POSTED ON JANUARY 7, 2009:
Here's what you missed while counting down to Jan. 8
2009 is moving at a blistering pace. There is an inordinate amount of action kicking off the New Year. Sit back, relax and enjoy a harbinger of things to come.
From the channel that brings Dexter into your living room comes a live boxing event from the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino. On January 16, Showtime brings pugilistic action to the masses right from our backyard.
Two Oklahoma-based fighters take part on the card. The main event features two undefeated featherweights. Leonilo Miranda (30-0; 28 KOs) battles Orlando Cruz (15-0; 8 KOs). The co-main event brings junior middleweight Carson Jones (17-6-1; 9 KOs) of Oklahoma City into the ring against Ricardo "Slicky Ricky" Williams Jr. (21-2; 14 KOs) of Cincinnati, OH.
The additional fight of interest to this area features George "The Comanche Boy" Tahdooahnippah (15-0-1; 14 KOs) of Lawton.
Sidenote of interest to me? Holden Productions and Gary Shaw Productions are co-promoting the bouts. You could not find two more differing personalities.
Holden is the congenial, low-profile recluse who goes about his job in a quiet, professional manner. Meanwhile, Shaw's ego played a fundamental role in the demise of MMA's EliteXC on CBS. Shaw's son took over the leadership role for EliteXC after Gary was asked to step aside. The apple fell right next to the tree.
Tickets start at 35 bucks. Call Osage Event Box Office (699-7667) if this interests you. What else are you going to do on January 16? See Mall Cop? I'll go out on a limb and say our cinema guy will advise against such foolishness.
Tulsa football coach Todd Graham signed a 10-year extension.
"We want to win championships at The University of Tulsa, and in football we want to also compete for an opportunity to win a BCS Bowl Game. Todd Graham is the coach who can continue to take the Tulsa football program to even higher levels than what he's already accomplished," said Tulsa's Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham.
The contract extension is symbolic. The value of the contract isn't worth the paper it is written on. College coaches routinely sign long extensions only to bail at the first sign of greener pastures. But hey, at least we're trying.
"My wife and I and our coaches love being in Tulsa, and especially at one of the best times there is to be a Golden Hurricane -- coming off back-to-back 10 win seasons. It speaks volumes about the University's commitment when they'll make this type of long-term commitment to my family, my staff and me. We're very appreciative and very excited about the Golden Hurricane football program," said Coach Graham.
Here's hoping T-Town sees one third of the contract fulfilled.
In other coaching news, the Oilers have a new man in charge. Players' coach Dan Hodge fell on the axe. He leapt from interim coach to head coach before spiraling to ex-coach in the span of about one year.
It is not feasible for a stagnant team to fire every player for the poor start. Perhaps one day an organization will do just that.
The new guy behind the bench is another attempt to rekindle past glory in Tulsa's rich hockey tradition. Tony Martino once led the Oilers from between the pipes. Now, he'll try to juvenate (yes, I realize this is not a word) a struggling franchise from the bench.
Martino brings an impressive resume with him. His 193-118-29 mark is notable. Can he turn around the fortunes of the Oilers on short notice? Visit www.tulsaoilers.com for the upcoming schedule and ticket information.
Heard it First
From the department of "old news" comes this tidbit: The Arena Football League called off the 2009 season. The Tulsa Talons are members of af2 -- not the AFL. General Manager Corey MacIntyre assured me the Talons' season is set for takeoff and the sudden AFL collapse will not affect the af2. Visit www.tulsatalons.com for more details.
The BCS National Championship game takes place Thursday, January 8. Chances are many readers will watch the game prior to reading this column. I'm pinning this beauty prior to kickoff. Obviously, check the date on the issue.
However, here is my recap of the game. Yes, I'm channeling my inner Nostradamus. Allow me to morph into a diehard Sooner fan and write from that perspective...
Can you believe how diverse the Gators offense was last night? I sure wish coach Stoops listened to "us" and fired Brent Venables earlier this year. "We" tried to warn him.
I read about the SEC speed versus Big 12 speed, but until I watched it live, I couldn't fully grasp it. Sure, "we" have fast players, but the entire Florida defense runs as if an angry swarm of bees was stinging their crotches.
I really think Sam Bradford played a great game. The two interceptions were not his fault. When "we" got down early, he had to force a few things.
Can you believe Bradford announced he's going pro? Who saw that one coming? Everything I read in the daily paper said he was a great kid. How could he leave OU for a mere $30 million guaranteed?
Why is Bob Stoops talking about the Denver Broncos job? I just read in the daily he would never consider leaving OU after only 10 years to pursue one of the top-10 coaching jobs in the NFL.
Oh well, I heard our recruiting class is top-notch again. I'm pretty sure I read that, too.
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