Wednesday, July 7, 2010.
As the faulty blue turf is rolled up this week at Bronco Stadium, we wonder aloud about what will someday go down at the almost 40-year-old facility. After the track is moved to Dona Larsen Park at the old East Junior High, whenever that may be, there are numerous possibilities. It has long been assumed that the completion of the south end, connecting the corners, would be a logical next step. But the costs and logistics of working in, around and over the current Varsity Center could be prohibitive. It’s not impossible that the core of the project would involve completely horseshoeing the north end, proving to be more cost-effective. Ideally the field could be dug down at some point, bringing the stands close to the blue turf. The problem there would not be engineering or the water table. It would just be good ol’ money.
Pssst…story idea for TV people. Sit the Bronco Dutchmen, Geraldo Hiwat and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, in front of a screen Saturday (with Boise State’s cooperation, of course) to get their reaction to the World Cup final between the Netherlands and the winner of today’s match between Germany and Spain. I mean, as natives of Holland, Hiwat and Tjong-A-Tjoe have to be into it, don’t they? And hey, the Dutch love the color orange. Now maybe you can’t envision Tjong-A-Tjoe in a soccer getup, as the Boise High product is 6-3, 282 pounds. But Hiwat is another matter. You can imagine the Capital High grad making an impact with his 4.41-second speed in the 40-yard dash and his wide receiver’s body at 6-4, 189.
At first, the Denver Broncos said they hoped Ryan Clady would be ready to go in training camp. Now they’re crossing their fingers for the start of the season. The former Boise State star and 2008 first round draft choice tore his patella tendon playing pickup basketball the last week of April. The healing is arduous—many athletes take six months to recover from a patella tear. Denver needs Clady back, as he made the Pro Bowl in his second year and is already one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL. Tyler Palumbus will work at Clady’s left tackle spot in the preseason, and the Broncos will take it from there. Veterans report to camp on July 31.
A couple interesting observations in the Sporting News NFL Training Camp Guide this week. San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith thinks Mike Iupati’s road to a starting spot on the 49ers offensive line this season (along with fellow first round pick Anthony Davis) is pretty straightforward. “Just understand their assignments and us the technique they’ve been taught—so when the bullets are flying, they can focus on winning their battles and less on thinking about what they are doing.” And SN expects a lively battle in St. Louis between No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford and Ontario’s A.J. Feeley at quarterback. Bradford, of course, will start eventually. But you might see Feeley, now 33 years old and 10 years removed from his days at Oregon, get the nod on Opening Day.
It didn’t end up a “CBS” (Can’t Beat Spokane) series for the Boise Hawks. The Hawks hung on in a wild ninth inning to beat the Indians 4-2 last night at Avista Stadium. Richard Jones had crushed one over the rightfield wall in the eighth inning for his third home run of the year, giving the Hawks the two-run lead. Boise closer Corey Martin came on in the ninth, looking for his seventh save in as many opportunities this season. But he loaded the bases, sandwiching that around a diving catch in centerfield by Kyung Min-Na which kept the floodgates from opening. Martin finally induced Jacob Skole to pop out to earn save No. 7.
After the first off-day of the summer today, the Hawks return to Memorial Stadium tomorrow night. Hawks general manager Todd Rahr has been waging a respectful campaign to get the community to think about a new ballpark for Boise (or Meridian). Rahr updated his blog yesterday, writing: “Memorial Stadium is a nice, adequate ballpark and if July 3rd's (sellout) crowd was any testament to its usefulness, it is still a great crowd pleaser on the big nights. But the need is for more handicapped accessible seats, more seats in general (over 500 SRO tickets were sold).”
Rahr continues: “As Mayor Dave Bieter says, ‘Boise deserves the best.’ As much as I like Memorial Stadium, a new facility would add so much to the life of this valley. Think of how great it would to have soccer during the World Cup time frame. Think how cool it would be to ice skate outside (maybe even an outdoor Steelies game?) during the holidays. The plans have been discussed, but trust me, from an operational standpoint we need a new facility in a big way to provide Boise and the valley what it deserves.”
A departure here from the regular baseball fare in the Scott Slant. Today it’s Major League relatives of local football ties. Daniel Schlereth, son of former Idaho star and current ESPN commentator Mark Schlereth, was called up by Detroit last Friday. The 24-year-old righthander, who looks like his dad, has made two appearances for the Tigers and has allowed one unearned run—that one part of a 1 2/3-inning stint last night in a 7-5 win over Baltimore. Last Friday wasn’t as memorable a day for Will Venable, older brother of Boise State nickelbacker Winston Venable. The Padres had to put him on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. Venable is hitting .238 with eight home runs and 32 runs batted in. He had been catching fire before being placed on the DL, with nine hits and four homers in his last 29 plate appearances.
A little more mopup from the holiday weekend: Boise’s Jeff Thomsen has made the U.S. Senior Open after winning a sectional at Semiahmoo in Blaine, WA, Monday. The Indian Lakes pro shot a two-under-70 and won by two strokes, qualifying for the first senior major of his career. Thomsen, who was on the PGA Tour from 1979-82, previously played in the 1978 British Open, the 1983 U.S. Open, and the PGA Championship in 1990 and 1998. This year’s Senior Open will be contested July 29-August 1 in Sammamish outside Seattle.
This Day In Sports…July 7, 1990, 20 years ago today:
Martina Navratilova wins her final Wimbledon singles title, downing Zina Garrison in straight sets. It was Martina’s ninth singles championship at the All-England Club, breaking a 52-year-old record. On this day in 1978, Navratilova captured her first Wimbledon singles crown, rallying from 2-4 in the final set to beat Chris Evert 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
(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 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)