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Friday, February 27, 2009

If #1 plays #2 in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

So it's not exactly the forest, but tonight Syracuse and Virginia, both sharing the top two spots in both the USILA Coaches and NIKE/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls (Virginia has the top spot in Nike/IL, while the Coaches love the Cuse) meet in men's lacrosse action in Syracuse's carrier Dome. And who will see it? The people in said dome and those who substribe to Cuse's online service--no more, no less.

I don't have any stats or data to back this up, but I bet it's rare that you have a matchup between the #1 and #2 teams in a sport that's regularly televised (which, with the advent of ESPNU and CBs College Sports, lacrosse is) that doesn't get some sort of television coverage. Not only is it a 1/2 matchup, but both of these teams have a tremendous amount of history, both individually and with one another, and between the two of them, they hold five of the last seven national championships. So why no TV? Is it because it's a Friday night? Has all of this weekend's attention been tied up with the Konica-Minolta Face Off Classic? Is it just just no one really gives a damn? Because I think someone somewhere dropped the ball on this one.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Nationals--back in Canada?

No, I'm not talking about the team formerly known as the Montreal Expos. Rather, the Major League Lacrosse team formerly known as the Rochester Rattlers has moved across the border to become the Toronto Nationals. Their logo is pretty cool (definitely more so than other recently relocated teams) and combines imagery from the flags of Canada and the Iriquois.

The MLL also contracted their league by 4 teams, making a tough decision that will hopefully keep them viable through these tough financial times. Selfishly, I was still hoping for a team to move down here to NC, but that may still be an option for the future.

In college news, UMBC defeated Rutgers, 17-10, to completely flip last year's 0-2 start by beating UD and Rutgers. Save for Rutgers, all of the other teams who will soon make up Big East lacrosse were victorious in their matchups, most notable Georgetown over #3 Maryland on national television.

Speaking of Maryland, Gary Williams sure knows how to pull off a win right when they're calling for his head. Beating the Heels--that'll shut 'em up... for a minute.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ruck Futgers

So my UMBC Retrievers men's lacrosse team takes on the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers tomorrow. I've declared this Ruck Futgers week.

This is not an uncommon sentiment for me.

I believe I've spoken before about how USF doesn't have a true archrival, but there are a few schools, particularly in conference, that really get under my skin. Rutgers is one of them. Losing to them in football the past couple years (especially two years ago with the "illegal forward propulsion" and all the other shit that tok place in that game), their recruiting billboards down in Florida, and most recently, them stealing the FIU game from us, forcing us to pick up a second FCS team to round out our schedule certainly add to these feelings. So when I say Ruck Futgers, I say it from the heart.

As for UMBC lacrosse, this is the second flip game from last year's 0-2 start. We started the season with losses to UD and Rutgers, and we beat UD in Newark last year. Let's keep it up against Rutgers at home this Saturday!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pepsi Max

So I don't know who's heard the commercials for Pepsi Max, but essentially, the product positions itself as diet soda for MEN! Because clearly, via their marketing, diet soda is for females and girly men. But REAL MEN drink Pepsi MAX!

Now here's where it gets funny. I don't know if this is simply a local promotion, or if the folks at Pepsi's marketing package included "pair this with a local sporting event for MAXimum manliness!!" Here in Greensboro, they paired it with a giveaway of tickets to an upcoming major sporting event. So as a tag to the commercial, you learn that by buying your Pepsi Max at x convenience store, you can win tickets to the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament!

Women's basketball: NOT the preferred sport of your target audience.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Brett Favre is retiring

Right. I'll believe it when next season starts without him.

Regarding A-Roid, I've really got nothing to say that hasn't been said ad nauseum by every bit of sports media out there. You know the Worldwide Leader is covering something too much when an individual's name appears as a header in the ticker.

If you're a fan of both soccer and college basketball, you may make a mess tonight--world cup qualifier (US vs. Mexico) and Duke-Carolina on back to back. Not a bad night of sports at all.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Don't Sleep on the Bulls!

So after a particularly long and tiring but ultimately successful and rewarding WinterFest 2009, I came home on Friday night and went to bed. In doing so, I skipped the usual rundown of media I tend to take in at several points throughout the day. No ESPN. No Google blog reader. no Bullspen. No, my friends, I didn't even check Facebook. So it should come as no surprise that it wasn't until I woke up this morning that I heard the news:

USF men's hoops beat #8 Marquette!!!

Now I'm the first to admit, I pay a good deal less attention to my Bulls during basketball season than I do during football season. There are a few primary reasons for this: Before starting school at USF, I already had a college hoops team (UMBC), which is not something I can say for football. Second, we tend to hang out near the bottom of the mega-conference that is the Big East. And third, a corollary to two, it's a good deal harder to catch USF hoops on TV. Even last night's game--while you'd think our limited press would occur when playing highly ranked opponents--was only on ESPN360, which I can't get at home. But after playing ranked teams tough several times throughout the season, the chips fall our way and the Bulls pull one off!

It's interesting living in ACC country and being a Big East alum during basketball season. While the two conferences spend all of football season as BCS also-rans, the tables turn for basketball season, in which they are the veritable cocks of the walk. There's also the inevitable "who's better?" argument, and while it's not entirely apples and oranges, comparing a 16 team league to one with only 3/4 as many participants. Do you compare top-to-top? Who's deepest top to bottom? Who's stronger top to #12 (leaving out the bottom 4 of the Big East)? My argument was always that top to bottom, the ACC had the edge because of the bottom quarter of the Big East, so I'm proud that my alma mater, part of that bottom quarter, is doing its part to prove me wrong.

At UNCG this past week, we learned a valuable lesson playing Stephen Curry and the Davidson Wildcats at the Greensboro Coliseum: We can throw a helluva party. The game was played before a sold out (in its configuration) Coliseum crowd of nearly 12,000 and was preceded by a student organization tailgate (which was pretty boss, if I do say so myself) and SpartanFest, which was similar to the FanFest held there each year during ACC and NCAA tournament action. The atmosphere was electric, and despite a sizable Davidson crowd, blue and gold controlled the stands. And while we did lose to Davidson (as every other team in the conference has thus far) it wasn't the horribly mismatched game it was on paper. This game was a test run of sorts; starting next year, the Greensboro Coliseum will become the full-time home of the Spartans.

UMBC is among the easiest to stay abreast of but the hardest to actually watch of the teams I follow. Sadly, things haven't been going nearly as well as they did last year during the conference championship run. As i mentioned, we pulled Rider in Bracketbusters--not a bad trip at all for those traveling from MD, and as Neil of UMBC Basketball Rally Monkey mentioned, it's not too far from my parent's home in Delaware. I'd love to make the trip up, but I don't think it's in the cards.

In other-sport news, lacrosse season starts today for some, though UMBC's first game isn't until Valentine's Day at UD. Sadly, there's no lax on TV yet. With the addition of ESPNU, I love the days wehre you can spend a whole Saturday in front of the tube watching lacrosse as I do with football.

And finally, I won't profess to know a thing about track and field, but the RSS feed of that I read leads me to believe that there are quite a few on the UMBC track team kicking ass and taking names. Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm looking forward to...

A sports and sports-related events I'm looking forward to in the coming months:

-National Signing Day. Don't have to wait too long, because it's tomorrow (maybe even today, depending on when I get this posted). USF's looking to have a promising day.
-UNCG vs. Davidson in men's basketball at the Greensboro Coliseum. Win or lose, it should be a helluva party.
-This coming lacrosse season. I'm feeling good about what's to come for the Dawgs.
-UMBC on ESPNUs BracketBusters. We'll be traveling to Rider in NJ. I was looking at the teams and hoping that we'd end up somewhere I could easily travel to (a few host schools were in NC and nearby SC and VA) but hopefully I'll at least get to see the Dawgs on TV.
-March Madness. Hell Yeah. And I'll back this up a bit to include conference tourneys. USF'll be making their first appearance in the Big East Tournament (no, they didn't suddenly improve, the league just decided to start inviting all 16 teams). I'll probably catch some ACC women's hoops action here in Greensboro as well.
-Spring games. USF's, obviously, but really just the constant reminder that yes, Virginia, there is football. Eventually. It'd be particularly cool if they'd show Ohio State's double header: OSU lax vs. Notre Dame, followed by their spring game.

And finally, one I hope to take in that otherwise would not have been on the radar: USF's club lacrosse team is doing a stint up here in NC where they'll play NC State, Wake Forest, and ECU. ECU's a bit out of reach, but Wake and State are doable. I've never had any particular reason to follow USF lax, but I love USF, and I love lacrosse, so why not? Besides, from what I've seen, their helmets are better than our football team's.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Obligatory Super Bowl Post

I suppose if I fancy myself a sports blogger, I really ought to say a little something about the Super Bowl. Just a few thoughts:

-As I mentioned before, I'm unenthusiastically pulling for the Steelers. I mentioned several reasons before, but I'll add a couple: Tomlin may be the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl in a game in which a black coach winning wasn't already a foregone conclusion, and I've been rooting against an old guy from Arizona since before November, so why stop now?

-Home of the Bulls. And rumor has it that Coach Leavitt is down there behind the Steelers bench in a green jacket. Speaking of which, the Steelers have been using USF facilities all week.

-I believe that if you pay 3 mil for an ad spot, you should not be showing me a commercial that I've seen before. I demand to be entertained!
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