Smokeless tobacco’s stain on kids

I don’t need anyone to tell me that smokeless tobacco is an enticement for young baseball players. When I was a kid, I loved to put several sticks of gum in my mouth and keep it in the pocket of my cheek. I looked like a squirrel, but I thought it looked good. Fortunately, before I was old enough for chewing tobacco, my baseball aspirations had died. But … Continue reading»

Should journalists cheer World Cup wins?

      It faked me out when, following America’s World Cup win over Ghana on Monday, ESPN cut to its analysts. There was veteran TV journalist Bob Ley, wearing a red, white and blue ensemble. So that’s how it is nowadays? It’s all about the jingoism? I guess so. This is, after all, the World Cup. I always thought journalists were supposed to be – and look … Continue reading»

Jake Heaps and recruiting hype

  Seeing former BYU/Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps is transferring – this time to Miami – made me think of that June day in 2009 when he held his introductory press conference at Iggy’s Sports Grill in downtown Salt Lake. I was surprised how crowded it was. There wasn’t a seat in the house. Despite the fact BYU had finished third in the Mountain West the previous year, hopes … Continue reading»

Be kind to Jake Heaps

  Jake Heaps is the embodiment of wild expectations gone bad. He never panned out at BYU and now it appears he will transfer from Kansas and play elsewhere this season. My expectations were pretty high when he came to BYU. Can all those college recruiters be wrong? He was the top quarterback in the country, coming out of high school. After he went to Provo, I thought … Continue reading»

Getting “popped” by Popovich

            By now, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich’s interviews are everyone’s business. For a long time, the fact he was combative with the media was only on the edges of the public’s consciousness.             But this year he has been the subject of more stories than ever about the way he handles interviews. The most common response he gives to any interview question is: “Are you serious?”             … Continue reading»

Any wonder why Utah, Marshall Henderson split?

              Marshall Henderson can be a reporter’s dream. He is unscripted, unrepentant and uncontrollable. He’s a highly entertaining player, too.              But he’s also incredibly awkward, and other times flat-out offensive.             The former Utah and Mississippi guard is hoping to be among those drafted by the NBA. But, as is often the case, his mouth seems to be hurting him.             After Missouri football player Michael … Continue reading»

Less famous Wiggins shows his style

              I have to say I was impressed with what I saw of Nick Wiggins at the Jazz’s workout session on Thursday.               Not that I saw him work out. That’s off limits to media. But I saw him afterward. Since he’s the older brother of potential No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, I wondered how he would handle it all.               Turned out he did … Continue reading»

Spurs can thank Jazz (and Tim Duncan) for this

            I ran across an interesting playoff story by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, yesterday. As part of his profile on the San Antonio Spurs, he recounts how they set about emulating the 1990s Utah Jazz.             “The Spurs saw the exacting execution and no-excuse manner in which Jerry Sloan, Karl Malone and John Stockton conducted their business and strained to emulate them,” Stein wrote.             “The toughness. The precision. … Continue reading»

Why Jazz may prefer assistant coach

            Wondering why the Jazz appear to be leaning away from a high profile head coach to replace Tyrone Corbin?             Here’s one plausible answer, via a well-connected source: the Jazz don’t want someone too powerful, i.e. Stan Van Gundy.             The former Miami and Orlando coach was hired by Detroit, last month, as both the team president and its head coach. My source says the Jazz aren’t … Continue reading»

How C.J. Cron can stay in big leagues

            In an interview with former major leaguer Chris Shelton, this week, I asked him about the prospects for C.J. Cron, a fellow Utah alumnus and current Los Angeles Angels first baseman/DH.             Cron went 3-for-5, with a triple and a double in a win over Seattle on Thursday, improving his batting average to .323. He played first base on Thursday, but at other times has been a … Continue reading»