Thursday, May 2, 2013.
Boise State’s Jamar Taylor, taken with the 54th overall pick by the Dolphins, really didn’t slip that far in the NFL Draft last week. But he did slip some, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has what he says is the reason why. Jackson cites a source that said red flags were raised over some medical tests on Taylor at the NFL Combine. Writes Jackson: “Taylor has had high blood pressure since high school. He was placed on medication that has serious side effects for some, especially black males. The medication damaged Taylor's kidneys, and anti-inflammatories made it worse. When tested at the combine in February, his kidneys were functioning at 42 percent efficiency, alarming Taylor and NFL teams.”
Jackson continues: “The blood pressure medication was found to be the culprit, and he has no pre-existing kidney condition. He was placed on new blood pressure meds and told not to take anti-inflammatories. While his kidneys were left with scar tissue, doctors expect their operating efficiency to improve. While the condition was explained to teams, several picking between 25 and 45 of the 2013 NFL Draft voiced their concern and decided to pass, thus Taylor landing with the Dolphins.” Jackson quotes a friend of Taylor as saying, “The Combine helped him from needing a kidney transplant in 10 years.”
Former Boise State linebacker J.C. Percy has landed a free agent tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs. If Percy passes his audition, he’d be able to reunite with one-time Bronco teammate Tyler Shoemaker, who signed with K.C. as a free agent earlier this year. Kellen Moore has a little competition as he tries to retain his spot as Detroit’s No. 3 quarterback. The Lions have signed Alex Carder of Western Michigan as an undrafted free agent. Plus, John Laub out of Richmond, a cousin of former Detroit general manager Matt Millen, will get a minicamp tryout. All I can say is, those two guys had better be really, really, really smart.
Still more catch-up from last week: Matt Hayes of SportingNews.com has unveiled his 2013 coach rankings, and Boise State’s Chris Petersen is No. 3 behind Alabama’s Nick Saban and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer. I’d say this qualifies as high praise, as Hayes writes, “Here’s what one BCS coach says about Petersen: ‘We all have our bad days. I don’t think he and his staff have been outcoached once.’ Think about that. In 92 career games—against some fairly average competition in the WAC and Mountain West, and against some elite BCS competition in nonconference and bowl games—Petersen hasn’t been outcoached. He has also won 84 of those 92 games, with the eight losses by a combined 40 points. Two unbeaten seasons (2006, 2009) and three one-loss seasons.” Hayes is preachin’ to the choir around here.
The rumored Boise State basketball matchup with Kentucky has come to pass. The Broncos will visit Adolph Rupp Arena on a one-time-only contract December 10. The influence of athletic director Mark Coyle, who came to Boise State from UK almost a year and a half ago, is evident. The Wildcats are the winningest program in college basketball history and have eight national championship banners, but they’re coming off a rare dip, having gone 21-12 with a first-round exit in the NIT after winning the 2012 national title. This will be the third straight year the Broncos have faced an SEC opponent—they split 19-point decisions with LSU the past two Decembers.
As the Idaho Steelheads enter the ECHL Western Conference finals tomorrow night against the Stockton Thunder, it’s hard to draw any conclusions from the regular season series between the two teams. The Thunder won three out of five games, but four of them were played in Stockton. The only matchup between the two in Boise was way back on November 14, a 4-2 Steelies win. It’s all about the here-and-now. For example, the top-seeded team in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, the Alaska Aces, swept six meetings with the Thunder in the regular season. Then in the playoffs, Stockton shocked the Aces in the other Western Conference semifinal, winning the series four games-to-two.
There are two former Idaho Steelheads in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, and both are suiting up for the Washington Capitals. Jay Beagle played in all 48 Caps games in this lockout-shortened season. The 27-year-old right wing scored two goals and added six assists. Beagle played for the Steelheads six years ago. Defenseman Steve Oleksy was called up by Washington the first week of March and recorded nine points and 33 penalty minutes the rest of the way. Oleksy spent parts of three seasons in Boise from 2009-12. In 102 games with the Steelheads, he had 38 points and logged 253 penalty minutes. The Capitals open the postseason tonight against the New York Rangers.
The season opened at Les Bois Park last night, and the track’s favorite son is two days away from his comeback at the Kentucky Derby. Gary Stevens and Oxbow have drawn post position No. 2 in Saturday’s Run For The Roses as the Caldwell native and former Capital High student makes his return to the Churchill Downs track after eight years away. Oxbow’s odds are 30-to-1, so it’s “shock the world” time. Stevens may be 50, but consider that legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker won the last of his four Kentucky Derbys at the age of 56 in 1986.
Andy Bettles will be pulling double duty for the Boise State tennis team this month in the NCAA Tournament. Bettles, the Broncos’ No. 1 singles player, will play with his teammates when they take on Clemson in the first round in Knoxville, TN, a week from tomorrow. And he’s headed to Champaign, IL, May 16 for the NCAA Individual Championships, making the field of 64 in singles. Bettles is 22-6 this season.
In a visit to Boise almost two years ago, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts gently threatened that the team would move its affiliation away from the Boise Hawks if a new stadium wasn’t built—or at least if Memorial Stadium wasn’t, in effect, rebuilt. Ricketts wasn’t so gentle yesterday when addressing the Wrigley Field situation. He threatened for the first time to sweep the Cubs out of Wrigley if he’s not allowed to build his proposed giant video screen above the left field stands. At stake is the view of the field from surrounding rooftops, where admission is charged with 17 percent of the revenue going to the Cubs. Those rooftop bleacher setups are actually private clubs now, and their operators have been excluded from talks about the video board. They are not happy.
This Day In Sports…May 2, 1968:
Bill Russell celebrates his second season doubling as a player-coach with an NBA championship, as the Boston Celtics defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, four games to two, with a 124-109 victory in Game 6. It was the Celtics’ 10th title in 12 years—they’d win another under Russell’s guidance the following year in his final season. It was also the first time the NBA Finals had lasted into May. Ah, to turn back the hands of time.
(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.)