Presenting a piping hot batch of “David’s Appetizers,” assorted musings and observations from the sports scene:
HALL OF FAME STUFF
The Arkansas Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame has come a long way in four years.
Who would have thought four years ago when Mike Harrison, executive director of the Arkansas Sports Club and KASR radio, organized the first banquet with a small crowd at Ryan’s that in four years it would attract folks such as Frank Broyles, Ken Hatfield and Pat Summerall to Conway on the same night?
Broyles, who has been inducted for lifetime achievement, will be master of ceremonies for the banquet that will induct Summerall as sportscaster, Jerry McConnell as sportswriter, Hatfield for lifetime achievement and recognize former state Sen. Stanley Russ for service.
Broyles has been to the previous three banquets.
This year, the event will be at the Centennial Valley Special Events Center. Harrison has had a lot of help from Arkansas Sports Club board members and community leaders in helping the club and the city embrace the event.
IT’S FOOTBALL TIME
The standing joke this time of year is when the temperature nears or exceeds 100 degrees, it’s time for football practice.
It’s hot and it’s here.
As the Faulkner high school teams begin practice, here are some questions going into preseason.
• Does Conway High have the depth and the experience in coach Clint Ashcraft’s third year to work into the top echelon in 7A Central?
• Can Greenbrier, possibly the surprise team in the state last season in advancing to the 5A semifinals, handle itself as a target and one of the favorites in 5A West?
• Can Vilonia slowly work its way up with a more experienced group that plays in a style (double-wing) that is now fairly unique in Arkansas football circles?
• Can Mayflower again contend for a conference title after the loss of some good skill players?
• Can Conway Christian develop a defense that can go with an offense that should produce a lot of points?
It’ll still be a while before answers take any kind of form. Teams won’t be in pads until Friday, Aug. 5.
If Jeremiah Masoli, the multi-faceted quarterback with a checkered past who was dismissed from the Oregon football team, transfers to Ole Miss, it could change a dynamic of both the SEC West and the SEC.
Masoli maybe has fouled off his third strike. It will be interesting to see if he can overcome his past and how he will affect the chemistry on the Rebel team. As far as ability and potential, he would probably be the second-rated quarterback in the league behind Ryan Mallett.
You know folks were hungry and stretching for news about football when the big story during the early part of the week came from Dallas Cowboys camp when rookie receiver Dez Bryant, who played at Oklahoma State, refused to engage in the ritual of carrying the pads for veteran Roy Williams, from Texas.
That says something about both the potential chemistry on the Cowboys and the outmoded, often silly, nature of rookie “hazing.” On one hand, it’s a business and Bryant, a wide receiver, is after Williams’ job. On the other hand, servanthood is part of teamwork. After all, Tim Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner, apparently allowed himself to be taped to the goal posts as part of the ritual in Bronco camp.
Apparently, there is no pad in team, but possibly some bruised feelings.
The disappearance and death (an apparent homicide) of former NBA player and University of Memphis star Lorenzen Wright is a sad story.
He had a 14-year NBA career but never really lived up to his potential as a lottery pick.
I remember watching him play. Great talent. You wonder why.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)