Friday, April 25, 2008

WE'RE WAITING...

...for the NBA declarations and the NFL draft.

Please, stand by to stand by.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

THE KING IS DEAD…

Well, not really, but his horns are all messed up.

The reign of Rameses XVII ended with the terrible flourish of Greek tragedy -- an "Oedipus Rex" set in the world of football and sheep.

After five seasons as the UNC Chapel Hill mascot, the curly-horned monarch was knocked from the throne by a head-butt from his own son Pablo, who hit the elder ram so fiercely that his horn snapped off.

His crown broken, Rameses gets the boot from Mascotville.

Instead, he will spend his final years in exile, grazing with a single horn. He will watch, indignant, as his usurping son rides to Kenan Stadium in his place, newly dubbed Rameses XVIII.

The Rameses line dates to 1924, when UNC's head cheerleader decided the Tar Heels needed a rival to N.C. State's wolf and Georgia's bulldog.

The Hogan family has raised them all save one that was donated in 1996, a replacement for a Rameses that was butchered alive by a 26-year-old man who later claimed to have been hungry and very drunk.

Sibling rivalry is common among royalty, but not so with sheep. Rams and their sons will usually share a pasture in peace, butting heads only in jest or out of lust for a passing ewe.

"I guess they were just tusslin'," Rob Hogan said.

Each ram weighs about 200 pounds, but Pablo is 3 and Rameses is 8. Sheep life tends to flare out at age 10, and the crown must have seemed dazzling and attainable to the ambitious son.

Now Pablo must train to be led on a halter, to ride in a pickup, to endure the pep rallies and sideline noise without breaking a regal pose.

(Edited from News & Observer)

CRIME BABY, CRIME!

Criminal State at Tallahassee officials said they will have an announcement on the future of standout receiver Preston Parker after the athlete's arrest in South Florida on drug and weapons charges.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Parker was arrested early Tuesday on charges of carrying a concealed .45-caliber handgun and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

Parker was named the Seminole's most valuable player last season after leading the team with 1,513 all-purpose yards and 62 receptions.

The 21-year-old's arrest is the first major discipline problem at the school since the arrival of new athletic director Randy Spetman earlier this year.

Florida State's Preston Parker runs for a big gain as defender Jamie Robinson moves in for the tackle the team's spring football game April 12, 2008, in Tallahassee, Fla. Parker will be disciplined according to the school's code of conduct following his arrest on drug and weapons charges, the university said Tuesday, April 22. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

A RIVER RUNS BACK THROUGH CLEMSON

Clemson's K.C. Rivers decided on Tuesday to return to the Tigers for his senior season.

Rivers was Clemson's leading scorer last season, averaging 14.7 points a game. The Tigers went 24-10 and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade, and the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament finals for just the second time in their history.

Clemson coach Oliver Purnell last month said there was a chance Rivers might give up his final year for the NBA draft. But Rivers says he wanted to return to achieve academic and basketball goals.

Clemson will have some big basketball shoes to fill in Purnell's sixth season. Forwards James Mays and Sam Perry, along with guard Cliff Hammonds, were all seniors this past winter.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

PICTURE OF THE DAY

FATHER-SON DAY AT THE OFFICE...? Liverpool footballers (L to R, Up) English midfielder Steven Gerrard, Spanish forward Fernando Torres, English defender Jamie Carragher and Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel line up with children before their UEFA Champions League semi-final football match against Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, in north-west England, on April 22, 2008.

Oops, not there chidlren.

The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

(Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

DOWN GO THE CAPS...Make some extra tee times, the Wiz will be with you boys shortly.

J. Umberger #20 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates Scottie Upshall's 1st period goal agaisnt the Washington Capitals during game seven of the 2008 NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 22, 2008 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

WHO YOU CALLIN’ SISSI…? Czech drivers Ales Loprais, Ladislav Lala and Milan Holan in Tatra steer their truck on a muddy track during the fourth stage of the Central European Rally (CER) near Tatarszentgyorgy (some 50 kms south from Budapest) on April 23, 2008.

The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns.

(Photo by Ferenc Isza/AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

HEY LOOK, CRIME!

Just when we were about to run a drastically reduced publishing schedule right here in this very spot telling you, our loyal readers, that we were gonna cut way back until football rolled around again when all of a sudden up pops a T.A.H. staple – crime.

From the AP: Boston College suspended defensive end Brady Smith (c) after he was charged with on-campus sexual assault and breaking and entering.

School spokesman Jack Dunn said the 20-year-old Finksburg, Md., resident is alleged to have committed the offenses either Saturday evening or early Sunday.

The Boston Herald reported Sunday that coach Jeff Jagodzinski had announced Smith was indefinitely suspended from the team for violating team rules. He did not elaborate.
Dunn did not immediately return calls seeking comment Sunday.

Smith started in 12 games last season and finished with 29 tackles and 2.5 sacks during the team's 11-3 season.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Christopher Assaf / December 15, 2003)

FSU FINALLY WINS A CHAMPIONSHIP

Florida State claimed its first ACC Men's Golf Championship on Sunday with a three-stroke win over Duke at the 2008 ACC Men's Golf Championship played at the Old North State Club at Uwharrrie Point. Three Seminoles finished in the top 10, led by Jonas Blixt and Matthew Savage who tied for third at eight-under (208).

FSU head coach Trey Jones was pleased with his team's effort and consistency. "We kept with it. We kept staying with it and staying with it. We didn't take nine holes off, we never lost focus; we stayed in it. I'm proud of our guys."

Tournament play concluded just before dusk after a two hour and 18 minute rain delay that began just before 1 p.m.

Wake Forest's Webb Simpson set the championship record with a 202 in his three rounds, after shooting this year's best round to finish play on Sunday, a six-under 66. North Carolina's Chase MacFarland was second at 207, as one of two players shooting a 67 in the final round. The other was Georgia Tech's David Dragoo who helped ignite the Yellow Jackets' 13-under par performance in the final round.

FSU long-time football head coach(?) Bobby “No, I’m Not Older Than Joe Paterno” Bowden said, “It’s about doggone time we won a dadblame championship in sumpin."

"Who’s this Jimbo-Jumbo guy who’s always hangin’ around my office?”

PICTURE OF THE DAY

WIZARDS…Two words: they suck.

So some dude for the Wiz named Stevenson called out LeBron saying he’s overrated. James torches them for 30 in a 116-86 drubbing. Wiz down 0-2 when many predicted a win in this series.

Note to self: Don’t do that.

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

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NO, DEAR…I’m not in a pub, I’m practicing my short game.

Golfer Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland takes a phone call as he chips onto the practice green before the BMW Asian Open golf championship in Shanghai on April 22, 2008. The four-day event begins on April 24 at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong golf club.

(Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

AT THIS POINT…the Orioles are much better than the Nationals.

Two words: That sucks.


(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Monday, April 21, 2008

FREE THROW AFFICIANADO MAKES ACE

Jeff “Nos” Kabel is best known for demanding style on the hoop court. Not so many years ago, after a long evening of socializing at a local Raleigh establishment, a small group of weary travelers made their way to Nos’s crib in suburban Raleigh. The group was headed to Pinehurst the next day for a golf trip, so all were looking forward to a good nights sleep.

Unfortunately, Nos had another idea. Well, he may have had more than one, but, at 12:45, this one he could actually articulate. It wasn’t an idea, so much as a rule.


The Late Night With Nos Rule, as it is now known, was quite simple. Upon arrival, his guests were told they could not go to bed – in fact, they couldn’t even go in the house – until each of them made two consecutive free throws. Again, it was approaching 1 a.m.

Shaq, meet Memphis with a side dish of Clemson thrown in on top. Manute Bol had a better shot of draining a pair than this bunch.

Needless to say, it took a while and the neighbors weren’t amused.

But we digress.

On this year’s very same trip to Pinehurst, Nos had an ace.

Here’s his version of what went down at Foxfire’s 12th hole:
We've played 9 holes without a beer. Sure, it's only 10:00am, but a guy needs to smooth out his swing after drinking heavily the day before, and we've all just heard about Tommy's colonoscopy for the 5th time. (For the record, Blaze tells T.A.H. is was three times, maybe four max.)

So Tommy and I are just about to leave Sport and Billy and head back to the clubhouse when the Beermaiden appears. Lo and behold, she is carrying a tank full of cold, delicious, colorless, oderless, tasteless Coors Light. We down a couple and play 10 an 11 in an improving mood.

Hole #12 is an imposing, devilish challenge. Sun and wind are directly in the golfer's face. Hardly a place for the squeamish. Tommy hits one to the left of the green. Billy puts one on...again. Sport puts one short to the right. I address the ball with conviction, using a modified Snead grip that compliments my natural inside out swing.

The Backswing was low with weight shifting to the outside of the right cankle. The swing peaked with the club parallel to the ground and pointing directly at the pin, which was flapping loudly in the gale force tsunami. After holding the triangulation for a brief pause to
synchronize the hip and shoulder rotation, I flexed my left ribcarriage to initiate the downward pull, arms fully extended to generate maximum clubhead speed.

While maintaining perfect head stillness and watching the clubface strike the ball between the T and i (It was a Titleist 1), I then concentrated on a full finish with hands high over the left temple and weight shifted to the left cankle. The ball began its historic trajectory with an immediate burst from the powerful impact arching high to the left side with a perfectly executed left to right fade.

Unfortunately, a combination of old age and glare prevented us from seeing the ball drop in the hole.

So next time you go to his house, you might have to make two consecutive free throws and an ace…

ACC SCORES IN NATIONAL EATING CHAMPIONSHIP

Wait ‘til the muckety-mucks at the NCAA get a load of this…

From various media releases:

There were a lot of people who attended the Saturday finals of the Collegiate Nationals Eating Championship, but no one stood out like Furious Pete Czerwinski’s cheering section. That raucous crowd helped the amateur eater from Canada win his first ever eating championship.

There were seven contestants in Saturday’s finals; four were chosen from colleges around the country, while the other three earned their spot at the Friday’s qualifiers.#1 Christian “Muscox” McCarthy (Kentucky), #2 “Iron” Pete Czerwinski (McMaster), #3 Carey “Powerhouse Poehlman (Montgomery Country CC), #4 Brian “Eatin” Keaton (Maryland), #5 Darrin “D Money” Wolff (San Diego City), #6 Ryan “Big Mac” McMillan (Mesa) and #7 Chris “Scary Spice” Hanson (Grossmont/SDSU) all competed in the competition.

Their opponent was a Wave House platter, which consisted of two cheeseburgers, two hot dogs, and a handful of French fries. The contestants had to knock off as many plates as possible in seven minutes “Muscox” even added an interesting twist to the competition by choosing kool aid as his drinking tool, over the more popular choice of water.

“I like the flavor and I don’t drink much water, so the flavor of the kool aid helps,” McCarty said.


The competition began with eating commissioner, Arnie “Chowbound” Chapman’s reading of the competitive eater vow, and after it was complete the feeding frenzy began.

From the beginning it looked like it was going to be a two-man race between McCarthy and Czerwinski, as both men began to devour their cheeseburgers at a fast pace. Just as the competition began to heat up, local favorite Wolff walked off the stage, conceding to the overwhelming amount of food before him.

The competition continued and after Czerwinski held up his third completed plate, and no other competitor had more then one, it was easy street for Pete.
Once the official results were tallied and the two minute period of “no returns” accounted for, the third place prize of $250 went to McMillan, who was the only qualifier to place in the competition. After competing only once previously, McMillan wowed the commissioner with his performance.

“Big Mac surprised me, he has great form and is an excellent eater,” said Chapman.

The second place finisher and winner of $500 was McCarthy. Muscox was a favorite to win this competition, especially with the experience he had over the other competitors. He did not disappoint the crowd, but he was a bit disappointed in his own performance.
The first place finisher and winner of $1000 was Canada’s Czerwinski. Czerwinski realized he should embark on an eating career after his friend Mike Helleyer sat down to breakfast with him.

“I realized how much more he ate then me, so I told Pete he should try to do competitions.” Helleyer said. After that fateful meal, Czerwinski began consuming large amounts of food in hopes of competing in contests. Before this competition his claim to fame was completing a 72-ounce steak at a local restaurant near his school. Now Czerwinski can add another trophy to his growing mantle.

“I think I did a fine job considering the food was a bit cold and did not go down easy,” said Czerwinski.

Pete’s accomplishment was shared amongst his friends, who traveled all the way from Canada to cheer on their hero.

Maryland’s Brian “Eatin” Keaton (l) finished fifth.The difference between second and fifth place was merely a few bites, Keaton said, with only the winner outpacing them all.Keaton went into the competition with a strategy of eating the food in a certain order. First, he attacked the burgers, then the hot dog and finally the pile of fries. The plan was working as he finished his first plate, but after he started choking on the second plate's burger, his lead went downhill.

Another strategy Keaton used was eating only Jolly Rancher hard candies for 24 hours before the championship. Ultimately, he felt the move was a mistake, leaving him too hungry by the time the competition started.

"I was really disappointed with the results," Keaton said. "After the contest, I felt like I let down my school and a lot of my friends and people expecting me to do well. When I look back, it's really cool that I got sent out there to be in an eating contest on national television all the way across the country."

"It was definitely an awesome experience," he said. "It showed me I have to work harder. I am probably going to come back next year and do it. I just have to work as hard as I can. I'll be back."

A special on the entire Collegiate Nationals, featuring the eating competition, will air May 25 on CBS.
(Photos by Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun and http://www.medigitalmedia.com/)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

BIG TROPHY...In many ways.

Second place driver Helio Castroneves (l) of the #3 Team Penske Racing jokes about the size of his trophy compared to the size of race winner Danica Patrick's trophy, of #7 Motorola Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara, as 3rd place driver Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing laughs on the podium after the IndyCar Series Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 Mile on April 20, 2008 at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan.

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

ROOMS WITH A VIEW…Belgian tennis player Justine Henin prepares to hit the ball on April 21, 2008 on a tennis court temporarily installed on Brussels "Grand Place/Grote Markt" (Big Square) for a marketing event.

(Photo by Eric Vidal/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

CAREFUL WITH THOSE ROTATOR CUFFS, EUGENE…Hungarian Szabo Laszlo (L) on Bombardier Quad competes during the second stage of the Central European Rally (CER) near Baia Mare, 620km north from Bucharest on April 21, 2008. The Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns.

(Photo by Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

EARTHQUAKE...? Bruno Junqueira of Brazil drives the #18 Dale Coyne Racing DP01 Ford Cosworth during the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 20, 2008 in Long Beach, California.

(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

THE BEST TWO COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAMS...? Quarterback Mitch Mustain #16 of the USC Trojans white team prepares to snap the ball against the Trojans cardinal team during the spring practice game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on April 19, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

And...this is really funny...UVA is playing them.

Yike!

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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