Roanoke Times: Aaron Mcfarling

Aaron Mcfarling


Recent Articles

Friday 05/22/2015
Just One Thought: What's in a name?
Posted: May 22, 2015 - 12:08 pm

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."

Thursday 05/21/2015
Just One Thought: Sports reporters and whining
Posted: May 21, 2015 - 1:38 pm

We need to stop whining. All of us. And by "us," I mean sports reporters.

Wednesday 05/20/2015
Blog: Red Sox pitcher revived his career in Australia
Posted: May 20, 2015 - 5:50 pm

Australia, he figured, would be his goodbye to baseball.

Just One Thought: Young power hitters
Posted: May 20, 2015 - 11:46 am

Tuesday was a pretty good day for young power hitters in baseball.

Tuesday 05/19/2015
Just One Thought: Lambert's departure from UVa
Posted: May 19, 2015 - 12:58 pm

It's hard to get to know UVa quarterbacks. It seems lately, as soon as they ascend to a prominent role, they leave.

Monday 05/18/2015
Just One Thought: Dave Smith
Posted: May 18, 2015 - 9:31 am

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.

Friday 05/15/2015
Just One Thought: Rain Delays
Posted: May 15, 2015 - 12:14 pm

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.

Thursday 05/14/2015
Just One Thought: Choking
Posted: May 14, 2015 - 9:09 am

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.

Wednesday 05/13/2015
Just One Thought: Our taxes and NFL "troop salutes"
Posted: May 13, 2015 - 9:02 am

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.

Tuesday 05/12/2015
Just One Thought: Tom Brady's suspension
Posted: May 12, 2015 - 9:32 am

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.

Friday 05/08/2015
Just One Thought: Horrible ways to lose
Posted: May 08, 2015 - 9:00 am

Here, in one man's opinion, is a countdown of the five most horrible ways to lose a sporting event:

Thursday 05/07/2015
Just One Thought: Tom Brady's dad
Posted: May 07, 2015 - 9:01 am

You might be surprised to learn that Tom Brady's dad supports Tom Brady. Yes, it's true!

Wednesday 05/06/2015
Just One Thought: Buyer Beware
Posted: May 06, 2015 - 8:04 am

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.

Just One Thought: Champions League goodness
Posted: May 06, 2015 - 8:00 am

If you’re going to watch only one soccer match all year, Wednesday’s wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Tuesday 05/05/2015
Just One Thought: Casual swearing
Posted: May 05, 2015 - 8:56 am

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.

Monday 05/04/2015
Just One Thought: Pace of play
Posted: May 04, 2015 - 3:29 pm

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.

Thursday 04/30/2015
Just One Thought: Jameis
Posted: April 30, 2015 - 11:30 am

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.

Wednesday 04/29/2015
Just One Thought: Emptiness
Posted: April 29, 2015 - 8:44 am

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.

Tuesday 04/28/2015
Just One Thought: Baltimore's finest
Posted: April 28, 2015 - 8:55 am

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.

Monday 04/27/2015
Just One Thought: That irresistible Game 7 hockey atmosphere
Posted: April 27, 2015 - 9:01 am

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:

Friday 04/24/2015
Just One Thought: UVa's quarterback situation
Posted: April 24, 2015 - 9:41 am

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.

Thursday 04/23/2015
Just One Thought: Catch Phrases
Posted: April 23, 2015 - 9:33 am

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.

Wednesday 04/22/2015
Just One Thought: Virginia Tech lucky to have Bill Roth
Posted: April 22, 2015 - 5:46 pm

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."

Just One Thought: The word "melty"
Posted: April 22, 2015 - 9:41 am

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."

Tuesday 04/21/2015
Just One Thought: Bryan Price's rant
Posted: April 21, 2015 - 11:25 am

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.

Monday 04/20/2015
Just One Thought: Day Games
Posted: April 20, 2015 - 11:46 am

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.

Friday 04/17/2015
Just One Thought: Kris Bryant
Posted: April 17, 2015 - 11:17 am

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...

Thursday 04/16/2015
Just One Thought: Tech's tight end surplus
Posted: April 16, 2015 - 2:27 pm

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:

Tuesday 04/14/2015
Just One Thought: "Sharpshooter" Justin Anderson
Posted: April 14, 2015 - 10:02 am

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.

Monday 04/13/2015
Just One Thought: Heir Jordan
Posted: April 13, 2015 - 9:02 am

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.

Sunday 04/05/2015
Just One Thought: Kentucky's Team Stream (from a non-Kentucky fan's perspective)
Posted: April 05, 2015 - 8:10 am

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.

Saturday 04/04/2015
Just One Thought: Could Wisconsin be any more likable?
Posted: April 04, 2015 - 11:40 am

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:

Friday 04/03/2015
Just One Thought: Cave Spring Cha-ching
Posted: April 03, 2015 - 8:48 am

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.

Thursday 04/02/2015
Just One Thought: UVa baseball
Posted: April 02, 2015 - 12:22 pm

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?

Wednesday 04/01/2015
Just One Thought: April Fool's
Posted: April 01, 2015 - 8:48 am

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.

Tuesday 03/31/2015
Just One Thought: Crowd noise
Posted: March 31, 2015 - 10:03 am

Atlanta should be ashamed. Not the team, mind you. The team's fans.

Monday 03/30/2015
Just One Thought: Kentucky now cleared for soft landing
Posted: March 30, 2015 - 10:10 am

My picks on the NCAA tournament were all over the place, but one thing was certain: I wasn't going to take Kentucky.

Thursday 02/26/2015
McFarling blog: Hokies, Duke and moral victories
Posted: February 26, 2015 - 6:32 am

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.

Saturday 02/07/2015
UVa's Anderson out 4-6 weeks with fractured finger
Posted: February 07, 2015 - 11:50 pm

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.

Saturday 12/27/2014
Military Bowl in-game blog
Posted: December 27, 2014 - 12:21 pm


Friday 11/28/2014
Virginia Tech-Virginia in-game blog
Posted: November 28, 2014 - 7:05 pm


Saturday 11/22/2014
Virginia Tech-Wake Forest in-game blog
Posted: November 22, 2014 - 12:39 pm


Saturday 11/15/2014
Duke-Virginia Tech in-game blog
Posted: November 15, 2014 - 11:40 am


Saturday 11/01/2014
Virginia Tech-Boston College in-game blog
Posted: November 01, 2014 - 12:12 pm


Thursday 10/23/2014
Miami-Virginia Tech in-game blog
Posted: October 23, 2014 - 7:32 pm


Saturday 10/18/2014
Virginia-Duke in-game blog
Posted: October 18, 2014 - 12:16 pm


Thursday 10/16/2014
Virginia Tech-Pittsburgh in-game blog
Posted: October 16, 2014 - 6:34 pm


Saturday 10/04/2014
Virginia Tech - UNC live blog
Posted: October 04, 2014 - 10:04 am


Saturday 09/27/2014
Virginia Tech-Western Michigan in-game blog
Posted: September 27, 2014 - 12:35 pm


Saturday 09/20/2014
Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech in-game blog
Posted: September 20, 2014 - 11:35 am


  • Sports columnist
  • Aaron McFarling writes about sports, and anything else he likes -- or doesn't. You'll find he especially likes The Onion.
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