Archive for January, 2007

Taking care of business

January 27, 2007

My column from Sunday’s Dispatch

A few of you may have heard me suggest on the radio Friday that Arizona was going to beat North Carolina this weekend.
The Tar Heels continue to impress me, and declawing the Wildcats, 92-64, in Tuscon without the services of Brandan Wright and Marcus Ginyard should be flat-out scary to anyone who doesn’t bleed Carolina blue.
Staying in the ACC, I wrote a column a few weeks ago lamenting the fact that Duke seems to get a lot of breaks from the officials during games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
In case you needed proof, the latest example popped up Thursday night when Clemson got absolutely hosed on a clock adjustment, giving Duke plenty of time to go down and get the winning shot.
Now the Devils deserved to win the game — only an unlikely steal and three pointer tied it in the first place — and maybe they would have won it easily in overtime. But the fact that the zebras ended up deciding that it took only six-tenths of a second for a guy to steal a pass, take a step back, shoot a three and have the ball fall through the net the game is just wrong.
Think I’m overreacting? The ACC released a statement Friday admitting the timing error.
And Duke’s reaction?
No comment.
I rest my case.
Moving right along, I recently celebrated my seven-year wedding anniversary with my lovely bride, Shanna.
How cool is my wife? Well, we spent the afternoon in a Raleigh sports bar, scarfing down wings and nachos while watching the Bears and battle it out for a Super Bowl berth on a huge projection TV.
Good times.
Some things, however, are not so good here in Henderson.
I was saddened to learn of the recent shooting at the Aycock Recreation Center Wednesday night.
This is the second incident I’ve witnessed in the area of a sporting event turning violent since I moved here.
Late last year, there was a post-game brawl and pepper spraying after a Warren County JV boys’ basketball game.
What’s the deal? Sports is suppose to feature healthy competition between friends or rivals.
Come on guys, leave the fighting and the guns out of it.
Of course, Maria Sharapova could have used a firearm in her match against Serena Williams in the Australian Open final.
At least then it may have been competitive.
Serena Williams is the most talented woman to ever pick up a tennis racquet.
Were it not for her off-court interests and injuries, I’d go so far to call her the best player ever.
She still has time to change my mind.

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Welcome to the blogging world

January 23, 2007

Gabe Whisnant, former staffer at the Goldsboro News Argus and my replacement in Shelby, has a blog up.

Check it out…

Quick hitters

January 18, 2007

Wow, Carolina’s good. Or Clemson sucks. Or something.

Funny how a pretty good team can get undressed at home by a great one. Mark it down, folks. Carolina’s winning the national championship. Unless they lose to Arizona, a great sleeper team for your brackets.

You’d think with all the money FOX has made from American Idol, they’d spring for a little piece of paper that says “use other door” as would-be idols shuffle back to oblivion…

Anyway, I wonder what Northern Vance has to do to get a little love in the ncpreps poll. I know Trinity’s 17-0, but am I the only guy smart enough to give a No. 1 vote to this year’s state champs?

Say it ain’t so.

Random thoughts

January 7, 2007

Anytime I go a week or two without writing a column, I end up doing what I call a potpourri piece.

Or, in other words, I just throw a bunch of random thoughts in there and call it a day.

So without further ado…

Blue-colored glasses
Is it a directive from the ACC office that Duke gets every single 50-50 call in any game played at Cameron Indoor Stadium?

Virginia Tech won in overtime on Saturday, despite getting hosed on a clock issue in the final seconds of regulation, getting whistled for more fouls and taking 10 fewer free throws in a game that featured tough, physical defense on both ends.

Why has Duke struggled in recent NCAA Tournaments? Could it be that the Devils are used to getting the toss-up calls in the ACC that they don’t know how to handle neutral courts and officials that aren’t intimidated by Coach K? Just a theory.

Just to be fair, Carolina gets a ton of calls too. But that’s a column for another day.

Coaches’ and their stories
Is there a bigger chump than Nick Saban in the coaching ranks right now?

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t blame the guy for following his heart back to the college game. I don’t fault him for wanting to do what’s best for his family, including taking $32 million in guaranteed money from the football-mad boosters in Alabama.

He now makes $4 million a year – or about eight times what the president of the university brings home.

That’s fine. It’s lying about your intentions while planning all along to leave that I have an issue with.

If Don Shula says you’re a liar and a fraud, it’s probably true.

On the hardwood

After a 45-point pasting of Southern Vance, it’s time to start touting 10-0 Northern Vance as a state title contender.

Everyone knows about Aseante Roberts and Deltonio Moses, but Nick Jefferson’s presence in the paint and Darrius Dunston’s contributions off the bench make the Vikings a dangerous team, both in the Mid-State 3A and in the postseason.

Dunn deal?

Raymond Dunn, a standout for Northern Vance’s basketball team last season, has recently been seen at Norlina Christian, where he is rumored to be on the verge of joining the Crusaders.

It hasn’t happened yet.

“(Thursday) was the first time I had ever laid eyes on him,” Norlina coach Johnny Watkins said. “He is not on the basketball team at Norlina Christian School.”

Watkins added that, if that were to change, he’d let me know.

If he does end up on the squad, Norlina’s conference and postseason prospects would definitely be on the upswing.

On the gridiron
Southern Vance, fresh off a run to the State 2AA football title game, filled the open endowment game on its schedule recently.

Durham Hillside, a 4A school that finished 10-3 in 2006, will visit Raider Stadium on opening night, Aug. 17.