Thursday, October 26, 2006

Scanning the Rutgers' media guide and some Thursday notes

Flipping through the opposing team's media guide often provides plenty of information that some, like me, find interesting. I don't particularly care about most of the numbers in the media guide, like the last time a team scored 35 or more points on a Friday night following a loss on the road or who leads the school's career list in quarterback hurries. Much like Cliff Clavin, I am fascinated by fascinating facts. The Rutgers media guide is filled with them. For example:

Rutgers played host to Princeton in the first college football game in 1869. Princeton's players arrived in carriages and wagons. Rutgers' players, which identified themselves by donning scarlet scarves wrapped around the tops of their heads (the first do-rags?) won the game 6-4 then, according to one account, chased the Princeton players out of town when the game was over.

Rutgers has a fairly impressive list of notable alumni who went on to the entertainment biz. Among them are Calista Flockhart, Ozzie Nelson, former MTV VJ Bill Bellamy, Kristin Davis of Sex and the City fame, Natalie Morales of the Today show, Queen Latifah and, of course, James Gandolfini aka Tony Soprano. When Rutgers walked out for the opening coin toss prior to the start of the Insight Bowl against Arizona State last winter, Gandolfini stood with the Scarlet Knights' captains at midfield. What alum did Arizona State bring out? Jimmy Kimmel (who dropped out after 2 1/2 years) . Rutgers should have won the game at that moment. How bad ass is it to trot out with Tony Soprano to meet the other team? Is there a more intimidating person on the planet to have on your side in this situation? If I was playing for Rutgers, I would have begged Gandolfini to get into full character...dress up in an Armani suit, stare down the ASU captain and say things like "You may not love me, but you will respect me!" I'd also foot the bill for Paulie Walnuts and Silvio to make the trip just so they could stand in the background with their arms crossed.

Rutgers also has an impressive crop of alumni who went on to professional athletics. David Stern, Alexi Lalas, Eddie Jordan and Jim Valvano, not to mention NFL players Deron Cherry, Marco Battaglia, Ray Lucas and L.J. Smith, to name a few.

A few UConn notes from Thursday:

  • Tailback Terry Caulley (ankle), wide receiver Brandon Young (knee) and safety Allan Barnes (hamstring) are all probable for Sunday.
  • Edsall is keeping his word on the QB situation. We'll find out on Sunday.
  • Defensive end Rhema Fuller was one of 17 finalists for the Draddy Trophy, awarde annually to the college football player (all divisions, including NAIA) who best demontrates achievement in academics, football and community service. Fuller is the first UConn player to be named a finalist. Edsall said it is one of his proudest moments since arriving at the school in 1999.


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