Monday, July 23, 2012.
Takeaways from the fifth annual Bronco Football Summer Classic: Joe Southwick remains a very competitive guy. Southwick blew away five-year minor-leaguer Hilton Richardson in the home run derby, hitting a record 13 homers in the softball benefit for The First Tee of Idaho. Richardson hit nine, but four of them went completely out of Memorial Stadium. And the defense, with those monstrous holes to fill this season, is rather competitive, too. The “D” trailed in the game 13-3 and 16-5 but put together a 10-run fifth inning to rally for a 17-16 win. Michael “Canadian Bacon” Atkinson put his athleticism on display. Not only did senior defensive tackle hit two home runs, he also made a couple dazzling plays in the field. It’s not often you see a 311-pound second baseman.
Two guys who were seen sparingly in spring football showed no signs of wear at the Bronco Football Summer Classic. Mitch Burroughs, who served as offensive captain, was going all-out Saturday night. The senior wide receiver missed most of spring ball with a leg injury, but his wheels were evident out in the field. There was D.J. Harper, who was paced in the spring by the Boise State coaching staff and did not play in the Blue & Orange Game in April. The sixth-year senior was rippin’ around the bases like nobody’s business at Memorial Stadium, though. Meanwhile, cornerback Jerrell Gavins, with one leg heavily wrapped, pitched but did not bat or run. Perhaps it’s not related to last season’s knee injury, which Gavins has professed to be 100 percent.
Today is the day. Kellen Moore reports to Detroit Lions training camp. The former Boise State great is bent on proving the Lions should carry three quarterbacks—and if they do, that third guy should be Moore. The latter wasn’t going to be an issue until the Lions signed R.J. Archer to compete with Moore in camp. “It’s the NFL. It’s part of the process,” Moore told Dave Southorn of the Idaho Press-Tribune earlier this month. The Lions’ minicamps and OTA’s since Moore signed as an undrafted free agent in April have produced a mixed bag of reviews. Some harp on Kellen’s lack of size and arm strength. Others marvel at his early grasp of the Detroit offense and his ability to move the ball down the field, which is all he says he’s trying to do.
Former Boise State tackles Nate Potter and Daryn Colledge report to the Arizona Cardinals today, with Potter possibly following Colledge’s lead and moving to guard. It was 10 years ago now that Colledge started at left tackle as a redshirt freshman at Boise State. Potter did the same in 2008 (with Ryan Clady starring the position in between them). But the Timberline High grad is basically starting over in Arizona. Potter was a consensus All-American last season but dropped to the seventh round in April’s draft. If Potter’s going to be a guard in the NFL, well, there’s one guard ahead of him in the Cardinals’ 2012 draft class already, Senio Kelemete. And they signed free agent Adam Snyder from the 49ers.
The Denver Post reports that the Denver Broncos have offered Clady a five-year, $50 million contract that would start in 2013, with $28 million guaranteed. Clady is in the final year of his rookie contract, and negotiations on an extension have been stalled. The new deal would make Clady one of the five highest-paid offensive tackles in the NFL, but the Post says he and his agent are seeking a contract to “slightly exceed” that of Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas, who received an extension last summer that averages $11.5 million a year.
Whereas Boise State will be attending Mountain West Media days this year (beginning tomorrow in Las Vegas), it’ll be at the Big East version of the event a year from now. And the Broncos, like everyone else, wonder who the Big East commissioner will be. Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has a suggestion. “It needs to be someone who, when he walks into the room, the presidents and ADs snap to attention,” Pitino told Sporting News this week. He thinks ESPN analyst Jay Bilas fits that description. Bilas has a law degree from Duke and is a practicing attorney—and he does have charisma. But, while flattered, Bilas dismissed the idea Saturday.
The Boise Hawks are reeling. No two ways about it. The Hawks lost their fifth straight game yesterday, absorbing an 8-1 pounding at the hands of the Eugene Emeralds. It’s Boise’s longest losing streak since this time one year ago, when the Hawks dropped six straight in mid-July. They’ve now lost more than twice as many games as they’ve won, sitting at 12-25 as they wrap up their five-game series in Eugene tonight. The only consolation: the Spokane Indians are also a woeful 12-25.
With a number of September call-ups possible, maybe the count will hit 100 this year after all. Yesterday Jeff Beliveau became the 96th former Boise Hawk to make the majors, throwing two scoreless innings for the Cubs in a 7-0 loss at St. Louis. Beliveau, a 25-year-old lefthander, played for the Hawks in 2008 and recorded a 2-1 record and a 2.60 ERA in 13 appearances, seven of them starts.
Nothing new in trade talks involving Cubs ace Ryan Dempster, who has the best ERA of any starter in the National League. Which means nothing new in rumors that a deal for Dempster could include Borah High grad Stephen Fife. The Chicago Tribune and MLB.com were among those bringing up Fife’s name in association with Dempster, whom the Dodgers covet as they battle the Giants for National League West superiority. Fife, of course, made his major league debut last Tuesday, allowing just one run in six innings against the Phillies. The one-time Little League World Series participant returned to the mound last night for Triple-A Albuquerque and was magnificent. Fife went seven innings, allowing one run on four hits with 12 strikeouts and no bases on balls in a 9-5 win over the Iowa Cubs.
Kristin Armstrong did not win the Cascade Cycling Classic over the weekend. But that doesn’t mean the Olympic gold medalist from Boise couldn’t have. Armstrong had the overall lead in the race by more than 2½ minutes, but she not to start the criterium in Bend Saturday and decided to head home for some brief down time before going to London later this week. According to Exergy-TWENTY 12 team director Simon Cope, Armstrong didn’t want to risk reinjuring her collarbone in the criterium, the event where where crashes are most likely to happen. The Cascade Classic was her first competitive race since breaking her clavicle in the prologue of the Exergy Tour in Boise in late May.
This Day In Sports…July 23, 1969:
On baseball’s 100th anniversary, the All-Star Game is in the nation’s capital—and the National League brings the fireworks. The Giants’ Willie McCovey, in the midst of an MVP season, launched two home runs and Reds catcher Johnny Bench added another as the Nationals pummeled seven American League pitchers, 9-3. It was the seventh straight All-Star win for the National League.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)