Monday, December 31, 2007

Memory Lane

I was looking through some old photographs and thought I'd end the year sharing these. I put a picture of myself and Benjamin together just so there is a shot of us at the same age.

Here I am in 1964, age two and a half. Here is Benjamin at age two.

WWB Jr, WWB III and WWB IV together, Christmas 1966 and my kindergarten class picture from 1966.

This is the last post of 2007. This blog is a little over two years old now. It's hard to believe I'm still writing it as I wasn't sure how long it would go on when I started it. Its turned out to be a nice archive for Benjamin to enjoy when he gets older, he can see what was going on during the time he was born and when he was growing up.

To a happier and healthier 2008--Cheers!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Emerald Bowl: Oregon State 21, Maryland 14

The game started out great for the Terps. Three first quarter possessions resulted in two touchdown passes for Maryland QB Chris Turner. One of those was a beautiful 63 yarder to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. The other was a 9 yard strike to WR Isaiah Williams.

After taking an early lead against the favored Beavers, the Terps never scored again. Oregon State tied the game late in the first half, went ahead late in the third quarter and won the Emerald Bowl 21-14 over Maryland.

The Terps finish the 2007 season with a 6-7 record and they finished with a losing record for the third time in the past four years. No doubt the seat is a little hot for Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen.

Maryland's rushing attack of Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore were held to a combined 21yards on 17 carries. As a team, Maryland finished with 19 yards on 25 carries as Oregon State showed why they were the second rated team in the nation against the run giving up a paltry 75 yards per game.

Meanwhile, the Terps didn't have an answer for RB's Yvenson Bernard and freshman James Rodgers. Bernard, who had missed Oregon State's regular-season finale after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, rushed for 177 yards on 38 carries and scored one touchdown. Rodgers rushed for a career high 115 yards and caught 5 passes for 40 yards, scoring the Beavers first touchdown on a 14 yard pass and then recovered a fumble by Bernard in the end zone for what proved to be the game winning score.

So now the Terps look forward to Winter workouts and some questions to answer for next season.

Chris Turner's play at QB was an unexpected surprise. He was number three on the depth chart before this season began and he will go into Spring practice as the number one QB. But what are the Terps going to do when promising QB Josh Portis has his eligibility reinstated?

Friedgen, who has been calling his own plays the past two seasons, has finally hired an Offensive Coordinator as James Franklin returns to the Terps coaching staff.

Junior LB Erin Henderson is expected to turn pro. If Henderson departs, Maryland will return five starters on defense. Nine starters will return on offense.

This season Maryland had their highs and their lows. Sometimes they had them in the same game. Last night was one of those games.

This was an interesting season to say the least. Injuries to several key players opened the door for a lot of newcomers like QB Chris Turner and Offensive Linemen Bruce Campbell and Paul Pinegar. There was inconsistency but this team did not quit at any point in the season. I hope those who check into this site enjoyed the coverage of the 2007 Maryland Terrapins Football team. I had a lot of fun cheering them on from Section 19 at Byrd Stadium and look forward to doing it again next year.

Post Game Notes

Post Game Quotes

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Day Off In DC

Very rarely do I have time off where I can just knock around DC. Today I took advantage of a beautiful Winter day and did just that. I'm off until January 7 when I start a new job (long story, short the one I took this past June didn't work out).

I started with the goal of going to the Edward Hopper Exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. First I stopped by the National Air and Space Museum. Here are some pictures I took from there.



The Spirit of St. Louis

I made it to the Hopper exhibit and it was crowded but I blended in and saw what I wanted to see, including his best known painting Nighthawks.

Here is another favorite of mine painted in 1940 titled Gas

Cruised up Pennsylvania Avenue for a bit

Dropped by the President's house

Got some lunch here at an old favorite hangout when I worked in downtown DC The Bottom Line on 17th and I Streets NW before heading home to pick up Benjamin from day care.

Got some much needed walking done during this day. If you are in the DC area, by all means check out the Hopper Exhibit. Best of all it is free!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Highlights

Last night the words "adult assembly required" rang true and I spent a few hours putting things together for Benjamin. Here are some pictures of our Christmas celebration this morning. As usual, double click the image for a bigger picture. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! Pretty soon I will take Benjamin for a spin in the neighborhood in his new red wagon.

At church

My new office

Sweet, a new red wagon!

New Winter items

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Emerald Bowl Update

Final exams are finished and the Maryland Terrapins football team practiced Thursday for the Emerald Bowl. The Terps (6-6) will have one more practice here tomorrow before heading out Saturday. They will get three practices in California before taking on the Oregon State Beavers (8-4) on Friday December 28.

Regarding Thursday's practice, Head Coach Ralph Friedgen noted that the team had an up-and-down practice.

"We started off good," he said. "We still have the same problem. We have trouble sustaining it and we get a little tired. We practice well for a period and then we don't practice well. We don't have consistency. We're not going to get good until we get through that."

It has been almost a month since the last game, a 37-0 win over N.C. State on November 24th.

Friedgen has been giving a lot of work with the young kids like WR's Torrey Smith and Kevin Gresham as well as offensive linemen Paul Pinegar and Bruce Campbell.

"I don't know if that's going to help us with this game, but I think it will help us in the future. A lot of them have also been working with the second team because we've had injuries," he said.

Speaking of injuries, starting left guard Jaimie Thomas, out injured the last five weeks of the regular season with a fractured leg, continues to work to return for the bowl game. He was deemed a long shot to play, but he's been progressing well. A decision will be made following Friday's practice.

Cornerback Nolan Carroll has pulled his hamstring and is questionable for the game. Freshman WR Laquan Williams is still recovering from a knee injury and is also questionable. Williams can run straight ahead but is having trouble making cuts.

It's going to be a tough game for the Terps as the Oregon State defense is second in the country against the run. I'm confident in Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore though.

Hard to call this game as its been a month since both schools have played. The #3 team in the PAC-10 shouldn't lose to the ACC's #6 but funny things happen in these bowls or exhibition games as a friend of mine calls these.

Some quotes:

Defensive tackle Dre Moore: "I’ve never had a chance to go to the West Coast before. This is the one I wanted." (The Terps could have played in the Humanitarian Bowl at Boise State University or the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.)

Linebacker Erin Henderson: "We’ve been to Carolina three times this year alone... I’ve never been to the West Coast beyond Phoenix. To have the opportunity to go out there and play a football game against a team you really don’t know much about, it’s something different. You get so used to playing the Virginia's and N.C. State's. This is exciting."

Quarterback Chris Turner (who is from the West Coast): "Now my family can come. It’s a five or six-hour drive, but it’s definitely more manageable than flying across the country."

Friedgen: "It's a little more exotic to go to San Francisco, a place they’ve never been before... Obviously it’s a tougher trip for our fans in this area, but we also have a very big fan base out in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I’m hoping those people will come out and support us, and I think we’ll have a lot of fans that want to go to San Francisco."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

2007's Most Irritating Professional Athlete

No doubt about it: "Professional" golfer Rory Sabbatini

While watching the Tiger Woods Target World Challenge today I heard that Rory withdrew today because of "personal reasons". This is an event that Tiger Woods hosts at the conclusion of the PGA Tour season in which 16 top players compete and his charity, the Tiger Woods Foundation benefits. Tiger and his Father Earl started this event nine years ago.

Sabbatini is the first player in the history of this event to withdraw. Personal reasons or the fact he was in last place headed into the final round, 28 shots behind Tiger?

He still received $170,000. "He should give that back to the Foundation," Fred Couples said. "He's messing with the wrong guy."

Sabbatini cleaned out his locker Saturday afternoon and told reporters he was headed to Maui, where he spends his Christmas vacation.

His agent later reported Sabbatini told him he withdrew because of shin splints.

Why is he this blog's Most Irritating Athlete of 2007? Read on.

Woods, who won the tournament for the 4th time by seven shots today, shook his head when asked about Sabbatini on his way to the practice range before the start of the final round.

Sabbatini qualified for the 16-man field thanks to his world ranking, which now is at No. 11. If getting into this tournament were a popularity vote, the only way he sees this golf course is if he bought a ticket. 2007 is the year he will be remembered for calling out Woods.

They played in the final round at the Wachovia Championship in Charlotte, NC this Summer. Woods overcame a one-shot deficit to win. Sabbatini, who had said he wanted Woods in the final group at that tournament, said that Woods looked as "beatable as ever."

Woods responded by saying he had three victories in 2007 at that point, "the same amount he's won in his career." Woods won eight times in 2007, including his 13th major title, the PGA Championship.

So later in the Summer they were paired again in the final round at the Bridgestone Invitational, and Sabbatini said it would be a rubber match. According to Rory, Woods beat him at Wachovia, but Sabbatini said he outscored him in the final round of the 1996 NCAA Championship, where Woods had an eight-shot lead going into the last round and won the title by three shots in his last year at Stanford. Um, ok.

At the Bridgestome Invitational, Woods turned a one-shot deficit into an eight shot victory. Game over and you'd think Rory learned his lesson? Apparently not.

Mark Calcavecchia wrote today off as "Rory being Rory."

"I think I could have toughed out one more round," Calcavecchia said. "I don't think the fans missed him."

To borrow a line from the late singer Jim Croce, you don't tug on Superman's cape, spit in the wind or pull the mask off the Lone Ranger. Sabbatini did all that and more this year. That's why he's my Most Irritating Professional Athlete of 2007. Congrats Rory. I'd give you your MIPA personally if you were to get an invite from Tiger for next year's AT&T National at Congressional Country Club but somehow I doubt an invitation will be coming your way.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Been a busy couple weeks in December for our family so posting has been light. These pics of Benjamin are from a recent photo shoot. We also plan to take him to see Santa Claus in the next week, so stay tuned.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Maryland Goes To The Emerald Bowl

2007 Emerald Bowl
Maryland vs Oregon State
Friday, December 28th 8:30 PM EST

The Emerald Bowl announced that Maryland (6-6) will face Oregon State (8-4) of the Pac-10 Conference on Friday, Dec. 28 in San Francisco at AT&T Park. The game will be telecast nationally on ESPN.

It was a natural fit for the Terps, who have 5,000 alumni between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Maryland will be making its 22nd bowl game appearance and first in the state of California.

"Our kids are excited to be going to the Emerald Bowl and appreciative of this opportunity," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen. "We're looking forward to playing a Pac-10 team, something we haven't done in a long time.

"Oregon State is a fine team and Mike Riley is an excellent football coach. He has his team playing very well right now."

Maryland will be seeking to extend its school record of three straight bowl victories. The Terps defeated Purdue, 24-7, in last year's Champs Sports Bowl. They also downed West Virginia, 41-7, in the 2004 Gator Bowl and Tennessee, 30-3, in the 2002 Peach Bowl.

"In Maryland, we will have one of the ACC's most prominent names," said Gary Cavalli, executive director of the Emerald Bowl. "The Terps come into the game with great momentum from a dominating win over North Carolina State. Earlier this season, they beat two top 10 teams - Rutgers and Boston College."

The Beavers finished third in the Pac-10 by winning six of their final seven games with the only loss in that stretch a 24-3 defeat at the hands of then-No. 13 USC on November 3rd.

Oregon State possesses one of the top defenses in the nation. OSU is ranked 12th nationally in total defense (313.0 ypg), including the second-ranked rushing defense (74.9 ypg). Oregon State will be making its 13th bowl game appearance, including fifth in the last seven years.

The Terrapins and Beavers have never faced each other and it will be just the second time Maryland has played a Pac-10 team in a bowl game. The Terps lost to Washington, 21-20, in the 1982 Aloha Bowl.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

College Football Talk

The Associated Press named its 2007 All-ACC football team this week.

Maryland Defensive Tackle Dre Moore and Linebacker Erin Henderson were first team All-ACC selections. Offensive Lineman Andrew Crummey made the second team and Running Back Keon Lattimore was an honorable mention.

I would have liked to have seen Running Back Lance Ball get an honorable mention as he and Keon formed a dynamite 1-2 punch for the Terps this season.

The annual Army-Navy game is Saturday at noon in Baltimore. I went to this game once in Philadelphia in 1996 with my friend Drew. His nephew Chuck was a senior at Navy then and it was an incredible experience. Army won this game 28-24. Before the game it was neat seeing both the Cadets and Midshipmen march into the stadium. At the end of the game, the Alma Maters of the losing team and then the winning team are played and sung. The winning team stands alongside the losing team and faces the losing academy students; then the losing team accompanies the winning team, facing their students. This is done in a show of mutual respect and solidarity and one of the great traditions in all of sports.

This year's game will be exciting to watch. Army's seniors have never beaten Navy, and they'll definitely come into this game with great incentive. Navy is 7-4 and headed to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego December 20th. Army is 3-8 and has lost five straight to Navy.

Army-Navy stories

Army-Navy face off on gridiron for 108th time

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sean Taylor: 1983-2007

I didn't know Sean Taylor but I rooted for him each Sunday as he wore the burgundy and gold of my favorite NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have brought my friends, family and even total strangers together over the years so Taylor's tragic death hit me hard when I found out about it early this morning. Hearing this news reminded me of the day when Maryland basketball great Len Bias died back in June 1986. Taylor was having his best season as a Redskin before he was injured a couple weeks ago. He was just 24 and he left behind an infant daughter.

To summarize Sean Taylor: He was the Redskins most dominant defensive player. At free safety, he was able to shut down plays with a single hit. He was like an extra linebacker out there. WR Terrell Owens never had a 100 yard game with either the Eagles or the Cowboys when Taylor was in the secondary. Two weeks ago against the Redskins, T.O. went nuts with 4 TD's as Taylor was out injured.

As tough as it is, the Redskins will play on.

Post article

Mike Wise

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Maryland 37, N.C. State 0

Two years ago, the Maryland Terrapins and North Carolina State Wolfpack were in the same situation. Both teams needed a victory to become bowl eligible. In 2005 N.C. State beat Maryland. This year it was the same situation, win or go home. Today it was Maryland's time and they avenged that 2005 loss by cruising to a 37-0 victory today at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC.

It was a rare afternoon where I could sit back and comfortably relax while watching this team play.

Today the defense was incredible, getting their first shutout since 2004 and holding N.C. State to 10 yards rushing for the game. RB's Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore each scored two touchdowns for the Terps and QB Chris Turner was 19-24 for 206 yards. Turner also had a 41 yard run that set up a touchdown. For the game Maryland rushed for a season-high 249 yards.

Before the game, Head Coach Ralph Friedgen reminded his team of their loss to Wake Forest in their home finale in 2006, a defeat that kept them from reaching the ACC championship game.

"Last year, we were playing for a bid to go to Jacksonville, at home, and I said, "We let it get by us" Friedgen said. "This is a game that's going to be for a bowl game. Who wants to go to the bowl more?"

The Terps responded by taking a 24-0 lead at halftime and they didn't look back.

So the record shows the Terps finished the regular season at 6-6. But this has been a season where the Terps battled, got kicked, did some kicking back and played with a lot of heart and emotion while battling injuries at several key positions. As I said in my last post, I'm not a big fan of 6-6 teams going to bowls. However, the way this team has fought back when they were counted out, they deserve a chance at a bowl and a chance to finish the season with a winning record. All this adversity has brought this team together. For example, I would scan the sidelines with my binoculars and see several players on crutches working with their teammates and using their experiences to help out. No one was on the sidelines sulking when it must have hurt not to be out there on the field. Just a great display of unity.

One example of how close this team is: Senior Guard Andrew Crummey came back and played today after fracturing his fibula October 6 vs Georgia Tech. He's a NFL prospect and he could have taken the safe way out and not played today. Watching on TV, he was playing in some pain today. Friedgen praised Crummey during his post game press conference. He said that Crummey came out of the game because several Wolfpack players landed on his bad leg. He went on to talk about the fact that he told Crummey that he was coming up on NFL tryouts, he appreciated him giving it a shot today but a repeat injury of that leg would have been devestating to his chances at a pro career. But Crummey insisted on getting back into the game because it meant more to him that he support his teammates. Friedgen said it was "rare"--"You just don't see that. This is an extraordinary young man".

Couldn't agree more. Its been a pleasure watching him develop during his four years at Maryland and he will go on to a successful NFL career.

The Terps will know where they are headed after the ACC Championship game next Saturday night. According to the e-mail I got from the Terrapin Club, the Terps could end up in the following bowls:

Emerald Bowl
San Francisco, California
December 28, 2007 at 8:30 PM EST

Humanitarian Bowl
Boise, Idaho
December 31, 2007 at 2:00 PM EST

Postgame Notes

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Florida State 24, Maryland 16

Same old story today. Mistakes and Maryland made several key mistakes once again and as a result they lose to Florida State 24-16. For the game the Terps committed eight penalties and a couple of those stopped what could have been scoring drives. QB Chris Turner struggled early in the game. An example of the Terps frustration occurred on the very first series of the game. Maryland was just penalized for a false start penalty and that put them into a second and long situation. Turner completed a pass to RB Lance Ball for an apparent first down. But wait...WR Isaiah Williams didn't start from the line of scrimmage and the Terps were called for an illegal formation penalty and that nullified the first down. Then on the next play, Turner threw an interception that Florida State returned to the Maryland 26-yard line. A couple plays later and it was 7-0 Florida State.

The Terps forced five Seminole fumbles, but could only recover one. Plus they couldn't find an answer for WR/RB Preston Parker, who ran for 133 yards and scored one TD. Parker also caught a pass for 21 yards, returned four punts for 40 more yards and totalled 194 all-purpose yards.

So while Maryland stumbled around in the first half, Florida State took a 21-6 lead at the break. It looked like the Seminoles were on cruise control. However, the Terps didn't quit, getting to 21-13 midway through the third quarter when Turner hit WR Darrius Heyward-Bey on a 14-yard TD pass.

Key part of the game came in the fourth quarter. Florida State just added three more points to go up 24-13 thanks to a 30 yard field goal by Gary Cismesia. On the ensuing kickoff, Maryland's Da'Rel Scott received the ball at the two yard line, juggled it, then took off and raced 60 yards to the Seminoles 38 yard line. The Terps got a first down but the offense couldn't do anything else. Then Kicker Obi Egekeze (3 of 4 FG's today) missed a 45 yard attempt. The Terps just had to score after such a nice kickoff return but couldn't take advantage of that.

"We seemed to find some ways to shoot ourselves in the foot" said Maryland Head Coach Ralph Friedgen on his post game radio show.

For the game, Turner completed 16 of 32 passes for 242 yards, but threw that costly interception on the opening drive and was sacked four times. On defense, Dave Philistin had a game-high 10 tackles and LB Erin Henderson played well despite numerous injuries that has forced him not to practice the past couple weeks.

Florida State went to 7-4 and this win gave Head Coach Bobby Bowden his 300th career win at the school (#372 overall) and a 16-2 career record against Maryland. From what I've heard from a couple real sportswriter's I know, Coach Bowden's one of the nicer guys in the college game and someone I've liked and respected a long time.

Despite the loss, I found some positives:

QB Chris Turner: Sure, he started shaky and was benched for two series in the second quarter, but he played well in the second half. He had a couple of gutsy runs that picked up first downs for the Terps. He stayed in bounds and got the extra yardage needed when he could have ran out of bounds short of the first down marker.

The Defense: After Florida State went up 21-3, it looked liked they were going to rout the Terps. But the Maryland defense forced the Seminoles into eight straight punts and gave up just three points in the second half.

Da'Rel Scott: He continues to impress me and I can't wait to see him get the ball more as his career at Maryland progresses.

The Offensive Line: Friedgen's putting in guys who are playing injured with guys who have little experience and they played pretty well today despite Turner getting sacked four times.

So Maryland (5-6) needs a win at North Carolina State next week to become bowl eligible. I'm not much of a fan of 6-6 teams getting bowl bids but this would give the team extra practice plus an extra game to play. That would be a huge benefit to this team headed into Spring practice next year.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Redskins-Cowboys Week!

As a kid growing up in the DC area, the Redskins-Cowboys was THE rivalry, period. They've been bitter rivals since 1960 when the Cowboys began play. These two have had some epic battles, last minute finishes and battled each other for divisional and conference championships. Now, it's not such big a deal as Steve Czaban points out in his blog. And he's right. The Redskins have won just two playoff games since 1993 and have been mired in mediocrity for a long time.

This is a big game for the Redskins if they want to remain in playoff contention, especially after a very disappointing loss to the Eagles last week. Win, and the Redskins are very much in the postseason hunt at 6-4. If they lose, at 5-5 that will hurt their postseason chances as there are several teams in the NFC playoff chase.

So I wore my Redskins coat to work every day this week, just like I wore my coat to school when I was growing up and I engaged in friendly smack chat with co-workers who are Cowboy fans. Come Sunday I will be front and center as these two battle one another.

So all that said, here are some of my favorite Redskins victories over the Cowboys.

October 19, 1987: The Replacements. The Redskins replacement players signed during the 1987 strike, beat a veteran Cowboy team who had most of their stars playing, 13-7 on Monday Night Football.

October 8, 1973: Ken Houston stops Walt Garrison at the goal line to preserve the Redskins 14-7 victory on Monday Night Football.

November 2, 1975: Kilmer's sneak over Walt Sweeney gives the Redskins a huge OT victory.

December 22, 1996: Last game at RFK Stadium was a Redskins victory over the Cowboys.

October 2, 1978: Joe Theismann holding the ball aloft in the end zone after voluntarily taking a safety rather than risking a punt. Redskins win 9-5.

December 11, 1983: "No, Danny, No!" Redskins and Cowboys battle it out for the NFC East title. The infamous shot of Cowboys coach Tom Landry yelling at his QB Danny White not to try to draw the Redskins defense offsides. Redskins win 31-10 in Dallas.

January 22, 1983: Super Bowl Bound as the Redskins win the NFC Title at RFK Stadium 31-17.

December 31, 1972: Kilmer to Taylor will be forever etched in my mind as the Redskins go to their first Super Bowl with a 26-3 win over the Cowboys at RFK Stadium.

Some tough losses as well.

November 28, 1974: Longley to Pearson ruined Thanksgiving.

December 16, 1979: Season over. Redskins blow a 13 point lead, lose 35-34 and at 10-6, miss the playoffs.

September 5, 1983: Cowboys comeback. Down 23-3 at halftime, Dallas wins 31-30 at RFK. This was the debut of long time Redskin Darrell Green, who raced 70 yards and stopped Cowboy RB Tony Dorsett from scoring a TD.

September 9, 1985: Happy Birthday Joe Theismann. Cowboy fans sing Happy Birthday to Joe following a 44-14 rout.

November 24, 1991: First loss. Redskins enter the game 11-0 but lose to the Cowboys 24-21. Redskins later would win their last Super Bowl.

One thing I'll always remember was getting Sports Illustrated delivered a few days after the win so you could bask in the glory of the victory a little longer. The issues were always keepers and stashed away at Casa Benjamin are these two covers.

Finally, I made my live radio debut in December 2002 when WTEM was giving away a pair of tickets to the Redskins-Cowboys game. They were broadcasting live from Fair Oaks Mall and you had to come up with the best reason why you wanted to go to the game. So I took Weena and she saw what a knucklehead her husband was as I got on the air. I lost out, but felt proud I busted out my Redskins version of Big Bad John that I used to yell at 'Skins games in honor of John Riggins

Thru the blood and guts of this man made hell, walked a giant of a man the Cowboys knew well.

As the huddle broke, they began to moan...Like a giant oak tree he stood there alone. And the Cowboys wished they'd all stayed home...Big John!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Maryland 42, #8 Boston College 35

This was not the same Maryland football team that lost their past three games and became an afterthought in the race for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

I'd been waiting for this all year. I can't believe this team stunned the #8 team in the country. As banged up as the Terps have been the past month, I thought they would get roasted last night, especially since Boston College lost at home to Florida State the prior week and the Terps suffered a disappointing defeat at North Carolina.

Last night the Terps dished out some punches, took some from BC and continued to punch back. I don't know how else to describe it. There was no quit in this team, even when Boston College took a 21-20 lead in the 3rd quarter. I've been a season ticket holder for four seasons now and I've never been more proud of a Maryland football team than I am of this one after seeing this game. Last night they played hard, showed heart and gave a tremendous effort. That's all I ask for when I go to watch these games. They are 5-5 with road games at Florida State and at North Carolina State and will probably need to win both for a post season bowl bid. But the way this team has bounced back from several devastating injuries to pull together and defeat a very good Boston College team was incredible to see. I loved the effort I saw out there.

Sure Heisman hopeful Matt Ryan had over 400 yards passing for Boston College. But the Terps defense, lead by junior Linebacker Dave Philistin, was applying tons of pressure on Ryan, blitzing several times and forcing Ryan into several mistakes. The defense sacked Ryan four times and intercepted him twice. The Terps turned those two interceptions into touchdowns. HUGE!

Maryland QB Chris Turner looked like a senior veteran last night. He was 21-27 for 337 yards and three touchdowns. He wasn't the only star tonight. RB Lance Ball: 32 carries, 132 yards 1 TD. TE Jason Goode: 6 catches, 56 yards 2 TD's. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey: 5 catches, 75 yards. They even got help from a fill in WR, Emani Lee-Odai, who played in place of injured WR Danny Oquendo. Emani had three catches for 78 yards.

There were two plays that stood out. One was to back up RB Da'Rel Scott (see below), who normally returns kick offs. Scott caught Chris Turner's screen pass and raced 57 yards for the score to put Maryland ahead 34-21 with a little over 4:00 left in the third quarter. It was his first career reception.

The other was Heyward-Bey running for a 37-yard touchdown on a reverse with a little over 14:00 left in the game. Heyward-Bey also caught the 2 point conversion to make it 42-21 Terps.

Boston College then struck for two TD's and it was a nailbiter until the end when their attempt at an onside kick failed to travel the required ten yards with under a minute to go. It was celebration time for the Terps, fans and students. For the first time in school history, Maryland has defeated two top ten teams in the same season. "We play enough of them" said Head Coach Ralph Friedgen in his radio press conference.

This was also the last home game for the Maryland seniors. I remember seeing these guys come into the program, play a little in their first year. They'd make mistakes and learn, work hard and gradually become starters. Hard to believe that four years have passed by and these guys won't be in a Maryland uniform next season. It's been a lot of fun going out to Byrd Stadium and cheering for them from Section 19. So for Lance Ball, Keon Lattimore, Isaiah Gardner, Andrew Crummey, Carlos Feliciano, J.J. Justice, Christian Varner and Dre Moore, thanks for the effort and best wishes.

Hard to believe the home season is over with. It's been a blast cheering from Section 19 this year and I can't wait to do it again next season.

Game recap

Washington Post summary

Post game quotes

Friday, November 09, 2007

2007-2008 Maryland Basketball

Starting Point Guard for the 2023-2024 Maryland Terrapins!

2007-2008 Maryland Terrapins Basketball schedule
I've got a pair to the AU game on 12/22/07. Hopefully I'll get to a couple more games.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Washington Nationals New Stadium

Click on these highlighted links below to see how the Washington Nationals new stadium is progressing. Definitely spend some time browsing these sites as this stadium is shaping up to be a very nice ball yard. Can't wait for Spring!

Here is a live construction camera showing you the stadium. I like how you can go back to different times during the day, week or month to watch the stadium being built.

Here are a couple more links:

Stadium Renderings

Exterior Views: 10/15/07

Interior Views: 11/5/07

Stadium News Items

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Redskins at Midseason

A slow week here so I will take a moment to write about the Redskins at the midway point in their season. A little history for those tuning in for the first time here. The Redskins under Head Coach Joe Gibbs, version 1.0 were always competitive and they won three Super Bowls. On their way to those three titles, they were an offensive powerhouse. This landed coach Gibbs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Fast forward a bit and since Gibbs retired after the 1992 season, they have been a comedy of errors thanks to poor drafts, bad free agent signings and terrible coaching moves. Yet they are one of the more profitable sports franchises year in and year out. I'm not the biggest fan of his but I will give Owner Dan Snyder his props for that.

So here we are at the midway point of the season and the Redskins are 5-3. It's an ugly 5-3. Among their five wins are overtime victories against two AFC East teams that are a combined 1-16 (Miami 0-8, Jets 1-8).

Here's something that is amazing about this team and not in a good way. I look at their stats in the paper and see the Redskins don't have a Wide Receiver touchdown yet! Chris Cooley, a Tight End, is the team leader with five TD's. The season is half over. In the modern NFL, this is an incredible stat.

So many times this season this team gets inside the opponents 20 yard line only to come away with field goals. It's frustrating to watch. I have to keep in mind that their QB Jason Campbell is in his first season as the full time starter and to be patient but to see that none of the team's WR's have scored a TD is shocking. How much longer can this go on?

To their credit, they did rally from a 14 point deficit against a woefully inept Jets team. They got a much needed win after getting pasted and embarassed 52-7 the week before against the soon to be World Champion Patriots.

The rest of the schedule (2007 record in parenthesis) looks like this:

11/11 Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
11/18 at Dallas Cowboys (7-1)
11/25 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4)
12/2 Buffalo Bills (4-4)
12/6 Chicago Bears (3-5)
12/16 at New York Giants (6-2)
12/23 at Minnesota Vikings (3-5)
12/30 Dallas Cowboys (7-1)

Joe Gibbs, version 2.0, is in the fourth year of a five year contract to return the Redskins to glory. To quote Judge Smails in Caddyshack, "Well, we’re waiting". I'm not sure this year's team makes the playoffs but stay tuned.

One thing I did like was the team's throwback uniforms they broke out for the Giants game. They wore these in the late '60's, early '70's.

Washington Post: Redskins Reflect at Midpoint

Sunday, November 04, 2007

North Carolina 16, Maryland 13

Connor Barth kicked three field goals and QB T.J. Yates threw a touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks to lead North Carolina to a 16-13 victory over Maryland. The Terps didn't play smart football at all, getting called for nine penalties and committing all kinds of blunders-players lining up in the wrong formation, illegal shifts and missed blocking assignments. The coaches also made mistakes, a couple instances they sent in the wrong play resulting in more confusion. It's pretty sad going through the post game quotes seeing your QB say "I thought there would be a yellow flag every play". Nine weeks into the season and the fact mistakes like these are still being made is inexcusable.

But Maryland had a chance at the end. Their final drive to tie or win started on its own 23-yard line with under three minutes left in the game. QB Chris Turner completed four straight passes to move the Terps to the UNC 41 yard line. The game came down to a fourth and 2. Turner was pressured by the UNC defense and as a result, he threw high toward the sideline. Drive over and perhaps the season over as well.

Three straight losses for the Terps now and with a record of 4-5, a post season bowl bid is fading. The only reason the game was close because North Carolina let them stay in the game. They committed eleven penalties. It was truly an ugly game but the result was yet another devastating last-minute loss for the Terps.

Three players I was impressed with were OL Scott Burley, LB Erin Henderson and OL Bruce Campbell. They showed a lot of heart by playing through injuries they received in the game. As a fan, I appreciated their efforts. They didn't quit and that's all I ask when I watch college football.

But the bottom line is Maryland just shot itself in the foot too many times and you can't do that and expect to win. Next week it doesn't get any easier as they face the former #2 team in the country, Boston College. BC will be arriving at College Park with a chip on its shoulder after they suffered their first loss of the season to Florida State.

For the Terps, hopefully they can work hard in practice and eliminate these mistakes. Hard to believe next week is the last home game of the season for us fans and the Terps.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Season Over For D.C. United

Once again D.C. United finished the regular season with the best record in Major League Soccer. Once again they failed to make it to the championship game. This was a major disappointment because this year's championship game is being played at R.F.K. Stadium on November 18th.

This year the season ended when Head Coach Tom Soehn elected to play stars Luciano Emilio and Jaime Moreno in a meaningless season finale against Columbus two weeks ago. Both players received ankle injuries and missed significant time in the playoff opener at Chicago, which United lost 1-0.

Last night at R.F.K. United fell behind 2-0 (3-0 on aggregate) but United would not quit. Clyde Simms scored in the 69th minute and Christian Gomez scored in the 74th to tie the match 2-2.

But it was not enough in the two-game, total-goals series (Chicago wins 3-2) and as a result, the season is now over for D.C. United while Chicago moves on to the Eastern Conference Final.

While the playoff result was disappointing, I thought Tom Soehn did a very good job in his first season as Head Coach and I'm confident he can bring these guys back as title contenders next season.

Read more here:
Post recap

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Benjamin during the annual Halloween parade at his day care. All classes marched out with their teachers and the parents were in the parking lot cheering and taking photos. I caught this close up of Benjamin as he was cruising along. Tonight he goes Trick or Treating for the first time.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Benjamin's Birthday Bash

Great afternoon for Benjamin's official birthday bash. We had around 40 family members and a ton of food in celebration. Prior to the birthday weekend bash, he had his two year check up. He's three feet tall, weighs 31.2 pounds and is in the 75-90 percentile on all categories. In other words, very active and very healthy. The following is a little progress report. I use this blog frequently to update family and friends about Benjamin's progress and I love the fact that friends and family all over the world can check in on Benjamin. This also serves as a nice archive for Benjamin to review when he gets older and he can see what was going on during his life.

Some advice for two year olds that was on Benjamin's report sheet.

Child should be handling a spoon and cup well.
Avoid high calorie snacks.
Change to low fat milk-2%, 1% or skim.
Encourage tooth brushing, use toothpaste with fluoride once child can spit.

Accident Prevention
Falls are a common cause of injury in curious two year olds.
Don't leave chairs placed where a child can use it to climb to a dangerously high place.
Apply sun screen when outdoors.
Never leave child unattended in home or in car.

Becoming more adept to using language. Asking questions like "What is this?" of "What is that?" and "Why?"
Walks up and down the stairs alone or holding rail.
Kicks ball.
Using 2-3 word phrases with pronouns such as I, you and me. Minimum of 20 word vocabulary.
Interest in toilet training may begin.

Limit TV viewing
Direct child in as positive a manner as possible.
Don't give child a choice when there is none. Safety rules are not open for discussion.
Bottles and pacifiers should be discouraged.
He should be playing with musical toys, reading picture books and playing with large balls.
Child will develop ability to interact with other children during play over the coming year. Provide opportunities for peer contacts and allow for imaginative play as well as structured. Encourage verbal and physical exploration.
Children often move to a bed at this age (use side rail).

He's been using spoons and forks when eating. We need to encourage using his sippy cup more as we still use bottles and the pacifier at night as a security tool for him. Sometimes Benjamin will wake up in the middle of the night and to get him back to sleep we use the pacifier. We are working on phasing both of these out. We have been brushing his teeth on a daily basis as he does know how to spit. His vocabulary is growing more and more each day. He was reciting the days of the week the other day. Very clear and understandable. We have started toilet training and haven't had any luck yet. We try to keep his TV viewing to a minimum but he enjoys watching Sesame Street, his Elmo DVD's and he's been watching sports. Tonight he said six of the greatest words ever..."I want to watch baseball Daddy". We like to take him to the park and watch him run. I bring a soccer ball along so he can kick it. He does well tossing a mini football and can throw a tennis ball straight, conking me on the head once. He's learning to share more as this was an issue earlier this Summer. Since he is with the Beginner class, he's learned by watching others share toys and when we have kids over to our house we try to encourage toy sharing. He interacts well with other kids. We also spend a lot of time reading to him and watching him identify pictures of animals, shapes and colors. He also has quite a collection of music on my iPod. We like to put music on during his play time and he relaxes to it while he plays.

It's been an amazing two years. Personally I have learned quite a lot so far and I have a lot more to learn as he gets older. Weena is an amazing Mother, she is very patient and loving and I try to follow her example. I am very proud of our family.

Red Sox Win World Series

The Boston Red Sox won their second World Series championship in three years by sweeping the Colorado Rockies in four games. So this is for you my Red Sox friends Tom K., Mike R., K, Ferd, Barry, Jeff, Joe, Ed and Bernie. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Clemson 30, Maryland 17

To quote George Costanza leaving a message on Jerry's answering machine in a Seinfeld episode, "Hey, it's George. I got nothing to say."

That pretty much sums up today's Maryland-Clemson game. Good night everyone, see you next week.

Wish it were that easy. The game was not as close as the score indicates.

On a beautiful Fall afternoon Maryland was on the wrong end of an old fashioned tail whippin'. The Terps took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on a 35 yard Obi Egekeze field goal, then Clemson scored the next 30 points. Maryland got two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the score a bit respectable. Clemson's running game (249 yards rushing) just proved to be too much for the Terps.

Injuries to the offensive line (three starters in three games now) have just hurt the Terps to the point where they are using Freshman offensive linemen just to fill the positions. QB Chris Turner was 19 of 31 for 217 yards but was sacked twice and was hurt by several dropped balls. Darrius Heyward-Bey, the Terps leading receiver the past two seasons, was shut out today.

The banged up and battered Terps (4-4, 1-3 in the ACC) travel to Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC to face the University of North Carolina.

Game recap

Washington Post recap

Post Game Quotes

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Birthday Celebration!

Taking a birthday wish phone call

I'm two!

This is good cake!

Happy 2nd Birthday Benjamin!

It was a rainy morning when we left the house at 6:00 AM. Weena went into surgery at 9:00 and I waited outside, listening to music on my iPod. They called me in and I sat near Weena praying everything would be ok. When I heard Benjamin's cries for the first time, I was in tears. I saw him for the first time and all I could say was "My son is here, my son is here!" Truly the greatest day ever. Happy Birthday Benjamin!