Friday, November 25, 2005

A Final Pat On The Back

Actor Pat Morita died on Thursday at the age of 73.  The sports world did its best to make Mr. Miyagi proud in the last week of his life.  As a fitting tribute to the man who portrayed Daniel-san’s wise mentor, the influence of Pats was apparent everywhere.


Patrick Kerney led a tenacious Falcons defense in a 27–7 Thanksgiving rout of the Detroit Lions.  The Denver Broncos, owned by Pat Bowlen, followed up with an overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys.  With a 9–2 record, the Broncos are confident that they can dethrone the Pats as Super Bowl champions.


West Virginia quarterback Pat White capped off Turkey Day with 220 yards rushing in a 45–13 rout over Pitt as tryptophan-induced America remained oblivious.  Last Saturday, Pat Hill’s Fresno State Bulldogs proved they were anything but patsies in a 50–42 shootout loss to USC.  Led by Reggie Bush’s 12,000 all-purpose yards, the Trojans stayed on course to three-peat (a term coined by Pat Riley).  Earlier in the day, Auburn dedicated Pat Dye Field and defeated Alabama 28–18 in the Iron Bowl.


On the Hot Stove circuit, new Phillies general manager Pat Gillick made a splash by trading Jim Thome and oodles of cash to the Chicago White Sox for centerfielder Aaron Rowand and two minor league pitchers.  Rowand will play next to Pat Burrell in the Phillies outfield.  While in Toronto, Gillick presided over a strong farm system that produced 1992 World Series MVP Pat Borders and 1996 American League Cy Young winner Pat Hentgen.


On the court, Pat Summit’s second-ranked Lady Vols avenged a Final Four loss with a 93–55 rout over Michigan State.  Patrick Sparks showed how pivotal he is to the Kentucky men’s team this week, managing only seven points in a loss to Iowa but bouncing back with 25 in a victory over West Virginia.  Patrick Beilein suffered through a 2–10 shooting night for the Mountaineers.


Retired stars such as Patrick Roy and Patrick Ewing would love to honor Morita, but their careers have already waxed off.  However, plenty of other Pats continue to wax on.