Hodge’s Jewels Back In News

According to the Denver police, former NC State star and current Denver Nuggets rookie Julius Hodge is being investigated for attempted sexual assault. Not good, Jules.
Now, normally I’m on the side of the women in these cases. I know that there are instances of women making the stories up, but I also know guys. Guys are pigs. Particularly young, rich athletes. They get so many women throwing themselves at them that they can forget that not all women are like that.
But this case is mighty fishy. First off, the woman is 37. 37! I’m a little suspicious that Hodge would be macking on a woman that old. Second, the police have yet to charge him, yet she’s already talking to the media about it. It seems that most victims are a bit more bashful.
Since the incident seems to have happened in his apartment and since they are claiming only “attempted” assault, I don’t see how they could possibly make this stick. I doubt he’ll ever actually be charged. It’s purely a he said-she said situation and when you have 37-year-old women bringing accusations against young, naive millionaires and then immediately talking to the media about it … well, it’s more than a little fishy.
Maybe Hodge doesn’t need to wear just a cup. Perhaps he needs a codpiece as well.

Mexi-Cam?

If last Thursday’s stinker against Clemson weren’t offensive enough (and most State fans I know refuse to even talk about it at this point), it turns out the most egregious assault on good taste didn’t even happen on the field. No, I’m not talking about Chuck Amato’s wardrobe or even a murder in the parking lots.
No, this little piece of high class comedy was shown on the Jumbotron – the same one that showed a clip of Amato that was promptly met by loud boos. Like many other sports arenas trying to generate artificial fun (maybe to offset the lack of fun in the actual product), State’s Jumbotron shows little live clips of fans. They have the Kissing-Cam where they show a cute, kissing couple. They have a Fan-Cam, where I guess they try to find some fans. And on Thursday night, they had the Mexi-Cam where they found a “Hispanic-looking” couple and slapped them up on the huge screen for all to see with the text “Mexi-Cam” under their faces.
Nice.
Very nice.

Top 10 Bad Ass Mofos

Now this is a pretty fun list. It’s the kind of thing you discuss with your buddies while doing nothing worthwhile.
The list they picked is pretty good except for one GLARING mistake. Terrell Owens? Terrell Owens? You have got to be kidding me. Any man who owns a covertable New Beetle – customized with his own logo, no less – doesn’t belong within ten miles of this list.
Replace Owens with Jim Brown, who should have been #1 or #2.
I’d almost say that Tiger Woods should be on here instead of Pete Rose, but then … well, Tiger plays golf. You can only be so bad ass in a mock turtleneck.

Ranking The ACC – Week 6

This’ll be a quickie-style ranking. I already ran down my thoughts on most of the teams this week, so this will be mostly just where I think they lie in the ACC and maybe a thought or two about their next game.
1. Florida State – Should have no problem with a depleted Virginia squad on Saturday night.
2. Virginia Tech – Still a very close #2. They get their first weekend off this week.

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Gavin Grant Needs Wife

In what is possibly the most bizarre ACC personnel story I can recall, NC State’s Gavin Grant is in danger of being deported.
Evidently, his mother brought him from Jamaica without any visas over ten years ago. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says that he will likely be deported if he does not leave the country willingly and then apply for reinstatement.
Green CardIt’s hard to see how he will be able to play for State this year. Odds are he won’t be able to finish the fall semester at school. I guess it’s possible he could complete coursework remotely, but I don’t know what State’s regulations are concerning illegal alien students. If he does withdraw this semester, but can somehow get his visa worked out, will he be academically eligible in the spring?
For the Wolfpack, this is a pretty serious blow. Grant looked and played a lot like the departed Julius Hodge and much was expected of him this next year. Without him, they will be a much slower and unathletic team.
You know what would solve all of this? A wife. Anyone have Andie MacDowell’s number?

Dick Butkus Sucks

You know that “reality” show on ESPN about how Dick Butkus is coaching a high school football team? Well, it’s a sham.
Not only is Butkus not really the head coach, but now that ESPN is done filming, Butkus is gone – with two games left on the schedule.
The real head coach, Lou Cerro, was mostly hidden by ESPN’s clever editing so that it looked Butkus was running things. Instead, it sounds like he stood around and then yelled at everyone when the cameras were rolling. And now that the cameras are gone, so is he.
Nice lesson for the kids.
Hat tip to the Sports Frog for the find.

Weekend Review – Week Six

Never got around to much writing last week, so this one’s actually going to refer to the past two weekends of games. As you know, I like to talk about what I learned each weekend. College football seasons are so short that don’t really know a team until the season’s almost over. Think about basketball. No one pays too close of attention to college hoops teams until about the beginning of January. By then, teams have played about 12 games. It takes about that long. Unfortunately, we don’t get that much time for football, but that doesn’t stop the talking heads from declaring exactly who the best teams are after one or two games.
Miami 52 – Duke 7 – After that first paragraph, do you like how I picked a game that taught us nothing? That my friends, is some first-class blogging.

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Big Game In Atlanta

Tonight’s NC State vs Georgia Tech is an important one for both teams. Obviously, for State and coach Chuch Amato, this game is a chance to get back on track and fight off the critics. The loss to UNC two weeks ago has set off daily arguments in the newspapers, on message boards and on sports radio about how far State has or has not climbed and whether or not Chuck Amato is doing a good job.
The News & Observer’s Caulton Tudor wrote an article today saying that State really hasn’t improved much on the field during Amato’s tenure. Now, I haven’t been to any State message boards today, but I can guarantee you that that article has the Wolfpack faithful in an uproar (yep, I checked and here they go – actually many think he was accurate.). First off, they seem to distrust the local media, the N&O in particular. Second, while the article is actually pretty fair, the headline (probably picked by someone other than Tudor) is a bit misleading. It reads “Amato era hasn’t improved Wolfpack.” If you actually read it though, you’ll see that that’s not a fair assessment of Tudor’s point. He makes it clear that in many ways, NC State has improved, mainly in facilities and recruiting. They’ve also had more wins over top-tier teams. What hasn’t improved much over the O’Cain and Sheridan days is the overall record, especially when you consider how many patsies State has scheduled over the past six seasons. Even the most ardent Amato supporter would have to concede that fact. The numbers don’t lie.
All that said, this game isn’t only critical for the Pack. Chan Gailey entered this season on nearly as hot a seat as Amato finds himself on now. Gailey cooled that off considerably by winning at Auburn and then beating North Carolina, a win that looks better each week. Unfortunately, nothing cools the fire of an excited fan base like a 51-7 drubbing. Lose a second game in a row and this season for Tech will look like a microcosm of Amato’s career – hot start, cool present.
So, yes this game is a big one. It won’t decide an ACC champion. It won’t even decide a division champion. But it will likely determine the direction of both teams’ seasons. And it might well determine the fate of one of the coaches. For sure, after a bad loss and a bye week, both teams will be going at it HARD. And the whole country gets to watch.

Randolph Might Make Sixers

Sometimes you just have to admit when you’re wrong. Back in May, I wrote an article about Shavlik Randolph’s decision to enter the NBA draft. I might have made a few jokes.
Well, it turns out that joke might be on me. The 76ers are in Durham for training camp and general manager Billy King says that Randolph is currently on the squad and “it’s his roster spot to lose.” Wow.
Now, that might be King blowing smoke to the local media. It might also be King showing loyalty to a fellow Dukie.
Or maybe Randolph has finally found himself. While I was rarely too impressed with his play in college, I was always impressed with his skill and potential. He can do things that few 6’11” players can. The problem is that he mostly did them in warmups. He’d show flashes here and there, but mostly he just seemed lost on the floor. If a basketball game were a series of drills, he’d be an All-American. If the NBA had an NFL-like combine, he might have been a lottery pick.
The problem with Randolph was never his skill. It was always his play. He just seemed to be reacting instead of acting. Like he was not sure what he should be doing and was afraid to screw up.
But, maybe he’s past that. Maybe he’s healthy and confident and aggressive again. I hope so. He seems like a really good kid who deserves better than to be forever thought of as a bust.
If he does make the NBA, it will be one of the most bizarre career paths I can recall. It’s not unusual for unheard of players to make the big leagues. Who knew of Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman or Ben Wallace in college? In most of those cases though, the guy was a late bloomer who missed out on attending a top school because he just wasn’t that good in high school. He bloomed later while at a small school.
In Randolph’s case, it was just the opposite. He bloomed early, became a star in high school and then fizzled in college. It’s hard to think of another guy who followed that arc and then rose again to make the bigs. Off the top of my head, the closest I can think of is Damien Wilkins who is having a surprisingly productive NBA career after a college career that didn’t reflect his hype coming out of high school.
The NBA has expanded rosters by three spots this year (teams can have up to three inactive players on their roster), so Randolph’s chances are somewhat improved. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
BTW, I’ve found it interesting just how popular Randolph is. Since I wrote that article five months ago, “Shavlik Randolph” has been one of the most popular search terms to bring folks to my site. I’m not sure why he interests people so, but he does.

Chad Johnson, Taunter Extraordinaire

Chad Johnson, Lord of the SmackRemember Chad Johnson’s little river dance celebration a couple Sunday’s ago against the Bears? Well, Deadspin has discovered that it might not have been just a harmless little celebration. It may have actually been evil genius.
It seems that Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is involved in a paternity suit. The women who sued him also made headlines when she claimed she was raped by none other than Michael Flatley, the Lord of the Dance himself.
Could Johnson have known that and been sticking the knife into Urlacher? I certainly hope so.