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The Wednesday Wheelhouse – Ruminations on All Things Sports and Otherwise

Posted on 10 December 2008 by Alex Thomas

Welcome back to the Wednesday Wheelhouse. You know the drill…feel free to comment on anything and everything that’s on your mind. Wanna give some props? Wanna hate a little bit? Talk sports? Talk politics or current events? We’re here for you and we don’t discriminate…let it fly.

Here’s what’s on my mind on this rainy December hump day in Baltimore:

-Pretending that I’m Coach Harbaugh for a minute, my game ball goes to Ed Reed. Is there another option? With his performance Sunday night, he pole-vaulted himself into the Defensive Player of the Year discussion. All this guy does is make plays and score defensive touchdowns. And he’s doing it with a career-threatening injury.

-The following story is a prime example of why Michael Vick is the scum of the earth and why dogs are truly a man’s best friend. This past Sunday, 3-year-old Jaylynn Thorpe wandered away from his babysitter deep into the Virginia woods on a freezing-cold day in Halifax County Virginia. The two family dogs followed him into the woods and slept close to little Jaylynn, keeping him warm over the course of a night when the temperature dropped to a bone-chilling 17 degrees. After he was rescued, his mother told the local media: “When I first saw him, he was like, ‘Momma, I got cold. I slept in the woods last night. The puppies kept me warm.’ He told me that … the dogs slept up against him. And I’m sure the body heat kept him warm.”

-You would think LaRon Landry would know better. After making a hit on Willis McGahee this past Sunday night, McGahee laid on the field motionless. As the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston pointed out – he appeared to be unconscious. Thank God he wasn’t, but this idiot decided to get up after the hit and flex his muscles over McGahee’s motionless body. I guess LaRon forgot all about the scary incident his brother experienced in Week 3 against Cleveland.

-More senseless violence in inner city Baltimore. While walking a fruit basket across the street to an eldery neighbor, Ronald Jackson, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Booker T. Washington Middle School, was shot dead in his own neighborhood on Myrtle Avenue. He was most likely gunned down in a case of mistaken identity, which was probably drug related. Despite all of the pressure from his peers, according to family and close friends, Ronald completely avoided gang life. This is truly a sad story, and my thoughts and prayers are with the Jackson family. Welcome to “Bodymore, Murderland.”

Manchester United won a nail-biter in the English Premier League this past week, squeaking out a 1-0 win over Sunderland. Center back Nemanja Vidic put home a Michael Carrick rebound in stoppage time to seal a crucial three points for ManU (31 points), who are currently chasing Chelsea (36 points) and Liverpool (37 points) in the EPL ranks. Not that I’m complaining about a Red Devil victory, but what is Vidic ( a center back) doing inside the 18 yard box? Nevertheless, ManU dominated this game and certainly deserved the three points. This is shaping up to be a very exciting season for EPL soccer fans, and December and January will separate the men from the boys are far as “The Big Four” are concerned.

-I refuse to ruminate on the Baltimore Orioles again until they prove that they’re worth their weight in MASN gold. I’m a biologist, not a mathematician, so I guess the Orioles have better math skills than I do. But where exactly are the MILLIONS of dollars in revenue going? Aside from running analysis of variance and t-tests in MS Excel, I really have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to numbers. Then again, this is SIMPLE math…basic subtraction. Bottom line, the Orioles have created millions in revenue. Thus far, they have proven that they are unwilling to spend it. In fact, by trading Ramon Hernandez to the Reds for Ryan Freel and two prospects, they have actually reduced their payroll. More money to give Mark Teixiera and Derek Lowe right? Don’t hold your breath. The reason for this trade was to make room on the roster for Matt Wieters. I still don’t see the O’s signing any big name free agents.

-The Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) Convention will make its way to Charm City this weekend at the Marriot Waterfront. If you would like to register for the IMLCA clinics, go to http://www.lacrossecoaches.org . Scheduled speakers include Salisbury’s Jim Berkman, UNC’s Joe Breschi, Hopkins’ Dave Pietramala, Towson’s Tony Seaman, and UMBC’s Don Zimmerman. At 5:30 on Friday, Don Zimmerman will go over drills that demonstrate game-like situations. At 8:30 AM on Saturday, Princeton’s Bill Tierney will discuss defensive lacrosse in the 21st century. At 4:00 PM on Saturday, Delware’s Chris Collins will discuss time of possession and stick work in his lecture titled “Complete Control.”

-I took a lady friend to see Four Christmases last night and was pleasantly surprised with the comedic value of the movie. Vince Vaughn had his moments and Reese Witherspoon looked pretty as usual, but it was the UFC wannabe brothers who carried the movie. I highly recommend this as a date movie during the holiday season, because as John Mayer says in his song St. Patrick’s Day: “no one wants to be alone at Christmas time”

-I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of rap music, mainly because of the energy it gave the Washington College swim team before meets. I was not a big hip-hop fan before I started diving into the water at 5:30 in the morning in Chestertown, Maryland. For whatever reason, it gives me a jolt early in the morning when I’m driving to Calvert Hall to coach morning practice. I still can’t get Lil’ Wayne and Young Jeezy out of my iPod. When I’m not listening to them, I’ve recently been stuck on Dave Matthews‘ old album “Under The Table and Dreaming.” Fifa ’08 has been stuck in my Xbox for almost 4 months and I can’t stop watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall on demand. Summer Heights High may be the funniest show on television (save Two and a Half Men).

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