The Mitchell Report: Rivers, wheelchair kid and superpowers
Posted January 13, 2013
This will serve as my weekly column for notes about things I find interesting outside the Triangle. Enjoy my insights. I will enjoy sharing them ..
Quite a few Duke fans have noted the absence of Austin Rivers and how that may be the reason Duke is much better this season. It's essentially the same roster, so it's hard not to point to Rivers as the root of last year's problems. He is definitely a guy who could have benefited from some humility. His professional career is not off to the best start. Over the last five games he is averaging less than 2 points. His best moment of the season came last month against Minnesota when he went off for 27 points. That is the reason his season average is up to 7 ppg. Otherwise, it would be hovering around 4.
He arrived on the Duke campus thinking he was ready for the NBA. He played like his teammates should be in awe of his presence on the court and now he's proving he's not ready to be a pro. It's ok. Lots of 20 year olds aren't. Think of what he could have learned from even one more year of tutelage under Mike Krzyzewski. This isn't to say he can't become a good player. He just didn't have the talent to be a "one and done".
The new Car
It seems NASCAR fans should be looking forward to the start of the season next month. The new "GEN 6" car is getting good reviews from the drivers so far. The most encouraging thing I heard this week was from Dale Earnhardt Jr. following the big wreck during a Daytona testing session. He indicated this wreck would officially put an end to the "tandem racing" we've seen recently in restrictor plate races. If you are unfamiliar with that kind of racing, it's when two cars "team up" and one car pushes the other. It's a type of drafting that became very popular with the COT (Car of Tomorrow). The drivers seem to feel the new car has an old feel and that would be great for the sport. I would love to see NASCAR get back to real racing and not have to resort to sideshow driver feuds to entertain us.
Many people around here were excited to see the story of Will Privette (Wheelchair kid) storming the court after NC State's win over Duke. He became a quick celebrity. Even NASCAR Champion Brad Keselowski noticed Privette. He tweeted: My favorite part of duke nc state game? Seeing the guy in the wheel chair rush the court. That was awesome!
In case you didn't hear, Privette is OK and has an excellent college story to tell his kids one day!
Using his superpowers
I was wondering if we would all grow tired of Johnny Manziel like we did of Tim Tebow. I'm going to go ahead and say no. Let me first say this. I love what Tebow brought to college football. It is so nice to have someone who really is a good person and stands for good values and works hard. I think that's great. However, it is also nice to see someone, like Johnny Manziel, who is using his superpowers. He is THE MAN in most parts of the country and he's enjoying that. He rubbed some folks the wrong way when he posted this picture to twitter a few weeks back after a successful trip to a casino. But this week he showed his sense of humor when he posted this picture . Manziel should enjoy his fame. I'm not saying get into trouble, but enjoy it. Few people have that kind of power. Most of us would love to try it out.