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Blue, Gold, and Brown

11 January 2019 Views From The Booth Sports

Greetings from The Booth!

32 days until Spring Training. Just Sayin’…

And the Nationally-ranked Shenandoah Hornet baseballers play for real on February 16. Hold on to those 2 things as we make our way through this cold January.

And speaking of baseball, according to multiple sources, there seems to be growing momentum for the return of Bryce Harper to the Nationals. I’ve said multiple times that I think the Nats would be just fine without Harper, given their crop of rising young talent. However, if for no other reason, I’d like to see Bryce Harper back in DC because he’s on record as saying he loves DC and loves being a National.

Many athletes say that, and it’s basically lip service to the fan base. A bunch of yadda, yadda, yadda. So I hope Bryce Harper is sincere, and that he and his agent Scott Boras will make this work. Although I think the Nats will get along nicely without number 34, in the deepest recesses of my mind I can’t picture Bryce in another uniform (think Ripken, Ovechkin, Darrell Green), can you?

Finally, the WVU Mountaineers wasted no time in finding their new football coach with the recent hire of Neal Brown. Brown was the head coach at Troy, where he turned that program around. In the last 3 years under Brown, Troy went 31-8, complete with bowl wins and signature victories over the likes of LSU and Nebraska.

To most college football experts, this was a home run for the Mounties. I know a lot of WVU fans wanted to make a big splash. I can hear the “pitch” now: “Hey, Nick, come on back home. I know it must be really boring winning all those national championships.” But by all accounts, Neal Brown was a great hire. He is one of the bright young minds in college football, and it was surprising that no one else grabbed him before West Virginia did.

This is probably a win-win for everyone. It was time for Dana Holgersen to go, and he knew the cupboard was somewhat bare headed into the 2019 season. Despite a 61-41 record, the fans were tired of the undisciplined play, end-of-season fades and bowl losses from his teams. 2018 was especially disappointing, given the talent level of the team. For his part, Holgersen goes to a Houston program that wanted him badly, and that he has some familiarity with.

If the WVU fans can handle a so-called rebuild year in 2019, the future looks good indeed. With apologies to UPS, let’s see what Brown can do for WVU…

Until next time…GO Mounties, and GO HORNETS!


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