Saturday, October 13, 2007

Great day for football

Sitting here in the open-air press box at lovely Scott Stadium, the on-campus football field here at UVA. They are a dying breed, but I love open-air press boxes. Makes a reporter feel like he's actually at a football game, as opposed to the distant, sterile, vacuum-sealed press boxes at most modern stadiums. Even when it was cold and rainy at Yale Bowl, I didn't mind. Well, maybe I minded a little when it rained. But a warm bowl of clam chowder cured all ails even on the chilliest afternoons in New Haven.

Always an exciting moment at any college game: when they open the gates and swarms of college kids sprint toward the student section seats like Pac-Man Jones sprinting back into a strip joint. Funny part about Scott Stadium is the kids who really, really want the front row seats have to navigate a steep embankment behind the end zones. Guess no one was too hung over, because not one person wiped out and went rolling down the 500-foot hill. Oh well.

I've been to UVA a couple of times before, so I knew what a great campus and town it was. But there's a discernible buzz for the game this afternoon. Folks are pumped. Got here around noon and just walked around a bit, and there were people in orange shirts everywhere. Can't imagine they've been this excited about the football team down here in a while. But the great thing is, they're pumped not just because they're 5-1 and looking like an ACC contender, but because of the opponent. UConn is undefeated and generating, dare I say, the same energy the Yankees instill amongst visiting crowds whenever they hit the road. OK, maybe I'm overstating it. No, I'm definitely overstating it. But you get the idea.

Media is all here and dressed well. Yep, Shawn Courchesne got his luggage last night and didn't have to break out the Target-wear slacks and polo shirt. Kudos to Desmond Conner for a sharp Hounds tooth jacket, too. Team Courant wins the best-dressed award.

Can anyone tell me what a Hoo is all about? Suppose I could just Google it, but I'm not in the mood.

Just checked on the Yale-Lehigh football score. Lehigh's quarterback is none other than Sedale Threatt Jr., son of the former Golden State Warrior who was a staple of my Rotisserie basketball teams back in the early 1990s (when I loved the NBA. haven't watched a game in close to 10 years). The Bulldogs are a juggernaut this season, mainly because of New Britain native Mike McLeod, who may be the best Ivy League running back since a pre-Hill Street Blues Ed Marinaro was lighting it up at Cornell about 40 years ago. McLeod is only a junior, and will likely hold every major rushing record in school history before this season is finished.

Reading a tremendous book just released called "Running the Table: The Legend of Kid Delicious, the Last Great American Pool Hustler" by L. Jon Wertheim. Just started, but I'm hooked. A true story about a fat Jersey kid who discovers he's a natural on the felt, and eventually criss-crosses the country visiting seedy pool halls and hustling suckers out of tens of thousands of dollars before turning pro. The most interesting part: he honed his skills at Chicago Billiards, a legendary spot for high stakes games amongst the best hustlers in the country. Location? Right off I-95 in West Haven! The place no longer exists, but ask any pool player worth his salt about the place, and it'll bring a smile to their face. Some terrific stories. It's already in the works to be made into a movie. I highly recommend it.

Game time's in an hour. Enjoy. See you postgame.

3 Comments:

Anonymous SeanO'sGhost said...

Chip,

No chowder at the Bowl today! We could have used it...35 degrees and windy in the open-air press box. Nice tuna sub though and an abundance of Chips Ahoy.

Yale improving to 5-0 as Mike McLeod has 276 rushng yards with 6 minutes left, leading 23-7 against Lehigh.

Write well, no TV for the Huskies here.

Ghost

October 13, 2007 3:27 PM 
Anonymous Kevin said...

Ugh. What a disgusting display by UConn's coaching staff.

Three times inside the 5-yard line and UConn comes away with 6 points. That's unacceptable, even though one of them was on DJ. Lou Allen shouldn't see another short-yardage carry this year. The inside handoff worked once for a chance - unfortunately they ran it 10 times. We were gifted 10 points in the first 6 minutes and Edsalled our way down to 6. Playcalling was conservative, as per usual. When it's that conservative, you need to play perfect and certain players made big mistakes.

The whole sequence with Tyler and the errant snap was quite possibly one of the most disheartening things I've ever witnessed as a sports fan.

Virginia's QB might be the worst one we'll play all year. Sure, UC held their own against a decently-legit ACC team, but that's not enough. 7-5 is looking like a best-case scenario.

October 13, 2007 7:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i root for BC, and even though uconn fans are rabid animals, looks like you guys have a nice team this this year-beat U of Tooth.

October 14, 2007 9:45 PM 

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