley Cup Championships and gobbled up tons of frequent flyer miles in the regular and post-seasons residing in the Eastern Time Zone.

When the Red Wings faced the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in the playoffs, it was less tiring. Those Western trips to Vancouver, San Jose, Calgary, Southern California and Phoenix were brutal.

When the Red Wings Conference was announced, there was no way that Detroit was going to be separated from Original Six buddy and I-94 Rival Chicago.

Bettman complied with the pleas from Nashville's ownership to keep Detroit so this small market team with Michigan transplants could pack their building a few times a year, in addition to the playoffs.

Although the Columbus Blue Jackets and Red Wings will never have the U-M VS Ohio State intensity, they're both in the Eastern Time Zone and in neighboring states. Like Nashville, Columbus needs Detroit's drawing power.

As for the rest of the conference rivals, there is the Dallas Stars playing in their old stomping grounds against the Minnesota Wild. How many Minnesota North Stars jerseys are out there?

St. Louis is always a good rival for Chicago, though not at the level of the Cardinals and Cubs.

The Winnipeg Jets renew acquaintances with Minnesota.

Detroit and Dallas, the two Thanksgiving cities known as "Big D's" play great games and are linked by Brett Hull and Mike Modano.

The only mystery left now is what will be the names of the conferences?

Will Bettman get creative or historical?

Here are some ideas. Bring back the Wales and Campbell Conferences. Once upon a time there was the Norris Division. Just ask ESPN's Chris Berman.

How about the (Gordie) Howe and (Wayne) Gretzky Conferences named after the two greatest players in NHL history.

Even the Big Ten considered (Bo) Schembechler and (Woody) Hayes before deciding to name their Divisions, The Leaders and Legends.

I realize that we've seen the last major realignment.

But I'll be curious to see where the Phoenix Coyotes land since the NHL owns them and expects to have a new owner in place within the next year.

I could see the Coyotes landing in Kansas City, Las Vegas or even Houston. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Coyotes relocate in Seattle once a new stadium is built to replace the departed Seattle Supersonics and fill that winter sports void. The Vancouver Canucks would be thrilled to create another Pacific Northwest rivalry.

There are two seven team conferences East, so if the Coyotes were to end up in Kansas City, this would be a natural rival for St. Louis. If they move to Houston, Dallas has their in state rival.

Then I could see Detroit shift into a conference with Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto, therefore creating more Original Six games.

Eventually, I could see Columbus landing with Carolina, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.

But in the meantime, I'm glad the NHL finally created some Geographic Sensibility. Those extra division games during the season will get made up in the playoffs when these teams face each other. The division rivalries are enhanced and the travel is greatly reduced.

Best of all, now the fans and media get to see at least each team's stars once a year, which will only bolster attendance along with increased television coverage.

In January of 2012, Versus becomes the NBC Sports Network. I could see this platform leading to more Original Six match-ups as we saw when NBC televised a Thanksgiving Week Classic featuring Detroit and the defending Stanley Cup Champions the Boston Bruins.

With the realignment, there will be more inter-conference games with Detroit and Chicago facing the other four Original Six teams.

The NHL is definitely headed in the right direction. The changes should also bolster interest in televising the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, thus giving them more exposure and marketing the NHL as North America's Sport.

I know a Detroit Red Wings VS Montreal Canadiens contest would be a great ratings draw. Detroit has 11 Stanley Cup Championships while Montreal has 24. Who can forget the numerous Hall Of Fame Players and retired numbers with these storied franchises.

I could only hope that this realignment does lead us to an Original Six Stanley Cup Final. I'm sure NBC would be thrilled with those potential ratings.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

The Miami Marlins

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings have turned out to be a place where trades and free agent signings have taken place.

It also appears as though it was the coming out party for "The Miami Marlins."

When I think of the name of this franchise, it seems like I can use the song by Whitney Houston "One Moment In Time." Child Stories start out "Once Upon A Time."

In the 1980's, "The Miami Marlins" used to have a front office consisting of the late Sonny Hirsch and his assistant Larry Bluestein. Hirsch died of a heart attack on March 26, 1999 at the age of 65.  The Florida State League Marlins played at the now demolished Miami Stadium.

One of their prospects in the San Diego Padres farm system was named Benito Santiago. Occasionally, I would go to Miami Stadium and in this declining area, a crowd of 100-200 people used to show up for a game at the 13,000 seat venue.

I used to see a lot of games between the Marlins and Fort Lauderdale Yankees at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. One of my best memories was when the Marlins and Yankees played a doubleheader on a Sunday Night in Fort Lauderdale that lasted until 3 am. All of us in the press box were ordering food at midnight.

Hirsch, Bluestein and I were talking baseball all night as we would whether the constant rain delays.

Last Sunday, my old colleague Dan Bluesten and I talked about whether these Marlins could be successful in Miami at the old Orange Bowl site.

I reminded Dan that Miami stepped up to the plate and built the Marlins a stadium. Palm Beach and Broward Counties had their opportunity to bring Major League Baseball but decided to pass. The construction cost of the Marlins stadium was $515 Million. It is the third smallest stadium in MLB by official capacity and the smallest by actual capacity as it holds 37,000.

Yet during the Winter Meetings, the Marlins signed closer Heath Bell to a three-year $27 Million contract. They added starting pitcher Mark Buehrle for four years, $58 million and shortstop Jose Reyes with a six-year contract worth $106 million. The three signings were for $191 million.

No Thanks to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim,  the Marlins were unable to add the other two fish to  their new start in Dade County. They offered Albert Pujols a 10-year deal worth $210 Million and starting pitcher C.J Wilson six-years for $80 Million which would have been worth another $290 Million.

This is definitely not the same franchise that has six winning seasons in it's 19-year history which does however include two World Series Championships and two Fire Sales, notoriously known for having one of the lowest payrolls in MLB playing at Joe Robbie Stadium.

The hiring of former Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen was brilliant.

I predict that if the Marlins draw between 15,000-25,000.

The new stadium will be at least close to 50% full instead of the embarrassing crowds at Joe Robbie Stadium. I find it amazing that the Marlins did win a pair of World Series at Joe Robbie Stadium. But the new stadium with it's retractable roof will definitely address the rain issue therefore eliminating delays and rainouts.

If you're a Chicago Cubs fans, it must be agonizing to see the Marlins with two titles in 19 years while you've endured 103 years of frustration.

But if the Marlins can become consistent winners in their new stadium, this would energize their fan base so that these people can finally identify with their players enabling them to finally build a tradition. For the past 19-years, all fans can do is continue to buy scorecards because of the massive player turnover. It will be interesting to see how many more jerseys are sold with the stable core of players on the squad.

If this happens, Hirsch will be able to smile in heaven and be thankful that his dream of major league baseball became a reality in Miami. It's being played at a location where he was the play-by-play announcer for the Miami Hurricanes for 30-years at the Orange Bowl where the "U" won five National Championships of it's own.

I've never viewed South Florida as a good sports town because if you don't win, they won't support.

Yet in this case, there is hope for long term stability on the diamond as Major League Baseball has found a home near South Beach.

I'll definitely be watching these Miami Marlins, yet deep down inside, I'll never forget the old Miami Marlins, that were guided by my late friend Sonny Hirsch. I hope you're resting in peace Sonny.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can also be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Loss Ends Schnellenberger Era

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH


The Howard Schnellenberger era is officially over, as the only coach in FAU Football History leaves the program with a 58-74 mark.

Schnellenberger's all-time record in 27 years of coaching college football is 158-151 with a National Championship for the Miami Hurricanes in 1983. He is 6-0 all-time in bowl games including a 2-0 mark with FAU.

The Owls can thank the UAB Blazers to avoid going winless this season as FAU pulled out a 38-35 win Saturday, November 26, thanks to Senior Running Back Alfred Morris' 198 yards and four touchdowns.

Morris became the first person in Schnellenberger's career to surpass 1,000 yards twice in his career. He finished with 1,186 yards in 2011 with a 72-yard effort against ULM. In 2009, he amassed 1,392.

The embarrassing defeat by UAB led to the firing a few days later of its' Head Coach Neil Callaway, who had a 3-9 season and was 21-51 in five years.

On Saturday, the 1-10 Owls were unable to build on their Thanksgiving Weekend momentum as they dropped a 26-0 decision to the University of Louisiana-Monroe (ULM) Warhawks.

ULM improved to 4-8, 3-5 while FAU dropped to 1-11 and 0-8 in the Sun Belt Conference.

FAU trailed 19-0 at half-time and Morris was held to 29 yards. ULM dominated the half by out gaining FAU in total yards 260-78. ULM added one more touchdown in the second half. For the contest, ULM outgained FAU 424-148 offensively.

Punter Mickey Groody had seven for 295 yards with a 42.1 average. Quarterback Graham Wilbert was limited to 79 yards passing.

When the game was over, FAU sent Schnellenberger out with a fireworks display. He also gave a game ending speech thanking everyone in the stadium for their support.

It took him longer to address the media because he spent extra time talking to his players. At the end of the press conference, the popular coach was busy signing media members press passes.

Schnellenberger said, “This is the first time I've turned a football team over in this type of situation. But I want the players to know that I value them being here. I didn't want these players to go out as losers. There are a lot of good football players on this team.”

But Schnellenberger was pleased that his retirement would turn out differently than legendary coaches like former Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden and Penn State's Joe Paterno by leaving on his own terms.

“I talked to Bowden about this and with the way coaches are getting disposed, and I didn't want to leave like that. I wanted this to be a seamless transition. I've never missed a day of work in 52 years of coaching and I'm glad that I can retire, relax, spend time with my wife Beverlee, children and grandchildren,” Schnellenberger added.

“I'll be moving out of my football office Sunday and into a new one in the administration building Monday helping out any way I can but won't be in the way of the new coach.”

My time with Coach Schnelleberger dates back to our days with the Miami Hurricanes in the early 1980's. It will be different without my friend in the future, but the UAB win meant so much that it would have been a major in justice for him to end his final season as the only winless team in NCAA Division I FBS.

Thankfully, it didn't happen and once again, and I'm pleased he left on his own terms.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can also be seen at www.scottsports33.com. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

College Football Firings

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

As I sit up in the FAU Press Box for the final time this season, in Boca Raton, Florida., Head Football Coach Howard Schnellenberger will be deservedly celebrated.

Nobody will care what his final record at FAU will be because his contributions to this program go beyond wins and losses.

He's the reason there is a Football Program, Tom Oxley Athletic Center and now FAU Stadium.

The team's national television appearances and two bowl games have put the university on the map and has led to an increased enrollment.

As a new coach gets set to take over and will be announced next week, unlike Schnellenberger, there have been many coaches that haven't been able to go out on their own terms.

They've come from some big name universities. I will list some of the most intriguing firings that have occurred recently.

1. Neil Callaway of UAB lost his job a few days after his team lost to FAU 38-35 on November 26 enabling the Owls to record their first win of the season. In five seasons, Callaway was 21-51 and 3-9 in 2011.

2. The Memphis Tigers, who once lost to FAU in the New Orleans Bowl, fired Larry Porter after a 2-10 season. He was 3-21 in two seasons.

3. Former Florida Gators Coach Ron Zook was a casualty for Illinois after finishing 34-50 in seven seasons. Illinois became the first team in NCAA Division I  FBS history to start a season 6-0, and end it 6-6.

4) After having success at the University of Buffalo leading the Bulls to a Bowl Game, Turner Gill had a 5-19 record in two seasons for the Kansas Jayhawks.

5) Mike Leach will take his high powered passing attack to Washington State as he replaces Paul Wulff. In four years, Wulff complied a 9-40 mark with the Cougars.

6) The Texas A&M Aggies will move into the SEC with a new coach as Mike Sherman was ousted with a 25-25 record in four seasons. Next stop for Sherman, he'll return to the NFL.

7) The University of New Mexico Lobos went to the ESPN Broadcast Booth to find their next coach. Former Notre Dame Coach Bob Davies is the man who has to take this basketball school, piloted by Steve Alford, and has a lot of work to do. The past two plus seasons under Mike Locksley produced a 2-26 mark.

8) The Arizona Wildcats fired Mike Stoops early this season despite three bowl appearances. Stoops compiled a 41-49 record. He was replaced with former West Virginia and Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez.

9) After having success with the UCLA Bruins compiling a 49-32 record, Bob Toledo was unable to duplicate his success with the Tulane Green Wave. In five seasons, he finished with a 15-40 record in Conference USA.

10) Speaking of UCLA, Rick Neuheisel coached his final game for the Bruins in the inaugural Pac 10 Championship Game. The Oregon Ducks hammered UCLA 49-31 as Neuheisel finished with a 21-29 mark in four seasons. His career coaching mark is 87-59.

11) The third Pac 10 coach on this list to be fired was Arizona State Sun Devils boss Dennis Erickson. In five seasons with ASU, Erickson was 31-30 and led the Sun Devils to one bowl game. His overall record in college was 179-96-1 and won two National Championships with the Miami Hurricanes.

12) It's hard to put Luke Fickell on this list because he was just an interim coach that replaced Jim Tressel who left the Ohio State Buckeyes in a cloud of controversy. But Fickell did compile a 6-6 mark in his lone season and was replaced by former Florida Gators Coach Urban Meyer this week.

13) The last person I'm going to mention is a man that I thought I never would. That's former Penn State Nittany Lions Coach Joe Paterno. He leaves the college sidelines with a 409-136-3 record with two National Championships.

Unfortunately, for all of the contributions he's made on the field leaving as the all-time winningest coach in Division I FBS history, one triumph ahead of Paul "Bear" Bryant, Paterno's legacy will now be tied due to an insane sex scandal by his long time Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

If you're looking for a stable career, head coaching at the highest collegiate level requires a lot of moving vans and the exits are not always that pretty.

But I'm glad for Schnellenberger's sake, he did leave on his own terms and now can enjoy retirement as he watches his latest challenge the FAU Owls, build on the foundation that he created.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can also be seen on http://www.scottsports33.com/.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two Thanksgiving Treats

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Fox Football Analyst Jimmy Johnson predicted on Sunday what everyone was hoping would happen.

The Detroit Lions would defeat the Carolina Panthers to improve to 7-3 and face an undefeated Green Bay Packers squad on Thanksgiving Day. The 10-0 Packers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-26 to set the stage for what could be the best game of the holiday.

Do you think Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers is going to get much sleep knowing Detroit has scored 48 points against Kansas City, 45 on the road to Denver and the defeated the Carolina Panthers 49-35 on Sunday?

In the Lions seven victories, the least amount of points Detroit's offense has scored is 24 with a young gunslinging QB Matt Stafford, who is destined to break every team passing record. He had five touchdown passes against Carolina.

The Lions are 33-35-2 on Thanksgiving. They have faced the Packers 19 times, which is the most of any team invited to play in the traditional contest. Detroit is 11-7-1 against Green Bay.

The 1962 game saw an undefeated Packers team, also 10-0,  lose to the 8-2 Lions, 26-14, before 57,000 plus at Tiger Stadium. The Lions sacked Packers Hall of Fame QB Bart Starr 11 times for 110 yards. Green Bay finished the season 13-1 and won the NFL Championship.

Will history repeat itself on Thursday as the Lions Ndamukong Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Nick Fairley, Stephen Tulloch, Cliff Avril and Corey Williams attempt to make life just as miserable for Aaron Rodgers like the 1962 defense did for Starr?

We'll find out if Rodgers is running for his life at Ford Field just as Starr did a few miles away at Tiger Stadium.

Will Mike McCarthy be able to do what the legendary Packers Coach Vince Lombardi couldn't pull off by going undefeated?

The Lions biggest fans will be their former Assistant Coach and Miami Dolphins legend Don Shula, who piloted Miami to a 17-0 mark and a Super Bowl title in 1972. I'm sure the rest of the Dolphins are hoping to pull the corks out of the champagne with a Lions victory.

Another thing to be thankful for is that Major League Baseball agreed to a new labor deal on Tuesday that will ensure labor peace through 2016.

What's so refreshing about this, is that these negotiations were kept out of the media and held privately.

HGH testing will be included and violators will serve a 50-game suspension on the first offense.

The Houston Astros will move to the AL West in 2013 and there will be two 15 team leagues to ensure a balanced schedule and expanded inter-league play.

Did you think any player was going to object to another wild card team being added for a one game play in contest?

No way!

The revenue and interest generated in baseball will only get higher than it is. I wouldn't be surprised to see this take place in 2012. You can bet that about 60 players for two teams, in addition to managers, coaches will be chomping at the bit to have an opportunity to win a championship ring.

Meanwhile, if an extra wild card team had been added this year, the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves could eliminate the words "Monumental Collapses" from their vocabularies.

You can't ask for two better Thanksgiving Treats than these.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Ultimate Bookends

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The Daytona 500 supposedly is NASCAR's Super Bowl, but you wouldn't know that after the Ford 400 Sunday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway as the sport crowned a new champion.

On February 20, 2011, Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 as he led six of the 208 laps to become the youngest driver to win the "Great American Race" at 20-years-old and one day.

Little did the Knoxville, Tenn., native, who was born on February 19, 1991, know that the NASCAR season couldn't have started or ended better than it did, thus creating the "Ultimate Bookmarks."

Tony Stewart became the ninth driver in NASCAR history to win three championships. He did it by ending the five year reign of Jimmie Johnson.

Stewart defeated Carl Edwards despite the fact that both drivers finished tied with 2,403 points. The title was decided by a tiebreaker as Stewart won a chase all-time record five races while Edwards won one race this season.

On Sunday, Edwards led the most laps---119 of the 267 but not the last one as he finished second to Stewart in a climactic memorable finish.

As the rain poured after the race, Stewart left Miami with a $5.7 million check and continued to build his Hall of Fame credentials.

Meanwhile, Edwards had nothing to be disappointed about because he competed with class and will undoubtedly be one of the favorites to contend for next years championship.

Although Johnson's incredible run officially ended Sunday, he's the only driver to win five consecutive championships and he finished sixth in the points standings.

With the equipment and crew that his Owner Rick Hendricks provides him, I wouldn't bet against him in 2012.

But Johnson's legacy is cemented.

To win a hand full of championships, let alone in a row at the age of 36, is incredible in any sport.

If he doesn't accomplish another thing, he'll take his 55 victories and five championships into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC.

Yet, for some reason, I believe that Johnson has a lot more great racing ahead of him. He's two championships away to match the record of seven set by Richard "The King" Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Although the season ended in South Florida, NASCAR couldn't have scripted a better finale.

When the season starts off with an unknown and ends with a driver with multiple championships, this sport has done a great job mixing in the new with the old. It will only get better as legends enhance their legacies and new stars are created.

The Ford 400 turned out to be the equivalent to a Game 7 of a team sport.

You had two competitors in a winner take all setting. NASCAR couldn't have visualized this in it's Super Bowl in February.

But on Sunday February 20, 2011, exactly nine months after it started, this was the sports' real Super Bowl.

It's amazing to think that in about 90 days, it will start all over in Northern Florida off I-95 at the Daytona International Speedway.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Humbled Announcer

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I rarely watch ESPN's College Football Game Day because of my busy schedule.

But because Nebraska was facing the Michigan Wolverines in "The Big House," this was a great opportunity to hear the crews prediction.

Longtime analyst Lee Corso, 76, seemed quite decisive predicting the visiting Cornhuskers. Corso's famous line "Not So Fast, My Friend" bit him good as Michigan crushed Nebraska 45-17 in front of 113,718, the largest crowd to ever see a Cornhuskers contest in this storied program's rich history.

Not only did Corso look bad with with this prediction, his use of the expletive that begins with an "F" as he was ending his show turned out to be a disaster. Even his sidekick Kirk Herbstreit wondered where the delay button was.

But I'm going to give Corso a pass for this mistake. His public on air apology looked sincere, he showed tremendous remorse and he was very humbled by his actions.

If the former 1985 USFL Orlando Renegades Coach loses his job, he could go back to work for the Indiana Hoosiers, whom he coached from 1973-1982 and compiled a 41-68-2 record. The Hoosiers are 1-10 and were hammered by Michigan State 55-3 Saturday in East Lansing.

Guest predictor Carl Lewis also picked Nebraska while Herbstreit, a former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback, did pick his former rival U-M to defeat Nebraska.

The Wolverines, which improved to (9-2, 5-2 Big 10) officially welcomed Nebraska to the conference with this beating....

Michigan State was glad that Herbstreit's prediction came to fruition because they'll play in the inaugural Big 10 Championship Game on December 3 in Indianapolis, Indiana., as winners of the Legends Division. It must have very difficult for the Spartans (9-2, 6-1 Big 10) to root for U-M, but if it made conference history and earns them a trip to a BCS Game, Rose Bowl, I'm sure no one in East Lansing is complaining....

A few years ago, I was angry that the Delaware Fighting Blue Hens and in state rival Delaware State never played at all. But the two schools finally met in the FCS Playoffs and now face each other regularly.

This time, the focus is on the Arkansas Razorbacks, who refuse to play the Arkansas State Red Wolves of the Sun Belt Conference. This season Arkansas State is (9-2, 7-0 Sun Belt) while the Razorbacks are (10-1, 6-1 SEC).

I don't know what the problem is with Arkansas, but this meeting could only bolster the enthusiasm in that state. The Razorbacks should change their name to the "Arkansas Chickens."

There are lots of other great in state rivalries.

Why should an SEC powerhouse even worry about facing a Sun Belt Conference school when most of these games guarantee big pay days for the underdog schools, and seldom do you see wins from these institutions when they play?

Arkansas is coached by a man that didn't have the guts to finish an NFL Season with the Atlanta Falcons named Bobby Petrino. If Petrino had the guts to schedule Arkansas State, I might not be as critical of him. But I know he doesn't have the courage to face the Red Wolves.

Years ago, the college basketball rivalry which reminded me of "Dodgeball" was Kentucky VS Louisville. They were forced to face each other in the NCAA Tournament and that sparked the beginning of a rivalry which is going strong.

The folks in Arkansas should have former President Bill Clinton mediate this boneheaded impasse....

Two major droughts ended on Saturday.

Baylor University, a private Christian institution of 15,000 students located in Waco, Texas., went into Saturday's home game against the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners 0-20 all-time against their rival from Norman. Most of these games weren't even close.

The No. 22 Bears (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) finally ended years of misery thanks to the performance of Robert Griffin III by improving to 1-21 as the quarterback threw for 479 yards, four touchdowns including a 34-yarder to Terrance Williams with eight seconds left in the game ending Oklahoma's chances of winning a BCS Championship.

The Virginia Cavaliers (8-3, 5-2 ACC) snapped Florida State's five game winning streak with it's fourth straight win in this 14-13 road triumph.

The Cavaliers had never won in Tallahassee going 0-8 in their previous trips to the Florida State Capital. Virginia is now 1-8 in the Panhandle.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Denver Broncos Underdog

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

If I had to comprise a list of athletes that I truly despise, Deion Sanders, Brian Bosworth and Dan Marino would rank at the top of my list.

Six NFL players that I truly enjoyed were John Elway, Troy Aikman, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Barry Sanders and Bo Jackson.

Then there are the numerous busts which could cost General Managers and Head Coaches there jobs.

The six that come to mind are Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, JaMarcus Russell and Tony Mandarich.

But if there is one athlete that I'm really hoping succeeds, it's Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow.  He's a player that you hope doesn't fall into the category, "Nice Guys Finish Last."

The coach who served as Tebow's biggest supporter was former Broncos head coach and current St. Louis Rams Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels. Despite Tebow's unorthodox throwing motion and lack of experience under center, McDaniels never had the chance to complete his pet project.

Over the years, I've always found myself in an underdog role.

Dating back to my college days at Broward Community College in Pembroke Pines, Florida., and the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, in addition to learning a new profession selling in the Home Improvement Business, I always relished the opportunity to prove my doubters and critics wrong.

I'll never forget in 1983 when I was in a Bowling Class, I won a trophy for "Most Unusual Form." This came after my late Uncle Sam Morganroth, who lived in Cape Coral, Florida., and I used to go bowling a lot when I visited him for three day weekends. But I could never get comfortable throwing the ball the proper way. When I won that trophy, Uncle Sam did get a few laughs.

My father has been great giving me his old slip on shoes because I don't like tying them. To this day, I don't have the patience to tie them.

I've always invested into clip on ties or had the knots made in advance.

So I can totally relate to Tebow. He's had many people work on his throwing motion but still can't seem to make that transformation. He reminds me of former NFL Quarterback Bernie Kosar.  Despite his awkward style of throwing, Kosar played in the NFL from 1985-1996.

Although Tebow has abnormalities in his throwing motion, plus a sub-par NFL arm to go deep, the former Florida Gator is a winner.

He's an exceptionally elusive signal caller and rushed for 118 yards in the Broncos 38-24 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Very rarely do you see a quarterback rush for nearly more yards than he had passing. But Tebow managed 124 yards in the air for a six yards differential.

Despite the 45-10 pounding and seven sack performance to the Detroit Lions 11 days ago, the former Heisman Trophy Winner rebounded nicely on the road in Oakland. He-s 3-3 as a starter and you don't win a BCS National Championship by accident.

The bottom line is the Denver Broncos have to create a system which Tebow can flourish in. Coach John Fox and Elway know that and have to figure it out.

If these two can work on Tebow's passing game, surround him with good receivers and tight-ends, he'll be fine. They need to provide him with good running backs and this will give him a solid security blanket in the backfield both as rushers and in the short passing game.

But there is one intangible that Tebow doesn't need to work on.

He's a high character person!

Don't expect him in handcuffs anytime soon and taking mug shuts or getting finger printed in jail. I don't care if he demonstrates his faith publicly.

He will serve the Denver community proud whether it's at football camps instructing kids or at any public event delivering speeches. Overall, he seems to be a nice guy and his No.15 jerseys do sell and bring the Broncos revenue. He's a good role model.

Don't expect Tebow to blow a gasket at reporters as Leaf did in the San Diego Chargers locker-room when he alienated the media.

Time will tell if Tebow ever develops into a good NFL quarterback, but with his Blue Collar work ethic, at the age of 24, at least he's professional, conscientious, and has the determination to make you want to root for him.

He has plenty of time to develop with the right coaching.

Will Tebow ever make the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

That's a major stretch.

But if he starts winning, then adding Super Bowl rings to his resume, then this Underdog will prove his critics and doubters wrong.

But right now, he's a Hall of Fame Person and one individual that we won't see in Commissioner Roger Goodell's office for violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy.

You know Goodell is rooting for Tebow along with many others.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Relief In Kansas City

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The Miami Dolphins will not join Lions in The 0-16 Club, but they have another thing in common with the players from Detroit.

On September 18, 2011, Detroit hammered the Kansas City Chiefs 48-3 at Ford Field.

To earn their first victory of the season, Miami limited Kansas City to a field goal and pounded the Chiefs 31-3 at Arrowhead Stadium.

But despite my criticism of the Dolphins yesterday, by no means am I ready to jump on their bandwagon. The organization is still a mess. The team is 1-7!

However, on Sunday, certain players lived up to their potential. Reggie Bush rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown. He added 50-yards in receiving. Brandon Marshall caught eight passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Quarterback Matt Moore threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns went to tight end Anthony Fasano. Moore had a QB rating of 147.5 and zero interceptions.

Since the start of the 2010 season, the Dolphins have made a turnover in every game. Today's win over Kansas City produced zero turnovers.

Former Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn, who watched the Lions long losing streak end, is an assistant coach for the Chiefs. He's been through this drill.

But in the end, what did we learn about Miami's win?

First, founding owner Joe Robbie won't turn over in his grave because there won't be an Imperfect Season in his stadium.

Second, the Dolphins can focus their quarterback search in the 2012 NFL Draft to Landry Jones of the Oklahoma Sooners instead of Stanford's Andrew Luck, who could be headed to the Indianapolis Colts.

Third, the team is playing hard under embattled Head Coach Tony Sparano and the three hour flight to South Florida had to be much more satisfying.

Now the question remains, can the Dolphins go 2-0 against NFL teams that have Indian Nicknames?

The Dolphins face the Washington Redskins on Sunday November 13, 2011 at Joe Robbie Stadium. Miami's next goal is to avoid being the eighth team in NFL History to lose 15 games if they fail to win a contest the rest of the season.

But although I saw the Dolphins losing Sunday against Kansas City, I know that the whole football world is shocked as to what happened in Western Missouri.

However, on Saturday, the Northwestern Wildcats (4-5) upset the No. 10 Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2) in Lincoln, 28-25.

So you can rest assure that this part of the Midwest was quite shocked as to what happened the entire weekend on the gridiron.

The visitors put the Stop Sign on some major losing and certainly validated the fact that games are won on the field and not on paper.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

NBA's Self Destruction

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Day 128 of the NBA Lockout is history and the impasse between the players and the owners continues.

But is anybody really surprised this saga has dragged on?

NBA Commissioner David Stern gave the players an offer and a Wednesday deadline to accept 51-percent of basketball-related income or get ready for a deal that's a whole lot worse.

You know the players are going to reject this proposal, but does anybody really care?

No.

The NFL and College Football Seasons are in full gear so nobody pays any attention to the NBA until Christmas. That's when the NBA has a handful of games and 10 television markets involved.

College Basketball figures to gain from the lockout because for those die hards looking for hoops action, they'll be able to follow their respective universities as they hope to make a run to the NCAA Basketball Tournament in March.

The biggest beneficiary should be the National Hockey League. They'll have the Winter Professional Sports Market all to themselves.

This would be a great opportunity for NBC and Versus to add more games to their television schedule. Maybe they could move a game or two to Christmas Day.

More importantly, the game attendance in the NHL, especially in cities where there are NBA teams, should increase because the fans will have an alternative.

It's a great way for the NHL to entice those NBA fans to attend their games and expand their fan base. Lets see if the NHL marketing people can create new promotions aimed at putting bodies in the seats using the NBA Lockout in their campaigns to fill their stadiums.

The NBA players just seem to forget that there is a major recession going on in this country.

At my day job, I work in Credit Repair as a Sales Representative for Acquinity Interactive (Unique Consulting Group).

The stories that I hear could produce multiple books and I get sick to my stomach when I listen to the misfortunes of other people. Yet it amazes me inside and drains me at night when I can or can't help someone out.

One of my colleagues is a retired major league baseball player and it boggles our minds at what we hear on a daily basis.

So for those players that think they have things tough, I dare them to talk to a single person that is on Social Security Disability, who gets paid once a month, with an income ranging between $500-$1000 per-month, and also needs food stamps.

These folks can't get new vehicles because their credit score is poor, have a low income, are victims of Identity Theft, went through Bad Divorces and are flooded with Collection Mail, etc...

I hear the word Bankruptcy in my sleep at night and the ways people reached that point is beyond my wildest of imaginations.

How about some of these other athletes that made their millions of dollars and are bankrupt that lost their homes. They made bad investments and realize their income levels would never meet their overhead when their playing days are over.

In recent years, former NBA Players like Rick Mahorn, Derrick Coleman, Latrell Sprewell and former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar come to mind. I know there are many others that I'm not mentioning. These are just a few examples.

But as I spend 40 hours a week listening to the hardships of others, my message to NBAPA President Derek Fisher, is if the NHL can shut down for a year, the NBA is prepared to.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Stern are close friends. You know they've talked about this and Stern is ready to finally find a system that makes sense for his league.

Once the Christmas Games are cancelled, you know that Stern will give Bettman his blessings to see if he can land another nationally televised game or two if the NHL were to go in this direction.

The NBAPA can hold out all they want. But will they be able to a year from now? How far will all these antitrust actions go in court?

It is an owners right to make as much money as they can and certainly be able to determine if they should operate a business if they're going to lose money?

One thing that I find amusing about all of this is would Charlotte Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan take the same deal his fellow owners are offering if he was still playing?

Whether it be 47-51 percent, I doubt it. But the Hall of Fame player is now a business man and he doesn't want to lose money.

The fans will have no trouble filling their holidays if the NBA isn't on television. Whether it's the other sports, spending more time with their families, etc... nobody really cares and sympathy will be at an all-time low especially in this economy.

Sports fans will also talk about the great World Series that just concluded, the off-season managerial changes that are expected to be filled shortly in Boston, Chicago Cubs and World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

There will be the hot stove league as teams make changes to take the Cardinals title away. Then in February, it will be time for Spring Training.

But when the lockout does end, just like in other sports, the backlash from the fans will be tremendous and I do believe that it will take years for the NBA to recover.

When you lose a season, people will find other ways to entertain themselves. When a league loses the playoffs and doesn't crown a champion, that's fatal.

Major League Baseball and the NHL have already done this and found out the hard way. The bad taste left in the mouths of the fans takes several years to recover.

The NFL has labor peace and we'll be able to count on many more Super Bowls to be played. Thankfully, no Super Bowl has ever been lost. We have another Super Bowl to look forward to in February in Indianapolis.

So by the end of business Wednesday, will we be seeing more players looking to play basketball overseas, or will they be opening up NBA arenas this year?

My prediction, Good Riddance NBA until we meet again in 2012-2013 when one party is going to cave in.

This time though it will be the players that finally realize their bills have due dates and if they don't pay them, they'll need Credit Repair Services.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

FAU in Big East?

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

On Friday when I was picking up My Game Credential at the Tom Oxley Athletic Center, FAU Assistant Media Relations Director Justin Johnson and I were joking around about the fact that the new Owls Football Stadium could expand two more times. It can be expanded to 45,000 and 65,000 fans in two different phases.

We did agree that it's doubtful that both of us we'll be around when these expansions take place.

But as I sit on the Sixth Floor in the Press Box with a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean 2.1 miles east, watching the Owls Homecoming Game against Arkansas State, it's very easy to let your imagination allow you to meditate about what the future holds for the FAU Football Program.

As I continue to watch the college football landscape change, and as conferences find new teams to fill the void left by the departures of other schools, it makes me think of where FAU will land one day?

My best guess, and I repeat, best guess, would be the Big East.

Even though the Big East plans to enforce their bylaws to keep Pittsburgh and Syracuse from moving to the ACC immediately and West Virginia, which is Big 12 bound, to maintain any credibility long term, they'll eventually have to have 12-16 teams in football even when the 27 months end.

There are plans to invite Boise State, Navy and Air Force for football only. Central Florida, Houston and SMU would participate in all sports. The total with these additions and subtractions would be 11.

Why would FAU be a good fit for the Big East?

The conference lost it's presence in the South Florida market when the Miami Hurricanes joined the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 2004.

The Big East added the University of South Florida and gained the Tampa Bay market and with Central Florida it will add Orlando.

For FAU, the Big East would regain it's presence in South Florida and now with this cozy new stadium in Boca Raton, this would be a natural fit to return.

FAU has approximately 28,000 students and is the Alma-mater to more than 120,000 alumni worldwide.

Add the fact that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area is a top 10 Television Market plus the West Palm Beach audience, and there is a lot of exposure in the region. I've driven up the Florida Turnpike and once saw a Rutgers Football billboard, therefore, nobody can forget that there are a lot of transplanted Northeasterners that traded their shovels for the palm trees.

But for all of this to happen, we all know that the next major decision Owls Athletic Director Craig Angelos makes will be the biggest.

Who will follow Howard Schnellenberger? Hopefully, we'll find out by the holidays.

The potential is here for big things especially when FAU starts winning and has a high profile coach and packs 30,000 fans at this Cozy Palace.

For the Big East to market the largest cities in Florida would provide great exposure and could only bolster their bargaining power in future television negotiations.

Now we'll just see if the Big East is Smart Enough to recognize this and quit dwelling on who is leaving the conference and find the new members that could expand their market. The addition of FIU in Miami would be a great move!.

To have four Florida Schools in the Big East would also create some good in state rivalries.

There are nothing but positives to this eventually becoming a reality.

Down the road after the coaching search, I do plan to address Angelos about his team going to the Big East.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at http://www.scottsports33.com/.

Dolphins A Complete Mess!

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Please tell me that I'm not suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.

Is the NFL Draft in April or November?

As dumb as this seems, why are we talking about Stanford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck being the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft?

We're only halfway through the 2011 season and the majority of the discussion should be focused on the playoff chase and surprise teams.

The feel good stories include the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions.

But that's today's media.

Luck is indeed the hot topic. His destinations appear to be either the Indianapolis Colts or the Miami Dolphins. Both are winless but for entirely different reasons.

The Colts can't win without future Hall of Fame first year lock Peyton Manning. If Manning is able to return this season with his competitive nature, Indianapolis will not join The 0-16 Club, in which the Lions are the only members. I could see a victory or two for the Colts.

Besides, Colts Owner Jim Irsay will never let the Peyton Manning era end on a bad note. Look for a statue in front of the Colts Stadium when his career is over.

But I do believe the Lions will have company in The 0-16 Club.

The Dolphins are a bad football team!

They tried to lure former Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh during the off-season while their current head coach Tony Sparano was under contract. That failed and Sparano was given a contract extension.

They allowed Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to leave through free agency and traded for Reggie Bush.  The former Saint and USC Trojan, has 75 carries for 335 yards with zero touchdowns. He has 21 receptions for 114 yards and one touchdown. He's only returned five punts for 44 yards.

Rookie Daniel Thomas hasn't scored a touchdown and like Bush, has 75 carries but for 302 yards.

I've always viewed Bush as a finesse back, who has versatility to catch the ball out of the backfield. He's not a four-down power runner and he's a solid special teams player.

The Dolphins haven't been satisfied with the performance of former Michigan Wolverines QB Chad Henne, but didn't pull the trigger when they had the chance to trade for Denver Broncos signal caller Kyle Orton during the off-season. Miami blew an opportunity to land former Jacksonville Jaguars QB David Garrard.

Now the Dolphins QB's are former Carolina Panther Matt Moore, Sage Rosenfels and former UFL journeyman J.P. Losman, a former Buffalo Bill.

Losman led the Las Vegas Locomotives to the inaugural UFL Championship on November 27, 2009. Losman signed with Miami on Oct 25, 2011, while Rosenfels was placed on the reserve/non-football list.

It wouldn't matter which signal caller was under center because there is no talent around them.

The Dolphins are A Complete Mess!

Miami ended the 2010 season with a three game losing streak to finish 7-9. The Dolphins had the worst home record in the league with a 1-7 mark.

At  0-7 going into their road game against the Kansas City Chiefs at noisy Arrowhead Stadium, the losing streak has hit 10 and counting.

The Chiefs are 4-3 and are in a three-way tie for the AFC West lead.

Do you see 0-8 and an 11-game losing streak? I do.

The Dolphins have flirted with 0-16.

On December 16, 2007, Miami was one touchdown pass from joining the 2008 Lions.

Cleo Lemon threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Greg Camarillo as the Dolphins defeated the Baltimore Ravens 22-16 in overtime at Joe Robbie Stadium and ended a 16-game losing streak.

They finished the year 1-15 and seven teams in NFL history have lost 15-games in a season.

After this disaster, the Dolphins turned to Bill Parcells and the first year, the drafting of Henne and his Wolverines offensive lineman Jake Long, to go along with former Jets signal caller Chad Pennington, enabled Miami to land in the 2008 playoffs. Using a gimmick offense "The Wildcat" and maximizing the skills of Brown and Williams, the Dolphins finished 11-5.

The Ravens would get their revenge a year later with a 27-9 win and the Dolphins haven't returned to the playoffs since 2008.

Two 7-9 seasons and a pair of third place finishes in the AFC East have seen the Dolphins fall hard again. Parcells retired midway through the 2010 season.

He has returned to ESPN either to become a full-time Sunday analyst or size up his next challenge. Evidently, he had no desire to work with current Dolphins Owner, Stephen M Ross, A Michigan Wolverine Alumnus, after Wayne Huizenga sold the team.

Now the team is being run by CEO Mike Dee, General Manager Jeff Ireland (hired by Parcells) and Sparano, a former Parcells assistant coach.

Don Shula is the Vice Chairman, though I'd wonder if he has much input into the daily operation.

Yet this franchise which has 22 Playoff Appearances, 13 Division Championships, five Conference Championships, a pair of Super Bowl Titles including the 1972 Perfect Season (17-0), has a chance make history by joining the Lions for all of the wrong reasons.

When the Lions had their 0-16 record in 2008, the year before, they were 7-9.  The Dolphins find themselves in the exact same situation and lost to the Lions 34-27 at home last December.

Another Dolphins/Lions irony is Detroit had another former Wolverines offensive lineman, as Jeff Backus suffered through that imperfect season. The Dolphins have Long.

As I look at the Dolphins schedule, there best chance for a win was on October 25. Former Florida Gator QB Tim Tebow rallied the Denver Broncos from a 15-0 deficit to an 18-15 overtime win. A week later, Tebow faced the Lions and was sacked seven times as Detroit (6-2) crushed Denver 45-10 in Colorado.

Beginning with Sundays road game against Kansas City, the Dolphins road schedule includes the Dallas Cowboys, and in mid-December face the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots in potentially winter and blizzard conditions.

The remaining home games are against the Washington Redskins, Bills and in early December the Oakland Raiders travel to the east coast while the Philadelphia Eagles come to town.

The Bills are improved and recently gave their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick a new contract. Coach Chan Gailey has done an outstanding job in Western New York.

Each of these teams are competing for playoff spots.

But the Redskins are experiencing quarterback problems with former Gator Rex Grossman and former Dolphin John Beck trying to get a grasp on the starters role.

The Redskins game is still Miami's best chance at a win. The Lions ended their long losing streak at Ford Field in 2009 against Washington and across the Beltway, the Ravens spared the Dolphins history.

There is no way that Rex Ryan will allow his New York Jets to be Miami's first victim on January 1st.

CBS has the honors of showcasing a potential winless Dolphins team on Thanksgiving, as Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino has to talk about his former team on the pre-game show against the Cowboys.

Marino played his entire career with Miami from 1983-1999, had 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns, playing for Coach Shula, who let him do whatever he wanted to do.

This is the same Marino that in 2004, who was named Senior Vice President of Football Operations, but resigned three weeks later. He wasn't going to get paid millions of dollars as he did when he led the team to one Super Bowl, a 38-16 loss to the San Francisco 49'ers on Jan 20, 1985.

While it is hard to believe that a team can go an entire season without a win, this situation is quite possible. We've seen it twice with the Lions and the expansion Tampa Bay Bucs finished 0-14 in 1976 as they played in the AFC West.

But if this happens, former Dolphins Owner Joe Robbie will turn over in his grave knowing this infamous perfect season happened in his stadium.

For the time being, I have a feeling there will be less traffic jams at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Whoever the Dolphins take in the NFL Draft in April 2012, better learn the Bible from cover to cover. He's going to need to say a few prayers as to how this team will ever get back to respectability.

The only two real perks the Dolphins next Football Man will have is he won't pay any State Income Tax on his paycheck and the nice weather.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rangers Vs Cardinals Ironies

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

It was ironic seeing a No. 29 on the mound as the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series in St. Louis.

Friday night, the man I'm referring to was Chris Carpenter.

Back in 1968, former Detroit Tigers left-handed pitcher Mickey Lolich wore No. 29 proudly as he pitched a complete game, and defeated St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Gibson in Game 7 of the World Series at Old Busch Stadium. The Tigers won the World Series 4-3. Lolich won three games in that series.

Gibson's catcher was Fox Color Analyst Tim McCarver, whose first of two playing stints with the Cardinals was from 1959-1969. The Tigers rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to win the Fall Classic.

The Cardinals broadcaster was Jack Buck.

Now in 2011, McCarver, was in the booth with Buck's son Joe, watching his former team overcome a 3-2 series deficit as the Cardinals won it's 11th World Series Championship, the most in the National League.

There is no doubt that the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers World Series will go down as one of the best ever.

But I'll never forget a Spring Training Game between these two franchises in Pompano Beach, Florida., in the early 1980's. The Rangers played their home games at Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium from 1972-1986.

Texas hosted the Cardinals and Jack Buck was calling the game with legendary St. Louis Blues and Cardinals Announcer Dan Kelly. From 1980-84, Kelly worked Cardinals games for KMOX Radio.

Buck decided to take a window section out of the press box so he could call the game easier. The press box at the stadium was real low and a foul ball flew in and hit Jack right in the arm. The bruise he received was quite evident.

But one thing that wasn't bruised was Buck's sense of humor. He walked out of the radio booth, laughed and shrugged it off and went back to work.

That press box no longer exists at the stadium. The game ended in a tie in front of a crowd of about 750 fans. Joe was born on April 25, 1969 and was in grade school at the time.

However, on Friday night, Joe Buck, who was about six months old when the Tigers defeated McCarver's Cardinals, was in a State Of The Art Press Box with 50,000 fans at New Busch Stadium educating millions of viewers on television.

There would be three guarantees on this night.

1) His press box was high enough to avoid getting drilled in the arm.

2) The attendance was much higher in October then in a meaningless March Spring Training Game, plus Friday nights game was televised.

3) Friday nights game wasn't going to end in a tie.

Somewhere in heaven, Jack Buck and Kelly had to be looking down at the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers match-up much differently as it hit the big stage.

Meanwhile, every time I drive by that stadium, it will go down as one of my most enjoyable Spring Training Memories, which included these two teams that were showcased Friday night.

It was reinforced by an unforgettable World Series and I wouldn't be surprised if they ever met again for a rematch.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

A Tremendous Ride!

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

There is only one reason why I am covering FAU Football.

To have the opportunity to be reunited from our Miami Hurricanes days in 1982 and 1983 with Howard Schnellenberger was something I couldn't pass up when former Deerfield Beach Observer Editor Ric Green gave me this opportunity in August of 2007.

Green made the commitment for me to write once a week and at the beginning there were weekly coaches conference calls on Sunday Nights.

Due to the economy, unfortunately, my column appears once a month, but I'm still thankful that the newspaper never gave up on the vision of Green and Myself. I wish I could do more but this ride has lasted a GREAT four years.

I've met some incredible people and have enjoyed my association with Sports Information Director Katrina McCormack, her assistant Justin Johnson along with Athletic Director Craig Angelos and former President Frank T Brogan.

During the past two weeks, it's been tough to watch Schnellenberger's Owls lose consecutive home Sun Belt Conference Games and not be competitive in opening their new on-campus stadium. Western Kentucky blanked FAU 20-0 in the opener on Oct 15 and a week later Middle Tennessee hammered FAU 38-14.

Before the Western Kentucky contest, a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Statue Unveiling of Schnellenberger commemorated the culmination of events that led to shirts which read "The House That Howard Built."

We all know that without Schnellenberger, nobody would know about Florida Atlantic University nationally. He put the university on the map. The new on-campus stadium has led to an increase of admissions plus the national television exposure has been priceless.

I'm so proud of Schnellenberger that on My Facebook Page, My main photo is with the two of us together in his office. It will remain there for as long as I am a member of Facebook.

When Schnellenberger announced that his 52-year coaching career would end at the completion of the 2011, I was happy for a three reasons.

1) He was leaving on his own terms and while he knew he wouldn't win a National Championship with FAU, what better way to go out on top than coach in the stadium that your efforts, visions and dreams made a reality!

The statue of Schnellenberger was just the beginning of more honors that he'll receive in the future. I predict that a road will be named after him as well as the field at the new stadium.

2) He should be able to enjoy everything he's accomplished with his wife Beverlee and the rest of his family.

3) I'm happy for myself because I was able to stay on the beat until he retired. I've learned so much from coach the past four years and he's been a father figure to me as well. Despite my serious back injuries, he made sure I was comfortable while I was doing my job. He always gave me advice when I needed it. He's the most accessible coach I've ever worked with in 32-years in Sports Media.

As I watch Schnellenberger go through a tough season just trying to get a win, he still does a nice job trying to find solutions to his teams struggles.

These days, I can relate to the adversity he's facing.

During the past two months, I've had to take a hiatus from writing. I am facing some major decisions about My future in South Florida after 10 years in the area. I plan to seek a professional opinion within 60 days.

While I've enjoyed my time in the area and moved here from Chandler, AZ., to be closer to my parents, a fresh start is inevitable. My time here in town has been rough for many reasons as I realize that there is more to South Florida than it's Sunshine and Beautiful Beaches.

I hope to make a final decision at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.

My goal now is to enjoy the Final three home games at FAU Stadium, cover another Shula Bowl in Miami against FIU in November as well as an All-Star Game at FAU Stadium in January with My Favorite Coach of All-Time.

So for Coach Schnellenberger and I, there are at least five games left in "Our Reunion."

His Final FAU Home Game will be on Dec 3rd against Louisiana Monroe at 4 PM.

I know by then, Angelos will have his successor in place. That successor will inherit a program that has a New Orleans and Motor City Bowl victory along with a beautiful stadium that's expandable to 65,000.

But what a ride it's going to be until December 3rd. The All-Star Game in January will see Schnellenberger against former Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden, who was forced out by the Seminoles, and replaced by Jimbo Fisher a year ahead of schedule. This game will be icing on the cake.

While I haven't written my final swan song covering FAU Football yet, at least I know that I have fulfilled a prophecy, and like Schnellenberger, I'm going to cherish every moment until the end.

To be a part of the Opening of a New Stadium after working at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale was real special.

There is no statistic or number that describes how much fun I've had the past four years. It's been A Tremendous Ride!

Should I see FAU Stadium on TV in the future, it will be an extremely proud feeling to know I was there when it opened after all the hard work it took to make it happen.

More importantly, Coach and I can look forward to fresh starts in 2012.

Hopefully, a season finale win on Dec 3rd will be a great way to end 2011.

Even if FAU were to finish 0-12, the record doesn't matter because the foundation is in place for great things to come in future years to come. The new coach will continue the next era of FAU Football That The Father of the Program Schnellenberger built from scratch.

I've always lived by the philosophy "To live everyday as if it were your last."

When my days are over, those special family members who have died will definitely be informed of my great memories with Coach Schnellenberger culminating in his Mini Palace of Boca Raton.

I will be very proud when I mention the great memories, in addition to opening up this new stadium, to go along with past sports highlights that include that include covering four Super Bowls and the closing of Detroit Tiger Stadium in 1999.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

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My Super Passion: In 40-years in the Sports Media Business, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience some Great Moments with Championship People. I look forward to any feedback you readers have. I encourage you to look at the MOTOR CITY MAD MOUTH HALL OF FAME ON August 8, 2012 because these people have made the Journey in Sports Media as fun as it's been.

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