Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s August 5th — 217 down, 148 to go.
And 2 till the Dallas Cowboys’ first preseason game.
YESTERDAY: The Longhorns held their first practice of fall camp. And no players were dismissed or suspended (that we know of). Tony Romo took himself out of Thursday’s Cowboys-Chargers preseason game. Andy Dalton got a contract extension in Cincinnati, through 2020. Johnny Manziel worked with the Browns’ 1s. The White Sox beat the Rangers. And Roger Clemens celebrated his 52nd birthday.
TODAY: All eyes will be on Tiger Woods‘ back, two days before the PGA Championship tees off. Will he withdraw? The Rangers and Astros both play on the road — Texas is at the White Sox (7:10 p.m.), Houston’s at Philly (6:05 p.m.). We’ll hear from the Baylor Bears, who meet the media after they’ve started fall workouts. David Price makes his Tigers debut tonight, against the Yankees.
TOMORROW: More Rangers-White Sox. More Astros-Phillies. Bob Bowlsby, Steve Patterson and others will talk college athletics at the Big 12 symposium in New York City — and we’ll be there. And Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden will hold their weekly columnists live chat at 11 a.m.
Aug. 5 has a sports history. On this date, Russia’s Sergei Bubka became the first pole vaulter to ever reach 20 feet outdoors (1991); we lost NFL pioneer Paul Brown, who died of complications from pneumonia at the age of 82 (1991); San Francisco’s Steve Carlton joined Nolan Ryan as the second member of baseball’s 4,000-strikeouts club (1986); Atlanta Braves pitcher Phil Niekro threw a no-hitter against the Padres (1973); and Jesse Owens won the third of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, with Adolf Hitler in attendance (1936).
Last year on Aug. 5, the Green Bay Packers signed Vince Young as a backup quarterback. He ended up getting released on Aug. 31.
Today’s sports birthdays: C.J. Spiller (27), Paula Creamer (28), Lolo Jones (32), Patrick Ewing (52). Other notables: Tawny Kitaen (53), Nirvana/Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear (55), Loni Anderson (69). Oh, and Marsha Brady is 58. Fifty-eight!
TODAY’S TRIVIA: Patrick Ewing wasn’t born in the U.S. Can you name the country? (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)
TODAY’S LEAD: TEXAS FOOTBALL. It was a welcome sight Monday, seeing David Ash front and center, jabbing with the media, surrounded by cameras, taking questions. He hasn’t thrown a college pass since Sept. 21, 2013 and hasn’t finished a game since Aug. 31, 2013.
It’s hard to understate Ash’s importance to this year’s team. With him, the Longhorns are contenders in the Big 12. Without him, hopes will ride on an unproven backup saddled with question marks and an incoming freshman with two high school state titles under his belt.
Ash has started 21 games at Texas. In all, he’s gone 14-7 as a starter. He’s thrown for 4,538 yards, 30 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
There’s a good Ash and a bad Ash, and you never quite know when one will show up and the other won’t on any given Saturday. He’s been more up than down in his career, showing up big in his two bowl games — both victories — but also has struggled.
In his 14 wins, Ash’s average game is 14 of 24 for 224 yards and has produced 1.7 touchdowns while committing .5 turnovers.
In his seven losses, Ash’s average game is 15 of 28 for 153 yards, produces one touchdown and 1.2 turnovers.
Monday’s highlights for Ash?
- He made a memorable entrance. “Y’all miss me?” he asked the media.
- He made it clear that his lost 2013 season is in his rearview. “It’s over and done with” he said.
- He was honest about the decision he had to make last year. Mom wanted him to quit football. He wanted to play again.
- And he coined a great phrase: The struggle bus.
- And, perhaps most important, he was back on the practice field.
Our coverage today included a story on Ash and Johnathan Gray, both coming off season-ending injuries. Texas needs them ($). We also had a first-day-of-camp notebook ($), including a look at a walk-on safety from Class 2A Lago Vista who’s making an early impression on the new coaches. And Cedric Golden’s weekly nuggets column ($) addressed Strong’s culture change, Gray’s recovery and Ash’s importance. The Dallas Morning News previewed Texas’ season with a story focusing on Ash. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram also took a look at Ash and Gray, Texas’ comeback kids.
AROUND THE BIG 12
Todays’ a big day for Devonte Fields, TCU’s season and the Big 12 race — the conference’s (perhaps) top defensive player, who’s been suspended, meets with school officials today to discuss his status as a student, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Fields is a big piece to the Horned Frogs’ puzzle. TCU, meanwhile, has begun its battle to settle the starting quarterback spot. Speaking of TCU quarterbacks, the Star-Telegram has taken a closer look at Trevone Boykin, the former quarterback who has shifted to wide receiver. The Waco Tribune Herald advanced the start of Baylor practices. Expectations, naturally, are pretty high up in Waco. And if you’re thinking about going to a game at Baylor’s shiny new McLane Stadium, plan on leaving your cigarrettes, umbrella and seat cushion at home. They won’t be allowed in on gamedays, the paper reports. Lots of Oklahoma coverage today, as the Sooners met the media on Monday. The Daily Oklahoman wrote about Durron Neal, the Sooners’ rising wide receiver and updated former quarterback Blake Bell‘s progress at tight end. The Tulsa World chose to write about OU’s next wave of running backs. The Oklahoman also made the case that the 2014 Oklahoma State Cowboys might just end up like the 2012 Cowboys — when they had to replace some big-name players and were picked fourth in the Big 12; this year’s team is wiped out on defense and is picked fifth. And Baylor and Texas A&M aren’t the only ones doing big things on the stadium front. Kansas is just about ready to unveil its $500,000 renovations to Memorial Stadium, which the Longhorns will visit on Sept. 27. The Kansas City Star offered a look at the Jayhawks’ renovated digs. The paper also took a look at stadium upgrades around the Big 12.
ON AUG. 5 …
1981: President Ronald Reagan fired 11,359 striking air traffic controllers around the country who had ignored his order for them to return to work.
1962: Nelson Mandela was jailed in South Africa. It would be another 28 years before he was released.
1957: “American Bandstand” debuted on ABC.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Future Georgetown All-American and NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, who turns 52 today, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He moved to the U.S. when he was 12.
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.
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