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Monday, October 29, 2007

Time to get a little mad about MARYLAND

Alrighty, the football season isn't scrapped, but it's waning. And let's be real for a second - Maryland is a basketball school. Gary Williams may be half the man Friedgen is (who isn't?), but he definitely has something the Fridge doesn't: A ring.

As I mentioned a few days ago, thus far, Maryland is out of the top 25 (not terribly surprising) and has garnered only one vote in the coaches' poll (mildly surprising). Is this really a bad team?

When I look at Maryland, I see a team with a potential conference superstar (Gist). I see two guards with experience that can take turns at the point and both were in the top-10 ACC in assists last year(Vasquez and Hayes). Gary Williams has said that the only reason Landon Milbourne didn't play last year is because D.J. Strawberry was the player ahead of him and Gary wanted him in all game. I see a deep bench, starting with Boom Osby and Jerome Burney and going into our freshmen, many of whom should contribute right away (Dupree, Tucker, etc.). Plus, we have the MVP of last year's Capital Classic coming here in the spring semester who could also potentially give an extra shot in the arm to our post game, should we need it.

The concern is defense. We lost Strawberry and Ibekwe, our two best defensive players last year. But... I think overall, we should be OK. Gist was the fourth-leading shot blocker in the ACC last year. A lot of are big men are defensive players that need to develop scoring around the basket (another area of concern, should be addressed by Dupree). Also, Greivis led the team in steals in conference play last year with 21, and Hayes managed to grab 13 as well. Add in Milbourne, who reminds me of Strawberry anyway. Ok. Problem addressed.

But these guys are young. Are two seniors and two sophomores enough to lead this team? I'm going to say yes. Everyone knows how intensely competitive Greivis is. Gist gets better every year: FG%, 3-pt shots, FT%, blocks, steals, even assists! Check the bottom. Everyone who is starting really deserves to start. We're deep. Now we have NCAA experience. The guys got a taste last year, I'm sure they're eager to get back.

Terp fans, really get excited, you're gonna like this season.

Go Terps!!!

Extra note: BIG SCOOP

I was walking to late night at SoCo diner and I ran into Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne. I noticed that Langhorne has a brace on her left foot. To my knowledge, no one has reported that Langhorne has an injury, but if she does, and it costs her court time, the Terps are down an All-American and a key player from the 2006 national championship squad. In other words: That ain't good.



Yes, I realize I am insanely lucky. (Seriously, Bobby Kielty? Bobby Kielty?)

I'll stop smiling sometime next month.

NOTE: Jon Papelbon is insane.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The longest play ever run in a football game

I still can't believe that happened.

Other notes:

- The Patriots are currently winning 38-0 in the 4th quarter (Oops, make that 45-0, they just scored). They just got called for a false start and Tom Brady clearly said, "You gotta be f***ing kidding me!" This is why America hates this team.

- About the Maryland game yesterday... I was really upset. I hate the fact that James "I guarantee it" Davis opened his mouth against us and backed it up. Even though he played really well, he didn't defeat us by himself - our defense looked as slow as they ever have and the offensive calling and execution was uninspiring. I know people are certainly quick to crucify Friedgen, but I think people are always saying that, no matter who the coach is. Maybe Chris Cosh should check his job security, however. Word is Henderson called out the defense this week.

- Thanks, BTDub, if you got to come out to the women's volleyball game today. It was wicked close, but Duke did win 3 games to 1. Good match, though. The Terps biggest weakness seemed to be defending the little teardrop shots over the front blockers.

Look for a tender dedication to the Sox/Pats later tonight by Kevin, a new post tomorrow talking basketball, and hopefully a new feature that should be really exciting. Go Terps!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Yes, Gregg Easterbrook Is A Moron

I've been wanting to write about this monstrosity by Gregg Easterbrook, noted anti-Semite, for a while, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Let's start off:

Argument for the Indianapolis Colts as paladins who carry the banner of that which is beneficent: Sportsmanship, honesty, modesty
OK. The Colts most certainly are honest. They generally display decent sportsmanship - no better, no worse than the rest of the NFL. Honest? I would agree. Modest? Really? Peyton Manning's commercials are only broadcast 6,000 times every Sunday.
devotion to community, embrace of traditional small-town life, belief in higher power, even love of laughter
Devotion to community? What is Easterbrook talking about? Embrace of traditional small-town life? Indianapolis has a population of almost 800,000 and is the 13th biggest city in the country. Besides, most of the players are there because either: A. the Colts drafted them or B. the Colts offered them more money. This isn't knocking on Indianapolis or the Colts, but it's just a statement of fact. Love of laughter? What is he talking about? Manning's funny commercials, maybe?

Belief in higher power, however, is the good one. First, it somehow implies that Brady, whose father almost became a Priest, according to Moving the Chains, Charlie Pierce's excellent book about him, is an atheist of some sort. And oh yea... Tony Dungy's faith makes him hate gay people (or at least support those who do).
Through prior years of postseason frustration, they never complained or pointed the finger outside their team.
Really, what about when Dungy tried to get the rules changed so his small receivers could get around that Patriots' stronger DBs?

Their players are active in community affairs and don't carp about being assigned to a nonglamorous Farm Belt city with an antiquated stadium.

Funny, Easterbrook doesn't offer any proof for the claim that they are active in community affairs (I don't doubt that they are, I just doubt that this is any different than most NFL teams). Also, maybe they don't complain about their stadium because they're getting a new one.

Their coach, Tony Dungy, smiles in public and answers honestly whatever he is asked: He never yells at players or grimaces at bad plays and, when defeated, doesn't act as though it's the end of the world. Although religious, Dungy said on the night he won the Super Bowl that God doesn't care about football games, which shows perspective.
OK, first off, it's good to know that Dungy doesn't think God cares about sports. But that doesn't show perspective, it just shows he's not insane. But not being insane shouldn't be praiseworthy. Smiling in Public? What is Easterbrook smoking? What does that have to do with anything? Also, I would hope that a coach would grimace at bad plays and be upset if the team loses - it's their job to win football games.
The team's star, Peyton Manning, stands for love of family, constantly appearing in public with his brothers, father and mother.
Maybe, that's cause, I don't know... HIS FATHER AND BROTHER ARE ALSO NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE QUARTERBACKS. If Brady's family was famous, I'm sure they'd be on TV all the time, too. I mean, Brady lives three houses down from two of his sisters.
Manning is happily married and a major donor to a children's hospital. Manning spends a lot of time at children's camps and events, and he constantly makes fun of himself.
These are all very laudable things, but unless Easterbrook follows Peter Singer, there's nothing inherently wrong with Brady not doing this stuff. There's also nothing wrong with being married. But Easterbrook's comment implies that there's something wrong with the fact that Brady's not married, which means that something is wrong with half of the United States.
Argument for the New England Patriots as scoundrels in the service of that which is baleful: Dishonesty, cheating, arrogance, hubris, endless complaining even in success.
First of all, in case you forgot, Easterbrook's really smart! He uses words that no one knows the meaning of, like baleful! Dishonesty and cheating, OK, I'll take it. Arrogance? Hubris? Really? Cause the rest of the media has spent the past half-decade talking about how humble the Patriots are. So, you know, you guys should all get together and work that out. Thanks.
The Patriots have three Super Bowl rings, but that jewelry is tarnished by their cheating scandal.
Really? Cause there's a lot of evidence provided for this charge, right? People had mentioned stuff about this before the Jets thing? What? They hadn't? Oh, well then.

Their coach snaps and snarls in public, seeming to feel contempt for the American public that has brought him wealth and celebrity. Victory seems to give Bill Belichick no joy, and defeat throws him into fury.
Throws him into fury? Belichick has never gone Parcells or Pinella on a member of the press. He always just seems exasperated - not angry - when he deals with them. Belichick doesn't show joy after individual victories because he doesn't care about individual victories, he cares about the Super Bowl. Belichick's only crime here, if he has one, is being super-competitive.
Belichick and the rest of the top of the Patriots' organization continue to refuse to answer questions about what was in the cheating tapes -- and generally, you refuse to answer questions if you have something to hide.
This is Easterbrook - who also writes about politics - confusing two worlds. If a politician refuses to answer questions, he probably has something to hide. Sports teams pretty much always refuse to answer questions that aren't about the team's next game. Sorry, Belichick is not Richard Nixon.
The team's star, Tom Brady, is a smirking celebrity-chaser who dates actresses and supermodels but whose public charity appearances are infrequent.
Easterbrook - who puts up photos of attractive cheerleaders in all of his articles - is criticizing Brady for dating attractive women. Also, Manning's wife isn't some horrible creature from the deep. Also, notice how he doesn't say that Brady doesn't give money to charity, but just says that his "appearances" are infrequent. Meanwhile, if Brady did make frequent charity appearances, Easterbook probably would have criticized him for only giving to charity to make himself look good.

That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something."
Yes, Brady is definitely Dick Cheney. 100% the same person. Brady clearly has a strong view of executive power. Or maybe Brady is just happy. Who knows?

He then proceeds to criticize the Patriots for running up the score - a fairly legitimate complaint, but then brushes aside the fact that the Colts did the exact same thing a few years ago.
They, after all, are the ones who admitted to systematic cheating.
This is simply untrue. The Patriots never publicly admitted to anything - although by not appealing the commissioner's decision, they sort of did. And it was ONE GAME. One game is not systemic.
(Belichick) and his team have been praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised, praised; criticized when it was discovered New England had engaged in what commissioner Roger Goodell himself called "a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition"; then -- after about a week of criticism -- praised, praised, praised.
Maybe this is because the rest of the media realizes that it's not a big deal. Every former NFL player who analyzes for ESPN has blown it aside and moved on. Why? Either cause it wouldn't give a team that much of an advantage or everybody does it.
Should New England continue on and win the Super Bowl without a major attitude shift toward nice-guy behavior -- and should the year end without the NFL's ever explaining what New England evidence it destroyed or why -- there could be a huge amount of cynicism about this NFL season. Cynicism doesn't sell a sports product, nor is it what the NFL should be marketing to the young.
Really, I'm pretty sure people are still watching the NFL, jerk.

Most interesting is that Easterbrook continues his odd obsession with insulting the Patriots despite the fact that ESPN ombudswoman LeAnne Schreiber calls him out in her column and the fact that the rest of the media has moved on.

The New Mr. Irrelevant

Today, I'm proud to announce that the men's basketball team has the unwavering support of Mr. Irrelevant.

I'm not talking about the last person to be picked in the NFL Draft, or the NBA Draft. No, I'm talking about a guy way more special than that.

Recently, the first coaches' poll came out ranking the D-I men's basketball teams. Ok, UNC is No. 1, Duke is No. 11, NC State is No. 24 (Why?) ... wait, where's Maryland?

Well ... all you have to do is to look at the bottom of the page, WAY down in the "Others Receiving Votes" section... at the very end. The last team. With one vote.


We love you, Mr. Irrelevant, oh faceless supporter of the tradition of Maryland basketball. Like the song by the band Journey, you've never stopped believing in our potential. As we rise up in the polls, never will we forget your unflinching and unwavering vote. The first one is always the most important.

In fact, I think all of you readers should listen to "Don't Stop Believing" and read this column over again.

Wait, there's something else. Read the poll page again. At the very bottom of the page, when they list the panel of head coaches that vote... who is that? Great Scot! Gary Williams? Umm... well I'm sure it's not him. He probably didn't vote for, uh, his own team.

Oh boy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What Can I Say?

The man pictured below is part man, part beast, part god, and all clutch.

Seriously, What can I say that isn't apparent from the box score? Beckett was brilliant (30 of his first 32 pitches were fastballs between 95 and 97 MPH, he struck out the first five batters of the game), the offense was spectacular (13 runs, with everyone chipping in) - hell, when Gagne came in, I wasn't even nervous.

(IRONY NOTE: Gagne means "to win" in French, well actually "gagner" means to win, but you get the idea.)

Seriously, what more can I ask for as a fan?

The only thing I'm nervous/worried about is going to Colorado - some of the Red Sox players really don't like the cold, although if it didn't effect them last night at Fenway, I doubt it'll be that much worse at Coors. Also, how do we play Lowell, Youk, and Ortiz at the same time? I think, assuming the series goes five games, each one should get one day off - Lowell first, then Youk, then Ortiz. Regardless, we'll have a killer bat coming off the bench each time. Another option would be to play Youklis in right for J.D. Drew. Youk has played left field in the past and I think he could pull it off, although I doubt Francona will want to risk it.

Game 2 tonight in Boston - this World Series could be over before it started.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dumbledore - The Fallout

This is great. It's easy to tell that Dan Abrams is probably insulted by the idea of having to even cover this story. But you can catch a couple snippets of Mr. Knight, trying very hard to break through Dan Abrams' constant interrupting, saying things about "sexually confused boys" and "coming down with STDs." Oh goodness.

Now that Dumbledore went all John Amaechi on us, are we going to have to get a reaction from Snape or Hagrid? How do they feel now about all those times in the locker room before Quidditch games? We already know how Tim Hardaway feels about it.

I think it's pretty crazy about the uproar relating to a fictional character's sexuality. It's not as if she wrote it directly into the book; readers can believe whatever they want. All Rowling was saying was that when she wrote the book, in her mind, the character was gay, and frankly it makes more sense that way in the general plot. Grindelwald, back in the day, was a pretty handsome guy, I hear.

Has anyone called Sean O'Donnell yet?

In other news:

- Tuesday Morning Quarterback on ESPN posted a great column about the parallels between the Colts v. the Patriots and Good v. Evil that I know will drive Kevin crazy.
- This really should be first. The wildfires are officially a crisis. It's crazy to me how things go on for a while and hardly anyone hears about them until, one day, the media blows up. Same thing happened with Katrina. I feel bad for the Chargers, but I think football is a pretty low priority, compared to what else is going on.
- So nowadays, with $240 million, you can buy a little itty bitty percentage of Facebook. At least that's what Microsoft did. It's interesting to me that the price seem to be soaring sky high. Google bought YouTube last year for $1.65 billion, and now Facebook is valued at around $15 billion. How much profit is everyone making off of online advertising? That much?

By the way, if you all thought it was raining today, I assure you, it was not. Just a drizzle.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jin Soo, We love you...

There was a monumental event last week in Maryland sports history last week, but I doubt that many of you fine readers know about it unless you bother to follow Maryland basketball recruiting. For the year 2009.

I'm referring to, of course, the oral commitment from Jin Soo Kim, a 6-8 native South Korean.

Yes, you read that correctly. Asians play basketball. They're in the NBA, and now they're in American colleges.

According to Kim's cousin (not the most reliable source, as a disclaimer) Jin Soo may be the first-ever Korean-born Division I basketball player. Read this article for a little more about Kim.

I remember the feeling I got when Yao Ming was drafted into the NBA: Pride. And I feel the same way about Kim. I'm even more proud that I go to the school that he will attend. I'm even more excited that I'm going to the college that he wants to attend.

This university recently reported that 17 percent of the school is composed of Asians, making them the largest minority group on campus. Sometimes Asians are seen as the "not minority" minority, but I think the fact that there are breakthroughs like this happening all the time shows how much further Asians still have to come. For example:

- Every Asian player is described as "weak" or "needing more strength." Guaranteed. Look it up.
- Many Asians that are successful in this country are post players. I know there are Asian guards that can handle a basketball.
- The NBA is recognizing the potential of Asia in the talent market, but D-I colleges are still behind. Other universities should follow Maryland's example, or go above and beyond like the University of Memphis.

Until then, I see this development as a happy beginning.

-As a player, Kim sounds like a pretty decent shot. His stroke has raised the eyes of Gary Williams and NBA scouts alike. It helps that he's in prep school, so we can see how he stacks up against players in this country.

-Another note with more immediate ramifications: Gus Gilchrist, a 6-10 center and 4-star recruit will be enrolling at Maryland in January. The decision will come down soon whether he will play next semester or simply practice until next year. Incredibly, Maryland fans may already have gotten a good look at the young Gilchrist at the Capital Classic in April when he scored 24 points and earned the MVP award.

Two 4-stars for the class of 2008? That ain't too shabby.

Quick Weekend Wrap-up

Here's a quick look at the sports that sometimes get overlooked when interesting things are happening:

- In men's soccer this weekend, the tie game against Cal State Northridge was overshadowed by a fight at the end. According to eyewitnesses, junior Rich Costanzo was seen throwing punches (and I've heard some people say that he can be a pretty intense guy), but I'll take the bold assumption that the whole team was pretty well provoked. Look at the box score and behold: a whopping 26 fouls in one game!!! They had 13 fouls in the first half, as many as the Terps had all game.

- In field hockey, a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup resulted in a Maryland loss. The Terps allowed 23 shots while they themselves took none, despite the best efforts of freshman phenom Katie O'Donnell who, as of last week, was leading all of Division I in goals per game and points per game by a tremendous margin. Also, I give a lot of respect to goalie Kathryn Masson, who didn't allow a goal in the entire first half, despite 14 shots on goal. The good news is the last two seasons, Maryland has suffered a midseason loss to a ranked opponent, only to go back and win the NCAA championship. I don't think people realize how lucky we are to have a team like that.

- This isn't a wrap-up but rather an appeal to everyone who loves seeing the Terps beat Duke (I hope that's a lot of you). My friend Christina Paul plays for Terp volleyball and she's a real sweetheart. She wants anyone that can to come Sunday, Oct. 28th at 1:00 to Comcast to support the Terps as they take on Duke. So far this year, volleyball has won every match at home.

As always, go Terps

Oh How I Love That Dirty Water, Boston, You're My Home

What can I say? Dice-K did his job - he doesn't need to be Schilling or Beckett - he just needs to not implode. Okajima and Papelbon were their usual fantastic selves. The offense came through, crushing the Indians' hopes in the eighth. Papelbon put an all-star celebration performance in the postgame.

All I can think about right now is how lucky I am. My dad waited the first 54 years of his life - living through the Impossible Dream, Bucky Dent, Buckner, and the rest of the legendary incompetency - before being graced with a World Series. In the first 19 years of my life, the Red Sox may end up winning two World Series titles. How did I pay my dues? Aaron Boone? That certainly sucked - but the next year's ALCS made up for it. What else is there? Jeter's phantom tag? Those Yankees were just better than the Red Sox - nothing tragic was really involved. If I were a more religious person, I would say I was blessed.

So the Rockies are next. I'll confess that the following conversation occurred between me and my friend while watching an interleague game between the Rockies and the Red Sox at Fenway

"Robie, Do you think there are actually Rockies fans?"
"I guess, I mean, we're still Celtic fans, aren't we?"

A team who I wasn't 100% confident had fans a few months has now one 21 of their past 22 games. Where did this team come from? Who are they? Todd Helton. Troy T. (Not going to try to spell that last name) I can tell you this, I look forward to meeting them.

Other thoughts about the series: Although the Rockies have won 21 of 22, I think it's possible the Sox actually have more momentum cause I think the NLCS ended about five months ago. That aforementioned interleague series was won by Rockies, two games to one, although it's hard to really draw anything meaningful about the series from that.

Oh yea, I'm pretty sure the Rockies are a hockey team.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Alright... umm, they won!

If I say it never happened and you guys all agree it never happened, then let's just all pretend it never happened.

I want to cry.


So many questions after a two-game night: Has J.D. Drew just been saving this all year? Is he God himself, or merely one of his relatives, perhaps Jesus' 2nd cousin? Did the refs merely suck or were they actively biased towards UVA? Does wearing a tie to a football game make you a douchebag?

And lastly, is .500 a good batting average for the night?

I'll confess, I was contented but somewhat lonely for most of the night - I forgot to claim my ticket for the UVA game, and was forced to watch ESPN2 - where I learned that 'Josh Porter' had been suspended for the season - and Fox. Watching sports by yourself simply is not as enjoyable as watching it with fellow fans.

But, nonetheless, a Red Sox win + Terps Loss still equals a happy Kevin. Considering the relative magnitude of the two games (playoffs, midseason) and how long I've been rooting for each team (19 years, 3 years), this really shouldn't be that surprising. I have Red Sox memories of bloody socks, Pedro Martinez, Ortiz walkoffs, the greatest comeback in a series ever, etc. I have Terrapins memories of the win over FSU last year... and... um, the Champs Sports Bowl? I think placing your professional sports loyalties over your collegiate ones is a relatively normal thing to do - unless you're in the South and that's primarily because there are far fewer pro teams there.

J.D. Drew stepped up, which is something I've been predicting all season. (Seriously! I have! I swear!) Drew has had a tough year - his son had a major health crisis, his wife is preggers, he's been struggling at the plate, and he got booed fairly regularly during the middle of the season. But he finished the season well, hitting five home runs in 91 at-bats at one point in September, after hitting only 6 in his first 375 at-bats of the season.

But tonight - Tonight was gorgeous. After Carmona got Manny and Lowell, most people probably thought the Red Sox were going to blow a positively golden opportunity, but Drew crushed the ball to a center, putting the Sox up 4-0. With the exception of a solo shot by Victor Martinez - who absolutely owns Curt Schilling, with a .600 average against him - the Red Sox never looked back.

Also, robot J.D. Drew showed emotion! This is an incredibly rare sighting and should be treasured.

So now that J.D. Drew has hit a $70 million home run, Dice-K will have to a $100+ million dollar start tomorrow. If he does, the Rockies will have to reserve plane tickets to Logan.

As for the most depressing development, I had a better view of some of the controversial calls in the Maryland game, particularly on the incredibly frustrating final drive. The pass interference call on a fourth down relatively early in the drive was a bad call, but the calls on the last first down, the touchdown, and the 2-point conversion were all good calls - although I was surprised how quickly the first down call came back from review.

The refs ultimately didn't lose us the game tonight - an anemic offense in the second half, coupled with our defense's complete inability to stop basic screen and shuffle passes executed by a freshman, fourth-string running back - lost us the game.

Seriously, Mikell Simpson outgained the entire Maryland team - he had over 100 yards receiving AND over 100 yards rushing.

And yes, wearing ties to football games still makes you a douchebag.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another Great Story

"All literary men are Red Sox fans. To be a Yankee fan in literary society is to endanger your life." - John Cheever

The Red Sox, I would argue, are clearly the most poetic and literary of all baseball teams. Many things play into this: the tragic arcs of so many pre-2004 Red Sox seasons, the multitude of colleges (and, therefore, good writers) in the Boston area, and of course, the majesty that is Fenway.

Doubt what I have to say? Check out Peter Gammons' piece on Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. The fact that he wrote that on deadline reminds me of just how far I have to go in becoming a good writer. Still disagree with me? Read John Updike's famous piece "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu." Of the pieces included in The Best American Sports Writing of the Century, three of them are related to the Red Sox, with only Muhammad Ali warranting more.

(Granted, I will entertain arguments for the Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that no longer exists, simply because The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn is probably one of the top three or four sports books of all time. However, the Brooklyn Dodgers no longer truly exist.)

Why am I mentioning all of this? Because it relates to last night's win over the Cleveland Indians. Simply losing would not be dramatic, tragic, or exciting enough for the Red Sox. Face it, there is no emotion - except hopelessness, which is something the Red Sox are not guilty of - in losing four straight games. Losing tomorrow night in Game 6 would be tragic, a Game 7 loss would be cataclysmic, and a series victory would be awe-inspiring.

So, last night, Josh Beckett needed to strike out 11 men over eight innings, despite attempts by Kenny Lofton and the Indians to psyche him out. Kevin Youkilis needed to step up with a home run, a triple, and three RBIs. Even Manny Ramirez needed to provide (in retrospect) comic relief by hitting a 390-foot single. If it didn't happen, there would be no story, no drama, no life to a team that is based on those three things.

Schilling, whose last Game 6 was part of the greatest story baseball ever told, is facing Fausto Carmona tomorrow night. Although his sock will not be nearly as bloody, I predict the result will be the same as what happened 3 years ago - A Red Sox win.

On a side note, Manny's comments about not caring don't bother me. If you work at Target, certainly Target's shareholders care if the store meets their earnings projection each quarter and are certainly somewhat dependent on you to do so. But do you really care? No, it's still just a job. You might like it, you might hate it. I'm confident that Manny Ramirez likes playing baseball and would prefer to win, but he's right in pointing out that the rapture won't occur if the Red Sox lose. It may sound callous, but as fans, we care far more than any player does about the wins and losses.

Final side note: I promise, you'll only have to put up with posts about the Red Sox for about another week or so at the most.

How about a crackerhound instead?

First of all, if I'm the only one who thinks the University of Tennessee should change their mascot, I won't say anything more about it, but a "coonhound?" I know there's a dog breed that's actually called that, but c'mon people, why do you think that is historically? I mean, Tennessee's name is the Volunteers (which BTDub has another slave state context), so it's not as if they would have to change their name...

Secondly, Geremy Bass wrote a column today about why Maryland will beat Virginia. Amen!!!

Allow me to add on... (stats are from theacc.com, ncaa.org and the official athletics websites)

- Bass says UVA's combined opponent record is 20-26. Maryland's is 22-17. Keep in mind that 6 of those losses come from the winless and deplorable Florida International, so Maryland's other 5 opponents are a combined 22-11!!!
- Despite their easy record, Virginia has only the No. 10 offense in the ACC, compared to Maryland's No. 5 offense.
- Virginia has the No. 7 defense in the ACC and Maryland has the No. 8. The difference is rushing yards, but remember West Virginia and the force of nature know as Noel Devine? If we subtract Maryland's worst rushing defensive game and Virginia's worst rushing game (against Wyoming, which is actually ranked behind Maryland in rushing), Maryland is giving up 286.3 yds per game and Virginia is giving up 297.4 yds per game.

Maryland will win. Just like last year.

So Virginia fans: get real.

And stop wearing ties to football games.

Just Sayin'

Maryland > Rutgers by a score of 38-24
Rutgers > #2 South Florida by a score of 30-27

Therefore, Maryland > #2 South Florida.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What? Why?

Why did Kevin Millar just appear on my television screen, pumping up the Red Sox and their fans before the game against the Indians tonight?

I'm appreciative - but are Orioles' fans?

I'm so confused.

Greg Jones

I just really love this video. Watch and imagine what could have been if Greg Jones wasn't injured so often...

Quick links for you boys and girls

I was doing some more research last night into perspectives of the gay community and it took me at least 20 minutes to determine whether this site was a joke or not.

It is, thank goodness.

I also want to shove this down a couple of Yankee fans' throats. I can't believe they tried to run one of the greatest managers in baseball in the last 20 years out of town since the end of last season, and then ask him to come back. The Steinbrenners have some nards to do that, and he turned them down!!!

Sometimes I dream of Torre coaching the Orioles into relevance, but I know he's too smart for that.

The greatest part of this whole thing is the Yankees' worst times are ahead because now that potential managers know the pressure of trying to coach in the Big Apple, and because the most high-profile manager in baseball just got run out, no one wants to follow in his footsteps (that's you, Sideburns).

Does this open up the AL East for the bottom-dwellers? Of course not. Angelos the Demoralizer will screw it up in ways the mortal being cannot even imagine.

This is why I hate baseball.

High On Hope

"Are you kiddin' me? I'm friggin' high on hope." - The Soxaholix

Tonight, my Red Sox play in Game 5 of the ALCS. Tonight, everyone thinks that my Red Sox will be eliminated - that the Rockies and the Indians will go on to play a lovely underdog-friendly World Series.

In October 2004, everyone thought the Red Sox were going to be eliminated by the dastardly Yankees in that ALCS. But then... this happened. And the rest, quite frankly, is history.

So let me tell you I still have hope tonight - hope that I didn't have in 2004. Any Red Sox fan that tells you he still thought the Red Sox were going to win in 2004 after being down 3-0 is full of it. By then, we had been trained, like Pavlov's dogs, to a a certain response - Red Sox play Yankees in the playoffs, Red Sox lose, Red Sox nation mourns. Repeat next year until Red Sox fans are broken-down shells of their former selves.

But Kevin Millar (as annoying as I found him) had hope. On Faith Rewarded (also known as the greatest DVD of all time), Millar is shown saying laying out the exact scenario that would happen: the Red Sox would just have to win Game 4, and with Pedro and Schilling up next, would win Games 5 and 6, followed by an anything-can-happen Game 7.

But Kevin Millar is on the Orioles now (Youkilis is far better, so I'm not really sad about this at all). Who are this team's Kevin Millars? Who will tell the rest of the players to buck up and beat a team they should beat? It's certainly not Manny. I don't see J.D. Drew stepping up. Or even Ortiz.

It all falls on these two men, in my opinion. And I certainly like their track records.

Even if the Indians are desperately trying to distract Josh Beckett, I like the Red Sox's chances of making it to an anything-can-happen Game 7 at Fenway. And I don't see the Red Sox losing Game 7 at Fenway.

Cause I know I have hope. The question is: do the Red Sox?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Apparently, it's now cool to hate.

I think a lot of UMD students don't necessarily realize that The Diamondback has a website, and I'll venture a scientific guess that most of them - whether they know or not - don't bother visiting the page very often.

Let me tell you guys, you're missing a lot of controversy.

One thing I think people don't realize about the good ol' DBK is that they basically allow almost every online comment to remain posted - minus a few. One of the effects is often little battles are fought on comment walls that provide some stunning revelations about the kinds of people on our campus.

Such as our friend "Sean." Please take a minute to read this comment wall.

I find it rather appalling that there are people on this campus (who chose to come here, BTDub) that would have the nards to say this to a gay person:

"When you catch AIDS, and you probably will, that will be the end of this argument."

Well isn't that just dandy?

If the nooses and swastikas were a faceless symbol of hate at Maryland, this guy "Sean" has revealed himself! He's out in the open! He tells gay people that they're going to catch AIDS!

Look, I know as well as anyone else that some people believe that being gay is wrong and will tell gay people that they need to "fight it" or "turn to Jesus." Ok, maybe you're one of those people who just believes being gay is a moral issue, but you leave gay people alone. Good for you! I respect that. But some people have clearly turned the corner between belief and active hatred.

I don't think that anyone at the university should be terribly surprised with everything that's been going on lately, but my question is what have we all done, personally, to encourage understanding, or at least the ability to talk things out in respectful dialogue.

Diversity, whether in skin, culture, or sexual orientation, is something that will exist for many years to come, and how we deal with this issue will reflect on our generation's legacy. Prof. Larry Shinagawa told my class the other day that each generation will have there own view on diversity.

In my mind we have a few choices:

1) Ignore our problems
2) Fight people who are different than us
3) Try and get along as best we can through understanding

You choose.

Matt Ryan... really?

ESPN just released an updated Heisman Watch.

First of all, thank you at last for taking down Darren McFadden. McFadden, for those of you who haven't had the chance to see one of his electrifying highlight tapes, is a great runner. However, how can he be the most valuable player in all of college football when he isn't necessarily the best player on his own team... at his own position.

That being said, I wish the "experts" at ESPN would have a little foresight down the road.

Matt Ryan won't be the front runner for long. You don't need to be an expert to figure this out. Just take a look at their schedule...

That's right, Ryan has been able to brave the fearsome Bowling Green Falcons into the cupcakes of his schedule... wait, Virginia Tech? Maryland? Miami? What do all those teams have in common? Oh right, they're all in the top-35 passing defenses in D-I football! Not to mention Clemson, which is currently No. 1 in that category.

True contenders? I see Mike Hart and Andre Woodson as the most likely and most deserving candidates. And as my good friend Andy Grove, of Winston-Salem, points out, why not Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree, who is on pace to shatter every significant single-season receiving record on the books, including a few by a guy named Jerry Rice. I know he's a system receiver, but honestly, so what? It's still amazing. And as far as Tim Tebow goes, how about chilling out, LSU playa haters. He's just in college.

My prediction for the Terps this weekend (and this may change):

Maryland 24, Virginia 13

Let's go Maryland!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So it's finally come to this...

"Are you serious?"

Sometimes I just wonder aloud when I read what's going on in the world around us. Some of the craziest stuff I've ever heard of is going on, and I sometimes feel as if there's nobody saying, "What is going on here?"

Ok, here we go: What's going on here?

I really just want to do what I can to bring out certain stories, sometimes even injustices, well-known, or maybe even some more obscure to our generation.

Also, I like to talk sports, so breathe easier.

I'm just a guy; I'm not trying to push anyone's agenda or philosophies. I'm not political or devoutly religious (except at the Church of Ray Lewis). I'm just trying to say, "Are we really letting these things happen?"

I hope you like this relationship as much as I think I will.