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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Orange and Green

Mark Richt has lost control of the Sun Life Stadium construction project.

With the Miami Herald reporting that construction on Sun Life Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes, is running a few weeks behind schedule, the Canes may have to consider an alternative location for their home opener. They've considered FIU's Stadium, virtually down the road, but they also reportedly have a "top secret contingency plan".

I hope it's in Tallahassee.

Miami's opponent for the home opener is FAMU. While it's extremely rare for an FCS school to host their FBS - much less Power 5 - opponent,  this could throw a bone in a major way to a smaller program in the state. And while Tallahassee is nearly a 500 mile trek from Miami, it gives the U some tendrils elsewhere in the state - and in FSU's backyard, in a year where the Noles and all other in-state opponents are scheduled to come to Miami's south Florida home. FAMU's stadium actually holds more than FIU's. While it would be a considerable hike for Miami, I don't see home field advantage playing a huge role here. Miami will win the football game just as assuredly as the Marching 100 will win halftime.

Friday, April 22, 2016

On Guard

While no one's asked for it, I feel the need to make a quick clarification for my guard folks. In my recent March/April Staccato, I was dismissive of the weekend following the Final Four, as its highlights are baseball, golf, and WGI. I've gone on record as not being particularly fond of baseball (though opening week holds a special magic) and I care so little about golf that I'm not sure I've so much as mentioned it. But my feelings about WGI are a bit different. Both my marching band and dance roots give me an appreciation of guard, but as a standalone activity, I don't follow. So while I can appreciate individual shows and have a great time at an event, I'm not attuned to the bigger picture.

Put another way: for me, it's all about context.

I can enjoy a Carolina Crown on its own merit, certainly, but how are they doing relative to the Blue Devils? Sure the Eagles got that win, but they're still not going to make the playoffs. I tend to enjoy the sports/activities that I do in the micro and the macro. With guard - and it should be noted, I feel the same about WGI Percussion, and [no data available] for WGI Winds - championship weekend doesn't mean as much since I don't have a dog in the fight and I'm not there. Still though, I'm excited that a sizable swath of marching arts fans descend upon Dayton to enjoy what they love!

Monday, April 18, 2016

March/April Staccato Notes

Well well, I haven't had much to say over here since the round of 64 in the NCAA men's hoops tournament, and now we're in a whole new hosts of sports. I've had enough topics of interest to at least give a series of short notes.

-After an epic finale - and a strong tournament overall - the Villanova Wildcats are your 2016 Division I men's basketball champions. The Philly sports fan in me is thrilled, naturally. So is Roxanne Chalifoux, AKA last year's Crying Piccolo Girl from Villanova.
-The week/end that followed the Final Four should have been of great interest to someone with my broad interest - sports and the marching arts - but of reasonably little consequence in the specific. Sorry Masters, MLB, and WGI. My wife however, is back in her element, watching O's updates on her phone.
-I had occasion to visit the College Football Hall of Fame during a work trip to Atlanta. I caught it before the move as well, back in South Bend. While the whole Hall is great, I will admit to being the guy taking the pictures of the band stuff.
-LSU - you know, the same school that played fast and loose with Les Miles' livelihood this past football season - has placed band director Roy King on administrative leave.
-Satellite camps have been banned by the NCAA, effective immediately. It's been noted by many that for them to have been defeated, some had to vote against their own self interest.
-In other NCAA football news, there's a moratorium on new bowls for the next three seasons. Good, say I - there are too many already.
-The NBA will start including ads on jerseys in the 2017 season. From my admittedly limited scope, I don't see the cause. The sports one associates most closely with advertising - soccer and NASCAR - also have limited breaks in the action for actual commercials. the NBA doesn't have this problem.
-Last but far from least, the 500 pound gorilla in my North Carolina World: HB2, a shameful piece of legislation that garners most of its press from its implications on bathroom use for transgender folks, but goes much further to restrict the rights of North Carolinians and the state's municipalities. First, to draw a sports analogy: The bill itself was rushed through a special session as opposed to being given due consideration by the legislative body. While I thought for a moment our governor may consider a veto on grounds of its overreach, its haste, or its business implications (which I'll get to in a second), it turn out he was waiting at the Hoosier Dome for the Mayflowers to pull up.

In a sports context, both the NBA and NCAA have issued statements admonishing the bill, and each has some pretty major skin in the game. The NBA is slated to host its All-Star game in Charlotte in 2017. It looks like it's going to stay, despite Atlanta's public dirty-macking on the event. The NCAA will host first and second round men's basketball tournament action here in Greensboro in 2017, though them making a political statement wouldn't be unprecedented; South Carolina just got its postseason rights back after removing the confederate battle flag from the state house grounds.
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