Monday, August 31, 2009

Defiantly Dutch Q&A: Tom Pecora

We caught up last Monday with Tom Pecora, who gamely served as the chairman for the Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament in Garden City despite walking around on crutches due to recent surgery on his left hip. We asked Pecora about the surgery as well as a handful of men’s basketball topics, including the vaunted non-conference schedule, the incoming recruiting class, the new core of Charles Jenkins, Nathaniel Lester and Greg Washington and how last year’s near-miss against Old Dominion in the CAA quarterfinals can motivate them. Hope you enjoy.

Can you tell us what happened with your hip surgery?

Thought I tore my groin. Found out it was more [a matter] of no cartilage in my left hip. So I had a hip resurfacing, a procedure they’ve been doing for like seven years. I had it done at [The Hospital For] Special Surgery on Tuesday and I’m up and moving the next day on crutches. Modern medicine. So I’m going to be the bionic coach this fall. Couple weeks on crutches, a week with a cane. It was a good time to get it done.

This is the only thing that really got in the way.  The good—even great—thing is all the honorees keep coming back. So you get Lou Carnesecca and Bill Raftery and Rollie Massimino and Jack Curran and Ray Nash and Nick Macarchuk. We had Bobby Cremins [this year]. So it’s a great turnout. A lot of the local coaches will be here, so it’s a really nice event.

What are your thoughts on what looks to be a pretty impressive non-conference schedule?

Good schedule. Challenging. We’re starting, we’re opening up at the number one team in the country, Kansas, and then were in the preseason NIT in a pod with UConn, so that could be interesting. We think we’re going to be pretty good and we want to challenge ourselves.

What’s it say for the university that you’re able to play in an exclusive event like the preseason NIT?

We’ve had a good history with the NIT. We went to the quarterfinals a few years ago and did well in the preseason NIT in the past [in 2003]. We’ve got a good relationship with Jack Powers and all the people there. It’s relationships, you know? And Hofstra has become a player because of the commitment from the top on down at the university.

Is it easier to put together a schedule like this when you’ve got a team like the one you have coming back, as opposed to last year, when you had just lost Antoine Agudio and were fairly uncertain what kind of squad you’d have?

I think it’s something we want to try to do every year. If we can continue to grow as a program, this is the type of schedule we should try to shoot for every year. Fill out the rest of the [schedules] with our locals. It’s important to have local rivalries, but [also to] go out and play some of these marquee names nationally and get our names out there.

I think our three best players last year were sophomores. They’re the core of the program with Jenkins, Lester and Washington. I think our recruiting class is a good one [and] we’ve got some experience back. So I think we are at a point where we were ready to take this kind of jump.

What kind of feedback have you gotten on the guys this summer?

They’re in summer school, they have open gym and that’s all we can do. In September we’ll get back to doing some workouts with them. It’s important for them to get some time away from us, too, you know?

What impresses you most about your recruiting class?

I think it’s great because it’s very diverse. We covered every aspect of recruiting. We have a JUCO transfer. We have an international student. We have two prep school students and three high school students and one of them is going to redshirt. So we really covered every level of recruiting with that recruiting class, so I’m happy about that.

Are you in communication with your three juniors? And when in particular did you think Greg Washington and Nathaniel Lester began to emerge last year?

Talk to them all the time, about the responsibility that comes with being a leader. We talk about leadership qualities all the time. I thought mid-January, they really started to show the initiative to really make plays late in the game and feel comfortable being leaders. And that was important for us. We had six seniors last year, but they were really six role players. So it was important for them to step up.

Last year was an interesting year for you guys. You outscored the opposition by two points, but won 21 games, and had some really tough stretches yet ended the season with a real feeling of “what if” after the one-point loss to Old Dominion in the quarters. What do you take from the season?

I think we had better balance. We had much better balance—less predictable—and that went a long way for us.

It was a tough game [against ODU]. The thing is, when you get to that point in the season, it’s one possession. You’ve got to play every possession like it’s a championship possession. Because we get an offensive rebound, we win that game. And we didn’t and we went home and they didn’t.

Do you think that loss drives the returnees?

If it doesn’t drive them, shame on them. That should be something that sticks in their craw and gets them pissed.

Email Jerry at or follow Defiantly Dutch at

Friday, August 28, 2009

Not only are we going to Kansas, we’re going to Connecticut and Virginia and then we’re going to Indianapolis to win the national championship! Yeah!!

Another reason to be giddy with anticipation over this season: No bandwagon-derailing trips to Iowa!

As I noted in late June, when the OOC was released, it’s funny how quick Hofstra is to unveil the men’s basketball schedule when it’s one deserving of accolades. Last year’s schedule was released in blink-and-you-miss-it fashion in mid-September. But this year's schedule was released yesterday, which means students will know the dates of the games they won’t attend before they even arrive on campus!

Anyone who is not excited about this year’s schedule isn’t reading this, so I can safely call those folks booger-headed drones. Playing Kansas and UConn in the season’s first four days marks the greatest opening 1-2 punch since “Go” and “Animal” led off Pearl Jam’s Vs.

(Yes I know Hofstra plays Colgate in the first round of the Preseason NIT, which I guess means UConn is technically “Dissident” in this analogy, but it’s my blog and my bias so I’m going with “Go” and “Animal” and assuming Hofstra and UConn win their first-round games to set up My Worlds Colliding Moment. Boy, that second-round game is going to be the mother of all letdowns if Colgate plays UConn or Hofstra plays Yale)

Where was I? Oh yes. The rest of the schedule is Vs.-worthy as well, with the Dutchmen in line to earn at least one home game in the consolation bracket of the NIT before they end the home portion of the non-conference schedule with tilts against Fairfield, Manhattan and New Hampshire before facing St. John’s and, perhaps, Davidson in the Holiday Festival.

(Apparently, the unofficial metro-area Big Five is down to two with Stony Brook, St. Francis and Fordham off the schedule. Does this mean Hofstra gets to call itself the Big Five champ and raise a banner by beating Manhattan, a la 1992-93 when the Dutchmen went 2-0 against Central Connecticut to “win” the “ECC” championship?)

The pacing of CAA schedule, at first glance, seems a little friendlier to the Dutchmen this year than last. Hofstra once again visits Towson in the look-but-don’t-touch conference opener the first Saturday of December. There’s no avoiding the barrage of conference games immediately after New Year’s, and the task ahead of the Dutch seems pretty imposing with a trip to Georgia State sandwiched around home dates against William & Mary and Towson, all in a five-day span.

Of course, last year, Drexel-at Northeastern-Delaware in a five-day span seemed pretty inviting, and it took everything the Dutchmen had not to go 0-3. And give me a trip to Georgia State at the beginning of the season, when it tends to still be working out the kinks, than when the Panthers are clicking at the end.

Along those lines, it’s ironic—in that it’s not ironic at all—that the Dutchmen’s Senior Day opponent is Georgia State, which thrashed Hofstra in its Senior Night last year. I’d just like to say, once again, that I can’t wait to see what Life With Corny has in store for Senior Day.

The Dutchmen have four midweek trips to CAA opponents, one fewer than last year. And two of those trips are short jaunts to Boston and Delaware. The Dutchmen take three trips to Virginia and get three days of rest following weekend games at Old Dominion and William & Mary.

More about the road: The Dutchmen embark on only two multi-game road trips, one of which is the Kansas-NIT combo. The only multi- game road trip after New Year’s occurs when the Dutchmen travel to Wilmington and Delaware Feb. 13-16. Last year Hofstra had three two-game road trips following Jan. 1 (including the Bracket Buster at Fairfield followed by Georgia State in February) and five overall, counting the season-opening Charleston Classic.

All in all, it sounds like a pretty good schedule, challenging yet not overwhelming. I’m going to hold off on predicting a record for the Dutchmen until I can further examine the schedule and break it down and evaluate the entire league and oh the hell with it, I see 37-2, at least, and I’ll spend the weekend figuring out if that’s too pessimistic. In the meantime, sit tight and come back Monday morning for a Q&A with Tom Pecora.

Email Jerry at or follow Defiantly Dutch at

Here are some words that rhyme with Cory: Gory…story…allegory…starting QB…

Lisa Simpson likes all things Corey/Cory, so she's quite pleased with Dave Cohen's choice of starting quarterback.

Turns out Cory Christopher’s days as the Flying Dutchmen’s starting quarterback didn’t end when he suffered a season-ending hip injury against Maine last October. Hofstra coach Dave Cohen announced Thursday that Christopher won the starting job over sophomore Steve  Probst, who ended last season as the starter, and redshirt freshman Joe Sidaris.

(Parenthetical aside: This is the fun part of being a fan of a I-AA school—you don’t get a coach treating the identity of his starting QB as if it’s the meaning of life. You don’t get a coach going all smug and arrogant and insisting he’s going to play all three of his QBs.)

Probst seemed to be the choice of Dutch Nation, but I liked what I saw out of Christopher last season. He wasn’t the flashiest signal-caller, he looks more like a tight end and he didn’t, to borrow a Tom Pecora phrase, fill up the stat sheet in resounding fashion, but he did a pretty good job of inheriting the starting job at literally the last minute and generating some sparks for an offense decimated by injury.

The Dutchmen scored 40 points in three of Christopher’s seven starts. The two teams that held Hofstra without a touchdown with Christopher at the helm won a bowl game (UConn) and ended the regular season as the top-ranked team in I-AA (James Madison).

Most impressively, Christopher marched the Dutchmen down the field in the final minute in consecutive weeks against Albany and Rhode Island to put them in position to kick a tying or winning field goal.  He seemed to have whatever “it” is that allows a player to perform better as the game gets closer.

That said, with the Dutchmen doomed for a rebuilding season, it felt as if Christopher was a place-holder, a Steve DeBerg-type who absorbs some punishment for the good of the team before handing the baton off to the future of the program. With Cohen hoping to redshirt Probst as well, Christopher would have taken every snap last year if he didn’t get hurt, so it seemed as if the future arrived the moment Probst stepped on to the field in Maine.

Perhaps, as has been bandied about on the CAAZone boards, Christopher winning the job will allow Cohen to keep one eye on subsequent seasons by redshirting Probst, which would allow him to enter next year with two highly touted sophomores vying for the job.

But the future is here for the Dutchmen, who need much more than a temp at quarterback in a season in which they are being greeted—internally as well as externally—with great expectations. Whatever “it” is, Cohen clearly expects to see a lot of it this year out of Christopher.

Email Jerry at or follow Defiantly Dutch at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy first anniversary, Defiantly Dutch!

All of Springfield--err, Hempstead--comes out to celebrate the first anniversary of Defiantly Dutch! (It was either this or embed a Wilson Phillips video, and even I'm not that lame...yet)

A year ago today, I was just an unemployed sportswriter with a pirated wireless signal and a dream: To provide the world the combination of Hofstra sports coverage, nostalgia and copious pop culture references I knew it so sorely needed.

Now, I am still an unemployed sportswriter. But I have my own wireless (thanks neighbor, for the unsolicited usage of your signal for so long!) and the dream is, as Wilson Phillips so memorably sang in the summer of 1991, still alive.

How does a blogger celebrate his first anniversary? Well, the traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary is paper and the happy couple typically eats a piece of frozen wedding cake. So I think I’ll go buy myself a new notebook and eat the really old Chinese food in the back of the fridge tonight.

A lot has happened in the first year of Defiantly Dutch, a whole bunch of it not good. But I prefer to think of the positives and particularly how the blog has exceeded my wildest expectations thus far.

I knew this would be fun, but I’ve enjoyed it much more than even I thought possible. Years of covering professional sports conditioned me to believe I’d meet huge resistance at Hofstra when I wanted to occasionally complement my recliner rantings with an actual interview or two, but the administration and the athletes and the coaches have been incredibly welcoming.

Covering and writing about Hofstra sports and getting to know the student media has made me feel young again, even if I realize that WRHU’s Mike “Clay Buchholz” Leslie and Christian Heimall were four when I enrolled at Hofstra. Boy that’s depressing.

I never would have started this blog if Michael Litos hadn’t inspired me to do so with his awesome blogging of CAA hoops, so to get a “go get ‘em” note from him after the first month or so was quite invigorating. I had no idea it’d just be the beginning of our correspondence and our friendship. It’s not very often in life, and particularly this business, that you get to meet (if only virtually thus far) the folks who move you into action, and even less frequently that you are befriended by them and find out they’re supportive and welcoming and all-around good guys. Now I’m part of his grand experiment at, which is a tremendous honor and something you should really check out as soon as possible.

I entered this with minimal expectations about the demand for a blog about Hofstra sports. I mean, if there was an insatiable thirst for this stuff, someone would have beaten me to the punch sometime in the last 10 years, right?

I have learned the last 365 days that the audience for Hofstra sports may not be a vast one, but it is a loyal, hardy and hungry bunch that roots for the Flying Dutchmen, and it wants the type of analysis and coverage the local media either cannot or will not provide.

So I thank you, Loyal Reader, for your passion and for stopping by here over the last year…and I promise you the goal for Year Two is to reward that devotion and make this an even better destination for Hofstra fans by augmenting the staples of the site (badmouthing George Mason, waxing about the old days, obsessing about men’s hoops and the race for the CAA crown, badmouthing George Mason, regularly tying everything to The Simpsons or Scrubs, badmouthing George Mason, occasionally reviewing concerts, referencing Hofstra culture or whatever it is that passes for Hofstra culture, badmouthing George Mason) with coverage of the other sports, too.

I said it a year ago: There are a lot of interesting stories to be told out there and no one telling them. Well, this year, that changes. Climb aboard The Blue Beetle and enjoy the ride with us, won’t you?

Email Jerry at or follow Defiantly Dutch at

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If Woody had just stayed at Hofstra, none of this ever would have happened

Even Woody Boyd would have built a practice facility with bleachers and dorms.

If I was Mitch Albom, this is what I would have written six months ago for posting today:

The Jets get their long-awaited respite from the drudgery of training camp in New Jersey tonight, when they make a brief return to a campus setting with an intrasquad scrimmage at Hofstra.

Well, that would have made me look pretty foolish, because that sentence is about as accurate as a Browning Nagle pass. Though as the chief executive officer, managing editor, staff writer, proofreader, creative consultant and head butler of Defiantly Dutch, I wouldn’t have subjected myself to the intense internal investigation (hooray alliteration!) that Albom received.

The Jets are back at Hofstra today, but they’re traveling here from SUNY-Cortland, not Jersey. And their brief return is even briefer than anticipated, because the intrasquad scrimmage has turned into an hour-long walkthrough. Other than that though, it’s exactly as I would have described it in February.

Of course, I still wouldn’t look as foolish as Woody Johnson, who spent $75 million to build the Jets a year-round training complex in Jersey, only to realize a few months (and one head coaching change) later that the Jersey complex wasn’t suitable for holding training camp.

I could almost understand it if the move was made entirely to appease new head coach Rex Ryan, who wanted a more remote setting to build team chemistry. Still, though, you’d like to think the owner would politely but firmly tell the first-time head coach—even one whose dad could beat up your dad—that sorry, but he spent $75 million so the guys are going to have to play hide and seek and roast S’mores in Jersey.

But the Jets also had to find another place to train this summer because the Jersey complex has neither bleacher seating for fans nor housing for the players. Gee Woody. You think you might have been able to FIGURE THAT OUT BEFORE YOU SPENT $75 MILLION ON A COMPLEX THAT HAD NO BLEACHERS OR DORMITORIES!!! Or, better yet, before you left a COMPLEX THAT HAS BLEACHERS AND DORMITORIES!!!

This is the type of expensive foolishness that you and I can never hope to comprehend. This is like buying a house, closing on it, moving in and going “You know what? We need six more bedrooms, three garages and a farm-sized backyard.”

If you and I tried pulling that, we wouldn’t have to worry about not liking the house, because our better half would kick us into the street. Alas, such expensive foolishness is par for the course for an owner who mimics the Wilpons and a franchise that comes to resemble the Mets more with each passing day.

I used to think of the Mets and Jets as kindred, endearing souls. They’re 1960s expansion teams who have never been able to escape the shadow of their iconic crosstown rivals. They shared Shea Stadium for a couple decades. They, of course, shocked the establishment by winning world championships in 1969.

It’s been a long time since championships for both franchises, leaving fans no choice but to be satisfied with miraculous comebacks that nonetheless leave their favorite team short of the ultimate goal. In the 1999 NL Championship Series, the Mets stormed back from a three games to none deficit to force a sixth game, during which they fell behind 5-0 before Al Leiter recorded an out in the first inning yet blew leads in the eighth and 10th inning before falling in the 11th. The 2000 Jets performed the Monday Night Miracle, yet lost their final three games to miss the playoffs.

But even the mini-miracles have disappeared over the last several years under new ownership (Johnson bought the Jets from the Hess estate in early 2000 and the Wilpons bought out Nelson Doubleday in August 2002). Now the teams collapse down the stretch on an almost annual basis and are run by silver spoon sons who meddle in personnel decisions despite reputations to the contrary, have built or inhabited stadiums that pay little or no homage to their respective teams and whose concept of a long-term plan is signing the biggest name players and hiring the polar opposite of the most recent ex-manager/ex-coach.

The Mets threw gobs of money at Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana, all of whom were supposed to bring the franchise credibility—just like the Jets hitched their wagon to Chad Pennington, who beget Brett Favre, who was supposed to sell PSLs for the new stadium, at least until Mark Sanchez became that guy.

Bobby Valentine talked too much and didn’t play well with others, so the Mets fired him and hired milquetoast Art Howe. After two years of abject failure the Mets fired him and replaced him with humorless drill sergeant Willie Randolph. Two-and-a-half years of mixed results followed before the Mets clumsily executed Randolph in the middle of the night and replaced him with Jerry Manuel, a quote machine who lacks the conduit between brain and mouth.

Al Groh, who was Bill Parcells minus the personality and championship pedigree, was allowed to leave for Virginia after one year and replaced by Herm Edwards, who was a champion at the podium and considerably less skilled on the sideline. Johnson fired Edwards following the 2005 season and went back to the autocrat in hiring Eric Mangini, who won three Super Bowls as an assistant to Bill Belichick in New England. Mangini was Belichick minus the personality and championship pedigree, and when his Kremlin-like demeanor wore thin after just three years, Johnson canned him and replaced him with the gregarious and non-secretive Ryan.

Anyway, since Woody can’t seem to commit to an organizational plan for the Jets nor build a training facility at which his team can actually prepare for the season, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when he manages to muff the Jets’ token visit to Long Island. Coming down here for an hour is like promising to meet an old friend for a dinner at a fancy restaurant and then changing plans at the last second and meeting for a glass of water at a rest stop instead. It’s so insulting, why even bother?

The funny thing is I was starting to buy into the conspiracy theory that Hofstra didn’t really put up much of a fight to keep the Jets because the school wanted the land the Jets were occupying for the new medical school. I wanted to think you might not have been the bad guy in all this, Woody, but you just make it impossible. You obviously have no Hofstra—wait for it!!!—pride, so stay in Cortland, join the Red Dragon booster club (what is served at Cortland football games? Liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti?), do whatever it is that people do in the middle of nowhere and don’t bother getting on I-81 South next summer. After all, we can’t miss the Jets if you won’t go away.

Email Jerry at or follow Defiantly Dutch at

Monday, August 10, 2009

If a Final Four berth is worth $677 million, then a brief glance at my backward hat has to be worth at least twice that

Hey! That's my hat!

Really, Hofstra ought to be paying me. I mean, all the cash they spend on finding new ways to promote the school worldwide and I’m giving the school billions of dollars of free publicity all over the Internet—on my own time and my own dime, to boot.

I’m not even talking about this blog. There’s no real brand awareness in here for the ol’ U, not with my stubbornly nostalgic ways running counter to the new logos and new nicknames “bestowed” upon us after so many cram sessions with off-campus “marketing geniuses.”

I’m talking about the video linked above. That’s a well-worn (I can hear my wife right now: “IT’S NOT WELL-WORN! IT’S DISGUSTING!!!”) Hofstra hat perched atop my melon that’s bobbing up and down as Extreme performs “More Than Words” at Toad’s Place in Connecticut last Saturday night.

I didn’t go to the concert expecting to become an Internet superstar promoting Hofstra to a global audience. I went because I’ve been an Extreme fan for 20 years (egads, I am old) and I have a soft spot for a band that did the nearly impossible by making me look prescient. As you know if you read either of my blogs, my crystal ball is murky at best. For example, there was this one time I declared the Red Sox were superior to the Yankees in almost every way. Yeah. Not so much.

So I took great—wait for it!!!—pride back in 1991, when Loyal Reader Matt and I were already wearing out our cassette versions of Extreme II: Pornograffiti long before the gentle acoustic ballad “More Than Words” topped the charts the week of our prom.

(Parenthetical tangent: Pornograffiti eventually went top 10 on the strength of “More Than Words” and the folksy follow-up “Hole Hearted,” and I always wondered what people who bought the album because of those songs thought when they were presented with a profanity-laden, hard rock concept album about America’s obsession with sex.)

Let me make it clear that I don’t usually surf YouTube looking for myself. But I saw clips from the show on YouTube and the wife wanted to see “More Than Words.” About 20 seconds in, I yelled “THERE’S MY HAT!!!” You get your best glimpse at me exactly one minute in, but the back of my head comes in and out of view multiple times throughout the clip.

That’s multiple plugs for Hofstra, you know. Multiple VALUABLE plugs for Hofstra.

The video has been viewed 251 views. We only accounted for, err, seven of them. So that’s 244 people seeing my hat a bunch of times. Two hundred forty-four people going, hey, this song is awesome, but that dude’s well-worn hat is even more awesome. Two hundred forty-four people deciding, hey, Hofstra, that sounds like an interesting place to go to college. Two hundred forty-four people that decide to drop what they’re doing and apply to Hofstra.

Two hundred forty-four people that are accepted at Hofstra equals…holy crap, roughly $7,320,000!!! The least Hofstra can do is comp my season tickets.

I probably look foolish and I know I did things I’m not really proud of—like turn my hat backwards and become That Guy who snaps photos with his cell phone, even though he sucks at photography and has a phone that takes crappy pictures—but I don’t care. This was to concerts what the JMU game was to sports—a seemingly normal night that turns special and reminds us why we attend games and concerts.

For every 10 or 20 or 30 games or concerts in which nothing remarkable happens and everything unfolds just as projected or as planned on the set list, there’s the one night where magic occurs, where the headliner is at the very top of its game and rides the euphoria and adrenaline of an appreciative crowd into a performance that’s as unforgettable for the participants as it is for the audience.

The JMU game wasn’t our Woodstock and the Extreme concert won’t be a generational touchstone either. But like those who only like big-time college hoops, those who only attend arena shows and/or dismiss Extreme because of their two lite FM hits have no idea what they missed nine days ago.

Anyway, time to take off my rock critic hat and put back on the well-worn and world-famous Hofstra hat. Here are a few other bits and bytes completely unrelated to Extreme or any other ‘90s musical act.

—It’s the second Monday of August (thanks, Captain Obvious!), which to me has always marked the beginning of summer’s last lap. From 1993 through 1995, this was the part of the summer in which the days on the calendar could not disappear fast enough. The approaching first day of school, such a dreadful concept as a youngster, filled me with an almost indescribable anticipation as a collegian. I couldn’t wait to get back to campus to hang out with the guys (and eventually The Girl, awww hi honey!), immerse myself in sports coverage at The Chronicle and, occasionally, attend class.

The feelings come mid-August aren’t quite the same as an adult, of course, but the second season of Defiantly Dutch has me pretty stoked. Camp opened yesterday for the Flying Dutchmen football team, whose season opener against suddenly fierce rival Stony Brook is a mere 26 days away. The first official athletic contest of the 2009-10 school year is even closer: The Flying Dutchwomen volleyball team hosts Rhode Island in the first round of the ASICS Invitational Aug. 28.

I’ve got a lot of things planned for the start of the school year (first day of classes is Sept. 2…class beginning in September? Next thing you know Hofstra will start the spring semester more than a week before the Super Bowl), some of which I may even implement! Seriously, stick around, as I hope to make this an even better destination for Hofstra fans this year. And I’ve got some fun non-sports programming planned, too, that should really appeal to those of us who came of age, so to speak, at Hofstra in the early ‘90s.

—Speaking of the football team, part one: The Dutchmen were picked to finish fourth in the CAA North in the coaches poll unveiled during CAA Media Day July 29. Linebacker Luke Bonus, who was earlier selected to the Sports Network’s preseason All-America team, was the only Hofstra player selected to the preseason all-CAA team.

For what it’s worth, the Dutchmen were picked third in the CAA North and received a first-place vote last year.

Phil Steele’s College Football Preview projects a far better season for the Dutchmen, who are ranked seventh in the country in the annual magazine. That…that would be pretty good.

—Speaking of the football team, part two: A couple corrections to make in our last entry about Steve McNair and the ’94 Flying Dutchmen. The Dutchmen beat New Hampshire 28-6 that season, not 24-7. And the Dutchmen have made five trips to the Division I-AA playoffs, not four. Thanks to football alum Uncle Buck at the CAAZone for pointing out the errors.

—I leave you with this and without comment: Jim Larranaga tweeted the following after a brawl-filled game between Italy and Canada: “Players need to understand there is no excuse for this kind of behavior & poor sportsmanship. Compete hard – yes. But control your emotions.”

—I lied. I’m going to channel Mean Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler. Really, Jim? You’re going to preach how there’s no excuse for poor behavior and sportsmanship on the court, Jim? Really? After 2006, Jim? Really? Are you trying to be ironic? Cripes.

—I will leave you with this, part two: As I mentioned last week, I’m hoping to do a season-long retrospect of the 1994 Flying Dutchmen football team this fall. If you were a member of that team in any capacity—player, coach, student manager, administrator—I want to hear your stories and recollections of that memorable season. Email me here at, find me on Facebook at or connect with me at Twitter at Thanks!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Calling all 1994 Flying Dutchmen gridders!

Just a quick note here in hopes of soliciting some help from the Loyal Readership. I’m planning to do a series of stories this fall about the 15th anniversary of the Flying Dutchmen football team that went 8-1-1 and nearly made the playoffs as a non-scholarship independent.

I’m looking to speak to anyone affiliated with that unforgettable squad—players, coaches, student managers, athletic department administrators. You name ‘em, I’m interested in hearing their stories.

So if you were a member of that team, or know how to get in touch with one or more of those folks, please contact me. You can email me here at, find me on Facebook at or connect with me on Twitter at Thanks!