For well over a week now, the buzz surrounding the NBA’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony centered around what shocking entrance Dennis Rodman had in store and whether the greatest rebounding forward in the history of the league would upstage his counterparts with some sort of shenanigans. But when it was all said and done, it was an emotional and humble speech that stole the show and served as a one-night reminder of just what made him into such a great player. I’ll admit without any reservations that “The Worm” is one of my favorite players that’s ever played the game and there might be no one more fascinating in the history of the NBA. Despite all of the hair colors and tattoos and wedding dresses and everything else, Dennis Rodman was a player that prided himself on hard work and playing a game that was so beautifully content and productive as a third-best player on his team during the prime of his career. And that was what made him so intriguing and so easy to root for. His flamboyant persona on and off the court made him appear to be an overly confident man that didn’t seek the acceptance of his peers, when the truth was that acceptance was all he ever wanted. His Hall of Fame speech was honest, emotional and humble. It was Dennis Rodman. And I loved every second of it.
A few notes…
– The biggest topic of the day continues to be the expansion of the SEC and which teams might eventually be pulled from other conferences to complete the unstoppable juggernaut under the direction of Darth Slive. Matt reported earlier that he’s hearing that Virginia Tech might be the next team to get an invitation to join Texas A&M as new members, though questions still remain as to whether they’d RSVP with a “yes”. The internet popped up with several other potential members Friday as well. These schools seem to be getting the most frequent discussion
Florida State: The Palm Beach Post reported late Friday that the school has already held internal discussions about how they would handle and invitation to join the SEC if it were presented. They fit the “strong football, competitive basketball” mold that seems to be the common theme with most of the schools rumored to be considered, but you have to wonder if they’d want to jump at the chance to compete with so many top football programs – including in-state rival Florida – and essentially sign themselves up for an infinitely harder run at a national title and the BCS every season. Also, as Matt noted, the SEC might not have much interest in bringing them over since they already hold a strong foothold in the state of Florida in terms of television.
Missouri: The Tigers are most likely the next school after Virginia Tech to receive an offer, according to our handsome and charismatic blog leader. They offer solid programs in both football and basketball, but feature a big television market in St. Louis, making them even more attractive. However, there’s potential for tearing apart Mary Jo Perino’s heart at least once or twice a year and I’m not sure Mike Slive really wants to deal with that.
Clemson: The other Tigers, who are not popping up nearly as frequently as other potential schools, are most likely not going to be an option because the SEC already has a strong presence in South Carolina. Also, their annual climb to the top-10 in basketball during non-conference play before free-falling to the NIT would suit them for the SEC West and, geographically, that would not make sense.
Oklahoma: The Sooners appear to be one of the schools the SEC would absolutely love to add. Great football and a decent enough basketball team combined with a new market makes them very appealing. But the word is that the SEC is less enamored with Oklahoma State and they’re seen as essentially a package deal at this point. Much like Florida State, the conference would have to convince them that leaving for a stronger football division (SEC West vs. Big 12 North) would be a smart move.
Oklahoma State: They say the SEC isn’t interested. I say I didn’t want to watch us pound Travis Ford all the time. Win-win for everyone.
NC State: The oddball. North Carolina State is not particularly competitive in either sport on a level that would make them a must-have for the SEC, but they’re in an ACC-dominated market and the two parties could be mutually interested in making the Duke, UNC and ACC triumverate squirm. The Ryan Harrow revenge watch is on.
– If you missed it earlier, Edgar Sosa loves the Cats. Kind of. He told reporters gathered at today’s Dominican National team media session that he’s enjoying playing for Calipari and he doesn’t think Big Blue Nation is as bad as those Cards fans have made us out to be. From a fan perspective, I love it. I love it because Louisville fans hate it. But I’m still not sold on embracing Edgar Sosa. I’m still not convinced that this isn’t some sort of mind trick aimed at getting a friendlier reception at Rupp and the Yum! Center. When he wants to give back that three he made against The Billy Gillispie Experiment, then we can talk. Until then, he is who we thought he was.
– You want a playoff system in college football? So do the Pac-12 and Big 10. Wait, what? It’s not a full-blown playoff, but the athletic directors of both conferences came to a consensus on a “plus one” BCS format, which would add the Cotton Bowl to the BCS and create a four-team playoff to determine the national title. It’s not an official recommendation at this point and will not go before any NCAA committees, but it should continue to push the discussion in that direction, which is nice. Here’s a summary of the whole thing.
– The NFL preseason continued Friday night and a pair of Cats saw the field. DeQuin Evans registered a tackle for the Bengals in his first professional game, Micah Johnson got a pair of tackles (one for a loss) for the Chiefs and Corey Peters registered two tackles for the Falcons. Their performances came on the heels of Alfonso Smith getting 31 yards on 5 carries for the Cardinals, Derrick Locke rushing for 15 yards on 2 carries for the Eagles and Braxton Kelly and Wesley Woodyard combining for six tackles for the Broncos Thursday. On Saturday, Randall Cobb, Chris Matthews, Stevie Johnson, Mike Hartline and Jacob Tamme will be in action.
That’s it for now. Stop by all day Saturday and keep Drew company. He’s going to bring breakfast. In the meantime, enjoy the greatness that was Dennis Rodman’s Hall of Fame speech. See you in a few…