Friday, February 26, 2010

Rice and Smith head Hall of Fame class

Weeping tears of joy, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith led a class of seven inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Rice was a wide receiver primarily for the San Francisco 49ers and Smith was a running back primarily with the Dallas Cowboys. They were elected in their first year of eligibility.

“I never took anything for granted,” said Rice, who owns receiving marks for receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and total touchdowns (208). “I love this game. It was everything to me.”

Smith, who is the N.F.L.’s career leading rusher with 18,355 yards, appeared much calmer until he spoke of his father, whose football career was cut short because his mother became ill and he was not able to go to college. “He said, ‘You’re living my dream,’ ” Smith said, choking up.

The other three inducted among the modern-era finalists were Russ Grimm, part of the Washington Redskins’ offensive line of the 1980s that was known as the Hogs; Rickey Jackson, a linebacker primarily with the New Orleans Saints who played 15 seasons in the N.F.L.; and John Randle, a defensive tackle who spent most of his 14-year career with the Minnesota Vikings.

Also inducted were two senior nominees, Floyd Little, a running back who played nine seasons for the Denver Broncos, and Dick LeBeau, a cornerback with the Detroit Lions.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mosi Tatupu

BOSTON (AP) — Mosi Tatupu, one of the most popular players in New England Patriots history known for his inspired special teams play, has died.

Tatupu died Tuesday at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, hospital spokeswoman Ashley O’Brien said. He was 54. The hospital could not disclose a cause of death.

The Plainville Fire Department responded to Tatupu’s home on Tuesday and took him to the hospital, Lt. Richard Ball said.

“I know that I share a heavy heart today with Patriots fans everywhere who have learned of Mosi Tatupu’s passing,” team owner Robert Kraft said in a statement.

“He was a dominant special teams player and a punishing rusher who loved the Patriots as much as the fans did,” he said.

Tatupu was chosen by the Patriots in the eighth round of the 1978 draft out of Southern California and played 13 of his 14 NFL seasons with the team, wrapping up his career with the Los Angeles Rams in 1991.

The bruising 227-pound fullback rushed for 2,415 yards and 18 touchdowns, including a career best 578 yards in 1983. He thrived on snowy and icy fields, running for 128 yards on a snow-covered field in a win over New Orleans that season.

While never a superstar, Tatupu was beloved by Patriots fans for his play on kickoff and punt teams and even had his own cheering section known as “Mosi’s Mooses.” He was selected to the 1986 Pro Bowl as a special teams player.

“As a teammate, he was one of the best,” former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan said. “He was one of those guys that made life fun whether it was in the locker room or on the practice fields. He had a smile that radiated.”

Tatupu was selected to New England’s 50th anniversary team last season.

After his retirement as a player, Tatupu was the head coach at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, where he coached his son Lofa, now a linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks.

He also served as an assistant at Curry College in Milton from 2002-2007, coaching running backs and special teams.

“Mosi was a vital part of the success of our program,” said Vinnie Eruzione, athletic director at the Division III school. “There was no better guy.”

Tatupu was born in Pago Pago, American Samoa, and was a high school football star in Hawaii. His Hawaii high school career rushing record of 3,367 yards stood for 17 years, according to the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame Web site.

***

That first glimpse of Mosi Tatupu striding through the Punahou campus remains vivid in Jack Wright's memory.

"He comes up to me and asks where the science class is and I told him, 'Well, the high school is over there on that side,' " Wright recalled of that morning in intermediate school. "He said, 'No, I'm in eighth grade,' and I said, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to have to make this guy my best friend.' "

Friday, February 19, 2010

NFL All-Decade Team

MIAMI (AP) — Quarterbacks Peyton Manning (FSY) and Tom Brady (FSY) joined two-time selections Willie Roaf (FSY), Larry Allen (FSY) and Warren Sapp (FSY) among the 53 players announced Sunday as members of the NFL's All-Decade team.

Bill Belichick and Tony Dungy were selected as the best coaches of the decade, and Dante Hall (FSY) made it as both a kick and punt returner.

Manning and Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney (FSY), along with New Orleans safety Darren Sharper (FSY), were part of the team and will be playing in the Super Bowl. A dozen players on the 2000s squad also were playing in Sunday's Pro Bowl.

Shaun Alexander (FSY), Jamal Lewis (FSY), Edgerrin James (FSY) and LaDainian Tomlinson (FSY) were the running backs, with Lorenzo Neal (FSY) at fullback. Marvin Harrison (FSY), Torry Holt (FSY), Randy Moss (FSY) and Terrell Owens (FSY) were the wide receivers, and the tight ends picked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee were Antonio Gates (FSY) and Tony Gonzalez (FSY).

Completing the offense were linemen Walter Jones (FSY), Jonathan Ogden (FSY), Orlando Pace (FSY), Alan Faneca (FSY), Steve Hutchinson (FSY), Will Shields (FSY), Olin Kreutz (FSY) and Kevin Mawae (FSY), Roaf and Allen.

On defense, Ray Lewis (FSY), Derrick Brooks (FSY), Joey Porter (FSY), Zach Thomas (FSY), Brian Urlacher (FSY) and DeMarcus Ware (FSY) were the linebackers, Julius Peppers (FSY), Michael Strahan (FSY), Jason Taylor (FSY) and Freeney were the ends, with La'Roi Glover (FSY), Richard Seymour (FSY), Kevin Williams (FSY) and Sapp at tackle.

The secondary included Ronde Barber (FSY), Champ Bailey (FSY), Ty Law (FSY), Charles Woodson, Brian Dawkins (FSY), Troy Polamalu (FSY), Ed Reed (FSY) and Sharper.

Specialists were kickers David Akers (FSY) and Adam Vinatieri (FSY), and punters Shane Lechler (FSY) and Brian Moorman (FSY). Devin Hester (FSY) and Joshua Cribbs (FSY), the NFL's career leader with eight kick return touchdowns, joined Hall as returners.

NFL 2000s All-Decade Team:

Offense:

Quarterback —Tom Brady (FSY), Peyton Manning (FSY).

Running Backs —Shaun Alexander (FSY), Jamal Lewis, Edgerrin James (FSY), LaDainian Tomlinson (FSY).

Offensive Tackles — Walter Jones (FSY), Jonathan Ogden (FSY), Orlando Pace (FSY), William Roaf.

Guards —Larry Allen (FSY), p-Alan Faneca (FSY), p-Steve Hutchinson (FSY), Will Shields (FSY).

Fullback —Lorenzo Neal (FSY).

Tight Ends — p-Antonio Gates (FSY), Tony Gonzalez (FSY).

Wide Receivers —Marvin Harrison (FSY), Torry Holt (FSY), Randy Moss (FSY), Terrell Owens (FSY).

Centers — Olin Kreutz (FSY), p-Kevin Mawae (FSY).

Head Coaches —Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy.

Defense:

Ends — Dwight Freeney (FSY), p-Julius Peppers (FSY), Michael Strahan (FSY), Jason Taylor (FSY).

Cornerbacks —Ronde Barber, p-Champ Bailey (FSY), Ty Law (FSY), Charles Woodson (FSY).

Linebackers_ Derrick Brooks (FSY), p-Ray Lewis (FSY), Joey Porter (FSY), Zach Thomas (FSY), Brian Urlacher (FSY), p-DeMarcus Ware (FSY).

Tackles — La Roi Glover, Warren Sapp (FSY), Richard Seymour (FSY), Kevin Williams (FSY).

Safeties — p-Brian Dawkins (FSY), Troy Polamalu (FSY), Ed Reed (FSY), Darren Sharper (FSY).

Specialists:

Punters — p-Shane Lechler (FSY), Brian Moorman (FSY).
Kickers — p-David Akers (FSY), Adam Vinatieri (FSY).

Punt Returners —Dante Hall (FSY), Devin Hester (FSY).
Kick Returners — p-Joshua Cribbs (FSY), Dante Hall.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

another side of Larry Price

there’s another side to the man we think we know.

He’s an educator at Chaminade University. The folks at Chaminade know it well, as he’s been teaching there since 1985. This Saturday night, Feb. 6, in the Pacific Beach Hotel ballroom, they’ll be honoring his 25 years of teaching and educating by naming him the newest inductee into the Chaminade Sports Hall of Fame.

*** [6/5/14]  The Right Price retires

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Red Rocha

Red Rocha, the 12th basketball coach in University of Hawaii history, died today at his home in Oregon, according to UH officials.He was 86.

Rocha was best known in Hawaii as the coach of the "Fabulous Five" in the early 1970s.With that team of Dwight Holiday, Jerome Freeman, John Penebacker, Al Davis, and Bob Nash, Rocha guided the Rainbow Warriors to their best two-year record in school history (47-8) and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1972.

He coached the Rainbow Warriors for 10 seasons (1963-73), succeeding Al Saake and getting replaced by Bruce O’Neil. He finished with an overall record of 112-136, putting him second all-time in wins to Riley Wallace.

***

Red Rocha missed seeing 1 last game.

***

Coach Rocha was fab as an NBA player too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Liz Chun resigns

Liz Chun, the first female sports director at a major Honolulu television station and the most prominent woman sportscaster in Hawaii history, resigned from her position at Hawaii News Now (KGMB-KHNL) on Friday.

Chun had been sports director and weekday anchor at KGMB nearly eight years, and at the KGMB-KHNL conglomerate after the stations merged last year. Chun was also host of Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin's weekly in-season TV show.

She started at KGMB in 1995 as an assistant producer and gradually climbed the ranks in local sportscasting.

"I just thought it was best for myself and the station right now," Chun told the Star-Bulletin in a phone interview today. "I am very grateful for how sensitive and supportive everyone has been, and I was able to reach my career goals. This is a very difficult time, and my father's death put some things in perspective about slowing down a little."

Chun said she does not know what she will do in the future, but does not rule out a return to sportscasting.

***

I lived in fear of Liz Chun.

Not because I didn't want to "lose" to a woman ... I didn't want to lose to anyone, period. I feared her because she had no fear and plenty of good sources. She knew how to break stories, and was often ahead of me and the rest of the pack because she worked so hard. A born competitor, a gamer.

-- Dave Reardon

Friday, February 05, 2010

Dunleavy out as Clippers coach

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy is stepping down from that position with the team, but will remain on as general manager.

Assistant coach Kim Hughes will take over as head coach on an interim basis.

"I've come to the conclusion that this is the ideal time for me to direct my efforts toward the many personnel opportunities that lie before us, such as the trade market, the draft and the free agent process," Dunleavy said in a statement. "We fully expect to be active and productive on all those fronts."

Dunleavy had been rumored to be on the coaching hot seat in early December, when the Clippers stumbled out of the gate. But the team righted itself and he was able to hang on for another month. However, losses to the Timberwolves and the Nets last week -- which was just New Jersey's fourth win of the season -- on a key eastern road swing brought Dunleavy back to the brink.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Pete Carroll leaves USC for Seahawks

Pete Carroll pumped his fist. He talked excitedly and forcefully. He chopped the air with his hands, commanding his new audience.

Even though he had stepped back up into the NFL, he was still in charge — which is exactly why he's in Seattle now instead of Southern California.

The charismatic Carroll took over as the new coach and executive vice president of the Seahawks on Tuesday, enthusiastically seizing an authority that he says mirrors the latitude USC gave him to restore its dynasty.

***

Lane Kiffin is returning to Southern California as the Trojans' coach after just one season at Tennessee.

Kiffin was chosen Tuesday to replace Pete Carroll, his mentor and employer for six seasons. Kiffin was the Trojans' offensive co-ordinator before his brief stints with the Oakland Raiders and the Volunteers.

"This was not an easy decision," he said Tuesday night, reading a brief statement on Tennessee's campus. "This is something that happens very quick. We've been here 14 months, and the support has been unbelievable here. I really believe the only place I would have left here to go was ... Southern California."