Fourth and Long

Published 11:22 am Friday, May 4, 2012

It has been two weeks since I wrote a sports column and a lot has happened since then. Seems conditions are perfect for one of my no flow, but no blow rant and rave columns.

RIP Junior Seau. I have never been a Chargers fan (except for that one season Natrone Means led them to the Super Bowl), but as a fan of the game Seau was always a treat to watch. He was a perfect example of what you get when you mix a high motor with an athletic specimen.

Seau’s suicide will once again bring to the forefront the discussion regarding the relationship between football, concussions and depression and it should. The numbers don’t lie and the numbers say the connections between the three are real.

The draft has come and gone and as far as I can see there were no major surprises. Luck went to the Colts and RG3 is a Redskin as everyone knew they would be. If there was a surprise at all it was that the Patriots actually moved up in first round…twice.

New England has long been known for choosing quantity over quality in the draft. As the Tom Brady era nears an end, however, it appears that the Patriots front office sees the championship window closing and haven chosen to try and win now and not build for later.

The first round of the NBA playoffs is in full swing and the storylines are plentiful.

In the Boston Celtics game one loss to the Hawks, Rajon Rondo seemingly hemmed up the boneheaded move of the week award by chest bumping a referee and earning himself a one-game suspension.

Not be done outdone, however, the Knicks Amare Stoudemire decided to take the frustrations of a game two loss against the Miami Heat out on a glass case. Needless to say it was a fight Amare lost and stitches in his hand have all, but guaranteed that Stoudemire will be out the rest of the series. Given the way the Knicks have played recently that should not be long.

Derrick Rose’s injury and loss for the payoffs have certainly changed the road to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat have long been the favorites to win it all but most expected and many, myself included, looked forward to a Chicago-Miami seven game series.

Now the question in the east is, can anyone provide a challenge on Miami’s road to the NBA Finals? My bet would be Boston who, while inconsistent has proven capable of playing great basketball for spurts. They just have to get past the Hawks first.

With the news that longtime Roy Williams assistant Jerod Haase would be leaving the UNC program to become the head coach at UAB, I spent about 10 minutes feeling both sad for Roy and happy for Jerod.

At the 11th minute I began to speculate as to who would take his place. That question has been answered with the announcement that former Tar Heel and NBA veteran Hubert Davis will be joining the Carolina staff.

Davis has been front and center covering college basketball for ESPN, but I am overjoyed that he has decided to take his passion and knowledge to Chapel Hill. I think he has a bright future in coaching and his hire is a homerun.


David Friedman is a long-time contributor to Roanoke-Chowan Publications. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at