Monthly Archives: September 2010

SPECIAL GUEST COMMENTATOR: BOGIE

 My sister Rosemary’s dog Bogie is a passionate Redskins fan. He’s also an expert on various college  sports and has been following them for all 10 years of his life so far. Balladeer’s Blog is proud to have him as our very first Special Guest Commentator. ******The following comments are strictly Bogie’s opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Balladeer’s Blog.  

 Bogie: The Indiana University Southeast Grenadiers volleyball team has won their 6th game in a row, extending their effort to turn this season around. The ladies are now 7-7 after defeating the Spalding Golden Eagles in straight sets 25-20, 25-21 and 25-12. My Mom and my Uncle (the guy who writes this blog) and I are big Marx Brothers fans and we can’t believe the Spalding teams aren’t called the Captains! Anyway, the Grenadiers try to go over 500 for the 1st time this season when they host the Fighting Engineers of Rose Hulman today!

 Bogie: The Lewis-Clark State Warriors men’s cross-country team has moved up 1 notch to #19 in the latest Top 25 poll. Ironically the women’s team is at #19 in their poll as well, but that represented a drop of 3 spots. The Warriors teams will next see action tomorrow in the Eric Anderson Memorial Invite, to be run at Plante’s Ferry Park in Spokane, WA.  I’d like to give a shoutout to Spokane’s Gonzaga teams which are doggies like me but my Uncle says I can’t. I’ll just wish Coach Mike Collins and the teams good luck then.

 Bogie: The Albany State Golden Rams football team, fresh off their upset of Tuskegee last Saturday, prepare to face old rivals the Savannah State Tigers in the “Rumble In The Swamp” tomorrow. This will be the 60th meeting between the 2 HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). The Golden Rams lead the series by a record of 41-16-2 and come into this Saturday’s action riding a 13-game winning streak against Savanna State. Kickoff is set for 2pm at Waycross Memorial Stadium. Since Tigers are a kind of cat I’ll be rooting for the Golden Rams to beat them since we dogs hate cats!

 Bogie: The University of Science and Arts Of Oklahoma Drovers (Drovers are a cooler version of a cowboy) men’s soccer team remained at #10 in the NAIA Top 25,  coming off a rest week. Tuesday night the Drovers defeated the Bethel (KS) Threshers and will next face the Tabor College Bluejays today, on Drover Pitch. The Drover women’s soccer team has gotten some votes but still hasn’t cracked the women’s Top 25 just yet.

  Bogie: Tomorrow, when the Cumberlands Patriots face the Bethel (TN) Wildcats on the gridiron, Head Coach John Bland will wear a Coach T Cure Muscular Dystrophy patch, like many coaches nationwide, as part of a promotion to raise money for MD research. For live audio of the game click here:  http://www.cumberlandspatriots.com/   In a  related Patriots football story, you can read about their legendary  player Madison McCalmon by clicking here:  https://glitternight.com/2010/07/25/the-truth-behind-the-legend-of-madison-mccalmon/

Now it’s off to collect my fee of a doggie treat for filling in for my Uncle!

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TONIGHT’S COLLEGE PIGSKIN MATCHUPS SCORES UPDATED)

There are just 2 games tonight in the divisions I cover. Both are NCAA Division 2 and both kick off at 7PM Eastern Time.

NEW HAVEN CHARGERS 28 @ Bentley Falcons 23

MERRIMACK WARRIORS 42 @ Stonehill Skyhawks 39 

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STARTING SOON FOR AN NFL FRANCHISE NEAR YOU!

Hey, maybe you woudn’t start this guy at quarterback, but that just proves you don’t have the attitude it takes to win! The National Felon League’s Eagletown Dogfighters threw their former starting quarterback aside following an injury and have decided that they will start  Charles Manson instead. Following his release from prison last year Manson has been serving in a backup capacity for the Dogfighters, who traded their former starter, a man who led them to multiple conference championship games, because they were outraged by the fact that he “Never did anything to embarrass our organization! In the NFL that shows a lack of leadership”  to quote the team’s owner. The team had planned on starting their “quarterback of the future” Dennis Dobey, but after a poor half in his first game of the year, in which he suffered a concussion, Dobey was out and Manson finished the game, a loss as it turned out. According to the jock-sniffing mainstream sports media, Manson “Electrified the crowd!”  In his post-game interview Charlie showed his disdain for Dobey by saying “I think we would have had a better chance to win if I had played the whole game. I am the “I” in team…You don’t see no I in team? You don’t know me! Who are you? There’s no “u” in team, I know that fer darn shore! You judge me? I’m not no judge either. You can drink “tea” so there must be a “tea” in team…” and other such gibberish on and on in that inimitable Manson fashion.

Following his performance the following week in the team’s 1st win of the season, Manson was named the starter despite previous comments from the coaching staff that the starting job still belonged to Dobey.  A confidential source in the team’s organization explained the thought process that led to the reversal:

“Frankly, we were all concerned at Dobey’s lack of an arrest record. We need a quarterback our guys can look to for leadership on the field, not someone who’s too timid to even get arrested or sued for his treatment of women. The last thing we want is a divided locker room.”  

The blase attitude of the team’s front office was typical of sports “journalists” whose news coverage has basically become “People Magazine For Athletes“, only even less hard-hitting than People.  Here’s some samplings:

Kirk and Kirk In The Evening: Kirk One: “While I don’t approve of everything in Manson’s past there’s no denying the way that team really plays to its potential when he’s at the controls. Yes, I understand that being out on probation means he still hasn’t fully served his time but I would get down on my knees and kiss Charlie’s tuches if I thought it would get him to come play for my Jets! What a dynamic play-maker!”       Kirk Two: “Boy, I’m tellin’ ya! What a player! He comes to play! He gives his all! If you want to see on your football field and your team a guy who shows up and plays, then this player is the player for you! I wish I had him on my fantasy team!”  

Nonny Korntassel: “I love stars, so I love seeing this guy on the field. My heart is in my throat every time I see him scrambling when his O-line caves in! I tremble with glee every time I see him in motion! I know he’s not perfect but it’s time to let him move on and put all that unpleasantness behoind (sic) him. Now let’s talk Dancing With The Stars!…”  

Jack Striker: “This guy gives you the best chance to win now! That’s all that matters! I don’t care if a convicted child molester is your quarterback, if he’s got the hot hand then he’s your starter! Nobody’s forcing his victims to watch the game! I’m sick of these whiners still going on and on about what Manson did but I bet most people don’t even remember why he went to jail in the first place! People are just jealous of the money he’s making.” 

Yes, in all other walks of life actions like the ones Manson was involved in would have co-workers regarding him with equal parts loathing and distrust for years, but in the NFL they’re considered a boon! Don’t think of them as arrest records, NFL players,  think of them as additions to your resume! If Dennis Dobey wants his starting position back, well, there’s plenty of time before the end of the season for him to drive his car into someone, or get arrested on drug or weapons charges or a domestic violence incident or at the very least get a DUI to show that he has the “Can do!” attitude the NFL looks for in its players!

I’ll close with this exchange I had with another team source who wished to remain anonymous:

“Who would you rather have coaching your team? A guy coming off an 8-8 season or Adolf Hitler?”

“Hitler. That whole Jewish thing was unfortunate but boy that guy could energize your locker room!”  

Disclaimer: Obviously this is all fictional and not one word of the preceding post is true.

Balladeer’s Blog is not affiliated with or operated by the NAIA or the NCAA or any of their member institutions. 

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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THE LEADING SCORER FOR ALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYS IN THE NAIA

SXU's Mike Maher Official Balladeer's Blog nickname: "M Squared"

 

Let’s get to the bottom of the latest sports scandal: a college football player with no arrest record leads the entire nation in scoring! Mike Maher, better known to my readers as “M Squared” in stories about the Saint Xavier Cougars leads all college scoring. The following courtesy of the SXU Sports Information Department: 

CHICAGO – If asked to guess where college football’s top scorer is playing this season, most fans and followers would likely choose a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) school or maybe even a NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program with a rich history of football success.  However, the real answer lies at a small NAIA institution nestled in the south suburbs of Chicago.  Saint Xavier University senior wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) has posted 78 points over four games this season behind 13 touchdowns (10 receptions, three kick returns).  The next highest scorer is NCAA Division II University of Minnesota-Duluth’s senior running back Isaac Odim, who has tallied 60 points (10 TDs) over three games.  

In terms of scoring average, Maher ranks third (19.5 points per game) in all of college football (all divisions, including junior college) behind NCAA Division III Thomas More College’s (Ky.) freshman running back Domonique Hayden with 54 points over two games (27.0 points per game) and Odim (20.0 ppg).  Maher has had the start to his senior season that every college student-athlete dreams about.  He currently has 31 receptions for 508 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns (three off kick returns).  The 5-10, 185-pound speedster has also returned either a kickoff or a punt for a score in each of his last three games and, most importantly, his team is off to a 4-0 start and ranked No. 4 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Football Coaches’ Poll.  Maher’s 508 receiving yards this fall currently ranks him No. 2 among all college football institutions in total receiving yards behind only NCAA Division III Wittenberg University (Ohio) junior wideout Josh McKee.  McKee has 514 receiving yards in three games after Saturday’s big game that saw him finish with 318 yards and five touchdowns in a 37-7 win over Washington-St. Louis (Mo.). 

“Mike is an absolutely dominant player at our level,” said SXU football coach Mike Feminis.  “In my mind, he’s a Division I-type caliber athlete who, luckily for us, slipped through the cracks.  We give a “Play of the Day” award after each game and we might as well rename it the “Maher Play of the Day,” because he wins it just about every week.  Mike’s a human highlight reel, but what makes him so special is his incredible work ethic and desire to be successful.  The only negative about Mike is that he’s too hard on himself.  He hates to fail.  Every coach uses the phrase, ‘play every play like it’s your last.’  That’s Mike Maher in a nutshell.” 

 Maher will get the chance to add to his scoring total on Saturday, September 25, when the Cougars head to Quincy, Ill., to take on Quincy University (Ill.) in a Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) crossover match-up.  The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

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FIELD MARSHALL: AN INTERVIEW WITH STUDENT ATHLETE EILEEN O’REILLY

 Since many people remain out of the loop on Field Hockey I figured it was time to do an interview with one of the stars of the sport. So far this season few players have made a bigger impression than Eileen O’Reilly, official Balladeer’s Blog nickname “Lady O”. O’Reilly plays Forward for the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats of NCAA Division 3 so, yes, the headline for this piece is a lame play on field hockey and half of her school’s name. (Plus rumor has it O’Reilly is just crazy about Field Marshall Montgomery of World War II fame. I’m kidding!) Eileen O’Reilly and her teammates have led the Diplomats to their highest-ever ranking and have so far compiled a 5-1 record on the season. O’Reilly has been a standout player, often contributing more than one goal or assist per game,  but obviously feels more comfortable staying out of the limelight and adhering to the “team” concept, so in deference to her “It’s not about me” approach I’ll lay off the glowing review I had planned of her stats for this year. (Psst! You can look them up at the F&M athletics site! The link will be at the end of this interview. Don’t tell her I told you!) Anyway, we’ll dive right into the interview with O’Reilly, who proved to be a very articulate representative for the massively underappreciated sport of field hockey.

Balladeer’s Blog:  To put you at your ease about being singled out for attention, right off the bat what complimentary remarks would you like to make about your teammates? 

Eileen O’Reilly: All of the recognition our team has received this season, both national rankings and individual achievements, reflects a collective effort to be a great team. Many teams have one or two standout players that they constantly look to as the playmaker.  At any given moment of a game we have 11 playmakers on the field.  Many of our goals start from a great defensive stop below our fifty-yard line, then shift to flawless passing in the midfield, and end with strong finish on the forward line. I really believe our team has been so successful so far because of this team dynamic.  We have a unique group of girls that want to win and have fun.  We constantly encourage each other to work hard and improve.  I know I can rely on my teammates on and off the field. We’re very supportive of each other whether its field hockey related or not.  

BB: How would you complete this sentence: This year I’m having the kind of season I am because I _______. 

EO: I face tough competition every day at practice. My teammates constantly push me to work hard, which really helps elevate my game.  It’s a huge advantage to face a high level of competition six days a week in practice and in games. This motivates me to play my best in games when it really counts.  Also, Coach Mariano is a major part of why I am able to keep improving this season. She’s a coach that’s very supportive, but at the same time challenges me to try new moves and outsmart the opposing defense.  

BB: What does a typical practice for a field hockey team consist of?

EO: I don’t think there’s ever a typical field hockey practice- it really depends on the team and the coach. For F&M field hockey we start out with a warm up jog and dynamic stretching.  After we run through a few shooting drills to warm up the goalkeepers. The drills throughout practice reflect the things we need to work on for our upcoming opponents. We practice a lot of defensive marking in the circle and scenarios where the offense outnumbers the defense. At the end of practice we always scrimmage and practice penalty strokes.  

BB: What advantages would you say field hockey has over soccer and lacrosse?

EOField Hockey is a game that essentially has no constraining limits on the field.  In soccer the players are held back by the off-sides rule. Similarly, in lacrosse the restraining lines prevent players from moving fluidly throughout the field.  In field hockey players have the freedom to go anywhere on the field at any time.  Without off-sides and restraining lines field hockey is a sport that allows for constant creativity.  The best plays come from the out of the ordinary cuts behind the defense or an entire team working together to clear the ball out of the defensive circle. These moments just aren’t possible in soccer and lacrosse.  

BB: To switch to a more individual look at you, what are you majoring in?

EO: Spanish and American Studies.

BB: What is the one thing you would like people who aren’t familiar with you to know about you?

EO: Last spring I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain.  As a Spanish major this was an awesome opportunity to improve my language abilities and truly immerse myself in a different culture.  I lived with a host family, studied with professors from the University of Valencia, and even got to play some field hockey. 

BB: Outside of sports, what is your greatest passion?

EO: My greatest passion outside of sports is candy, I have an intense sweet tooth!

BB: My blog keeps it on the light side. If you could tolerate a few oddball questions I’d like to throw a few at you. First off, what is the most laughably bad movie you’ve ever seen?

EO: Its hard to pick one…most recently I watched Hot Tub Time Machine. Parts of the movie were funny, but the whole idea was just bizarre.

BB: What is your favorite book?

EO:  My all time favorite is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’m currently hooked on Stieg Larsson’s trilogy series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc).    

BB: If you were a singer what would you title your debut CD?

EO:  The Alpha Shewolves.  My teammates and I are very fond of Shakira’s song SheWolf.  

BB: You express yourself very well. In closing, if you could suggest 1 thing to the NCAA and the NAIA to raise the profile of field hockey what would it be?

EO: Field Hockey is a tough sport to market because it lacks a partner sport ( such as softball- baseball) and in the United States it has not developed as a co-ed game.  I think the NCAA and the NAIA can raise the profile of field hockey by promoting the international prominence of the sport.  Worldwide, field hockey is an extremely popular sport for women and men.  Similar to soccer, field hockey has a World Cup every four years.  Field hockey is the highlight of the Summer Olympic games for many European nations.  I think that by exposing the international popularity of the game the NCAA and the NAIA can attract more attention to field hockey in the US and gain fans.  

With such eloquent and self-assured young women as Eileen O’Reilly participating in this sport Balladeer’s Blog feels it would be a natural for television audiences.  Here’s hoping the unfortunately low profile on the sport gets raised in the near future. 

To read Eileen O’Reilly telling me how she really feels about her official Balladeer’s Blog nickname click here:   http://www.godiplomats.com/landing/index

Balladeer’s Blog is not affiliated with or operated by the NAIA or the NCAA or any of their member institutions. 

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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NUGGETS

 “Hurlin'” Hewitt Tomlin, QB for the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, has been named the Centennial Conference Offensive Player Of The Week following his performance in Saturday’s win over the Gettysburg Bullets, 29-21. He was 22 of 31 for 326 yards with 3 touchdowns. He set 2 more school records for consecutive 200-plus yards and 300-plus yards passing games at 16 and 4, respectively. If you prefer a different nickname for him, how about Hewitt “Threw It” Tomlin? Okay, forget it.  

The Saint Ambrose Queen Bees (their name for their women’s teams) crushed the Iowa Wesleyan Tigers 6-nil. If you follow soccer you know that 6 goals is more than some teams score over the course of 6 games! 3 of the Queen Bees’ goals came from Ashley Dexter, 1 each from Courtney Seffrood and Alex Hemmen and Nikki Boland’s penalty kick in the 83rd minute added the 6th goal in this rout. Goalie Lauren Gunawen picked up the win.  

 The Franklin and Marshall Diplomats volleyball team improved to 7-4 on the season after winning  matches against the Marymount Saints and the Catholic Cardinals. The win against the Saints came on scores of 25-17, 25-14, 21-25 and 25-16. Against Catholic the Diplomats won in straight sets 25-14, 25-17 and 25-18. Up next for the ladies will be the Lancaster Bible College Chargers and the Penn StateHarrisburg Lady Lions

 The NAIA’s seemingly perpetually top-ranked Sioux Falls Cougars football team moved to 3-0 in style this past Saturday, devastating the Doane Tigers by a score of 66-13. The USF nation-leading winning streak has now been extended to 32 games. Senior quarterback Jon “Jonnie East” Eastman was 10 of 14 for 292 yards and 5 touchdowns. Running back Chevon “Fire” Walker rushed for 103 yds and 1 touchdown. The Cougars’ quest to threepeat as National Champions will continue this Saturday as they go on the road against the 23rd-ranked Hastings Broncos.  

 Moving to women’s college tennis, the Alverno Inferno avenged last year’s loss to Wisconsin Lutheran by defeating the Warriors 5-4 this past weekend. The 2 teams split 3-3 in singles action but the Inferno had taken a 2-1 advantage in doubles play earlier. Alverno’s Gabby Allen tipped the win to her team by winning her singles match 6-2, 3-6 and 6-4.

 Wingate University Bulldogs running back “Knockout” Nelson Woods has been named the South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player Of The Week. Nelson rushed for 123 yds and 2 touchdowns in Saturday’s upset victory over the 14th-ranked UNC-Pembroke Braves 28-23. Woods is just 15 yards shy of the 3,000 mark for his career. His greatest individual game came against the Mars Hill Lions in 2008 when he had 205 yds and 3 touchdowns.

 The Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish volleyball team remains perfect, improving their record to 10-0 after a win over the Southeastern Fire. Freshman setter “K-O” Katie Lindstrom stepped up in the absence of Jessica Way, who was out with a back injury. “Jumping” Janeen McCormick led the way offensively with 10 kills, followed by Christina “The Crusher” Alessi with 9 and Mariela Quesada, “The Q” herself, with 8. The defense was led by Allie “The Lethal Libero” Warren who had 19 digs, while Lexie “Grizzly” Grizzle came off the bench for a career-high 11 digs. Up next for the Sailfish will be the Florida Tech Panthers and the Lynn Fighting Knights

 The Cumberland University Bulldogs (no, not the Winged Bulldogs, just the Bulldogs) mauled the Kentucky Christian Knights on the gridiron Saturday by a score of 35-6. Christian “Burnin’ Love” Burnett was 20 of 28 for 184 yards and 1 touchdown. The Bulldogs couldn’t get out of their own way at times in a game marked by uncharacteristic misfires, but their defense kept the Knights from capitalizing much on CU mistakes until the offense righted itself for the authoritative win.

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TODAY’S COOL-NAMED SPORTS TEAM – WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

WEBSTER UNIVERSITY GORLOKS

Location: St Louis, MO

Division: NCAA Division 3

Conference Affiliation: St Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Major sports: basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball

Site: http://www.websterathletics.com/

Comment: Like the Banana Slugs, the Gorloks have gotten so much exposure for their unique nickname I didn’t include them in my original D3 20 Coolest list. Here they are at last, and if you haven’t heard, the Gorlok is a mythical creature invented in a contest at Webster U. It has the paws of a speeding cheetah, the horns of a fierce buffalo and the face of a dependable St Bernard. I would have thought the Webster mascot would have the height of Emmanuel Lewis, the stocky shoulders of Alex Karras and the wall-eyes of Susan Clark, but I’m kind of weird.

For more of NCAA Division 3′s Coolest-Named Teams click here: https://glitternight.com/d3-20-coolest/   

 For the NAIA edition of The 20 Coolest College Sports Teams You May Never Have Heard Of click here: https://glitternight.com/2010/06/21/the-20-coolest-named-college-sports-teams-you-may-have-never-heard-of-naia-edition/ 

For The 20 Coolest College Sports Logos click here: https://glitternight.com/2010/07/20/the-20-coolest-college-sports-logos/

For The 20 Coolest Football Helmets In NCAA Division 3 click here: https://glitternight.com/2010/08/23/the-20-coolest-football-helmets-in-ncaa-division-3/  

For the 20 Coolest-Named Sports Teams In NCAA Division 2 click here: https://glitternight.com/d2-20-coolest/

Balladeer’s Blog is not affiliated with or operated by the NAIA or the NCAA or any of their member institutions. 

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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