(Early travel to Miami on Wednesday. Be back with you Thursday)
Hope everyone’s staying warm and safe out there. On with today’s goods:WRECKS LUTHER:
Andy has a feature on Hokies defensive tackle Luther Maddy, whose improved footwork has made him a much-needed force in the pass-rushing game.
STAR TROOPER: Maddy was a two-star recruit coming out of high school, which is the lowest star rating there is (one-star prospects simply aren’t ranked at all). I like this quote from him. “I know everybody says stars don’t matter, but you don’t want to be a two star. You know what I mean? Two stars don’t look good. Then again, stars don’t matter.”
THREE BENCHED CAVS: Mike London announces the suspensions of Lovante Battle, Jeremiah Mathis and Henry Coley because of a violation off team rules. Daquan “Da Da” Romeero takes Coley’s place as the starter at outside linebacker.
RELEASE THE HOUNDS: From Doug’s story: “Virginia held its ‘Weenie Bowl,’ an annual bye-week scrimmage for players who are being redshirted, and London said the defensive units intercepted two passes and had a fumble recovery in that exhibition.”
PANIC BUTTON: Redskins coach Mike Shanahan calls Sunday’s game against Carolina a “must-win.” All previous games were not.
MEANGELO: Speaking of the Redskins, ex-Hokie DeAngelo Hall is scheduled to meet with Roger Goodell after taking off his helmet and berating officials in the waning minutes of a loss to the Steelers. ESPN’s Dan Graziano says the Skins have no reason to keep Hall.
YOU COMPLETE ME: Alex Smith connects on 18 of his 19 pass attempts to lead the 49ers to a 24-3 romp of Arizona in Monday Night Football. The lone incompletion? Dropped by a wide-open receiver.
TIP TIME: The NBA season opens tonight with three games on TV around here: Wizards-Cavs (7 p.m., CSN), Celtics-Heat (8 p.m. TNT) and Mavs-Lakers (10:30 p.m., TNT).
FLOWER AMONG WEEDS: The only NBA previews that ever interest me are those written by Blog Crowd veteran Travis Williams, who this year has compared each team to a Halloween treat. I am somewhat encouraged that my Bullets have been upgraded to Gobstobber status.
I DO KNOW ONE THING… about the NBA, and it’s that Amare Stoudemire is always injured. And he is again.
MORE HOOPS: The presason AP All-America team is Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Murray State’s Deshaun Thomas, Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum and Michigan’s Trey Burke. Nice to see some of the mid-major guys get some recognition before March Madness.
NAME THAT TUNE
Title’s in here. We’re looking for the artist.
Wanna be a ballah, shot callah
Twenty inch blades on the Impala
A callah, gettin [sexual relations] tonight
Swisher rolled tight, gotta sprayed by Ike
I hit the HIIIGHWAY, making money the FLYYYY WAY
But there’s got to be a BETT-ER WAYY!
A better way, better way, YEAH-AHHHH