Crumbs: How Ireland brought UT and BG togetherWritten by Matt Sussman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s time again to sift through the futon and share what is found between the cushions, in a feature within a feature affectionately titled “Futon Report Crumbs.” This week, I’ve found some shamrocks, some sham rumors, and a ShamWow!
While few may know St. Patrick’s Day as anything other than a day to drink and wear green – which is also the same reason most people are Notre Dame football fans – I’ve always thought of the day as one where we set aside differences and find common threads between our neighbors. This is as good a time as any to tell you that a Toledo and Bowling Green grad are tearing it up in Ireland on the same team.
Former UT forward/center Jerrah Young and former BG guard Ryne Hamblet are both playing for the UCC Demons, a basketball team based in Cork, Ireland. Hamblet has average 17.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists, Young is an MVP candidate in Ireland’s Superleague, averaging 22.2 points and 12 boards per game. An online poll, which is more scientific than astrology and “American Idol” judging combined, says Young is one of the most valuable players in the Irish basketball league.
The Demons went 17-1 in the regular season and are in the league’s playoff semifinals. It’s an odd format. They play two games against their opponent and whoever has more combined points advances to the next round. On Monday the Demons played UCD/Marian to a tie game, so the second game is a win-or-go-home. Apparently tie games are perfectly acceptable in Ireland. (That would’ve helped UT in the MAC basketball tournament.)
BULL HOCKEY — When I first heard the rumor that BGSU might scrap its varsity hockey program, I was a little bit sad. After all, I’d rather see my alma mater’s sports team lose than see my alma mater lose its sports teams. The program’s prestige is a far cry from the 1984 national championship squad, but having the team become dismantled would have been a bold statement that the University is in financial crisis, not to mention the state of collegiate hockey as a whole. The blogsphere was atwitter. (I think that means the Twittersphere was ablogger?) Message boards and letters to the editor were filled with more passion than the last election cycle. But lo and behold, the BGSU athletic director Greg Christopher wrote an open letter to all BGSU fans ensuring that no team, hockey or otherwise, would be shut down.
Looking back, I really have to think this firestorm could have been avoided were it not for a letter to the editor printed in the BG Sentinel Tribune. Reader Mark Pape said he heard a rumor that the hockey program might be finished and “heard nothing to dispel these rumors” but had no facts to support it. (Aren’t claims like this the main reason newspapers hate blogs?) The BGSU athletic department, of course, never quite came out and said “Falcons hockey is safe” until Tuesday afternoon, so they might need a refresher in learning how to deal with rumors.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR THE NEW ARENA — Last week I saw an indoor football game in Muskegon, Mich. with my girlfriend for two reasons: 1) It’s Muskegon, so there’s not much else to do; and 2) I’ve never seen indoor football and wanted to get a vague glimpse into the quality of play for the inaugural Toledo Bullfrogs season next year.
Here’s my plea to the builders of the Lucas County Arena: Please double-check the size of the ceiling and do not install an overhead scoreboard. Every time one of the teams lined up for a long field goal beyond midfield (roughly 40-yard field goals), the attempts kept ricocheting off the scoreboard or catwalks. One pass attempt even hit a digital score tile, jarring it loose and swinging over the players for the remainder of the half like the Sword of Damocles. This will not be a problem for the Walleye hockey team, obviously, but for the sake of tolerable indoor football, please do Toledo a favor and just put flat scoreboards on all sides. Or make sure the ceiling is high enough, then get the UT kicker to try some long field goals before hanging a million-dollar scoreboard like they did in Savage Arena.