You know Joe Cox — he’s taking over for Matthew Stafford as Georgia’s quarterback; he has red hair and a redhead’s temper. But do you really know Joe Cox? Do you, for instance, know who his “dream date” would be? Hint: She has won Best Actress.
No, not Helen Mirren. Halle Berry.
This nugget and more come to us from esteemed former colleague Jeff D’Alessio of Sporting News Today, who last week made J.C. of UGA the subject of SNT’s “My Profile.” (D’Alessio is famous in the biz for such daily touches — he did the “Gimme Five” feature for the ol’ AJC’s sports section for years.) And here are some revelations offered up by Cox himself:
He likes Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane. He drives a gold 2002 Altima. (Gold? Wrong school, Joe.) He doesn’t always check his voice mail. He likes Tiger Woods. But what he really likes is bass fishing.
He has a 10-pound bass he caught mounted on his bedroom wall. No. 2 on his “bucket list” is to “catch a 15-pound bass.” (No. 4: “Have a family.” No. 1: “Coach a college team to the national championship.”) His greatest love: “Bass fishing.”
His motto: “Don’t count out the underdog.” As slogans go, it’s not as catchy as “Finish the drill,” but it does encapsulate the Bulldogs’ 2009 mindset in five words. Way to go, Joe.
Here’s a story I found amusing: It was written by Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times, and it’s entitled, “New Seahawks coach Jim Mora felt the pull to return home.” The cynic in me read the headline and said, “Yeah, and he also felt the push — right about the time Arthur M. Blank bum-rushed him out the door.”
But let’s be fair: One of the reasons Young Jimbo got the boot here was because he said on Seattle radio his dream was to coach in Washington. (OK, so he meant the U-Dub Huskies. Close enough.) As O’Neil writes: “He essentially talked himself out of a job.” And Mora says his lower profile in his two seasons as the Seahawks’ secondary coach was a matter of design: “There were lessons I needed to learn.”
Here’s a weird one. Jeff George, who has killed the careers of coaches the world over, tells Marcus Jackson of IlliniHQ.com he wants an NFL job. George, who’s 41, hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2001. Still, he tells Jackson:
“I realize I’m not getting any younger, and a lot of people probably look at it and say, ‘Man, you’re too old to play a young man’s game. I say to them, ‘Put me against a young man and see who looks better.’ Age is only a number. It’s about how you feel and how you feel when you keep throwing.”
Writing for ESPN The Magazine, Richard Pollock and E.J. Hradek of Puck Prospectus see big things ahead for Kari Lehtonen (link requires registration). Lehtonen, as we know, has already had busy summer: First he re-upped with the Thrashers, and then, as reported by esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore, he underwent back surgery. (Lehtonen is expected back, no pun intended, for training camp.) From Pollock/Hradek:
“Pegging Kari Lehtonen as a dominant starter at the NHL level would not constitute an overstatement. The big Finnish netminder has the skills and poise to dominate in the NHL; unfortunately, a poor team in front of him and constant injuries have worked against the former first-round pick so far in his career … Sure there is concern about his injury history … but the chance is there that Lehtonen could finally remain healthy and play a full NHL season.”
The Thrasher seen by Puck Prospectus as “trending down” is Rich Peverley, who did well here after being acquired in midseason. “Trending up” is prospect Angelo Esposito, who arrived in the Marian Hossa trade in February 2008 and who tore his ACL in February 2009. The PP thinking: “In Atlanta, where the club has been historically light up the middle, there is opportunity for a young center.”
But, lest we get too giddy about the Thrash, here’s a sobering ranking from esteemed former colleague Craig Custance, now with Sporting News Today. In his midsummer power ratings, Custance credits GM Don Waddell for having a “nice offseason” but still ranks Atlanta 27th among 30 NHL clubs.
From Adam Krohn of the Dalton Daily Citizen comes this career advice: Jeff Francoeur should quit baseball and go play college football at Clemson. Krohn’s argument:
“Look at Chris Weinke. He played in the Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league organization for six years before accepting Florida State’s offer to play football. Not only did he compete at a high level despite being away from the game for so long, but he also won a Heisman Trophy and a national championship. And guess how old he was when he returned to football? Twenty-five, same as Francoeur.”
I would gently suggest there’s a difference: A key reason Weinke quit baseball is that he hadn’t yet made it to the majors. With the exception of that Fourth of July weekend in Mississippi, Francoeur has been a big-leaguer since July 7, 2005, and he’s making big-league money — $3.337 million this season. Can’t see a guy who’s doing that agreeing to play for free. Nice idea, though.