Probably not the best day in Wisconsin football history.
This morning, Badgers fans had to cope with saying goodbye to the historically good Melvin Gordon, the junior running back who has decided to skip his senior season and run for Sunday money.
A few hours later, Twitter caught fire with reports, since confirmed by both schools, that head coach Gary Andersen had accepted Oregon State’s offer to coach the Beavers.
Gordon you could see coming. Andersen? No one had been guessing that. Shocking is a fair word.
Gordon, in fact, tweeted (@Melvingordon25): "WOW !!!"
Four days after the Badgers were shredded in the Big Ten Championship Game (Ohio State 59, Wisconsin 0), Andersen apparently had enough of Madison.
Andersen is a West Coaster, having been hired from Utah State, the state in which he was born.
He coached just two seasons in Wisconsin, going 9-4 last year and 10-3 this season.
Barry Alvarez told reporters he was prepared to make the next move.
"This is why I always keep a short list," Alvarez said. "Things don't always go smoothly."
On moving forward, he said: "I won't flinch."
The name of Alvarez's book, by the way: "Don't Flinch."
Alvarez said he was surprised by the move and didn’t see it coming. "I had no idea this was in the works," he said.
Alvarez defended the Wisconsin program, saying, “We've got one of the most consistent programs in the country. ... Gary made the decision for family matters."
Later, Alvarez added: "I think Gary did a good job."
Twitter was already speculating (shocking, right?) that Pitt coach Paul Chryst, a former Wisconsin offensive coordinator, will be at the top of Barry Alvarez’s wish list. We’ll see.
Tough day, neighbors.
Our Michael Russo filed a lengthy update on Thomas Vanek's on- and off-ice issues this afternoon following Wild practice. In case you've missed it, Vanek, the former University of Minnesota star now with the Wild, is struggling this season and has been linked to an illegal gambling ring in Buffalo. Vanek played for the Sabres from 2005-13.
Vanek has admitted to the gambling, which involved professional football and violates no NHL rules.
The Buffalo News has an in-depth piece on Vanek that lays out plenty if you're curious for more. It includes interviews with the lawyers for the alleged gambling ring operators.
Darryl Talley, a linebacker who played briefly for the Vikings at the end of his 14-year NFL career, is reknowned in Buffalo for his part in the Bills' success in the 1990s.
Now, however, Talley is suffering greatly because of injuries suffered during his career. The Buffalo News has this in-depth story on Talley's struggles that's worth a read.
Those closest to Darryl Talley are terrified. His wife, daughters and former teammates openly cry for him. They lament what has befallen him. They dread what his future might hold. ¶ Talley’s life is in tatters. Loved ones say his mind is deteriorating. He’s begrudgingly starting to agree. ¶ He’s 54, but his body is a wreck and continues to crumble. He suspects collisions from playing linebacker for 14 NFL seasons, a dozen with the Buffalo Bills, have damaged his brain. He’s often depressed beyond the point of tears. ¶ He’s bitter at the National Football League for discarding him and denying that he’s too disabled to work anymore. He says the Bills have jilted him, too. ¶ He learned after he retired that he’d played with a broken neck. ¶ He had a heart attack in his 40s. ¶ He lost his business. The bank foreclosed on the Talleys’ home of 17 years. Against her husband’s pride, Janine Talley has accepted money from friends to pay the bills. ¶ He contemplates killing himself.
The entire story is on the News' website.
Fred Smoot, who played cornerback for the Vikings in 2005-06 and was a principal figure in the team's infamous "Love Boat" scandal was arrested on charges of domestic assault in Loudon County, Va., on Sunday, according to the Washington Post.
Smoot played nine seasons in the NFL, seven of them for Washington.
Smoot pled guilty to disorderly conduct after the Vikings' bye-week boat scandal in 2006, although he later denied he was the organizer of the infamous event.
Smoot, who works in television in the Washington, D.C. area, has been suspended from one of his jobs there.
Jack Johnson, one of the top American defensemen in the NHL, got his start to fame at Shattuck-St. Mary's, and has been an NHL and Olympic star.
But his sad story is now the case of a professional athlete who made millions of dollars and lost it to people he thought he could trust.
The Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman declared bankruptcy.
This Columbus Dispatch story tells the tale; it's worth a read.
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