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What have I missed?

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Sorry for the delay in a post for anyone that actually reads this.

Two weeks ago I worked at Maryland for their game against FIU (that’s Florida International for those that don’t know). I’m sure some people thought Maryland = Crab-cakes, well not for me. After a long day of travel we ended up at a TGIFriday’s near the hotel, it’s against all of our rules of finding a local place to go to but we make concessions at times.

The drive from Baltimore to College Park was very scenic, yet again another drive where I wish the trees were in the fall colors. The campus, from the little that I saw was very nice and clean. Everyone knows FEAR THE TURTLE when at Maryland. I was ready to use my pass to go down to the field after our meal on Saturday to get a picture of the turtle that the players touch each day when I walked past another turtle statue. Pretty neat that they have one that the fans can touch as they walk into the stadium.

Fear the Turtle

Last week we were the Prime time game on ESPNU. Without getting you (and me) CBS chose their option to have an SEC Prime time game so our crew switched with the ESPNU Prime time crew so they could have their usual SEC on ESPN game at Noon. I know it sounds crazy. So I found myself in the state that I left in July, North Carolina as Georgia Tech traveled to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest.

We were able to go back to eating at a local establishment, and I’m sure people in North Carolina will be upset that we didn’t go to a BBQ place. We went to Foothills Brewing, I can’t recommend anything to drink there except Coke. The place was nice, it was in an old building in downtown, reminds me of what Louisville is trying to do with downtown around the new KFC Yum! Center. My burger was good, wasn’t made to my order which was not good but it was still good.

After we ate and our producer played around on his iPhone we found a custard place for our weekly ice cream. We ended up at Kernel Kustard to only walk in and find out that they had enough for 1 person. So we walk down the street to Wolfies Frozen Custard where I got a Turtle Sundae (3 scoops of custard -2 vanilla 1 chocolate for me, Chocolate Syrup, Swirled Caramel, Pecans, Whipped Cream and I optioned out of the Coconut Sprinkles). It was very good.

As for Wake Forest, the stadium is old, you are easily fooled when you arrive because the exterior has been renovated and looks really nice. They have renovated the press box and suites and have new turf but as for the concourse it’s self and seating it’s old. I would say about 98% of the seating in bleacher seats (they have backs on them which I don’t find comfortable). In one endzone they have a grass berm, which would be a great spot to catch a game.

View from the Wake Forest Scoreboard Room

For those that are worried that I didn’t get any BBQ don’t worry we had fried chicken and BBQ as our meal on game day. Next up for travel Blacksburg, VA for a Virginia Tech game then off to IU.

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Categories: Sports, Thoughts, Travel

Take Me Home Country Roads

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Here is the latest entry on my weekly road trip for ESPNU. This week Maryland @ West Virginia.

I made the drive to Morgantown from Louisville, beautiful ride, one that would be even better if it was Fall and the trees had some color on them.

I was a little  disappointed in both Kentucky and West Virginia that I didn’t see a single outhouse, but I didn’t venture far to try and find one.

As for Morgantown,  I didn’t get much of a feel for the town, but what I did see and experience was nice, no burning couches either. The campus was spread out, the stadium is up on the top of a hill so you get some great views of some of the mountains (hopefully I can get a photo on here that I took).

View from the WVU Press Box

I did learn that Coach Bob Huggins doesn’t own a house in WV, he has a condo at the hotel that we stayed at, which was a very nice hotel, Waterfront Place.

Next week I am off to College Park, Maryland.

Categories: Sports, Thoughts, Travel

From the Road

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

We are now into week 2 of the College Football season, and I am sitting in Detroit, which made me think (for those that know me I know that is a scary thought) why not blog about the cities I have been to.

Tallahassee : Week 1 of the season had me in Tallahassee for Samford @ FSU. I recommend MoMo’s Pizza (slices are very large, I recommend just getting one, 2 if you are starving) and Gordo’s Cuban restaurant, both are very good, and at a good price.

Bobby Bowden Field

Detroit : All the stereotypes you hear, they are true. Hate to trash a city from what I see on a quick visit but so many abandoned buildings that it is sad. In Greektown there is a nice Greek restaurant, and if you plan on walking anywhere better go in a group on do it during daylight hours.

Tigers at Comerica Park

I am going to try and update this each week for each town I go to, hopefully I can add some pictures as well. Next week Morgantown, WV for Maryland @ WVU.

Categories: Sports, Thoughts, Travel

NCAA Tournament Expansion

April 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Now that the NCAA Tournament is over and expansion is likely to happen, I figured I would give my thoughts on why I am against expansion to 96 teams.

As the saying goes if it’s not broke don’t fix it. That is the way I feel about the NCAA Tournament. While this years tournament was exciting that doesn’t mean we need more games, more games don’t mean great games. The NCAA Tournament is a great experience for the teams, schools and fans, and I would love for everyone to get to experience it. When you here your school announced on Selection Sunday you know that all of the hard work has payed off and you are now one of the Final 65 teams out of 320 to get a chance for a National Championship, it’s a great feeling.

I know some coaches will like to see expansion happen because they are judged by Tournament appearances, however with an expanded field would come new expectations. For some a 1st or 2nd Round loss will not mean the same as it used to. Look at Wake Forrest who fired their coach who led them to 2 appearances in 3 years, however he never won a tournament game, just getting to the tournament does not guarantee job security, and with an expanded field you are likely to see more coaches lose their jobs for not winning games in the tournament.

If the NCAA wants to expand add a play in game to each region, those winners become the 12 seed, and don’t face two non-power six schools against each other. If the NCAA really wants to fix something, create a playoff to get rid of the BCS.

Categories: Sports, Thoughts

Time for the NCAA to act

January 17, 2010 Leave a comment

As many know a Jeron Lewis, a basketball player at Southern Indiana collapsed during a game at Kentucky Wesleyan he later passed away. The coroner concluded that he died of natural causes, and had some heart problems, no signs head trauma were found.

There have been reports that it was about 10 minutes until medical personnel arrived at the arena, to assist the trainers that were attending to Lewis.

This raises a point of debate for me, should EMT’s be required to attend any athletic event to be on stand-bye in the event of someone collapsing, whether it is a player, coach, official, or spectator?

I say yes. I would rather pay for a few EMT’s and an Ambulance to sit and do nothing then have a tragic event happen and have to wait for medical help to arrive. With all due respect to school Athletic Trainers, who do a great job at what they do, not all of them have the training or equipment to save a life if something like this happens.

If the NCAA leaves it up to schools to decide if they want to have an EMT on site, they should at least require schools to have an Automated External Defibrillator on site, and at least one person trained to use it. I also feel that there should be a test developed to detect heart conditions among student athletes, I don’t care the cost when it comes to saving a life money should never be an issue.

I have a personal connection to the push for AED’s at athletic events and rec centers. In May 2005, Danny Rumph passed away after going into sudden cardiac arrest  while at home playing a pick-up game. Danny was on the WKU Men’s Basketball team. His family started a foundation to raise attention to Cardiomyopathy.

It’s time for the NCAA, their member schools and athletic venues across the United State and the world to step up and do something to prevent more deaths like those of Danny, Jeron Lewis, and others who have passed away.

UPDATE: After I posted this news came out that Chicago Bear’s DE Gaines Adams passed away at the age of 26 Sunday morning in South Carolina. The autopsy showed that he had an enlarged heart.  Yet another reason to have athletes under go test to discover this problem.

Categories: Sports, Thoughts

“Tomorrow is Never Guaranteed”

January 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Just heard that phrase mentioned online while listening to a radio station back home in Louisville, KY as I was listening to 84 WHAS and their coverage of the sudden loss of their colleague Francene Cucinello who passed away today at the age of 43. It made me think.

This comes a day after University of Southern Indiana Basketball Player Jeron Lewis collapsed and died during a game against Kentucky Wesleyan. (More to come on this later)

All of this on the heels of the traumatic events that are going on in Haiti, and the ongoing wars overseas.

It was mentioned a couple of times on the radio today that you can only hope that people know how much they have affected the lives of those around them before they pass away. Those words are true, in a day where people are concerned about themselves and are not as polite to the people they encounter each day, do we really tell people what they mean to us? Is it a sign of the times? I sure hope not as that is not the times I want to know.

When my dad passed away back in June, hearing all of the stories that people shared with us helped to get through the pain, and hearing how he touched them was amazing. Still today I think of some of the stories of his life and all of the things that he got to do. How many people can say they traveled many places in the country, and to be able to to watch their teams in person play in the NCAA Tournament and Sweet 16, College World Series, and a BCS Football game, not to forget coaching a baseball team to a win from going to a Babe Ruth World Series, all while making sure the produce he ordered got in so it could get to the stores and restaurants for all of us to enjoy.

Just remember, “tomorrow is never guaranteed” and in the words of Francene “Life is short so make the the most of your time.”

Categories: Thoughts