7-0: The Texas Stars defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 7-0 in each teams' first game of this American Hockey League season. An impressive beginning for the Stars. An ominous sign for the Barons. But since that October 2011 night in Cedar Park, Texas, the Stars finished last in the Western Division, and a day after the regular season ended, head coach Jeff Pyle and assistant coach Jeff Truitt were fired. For Oklahoma City, it recovered nicely. The Barons finished 45-22-9; won the division and Western Conference championships; and begin a second-round playoff series at 7 p.m. Thursday against San Antonio in the Cox Center.
Birth of a legend
Tuesday marks the 31st anniversary of Wes Welker's birth. The Oklahoma City native and New England Patriots star receiver would seem to have it all — or could buy it all — considering the nice paychecks he receives. So what do family members, such as parents Leland and Shelley Welker, give their little Pro Bowler for his birthday?
“It really is hard to get him something, because he's way up there compared to us,” Leland Welker said with a laugh. “He'll usually tell us what we can get him. Last year, I got him one of those (golf) range finders.”
And what has Wes asked for this year?
“He told us to get him a bottle of cologne,” Leland said. “I don't know what it's called, but it has a tobacco smell to it. A real heavy tobacco smell. And it's as expensive as heck, too.”
News from the ball card and sports memorabilia scene:
*Al's Sports Cards in Edmond will have its monthly in-store show, beginning 1 p.m. Saturday. Several dealers are scheduled to attend, and drawings for $10 vouchers will be held at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. Al's Sports Cards is located at 116 E. 15th in the Edmond Plaza East shopping center. For more show information, call (405) 348-7583.
*McFarlane SportsPicks will release the first action figure of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook in October. The figures are usually sold in retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Toys R Us in the $10 to $12 range. CLARKtoys.com is probably the best guarantee to get Westbrook's debut piece in Oklahoma. The Wausau, Wisc.-based company is taking online orders at www.CLARKtoys.com. The price is $12.99 per figure. McFarlane SportsPicks has already produced Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin figures. A figure of quarterback Sam Bradford wearing a red OU jersey is scheduled for a July release.
The quote of the week comes from Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz. He was asked by media about former Oklahoma defensive end Ronnell Lewis ending his college football career early because of academic issues. The Lions selected Lewis late in the NFL Draft last weekend:
“There's been plenty of players that have struggled in school that were smart football players,” Schwartz said. “This is the National Football League. We've got All-Pro. We have Pro Bowl. But we don't have Academic All-NFC North or All-Academic NFL. I think he plays smart on the field.”