Sports Shorts

* The one impactful person that the USF Bulls football program still misses above all others: QB Quinton Flowers. He helped make the transition from Willie Taggert to Charley Strong seamless. Taggert leveraged his last (11-2) USF year into the Oregon job. Strong inherited the catalytic Flowers for his first (10-2) season. Then the seams began to unravel, and Strong was fired. Now “buyout” and next-coach speculation are back in the Bulls’ grid conversation. Speaking of the latter, don’t even think about Lane Kiffin.

* There was a time when USF wasn’t keen on playing UCF. As in, an up-and-coming Big East program didn’t need to step down to play a lesser-aligned (Conference USA) UCF. Those were the days.

* We know how professional sports franchises keep upping the ante on amenities, including the interactive ones, at games to heighten the fan experience and rationalize ratcheting ticket prices. But, arguably, nobody saw this one coming at Philadelphia’s Well Fargo Center, home of the NHL Flyers. Fans can now relieve frustration and stress by scheduling time in the facility’s “Disassembly Room.” More commonly known as the “Rage Room,” it’s where fans can take a hammer and smash away at plates, glasses, even televisions. But it’s not free. It’s $35 per fan, and reservations–if not misgivings–are required. I know this is Philly, and Philly fans are known for, uh, unleashing rage, including at their own–but, yo!–an actual Rage Room!

* Thanks to the NFL and show-bizzy, network enablers, look-at-me player antics have filtered down to the college game and at times to the high schools. “Celebrations” morph into juvenile, boorish–or worse–choreography. The most recent Exhibit A: A University of Mississippi player scored a potential tying TD with seconds left in the Rebels’ game against Mississippi State. Then he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for simulating a urinating dog as his end zone TD “celebration.” The 15-yard penalty made the point-after kick longer than it would have been and the kicker missed and Ole *iss lost. Maybe it will become a teachable lesson. Find better ways to celebrate and show some class for the game, the opposition and your school, if that still matters.

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