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ElViento: So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this site, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

I’m planning to have one weekly update, with links to applicable UH-related posts from SB Nation, as well as links and commentary on any other Cougar news items of the week. Then, a top-five list that’s completely unrelated, just for giggles.  So it’ll look something like this:

This Week On SB Nation Houston (7/1)

“Just Trust Me” – Feature on Mack Rhoades’ first year at UH

Karma delivered by former Cougar Rob Johnson

Sporting News gives Keeum back-handed compliment

Around The Web

Houston Cougar volleyball announces its 2010 schedule… First-year coach Molly Alvey isn’t ducking anybody. The Coogs will play TCU, UT-Austin, Florida State, Oklahoma and Tennessee among others.

Recent Astro draftee, and former Cougar Chris Wallace is tearing the cover off the ball with Greeneville. He homered three times in his first seven games as a professional.

And at last check, Blake Kelso was hitting .333 for the Vermont Lake Monsters (yes, that’s the real team name) in the Washington Nationals system.

Unrelated Top Five – Songs About Heaven Or Hell

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven

AC/DC – Hell’s Bells

OPM – Heaven is a Halfpipe

The Clash – Straight to Hell

Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven

P.S.

I’m now actively looking for more writers to have a better variety of opinions ’round here. If you want to sound off, use the ‘Contact Us’ tab to shoot me off an e-mail. Thanks.

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ElViento: Are you doing anything this Thursday evening? Of course not.

So why not come out, enjoy some food with yours truly, David Nuño of 1560 The Game, and former Houston Rocket Robert Reid?

More info here, with an RSVP function.

All are welcome. Hope to see you there.

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ElViento: Hey everybody, we’re going to do something a little more off-the-beaten-path today. I created a quiz using quotes from coaches who were rumored to be leaving their jobs. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to determine whether the coach in question ended up staying or leaving.

The quiz can be found here.

The cheat sheet can be found here. Click on over afterwards to see who said what.

Have fun!

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For actual Cougar sports reporting, check out CCD.

ElViento: No, there is no typo of omission in the title of this piece. Allow me to explain.

For those not familiar with the history of this site, it started as the brainchild of founders SarCoog and Bobb-o. They came up with the name “Scott & Holman” from one of the four intersections that surround Robertson Stadium. Why Scott & Holman, and not – say – Cullen & Wheeler? I believed that it was simply a symptom of “Scott & Holman” sounding cooler than any of the other available intersections. However, after doing some research recently, I can only conclude that there is something more sinister at work here. Strap in, we’re about to touch on two of the biggest losses in the history of the University of Houston.

It starts with a man by the name of Randy Scott Holman, a pitcher for the New York Mets in the early 1980s. Apparently not a fan of his first name, he went by Scott Holman. After a couple of promising, although brief appearances for the Mets, Holman finally got an entire season’s worth of work at age 24, putting up respectable numbers. Local writer Vic Ziegel called Holman the “most promising of the new faces and arms” on the Mets. And why not? By season’s end, Holman had just turned 25, and had a career ERA of 3.34. Then something funny happened. The Mets released Holman, eventually re-signing him to a minor-league deal. Holman would never throw a pitch in the major leagues again. I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer on why this happened, but at least one Mets writer described Holman as having “chronic shoulder problems”, which may have contributed. Holman’s final season was 1983, a date which makes the Cougar faithful cringe still 27 years later. Because 1983, of course, was the year that the greatest team in the history of major University of Houston sports, the ultimate Phi Slamma Jamma team, lost as huge favorites in the national championship game to unlikely North Carolina State. It remains one of the great upsets in college basketball history.

Holman’s final season in the minors took place two years later, in 1985. Which you may not know is the last year that the famed Houston Cougar golf program won a national title, the program’s third in four years and 16th overall (still the second-most all-time by any school).

Back to Scott Holman. That particular name also happens to belong to a former NFL wide receiver. Unlike the pitcher, Holman the wideout was actually born with the first name Scott. And frankly, I can understand why he stuck with Scott. His middle name was Huntington. If you take the rejected names of the Scott Holmans, you would end up with “Randy Huntington“. Who, I asked myself, is Randy Huntington?

That question led me to the greatest setback suffered by the greatest Cougar athlete of all-time: Carl Lewis.

Lewis is one of the most dominant athletes to ever set foot on the earth. In total, he won nine Olympic gold medals; three individual running golds, another two relay golds, and four long-jumping golds. The long jump was perhaps Lewis’ most dominant event. At one point, Lewis won 65 consecutive long jump events, over the span of ten years. The one goal that remained elusive to Lewis, however, was the all-time record set by Bob Beamon. Beamon jumped 29 feet, 2.5 inches in the 1968 Olympics at high altitudes, and would never jump even 27 feet again. Lewis consistently jumped 28 feet and beyond, but could never quite reach Beamon’s mark. Then came the 1991 World Championships. Lewis went up against his closest competitor, Mike Powell, the silver medalist in the long jump at the ’88 Olympics. In the fourth round, Lewis leapt 29 feet, 2.75 inches, surpassing Beamon’s record. However, it was ruled a wind-aided jump, so it did not count as a new world record. Insult to injury: on his next jump, Powell promptly jumped 29 feet, 4.5 inches. The wind had died down enough that Powell’s jump counted. Not only did Lewis not have his record, Powell did, and Lewis’ winning streak was gone.

Would you believe that Powell was coached by a man named Randy Huntington? It’s true.

Further food for thought: Holman the pitcher made at least one appearance in every National League stadium (at the time) in his career…except the Astrodome. Pitcher Holman was born in Santa Paula, California, 106 miles from both Scott & Holman writer ElViento‘s hometown (Yorba Linda, CA) and birthplace (Fountain Valley, CA). 106 is the total number of points scored in the 1983 loss of Houston to NC State (54-52). Wide Receiver Holman made his pro debut in 1986, ElViento‘s year of birth.

So what’s one to do? Stop Googling this stuff? Embrace the coincidences and sponsor the baseball-reference page of Scott Holman? Re-name this site? Help me out, folks.

Sources:

Scott Holman baseball-ref

Met Mysteries

New York Magazine

BaseballLibrary

Scott Holman football-ref

Carl Lewis wiki

Huntington Bio

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ElViento: Another voice spoke out on Thursday, condemning Mark McGwire for his steroid use. Vitriol was spewed, harsh words were thrown around…by a pitcher who never played in Major League Baseball at the same time as Big Mac.

Ladies and gents, Ferguson Jenkins is pissed.

Ferguson Jenkins says Mark McGwire owes an apology to all those pitchers who gave up his home runs.

The Hall of Fame ace sent an open letter to The Associated Press this week, telling the former home-run king: “You have not even begun to apologize to those you have harmed.”

Um, yes. He did. You should have noticed. ESPN made kind of a big deal about it.

“How many pitchers do you think he ended their careers by hitting numbers of home runs of them?” Jenkins said during a telephone interview Wednesday.

English teachers everywhere are weeping after reading that sentence.

Jenkins also maintained he would have known how to handle the bulked-up McGwire, who hit a then-record 70 homers in 1998 and followed with 65 the following year.

“It’s tough to hit a home run off your back,” Jenkins said. “In my era, Seaver, Gibson, Drysdale, Carlton, there were so many guys that would have probably knocked him on his butt. He wouldn’t have hit home runs the way he did in that era.”

It’s amazing how reviled the steroid era is, while the era when pitchers were allowed to throw baseballs at hitter’s heads without retribution is pined for. How is that a good thing?

Thirty years ago, Jenkins himself became one of the first players caught up in baseball’s struggles with drug discipline. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended Jenkins following the pitcher’s arrest in Canada on charges of cocaine possession, but the penalty was overturned by an arbitrator less than two weeks later — the first time a baseball commissioner’s ruling was reversed. A judge gave Jenkins an absolute discharge: no fine, no jail term and no record.

So to recap, Jenkins is either a huge fucking hypocrite because he got away with using coke, or still a huge fucking hypocrite because everybody in his era was using drugs, too. They just used different drugs in an era of less media scrutiny.

“You have yet to apologize to all the pitchers you faced while juiced,” Jenkins wrote. “You altered pitchers’ lives. You may have shortened pitchers careers because of the advantage you forced over them while juiced. Have you thought about what happened when they couldn’t get you out and lost the confidence of their managers and general managers? You even managed to alter the place some athletes have achieved in record books by making your steroid-fueled run to the season home run record.”

Because pitchers never used steroids. Oh wait…

“You need to apologize to your family for depriving them of your presence as time goes on because you are likely going to die earlier than if you had never relied on andro to carry you to all your successes,” he said.

The first time I read this sentence, I only got about halfway through before it blew my mind. Then I composed myself, and tried to re-read the sentence, but it blew my mind yet again. Attempting to re-read this sentence lead to my mind being blown more often than Bill Clinton in the White House. (People are still making jokes about the Monica Lewinsky thing, right? Okay, good.) Let’s try and sort through all the different levels of crazy in this sentence.

1. Jenkins is insisting that McGwire apologize to his family for his upcoming early death. Now, I don’t care what your opinion of McGwire is. This = fucking insane. Can you imagine is a former major leaguer had come out when Josh Hamilton was on the comeback trail and said, “Wait a minute, folks! Has Josh Hamilton apologized to his friends and family yet? He could die at any moment! I demand that Josh Hamilton apologize to his family for maybe dying early!” People would have lost their fucking minds. But because it’s steroids and not cocaine, comments like this are apparently okay.

2. Now maybe Jenkins is a psychic and I owe him an apology, but even if we make the huge jump and assume that it’s any of his Goddamn business what McGwire has said to his family, how does he know what has or has not been said?

3. Andro? FUCKING ANDRO? McGwire admitted andro use in the year nineteen-ninety-fucking-eight. (When it was legal, by the way.) You’re really just now offended by this?

“La Russa is his buddy,” Jenkins said. “That’s the only reason he got to be hitting coach. I’m not sure a home-run hitter can teach a good hitter, a contact hitter, how to play, how to hit. He swung for the fences most of the time. How you going to teach a guy that’s a .240 hitter to put it in play?”

So earlier today I was trying to think of things that I care about less than results of 4th grade city league girl’s basketball scores from Tacoma, Washington. I couldn’t think of any. I just thought of one! What some old fart thinks of the St. Louis Cardinals’ hiring of McGwire as a hitting coach. And I’m a Cardinals fan.

By the way, a number of hitters on St. Louis, including Matt Holliday, have already said that their past experiences talking to McGwire have been helpful. When they were teammates, Mike Matheny (a .239 lifetime hitter) raved about spending time in the off-season with McGwire, and how much he learned.

“He wasn’t going to stay in hiding the rest of his life. Why did it take five years? Why didn’t he come clean as soon as he quit?” Jenkins said.

He wanted to, but he could have gone to jail for admitting to using illegal substances. Congress wouldn’t grant him immunity to allow him to speak his mind. Tom Davis has confirmed this. Why are we still talking about this?

So what did we learn today, kids? Just because a Hall of Famer said it doesn’t make it worth reporting.

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Scott & Holman: Take Two

Hey folks. First off, we want to apologize for our very sudden disappearance from the Internets. We all got blitzed by a number of personal issues (including a lack of Internet access), but those of you who regularly read and commented deserved better. You deserved notice of some sort. We are sorry.

We did have a lot of fun with this site when it was rolling, and we want to get back to that place. So here’s what we have planned for this site:

ElViento will post his regular old Houston Cougar analysis, which can also be found on the Houston Chronicle’s site. It may even come with added colorful language. (He tries to keep that particular site family-friendly. This one? Not so much.) We know there are those of you who still boycott the Chron for having a Longhorn doing a Cougar’s job, so if you don’t want to give that site your traffic, you won’t miss anything by only coming here.

SarCoog is on an indefinite leave of absence from the site, but we have added another writer in jtdees. Some of you may remember his stuff being linked in the past. He takes some bomb-ass action photos at a lot of Cougar games. We may add some another writer or two as time progresses. Experimentation isn’t just for the bedroom, we’ll try most anything at least once here. If you can speak knowledgeably and entertainingly about sports, and want a semi-public forum in which to vent, hit us up via the Contact Us tab at top and show us whatcha got.

-As far as style and content go, our focus will probably always be primarily on the Coogs, but we’ll open up to the rest of the sporting world as well. We each have our own unique style, but we’ll try to walk the line between informative, analytical, and entertaining. Hopefully we’ll end up somewhere between FireJoeMorgan and Buzz Bissinger.

-Hopefully, if the technology gods are willing, we will get the occasional multimedia entry up. Like we said, experimentation is a good thing.

So there ya go. We don’t for one second believe that anybody still visits this space, but we’ll be damned if that’s gonna stop us from writing like somebody does.

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case keenum motivational“they will run and not grow weary” –Isaiah 40:31

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