Buddy Martin Media. Sports. Tom Schmitz. Terry Bradshaw. NFL. SouthernPigskin.com. Florida Gators. Florida State Seminoles. NFL. Buddy Martin's Sports Page. The Voice of Ocala. WOCA. Buddy Martin Media, Ocala, FL

Ocala, FL Buddy Martin Media. Sports. Tom Schmitz. Terry Bradshaw. NFL. SouthernPigskin.com. Florida Gators. Florida State Seminoles. NFL. Buddy Martin's Sports Page. The Voice of Ocala. WOCA.

Ocala, FL Buddy Martin Media. Sports. Tom Schmitz. Terry Bradshaw. NFL. SouthernPigskin.com. Florida Gators. Florida State Seminoles. NFL. Buddy Martin's Sports Page. The Voice of Ocala. WOCA.


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What's on Tap This Week

"Southern Pigskin Tonight" with Terry Bradshaw and Buddy Martin airs every Thursday and Friday night at 5 pm eastern.

Oklahoma City dominates Golden State in OKC, takes 2-1 series lead

The Oklahoma City Thunder are formidable, potent and rife with potential. And in the span of six days they’ve taken two games over the course of six days from a team that needed 64 days to register its second regular-season loss...(Read more)

Posted: May 23, 2016


Lightning rally to win Game 5 thriller vs. Fleury, Penguins

PITTSBURGH – The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from another chance at hockey’s Holy Grail.

The Lightning rallied twice and finally outlasted the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday. Jason Garrison’s shot 53 seconds into overtime deflected off Tyler Johnson's back past Marc-Andre Fleury to win the game...(Read more)

Posted: May 23, 2016


Report: Manziel booted from Vegas club after throwing a punch

The slow disintegration of a former Heisman winner and first-round draft pick continues...(Read more)

Posted: May 23, 2016


FSU’s Jimbo Fisher seems quite content...

(05/23/2016) Jimbo Fisher has grown a beard, albeit just light fuzz, but nonetheless, after about three weeks, quite well-groomed and not unattractive. If Las Vegas made odds on that beard not making it into the regular season, though, it would have to be a two-touchdown underdog.“A little something different every now and then,” Fisher said during a recent chat at a Florida State booster club outing in Ocala, Fla. “I just got lazy while I was at the NFL draft. I let it go a couple of days and it was kind of cold and windy, so I said, ‘I’m going to leave it on there.’ Then I found out it was just easier to make about five swipes (with the razor), so I just left it.”Actually, the beard is just one of several changes in the life of FSU’s coach, who turned 50 in October and apparently has turned down chances to leave Tallahassee. He’s also recently gone through a divorce after 22 years of marriage. But one change he apparently won’t make is a change of scenery.He certainly wasn’t talking like a man with plans of leaving his current job anytime soon. “I plan on retiring in Tallahassee,” Fisher said. “I’ve got a great job and it’s a phenomenal place. They’re doing all the things we had to do to be successful in developing the kids as students and players.”When you have posted numbers like Fisher has at Florida State, you’re always on somebody’s “A-list.” It’s hard to believe he already has logged six seasons as Seminoles coach, with a record of 58-14 that includes a national championship and five other bowl appearances. That’s probably why his phone kept ringing after last season.There was an unconfirmed report that the LSU job was his to turn down, but suddenly the folks in Baton Rouge fell back in love with Les Miles. Maybe the timing was not right for Fisher and he said no. Or maybe that Les Miles had a $15 million buyout – which would have to be paid by a school already in financial crisis mode – convinced LSU to stay with a pat hand.With the influx of more promising recruits, things still appear on the rise for the Seminoles, who will be co-favorites with Clemson to win the ACC. That can pretty much be decided on October 29 at Doak Campbell StadiumWith the run Fisher has going in Tallahassee, with the cupboard loaded and a massive facilities upgrade under way, why would a fellow want to opt out anyway?“That’s what I’ve been saying,” Fisher said.Yes, we’ve all heard that before and maybe he really means it. When the Brinks boys roll up to your house with bagsful of money, though, one tends to waffle on such noble plans. We shall see.The 2015 campaign wasn’t a great season by Fisher’s standards. A 38-24 loss to two-touchdown underdog Houston in the Peach Bowl marked the Seminoles’ third defeat of the season, something about as rare as – well, a coach with facial hair.Fisher spent three years as Bobby Bowden’s quarterback coach and offensive coordinator before taking over at FSU. Except for a lingering moment or two by Bowden, the changeover seems to have been seamless. Florida State is still winning.Growing up in West Virginia, Fisher was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He remembers playing in his front yard at age 9 and listening on his father’s truck radio to Terry Bradshaw’s “Immaculate Reception” flip to Franco Harris. He remains a Bradshaw fan. During our conversation, he stopped to talk with Bradshaw on the phone.“Terry’s coming to speak to my team this fall – maybe during camp,” Fisher said. “The guy was a great player and he’s a great speaker.”Fisher went on to recount how he admired Bradshaw’s guts and his willingness to throw the ball down the field – and keep on throwing it even after he got one picked off.“He was tough, man,” he said. “And he wasn’t afraid to take chances.”There is this group of quarterback gurus and play-callers who are the chess-masters of college football. In the secret society of X’s and O’s, they all have admiration for each other – especially the risk-takers and the original thinkers. Fisher, for instance, respects the way Florida’s Jim McElwain throws downfield. And he had glowing things to say about former Seminoles nemesis Steve Spurrier.“I got to know Steve my first year as head coach at the Chick-fil-A Bowl and I enjoyed every minute with him,” Fisher said. “His wife, Jerri, was phenomenal. Great people. You’re talking about one of the all-time great minds who changed college football. He was a great player, a great coach and he changed the SEC.”Nobody was ready when Spurrier hit the SEC, Fisher said. “One of the all-time great coaches as far as wins and losses,” he said. “But also very revolutionary at how he looked at the game and coached it.”Fisher is one of those coaches who also handles his quarterbacks. He has become sort of a “quarterback whisperer.” He won a national championship with Jameis Winston and has a good track record of sending quarterbacks to the NFL.Losing the Peach Bowl didn’t seem to impact the 2016 projections, as the Seminoles seemingly are in everybody’s top five. With 17 starters returning – with just six being seniors – they are legitimate contenders for a playoff berth.“An experienced but young team – a rare thing to have,” he said. “The thing about maturity is that it creates competition. I was really pleased on both sides of the ball with the amount of competition, with the young guys pushing the old guys.”He sounded pleased and confident going through most of his offensive and defensive starters, offering high praise, never saying if he was going to start Deondre Francois or Sean Maguire at quarterback because it will be decided in fall camp. And never mentioning the name of his best player, running back Dalvin Cook, who will challenge Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson for ACC player of the year honors.Talent is going to make the difference in this newly fortified league. All of a sudden, the ACC has some coaching muscle not named Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Swinney. Enter Mark Richt at Miami. Add Bronco Mendenhall at Virginia after a splendid run at BYU. Mix in red-hot prospect Justin Fuente, hired by Virginia Tech. And even former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi at Pittsburgh. They could make the schedule tougher for Bobby Petrino at Louisville, Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, Larry Fedora of North Carolina and David Cutcliffe of Duke – among others.Which is to say, the ACC ain’t your father’s basketball conference anymore. Probably a good reason for Jimbo Fisher to embrace the change.

Jim McElwain’s disarming charm a big part...

(05/10/2016) He had me at Clarabelle. Hardly an hour into his first news conference at Florida, Jim McElwain already was making absurd references to his poodle playing quarterback. I immediately tweeted that the new Gators coach “won the room in 30 minutes.”McElwain possessed something that the last coach lacked: a sense of humor. And in a world of sniping tweets, carping fans and nosey reporters, a football coach can find refuge in the whimsical and the absurd by deflecting the slings and arrows of criticism with goofy non-sequiturs and homespun homilies.49SHARES SHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL COMMENTSHe had me at Clarabelle. Hardly an hour into his first news conference at Florida, Jim McElwain already was making absurd references to his poodle playing quarterback. I immediately tweeted that the new Gators coach “won the room in 30 minutes.”McElwain possessed something that the last coach lacked: a sense of humor. And in a world of sniping tweets, carping fans and nosey reporters, a football coach can find refuge in the whimsical and the absurd by deflecting the slings and arrows of criticism with goofy non-sequiturs and homespun homilies.I’m not trying to make him Mary Poppins because McElwain has had his mini-meltdowns, as he did with Kelvin Taylor. And he can be feisty and evasive when reporters push for authentic answers. But I’ll take that over a stonewalling coach sans humor any day.Another version of The Artful Dodger, shall we say? And I don’t mean to imply that he is leading a merry bunch of thieves and pickpockets. He’s just cagey. And funny. Somewhere between Will Rogers and Steven Wright. And he can be disarming.Sometimes it’s best to approach obliquely. But in a recent interview with McElwain, I decided to take the hard-nosed/Mike Wallace/inquiring-reporter approach when asking about his skills as a peanut butter gourmand.“Smooth or crunchy?” I asked to open the interview.Without flinching, McElwain retorted: “Smooth. Everybody knows that crunchy tears up the bread.”In less-important topics, as for the recent spring game, I applauded the way McElwain had handled a young freshman-to-be down on his luck who could have fallen into a black hole after throwing three interceptions.Instead of benching Feleipe Franks after his third pick, McElwain pulled him aside, offered some words of encouragement, then put him back in the game for the final drive.“He’s a talented guy and I’m glad he’s a Gator,” McElwain said, still sending out the positive coaching message.Franks redeemed himself by throwing a touchdown pass.49SHARES SHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL COMMENTSHe had me at Clarabelle. Hardly an hour into his first news conference at Florida, Jim McElwain already was making absurd references to his poodle playing quarterback. I immediately tweeted that the new Gators coach “won the room in 30 minutes.”McElwain possessed something that the last coach lacked: a sense of humor. And in a world of sniping tweets, carping fans and nosey reporters, a football coach can find refuge in the whimsical and the absurd by deflecting the slings and arrows of criticism with goofy non-sequiturs and homespun homilies.I’m not trying to make him Mary Poppins because McElwain has had his mini-meltdowns, as he did with Kelvin Taylor. And he can be feisty and evasive when reporters push for authentic answers. But I’ll take that over a stonewalling coach sans humor any day.Another version of The Artful Dodger, shall we say? And I don’t mean to imply that he is leading a merry bunch of thieves and pickpockets. He’s just cagey. And funny. Somewhere between Will Rogers and Steven Wright. And he can be disarming.RELATED: McElwain likes his quarterbacks, kicker, freshman receiversJim McElwain won over the players in his first season as Florida’s coach. KIM KLEMENT/USA TODAY SPORTSSometimes it’s best to approach obliquely. But in a recent interview with McElwain, I decided to take the hard-nosed/Mike Wallace/inquiring-reporter approach when asking about his skills as a peanut butter gourmand.“Smooth or crunchy?” I asked to open the interview.Without flinching, McElwain retorted: “Smooth. Everybody knows that crunchy tears up the bread.”In less-important topics, as for the recent spring game, I applauded the way McElwain had handled a young freshman-to-be down on his luck who could have fallen into a black hole after throwing three interceptions.Instead of benching Feleipe Franks after his third pick, McElwain pulled him aside, offered some words of encouragement, then put him back in the game for the final drive.“He’s a talented guy and I’m glad he’s a Gator,” McElwain said, still sending out the positive coaching message.Franks redeemed himself by throwing a touchdown pass.“Playing quarterback is a hard thing to do,” McElwain said. “They aren’t out trying to throw it to the other guys. So maybe the best thing you can do is throw it away instead of tacking a sack, not trying to force it.“When Feleipe came back out there, he took what the defense gave him and eventually it gave him a touchdown.”Mind you, this is a third- or fourth-string kid and not the starter.Aside from discussions about presumed starter Luke Del Rio and the other quarterbacks, the biggest buzz was about kicker Eddy Pineiro, a soccer player with a big leg who never has attempted a field goal; his reputation has preceded him because of epic YouTube performances. That Pineiro decommitted from Alabama in favor of Florida already has ingratiated him with Gator Nation.McElwain said of Pineiro: “I was most excited to see Eddie come out of the locker room with his helmet on and that he was able to button up his chin strap.”Drum roll, please.Tricky guy, that Jimmy Mac. Now he’s even engaging us in a little game of possum. After reading a recent quote about this season’s Florida-Tennessee game, I wondered if he had taken a page from the coaching manual of Georgia’s Weeping Wally Butts.“I kind of have to worry about us,” McElwain said of the September 24 meeting in Knoxville. “I’m sure that they should be favored and they should beat the hell out of us. We’re just going to be lucky to show up.”Butch Jones realizes McElwain is sticking the shiv in his ribs by reminding him of Tennessee’s painful loss last season. Just when it looked as if the Vols had snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Gators, along came that miraculous fourth-and-14 touchdown. Such a memory creates just a touch more heartburn for Jones, who needs to beat Florida in order to deter the wolves in Coonskin caps from the door. Stay tuned.RELATED: Florida AD: McElwain totally changed the vibeIn 17 short months, The McElwain File has thickened. He’s no Steve Spurrier, nor will his quotes go down in immortality, but at least he’s got a solid opening Act I.Check out these gems:* When asked at a Gator presser if he had been influenced by Evel Knievel because he was from Montana: “I learned not to ride motorcycles and not jump over cars.”* Showing his displeasure about his offense after a narrow overtime victory over a two-win Florida Atlantic team: “When you guys go to a seafood market or to the grocery store, you see all those dead fish on ice? Stop by Winn-Dixie, go to the dead fish aisle and look at the fish’s eyes. … That’s the energy we are playing with right now. Now think about that visual. How excited are you to hang out with that dead fish?”* McElwain on his NFL experience: “Some would say I didn’t coach in the NFL. I coached with Oakland.”* A teacher a heart, McElwain sometimes will go old school. Delivering the weekly injury report before the Tennessee game, he asked a reporter, “Do you watch ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’ re-runs? That might help you.”* One day he decided to tell one of his black players about the importance of Olympic champion sprinter Jesse Owens. So he asked the player to Google it on his phone. “You know, it’s amazing you don’t have to go to Britannica encyclopedia anymore,” he said. “I would’ve had to go on my shelf and look at it and now we actually can (Google it). I said, ‘Give me your phone. Here, let me show you how it works.’ ”Yes, coach, and now the folks in Missoula County actually have color TV!49SHARES SHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL COMMENTSHe had me at Clarabelle. Hardly an hour into his first news conference at Florida, Jim McElwain already was making absurd references to his poodle playing quarterback. I immediately tweeted that the new Gators coach “won the room in 30 minutes.”McElwain possessed something that the last coach lacked: a sense of humor. And in a world of sniping tweets, carping fans and nosey reporters, a football coach can find refuge in the whimsical and the absurd by deflecting the slings and arrows of criticism with goofy non-sequiturs and homespun homilies.I’m not trying to make him Mary Poppins because McElwain has had his mini-meltdowns, as he did with Kelvin Taylor. And he can be feisty and evasive when reporters push for authentic answers. But I’ll take that over a stonewalling coach sans humor any day.Another version of The Artful Dodger, shall we say? And I don’t mean to imply that he is leading a merry bunch of thieves and pickpockets. He’s just cagey. And funny. Somewhere between Will Rogers and Steven Wright. And he can be disarming.RELATED: McElwain likes his quarterbacks, kicker, freshman receiversJim McElwain won over the players in his first season as Florida’s coach. KIM KLEMENT/USA TODAY SPORTSSometimes it’s best to approach obliquely. But in a recent interview with McElwain, I decided to take the hard-nosed/Mike Wallace/inquiring-reporter approach when asking about his skills as a peanut butter gourmand.“Smooth or crunchy?” I asked to open the interview.Without flinching, McElwain retorted: “Smooth. Everybody knows that crunchy tears up the bread.”In less-important topics, as for the recent spring game, I applauded the way McElwain had handled a young freshman-to-be down on his luck who could have fallen into a black hole after throwing three interceptions.Instead of benching Feleipe Franks after his third pick, McElwain pulled him aside, offered some words of encouragement, then put him back in the game for the final drive.“He’s a talented guy and I’m glad he’s a Gator,” McElwain said, still sending out the positive coaching message.Franks redeemed himself by throwing a touchdown pass.“Playing quarterback is a hard thing to do,” McElwain said. “They aren’t out trying to throw it to the other guys. So maybe the best thing you can do is throw it away instead of tacking a sack, not trying to force it.“When Feleipe came back out there, he took what the defense gave him and eventually it gave him a touchdown.”Mind you, this is a third- or fourth-string kid and not the starter.Aside from discussions about presumed starter Luke Del Rio and the other quarterbacks, the biggest buzz was about kicker Eddy Pineiro, a soccer player with a big leg who never has attempted a field goal; his reputation has preceded him because of epic YouTube performances. That Pineiro decommitted from Alabama in favor of Florida already has ingratiated him with Gator Nation.McElwain said of Pineiro: “I was most excited to see Eddie come out of the locker room with his helmet on and that he was able to button up his chin strap.”Drum roll, please.Tricky guy, that Jimmy Mac. Now he’s even engaging us in a little game of possum. After reading a recent quote about this season’s Florida-Tennessee game, I wondered if he had taken a page from the coaching manual of Georgia’s Weeping Wally Butts.“I kind of have to worry about us,” McElwain said of the September 24 meeting in Knoxville. “I’m sure that they should be favored and they should beat the hell out of us. We’re just going to be lucky to show up.”Butch Jones realizes McElwain is sticking the shiv in his ribs by reminding him of Tennessee’s painful loss last season. Just when it looked as if the Vols had snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Gators, along came that miraculous fourth-and-14 touchdown. Such a memory creates just a touch more heartburn for Jones, who needs to beat Florida in order to deter the wolves in Coonskin caps from the door. Stay tuned.RELATED: Florida AD: McElwain totally changed the vibeIn 17 short months, The McElwain File has thickened. He’s no Steve Spurrier, nor will his quotes go down in immortality, but at least he’s got a solid opening Act I.Check out these gems:* When asked at a Gator presser if he had been influenced by Evel Knievel because he was from Montana: “I learned not to ride motorcycles and not jump over cars.”* Showing his displeasure about his offense after a narrow overtime victory over a two-win Florida Atlantic team: “When you guys go to a seafood market or to the grocery store, you see all those dead fish on ice? Stop by Winn-Dixie, go to the dead fish aisle and look at the fish’s eyes. … That’s the energy we are playing with right now. Now think about that visual. How excited are you to hang out with that dead fish?”

Tim Tebow as a politician? Seriously, why not?

(04/23/2016) About a month ago on a local talk show, in a discussion of how disappointed we all were with the current crop of presidential candidates and other politicians, we decided to ramp up the search for somebody new.Only slightly kidding, I said, “We need somebody like Tim Tebow to get involved in politics at some level.”OK, so Tebow and I don’t text each other or break bread together, and I’ve not really spoken to him in six years. But when he played for the Florida Gators, I saw him play every game, spoke privately to him several times, attended dozens of news conferences and was sitting six feet away when he made “The Promise.”To paraphrase the famous quote from Sen. Lloyd Bentsen when he was the running mate of presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, “I know Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow (is kind of) a friend of mine … and Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton are no Tim Tebow.”We need a fresh, new spirit in Congress and the White House, regardless of party. That same conclusion apparently reached the desk of the Republican Party last week upon announcement that Congressman Ander Crenshaw wasn’t seeking reelection for his U.S. House of Representative seat in Florida’s Fourth District, which incorporates most of Jacksonville and all of Baker and Nassau counties in northeast Florida and is Tebow’s home district.At the same time, the editors of Red Alert Politics endorsed the idea with an editorial entitled “Tim Tebow for Congress,” in which they wrote: “Talks have circled around a sheriff, a state senator and a mayor (as possible Crenshaw replacements). But politicos have left off the best choice in this district: Tim Tebow.”And then they added: “If you think we’re joking, we’re not.”And neither am I. I’ll go them one better — or five better.Five reasons for Tebow in Congress:1. He’s an honest man. What a concept! He’d be lonely in Washington, of course. But he oozes integrity. I am reminded of the stories at Florida of the footrace challenges between some of the faster players on the Gators’ football team, when Tebow was asked to judge who won. On one particular night, there was a virtual dead heat, but Tebow declared one a winner. The loser protested, claiming Tebow had lied. “He can’t lie,” the winner said. “He’s Tim Tebow!”2. Tebow would galvanize the political base and maybe even bring some Democrats over to the other side of the aisle. He crosses many lines. One thing I noticed in the year I spent behind the scenes writing the book “Urban’s Way” and actually strolled behind him in the Gator Walk was that an inordinate number of women 50-plus seemed attracted to him. “That’s because they all have daughters,” my wife surmised, “and would like to see him come to their front door.” I have a sports writer friend who covers another SEC team and his wife became such big Tebow fan that she wore a Tebow No. 15 jersey under her blouse for home games. Call me sexist, but it’s the truth.3. He was the most popular Gator ever, and has one of the highest profiles in sports history. That profile is built. The marketing would be a piece of cake. And he could draw large crowds just walking into a Starbucks or speaking to a stadium full of young people who might otherwise not be interested in politics.RELATED: Tebow says idea of being a politician is ‘intriguing’4. His devout Christian faith would be an asset, not a liability — even though his pro-life position would be a hot potato in some quarters. He does have a global view of faith, having been born in the Philippines and spearheading a drive for a children’s hospital there. When it comes to the Islamic faith that is difficult for many Americans to understand, Tebow can at least offer some first-hand knowledge that others could not.5. Everybody close to him that I’ve talked to seems united in their belief that another big stage besides football always has been awaiting Tebow whenever he wanted it. Last week, I asked his old coach Urban Meyer, who once suggested Tebow could return to Florida and coach the Gators one day, if he thought Tebow could succeed at politics. “I think,” Meyer said, “Tim would be good at anything he tried.”Tebow for Congress? Why not? If Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura can be governors and Al Franken a senator …

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