You think you're more excited than me about the start of college football? You think?! Then tell me this, hotshot: Did you bring a football to church to get blessed by a priest? In that case, you are definitely more excited than me. I wouldn't do that.
Seriously, though, how great is this time of year? I feel rejuvenated, blessed by the promise of football. I can almost feel my regrets slipping away, like I haven't made an irredeemable mess of my life. That's the power of football. To get us started with a new season, I want to hit you guys with a litany of confessions.
1. Rick Barry Angry Face
Dan Fierman was first to nominate this meme-worthy facial expression, then Bill Barnwell jumped in with this explanation: "I'm nominating Rick Barry for his role in trying to calm down the Warriors crowd during the Chris Mullin fiasco on Monday night, but specifically for his death glare in this photo. I saw this and I instantly started doing my homework, stopped asking my brother why he was hitting himself, apologized to everyone I've ever wronged, and broke up with every single one of his female descendants. Sorry, Mr. Barry!!!!!!"
Friday, November 11, 2011. 11/11/11. The day of the wounded saints, when all eyes weep. It's a foggy night in Durham, North Carolina, but the Belmont Bruins can see through the mist. Cameron Indoor Stadium is in a state of shock and fear as the Bru-Crew take Duke right to the brink. With wide eyes, the Crazies watch Andre Dawkins hit a late 3-pointer. Their team escapes, and the Bruins slip out into the fog. "We were never here," they seem to whisper, but they know what they saw. They can never forget.
That's the start of my new historical fiction novel, The Eve of the Bruin. I actually don't remember what the weather was like that night, and the "wounded saints" bit was just a bit of dramatic flair, but the story of the game was true. On 11/11/11, the Bruins lost to the Blue Devils 77-76 in the first game of the season. The conclusion everyone drew at the time was, "Man, Duke is going to be terrible this year." The truth, though, is that Belmont is pretty damn good.
1. Dave Winfield
Bill Barnwell has respect for two kinds of people: those who work hard, and those who accept nothing but the best. I think Bill has fallen in love: "I think we need to honor Dave Winfield, he who would not go out and pick up Chinese food until the end of the Giants game and would not settle for any quality of Chinese food below P.F. Chang's. Congratulations, Dave Winfield, on keeping your standards high."
This was a big week for Washington sophomore Terrence Ross. The 6-6 wing got to play two games in a span of five days at Madison Square Garden in New York City, matching up with top-10 ranked opponents Marquette and Duke, both sporting a number of NBA prospects on their rosters.