Friday, December 21, 2007

THURSDAY HOOP

#9 Pittsburgh 65, #7 DUKE 64 OT
Pittsburgh survived 35% shooting, 14% from behind the three point line and a knee injury late to Mike Cook to somehow survive an overtime game against Duke in Durham Square Garden. The Panthers gave everybody else a blueprint to beat the Blue Devils, and it looked a lot like the road map from the past few years – guards that penetrate, and big men who push the smaller Dookies around.

All that aside, Levance Fields made a cold blooded trey after making two straight turnovers to provide the winning margin. It’s the first December loss for Coach Krzysdekdhgfb3ski and the boys since 2000.

Pittsburgh's Levance Fields celebrates with a teammate after hitting the winning shot to beat Duke 65-64 in overtime in a basketball game Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

#15 CLEMSON 90, Puerto Rico-Mayaguez 73

#22 MIAMI 85, North Florida 63

WHY THE LONG FACE?

Remember the days before the internet when people told jokes? You know, like two guys walk into a bar...

So, these three guys walk into a bar, and they happen to be three guys who play football at the University of North Carolina. For reasons, that we simply do not want to know, the three guys walk out with these three characters and go back to their apartment.

Here’s what the AP said based on reports from the Raleigh News & Observer: “… the other two had some consensual sexual contact with the women, but then became uncomfortable and told them to stop. When police arrived at the scene, two of the victims were tied up, wearing boxer shorts, and the hands of the third victim, who was fully clothed, also were tied."

At least two players were sexually assaulted, and authorities were awaiting the final police report to learn if the third was as well, the News & Observer reported.

The police have charged two women and the man with various charges related to robbery and sexual assault of at least two players.

Defense attorneys told the court, according to the newspaper, that the acts were consensual.

DICKIE V ON THE MEND

In case you missed it, ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale underwent surgery Tuesday to treat ulcers on his left vocal cord and is expected to be off the airwaves until at least February.

According to published reports, everything went according to plan.

Vitale will continue to provide his observations on ESPN.com and his own Web site, dickvitaleonline.com, while he recuperates.

In addition, while he’s out Vitale is looking to raise another $1 million for the V Foundation to honor Payton Wright. To make a donation go to http://www.dickvitaleonline.com/.

Payton Wright died in May of a rare from of brain cancer. She had just turned five.

NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED

The annual Santa Speedo Run began at a bar. Shocking, we know.

So, it should come as no surprise that it still begins in a bar -- Lir in the Back Bay in Boston, where participants stripped down to their Speedos and other bathing suits for the chance to raise some money for charity.

Here’s the back story: It was 2:23 pm on Saturday, December 16th, 2000 and the crowd of holiday shoppers erupted into earth-shattering applause, screaming and cheering as five brave men ran past them on Newbury Street wearing nothing but Santa hats, Santa beards and Speedos.

What they didn’t know was that one month earlier, five friends were hanging out at The Sevens bar on Charles Street, as they did every Thursday. Bored with their weekly routine, they tried to think of something ridiculous to do for a laugh. After settling on Newbury Street and Speedos, they set out to recruit what they expected to be about 20 runners.

However, when they showed up at The Sevens that fateful Saturday afternoon, they found it was still just the five of them, frightened and so alone. Realizing what they were about to do, they settled into the bar to “summon up the courage” to carry out the plan.

At 2:20 pm, the five men, now down to their Speedos, hopped out of their friend’s car in front of the Four Seasons, slung a boombox playing The Muppets Christmas Carols over their arm, and began to run.

They didn’t know what to expect from their holiday stunt, but none could have predicted the overwhelmingly positive response they received. And when they finished, they knew they were on to something good. It became clear to them that they could leverage the enthusiasm from the event for a good cause. Thus, the Santa Speed Run was born.

In the years since that first run, the number of runners has increased exponentially from the original five to the over 250 men and women that ran in 2006.

Over the past 7 years, the run has raised over $150,000 for various charities.

Nice work fellas, Merry Christmas!

(Info from Meghan Colloton/ Boston.com Correspondent) (John Tlumacki / Boston Globe Staff photo)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

NO, IT'S NOT THE EGG NOG, it's a purple cow...An inflatable rubber cow rests next to the women's downhill course during their third official downhill training at the FIS World cup in St.Anton/Arlberg on 20 December,2007.

We have no idea why she is there.


(Photo Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

ZOOM...Chemmy Alcott of Great Britain competes in the women's 2nd official downhill training during the FIS World cup in St.Anton/Arlberg 20 December 2007.

(Photo by Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

ZOOM 2...Canada's Emily Brydon competes in the women's third official downhill training during the FIS World cup in St.Anton/Arlberg 20 December,2007.


(Photo Joe KlamarAFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

IS THIS HOCKEY? We still don't really know what hockey is, but if this is hockey, the intros look cool. Craig Rivet #52 of the San Jose Sharks skates out onto the ice before the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at HP Pavilion on December 20, 2007 in San Jose, California.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

TAKE THAT, YOU UTE! Mascots from Utah, bottom and Navy, top, taunt each other during a "Battle of the Bands" on the flight deck of the USS Midway before a luncheon aboard the ship Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 in San Diego. Navy faced Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl football game Thursday night in San Diego.

Utah won the game.

(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Never mind sports, Christmas, poetry or any other nonsense. Today, TAH gives you a Christmas present about something that is really important in life...the Rolling Stones.

In April, a new film about the Stones, SHINE A LIGHT directed by Martin Scorsese, will be released. Even the PREVIEW is COOL.

Here's the trailer...

If you don't think it's cool, you've got a bad case of the Xmas Grumpies, and there is nothing else we can do for you.

Sorry.





BLAZE CALLS PRESS CONFERENCE

At a hastily convened press conference yesterday at the Sheetz Gas Station, Mega Mart and Super Deli in Opel, Hacks Captain Tom “Mighty Blaze” Blaser met with local and national media to address recent reports of unrest among his charges.

In his opening statement, Blaze said:

“First off, Thanks to TAH for the recent piece on this year's Hacks v Hicks event. Kudos to the “Bard of the Backboard” for capturing the drama and tension that is the Hacks v Hicks competition.

As Coach Gibbs would say ”my guys played their guts out…they just suck.”

Kudos also to Goat Boy Hokie for that marvelous still shot of the James Madison Highway Trophy. It made the damn thing look down right prestigious. I think next year we might upgrade from the ¾ inch masking tape and blue sharpie and see if we can get that guy who does the Claret Jug to come over.”


Blaze then opened it up for questions from the floor (literally).

Q from Mike Wise, Washington Post: Isn't that Claret Jug guy dead?

A: As Coach Gibbs would say ”my guys played their guts out…they just suck.”

Q from Joe S&#! The Rag Man/Kudpeppa Car Exfoliate: Coach Blaze, when all the smoke cleared what was the reason for the outcome?

A: As Coach Gibbs would say ”my guys played their guts out…they just suck.”

Q from TAH: When all the smoke cleared what was the reason for the outcome?

A: As Coach Gibbs would say ”my guys played their guts out…they just suck.”

Q from Hokie “Where the Hell Is Azerbaijan?” Tedeschi: Hey coach, why didn’t you win this year like Pete Caroll and Frank Beamer always do?

A: As Coach Gibbs would say ”my guys played their guts out…they just suck.”

Q from Dr. A.G. Wahoo: I’m pretty sure, as I usually am, that Al Groh could have made the final score a lot closer by winning matches against crappy pairings while puking up the important ones, or any match played in Wyoming, why can’t the Hacks do that?

A: As Coach Gibbs would say ”my guys played their guts out…they just suck.”

After a series of similar questions and answers, Blaze turned the table on the assembled scribes and asked “Were any of the Hicks named in the Mitchell Report?”

A - TAH: No. But, Hack Kat "JMadU" Reeves – he was casually mentioned for smoking fake cigarettes while pumping gas, and for leaving bogus lottery tickets in various drinking establishments around town. (Don't know how a $40 million investigation misses the "little hand.")

Senator Mitchell also thought Gigs was using a “performance enhancing drug,” but it turned out to be some contraband Arabic moonshine he smuggled out of Kuwait.

Kudpeppa Captain Cardiac Yowell was not available for comment (probably over at the Reva Shell Station gettin' a new Die Hard for the old pacemaker!)

WEDNESDAY HOOP

#1 NORTH CAROLINA 78, Nicholls State (Colonels, 6,814 students, Thibodaux, LA) 68
Tyler Hansbrough posted his fifth straight double/double with 27 points and 11 rebounds while showing no visible effects from a concussion suffered Sunday v. Rutgers. Wayne Ellington discovered he had a crossover dribble and added 20 points, but North Carolina's Hall of Fame coach was seething at a lethargic performance.

"So much for the exams being over," Williams said. "I thought we played better when we were studying."

UNC struggled to defend the determined Colonels (4-8), who used a barrage of 3-pointers to hang around and never let the Tar Heels run away with it -- though they never seriously threatened, either. And even though they almost cracked the 90-point mark for the sixth time this season, the Tar Heels looked a step off when it came to running Williams' fast-paced offense.

By the time it was over, Williams told reporters his goal for Thursday's practice would be "to see how many guys I can make throw up."

Wayne Ellington #22 of the North Carolina Tar Heels battles for a rebound over Adonis Gray #20 of the Nicholls State Colonels during the second half. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

VIRGINIA TECH 58, Liberty (Flames, 14,438 students, Lynchburg, VA) 46

WAKE FOREST 74, South Florida (Bulls, 33,106 students, Tampa, FL) 61

VIRGINIA 79, Hampton (Pirates, 4,565 students, Hampton, VA) 65

FOSTER LOOKING FOR COUCHES TO BURN

Virginia Tech Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster (pictured right) got a raise on Monday to bump his compensation package up to the $400,000 range. Shortly thereafter, he voiced his interest in being the next head coach at West Virginia.

Tech A.D. Jim Weaver said Foster had a base salary of roughly $277,000 this season that, with bonuses, that amounted to a total compensation of around $300,000.

The raise came after South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier tried to hire Foster as his defensive coordinator last week. After speaking to his employers, Foster declined that offer, which would've also come with a large raise.

Foster won the Broyles Award last season, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach He had the top-ranked defense in the country in 2005 and 2006; this year's unit ranks second nationally in scoring defense.

He has said in recent years that only a head-coaching job at a competitive BCS conference school could lure him from Blacksburg, the football-crazy town to which he followed head coach Frank Beamer 21 years ago.

"Right now, I don't see any other job out there that would interest him," said Foster’s agent Bob Lattinville, who spoke to West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong's assistant Monday to let WVU know that Foster was interested in the job.

SPENDING HUGE COIN FOR 7-5

Those Florida State people love to throw money at things, especially mediocre football teams.

Evidently, Florida State must pay offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher $2.5 million if he isn't hired to replace Bobby Bowden as head coach in three years, but Fisher would have to pay an equal amount to leave before then.

Florida State released Fisher's contract Monday after the West Virginia native was mentioned in published reports as a potential candidate to take over for Rich Rodriguez as Mountaineers coach. The buyout clause would make Fisher an expensive choice.

Florida State also released Bowden's one-year contract that has a nearly $2.2 million base salary, including a $200,000 signing bonus, a series of incentives that could add at least $600,000 and a $1 million "lifetime achievement" bonus upon retirement.

Bowden's contract, though, does not set a retirement date and it can be renegotiated annually.
Huh?

NO BOWL FOR SOME TIGERS

Clemson linebackers Nick Watkins and Tramaine Billie won't play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Auburn because of poor academic performances.

Watkins (right) and Billie were declared ineligible Tuesday, as was offensive tackle Christian Capote, the school announced. All three are fifth-year seniors.

No. 15 Clemson (9-3) will face Auburn (No. 23 BCS, No. 22 AP) at the Georgia Dome on New Year's Eve.

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said all three players had chances to stay eligible and got help on coursework from tutors. "But, they are accountable for their academic performance," he said.
Watkins led the defense in tackles the past two seasons, registering 116 in 2006 and 118 this year. Billie was third on the team with 79 tackles this season. He started for Clemson in 2004 and 2005 but missed last season with an injury.

Capote started all 12 games at right tackle.

UVA STAR TO VIRGINIA SPORTS HOF

Dawn Staley, one of the most accomplished players in the history of women’s basketball, is among seven people who will be inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame on April 26.


Staley excelled in her time as a basketball player at Virginia (1989-1993). She was the ACC rookie of the year and was named an All-American three tmes. Twice she was the national player of the year, and she led the Cavaliers to the Final Four three times.


She won three Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004) and earned a spot on the WNBA All-Decade Team after its first 10 years. Staley has coached Temple's women since 2000-2001, was was named Atlantic 10 coach of the year in 2004 and 2005.

MAKING PETE ROSE LOOK GOOD?

Just in case anybody thought TAH wasn't awake at night worryng about the integrity of MLB, here is a COMPLETE copy of the Mitchell report for your holiday enjoyment.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

THANK YOU, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED…Thank you. Maybe the picture of the year?

The cover of Sports Illustrated's Picture of the Year issue, on newsstands Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007, features a triumphant Carroll College junior linebacker Brandon Day, kneeling in the mud at Jim Carroll Stadium in Savannah, Tenn., celebrating Carroll's 17-9 win Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007, over the University of Sioux Falls for the NAIA college football championship.

The photo appeard as a PICTURE OF THE DAY on TAH last weekend.

(AP Photo/John Russell)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

IS THAT EX-TERP STEVE BLAKE?...the skinny white kid that would never stick in the NBA? Yep. Kris Humphries #43 of the Toronto Raptors blocks out Steve Blake #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers during a game at the Rose Garden Arena December 19, 2007 in Portland, Oregon.

(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

CARDINAL READY TO POUNCE...Terrence Williams #1 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates a defensive play during the game against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Freedom Hall December 18, 2007 in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville won 85-75 to give the Head Coach of the Louisville Cardinals Rick Pitino his 500th college victory.


Now, there's a kid that loves ink and hoops!

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

GOLDEN GIRLS, WAIT AT THE BAR...The Nets Senior Dance Team performs during the game between the Sacramento Kings and the New Jersey Nets on December 18, 2007 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

We want to party with these gals.

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

BIRDS OF A FEATHER...DeAngelo Hall #21 of the Atlanta Falcons holds up a poster of Michael Vick during player intros against the New Orleans Saints on December 10, 2007 at the Georgia Dome.

We assume the NFL fined him for this ('cause thats what they do!).


(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

TUESDAY HOOP

#3 Kansas 71 (Jayhawks, 21,912 students, Lawrence, KS) GEORGIA TECH 66

Kansas' Mario Chalmers dunks as Georgia Tech' Jeremis Smith (32) an Alade Aminu and a teammate defend during the first half. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

FLORIDA STATE 66, College of Charleston (Cougars, 9,866 students, Charleston, SC) 61

TAYLOR NAMED ALL-PRO

Pro Bowl voters honored the memory of Sean Taylor.

Taylor, who died Nov. 27 after being shot during a burglary at his home in Florida, was voted the starting free safety on the NFC team. He was having an outstanding season and was one of the leading vote-getters among fans at the time of his death.

"It is well-deserved," Redskins center Casey Rabach said. "If he would have been able to finish the season, he would have been in there. It just shows the respect everybody around the league had for him and what a great player he was."

Taylor is the only player known to have made an all-star team posthumously in any sport other than goaltender Pelle Lindbergh was voted to the NHL All-Star game in February 1986.

(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

HURRICANE DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR CANNED

By Shandel Richardson South Florida Sun-Sentinel
CORAL GABLES - The one-year reign of Tim Walton as the Miami Hurricanes' defensive coordinator has ended, according to multiple sources.

After leading one of the worst defenses in recent UM history, Walton was fired Monday morning, sources said. The university wouldn't confirm the move. The 312 points allowed by the Hurricanes were the most since 1984 (314).

The move comes as a surprise, considering coach Randy Shannon repeatedly talked of maintaining stability and said there would be no forced coaching changes. In an interview in late November, Shannon only hinted at the possibility of voluntary departures for those wanting to pursue better opportunity.

In this file photo, Tim Walton (center) talks to safety Glenn Sharpe (left) and cornerback Brandon Meriweather after football practice in Coral Gables. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz / November 8, 2006)

TAMPA, CHARLOTTE FUTURE HOMES OF DR. PEPPER BOWL

The Atlantic Coast Conference has awarded its future Football Championship Games( the Dr. Pepper Bowl) to Tampa Bay and to Charlotte, John Swofford, the Commissioner of the ACC, announced Wednesday.

Swofford announced that the league has awarded its football title game to Tampa Bay for the 2008 and 2009 seasons and to Charlotte for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The decision was reached unanimously Wednesday morning on a conference call of the league's athletics directors and faculty athletics representatives which culminated a seven-month bid and selection process which began last June.

“I’m still a little surprised that P.G. County didn’t get serious consideration,” said a disappointed Terp A.D. Deborah A. Yow.

ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Miami's Jack McClinton was named ACC Player of the Week and Wake Forest's Jeff Teague was selected as ACC Rookie of the Week.

In earning player of the week honors for the first time this season and second time in his career, McClinton scored a season-high 29 points in Thursday's 64-58 road win at Mississippi State as the Hurricanes improved to 9-0 on the season. With the Hurricanes trailing 56-51, the Baltimore, Md., junior knocked down three three-pointers and converted a pair of free throws in the final 3:22 to lead Miami to the comeback victory. For the game, McClinton hit on 11-of-22 from the floor, 5-of-10 from three-point range and 2-of-2 from the line.

Teague scored a game-high 16 points in Wake Forest's 72-56 defeat of Bucknell on Sunday. The Indianapolis, Ind., freshman made six-of-10 from the floor, including a perfect 2-for-2 mark from three-point range. In addition, Teague had four steals, four rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes off the bench.

Jeff Teague #0 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons goes to the basket around Leemire Goldwire #12 of the UNC Charlotte 49ers during their game at Bobcats Arena November 29th. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

YIKE! Honda rider Dani Pedrosa of Spain falls on a corner during the MotoGP final at the Japanese Grand Prix in Twin Ring Motegi.

Pedrosa bolted out of his pole position onto the first bend on the Honda-owned track, still wet after a morning shower.

He lived.

(Photo Kaxuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

IF WE WORE THOSE STRIPES, we'd look a little depressed too...The folks at SI put it perfectly: We're not sure why this Hoosier is so unhappy, but if anyone in Bloomington is reading this, please give him a hug.

(Photo David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

"TAKE EVERYTHING. GIVE UP NOTHING." This is UNC's '07-'08 basketball poster, and we'll admit it's a little silly. We like what the folks at DukeBlueZone said -- Is it "a fear-instilling slogan for the number one team in the country or something Sean May would say when he goes grocery shopping? You decide."

While the "300" theme is current, did anybody tell the Heels that the 300 lost in the end?

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT FOR SO MANY...It's the Beer Glove. No explanation needed. Go ahead, get yourself one...

HAPPY EFFING HOLIDAYS, JOHN CLARK

MULTIPLE SUSPENSIONS FOR FLORIDA STATE?

According to ESPN, as many as 20 Florida State football players will be suspended from playing against Kentucky in the Dec. 31 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, as well as the first three games of the 2008 season, for their roles in an alleged cheating scandal involving an Internet-based course, a source with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday morning.

Florida State officials are expected to announce the results of the investigation this week. The source said university officials determined Monday night the exact number of football players who will be suspended. The university isn't expected to immediately reveal the identities of the student-athletes involved in the alleged cheating.

The investigation already has led to the resignations of two academic assistance employees who worked with FSU student-athletes. The school revealed in September that as many as 23 student-athletes were given answers before taking tests over the Internet.

The school's investigation found that a tutor gave students answers while they were taking tests and filled in answers on quizzes and typed papers for students. (Nice, tutor, NICE!)

Florida State president T.K. Wetherell, a former Seminoles football player, reported the initial findings in a letter to the NCAA in September. Wetherell ordered an investigation after receiving information an athletics department tutor had directed one athlete to take an online quiz for another athlete and then provided the answers.

The tutor implicated in the audit told investigators he had been providing students with answers for the test since the fall of 2006, according to a university report.

The school announced in October that athletics director Dave Hart Jr. will resign Dec. 31. Wetherell appointed State Rep. William "Bill" Proctor interim athletics director. Proctor also is a former FSU football player.

HACKS CALL FOR CAPTAIN’S HEAD

Following the second straight overwhelming victory for the Hicks from Kudpeppa C.C. (aka Cowtown C.C.) over the Hacks from Hackberry Creek C.C. (aka Horseville C.C.), rumors are swirling about the future of Hacks Cap’n T-Blaze (right).

An anonymous source close to the Hacks (Kat) said, “Look, it ain’t like he’s Curtis Strange and we lost AND he’s a miserable prick…Blaze is an awesome guy, we just need to shake things up and get a win. I’d nominate Chipman, but he’s such a loser.”

“I can’t imagine why anybody would want to replace Blaze,” said Kudpeppa Cap’n Cardiac Carty “Billy Bob ThortonYowell. “He’s an awesome dude...Problem is, his golfers suck.”

Various media sources have reported extensively on the recent rematch which ended in yet another Hicks’ victory (2-0 in the long running traditional series). “They went all Belinchick on us,” said another anonymous Hack (Dill), “They stepped on our necks, and they never let up. It was ugly.”

The controversy is so wide spread that up and coming poet JJ Redick, a former Duke standout and NBA apprentice, took a few moments to pen a few lines to commemorate this difficult moment in local duffing history...

BLAZER AT THE BAT

By JJ Redick

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Horseville twelve that day,
The score stood three to two, with but one match left to play.
And then when Chip and Kat had all but crapped the bed,
A pall-like silence struck the Hacks assuming they were dead.

A straggling few got up to go drink a cold one in deep despair.
The rest clung to that hope as sparse as Kat Reeves’ hair.
They thought, "if only Blaze could but get a whack at that,
We'd put up even MORE money now, with Blaze up to bat."


But Flikeid preceded Couk, as did Dirt Callahan,
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was not da man.
So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy did play,
For there seemed but little chance that Blaze could save the day.

But Kat pulled out a tie, to the wonderment of all.
And Jr Couk, sighting recent events, tore the cover off the ball.
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Chipman’s losing round still looking like a terd.

Then from the throats of Hacks there rose a lusty yell.
It rumbled past the river, and it rattled in the dell.
It pounded up the 18th fairway, and some how held the green,
For Blaze, mighty Blaze, was up to save his team.

There was ease in Blaze's manner as he stepped up to the tee,
Truth be told, he had a few and he was desperate to pee.
And when, responding to the cheers, he forced a meager smile.
A grad of Mike Wynn’s school, he was sure to drive a mile.

Nineteen eyes were upon him as he posted his wooden peg.
One of Gigs’ eyes weren’t working as he’d consumed a keg.
The Hicks stared in disdain, their hands upon their hips,
But defiance flashed in Blaze's eye, a sneer curled Blaze's lip.

And now the dimpled sphere went hurtling through the air,
And Blaze stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Away from the sturdy golfer the ball unheeded sped --
"That’s headed for the Gazebo,” said Blaze. “Oh, s%@#, I think I’m dead.”

From the Hackers sick of losing, there went up a muffled roar,
Who put that Gazebo there, to the right a few feet more?
"Fly, fly, fly” shouted someone on the stand,
And it's likely they'd had heart attacks had not Blaze raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity, great Blaze's visage shone,
He’d crossed the creek towards the range many times his own.
He signaled Hacks to start moving, he knew where his orb flew,
But Hacks all chugged a brew not knowing what else to do.

"Klang" cried the wayward Pro-V as it struck the Gazebo roof.
And a scornful look hit Blaze realizing how he’d goofed.

It took one mighty bounce and went crashing to the woods,
And Blaze soon realized he could not deliver the goods.


Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And, somewhere Hacks are laughing, as they down a Guiness Stout,
But there is no joy in Horseville - mighty Blazer has struck out.
(Hokie Flikeid Phtos/AFP/AP/Getty/UPI/ESPN/FOX/C-SPAN Images)

MONDAY HOOP

#5 DUKE 111, Albany (Great Danes, 13,016 students, Alabany, NY) 70

#22 MIAMI 89, Stetson (Hatters, 2,273 students, DeLand, FL) 53

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

DAY OF RECORDS…On Sunday, in the NFL a number of records were broken. Brett Favre broke yet another career record, the Pats go to 14-0, the Dolphins got off the winless bus and Eli Manning threw 34 incomplete passes (the second most ever in an NFL game) against the Redskins.

But this TD in Tampa was the biggie. This was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in the HISTORY of the franchise. That’s right, 31 years and 1,864 kickoffs without a touchdown!

Wide receiver Michael Spurlock #17 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally returned a kickoff 90-yards for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons.

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

DID WE MENTION IT SNOWED...A lot. Running back Marshawn Lynch #23 of the Buffalo Bills is tackled by several defenders in the first half against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 16, 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The game featured temperatures in the 30's and up to 40 mile per hour winds.

(Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

Monday, December 17, 2007

BURNING DOWN THE COUCH!

Michigan has hired West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez as its next football coach following a search that featured two other top prospects deciding to stay put.

Rodriguez, whose Mountaineers (No. 9 BCS, No. 11 AP) are preparing for their second BCS game in three seasons, will take over Michigan's program from Lloyd Carr, Michigan athletic department spokesman Bruce Madej said Sunday.


"I am thrilled to have Rich Rodriguez as Michigan's new coach," athletic director Bill Martin wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Sunday. "Rich brings an exciting brand of football to Michigan Stadium. We welcome the entire Rodriguez family to Ann Arbor."

SUNDAY HOOPS

NORTH CAROLINA 93, Rutgers (The University of New Jersey, Scarlet Knights, 31,888 students, Newsark, NJ) 71

Ty Lawson scored a career-high 26 points, and Tyler Hansbrough had 20 points and 11 rebounds before leaving when he hit his head in North Carolina's 93-71 victory over Rutgers.

Hansbrough, the preseason national player of the year, tried to take a charge from Earl Pettis with 5:47 to play and the Tar Heels leading by 23 points. He went to the floor in a sitting position and then hit the back his head against the knee of a television cameraman and then the bottom of the basket support.

Hansbrough was asked if he lost consciousness. "I don't remember," he said.

Williams said Hansbrough had a concussion and then sounded like a coach complaining about the lack of a call on the play. (He’ll recant when he sees tape of the play – there should have been a blocking foul on Hansbrough…)

"First time in the history of college basketball a guy got a concussion with no foul called and that better be all I say," he said, laughing.

The Tar Heels (9-0) are off to their best start since 1997-98 when they won their first 17 games on the way to the Final Four.

North Carolina's Ty Lawson, right, goes to the hoop over Rutgers' Courtney Nelson during the first half of a their basketball game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007, in Piscataway, N.J. (AP Photo/Christopher Barth)

WAKE FOREST 72. Bucknell (Bisons, 3,500 students, Lewisburg, PA) 56

Old Dominion (Monarchs, 21,625 students, Norfolk, VA) 72, VIRGINIA TECH 69

DEACONS NATIONAL CHAMPS

WAKE FOREST 2, Ohio State 1

(ESPN) Zack Schilawski always dreamed of scoring big goals in his hometown.
He delivered the biggest one of his career there Sunday, scoring the eventual game-winner to lift Wake Forest to a 2-1 victory over Ohio State in the NCAA College Cup championship.

"It's unbelievable," said Schilawski, who graduated from Cary High School. "Growing up here, I've seen a lot of great games on that field. It's a thrill just to be a part of a game like that, much less to win it. It was perfect."

Schilawski snapped a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 77th minute to help his team win the first NCAA men's soccer title in school history. The second-seeded Demon Deacons (22-2-2), who had been 0-2-1 when trailing at halftime this season, rallied from a 1-0 deficit.

Wake Forest's Patrick Phelan (5) and Sam Cronin (2) battle for possession with Ohio State's Roger Espinoza (27) during the second half of an NCAA College Cup national championship soccer game in Cary, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

TERP QB SPARKS NINERS

The third quarterback was the charm for the San Francisco 49ers.
Shaun Hill passed for 197 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in his first NFL start, and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-13, on Saturday night for just their second victory in 12 games.

Hill was a two-year letterman at Maryland passing for 3,158 yards and 19 touchdowns. He helped lead Terps to their first ACC title since 1985 as a senior in 2001 while guiding them to a berth in the Orange Bowl. Maryland finished the season ranked 10th in the nation, while Hill earned All-ACC second-team selection honors.

With Alex Smith also sidelined, Hill was the only quarterback left in San Francisco -- and he improbably sparked the 49ers' league-worst offense to the club's first home victory since opening week. Hill went 21 of 28, hitting Vernon Davis with a precise touchdown pass nine seconds before halftime and generally running the show with confidence.

Quarterback Shaun Hill #13 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates a first down that clinches the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Monster Park December 15, 2007 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Greg Trott/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS...of the world! Wake Forest celebrates winning the NCAA College Cup national championship soccer game over Ohio State in Cary, N.C. on Saturday, Dec 16, 2007.

(AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

THE LAST PHOTO OF THIS MAN SMILING...This is Duke’s new football coach David Cutcliffe.

Cutcliffe, 53, comes to Duke after serving the past two seasons as offensive coordinator at Tennessee. His head coaching experience includes a six-year stint at Ole Miss from 1999-04 where he compiled a 44-29 (.603) ledger with five winning seasons, five bowl game appearances and a share of the SEC Western Division championship in 2003.

Cutcliffe was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2003 after leading the Rebels to a 10-3 record including a 31-28 victory over Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.

Obviously, he is off his meds.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

MOTHER NATURE 14, Cleveland 8, Buffalo 0. Grounds crew try and keep the yard lines clear of snow prior to the game between the Cleveland Browns against the Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 16, 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns beat the Bills by the non-steroid baseball score of 8-0.

(Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

WHO KNEW? World Cup snowboarding...Canada's Matthew Morison (R) clears a gate ahead of Austria's Siegfried Grabner during the Men's parallel slalom quarter final at the FIS Snowboard World Cup, 16 December 2007 in Nendaz.

(Photo Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

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