Before we turn our calendars to September, we have to take one last look at the grade book for August. As always, WGEM SportsCenter host Josh Houchins and I will break these down around 8:20 on the award-winning local sports talk show on ESPN 1440. You can listen in at WGEM.com. If you have a grade you’d like to submit, please text us at 217-617-9437.
A — Michael Vick. His comeback story has come full circle with the news of him agreeing to a six-year, $100 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles. The fact that he’s back on top of the NFL landscape after spending two years in prison is amazing. CNBC sports business guru Darren Rovell crunched the numbers on Vick’s deal. After making 12 cents an hour in prison, Vick’s new deal is worth $17,077 per hour based on an eight-hour work day during the NFL season. Now all Vick has to do is prove he’s worth all that dough.
B — Dustin Johnson. He vaulted to the top of the FedEx Cup standings thanks to his win last weekend at The Barclays. With golf trying to find its next big star, Johnson has a chance to be that guy. If it wasn’t for a silly move at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, he’d likely have a major title to his credit. As it is, the 27-year old has already on five times on the PGA Tour — the most wins by any 20-something on tour. If he can play well at the President’s Cup and help lead the U.S. to a win, it could lead to bigger things — and a major title — for him in 2012.
C — Danica Patrick. The GoDaddy.com pitch woman announced last week that she’s making the move to NASCAR next year. That’s good for the Nationwide Series, which she’ll run full-time, and bad news for IndyCar, which needs her star power. There’s no questioning that it’s Patrick’s marketability and not her track savvy that’s landing her a NASCAR ride. She’ll eventually wind up in the Sprint Cup series, but it’s not likely that she’ll ever be successful given her track record. Can she win a Sprint Cup race? Sure. Doubt she ever makes the Chase for the Championship though.
D — University of Kentucky men’s basketball. The Wildcats’ Sports Information Director for basketball — DeWayne Peevy — may just be the new version of the Iraqi Information Minister or the Soup Nazi. It’s really tough to decide. Peevy has barred the Kentucky student newspaper from a round of interviews with Wildcat basketball players on Tuesday because one of its reporters had called two walk-ons to confirm that they were actually on the team. This is a no-no since Peevy wants everyone to go through his office before they talk to players. The school’s efforts to control the media are silly, but it’s not uncommon. The University of Illinois has the same policy. We were burned by an Illini SID type a few years back when trying to do a feature story on former Pittsfield wrestler John Wise. The Illini employee never followed through on his promise to set up an interview with us with Wise, forcing us to miss a story. This isn’t Peevy’s first run-in with the media lately either. He recently threatened to pull a credential of a CBSSports.com columnist for writing something critical of the UK program.
F — Javaris Crittenden. The last time anyone heard about this guy, he was showing off his gun to fellow Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas in the locker room, a stunt that got both suspended. He’s in much, much deeper trouble now. He was arrested on Monday night in connection with a murder of a woman in Atlanta. Unlike the guy who got the ‘A’ this week, I can’t forsee a triumphant return for Crittenden.