September 29, 2008 at 5:35 PM
While Phillies fans are rejoicing at another division title, for some baseball fans, the end of the season is an extremely sad day.
As an Oriole fan, I've had time to prepare for this. I've pretty much known since Opening Day that we would not be participating in the postseason, but the idea that my Orioles will not take the field again until next April is still hitting me as I type this. I'm sure there are a bunch of Pirates fans out there that can sympathize with me.
Many of you out there are probably wondering how someone who roots for a team that has been in a rebuilding phase since 1998 can possibly be upset that another season has drawn to a close (especially when the Orioles' rotation included such names as Brian Bass and Alfredo Simon this past month).
But the thing about baseball is that it is different from every other sport. Being a baseball fan becomes part of your life, it's much more than 3 1/2 hours every Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Being a baseball fan is a commitment, and now that I won't be able to watch my favorite team for six months, I have a void to fill in my life.
Former commissioner Bart Giamatti (who is best known for banning Pete Rose, but who I know as the man who gave up being president of Yale to become president of the National League, a pretty boss move if you ask me) sums up my feelings about the end of baseball season best.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone."
Pretty depressing, but I have some reason for optimism. My Orioles open next season on April 6, at home against the Yankees.
While it's certainly too soon to name probable starters for that game, it's reasonable to assume that Mike Mussina, after winning 20 games for the first time in his career this season, will be on the bump for the Yanks, and Moose sports a 4.83 career ERA against the Orioles, his worst number against another AL team.
It may be a long ways off, but I can already taste what first-place is going to feel like after we punish Mussina and the Yankees on Opening Day.
September 28, 2008 at 6:41 PM
Imagine coming into a perennially ranked college hockey team with an 85-page playbook as a freshman, just months removed from high school competition.
Now imagine being thrust into the starting lineup in your team's first game-like situation.
Paul Daley, a Penn State forward, did just that Friday night at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion in the Icers' annual Blue-White game. However, Daley said he wasn't as nervous as one might expect.
"It was exciting," Daley said. "I think that playing two years of Juniors helped a lot."
Daley, an alumni of the Atlantic Youth Hockey League's New Jersey Rockets, said his experience allowed him to adjust more easily to the pace of collegiate hockey.
While Daley earned the starting nod, playing on a line with veterans Jaime Zimmel and Tim O'Brien on the Blue Team, and earned an assist on Zimmel's second half goal in the White Team's 2-1 win.
"I thought Paul played very well tonight," Penn State coach Scott Balboni said. "He played on our first line tonight and I thought he showed he belonged there, which was a good thing out of a freshman."
However, Daley was not the only freshman to impress Balboni.
Ryan Paradis assisted on the first goal of the night, a Taylor Cera score with less than three minutes to go in the first half, and Dan Petrick was named one of the game's Three Stars.
The growth of the freshman class will be critical for the Icers' success this year, as Daley, Paradis, Petrick and Nick Seravelli will all be counted on for valuable minutes.
"Right now we have some freshmen playing in key roles," Balboni said. "It's still going to be, 'Are the freshman -- Paradis, Paul Daley and those guys -- gonna be able to stand up and hang when we start playing games and banging with other teams and are they going to be able to be relied on?' "
While Balboni will have to wait until next weekend's showdown with No. 4 Delaware to see how prepared his freshmen are physically, he has no reason to worry about their focus. When asked what his goals were for the upcoming season, Paradis didn't hesitate.
"Win a national championship," he said.
ODDS & ENDS
- Along with Daley, the Blue Team started O'Brien and Zimmel at forwards with Andrew Magulick and Steve Thurston playing defense. Nick Signet started at goal.
- The White Team's starting lineup consisted of forwards Luke DeLorenzo, Frank Berry and Cera, while Scott Dakan and Kyle Mills were the defensemen. Teddy Hume was the starting goalie and played both 25 minute halves.
- Petrick was named the game's Third Star, while DeLorenzo was named Second Star. Hume was pegged as the game's First Star.
- The White Team outshot the Blue Team, 41-32.
September 26, 2008 at 12:54 PM
It's finally that time of year again.
The Icers are lacing up the skates and putting on their uniforms to take the ice for their first live-game action of the season tonight -- albeit against themselves.
The annual Blue-White game is set to take place tonight at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion at 9:15, immediately following a pregame skate with the public. Fans of all ages are welcome to attend and take the ice from 8-9 p.m. with the Icers, who will be signing autographs and posing for pictures.
A lot of hockey fans are more interested in the action itself, though, and Coach Balboni said there will be plenty of that, despite the fact it is an intrasquad scrimmage.
The teams and lines will be divided up in a way that Balboni will be able to evaluate where exactly each player stands at this point and which players work best together on certain lines. One way he plans on doing that, for instance, is putting his best scoring line on one team and matching them up against the Icers' best checking line on the other team.
That way, he said, he can see how the offense performs against a top-notch defense and, at the same time, how the defense performs against the team's best goal scorers.
Although the final roster has been set for about 11 days now, playing time and line combinations are still up in the air.
Balboni said watching tonight's game from the stands will help him see everything that is going on and make those tough, final decisions.
He expects to have the final lineup for next weekend's season opener at Delaware set by next Tuesday.
It's not the regular season yet, but for everyone who has been lacking their fill of hockey for the past three months, tonight will certainly help fill that void.
September 25, 2008 at 5:39 PM
It was just announced today that Joonas Suotamo will forgo his senior season to return home to Finland.
Suotamo will graduate in December with a degree in Film and Video, and must serve a compulsory tour in the Finnish military.
"I think this is the best thing for me to do right now looking ahead to my future," Suotamo said in a press release. "It certainly is not an emotional choice at all, but a calculation on how best to pursue my future interests. I'll never forget how great of a place Penn State is and I had a great experience playing for Coach DeChellis. I'm looking forward to be able to come back someday and make a presentation to young, up and coming Penn State film students."
I didn't speak with Joonas very much last year and don't know him very well, but he was a pretty friendly guy. I will always remember him most for dressing up as Ivan Drago from Rocky at last year's Dinner and Dunks event. Joonas really enjoyed the fans, and clearly had a good time with the costume.
While Suotamo's scholarship was going to be open next year anyway, his departure reminds me of how interesting this recruiting season will be for coach Ed DeChellis. Suotamo, Jamelle Cornley, Danny Morrissey and Stanley Pringle will all have scholarships come off the books at the end of the season, and that's in addition to Nikola Obradovic leaving after last year.
My math may be wrong, but that would leave Penn State with five open scholarships next year. If DeChellis and his staff can recruit well this season (and its undeniable that they have made progress recruiting-wise) the program would be pretty well stocked with a wide-range of talent that could ensure the type of long-term success Lions' fans have been hoping for.
September 22, 2008 at 6:57 PM
The ACHA Division I pre-season rankings were released last week and the Icers will start the season as the No. 3-ranked team in the country behind Lindenwood and Illinois, respectively.
As the defending ACHA champs, Illinois captured the top spot in the rankings after receiving 25 of the 28 possible first-place votes. Lindenwood, last year's runner-up, received the other three.
The Icers don't have to look very far down the poll to find their opponent for next weekend's season opener -- Delaware is ranked just behind Penn State at No. 4.
Penn State is scheduled to play more than half of their games -- 18 of 35 -- against teams ranked in the pre-season top-10. The breakdown of those games is as follows, with the number of games against each team in parenthesis:
No. 1 Illinois (2)
No. 4 Delaware (4)
No. 5 Liberty (2)
No. 7 Rhode Island (4)
No. 8 Ohio (4)
No. 10 West Chester (2)
The two-game showdown against Big Ten foe No. 1 Illinois is set to take place Jan. 17-18, 2009 at Penn State's Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
The Icers are also scheduled to participate in the Salem State Holiday Tournament with three NCAA teams. They will open that tournament playing Salem State on Dec. 27 and then, depending on results of the opening day games, either Bowdoin or Salve Regina the following day.
There's no doubt that the Icers have scheduled an abundance of games against some of the elite teams in the country, but Coach Balboni thinks that will only help his team in the long run.
"One of the other coaches in the league kinda commented that I'm crazy for playing the schedule I'm playing," Balboni said, "but I think it will benefit us when we get to Nationals from playing such a hard schedule.
After all, you've got to beat the best to be the best, right?
September 21, 2008 at 4:57 PM
Most of you were probably eager for today's new Associated Press Top 25 to see where Penn State ranked -- the Nittany Lions were bumped all the way up to 12 -- but for me, I was excited to see Vanderbilt ranked for the first time in 24 years.
The Commodores hold a special place in my heart, partly because as a Virginian I have a soft spot for Southern football, and also because they achieve success while maintaining high academic standards. At Vandy, athletics are treated the same way as any student activity; there is no separate athletic department. Varsity athletics are simply a division of student life.
Athletes at Vandy don't have their own dorms or dining halls, they are treated like regular students. That may seem like a pretty simple concept, but it is a radical one within major college football.
With all of the off-field shenanigans going on here in Happy Valley, maybe good ol' Joe Pa could take a cue from what's happening down in Nashville.
As excited as I am about the 'Dores winning ways, they have broken my heart before. Last year, they were 5-3 and needed only one win to become bowl eligible, but they lost their final four games. Vandy also suffered a heart-breaking loss at Florida in 2005, losing to the Gators on a missed extra point that got pushed back on a questionable excessive celebration penalty.
We should get a pretty good idea of how good Vandy is soon. After a bye week this Saturday, the 'Dores will host Auburn.
September 18, 2008 at 7:32 PM
Just got a press release and the official roster for this year's team. Thought I would share it with you seeing as there were a few names that didn't get mentioned in previous posts.
2008-2009 Penn State Icers Roster
Coach Balboni said in the press release "I am excited about the new faces. I think we have a great mix of veteran leadership and young hungry players.
"It has the makings to have the best team chemistry of any team since I have been here."
How the team performs on the ice is yet to be seen, but with seniors counting for over a third of the team, there might be something to the chemistry bit.
As for how they'll fare on the ice, we'll get a better feel for that come next Friday (9/26) when the team has it's Blue/White game at 9:15.
I know I'll be there (I'm sort of required to be there), but will you?
September 17, 2008 at 7:47 AM
It's finally here. For the past three months I've been able to block the events of June 4, 2008 - the night where I wanted to punch holes throughout my apartment building. That was the culmination of probably the most exciting spring of my life. The playoff run that I had been waiting for since I started watching hockey. But it ended with a Sidney Crosby shot that almost trickled behind the goal-line at Civic Arena. Expletives were aplenty after the horn sounded on game 6 and the 2007-08 Penguins season.
The Pens training camp opened yesterday at the Igloo and unfortunately the Collegian's travel budget wasn't able to accommodate our Pens gurus (myself, interwebz masters Ian Brown and Erin Prah along with whipping boy Kevin Zitzman).
But, hey, the Pens drop the puck on Oct. 4 (although the Pens web site says the game will only be televised on CBC) in Stockholm. Now, if Steiggy and Errey aren't there to call the game on FSN Pittsburgh, it looks like the four of us will have to move our Pens party from State College to somewhere in Ontario, although if any of you guys know who to steal Canadian TV channels, let us know.
Anyway, there's a complete roster turnover. Gone are playoff heroes like Pontius Hossa, Adam Hall, Upper St. Clair's own Ryan Malone, WWGRD, Jarkko Ruutu, Georges Laraque and ConkBlock.
However, there's no reason to worry if you're a Pens fan. We have Satan. And Matt Cooke, Eric Godard, Ruslan Fedotenko and maybe most importantly Janne Pesonen. Plus, they were able to resign the Flower, Genocide and Free Candy all for reasonable contracts.
So, strap up the skates, turn on The X for Mike Lange and the ole' 29er because the bingo game is ready to roll.
September 16, 2008 at 5:26 PM
Apparently the Penn State-William and Mary tussle on Nov. 14 won't do for ESPN, but it will be the first basketball game of the year televised by the Big Ten Network.
The Dec. 10 home game against Army and the Dec. 21 home game against Lafayette, however will both be on ESPNU. The Dec. 3 ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup at Georgia Tech will also be on ESPN2, but those three games are the only non-conference games ESPN has picked up. Hopefully every Nittany Lion die-hard has gotten the Big Ten Network by now, because the Lions are going to frequent the network again, with at least 20 games currently scheduled to be carried by the BTN.
I have to say, I don't understand why ESPN would ignore the William and Mary matchup, but televise a game against Army. While PSU and Bill and Mary certainly aren't big names nationally, they are two teams that could surprise this year.
As has been mentioned in this blog, the Tribe made a Cinderella run to the CAA finals last year, and I don't think I need to mention the progress the young Lions made toward the end of last season. Both teams return the bulk of their squads from a year ago, and both will have high hopes on Nov. 14.
So at the risk of sounding like a homer, label me excited for Penn State's opener against the Tribe. While it doesn't surprise me that ESPN could be so cruel as to ignore this game, (sorry for the Steely Dan references, I can't help myself) this matchup will be worth watching.
September 15, 2008 at 7:45 PM
Seven players, three remaining spots on the team -- that's what today's final tryout came down to.
Today's tryout ran a little differently than the one last week with the players competing in drills at the beginning followed by some 4-on-4 scrimmaging and then, after a quick run of the Zamboni, finished the day with a 5-on-5 scrimmage.
There were more people in the bleachers at today's tryout, as well -- but most of them were there to help Coach Balboni. Employing the help of nine other people, Balboni had guys taking notes and writing down observations, and even had one videotaping the tryout.
"We watched the videotape to make sure there was nothing we were missing," Balboni said. "I had the nine guys here to make sure there was a bunch of eyes watching to make sure I wasn't missing anything and Coach Downey wasn't missing anything either."
As the Zamboni drove onto the ice around 5:15, Balboni and his cohorts gathered together in the bleachers exchanging notes and observations. It wouldn't be entirely unreasonable to compare their meeting to the kind that take place on the trading floor on Wall Street.
Ten minutes later the Zamboni was finished and the players emerged from the locker room for one last chance to impress the coaches on the fresh layer of ice.
"I wanted to go out there and make sure I left everything on the ice," senior Mike Diethorn said. "You can't let nerves get to you and you gotta just leave it all out there."
At 5:45, Balboni called the players together on the ice for a very brief meeting, ending the tryout. The list containing the names of those who made the team was then immediately posted outside of the locker room.
When it came to making the final decisions about who to keep and who to let go, Balboni had a very simple criteria.
"I wasn't going to keep a guy if I didn't think he had the potential to either play this year or help us next year," Balboni said.
September 15, 2008 at 7:29 PM
After three grueling days of tryouts, the Penn State Icers' roster has been settled.
Coach Scott Balboni and his assistants whittled the list of over 70 players who began Wednesday night to a final roster of 30, including 21 veterans.
FORWARDS: Up front, the Icers return Luke DeLorenzo and Tim O'Brien, last season's top two scorers. O'Brien scored 20 goals and had 34 assists, leading the team with 54 points, while DeLorenzo had 21 goals and 27 helpers. Balboni cited DeLorenzo and O'Brien, as well as seniors Jamie Zimmel (42 points) and Frank Berry (26 points), as players who will lead the Icers' offense.
"Up front, we have a majority of [our leading scorers] back with Luke DeLorenzo and Timmy O'Brien, and also guys like Jamie Zimmel and Frank Berry who were in the top five or six on our team in scoring," Balboni said. "I think offensively we've got a lot of talent."
Other returnees at forward:
DEFENSEMEN: Depth will not be an issue for Penn State's defense, as the team's top six defensemen from last season all return. Included in the group are seniors Kyle Mills (25 points) and Steve Thurston (22 points). In all, eight defensemen (including six seniors) will skate for the Icers this season.
Balboni said the unit's experience is a major plus.
"That's a big strength for us and the younger guys will have time to develop, they won't be thrown in the fire right away," Balboni said.
Other returnees at defense:
GOALIES: The Icers will return all three goalies who played last season, so no newcomers made the team at the position. Leading the group is senior Nick Signet, who went 20-6 last season with a save percentage of .925. Backing him up will be a pair of sophomores in Teddy Hume and John Jay. Hume went 10-2 last season with a save percentage of .943.
Balboni said he has no worries with whomever is in goal on a given night.
"The three goalies that were here today are our three goalies and I'm very confident in them," Balboni said. "We have a senior in Nick Signet and two sophomores in John Jay and Teddy Hume -- Teddy played a lot last year, John didn't, but Johnny did a lot of work in the off season up in Boston. I'm very confident in them."
The remaining nine players on Penn State's roster made it through the tryout process and were named to the team. They include recruits Chris Cerutti and Paul Daley, two players Balboni is excited about.
"We're real happy with some of the recruits," Balboni said. "I know Paul Daley is going to be extremely strong for us and Chris Cerrutti's a guy that could play right away."
Balboni also expressed his optimism for the coming season.
"I think we have a real good squad," Balboni said. "I thought even coming into today that we had a very strong team and I think we have a very deep team this year, probably one of the deepest we've had in a long time."
The Icers will hold their annual Blue-White Game on Friday, Sept. 26 and will open the season on Oct. 3 at Delaware.
September 11, 2008 at 9:52 PM
While the final roster for position players is not set, the goalie rotation is.
Coach Balboni has said the team will carry three goalies:
Or the same rotation as last season.
Signet, the team's starter at the position last year, is glad the same three are back. The consistency of the rotation, he said, allows for increased camaraderie between the netminders.
"You don't wish that you were ahead of the guy," Signet said following Thursday night's tryout, "you just root for them to do well."
September 11, 2008 at 9:49 PM
This week hockey finally returned to Happy Valley.
The Penn State ACHA Division I Icers began their three-night tryout process late Wednesday night and continued Thursday. The final tryout will take place early Monday evening, with the team's final roster announced afterward.
Thursday's tryout began with a series of drills that took up about half of the session. The remainder of the tryout consisted of a live scrimmage. Overall, coach Scott Balboni was pleased with the effort of the recruits and walk-ons.
"Right now I think the guys are working very hard," Balboni said. "We had a great pace tonight, a lot of guys battling pretty hard."
Due to the sheer number of players competing for a spot, Balboni said many cuts were necessary to pare the team down to the 30-man roster the Icers will begin the season with. Forty walk-ons and 10 recruits began the week competing for a mere seven spots.
After Wednesday's cuts, 42 players, including 21 returning veterans, remained. The trimming-down process continued Thursday, as the following players were let go:
The remaining 38 players will have their final chance to make the team Monday.
Thursday's tryout also marked the first time the walk-ons and recruits worked out with the veterans. Balboni said this gives the coaching staff a better look at the talents of the potential newcomers.
"It's a key barometer of where guys stand," Balboni said. "The lines are set so some of the guys we don't know play with returning guys. We've got to put them in roles that we think they'd succeed for us and give them every opportunity to see if they'd survive."
Senior forward Luke DeLorenzo said this year's pool of hopefuls is as deep as any he has seen in his four years on the team. He also said Monday's tryout will follow Thursday's format.
"I think it'll be pretty similar," DeLorenzo said. "I think it'll be a little longer on Monday--it usually is."
Check back Monday for the Icers' official roster.
September 11, 2008 at 8:22 PM
Ahhhh ... can you smell it? It's hockey season.
Welcome to Between the Pipes, the Daily Collegian's Icers' blog and your home for all things Penn State hockey.
Our concepts for the blog range from streaming game coverage, exclusive player access, web-only content and breaking news. Check back throughout the season for what we hope will be the most comprehensive and in-depth coverage Penn State hockey has ever seen.
Until next time, enjoy yourselves and remember, it's hockey season.
We only wish it didn't smell like mildew.
September 10, 2008 at 7:11 PM
With Thomas Brady's leg being busted up by the greatest football player of all time, Bernard Pollard, it made me think of hated athletes that if hurt, we wouldn't feel bad.
Anyway, while writing my ticket to Hell, let's go.
1. Marian Hossa -- traitor -- Detroit Red Army
In case you didn't hear, and I wish you didn't hear, but Hossa backstabbed the Pittsburgh Penguins and signed with the Kwame Kilpatrick Felons this off-season. I wouldn't care except for the fact that said Felons rode the 92-year-old stubs of Chris "I had my best season at age 35" Osgood. When the Pens play the Detroit Unemployed Auto Workers (Thanks, Ford!) for the first time on Nov. 11, I'm expecting Brooks Orpik to combine this and this to Fiesta Mexicana. When that happens, this will happen in the Collegian's web office.
2. Ray Lewis -- I can't libel him, but one time he was questioned by police about a murder in Atlanta -- Baltimore Brown Colts
"Where was Ray Lewis when Joey Porter was shot?" was a popular T-shirt sold on the Clemente Bridge outside PNC Park in 2002 or so. "God's Linebacker" seems to have to put a spell on everyone so that they forget that he was questioned by police about a murder in Atlanta. Maybe he'll tear an ACL after celebrating a tackle he made 8-yards downfield.
3. Bill Belichick -- former Cleveland Browns coach, record (36-44) -- video coordinator, New England Patriots
Sports night editor Kevin Zitzman said, "he's not technically an athlete, but still." Enough said.
4. Jimmy Clausen -- member of the Clausen family quarterbacking triumvirate -- Notre Dame
Oh, Jimmy. Holding a press conference at the College Football Hall of Fame to announce where you're going to college. Riding in a limousine to said conference. A nice, New Jersey guido haircut. Participation in Beer Olympics. Being average. By the end of his college career maybe he'll be able to steal the title of "Best Clausen quarterback ever" away from Casey.
5. David Eckstein -- 2-foot-3 shortstop -- Arizona Diamondbacks
OH MY GOD, ECKSTEIN RUNS DOWN TO FIRST ON A WALK (he rarely walks). HE'S SO SMALL AND GRITTY AND, AND, AND, HE HUSSSSTLLLESSS!!!11!!1. To paraphrase firejoemorgan.com, David Eckstein sucks at baseball.
6. Brett Favre -- farmer in Kiln, Ms.
Denim model and Collegian football writer Travis Johnson's current man crush, Favre's injury would be all over ESPN. On second thought, never mind. ESPN spends more time on Brady's injury than Walter Cronkite did on JFK on Nov. 22, 1963.
7. Steve Downie -- Lady Byng candidate -- Philadelphia Flyers
This and this, which made this kind of enjoyable. He enjoys cross-checking teammates in the mouth when they refuse to stand naked in a tight bus bathroom. The player, Akim Aliu, signed with Chicago. The Blackhawks and Flyers play the day after Christmas. I hope Aliu gives Make Plays a beautiful Christmas present.
-- Shorts with help from Kevin Zitzman
September 9, 2008 at 4:04 PM
Masturbation enthusiast, occasional racist, xenophobe and extremely overrated Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery has some sort of film being made about his experiences as an intern at Vogue.
Apparently this film will be a romantic comedy, which I'm sure will take over Slap Shot as the funniest sports movie of all time.
Let's go to Reuters with more
"Avery, who considers himself something of a fashion jock, spent the summer at Vogue, where, among other duties, he served as guest editor of MensVogue.com.
A member of the NHL's New York Rangers at the time of the internship, he has since signed with the Dallas Stars. He told The Hollywood Reporter he's always been a fashionista. 'I was always trying to be the best-dressed kid in school,' he said.
As an instigator and fighter who piles up penalty minutes, he said he took some ribbing for his Vogue stint, but has learned not to worry about the stereotypes of sport.
'I think it's great to be into something that you care about," he said. "But I'm still an athlete who likes to beat the crap out of people.'"
Needless to say, I won't be seeing said film. Instead, I'll just watch this beautiful piece of cinema repeatedly.
Moving on from overrated fashion-loving hockey players. Make Plays received a tip on Sunday from sports staff writers Tom Copain and Patrick McDermott that Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Michel Therrien was spotted along the Penn State sidelines on Saturday.
I questioned their judgment. After all, why would Therrien be at a Penn State football game?
Turns out they were right.
So, Therrien's journey started with a Char Valley game on Friday and ended with the Stillers on Sunday. Hmmm, there was a football game held at Heinz Field on Saturday but Therrien decided to go three hours east to watch a game. Good choice, Mike.
Of course Penn State and the Stillers won this weekend, both playing pretty well defensively. I'd check on Char Valley, but that's the high school next to mine, and they're irrelevant in football, so.... But anyway, perhaps the Steelers and Nits saw this video and were inspired to play defense the way they did.
September 3, 2008 at 5:31 PM
Well, the TV schedules have been released along with the conference schedule, and Penn State will again be hard to find unless you have the Big Ten Network.
ESPN2 -- per its usual routine -- will televise the Penn State - Northwesterm game on Dec. 31. While it may seem puzzling that the worldwide leader televises a game between two perennial conference whipping boys every year, it's actually a double-whammy for the network because every Big Ten team must televised at least twice during the season. This way ESPN knocks out one game for both teams in one night.
As far as the rest of the schedule goes, all other games will be on the Big Ten Network except for the Feb. 24 game at Ohio State.
The home finale March 3 against Illinois could still get picked up by ESPN, the way the Indiana game was last year.
The NIttany Lions got a bad break scheduling-wise in the sense that they will only play Northwestern once, but with the weakness of the non-conference slate, Penn State could probably use the added schedule strength that will come with playing Wisconsin, Purdue and Michigan State twice.
September 2, 2008 at 4:28 PM
The question has now become what commercials aren't the Mannings in?
Now that little bro has a ring of his own, the Manning duo has certianly become a marketing machine....not like they weren't already.
In their most recent commercial, the Mannings face off with the Williams sisters in the Oreo's "Double Stuff Racing League", also known as DSRL.
While the siblings trade some trash talk, the poor group of "reporters" can only try to keep up. If only this happened in real life...
Even though we see these icons in more places than we really need to, this spot certainly has its perks. The Mannings are still that awkward kind of funny, and the Williams clan are still playing off their diva persona.
The real question remains is who would come out on top in the DSRL?!
I'm going to have to take the brothers on this one. They already have one of the best SportsCenter commercials on their resume.
September 1, 2008 at 4:29 PM
It may be Labor Day weekend, but this year's version of the Penn State basketball team is already playing together, albeit in ... Canada.
That's right, the Nittany Lions headed north this past weekend for an exhibition tour in Ontario. The Lions swept the weekend, winning the first three games they played.
In a double-header Saturday, Penn State defeated Waterloo 83-52 in the first game and beat Sheridan College 83-65 in the nightcap. Jamelle Cornley led the scoring in both games, putting up 13 and 17 points, respectively.
Yesterday, the Lions beat Ryerson 102-68 behind 17 points from Talor Battle.
The most intriguing part of this Canadian foray is that the freshmen, Chris Babb, Cammeron Woodyard and Billy Oliver saw their first action in the blue and white this weekend. Simply put, coach Ed DeChellis isn't relying on those guys too much yet.
In yesterday's game, Woodyard led the freshmen with 11 minutes played, while Oliver and Babb played eight and five minutes, respectively.
Obviously I didn't witness the game, but Oliver's stat line looks impressive on paper at least. Oliver was 2-for-2 from the field, including a 3-pointer for five total point, and he grabbed three rebounds. Pretty efficient for eight minutes of action.
Babb was 2-for-3 from the field and Woodyard was 1-for-3.
This obviously wasn't a pressure packed situation for the new guys, but it seems like they held their own. I don't think winning these games proves anything, but this trip could prove to be a solid learning experience for the young guys.
The Lions play again Monday against York University before heading back to Happy Valley.