Wake-up Call: Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Wrigley Field's ice rink, Kings
First things first: Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown made a rare radio appearance Tuesday morning on the Dan Patrick show and talked about whether there would be a new coach or GM in Cleveland next season. The Browns, who lost to the Eagles last night 30-10, have won only four games this season and are out of the playoff picture. "I’m sure there will be some changes," said Brown, who once starred for the team. He also was asked why there are so few (four) African American college coaches in Division 1-A. Brown immediately called on college football to adopt the NFL's "Rooney Rule." The rule went into effect in 2003 and requires teams to interview minority candidates for coaching vacancies. By 2006, the number of black head coaches in the NFL had more than doubled -- from three to seven. Listen to the full interview. Patrick later in the show pointed out the case of Turner Gill, head coach of the State University of New York at Buffalo, who turned a perennial loser to one of strength in three seasons. Gill recently interviewed at Auburn but was not hired and Patrick wondered if race may have been a factor. This, after Charles Barkley on Monday said Auburn should have hired Gill.
Jim Brown add: Patrick told Brown that on this day in 1973 O.J. Simpson broke Brown's single-season rushing record. Said Brown without any animosity in his voice, "I was never of fan of O.J."
Vote, vote vote: Don't forget to let us know what you thought of the controversial TD call in the Steelers-Ravens game in which Santonio Holmes caught a short pass at the goal line. Was it a TD or wasn't it? Voting closes at 11:30 tonight.
Ivy and ice: The ice rink for the NHL's Winter Classic game on New Year's Day arrives today at Wrigley Field. And NBC is getting ready. They'll have cameras in the right-field bleachers, the scoreboard and at rink level. There will be a camera in a plane over the field, plus a roving camera that will take advantage of some of the rooftop parties across from Wrigley. The rink will stretch from first base to third base. And because of the notorious wind off Lake Michigan that blows out to right field, the teams will switch the side of the rink they defend halfway through the third period. And the Blackhawks, who host the Red Wings for this game, say they're ready. And to make it more fun for Wrigley Field fans, the NHL plans to a have a pregame webcam going on its website.
Add NHL: The Kings (13-12-5) played the best team in the NHL last night -- their division rival, the San Jose Sharks (25-3-2). And they came out of it with a point, when they lost in a shootout. Goaltender Erik Ersberg played well until he had to leave the game with a pulled groin muscle. Yet Jason LaBarbera performed well enough in relief that the Kings got to OT and then to a shootout. But both goalies need to work on their shootout defense. Wasn't it the Ducks' Jean-Sebastien Giguere who openly talked about improving his technique when the shootout rule was first put in place? If a goalie has a weak side (and LaBarbera does right now), guys will shoot to that side. An aside: Patrick O'Sullivan's shootout goal was fun to watch in replay. Here are the game highlights.
-- Debbie Goffa
Photo: Hall of fame running back Jim Brown. Credit: Paul Abell / US Presswire