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Greetings from The Booth!
OK, I think I’ve had enough snow now…for the rest of the season. If bedding down at the radio station on Sunday night and reading endless school announcements all this week wasn’t bad enough, I had to see a Facebook post from my friend Nick Ciattei, who’s soaking up the sun in Aruba! It’s his world, and I’m just living in it. The snow this week included a topping of ice, which made shoveling next to impossible. Hammering away at the icy glaze, I felt like part of the work gang at Shawshank. At 62, I decided to let nature take it’s course, which means I’ll see my driveway sometime in April.
If you need something to warm you up, Shenandoah University baseball opens up on February 12 at the newly-renovated Bridgeforth Field, and while we’ll still need to bundle up, it’ll be great to see a ballpark that finally befits that program.
Back to Sunday, which really wasn’t all that bad. I had the station to myself, I had my Papa John’s pie, and I was able to stream the 3 Super Wild Card games. As an added bonus, 2 of my least-favorite teams made quick playoff exits. The afternoon started with the nasty, drunken, stinkin’ Iggles losing to Brady & The Bucs 31-15 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score might imply. The ageless Tom Terrific and Tampa Bay cruised to a 31-0 lead and never looked back. Philadelphia, the NFL’s top rushing team, never got the ground game going early, and was made one-dimensional by virtue of the lopsided score.
What made me really happy, though, was the stunning Dallas loss to San Francisco, and the subsequent meltdown by the Cowboy fanbase, who once again blamed everyone else except their team for the defeat. This self-entitled bunch, who still think it’s 1996, will be watching someone else lift the Lombardi Trophy in a few weeks, while America’s Team still has only 3 playoff wins since it’s last Super Bowl title.
Rarely is a game won or lost on one play, but the ire of the Dallas reached it’s crescendo on the game’s final play on Sunday. Trailing 23-17 with no time outs, and about 20 seconds left with the ball near midfield, Cowboy QB Dak Prescott took a risk by running the ball in the middle of the field. Sliding near the 25 yard line and using up most of the time, Prescott tried to get his team lined up to spike the ball. The problem: the ball must be spotted by the official, and by the time he did that, time had run out. Game and season over. As the players and officials ran off the field, trash rained down in the vicinity of both. In his postgame comments, Prescott, who thought the garbage was being thrown at the Dallas players, called the fans’ actions “disappointing.” But when told the trash was aimed at the officials, Prescott did a “180” and gave credit to the fans.
Not a good look from the supposed leader of the team, who should have put the loss squarely on his own shoulders. And not a good look from the Dallas fans, who clearly didn’t know the rule about spotting the ball, and didn’t seem to remember the 14 Dallas penalties and other mistakes that contributed to the loss. For everyone associated with that organization, it’s time to look inward, not outward.
So, for the rest of the playoffs, we will be spared the endless TV camera shots of Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, as “America’s Team” once again makes it’s tee times. Which makes Winter a little more bearable…
Happy shoveling, and until the next visit from The Booth, GO HORNETS!
Caps Return Home Tonight, ACC Tournament Begins, Dak Does Deal With Dallas
The Washington Capitals return home tonight when they take on the New Jersey Devils. The Caps have won 5 of their last 6 and are coming off a 4-1 road trip. Washington is just 2 points behind the Islanders, who sit atop the NHL’s Eastern Division. Air time is 6:45 on The River 95-3.
The ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament begins today with 3 games on tap. At 2, Miami takes on Pittsburgh, followed by Boston College versus Duke at 4:30. At 7, Wake Forest plays Notre Dame. Virginia will play the winner of tomorrow’s Syracuse-NC State matchup, while Virginia Tech also gets a double-bye into Thursday’s quarterfinals.
The Hokie’s Mike Young was named ACC Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year. Young led Virginia tech to a 15-5 overall record, including a 9-4 mark in the ACC, good for 3rd place in the conference.
And Dallas Cowboy QB Dak Prescott has reached a deal with the team. The 4-year, $160 million contract is the largest in team history, and includes a $66 million signing bonus.