PRINCETON — Last week, I forgot to mention of couple of other new coaches of teams of local interest: new PikeView High School football coach Bobby Wyatt and new Bluefield College football coach Mike Gravier, both of whom will be involved in rebuilding and building their respective football programs.
Wyatt takes over a PikeView program that has struggled the last two years. He has experience with taking over programs in similar situations, most notably the former Pocahontas High School program in Virginia, which was less promising than PikeView is currently.
He built the program into a playoff team.
Gravier, on the other hand, is building a program from scratch. BC has not had a football program since it disbanded in 1941 due to the war. His resume has shown a knack for building under similar circumstances and he was on the Concord staff which turned around and 0-11 team into a winner in one years time. In fact, he was hired from the Concord staff specifically to build the Bluefield College program.
It will be interesting to follow their progress this year, as well as Randy Peek’s progress at Princeton Senior High School.
As for Concord University, I will have more to say after its media day next week. What I will say now is that the WVIAC should be an interesting conference to follow, given the strength of it’s top-level programs, including Concord, which is currently rated second in the pre-season poll.
I have been asked about the impact social media has had on coverage of sporting events, most particularly, the Olympics. I think that what social media, Twitter in particular, has done is make results of events more immediately known, as both athletes and reporters who are active on Twitter have released results faster than ever before.
It tends to be the current and younger media members who are more active on Twitter, as the older members of their groups tend to be more resistant to social media. The Olympics offer fertile ground for Twitter usage, as with exceptions of a few Olympics most of the
games have been held outside the eastern time zone of the United States, meaning that event results are often on tape-delay. This has been the bane of many people who do not wish to have their results spoiled hours ahead of when they can watch the event.
Switching gears but staying with the Olympics, it’s been one of the most interesting games in terms of achievements. We have seen two teenage girls 19-year-old Gabby Douglas and 17-year-old Missy Franklin become stars in their first Olympics. Michael Phelps
finished his Olympic career with a performance not far removed from his 2008 tour-de-force. The men’s basketball team with only one real struggle along the way has proven so far to be the dominate team many predicted they would be. The women’s basketball team if anything, has proven to be even more dominant than their male counterparts.
I do want to offer this comment on the debate between the 1992 and 2012 men’s basketball teams in terms of which team would be better in their prime. The rosters would should show the 1992 team having an advantage when it came to inside players and the 2012 team having advantage at the point guard position.
The other positions are pretty much even, with Michael Jordan giving the 1992 a slight advantage at shooting guard.
Going to the NFL, before I get into my predictions, I want to say that I found ESPN’s coverage of football training camps to be excessive. Such coverage has led to overkill where the NY Jets are concerned, as incidents which would be brushed aside for other teams have become major issues because ESPN fed the fire with the week of coverage at the Jet’s camp.
Going to the AFC North, the is a very thin margin between the top two teams in the division. My pick for first place is the Baltimore Ravens who look healthier and have fewer issues at their skill positions than the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens defense, although aging, still looks to be a little better than the Steeler’s defense as well.
As for the Steelers, I have these concerns: age on defense, the reported torn rotator cuff in quarterback Ben Rothlisberger’s throwing shoulder, no established running back and their best receiver being a contract hold out. Still, the Steelers have enough talent to make
a Super Bowl run should the offensive problems be mitigated.
The third team in the division are the Cincinnati Bengals which made the playoffs as a sixth seed last year and hopefully can build from that experience. They are younger than either the Ravens or the Steelers, which could be an advantage for them.
The last team in the division are the Cleveland Browns. They are last, both by default and on merit since they can’t keep either the head coach or quarterback positions stable, going through eleven starting quarterbacks in their existence as a NFL team, which started in 1999. Besides that, they don’t have the talent to play with the three other teams in the division.
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