It's a very somber day for Blacksburg and our area at large, in the wake of the passing of former Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver on Thursday.
Based on its seeding, the Radford University baseball team is right where it should be Monday: playing top-seeded Vanderbilt with a shot to make the Super Regionals.
A buddy of mine recently discovered a creative (albeit illegal) to make a few bucks: preying on the complete lack of athletic self-awareness of the typical American male.
So there I was on a recent Sunday afternoon, chasing a foul pop-up. Eyes and beer gut bouncing as I tracked the ball, my hustle needle pegged all the way, I was approaching the fence in foul territory at Lord Botetourt High School when I heard it.
Quick -- Google the name "Will Smith." Don't delay, because you'll be likely to miss it. If you're reading this early Friday afternoon, the first link Google gives you is this USA Today story: "Brewers' Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm."
We need to stop whining. All of us. And by "us," I mean sports reporters.
Australia, he figured, would be his goodbye to baseball.
Tuesday was a pretty good day for young power hitters in baseball.
It's hard to get to know UVa quarterbacks. It seems lately, as soon as they ascend to a prominent role, they leave.
Two years ago, when writing a column about how media guide covers are a window into a college football program's soul, I asked Frank Beamer what he thought about the cover his Hokies had just released, which featured a stern-looking Beamer in the foreground and prominent moments from the program's history in the background.
Crazy stat o' the day: The two-hour stoppage of play during Thursday's Nationals-Padres game marked just the sixth rain delay in the 11-year history of San Diego's Petco Park.
Choking, like so many other facets of sports, is in the eye of the beholder. I saw that word thrown around on Twitter quite a bit late Wednesday night in the wake of the Capitals' 2-1 overtime loss to the Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semis.
If you value keeping your blood pressure at a reasonable level, it's probably best not to spend a lot of time thinking about all the places your federal tax money goes. Our government isn't exactly Dave Ramsey-esque when it comes to spending.
If you want to know how you really feel about a topic, try explaining it to a kid. I was reminded of this early Monday evening, when a text alert hit my phone announcing that Tom Brady had been suspended four games for his role in DeflateGate.
Here, in one man's opinion, is a countdown of the five most horrible ways to lose a sporting event:
You might be surprised to learn that Tom Brady's dad supports Tom Brady. Yes, it's true!
Forgive me, but I’m having a really hard time getting outraged at the Manny Pacquiao-hiding-an-injury flap. It’s not that I don’t think people deserve quality for their money and some level of transparency from sports promoters. I do.
If you’re going to watch only one soccer match all year, Wednesday’s wouldn’t be a bad choice.
They say you can't prove a negative, but if you're wondering whether a coach or athlete is speaking with a filter, there's one good clue that he's not: casual swearing.
Forget pitch clocks. Forget umpire admonishments. The key to picking up the pace in baseball is simple: Force every player in both leagues to watch one game pitched by Boston Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley.
I'm quite certain I'd be the worst general manager in the history of the NFL. Oh, my teams would have more chemistry than the campuses of Stanford, Harvard and MIT combined, but we would never win any games.
Empty stadiums can be exciting. I love walking into a place I haven't been -- The Horseshoe at Ohio State last September, for example -- before the fans arrive and imagining what the atmosphere will be like in a few hours.
As much as I had been looking forward to Monday night's Islanders-Capitals game, I found myself instead mesmerized by coverage of the violence in Baltimore.
To open this week, in honor of the big boxin' match coming up, we'll begin with a Rocky IV quote that I shall tenuously tie to the day's topic:
The most interesting thing about UVa listing Matt Johns as its No. 1 quarterback on Thursday heading into fall practice was the incongruity of the assessments from the coaches.
Several folks on Twitter corrected me yesterday when I argued that one of the greatest things about Bill Roth is, over 27 years as the voice of Virginia Tech, he never had any catch phrases other than his opening, which I don't count.
Bill Roths are rare. Trust me on this. Virginia Tech fans know they've had it good for the past 27 years, but if they need a reminder, all they need to do is tune into a radio broadcast of a baseball game today. Pick one at random, and there's a good chance you'll step away, thinking: "Good lord, I hope Tech doesn't get one of these Moes to replace Bill Roth."
This has nothing to do with sports, other than the fact that sports feature commercials targeting young males, and those commercials frequently include my favorite fake word in the English language: "melty."
Who doesn't love a good sports rant? And based on statistics alone -- 77 variations of the F-bomb, 11 "uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine)," as the Cincinnati Enquirer put it -- the rant unleashed by Reds skipper Bryan Price on Monday should have Hall of Fame potential.
Baltimore and Boston are playing baseball as I type this. It's not even lunchtime yet. They started the game at 11:05 a.m. because of Patriots Day festivities in New England. I love everything about this.
The text alert hit my phone as I was walking out of the Salem Red Sox press box late Thursday night: Report: Cubs to call up Kris Bryant Friday. I dropped my bag immediately, pulled out my laptop computer, logged on to my fantasy site, and...
Andy had an interesting story today on Virginia Tech tight end Bucky Hodges, which describes the multiple ways the coaches are employing him in spring practice. Two paragraphs in particular near the end caught my eye:
I saw several breaking stories yesterday referring to "Virginia sharpshooter Justin Anderson" entering the NBA draft. Statistically, I suppose this is accurate. Anderson shot quite sharply in 2014-15 -- 45.2 percent from 3-point range, including an ACC-best 48.2 percent before his pinkie injury.
The 2015 Masters was Ivan Drago vs. Apollo Creed: A new star scoring an emphatic knockout on a big stage, fans of close competition be damned. Jordan Spieth seemed to say, "If the rest of the field dies, it dies." Except he said it politely after hugging his parents and his high school sweetheart.
So I watched almost all of Wisconsin's 61-54 upset of Kentucky on the Wildcats' "Team Stream" -- the supplemental broadcast on TNT that focuses on one side. I might have been the only guy in America watching that channel while pulling for the underdog.
I retweeted this Friday, but it deserves to appear in as many places as I can put it. From the Twitter feed of Sports Illustrated's Brian Hamilton:
While much of the college basketball world was focusing on Shaka Smart's decision to leave VCU for Texas on Thursday, staying put had a big payoff for Cave Spring graduate Gregg Marshall.
Congratulations to VMI for upsetting No. 12 Virginia 7-6 in baseball on Wednesday. But good grief, what is going on with UVa's pitching staff?
Donna Alvis-Banks is one of the sweetest people I've ever known, so I had no reason to be suspicious when she handed me the post-it note when I walked into the New River Valley bureau of The Roanoke Times on April 1, 2001.
Atlanta should be ashamed. Not the team, mind you. The team's fans.
My picks on the NCAA tournament were all over the place, but one thing was certain: I wasn't going to take Kentucky.
My affinity for moral victories might be stronger than my hatred of instant replay. In both cases, I sense the majority might be against me. Coaches certainly are when it comes to moral victories.
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett announced late Saturday that junior guard Justin Anderson has a fractured finger on his left hand and will undergo surgery on Sunday. Anderson is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with the injury.
FOURTH QUARTER (NEWEST ON TOP)
FOURTH QUARTER (NEWEST ON TOP)
Bittle Joe Duncan, 81, of Newport, died Saturday, August 1, 2015, at Lewis-Gale Medical Center in Salem, after a short illness. He was born on "Northside" in Craig County on January 23, 1934, to Robert McKinley and Lizzie Ann Hughes Duncan. Also preceding him in death were his brothers, Byron McKinley Duncan, Herbert Miller Duncan, Melford Hughes; sister-in-law, Patsy Echols Snider; brother-in-law, Ben C. Johnston; father and mother-in-law, Robert Mason and Mary Elizabeth Jones Echols.After graduating from Maywood High School in 1951, he worked at Electro-Tec and then was employed by the Celanese Corp. for 34 years as a machinist, retiring in 1995. He and Joe Ann built a house in "Happy Hollow" where they have resided since the late 1960's. His talents were many, from building houses to making fine furniture from old building boards, to carving intricate scenes of life around him. He probably made at least 300 miniature rocking chairs of different woods. This man invented a stock car racing game, "Buckle Up", received a patent and produced it. A quiet, kind, gentle man, he was always willing to help anyone. He loved children, especially his "blonds", his cats and flowers.Joe became a member of Level Green Christian Church as a teen, and until his death, served in many offices, deacon, trustee, cemetery chairman and church treasurer. He also was on the Board of Directors of the Pembroke Telephone Co-operative and Giles-Craig Communications (cable) Board for over twenty years. Joe had also been a member of the Newport Masonic Lodge No. 261.He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Joe Ann Elizabeth Echols Duncan; sons, Dale Mitchell Duncan and wife, Shirley of Brinkhaven, Ohio and Michael Joe Duncan and wife, Minerva of Blacksburg; grandchildren, Joseph Mitchell Duncan and wife, Desiree of Ohio and Kristen Elizabeth Duncan Mattox (whom he helped raise) and husband, Rusty of New Castle; and a special little great-granddaughter, Rylee Elizabeth Mattox. He is also survived by nephews, Garry Duncan, Andrew Hughes, Jeffrey and Joel Johnston; and nieces, Carolyn Duncan, Teresa Duncan, Monica Myers, and his "sidekick" Susan Elizabeth Snider Dudding; sisters-in-law, Kathryn Carter Duncan, Evelyn Lipes Duncan, and Jane Echols Johnston; brother-in-law, Bill Snider. Also special great nieces, Elizabeth Grace Dudding, his last blond, who loved him with all her heart – he was her "Joby", and Victoria Elizabeth Johnston; and his special companions "Rowdy Bush"and "Gracie" his cats.The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff at Lewis-Gale Montgomery and Salem for their wonderful care.Funeral services will be held Tuesday, August 4, 2015, at 11 a.m. in the Level Green Christian Church with interment following in the Level Green Church Cemetery. Minister Dale Duncan will officiate. The family will receive friends at the church Monday evening, August 3, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions be made to Level Green Christian Church, 1992 Happy Hollow Road, Newport, VA 24128. The Kendall Funeral Home in Pembroke is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent by visiting kendallfuneralhome.com.
Jane Dodson Akers, 81, of Salem, passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Monday, August 3, 2015, at John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home and Crematory, Salem, (540) 389-5441.
Martha Reed Stone (Nannie) Showalter, 69, of Collinsville, died Sunday, August 2, 2015. A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 4, 2015, at Smith Memorial United Methodist Church, Collinsville. Arrangements by Collins Funeral Home.
Alvin Guy Dove, 83, of Radford, was received into his eternal home with the Lord on Saturday, August 1, 2015, surrounded by his family.Alvin was born at home in Blacksburg, on October 9, 1931, the son of Leslie Guy and Grace Kirk Dove. He grew up in Blacksburg with his older sister, Mary, and graduated from Blacksburg High School in 1949. He began his studies at Virginia Tech in 1949 and, after serving in the Army, graduated in 1956 with a degree in Business Administration.In 1952, he married Florence Delvizis of Christiansburg. They have four children.In 1953, he began serving in the United States Army in Stuttgart, Germany as a member of the Military Police. He liked to tell stories about riding motorcycles and trains to explore Europe, and the many adventures along the way.Alvin was best known to the community as an insurance agent. He began his career in 1956 with the State Farm Insurance Company. He then founded Dove Insurance Agency in 1964 and served the New River Valley for over 30 years. He was grateful for his many loyal customers over the years.He was a long-time member of Calvary Baptist Church and served as the Sunday school Superintendent. He was a life member of the V.F.W. Post 776 in Radford and served as District 6 Adjutant, 1981-1982, and was a member of the American Legion. He was also a member of The Gideons International for many years.Called "Papou" by his family, Alvin was known for his unique sense of humor, his many practical jokes, and for his kindness and generosity to his family and to the community. He remained thankful for his many friends.Alvin is preceded to Heaven by his parents, Leslie and Grace Dove; and his sister, Mary Dove Grindstaff. Alvin is survived by his wife of 62 years, Florence; and his four children and their spouses, Michael and Elaine Dove of Christiansburg, Joseph and Patricia Dove of Blacksburg, Kathleen and James Stump of Stephens City, and David and Kristina Dove of Christiansburg; seven grandchildren, Leslie, Michelle, Joshua, Caitlin and husband, Freddy, Lukas, Meredith, and Emerson; and extended family members, Iho and Adna Tree of Madison, Wis., and their children, Esther and Philip.The family expresses heartfelt gratitude to the Radford EMS for their dedication and service to the community, and to the home health and personal caregivers that worked with him over the years. The family also thanks the staff of the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Cardiac Critical Care Unit and the Palliative Care Unit for their outstanding professional and compassionate service.Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2015, at the Calvary Baptist Church, 624 6th St., Radford, with the Rev. Iho Tree and the Rev. O. D. Morgan officiating. Interment will follow at 1:30 p.m. in the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin with the Rev. James Walker officiating. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, August 5, 2015, at the Mullins Funeral Home in Radford.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Radford Fire and Rescue EMS, 1500 Wadsworth St., Radford, VA 24141. The Dove family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford. www.mullinsfuneralhome.com