Thursday, April 08, 2010

Six Practices Down, Nine To Go

Spring football is going along well, even when the temperature outside seems more like a mid-summers' day than early April.  Viewed in that light, it seems pretty apropos that Lehigh's theme for this year involves the heat - or, as head coach Andy Coen explained to Keith Groller of the Morning Call, 212 degrees:

'That's the boiling point of water,'' Coen said. ''The thought is that you want to heat up and when you get to 212 degrees, you boil and you can do some special things. I think they picked up a good theme because we have been close the last couple of years. We have been playing at 210, 211 degrees in a lot of games. This year we need to get to 212.''

It's been an incredibly busy month for Lehigh athletics - two NCAA tournament appearances, an EIWA and NCAA Wrestling championship, and another appearance on CBS College Sports this weekend - this time for men's lacrosse, where they head up to Hamilton to engage in their own springtime version of "Hate the 'Gate" week.  That unfortunately has obscured some interesting coverage of this springs' practices, which I hope to rectify today with a fact-packed posting on everything that's been happening football-wise. (more)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fear Of A 96 Team Bracket

(Graphic Credit: RushTheCourt.Net)

Before I get back to football, there's one more pressing matter I need to address before the eyes of America turn back to Major League baseball and the endless speculation if Butler head basketball coach Brad Stevens will be heading to fill Holy Cross' sudden vacancy at head coach now that Sean Kearney was terminated after one disappointing year.  (Either that, or he's going to depose ex-Lehigh head basketball coach Billy Taylor at Ball State if David Letterman has his way.)

No, it's the hottest off-the-court topic in the land: whether the heavily-expected merger of the NIT and NCAA Tournament will make March Madness, worse or worser.  Is 64 perfect, and 96 terrible?  Will it mean there will be no more Butlers, as New York Daily News writer Dan Weiss opined?  Is it only about the money, as CBS Sports' Dan Ratto thinks?

Ratto is correct - for what it's worth - since part of it is certainly creating more games to fill more TV time and to give more corporations a chance to spend more money.  But for the Patriot League champions of the world - the little guys - is the 96 team bracket something to fear, or embrace? (more)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Butler - Almost - Did it

(Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports/Getty Images)

A piece of history was made last night in Indianapolis.  Duke won a basketball game 61-59 over a tiny school in Indianapolis, and but for the curse of some unkind rims go Butler into the history of the NCAA tournament.

The Bulldogs lost the game, but by playing the way they did, as strong as they did, with not one but two chances to still win the game at the end, they won the respect of the entire country.  The world knows they were two rims away from doing what was unthinkable going into the tournament: really, really win the whole damned thing.

It's a bit of a cliche to say that "there are no losers out here tonight", as Jim Nantz said in his broadcast last night, in a game that will be right up there with Villanova in 1985 and North Carolina State in 1983 as one of the greatest championship games of all time.  But it's true.  At no time did anyone watching that game think Duke ran away with this.  Not one person could watch that game and say, "this Bulldog team should just be happy to be here".  It took an all-out effort - by Duke's players and coaches - to win this game.  Butler came up short - a couple of rims short - but their run shows that the championship is no longer an exclusive club. (more)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Philly Won't Have McNabb to Kick Around Anymore

(Photo Credit: Joe Gill/The Easton Express-Times)

So here I am, about four blog postings behind.  I haven't talked about women's basketball, and the gap between the Lehigh's and the UConn's (who blew out Baylor by 20 points last night).

I haven't talked wrestling - where I have a recap of the NCAA championships that I've been sitting on for two weeks.

And I haven't talked football, where Lehigh is in the middle of their spring season with a boatload of optimism for next year.

So what am I going to talk about instead?  The McNabb trade: which leads me to my first Nixon quote on this blog.  Like it or not, Philly fans won't have McNabb to kick around anymore.  (more)

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