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Future Greyhound Wright named Maryland Player of the Year

Posted on 22 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Loyola Men’s Hoops Signee Wright Named Gatorade Maryland Player Of The Year

 

CHICAGO – Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball signee Marquis Wright was named the 2012-2013 Gatorade Maryland Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports.

Wright, who will don the Greyhounds’ green and grey in 2013-2014, helped his North Point High School team advance to the Maryland Class 4A Semifinals and a 24-3 record this season.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior guard averaged 16.6 points, 6.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.9 steals while earning Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player honors for the second year in a row.

Wright, who has maintained a 3.08 grade point average in the classroom, concluded his high school career with 1,084 points, 560 assists, 325 rebounds and 290 steals as a four-year varsity player at the school in Waldorf, Md.

He is the first player to win the Maryland award from a public school since Oxon Hills High School’s Mike Sweetney (Georgetown) earned the honor in 2000. Prior to Sweetney, the last public school player to win the award was current Loyola women’s basketball assistant coach Keith Booth after his senior season at Dunbar High School in 1993 before heading to Maryland.

“Marquis Wright is a very cerebral point guard who has all the tools to lead a college team,” said Dale Lamberth, head coach at Thomas Stone High in a release by Gatorade. “Having competed against his team over the past four years, I have seen tremendous growth in his leadership and skills on the court.”

Wright will be the second Gatorade State Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year on the Greyhounds’ roster next season, joining current freshman Eric Laster who won the award in Delaware last year.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

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Loyola A Sawyer amongst Tewaaraton Award finalists

Posted on 10 May 2012 by WNST Staff

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2012 – The Tewaaraton Foundation has announced the 2012 Tewaaraton Award men’s and women’s finalists lists, presented by Panama Jack. Five men and five women were selected as finalists and will be invited to Washington, D.C. for the 12th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony, May 31 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The five men’s finalists are Colgate University attackman Peter Baum, Duke University midfielder C.J. Costabile, University of Massachusetts attackman Will Manny, Loyola University attackman Mike Sawyer and University of Virginia attackman Steele Stanwick.

The five women’s finalists are University of Florida midfielder Brittany Dashiell, University of North Carolina attacker Becky Lynch, University of Maryland attacker Katie Schwarzmann, Northwestern University midfielder Taylor Thornton and Syracuse University attacker Michelle Tumolo.

This year marks the first time that 10 different schools are represented among the finalists, as well as the first time finalists originally hailing from North Carolina, Oregon and Texas have been selected. Returning 2011 finalists include Stanwick (2011 men’s winner) and Schwarzmann. All ten finalists will compete in this month’s NCAA lacrosse championships, at the conclusion of which the selection committees will vote on and select this year’s winners.

“It is the ultimate recognition for these 10 finalists to have been recognized by the game’s very best coaches,” said Jeffrey Harvey, chairman of The Tewaaraton Foundation. “They are all worthy of the sport’s ultimate award, and we could not be more excited to have this group come to Washington, D.C. on May 31.”

The Tewaaraton Award annually honors the top male and top female college lacrosse player in the United States. Finalists were selected from a pool of 25 men’s and 25 women’s nominees. The selection committees are comprised of 12 men’s and 10 women’s current and former college coaches.

Brief bios of the finalists:

Peter Baum (Portland, Ore.) leads the nation in goals (64) and points (93), setting Colgate and Patriot League records in both categories en route to being named the 2012 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. The junior attackman’s 93 points are the most in NCAA Division I play since 2008, when Tewaaraton Award finalist Zack Greer recorded 95. Baum is the first finalist in Colgate lacrosse history.

C.J. Costabile (New Fairfield, Conn.) is looking to become the third Duke Blue Devil to receive the Tewaaraton, following Matt Danowski (2007) and Ned Crotty (2010). On his way to being named the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Co-Defensive Player of the Year, the senior long-stick midfielder grabbed an ACC-best 113 ground balls along with 18 caused turnovers, 10 points (6g, 4a) and 119 of 231 draws.

Will Manny (Massapequa, N.Y.) led Massachusetts’ third-ranked offense (13.07 goals per game) and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in both goals (43) and points (75), helping the Minutemen to an undefeated regular season in which his team led the nation in scoring margin. The junior attackman ranked in the nation’s top six in goals (2.87), assists (2.13) and points (5.00) per game and earned 2012 CAA Player of the Year honors.

Mike Sawyer (Waxhaw, N.C.) helped the Loyola Greyhounds land the No. 1 seed in the NCAA men’s lacrosse championship as well as the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) regular season and tournament titles. The junior attackman was a first-team All-ECAC performer, leading his team and the ECAC in goals (45), and his 3.00 goals per game average ranked third nationally. Sawyer is the first men’s finalist in Loyola lacrosse history.

Steele Stanwick (Baltimore, Md.) is looking for a repeat of his 2011 Tewaaraton Award-winning campaign, when he led the Virginia Cavaliers to the national title. The senior attackman claimed his second straight ACC Player of the Year award, leading Virginia with 71 points (26g, 45a). Stanwick led the nation in assists and is ranked second in the country with 5.07 points per game.

On the women’s side, the five finalists represent the top five schools in the final regular season Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) coaches’ poll.

Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) was a catalyst for the Florida Gators third-ranked offense, leading the Gators to the program’s first American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) tournament title and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA women’s lacrosse championship. The junior attacker led Florida with 23 assists and was third on the team with 59 points. Her 27 ground balls and 42 draw controls ranked second on the Gators and helped her garner a first-team All-ALC selection. Dashiell is the first finalist in Florida lacrosse history.

Becky Lynch (Garden City, N.Y.) ranked in North Carolina’s top two in goals, assists, points (team-leading 55), ground balls and draw controls (team-leading 37). The senior attacker became the Tar Heels’ career assist leader (89) en route to first-team All-ACC honors and the ACC regular season championship. She paced the Tar Heels with six points in the ACC tournament and became the only player in program history to earn all-tournament honors in four consecutive seasons.

Katie Schwarzmann (Sykesville, Md.) has the opportunity to join two other Maryland Terrapins as Tewaaraton winners: Jen Adams (2001) and Caitlyn McFadden (2010). Schwarzmann led the ACC and ranked third nationally with 63 goals. Her 78 points were second best in the conference, and she also led the Terrapins in ground balls (29) and recorded 40 draw controls, second on the team. A member of the 2011-12 U.S. women’s national team, the junior midfielder was named 2012 ACC Offensive Player of the Year and received her third straight all-conference selection. She paced the Terrapins with a tournament-record 11 goals in their run to the ACC tournament title, earning MVP honors.

Taylor Thornton (Dallas, Texas) was the leader for Northwestern’s fourth-ranked defense and was named 2012 ALC Player of the Year, earning her third-straight all-conference selection. The junior midfielder, who in 2011 was named IWLCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year, was also a member of the 2011-12 U.S. women’s national team. She set a career high with 27 goals and ranked in the top two for the Wildcats in ground balls (team-leading 44), draw controls (59) and caused turnovers (24). She is looking to become Northwestern’s record sixth Tewaaraton winner, following the likes of Kristen Kjellman (2006, 2007), Hannah Nielsen (2008, 2009) and Shannon Smith (2011).

Michelle Tumolo (Mullica Hill, N.J.) paced the Syracuse offense, ranking in the Orange’s top two in goals (43), assists (team-leading 40), points (83), ground balls (20) and caused turnovers (11). The junior attacker made her second appearance on the All-Big East First Team and was named Big East Attack Player of the Year. A member of the 2011-12 U.S. women’s national team, she became only the second player in Syracuse history to record 200 points and 100 assists in her career.

For more information on the Tewaaraton Award or to attend the ceremony, visit www.tewaaraton.com. Like and follow The Tewaaraton Foundation at www.facebook.com/tewaaraton and www.twitter.com/tewaaraton.

About The Tewaaraton Foundation

First presented in 2001 at the University Club of Washington DC, the Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the pre-eminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States. Endorsed by the Mohawk Nation Council of Elders and US Lacrosse, the Tewaaraton Award symbolizes lacrosse’s centuries-old roots in Native American heritage. The Tewaaraton Foundation ensures the integrity and advances the mission of this award. Each year, the Tewaaraton Award celebrates one of the six tribal nations of the Iroquois Confederacy – the Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora – and presents two scholarships to students of Iroquois descent. To learn more about The Tewaaraton Foundation, visit www.tewaaraton.com.

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Florida WR Thompson joins Boldin, McPhee as Ravens Swamp Boys

Posted on 01 May 2012 by WNST Audio

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Wildcat Offense isn’t a recipe for winning

Posted on 29 November 2008 by Brian Billick

You can’t watch an NFL game today that you don’t see one or both of the teams using the now “so-called” “Wildcat Offense.” It is almost an obligatory formation that you have to run, or risk being accused of not being on the cutting edge of offensive football in the NFL.

Some have even suggested that this may be the new direction of offensive football in the NFL. I respectfully disagree. In fact, it has no chance at all for a couple of well-proven reasons.

First, the speed of the league and the athleticism of its players, when schemed properly, make this style of play obsolete. It is great as a “change-up” and a “trick” formation, but as a staple that teams can prepare for on a regular basis — it has no chance of sustaining itself.

Secondly, to run this offense consistently you would need a cadre of players, in addition to those needed to actually compete in the NFL. This is prohibitive based on the current 53-man roster limit in the league.

Thirdly, those who have seen the formation and prepared adequately (AKA Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Tennessee) have shut it down. Without a legitimate passer at the QB position, solid defensive teams are simply matching up one-on-one with the receivers and committing the rest of the defense to a run only approach that makes it prohibitive to run the offense. Even if they are suspect at the corner position and don’t match up with the receivers, the limitations of the running back in the quarterback position make it problematic that they could effectively challenge the secondary with any semblance of a legitimate passing attack.

Finally, to adapt the style of play with an “athletic” quarterback that could effectively pass and run from this style of play can not be sustained. No quarterback in this or any other league could get through the grueling NFL four preseason games, 16 regular season games and subsequent playoffs. Like the earlier observations, you would have to carry a group of quarterbacks that run this style of play that would be prohibitive given today’s roster limitation.

The Miami Dolphins deserve a great deal of credit for initiating this go-round of the old ‘Delaware Wing T” offense. But to intimate that this is anything more than an interesting changeup or fashionable fad of “trick oration” is absurd. Even if someone wanted to commit to this style of play it would suffer the same fate in the NFL as did the Run-and-Shoot. It might generate some interesting numbers but will not win consistently.

As I go around the league visiting different coaches it is embarrassing the number of guys who want to take credit for first introducing these concepts into the NFL.

For those interested, the following is a history, capably laid out from a number of different sources on the internet about the inception and evolution of this style of play.

The wildcat offense, (or wildcat formation) a variation on the single-wing formation, is an offensive scheme that has been used at every level of the game. The general scheme can be instituted into many different offensive systems, but the distinguishing factor is a direct snap to the running back.

The precursor to the scheme for the Wildcat formation is named the “Wing-T“, and is widely credited to being first implemented by Coach Tubby Raymond and Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens football team. Tubby Raymond later wrote a book on the innovative formation.

The virtue of having a running back take the snap in the Wildcat formation is that the rushing play is 11-on-11. (Although different variation has the running back hand off or throw the football) In a standard football formation, when the quarterback stands watching, the offense operates 10-on-11 basis.

The 2008 Miami Dolphins have implemented the Wildcat offense beginning in the 3rd game of this year with great success. The Dolphins started the wildcat trend in the NFL lining up either running back Ronnie Brown (in most cases) or Ricky Williams in the shotgun formation with the option of handing off or throwing. Through ten games, the Wildcat has averaged over seven yards per play for the Dolphins.

As the popularity of the Wildcat spread during the season, several teams have begun instituting it as a part of their playbook, including the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals and several others. Many teams admit to spending an inordinate amount of time having to prepare for such schemes.

Among coaches, single-wing football denotes a formation using a long snap from center as well as a deceptive scheme that evolved from Glenn “Pop” Warner‘s offensive style. Traditionally, the single-wing was an offensive formation that featured a core of four backs including a tailback, a fullback, a quarterback (blocking back), and a wingback. Linemen were set “unbalanced,” or simply put, there were two linemen on one side and four on the other side of the center. This was done by moving the off-side guard or tackle to the strong side. The single-wing was one of the first formations attempting to trick the defense instead of over-powering it.

Pop Warner referred to his new offensive scheme as the Carlisle formation because he formulated most of the offense while coaching the Carlisle Indians. The term single-wing came into widespread use after spectators noticed that the formation gave the appearance of a wing-shape. In 1907, Warner coached at Carlisle, a school for Native Americans, where his legacy consisted of at least three significant events. The first was the discovery of Jim Thorpe‘s raw athletic ability. The second was the use of an extensive passing game that relied on the spiraled ball. Finally, faking backs who started one way, but abruptly headed the opposite way, kept defenses guessing.[Because Jim Thorpe had so much raw talent, Coach Warner more than likely designed much of his single-wing offense around this gifted athlete. Thorpe, the proverbial triple threat, was a good runner, passer, and punter.

For much of the history of the single-wing formation, players were expected to play on both sides of the ball. Consequently, offensive players often turned around to play a corresponding location on defense. The offensive backs played defensive backs, just as the offensive linemen played defensive linemen. Unlike teams of today, single-wing teams had few specialists who only played on certain downs.

College football playbooks prior to the 1950’s were dominated with permutations of the traditional single-wing envisioned by Warner.

Two-time All-American Jack Crain’s handwritten playbook clearly denotes how the University of Texas ran their version of the single-wing circa 1939-1940. University of Texas Coach Dana X. Bible ran a balanced line, which means that there were the same numbers of linemen on each side of the center. Also, the ends were slightly split.

Slightly splitting offensive ends, called flexing, was in widespread use by Notre Dame’s Box variation of the single-wing. Knute Rockne’s Notre Dame Box offense employed a balanced line, which had 3 linemen on each side of the center. Another Rockne innovation was a shifting backfield that attempted to confuse the defense by moving backs to alternate positions right before the snap. Another variation of the single-wing saw the quarterback move out as a wingback on the weak side. Besides adding different blocking angles for the quarterback, the double-wing formation facilitated the passing game. Stanford had a variation on the double-wing where the quarterback stayed right behind the strong side guard, while the tailback became the wingback to the weak side. The Fullback, being the only deep back left, took all the snaps and directed the plays.

The advent of the T formation in the 1940’s led to a decline in the use of Single-wing formations. For example, the single-wing coach Dana X. Bible, upon his retirement in 1946, saw his replacement, Blair Cherry, quickly install the T formation like many other college coaches of the day. However, the single-wing style of football is still practiced by a small group of teams across the country, almost exclusively at the high school and youth level. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the last NFL team to use the single-wing as their standard formation, finally switching to the T formation in 1952. On September 21, 2008, the Miami Dolphins utilized a version of the Single Wing offense (“wildcat”) against the New England Patriots on six plays, which produced four touchdowns in a 38-13 upset victory and again two weeks later defeating the San Diego Chargers.

The direct snap or toss from the center usually went to the tailback or fullback; however, the quarterback could also take the ball. The tailback was very important to the success of the offense because he had to run, pass, block, and even punt. Unlike today, the quarterback usually blocked at the point of attack. As with his modern day counterpart, a single-wing quarterback might also act as a field general by calling plays. The fullback was chosen for his larger size so that he could “buck” the line. This meant that the fullback would block or carry the ball between the defensive tackles. The wingback could double-team block with an offensive lineman at scrimmage or even run a pass route.

The single-wing formation was designed to place double-team blocks at the point of attack. Gaining this extra blocker was achieved in several ways. First, the unbalanced line placed an extra guard or tackle on one side of the center. Second, a wingback stationed outside end could quickly move to a crucial blocking position. Third, the fullback and especially the quarterback could lead the ball carrier producing interference. Finally, linemen, usually guards, would pull at the snap and block at the specified hole. Line splits were always close except for ends who might move out from the tackle.

The single-wing formation depended on a center who was skilled both at blocking and at tossing the ball from between his legs to the receiving back. The center had to direct the ball to any of several moving backs, with extreme accuracy, as the play started. Single-wing plays would not work efficiently if the back had to wait on the snap because quick defensive penetration would over-run the play. The center was taught to direct the ball to give the tailback or fullback receiver a running start in the direction that the play was designed to go. The single-wing formation was a deceptive formation with spectators, referees, and defensive players often losing sight of the ball. A backfield player, called a “spinner,” might turn 360 degrees while faking the ball to the other backs, or even keeping the ball or passing it. Defensive players were often fooled as to which back was carrying the ball.

The one play that was unique to the single-wing formation was the buck-lateral. The terminology for this series of plays associates the word “buck” with the intent of the fullback to plunge into the line. In addition, the short toss, or lateral of the ball, can be made to the quarterback or wingback who may take the ball and do other maneuvers including passing the ball. Consequently, when the fullback takes the ball, he appears to be headed to buck the line. Typically, fullbacks were bigger players who ran plays intended to smash the defensive front. The fullback’s initial move pulls the defensive players toward the expected point of attack. Next, the fullback tosses the ball to another back causing the defense to change pursuit angles, thus losing a step in their catching the ball carrier.

The strong side of the formation, where the extra lineman and wingback lined-up, put pressure on the defensive end. Defenses might move extra players to that side or shift the whole defense to compensate. The cut-back play could succeed regardless of how the defense reacted. The cut-back play started like a strong side sweep with offensive guards and quarterback running interference for the tailback. The fullback would fake a smash over the guard hole to occupy the defensive tackles. The play was designed to make the defensive end over-react and try to stay outside to contain the runner. If the defensive end gave ground to the sideline, the tailback would cut-back inside to let his interference push the defensive end out of the play. If the defensive end came too far inside, then the ball carrier would run around him to the outside. After the cut-back play was used in a game, then the offense might run the wingback reverse since both plays started out the same way. At the outset, the defense tries to pursue the sweeping tailback. However the tailback delivers the ball to the wingback running the opposite way to the weak side. Both the cut-back and the reverse would be set-up with quick fullback bucks up the middle, which would cause the defensive line to over-protect their gaps, as opposed to pursuing quickly to the sideline.

The single-wing quarterback played a different role than modern-day quarterbacks. While the quarterback may have called the snap count due to his position close to the center of the formation, he may not have called the actual play in the huddle. For much of the history of football, coaches were not allowed to call plays from the sideline. This responsibility may have gone to the team captain. The quarterback was expected to be an excellent blocker at the point of attack. Some playbooks referred to this player as the blocking back. The quarterback also had to handle the ball by faking, handing off, or optioning to other backs.

Although the Single-wing has lost much of its popularity since World War II, its characteristic features are still prevalent in all levels of modern football. They include pulling guards, double teams, play action passes, laterals, wedge blocking, trap blocking, the sweep, the reverse and the quick kick. Many current offenses, such as that of the Florida Gators‘ coach Urban Meyer, use Single-wing tendencies for running plays, while using wide receivers instead of wingbacks. Once a strong running formation, the single wing has been replaced by formations that facilitate passing, while minimizing the running aspect of the game. Today the single-wing has evolved in what coaches call the spread offense or shotgun, with the emphasis on passing. The most noticeable feature that remains of the powerful Carlisle formation is the long toss from center to the main ball-handler. The main talent and field general has become the quarterback instead of the tailback. The other single-wing backs have moved close to the line of scrimmage and are split farther from the main line. Wide receivers are called split-ends, flex ends, slots, and flankers. Also, linemen spacing has increased in distance. Moving offensive players farther apart serves the purpose of also spreading the defense. The goal is to make defenses cover the whole field on every play.

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With Much Anticipated Return!!

Posted on 09 September 2008 by stevenlink

Well it’s been a while since I blogged last and I apologize greatly to all the devoted fans of this blog (as tumbleweeds come tussling by).  A lot has happened in the World of Sports in the past few weeks and unfortunately I cannot cover it all but I’ll do the best I can.

Let me first get this thought out there about the Orioles: The season was a lot of fun for the most part.  This team exceeded a lot of expectations that were set at the beginning of the season for them.  The unfortunate part is that they are no longer exceeding those expectations and we are in September and the Orioles decided to slump again like they always do.  Everyone knows that the reason for this is their pitching…again.  The Brian Matusz #1 draft pick keeps looking better and better as does the rotation of the Bowie Baysox.  And on that note, congratulations to the Baysox for their historic season of winning their division.  It is a shame that they lost in the playoffs but it was pretty bush-league how the Akron Aeros placed Travis Hafner in their lineup.  I mean it’s fair having an All-Star slugger conduct his rehab stint during a playoff right?  But I digress…Andy MacPhail’s philosophy of pitching first for organization truly is the best way to rehabilitate this floundering franchise.

In regards to the Ravens’ game Sunday all I can say is, well, I was wrong.  I’ll admit that I was one of those persons who felt the Ravens had no chance winning that game against the Bengals.  But really, was I really that crazy for making that call?  You have Carson Palmer, Chad John-oh I mean Ocho Cinco, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh against a secondary that was beat up last year by this team, and on top of that, Ed Reed was a game-time decision and Wacko Flacco wasn’t overly impressive during the pre-season.

But the Ravens defense was simply phenomenal Sunday.   They decided to leave the hammer at home and instead brought the sledge to bust the Bungals offense with.  They were so dominant that T.J. Houshmandzadeh decided to invest in the Kleenex Tissue Company on Monday because of all the crying and complaining he did on the field.  My only problem with our defense yesterday was when Samari Rolle decided to try his best impersonation of Brett Favre and chucked the ball into the sidelines after his “fumble” recovery.  I mean really guys??  Did we not learn anything from last year and the delay of game penalties??  His reaction to that play was uncalled for.

The Ravens offense looked pretty good as well.  Ray Rice and Le’Ron McLain ran very well but Lorenzo Neal was the real hero with the way he created those running lanes for those two backs.  Todd Heap showed how rusty he was with his fumble and dropped touchdown.  But the rookie QB Joe Flacco really stole the show with his performance.  I thought he’d act like a deer in the headlights out there but again I was proven wrong.  He showed poise and confidence as he was able to adjust to blitzing linebackers or charging defensive linemen.  His block on Mark Clayton’s touchdown run was the play of the game to me.  Hopefully he can build on this experience and maybe, just maybe we finally have the start of a real quarterback here in Baltimore.  And if it takes me having to be wrong for this to happen…then I never want to be right.

Yesterday it was announced Tom Brady is done for the rest of this season.  The shouts of despair and sadness you hear is not only from New England, but also from all of those Fantasy Football players who decided to draft Tom Brady with their first round pick instead of that running back they knew they should have gone with instead.  The news about Tom is horrible.  No one wants to see such a great football player get injured, especially the injury that he was dealt.  So here it is, my Question to You – Do you think the Patriots are still Super Bowl contenders without Tom Brady behind center?  I don’t think they are Super Bowl contenders anymore because of this injury.  However, I do think this team will still make the playoffs.  They still have a ton of talent and the Belichick x-factor to win a lot of football games.   This team just won’t win games by 30 points this year like they did last.

Quick note on “Football Night in America” on NBC before the Sunday night football game, could it be more unprofessional?  I mean you had Tiki Barber with his rude comments, Jerome Bettis with his gushing about the Steelers, and of course Keith Olbermann…enough said.  It was like I was watching a bunch of frat boys discuss last night’s party and their take on what happened.   And what is the deal with Bob Costas?  Is he trying to reassemble the early 1990’s Sportscenter crew?  Is Craig Kilborn the next addition to his cast?  I know that Olbermann and Patrick are good friends, but NBC should get Olbermann off of the show the same way they got him off of the election coverage.  Bob, you disappoint me.

It’s no secret that I am a huge University of Miami Hurricane fan, and it was no secret of my feelings towards Urban Meyer, the head coach of the University of Florida football team, on Saturday night.  His decision to continue to pass the ball into the endzone with 1:00 minute left and kicking a field goal to end the game after the Canes stopped his team.  That action was completely uncalled for and disrespectful.  The Canes played great against a much more experienced and skilled team being down only 9-3 going into the 4th Quarter.  But their young and inexperienced team fell apart in that last quarter and were behind 23-3 when the Gators were still passing for that last touchdown.  Do you think it was a coincidence that even with the field goal the Gators were able to make their 21 point spread?  I don’t…And the excessive celebration call made during the BYU v. Washington game against Washington’s QB Locker was horrible and the fact it resulted in the Washington’s loss was even more of a kick in the jewels.

If you didn’t hear by now Maryland lost to Mid Tennessee State this past weekend.  That’s right folks, it wasn’t Tennessee or even Memphis who beat the Terps, but Mid Tennessee State.  To reiterate, it was not a team from the SEC or Conference USA, but rather the Sun Belt Conference.  The 24-14 loss was a complete embarrassment.  There was no reason for this loss.  This has been an underachieving program for the past 3-4 years.  My Take on this situation is that if the Terps do not make a legitimate run at a prestigious bowl this season then Ralph Freidgan should be let go.  There are no more excuses for him.  The ACC is one of the weaker conferences in the NCAA now (just take a look at the Top 25 poll and see how many ACC teams are represented there as one piece of evidence).  His team has underachieved ever since he had his own recruits took over this team with the exception of the 2006 season.  He has had recruiting scandals to recruiting losses from here in our own state to neighboring schools that should not happen.  I like Ralph, I think he has done so much for this program and putting it back on the map, but he needs to right the ship before Maryland Athletic Director finally sets him out to sea.  And if you were wondering who I think the AD should look at Skip Holtz, the head coach of ECU, to take over at Maryland.  I think his style of play and the players on the Terps’ roster would be a great fit.

And finally, for all of you European Premier League Soccer fans out there, I was told you can’t miss Saturday night’s game (noon game here) between Chelsea and Manchester City.  Manchester City spent 32 Million Pounds (converting to the dollar that would be like 1 billion dollars…sarcasm people) to acquire Brazilian striker Robinho.  Let’s not forget that in European Soccer the money spent is not going to the player but rather to the player’s previous team, Real Madrid.  Apparently the concept of the indentured servant is still alive and well in Europe…Also there is the Ohio State v. USC game Saturday.  I know all of my Notre Dame friends will be upset with this remark but I’m rooting for USC to smear the Buckeyes across the field for this game.

Well I hope my much anticipated return was well received.  I’m done for now but I’ll be sure to be back at the next chance I get.  Sayonara B-more.

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