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.