Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
n Marshall University finally rolled out the green carpet for its former football players last weekend.
It was long overdue.
A very distinct disconnection between the former Thundering Herd players and MU’s athletic department has been obvious for several years. And the gap kept growing wider and wider each year.
The breaking point occurred several seasons ago when MU officials actually had Pinkerton guards escort former players off the sidelines after they had been honored on the field.
That became the proverbial line in the sand.
After that, Marshall’s former players actually held reunions at the site of Herd road games instead of in Huntington.
It had gotten “that” bad.
Such former greats as Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich even kept their distance.
But new head football coach Charles Huff changed all that, thank goodness. Instead of alienating the former players, Huff went to great lengths to embrace their heritage and make them feel welcome again.
It all culminated last weekend in Huntington.
There was an impressive turnout of former MU players, dating all the way back to Bobby Pruett and Carl Lee. In fact, most of the former players in attendance had played for Pruett, which comes as absolutely no surprise. After all, those nine years were the most successful era in Herd history. From 1996-2004, MU posted a 94-23 record (.803) with two undefeated seasons and six conference championships. The Herd won five of seven bowl games and captured an NCAA I-AA national championship.
So, why wouldn’t players from those teams want to come back to reminisce and relive great, old memories?
So, they did.
They ranged from offensive tackle Steve Sciullo to Jason Starkey to Denero Marriott to Melvin Cunningham to Madison Sayre to Ahmad Bradshaw to Max Yates to Pennington, of course, and many, many.
And a memorable time was had by all.
So, thank you, Coach Huff. Thank you, Big Green. And thank you, Marshall fans.
It was wonderful to embrace old friends again.
n The Atlantic League and Major League Baseball are partnering on experiments that surely must have been spawned in Victor Frankenstein’s laboratory.
The Atlantic League, which has a franchise in Charleston, will be the guinea pig for the “Double Hook DH” and the “Move the Pitching Rubber Back a Foot” rules.
Anything to get rid of the designated hitter is fine with me. In this case, if a starting pitcher is relieved the team no longer can utilize a DH. This rule will be tried all season.
That isn’t nearly as controversial as moving the pitching rubber back from 60-feet, 6 inches to 61-6. That isn’t just game changing, it is sport changing. It irrevocably alters pitching.
So, why not change the distances between the bases while they’re at it? How about making home plate smaller? Or making the pitching mound flat?
Changing the rubber changes the game. It will be tried only during the second-half of the season, but that is one-half too long.
Leave the game alone, please.
n Was Marshall trying to steal fellow Conference USA member North Texas’ spring football game?
It certainly seemed that way considering MU’s spring game was entitled the “Green-Black” game despite the fact that every other spring contest in Marshall’s history had been named the “Green-White” game.
Let’s clear up a misconception.
North Texas’ school colors are Green and Black. Marshall’s are Green and White.
It’s that simple.