Jake Says Goodbye Az, Hello Colorado


Former Arizona Cardinal quarterback Jake Plummer's full-page thank-you in the Sunday editions of two metropolitan Phoenix newspapers was both classy and sincere.

In it, Jake relived the football experiences he both endured and enjoyed since arriving 10 years ago in Arizona as "an 18-year old, scrawny naive kid from Boise, Idaho."

"... I thank you the fans. You cheered and booed me when I deserved it. You were genuine and you cared," he wrote.

The Snake promises to never forget his days in Arizona and the impact "this place and all of you had on my life."

Jake's thank-you proved he is indeed the quality man we all came to know in 1996 when he was leading the Arizona State University Sun Devils to the brink of the National Championship.

Thankfully, Jake will move on to an NFL team, the Denver Broncos, where he can finally showcase his quarterbacking talents.

Friends in Denver tell me he is being welcomed to the city as the signal caller capable of leading the Broncos to gridiron's promised land.

The move will also allow Jake to rid himself of the know-nothing boo birds who found their way to Sun Devil Stadium when the Cardinals were playing.

Jake's problems with the Cardinals weren't entirely of his doing. His supporting cast was weak at best and he was floundering in an organization that lacked both leadership and direction.

Thank goodness, Jake has moved on.

And now, I'm a big time Denver Bronco fan.

ASU, Cats clutch dance cards

Arizona State University fans watching Sunday's NCAA tournament pairings on television were kept waiting about 35 minutes before it was made official that the Devils were going dancing.

For Devils' disciples, it was an agonizing wait.

Both ASU and the top-seeded University of Arizona ended up in what appears to be by far the toughest of the four brackets. In the West with the Devils and Cats are Kansas (ASU's second-round opponent, if the team wins a first-round showdown against Memphis), Duke, Illinois and Notre Dame.

Those teams take to the tournament a combined 95-29 record and are among the top teams in the country.

The NCAA selection committee, which is chaired by U of A Athletic Director Jim Livengood, did the Wildcats no favors by seeding the team into the West.

Practices limited by weather

The inclement, wet weather that has hovered over the Rim country off and on for the past three weeks has been a godsend that could help alleviate some of the severe drought conditions.

But the weather also has wreaked havoc on spring sports pre-season practices. In golf, track and field, baseball and softball, training sessions have been very limited. That means the development of both individuals and teams has been slowed.

Coaches have used their creativity to try and create some type of acceptable practice conditions. Although the athletes might not turn in top performances over the course of the next few weeks, they should be in good form by the time the state and regional tournaments begin in early May.

Hot Wheels Battle Suns

The 7th annual Payson Hot Wheels vs. the Banner Wheelchair Sun benefit basketball game will tipoff at 7:30 p.m. May 3. The game is sponsored each year by the Town of Payson American Disabilities Act to help raise awareness about disability issues.

All proceeds from the game are used for scholarships to benefit individuals with special needs.

The Hot Wheels are sponsored by local businesses who purchase sponsorships for $200 each. Sponsors may have a player on the Hot Wheels team. Currently, 15 sponsorships are available and will be open to the public until March 14.

Anyone interested in purchasing a tax-deductible sponsorship can do so my calling Tracy Snyder at 474-5242, ext. 233.

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