Thursday, November 29, 2007
Credit Mike Casazza of the Charleston Daily Mail:
Twas the night before Pittsburgh, when all through my mind,
Were visions of couch burnings, both yours and mine.
Firemen were resting and acting quite lazy,
But they knew that things were about to get crazy.
The players were nestled, Markell did his dreds,
While visions of Bourbon Street danced in their heads.
There were Quinton’s gold teeth, Larry’s son in his lap,
While the quarterback made noises to sound like a cat.
When down in the end zone there arose such a noise,
They sprang from their homes and called all their boys.
To the field they flew, fast as Devine,
Making sure to pick up the offensive line.
The invaders had arrived at the stadium early,
These Panthers were looking noticeably surly.
There was a point to this late-night trip through the hills,
They were out on the field doing defensive drills.
With a dapper old coach who combed his mustache,
You knew in a moment it must be Wannstedt.
He’d made his name as a defensive master,
And he whistled and shouted for them to run faster!
“Watch Slaton! Watch Schmitt! Watch Reynaud and White!
Watch option! Watch bubble! Could be a rough night!
Let’s stand at the goal line and build a big wall,
And keep them from their shot to play for it all!”
As they began to believe his bold rally cry,
There was a flash and a pop up high in the sky.
They reacted the same, with a quick double take,
What they saw made them stop in their cleats and quake.
On the top of the stadium a man made his stand,
As he calmly adjusted his Nike wristbands.
He said “My name’s Rich, as you surely know,”
Then ran down the bleachers with Mountaineers in tow.
They were dressed all in gold, from their heads to their feet,
And they looked like they’d win a 12-team track meet.
A bundle of plays he had in his book,
And there was no mistaking that confident look.
Pitt’s eyes, how they widened! Their hearts, how they pounded!
All for the biggest game since this brawl was founded.
One side had momentum, the other desperation,
This battle wouldn’t wait for the eyes of the nation!
Caridi was roused from a much-needed sleep,
So were Hickman and Hertzel, the last with a bleep.
They brought their pens, paper and elaborate prose,
To witness this battle of bitter old foes.
It was dark and cold, your breath you could see,
But that didn’t stop the kickoff of Pat McAfee.
The tackle, of course, came from an old Hawk named Emery,
And so started this game that would soon be a memory.
They spoke so few words as they went to work,
But score after score drove the visitors berserk.
The Mountaineers rolled, as was expected,
While the Panthers backed off, clearly dejected.
There was a Gatorade shower that gave poor Rich shivers,
While no one seemed happier than one Vaughn Rivers.
They exclaimed after singing about Almost Heaven,
“Well see you in New Orleans on January 7.”
Subject: Article in Hartford newspaper
Football: Mountaineer Field Is Full And Rocking
November 25, 2007
Chilling is the best way to describe the post game experience Saturday evening at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, W.V. after UConns 66-21 loss in the game that decided the Big East championship. Chilling in more ways than one.
The experience on the field immediately following the game sent chills down my spine. And then there was the freeze out in the interview room following with UConn coach Randy Edsall.
First, about what happened on the field. There were never any explicit directions offered as to how the media was supposed to make their way down to field level at the end of the game and by the time I had sent my early early story for Courant.com most other media members had already cleared out of the press box and made their way down behind the end zone near the visiting team tunnel on the field.
So John Silver from the Manchester Journal Inquirer and I departed the press box in search of the secret way to field level. Lets just say that after about 100 "excuse mes" as we waded through fans in the stands we found our way to the Mountaineer Field turf just as the
game came to an end.
It was there standing on the field that I experienced something amazing. I knew things were different in Morgantown before the game when the place was 95 percent full 15 minutes before kickoff. I knew this was truly the experience of big time college football.
But the post game just solidified that fact even more.
No matter how hokie one might think John Denvers "Country Roads" might be, it was just absolutely amazing to stand on that field and listen to a stadium that size recite the song in unison. There we were, the game over, and there had to still be 50,000 people who
werent going anywhere.
On Nov. 17 there wasnt even reason for UConn players to take a victory lap at Rentschler Field after beating Syracuse to finish off a perfect 7-0 home record this season. There was virtually nobody left in Rentschler by the time the game was over.
And yet here there were more then 50,000 fans who stuck around not only until the end, but long after the end of a game that was basically over midway through the third quarter Saturday in Morgantown.
This was what big time college football is about.
Simply, it was a stunning experience like no other Ive seen in two years covering the UConn football team.
Shawn Courchesne, 3:57 a.m. from the Hartford Courant
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Major Harris is, arguably, the greatest, or at least stated as the greatest, quarterback in Mountaineer history. In his 3 years, Major accounted for 7,334 total yards of offense. With two games left to play this year, Pat White has 7,293 total yards of offense. Major's total rushing yards for 3-years totalled 2,161 yards. Pat White has 3,315 rushing yards through his first 3-years (with 2 games to play). That obviously gives Major the passing yards lead over Pat -- Harris went 324-for-586 for 5,173 yards and 41 touchdowns. White is 312-for-480 (better percentage) for 3,981 yards and 33 touchdowns.
It's easy to see the stats and say that Pat White will clearly surpass Major Harris in numbers. But you have to remember that Major Harris helped change the game of football. Most people had never seen a quarterback run the way Major Harris could run the ball. And the guy could pass too, evidenced by his 5000+ yards in the air. Major changed quarterbacks forever. And Pat White is invoking his memory with some of the explosive runs we see. Pat White comes into a world where the quarterback is expected to be able to move and make plays. Major Harris helped shape that world.
I'll continue to look back on that 1988 teams as the next few weeks unfold (if we beat Pittsburgh, that is) and we'll look at the amazing receivers Major threw too and the defense that gave West Virginia one of the most memorable victories in Mountaineer history.
Monday, November 26, 2007
"The West Virginia mascot is the Mountaineer. He carries a rifle and wears a coonskin hat. Why not go for the stereotype trifurcate, Mountaineer dude, and date your sister?"
Once again, it shows the ignorance of these so-called "national" reporters. The basis that no one is going to watch Mizzou-WVU is completely false. As people watch the Super Bowl regardless of who plays, people will watch WVU/Mizzou because that is what is on. It may not be the most glamorous matchup in the world but it is a matchup between two teams that deserve to be playing (assuming WVU and Missouri win out).
Articles like Freeman's are uninformed and bias towards an establishment in college football that has been shaken by the emergence of non-traditional programs like West Virginia, Kansas, Louisville, Missouri, etc. So because they don't have the tradition of a USC or Ohio State, Oklahoma or Nebraska, Michigan or Notre Dame, doesn't make them any less worthy of a shot at college football's most prestigious trophy.
Remember, programs have to start somewhere...Florida State hasn't always been a powerhouse. Boston College is a joke of a program but everyone was willing to jump on their bandwagon just because they had a good half-season. Virginia Tech hasn't won a national championship but they are more worthy for some reason? West Virginia is as deserving as any team in the nation to play for a national championship...and anyone who argues otherwise simply on the basis of tradition shouldn't be writing for something like CBS.
Against, I encourage everyone who agrees to go to CBS Sportsline and let them know what you think of Mike Freeman. He should be writing this blog and I should be writing for CBS, in my opinion.
Whether 'tis nobler to attend a game with
The cheers and jeers of outstanding fortune,
Or to take seat in a chair of comfort,
By a television with Fox? To watch: to eat;
Much more; and by eat to say we feed
The enthusiam of thousands of fans
In their blue and gold, watching and waiting
Waiting and watching, their team take the field
Oh, Mountaineers, why such difficult decisions?
I'll stop there...I have real work to do. So, let's just say for a minute that West Virginia beats Pitt and is selected to attend the National Title Game in New Orleans on Monday, January 7th. What a dilemma that presents. Do you attend the game and take 2-3 days off work in hopes of attending a historic event? Do you spend $175 for one ticket plus travel, hotel, etc., in hopes that West Virginia will no longer be the winningest program in college football without a national title? Or do you stay in town and watch the game on television and miss a major event for this area? I really don't know...I guess I'll wait to see if they actually beat Pitt...
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Even more interesting is the respect the BCS computers are giving the Mountaineers. Out of the 6 computer polls that are equated into the BCS, 2 have WVU at #1 and the other 4 have WVU at #2. So even with people out there knocking the Big East (again) and talking about WVU's weak schedule (again), the computers have enough respect for the Mountaineers to keep them solidly in the Top 2 in the nation. On the other hand, one computer does have Mizzou rated #3 behind WVU and OSU. Not saying that means anything...just stating the facts.
Lastly, just talking a bit about strength of schedule: According to CBS, WVU has played the 58th toughest schedule. Let's look at some others, Arizona State - 57, USC -81, Virginia - 71, Kansas - 88, Hawaii - 120, Boise State - 119, Ohio State - 37, Missouri -40. In a year with so many upsets, is a 58th ranked schedule that much different that a 40? Granted, if Mizzou defeats Oklahoma (66th toughest schedule, btw), they deserve to be #1 heading into the BCS Championship. But I don't see any argument to keep WVU out of the #1 or #2 spot. Lastly, WVU has defeated the following bowl eligible teams: Maryland, East Carolina, Mississippi State, Rutgers, Cincinnati and Connecticut. By comparison, Ohio State defeated Purdue, Northwestern, Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan. Please note the number of out-of-conference opponents they played that are bowl eligible. ZERO.
There's another freakin' game before the bowl season begins. WVU still has to play the hapless Pitt Panthers at Milan Puskar Stadium for the 100th Backyard Brawl. And if you think the Wannstaches are going to come into Morgantown and roll over, you haven't been paying attention. Yes, WVU controls its fate...win and you're playing on January 7th. But I would wait on the reservations one more week and make sure this is a secure, done deal. There have been a lot of Top 5 teams looking to punch that ticket to New Orleans. None of done so...yet.
In the meantime, remember that "giving the business" in college football is a 15-yard penalty:
Same with the NFL:
Saturday, November 24, 2007
It was a historic run. And it was a lot of fun to travel to the southern part of the state and see some football down there. I can say that Saint Albans and Hurricane have some of the more vocal crowds I have seen for football games. I hate to say it but the St. Alban's fans put the East fans to shame with their noise and enthusiasm. Regardless, East Fairmont came 2-yards short from making one of the most unlikely runs in high school football. But I don't think Bees' fans have anything to complain about.
On another note, West Virginia now controls its own destiny as far as a shot at a BCS Championship. Now let the nay-sayers line up. Watching GameDay this morning, they're already looking for reasons that Ohio State could jump over us for the #2 spot. They want Georgia, they want USC, they want anyone BUT the Mountaineers. There is a non-stop assault on WVU from talking heads that is just unbelievable. West Virginia has maintained their position while OSU, LSU, USF, USC, OU, ASU, UO, etc., all folded under the pressure of being in the spotlight. If West Virginia wins their last two games, Lee, Kirk & Chris need to shutup about other deserving teams and give WVU the respect they have earned. Otherwise, they continue to prove that their show is simply a vehicle for ESPN to massage the egos of the so-called national powerhouses.
And, lastly, some inspiration from Lou:
Thursday, November 22, 2007
University 27 - Parkersburg 24 - This game has turned into more of a battle between the MSAC and the NCAC than University and Parkersburg. University finds a way to continue on. I was surprised they were able to win last week...I won't pick against them this week.
USC 42 - Arizona State 28 - Arizona State could put forth a claim to play in the BCS Championship Game if they win out. But a down USC team will put an end to ASU's dreams this week. Call it the Pete Carroll Factor.
Missouri 0 - Kansas 17 - Mark Magino eats the Tigers before the game begins. Not nice...but watch out.
Arkansas 27 - LSU 20 - LSU has bluffed their ways through several games this season. Watch for the Razorbacks to play loose in this one and end LSU's hopes for the BCS game.
And now, without further hesitation, the two games I will attend this weekend:
WVU 42 - UConn 17 - Time for West Virginia to have a break out game. And it couldn't come at a better time. WVU clinches the Big East Title, a BCS berth and a probable shot at a national title (if LSU loses).
East Fairmont 31 - St. Albans 20 - Why not? East Fairmont's offense hasn't been strong the past few games but look for L.T. and the boys to open it up against St. Albans. Sure, it's going to be in the mud down there but mud slows down both sides. The East defense has been nothing short of remarkable lately. If this game is within reach at halftime, look for East to turn it up in the 4th quarter again and lead to parade of fans to Wheeling Island Stadium for a rematch to avenge their 13-14 loss to University.
Monday, November 19, 2007
It is very, very unlikely that Vick will ever play football in the NFL again. I don't see any instance where Roger Goodell will let him back in the league. And, even if he were allowed to return, is there an owner out there willing to take a chance on an average quarterback who would be mercilessly hounded by fans both at home and on the road. And what a P.R. nightmare. So, here's to the end of the Mike Vick saga...may we never hear of it again.
On a related note, the picture I made of Mike Vick kinda kicking a dog has made the rounds on the Internet. I checked stats the other day just to see if I had any traffic on the one of the web domains I own and this one picture has over 69,000 hits. I tracked it to message boards of several NFL teams. A writer on Fox used it a few times. It appeared on ebay numerous times. It made the rounds on comments on MySpace sites multiple times. I was truly amazed because I didn't think it was that well done. And then, I did a Google image search for "Mike Vick" and found that it was the 5th picture on the search. Hmmmm...just thought that was interesting. In case you don't remember...he's the picture that has been viewed several thousands times on web-sites near and wide...
So, for whatever that is worth...I guess it's kinda cool but I didn't get any credit from anyone and they're all trying to eat my bandwidth...so, that's not cool. But as long as no one tracks me down and beats me up, I'll just take it as flattery...
Well, left for Cincinnati around 10:30 on Saturday...a little behind schedule. We ended up even more behind schedule after a stop at Dick's and Krogers. But, for the most part we were in good shape on the trip out. Unfortunately, one of the ramps we needed to take was closed so we decided it was a good time to stop and get gas. We may have ended up in a little bit of a bad neighborhood then. Even though I need a haircut, we decided not to stop...
After arriving in Cincinnati and checking into the hotel (which was under a little renovation), we headed off to Nippert Stadium. Parking was already pretty hectic by 5:30 p.m. We ate some Country Club pepperoni rolls and headed onto the campus of the University of Cincinnati. One of the stops was at Fifth Third Arena, which was open to the public.
The crowd was pretty thick heading into Nippert despite the fact it only holds 35,000. Saw as many fans wearing blue and gold as red and black. I would say that Mountaineer fans made up at least 35% of the attendance. After a pretty boring pregame, Cincinnati and West Virginia took the field.
We were in Row 10 in the Mountaineer crowd. The Mountaineer fans were spread out throughout the stadium. The cheerleaders attempted to get the "Lets Go Mountaineers" chant going several times but it was impossible. So everyone gave up and just cheered.
For the most part, the Mountaineer fans were pretty calm. Except for one dude named Joe Bob who sat behind us. He started cussing before the teams even took the field. An older gentleman asked him to stop because of some of the younger kids around and he stopped for a little while. But he lit back up later. He was either drunk, stupid, lost or a combination of all of the above. Some of his comment highlights include: "Go back to Cincinnati," "Go back to Lexington," and "Rich Rodriguez (put your own expletives here...)"
Thank goodness for this Steve Slaton run for a touchdown, otherwise we would have lost. Another bad second half...
The Mountaineers came over to celebrate with their vocal fans following the game. Had they blown the lead and lost, I have a feeling they would have been running from this vocal crowd...
After a few minutes, Cincinnati security disappeared and Mountaineer fans took over Nippert Stadium and did their best to disgrace the losing Cincinnati Bearcats...
One of the cooler things about going down on the field after the game is getting to see the ESPN over-field camera taken down. That thing is a beast.
This girl stole a sword from whatever that this is on the right. Maybe he was lost too...I don't see where that costume works with "Bearcats," but whatever. After about 10 minutes of chasing her around, some event security finally stopped her and returned his sword to him. How disgraceful...
And, just for fun, instead of leaving the stadium like the common folk, we decided a tunnel exit would be more apt for the victorious Mountaineer fans...
You would think that there would be somewhere to eat in Cincinnati after midnight. Well, you would think wrong. After stopping at several exits for food, we ended up at a White Castle. Not good food at all. Of course, someone has to order the 10-burger special...
And, despite objections, eat it.
Believe me, that was not a fun trip back to the hotel after someone ate that many White Castle sliders. There is no way that if beef on thos buns. I ordered the chicken nuggets and I truly do not believe that was really chicken either. The fries were barely edible.
That was really about it for the Cincinnati trip. Lots of fun and excitement. WVU won which makes the trip far better. Just two things to keep in mind: 1) Don't eat at White Castle and 2)
The sign says it all...
Went down to Charleston on Friday night for a great football game. East Fairmont has advanced yet again with an unbelievable defensive effort. They now are just one win away from going to Wheeling Island Stadium for the State Championship Game. Regardless of what happens against St. Albans, it's been a remarkable year. Additionally, apparently not many people in the Charleston area have had a chance to see the band. I'll let this entry from the Daily Mail sum that up.
Got back to Fairmont at 2:00 or so on Saturday morning and did some work and finally got to sleep at 3:00. Woke up at 8:00 and began a trek out to Cincinnati to see the Mountaineers face the Bearcats. I will go in more detail later but the game was good and WVU eeked out the victory. I would guess 35% of Nippert Stadium was wearing blue and gold. That might be a little high but there were a ton of Mountaineer fans. Got back to hotel around 2:00 and woke up again around 8:00 to make the long journey back to Fairmont. I'll get pictures and stuff up tonight.
With Oregon's and Oklahoma's losses, West Virginia moved up to #3 in the BCS. This is getting exciting. Now, I'm just speculating, but I think that if WVU wins out and Missouri wins out, there's a very good chance Missouri will jump over WVU and take the #2 spot (Missouri would have to beat Kansas to win out.) If Oklahoma wins the Big 12 (meaning Missouri and Kansas lost), there's a good chance WVU could be #2 but there's going to be a large movement to move Arizona State back up to #2 if they win the Pac 10. If ASU loses, expect to hear a lot of crying from Columbus because Ohio State will want that #2 spot back.
Personally, I'm hoping Kansas wins out and LSU loses somewhere and WVU plays Kansas for the National Championship. There's way too much football left to get too concerned about it. No matter how it works out, someone's going to be unhappy. All I know is that WVU had better start playing better football. Allowing Cincinnati back in that game late was pretty disheartening. If they don't step it up, they could easily lose to UConn or Pitt. If they don't, things will get very interesting for the BCS folks. Expect a lot of people out there talking bad about WVU and the Big East...
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Bridgeport 14 - Parkersburg 42 - Did you hear the one about the team that went into Parkersburg with their top 3 players injured? They got beat. Bad.
Capital 21 - University 20 - University beat Morgantown twice this year. I think they've probably already accomplished their goal for the season.
Georgia 35 - Kentucky 21 - Kentucky is not for real.
UConn 56 - Syracuse 20 - Syracuse is real. Real, real bad.
Michigan 35 - Ohio State 17 - How fitting would it be for Lloyd Carr to lose to Appy State to start the season and beat Ohio State to end the season? He'll likely retire on Monday. A loss here probably knocks OSU from the Championship Game 2 weeks ago to the Outback Bowl this week. Personally, I think the Big 10 is week regardless of who goes where.
Steelers 34 - Jets 13 - The Jets are very, very bad this year.
And, the final two:
WVU 31 - Cincinnati 28 - Another nail-biter. WVU could easily lose this game on the road. Especially if they continue to play hot potato with the football. Watch out for those Bearcats.
EF 16 - GW 12 - I don't know why. I don't necessarily want to pick against East Fairmont. It's going to be a tough game to win but a good break here and there and they could pull this thing off. If the Bees defense really can hold GW to 12 points, I would be amazed. But stranger things have happened...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Q. Mike, you have a strong stance on global warming. Do you really believe that it is something we can't fix?
A. Thank you for that question. Everywhere I go, people ask me about this issue. And while I have strong opinions on this issue I believe we need to work together for a solution we can all agree on. If I were elected President, I would pull all sides together to work on figuring out a way to solve this problem.
Q. Do you believe the BCS is the best thing for college football?
A. Wow, I can't believe you asked that. It seems like more and more people have been bringing up this topic and there is a lot of passion on both sides of the issue. If I were in charge, I would definitely be looking for ways to make the system work for everyone. Fairness is one of the things I care the most about and I want to come up with a solution that is fair to everyone involved. Thank you for asking.
Q. Gas prices continue to rise. What can we do?
A. This is a great concern to everyone these days. Everywhere I go people want to know how they can help with this issue. We have to understand that everyone has to work together to solve this problem. I believe that if we can all work together, there is nothing we can't overcome. I will take one last question today...yes, you -- the guy I have never talked to before and have never met before today. Please ask your question...
Q. Have you heard from anyone interesting lately?
A. What a random question. How did you ever come up with that? But I am glad you asked because it just so happens that I did. I received a comment from none other than Rutgers own DJ Yoshi. If you want, take a moment to visit his Myspace -- www.myspace.com/djyoshi. Seems like a pretty good guy who does a lot of work in the NY/NJ area. Other than that, no...haven't heard from anyone. Thanks for asking.
That's all the time I have for today. I will be happy to answer more questions after I have time to write them up...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
For 5 years now, the media has spoken of the troubled American economy. They constantly talk of recession as though we were in the middle of one. They speak of the increased crunch high oil and gas has put on the end-consumer. And through it all the American economy has soared and the stock market has risen to record highs.
But the media may finally get their wish. High consumer debt, increasing pump prices and a housing market ripple may finally give the mass media what they have been hoping for many years: a stagnant economy. They will cling to any numbers that show any decreases in economic activity and rush to call it a recession. They can barely keep themselves from using the R-word now. They want to so bad, it's actually hurting. And, by playing their fear-mongering game, they accomplish another task by huring consumer confidence further increasing the chances of a full-fledge recession.
Personally, I do see a rough economic patch coming. Increased energy costs, high consumer debt, record low savings and decreased credit opportunities will slow growth. And the media will be sure to add another element by continually attempting to erode confidence in a quick rebound. But I think there will be a quick rebound. The American economy continues to roar. Unemployment remains very low and, despite the record low of the dollar, consumer buying power remains high. Exports will increase due to the low dollar and that will begin the rebound. The housing market may suffer for a couple years but the ship will right and all will be fine. But don't count on the media to recognize the good signs until they are impossible to ignore...
Sunday, November 11, 2007
- East Fairmont defeated Hurricane and will now advance to the second round of the state playoffs for the first time ever. It may hurt my Cincy plans...may not. Rumor has it that the game will be Friday night, which means I can still go to Cincinnati. Find out later today.
- Ohio State lost to Illinois. Are you kidding me? Ron Zook defeated Jim Tressler? Zook is as bad as Wannstache when it come to coaching. That just amazes me. Parity in college football, I guess.
- I usually like underdogs to win. However, these teams I truly dislike regardless of their rank and I hope they never win a game regardless of the opponent: Notre Dame. Hawaii. Boston College. Virginia Tech. Wisconsin. USC.
- How funny is it that Miami closed the "O.B." with their worst home-loss ever?
- OJ Simpson is an idiot. You would think that if you got away with something like he did, you would just kinda disappear and hope people forgot about you. Not break in somewhere with guns blazing.
- O.J. Mayo scored 32-points and USC still lost to Mercer. I'm not unpleased with that result.
- Bobby Huggins is already drawing attention for this recruiting at WVU. And it's actually not bad attention.
I think that's all I have for now. Hope for a Friday night playoff game for me...thanks.
Friday, November 09, 2007
and, of coures, there's video of the moment:
Personally, I don't see any reason Pat White would lie about such a thing. On the other hand, the Louisville player and the Louisville coach would have ample reason to lie about an ugly incident like that. Pat White has always been a standup player and I doubt he's making this up. The guy doesn't need any extra attention. If it's true, Kragthorpe should apologize to Pat White and discipline the player. Unless this is the type of reputation Louisville wants. (Virginia Tech, anyone?)
- Gold Rush? Eh. People tried really hard...you could tell. I think they had maybe 75% participation from what I could see. The problem is that yellow is not a color that most people buy their jackets in...white, black, blue...all acceptable. Yellow is tough. But people did make an effort.
- Goodyear Blimp. Hey...it was a blimp. I honestly can't remember seeing the blimp at a Mountaineer game before. It's possible it's been there...but I don't remember it.
- A few hundred Cardinals fans came to the game. They were pretty quiet until Louisville tied the game. And the crowd died and they came to life suddenly. But, they got pretty quiet again after the Pat White run.
- I hate to blame a bad game on officiating. But 11 penalties for 116 yards is odd. Many were no-brainers (like the pass interference in the endzone) but some were questionable (like the hold 20-yards away from the play). And the amount of reviews in the game was ridiculous. I'm not sure we got the best Big East officiating crew available.
- The uniforms were as ugly as I could have imagined them being.
- Steve Slaton is in a slump. He seems a little slow and is having trouble finding holes to run through. You can blame the opposing teams and say they are keying on him...but I'm not sure that's the only thing wrong.
- Night games in Morgantown are truly awesome.
- Even is the defense did give up over 300-yards in the air, they still won that game. Brohm has picked apart defenses all year and I thought WVU's held in there pretty darn well...especially when the offense kept giving it back to them.
- Pat McAfee is a heck of a kick. Owen Schmitt should stick to blocking and running.
Cincinnati's next. It doesn't get any easier really. UConn and then the famous Wannstaches from up north to finish the season. If they win out, another Big East title and an automatic BCS-berth is their reward. We'll see...
Thursday, November 08, 2007
And now, some predictions:
WVU 41 - Louisville 27: Despite the hideous uniform decision, the "gold rush" will overcome the defenseless Cardinals. It would be nice to see the Mountaineer defense give Brohm some headaches this evening.
Morgantown 27 - University 14: Hey, University is the better team. But history says that Morgantown somehow breaks University's spirit and knocks them out of the playoffs despite probably being the one of the best teams in state.
Martinsburg 28 - Bridgeport 17: I don't think Bridgeport is great. Good, yes...but great, no. Martinsburg blew one at the end of the season...they should probably be the #1 seed and not 11. Poor Bridgeport.
Cincinnat 28 - Connecticut 20: I think UConn is running on borrowed time. They've had a good season but it ends at Cincinnati.
Steelers 31 - Browns 13: Pittsburgh played beastly on Monday night. I don't see the Browns giving them a big contest this weekend.
East Fairmont 37 - Hurricane 27: I don't know much about Hurricane. I do know East Fairmont is a pretty good football team. East Fairmont has never won a playoff game. That changes this weekend for two reason: 1) East Fairmont really, really needs to win a playoff game; and 2) I'm supposed to go to the Cincinnati game next weekend and the Bees will win and end up playing George Washington in Charleston next weekend, effectively ruining my plans.
Those are my predictions for this weekend's football contests...
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
With that said, I still cannot support the march that took place in Charleston this weekend under the guise of a march of Megan Williams. Dubbed a "National March Against Hate Crimes and Racism," it became yet another divisive tool of Milik Shabazz, the leader of the Black Lawyers for Justice and leader of the New Black Panther Party. The New Black Panther Party (NBBP) has done as much to plant the seeds of hate and racism as any other group in the United States, including the KKK and white supremecy groups.
Among the NBBP's highlights include the conspiracy that 4,000 Israeli's who worked at the World Trade Center were warned ahead of the 9/11 attacks and called in sick on the day of the attack. There is no evidence of this even being remotely true.
The group provoked the melee that occurred outside of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's campaign headquarters after she lost a Democratic primary to her opponent, Hank Johnson. The NBBP's Chief of Staff physically attacked reporters, derogatorily calling them "Jews" and insisting that Hank Johnson was a "Tom." He further defended his actions on Fox News by accusing his interviewers of being part of a Zionist media complex.
In 2006, Shabazz was a main player in the Duke lacrosse team scandal, organizing marches outside of Duke University and making numerous media appearances demanding DA Nifong convict the accused players. Shabazz refuses to apologize for the comments and accusations he made even when they were found not to be true.
Malik Shabazz has done more to promote hate and racism in this country than most humans could even fathom, yet he disguises it as well-meaning events, such as the march he organized on Saturday. A march against hate and racism is a good thing...unless the leader is the source of much hate and racism himself.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Since East Fairmont moved to the new school, West Side has essentially dominated the rivalry. There have been a few hot flashes, such as 1995 when West students spray-painted areas of the new EFHS and East students later responded in kind. Or the year that some Polar Bear supporters spray painted paw prints on the new athletic building at East-West Stadium or the year that Fairmont West students tore down the goal post at East-West following a routine victory. I'm sure other acts of petty vandalism has also occurred several times since but vandalism a rivalry does not make.
I think things changed for many people when East Fairmont moved to the new school. 1992 was the final year for an East-West Game at the old high school. They used to have the thuse for the game in the parking lot of the old school and hundreds of East Fairmont citizens from around the area would walk down to the old school and join in on the pep rally. In that final year at the old school, someone threw eggs from the woods behind the educational buildings into the crowd and several students chased after them through the woods. It fired everyone up and was invigorating to those in attendance.
Once we moved to the new high school, the crowd quickly diminished. No longer could East Side residents merely walk from their porches to the bonfire and pep rallies. Now they were required to drive to attend and the enthusiasm quickly died. Within the first couple years, the thuse and bonfire turned into yet another event that only the band, cheerleaders, football team and their parents attended. The past couple years have seen the thuse and bonfire cancelled completely and hardly anyone has taken notice.
Both schools participate in a spirit week which includes dress-up days and in-school thuses but that hardly gets the community enthralled in the game. But with last year's classic, many people felt this would actually be a good game on the field and they were hardly disappointed. A defensive struggle ensued in the first half with West taking a 14-0 halftime lead. But an 86-yard kickoff return in the second half put East back in the game. After tying the game at 14, both teams scored before going into overtime where East held defensively and scored on their first possession for the victory. Probably the best East-West Game I have seen in 16 years.
West Side entered the game with special music and a voice overdub regaling the crowd with stories of their past gridiron accomplishments, including two state football championships. But when the final whistle had sounded at East-West Stadium on Friday night, the West side crowd was taunted by the chant of "No More Playoffs." Perhaps West side won't write another chapter to their playoff tradition this year, but the rekindling of the East-West tradition could be just as important. Not just to West Side, but to Fairmont as a whole.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
North Marion 12 - Preston 10. Yeah, I know...pretty gutsy predicting a North Marion victory but I think it's finally time to end that long, long losing streak.
RCB 31 - Wheeling Park 14. RCB is just way too good for WP.
Elkins 24 - Buck-Up 17. Ummm...Elkins wins.
Alabama 31 - LSU 28. My upset special this week. Nick Saban finds a way to beat the ol' Tigers. Luckily for Nick, this game is in Alabama and that will make the difference.
Oregon 38 - Arizona State 24. Oregon continues to move up in the polls. Do you really think the BCS Championship wants the Ducks and those ugly uniforms? ASU is knocked out of the national title hunt this weekend.
Steelers 24 - Ravens 16. Ray Ray won't be happy in Pittsburgh on Sunday when the Steelers beat up on him. The Steelers are just too good for Baltimore.
Lastly, the game of the week...
East Fairmont 38 - Fairmont Senior 27. East Fairmont's offense is clicking and West's defense has been porous towards the end of the season. East Fairmont has too many weapons for the Polar Bears to contain, I think. I've seen Fairmont Senior play 3 times this year and they have the potential to break some big plays but they have lacked consistency. Should be a good, high scoring game but East will knock West out of the playoffs and gain homefield advantage this year.