While wondering if she really missed me with that "Where have you been?" comment or just wondered where I'd gotten to on general principle...
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
The Higher Standard?
It made the national news broadcast and even got a front page link on Yahoo and Sports Illustrated. But I'm not sure how many people really read about the story of the Lunenburg football team forfeited the rest of their season (two games) after a player's home was vandalized with racist graffiti.
While it has been strongly suggested that some of the team was involved, there has been no confirmation about this at all. And they are of course painting the whole team with the brush of racism instead of trying to find out if there were players involved AND which ACTUAL players.
Of course, the last of the two games being canceled is the Thanksgiving Day game. Now, don't think I'm not sympathetic to the idea of anyone being targeted over their race. Of course I am. But I think a little common sense should've prevailed here.
And that should have included NO forfeiting of games. Unless you can say who did what, why are you effectively punishing everyone? You know, including the innocent that everyone purports to be protective of.
The targeted player's father was quoted as saying it was right that the game was canceled. To that I say, "BS!"
While your kid should not be subjected to such idiocy, aiding and abetting the idiocy by canceling a game that the innocent parties were looking forward to is ignorant as well.
I look at it this way. For many high school seniors, the Thanksgiving Day game is their last game. They went through four years and that last Turkey Day game is their "Senior Moment".
And I'll tell you, if it was me that got denied the chance to play that one last game over something I didn't do, I'd be raising holy or unholy hell.
Sure I know people will say that I'm not supportive of the kid who got targeted. But the fact of the matter is now I would be the one being targeted. I'm being looked up as guilty by assumed association. And we all know what happens when you assume...
By canceling the game, you are holding the innocent parties to the lower standards of the morons who painted the graffiti in the first place. And for me, that is a HUGE problem. It seems everything these days is solved by cutting and running, instead of confronting said issue.
I used to coach in the community I live in. Besides having a yearly background check, you are effectively held to a higher standard or at least should be. And I had no problem with that. But I despise the notion of being held accountable for something I didn't do and so should those Lunenburg players.
It is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure option people. Will you allow yourself to be held to a lower standard of expectations or aspire to the Higher Standard?
Speaking of lower standards, is there any way for Alex Rodriguez to become more of a pansy in the eyes of the public? Is there yet another new low for this repugnant piece of filth to discover?
From the successor to all that was good and worth honoring in the history of baseball to pariah beyond measure. That is how far he has fallen so far.
And after his prima donna performance of a childish temper tantrum at the arbitration hearing and staged radio interview this week, if there is anyone out there who thinks that he isn't both guilty and a total tool, you really need to be given an actual lobotomy to go along with your metaphorical one.
And now for a palate cleanser from the distasteful leadoff to the column. I went 2-0 in the fantasty football matchups last week. I'm in third place in one league and fourth place in the other. It was a good week that featured a come from behind Monday win in one of the leagues.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
As everyone else has written over the course of the last week, the Patriots got hosed but good on Monday Night Football last week. Because I have a jam packed Monday TV schedule, I was watching my regular programs and only caught bits and pieces of the game until the final 8 minutes or so of the 4th quarter.
But since it really all came down to the very last play of the game, I can't say I missed most of what was worth watching.
I know that Carolina was on their hot streak and looking to continue it. I know the Patriots were looking to continue to establish themselves as a top rung team despite lower rung talent.
And for the most part, everyone got to see a real heavyweight battle. And let me be clear, the Panthers were the better team on the night. They did outplay the Patriots. And of course New England helped by redefining what it means to not tackle properly, well or even at all.
But the makeup of the game before the final play became moot because of said final play. The crowd in attendance and the viewing audience at home all saw it. Luke Kuechly should've been penalized for holding Rob Gronkowski in the end zone. Or pass interference. Or faceguarding.
Oh wait, he was penalized. The back judge threw the flag. But then all hell broke loose when the rest of the crew browbeat him into taking back the flag. Which was preposterous!
Explanations from both sides of the call were quickly given but anyone who watches the video knew the truth. And those arguing in favor of no penalty should be immediately fired for incompetence.
There's no saying that the Patriots would've won the game with the untimed down and one final play they should've gotten. It's 50-50 no matter how you look at it. But they should've gotten the chance.
Most of America was happy that the Patriots got screwed because they hate New England. And that's fine. But the next time THEIR team gets screwed by a bad call (that the league actually tried to spin and defend as being correct), don't come crying to me.
Of course, Tom Brady's comment to referee Clete Blakman is probably the best summation of the end of the game: "That was F**king horrible, Clete".
The Celtics have officially cratered. After the four game losing streak to start the season and then a four game win streak. They've now lost 6 straight games, including three in the past week.
They went on the road to Texas where they went 0-2 with a loss to the Houston Rockets (which I read one article that said the team embarrassed themselves and the uniform). It probably says something when your leading scorer is the point guard off the bench Courtney Lee (17 points). But anyway you look at it, a 109-85 loss against a team that has that hack Dwight Howard on it, is bad.
When you follow that up with a loss to the San Antonio Spurs (104-93), you just hope you can get the hell out of Texas. There was a bit more of a concerted effort that produced some individual results at least. Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley each scored 19 points. Sullinger also added a career high 17 rebounds. But a loss is a loss.
On Friday night, Boston played the Indiana Pacers. Other than the Miami Heat, Indiana is probably the best team in the league both on paper and on the court. And the Pacers showed the Celtics their place in the pecking order, coming away with a 97-82 victory.
Jordan Crawford had 24 points and Jeff Green actually strung together two high scoring games with a 20 point performance. Sullinger added 13 points.
A 4-10 record pretty much reveals just how good or bad a team is. And that good feeling of 4-4 has completely evaporated. It wasn't entirely unexpected, but you can't blame a guy for hoping the team would be better than projected.
But for a change I don't have to end a section about the Celtics on a down note. After 6 straight losses, the Celtics close out their week on a high note. They took on the Atlanta Hawks last night and despite trailing by 10 points at the start of the 4th quarter, blew the doors off the Hawks in that last frame (30-13) and took the 94-87 win. The win ups their record to 5-10.
The Celtics were keyed by Brandon Bass. He returned to the starting lineup and finished the game with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. All five starters, plus Vitor Faverani off the bench, hit double figures. Jeff Green hit for 16 points, Jared Sullinger had 15 points and 9 boards and Jordan Crawford had 12 points and 10 assists.
For fans of the classic days of pro wrestling it was a sad bit of news this week. Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon passed away at the age of 84. Besides his 13,000 match professional career, he also represented Canada in the 1948 Olympics.
Remember the Duke lacrosse rape scandal? The one where the accuser turned out to be a liar of epic proportions? Well, it seems that she is now on her way to jail. She was convicted second degree murder.
Everyone immediately assumed she was telling the truth when the Duke story broke and it turned out she was less believable than Alex Rodriguez. But nothing really happened to her despite multiple chances to nail her for her lies.
After EA Sports and College Licensing Co. settled their portion of the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit, I suppose it was a matter of time before the National Communists Against Athletes...err...the NCAA turned on them like they do on the athletes they claim to care about and represent.
They've filed a lawsuit against EA Sports and CLC saying "CLC failed to adequately supervise EA Sports, subjecting the NCAA to “potential liability in several lawsuits currently being litigated relating to EA’s alleged use of NCAA student athletes’ names, images, and likenesses in EA’s NCAA-themed video games.”
In today's crazy story of the week comes the news of one of the most successful high school girls basketball coaches in the country resigning after, I kid you not, biting one of his players on her face.
Do you remember the teen queen singer from the 1980's Debbie Gibson? I certainly do. I am a hard rock and heavy metal guy for the most part, but in moments of niceness, I was a fan of Debbie Gibson. I still have some of her albums too.
Well, she was apparently brought out to perform at the New York Knicks game on November 14th. And the now 42 year old Debbie Gibson totally rocked a sparkly teeny tiny leotard for her performance. So totally yummy!
My favorite basketball player, Katie Smith, retired at the end of this past season. I was on the lookout for a new favorite team since I supported whichever team she was playing for. I moderately supported the Chicago Sky because ex-Boston College star Carolyn Swords is on the team. And while I will still do that, it looks like I'll be staying to root for the New York Liberty as well.
It's a bit funny that both Smith and Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd begin their coaching careers in New York and both with no prior coaching experience. Although at least Smith has the sense to begin learning the ropes as an assistant.
Back when both were Olympic athletes, they once shared a trading card!
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
It was a big week for the teams that I follow in college basketball but not all in a good way.
Hartford - The Hawks got trounced by Providence 79-53. They committed a season high 25 turnovers and shot just 33.3% from the floor. Morgan Lumb (pictured below) had a team high 11 points while Deanna Mayza and Cherelle Moore added 10 points apiece.
You can check out highlights of the game and postgame comments from coach Jennifer Rizzotti in the video below.
The team followed the loss to the Lady Friars with a 63-59 loss to UMass. The loss drops the Hawks to 1-3 on the season.
Amber Bepko (15 points and 9 boards) and Cherelle Moore (10 points) combined to lead Hartford's offense. But they got out rebounded 41-32.
Highlights of the game and the post game press conference are below.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears fell to 1-3 on the season with two losses this week.
Against IUPUI, they fell 76-65 despite 16 points from Kenzie Williams (who was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week). Tyonna Snow had 12 points and 6 boards while Bry Snow had 10 points and 6 boards. Hannah Wilkerson (pictured below) had 10 points.
Friday night's game against Arkansas was a 78-44 blowout in favor of the Razorbacks. The Bears shot just 26.9% from the floor. Tyonna Snow had 14 points to lead MSU in scoring. Kenzie Williams added 12 points.
Tennessee Lady Vols - The Lady Vols ran their record to 4-0 with an 87-76 win over Georgia Tech this week. Bashaara Graves (pictured below) had 23 points and a career high 18 rebounds to power the Lady Vols to the win. Meighan Simmons added 13 points and Mercedes Russell had 14. Isabelle Harrison finished with 10 points and had a career high 18 rebounds.
The team's 65 rebounds is the most they had in one game since 1996.
Meanwhile, Ariel Massengale was named both SEC and NCAA player of the week.
On Friday, the school held the dedication ceremony for Pat Summitt Plaza where they unveiled a statue of Summitt. I'm not crazy about the look on the statue's face, but you can't say Summitt wasn't worthy of the immortalization.
A couple of blowout games caught my eye when I saw the final scores. North Carolina became bowl eligible by beating Old Dominion 80-20. The game saw UNC set all-time school records for points and touchdowns (11) in a game and total yards (721). The game was such a blowout that the 4th quarter was shortened to just 10 minutes.
QB Marquise Williams (pictured below) had 409 passing yards, 5 TD passes (all in the first half) and ran for 60 more yards.
Coastal Carolina was 10-0 going into today's game with #12 South Carolina, but that was a thing of the past by the end of the game. It was 70-10 in favor of Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks.
It was the most points put up by South Carolina since Spurrier took over the program. QB Connor Shaw (pictured below) played less than 1 quarter of action as the South Carolina rolled up 639 yards of total offense. He had one passing TD and one rushing score.
It is simply another case of one team not belonging on the same field as the other. I'm actually amazed Coastal Carolina put any points on the board.
And just when you thought that might be the biggest blowout of the weekend, Florida State comes along and in the looming shadow of the possible Jameis Winston criminal case, just blew the doors off Idaho 80-14.
Oh, and in the annual Harvard-Yale clash "The Game", Harvard rolled to a 34-7 win.
Alabama - Heading into next week's big SEC showdown in the Iron Bowl with Auburn, the Crimson Tide got their game on with outclassed Chattanooga. The final score was 49-0.
A.J. McCarron (pictured below), playing his final home game, left the game after the first drive of the second half. He became 36-2 as a starter, breaking the tie he was in with Jay Barker. He threw for 171 yards and 2 TDs (one to Kevin Norwood and one to Amari Cooper).
Kenyan Drake ran for 77 yards and a score (which is shown below), but T.J. Yeldon appeared to have the day off as he didn't appear in the box score.
It was the third shutout of the season for Alabama and their special teams blocked a field goal attempt by Chattanooga. The defense picked off one pass and recovered a fumble.
BOSTON COLLEGE NOTEBOOK
Women's Soccer - The women's soccer team knocked off #10 Nebraska 4-1 on Friday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The win advances BC to the Sweet 16 for the 9th time in school history.
They will play Illinois today at 2 pm.
Women's Hockey - After the team's 6-2 win over UConn yesterday, they are now 11-3-1 on the season.
Women's Volleyball - After dropping consecutive matches 3-0 to Georgia Tech and Clemson, the team falls to 9-21 on the season.
Men's Basketball - It was a relatively successful week for the Eagles. Things started off with the team notching their first win of the season. They beat Florida Atlantic 82-79 behind 38 points from Olivier Hanlan. Joe Rahon added 17 points and 7 boards.
Against #18 UConn, the Eagles missed out on an upset with the Huskies escaping 72-70. Ryan Anderson had 22 points and 7 rebounds in the game while Hanlan (pictured below) added 19 points. Alex Dragicevich finished with 10 points.
On Friday night, BC knocked off Washington 89-78 in a game that saw them hit 8 out of 11 three pointers in the first half. Joe Rahon (pictured below) led the team with 22 points (including 4 of those first half 3's). Hanlan had 20 points and Anderson added 18 points and 7 rebounds. Lonnie Jackson was the fourth Eagle to hit double figures in scoring, finishing with 10 points.
The team is now 2-4 on the season.
Football - The football team picked up their 7th win of the season yesterday. They edged out Maryland 29-26 with a stunning comeback. They were trailing 24-13 but a 72 yard TD run from Andre Williams and a 74 yard TD pass from Chase Rettig to Alex Amidon (where Amidon was EMBARRASSINGLY wide open) gave the Eagles the lead in the game. The Terrapins ran back a blocked PAT 104 yards for a 2 point conversion to tie the game. But Nate Freese kicked the game winning field goal as time expired and the Eagles got to celebrate!
It was a miserable day for Chase Rettig in the passing game outside of that long TD to Amidon. He went 6-14 on the day with 119 yards. But he was picked off once and lost a fumble.
Once again, along with Freese using his leg to put points on the board, it was Andre Williams (pictured below) being the horse for BC. He had 263 rushing yards on 32 carries and scored twice. It must be said again, he should be a legitimate Heisman award candidate.
Women's Basketball - The week started off with a Monday press conference with coach Erik Johnson.
Before heading off to play 3 games in the Cancun Challenge this coming week, the Eagles took care of business when they hosted FIU at Conte Forum. They came away with an 89-69 win that saw Kristen Doherty score 19 points and grab 5 rebounds. The point total pushed her over the 1,000 point mark for her career. She went 9-9 from the foul line where she is shooting 92.9% for the season thus far.
Nicole Boudreau finished with 14 points on 4-5 shooting from three point range. Kelly Hughes had 12 points (three 3-pointers). Kat Cooper got her first star and responded with 11 points and a career high 8 rebounds. Lauren Engeln added a career high 7 assists.
BC is now 2-2 on the season.
The post game presser is below:
In BC women's hoop alumni news, Kerri Shields scored 18 points to lead her Ulster Rockets (Belfast) team to a 73-62 win over the Meteors (Dublin) in the Ireland Premiere League. The Rockets are 2-3 on the season.
Kerri is on the left in the picture below:
XMAS - I watched another Hallmark Xmas movie last night. It premiere last weekend but I didn't get to see it then. It's called Catch a Christmas Star and starred Shannon Elizabeth as a famous singer who ends up meeting up with the guy who was her high school sweetheart. Leaving aside the bad special effects work, the story wasn't all that bad. Until the end when preposterous is the best way to describe how the resolution came about.
I'm in the midst of holiday shopping. I am trying to be done as early as possible so I don't have to go to the stores during the "Official Holiday Shopping" times.
And of course, on Tuesday November 26th, I'll be glued to my TV which will be tuned to CBS. Nope, it isn't a new episode of NCIS. Instead, it is the traditional airing of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that I'll be watching.
I know my Scrooge like demeanor will have many wondering what I could be thinking watching the annual holiday classic. But I love the special and of course own it on DVD (well, technically my mother owns it) but it is the one holiday show that I make a point of insisting on watching on TV with the commercials every year.
And despite my inability to carry a tune, I happily (though badly) sing along with all the songs as well.
TV - The 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who aired yesterday. And it was really quite fantastic. It celebrated the entire history of the series while simultaneously telling a good story that retconned a major event without seeming a cheat. And it featured a huge cameo from a former Doctor.
It was a blast to watch and I can't wait to see how things go from this point forward. The Christmas special is bound to be amazing.
By the way, if you plan to watch it, there was a prequel webisode I posted in last week's Sunday Musings that you can check out. But here's another one that you should watch as well.
And it seems with the global simulcast, the whole world was in on the big celebratory event. Google even had their webpage done over to feature Doctor Who and had a little game you could play as well. (I did, and managed to win it.)
Movies - The release of The Hunger Games - Catching Fire is this weekend. I saw the first movie and I wasn't all that impressed. It was fine to watch one time but nothing much beyond that. Of course, I might see this second movie. Not because I have any burning (sorry, pun not intended) desire to continue with the story, but it seems one of my favorite actresses is in the movie. I've been a fan of Jena Malone since I saw her debut in the TV movie Bastard Out of Carolina.
She plays Johanna Mason (didn't read the books, don't know much about the character).
Books - I picked up a couple of new books this week. I got the new Janet Evanovich paperback Notorious Nineteen. It's another in her Stephanie Plum series. And I got the Iris Johansen thriller Hunting Eve. It's the immediate followup to Taking Eve a special three book trilogy story featuring her forensic sculptor character Eve Duncan.
Music - Ex-Ozzy and Badlands guitarist Jake E. Lee is coming back to the music scene after a long absence. His new project is called Red Dragon Cartel. The debut album is due out in January 2014, but you can check out the lyric video for the song "Feeder" (guest vocal by Cheap Trick's Robin Zander) below.
It's funny how a week changes things isn't it? Last Sunday morning, I woke up still jazzed up over the Celtics beating the Heat at the buzzer on Saturday night. This Sunday morning I woke up with kind of a pit in my stomach over the now once again reduced fortunes of the Green.
The Celtics continued their winning ways earlier this week. They ran off a 120-105 win over Orlando for their fourth straight win (and second in just a few days over the Magic). Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Crawford had 16 points apiece to lead the Celtics.
But something happened on the way to the Celtics becoming surprising world-beaters. They completely imploded in their next three games. The players themselves admitted that they didn't get "up" for the game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Judging by the lazy way they lost 89-83, you won't find anyone that will argue with their collective statement.
On Friday night, the Portland Trailblazers came to Boston and left with a 109-96 victory, their first in Boston since 2004. Jared Sullinger had a big game with 26 points and 8 boards.
But things got really bad in last night's matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Celtics suffered their worst defeat of the season with the 106-88 loss and "watched" as three players for the T-Wolves put up at least 20 points in the game (amongst a total of 5 players in double figures for Minnesota).
Jeff Green was his maddeningly inconsistent self, finishing with just 2 points (foul shots) on the night. Consistency seems to be a word that just cannot make its way into his basketball vocabulary.
It was Avery Bradley's 27 points that led the offense for Boston. Brandon Bass added 15 points and 7 boards. Jordan Crawford had 10 points, but if he's to be taken seriously as a point guard, he's going to need to do a hell of a lot better than a 5 assist, 3 turnover line.
Vitor Faverani had a decent statistical night for the Celtics. He had 9 points, a game high 14 rebounds, three steals and 4 blocked shots. The yeoman like work he's putting in is the kind of thing I would think Celtics fans would really appreciate. But this is the first time I can remember writing anything about him after the opening game of the season, so he might need to develop some level of statistical consistency as well.
I forgot to mention the Mass Maritime game from last week. They beat Plymouth State 46-44. My ex-player E.J. caught 2 passes for 50 yards and a TD.
In their game today, the 35th Annual Cranberry Bowl, they lost to Bridgewater State 45-20. E.J. caught 6 passes for 90 yards. The loss closes out their regular season at 6-4.
E.J.'s final regular season numbers were 9 games, 60 catches for 849 yards and 10 TDs. The 60 catches breaks his own single season receptions record at the school.
It was a big day for the otherwise pathetic Kansas Jayhawks. They hosted West Virginia and came away with a 31-19 win that I'd wager to guess stunned even themselves. James Sims (pictured below) ran for 211 yards and 3 TDs as Kansas picked up just their 2nd Big 12 victory in 40 games. The fans actually rushed the field and tore down one of the goal posts in celebration.
Of course, this also demonstrates how far Kansas has fallen. A win over a 4-7 team that raises your own record to 3-7 and you storm the field? Talk about desperate and lacking any sense of perspective.
For cryin' out loud, they even doused head coach Charlie Weis! The guy they usually want to run out of town just for breathing, never mind running a losing program, and a win over an awful Mountaineer team gets him an unscheduled bath?
What the heck is going on at Duke? When anyone says the path to the ACC championship runs through Duke, they are generally referring to the men's basketball team. But the hoopsters aren't alone in that category this year. Not after their 48-30 upset trouncing of the Miami Hurricanes.
The Blue Devils are 8-2 on the season and nobody's pushover. The statistical oddity of this game is that while Duke tallied up 543 yards in total offense, they were actually outgained on the day by Miami. Duke's already a bowl eligible team, but if they keep playing like this, they could end up being a bowl WINNING team.
Florida sucks. Their is just no sugarcoating this fact after their 19-14 loss to South Carolina. Granted, the Gamecocks are ranked #11 in the country, but if Florida had any kind of offense, they would've been able to win this game. Instead, a relatively solid defensive effort from the Gators (they gave up 4 field goals and a touchdown) was wasted yet again. Florida is 4-5 and that much closer to sitting out the bowl season. Coach Will Muschamp's seat isn't just hot, it's got some napalm on it about to be set off.
#4 Baylor beat Texas Tech 63-34. The Bears continued run of video game like offense isn't that surprising since they've demonstrated all year that their opponents can't keep up with them. No, the interesting thing about this result is that it was the fourth straight loss for Texas Tech. They started off the year 7-0 and new coach Kliff Kingsbury was the toast of college football. But this month long losing streak is going to test the team and the coach severely. Which Texas Tech is the real one? The one that outpaced their competition the first seven games of the season, or the one that looks like the early part of the season was the honeymoon and reality has now set in?
Wow! Just Wow! The USC football program was in shambles when they fired Lane Kiffin. They hired Ed Orgeron as the interim coach to finish out the season before the school looked for a new coach.
The way the team has responded for Orgeron has been rather amazing. Limited by scholarship reductions and a continuing run of injuries to key players, you'd be hard pressed to blame the coach if the team had continued to stink. But after last night's 20-17 upset of #5 Stanford, the Trojans are 8-3 and have thus far salvaged what was looking like another pathetic season.
And despite flaming out in his first go-round as the head coach at Ole Miss, Orgeron's work with the team has had to put him in the mix to get this job on a permanent basis. The season isn't over yet and I'm not saying he should definitely get the job, but a serious interview has to be done after the season.
Alabama - I was watching something else last night, but during the commercial breaks I checked in on the Alabama game versus Mississippi State. I was happy to see the Tide pick up the 20-7 victory but it was by no means a sure thing. Despite now being 4-6 on the season, the Bulldogs gave Bama all they could handle.
Alabama played sloppy football throughout the game (it showed from what I saw) and the defense for Mississippi State forced them into a season high four turnovers. A.J. McCarron got picked off twice (the second of which you could see coming the whole way) and the combo of RBs T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake fumbled the ball away once each.
If the Bulldogs had been able to mount an offense (their starting QB was out injured and his replacement left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury), the final score would've been a lot different.
Instead, on a night where the offense stunk for Bama, their defense save their butts allowing just 197 yards of total offense (including just 53 rushing yards). They had just two sacks and an interception (by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix) and missed out on recovering four fumbles by the Bulldogs, but when it came time to force punts our four and out series, the Tide defense did the job.
McCarron did throw for two TDs but he was uncharacteristically pedestrian for most of the game that I saw. He looked out of sorts, and that second pick he threw was just awful. T.J. Yeldon ran for 160 yards but never found the end zone.
You know your offense had an off to bad night when the punter is the only guy on the team you can say was outstanding. Cody Mandell had four punts on the night and averaged 55 yards a kick. If you add in Cade Foster (pictured below) kicking 2 field goals and 2 PATs, this might be the week where kickers are appreciated instead of considered afterthoughts.
The Patriots were on a bye last week so I kind of took the weekend off from pro football. I checked out the scores but only saw highlights instead of complete game action. With the Patriots off until the Monday night game against Carolina, I might just do it again.
But the most interesting NFL related story comes from an off the field criminal trial against former Chicago Bears player Sam Hurd. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for being a key figure in a drug smuggling/distribution ring. You can check out an in depth story about the case over on SI.com: http://mmqb.si.com/2013/11/12/sam-hurd-cocaine-bust/
I was back to uniform mediocrity last week. I split the two leagues I'm a part of.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
ORR - The undefeated season for the Bulldogs came to an end as they lost to the Abington High Green Wave 47-20 to end their playoff run. My ex-player Richie (pictured below) and the rest of the running game was essentially shut down by a stout defense. He had 13 carries for just 24 yards. ORR will have their Thanksgiving Day game left to finish out their season.
Wareham - The Vikings trailed 42-0 at halftime to Middleboro and went on to lose 49-0. The season of awfulness will come to an end with their Thanksgiving Day game against arch-rival Bourne.
Volleyball - Two state championships were held yesterday that had a passing interest for me. In Division 1, the Barnstable girls won their fourth straight championship. How good is the Barnstable program?
They finished the season undefeated at 23-0. As I said, it was their fourth title in a row. But they've won 10 out of the last 11 state titles and 16 titles overall. The coach, Tom Turco, has been the one to build the program and guide it to each of the titles.
It is for lack of a better word, a dynasty program.
The team celebrates after the final point:
The thrill of victory:
Here's a look at the team after the win:
In Division 3, the Fairhaven Blue Devils girls volleyball team squared off against Frontier Regional. I'd seen them play once this year when I went to a Wareham girls volleyball match. The team is one of the best in the region.
The Blue Devils have won the last four South Sectional tournaments and this was their 2nd appearance in the state title game in four years. Unfortunately, they came away with another loss in the final, falling 3-1.
The team will likely remain a power in the region, but losing 7 players to graduation won't make things easier. Sadly, the Fairhaven girls come away embodying the agony of defeat on this day:
Tennessee Lady Vols - The Lady Vols knocked off North Carolina 81-65 early in the week. Ariel Massengale (pictured below) led Tennessee with a career high 20 points and 6 rebounds.
After getting upset by Chattanooga last year, the Lady Vols spent the first half of this year's matchup trying to get away from their opponents. But it was tied at the half.
However, the jets got turned on in the second half and the Lady Vols ran away with an 80-56 victory. Massengale had 16 points and 5 assists while Mercedes Russell (pictured below) added 15 points.
Hartford - The Hawks shook off the beating they took last week from UConn and beat Loyola 59-53 for their first win of the season (1-1). This despite shooting just 28% from the floor. But the seven threes and 24 out of 30 foul shots helped Hartford hold things together long enough. Freshman Deanna Mayza scored 20 points to lead the team. Amber Bepko added 13 points and 6 rebounds. Alyssa Reaves had 12 rebounds and Cherelle Moore finished with 10 points.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears era under coach Kellie Harper began this past Monday with an opening 79-61 loss to Arkansas State. Kenzie Williams (pictured below) scored 21 points and grabbed 7 boards to lead MSU.
The team rebounded to beat Arkansas-Little Rock 72-68. They had a 19 point lead but had to withstand a 16-0 run before finally putting the game away. Kenzie Williams had a career high 24 points and Bry Snow added a career high 17 points.
BOSTON COLLEGE NOTEBOOK
Men's Soccer - The team lost to #4 Maryland in the ACC quarters. They are 7-9-2 for the year.
Women's Soccer - In the first round of the NCAA tournament, the BC women beat Northeastern 2-0 and will play Nebraska in a second round matchup on November 22nd. BC is 11-9-1 thus far.
Men's Hockey - On Friday night, the Eagles skated to a 2-2 tie with UMass and they are currently 7-2-2 on the season.
Women's Hockey - A 3-2 loss to Quinnipiac dropped the #5 BC team to 7-3 on the season.
Field Hockey - The BC women played UConn in the first round of the NCAA tournament yesterday 2-1 in overtime. They finished the season at 12-8.
Women's Volleyball - The Eagles beat Maryland on Friday night 3-0 for their first ACC win of the season. They are 9-18, 1-14 ACC on the season.
Men's Basketball - The defense of the Eagles is awful. The team is 0-3 on the season after two more losses this week. These are games they can't afford to lose when you play in a tough conference like the ACC.
First up was an 86-73 loss to UMass. Ryan Anderson (pictured below) had 22 points and 7 boards to lead the team's offense. Olivier Hanlan added 19 points and Patrick Heckmann had 11 points.
A telling statistic about the game was that the Eagles had just 7 rebounds in the second half of the game.
Despite leading by 8 at halftime, the Eagles gave up a 14-2 run late in the game and watched as Toledo came into Conte Forum and left with a 95-92 win.
Olivier Hanlan (pictured below) had 18 points and 6 assists, while both Ryan Anderson and Joe Rahon added 15 points.
The Eagles have the offense down, but their failures to stop the other teams is going to kill them if they don't pick it up defensively.
Women's Basketball - The women's team went on the road to New York and beat Hofstra 83-60 to even their record at 1-1. Kelly Hughes (pictured below) scored 19 points and had 8 rebounds to lead the Eagles.
BC got out rebounded 52-44 in the game but in the end that didn't matter. Lauren Engeln had 14 points while Nicole Boudreau added 10 points. Katie Zenevitch had 10 points and 7 boards.
It was a homecoming of sorts for BC's Kristen Doherty and she had a 10 points, 8 rebound, 5 steal performance in front of a crowd that included a lot of her friends and family.
You can see the brief post game press conference from coach Erik Johnson below.
The team went on the road last night to face BYU and ended up losing in overtime 70-69. Nicole Boudreau had a 23 points (5-6 from three point range) and 7 rebounds to lead the Eagles. Kristen Doherty had 15 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals. BC also got 11 points from Kelly Hughes and 10 from Lauren Engeln.
But they had no answer for BYU's 6 foot 7 center Jennifer Hamson, who finished with a game high 28 points and 12 rebounds. She played a key role in the second half (16 points) push for BYU.
It didn't help that the Eagles got out rebounded in the game 52-41. They also couldn't capitalize on the fact that BYU missed 10 out of 26 foul shots.
You can see the quick wrap up with coach Johnson below.
Doherty on the foul line:
Rallying the players:
Football - If you look at the stat line for BC quarterback Chase Rettig, you'd have to wonder just how bad the Eagles had been beaten by North Carolina State. He was 8-15 for 53 yards. That is just a pathetic statline no matter how you look at it.
But thanks to an amazing day on the ground, Boston College ran away from the Wolfpack and won the game 38-21.
The ground game churned their way through the NC State offense for 420 yards. Andre Williams (pictured below) ran 42 times for 339 yards and 2 TDs. Of course, he fumbled twice (losing one) so ball security is an issue that has to be addressed. But his final game at Alumni Stadium was a sight to behold. He had over 100 yards in the first quarter alone. He set new school records for career rushing yards and single season rushing yards. Oh, and he broke his own single game rushing record (set just last week) as well.
Myles Willis also got into the rushing attack with 77 yards and a score.
Receiver Alex Amidon caught 5 of Rettig's 8 completions for 34 yards, but also had a 15 yard rushing TD.
The Eagles are 6-4 now and that means they are now bowl eligible. Not bad for the first season under coach Steve Addazio. And even better considering just how bad the team performed last year.
Andre Williams and the rest of the seniors were playing their last home game at Alumni Stadium yesterday and the team went out at home on a high. The fans going on the field in this game was both a celebration of the win and the turnaround this year. Unlike the Kansas game mentioned above, the fans were also invited by the school to come on the field after the game anyway. It was some promotional thing I saw on the team's website page.
The Eagles close out their regular season with two away games and one of the announcers on the game yesterday said that BC has a chance to actually end up with 8 wins on the season. I'm not counting on that prediction or anything (especially since one of their opponents is Maryland who pulled off a 27-24 win over a supposed to be better than them Virginia Tech yesterday) but for a talking head to say that about a team that couldn't find their own collective asses last year, even the chance at 8 wins is something to be ecstatic about.
TV - On Saturday November 23rd, the BBC will do a global simulcast of the 50th Anniversary Celebration Doctor Who Special "The Day of the Doctor". It will be on BBC America starting at 2:50 pm EST.
To further whet the appetite of Whovians everywhere, they released the prequel minisode the other day. It's called "The Night of the Doctor" and features a huge surprise return of...well I'll let you all figure it out.
In other TV news, I checked out one of the new Hallmark Channel Christmas movies last night. Yes, it is that time of year again. Hallmark is running holiday movies day and night from now until the end of the holiday season. I watched one called The Thanksgiving House a couple weeks ago, but it was preposterously stupid and a total wimp out cheat in the resolution.
But last night I watched the premiere of The Christmas Ornament and it was actually pretty decent. It starred Kellie Martin, who I've liked since her time on the show Life Goes On and LOVED on both ER and the Hallmark mystery movie series Mystery Woman. Also along for the ride, playing the best friend of Martin's character was Jewel Staite. And you can't go wrong in my book when you cast have someone from the Firefly TV show and the follow up movie Serenity in a role. Especially if it is one of the cast members that I've actually met!
Movies - I saw Thor: The Dark World last Sunday. I thought the first Thor movie was fine to see a single time but otherwise not really much of a movie. But this one was far more entertaining with a ton of action and an appropriate portion of humor thrown in as well.
Music - The official live video for the new Fates Warning song "I Am" has been released.
Meanwhile, a group of teenage music students covered the Tool song "46 and 2" and the video has been posted online. The singer is a 12 year old girl and the video is fantastic.
I've got a new review in the works. It is for the new Benedictum CD Obey. The album isn't due out until December 3rd, but I was forwarded the record company's download link to check out the disc for review.