Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pictures Of The Day

Believe You Can ridden by Rosie Napravnik (center, green and orange) leads the pack down the back stretch during the 138th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jamey Price/Getty Images)
The winner's circle at Churchill Downs.  (Elsa/Getty Images)
Rosie Napravnik celebrates atop Believe You Can after winning the 138th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks in front of Broadway's Alibi John Velazquez at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
C'mon Rosie smile, you just won a $1 million horse race (which put $56,420 in her pocket!).  Here Rosie Napravnik sits atop Believe You Can with the lilly's after winning the 138th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Horses are seen on the track as lightning strikes before the 138th running of the Kentucky Oaks horse race at Churchill Downs Friday, May 4, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The field comes out of the starters gate at the beginning of the 138th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Friday, May 4, 2012

So Long ESPN, UNC Hires Davis

(Bill Kostroun/AP Photo)
North Carolina has hired former Tar Heels guard and NBA veteran Hubert Davis as an assistant men's basketball coach.

Davis was a first-round draft pick in 1992 and played 12 years in theNBA. He spent the past seven years as a college basketball analyst on ESPN. Davis replaced Jerod Haase, who left in March after nine years as an assistant in Chapel Hill to become head coach at UAB.

UNC coach Roy Williams recruited Davis as an assistant to Dean Smith before leaving to take over at Kansas. Williams had said previously he wanted to hire a former North Carolina player to replace Haase.

Davis played for the Tar Heels from 1988-92, helping the Tar Heels win two ACC tournaments and reach the Final Four in 1991.

R.I.P. Jr. Seau 1969-2012

(Tom Pidgeon/Allsport/Getty Images)

Junior Seau’s death has officially been ruled a suicide by authorities in California. Seau is the eighth member of the 1994 Chargers, who lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, to die at a young age.

Linebacker Lew Bush died of an apparent heart attack last December. Running back Rodney Culver died in a 1996 plane crash; linebacker Dave Griffs died in a 1995 car crash; linebacker Doug Miller was struck by lightning in 1998; center Curtis Whitley died of an overdose in 2008; defensive end Chris Mims died of an enlarged heart in 2008; and defensive tackle Shawn Lee died of cardiac arrest in 2010.
(Kent Horner/Getty Images)

ESPN: Edsall Looks To Right Ship

By Ivan Maisel/

In the first five minutes of an interview, it becomes clear that Maryland head coach Randy Edsall does not Google himself.

Randy Edsall is happy about the team he's put together this spring and is optimistic about the upcoming season.

"I tell you what," Edsall said. "Things are great."
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Edsall took over a team that went 9-4 in 2010 and led them to a 2-10 record last year. In his 14 months as head coach, 24 Terrapins have transferred to play elsewhere, including starting quarterback Danny O'Brien and left offensive tackle Max Garcia. Edsall is on his second set of coordinators, one of whom, Mike Locksley, is fresh off a train wreck of a tenure as head coach at New Mexico.

Yet over the course of an hour in his office in the Gossett Team House, Edsall sounds neither beleaguered, nor like a B-leaguer.

"The enthusiasm, the energy, the passion for what we're doing -- the guys that want to be here at Maryland have the Maryland pride that we are establishing," Edsall said. "It's been great."

The local media works him over. One Washington Post columnist, the estimable Sally Jenkins, mocked him as a modern-day Captain Queeg. The other Washington Post columnist, the best-selling John Feinstein, didn't use the Hollywood metaphor. He just demanded that Edsall be fired. After one season.

"A lot of people think perception is reality," Edsall said.

To read more, click here. 

Pictures Of The Day

Wellwishers pay their respects to Junior Seau at a makeshift memorial outside of his beach home on May 3, 2012 in Oceanside, California.  (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Kenya Kobayashi of Japan performs his rings routine during day one of the 51st Artistic Gymnastics NHK Trophy at Yoyogi National Gymnasium on May 4, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Kentucky Derby favorite Bodemeister, who was born at Audley Farm in Berryville, VA, gallops on the track at Churchill Downs yesterday morning.  (Elsa/Getty Images)
According to reports, Mariano Rivera suffered a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee as well as a partially torn meniscus while shagging balls in the outfield during batting pratice on May 3, 2012 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Sun rise at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky, home of the $2 million 138th Kentucky Derby. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Ink Scrum...Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh (Wake Forest) (left) and New York Knicks J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony wrestle for the ball amongst a forest of ink.  The Heat are up 3-0 in the series.  The Knicks are up 43-25 in tatoos.  (Kathy Willens/AP Photo)
Surfer Kolohe Andino rolls with the waves while practicing for the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Surfing Championship in California.  (Robert Beck/SI)
USA’s Margaret Steffens shoots (and scores) vs. Hungary during teh Water Polo INternational Invitational at the water polo venue in Olympic Park in London.  (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Picture Of The Morning...

Sunrise at Churchill Downs, home of the 138th Kentucky Derby. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

T.A.H. Stalwart Goes For Gold Saturday

Founding member of the Society for the Appreciation of T.A.H. and exalted member of T.A.H.’s “CC Nation,” Dr. A.C. Wahoo Griffin, Jr. is looking to win Saturday’s $75,000 Virginia Gold Cup with his horse Aero.  Happily for Aero, Griffin will not be riding.  That chore will be handled by veteran steeplechase jockey Jeff Murphy.
AERO (left) (Photo by Douglas Lees)
Aero finished second in the Middleburg Hunt Cup two weeks ago.  Last fall he scored a sparkling victory in the National Sporting Museum Chronicle Cup at the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg.  Aero then finished second in the Virginia Gold Cup’s little sister race the International Gold Cup.

Suffice to say, he knows his way around the Great Meadow racecourse. 

Now the bad news is Aero, our CC Nation “Pick Of The Day,” faces Bubble Economy who is looking for his third Virginia Gold Cup victory.  The field also includes Incomplete who won the important Gold Cup prep race, the My Lady’s Manor, where he defeated a quality field including Bubble Economy (2nd).  

That said, it’s a long race at some four miles over something like 300 immovable post and rail fences....OK, we’re exaggerating, it’s only 23 fences, but after the first three miles if feels like anything can happen.


To see all the entries for the 87th running of the Virginia Gold Cup, click here.

Local Horse Morning Line Favorite For Kentucky Derby

Breaking from the No.6 post position -- the same post as the last Virginia-bred Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero did in 1993 -- Virginia-bred Bodemeister is the 4-1 morning line for Saturday’s 138th Kentucky Derby.  Bodemeister was bred by Audley Farm in Berryville, Virginia, only 40 miles from T.A.H. Worldwide Media Headquarters.

Veteran jockey Mike Smith will ride.  Smith won the Derby on 50-1 shot Giacomo in 2005.
''If he gets away well, like I've been saying all along, if he's given the opportunity, he's going to run extremely well,'' said Smith.

While being bet down to the favorite hasn’t produced many Derby winners of late, Bodemeister also faces an historic hurdle.   No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without racing as a two-year-old.

Bodemeister earned the nod from Churchill downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia based on his post position and his impressive 9 1/2  length win in the Arkansas Derby.  Many felt Bedemiester’s win in Little Rock was the most dominating performance of the Derby prep races. 

Union Rags (No.4 post) was a close second choice at 9-2 in a full field of 20 horses. He is trained by Michael Matz, who won the Derby in 2006 with Barbaro.

Wood Memorial winner Gemologist was the third choice at 6-1 and drew the No. 15 post. 
Blue Grass winner Dullahan was the 8-1 fourth choice. He got the No. 5 post, drawing the loudest cheers from his connections.

Two California horses, Creative Cause and Santa Anita Derby winner I'll Have Another, were listed at 12-1.

Hansen, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, and Daddy Long Legs have the most graded stakes earnings in the field. Hansen leads the list with more than $1.5 million, while Daddy Long Legs has $1.2 million.

If all 20 horses start, the $2,219,600 purse would be the richest since 2005, when the Derby first became a guaranteed $2 million event. The winner earns $1,459,600. Post time is 6:24 p.m. EDT.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Leading Rusher Harris Dismissed From Boston College Football

HARRIS (Elsa/Getty Images)
Boston College running back Montel Harris has been dismissed from the team, coach Frank Spaziani announced yesterday.

"Montel Harris has been permanently dismissed from our football team due to a repeated violation of team rules," Spaziani said in a prepared statement. "We are grateful for his contributions the past four seasons and will support him in completing his degree requirements and in his future pursuits."
"There's a lot of aspects to it that are disappointing," he said in a follow-up interview with ESPN.  "It's disappointing."

The ACC's leading rusher in 2010 and its preseason player of the year last season, Harris became the Eagles' all-time rushing leader with 3,735 career yards in his second game of the season against Wake Forest. He had missed the first three games of the 2011 campaign after arthroscopic knee surgery in August and ended up playing in only two games due to issues with the knee.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native was granted a medical hardship waiver for this upcoming season. He returned for spring practice in February before complaining of soreness after the first day, forcing the team to shut him down for the rest of spring.

Harris is the school's all-time leader in carries with 786, and 100-yard games with 22. He's third all-time in touchdowns with 27. He was the ACC's active leader in rushing yards and carries.

Harris holds the ACC record for most rushing yards through his junior season. He would have entered 2012 within striking distance of the 34-year-old conference record for career rushing yards held by North Carolina State's Ted Brown, who ran for 4,602 yards from 1975-78.

Pictures Of The Day

Ferrari's F1 driver Brazilian Felipe Massa test the pits stop at Mugello track, during the 2nd day of the F1 official test session on May 2, 2012. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
Evidently…we jinxed the the Nats when we bragged on them at 14-4. They have since lost five straight to return to earth.  Last week they brought teenage phenom Bryce Harper up from Triple AAA to try to jump start their offense.  Here, Harper talks to the media before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park on May 1, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Kenni A. Larsen of Denmark drives his motorbike during the semi-final of the Individual Speedway European Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. (Zsolt Czegledi/EPA)
HELLLL-OOOO WILLLL-BUR!  Kentucky Derby hopeful Union Rags at Churchill Downs.  (John Sommers II/Rueters)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Johnson Returns To Coach Virginia Tech, Gets Big Fat Raise

A bit less than three weeks ago, James Johnson gave an exit interview when he left his job as a Virginia Tech assistant for the same role at Clemson.

Today, he will be announced as Virginia Tech's new head basketball coach after spending less than two weeks with the Tigers.
(Dave Knachel/The Daily Press)
Johnson’s first order of business in his return may be trying to keep Tech’s two signees for the class of 2012 — players he had a hand in recruiting — from leaving the program before they even get to Blacksburg. 

Johnson, a forty-year-old Powhatan, VA native and 1993 Ferrum College graduate, becomes the only current ACC head basketball coach hired without previous head-coaching experience.
He was a member of Greenberg’s staff from 2007-12, serving as Greenberg’s associate head coach — the lead assistant coaching role. 

On April 13, Johnson left Tech to take an assistant’s job at Clemson under Brad Brownell. The job came with a $185,000 salary, which equaled a $45,000 raise from what he was earning at Tech.

Johnson held previous assistant coaching jobs at George Mason(2005-07, helping lead the Patriots in ’06 to the Final Four), Penn State (2003-05), College of Charleston (2002-03), Elon (2000-02), Old Dominion (1997-2000), Longwood (1995-96) and Ferrum (1993-95). He also coached the 1996-97 season in Chatham at Hargrave Military Academy.

Tech has letters of intent for incoming freshmen Montrezl Harrell, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward from Tarboro, N.C., who attended Hargrave this year, and Marshall Wood, a 6-8, 203-pound forward from Rustburg High in Rustburg. Harrell is considered by most analysts to be one of the nation’s top 100 prospects entering college this coming fall.

Tweets Of The Day

GREEN (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) Virginia Tech coach James Johnson has always been a popular with the Hokie’s players, and judging from some of their Tweets yesterday, the players favor the new hire.

Erick Green: “Yessss I’ll be back next year”

Cadarian Raines: “throwing a party tonight”

Cadarian Raines: “Its a great day to be a hokie”

Jarell Eddie: “That makes me feel a lot better.”

C.J. Barksdale: “Congrats To JJ becoming Head Coach..Im hype lol He deserves it though”

Local Rugby Star All-AC(-C)...(+R)(+L)

The pride of Brentsville High School in Brentsville, VA (duh) and Bond University in Robina, Australia and member of the famous T.A.H. Blaser Family (founding members of the Society For The Appreciation of T.A.H. - SFTATAH - yes, it’s pronounced Sfffft-A-Tah), Tyler Blaser has been named to the All-ACC rugby team by the Atlantic Coast Rugby League.
(Joseph Sullivan Photo)
The league is made up entirely of ACC club teams, but stresses it has no official affiliation with the league. (Translation: It’s still fun and unburned by NCAA and ACC bull****. Just sayin’.)  Clemson finished second in the league to Maryland by one crummy point with a 7-6-1 record. In all likelihood the Terps bent the rules ever so slightly...allegedly. 

Blaser, a senior at Clemson, followed in his brother Sam’s Tiger footsteps, but unlike his sibling who was a powerhouse lacrosse player, Tyler travelled his father’s well-worn path and excelled at rugby.  Sam, now an international banking executive and club LAX aficionado, told T.A.H. his little brother is “pretty good, I guess.”  
(Joseph Sullivan Photo)
The senior Blaser was quite good at rugby, playing in some matches in various foreign countries famous for good beer, but, by all accounts, he was a Hall of Famer in the “social” components of the game.  That and he had good hair.  Currently he is in charge of over 1 million dump trucks and a zillion miles of roads in Prince William County, the world’s largest on-going road-building construction site.  

For the record, he mows his own lawn, loves 70s music and possesses the best "sissy fade" of any golfer within an 11 mile radius of Owls Nest, VA.

The All-ACC rugger’s mother is also a former LAX player and coach. But she is known locally for being the best physical therapist in town, an astute business owner and manager, and a woman of few opinions with little need of expressing them.  (OK, we might have fudged that last part.)  The only black mark on the distaff Blaser’s record is the notation that she was constantly asked to “sit down, shut up or get thrown out of” all but two of her son’s high school basketball games.  (She missed those games while on a mission trip to Haiti, otherwise her referee berating batting average would have been a staggering .1000.)  There is a plaque at BHS commemorating her keen vision and knowledge of the rules as they applied to her offspring. 

For the record, she is a computer wiz and a four-time winner of the Greater Warrenton Charity Talk Off (sponsored by the Warrenton Holiday Inn Express).  She most recently organized an incredibly successful (not to mention, fun) fundraiser for a local youth development organization.

The family’s got talent.  You should see them dance.

WAY TO GO BLASER! (Joseph Sullivan/Photo)
2012 All-ACRL First Team
Prop- Abe Harmon, NCSU
Prop- Tanner Hall, GT
Hooker-Alek Belokepetov, UNC
Lock- Christian Gutowski, Wake Forest
Lock- Spencer Hutchinson, Clemson
Lock- Ron Pelkey, Virginia Tech
Loose Forward- Brendan Shea, Wake Forest
Loose Forward- Keith Sneddon, Maryland
Loose Forward- Mic Minichiello, Virginia Tech
Forward- Bill Whelan, Virginia Tech
Forward- Matt Pace, NCSU
Flyhalf/Hooker- Dan Collins, Clemson
Scrumhalf-Tyler Thompson, Clemson
Scrumhalf- Chris Curtin, UVA
Flyhalf- Rob Kelly, Wake Forest
Inside Center- Amir Khan, UNC
Outside Center- Dan Hudgens, UNC
Wing/Fullback- Trevor Tanifum, Maryland
Fullback- Johnny McMurray, Wake Forest
Back- Evan Burch, UVA
Back- John Davis, Maryland

To read more, click here

To read more about Clemson rugby, click here.

(Editor's note: Everything said here about Tyler is true, all the other be the judge.)

Pictures Of The Day

Virginia-bred Bodemeister is ridden on the track during the morning exercise session in preparation for the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 29, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Club Brugge's Niki Zimling kicks the ball and scores the 2-0 goal past Standard's goalkeeper Anthony Moris, during the Jupiler Pro League Play-Off group 1 football match between Club Brugge and Standard de Liege, in Brugge, on May 1, 2012, on day one of the Play-Off 1 of the Belgian soccer championship. (Bruno Fahay/AFP/Getty Images)
"I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt..." An official holds the start flag on an oval track of a velodrome during an old timer car and motorcycle show in Budapest on May 1, 2012. The event brought life again into the 412 meter long Millennial Velodrome of Budapest, which was built in 1896 and is one of the oldest arenas for track cycling in Europe. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images)
Doug Shanahan #26 of the Long Island Lizards scores a fourth quarter goal past TC DiBartollo #0 of the Chesapeake Bayhawks during their Major League Lacrosse game on April 28, 2012 at Shuart Stadium in Uniondale, New York. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)
Starting pitcher Matt Garza #22 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on April 29, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images North America)
BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock arriving at ESPN to defend the current BCS system and explain why a college football playoff is a dumb idea...Naaaah...just kiddin’. It’s really Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as his character from "The Dictator," arriving in Sydney, Australia flanked by female bodyguards. ( 
Petter Solberg of Norway and Chris Patterson of Great Britain compete in their Ford WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC during Day3 of the WRC Rally Argentina on April 29, 2012 in Cordoba , Argentina. (Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images South America)
Chad Kagy of the USA competes in the BMX Big Air final at the Kia X-Games Asia 2012 at the Jiangwan Sports Centre in Shanghai on May 1, 2012.  (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
An elderly dude rides his motorbike on the velodrome during an old timer car and motorcycle show in Budapest on May 1, 2012. The event brought life again into the 412 meter long Millennial Velodrome of Budapest, which was built in 1896 and is one of the oldest arenas for track cycling in Europe. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images)
Stop right there.  Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks fouls the Heat’s LeBron James during their Eastern Conference Semi-final.  The Heat won.  (Steve Mitchell/US Presswire)
Kentucky Derby hopeful Creative Cause gets a bath following a workout at Churchill Downs prior to this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.  (John Sommers II/Reuters)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Maryland Basketball Has Tough Weekend

STOGLIN (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Usually, when there is bad news coming out of College Park these days it's nothing more than yet another football player abandoning Randy Edsall's unpopular ship and the basketball program seemed to be in a good place...

Terps basketball fans went to bed on Saturday night feeling like the hoopsprogram was on its way up after a solid first season under new coach Mark Turgeon.  Then the wheel started falling off…

First came the news Sunday morning that guard Pe’Shon Howard had been arrested followed this morning by the announcement that last season’s leading scorer and MVP Terrell stoglin and Mychal Parker had been suspended for one year due to a violation of Maryland’s student-code of conduct. 

Wait…there’s more.

Then, Stoglin entered his name in the NBA draft.

That’s a rock-solid train wreck right there!  

Stoglin was given the Len Bias Award as the most valuable player on the team at the University of Maryland men's basketball awards banquet earlier this month.

This past season he was the ACC's leading scorer averaging 21.6 points a game.  Parker averaged 4.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in playing all 32 games for the Terrapins as a sophomore.

Howard  was arrested early Sunday morning outside a College Park restaurant and cited for disorderly conduct.

Howard was released after being issued the citation and now awaits a court date.  The incident occurred after there was some sort of incident/fight in the Shanghai CafĂ© on Baltimore Avenue in College Park.

A rising junior from Los Angeles, Howard (6 feet 3, 195 pounds) was sidelined by foot and knee injuries much of last season but is expected to resume his role as Maryland’s starting point guard next season.

Last season, Maryland finished 17-15 (6-10 ACC) in their first year without Gary Williams.

Pictures Of The Day

Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics defends a drive by Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks (by way of Wake Forest) in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 29, 2012 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks won 83-74 (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
An unidentified motocross rider competes in an exhibition at the Kia X-Games Asia 2012 at the Jiangwan Sports Centre in Shanghai on April 30, 2012.  (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls lays on the floor aftrer suffering an injury against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 103-91.  Rose, the most beloved Chicago basketball star since Michael Jordan, tore his ACL. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The NBA 1986 top draft choices pose for a portrait after being selected in the first round (L to R): William Bedford, Len Bias, Chris Washburn and Brad Daugherty in New York in 1986. Washburn has returned to his native Hickory, NC where he has opened a new restaurant and is rebuilding his life after years of drug addiction that ruined his basketball career.  To read more, click here.  (Noren Trotman/NBAE/Getty Images)
Andrew Fifita of the Sharks is tackled during the round eight NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Cronulla Sharks at Canberra Stadium on April 29, 2012 in Canberra, Australia. (Stefan Postles/Getty Images AsiaPac)

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