The folk at SBN who put together this event deserve a raise and a bonus. I’ve been humbled to cover all but three of the events and, as far as I was concerned, the 2007 event was “off the chain.”
Notwithstanding the before, during and after dinner “jokes“ delivered by celebrated comedian AJ Jamal, the planners went all out to make the theme of the event, “ Cherishing the past, Focusing on the Future” a living, breathing reality.
Amongst the more than 600 in attendance at Atlanta’s Marriott Marquis was a generous representation of former black college and pro football greats to include Dallas Cowboy Everson Walls (Grambling), Pittsburgh Steeler LC Greenwood (Arkansas AM&N now UAPB), and Steeler Greg Lloyd (Fort Valley State). The former stars mingled with the younger brothers and told them the real deal about playing professional football but first and foremost being a high round draft pick in the game of life.
2007 was definitely the year of the Eagle. Their 2006 undefeated regular season record was the school’s first in its 100 year-plus history and their best winning season since 1980. Their head coach, Rod Broadway, did such a great job the last four years that Grambling came calling and hired him away. NC Central quarterback Stadford Brown was named SBN’s Offensive player of the year. The school also claimed four of the 24 All American selection slots (tight end Kenneth Broadway, defensive lineman Greg Peterson, defensive back Craig Amos and Brown).
OVERHEARD AT THE SBN BASH: Doug Williams mentioned a book he is promoting called “Third Down and a Mile’ about the public and private hell caught by himself and other quarterbacks of color during their pioneering years in the NFL. Sounds like great reading. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it at the bookstores……
INSIDE THE SIAC: Ole Morehouse has confirmed in a roundabout way that it is interviewing for a new head coach. Terry Beauford is out after only two seasons with the Marooners and a 2006 season (2-9) I am sure he and the college would like to forget as soon as possible. A small bit in the local daily in Atlanta last week indicated that over 75 applications were received but there was no hint on any frontrunners. At the SBN bash, the name of former Tennessee State and Alabama State head coach LC Cole was mentioned. Cole, who’s brother Johnny is at Lane College, is currently head coach at Lanier High School in Montgomery Alabama……
Benedict College hoop is kicking!!! They have only lost one conference basketball game (Paine) and only two games overall (the other loss this season was a non-conference to Augusta State back in November). The Benedict Lady Tigers are also in first place in the conference but right on their heels is Fort Valley State’s lady Wildcats. The SIAC tourney this year in Birmingham Alabama should be a competitive one and especially in the women’s brackets.. The “Second Season” usually brings out the best in everybody and the ladies’ rankings are tight . Benedict is leading but Fort Valley, KSU, Tuskegee , Paine and Albany State are at each others heels. This year’s SIAC tourney will be held at Fair Park Arena February 28-March 4. Visit SIACbasketballtournament.com for specific details.
GAITHER WATCH: 'Tis the time of the year when I start picking at the august members of the 100% Wrong Club and specifically current president Franklin Hill and immediate past president Willie Anthony about who the club has selected to receive the Jake Gaither Trophy for black college football’s erudite gridder of the year. As has been the case for the last 30 years this trophy has been bestowed, not one of the club members could be threatened, sweet-talked, cajoled, bribed, or tricked into disclosure. It suits me fine, however, because that creates room for speculation. While I have my own favorites, the stats and superlatives of 2006 strongly suggest two frontrunners: North Carolina Central QB Stadford Brown and Hampton senior LB Justin Durant. If the former can win it, he would become the first freshman to capture the “black man’s Heisman” in its history. Seems the only way I can even find out who the winner is is by attending the Wrong Club ‘s 73rd all sports Jamboree February 23-24 at the Atlanta Renaissance Hotel. Anthony did disclose to this writer that they will be honoring former Fort Valley State Head Coach LJ :Stan Lomax ( Pioneer award), Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin (Al Thompson award. He was a former Wronger President), North Carolina Central as their national black college champ and Hampton’s Joe Taylor as coach of the year. For information on the banquet, visit 100percentwrong.org.
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