Saturday, September 11, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
BW: With all the famous coaches in your family, can you tell me what family gatherings are like when your father, brother, and brother-in-law are there? [Father: Jack Harbaugh was a coordinator at Michigan and Stanford and won a NCAA 1-AA Championship in football. Brother: John Harbaugh: Coach of the Baltimore Ravens (his quarterback, Joe Flacco, has a freshman brother at Stanford). Brother-in-law: Tom Crean: Coach of Indiana University Basketball and formerly Marquette taking them to Final Four in 2003 with Dwayne Wade.]
BW: What was it like coaching with your father and brother during an NFL playoff game?
BW: What current quarterback in the NFL or college reminds you of yourself?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Andrew Luck: No. Not at all.
BW: When you aren't playing football, what are you doing?
AL: Hanging out with the guys on the team, playing video games, reading a book, or doing homework (chuckles).
BW: What NFL quarterback are you most similar to and why?
AL: All of those guys are a lot better than me, but if I had to pattern my game around anyone it would be Peyton Manning.
BW: What team that is on your schedule are you least looking forward to playing this season?
AL: I'm least looking forward to playing the Stanford defense.
BW: Are one of your goals for this upcoming season to win the Heisman Trophy?
AL: That would be great, but I figure that if the team is having a good season, that means that I'm having a good season. So if I'm in contention to win that trophy, then that must mean that my team is winning some games. So that would be a good thing.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Ben Zobrist is the starting second baseman on the Tampa Bay Rays. He made the 2009 American League All-Star team with a batting average of .297, 27 home runs, and 91 runs batted in. That season he was voted MVP of the Rays by the Tampa Bay sector of the Baseball Writers and finished 8th in American League MVP voting. Zorilla, the nickname given to him by his manager Joe Maddon, is very involved with his Christian faith and is a true class act. Here is my interview with Mr. Zobrist:
BW: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened in your locker room?
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Pat LaFontaine was a center for all three New York Hockey teams, the Islanders, Rangers, and Sabres. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003. He had 468 lifetime goals in his 15 seasons. Pat becomes the 2nd athlete in the past three interviews of mine who was selected third in their sports draft. Here are my questions:
PL: I was fortunate to represent the U.S. at a couple of Olympics and that was very cool. Probably the greatest achievement was winning the World Cup of Hockey in 1996. The Canadian team featured Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Brodeur, etc. and they were the host country. When we beat them in the best-of-three final it was the biggest U.S. hockey win since the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team.
BW: Who is your idol and why?
PL: When I was a kid I loved Guy Lafleur and Gilbert Perreault - two of the fastest skaters and best players around. Things were a little different back then because there was no Internet. I would have to wait for the newspaper or for the Hockey News to arrive to see my favorite players stats. I always immediately looked to see how Guy and Gilbert had done in their previous games. As I developed as a player, it was a bit ironic that I played in the Quebec Junior League and broke all of Guy's scoring records. Later in my pro career, I went to Buffalo and followed in the footsteps of Gilbert as captain of the Sabres.
BW: What was the funniest story that ever happened in the locker room?
PL: This story didn't happen in the locker room, but it was one of the most memorable of my career. I was with the Islanders in 1987 and we were playing the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs. The final game of the series went into the 4th overtime period, but neither team could score. It was after 2 a.m. and I looked around the stands and fans were sleeping! The organist started playing the theme song from "The Twilight Zone". Our trainer came over and shot cold water straight down my back and said, "You're gonna get one..." I hopped over the boards and covered at the point for Gordie Dineen - one of our defenseman who had pinched on the play. The puck came to me and I just turned and fired it toward the net. It went over the goalie's shoulder and in at 8:47 of the 4th overtime to win the series for us. The game had started on a Saturday and it ended very early on Easter Sunday morning and became known as the "Easter Epic". It remains one of the longest games played in NHL history.
BW: What advice would you give to someone growing up aspiring to play in NHL?
PL: It is an immense privilege to be able to play in the NHL. I was very blessed and a lot of things went my way to be able to make it. A lot of people think that you have to specialize in one sport from an early age in order to turn pro. Most of my teammates played a lot of different sports when we were kids. I liked to golf, water-ski and play baseball. That helped me develop other aspects of my game and made me WANT to be on the ice even more once hockey season started. I have a brother who practiced every bit as much as I did but he never made pro. In order to make it as a pro you have to develop your God-given skills. You can't abuse your body and you need to work hard on your weaknesses. Everyone likes to focus on the things they are good at. But when you focus on the things you are weak at, it makes you a much better athlete.
BW: What was it like playing for the Islanders and then the Rangers?
PL: I loved playing for all three New York teams (Buffalo, too!). The Islanders gave me my first shot and I got to play with great players like Bryan Trottier and Denis Potvin. I met my future wife here and grew to love Long Island. I probably had the best years of my career in Buffalo and I enjoyed the people of Western New York. It was a thrill to have the Sabres retire my jersey and to score the last goal ever scored at the Auditorium. When I joined the Rangers I got a chance to play with Wayne Gretzky, Mike Richter and to score the 1,000 point of my career. The Rangers were a first-class organization and treated me and my family just wonderfully.
BW: If you weren't a hockey player, what would your job jave been?
PL: That is a very good question. At the time I was a teenager, I was hoping to play well enough to earn a scholarship to Michigan State University. My dad was an executive in the auto business so I might have done something like that. Since I retired, I have really enjoyed redesigning homes and landscaping. Maybe I would have gone into architecture and design?
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I am home! And I haven't wasted any time to start up blogging. Marty Lyons played 11 seasons on the New York Jets at defensive tackle. In the early 1980's, Mark Gastineau, Abdul Salaam, and Joe Klecko formed the Jets "New York Sack Exchange." Marty is the chairman of the Marty Lyons Foundation, which fulfills the wishes of terminally ill children and teenagers. Visit their website at http://www.martylyonsfoundation.org/
Here is my interview with Mr. Lyons:
BW: Who was your football idol and why?
ML: Growing up in Florida I really didn’t have a football idol. My idols were my 3 older brothers. I wanted to be as good as them or better. They set the bar pretty high in the Lyons’ Sports Arena.
BW: What was the greatest moment of your career?
ML: Being elected by my college teammates as the defensive captain of our National Championship Team in 1978.
3. Who was the most difficult offensive lineman to get past?
Dwight Stephenson from the Miami Dolphins and John Hannah from the New England Patriots. Funny thing is, they both attended the University of Alabama.
4. What was it like getting the opportunity to play for Coach Bear Bryant?
Playing for Coach Bryant molded me into the person I am today. He taught us to respect the game, respect our family, respect our teammates and most of all, respect life.
5. Who was your favorite teammate?
In the pros, I had two favorite teammates. The first one is Joe Klecko. If you were going to war, Joe would always have your back. The second one is Kenny Schroy. He’s been a teammate not just on the field but off the field as well. Kenny is a lifetime teammate.
In college, Rich Wingo and Murray Legg were my favorites. 30 years after being teammates in college, they are both still only a phone call away.
In high school, my favorite teammate was Ted LaVenture. He has been there through thick and think, good times and bad, he’s the best.
6. What was the greatest lesson you ever learned?
Respect yourself and others. Give more then you received, live life to the fullest, touching as many people as possible along the way. Change the way people think and change the way people act by your actions not your words. Remember 4 things you should do every day to be a better person: Live, love, laugh and be happy. To make a difference in this world all you have to do is CARE!!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
No wonder why Brett Favre came out of retirement! It isn't easy taking a 7-8-week hiatus and I didn't even leave yet. So I have a list of interviews for after camp, but first lets take a look at a premier NBA player (or in an hour he will be).
If you followed NBA mock drafts you saw this guys name listed after the top two players, John Wall (Kentucky) and Evan Turner (Ohio State). That is Derrick Favors, the 6' 10" power forward, freshman from Georgia Tech. Favors at just 18, is rumored to be selected by the New Jersey Nets at tonight's NBA Draft (7 ET on ESPN). This soft-spoken giant took the time out of the happiest day of his life to do an interview for The King of Sports Blog. Here we go:
BW: What are your NBA goals?
DF: To win championships and to be considered one of the best players in the game.
BW: Who is your idol and why?
DF: Kobe Bryant because how hard he works and plays and that he is a good person overall.
BW: When did you know that you were great?
DF: My senior year in high school I knew was going to be drafted into the NBA.
BW: Who do you look forward to playing against?
DF: Everybody and anybody who is in the NBA.
BW: Are you nervous to become a top NBA draft pick?
DF: No, I’m not nervous. I’m ready for it and ready to work hard and improve my game.
BW: What has been the best opportunity that has arisen for you because you are such a star?
DF: Being able to go to the NBA and to the Draft in New York.
BW: What advice do you have for someone trying to get better at basketball?
DF: The biggest thing is to work hard and keep your head on straight and work hard.
BW: Will you be comfortable being a New Jersey Net tonight considering that trading you and many other picks is possible throughout the summer?
DF: Yeah I'm comfortable. I’m happy to be here at the NBA Draft no matter where I go.
I left out something important on my [not so] farewell posting. Where LeBron James will land! I think that LeBron will go. I don't think it is where Mr. Favors will be drafted which probably is New Jersey and I don't see him as a member of the Miami Heat. So that leaves my state, New York, and the other city I love, Chicago. Forgetting pressure from Obama, I think that LeBron will end up wearing a Knick jersey. I feel like I am going to barf saying that because that is what I never imagined, but all the pieces aim to New York. With Tom Izzo not going to Cleveland that said that he loves Michigan State, but that LeBron was not a guarantee in Cleveland, but if he signed with the Cavs, all signs lead to his hometown. Comment below on your LJ23 picks.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
No, The King of Sports Blog hasn't reached its final post ever, but just the final post for the next 7-8 weeks. On Saturday, I will be leaving for summer camp for 7 weeks. I had the option to continue and have interviews posted automatically throughout the summer, but chose against that because I would rather start of August with a splash of great interviews. Currently, I am compiling a list of phone numbers of athletes that I want to call for interviews after camp. I will have interviews with a Hall of Famer in two sports guaranteed when I get back. What I want my readers to do is to shoot me an email with the subject: "I want an interview with..." and inside the email give me 5 names of athletes you want me to interview. Email KingofSportsBlog@aim.com. I want you also to pass around my link to friends and family to show them where to check out my older posts.
- The Mets will fail to trade for Cliff Lee/Roy Oswalt, but will trade for an average pitcher
- Chris Johnson will not hold out of playing due to contract issues, but Darrelle Revis and Albert Haynesworth will
- The Twins will trade for Cliff Lee
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Rick Cerone was a New York Yankees catcher. When Thurman Munson died, Rick Cerone was his replacement. He played for 8 teams in 18 seasons and played in the 1981 World Series. He owned the Newark Bears for 5 years from 1998 to 2003. Here is our interview:
BW: What was the best moment of your career?