Wake up with a load of information at the ready! Here is a snippet of sports for Wednesday, January 26th:
After 16 years with the New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton stepped down as the teams’ head coach Tuesday afternoon. The winningest coach in team history, Payton’s crowning achievement was guiding the once dreadful franchise to the Super Bowl XLIV championship with a 31-17 win over Indianapolis to finish the 2009 season.
Payton’s 161 wins, capped by a 30-9 win over Atlanta to wrap up the 2021 season, is 68 more than Jim Mora, the Saints second-winningest coach. The 58-year old Payton did not label his move as retirement. During a lengthy, emotional press conference, Payton didn’t discount coaching again at some point, but more than likely his next gig will come off the field. “I’ve not spoken to anyone from a media outlet relative to doing television or radio,” he said, adding, “I think I’d like to do that. I think I’d pre pretty good at it.”
Before Payton arrived in 2006, the Saints had one playoff win, in their 34th season as a franchise in the 2000 playoffs. The Saints were 1-5 in the playoffs pre-Payton and 9-8 with him as the head coach.
Speculation on the next head coach centered on Dennis Allen, the teams’ defensive coordinator. Allen scheduled to interview for the head coaching post with the Bears Tuesday, but the Bears postponed in order to focus on finalizing a deal to make Ryan Poles their General Manager.
Allen served as the Saints Defensive Line coach from 2006-2007 before taking over as secondary coach through the 2010 season. Denver hired him to be their defensive coordinator for the 2011 season. In 2012 the Oakland Raiders named Allen their head coach where he served two seasons and four games of a third campaign, winning just 8 games while losing 28. New Orleans brought him back into the fold as a defensive assistant in 2015 serving under Rob Ryan. After dismissing Ryan during the season, the team promoted Allen to defensive coordinator. This past season, the Saints defense ranked 7th in total defense after finishing 4th in 2020. Allen served as head coach in Week 15 when Payton was sideline with Covid and helped guide the Saints to a 9-0 shutout of Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The NFL Network also reported former Saints secondary coach and current Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is under consideration to replace Payton.
Parkway’s girls soccer team delivered coach Shelley McMillian her 700th career win with an 8-0 shutout of North Caddo last night. McMillian is the first soccer coach in Louisiana history to reach 700 wins.
In his first year of eligibility, David “Big Papi” Ortiz was named on 77.9 percent of the ballots submitted by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America, eclipsing the 75% threshold to gain induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The slugger who helped the Boston Red Sox win three World Series, was the only player elected this year.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa all fell below the 75% mark in their 10th and final year of eligibility in the annual BBWAA balloting. Bonds is the career home run leader with 762; Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards and Sosa clubbed 609 home runs but all three have been stained by their ties to steroid use.Alex Rodriguez, also eligible for the first time, received only 34.3% of the vote, despite hitting 696 home runs and racking up 2,086 RBI ranking fourth all-time in both categories. A-Rod was suspended the entire 2014 season for violating Major League Baseball’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
Ortiz hit 514 home runs in his career that included 14 years with the Sox and 6 seasons to begin his career in Minnesota. Ortiz was stellar in the clutch, hitting .455 with a .795 slugging percentage in Boston’s three World Series title runs. He accumulated three home runs and 14 RBI in those Series as well.
In the NBA Tuesday night, Philadelphia rode Joel Embid’s 42 point effort to a 117-107 win over the Pelicans. New Orleans kept close despite missing Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Devonte’ Graham and Jonas Valanciunas.
Former North Caddo star Robert Williams III had 13 points and a whopping 17 rebounds for Boston in their 128-75 blowout of Sacramento. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 36 points.
Dallas suffered more than a loss at Golden State last night… guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. suffered a broken bone in his left foot midway through the second quarter in a 130-92 loss to the Warriors. Steph Curry had 18 points and Klay Thompson added 15 for Golden State. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 25 points.
In other games, the Lakers eased past Brooklyn 106-96. LeBron James led LA with 33 points and James Harden paced the Nets with 33.Luke Kennard scored seven points in the final :09 seconds of the game, including a four-point play with 1.9 seconds remaining to lead the LA Clippers to a 116-115 win over Washington. San Antonio hammered Houston 134-104; Denver slipped past Detroit 110-105; Minnesota toppled Portland 109-107 and Toronto bested Charlotte 1125-113.
The 19th-Ranked LSU Tigers try to snap a three-game losing streak tonight when they host Texas A&M at 8pm in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The skid has sunk the Tigers to 3-4 in SEC play, tied for 8th in the league.Arkansas has regained their footing with a pair of wins in a row but will be tested in Oxford against Ole Miss at 6pm. Florida visits Tennessee and Vanderbilt travels to South Carolina to round out the SEC calendar tonight.
Last night, Georgia earned their first SEC win of the season with an 82-76 upset of Alabama in Athens, GA. Top-ranked Auburn struggled at Missouri but squeaked out a 55-54 win. 12th-ranked Kentucky lost control of their matchup at home against Mississippi State, blowing a 15-point second half lead before scrambling to win in overtime, 82-74.