Tim Tebow’s most important handoff

Here at the Daily Jolt, we prefer our coffee on the stove top and not from the electric drip machine. We're just old-school that way. Here's what's happening this Wednesday morning...

…By now, we already know that whatever Tim Tebow touches turns into gold. But could No. 15 pull off a surprise of a lifetime? No problem. At an autograph signing in Palm Beach Gardens this weekend, the former Heisman Trophy winner assisted in a marriage proposal when University of Florida alum Ian Lis wanted to propose to his girlfriend of nine years, Sarah Springer, in a unique way. Lis sought out the former Gators quarterback, who welcomed the opportunity “with open arms.” Well, of course he did. The guy’s perfect. As you can see in the video, Tebow executed a perfect ring handoff to Lis just in time so he could offer it to Springer while he went down on one knee. The guy’s just a winner in every way possible. Could he be on his way to New England to play for head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots? Boston loves a winner. Tommy and Timmy on the same team? It’d be awesome.

And, by the way, God bless.

…St. John’s absolutely struck gold on Tuesday when the university reached an agreement with former UCLA head coach and current ESPN analyst Steve Lavin to be the new face of Red Storm basketball. I’ve written about my fondness for Lavin’s coaching ability before, as I begged the AD of my alma mater — Jean Lenti Ponsetto — to fill the opening at DePaul University with Lavin. But, it’s apparent that Ponsetto is in no rush to make a decision (Ms. Ponsetto, if you hire Pitt's Jamie Dixon then all will be forgiven). It was great to see, however, that the St. John’s undergraduate student website in support of Lavin coming to New York, Lavin4RedStorm, actually worked. The kids in charge of the site worked hard to bring their top choice onto campus, and it looks like the hard work paid off. Congratulations to all of the students who put the time and effort into the site.

What the Johnnies get in Lavin is a winner, plain and simple. I know there is some concern that Lavin has not coached or recruited on the East Coast, but he flat-out knows talent. Just look at the two top-ranked recruiting classes he brought to Westwood and the seven McDonald’s High School All-Americans he had hooping it up at Pauley Pavilion. If reports are true that he’ll be bringing along former DePaul and Virginia head coach Dave Leitao (one of Jim Calhoun’s former top dogs at UConn, as well) and Manhattan’s Barry Rohrssen, he will have the East Coast pipeline necessary to fill the nine scholarships that will be available after this senior class leaves the school. If you are a St. John’s fan or alum this morning, I am quite jealous of your program’s future. I wish I could be as excited about my alma mater.

…On another college basketball note, there's a new head coach of Matt Bowen's Iowa Hawkeyes. Siena’s Fran McCaffery was hired to replace Todd Lickliter, and there is optimism in Iowa City that McCaffery can return the Hawkeyes to their winning ways as seen during the Tom Davis era. Davis made basketball fun during his tenure with the press and multiple substitutions to keep fresh bodies on the floor. I don’t know if McCaffery will have the impact that Davis did, but there’s no question that the McCaffery hire is about as solid as you can get — and Hawkeyes fans should be excited. McCaffery isn’t Bruce Pearl, but he was never really going back to Iowa City anyway.

…I’m going to sneak in my quick entertainment nugget of the day before the next sports note only because I needed to include this old-school picture of my girl Christina Aguilera. Why am I including a pic of X-Tina? Well, pop singer Ricky Martin made an announcement over the weekend. I’m not going to get into it here, but feel free to surf the ‘net if you’re unaware of the news. My question is, why couldn’t I be in this video instead of him?

…New York Yankees ambidextrous pitching prospect Pat Venditte made his spring training debut on Tuesday wearing his uniquely-designed glove with six finger slots so he can wear on either hand. Venditte retired four of the seven Atlanta Braves batters he faced, giving up one run, two hits and a walk. It was a long-awaited debut, but it wasn’t the first time Venditte had made headlines, as he caused a stir immediately after being drafted in 2008 out of Creighton. The 24-year-old’s arrival in pro ball actually prompted the Professional Baseball Umpires Corporation to create a rule stating that Venditte must signal to the umpire and batter which arm he intends to use for the at-bat, so not to create such a disadvantage for the batter. In major league history, the only ambidextrous pitcher to use both arms in a regular-season game during the modern era was Greg Harris of the Montreal Expos against the Cincinnati Reds in 1995. In the 19th century, five different ambidextrous pitchers threw in major-league contests. Tuesday marked the first time Venditte actually wore Yankees pinstripes against another major league team. While he isn’t the most highly rated of prospects, it’s hard not to think Venditte at least won’t get a chance to pitch in a regular season game a year or two down the road. He likely won’t make it past the Yankees’ AA affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, this season.

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