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 Wednesday night.
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)
Ronald Dennis (Ronnie) Puller III, 21, of Clifton Forge, Va., passed away Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 2015, at Nicely Funeral Home, Clifton Forge, Va., 540-862-4157.
Douglas James Moats, 44, of Rocky Mount, passed away Monday, June 29, 2015. Funeral Services will be 2 p.m. Friday, July 3, 2015, at Flora Funeral Service & Cremation Center, Rocky Mount, Va., 540-483-3835.
Charles Benny (Pawpaw) Reid, 77, of Lexington, Va., passed away on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. He was preceded in death by his daughters, Kathy Smith and Dianne VanNess Smith; and parents, Daniel and Mary Reid.He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Juanita R. Reid; son, Charles "Ben" Benny Reid II of Lexington; daughters and son-in-law, Pattie Reid of Lexington, and Cherie and Larry Long of Buchanan; grandchildren he raised, Shawn Smith and Jamie Wilmer; grandchildren, Jerrah McKemy, C.S. VanNess, Mary Long and Larry Long Jr.; great-grandchildren, Beth, Emily and Joe McKemy, Jonathan and Brooke Wilmer, Josh Smith, Olivia and Wyatt VanNess; sister, Patsy Landes; sisters-in-law, Dianne Teague and Cindy Noblett; and three nephews, Chad and Bambi Landes, Jason and Amanda Landes, Danny Deacon and their families.Memorial Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 2015, in Rapps Mill Church. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2015, at the Buchanan Chapel of Botetourt Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rapps Mill Church or Cemetery Fund.
Claude Lefler Jr., 85, a lifetime resident of Pulaski and Draper, passed away Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at home. Jr. was a longtime active member of Memorial Christian Church in Draper where he served in many ways. He was a former board member and was best known for his involvement in the Church Prayer Breakfast. Claude loved fishing and was a great fisherman. He worked at Coleman's Furniture and Pulaski Furniture Company retiring with 42 years of service. He served in the United States Army in the 560th artillery battalion stationed in Louisiana and Germany during the Korean War. He was born on December 2, 1929, and was the son of the late Claude William Lefler and Ina Davis Lefler of Draper. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Alice Lucille Lawson Lefler. Also preceding him are four brothers, Dennis, Damon, Raymond, and James Lefler; two sisters, Beatrice Lefler Gravely and Helen Lefler Frazier.He is survived by his three sisters, Margaret Huff, of Barren Springs, Marie Dehart, of Pulaski, and Beulah Shinault, of Bedford. Also surviving to cherish his memory are numerous nieces and nephews, his church family and friends.Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Friday, July 3, 2015, from the Memorial Christian Church, Draper with the Rev. Bobby Osborne and brother Elwood Dishon officiating. Burial will follow in the Church Cemetery with the Hillsville V.F.W. Post 1115 conducting military graveside rites. Visitation will be held Thursday from the church where the family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Arrangements by Stevens Funeral Home, Pulaski.