SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE HAS ARRIVED IN BLACKSBURG, and Andy has you covered in everything to keep an eye on as drills get underway on Wednesday.
Frank Beamer’s focus is on fostering toughness. “I told the kids the other day, I want this to be the toughest football team we’ve ever had here at Virginia Tech,” Beamer said at a pre-spring teleconference Monday. “I just think when you sit back and evaluate, there’s something about mental toughness, physical toughness that I think is important to winning.” Lots of other good notes and quotes on that link, as well.
AS MENTIONED LATE YESTERDAY IN THE COMMENTS SECTION, Denny Hamlin has been diagnosed with an L1 compression fracture after his crash Sunday at Fontana.
Hamlin is expected to see a specialist this week. He is questionable for the April 7 race at Martinsville, where he’s historically been excellent but finished 33rd in the fall thanks to a broken part in his car. That incident effectively ended his chance at a title.
TIGER WOODS IS BACK AT NO. 1 in the world after winning at Bay Hill for the eighth time. “It’s a byproduct of hard work, patience and getting back to winning golf tournaments,” he says.
Woods is the 3-to-1 favorite to win The Masters, which begins April 11. Rory McIlroy is the second choice at 9-to-1.
SPEAKING OF ODDS, the lines are out for the NCAA tournament games later this week. Duke is a 2-point favorite over Michigan State and Miami is a 5.5-point choice against Marquette. The longest shot on the board is our beloved Florida Gulf Coast — a 13-point underdog against Florida.
ESPN.com’s D.J. Gallo has 16 interesting and entertaining facts about FGCU.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
-Tubby Smith is fired at Minnesota, and some of the names being bandied about by analysts as potential replacements included Shaka Smart and Cave Spring grad Gregg Marshall (though all three analysts on that link think someone else will actually get it).
-Fun fact: Tubby got his coaching start at his prep alma mater, Great Mills High School, which was the rival school of my Leonardtown Raiders in Southern Maryland.
-The Heat beats the Magic for its 27th straight win.
-The Nuggest see their 15-game winning streak snapped by the Hornets.
-The Brewers sign Kyle Lohse to a three-year deal.
READER COMMENTS O’ THE DAY
We had so much fun (and so many topics) yesterday that I picked a bunch.
From Other John: Hopefully Hamlin will recover, but I would not be entirely surprised if he either misses several weeks, or has a lengthy recovery in which he may not be cleared to race again. Back/neck injuries like that require a lot of added care and caution after suffering one, but then again medical science has advanced quite a lot, and he may make, and hopefully will make, a full recovery.
From RP: The rumors are growing that Jeter will never play again. He’s now slated to start the season on the DL, and it’s starting to look like he is physically breaking down to the point that playing shortstop may be out of the question.
From Rick H: Given the overall money involved, the NCAA needs to standardize the officiating, rather than have a bunch of “sub-contractors” involved, and get a bit more control on the situation, and actually hire a pool and keep a limit on the games they do, and not let them do 7 games in 7 days, which is what some of them do. In my opinion, college basketball is about the worst officiated sport out there.
From Trevor: Hearing rumbles that Tubby Smith has been fired from Minnesota. Minnesota, you are stupid.
From shaun: I love all the talk between the drivers heading into Martinsville. It reminds me of the early 80′s when Ricky Rudd and Tim Richmond were having a feud much like this one. That really sold the tickets back in the day and if NASCAR is smart they won’t interfere and just watch the sparks fly.
From 540Hokie: Stewart, as usual, was way out of line. He’s done this in years past as well. I guess he thinks everyone is supposed to move over to let him win. He’s got a bad case of Cranial Rectosis.
From J: And Virginia won! Y’all forgot to mention that
From Crooked Road: Lest we forget, Dale Earnhardt died over a decade ago. A decade. Even after all this time, I don’t know of any tracks that have SAFER barriers all the way around the outside & the inside. The outside? That’s covered pretty well. The inside? Not even close. Instead, NASCAR drags their feet on this very real risk to drivers.
From Tom L: Congrats to Garland on his day in the sun, using his “South Philly Floater” to seal the deal
From me (you’ll see why): Please note a welcome change in the lower righthand corner of the blog. You now can click on the “Recent Posts” tab and catch up more easily on any of the past five entries you may have missed. Thrilled to see the “Most Popular” tab get bagged in favor of this. Nobody really wants to read an N.C. State-Tech in-game blog from several years ago.
From Ralph: Back to officiating again since I can`t read the N.C.State -Tech in game blog any more. That was one of my favorites too…
NAME THAT TUNE
And in the end we shall achieve in time
The thing they call divine
When all the stars will smile for me
When all is well and well is all for all
And forever after
Maybe [name of song] wait and see
We love the all the all of you
Our lands are green and skies are blue
When all in all we’re just like you
We love the all of you…