Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Next year's winner - Valdosta State!

Every year the Princeton Review comes out with its list of party schools, with predictable results. The administration at the top schools always objects and expresses concern, and the student body takes a little pride in their partying being recognized. I never really understood how the list was put together, but now it's pretty clear that it's not a legitimate effort to rank the schools. That's because they put Florida number one on this year's list. Sorry, not buying that. UF students have plenty of fun, but things aren't that crazy in Gainesville. I think this is largely based on the image from television showing the celebration of the three national championships in 2006 and 07. Any list that asks me to accept that LSU is not one of the SEC's five biggest party schools and leaves Michigan State out of the top twenty while putting Randolph-Macon College sixth is not a very good list.

Speaking of bad lists, the ESPN summer time filler stunt is over. While Titletown was a better concept than "Who's Now?", it still was pretty weak. Your winner as America's official "Titletown" - Valdosta, Georgia! There's a Wendy's in Valdosta already dedicated to the "Winnersville" theme. It features a variety of celebrity photos on the walls, many of which appear to be from soap opera stars who appeared at a boat show. Also there are publicity photos of a variety of ESPN talent from around 1991 (I particularly enjoyed the one of Keith Olbermann during his Groucho Marx looking days) and a picture of Sonny Shroyer as "Enos" from the Dukes of Hazzard. I'm sure they'll proudly display this trophy next to the chili toppings. I think the rest of the US will lick our wounds and rebound from the loss quickly somehow.

It's a pretty minor deal to the NBA world, but Taurean Green getting traded again is unfortunate for him. It appears the Knicks have little interest in him - with Anthony Roberson having signed a two year deal, they have their undersized UF guard needs met already - meaning Taurean will likely be a free agent. The Knicks will be the third team to pass him on to someone else.

Congratulations to former UF player and assistant Jerry Odom for his role as assistant head coach with the Arena Football League winning Philadelphia Soul. Once upon a time, to celebrate the Tampa Bay Storm's Arena championship victory, my friend Ross and I went out to the Tampa airport to welcome them back. (Why no, there wasn't much to do in Tampa then if you were under 21 - why do you ask?) The excitement was so high, the Storm actually forgot their trophy. It was a design so ugly it doesn't seem to be available on line, but they replaced it with this in 2004. We could have walked off with the trophy, and probably should have. Wonder what it would get on eBay?

The Big East currently has eight members, meaning they all have to shell out for five non conference opponents every year. To counter those rising costs, they apparently will book Army and Navy for four games each against rotating conference teams each year. This is a pretty clever idea, and with conference realignment likely to happen in the next few years it gives the Big East an easy possible source of new members should they need one.

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