27.Feb.2010 OSU @ Galen and Tennesse @ Goss

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First of all, the basketball team…Jack, a key point you missed is the importance of this game in the overall progress of the program. I think a realistic goal for this season is the NIT. Technically a team doesn’t need a .500 record to qualify, but no sub .500 team has ever qualified since the rule change, so for all intents and purposes the Beavers need to win out.

That means tonight’s game is enormous. In the national picture it’s a blip on the radar, but for this program and the progress they are trying to make, it’s a stepping stone for both next season and respectability. Huge.

We know how poorly the football team performs in these “take the next step” type of games. How will the basketball team fair? I’m not sure. We’re two years into his “presidency”, and I still don’t know enough about Craig Robinson to say if he’ll have the team focused for this type of game. From what I’ve seen, I think he will, but the fact that the game is at the Galen Center makes me nervous. The Trojans, despite having nothing to play for (i.e. for those unaware, the Trojans inflicted self-imposed sanctions and will be barred from post-season play), will not be pushovers. What fascinates me about USC, and makes me respect them greatly, is how hard they have played when they could have packed it in months ago. It’s remarkable, really. They have a better conference record than the Beavers, a 16-11 overall record, and have knocked off some tough teams (e.g. Cal, UCLA) in the past few weeks while annihilating Washington by 25 just over a month ago. Like most teams, the Trojans perform better at home, and the Beavs have been poor on the road. This bodes poorly for the Beavs. And don’t assume the Trojans are just showing up because the game is on their schedule–they want to play tonight, they want to win, and this particular writer thinks they will.

As far as the baseball team, I just want to say that that was an impressive dismantling of Tennessee yesterday. 17-1. Wow. I’ve been watching baseball (mostly MLB) for over 20 years, and one thing I’ve concluded, mostly through empirical observation, is that it’s a sport of averages. It seems like every time I see team x dismantle team y, team x scores no runs the next day. Look for the Beavers to drop this game and score little in the process. Something like 5-1, Vols.

And speaking of the baseball team, what is the deal with Kevin Rhoderick? This is yet another 20 year old machismo knucklehead who thinks he can overpower hitters with his straight as the Marlboro Man fastball. How many guys have to fail with this approach before they have an epiphany, or before coaches teach them the art of movement, location, and change of speeds? Does anyone feel confident with “KRhod” closing games? This guy is the Armando Benitez of college closers.

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  • angrybeaver says:
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    5-0 in the 8th, and I was feeling pretty good about my 5-1 prediction, then Jones gave up a grand slam to Tennessee’s catcher. 9-2 final. Ouch.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Wow, the Fox announcers were such USC homers. Extremely difficult to listen to those guys.

    Good road win for the Beavs.

  • JackBeav says:
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    I was surprised that the former SC player that was announcing the game was calling plays correctly while the color guy was yelling the wrong info over him.

    Apparently OSU hoops is famous for it’s 1-2-2 D.

    I wish.

  • JackBeav says:
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    We’re close to making the season a success without the aid of Coach Rob’s college roommate’s post-season tourney.

    I would have said before this game that USC mailed it in a couple weeks ago, and it was unlikely they break from that funk just to try to beat us.

    I was completely frustrated at our inability to hit any open shots.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      USC could have still won the conference going into last night’s game, so for that reason they hadn’t packed it in. They might now that they have nothing to play for, but they’ve played surprisingly hard all season with just the conference title to play for–pretty impressive.

      Coach Rob was such a cry baby after the game. From the Oregonian:

      “but Robinson – for just an instant – thought his team was going to blow it.

      ‘That’s exactly what I thought. One of my assistants (Nate Pomeday) told me to hang in there, because at that point, I was completely demoralized,’’ said Robinson.”

      Come on, Craig, are you a fan or a coach? That kind of comment sounds more like an emotional fan than a coach.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I was with him. With a minute left, there was no good vibes coming my way… until Roo started stroking FT’s like he was a dead-eye. I was so upset at the Beavs’ play that I had to pause the game and walk outside.

      After their loss to Wazzu, you could tell that USC had given up against UO. I read a quote from Marques Johnson somewhere about his confusion in losing to the Pac 10 ‘bottom feeders’. Marques may be the only guy really trying out there, but his team is close to being a bottom feeder itself.

      USC played on emotion for most of the season, and their skill is starting to show rather than their pumped-up game play. Unlike OSU, USC does not miss a bunch of opportunities in the paint. They miss a lot of ill-advised outside shots. When they hit those shots they win. O’Neill probably will not be there in a couple years. I hope he doesn’t do what other former Arizona assistants have done to certain other Pac 10 schools in the process.

      If it wasn’t for an outstanding player in Dwayne Wade, O’Neill would not be considered a genius coach for any reason.

      • angrybeaver says:
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        Yes but you’re a fan. It’s the coaches job to be rational and mature in times of distress. Maybe Craig should read some Hemingway and try to master his grace under pressure concept.

      • JackBeav says:
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        So hold on…

        If I’m reading this correctly, you (angry) are chastising someone for being too real?

        Not a knock… I understand what you’re saying about the difference between us and a coach. But you have to admit that it’s kinda funny.

      • angrybeaver says:
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        Haha, yeah.

        Well, I’m not chastising him for being too real, but if you are the coach you should have some faith in your team if for no other reason than their own confidence. He can think the team is going to blow the game, but to say that in the paper is a large bowl of weak sauce. Craig should keep those comments to his wife, fellow coaches, etc, but don’t infect the team with that mindset and especially not through the media. Not only will it mess with the team’s confidence, but it comes off wrong to fans. Didn’t you cringe a bit when reading the coach’s comment about blowing the game? Admit it, it’s weird.

        • mckalk mckalk says:
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          I think Robinson fancies himself a bit too much of a psychologist and treats Jay John’s players like bastard stepchildren at times with the comments you mention and others this season.
          I thought he played that pop therapist card after the Stanford game with his “the players were not ready to handle being .500” crap. In actuality, Robinson was outcoached by Johnny Dawkins twice this year. I think Robinson is a pretty good coach and it will be interesting to hear his comments when the players are all his own recruits and the 0-18 season is no longer relevant.

        • angrybeaver says:
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          I think you’re right about the Stanford comment and Robinson’s arm-chair psychology.

          There’s a time to be negative and a time to reward hard work. When he took over and essentially told all the players that they stunk, that was the right move, but to continue telling them that (i.e. “I thought we’d blow it […because they stink]”) after they’ve put in the hard work and improved is wrong. The proper play would have been something like, “You know, we put in a lot of hard work this year, so early in the year I might have feared we’d blow that game, but the guys have improved and the players and staff had confidence we’d find a way to hold on.”

          There’s nothing to be gained by kicking the beaten dogs anymore. He gained everything he could from that angle, and now it’s time to reward them with positive reinforcement. The players are at the stage where they are out of the hole and becoming addicted to the positive comments and are clearly playing harder in order to hear more.

          Maybe Robinson is trying to counter-balance that and keep them grounded so they don’t get overly confident like they did after the CBI, but I think it’s absolutely wrong. Frankly, it comes off as unprofessional and made me cringe, too. I understand it, but I don’t agree with it.

          A final point is that Robinson is molding his image/brand as a straight-shooter. So, comments like that are not surprising. What is interesting is that he isn’t a straight-shooter when it comes to his interest in remaining in Corvallis or other programs contacting him. There is duality and a multiple/political personality with Robinson. He’s clearly a complex figure, and I wonder if he even knows what he wants in life other than the ever-elusive “next challenge”.

          • mckalk mckalk says:
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            I agree with your points. I would like a little more nuts and bolts out of him when he talks about the team and less psychology. I brought up the Stanford comments because they did not ring true to me.
            All of the non-Freshmen have already won tough games last year. Does he discount winning on the road to take the CBI championship as a sign of toughness? When they lose he tends to fall back on the 0-18 losers who still cannot handle the pressure instead of discussing decisions he made in the game. And like you said last nights comments were just kind of silly coming from a head coach.
            One could make the argument that as a coach his performance has been less impressive this year than last and he seems to be pretty good at deflecting any actual coaching criticism by falling back on fragile psyche of the players who were tramatized by the 07-08 experience.
            Do not get me wrong, he is light years ahead of Jay John, but I am not ready to crown him the messiah yet either. When he has his own players it will all play out.

          • angrybeaver says:
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            If he is around then. I don’t get the feeling he likes Oregon.

            Honestly, I don’t get the feeling he likes anything other than the thrill of the unknown and will be a coach who jumps around a lot because of that. Not sure what I am basing this off of other than a hunch and reading between the lines in his comments. But I can see him going for a spotlight job pretty soon, then leaving there for a rebuilding job, etc. I guess you can say he has some Larry Brown in him, or at least I think he does.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Defeating the Huskies will be tough, so I see the regular season ending at 14-16. I think it is either win the tourney and go to the big dance at 17-16 or get ready to defend your CBI title. The Ducks could very well get to the CBI also.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      I agree it will be difficult to beat the Huskies, but the Beavers will have two things in their favor for that game if they beat Washington State:

      1. The game is at Gill
      2. A win would put them at .500 and an option for the NIT

      I’d imagine Gill would sell out for the Washington game since the Beavers haven’t had a case for a legit post-season toury in some time. Of course, to get to that atmosphere they need to take care of Washington State, and that will not be easy.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Is Seth Tarver a great defensive player or a great 1-3-1 position player?

    • angrybeaver says:
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      He’s a legit great defensive player, mainly because his intensity and the fact that he never seems to fatigue, even after giving max effort for an entire game. The guy is in great shape. What is exciting about him is that he’s become a pretty good offensive player in the lane.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Imagine what kind of football player he would have been if he had stuck with it.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I ask because some of the Fox commentators think he will get a look in a NBA camp in the fall. I agree with you about his offense and I tend to think he has a lot more upside as he has a nice touch in the lane and nice athleticism around the basket. I get tired of the Schaft/Haynes high screen game at the top key and think the rest of the league has that figured out. I would like to see a Tarver post up when that clock gets down to 10 and let him do his thing. He has been getting to the line a bit more also. He seems like a genuine good guy and I do not think his talent is yet fully developed. It would be great if he got a shot in the NBA somewhere.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      He seems like a tweener. Not a good enough shooter or passer to be a guard, and too small to be a forward. Where would he play in the NBA? I can see him as a defensive specialist, locking down the oppositions shooting guard, for a few minutes each night but I don’t see that he has the offensive size or skills to start.

      Just glad to have him playing this well at this point in the season.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Note to Seth Tarvers future agent….get him a look in the Utah Jazz camp. Jerry Sloan would be impressed with that kind of determination on defense.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Maybe he can find a niche as a 10-12 minute defensive specialist if he can shut down an opponents shooting guard or press a point guard out of a teams offense for a few possessions. Granted, he is a long shot, but I think his length and body may get him a look somewhere. Most of the defensive specialists seem to be in the big forward mode and they also rebound so not great odds for Tarver. I hope he wins defensive player of the league, that might raise the recoginition a little.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Greg Peavy tossed a 3 hit shutout today. Glad we didn’t see KRhod in the 9th to “close” it out. I bet Peavy was thinking the same.

    Beavs take 2 of 3 from a well-regarded Tennessee team. That’s a good sign. I think last years team would just take 1 game in this series. The good teams win series versus other good teams. The average teams take 1 game here and beat up on poor teams. And a bad team gets swept.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Fans gave a big cheer when Peavey was left in the game after the Tenn. single in the 9th. Smart decision, he struck out the next batter

    • angrybeaver says:
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      How did you see the game? Or are you going by the radio broadcast?

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    The cheer was audible on the KPAM broadcast and the announcer commented on it.

  • rodgersbrosftw says:
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    Robinson signs two year extension. Brooks thinks this could be a sign that we are close to announcing the new practice facility. There’s going to be a media availability at 2:30 so perhaps we will learn more there.

    http://brookshatch.mvourtown.com/2010/03/02/brooks-hatch-robinsons-contract-extended/

    • rodgersbrosftw says:
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      Here’s a brief Q&A session.

      http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindbeaversbeat/2010/03/robinson_hopes_signing_two-yea.html

      Sounds promising but I am still not sure I trust him.

      “It’s hard to find good fits in life, and this is a good fit right now for me and my family. Someplace where you like working, your family likes living in, your kids like going to school here. You know, usually you have to give up something. … as a family we realize we like it here, I realized that with the right investments in facilities you can win here and the University feels like in me they’ve got the right person to do all that stuff so it seems like a nice fit.

    • JackBeav says:
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      What’s with the trust issues?

      Can’t a guy want to end up in a front porch community to raise his family? I say someone takes the time to teach him to fly fish, and he’ll never want to leave.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      That is pretty awesome news.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Good news (especially for recruiting), but still clever language.

    Good fit right now. Right now being the operative phrase
    Seems like a nice fit. Seems being the qualifier

    Not quite the Mike Riley….I am here for life attitude, but I will take it. If he gets the damn practice facility and then bails for the ACC or Big Ten I for one will be ticked.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Why would you be ticked? We do need a practice facility. If he inspires the building of that and lays down a good foundation for the future before leaving I don’t see this as a bad hire.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Precisely.

      One thing OSU gets by coming into the new elites of NCAA hoops a little late is that we get all the goodies that are tried and true and leave out all the extraneous crap that others have tried.

      That we fell behind over two decades is bad, but we’re not lost. The name Oregon State still carries a lot of name recognition in hoops. Out of sight, out of mind applies to the bad as well as the good. Since we were never out of sight for Oregon kids, we have a little work to do as far as perception is concerned.

      But winning has a way of healing all wounds. When OSU is a constant in the top 20 again, the prognosticators won’t bat an eye including us in discussions, predictions, tourney talk, etc. There are only about a dozen+ schools who would get that treatment. Some of the newcomers don’t even get that consideration. How do you think Billy Donovan feels right about now?

      • angrybeaver says:
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        “The name Oregon State still carries a lot of name recognition in hoops.”

        What makes you say this?

        I realize the program is 13th or so all time in wins, but they also have the lowest winning % off the all-time top 20 teams. As time passed and the loses piled up, I think your statement lost merit somewhere along the way. Who thinks the job has name recognition? We saw how difficult it was to get a medium profile coach (Grier, etc) to even look at the job.

      • JackBeav says:
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        Think of St. John’s hoops. They’ve been wandering in the wilderness since the days of Carnesecca. But the name still means something out west. Oregon State is the same out east.

        People aren’t stupid enough to equate recent poor play with constant greatness. But they do feel comfortable when things are in their place. It’s not quite as bad as, but similar to, Notre Dame or Michigan football being in a funk. When those programs start to win again, the losing years will be a by-line.

      • angrybeaver says:
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        Hmm, not sure I agree. I know neither I, nor any of my friends from back east, had a clue about OSU basketball history before I enrolled at the school. The history is nice, but it’s not decorated with championships and such–I think if the Beavs had a title or two it would be more recognizable outside of Oregon (and maybe Washington/California). A few final 4’s is all that’s on the resume. Only the die-hards realize the history; the casual fan does not.

      • JackBeav says:
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        You are correct in that we are lacking in the championship category. I think we’ve had one final four, six regional finals and 11 or 12 Sweet Sixteens in some 20 tourney appearances… all 1990 or before.

        The CBI may have been a silly little thing created by Coach Rob’s college roommate, but it did provide our first post-season win since the 1982 Sweet Sixteen. Winning in the post-season will be more difficult if we get into the tougher tourneys, but wining in the post-season is another positive attribute on display.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Not sure we find as good a coach again. And hey your blog has the word Angry in it!

    • JackBeav says:
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      There are plenty out there who could work magic at OSU. What we need to never ever do again is hire an assistant to do a head coach’s job.

  • rodgersbrosftw says:
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    If anyone is thinking of going to the game against WSU Thursday you can get tickets for $7.50 online if you enter BEATWSU in the promo code field.

    http://ev12.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=MBS&linkID=oregonst&shopperContext=&caller=&appCode=

  • JackBeav says:
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    Even Cliff is getting good vibes…
    http://cliffkirkpatrick.mvourtown.com/2010/03/03/cliff-football-stuff/

    I like Seumalo’s quote on Motter. Ha! He wasn’t doing anything over there.

    Now watch Motter become all-conference and have a nice pro career.

  • JackBeav says:
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    I was just looking back on the yahoos that miss out on a lot of their evaluations because they work the big time now, and I found this nugget.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=4937960

    Go straight to the bottom and read about Kent. The name Worldwide Wes should send shivers down the spine of any Duck out there. Here we have a mainstream media type associating UO with Wes and not fearing for his job. Go ahead, google ‘Worldwide Wes’ and see what comes up. It should really anger the NCAA hoops world that John Wall was given a two game slap on the wrist to start this season. It’s because of people like this worm Wes that Roberto Nelson’s online coursework is dismissed out of hand.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      JackBeav,

      Was it someones job in the OSU admissions department to know whether Roberto Nelsons coursework would qualify? From my laymans perspective, the information about his situation seems very vague considering people are calling him the best player on the team.

    • JackBeav says:
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      The problem with the coursework isn’t whether or not Oregon State or any other university would accept the work for their own enrollment qualifications. Most would do so.

      The problem is a little recent, but WWW has been suspected of paying ringers to take tests and internet courses for kids. So when an athlete who lives in Chicago takes a test in Detroit, or when a top 10 recruit like Nelson takes some correspondence courses red flags pop up on the ever-vigilant NCAA Clearinghouse’s board.

      While those things are bad, there are worse problems… like major ‘donations’ being given to the AAU clubs of top recruits. It’s especially disturbing when that ‘donation’ money buys access like it did with Kevin Love… or when that ‘donation’ simply finds its way into the hands of the recruit himself… like John Wall.

      Reggie Bush was an example of this practice because of favors paid through his family. Some kids have a ‘trust’ created which is theirs upon signing with an agent. If they don’t sign, they pay the agent back. Sometimes the kid thinks he doesn’t owe.

      So while correspondence coursework is fairly common in California, it raises immediate suspicion when it comes to top recruits in a sport.

      • angrybeaver says:
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        Any www course that is accredited will have the player show up in person at a testing center with ID. So, anything short of that, and I think the NCAA is rightfully looking into it. Sucks for us, but if you’re going to do coursework via the web it’s the only way that is fool proof and legit.

      • JackBeav says:
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        That’s what’s so frustrating about Nelson’s situation. In some supect WWW (Worldwide Wes) situations, it’s suspected that players show up at a location where they might not be recognized due to volume, distance or maybe payola.

        It should be pretty easy for the NCAA to verify the legitimacy of the course or test with a quick investigation. In California, correspondence courses are so common that the investigation has too many variables for the NCAA to trust the investigation itself. Remember that they aren’t the IRS with unlimited funds or people enough to focus on just one investigation at a time.

        Yeah… it sucks for us for this year. But what’s beautiful about our situation is that Nelson has the patience, wisdom and guidance enough to avoid a future investigation because he’s doing the right thing. He also gets an OSU education instead of getting wrongfully pushed into the JUCO system. I think Coach Rob has helped himself, our team and Nelson himself by mentoring him well. That should speak volumes to any recruit or their parents when he’s sitting in front of them. It should also give us the benefit of the doubt the next time the NCAA looks at us for anything suspect… if it ever comes up.

        What’s surprising with the article I linked is that what’s suspected in the blog rumor mill for so long is making it into a mainstream article without fear of repercussion. When someone talks about Nike U, WWW and other Nike agents are the inference… not Uncle Phil’s alum donations.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Cliff posted a new video about track & field…
    http://cliffkirkpatrick.mvourtown.com/2010/03/04/cliff-nfl-combine-mens-track/

    It makes me want to win the lottery. It’s too bad I never ever play.

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