“We talked a lot yesterday. We talked a whole lot yesterday. I like the confidence he [Coach Self] is putting in me. I know he’s still riding with me no matter what. I’m just trying to grow up right now.”
Elijah Johnson, on Self’s reported three-hour meeting with Johnson and his teammates on Monday, KUSports.com
GH: What a difference a couple of days makes in college basketball. Saturday afternoon Bill Self said he had no guards and the softest team he’s ever had. Monday afternoon Self took steps to patch up the mess he left his team in and especially his senior point guard. Read on.
“48 hours later Self delivers a mixed message with a ringing endorsement of Johnson.”
Jack Harry, KSHB TV41
GH: I didn’t find Self’s message on Monday at all “mixed.” Read on.
“[Elijah’s] my guy. He hasn’t played as well as he is capable of playing. I think in our situation, we should judge our point guard more by his record [19-2] than we do his stats.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
GH: This is 180 degrees different than the scorching message Self delivered after the OSU loss – and it is the correct one. Good coaches know when they have erred and move quickly to fix things. Self went out of his way Monday to do just that.
“And I do know this: For us to have any chance of being a national contender and competing at the highest level, your best players have to play well, and [Elijah] is without question one of our best players. He is my guy. I’m going to ride him, and it doesn’t make any difference what happens, statistically, as long as I know he is trying and cares. He is my guy and will remain my guy, period.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
GH: It was two days late but his message is the right one. I would have loved to hear Self make these comments about Johnson after the emotional home loss but none of us are perfect. Not even Bill Self.
“Bill Self is making a huge mistake by keeping Elijah Johnson in the Kansas lineup. Self needs to bench his senior point guard and he needs to do it for at least a game. Play Naadir Tharpe, play Andrew White, heck, play Rio Adams – they can’t be any worse, can they?”
Jack Harry, KSHB TV41
GH: I smiled at the irony of it all while listening to Mad Jack verbally rip this college basketball player on his Kansas City evening sportscast. This is the same Jack Harry who was so distraught and professionally depressed he told his boss he was ready to quit last spring because he was receiving nasty and hurtful emails from some Kansas fans. I am rooting for EJ to show Mad Jack and all of us what he is made of. I’m betting it’s of much tougher stuff than what binds Jack Harry’s fragile ego.
“He has to ride [EJ]. He’s the only option.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Self may be propping up EJ now because his other options are few. But I saw Johnson bloom in the heat of March last season and I expect him to do the same this spring.
“Greg, I hope you stay on Parkins for that allegation. Where is there any proof to his accusation of a crime? Would love for you to have him explain taking that shot at Elijah and then deleting the tweet. Shouldnt there be some accountability for lobbing out an accusation like that? But he got his name in your column and with no repercussions he probably considers that a win.”
Steve, OTC Comments section
GH: Consider it done.
“The kid is a unique kid. You never know. When he studies everything … one thing we know about Ben, he’s going to be great next year, too. His draft stock (projected top-five pick) isn’t going to go down because he stays. His draft stock is going to be great next year, too. It’s going to keep getting better because he’s so gifted athletically.”
Bill Self, when asked about the chances of Ben McLemore declaring for the NBA draft after this season, Hawk Talk
GH: Is McLemore “unique” enough to remain at Kansas for another season – ala Paul Pierce? I think there is almost no chance but I also think he’d have a second season at Kansas that he would never regret. College is such a special time and I hate that NBA money has stolen those memories from some very talented young men.
“I said this earlier on – we’re going to be better in February and March and you can see us getting better.”
Frank Haith, on his Missouri Tigers basketball team, 810 AM
GH: Ole Miss and Florida are coming up for a second go – this time at Mizzou. Wins over those two would be a good start to showing improvement.
“It’s tough not to smile right now. It’s pretty cool.”
Joe Flacco, when asked by Mike Golic what it feels like to hear Steve Biscotti, the Ravens’ owner of the Ravens say he was ready to pay big bucks to keep Flacco as his quarterback, ESPN Radio
GH: What a difference four yards makes. If the 49ers punch it into the end zone inside the five with a first and goal, Flacco doesn’t get the MVP award, doesn’t get the new car, doesn’t go on Letterman, still gets a great contract somewhere but his life isn’t as perfect as it seems today. And it is pretty perfect. Flacco and his wife announced after the Super Bowl that they are expecting their second child.
“When I saw [the power outage at the Super Bowl] the first thing I thought of was some kind of attack. Those things shouldn’t happen on one of the biggest stages in the world. I don’t understand that.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: I come from a technology-based background and I am always amazed when huge events like the Super Bowl come off WITHOUT a hitch. Shit happens – especially when there is a lot of shit that can go wrong.
“I didn’t think that! Some dude and a horse? You two are some sick SOBs!”
Jayice Pearson, after his cohosts, Jay Binkley and Josh Vernier, revealed that they saw the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial as a veiled reference to bestiality and man/horse love making, 610 AM
“That must be a Wisconsin thing or something. I have never in my life heard that word!”
Jayice Pearson, to his cohost Josh Vernier, after Vernier referred to himself as a “curmudgeon,” 610 AM
GH: Jayice was educated at the University of Washington. I am guessing the Huskies would like him to keep a lower profile.
“This morning has just been crazy. People are hearing about this all over the country. [We’ve run this promo three times] to get people thinking about furniture during a weekend when almost no one is.”
Gary Mullaney, co-owner of Gardners Furniture Store in Baltimore, after they had to give away $600,000 in furniture to customers when the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, CBSnews.com
“Heads up on Jesse [the kissing nerd in the GoDaddy ad]. I sort of know the guy. He moved to L.A in 2000 and became a fan of Jim Rome. He started posting on Rome’s old message board ‘SmackChat.’ It was shut down about a year after, however Jesse, me and about 500 others moved on, and moved again, but have stayed together for better than 13 years now. SmackChat was not for the thin skinned. Jesse caught much hell. He came in being a Rome fan, and bragging about trying to break in as an actor in Hollywood. After getting his first shoot, and getting some head shots, he decided to post his pictures. The pile-on that resulted was epic. A mere mortal man would have let and never came back. Jesse didn’t care. He persevered, had thick skin and smacked right back. Over the years he has kept everyone up to date on his activities. We knew a month ago about “a SuperBowl ad” but didn’t know the details until last week. WOW! Jesse is getting much pub, and a decent payday for this. He says his agent’s phone has BLOWN UP.”
Dave, OTC Email
GH: And you guys thought listening to sports talk radio, trolling sports chat sites and being a Rome clone was a poor career choice.
“The Hall of Fame committee debated for only 5 min on Will Shields. Still shameful he is not in.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: Shameful? Not quite. Read on.
“I’m not even worried about it. I think it frustrated me for about an hour or so and then after an hour you just kind of move on and do what you got to do.”
Will Shields, Chiefs’ former All-Pro guard, in an interview with Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison, on not being voted into the NFL’s HOF this year, 610 AM
GH: Will Shields will eventually make the NFL HOF. He is an offensive guard. Offensive guards should be used to being patient for accolades. When it finally does happen, it will be just as grand.
“I was told at the Senior Bowl that the Raiders are in love with Geno Smith. They’re done with Carson Palmer.”
Matt Miller, NFL draft guru, who is predicting the Raiders will draft the former West Virginia quarterback with the third overall pick, 810 AM
GH: Geno as a Raider? Has Kevin Kietzman exploded yet?
“Geno Smith is my number 11 player on the [draft] board right now. Going from number 11 to number 1 is a huge jump when you sit at the top of the draft and you can draft any guy. I don’t think you can bypass those ten players that are better than him just because they’re not a quarterback. The Chiefs have other avenues to find a quarterback.”
Matt Miller, 810 AM
“Six of the 12 teams in the playoffs this year did not draft their starting quarterback in the first round.”
Matt Miller, 810 AM
“Jonathan Baldwin? I have no freaking idea what’s going on with that guy! He just continues to confuse the hell out of me.”
Matt Miller, 810 AM
“Jamone A. Boyd, 18, was charged with five counts of first-degree robbery and five counts of armed criminal action for the Jan. 23 robbery of several people at a Kansas City, Mo., apartment. According to court documents, Boyd pushed his way into an apartment and stole numerous items and cash from five people who all identified him. Boyd turned himself into police on Sunday.”
Sarah Clark, FOX4kc.com
GH: Boyd is 6’4, 260 pounds and has (had?) football scholarship offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Tennessee and Washington State. Boyd was tassed by a LSWHS security officer last November when he tried to run after being found to have marijuana at school. Instead of heading to play college football this fall, Boyd is staring at facing ten felony counts at the age of 19. What an utter and complete waste of a life.
“Come to play!”
Kansas City Royals new slogan for 2013
GH: Slogans are pretty easy to knock and this looks like it was teed up on one of those five-inch-high tees on an Augusta bent grass tee box. Should Royals’ fans bring their gloves to The K this year just in case they’re needed to play second base? My first thought of the slogan is the Royals want us to enjoy the stadium’s playground and all of its other family-friendly amenities – other than the ball team in blue. I did see a great new Royals’ billboard on I-35 South near the Boulevard Brewery. It shows Sal Perez [I think it was Sal, anyway]sitting his catcher’s crouch receiving a fastball that is a foot from his catcher’s mitt. The billboard is ripped open and tattered, following the path of the heater. It sure got my attention when I drove past. Great work.
“Lady next to me on a plane has her laptop open. Fancy graphs, tables, spreadsheets on DNA and Dynamic Biosensors. I’m playing Angry Birds :).”
Chris Mack, @CoachChrisMack, Xavier head basketball coach, Twitter
Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24