Inside Marshall Sports

As I watch this butt-kicking …

I wonder how ECU won down in Greenville (well, besides 9 3-pointers). Also, I believe I misstated ECU’s road losing streak… It’s just short if *three* calendar years. I’m still writing 07 on my checks. 🙂

About that kicker …

After the signing day stuff, I chatted briefly with the soccer player who is joining the football team for spring practice. Turns out I did identify him correctly from the pressbox, goalkeeper Craig Ratanamorn.

He is a junior from Wichita, Kan., and I guess he would have 2 years eligibility in football. He is a scholarship player (that schollie gets charged to the football team if he sticks around) who hasn’t kicked in competitive football since high school. Says soccer was getting a little stale for him, and he picked up a football and kicked a little. The weight coaches saw him and encouraged him to chase the dream.

You may have read a note I had last fall about the kicker, banging 50-yarders and sneaking one over from 60. You never know how he’ll do in live fire, but the leg is there.

I couldn’t resist the fun of telling him about the Merrick brothers, etc.

Yes, John Shannon’s in the house

Already in Huntington, on the job. Full announcement in the morning, but there it is. … A spread maestro who has put up good numbers the last three years at Toledo.

Much more on that for Thursday a.m., plus the recruits and everything else.

The morning after

So much for my Super Bowl prediction, right? But the upset scenario happened the way I thought it might: The Giants’ defensive front positively whipped the Patriots’ O-line. If you could ever logically pull it off, that D-line should have been named the game’s MVP.

A few former Marshall opponents came into play here: You may remember Troy State’s Osi Umenyiora, who was a senior in 2002, and Toledo OT Nick Kaczur. Kaczur once blew me off for an interview before the ’02 MAC championship, so I’m glad the negative karma is still coming into play. (yuk, yuk)

You think Ahmad Bradshaw is rethinking his decision to turn pro now? Of course not… Wow! The vision that will be planted in my head forever is Bradshaw wrestling the football back after his fumble. Really, the Patriots recovered, but the officials did not catch it — and having once been a zebra, I can testify that fumbles aren’t easy to call. Sometimes, you peel the players off the pile and whover has the ball, that’s what you go with.

This play illustrates the fight Bradshaw has in him, even more than I realized. This man really, really earned his ring, IMO.

A Darius Watts sighting

He has signed with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena league… Here’s another interesting note: Phil Elmassian has been hired as co-offensive coordinator at Louisiana-Monroe.

You may remember Elmassian from when he coached outside LBs at Marshall, a year after serving a tumultuous 2001 as WVU’s defensive coordinator. Stunningly enough, he stayed four years in one place, getting let go at Nebraska when Bill Callahan was canned.

OK, I am back in the blogosphere…

And feeling a little disoriented … I’ve been off for nearly a week for parental duties, though I managed to break away for the Marshall-Memphis game.

I have received some good news from the MU camp: Apparently, Darryl Merthie’s ankle isn’t sprained that badly and he should be alive and well for the East Carolina game on Wednesday night. With Taurean Marshall out indefinitely, the Herd can ill afford to lose another point guard.

I hope some of the regulars who have spiced up the former blog will return. Today’s topic: How dissatisfied are you about the Herd basketball program’s TV situation?