Saturday, January 31, 2015

Vikings Cruise To Easy Win Over Visiting Bobcats

At Portland, Oregon:

The Portland State Vikings (11-9 overall, 5-5 in Big Sky play), with DeShaun Wiggins and Tim Douglas combining to score 35 points (scoring 18 and 17, respectively),  cruised to an 80-62 home victory Saturday night over the Montana State Bobcats (4-17, 1-8).

Pro Football Hall of Fame: Junior Seau, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown Amongst Members Of Class Of 2015

Eight notables were elected on Saturday to the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

Junior Seau, an outstanding linebacker with the San Diego Chargers (with whom he was selected as National Football League defensive player of the year in 1992 and was a key cog in the Chargers' lone Super Bowl team two seasons later), played nearly two decades in the NFL and was a member of the New England Patriots team that went 16-0 in the 2007 regular season before losing Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants.  Mr. Seau committed suicide by shotgun wound to the chest in 2012 at age 43.  Later studies showed that the 12-time Pro Bowler and eight-time first-team All-Pro had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.  Junior was the only one elected posthumously. 

Two of running back Jerome Bettis' eight 1000-yard season came with his original team, the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams.  But it was with the Pittsburgh Steelers that Mr. Bettis really blossomed.  He played on the Steelers' Super Bowl XL title team (that game was played in "The Bus'" native Detroit).  Jerome went to the Pro Bowl on six occasions and was selected as an All-Pro twice.

A five-time Pro Bowl and two-time All-Pro (as well as five-time Super Bowl winner), Charles Haley played 13 seasons (eight with the San Francisco 49ers where he won two Super Bowl titles, and five with the Dallas Cowboys, where Mr. Haley captured the Vince Lombardi trophy thrice) and recorded 100.5 sacks, two interceptions, and eight fumble recoveries.

Wide receiver Tim Brown, a former Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame, played seventeen NFL seasons, mostly with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, and ranks fifth in receiving yards (14,934).  He holds the record for most consecutive games with more than one catch (147).  Mr. Brown came closest to winning a Super Bowl after the 2002 season but the Raiders lost Super Bowl XXXVII to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  In his rookie season with the Raiders in 1988, Tim a rookie-season record for most combined total yards gained (2.317).

12-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro offensive guard Will Shields spent his entire 14-year NFL career (1993-2006) with the Kansas City Chiefs, blocking for such notable running backs as Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes, and Larry Johnson.  Mr. Shields started all but one of his 224 games at guard and he ended up on the NFL's All-Decade team of the 2000s despite never winning a championship.

The lone candidate from the senior committee, Mick Tinglehoff was one of the best centers of his era.  He 240 consecutive games for Bud Grant's Minnesota Vikings and played in all four of the Vikes' Super Bowl appearances. Mr. Tinglehoff did play on the Vikings' NFL title team (1969) in the final year before the NFL-AFL merger was completed.

From the newly-minted Contributors category, Ron Wolf was one of the most successful personnel men in league history.  He spent 23 years with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders who had winning seasons in all but six years during that span, playing a role in all three of the Raiders' Super Bowl championship teams (SBs XII, XV, and XVIII).  Mr. Wolf later had a successful decade-long run with the Green Bay Packers, hiring Mike Holmgren as head coach and trading for quarterback Brett Favre (both in 1992).  The Packers appeared in back-to-back Super Bowls, winning SB XXXI against New England and losing to Denver in SB XXXII.

Like Mr. Wolf, Bill Polian was nominated from the Contributors category.  Mr. Polian made a reputation for building solid playoff teams.  On his watch, the Buffalo Bills appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls in the early-to-mid 1990s.  Next, he helped built the Carolina Panthers to the point where they won seven games in 1995, their inaugural season, then came within a victory of a Super Bowl appearance in their second year.  He late became president of the Indianapolis Colts in 1998, and his first year, drafted Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning with the first overall selection in that year's NFL college draft.  With Mr. Manning at the helm, the Colts won Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Cats Avenge Loss To Beavers By Smothering OSU's Offense; Zona's Home Winning Streak Now At 34

At Tucson, Arizona:

Brandon Ashley scored 12 points on Friday night as the Arizona Wildcats (#6 in the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches polls; 20-2 overall, 8-1 in Pac-12 play) avenged their road defeat of January 11 with a 57-34 fist-beating of the visiting Oregon State Beavers (14-7, 5-4), holding the visitors to 28% shooting from the floor and their lowest single-game score of the season

The victory was the Wildcats' 34th consecutive at home.

Ducks Top Sun Devils In OT In Tempe

At Tempe, Arizona:

Elgin Cook scored 22 points while Joseph Young, who added 14, hit a key jump shot with 25.6 seconds remaining in overtime on Friday as the Oregon Ducks (15-7 overall, 5-4 in Pac-12 play) defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils (11-11, 3-6) 68-67, despite a career-high 24 points from ASU's Shaquielle McKissic, whose three-point basket in the final seconds of regulation forced the extra five minutes.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Grizzlies Smother Vikings In Portland

At Portland, Oregon:

Martin Breunig scored 23 points while Jordan Gregory added 15 on Thursday as the Montana Grizzlies (11-8 overall, 7-1 in Big Sky play) dominated the home-standing Portland State Vikings (10-9, 4-5) 73-54, completing a rough two days for the Beaver State's four men's Division I basketball programs, all losing by double digits.

Zags Prove Too Much For Visiting Pilots; Gonzaga's Home Winning Streak Reaches 37

At Spokane, Washington:

Domantas Sabonis scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on Thursday night as the Gonzaga Bulldogs (# 3 in the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches polls; 21-1 overall, 10-0 in WCC play) ran their home winning streak, the longest current such streak in all of Division I, to 37 games following their 64-46 beat-down of the Portland Pilots (12-10, 3-7).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wildcats Become Too Much For Ducks; Zona Home Winning Streak Reaches 33

At Tucson, Arizona:

Gabe York scored 16 points while Brandon Ashley added 13 on Wednesday night as the Arizona Wildcats (#6 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches polls; 19-2 overall, 7-1 in Pac-12 play), who shot 59% from the field,  dismantled the visiting Oregon Ducks (14-7, 4-4) 90-56.

The victory was the Wildcats' 33rd consecutive at home.

Sun Devils Overpower Visiting Beavers

At Tempe, Arizona:

Shaquielle McKissic scored 17 points on Wednesday night as the Arizona State Sun Devils (11-10 overall, 3-5 in Pac-12 play) dominated the visiting Oregon State Beavers (14-6, 5-3) 73-55 despite 23 points from the Beavers' Gary Payton II.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gaels Overcome Slow Start, Overtake Pilots At Portland

At Portland, Oregon:

Brad Waldow had 19 points and nine rebounds while Garrett Jackson added 18 and 8 respectively on Saturday as the Saint Mary's Gaels (16-4 overall, 8-1 in WCC play) a slow start and outgunned the Portland Pilots (12-9, 3-6) 74-64 on the road.

Vikings Fall At Pocatello

At Pocatello, Idaho:

Chris Hansen and Nnamdi Ezenwa each scored 17 points on Saturday as the Idaho State Bengals (5-15 overall, 2-6 in Big Sky play) knocked off the visiting Portland State Vikings (10-8, 4-4) 80-76.

Beavers Hold Off Trojans, Stay Unbeaten At Home

At Corvallis, Oregon:

Gary Payton II delivered his sixth double-double of the season (21 points, 10 rebounds) on Saturday as the Oregon State Beavers (14-5 overall, 5-2 in Pac-12 play) remained unbeaten at home (12-0) with their 59-55 victory over the Southern California Trojans (9-10, 1-6).

Ducks Overpower Visiting Bruins

At Eugene, Oregon:

Joseph Young led five scorers in double-figures with 16 points on Saturday as the Oregon Ducks (16-4 overall, 4-3 in Pac-12 play) proved to be too much for visiting UCLA (11-9, 3-4) 82-64, despite 23 points from the Bruins' Norman Powell.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Farewell, Mr. Cub

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks, a two-time National League Most Valuable Player who played 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs (1953-71) and who hit 512 home runs, passed away on Friday at age 83.

Mr. Banks, known to one and all as "Mr. Cub," played his entire career with the Cubs.  Besides his 512 homers, Ernie hit 407 doubles, had 2,583 hits and 1,636 runs batted in.

A 12-time All-Star, he led the National League in homers and RBIs twice.

Ernie was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ducks Top Trojans At Home

At Eugene, Oregon:

Joseph Young scored 19 points and Elgin Cook added 15 on Thursday night as the Oregon Ducks (13-6 overall, 3-3 in Pac-12 play) held off the visiting Southern California Trojans (9-9, 1-5) 75-67.

Pilots Pull One Out At The Buzzer Against Tigers

At Portland, Oregon:

Alec Wintering sank the game-winning three-point bucket at the buzzer on Thursday night as the Portland Pilots (12-8 overall, 3-5 in WCC play) defeated the visiting Pacific Tigers (10-10, 2-6) 72-69.  Kevin Bailey paced the Pilots with 21 points.

Beavers Hold Off Bruins, Stay Unbeaten At Home

At Corvallis, Oregon:

Malcolm Duvivier scored 19 points while Gary Payton II added 18 (to go with his five steals) on Thursday as the Oregon State Beavers (13-5 overall, 4-2 in Pac-12 play) raced out to a 17-point lead, then held off the visiting UCLA Bruins (11-8, 3-3) 66-55 to stay undefeated at home.

Vikings Top Wildcats On Road

At Ogden, Utah:

Braxton Tucker scored 21 points on nine-of-twelve shooting from the field on Thursday as the Portland State Vikings (10-7 overall, 4-3 in Big Sky play) knocked off the Weber State Wildcats (8-10, 3-4) 69-63 on the road, despite 21 points from the hosts' Jeremy Senglin.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Men's Hoops: Ducks Support In AP Poll Evaporates Again

After Thursday's overtime defeat at Washington State and Sunday setback at Washington after having led by 10 points at halftime, the Oregon Ducks' scant support in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll disappeared on Monday.

None of the Beaver State's four NCAA Division I basketball teams received any support in either the AP or USA Today/Coaches poll.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Huskies Overcome 10-Point Halftime Deficit, Overcome Ducks At Home

At Seattle:

Andrew Andrews scored a season-high 21 points while Nigel Williams-Goss added 20 as the Washington Huskies (2-3 in Pac-12 play, 13-4 overall) came back from a 10-point deficit (and going on an 11-0 run in the second half helped) to upend the visiting Oregon Ducks (2-3, 12-6) 85-77.

It's Seahawks Vs. Patriots For The Marbles

Both of the National Football League's conference championship games took place on Sunday.

National Football Conference:

At Seattle:

Quarterback Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse 3:19 into overtime as the Seattle Seahawks battled back from a fifteen-point halftime deficit to upend the visiting Green Bay Packers 28-22 for their second successive NFC title and Super Bowl appearance.



American Football Conference:

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Tom Brady threw for three touchdowns while LeGarrette Blount ran for three more as the New England Patriots demolished the visiting Indianapolis Colts 45-7 to make their eighth Super Bowl appearance (the sixth apiece for both Tom Terrific and head coach Bill Belichick).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

In Barbaric Struggle, Vikings Down Visiting Vandals

At Portland, Oregon:

Braxton Tucker and DaShaun Wiggins each scored 19 points on Saturday as the Portland State Vikings (3-3 in Big Sky play, 9-7 overall) defeated the visiting Idaho Vandals (2-3, 7-9) 85-73.

Beavers Roll Past Cougs In Pullman

At Pullman, Washington:

Langston Morris-Walker posted career-highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday night as the Oregon State Beavers (3-2 in Pac-12 play, 12-5 overall) outdistanced the Washington State Cougars (3-2, 9-8) 62-47.  Gary Payton II had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Beavers.

Waves Battle Back, Overcome Visiting Pilots In Malibu

At Malibu, California:

Shawn Olden scored 15 points while Jeremy Major added 14 on Saturday night as the Pepperdine Waves (5-2 in WCC play, 12-6 overall) battled back to defeat the visiting Portland Pilots (2-5, 11-8) 67-63, despite 28 points from the visitors' Kevin Bailey.

Don Harron, Canadian Actor-Writer-Comedian Who Portrayed Alter Ego Charlie Farquharson On TV In Canada And US, R.I.P.

Don Harron, the Canadian actor, writer, and comedian who is best remembered by American television viewers for his portrayal as his country bumpkin alter ego Charlie Farquharson (a character he had developed years earlier in Canada) during his 1969-86 stint on the long-running Hee Haw, passed away on Saturday at his home in his native Toronto at age 90.

At the end, Mr. Harron, who was a Canadian entertainment icon, was surrounded by family members after electing not to seek further treatment for cancer.






Friday, January 16, 2015

The NCAA Record For Most Coaching Victories

Well, the record is JoePa's again.

Ducks Finish Second In Both Final AP And Coaches Gridiron Polls

The Oregon Ducks finished second in both the final Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches college football polls of the season this week after their CFP National Championship Game setback at Ohio State's hands.

Pilots Fall To Lions In City Of Angels

At Los Angeles:

Ayodeji Egbeyemi scored 22 points while Marin Mornar added 21 to go with his ten rebounds on Thursday night as the Loyola Marymount Lions (1-5 in WCC play, 5-13 overall) defeated the visiting Portland Pilots (2-4, 11-7) 80-68 for their first West Coast Conference victory of the season.

Eagles Hold Off Vikings On Road

At Portland, Oregon:

Tyler Harvey scored 23 points while Parker Kelly added 19 (shooting six for nine from three-point range) and Bogdan Bliznyuk contributed 18 from the bench as the Eastern Washington Eagles (4-0 in Big Sky play, 13-4 overall) held off the Portland State Vikings (2-3, 8-7) 92-85 on Thursday on the road despite 26 points from the Vikings' Gary Winston.

Cougs Win Wild OT Shootout With Ducks

At Pullman, Oregon:

Josh Hawkinson scored 26 points (and grabbed 13 rebounds) while DaVonte Lacy added 24 and Ike Iroegbu contributed 20 as the Washington State Cougars (3-1 in Pac-12 play, 9-7 overall) outlasted the visiting Oregon Ducks (2-2, 12-5) 108-99 in overtime on Thursday night.  Joseph Young paced the Ducks with 32 points while Elgin Cook added 26 (to go with his 10 rebounds).

The 108 points were the most the Cougars scored in 288 encounters with the Ducks. 

Too Much Huskies For Beavers

At Seattle:

Mike Anderson scored all 11 of his points in the second half while Robert Upshaw (with 15 rebounds and six blocks) and Andrew Andrews (off the bench) each added 12 on Thursday night as the Washington Huskies (1-3 in Pac-12 play, 12-4 overall) defeated the visiting Oregon State Beavers (2-2, 11-5) 56-43.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oh, Well

At least he's 1-0 lifetime as an interim NFL head coach.

Monday, January 12, 2015

BUCKS BUCK DUCKS, WRAP UP FIRST NATIONAL TITLE SINCE '02

At Arlington, Texas:
Urban Meyer won his third national title, and his first with Ohio State
Running back Zeke Elliot ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns as the Ohio State Buckeyes (14-1) broke open what was turning into a tight game and ran away from the Oregon Ducks (13-2) 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday night for their first gridiron national title since 2002.  Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer (that's him hoisting the CFP Championship trophy) won his third national crown (he won it twice at Florida).  OSU quarterback Cardale Jones, in only his third collegiate start, 16 of 23 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown (one yard to Nick Vannett).

Meanwhile, in what may have been his final regular-season game, Ducks quarterback (and Heisman Trophy winner) Marcus Mariota completed 24 of 37 passes for 333 yards and a pair of touchdowns (seven yards to Keanon Lowe and 70 yards to Byran Marshall).  The Oregon defense, though, got bogged down in the third and fourth quarters due to long Ohio State touchdown drives.

The national title is the Buckeyes' fifth and first since 2002.

USATSI photo

Ducks Have Support In AP Poll

The Oregon Ducks, despite a 1-1 weekend, managed to gain support in the Associated Press poll, where they would be in a four-way tie for 38th place.  Meanwhile, what support the Ducks had in last week's USA Today/Coaches poll had evaporated.

Despite their big win over Arizona and their 11-4 overall record (including an unbeaten record at home), the Oregon State Beavers still received no support in either poll.

Ditto for the two Portland schools.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Beavers Knock Off Zona, Stay Unbeaten At Home

At Corvallis, Oregon:

The Oregon State Beavers (2-1 in Pac-12 play, 11-4 overall) remained unbeaten at home after upsetting the visiting Arizona Wildcats (#7 in the Associated Press poll, #6 in the USA Today/Coaches rankings; 2-1, 14-2) 58-56 on Sunday, their first victory over a top-10-ranked team since 2000. Langston Morris-Walker, who delivered the go-ahead layup with 26 seconds remaining,  paced the Beavers with 12 points while Gary Payton II added 10 and grabbed nine rebounds, while the Wildcats were led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's 14 points and T.J. McConnell's 13.

NFL Playoffs: Packers, Colts Advance To Conference Title Games

The divisional round of the National Football League playoffs concluded on Sunday with two games.

National Football Conference:

At Green Bay, Wisconsin:

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes, including the game winner from 13 yards to Richard Rodgers, as the Green Bay Packers battled back from behind to upend the visiting Dallas Cowboys 26-21 in a divisional playoff game.  The Packers had won all eight of their regular-season home contests while the Cowboys had gone undefeated on the road before Sunday.



American Football Conference:

At Denver:

Quarterback Andrew Luck completed 27 of 43 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns while Daniel Herron carried the ball 23 times for 63 yards and another score (a six-yard run) as the Indianapolis Colts knocked off the home-standing Denver Broncos 24-13.


Both conference championship games will take place next Sunday.

National Football Conference:

Green Bay @ Seattle, 12:00 Noon, Pacific Time (Fox)

American Football Conference:

Indianapolis @ New England, 3:30 PM, Pacific Time (CBS)



The winners will square off in Super Bowl XLIX, to take place on Sunday, February 1 at 3:30 PM, Pacific Time, at Glendale, Arizona (NBC).

Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Hollywood Scion, R.I.P.

Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., son of the legendary same-named motion picture producer who went on to become an influential executive in his own right, while supporting young directors and advancing the independent film movement, passed away on Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from congestive heart failure at age 88.

Anita Ekberg, Sultry Swedish Film Beauty Who Starred In "La Dolce Vita," R.I.P.

Anita Ekberg, the Swedish-born actress who starred in the Federico Fellini 1960 motion picture "La Dolce Vita,"  passed away on Sunday at Rocca di Papa, Italy at age 83.

The cause of Miss Ekberg's passing was complications from a long illness, according to her attorney.

Anita was cast by Mr. Fellini as a hedonistic American actress who was visiting Rome:

"A single moonlit scene — in which she wades into the Trevi Fountain in a strapless evening gown, turns her face ecstatically to the fountain’s waterfall and seductively calls Marcello Mastroianni’s character, a jaded journalist, to join her — established her place in cinema history."

Pilots Whacked By Dons At Home

At Portland, Oregon:

Devin Watson scored 21 points on Saturday as the San Francisco Dons (2-4 in WCC play, 8-10 overall) knocked off the Portland Pilots (2-3, 11-6) 89-77 on the road despite 20 points from the Pilots' Kevin Bailey.

Vikings Knock Off Fighting Sioux At Grand Forks

At Grand Forks, North Dakota:

Braxton Tucker scored 20 points on Saturday as the Portland State Vikings (2-2 in Big Sky play, 8-6 overall) defeated the North Dakota Fighting Sioux 82-75 (1-3, 5-10) on the road.

Ducks Hold Off Sun Devils

At Eugene, Oregon:

Joseph Young scored 16 points while Elgin Cook added 14, two of them on a pair of game-clinching free throws with 9.3 seconds remaining as the Oregon Ducks (2-1 in Pac-12 play, 12-4 overall) held off the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils (0-3, 8-8) 59-56.  The Ducks' Jordan Bell, who scored eight points, match a 30-year-old school record with eight blocked shots.

NFL Playoffs: Pats, Hawks Advance

The divisional round of the National Football League playoff commenced with two games on Saturday.

American Football Conference:

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Quarterback Tom Brady completed 33 of 50 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns, the last being of 23 yards to Brandon LaFell (which was Tom Terrific's 46th career playoff TD pass, breaking Hall of Famer Joe Montana's record) with 5:04 remaining as the New England Patriots overcame two 14-point deficits to upend the visiting Baltimore Ravens 35-31 to advance to their fourth straight AFC Championship Game, whey they would host next Sunday.



National Football Conference:

At Seattle:

Russell Wilson threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns while Kam Chancellor ran back an interception 90 yards for a TD midway through the fourth quarter as the Seattle Seahawks cruised to a 31-17 home win over the Carolina Panthers and earned the right to host next Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

BISON NIP REDBIRDS FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT FCS CROWN

At Frisco, Texas:

Quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 237 yards and a touchdown while running for 87 yards and another score on Saturday as the North Dakota State Bison won their unprecedented fourth straight Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division 1-AA) national title 29-27 over the Illinois State Redbirds.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cartoon Time, Boys and Girls!

From 1932, here an Aesop's Fables cartoon entitled "The Wild Goose Chase."  In this one, two cats are in the pursuit of the pot of gold.

Produced in New York City by the Van Beuren Corporation and released theatrically by RKO-Pathe, this cartoon, with music synchronization by Gene Rodemich, was directed by John Foster and Mannie Davis.

Andrae Crouch, Legendary Gospel Singer, R.I.P.

Andrae Crouch, a singer and songwriter who infused gospel with soul, passed away on Thursday in Los Angeles at age 72.

Mr. Crouch, who had been in poor health for some time, passed away five days after suffering a heart attack.

Here's a look at some of  Andrae's many highlights:

His best-known, often performed with a choir, included “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” a slow, pulsing, bluesy number that he wrote as a teenager; “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory),” which begins with the longing of a torch song and swells to an anthem; and “Soon and Very Soon,” which, with its joyous R&B flavor, was sung by a choir at a public memorial for Michael Jackson. They were both churchly and rocking, and they gave Mr. Crouch a following beyond the realm of gospel fans.


From the mid-1960s into the ’80s, he led the group AndraĆ© Crouch and the Disciples, which performed at the Hollywood Bowl, at Carnegie Hall and on “The Tonight Show” and toured in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. He appeared a handful of times on “Saturday Night Live.” The easy-listening group the Johnny Mann Singers recorded an album of his songs.
Mr. Crouch was also an arranger, producer and choirmaster, and led choirs that sang on pop hits including Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” Paul Simon included his song “Jesus Is the Answer,” featuring the Jessy Dixon Singers, on his 1974 album “Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin’.” His song “I’ve Got Confidence” was covered by Elvis Presley in 1972 on his gospel album “He Touched Me.”


Mr. Crouch also worked in the movies and television. He composed, arranged and conducted music for the “The Color Purple” (1985), for which he shared an Oscar nomination with Quincy Jones and others. He was also the choral arranger and conductor for “The Lion King.” He composed the theme music for the television comedy series “Amen,” starring Sherman Hemsley as a church deacon. In the 1994 television movie “In Search of Dr. Seuss,” he was the voice of Yertle the Turtle.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Rod Taylor, Actor Who Battled "The Birds," R.I.P.

Rod Taylor, the Australian-born actor who appeared in more than fifty films, including "The Time Machine" (1960), "The Birds" (1963), and "The Glass Bottom Boat" (1966), passed away on Wednesday at his Los Angeles home at age 84.

Sunday would have been Mr. Taylor's 85th birthday.

Pilots Buck Visiting Broncos

At Portland, Oregon:

Alec Wintering scored 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and converted all nine of his free throws on Thursday as the Portland Pilots (2-2 in WCC play, 11-5 overall) coasted to a 78-61 home victory over the Santa Clara Broncos (2-3, 7-9).

Bears Hold Off Vikings

At Greeley, Colorado:

Cameron Michael scored a career-high 22 points while Tevin Svihovec and Jordan Wilson each added 16 as the Northern Colorado Bears (2-1 in Big Sky play, 7-7 overall) outlasted the visiting Portland State Vikings (1-2, 7-6) 90-85 on Thursday, despite 19 points each from DaShaun Wiggins and Gary Winston for the visitors.

Beavers Hold Off Sun Devils, Stay Unbeaten At Home

At Corvallis, Oregon:

Malcolm Duvivier scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out five assists on Thursday as the Oregon State Beavers (1-1 in Pac-12 play, 10-4 overall) remained undefeated at home following their 55-47 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils (0-2, 8-7).

Zona Too Much For Ducks In Eugene

At Eugene, Oregon:

T.J. McConnell scored a season-high 21 points on Thursday night as the Arizona Wildcats (#7 in the Associated Press poll, #6 in the USA Today/Coaches rankings; 2-0 in Pac-12 play, 14-1 overall), with all five starters scoring in double figures, overpowered the Oregon Ducks (1-1, 11-4) 80-62 on the road.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Men's Hoops: Ducks Get Support In Coaches Poll

The Oregon Ducks received one vote of support in the latest USA Today/Coaches men's college basketball poll.  The Ducks would be in a four-way tie for 46th place.  It was the only show of support in either the Coaches or AP poll for any of the Beaver State's four Division I programs.

Big Unit, Pedro, Smoltzie, Craig Biggio Elected To Baseball Hall of Fame

Pitchers Randy Johnson (who played in 22 Major League Baseball seasons, had a record of 303 wins against 166 defeats, an earned run average of 3.29), Pedro Martinez 219-100 in parts of 18 seasons, 2.93 ERA), and John Smoltz (213-155 in parts of 21 seasons, 3.33 ERA, 154 saves, making him the only pitcher with at least 200 wins and 150 saves)-----all on their first try, and longtime Houston Astoros player who had 3060 career base hits--on his third try----were elected Tuesday to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the first time since 1955 that four men were elected to the HOF. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

Bess Myerson, Miss America of 1945, TV Personality, Head Of NYC Consumer Affairs, R.I.P.

Bess Myerson who became the first Jewish Miss America (1945), then became a popular television personality in the 1950s and '60s (she was a panelist on I've Got A Secret from 1959 to 1967) before becoming the head of two New York City agencies (Consumer Affairs and Cultural), then was involved in a shattering municipal scandal in the 1980s, passed away on December 14 at her Santa Monica, California home at age 90.

Bess' passing was not made public until Monday.

GoDaddy Bowl: Kareem Runs Wild As Rockets Take Offensive Slugfest At Red Wolves' Expense

At Mobile, Alabama:

In the final FBS bowl game of the season (save for next Monday's CFP title game between Oregon and Ohio State), sophomore running back Kareem Hunt ran for a bowl-record 271 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Toledo Rockets (9-4) to a 63-44 victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-6) in Sunday's GoDaddy Bowl.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

NFL Playoffs: Colts, Cowboys Advance

The opening round of the National Football League playoffs concluded on Sunday with two games.

American Football Conference:

At Indianapolis:

Andrew Luck threw for 376 yards and a touchdown (36 yards to Donte Moncrief) while Adam Vinatieri knocked in four field goals (38, 29, 22, and 53 yards) as the Indianapolis Colts defeated the visiting Cincinnati Bengals 26-10, assuring themselves of a divisional playoff game at Denver next Sunday.  The Bengals became the first team in NFL history to lose their playoff opener four consecutive years (their quarterback Andy Dalton, playing without injured key weapons, falling to 0-4 in playoff games), while Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis fell to 0-6 lifetime in postseason games.



National Football Conference:

At Arlington, Texas:

Quarterback Tony Romo threw a pair of touchdown passes to Terrence Williams (79 and 8 yards, the latter for the game-winning score) as the Dallas Cowboys came from behind to upend the visiting Detroit Lions 24-20.



Here's the schedule for next weekend's divisional playoffs, with all times Pacific:

American Football Conference:

Saturday:

Baltimore @ New England, 1:35 PM (NBC)

Sunday:

Indianapolis @ Denver, 1:40 PM (CBS)


National Football Conference:


Saturday:

Carolina @ Seattle, 5:15 PM (Fox)

Sunday:

Dallas @ Green Bay, 10:05 AM (Fox)

Lumberjacks Cut Down Vikings In Portland

At Portland, Oregon:

Ako Kaluna scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds on Saturday as the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (1-1 in Big Sky play, 6-9 overall) defeated the Portland State Vikings (1-1, 7-5) 73-60 on the road.  Gary Winston paced the Vikes with 18 points.

Zags Outgun Game Pilots

At Portland, Oregon:

Kevin Pangos and Prezemek Karnowski each scored 21 points on Saturday night as the Gonzaga Bulldogs (#7 in the Associated Press poll, #8 in the USA Today/Coaches rankings; 3-0 in WCC play, 14-1 overall) defeated the Portland Pilots (1-2, 10-5) 87-75 on the road.  Alec Wintering paced the Pilots with 20 points.

Ducks Top Beavers In Civil War Clash----And Pac-12 Conference Opener

At Eugene, Oregon:

In Saturday's 343th edition of the Civil War series----as well as the Pac-12 Conference opener for both schools---Joseph Young scored 27 points as the Oregon Ducks (11-3 overall) defeated the visiting Oregon State Beavers (9-4 overall) 71-59.

NFL Playoffs: Panthers, Ravens Advance

Two opening-round games took place on Saturday as the National Football League playoff commenced.

National Football Conference:

At Charlotte, North Carolina:

The Carolina Panthers held the visiting Arizona Cardinals to an NFL playoff-record low 78 yards of total offense in their 27-16 opening-round victory.  Quarterback Cam Newton completed 18 of 32 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns while running back Jonathan Stewart carried the ball 24 times for 123 yards and another score. 



American Football Conference:

At Pittsburgh:

Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 18 of 29 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns as the Baltimore Ravens knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 on the road in their first-round contest.  The Ravens will visit the New England Patriots in a divisional playoff game next Saturday. 

Stuart "Booyah" Scott, ESPN "SportsCenter" Anchorman, R.I.P.

Stuart Scott, the veteran ESPN SportsCenter anchorman best remembered for shouting the word "Booyah" when reporting videotaped highlights on that program, passed away on Sunday at age 49 following a long battle with cancer.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Birmingham Bowl: Gators Top Pirates

At Birmingham, Alabama:

Treon Harris threw an 86-yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Fulwood in the third quarter and Vernon Hargreaves III intercepted a pass in the end zone with 80 seconds remaining in regulation as the Florida Gators (7-5) defeated the East Carolina Panthers (8-5) 28-20 in Saturday's Birmingham Bowl.

Little Jimmy Dickens, Longtime "Opry" Member, Country Music Legend, R.I.P.

Little Jimmy Dickens, a longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry cast best remembered for his classic 1965 recording "May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," passed away at a Nashville hospital on Friday from cardiac arrest at age 94.

Mr. Dickens was the oldest member of the Opry cast, which he joined in 1948.

At four-feet, eleven-inches in height, West Virginia-born Jimmy was perhaps short on height, but big in voice.  He was known by the nickname Tater (supplied to him by Hank Williams), a nod to his 1949 hit "Take an Old Cold Tater (and Wait)."

His most-remebered hit, the aforementioned "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" spent two weeks on the top of Billboard's Country and Western chart and crossed over into the top 20 on the Pop charts.

Jimmy was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983 and was still performing on the Opry into his 90s.

Cactus Bowl: Cowboys Hold Off Huskies

At Tempe, Arizona:

Mason Rudolph threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns while 300-pound defensive tackle James Castleman ran a yard for a TD and caught a pass for 48 yards as the Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-6) defeated the Washington Huskies (8-6) 30-22 in Friday's TicketCity Cactus Bowl.

Alamo Bowl: Bruins Hold Off K-State Comeback

At San Antonio:

Paul Perkins ran for 194 yards on 20 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns (32 and 67 yards) as the UCLA Bruins (10-3) blew a 25-point halftime lead but still held off the Kansas State Wildcats (9-4) 40-35 in Friday's Alamo Bowl game.

TaxSlayer Bowl: Vols Too Much For Hawkeyes

At Jacksonville, Florida:

Quarterback (and the game's Most Valuable Player) Joshua Dobbs threw for 19 yards to Von Pearson for a touchdown and ran for two more scores (8 and 11 yards) while Jalen Hurd carried the ball 16 times for 122 yards and a pair of TDs of his own (3 and 29 yards) on Friday as the Tennessee Volunteers (7-6) dominated the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-6) 45-28 in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Donna Douglas, Actress Who Played Elly May Clampett On "Beverly Hillbillies," R.I.P.

Donna Douglas, the actress best remembered for her portrayal of the animal-loving hillbilly tomboy Elly May Clampett (daughter of Jed) on the 1962-71 classic CBS Network sitcom, The Beverly Hillbillies, passed away  at her Zachary, Louisiana home on Thursday from pancreatic cancer at age 81.

Armed Forces Bowl: Late Comeback Carries Cougars Past Pitt Panthers

At Fort Worth, Texas:

In Friday's edition of the Armed Forces Bowl, quarterback Greg Ward threw three touchdown passes in the final 3:41 of the game and completed the game-winning two-point conversion pass to Deontay Greenberry (who also caught a touchdown pass) as the Houston Cougars (8-5) shocked the Pittsburgh Panthers (6-7) 35-34.  Two of the Cougars' fourth-quarter touchdowns came after they had successfully recovered onside kickoffs.

Vikings Top T-Birds In Conference Opener

At Portland, Oregon:

Gary Winston scored 18 points on New Year's Day while Braxton Tucker added 16 as the Portland State Vikings (1-0 in Big Sky play, 7-4 overall) edged the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (0-1, 3-9) 71-68 in the Big Sky Conference openers for both schools. 

Sugar Bowl: Buckeyes Overcome Crimson Tide, Will Take On Ducks In National Title Game

At New Orleans:

In his second collegiate start, quarterback Cardale Jones completed 18 of 35 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown (47 yards to Devin Smith) while running back (and the game's Most Valuable Player) Ezekiel Elliot carried the ball 20 times for 230 yards and two scores as the fourth-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes (13-1) overcame a fifteen-point second-quarter deficit and upended the top-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide (12-2) 42-35 in Thursday's Sugar Bowl, which acted as the second semifinal contest in the College Football Playoff.

The Buckeyes will take on the Oregon Ducks in the first CFP National Championship Game, on Monday, January 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

This will be the first time in nine years that no Southeastern Conference team will play in the national championship contest.

Rose Bowl: Ducks Ambush Seminoles, Advance To Title Game; FSU Winning Streak Ends At 29

At Pasadena, California:

In the span of just under 13 minutes of game time on Thursday, the second-seeded Oregon Ducks (13-1) smashed opened what was a 25-20 game into a 59-20 demolition of the previously-unbeaten----and defending national champions, the #3-seeded Florida State Seminoles (13-1) in the Rose Bowl Game which was also the opening semifinal match of the inaugural edition of the College Football Playoff, ending the Seminoles' winning streak at 29 games.  Quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 26 of 36 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns, both to Darren Carrington (56 and 30 yards).  Linebacker Tony Washington ran back a fumble 58 yards for another score.  The Ducks scored the last 34 points of the game.  Oregon scored six straight times they had the ball in the second half, five of the touchdowns covered at least 21 yards, the last four coming off Florida State turnovers as the Seminoles' winning streak ended at 29 games.

Citrus Bowl: Mizzou Too Much For Gophers

At Orlando, Florida:

Marcus Murphy ran for 159 yards while Russell Hansbrough added 114 more and scored a touchdown on Thursday as the Missouri Tigers (11-3) manhandled the Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-5) 33-17 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (formerly the Capital One Bowl).

Cotton Bowl: Spartans Score 21 Points In 4th Quarter, Upend Baylor

At Arlington, Texas:

Quarterback Connor Cook threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Keith Mumphrey with 17 seconds left and Michael Geiger added the extra point as the Michigan State Spartans (11-2) overcame a 20-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter and shocked the Baylor Bears (11-2) 42-41 in Thursday's 79th edition of the Cotton Bowl Classic.

Outback Bowl: Badgers Top Auburn In OT

At Tampa, Florida:

Melvin Gordon carried the ball 34 times for 251 yards and three touchdowns while Rafael Gaglianone kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime from 25 yards out on Thursday as the Wisconsin Badgers (11-3) defeated the Auburn Tigers (8-5) 34-31 in the Outback Bowl.