For the second straight Sunday I watched the BC women play via the Internet.
They were at Hartford to play the Hawks. This matchup was played last year at Boston College. It was one of the four games I attended last season as I'm a fan of both teams.
Off the opening tip, Hartford came out strong and the Eagles were flat. The Hawks built a 7-2 lead but watch BC go on an 8-0 run to build a 10-7 lead. The Hawks tied the game with a three pointer, but the Eagles ripped off an 11-0 run to go up 21-10. After a Deanna Mayza 3 pointer cut the lead to 21-13, it was time for another BC run. This time it was a 7-0 binge with the Eagles getting a bucket from Kat Cooper and 5 points from Karima Gabriel to make it 28-13. A Hartford basket stopped the run, but Alexa Coulombe scored 2 quick baskets for BC and the Eagles were up 34-15 and looking to run away with the game.
An exchange of foul shots (3 for Hartford and 2 for BC) made it 36-18, the Hawks went on a 9-3 run to cut it to 39-27. But the Eagles put together another quick 6 point run capped by a three pointer from Kelly Hughes to take a 45-27 lead. Hartford's Amber Bepko hit her only shot of the half, a three pointer, at the buzzer to cut the BC lead to 45-30 at the half.
WHAT I NOTICED IN THE FIRST HALF - For Hartford, it was that they found themselves in foul trouble with their post players. Also, when Amber Bepko isn't scoring, they seem to have trouble really getting their offense on track. Morgan Lumb was their leader in the first half with 9 points.
While the turnovers in the first half were 10-9 Hartford, I noticed that BC was capitalizing more on the turnovers they got.
For BC, they are still letting their opponents get off too many three pointers that look to be either late or completely uncontested shots. Unlike last Sunday's game against Maine however, Hartford wasn't hitting quite so often. The Hawks were 6-17 from behind the arc while BC hit 7 of 13 three point attempts.
Kelly Hughes was the BC leader with 11 points and 7 rebounds in the 1st half.
BC's Emilee Daley broke open the scoring in the 2nd half with a steal and layup to make it 47-30. A five point run by Hartford (2 free throws by Cherelle Moore and three pointer from Amber Bepko) cut it to 47-35. But two baskets from Kelly Hughes and one from Nicole Boudreau sandwiched around another three pointer by Amber Bepko saw the Eagles up 53-38 going into a timeout. After the second basket from Hughes, the Hartford play by play announcer was justifiably raving about her play.
Coming out of the time out, both teams went cold with a combination of sloppy play, turnovers and bad shots for more than 2 minutes of game time. Hartford's Morgan Lumb finally broke the scoring drought with a three pointer. The Hawks added another basket and the score was 53-43. Another 5-0 run by BC (a Hughes three pointer and a basket by Boudreau) made it 58-43.
Cherelle Moore hit a basket and the Hawks added a free throw to cut the score to 58-46, but the Eagles went on a 7-1 run after that (Cooper and Hughes hit baskets with Ashley Kelsick adding a three pointer) and found themselves up 65-47. Amber Bepko score the next 5 points for the Hawks (with Kelsick adding another bucket for BC) and the score was 67-52. Three of those points for Bepko came after she got fouled hard on a three point attempt. She made all three foul shots that resulted.
Alexa Coulombe added her third basket of the day to make it 69-52 BC. After another three pointer from Bepko, Hartford lost Cherelle Moore for the game when she picked up her fifth foul. While it meant that the Hawks had no inside presence left for the rest of the game, they went on an 8-0 run (keyed by a three pointer from Deanna Mayza) to cut the BC lead down to 69-60. The run forced BC to call a time out.
After the time out, BC scored a basket, but Ashley Kelsick fouled out. After a Hartford free throw, BC's Kelly Hughes hit two foul shots to cap the scoring and Boston College went on to win 73-61.
The win raises BC's record to 5-3 on the season while Hartford has now dropped to 3-6.
For Hartford - Amber Bepko (photo below) scored just 3 points in the first half, but she finished the game with 20 points. She added 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals as well. Morgan Lumb finished with a season high 16 points and 6 boards (though she had 5 turnovers). Deanna Mayza added 9 points.
(photo by Steve McLaughlin, Hartford photographer)
Cherelle Moore managed just 8 points before fouling out. Hartford's other starting big, Janelle Harrison, had a terrible game. She went scoreless and committed 9 turnovers. The team had 23 turnovers for the game. While that was only 1 more than BC had, as I said above, BC seemed to capitalize on the turnovers they got and Hartford didn't.
For Boston College - While the Eagles had to fight off some slack play towards the end of the game, they were pretty much in control for everything but the initial 5 or 6 minutes at the start of the first half. Kelly Hughes (photo below) continues to lead the team offensively. She had her second career double double with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
(photo by Steve McLaughlin, Hartford photographer)
Kat Cooper (pictured below) had another solid game with 15 points and 7 boards. Nicole Boudreau finished with 9 points and 3 assists. I liked seeing Martina Mosetti having a decent game. She had 6 points for BC.
The big surprise to me was the 7 points from Alexa Coulombe. She played very well today and that isn't something I usually say after watching her play. She also made a SWEET pass for an assist on one of Kelly Hughes' baskets.
I'm still trying to figure out freshman Rachel Gartner. The BC women's basketball Twitter feed trumped out the fact that she had a career high 9 assists in the game, which is generally a good thing. But looking at the box score, she also turned the ball over 6 times. She was scoreless in the game and on the shots she took, she seemed to front rim the majority of them.
BC is on the road Wednesday to play Holy Cross and will be at home next Sunday against New Hampshire.
A brief interview with coach Erik Johnson is below.
I wrote this about 12 hours ago. The committee pretty much did what I thought they should do, with the exception of choosing Georgia Tech over UCLA. I guess they went with the team that finished strong over the better "body of work". After Oregon took the Rose and Arizona the Fiesta, there wasn't really a good bowl to put UCLA in anyway. I also would have preferred Alabama play FSU in the Sugar Bowl and the traditional Rose Bowl match-up, but I guess they don't consider that.
I know this is early in the day for most of you, but I’m not the one who decided to make the selection show so early for west coasters like me. I’ll just have to find out the final verdict after I get up and have breakfast.
I’ll just do my regular top 25 blog later in the week, but for reference here are my ratingsresults. I use the numbers there below.
(Teams in my Top 7 apart from Boise St.; wins are limited to those over the top 60.)
Florida St. (3-0 vs. top 25, 5-0 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 14, 21, 25, 41, 46, 55, 60
Alabama (3-1 vs. top 25, 8-1 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 9, 16, 18, 26, 33, 40, 45, 47, 52
Lost to #8
Oregon (3-1 vs. top 25, 6-1 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 10, 11, 13, 36, 39, 48
Lost to #10
Ohio St. (2-0 vs. top 25, 5-0 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 13, 15, 28, 30, 43, 54
Lost to #74
TCU (1-1 vs. top 25, 4-1 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 19, 29, 30, 45, 57, 60
Lost to #7
Baylor (2-0 vs. top 25, 3-1 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 5, 19, 29, 57, 60
Lost to #45
There should be no serious doubt about Florida St., Alabama, and Oregon, so I’ll skip to talking about the fourth semifinal team.
Baylor’s win wasn’t really in doubt for the much of the second half, but I don’t think it was anything like the kind of exclamation point Ohio St. had. I had Ohio St. in the top 4 to begin with, so I am still convinced Baylor does not belong. Virginia Tech is a worse team to lose to than WVU, but my feeling is the two additional wins over the top 50 make up for this.
I respect the opinion that TCU belongs ahead of Ohio St., although obviously I don’t agree with the conclusion. I think Ohio St. just showed emphatically they can play like a top 4 team. Admittedly, they showed all those weeks ago they can also lose to a mediocre team at home by two touchdowns, but at some point, the other 12 games taken as a whole should be more important. One top-25 win vs. 2 and 5 top-50 wins vs. 4 make up for that. TCU played the best of any of these teams in their loss, but actually that might have been their best game. I just haven’t seen them look like a top team often enough, particularly in light of their difficulties against West Virginia and Kansas in the month of November.
Transitioning out of the semifinal discussion, I don’t think Marshall and Boise St. are getting the respect that previous “group of five” teams with similar records have gotten in the past. Hawaii in 2007, for instance, was #11 after starting 11-0. Marshall, which has actually had a better schedule this season, was #19 after starting 11-0. I do think Marshall and Boise St. may each be a couple of spots too high in my ratings though.
I mentioned briefly last week why I had Boise St. ahead of Arizona, and now it’s similarly problematic to have Boise St. ahead of Baylor. There is a higher depth to Boise St.’s wins, but ultimately beating top-20 teams should be valued more highly. I want to try to find a way where beating #5 and #19 counts for more points than beating #20, #49, and #69. Those aren’t Boise St.’s three best wins (they beat two others in the top 60), but they just happened to combine for slightly more points than Baylor’s two best wins.
One way I thought of was adding some kind of additional credit for beating teams that end up with positive ratings (which is usually approximately the top 40). I won’t alter the formula at this point this season though. I will tinker with it after the final results of this year to see how it turns out. I will also look to see how it would alter previous ratings.
Something else I want to note is Boise St. actually has more FBS wins than Baylor because they played an extra game and did not play an FCS opponent. So where usually a team with two losses has fewer wins than one with a single loss, the two-loss team in question has more wins.
In an average playing week, Baylor did accumulate more points than Boise St. did in an average week.
One reason I say Marshall may be a spot or two too high is that I think Michigan St.should be in a major bowl. Their only losses are to teams I believe should be in the top 4.Wisconsin was technically the Big Ten runner-up, but they lost an additional game, and they lost to LSU and Northwestern. LSU isn’t a bad loss, but Northwestern is pretty bad. They don’t even qualify for a bowl game. I mention those together because they’re in the same conference.
I also think UCLA should be included in the top 6 bowls, while Georgia Tech should be excluded. The two teams finished with the same number of losses, and there were understandable losses by both and fairly weak losses by both. UCLA’s non-conference slate of Virginia, Memphis, and Texas, combined with the strength of the Pac-12 South relative to the ACC Coastal, should put them ahead.
Florida St. was actually two possessions ahead of Georgia Tech going into the last couple of minutes, which is a gigantic lead for the Seminoles, so the final score being two points doesn’t sway me. Also, I give them credit for the one strong out-of-conference win (albeit an extremely lucky one) against Georgia, but the others were Wofford, Tulane, andGeorgia Southern.
I haven’t exactly made the case why UCLA should go ahead of Wisconsin or Michigan St. should go ahead of Georgia Tech, but hopefully you can fill in the blanks there.
The only other thing in the top 25 worth commenting on is a team that hadn’t been there since my (subjective) preseason ranking….
We can also add Northern Illinois to the list of “group of five” teams that may be a spot or two too high. After Arkansas’s games against LSU and Ole Miss made that blowout loss more understandable, that only leaves one other loss for the Huskies against 11 wins. Like Boise St., Northern Illinois goes up an extra spot for playing an extra game. If I averaged by playing week, they would have stayed behind Louisville.
In addition to my blog linked to above, I also have a page on Facebook and am on twitter @TheBayouBlogger.
PAC 12. Well, Oregon swatted away Arizona Friday Night 51-13. Jerry was in the stands enjoying the game at Levi’s and he said it was a blast.
SEC. So, Alabama jammed up Missouri. What a shock. They’re in.
Big 12. TCU ran up in Iowa State 55-3 or whatever and trust me, while I absolutely HATE running up the score, it was absolutely needed - but the bottom line here is they lost to Baylor, who apparently beat K-State which had the talking heads yapping all night long. But again, what are we looking at here in this conference? Baylor is the Champions - there is no such thing as "Co-Champs" when one team wins head-to-head. Pull your head out of your ass Big 12.
ACC. Once again, Florida State got by a very tough Georgia Tech team. Question is will that squeaker be enough to keep thim in the top 4. It kills me to say this, but if we're gonna penalize teams for scrub schedules, Florida State should be held accountable too, and really while it would hurt me as a fan in the short term, it might actually force that program to evaluate a whole lot of crap in their program, especially their schedule.
Big 10. Ohio State literally destroyed Wisconsin - big shock there right - they had to? Look, here's the question with the Big 10 - when are the rest of the programs going to figure out that the one thing that will help them immediately is speed? Urban Meyer may be an opportunist, but he saw the opening and new he wasn't going to lose in the Big 10 if he instilled his speed offense in Columbus.
"Lower Six". Props to Marshall, Northern Illinois, and Boise State for winning theirs. Memo to NCAA D-1 - if the "Power Five" are gonna have a playoff, why not the champs of the "lower six"?
CFB Playoff Official. Well, here we go: (1) Alabama vs. (4) Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, which is in essence a home game for Bama. (2) Oregon vs. (3) Florida State in the Rose Bowl, which is pretty darn close to a home game for Oregon.
It's clear to me how this thing is gonna work - the big name programs get the benefit of the doubt, the up and comers don't. It's also clear to me that ESPiN has major lobbying power in this thing and it concerns me. When nearly all of ESPiN is going on TV and radio all night Saturday screaming that Ohio State deserves to get in, then you've got a problem. Who advocates for the up and comers and the Big 12?
The Big 12 got screwed - but they had a hand in it themselves, and while Herbstreit is a hypocritical SOB, he's right - the cupcakes are what is killing teams. Everybody plays cupcakes, but the Big 12 schools ARE NOT gonna get the benefit of the doubt over the established programs. But I wonder - what if it was Texas and Oklahoma rather than TCU and Baylor how the committee would have ruled.
Memo to talking heads, games in the early part of the season should be counted - so ESPiN, stop spinning that Ohio States loss was "a century ago" - the fact is they lost to a 6-6 team, and the ONLY reason Ohio State got into the dance was based on name and legacy.
CFB – Army/Navy. I talk about this year after year, and everybody has their “go to” CFB rivalry game. But for my money, this is THE rivalry in CFB. It has contributed so much to the history and tradition of CFB. Yeah, I know in general that neither team is attractive since prior to 1970. And this year it’s worse as Navy is only 6-5 and Army is awful, but for one game, we get to go back in time and watch a bit of history and at the same time honor our future leaders.
While kind of irritated about some things I found out this week...
Follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
In last week's column, I included a link to a story detailing the struggles of former Buffalo Bills player Darryl Talley. The story prompted a surge of support for Talley with money being raised to help him out. It culminated during the Bills' player introductions last Sunday as former star QB Jim Kelley showed his support by wearing Talley's jersey. You can read a brief article about it HERE.
Former Minnesota Vikings QB legend Fran Tarkenton had some interesting things to say about Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, PEDS and Robert Griffin III in this interview with Jenny Vrentas of TheMMQB.com
New England Patriots - The Patriots squared off against the Packers last Sunday night and despite an overall entertaining football game, came away with a 26-21 loss. there was a lot of talk about how this could be a preview of the Super Bowl. I really hope it isn't, at least in terms of how the Patriots played. I know it is only a five point loss so it isn't like the Patriots weren't in the game. But there were a lot of issues with the Patriots as the game progressed.
The running game was abandoned early by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and finished with just 84 yards on the ground total. This despite the fact that LeGarrette Blount ran for over 5 yards a carry when he got the ball. Brandon Bolden (shown below) added a nice 6 yard TD run though.
The Packers had their way with the Patriots defense for a majority of the game. It may not led to as many points as they wanted because the Patriots stiffened up as the Packers approached the red zone (particularly during the first half), but Green Bay rolled up 347 yards in total offense in the first half. They finished with 478 total yards to New England's 320. Aaron Rodgers threw for 282 yards in the first half (368 for the game). He also passed for two touchdowns.
The Patriots did rack up 3 sacks but otherwise seemed to have trouble generating a pass rush. Late in the first half, Aaron Rodgers actually had 12 seconds of perfect protection before having to throw the ball away. And the Patriots could not get off the field on third down with the Packers converting a ridiculous 10 of 17 3rd down opportunities.
It wasn't all bad news for the Patriots though, setting aside the loss I mean. Tom Brady threw for 245 yards and hit Brandon LaFell (see below) for 2 TDs. Julian Edelman caught 7 passes and Rob Gronkowski tallied 98 yards on his 7 catches.
Speaking of LaFell, anyone else notice that he's been developing into a vital cog in the Patriots offense? At the start of the season, he kicked things off much like Chad Johnson did during his year with the Patriots. He struggled, didn't seem in sync with Brady and was likely still trying to fully grasp the playbook. But unlike Johnson, LaFell turned the corner and has become a reliable threat for Brady and the team to use in the passing game.
You gotta love when hard work and effort start paying off!
As the season heads into conference title games and the countdown to finding out which bowls will get which teams, the silly season of coaching hirings and firings got into full swing with Nebraska, Florida and Michigan making the biggest news.
In Nebraska, they fired Bo Pelini after 7 years of at least 9 wins a season. Despite that success, the blowout losses and inability to contend much less win titles was enough to force the surly and prickly Pelini out of Lincoln. Barney Cotton will be the interim coach for the team's bowl game but the school wasted little time in hiring Pelini's replacement. Despite managing just a 5-7 record this year at Oregon State, Mike Riley is still considered a hot enough property that Nebraska lured him away from the Beavers. He has taken over immediately.
This last thing raises the spectre of a subject I have harped on before. And that is the notion of coaches finishing a job. I hate when coaches leave before a job is finished. For me that includes a bowl game appearance. Since the Beavers are ineligible this year, I have no truck with Riley. But I kind of dislike that Pelini wasn't allowed to coach HIS team for the bowl game. You could fire the guy after the bowl game, it isn't like his dismissal would've been much of a surprise.
Brady Hoke's firing at Michigan was pretty much a foregone conclusion as well. With the Wolverines not even close to a bowl game, they essentially just ran out the string on Hoke's four year tenure, fired him and then released a BS statement filled with as much malarkey as they could to make you wonder why they were firing him in the first place. The losing culture that was taking hold and failure to develop offensive players was a big reason why Big Blue is looking for a new coach. And the new AD has already stated that the school will not be using "A Michigan Man" as a measuring stick for candidates this time around.
Florida hired Colorado State coach Jim McElwain to be their new coach. It could very well be a great hire as McElwain is from the Nick Saban coaching tree and likes to use the Saban blueprint "The Process" to build his programs as well. Something tells me the SEC is going to be VERY interesting next season.
But what bugs me here is that not only did McElwain leave Colorado State in the lurch (a very Saban-like move, remember the Dolphins?) but he and Florida acted like CSU should just roll over and play dead for his desire to leave. In his contract, there was a 7.5 million dollar buyout clause. And instead of abiding to the terms of the contract, The McElwain-Florida Syndicate acted like they were trying to shake down CSU to pay less for him to get out of his deal.
For a while, Colorado State held firm to the terms of the clause but in the end they gave in a little. The buyout was whittled down to 5 million dollars. Florida will pay 3 million of that cost while McElwain will pay the remainder. And McElwain did himself no favors in the eyes of his Rams players while all this was going on. Their focus should've been on preparing for the bowl game they'll be playing and instead they had to watch the coach who preached at them about accountability whore himself out for a better offer. As if Florida couldn't have waited a month for a new coach, they've been waiting for a good one since Urban Meyer left.
Despite all that coaching news, the worst story to come out of college football this past week was that the University of Alabama-Birmingham shut down their football program in full. The team had their best season in years (6-6) and were bowl eligible. While they were likely going to be left out of a bowl game because there aren't enough slots for the qualified teams and they lose out in those unnavigable tiebreakers, even if they had been invited, the school wasn't going to send them.
I fully grasp the financial aspects of a losing football team being a drain on a school's coffers, so I understand the decision to shutter the program. But the way the decision was arrived at and then announced was a demonstration of how utterly gutless school officials and athletic administrators truly are. They left those players hung out to dry and despite public protestations to the opposite, did it in such a callous and unfeeling way that you have to wonder why any player would believe them ever again.
Alabama - The Crimson Tide simply rolled over Missouri during yesterday's SEC championship game, coming out with a 42-13 victory. The win pretty much guarantees Bama a spot in the college football playoff.
The Tigers got dominated in most every statistical category (save passing yards). Alabama outgained them 504-313, including a 242-41 edge in rushing yards.
Blake Sims (shown below) was 23-27 for 262 yards with two TD passes while setting the single season passing yardage record, passing A.J. McCarron.
Christion Jones caught one of those TD passes while DeAndrew White had 4 catches for 101 yards (including a 58 yard TD catch, shown below). Amari Cooper caught 12 passes on the game as well.
Derrick Henry (shown below) ran for a career high 141 yards and 2 scores. T.J. Yeldon added two TD runs of his own.
At 12-1, the SEC Champion Alabama Crimson Tide are sure to keep their #1 ranking in the playoff system when the new rankings come out.
There was some sad news this week as it seems the condition of Mount Saint Joseph's Lauren Hill has started to worsen. She signed up for hospice care this week. You can read this article for more details.
In good news, the tickets I ordered for the Boston College women's basketball games arrived in the mail yesterday. WHOO HOO!
For some recaps, photos and video of games played earlier this week, check out my Mid-Week College Basketball Round Up blog post.
Catholic University - While the Cardinals improved to 4-3 with their 75-69 victory over Moravian, Amber didn't see any court time in the game.
Missouri State - After starting the season 0-6, Missouri State picked up their first win of the season in their home opener. They knocked off SIU-Edwardsville 75-69. Lexi Hughes (pictured below) scored a career high 22 points to lead the team and Hillary Chvatal added 15 points and 10 boards. Kenzie Williams had 14 points, Aubrey Buckley hit for 11 points and NiJay Gaines finished with 10 points.
Boston College Men - The Eagles hosted the Providence College Friars on Friday night. My buddy Brian, the rabid PC alum and Friars season ticket holder, went to the game and probably went home very disappointed as the Eagles got a surprising 69-60 win. I had talked to Brian in the morning before the game and he was pretty confident that the Friars could win the game. I did tell him that the Eagles had three really good scorers on the team this year. We both agreed that it would be a close game though.
The game was tied at 34 at halftime. In the second half, the Eagles were tied at 40 when they went on a 7-0 run to take a 47-40 lead and never trailed again as they improved to 4-3. The Eagles outrebounded Providence 41-28.
Olivier Hanlan (shown below 1st) had a huge game with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals (he also led the team with 5 turnovers). Aaron Brown (shown 2nd) added 16 points and 7 boards while Dimitri Batten scored 11 points.
(Photos from BC Game Photo Gallery)
You can see highlights of the game below.
Does a second straight week of going 1-1 in my fantasy leagues count as an improvement?
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Wareham Girls Varsity - I had time off from work on Friday afternoon and ended up attending the Wareham girls scrimmage vs. West Bridgewater. After looking over the schedule of games I want to attend this year, I saw that West Bridgewater would be a team I'd see three times during the season, so getting an early look at them was a good idea. And with the Wareham varsity team appearing to have 6 former players of mine on the roster, it was also a good idea to check them out.
Unfortunately, as you might expect for a first scrimmage, the quality of play from both teams was incredibly ragged. While there was some good sequences over the course of the scrimmage, for the most part it was some ugly basketball that exposed early season team building flaws on both sides.
For West Bridgewater, they are rebuilding after losing four seniors. The majority of their height is gone as well. For Wareham, they lost four seniors who accounted for the majority of their scoring. From what I saw, they only have two true ball handlers on the team and they had trouble finding Wareham's center during the game. Pass after pass got picked off or deflected.
One bright spot for me personally was seeing my ex-player Gabby knock down 4 out of 6 three pointers in the game. She's probably not going to start out the season as a starter on varsity but she did make the team and will see plenty of time.
Bristol-Plymouth Girls Varsity - I was informed earlier in the week by her mom that Savahna had made varsity. That part wasn't really a surprise given that she's a senior, but I was happily surprised to learn that Savahna was also picked as a tri-captain for the season. It is nice to see her dedication to playing getting some recognition. The team has a new coach this year so I'll be looking forward to seeing what the coaching change might bring about for the team's success and any potential individual success for Savahna.
Remember the buzz around Little League pitcher Mo'ne Davis this summer? She took her team to the Little League World Series and set the world on fire with her performance throughout the qualifying rounds and during her time in Williamsport. For her efforts, she's been named SIKids.com's Sports Kid of the Year. You can read more HERE.
As for youth sports news related to me, I ran into the new president of the youth basketball league here in town. It wasn't the guy they announced would be president. Instead it is Big Mack, the Alabama football fan I've written about briefly in the past (he gets great Alabama BBQ for Bama title game viewing parties). I joked with him, asking did he lose a bet and had to become president. He took the ribbing good naturedly and said that he wanted to get me back in the league. He added he wanted to get me back to running the website, coaching two teams, etc.
I laughed and said (for the umpteenth time, to the umpteenth person) that I was retired and not coming back. Undeterred Mack added he wanted to get me back for the 2015-2016 season (while also mentioning the petty infighting he has to deal with) and that I love coaching the kids.
While that may be true, as I wrote on my Facebook page, I just can't stomach the notion of re-entering the rat race particularly given that people I loathe are still involved with the league. I did my 25 years, and just don't have a desire to go back. It is too bad because I like Mack but I'm simply done. One person who responded on the page said that it was nice to be wanted and that it was too bad I didn't want to go back because I was a good coach and role model.
The columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and panelist on The Sports Reporters passed away this week after a short battle with cancer. I came across his writing via the columns he wrote for the USA Today. I also saw him numerous times on The Sports Reporters. I liked his work, though I really haven't kept up with him once he joined the Post-Dispatch and stopped writing for the USA Today. He had both a literary voice in his work and an ear catching speaking voice he employed so well as a panelist.
You can read more about his passing and see a tribute video from a couple of his colleagues HERE.
Pardon The Interruption host Michael Wilbon had a nice post on his Facebook page about Burwell's passing. Burwell's co-worker at the Post-Dispatch, Bernie Miklasz, penned a heartfelt column as well.
TV - This past week saw a two part crossover event between the shows The Flash and Arrow. Pop-topia.com recapped both episodes: The Flash V. Arrow and The Brave and the Bold. The midseason finale of The Flash is this coming Tuesday and the writer responsible for the episode recaps offers up some theories on the identity of the Reverse Flash, a character that will loom large in this week's episode.
Comics - As a huge fan of the Firefly / Serenity universe, I was very happy to see that the graphic novel collection of the recent comic book series Serenity: Leaves on the Wind had hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. You can read about that HERE.
Music - As the year winds down, the Best of Lists for every conceivable topic will be coming out. I've got two best of music lists that will be out soon. My choices for rock and metal CDs of the year will be for KNAC.com where I am a contributor. The other list includes music genres amongst the rock and metal. That is for the Classic Rock Bottom message board where I'm one of the voting members for our year end awards as well. Those will all be out sometime in mid-December.
In the meantime, I've got a couple of CD reviews for you to check out. They were the last two remaining albums I had for the 2014 calendar year. You can check out what I had to say about Tesla's Simplicity album via this KNAC.com link. As for what I thought about the Joe Bonamassa CD Different Shades of Blue, here's the link to my Pop-topia.com review.
Some rare footage of the band Night Ranger was posted on Youtube this past week. It is from 1981 when they were still called Ranger. It's a nearly 25 minute concert performance. You can see it below.
WHOA DOGGIE!!! Lovin' that Bird. Welcome Gabbers & others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. Is that a pretty car or what? Only ever saw these at car shows and not the red ones. Can you believe Richard Petty actually drove one of these in NASCAR races? Now THAT'S race on Sunday, buy on Monday advertisement.
Only 77 days, 15 hours and too many minutes till the Daytona 500. Sigh....
This was championship week in Las Vegas for the 16 Chasers. They got to do their burn out on the strip which seems to be a big hit for the drivers. They can't believe they'd be allowed to do donuts and burn rubber patches on the street. After the lap they do a talk show for the fans. Lots of verbal zingers being thrown around at each other. Marty Smith hosted it this year and they were quick to zing a few at him as well.
I didn't watch this year but if there's replays on You Tube I may have to watch. There was the awards banquet where Kevin Harvick did his speech. He brought his son with. Cutest 2 year old. I did catch a lot of the festivities on Twitter. Great sourse for newsy type stuff.
Dale Jr won the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award.......again.....for the 12th year in a row. The fans votes have spoken. He said it didn't feel real.
Harvicks pit crew was named most valuable pit crew. Keselowski got the pole position award. Lots of awards to go around.
Tony Stewart had surgery on his leg for the 4th time to replace the steel rod. He left for Vegas. Co-owner Gene Haas did the honors of speech's for that trophy Harvick brought in. He was proud of the fact that both Stewart and Harvick won the last race to get their championships.
Brandon Marshal sent a picture of the tubes they took out of his chest on Twitter. Guess he's doing better. I think I could've done without that update picture. The Twitter picture is pretty cool though. Looks almost like an old timey tv set. Would've been cool if they put rabbit ears on it.
I guess the new joke is every body is trying to bust the internet. Elliott Sadler did his take on Ms Kar-trashians butt photo. Glad he didn't decide to wear the dress too.
So this would be Marcos Ambrose's new ride in Australia. He races in the Sidney 500 this weekend in the V8 Supercars Series. I kind of like this car better than the stock cars...cough cough cough...that NASCAR runs. Bet that baby handles WAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY better and is a whole lot more fun to drive. Marcos says he's ready to kick butt and get DJR/Team Penske to championship form.
Good luck Marcos.
AJ Foyt has finally been released from the hospital. He went in November 7th for triple by pass surgery and ended up with a lung issue. They had him on a ventilator so his lungs could heal. He will be 80 in January. He's happy to be home and says he's got a ways to go but he'll be ok.
Richard & Kyle petty got persons of the year award for their work getting Victory Junction up and running. It opened up in 2004. A hospital disguised as a camp for kids. It has served 20,000 kids and their families from 50 states and several countries free of charge. It was adam's dream that kids that were sick would be able to go to camp and not worry about their illness getting in the way of camp activities.
Adam was Kyle's son. He was an up and coming driver with promise when an accident during practice took his life. The Petty's built Victory Junction in his honor.
This year is the 10th anniversary for Victory Junction.
So here's a few facts of life. Besides paying your taxes and dying, I guess there's more to it than that.....
Sorry this was so short but my creativity was squashed due to whatever illness is trying to take over my body. Nasty head ache, chills and a runny nose. Every body at work has been passing it around and of course it's now my turn. Enjoy the pictures.