Friday, September 19, 2008

Free Kicks

With Falco posting up a storm I wanted to give y’all a chance to breathe in between all the O’s and Terps postings before the Free Kicks came in. While we had a very illuminating post up earlier today, I have to mention West Virginia again. Is there a head coach on that team? This is for all those WVU fans who thought “Pat White made Rich Rod.” Bill “Nice Guy” Stewart has the same team, folks. That team was so awful last night, I wondered if they could even line up for the kick…

The Ryder Cup Matters

Okay, so there’s no Tiger. But it is still the respectability of the country on the line at the Ryder Cup this weekend. It isn’t a major, but like the Olympics it is a stage where pride is on the line. Our claim to have the best athletes in the world is under fire. We took back basketball (finally), but we lost out on softball and have long since been out of the talk for baseball (Japan and Cuba seem to steal that one). The United States cannot simply sit back and expect to dominate. I love sports because it enables me to root for my city, my state, or my school through a certain outlet- and like it or not the Ryder Cup allows that avenue. So what if an American player is the best in the world? If the best of Europe can wipe the floor with the best of our nation, that is a problem.

The Americans fall from grace in the Ryder Cup is even worse than the recent basketball slump- the US has lost 5 of the last 6 Ryder Cups, losing the last two matches 18 ½ to 9 ½. For those of you uncertain of the scoring, that’s bad. Going into the second day this year, the U.S. leads 5 ½ 2 ½. We got basketball back, let’s take back golf.

The Kicker Matters

Obi Egekeze is still the starting kicker for the Terps this weekend against Eastern Michigan. Luckily it’s Eastern Michigan so the pressure level might be down (though you never know with the way Maryland plays down to the competition- but I’ll save that for the guys’ preview post), but you have to keep in mind that this is a mental game. There are a million guys who can kick the ball 50 yards, it takes psychological fortitude to do it in front of 55,000 screaming fanatics with the game (and possibly your career) on the line. Just ask Mike Vanderjagt, who shanked the big one (again) against Pittsburgh in the playoffs, struggled with Dallas and was unemployed for a year before signing with the Toronto Argonauts! This is the same Vanderjagt who holds the NFL record for kicking accuracy at 86.4%! Does keeping Egekeze the starter a result of Friegen’s loyalty or the incompetence of his backups? I would argue that it must be a little bit of both because no matter how loyal you are to a player you have to win the game- if there was a star in the wings, Ralph would not have the choice of holding him back.

The Orioles Matter

No, not next year’s Orioles. Not the Orioles of 5 years from now. Not the Orioles team you come up with in your head when you read Windsor’s top 20 prospects list. Yes, this year’s Orioles. The Orioles have the pleasure/misfortune of playing the last series ever at Yankee Stadium in the most drawn out funeral procession since Barbara Streisand announced her “final show” about 8 shows ago. The O’s dropped the opener, 3-2, but still have a chance to win the last series ever at Yankee Stadium tomorrow and *gulp* Sunday. There is nothing that would make me happier than to have the Yankees remember this series as they are sitting at home in October with nothing but excuses to warm them while they watch the playoffs. While the season may have gotten rough for Baltimore, the Orioles still have a chance to start tearing down Yankee Stadium before the season even ends.

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