Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dogs Days of Summer

Summer in the world of college sports is the time to slow down, kick back, relax, take some time off and catch your breath. You think about the coming seasons but honestly you don't think too hard.

This summer in 'Sader nation has been pretty eventful. The month of June was presented much to post about on Crossports with the surprise resigantion of head coach Ralph Willard to assist long time friend Rick Pitino at Louisville and the hiring of Sean Kearney from Notre Dame.

July began to feel more like a normal July but several of us fans and Crossports posters decided to get together to discuss not only the new head basketball coach at Holy Cross, but the outlook for the upcoming fooball season and underappreciated celebrities like George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine, and Crossports poster, Bally host and Sports Street Regular Jon.

Non Alum Dave, Sader Fan, and I discuss what changes Coach Kearny may have in store this season.

No matter what changes though, I'll be there courtside again!

CHC8485, Tom, Non Alum Dave, Sader Fan, Andy (Sader Fan's Son and high school team mate of Crusader footballer and Indianapolis Colt hopeful Brett McDermott), Ray and I enjoyed a few cold ones, free appetizers, and a lot fun chatter. The waitress was not only kind enough to put up with us, take this picture, but she seemed to take a keen interest in me! We'll have to go back there.

Jon, a big George Kennedy fan, couldn't make the trip from North Carolina, but he was at a similar gathering two years ago with many of the same people and Bob just couldn't imagine us doing this again without him. So he made sure Jon was there in spirit!

And because we missed Jon so much that night, here's a couple of bonus pictures in a blast from the not too distant the past.

Jon prior to the 2006 Patriot League Championship at Bucknell.

Jon, wearing the purple - trust me under that coat is purple - outside Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio prior to the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament where the Crusaders took on the Salukis from Southern Illinois.
Shortly after this picture was taken, thinking that Jon was hitching, the driver of that minivan in the background stopped and offered Jon a ride.
Jon said, "No thanks. I'm right where I want to be. In Sader Nation!"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bally Being Wally or Bally Strikes Back

Bally had a fun season at the Hart Center and a courtside seat to most of the action. It all started last summer with a suggestion from Holy Cross radio WCHC 88.1 FM play-by-play announcer and Crossports poster Ryan Holt to make Bally the HC and 'Sader Nation equivalent to Red Sox Nation's Wally the Green Monster.

From there, well, it just took off and a bit of both unfortunate and fortunate timing led to well, Bally's subtle revenge.

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Anyone who's seen more than a couple of a Red Sox games on NESN probably knows about Wally the Green Monster, his adirondack chair.

And if you know about Wally, you probably also know about the unique relationship between Wally and Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy. Sitting along side the RemDawg and Play-by-Play man Don Orsillo, Wally offers a prop to help break up the monotony of long season or a dull ball game.

Well, while on vaction last summer Bob came across an adirondack chair that was the perfect size for me. He and his kids made a few modifications to make it Holy Cross appropriate ...

... and I was ready to sit courtside with Chris, Ryan, and Dan.

I did sit court side most of the season, and all of the games were great, but one game stood out for couple of reasons. January 24, 2009. Worcester Massachusetts. From the Hart Recreation Center on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross. The Crusaders played what may have been their best game of the season against eventual Patriot League champion American University.

But it was more than that. The game was also broadcast on ESPN-U and was part of ESPN's Campus Connection Week. As a result, the WCHC broadcast was featured for about 10 minutes during the game. Now this would be great regardless of other circumstances, but it just happened to be about a week after my good friend and creator Kyle at the Mid-Majority wrote about the state of the economy and the Sports Bubble:


A few days later Kyle was relieved of his duties with the World Wide Leader in Sports


So while Kyle was notified on Tuesday January 20 that his contributions to ESPN were no longer needed, any Mid Majority.com fan watching the U on Saturday afternoon recognized that four days later during that broadcast, through me, Kyle made a small silent contribution to the WWLIS!

If you'd rather not watch the full 15 minutes of video, I've noted the times on the video when you can see me, beside each clip. Just fast forward to those points in the video and catch my quiet contributions!

2:30, 3:15 & 4:14

1:06 & 2:31

1:19 (This clip shows me best!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

In My Mind I'm Goin' to Carolina

After a long delay, it's time to get back to posting. Last Fall, Bally headed to Tobacco Road and Durham, North Carolina to spend time with long time Crossport poster, George Kennedy super fan, and Sports Street regular Jon.

Jon relocated to Durham about 2 years ago and has been representing Holy Cross well in the heart of ACC country. And he by far took this mission most seriously. In a about 4 days in Durham, Jon took over 30 pictures of Bally all around town. Enjoy!

On Election Night, Jon took me to a party at a friend's house in the neighborhood. This is James holding me.

On the ride home from the party. I really like Jon's Acura TSX! And never fear, I always wear my seat belt.
An historic moment. Obama projected winner of POTUS

Obama speaking in Chicago

Jon's desk at his former workplace. Jon was able to enjoy this particular desk for about 15 months, and at least Bally was able to visit for a day! (And because I'm so late with this update, Jon is back working here again!)

Bally with Jon (second from left) and some of Jon's former coworkers in the IT department. Nice group of people!

Bally is on Jon's bicycle, ready to hit the streets of the "Bull City" (Durham, NC) on a beautiful November Saturday!

Here's a picture from the other side of the bike and a better view of Jon's yard.

Bally likes the old Durham Bulls ballpark, made famous by the movie Bull Durham! I know Nuke LaLoosh has made it to the show and Crash Davis has retired, but I'm sure Annie Savoy must be around here someplace!

City bonds are funding the old ballpark's renovation! North Carolina Central University will play their baseball games there once renovations are complete.

That's a lot of Bull. I'm dwarfed by the bull in CCB plaza in the heart of downtown Durham!

Jon & I caught some "rays" (get it?) on the steps of the new Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown! The Bulls are the AAA farm team for the Tampa Bay Rays. The DBAP is one of Jon's favorite summer spots!

Here I'm inside the American Tobacco Campus, looking north. These were acres of abandoned tobacco warehouses just a dozen years ago! Now contains mix of residential, restaurants, and office space.

This is the Lucky Strike tower at ATC (one of Jon's favorite pics from the day's tour)

Can you find me? I am in this photo, also shot at the redeveloped ATC

Reverse angle, looking south at ATC

This is the infamous Duke lacrosse house! Yikes! I'm about the size of a lacrosse ball and if one of those lacrosse players sees me, I'm likely to be tossed around a bit. Let's get out of here!

We traveled on to the Duke University campus. This is a statue of Ben Duke at Duke's East Campus. He was a tobacco and textile entrepreneur and was the primary benefactor of Trinity College (later renamed Duke University) after it relocated to Durham in 1892.

Looking south on the quad on East Campus

We're now on the famous West Campus with its renowned Duke Chapel

This is the statue on West Campus of James Buchanan Duke, younger brother of Benjamin Duke and the founder of the Duke Endowment. The primary beneficiary of the endowment was Trinity College. At the insistence of Trinity President William Preston Few, the college was re-chartered as Duke University in honor of Washington Duke (Benjamin and James' father) and his family.
Anyone else get the feeling that the inscription on one of these statues has to include:

The sign says it all.

Here I am Outdoors at Cameron Indoor. Not your typical exterior for a basketball facility. Of course, I'd only be seen inside if a mid-major were playing the Dukies.
Here you can see Wallace Wade Stadium in the background. NC State football was just underway in the first quarter against Duke as this photo was taken! But for those of you who don't know, I'm not a huge football fan:

This is a side gate into Wally Wade. If you look carefully, you can see the scoreboard in background.

One more athletic facility at Duke, their soccer stadium with the visitor's side in the background. I could make a joke about a soccer player giving me a kick in the grass, but I'll refrain.

It was such a great day, I begged and pleaded for a walk through the spectacular "must see" Sarah Duke Gardens, which adjoin Duke University's West Campus. On a beautiful autumn day, what more could a stuffed plush basketball want! All of these pictures were taken in the gardens.

A great finish to a great day and short few days in Durham! Thanks for showing me around Jon!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Hart of the Nation

We interrupt Bally's summer tour to bring you some in-season action!

On January 24, 2009 we headed up to the Hart Recreation Center on the Campus of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts for the 20th meeting ever between the Holy Cross Crusaders and the Eagles from American University. *

It was a busy day with a pre-game reception for the Holy Cross class agents and a post game autograph session with the Crusaders.

Holy Cross won the game 71 - 62, after being up 19 early in the second half and withstanding an American run that cut the lead to two. Bally took time to meet the Crusaders post game!

*With Apologies to Bob Fouracre

Here I am with Elizabeth outside the Hart Center with the new statue of Holy Cross great Bob Cousy.

Boy I would have loved to be dribbled by him or passed around his back!

Joseph was first in line for autographs and he introduced me to RJ Evans. Then he sent me down the autograph line.

All of the players were great, though perplexed, since they did not know about me, my adirondack chair, and my travels throughout 'Sader Nation.

Once Bob explained it to them though, they were all quite amused!

Adam May and RJ Evans

Josh Jones and Charlie Mills

Jeff Harris & Lawrence Dixon

Devin Brown & Andrew Beinert

Andrew Keister & Mike Cavataio

Greg McCarthy & Alex Vander Baan

Colin Cunningham, Eric Meister, & Pat Doherty