The Bush Leaguer: Misty, Isaiah, OSU, And Tyrone Willingham • Long Beach Post

The Olympics proved to the world that Long Beach may, in fact, be the beating heart of sport. We’re seeing it again in the World Series, with TBL favorite Evan Longoria (the Dirtbag) and Chase Utley, the former Long Beach Poly Jackrabbit, both arguably the most productive players on their respective teams. Misty May-Treanor hit it on the head when TBL spoke with her last Friday, essentially calling Long Beach a big small-town with supportive fans who give a damn about their community. Go Beach, forever.

Had I told you to guess which athlete accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills and covered it up by saying it was his daughter that needed to be rushed to the hospital early Friday morning, you probably would have guessed it to be Isiah Thomas. What’s suprising to me is the Police Chief who called out Thomas for blatantly covering up his alleged overdose after his officers had confirmed it to be Thomas. I suppose that’s what losing does to your rep. If LAPD had a nickel for every time Phil Jackson was caught smoking a joint with Lou Adler, well, they would be able to pay Kobe’s salary. The lesson here is to not piss off Knicks fans.

The thought of Ohio State in another BCS Title Game is nauseating, and I say that with a generous amount of respect for Jim Tressell. We can rest easy now, though, as Penn State beat the Buckeyes last Saturday 13-6  and subsequently ended OSU’s national title chances. But are the Nittany Lions the real deal? Absolutely not, but I don’t think that really matters right now. I picture Joe Pa in the Rose Bowl representing the Big Ten, in his funeral suit maybe and being carried off the field for one last hoorah. Yeah, that would do.

As a Notre Dame fan, I’ve decided to stay away from Tyrone Willingham for personal health reasons. The whole situation is such a downer, for lack of a better word. I’ve been following his career since his days at Stanford, so I consider myself qualified to make this statement: the man is an awful coach and always has been. His success at Stanford coincided with a Pac 10 decade of mediocrity (pre-Pete Carroll) and really wasn’t that impressive from a wins and losses perspective (yes, there are other perspectives). But that’s just from the naked eye. Delve deeper, which TBL does from time to time, and one can unearth the tragedy of Willingham. He can’t recruit, alienates alumni with consistency and has a record of blaming his players for losses. Good guy, though.

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