Monthly Archives: September 2011

Triangle Prophets, Week 5

Every Friday, a group of fearless webmasters and sports fanatics from around the Triangle will gather to predict five college football games against the spread. Every Duke, Carolina, and N.C. State game will be featured, along with a smattering of high profile non-Triangle games. As the season goes along, we’ll keep the standings updated and see who emerges as the one true prophet. Make your predictions in the comment section. Each week, we’ll feature any and all commenters who pick all 5 games correctly.

Current Standings

1. Tar Heel Fan Blog – 10 points
1. Nate Friedman, UNC football correspondent – 10 points
1.
William Earnhardt, Site Designer – 10 points

4. Me – 9 points
4.
John Watson, The Devil’s Den – 9 points

4.The Devil Wolf, TRB – 9 points
4.
Jim Young, Editor, ACCSports.com – 9 points

8. James Henderson, Publisher, Pack Pride – 7 points

 

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Cobb’s Crossbars, Weekend Look-Ahead

It was heartbreak city last night at Koskinen Stadium, as Kelly Cobb hit two shots into the cross bar and #4 Duke was forced to settle for a draw with #7 Virginia. Post-game comments from goalie Tara Campbell (excellent all night), Cobb (strong but unlucky), and head coach Robbie Church:

Another positive from the match was Natasha Anasi, the defender who was on the end of every header and seemed virtually unbeatable on the ground. All in all, it was a very solid defensive performance for Duke, but aside from Cobb, the offense seemed to lack a little speed. UVA had an answer for every attack, and eventually it became apparent that the only way a goal was going to happen was if Cobb did something dynamic. And she almost did, twice.

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Tonight: #4 Duke vs. #13 Virginia, Women’s Soccer

I’ll be at Koskinen tonight, at 8pm, to check this one out. Not only because I’m curious, but because I’m working on a story about Duke women’s soccer that will culminate on October 13, when they face Carolina in Chapel Hill.

For the first time maybe ever, you can actually make a compelling argument that Duke is better than their Tobacco Road rivals. UNC’s greatness is established; 20 of 28 NCAA titles, 20 of 22 ACC tournament championships, and a 33-2-1 all-time record against Duke. Even on the rare instances when the Blue Devils won, Carolina finished the year as the better squad.

This year, though, Duke is ranked higher. They beat Texas A&M, who beat Carolina. They beat Notre Dame 3-1, who Carolina beat 2-1 in overtime. And tonight, they have a chance to beat a team that just won against Carolina for the first time in 25 years of trying.

The real test won’t come until Duke faces Carolina, but this is another baby step; progress toward proving to themselves that they have the superior team.

Last thing: check out the awesome Erwin Cup scoreboard Will put on the right side bar. We’re going big time, baby!

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Deconstructing Fandom…literally.

Each week, contributor and new parent Joey will post his thoughts as he undergoes the transformation from fanboy to father.

I’ve got to confess: I wanted to start out with some great literary comparison that I could juxtapose for this entry. I thought about various novels, tales from religion, historical feats, and the like. I had the idea that citing some examples from any famous Coming-of-Age tale would help illuminate just where I’m going with this.

Then I realized that was stupid, fake, and probably wouldn’t really depict what I was trying to say anyway. So I’ll just get to the real story…

One of the main things that will be a refrain in this space is what I’ve had to give up or let go of, in order to make an honest attempt at being ready for fatherhood. I’m very aware that this phenomenon isn’t unique; everyone goes through it, and it’s going to be different for everyone’s own individual experience(s).

For me perhaps, there was no more significant and symbolic act of transformation toward fatherhood, than turning my man-cave into a nursery for a baby girl.

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Looking ahead: Duke-UNC men’s soccer, Friday night

Stuff to know:

-The game is in Chapel Hill, and UNC wants to break the single-game attendance record. (Linke opens. pdf)

-The Duke women’s team is red-hot, but the men are entrenched in a year-long struggle. They started off ranked, but a series of close losses pushed them well out of the top 25. On the other hand, they’re now working on a 4-match winning streak in which they’ve scored at least four goals in each. Here’s video from their win against Presbyterian. Notice how the players don’t seem to celebrate even a little after a goal. Do they hate each other?


-Unlike Duke, UNC has had a dream season. They started off the year with a win over #1-ranked Louisville, and have lost just one game, a 1-0 road loss to Virginia Tech, en route to compiling an 8-1 record. Their last win, yesterday against #14 Old Dominion, should shoot them up even higher than their current #5 ranking.

 

I will be there for the second ever Erwin Cup match. If anyone attends, any kind of Erwin Cup sign will make the pages of this blog.

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Miles Plumlee Dunked on Kyle Singler

1:36 seconds into the video (below) Miles Plumlee takes a ball from Kyle Singler and dunks over everything. Miles Plumlee is an unstoppable force. Hell, just watch the entire video and savor that brilliant tournament. The 09-10 NCAA Tournament is probably my favorite sporting event of all time. I expected another early Sweet 16 exit but the Devils used brilliant defense combined with the “Big Three” and beat all comers. Once Lance Thomas half-dunked over the entire Baylor team I felt like we had a fantastic chance to make the final four. My nerves were firing during the Butler game and I still couldn’t believe how close Hayward’s last shot was. If his shot had gone in I would’ve quit sports forever. During March Madness highlights we would no longer see Christian Laettner banging his magical jumper, we would see Gordon Hayward knocking down a clutch half-court shot after Kyle Singler was illegally leveled by Matt “The Creeper” Howard. Enough reminiscing, we’ve got work to do.

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UNC Wins First Ever Erwin Cup Points

UNC field hockey player Elizabeth Stephens became the first athlete to score a point in the Erwin Cup last weekend, netting a double overtime goal to give UNC a 1-0 field hockey win over Duke.

Since the match took place in Chapel Hill, UNC earns 1.5 points. The current standings are:

UNC: 1.5
Duke: 0

For more information about the Erwin Cup, a year-long athletic competition pitting Duke against UNC, read here:

The history of W.A. Erwin and his Cup

The Rules

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The Duke Football Essay Project: Tulane

Holy sweet suffering saints on the cross: Duke scored 48 points.

It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. In fact, it happened last year, twice. But after losing to Richmond and barely surviving on the road at BC, I was just hoping we could eke out a win against Tulane. Instead, the Devils brought the mollywhomp sticks to Wallace Wade. Renfree threw for 278 yards. The Killer Vs rolled up 168 yards in the air. Will Snyderwine made a field goal.

It was a great win, and after a miserable first two weeks we’re back to .500. 2-2. Before the season, I wrote a joke post where I convinced myself Duke could win a national title. Now, it’s time to get serious and ask a legitimate question: can Duke make a bowl game? This is the next rung on the ladder for a program starting to poke its head up from the bowels of misery.

It’s going to take six wins, which means Duke has to win four of its last eight. Let’s check out the remaining schedule and see what we can sell ourselves.

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Optipessimism Week 4: UNC vs Georgia Tech

Well, well. The first Optipessimism feature after a Carolina loss. I don’t have the lack of attendance to complain about since it was the first road game, so let’s get right to it.

Story. Of. The. Game.

Optimism: After a truly miserable half of offensive football, Renner seemed to clean up a little bit and settle down. In general, Renner wasn’t asked to do a whole lot throwing downfield. That’s about it for optimism. Of course, the week after I gush over Renner’s potential he takes a step back.

Pessimism: This was undoubtedly Renner’s worst game as a Tar Heel. His stats weren’t terrible – 17 of 25 for 204 yards , 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s – but this is one of those cases where stats don’t tell the whole story. Both of Renner’s picks came at particularly bad times, both when UNC had momentum off takeaways of their own. Both were especially bad decisions in a game filled with them; Renner’s first interception was thrown into quadruple coverage. I didn’t even know someone can have quadruple coverage on them. Renner looked extremely young in this game, often running scared out of the pocket and taking a lot of sacks he probably could have avoided.

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The Triangle Prophets, Week 4

Every Friday, a group of fearless webmasters and sports fanatics from around the Triangle will gather to predict five college football games against the spread. Every Duke, Carolina, and N.C. State game will be featured, along with a smattering of high profile non-Triangle games. As the season goes along, we’ll keep the standings updated and see who emerges as the one true prophet. Make your predictions in the comment section. Each week, we’ll feature any and all commenters who pick all 5 games correctly.

Current Standings

1. William Earnhardt, Site Designer – 9 points

2. Me – 8 points

3. John Watson, The Devil’s Den – 7 points
3. Tar Heel Fan Blog – 7 points
3. Nate Friedman, UNC football correspondent – 7 points

6. The Devil Wolf, TRB – 6 points
6.
Jim Young, Editor, ACCSports.com – 6 points

8. James Henderson, Publisher, Pack Pride – 5 points

 

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Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , , | 8 Comments