Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2009 Round 2 #34- New England Patriots- S Patrick Chung

New England finally makes their first draft selection after twice trading down.

Back to back safeties taken. This one has an interesting family background. Chong’s bi-racial. Chinese and Jamaican.

ESPN writes- Chung is not a great cover safety; he isn’t fluid or explosive enough to match up with NFL slot receivers in man coverage. He doesn’t have elite ball skills, either. On the other hand, Chung is a tough run-stopper who can deliver the big hit. He also has enough range to cover the deep half of the field.


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


Investigation looks into HS Football player opting for school that didn’t recruit him

What an odd story.

It looked like an American dream come true, but now somebody’s going to experience a nightmare.

Students, television and newsprint reporters packed the gym at Fernley (Nev.) High School to hear offensive lineman Kevin Hart give a verbal commitment to play football at the University of California. He chose Cal over Oregon.

“They really sold me,” Hart said, according to USA Today. “Coach [Jeff] Tedford and I talked a lot, and the fact that the head coach did most of the recruiting of me kind of gave me the real personal experience.”

The only problem … neither Cal nor Oregon recruited Hart.

Now, it’s a “law enforcement investigation,” said Fernley football coach Mark Hodges, according to the newspaper.

“This is involving law enforcement and may involve other departments, other than the NCAA, that are bigger than local,” Hodges told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “I would love to tell you everything I know, but I can’t at this time and I’m not even sure what I know.”

It was unclear whether Hart was duped by persons impersonating recruiters or if he was staging a hoax himself.

In High school I once heard some baseball players bragging they had a teammate thinking he was being scouted by a pro team. I don’t know if it was true or not.

Hart’s story is certainly bizarre. Justin Lawson at the Reno Gazette-Journal writes-

As I see it there are two scenarios that can play out in this one: Someone duped this kid into thinking that he was being recruited by these two schools or we’ve all been duped.

I don’t want to believe the latter because I just can’t see a high school athlete doing that to his coaches, teammates and friends. The first scenario could open up a lot of discussion for everyone from the NCAA down to the NIAA because if someone is impersonating a representative of these schools, then every high school athlete needs to be aware.

I don’t want to believe the second scenario either. Then sometimes a small lie can get out of control. Like in this recent story. In Hart’s case it looks like we’ll have an answer soon.


Oregon Ducks QB Dennis Dixon out with torn ACL

Dennis Dixon will have surgery on the left knee that buckled early in second-ranked Oregon’s upset loss to Arizona, spoiling his chance to win the Heisman Trophy. The quarterback tore his anterior cruciate ligament during Oregon’s Nov. 3 victory over Arizona State, according to coach Mike Bellotti, but he had rested it and felt as if he was ready to play Thursday night against the Wildcats.

Now Dixon will miss the rest of this season.


The versatile Dixon was one of the front-runners for the Heisman after he put the Ducks in line for the national title. Oregon had started the season unranked, and was picked to finish sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference.

Drawing comparisons to Vince Young, Dixon completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 2,136 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. The senior from San Leandro, Calif., also ran for 583 yards and nine scores.

Thursday night’s 34-24 loss to the unranked Wildcats knocked the Ducks (8-2, 5-2) out of the national title picture. Oregon was ranked behind LSU and ahead of Oklahoma and undefeated Kansas.

Dixon’s left knee crumbled as he tried to plant on an option carry with about 5 minutes to go in the first quarter against Arizona (5-6, 4-4).

Why should Dixon’s knee injury take him out of contention for the Heisman? It would seem rather silly if it did, for I’d be judging his credentials for the Heisman based on his play for the year, before he got hurt. That’s the way it should be.


NFL Draft 2006 – Round 1 #12 – Baltimore Ravens (from Browns) – DT Haloti Ngata

The Cleveland Browns (v2.0) are on the clock. Two defensive linemen, Oregon DT Haloti Ngata and FSU DE Kamerion Wimbley are the top rated players on Goose’s board.

They’ve made a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, who had the #13 spot. Yes–Cleveland Browns v1.0. The Ravens give up their 6th.

The Ravens pick: Ngata

A good trade for Baltimore if they had Ngata rated significantly higher than Wimbley. A good trade for Cleveland if they didn’t. Or they don’t want a defensive lineman in this spot.


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