Like It Is:

Expect another MVP performance at banquet

By: Wally Hall
Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with wide receiver Kenny Stills (84) after a touchdown pass in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with wide receiver Kenny Stills (84) after a touchdown pass in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

A year ago, Peyton Manning flew in under the radar.

Way under the radar.

Apparently, the 2007 Super Bowl MVP was accompanied by his father, Archie -- who was even further off the radar, as he always is whenever his sons are concerned -- and they played a round of golf at the Alotian Club in Roland.

Another Super Bowl MVP, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, will be the keynote speaker Saturday night for the second annual Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's All-Arkansas Preps awards banquet, sponsored by St. Vincent's.

Brees, like Manning, will do a sit-down talk with moderator Keith Jackson, another former NFL great. David Bazzel will serve as master of ceremonies and handle the reason for the event, which honors 300 high school athletes and coaches from across the state. Overall female and male athletes of the year will be named as well.

Brees is one of the unofficial spokesmen for the NFL because he is a great guy, a great quarterback and really smart. He is honest and direct, such as when he was asked recently about all the scrutiny surrounding Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel. Brees said it was unfortunate.

There are only a few tickets remaining at $75 and one table for $1,200, and they can be purchased online at allarkansaspreps.com.

A committee selects the athletes and coaches for all sports except golf, tennis and track and field. Those are chosen through state tournament competition and the Meet of Champs.

Some of the great organizations that make it possible for Arkansas to have such an incredible sports banquet are Deltic Timber, Dillard's, Arkansas Select Buick GMC dealers, First Security Bank, Academy Sports and Outdoors and Sweetin Industries.

Last year was a night to remember, and there is no reason to think this Saturday will be any different at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

...

I am not going to write every day about the poll I'm taking regarding the greatest athletes born in Arkansas.

The results will be revealed in a column after June 10, but here is a quick update after less than three days of voting.

A total of 74 athletes have received at least one vote.

Clyde Scott, an Olympic silver medalist and former Arkansas Razorback, was born in Louisiana, but there may be special consideration given because it was a temporary move before the family settled in Smackover.

Four others nominated did not move to Arkansas until they were on scholarships at a college.

I can find zero history on one of those nominated and, yes, they have all been checked and validated.

This is more fun than I thought it would be now that I'm caught up on the tallies.

...

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway helped a couple whose new boat was stuck Monday on Lake Minnetonka.

The boat's steering had failed and there were dangerously high winds and waves, but Greenway jumped into the water to help them out.

The couple, Crystal and Edward Alexis, should have been overcome with gratitude.

Instead Edward Alexis was quoted on television as saying: "I'm a Chicago Bears fan. I'm just going to keep it real."

When Greenway was told what Alexis said, he replied: "Good thing he told me that afterward."

...

It seems ridiculous that Phil Jackson, president of the New York Knicks, was fined $25,000 by the NBA for saying Derek Fisher is a candidate to be the head coach of the Knicks.

Fisher's season with the Oklahoma City Thunder was officially over, and he hasn't signed on for another season.

Not sure how that is tampering, but one thing seems clear: Fisher couldn't find a better mentor to learn how to be a head coach.

Sports on 06/04/2014

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