These ACC ‘Dream Teams’ would be tough to beat
In reviewing the list of celebrities attending the American Century Championship next week, I wondered what type of “dream team” could be put together for each sport. Because all sports teams need coaches, managers and support staff, it’s imperative to give the non-athletes positions within the organization.
The basketball team, considering that all the players are still in their prime, would be dominant, led by the greatest of all time — Michael Jordan — with Charles Barkley, Jason Kidd, Vinny Del Negro and Ray Allen filling out the starting lineup. Spud Webb would come off the bench to add a spark to this potent offense. Former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps would be in charge of this team.
The ACC celebrity football team would contain many of the greatest running backs in NFL history. Emmitt Smith and Marcus Allen would be starters with Marshall Faulk, LaDainian Tomlinson and Tiki Barber as reserves. When I need that one-yard touchdown, I’d call on Jerome “The Bus” Bettis to pound it in.
Could there ever be a better three-receiver set than Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Dwight Clark? Keenan McCardell and Roy Green would provide more receiving talent coming off the bench. Todd Heap and Kellen Winslow Jr. would provide a dominating set of tight ends.
Keeping all these great quarterbacks happy with playing time would be the biggest challenge for the owner of this team. I’d have to start John Elway, winner of two Super Bowls, and holder of numerous NFL records, even though it would be difficult to keep Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Rypien, Jim McMahon, Joe Theismann and Trent Dilfer, who have each won a Super Bowl, on the bench. Steve Beuerlein, Vinny Testaverde, Chris Chandler, Billy Joe Tolliver and Steve Bartkowski, are available to help tutor current NFL QBs Kyle Boller, Drew Brees, David Carr, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers. Stone Phillips, who was once starting quarterback for Yale, could be inserted in case of emergency. Actor Lucas Black, who played a quarterback in the movie Friday Night Lights, can handle the press conference.
The line is thin, but talented, with Oakland Raider Gene Upshaw, the only player to start Super Bowls in the 60s, (II), 70s (XI) and 80s (XV), handling the blocking. Maybe Barkley can be loaned from the basketball team to help anchor the O-line.
The defense would be led by Hall-of-Famer Lawrence Taylor, one of the greatest linebackers of all time, on one side. If teams run away from L.T., All-Pros Donnie Edwards, Derrick Brooks and Jason Taylor will put a hit on them from the other linebacker positions. John Lynch will provide the crunch from the safety position, with Ronde Barber specializing in pass coverage.
Co-head coaches would be current K.C. head man Herman Edwards and Denver’s Mike Shanahan. Offensive coordinator duties would be in the able hands of Lou Holtz, whose college career spanned more than two decades with Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina. Jim Mora would call the plays from the booth, current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier would run the defense and current Buffalo Bills’ head coach Dick Jauron run special teams.
The hockey team may not give up a goal, with NHL Hall-of-Famer Grant Fuhr and U.S. Olympic hero Mike Eruzione guarding the nets. Goal scorers are a group of greats beginning with Mario Lemieux (690), Dan Quinn (266), Pierre Larouche (395), Jeremy Roenick (495), Brett Hull (740) and Joe Sakic (610). That’s 3,196 goals scored by ACC hockey players.
In case of a playoff game on the “frozen tundra of Lambeau Field” in Green Bay in December, speed skater Dan Jansen and skier Bode Miller can handle the bad weather, as acclimated as they are to snow.
Kicking duties will be split between former and present NFL place-kickers Al Del Greco and Ryan Longwell. Soccer player Brandy Chastain can be inserted to kick extra points, especially if she promises to reenact her famous post-winning goal celebration from the World Cup. (If you don’t know what that is, ask your dad).
The baseball team is anchored by two of the best catchers of all-time, Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Gary Carter. Mike Schmidt would handle infield duties, with Vince Coleman and Paul O’Neill patrolling the outfield. (We may have to play “left field only”). The pitching rotation would be strong, with Rick Rhoden and Bret Saberhagen. However, we would need a lot of rainouts to keep them fresh.
Al Michaels, Matt Lauer and Dan Patrick would form an announcing team to make people forget Howard, Dandy Don and Frank. (Oh, they already have?) Kevin Nealon would make an excellent sideline reporter.
Of course, no other man is more qualified to handle the team’s drug enforcement policy than Cheech Marin.
With the way women flock to him, we would have put Jack Wagner in charge of hiring cheerleaders.
Bruce McGill, the actor famous for playing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” on his throat in the movie Animal House, would handle half-time musical entertainment.
Don Cheadle, because of his fame from Hotel Rwanda, is in charge of accommodations. OK, I’m stretching it here. Media coverage in the able hands of Ray Romano, due to his role as a sportswriter on “Everybody loves Raymond.”
Dan Quayle? With the on-going jokes about how little vice-presidents do, maybe the former VP would be happy as a beer vendor?
Chef Ming Tsai would provide the best training table in the league. It may not be the most fat-free diet, but it sure would taste good.
Last, but not least, Donald Trump would be hired as general manager to utter his famous line if anyone doesn’t meet the team’s expectations: “Your fired!”