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  • Caesar Cliffius

    My name is Cliff Eastham. I live in West Virginia with my wife Debbie, the loveliest lady in the world, and my youngest daughter, Holly who is equally as lovely as her mother.

    I enjoy writing about sports, and love a good healthy debate. My favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Redskins.

    There are only a couple of sports that I don't write about, Hockey and Soccer specifically. My favorite sports are Baseball, Boxing, NFL, NCAA Basketball, MMA.

    Feel free to look around, and your comments are most welcome. Subscribe via email if you wish.

    It is decreed.....Caesar Cliffius
    this 8th day of December, in the Year of our Lord 2009.

Notre Dame Fans: Is Brian Kelly really Rich Rodriguez ?

Many Notre Dame fans are clamoring for the ND Muckety Mucks to obtain one of the brightest shining stars in the college football solar system. Cincinnati Bearcat head coach Brian Kelly, 48 is by far, the choice of most for the vacated job left by the firing of Charlie Weis.

If the Fighting Irish faithful is certain Kelly will bring instant success to a mediocre team, they need look no further than Ann Arbor.

Near the end of the 2007 season The University of Michigan was feeling that since Lloyd Carr was retiring, maybe they would be able to find someone who could beat the Ohio State Buckeyes. Carr was 9-4 his last year at Big Blue, but most “fairweather” fans just remember that he lost six of his previous seven games to the Buckeyes.

Stay with me Notre Dame faithful, I am painting a portrait for you.

Michigan honchos began looking at other nests they could pillage from. West Virginia, a Big East school which was one of the country’s elite, much like the Bearcats are now, had a young coach named Rich Rodriguez. Rich was one of the most successful coaches in Mountaineer history, and was even courted by the Alabama Crimson Tide the year before, whose advances he flirted with but then just said NO.

Surely, Big Blue fans thought, this would be the key. A man just coming off a season where he at one point drove the #1 car in NCAA football. Clearly this would be their guy to beat Jim Trussell and Ohio State.

Rodriguez has been with the Wolverines for two seasons, has compiled a record of 8-16 while just winning three of 16 Big Ten matchups. He has guided Michigan to the biggest football shipwreck in school history. For the record, Rich is 0-2 against the Buckeyes with a combined score of 63-17.

Why do I tell you this, you ask? Because, by looking at Brian Kelly they are truly looking at Rich Rodriguez in 2007.

Kelly was 19-16 in three years at Central Michigan, before being hired by Cincinnati of the Big East. You do not need be a football historian to know what a jump it is from the MAC Conference to the Big East.  Almost as drastic as going from Grand Valley State to Central Michigan. Mr. Kelly handled the move to the Queen City rather nicely. He has lead the Bearcats to a 33-6 record in three complete seasons.

There are a handful of jobs that a college football coach dreams of.  Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, USC, Oklahoma and of course Notre Dame. There are others but I digress.

Most NCAA head football coaches would “sell their soul” to coach at Notre Dame, especially if they are catholic.

The Irish has already decided to decline any invitations to a bowl game this post-season.

So, what is the moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for. You may go from 6-6 to 3-9.

Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.

The Top Five Achievements by the “Over the Hill” Gang

Some of the greatest accomplishments in sports history were achieved by athletes who were considered “over the hill.”

The best competitor on a certain night is not necessarily the strongest, fastest or youngest. Many times it is the one who has heart, courage, intestinal fortitude and a history of conquests.

It is a difficult task to list the greatest achievements by the senior citizens of the sports arena, but I am up to the challenge. Following are the Top 5 events which were won by the “over the hill gang.”

These five are not in any particular order, It was gut-wrenching to narrow it to five, let alone trying to put them in sequence.

I hope you enjoy this nostalgic walk down memory lane.

Nolan Ryan’s No-Hitter at Age 44

On May 1, 1991, Nolan Ryan, then with the Texas Rangers, tossed the seventh no-no of his career. That is impressive on its own merit.

The fact that he was 44 is remarkable!

Ryan was exceptional during that game. He only walked two, while striking out an amazing 16 batters.

Most baseball players have been retired for five or six years by the time they are 44, not doing things that most pitchers only dream of.

As an aside, this was his last no hitter of his illustrious career.

John Elway: MVP of Super Bowl at Age 38

John Elway was voted MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII at the ripe old age of 38.

Elway, engineer of as many two-minute comebacks as any

one who ever played, threw for 336 yards as the Broncos beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-19.

It was the second consecutive Super Bowl win by Elway and the Broncos.

Wilt Chamberlain: Rebounding Title and Best FG Percentage at 36

At the old age of 36, Wilt Chamberlain began his last season.

He won his 11th rebounding crown, as well as shooting .727 from the floor, an NBA record.

The “Chairman of the Boards” topped off an excellent career when many had written him off as “over the hill.”

George Foreman KO’s Michael Moorer for Title at 44

George Foreman proved that if you have the desire and the fortitude, you can achieve your goals.

Many laughed and joked about the ex-champ when he began his comeback as a roly-poly, out-of-shape heavyweight.

After demolishing has-beens and never-weres, he began to take apart credible foes.

After Michael Moorer oupointed Evander Holyfield to win the Heavyweight Title, he took the Foreman fight as a paycheck. He, as almost everybody else, thought big George didn’t have a chance.

After trailing badly on the scorecards through nine rounds, George clipped Moorer right on the chin with a huge right hand that sent him reeling to the canvas.

At age 44, George had regained the Heavyweight Title and much respect from the boxing world.

Ty Cobb – Batting .357 with 175 Hits at 41

Ty Cobb was a great hitter; that cannot be denied.

The fact that he batted .357 at the age of 41 is incredible. It was done by collecting 175 hits over 134 games. He also scored 104 runs that year.

The Georgia Peach proved that if he could make it to the plate, he could still bat well over .300.

Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.