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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Release the Hounds!

Charlotte Hounds make their debut.
Tonight, a new era began in Charlotte.

For the first time, the Charlotte Hounds, one of Major League Lacrosse's two newest expansion franchises, took the field. Doing so marked professional lacrosse's first permanent foray into North Carolina, and MLL's first franchise in the South.

That the first game--a 20-12 loss--was against the Denver Outlaws was fitting. The first reason is significant only to me: Having no true home team in MLL (Philadelphia Barrage are defunct and the Baltimore Bayhawks left town) I had adopted the Denver Outlaws as my team, since their roster often finds itself heavily peppered with UMBC alumni (one, Peet Poillon, was today's game MVP). The Charlotte Hounds have now become my team, marking my first home team after nearly seven years of living in North Carolina, save for my current employer.

The second reason is that it its first game, the Hound found themselves facing off against a program that is worth emulating. Also an outlier from the sport's mid-Atlantic and northeastern stronghold, Denver has become a western exclave of lacrosse, routinely drawing large crowds and engaging fans. Might the Hounds be able to similarly provide the sport a bit of southern exposure? Time will only tell, but an announced crowd of better than 6,700 was a great start.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pray for World Peace

The Los Angeles Laker known as Metta World Peace, né Ron Artest, is in the midst of a seven game suspension for a violent elbow delivered to the head of Oklahoma City's James Harden during a game.

In no way am I excusing what he did. But one thing to remember here is that World Peace has some serious issues he's dealing with. While I won't claim to be his biggest fan (especially not while he's in a Lakers jersey) I do root for him, less so in basketball than in life. World Peace lives with mental illness, and it does indeed color his life and actions. One of my favorite things that he ever did was, upon winning an NBA championship, thank his hood and his psychiatrist. While I don't know that he ever made good on the deal, he even offered to sell his championship ring and give the proceeds to mental health research.

With his most recent action, it's east to see him as "crazy ol' Ron-Ron" who went into the stands in Detroit. True enough, it seems as though he has backslid a bit, and that suspension, if not more, is warranted. But more importantly, I'm rooting that he's well enough that such won't take place again.

Friday, April 20, 2012

80 Minutiae

Hard to believe it's been a full month since the last post over here, but at least in the marching/athletic music spectrum, it's the doldrums for me between the end of college basketball/pep band season and the start of DCI. My apologies to those who follow WGI.

I've been giving more in short form and in other places in the meantime, so I thought I'd drop a friendly reminder that you can  also catch me Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and, of course, the 80 Minutes (Give or Take) podcast. The latter has received a recent update--the college hoops season-ending podcast with Brian Joyce,with whom we previewed the season.

There's now a bit of a feature over on G+: Inspired in part by a statement on how folks use G+ by Jeff Lail, I thought I'd start incorporating short snippets of video where I talk about a specific topic. Think of it as shorter than a blog post, longer than a tweet. No production, just me and the camera on my Macbook.The result? 80 Seconds of Regulation, and most of them are actually right around 80 seconds. Check it out--you don't have to be a G+ user do watch! I figure I'll let that stand on its own two, so I won't be simulcasting anywhere else, but that link should always bring you the latest.
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