Friday, July 17, 2009

WOODS LIKELY TO MISS CUT IN BRITISH OPEN, WAHOO TIED FOR LEAD

Tiger Woods finished his day +5 and is unlikely to make the cut at the 138th British Open. Tiger started the day at +1, would par the first six holes, but would then bogey #8 and #9 before losing his drive off of #10. That would up being a double bogey, and Woods never recovered.

The cut is the top 74 players with ties. At this writing, (approx 7:40 pm in Scotland) there are 76 golfers at +4.

Tom Watson continues to lead the tournament, tied with Steve Marino (University of Virginia, 2002, Sociology) at -5.

While not a household name, Marino has won $4,761,337 on the PGA Tour.


NICANOR SCRATCHES FROM VIRGINIA DERBY

Virginia’s run of bad luck in big races for colts continues as Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro’s full-brother Nicanor has scratched from tomorrow’s $750,000 Virginia Derby Gr. II.

According to the Blood-Horse, Nicanor was scratched due to a leg injury.

Trainer Michael Matz says Nicanor injured his left hind leg during a gallop the other day. The injury became evident when the horse worked out Thursday in Maryland.

Starting with Quality Road’s quarter crack which caused him to miss the Triple Crown, Virginia and Colonial Downs have had a hard time catching a break. Whether it’s Charitable Man’s good fourth in a very tough Belmont Stakes or the boycott of Colonial Downs by TrackNet Media ADWs and racetracks, Virginia hasn’t had much to cheer about this summer.

However, mimicking the national scene, where Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta are making headlines, the Virginia fillies continue to make great news.

We’ve researched this a bit and we can’t find a contradictory answer, so we are gonna go out on the limb and say when Edward P. Evans’ Cat Mover and Light Green (at right) finished first and second recently in the Gr. I Prioress Stakes at Belmont, that was the first time EVER that Virginia-breds finished 1-2 in a Gr. I stake.

Of course, Secretariat and Riva Ridge running one-two in the Marlboro Cup comes to mind, but while Riva Ridge was owned and bred by the Meadow
Stable of Virginia, he was actually foaled in Kentucky…

Congratulations to the whole Spring Hill farm crew down in Casanova, VA on another remarkable accomplishment, and maybe the filly Malibu Prayer can turn Virginia’s luck around tomorrow in the $250,000 Delaware Oaks Gr.II?

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: FOOTBALL CRIME

Not much in the news today, just a clean up of CRIME story.
Two charges against former Virginia Tech football player Jahre Cheeseman were dropped and a third was amended Wednesday in a hearing in Montgomery County General District Court.

Cheeseman, 22, of California was charged with assault, petit larceny and obstruction of justice without force, all misdemeanors, after a July 1 incident at Virginia Tech's University Gateway Center. He was accused of grabbing papers from the hands of Michael Keith Herndon of the Office of Summer Sessions, then leaving when VT police showed up to question him.

The assault and petit larceny charges were dropped. Cheeseman pleaded no contest to and was convicted of disorderly conduct rather than the original charge of obstruction of justice.

Cheeseman’s 60 day jail sentence was suspended, and he was placed on probation for 12 months. The judge ordered Cheeseman to continue to complete a psychological evaluation and receive counseling, which will be monitored by a probation officer.

Cheeseman graduated from Tech in May and received a scholarship to the Colorado School of Mines, a Division II college located in Golden, Colo., Davis said, where he will play football with the Orediggers.

BRAINIAC HEADED TO DUKE A YEAR EARLY?

Andre Dawkins, a highly ranked 2010 basketball recruit who has verbally committed to Duke, is considering joining the Blue Devils sooner as a member of the class of 2009.

"It's not a done deal at all," said Andre Dawkins, the recruit's father who goes by the same name. "It's a possibility we're looking into."

Dawkins' father said they will make a decision around Aug. 24.

The younger Dawkins, who attended Atlantic Shores Christian School (Virginia Beach, Va.), would be a high school senior this fall.

He is considering enrolling at Duke early because he has almost met his graduation requirements, having completed his freshman year of high school at a public school before transferring and reclassifying as a freshman at his current school, but he has completed four years of high school.

Dawkins, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard, is currently enrolled in a course that if completed could help him possibly join the Blue Devils.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DA(L)Y


Looks like Big John Daly will make the cut at Turnberry. He shot 68 yesterday and 72 today and is now even par for the weekend virtually assuring him a chance to play the weekend.
Groovy pants.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

BARBARO’S BROTHER INSTALLED AS FAVORITE FOR $750,000 VIRGINIA DERBY

Nicanor, the full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, is one of ten three-year-olds entered in the $750,000 Virginia Derby (G2) at Colonial Downs on Saturday and has been installed the 7-2 morning line favorite. Huh?

The Virginia Derby drew the top four finishers from the June 20 $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup (G2): winner Battle of Hastings (GB) along with Straight Story, Lime Rickey, and Take the Points, respectively. So how does Nicanor, making his stakes debut, figure to beat the likes of these four?


Well, there’s that whole Barbaro thing...

Bred and owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables, Nicanor enters the 1 1/4-mile turf stake undefeated in two starts on the grass, including a 15 1/4-length maiden victory on May 13 at Delaware Park and followed that up with an allowance win at the same track.

Rosie Napravnik rode Nicanor in his two turf wins, but Jose Lezcano will pilot the colt in the Virginia Derby. Nicanor finished tenth in his career debut under Edgar Prado on the dirt and then second twice on dirt under Lezcano before trainer Michael Matz switched the Dynaformer colt to the turf.

Straight Story, a New York-bred Giant’s Causeway colt owned by Richard Santulli, was carried eight-wide turning for home in the Turf Cup and re-rallied to miss by a head.

Nicanor has been on the lead at every call of his two turf races. On Saturday, he could face pace pressure from a number of horses, including Woodlawn Stakes winner Affirmatif, Jefferson Cup Stakes (G2) winner Florentino (Jpn), recent Colonial maiden and allowance winner Safety Valve, and Take the Points, who will wear blinkers for the first time on Saturday.

The race features the turf debut of Lanes End Stakes (G2) winner Hold Me Back. The Giant’s Causeway colt has not run since finishing 12th in the Kentucky Derby.

NCAA ATWITTER ABOUT TWEETS

Those suits out in Kansas, better known to most as the NCAA, are all worried about cyberspace yet again. Last month in Newport Beach, Calif. (hey, at least they know where to hold their meetings), the topic of conversation among the two dozen administrators included the latest technology being used by coaches attempting to woo recruits – Twitter.

This should come as no surprise as they have already been concerned about Facebook and MySpace.

At Maryland, football coach Ralph Friedgen, men's basketball coach Gary Williams and women's basketball coach Brenda Frese all have Twitter accounts. Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg tweets, as does George Mason men's coach Jim Larranaga. So do many other coaches across the nation, such as Southern California football coach Pete Carroll and Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari.

To read about it in today’s Washington Post, click here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Speaking of rules and the suits in Kansas…

“The NCAA is going to do what it's going to do, but I would hope they would not take away 10 or 12 wins away from him. I don't think that's fair. He coached the team he had; they played against people, and they won. They ought to be wins for them.” – Joe Paterno on Bobby Bowden.

So JoePa thinks Coach Dadgummit should keep his wins as do we. Of course, so does Bowden. Here’s ESPN’s latest update.

ONLY 49 MORE DAYS ‘TIL FOOTBALL

…not counting today.

On Tuesday, ace ACC blogger Heather Dinich broke down the ACC quarterbacks, something T.A.H. would never take the time to do. Yesterday she broke down the wide receivers.

Evidently, the Canes are leading the pack (no, not the Wolfpack, the whole pack) followed by Maryland, Virginia Tech and Boston College.

Nice, Heather, NICE!

BIG TEN/ACC YAWNFEST SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

For some reason, the ACC continues to participate in the BIG TEN/ACC NON-CHALLENGE, and those reasons are probably television, money and contractual obligations…

However, the challenge has been a bit of a yawn – the ACC has never lost and holds a 65-32 overall record. The last three years, the ACC has prevailed by a 22-11 margin.


The 2009 Big Ten/ACC Challenge will take place from Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
Monday, November 30
Penn State @ Virginia - 7pm ET on ESPN2

Tuesday, December 1
Wake Forest @ Purdue - 7pm ET on ESPN
Maryland @ Indiana - 7:30pm ET on ESPN2
Northwestern @ NC State - 7pm ET on ESPNU
Michigan State @ North Carolina - 9pm ET on ESPN
Virginia Tech @ Iowa - 9:30pm ET on ESPN2

Wednesday, December 2
Illinois @ Clemson - 7:15pm ET on ESPN
Boston College @ Michigan - 7:30pm ET on ESPN2
Minnesota @ Miami - 7:15pm ET on ESPNU
Duke @ Wisconsin - 9:15pm ET on ESPN
Florida State @ Ohio State - 9:30pm ET on ESPN2

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

GAME ON. Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa (L) talks to his caddy on the 4th green with Ailsa Craig island on the background on the first day of the 138th British Open Championship at Turnberry Golf Course in south west Scotland, on July 16, 2009. Nice pants. John Daly would be so proud.




Mark Calcavecchia of USA hits a shot on the ninth hole as his wife/caddy Brenda looks on during round one.




Tom Watson tees off #7. He was -4 through the first 13 holes.

Tiger was -1 after 9 holes. To see the current leaderboard, click here.

(Photos by Adrian Dennis, Ross Kinnaird and Peter Muhly/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

FISH OUT OF WIMBELDON? Tennis player Ana Ivanovic watches the group of Adam Scott of Australia during round one of the 138th Open Championship.

Notice how all the guys around her are trying to act like they don't notice her or know who she is...those UK guys, they're cool.


(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

SPEAKING OF TENNIS STARS. Here's one now. Tennis Legend Chris Evert follows Greg Norman's match during round one of the 138th Open Championship on the Ailsa Course, Turnberry Golf Club on July 16, 2009 in Turnberry, Scotland.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

GOOD MORING. A lighthouse is seen during round one of the 138th Open Championship on the Ailsa Course, Turnberry Golf Club on July 15, 2009 in Turnberry, Scotland.

(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

R.I.P. NATHANS OF GEORGETOWN

A young T.A.H. once made a trip to the notorious Studio 54 in New York along with the owner of Nathans and a trio of friends. Said owner, Howard Joynt, chartered the plane and the limo as he was want to do. God bless him!

The famous Georgetown restaurant/bar/saloon was part of many an escapade enjoyed by said T.A.H. and various members of the Ross family. So much fun was had that Howard married Carol Ross.

Unfortunately, Howard died suddenly, and his widow Carol Ross Joynt failed to heed his advice of "sell Nathans immediately if anything ever happens to me." Carol didn't, struggling for 12 long years to preserve Howard's legacy and the saloon at the corner of Wisconsin and M that he (and all of his cronies and many others over some 40 years) loved.

Finally, on Sunday, the economy, the landlords, the lawyers for Nathans hot dogs and the D.C. tax office finally sent Carol and Nathan's over the brink. (And believe us, that's the Reader's Digest version...)

So toss one back for Carol having fought the good fight to preserve a capitol landmark and the scene of a whole bunch of debauchery.

Let's face it, nobody wins when a good saloon/bar/tavern/pub closes...

DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T EVER GIVE UP

On a somewhat heavier note...

Mike and Mike of ESPN Radio were auctioning off cool stuff to benefit the V Foundation this morning – a trip to the Breeders Cup, a Monday Night Football game, a Notre Dame basketball/football weekend and a chance to have them do their morning radio show from your house.

The V Foundation has always been a T.A.H. favorite and now that the T.A.H. family has been touched by cancer more than once recently, we continue to advocate supporting the cancer research foundation that N.C. State coach Jim Valvano launched with the help of ESPN in 1993.

At the time, AIDS research was receiving ten times more money than cancer research and Valvano wanted to bring the Big C back onto the front burner. He used his platform at the 1993 ESPY Awards show to deliver his now famous speech. Of course, it being Valvano who would die just two months later, the speech is both moving and funny (of course, not at the same time).

Toward the end of the show, Mike and Mike played the speech. If you have never heard it, give it a listen. If you have, listen to it again. No matter where you are today, Jimmy V will remarkably put you in a better place…

To make a donation, click here.

TEAM USA WINS JUNIOR FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT

The second-seeded United States defeated top seed Canada 41-3 in the Gold Medal Game before a crowd of 15,473 fans at Fawcett Stadium.

USA Football's quarterback Bryce Petty (no relation to T.A.H.), a Baylor recruit, completed all of his pass attempts (14-for-14) and threw for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Nope, not a misprint – 14 for 14.

Nice, Bryce, NICE!

"It has been an amazing experience," said Petty, whose three-game totals in the tournament were 25-for-30, 382 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. "I can't even put into words what this has been like. I am extremely blessed."

David Wilson #22, a Virginia Tech recruit, who was named tournament MVP, led USA's rushing attack with 10 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown.

USA didn't dominate in the capacity it did earlier in the tournament in victories over France (78-0) and Mexico (55-0) as Canada offered some resistance.

FAT CATS TIGHTEN BELTS TOO

Evidently, even the major NCAA sports are required to tighten their belts in the current economy. While it’s unlikely that anybody will lose a D1 football or basketball program, the big boys are making “cost containment” moves. For example, in the ACC Miami's football team is planning to bus (rather than fly) to Tampa for a game against South Florida in late November.

ESPN’s Pat Forde can fill you in…to read his column, click here.

DUKE QUATERBACK SETS SIGHTS ON WINNING A BOWL GAME

A lot schools, fans and alums squawk about their bowl invitation when their team qualifies for NCAA post season play. Not so much the fans of the Duke Blue Devils who haven’t been in a bowl game since (fill in the blank) was still alive. Seriously, they last played in a bowl game in 1995...

Duke senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, who for the first time in his career is working with the same offensive coordinator for two consecutive seasons, will take three years of playing experience into his final year and he’s lookin’ to go bowling.

Lewis talked with The News & Observer's Edward G. Robinson III Tuesday about the upcoming football season and his time with the Blue Devils.

To read the interview, click here.

YOU’RE FIRED!…OOPS…NO, YOU RESIGNED!

For some reason former Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden waited from the date of his dismissal on October 13 until July 14 to address his departure. Here’s a shock – he didn’t resign, he didn’t plan on resigning and he didn’t want to resign. He called his departure a “dismissal.”

Oops.

Bowden addressed questions about his tenure Tuesday for the first time since his Oct. 13 departure, which athletics director Terry Don Phillips and the school have characterized as a resignation initiated by Bowden.

According to The State, “I kind of anticipated it,” Bowden said. “I was not naive to the expectations.”

Bowden spoke to reporters as part of a fundraising function at the University of North Alabama, where brothers Terry and Jeff Bowden serve as coach and graduate assistant, respectively.
Four days before Tommy’s departure, the Tigers lost at Wake Forest, dropping them to 1-2 in ACC play and damaging their chances of reaching the conference championship game for the first time in Bowden’s 10-year tenure.

After meeting with school president James Barker on Sunday, Phillips greeted Bowden at the coach’s office before sunrise Monday morning.

“I went to work that morning fully anticipating coaching that day and night,” Bowden said. “I had been a head coach for 12 years, and I had always turned it around. Never had a losing season. We were going to spin out of this thing. My offensive line was going to get better.

To read the entire story, click here.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

T.A.H. POP CULTURE EDITOR YOUNG A.T. WOULD SO DO THIS...This photo appeared on Yahoo Sports and this is exactly what the caption said: NFL players union's executive director, DeMaurice Smith, reacts as Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif. applies a roller to brush off the dog hairs on his coat as they ended a meeting in her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Sanchez offered the gesture since Smith was seated where Sanchez's dog was laying.

As it should be…

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

LOVELY DAY. The pack rides past sunflowers, on July 15, 2009 in the 192 km and eleventh stage of the 2009 Tour de France cycling race run between Vatan and Saint-Fargeau. US cycling Team Columbia-High Road (THR)'s leader Mark Cavendish of Great Britain won ahead of US cycling team Garmin-Slipstream (GRM)'s Tyler Farrar of the United States and French cycling team Francaise des Jeux (FDJ)'s Yauheni Hutarovitch of Belarussia.

(Photo by Patrick Hertzog/AFP/Getty Images)

Monday, July 13, 2009

FORMER TAR HEEL TO COACH PISTONS

Detroit Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars has named former Tar Heel John Kuester as the Pistons’ new head coach – the sixth new head man in the past ten years.

Kuester replaces Michael Curry, who was fired on June 30 after going 39-43 in his first season and being swept by Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs. Detroit had reached the Eastern Conference finals in the previous six seasons under Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown and Flip Saunders.

Dumars was said to be looking for “more experience” and Kuester has coached in the NBA for 19 years, but never as a head coach. He was with Detroit under Larry Brown when the Pistons upset the Lakers in 2004 to win the NBA Championship.

Detroit has almost completely turned over that roster, with only Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince remaining from the 2003-04 championship team. They added Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon in the first hours of free agency.

Kuester played high school basketball at Benedictine in Richmond, Va., and joined the UNC program in 1973. A contributor right from the start, he was a solid all-around player for some of Dean Smith's most successful teams.

Kuester's most significant contribution came during the Tar Heels' run to the NCAA title game in 1977. With several key players, including Phil Ford and Walter Davis battling injuries, Kuester led UNC to a 79-72 victory over Kentucky in the East Regional final, earning MVP honors. The Tar Heels eventually lost to Marquette in the NCAA championship game.

To read more, click here.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO…

Hmmm…

According to the Washington Post, ESPN and Nationals manager Manny Acta, Acta has been fired.

The Nationals went into the All-Star break with the worst record in the majors at 26-61. They have absolutely no pitching to speak of – their starters are questionable, and their bullpen is just plain horrific. And, yet, Acta, who hasn’t thrown a pitch gets canned.

The Nationals started 0-7 and never came close to approaching .500. When the team was hitting well, the pitching was a mess, and the team kept shuffling its bullpen with little change. Once the pitching became serviceable, the hitters suddenly became less productive.

How about interim GM Mike Rizzo or the tight-fisted Kasten ownership group, shouldn’t they be getting the blame…?

Acta was 158-252 in 2 1/2 seasons as Nationals manager, and the team’s winning percentage dropped progressively from Year 1 until now.

To read more, click here.

TWO FSU CHEATERS: OOPS, MY BAD…

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Two Florida State football players connected to a cheating scandal say they regret their actions could cost coach Bobby Bowden as many as 14 victories, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The two seniors, defensive tackle Budd Thacker and linebacker Dekoda Watson (pictured), said they're sorry that their actions might lead to NCAA discipline and the tarnishing of Bowden's legacy, according to the report.

"I know personally and for the guys that were involved with it, we're sincerely sorry about what happened," Watson said, according to the Sentinel. "And, I mean, that's all I can do. If I could turn back the hands of time, which anybody would say, I would."

"There was a time when I was depressed," Watson said, according to the report. "But all things happen for a reason. And now as far as Coach Bowden, I personally feel like he worked hard for [his legacy] and brought Florida State around ... they can't knock that he's still a legend. They can't knock that he did win all of those games, fair and square."

To read the rest of the story, click here.

ARE COACH K’S USA DUTIES HURTING DUKE

Fans of the Basketball University of New Jersey at Durham were heard to grumble over the weekend when Coach Mike Krzydvnb8ski renewed his commitment to coach Team USA. Some folks think the time he spends being a good American is detrimental to his Blue Devils.

However the stats show that the Blue Devils record hasn’t changed much from the five years prior to Coach K’s Team USA gig as they are 112-28 record since K took over along with two ACC titles ('06 and '09) and four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. However, adding fuel to the rising fire, the boys over at UNC have a 124-22 record with two ACC titles, two Final Fours and a national title over the same time span.

The comparative NCAA tourney records also have some Dukies rankled – the Blue Devils are 5-4 in the NCAA Tournament since '05 and Heel's 14-3.

To read both sides of the argument, click here.

HURRICANES REACH OUT TO HELP KIDS

Bell Glade, Florida isn’t the place most D1 football players would be looking to spend July.

Like a lot urban area, the city grapples with poverty and crime. Last year a high school standout from a rival town, was shot and killed there.

But, Belle Glade is where University of Maimi safety Randy Phillips (#6) calls home, and he and his teammates are helping the next generation.

“No guns. No gangs. No fighting. That’s what we’ve got to get into these kids,” Phillips said. “We’ve got to keep these kids positive and show them, right now, what happens when you make the right decisions. I made the right decisions. Too many guys, they made the wrong ones.”

The Hurricanes embarked Saturday on a community outreach program, targeting kids between the ages of 8 and 15. By the end of the months, they’ll do 28 events like this over a span of three weeks, first playing a little football, then talking about things that matter most.

To read more, click here.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

YEAH, I RODE WITH LANCE. Lance Armstrong (C) of USA and team Astana rides flanked by his fans tagging along his training session on the first rest day of the 2009 Tour de France on July 13, 2009 in Limoges, France.

(Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

THE NEXT MAJOR. Tiger Woods of the USA on the putting green during the practice round of the 138th Open Championship on July 13, 2009 on the Ailsa Course, Turnberry Golf Club, Turnberry, Scotland.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

CLOSE CALL. Sri Lankan cricket Nuwan Kulasekara avoids a bouncer during the second day of the second Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo on July 13, 2009. Sri Lanka lead by 136 runs with 2 wickets remaining in the 1st innings on the second day of the second Test.

(Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images)

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