Merry Christmas Ya’ll

“Carve the turkey,
turn the ballgame on. . .
Hallelujah, everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the Family”
-Robert Earl Keen

It’s about that time of the year again, where visions of touchdowns dance in Wahoo fans’ heads.  And while most of the students are out playing the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” party game [“Every Hoo in Hooville” gets ‘em every time], yours truly has been running around last minute shopping and neglecting my duty to providing witty columns for all the good boys and girls.  Well I have taken time out of Christmas Eve duties to provide a list of what some of our fellow Cavalier are hoping to get for Christmas [legal: or the current holiday celebrated by the afore mentioned].

Mike London: A quarterback to separate himself from the others. I could have gone with more secondary depth, or the ability to stop the end-arounds or triple option, but this one made the most sense.  While he was keeping Mark Verica around this past year, he tried to work in two more first years to get them playing ability.  Ross Metheny and Mike Rocco played in a lot of scrub time, neither one was head and shoulders above the other.  Now throw into the mix David Watford, who will enroll in a couple of weeks, and there are 3 options for next year.  But, what he needs to do is find one to count on this season.  Quarterback-by-committee probably won’t get us to 6-6 next year.

Tony Bennett: A post player that can score taller than 6-8.  I love Mike Scott, but it was a rocky road back from surgery.  A last second tip in by Sene to beat Norfolk State and a drubbing by Seattle University [I know it was a couple of points, but we were outworked all game], showed that without him 100%, we have zero shot of winning an ACC game, non-the-less the two big OOC games left against Iowa State and LSU.  For us to dominate a game, we need to shoot better than 57% and hold opponents to less than 50 points.  I have a feeling that TB will be changing some things up for the rest of the season, and next year with the additions of James Johnson and Paul Jesperson, will add some stability to the interior game.  But that is a long way from now.  Hopefully Regan and Mitchell can wether the storm.

Dom Starsia: A break.  Preseason #2 is nice, and this team is again loaded, especially on offensive, but we have to travel to Stony Brook (gave us a run for our money in the NCAAs last year), Syracuse (#1 preseason), Cornell (in Baltimore), Johns Hopkins (ugh!), and Duke (double ugh!!).  The home slate is more than favorable with VMI, Vermont, The Mount, OSU, Penn, and the other two ACC teams, but those are winnable games anywhere, anytime.

Debbie Ryan:  A win in the Cavalier Classic.  It’s hard to replace someone like Monica Wright, and the Hoos have taken a few lumps on the way, but two solid wins over NC A&T and either Holy Cross or ETSU would get them ready for the ACC slate.

Brian O’Connor:  A few bats.  While we are pretty well set for pitching next year, we will need to replace a few power guys, especially playing in our cavernous ballpark.  #17 in the nation sounds about right, and we have a few good OOC games this year, but we will need to prove that we can still hang with the big boys when it comes our turn to bat.

Cavman: No more surprise mascots.  We all remember the “horse” or whatever that was, and a few years ago it was Lil Hoo, the inflatable mascot.  Next year it should be him and no one else.

Jon Oliver:  A SIX part series on the rebuilding process. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching the series, but around episode 8, I was already ready for football season, and the specials were getting a little drawn out.  Condense to six and get Howie back.

Craig Littlepage:  A hire to pan out in football or basketball.  I will give him a lot of credit for O’Connor and on holding on to all of our other nationally recognized coaches.  But Virginia has struck out on his first two guys for football and basketball.  And while we are still in rebuilding processes with both teams, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully that light is not from the etherial plane.

Virginia Athletics:  Another great Director’s Cup finish.  I still regard this as the true measure of how a Athletic Program is evaluated, not that stupid ESPN thing they are doing this year.  Not to get on a soap box, but weights the system to exclude anyone who is not great in football and men’s basketball.

BCS:  A gun and a bullet.  You might have gotten the National Championship right this year, but the BCS is now more than that.  They shine their light on this great game, but then you have to put up with other games like UCONN and OU.  If I were the Sooners, I would be extremely upset.  They are in their second BCS game where they are in a lose-lose situation.  If they win, so what, it’s UCONN, and if they lose, national respect is lost.  It was the same as when they played Boise State.  Either blow it up and go to a playoff, or just do the National Championship game, and let the poor Rose Bowl keep the PAC 10/Big Ten matchup.

Lambeth Field:  Some positive article to write.  It’s been a wild ride since we started and we will continue to crank out opinions.  We would like them to be more positive than negative next year, so let go Hoos.

To all of you, thank you again, and have a safe and Happy Holidays!!

Hamilton Riley

About Hamilton Riley

Mild mannered contractor by day, sports blogger by insomnia.