Tuesday, March 26, 2013

R.I.P. T.A.H. 2005 - 2013: ACC Sports Blog To Close Shop On Day Of Important Surgery

(Steve Kohls / Brainerd Daily Dispatch via AP)
Dear loyal readers, not-so-loyal readers, people who hate to read and the general public at large including the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (which never invited us to play in their stupid sandbox):

The goal was to reach 1 million visits and then close shop. That said, for reasons unknown to anybody at T.A.H. Worldwide Media Headquarters, readership has crashed and burned of late.  This week in 2012, T.A.H. was visited over 5,000 times. Three weeks ago, a total of 951.  On one day in March of 2012, over 1,000 people visited the site, on Valentine’s Day 2013, just 87. 

Weekly visits have gone from almost 6,000 during early March of last year to an average of around 1,300…the crashing trend started at the beginning of this year. Yes, I have Google Analytics, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it’s telling me and even if I can decipher the code, it doesn’t tell me WHY

While everybody enjoys a hobby and a good laugh, there is no reason to produce something that nobody reads. There is enough crap in cyberspace as it is…(Sorry to call those of you that are loyal readers “nobody,” but you get the point.) 

I believe the decline is caused by a number of factors. 

First of all, it’s possible - unlikely mind you - but possible, that people have stopped reading ‘cause the content isn’t as good as it once was.  Just throwin’ that out there. 

Also, expansion, and some other things have really derailed passionate interest in the ACC in particular and college sports in general. The games are still pure, but the money-first back drop is clearly turning fans off.  We can escape our cynicism during the actual contests, but it quickly returns when the final whistle blows.

People are still rabid fans of THEIR TEAM, but the ACC has lost a lot of luster in recent years. Also, the majority of fans take their team’s plight VERY seriously. The comments I received over the years demonstrated that many readers (and certainly almost all that left comments) didn’t get the joke(s). 

I mean one time, we might have poked a little fun at some seven-year-olds that got their collective football butts kicked all over the miniaturized football field (91-0) by a team that my son played for and, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, some parents, coaches and the commissioner of the kid football league took offense even though we said the score was 13-0, as in 13 touchdowns to zero touchdowns which we thought was pretty good “editing.”  

Alas, skin is thin. That little skirmish damn near cost me my Fauquier Youth Football League press pass! Which, for the record, ain’t that easy to come by (to begin with). Hey now, that’s a double prepositional ending sentence exacta.   Two words people: quality journalism. But, I digress… 

So the audience seem to lack interest in general coverage of the ACC (not to mention my friends and family) and the focus is on the GoHeels.comTheSabre.com and HokieSports.coms of the world where it’s “all my team, all the time.”  Seriously, people actually pay money for “insider” web sites like Rivals.com which burns billions of megabytes each year talking about which 15-year-old may play inside linebacker for (fill in your school's name here) four years from now.  Who can run with that?    

Add to that, it tough to cover the same stuff over and over and come up with good material. Seriously, how many colonial navy and Led Zeppelin jokes can you make up about John Paul Jones Arena? We wore those out six years ago…And always calling Duke the University of New Jersey at Durham was funny for a year or two, but it can’t hold up forever. 

You need cannon fodder to write comedy, and other than new crime and the ongoing foibles of the NCAA, we’ve pretty well exhausted every humor source in the ACC. Shoot, I even got tired of misspelling Krzyghbd5ski. (Naaaaah. Not really.  I still like to misspell Krzschbsg9ski.  I like to misspell Krzyhnmp2ski ‘cause it’s funny. Actually, misspelling Krxbnt6ski still makes me and Rob Corrie laugh, so that’s good enough!) Well, that and I never really learned how to spell it correctly.  And, in spite of it all, I really do LIKE Coach K and think he's GREAT.*

Let’s face it, teams, coaches and players aren’t as funny as they used to be. Where’s Julius “Snapple” Hodge and Charles “Amphibious” Shackelford when you need them? Remember Jon “Crazy Face” Schyer…now that was dude was funny.

But generally speaking it’s hard to be funny everyday first thing in the morning unless there are really good pharmaceuticals in your coffee. There isn’t. I could go all Hunter Thompson, but we all know that isn’t going to end well. I you don’t believe me, just ask Hunter Thompson.

As it stands, T.A.H., like any worthwhile endeavor, requires 1) a lot of work (research, writing, editing and “borrowing” photos) and 2) a fair amount of “give a s***.” The work takes time and time is in short supply.  

“Give a s***” comes and goes and it simply doesn’t lend itself to Syracuse or Pitt. (Now, Notre Dame has potential. Can you imagine the fun we would have had with the Teo catfishing circle jerk if the Golden Domers were really IN the ACC?)  In the immortal words of Dick Enberg:  “Oh My.”

Unfortunately, it’s all starting to feel like work, and that much uncompensated effort can’t last but so long. Creativity takes time. Seriously, it takes a fair amount of time to write a good turtle joke… 

WHAT? Maryland is going to the BIG TEN? Well, CRAP SANDWICH, there’s one more reason to stop the presses! 

In addition, cyber-publishing has changed. Photos are harder and harder to come by as media consolidates.  It’s just a matter of time before T.A.H. gets sued for using other’s photos. Mind you, I always credit those photos, but two entities (the Washington Post, and Virginia Tech) have told me to stop reprinting their stuff.  Rat bastards.

Eight long internet years later with jpegs, giffs, photos, links, videos and a zillion bytes of both technology and text, T.A.H. is a pretty good looking product and I remain proud of that. (It looks great on Flipboard on your iPad!). If it had a real editor to fix the typos, it would be really good, but it doesn’t so it isn’t. Such is life.

Of course, you must be thinking, “Why now?” 

Why, during the Big Dance are we shuttering the doors?  Because in the grand scheme of things a basketball tournament doesn’t matter as much as some malfunctioning body parts...

All of that said, somehow we have all arrived at the end of the T.A.H. universe. Like Jim Carey in The Truman Show, I was looking for the end, and by God I think I’ve stumbled upon the perfect concluding event.

I’ve decided to take T.A.H. out in a “BLASER OF GLORY” along with T.A.H. founding reader and loyal fan Tom Blaser’s hip.  When the old hip gets yanked out of T-Blaze’s body on MONDAY, 3/25/13, T.A.H. will cease publishing new material!  

(Editor's note on 3/26/13: Old hip is out, new hip is in, the only remaining question is what will happen to Blaze's "sissy fade.")

As Douglas Adams so eloquently said in A Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, “So long, and thanks for all the fish.” 

It was fun while it lasted, thanks for reading! -- GP, editor/publisher T.A.H.

P.S. Dear Mr. Snyder: I meant everything I said in all those Dear Mr. Snyder posts. Please don’t let Mike Shenanigan-han kill RG3 and try not to let RG3 kill RG3. C’mon, step up, take control of some of the important stuff. Look how well it’s worked out for Jerry Jones!

Just kidding.

Sort of...

PPS: Thanks to the Associated Press, ESPN (especially the ACC football blog), the Raleigh News & Observer (with props to their many excellent photographers), Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports and so many other media outlets that made T.A.H. readable.

*Item in italics may not be true.  


Monday, March 25, 2013

ACC To Invite Florida Gulf Coast To Join League

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Sources close (geographically) to ACC headquarters swear on a stack of sweat socks that the league is seriously considering inviting Florida Gulf Coast to join the ACC.

“They are the only undefeated team in the history of the NCAA tournament,” said an ACC staffer who did not want to be identified.  The Eagles are making their first trip to the Big Dance and they are 2-0, thus of all the teams that have participated over the years in the NCAA tournament, Florida Gulf Coast is the only one that has never lost a tournament game.

Oh, and they are the first 15 seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Add to that thier head coach Andy Enfield sold a major share of the company he co-founded that was valued at $100 million, is married to an ex-Super Model and is the leading NCAA free throw shooter of all time (Johns Hopkins).

“As the ACC looks at expansion,” a source close to ACC Commissioner John Swofford’s neighbor two doors down’s dog walker said, “Either the A(ME)C(M)C or the AC(NMCSV)C* could use a team that has an unblemished dance card.”

FGC has managed to achieve a milestone that none of the iconic basketball powers has achieved.  All the big boys including North Carolina, Duke, UCLA, Indiana and Kentucky have all lost multiple NCAA tournament games.

“I should have quit while I was ahead,” mused Ol’ Roy whose second Kansas Jayhawk team defeated Robert Morris in William’s NCAA debut in 1990.

Williams was then quick to point out that his nemesis Mike Krzdhvb4ski lost his first NCAA tournament game to Eastern Michigan in 1996.

Walking away Williams might have been over heard saying, “Easter Michigan? Really?”

“It’s a unique honor,” a source close to the Gulf coast of Florida told T.A.H. “But, the Eagles do have another game coming up later this week, so the ACCMCSVC or whatever they are calling it now, needs to move along.”

*Atlantic (Mountain East) Coast (Midwest) Conference  or the Atlantic Coast (Northeast, Midwest, Central PA, Shenandoah Valley) Conference.

*Items in italics may not be true.

This Nice Man’s Name Is Actually Kryzewski

(Elsa/Getty Images)

In spite of what you may have seen here over the past 8 years, Duke’s Hall of Fame head coach’s name is not spelled Kryzrhgv7ski or Kryzxcsw2ski or Kryzmklo9ski or Kryzqwdf5ski or Kryzytghb3ski nor does it have a number in it like Krzyfvmls4ski.

Or so we are told.

Pictures Of The Last Day

Yes we did! We really did care about soccer...OK, no we didn’t. But, we do appreciate the passion for futbol the reigns king all over the world. Here, Yousef Mansour E Alsalem of Saudi Arabia celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2015 AFC Asia Cup Qualifying match between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on March 23, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Syamsul Bahri Muhammad/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Can’t pull the plug without a review of some of the knowledge gained from TAH...Horse racing isn’t what it once was in the U.S. (sort of like boxing), but the Breeders Cup and Triple Crown are still a big deal. That said, the sport is thriving in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Here, Jockeys approach the straight in the Sky High Mt Dandenong Handicap during Melbourne racing at Caulfield Racecourse on March 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images AsiaPac)
And some of you discovered F1 as a result of TAH. Charlie Kimball, drives the #83 NovoLog FlexPen Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda during practice for the the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 24, 2013 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)
Same with cricket...can’t leave without a parting shot. AB de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien of South Africa celebrate the wicket of Younis Khan of Pakistan during the 5th Momentum ODI match between South Africa and Pakistan from Willowmoore Park on March 24, 2013 in Benoni, South Africa. (Gallo Images/Getty Images Europe)

One last picture of our favorite “crazy people.” Here, Andrea Dovizioso of Italy and Ducati Marlboro Team rounds the bend during the MotoGP Tests In Jerez - Day 3 at Circuito de Jerez on March 24, 2013 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Europe)
Members of the band for the North Carolina Tar Heels perform against the Kansas Jayhawks during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 24, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Tyler Thornton #3 of the Duke Blue Devils makes a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer against the Creighton Bluejays during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Quinn Cook #2 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts in the first half while taking on the Creighton Bluejays during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Center on March 24, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Jeff Withey #5 of the Kansas Jayhawks dunks in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 24, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Gimme that...Miami's victory put three schools from Florida in the Sweet 16 for the first time in tournament history. And two from the ACC for something like the one millionenth time. (Greg Nelson/SI)

Duke, Miami Move On To Sweet 16, Heels Headed Home

(Greg Nelson/Sports Illustrated)

Duke and Miami are headed to the Sweet 16 while horrific shooting sends North Carolina back to Chapel Hill.

MIAMI 63, Illinois 59 - Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead three-pointer with a minute left and Miami gained possession on a ball knocked out of bounds that probably should have gone to Illinois, helping the Hurricanes hold on for a 63-59 victory Sunday night to advance to the NCAA round of 16.

After Larkin's first field goal in about 9 1/2 minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a three-pointer. In the fight for the rebound, the ball appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami's Kenny Kadji out of bounds. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.

Miami (29-6) is in the round of 16 for only the second time in school history. The Hurricanes play Marquette (25-8) in Washington D.C. on Thursday night.

Larkin, the only non-senior starter for Miami and the ACC player of the year, finished with 17 points. Rion Brown had 21 with five 3s. 

More here

(Elsa/Getty Images)
DUKE 66, Creighton 50  - Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points, Seth Curry scored had 17 and No. 2 seed Duke held off seventh-seeded Creighton 66-50 on Sunday to advance to the round of 16 for the fourth time in five years.

A year after they lost their NCAA tournament opener, the Blue Devils (29-5) are back in the regional semifinal for the 23rd time. They'll play No. 3 seed Michigan State (27-8) in the regional semifinal Friday in Indianapolis.

Mason Plumlee, Josh Hairston and Ryan Kelly battled foul trouble all game long that could have doomeed the Blue Devils. Creighton (28-8) went cold and never made a serious run in the second half. Doug McDermott scored 21 points but made only four baskets. 

More here.  

(Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Kansas 70, NORTH CAROLINA 58 - The Tar Heels scored 30 points on 26% shooting in the first half and 28 points on 35.5% shooting in the second half including going 6 for 21 from behind the arc.

Game over. 

Kansas is the best defensive team in the country in terms of field goal percentage holding their opponents to 36% for the season.  The Heels shot 30.1% for the game and had no answer for 7’ Jeff Withey. It was UNC’s second lowest point total of the season.

Behind the impassioned play of Travis Releford and Withey, the top-seeded Jayhawks shook themselves out of a first-half slumber to dispatch the poor-shooting Tar Heels with minimal drama.

Withey had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Releford finished with 22 points for the Jayhawks (31-5), who also knocked former coach Roy Williams' team out of the NCAA tournament during their 2008 title run and again last season, when Kansas marched all the way to the Final Four.

The Tar Heels (25-11) harassed the Jayhawks into a dozen turnovers and one of its worst shooting performances of the season in taking a 30-21 lead at the break. But they buckled in the second half as Kansas, playing just 40 miles from its campus in Lawrence, turned up the pressure.

More here.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bracket Busters

 (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Wichita State's Cleanthony Early (11) celebrates after his team defeated Gonzaga 76-70 during a third-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

Can UNC knock off Kansas?

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