Friday, August 31, 2012

Photo: Girls With Low IQs


Thursday, August 30, 2012

An Abbreviated Villanova-Temple Preview

New Conference or not, Some things will never change.

Maalik Wayns at the Reebok Training Summit

At Reebok Headquarters in Massachusetts.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An Ode To Brian Westbrook

Unlike most sports fans, my first encounters with Brian Westbrook came from watching him torch opponents at Villanova Stadium in 1998. As a 10 year old, it seemed like he scored ten touchdowns a game. He wasn't the fastest (only ran a 4.5 forty at the combine) or the biggest (5'9 is very generous) but he was a tough SOB. Despite the fact that he won the Payton Award three years later, Westbrook's 1998 season was still his best, despite the fact that coaches gave the Payton Award to another running back in his conference still offends me to this day. Yes, Jerry Azumah rushed for more than 2,000 yards, but Brian Westbrook had 1,000 rushing yards, 1,000 receiving yards, and nearly 1,000 return yards. When you add the fact that Villanova threw the ball a ton, Westbrook's numbers are even more impressive.

Anyway, enough of my ranting. It was announced today that Brian Westbrook will formally retire as a member of the Eagles. As a Giants fan, I was always torn when Westbrook would play against the Giants, because I knew that he could make one or two plays that would kill the Giants, a team he was always at his best against. Nonetheless, I miss seeing Brian Westbrook on the football field, as he's always been such a fine representative of Villanova whether the cameras were rolling or not.

Thank you Brian, and enjoy your retirement.

29 Years Ago Today: Sydney Maree Sets A World Record

 29 years ago today in Cologne, West Germany, Villanova alum Sydney Maree became the last American to set a distance World Record on the track when he ran 1500m in 3:31.24. Of course, this record wouldn't last very long as it was broken by Great Britain's Steve Ovett only a week later. Two years later in 1985, in a race that was also in Cologne, Maree became the third man in history to break 3:30 in the 1500 when he ran 3:29.77, setting an American record that wouldn't be broken until 2005, when Bernard Lagat ran 3:29.40. At the time his record was broken, it was the longest standing American record at any IAAF championship distance.

If you want to read more about Sydney's career, read this excellent piece about him on Villanova Running. Sydney's currently serving five years in prison for fraud in his native South Africa under somewhat shady circumstances. His son Daniel is making a documentary about his life in South Africa, his running career, his legal troubles, and how South Africa is still imperfect, even now that it is out of the shadow of Apartheid.

Unfortunately, I have never been able to find video of this event.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Villanova Finally Releases A Depth Chart

A few notes: 
  1. Kenny Miles broke his foot and will miss some time.
  2. Dan Shirey is iffy for the season with an Achilles injury.
  3. Too many freshmen in the two-deep after playing a ton of freshmen last year.
  4. Brennan Erbeznik and Cory Reeder switched from offense to defense.
  5. Mark Hamilton will still be the kicker and the punter.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Villanova Lands 2013 Forward Kris Jenkins

From what I hear, Jenkins can really take on a double team.

In all seriousness though, here are some highlights of the Kris Jenkins in question.

Patriots Cut Ross Ventrone

For the first time this season.

Bobby Curtis Runs Well In Birmingham Two Mile

Don't read too much into the times as it was an un-paced race. Most importantly, he finished well after running near the back of the pack most of the race. Since I doubt he'll run a fall marathon since he's getting married, this may be the last we see of him until indoors, or possibly US XC early next year. He may run a bit in Australia though, as he has done before.


MEUCCI Daniele

HEATH Garrett

MUTAHI Sammy Alex


KIPTOO Mark Kosgei



TAYLOR Jonathan

Friday, August 24, 2012

25 Games In: Matt Szczur Isn't Hitting

Is it too late for the NFL? I only ask this because Matt Szczur isn't exactly playing like a big league player. Through 25 games for the AA Tennessee Smokies, Szczur is hitting .202/.269/.374, which is one of the worst lines on his team, and his batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage are all below the league averages. He's also striking out at a career high rate and walking at a career low rate. While he's still a little bit young for his league, it's not like he's new to baseball, and these concerns are the same ones I had when he was first drafted (no position, no power, reliant on contact, etc.) and they don't surprise me one bit.

All that said, let's hope he finds something.


This Still Happened

This was a witch hunt. Lance Armstrong beat the most doped up fields in the history of sports.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is This Villanova's Greatest Ever Group of Freshman Milers?

Jordan Williamsz on leg one for Australia (white top, green shorts)

Prior to this year, the fastest ever mile run by an incoming Villanova freshman was 3:57.9, run by future NCAA champion, World Record holder, and two-time Olympian Sydney Maree. What if I told you that Villanova has an incoming freshman who has run what equates to four seconds faster than that? You'd probably think I was blowing smoke up your ass.

Well, I'm not. Jordan Williamsz comes to Villanova from Melbourne Australia sporting a 3:36.74 personal best in the 1500, the equivalent of a high 3:53 mile, making him one of the fastest incoming freshmen in NCAA history, and certainly the fastest in Villanova history. Williamsz also has a 1:47 personal best in the 800, which would likely make him an All-American in that event. Long story short: Jordan Williamsz is a stud, and it's only a matter of time before he formally runs sub-4:00 in the full mile.

There's more good news. Josh Lampron of Mansfield, Massachusetts comes to Villanova sporting a 3:45 PB in the 1500, and 4:02 in the full mile. Lampron isn't the only one, as Harry Warnick won the Connecticut state championship in the mile and Kieran Brennan of New York shows promise in the middle distances as well. People close to the program are excited, as assistant coach Adrian Blincoe demonstrated on twitter.

So the short answer is complicated. While this is the fastest group of Villanova freshman milers coming in, it may not be the greatest. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Darrel Young Aiming To Make Preseason Debut Saturday

Former Villanova linebacker and current Redskins fullback Darrel Young is looking to make his preseason debut this Saturday after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

This year, Young has a pretty clear shot at staying the starter for the entire season if he's able to stay healthy.

Villanova Picks Unfunny TV Dinosaur For Parents Weekend

Preferable to Jay Leno

I guess you could slot me firmly into the corner of "Team Coco" based on my disdain for Jay Leno, but the fact is that while I think Conan got jobbed, I simply think Jay Leno is offensively unfunny. Unfunny to the point that he hosts the sixth funniest late night talk show, only beating former MTV wet dream VJ Carson Daly, who also happens to be on NBC. So with that said, it makes sense that Vanillanova will be hosting Jay Leno for parents weekend, right?

My only reaction: UGH.

Monday, August 20, 2012

VUHoops: Brzoja Enrolled, Will Come To Villanova is reporting that Croatian guard Mislav Brzoja will in fact be attending Villanova (scroll down in the article), giving Villanova some much needed back court depth, and will dampen the urgency of recruiting for 2013.

(educated guess) Pronunciation guide: Mee-slav Briz-oya

It's Official: Raphael Chillious To Villanova

Take it from no higher authority.

RIP Tony Scott

We'll always have this.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Video: Mislav Brzoja Speaks

Note: This was after the semifinal. The final was today, and they beat Lithuania.

It's worth noting that he's still not on the Villanova roster and could very well sign a pro contract. He does speak fluent English, though.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why Is Andrew Sullivan On Villanova's Official Roster?

In case you needed any more evidence as to why Villanova has the worst sports information department of any D1 program, here it is.

UPDATE: Villanova has fixed the error.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why Jamaica Beats Us In Sprinting

 Jeff Demps in 2008

If you knew before this post that Jeff Demps is the Co-World Junior Record holder in the 100m dash, you actually know something about track and field. Right after Demps graduated from high school, he ran 10.01 in the 100m dash at the 2008 US Olympic Trials. For comparisons sake, Usain Bolt didn't run faster than that until his breakout 2008 season, when he was already 21 years old. After the Olympic trials, It was on to Gainesville, where Demps would be on a football and track scholarship, with football taking precedence, of course, as he's expected to sign with the Patriots after winning a silver medal by running in the first round of the 4x100 relay at the Olympics.

Why has Jamaica been dominating us in the sprints? Football. There is no simpler answer. In Jamaica, the fastest of the fast get taken off the soccer field by a track coach and in the US, the fast kids are already playing football, and use track as a means to stay in shape, because one is more popular than the other, and is seen as a way to get scholarships and has a visible professional rank. There's a list online of the type of athletes track and field has lost to the NFL. It's staggering.

Obviously there could be other factors, but don't think that Jamaica is beating the US because they have greater athletes. The real reason is that athletes in the US have greater options.

Goodman: Chillious To Villanova

Ridiculous Assist By Mislav Brzoja

No word on whether he's coming to Villanova.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dylan Ennis' Kid Brother Is The Enemy Now*

Committed to Syracuse. Reveal at 3:28.

*Not really, he'll probably never play against Villanova.

Rams Sign Brandyn Harvey

This will be his third NFL stop, after spending time with the Falcons and Cardinals.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Question That Must Be Asked

I know that hiring coaches to college staffs for the sole purpose of improving recruiting is nothing new, even at Villanova, but there's something that truly bothers me about doing this, and it doesn't seem to be bothering many other people. This shouldn't happen, and there should be outrage that it happened in the first place.

Why was Doug Martin even hired in the first place? Villanova hasn't had a huge problem with recruiting, only development of said players, and I doubt an AAU coach knows much about developing players. There are other coaches who are fine at recruiting, with college coaching experience, and an established track record in player development. The problem with that? Those guys are expensive, and they generally become head coaches fairly soon. Why can't Jay Wright get an established former head coach who doesn't want the massive pressure/responsibility of being a major coach, but still has enough weight to make an impact? I know that it's a matter of money, but if Villanova needed money to fund a coaching job, a donor's wallet would open up, magically.

It's time to stop with the shenanigans, the assistant coaching carousel, the arrests, and start getting serious.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

SURPRISE: AAU Coach With Shady Resume Resigns


VILLANOVA, Pa. - Doug Martin has resigned his position as an assistant basketball coach due to inaccuracies on his resume, it was announced today.
"I have always known Doug to be a good person and coach," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright.  "He has taken responsibility for his mistake and will move on successfully! We all wish Doug well."


Friday, August 10, 2012

SURPRISE: AAU Coach Has Shady Resume

God dammit. Cue the story:
According to a statement issued by Villanova when Martin was hired, he "played collegiate basketball at UW-Green Bay for coach Dick Bennett from 1991-95."
However Green Bay has no records of Martin ever playing there. He is not listed on the all-time roster and Andrew Gavin, Green Bay's director of athletic communications, said via email: "I do not have a record of a Doug Martin playing here and looked through our stats from each of those years as well."
My reaction:


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lost In The Bolt Madness: David Rudisha Sets A New World Record

Let me preface this by saying that distance records are never broken in championship races. Rudisha is king.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Villanova Soccer Adds The Son of a Global Beauty Queen

How many people say that they beat Halle Berry at a beauty contest? Well, Villanova's newest soccer player Kye West's mother can make that claim. After an innocuous press release and a simple google search, I realized that Kye's mother Giselle Laronde was crowned Miss World in 1986 representing Trinidad & Tobago, and even appeared on a Trinidadian postage stamp. So yeah, I don't know how good this kid is in soccer, but his mom was a big freaking deal in 1986, which is awesome because that was the year the Mets last won the World Series, and Top Gun was released in theaters.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Andy Talley Talks About Camp

Get excited, folks.



Sheila Reid Fails To Advance In Olympic 5K

Most importantly though, she proved that she belonged after a long, difficult season. Get healthy, train well, and hopefully we'll see you in Moscow next year for the World Championships, Sheila Reid. This isn't a result to dwell on, it's still the fucking Olympics.

Oh yeah, those Canada kits look fresh.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympic 5000m Heats (Featuring Sheila Reid)

The races are tomorrow, starting at 5:55 AM ET. 

All starters are below, their names link to their personal bests at various distances. My thoughts are below the start lists.

5000 Metres - W   Heats
Qual. rule: first 5 of each heat (Q) plus the 5 fastest times (q) qualified.
Heat 1
Tuesday 07 August 2012 - 10:55
Order Bib Athlete Country SB 2012 PB
1 2510 Sandra López MEX 15:37.00 15:28.71
2 2250 Kayoko Fukushi JPN 15:18.46 14:53.22
3 2333 Viola Jelagat Kibiwot KEN 14:39.53 14:34.86
4 2602 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal NOR 15:28.32 15:25.40
5 2100 Fionnuala Britton IRL 15:15.69 15:15.69
6 2859 Olga Golovkina RUS 15:11.20 15:11.20
7 1870 Barbara Parker GBR 15:14.26 15:14.26
8 1256 Tejitu Daba BRN 15:48.37 15:14.62
9 2475 Nadia Noujani MAR 15:16.50 15:16.50
10 1703 Meseret Defar ETH 14:35.65 14:12.88
11 1084 Eloise Wellings AUS 15:20.28 14:54.11
12 3281 Julie Culley USA 15:13.77 15:13.77
13 2729 Sara Moreira POR 15:08.33 14:54.71
14 1706 Tirunesh Dibaba ETH 14:50.80 14:11.15
15 1654 Judith Plá ESP 15:27.62 15:20.87
16 3168 Lyudmyla Kovalenko UKR 15:10.28 15:10.28
17 2164 Silvia Weissteiner ITA 15:18.04 15:02.65
18 3089 Dudu Karakaya TUR 15:20.00 15:20.00
Heat 2
Tuesday 07 August 2012 - 11:19
Order Bib Athlete Country SB 2012 PB
1 1702 Gelete Burka ETH 14:41.43 14:31.20
2 1849 Julia Bleasdale GBR 15:10.06 15:10.06
3 2257 Hitomi Niiya JPN 15:17.92 15:13.12
4 3297 Molly Huddle USA 15:14.40 14:44.76
5 3279 Kim Conley USA 15:19.79 15:19.79
6 2327 Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot KEN 14:35.62 14:20.87
7 2881 Yelena Nagovitsyna RUS 15:13.77 15:13.77
8 1871 Joanne Pavey GBR 15:09.53 14:39.96
9 2159 Elena Romagnolo ITA 15:19.78 15:13.19
10 2761 Roxana Elisabeta Birca ROU 15:13.40 15:13.40
11 2151 Nadia Ejjafini ITA 15:16.54 15:16.54
12 1258 Shitaye Eshete BRN 15:14.49 15:14.49
13 1097 Layes Abdullayeva AZE 15:33.88 15:29.47
14 3017 Zakia Mrisho TAN 14:43.87
15 2263 Mika Yoshikawa JPN 15:33.48 15:28.44
16 1142 Almensh Belete BEL 15:22.15 15:03.63
17 2336 Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego KEN 14:43.11 14:30.42
18 1315 Sheila Reid CAN 15:23.64 15:23.64

Some of my thoughts:
  1. I was very relieved when I saw that Sheila Reid was in a different heat than Meseret Defar and defending champion/10000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba, but then I saw that she was in a heat with the other Ethiopian, and the two Kenyans that finished second and third in the 10K. All in all, the two heats look pretty evenly matched.
  2. If it's a slower race, I have confidence, but if it's a fast race, it will be difficult. I'm hoping the race is either super fast or painfully slow, because if the race is faster than the first race, there's a better chance Sheila will advance on time.
  3. I need to set my alarm clock.
Good luck tomorrow, Sheila. Get after it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Villanova Alum Dotsie Bausch Wins Olympic Silver Medal


Along with her teammates Sarah Hammer and Jennie Reid, 1995 Villanova graduate Dotsie Bausch won her first Olympic medal, a silver in the women's cycling team pursuit behind a British squad that looked utterly dominant and set multiple Olympic and World Records in the process. I'd say this is a pretty good performance for someone who didn't take up cycling until she was 26.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Visitor For Tom Crean

"I am doing great. I have been thinking about you alot since last weekend. A whole lot. How are you doing?"