Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sports Round-Up, Volume 8

Hail to the (New) Chief: As expected, former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was named Wednesday as the next head coach of the Washington Redskins, the seventh head coach hired during Daniel Snyder's tenure as owner. On the surface, the move looks good; Shanahan won a pair of Super Bowls at the end of John Elway's Hall of Fame career, but Shanahan only won one playoff game since Elways' retirement. Can Shanahan -- along with new general manager Bruce Allen -- be the guy to bring stability to a franchise that hasn't tasted glory since 1991? If Snyder backs off and lets Allen and Shanahan do their jobs, there's a good chance the Redskins could return to NFL relevance. But with questions on the offensive line, in the secondary and at quarterback, it's going to be a while before we see whether the hiring of Shanahan was a home run or a foul tip.

The Best -- But Still Not Good Enough: For the second time in four years, the Boise State football team won every game on its schedule -- including impressive wins over Pac-10 champion Oregon and in the Fiesta Bowl over No. 4 TCU. What will the Broncos get for their efforts? Thanks to the BCS, probably nothing more than a pat on the head. Never mind the fact that Boise State will end the year as one of just two undefeated teams in FBS, and never mind the fact that the Broncos can't really help how strong their conference -- the WAC -- is. Boise State might just enter next season in the Top 5 in the AP poll, which could position the Broncos for a national championship run should they go undefeated again, but at what point do we stop treating Boise State like they're sitting at the kids' table and realize they can play with anyone in the country?

Big Unit Hangs 'Em Up: Whether we ever see another 300-game winner in baseball doesn't really matter; all that matters now is that the latest pitcher to reach that milestone -- lefty Randy Johnson -- announced his retirement on Tuesday. His career took him to Montreal, Seattle, Houston, Arizona, New York and San Francisco, during which time Johnson won 303 games, wound up second all-time in strikeouts with over 4,800, won five Cy Young Awards and was Co-MVP of the 2001 World Series. Throw in two no-hitters -- and one perfect game -- and you have one of the best left-handed pitchers ever. From his 6-foot-10 frame to his mullet to that stare to his killer slider, Johnson is a surefire Hall of Famer. Just don't expect John Kruk to come to his induction ceremony.

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