LEFTOVERS: Coach’s motivational ploy flops

It’s not unusual for a school to be vandalized with graffiti by its rival. But how often do you see an inside job? And by a member of that school’s staff?

The recent rivalry between Tennessee high schools Marion County and South Pittsburg was marred by a graffiti attack on the Marion County campus. Except South Pittsburg wasn’t the culprit. Officials said it was done by a Marion County assistant coach who was looking to motivate his team prior to the Nov. 1 meeting with its rival.

Michael Schmitt was arrested Wednesday and charged with vandalism after he spray-painted his school’s field house and storage building with anti-Marion slogans using orange and black spray paint — South Pittsburg’s school colors.

In a joint investigation, Jasper, Tenn., police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department traced the graffiti to Schmitt, who caused thousands of dollars of damage to the school’s property, according to the county school’s superintendent.

Schmitt, who also teaches at the school and was hired to be Marion County’s baseball coach, was not on the sidelines Friday when the Warriors played Boyd-Buchanan in the Class 2A playoffs.

Apparently, traditional pregame speeches aren’t in his repertoire. As for the ploy working, well, Schmitt would have been better off trying to be Vince Lombardi. South Pittsburg beat Marion County 35-17.

■ DEZ PLAYS SANTA — With his sideline ranting, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant hasn’t endeared himself to football fans who basically think he’s just another narcissistic diva.

But Bryant showed another side late Thursday. He was going by a Dallas-area Wal-Mart and saw people camped out to purchase the latest PlayStation gaming system. He went inside and proceeded to pick up the tab for four customers while purchasing a PS4 for himself. Bryant also signed autographs and posed for pictures.

The PS4 retails for $399. So it was nice to see Bryant play Santa Claus even though Christmas still is six weeks away. Now if he only could keep his mouth shut on the sidelines and just play football.

■ CROCODILE TEARS? — A Toronto man who was playing golf at a resort in Mexico recently had a nasty encounter with a crocodile, and he’s contemplating suing the course for his injury after the reptile tried to bite off his right leg.

Dougie Thomson was playing out of a bunker at the Iberostar Cancun Golf Club when a 12-foot crocodile attacked him from behind. With help from his three playing partners, who battered the croc with clubs and rammed it with their cart, the 58-year-old Thomson survived.

“The crocodile tore away all the muscle in my thigh. My leg is like a butcher’s shop window,” Thomson told the Daily Mirror. “Surgeons had to sew up the muscle, and I have two tubes in.

“The doctors said I will have to think about getting plastic surgery.”

According to the Mirror, the resort refuses to accept responsibility for the attack, claiming they post ample warnings about the “unique characteristics” of the course.

Some advice for Thomson: Next time, stay out of the sand and keep it on the fairway.


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