Player of the Day:
Dominique Johnson of Fair Park or Ledetriha Sheppard at North Caddo, take your pick!
Bowl Chairman John Hubbard from the Independence Bowl in the studio with us!
|Independence Bowl Chairman, John Hubbard, joins Fletch in the studio.|
Fletch: For a bowl chairman, this is probably the biggest news you could have.
Hubbard: For a bowl chairman that hunts, yes...When we talked to Duck Commander, it was amazing how much we were on the same page.
Fletch: There are so many positives that come with this, are there any negatives?
Hubbard: Not that I've seen, we've always wanted to do more with the community and with this relationship, we're going to be able to do those things.
Fletch: Is Duck Commander Independence Bowl the name?
Hubbard: Sounds about right.
Fletch: How important is Independence being back in the name?
Hubbard: It's very important from the years doing this, and our relationship with Barksdale. When we talked to them it was one of the first 5 sentences they said, they wanted to keep it in the title.
Fletch: How much did you deal with the actual Robertson family?
Hubbard: Really it's with their chief operating team.
Hubbard: We are truly excited and they WANT us to work with their relationships.
Fletch: Is this going to help advertisers dollars go up?
Hubbard: We hope. From what we've discussed with our people and theirs, it seems like it will be that way.
Fletch: One report claimed that Duck Commander will be paying the same as AdvoCare?
Hubbard: We don't really talk about that but the overall package will be north of what we have been in the past.
Fletch: The nay-sayers were ready to shovel dirt on the Independence Bowl after AdvoCare pulled out, was that concern ever there for you?
Hubbard: I don't think that thought ever entered our mind, we were positive the whole time. We had, if you will, an operating capital. We had a good name and a good history. We had good positives to go to the marketing teams with.
Fletch: Will there be a change to pay for teams?
Hubbard: No, thats all been settled contractually.
Hubbard: We see an opportunity to bring all the family into events, not the whole family each time, but some of them for every event we have through the year.
Fletch: Is this really going to make it more of a year long event because of the Robinson's?
Hubbard: Without a doubt, without a doubt, I think the community will be proud of every event brought to them too. So many people have supported the bowls over time and we want to give back. We want to make them proud.
Fletch: Is there a chance for a change in the hotel/motel tax?
Hubbard: I would certainly anticipate that occurring.
Fletch: Were you mad at me John, for breaking the story?
Hubbard: We were obviously hoping to have a little more "wow factor" with the announcement, but the fact that everyone is excited about it makes us very happy.
Fletch: The duck calls, the beards at the game...are there plans to do those kinds of things?
Hubbard: You will see things akin to those. We've been very deep in discussion with these contractual things.
Hubbard: There are a lot of people who have made commitment to this bowl and they are hard workers. There's more than one of us and it lasts for the whole year.
Ronnie Jo, our Sochi Olympic Correspondent joins us in the studio too!
|Ronnie Jo brought the crew Olympic Gloves from Sochi!|
Fletch: How long was the flight from Russia to New York?
RJ: That was our longest flight, 11 hours. I watched "Life of Pi" and "Gravity".
Fletch: What time does it feel like to your body right now?
RJ: I should be getting into the evening right now...about 5 pm.
Fletch: What do you do?
RJ: I'm the Minister of Family Life and Admissions at First Baptist in Shreveport.
Fletch: Now that you're back, give us your top three most memorable events/happenings that you.
RJ: I don't know that I can narrow it to 3, but of course the hockey game and watching USA win. Wasn't sure how the crowd would react since the majority was Russian, but they were high-fiving and congratulating us, they were very nice. We were about 50ft away from Vladimir Putin. The bobsled event was a tops for me, we were right there. At that event, I got to talk with a Russian Muslim, wasn't prepared for that conversation very well, so that was fun. And just the fact of being in Olympic Plaza. Just when you walk in it's so real.
RJ: The pin trading was awesome, just was a wonderful experience. I would go back tomorrow.
Fletch: As a Tennessee Vols fan, are you pulling for them to win enough to get into the Tournament and lose in the first round? Or would it be better for you as a fan, for them to not make it to the Tournament at all?
Dr. TV: I never root against the Vols, I always want them to do the best they can.
Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing on the phone with us to talk NFL Combine!
Fletch: Did you pay a lot of attention to the combine, a little, or none?
Yoder: I usually don't pay much attention to it, preseason games don't excite me, so watching people exercise isn't my cup of tea. I don't like doing it and watching other people do it isn't fun either. The combine was a top news story on Sports Center. It's remarkable that ESPN has turned the combine into this event that has become a year round sport.
Fletch: What is the scouting combine audience?
Yoder: It's way different than the Super Bowl audience, it's probably close to the preseason audience, in that, you have a percentage of the country that is ready to watch football 24/7.
Fletch: Houston Texans were the first pick, do you go for the marketing ploy with Johnny Manziel or do you go for a guy like Jadeveon Clowney?
Yoder: I think there's more intrigue around this first pick than we've seen in years. Johnny Manziel, the home state guys would help make the franchise more relevant. Maybe Clowney would be the safer pick. Who knows if you're going to get the next Peyton Manning or the net JaMarcus Russell? If I was in that situation, I would go with a No. 1 QB instead of getting an average one and hoping for improvement.
Matt Yoder still hanging with the crew this morning!
Yoder: It is something that will make the game more visible, nation wide, I can't even tell you...who was it? AdvoCare? Wow. That means I've been around sports for too long if I can start naming bowl games.
Fletch: It's a perfect fit for their market. Phil graduated from Louisiana Tech and played ball with Terry Bradshaw there. Now Olympics, I think the best part was Lauer asking Costas' if he was having to take the Red-Eye.
Yoder: Costas' has the reputation of being a little stodgy, it was definitely the most unique experience that Bob Costas' was having.
Fletch: Are you a fan of college basketball and the NCAA Tournament?
Yoder: It's one of the best innovations of sports in the last decade. You can't ask anything better than what you've got set-up in the NCAA tournament.
Louisiana Tech basketball's Coach Michael White joins us for Smoothie King's Tech Tuesday:
White: There’s nothing that stands out (about Middle Tennessee State). They don’t have a unique style of play, they’re like Tulsa… just good at everything. Shawn Jones may be the best player in our league this year. They’re very solid in the back court, they don’t turn the ball over. Defensively, they’re right there with… funny, the top four or five teams defensively in this league are the top four or five teams in the league.
On The Road Trip Last Week That Featured A Loss At East Carolina And A Win At Old Dominion:
White: We could have done things better at ECU, the way we attacked their zone, for instance. We did a lot of good things. ECU hit some ‘late clock’ shots that were just deflating. At the end of the day, if you get a certain number of good looks beyond the arc against the zone and you don’t hit them, it puts you in a perilous position.
White: At Old Dominion, we shot even worse but played better. Loud environment at ODU, but we were in attack zone offensively, getting to the rim a lot against their 2-3 zone.
Comparing the WAC to CUSA:
White: The computer numbers tell you last year’s WAC is comparable to this year’s CUSA. White thinks what makes CUSA a little stronger, is the top teams at CUSA are a little stronger overall than the top tier from last year’s WAC.
What to expect Thursday night vs. Middle Tennessee State:
White: We are going to know how to attack them where to attack them and how to guard them and they’re going to know the same things about us. When you have so much at stake, in front of a home crowd, you simplify things but I expect us to come out with as much intensity as we have had all year (sending four seniors out in their final home game).