Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
n The news of Kobe Bryant’s untimely death stunned the entire sporting world.
That fact of life – and death – isn’t lost on Danny D’Antoni.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Marshall University’s veteran men’s basketball coach.
D’Antoni was personally acquainted with the former Los Angeles Lakers’ star because he was hired as an assistant coach on November 15, 2012. Along with his head coaching younger brother, Mike, the D’Antonis coached the Lakers in 2012-2014.
In fact, early in his career Bryant wore No. 8 out of respect for Mike D’Antoni. That’s because Bryant’s father — Joe “Jellybean” Bryant — was playing in the same Italian League in which D’Antoni was the iconic star.
Kobe Bryant was growing up in Italy at the time with his father and idolized D’Antoni’s style of play. Hence, the No. 8. But he changed to No. 24 in the 2006-07 NBA season.
“He was a very iconic figure in the NBA,” said Danny D’Antoni. “I feel bad for his family.”
n As it turns out, Marshall hasn’t seen the last of Tony Petersen.
That’s because the former Thundering Herd star quarterback, assistant coach and offensive coordinator has accepted the offensive coordinator’s job for long-time Marshall rival Appalachian State University.
That means the 53-year-old Petersen likely will be coaching against the Herd when Marshall travels to Boone, North Carolina, to play the Mountaineers on September 25, 2021.
Next, Petersen could enjoy a Herd homecoming the next season as Appy State is scheduled to play Marshall on Sept. 17 in Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
The familiarity doesn’t end there, either.
Petersen was hired by first-year Appy State head coach Shawn Clark, who was a multi-sport star at George Washington High School in Charleston.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tony and his family to App State,” said Clark in a press release. “His experience speaks for itself with the success he’s had as an offensive coordinator at several places. He is committed to a dynamic offensive attack and will help us continued to pursue championships and bowl games.”
At Marshall, Petersen coached such star quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich.
n The numbers tell the true story about Marshall’s 91-84 loss at Western Kentucky last Saturday.
And what an intriguing story it is.
Imagine – just imagine – the Hilltoppers using full-court pressure defense nearly the entire 40-minute game, yet getting called for only 15 personal fouls.
The Thundering Herd pressed very little, yet was whistled for 23 personal fouls.
What a disparity, under the circumstances.
Marshall finished 12 of 16 at the foul line, but obviously should have shot a lot more free throws. That’s what always – well, make that, almost always – happens when a team uses a full-court press defense.
n Should negligence be rewarded?
Apparently, the NFL believes so.
That’s why Bill Vinovich will be the referee in Super Bowl LIV, pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Vinovich was the referee in the 2018 NFC championship game between New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams, which featured, perhaps, the worst no-call in NFL history when a glaringly obvious pass interference penalty wasn’t called on the Rams.