After having to wait around for a week and a half following their loss to Michigan, the Blue Devils finally took the floor again last night. Coach K started the second team and kept them out on the floor until the first TV time out. The talking heads seemed to think this was some master stroke and made a big deal out of it, but Coach K usually does this a time or two every year. It serves a double purpose. First it gives the second team guys acknowledgement for their hard work and hustling in practice, letting them know they are important and not just pine riders. They are needed and this reminds them.
Secondly, it usually wakes up the starters. Last night was Singlers first time to not start in something like 55 games. Coach expects hard nosed play and hustle every play, every game, every time you go out there. The second team plays hard because they don't get to do it as often and they want to prove themselves. The starters begin to feel like they are "the man" and start slacking off, feeling they've already achieved their starting position. Thats not so at Duke. Play hard, play with heart, or sit on the bench. Its that simple. The Dukies did that last night to the tune of a 99-56 win over UNC-Asheville. On Saturday, the team makes the trip up to the Meadowlands to play Xavier in what should be a good road test.
Probably by now you've seen the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl rosters. Barrett Ruud is noticably absent, but its nice that Derrick Brooks and Clifton Smith made it. TBO has a good feature on Clifton making the Pro Bowl. He's really been a weapon for the Bucs on Special Teams this season.
I saw this story on Deadspin about a guy suing a couple of Bucs for apparently beating him up at an IHOP in October. Michael Bennett is no long with the team and Anthony Davis....well....haven't seen hide or hair of him this season with the offensive line improvement. I'll try not to judge before all the facts come out, but at least its not a big distraction with someone who actually plays significantly every week.
And finally, its good to see someone who got screwed over inappropriately make it good, even better, despite the setback. Robert Flores was a sports reporter for the new station KEYE in Austin years ago. He got railroaded out of town for saying the "F word" in a priliminary taped segment for a morning sports update when someone made a very loud noise on set. After being reduced to a local radio gig for a couple of months, he got hired on with ESPN and is doing pretty well now.