Desktop Sportsman (09/09/2009)This week's version of Desktop Sportsman
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
— Jim Baier, the former Elmwood and University of Wisconsin-River Falls football star had his number retried in a ceremony during halftime of Saturday’s UWRF-St. John’s contest in River Falls. Baier is still holds UWRF records for most yards rushing in a game (370), most yards rushing in a season (1,585), most touchdowns scored in a season (17), most points in a season (102), and longest run from scrimmage (95-yards), all set in 1966.
— Speaking of Elmwood, I mentioned new press boxes at Boyceville and Spring Valley, I should also mention the new one going up at Elmwood High School’s football field as well. Good thing because the old press box wasn’t an easy place to work in the pouring rain.
— This could be a very exciting fall for cross country here in Pierce County, especially after Prescott’s surprising showing at the Central Invitational Thursday. It seems like every team in the county has one or two very good runners along with a number of solid ones.
— Osceola’s Brea Tinney ran her first Division I cross country race this weekend for Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. The former Osceola star ran a time of 15:03 and finished in eighth place to help the Redbirds win the Illini Challenge in Champaign, knocking off their in-state rivals University of Illinois in their own home meet.
— A salute to Prescott’s Nick Schommer for making it to the practice squad of the Tennessee Titans. Being the first football player from Pierce County to be drafted on an NFL team and participate in an NFL training camp was great honor in itself but to stay in the league, even on a practice squad, is still outstanding. He’s gone a lot father than many have before or will. It’s a great achievement and great to show young players in Pierce County they have chance of making it as well.
— Return to the NFL and be $10,000 poorer. I’m sure that’s nothing Brett Favre had in mind but then again he’s the one foolish enough to make a crack-back block. Hopefully he doesn’t complain about all his aches and pains near the end of the regular season.
— I wanted to remark upon all the good things the University of Wisconsin football did in their season opener against Northern Illinois, but then almost blow a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter. It was a weird game. The Badgers dominate for three quarters yet nearly lose it in the fourth. Still, my judgement afterwards cautiously optimistic. UW has good young talent. I thought both quarterbacks looked fine. J.J. Watt gives Wisconsin a playmaker on the line and along with O’Brien Schofield and Mike Taylor, Chris Maragos, Jay Valai and Aaron Henry, Big Red should have a better defense this season. Yet, the stupid penalties, the miscues in special teams and the horrible call to have a cold Scott Tolzien pass on first down in the fourth quarter instead of running the ball makes one pause.
— Likewise, the U’s win over Syracuse was also hard to read as well. Should they be embarrassed they gave up 20 points to an offense that hadn’t played organized football in five years? Or be proud their defense held Syracuse scoreless in the second half? The offense seem to click early on but the Gophers are still struggling running the ball. Is Syracuse improved or the Gophers not as good they think they are? Their next game, the one that opens the new TCF Stadium this Saturday, will tell us a ot because Air Force will be a tough opponent.
— Well September is underway and we find only the Twins among our Upper Midwest baseball teams with any shot at the postseason. Problem is their five games in back of the Tigers. While they’ll have plenty of chances to catch up, last week’s blown save by Joe Nathan may very well have snapped their psychic spines.
At least the Twins will have games worth listening to on the car radio this month. They will be no turning the dial further right to catch the Brewers. The best they can play for now is a winning season and the try to rebuild their pitching staff for next year.
— There have been many a bad owner in the history of professional sports, from the Clippers’ Donald Sterling, the Cubs William P. Wrigley to the Blackhawks’ Bill Wirtz to the Maple Leaf’s Harold Ballard to the Cardinals’ Bill Bidwell. But never did any of these dunderheads and crooks EVER had the gall to sue their own fans, until now.
Redskins owner Daniel “Little Danny” Snyder, is going after season ticket holders who, due to hard times, have reneged on long-tem season ticket contracts. In the past you simply lost your tickets and went to the back of the line to order new ones. Apparently that’s not enough for Snyder, who just successfully sued said fans for $2 million owned to the team. Oh and while he’s doing this, the Redskin organization also bundles tickets and sells them to ticket brokers who re-sell them at higher prices to the average fan.
Snyder, who’s net worth is $1.45 billion, will no doubt take all the money his greed streak is gathering in and waste paying big bucks to some aging free-agent linebacker or running back as he’s done in the past. He runs the Redskins like a fantasy league team and has brought a once proud organization to disgrace.