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Quatro de Mayo Sunday Thoughts

Kevin C. Cox

Just when you think things have calmed down and we are going to ease into summer football boredom, Clemson gives us another week's worth of discussion and quasi-controversy.  As you all know, Clemson decided to jack Pete Yanity last week in favor of "Coach" Don Munson as the football play by play announcer.  I cannot say that I am the biggest Yanity fan in the world.  I thought that he did a decent job with the play-by-play but nothing overly special.  Maybe having to work side by side with the likes of Will Merritt brought the whole product down.  Maybe the fact that Pete was definitely not Jim Phillips soured the listening pleasure for me.  Maybe the whole orange in the endzone crap was too much, I am not sure.  What I am sure of is that Yanity (and everyone who listens to Clemson Football) got a raw deal with the Munson replacement.

Let's go ahead and get this item out there, "Coach" Don Munson is Dabo's boy.  Munson's major responsibilities, as we've discussed many times before, included scouring the internet for items that were not favorable to Coach Dabo, screening questions posed to Dabo at IPTAY meetings and such, and calling Tiger Baseball.  Yes, Don Munson was effectively the Clemson Football media czar whose responsibilities included identifying naysayers and working to eliminate all things completely objective from the Clemson media lineup.  To his (and Swinney's) credit, they were successful as now all you get is softball questions that never press the real issues (i.e., why has there been no major overhaul in S&C?  Why do we never seem to have enough linemen and why don't we adjust recruiting strategy?).  We know Swinney has seen items from this website and has been interested in what the general consensus thinks, which I definitely understand following the debacle of 2010.

Anyway, the Football Program has brought in other personnel (Turnipseed from what I understand has taken over most of Munson's role) that eliminated the need for Munson.  I am sure that D-Rad came in and immediately asked the obvious question, "What does this 'Coach' Don Munson do?  And why does he insinuate that he is any type of coach?"  After learning that Munson basically trolls internet boards all day, then was replaced with someone more useful, either Munson needed more responsibility or needed to be let go.  Munson is Dabo's boy so you know the latter would not be an option.  The solution?  Slide Munson into the play-by-play slot and boot the non full-time Clemson employee, Pete Yanity.  Again, I am not against replacing and (or all) of the Clemson Radio folks but to just toss Don Munson in as the Voice of the Tigers  because they cannot find a legit spot for him at Clemson is just stupid.  If you want to replace Yanity, go find someone competent who actually deserves the job and not an admin castaway.  Oh, and there is this from the Tribble Reese files.

As for the Clemson Radio staff, if you are going to replace anyone the first person in line should be Will Merritt.  I'd also make adjustments to the sideline / locker room job.  Half of the time I don't know what Sapp is even talking about and wish he'd provide better commentary / more information that is actually relevant to the football game.  The best combination there that I can recall would be Rodney on the sidelines and Mike Eppley in the booth.  Rodney was jam up, provided good commentary, asked good questions, and told you what he was thinking.  Eppley was great in the booth.  He is intelligent and understands the game well.

Moving forward...Dabo Swinney was able to add to his quarterback stable last week by bringing in David Olson.  Olson, an Irmo native, was brought in to add depth following the departure of Swag.  I believe this move was made for a couple reasons, the main one is depth and fear that attrition may not be complete.  Swinney had an open scholarship due to Kelly's departure so he chose to bring in a Stanford graduate who conveniently has only one year of eligibility remaining.  I do not know much about Olson's on-field skills but assume that he's pretty sharp (Stanford graduate) and will provide value in the film room as well as on the practice squad.  I do not think this will allow Clemson to redshirt Deshaun Watson.  The only way I see him being redshirted is if he is physically unable to participate come fall.

What is up with boxing these days?  A couple weeks ago Bernard Hopkins is winning his title fight.  Last night Money Mayweather won via decision.  if you didn't know, Hopkins is 49 years old and Mayweather 37.  While there is nothing wrong with experienced guys winning big in major sports, I expect to see this type of success in golf--not boxing.  Boxing seems like it would be a younger man's game given everything that is involved with the sport.  Congratulations to these fighters...we could end up seeing a 50 year old boxing champ in the near future I suppose.

J.B. Holmes leads at Quail Hollow at -13 with Martin Flores one shot off the pace.  Of interest is Phil.  Mickelson fired a 63 yesterday to put him two shots out going into the final round.  This track will host the PGA Championship in a couple years and is the final tuneup prior to the boys heading down to Jacksonville for the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

2 to 1 favorite California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby yesterday.  Horse racing is a great thing to watch but it is rare that such a horse can rise through the ranks to win the greatest prize of them all.  As everyone knows, a couple guys dipped into their retirement accounts, shelled out $10k, and ended up with the best racehorse in the world.  That is incredible and it was fun/unique to see such an ownership group (combined with a 77 year old trainer) was able to win out over other stables with much, much more cash invested.

NASCAR is in Talladega this weekend.  I'll say that the knockout qualifying was interesting yesterday...certainly more entertaining than the old turn a couple laps by yourself method.  Most of the drivers (sans the 88) seemed to like this qualifying method.  That probably wouldn't have been the case had there been a big crash.  As you all know, I really enjoy watching superspeedway action and Talladega features some of the best racing that Winston Cup has to offer.  The cars run in packs.  The drivers must race each other along with the airflow patterns associated with high speed drafting.  The drivers must form alliances, must race with one eye on the track, the other in the rear view mirror.  Spotters try to keep these guys out of trouble and "the big one."  It is 499 laps of pure excitement and one of the last remaining good things in NASCAR.