Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Media Day Revisited

A few opinions and observations from media day at the Hotel Viking ballroom in Newport, R.I. ...

  • An unofficial count gave UConn the runaway prize for most beat writers who made the trip. Not surprising since Newport is so close, at least for us. It's a 4-6 hour drive for Rutgers and Syracuse and requires a plane trip for everyone else. But I'm not complaining. Don't think anone else was either. Newport is great.
  • Randy Edsall sporting a George Hamilton-like tan. Glad to see he enjoyed his summer. The coach's 20-hour days will start soon enough.
  • If you have $359 a day to spend on lodging, the Hotel Viking is recommended. Oh, I stayed at Best Western along with the rest of the media.
  • Louisville running back Michael Bush is being touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate, and he certainly dressed the part. The last time I saw a zoot suit like that was on a "Tom and Jerry" cartoon.
  • The national championship game will be played at the brand new Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. this year. West Virginia has a legitimate chance to be there.
  • Am I the only one who orders regular old coffee at Starbucks?
  • Each year the media discovers a "go-to" player to interview... a guy who comes through with something interesting and informing to say, win or lose, practice or postgame. Last year it was Grant Preston. If media day is any indication, I have a strong feeling it will be Rhema Fuller this year.
  • Say what you will about Mike Tranghese, but he's doing a good job. There are seven bowl games with Big East ties for an eight-team league, including an automatic BCS spot for the league champ.
  • Watch out for Pitt. They've got the whole package. Maybe not enough to unseat West Virginia, but close.
  • It's surprisingly difficult to find a good restaurant in Newport. I didn't have a good meal there, even at the normally solid Brick Alley Pub (tip: don't get the Asian chicken wrap). Before I went home, I drove 25 minutes the opposite direction to Providence just to eat at the Cheesecake Factory, which never fails to deliver a delicious meal (get Evelyn's Favorite Pasta. Absolutely fantastic).


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