Charles roast to reach far past Southeast Texas
By Gabriel Pruett
News Sports Writer
Sounds like next Saturday’s Port Arthur News Homecoming Roast of Jamaal Charles is going to be highly entertaining and widely exposed. Besides the big-name lineup of roasters, there will be video toasts from the likes of Jimmy Johnson, Jim Nantz, comedian Rob Riggle and the UT trio of Earl Campbell, Mack Brown and Charlie Strong. The roast is attracting considerable media attention, with both Time Warner in Kansas City and the Longhorn Network from Austin sending crews. In addition, an hour-long TV special is being produced for cable showings by Jim Barton of the Friday Night Experience. His crew includes Jeff Power of Fox Sports Southwest and Mike Orta. On the newspaper side, the Kansas City Star will have columnist Vahe Gregorian in town for a couple of days.
If you missed any of last Sunday’s Rice vs. Houston baseball game before the 10 p.m. news you certainly were in luck because the game was far from over. The 20-innings contest between the Cougars and Owls was the fourth longest game in NCAA history. Texas schools have been a part of three of the top four longest games, in terms of innings played, with the Texas Longhorns owning the top spot with 25 innings played against Boston College in 2009. One of the most unique parts of the Houston/Rice game was how Houston coach Todd Whitting was not in the dugout for a majority of the night. Whitting was ejected in the fifth for arguing a close call at second base. Former Bridge City star Jake Lemoine had a pretty good view of the game, being a part of the Cougars pitching staff, although he did not enter this game. Lemoine said the entire day was long due to the fact the Cougars had already played a game Sunday, a 2-1 loss to eventual regional champion Louisiana-Lafayette. “Both teams played extremely well and as the night wore on, pieces started falling and things just didn’t go our way. It was a tough loss to end the season,” Lemoine said…Shame on folks with NRG Stadium. These people really showed what matters to those whose pockets are already fat by charging some visitors who were attending Houston area high school graduations for parking and the cost was not cheap at $12. Do these rich jerks forget it was the taxpayers who pay the bills for the stadiums in the first place? Word on the street paved with gold is students, YES STUDENTS, were charged to park. It is very safe to assume there were some families who attended these ceremonies of schools those sizes who do not have an extra $12 and that is assuming there was only one vehicle in the caravan. High school graduations are a time of celebration and worrying about paying to park should not be something a family has to deal with at any stadium. This is very sad.
Congratulations to Shea Landry and his West Orange-Stark Mustangs for reaching the state tournament and in a very impressive way. Landry and the Mustangs have for the last three straight series faced elimination after losing Game 1 only to win back-to-back contests. It has been a remarkable season for the Mustangs boys athletics department after the football team reached the state final. Wednesday is the day for the state semifinals at 1 p.m. at Disch-Falk Field at the University of Texas. The 4A championship will be played at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Disch-Falk. WO-S will play either Wylie or Venus on Wednesdy…Chalk this one up to ‘Well, duh.’ Andre Johnson made it a point this week to come out and explain how well he is enjoying his time with the Indianapolis Colts. Johnson in 15 years with the Houston Texans played with 10 quarterbacks, three last season alone. The Colts have a young, rising star in Andrew Luck who has started every game since he was drafted in 2012. Johnson called being with the Colts a “breath of fresh air” and laughed when told the number of signal callers he had in Houston. Houston fans should not be laughing because what the Texans have done at the most important position on the field is a disgrace.
Football fans in Southeast Texas are starting to itch. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football is expected to hit magazine racks on June 19. This is always a fun time to watch fans of all schools dig through the pages and discuss rankings, which don’t matter but lead to great debates. How high will the Mustangs be ranked? Will the Port Neches-Groves Indians and their high-octane offense be shown any love? It all will be revealed and discussed at length here soon…Here we are in the first weekend of June and as of Friday evening the Houston Astros are still holding the best record in the American League and trail only the St. Louis Cardinals for best in the big leagues. It is such a great turnaround that even the national sports media now is picking up on the Astros and giving them a bit of air time. Houston still leads both Los Angeles and Texas in the AL West with both teams starting to look better with each week. Houston’s chances of winning the division are still slim and that should not diminish what this team has already accomplished this season. Fans are excited and for good reason.
If you have not checked out the newly designed panews.com, please do so after reading this column. The biggest draw is our site is back to being free to our viewers. The sports section keeps up with both national and local sports with subsections for golf and outdoors readers. A sports blog has also been added and it will include things like all-district teams and small tidbits of information. We hope you enjoy the new look…I leave you as I try to always do and that is by saying thank you for reading. It is the summer months and the chance to find stories becomes a real scavenger hunt, plus I am staring at a vacation in the coming weeks. If you know a person or team doing something interesting, do not hesitate to shoot me an email to the address printed below. Have a good week.
Gabriel Pruett is a sports writer at The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.