Golden

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

said. “He’s al­ways around the fa­cil­ity. Some guys just have that abil­ity about him, and you can tell he’s just special. You just love his over­all at­ti­tude.”

When asked about Buechele at Big 12 me­dia days last week, Her­man sounded mildly pleased, and that’s know­ing the true cri­tiques will come af­ter a few prac­tices in pads with those imag­i­nary live bul­lets fly­ing. Her­man won’t name a starter un­til mid-Au­gust.

“(He showed me) that he has a voice,” Her­man said. “He’s a lot more vo­cal. I heard him a lot more, which is good.”

In Her­man’s per­fect world, Buechele would de­velop a Tom Brady per­sona in the hud­dle ev­ery play, not suf­fer a ma­jor in­jury, and al­low the coach to red­shirt fresh­man Sam Eh­linger.

For the first time since Strong’s ini­tial sea­son, when David Ash was the in­cum­bent, there’s the com­fort­ing feel­ing that the guy who started last year will start the opener.

You need that type of con­ti­nu­ity. Show me a coach who is start­ing a fresh­man quar­ter­back, and I’ll show you a very ner­vous coach.

This space is nor­mally re­served for sports top­ics, but if you would, in­dulge me for a few sec­onds.

Austin lost a true icon last week with the passing of long­time Amer­i­can-States­man hu­mor colum­nist John Kelso. When I moved here from Tyler in 1999, Kelso was one of the first to come over and wish me well in my new en­deavor.

He was fa­mous for com­ing over to the sports depart­ment to try out po­ten­tial col­umn top­ics on Kirk Bohls and yours truly. His friend Ken Her­man does the same thing to this day, per­haps as an un­spo­ken trib­ute to the man who did it best.

Kelso’s hu­mor wasn’t just re­served for the quirky Austin city an­gles or stuff go­ing on in the gov­ern­ment. He would rail on the Dal­las Cow­boys or drive cross-coun­try with bud­dies like Texas su­per­fan Scott Wil­son to watch Longhorns foot­ball, or he would proudly stroll around the news­room wear­ing his beloved Boston Red Sox ball cap. And for those of us who en­joy fan­tasy foot­ball, he gave us a great look at the Mule Train league back in 2013. The league will con­duct its 29th draft this fall.

He may have been from New Eng­land, but Kelso was a true Austin orig­i­nal. You won’t see another like him. Rest well, my friend. I’ve never had a real prob­lem with the way LaVar Ball deals with his sons, be­cause be­neath all the bravado and trash talk is a father who’s on pace to have at least one son play in the NBA and two oth­ers po­ten­tially grad­u­ate from USC.

In that re­spect, we need more dads like LaVar Ball.

Then there’s the garbage that went down in Ve­gas over the week­end.

Ball has gone from a laugh-grab­bing car­ni­val barker to a chau­vin­is­tic bully run­ning roughshod over in­no­cent peo­ple who have the bad luck to have to deal with him on a pro­fes­sional ba­sis. Ball de­manded that a fe­male ref­eree be re­moved from a game at the Adi­das Upris­ing Sum­mer Cham­pi­onships af­ter receiving two tech­ni­cal fouls and get­ting ejected Fri­day.

Tour­na­ment or­ga­nizer Adi­das ac­qui­esced by re­plac­ing the fe­male ref with a male one, giv­ing cred­i­bil­ity to his mo­ronic be­hav­ior and mak­ing a re­spected shoe com­pany an em­bar­rass­ing pawn in his stupid game.

Adi­das later apol­o­gized — you can’t un­ring that bell — af­ter Ball re­ceived a tor­rent of crit­i­cism from ref­eree or­ga­ni­za­tions, women’s or­ga­ni­za­tions and peo­ple who value com­mon hu­man de­cency.

His clown show is get­ting the at­ten­tion he craves, and the fam­ily will end up with a re­al­ity show some­day, but his un­ac­cept­able be­hav­ior rep­re­sents the op­po­site of how a coach is sup­posed to be­have.

Isn’t this whole thing sup­posed to be about the kids? Oh, yeah, I al­most for­got. This is am­a­teur ath­let­ics. It’s al­ways about the dol­lars.

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