Whatever’s in the Water Around Here, I Hope BP Didn’t SCREW IT UP Forever

Because it’s pretty extraordinary, when you think about it.

We were reading the fishwrap this morning about a football player who’d graduated from Ebola’s alma mater (our small Pensacola Catholic High School) about five years after The Spawn did. This kid’s 24. He’d been blogging for the past week, and the final front page piece today just got major dad and I shaking our heads again in wonderment at our backwoods piece of Redneck Riviera real estate. It boggles the imagination, really ~ between the two counties of Santa Rosa and Escambia, which had a COMBINED population of a hair over 400K people in 2000 ~ we have SIX LOCAL guys…wearing SUPER BOWL RINGS. Including this absolutely delightful young man, Josh Sitton.

…He joins running back Emmitt Smith (Escambia High), linebacker Derrick Brooks (Washington High), defensive tackle Fred Robbins (Tate High), kicker Lawrence Tynes (Milton High) and defensive tackle Anthony Pleasant (Century High) as local NFL champions.

Is that not astonishing? It is in MY book. Of course, there’s the guys like Omar Stoutmire, Ron Stallworth, Cortland Finnegan and others who have/are playing in the NFL. And if that were all, that would be enough, but…man. Just right this second Bubba Watson, Boo Weekley, Heath Slocum, Joe Durant ring a bell? They join Jerry Pate as our representatives on the PGA circuits.

Boxing Champion Roy Jones, Jr. (a spectacularly nice guy, by the way)?

Let’s see. Baseball. Don Sutton, Buck Showalter are names you’d know right off, and lots of guys like Nick Green, who I think plays for the Blue Jays now, whose names you might not. (Incidentally, from the very first game until 2004, the “Voice of the Blue Jays” was Pensacola’s Tom Cheek.)

We’ve got the NBA covered (Reggie Evans, Alec Kessler…), the WNBA (Michelle Snow), NASCAR (Shorty Rollins, Johanna Long) and even professional poker, too.

There’s Pensacola standouts in just about every major college program for damn near every sport.

And don’t even get me started on the arts scene and who goes “Hollywood”.
I just wish I’d grown up HERE instead of 57 miles from New York City. I’m convinced I’d have been a LOT closer to Broadway in Pensacola Beach rather than Pochuck Mountain, N.J., considering the results they get in these parts.

Overachievers out the wazoo. Man-o-man. Gotta be the water. Just gotta.

Guess Josh’ll be heading home next week, so hopefully we’ll have a big to-do in the city. Once again, CONGRATS!!!!! to our Green Pensacola Bay boy and his whole wonderful team.

UPDATE: Okay. Besides correcting Boo’s last name, major dad and I were already listing who we knew I’d left off the list and found even more we hadn’t known. Our STILL incomplete, but growing by the minute, roster:

Baseball: Three Catholic alumni have made the major leagues ~ Billy Sadler, Phil Hiatt and Jeff Farnsworth ~ along with more local fellows like Tim Spooneybarger, Mark Whitten, Jake Peavey, Talmadge Nunnari…get my drift here?

Then there’s Derrick “Smoke” Gainer, WBA Featherweight Champ. Yup.

NBA…yes, I found more. Amare Stoudemire and Clifford Lett!

Jeez. I gotta get to bed.

11 Responses to “Whatever’s in the Water Around Here, I Hope BP Didn’t SCREW IT UP Forever”

  1. Wow…that’s a lot of talent from one quarter.

  2. Donna D. says:

    THS, don’t remember any talent of this nature coming from the boonies where we lived!

  3. tree hugging sister says:

    I have never seen it’s equal ANYWHERE.


    And Lord knows you’d expect to see something approximating it from a wealthy SoCal county where the sun shines 24/7 and there’s sports programs by the bushelful (not to mention MILLIONS of people in a two or three county area), but the fact is you DON’T. They have their football powerhouses, or b-ball. We’ve got WORLD CLASS EVERYTHING, soup-to-nuts, in two of the state’s smallest, poorest counties, in the most isolated part of the Panhandle!

    Just wild.

  4. currently says:

    It’s great. I’ve ran into Derrick Brooks and Emmitt Smith at separate times out playing golf on a weekend at Marcus Point. Also met Roy Jones, Jr at a Cablevision (now Mediacom) party many years ago. Went to see him fight one nite at Pensacola Civic Center but his opponent didn’t last one round.

    Not to be picky, but it’s Boo Weekley.

    Enjoy your site very much.

    Not being picky but it’s Boo Weekley.

  5. tree hugging sister says:

    ACK ~ you’re RIGHT! I’m a dope, lol! I was typing as fast as my brain was thinking of names and I was bound to foul something up. Changed it chop-chop.

    (And thank you so much!)

  6. JeffS says:

    Simply amazing, Sis. Simply amazing.

  7. Yojimbo says:

    We have a major league pitching coach. You don’t have a major league pitching coach,……..do you?


  8. tree hugging sister says:

    They seem to coach when they retire from playing, Yo.


  9. THS, it would seem that, even though California has a lot of talent, they tend to feed them granola, make them do breathing exercises, and counsel them when they get their feelings hurt on the field.

    Pensacola tends to dust them off, check for oozing blood and protruding bones, and if there are none, send them back into play, with the admonition to stop being wussies, since they aren’t in Kindergarten anymore.

  10. nightfly says:

    Wow… Hard Hitten Mark Whiten. Tied a major-league record with four homers in a single game. Always seemed to be on the cusp of great great things, and never quite did them.

    Although it’s not directly about Whiten, you ought to enjoy this Joe Posnanski article, which mentions his part in a game Greg Maddux pitched against the Yankees while Whiten was on the team. Scroll down to his description of the game itself, and his comments on Whiten.

  11. nightfly says:

    OK, I have to apologize… apparently the archived version of the story is much shorter than the original, which actually covers the game batter-by-batter. Forget that second link, please.

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