Did Vikes Swallow Purple Drank Served By Jimbo?

One of the more unexpected picks during the NFL Draft last week was the Minnesota Vikings taking oft-injured Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th overall selection.

When later asked why the Vikings selected Ponder, Minnesota Head Coach Leslie Frazier said:

I just felt like his character is going to get him through some of the tough days that you go through as a young quarterback in the NFL or even a veteran quarterback. That was probably the determining factor. Not just his physical talent but he is a very high character individual.”

As we know from past, colossal NFL Draft busts, any choice substantially based on a prospect’s “character” is a risk. Especially in the upper-half of the first round.

So how then did the Vikings come to the conclusion that Ponder’s character made him worthy of a 12th overall draft choice?


Without being around former Seminole QB Ponder consistently for any significant length of time, Frazier confirmed to Mike Florio Tuesday on PFT LIVE that the Vikings relied on a Florida State coaching staffed headed by coach Jimbo Fisher.

“When we went down to visit with him, Mike, and just sit down and talk with him and watch him work out, I was really impressed with his poise and leadership qualities that some of the (Florida State) coaches talked to us about and seeing how he handles himself.

“I think there’s some intangibles at that position that you have to have if you’re going to be a NFL successful quarterback.

“The mental toughness has to be there and I think you need to be a relatively bright guy who can understand concepts and be able to lead and he displayed those qualities.

“I said (at the time) if we get a chance this guy could really be who we’re looking for. Fortunately for us the opportunity came and we jumped on it.”

So with the Vikings subsequently drafting Ponder it should come as no surprise that Fisher, who has the same agent as Ponder in Jimmy Sexton, echoed Frazier’s sentiment when it came to a quarterback evaluation.


“I’ve always believed that you measure a quarterback on his bad days, not his good days. When you’re not having your best day, how do you respond? Can you stay into it and manage the game?

“He’s always in the film room studying. He’s highly intelligent. He checked every protection for us. He had the ability on every pass to check off and throw to all our guys. He’s a lot more athletic than people think.

“He’s extremely tough, competitive and he’ll put the time in. He is about winning. You combine his intangibles with his great ability, and you get a great champion.”

High praise indeed.

If only Fisher, a former quarterbacks coach at LSU, had said that about Ponder and not Fisher ex-pupil Jamarcus Russell before the 2007 NFL Draft.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.

Pic: Huge Waste Spotted At Florida Spring Game

At the Florida spring game Saturday, the Gators served fans their first chance to size up UF’s new coaching staff. Like offensive coordinator Charlie Weis:

Charlie Weis

(Weis Coaching Profile Continues To Grow)

Though the most offensive moment of the game - at least for Gator fans - had nothing to do with Weis. (Or John Brantley, but you knew that already.)

That would be the flyover message (below) that was towed from a plane above Florida Field during the game, which noted Florida State’s 31-7 victory over Florida last season.

Read more…

Think You Had Crappy Weekend? No, You Didn’t

Unless you’re Dan Hawkins or Rick Neuheisel.

Florida State Busted Oklahoma Bet

We might’ve capped Brent Musburger discoveries for now, ‘Noles fan. Read more…

Dad Gummitt! 15,000 Tix Unsold For FSU Opener

While hawking a book the past couple weeks, Bobby Bowden has been lamenting how he was pushed out at Florida State after he’d repeatedly asked for “just one more year.”

Florida State Fans Jenn Sterger Florida State cowgirl

(Post-Bowden crowds: It’s all about quality over quantity)

That was actually the thinking when Florida State originally scheduled Bowden alma mater Samford for its home opener this Saturday. But with no Bowden, FSU fans apparently aren’t too keen on the matchup.

Sales have been so slow that FSU is partnering with local motels in a ticket discount promotion to lure fans to the game.

Motel 6, Best Western and Red Roof Inn along with other local establishments are offering cut-rate FSU tickets to non-conference home games in exchange for an overnight stay.

Andrew Carter of the ORLANDO SENTINEL reports of new Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher’s obligatory reax to the news: Read more…

NFL Draft Left Quite An Impression On Gammons

Peter Gammons Tweeted this from his Twitter.com account yesterday:

Peter Gammons Tweets About Sarah Palin

(Myron Rolle: Taking Back Gammons Country)

Gammons also previously Tweeted about Tim Tebow’s Super Bowl ad: Read more…

Tape Worm: Under Armour’s Deion Wearing Nike

Deion Sanders not only has an endorsement contract with Under Armour, but the company also helps fund his Prime U. sports prospect training facility in Dallas. Which explains why Sanders was covering his Nike gear yesterday at the Gator Bowl:

Deion Sanders wearing Nike gear while talking to Sam Ryan

(Sam Ryan: gorgeous)

Somehow I was able to detect that fact despite Sanders’ subtle, white athletic-taped disguise.

Deion Sanders with Noel Devine. Sanders wearing Nike Gear

(Dez Bryant debacle? Clip & Save this pic of Noel Devine & Sanders)

Prime U. is the same facility that received plenty of media attention when Oklahoma State star receiver Dez Bryant was ruled ineligible by the NCAA because of the player’s portrayal of dealings with Sanders - who incidentally would like you to know that he, “never lies.”

Read more…

Change Of Heart, Part Deux: UF Recruit Picks FSU

We told you the day Urban Meyer resigned his job at the University of Florida that there might be some backlash with top Gator recruit Matt Elam. Today that prediction came true.

Matt Elam commits to Florida State after verbally committing to Florida

(Credit: Ray Graham / Palm Bach Post)

Despite having previously verbally committed to Meyer’s Gators 15 months ago, Elam himself had a change of heart today by confirming he would attend Florida State.

Read more…

So How Can Florida State Possibly Fire This Guy?

Oh, sorry, they gave him a ‘choice’ to stay on as mascot.

#2 in world’s most inspirational speeches, just behind Dwight D. Eisenhower announcing the interstate highway system rollout. Thx Spencer.

Report: Bowden To Announce Retirement Tuesday

Mark Schlabach reports tonight for ESPN.com:

bobby bowden joe paterno

(World’s oldest team mascots meet for the last time)

Legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who built one of college football’s greatest dynasties in 34 seasons with the Seminoles, plans to announce his retirement Tuesday morning, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.

Sources told ESPN.com that offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, who was named Bowden’s eventual successor near the end of the 2007 season, has agreed to contract terms to replace Bowden after this season. The school’s booster organization would have owed Fisher $5 million if he didn’t replace Bowden by January 2011.

After a meeting with Florida State President T.K. Wetherell earlier today, Bowden was really given no choice to retire. Read more…

Are Women’s Basketball Sites Getting Too Sexy?

Take a look at the photo below, from Texas A&M’s women’s basketball site (it’s also a poster). Too much? Are some women’s college teams, like Florida State, depicting their athletes in the sexiest ways possible, so as to distance themselves from the lesbian stereotype? I ask because I care.

(Sexy poster, or deleted scene from HBO’s “Big Love”?)

Jayda Evans, who covers college and pro women’s basketball for the SEATTLE TIMES, says that’s exactly what’s going on at some schools. She looks at the photo above, and others like it, and says, “I’m just concerned the sexualized look continues a different, damaging constant in women’s hoops — homophobia.” Whoa. Rebuttal? Yep.

Chantelle Anderson, Vanderbilt’s all-time leading scorer who played for three teams in the WNBA, lets Evans have it in a post on WOMEN TALK SPORTS, where she is a regular contributor. Have at it, ladies. (Notice how I avoided the term “catfight”? … oops).

Read more…