Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winding down a busy Thursday in Charlotte

Random thoughts and observations:

  • One of the traditions for UConn's final practice is for the seniors to trade jerseys. Donald Thomas, all 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, switched with Larry Taylor, who is 10 inches and 133 pounds smaller. Taylor's shirt essentially covered Thomas' shoulders and chest. All accounts were that Thomas looked like the Incredible Hulk shortly after transforming from Dr. Bruce Banner, with the tiny clothes hanging off him.

  • A moment of silence for Stu Nahan, the sports play-by-play announcer who gained fame for his roles calling all of Rocky Balboa's fights in the movies. Nahan passed away Wednesday at age 81. My favorite Stu Nahan movie moment, however, wasn't from Rocky but "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", and the exchange he had with Jeff Spicoli in one of Spicoli's marijuana-induced dreams. NAHAN: Let me ask you. When you get out there, do you ever fear for your life? SPICOLI: Stu, surfing's not a sport. It's a way of life. It's no hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, "Hey, bud, let's party!" Where'd you get this jacket?!? NAHAN: Uh, from the network. Let me ask you, what's next for Jeff Spicoli? SPICOLI: Headed over to Australia and then the Hawaiian Internationals. Then me and Mick are gonna wing on over to London and jam with the Stones. You guys are invited too!!!....We'll miss 'ya Stu.

  • Speaking of stoned, did anyone catch Jake Plummer announcing Arizona State's starting lineups before the Holiday Bowl on ESPN tonight? Jake, wearing a Santa cap and Jerry Garcia's beard, looked like he was still holding onto the bong just out of the camera frame.

  • If you haven't seen Rob Lunn's blog on his experiences this week, you have to check it out. I already told Rob his blogging skills are making me look bad, but here's the link anyway.

  • More wackiness from the Holiday Bowl. Did you see the Texas assistant coach touch a loose ball, setting up a first and goal for ASU (which led to a TD?) I can only hope that ignites a furious ASU comeback. Coaches have to stay off the field!

  • That play reminds me of an incident with a good buddy of mine, who used to ref high school football in Connecticut. My friend, we called him "The Piper" because as a high school linebacker he used to blast bagpipe music to get himself pumped up before games, is a little nuts as it is. As a ref, he would enforce obscure penalties just for the arguments with the coaches that would ensue. One game, he was constantly warning coaches on one sideline to stay off the field. But they wouldn't listen. Finally, he'd had enough. He was trailing a play coming up the offending sideline, and one coach was directly in his path. Without slowing down, the Piper plowed forward and collided, absolutely leveling the coach from the blindside and sending him sprawling to the turf. Adding insult to, well, insult, the Piper dropped a penalty flag on top of the coach as he continued to sprint down the field. That flag also negated what would have been touchdown run. I'm happy to report, the Piper has retired from reffing.

  • My hotel room inexplicably had only one full-sized bath towel this morning. Even more baffling, it was hung from the rod inside the shower. Of course, I didn't notice it as I turned on the shower, and accidentally knocked it into the tub, which I also didn't realize at the time. After leaving for a moment to let the water heat up, I returned to see the towel completely soaked. I was forced to dry myself with a hand towel. Why am I telling you this? I have no idea.

Media Day for the Meineke Bowl is tomorrow. See you then.


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