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Archive for August, 2010

Here we go ladies and gentleman:

1) PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem released this statement today, suspending the rule that disqualifies a player from a tournament if they miss their pro-am. This is in light of what happened to Jim Furyk last week:

PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem Tuesday announced the suspension of the regulation that resulted in Jim Furyk’s disqualification last week from The Barclays for being late to his pro-am starting time. This part of the regulation will be suspended for the duration of the 2010 season.

Hereafter, should a player be late for his pro-am starting time, the situation will be handled as a matter of unbecoming conduct. Such player will be required to participate in the remainder of the pro-am round and may be required to perform additional sponsor activity. A player who misses his pro-am obligation in its entirety will still be ruled ineligible for the tournament unless he has been excused in accordance with the provisions of the regulations.

The commissioner has asked the Player Advisory Council and Player Directors to evaluate the current pro-am regulations to determine whether alternative measures can effectively ensure that players honor their pro-am obligations without placing them at risk of disqualification. The matter will be discussed at the Policy Board meeting in November.

That’s a good call.

2) Quail Hollow Golf Club, aka the place that holds the Wachovia/Quail Hollow/Wells Fargo Championship PGA Tour event, was given the 2017 PGA Championship. It’s a big deal for NC and golf but probably means the PGA Tour event could be leaving after 2014. That’s not good news. But we’ll see what happens down the road.

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For those of you who will be watching the Tennis Channel for the 2010 US Open, here’s that coverage and announcer information:

SECOND YEAR OF US OPEN ON TENNIS CHANNEL STARTS WITH FIRST DAY OF PLAY MONDAY, AUGUST 30

LOS ANGELES, August 23, 2010 —

Network’s On-Air Roster of Champions Again Features Jimmy Connors,

Martina Navratilova and Lindsay Davenport, and Adds Hall of Famer Tracy Austin

Tennis Channel will Televise 73 Hours of Live Match Play at World’s Largest Tennis Tournament, with Two Weeks of “Grounds Pass” Coverage that Includes

US Open Tonight, Breakfast at the Open and More than 230 Hours Overall

Tennis Channel’s second year of US Open coverage will provide viewers with 73 hours of live matches as the tennis world descends upon New York, and will also introduce a new team member who knows a thing (or two) about on-court glory in the Big Apple. This year two-time US Open singles titlist Tracy Austin joins the network’s returning on-air roster of tennis champions, with a lineup that includes lead analysts Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova and US Open Tonight / Breakfast at the Open host Lindsay Davenport. In all the network will offer 234 hours of US Open telecasts, with nearly 24-hour, “Grounds Pass” level of coverage during the two-week competition.

When live matches are not taking place in Flushing Meadow, Tennis Channel’s signature US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open will recap all the excitement of that day’s play, and lead into the following morning’s contests. Again hosted by 1998 US Open champion Lindsay Davenport and Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight fame, the news, interview and highlight shows will air alongside encore matches throughout the night during the tournament, giving viewers a close to 24-hour daily US Open experience.

Beginning with its opening-match coverage on Arthur Ashe Stadium or Louis Armstrong Stadium the first day of play Monday, Aug. 30, Tennis Channel’s typical US Open schedule features live matches daily from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (all times ET). US Open Tonight immediately follows the conclusion of the final US Open match of the evening, and airs with encore matches until Breakfast at the Open premieres at 6 a.m. and runs next to encore matches until the start of that day’s play at 11 a.m. During Labor Day weekend Tennis Channel’s live-match window moves to prime time, from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. As with the other three Grand Slams, Tennis Channel will combine with ESPN2 to bring fans virtually round-the-clock coverage during the US Open, each network utilizing its own commentators.

On-Air Talent

Though new to the network’s Grand Slam team, Austin has been a Tennis Channel regular via Tennis Channel Academy, the coaches-and-clinics series she has hosted since 2008. She has also done commentary and analysis work for the channel’s coverage of top events like the women’s year-end championships. During the US Open she will serve as Tennis Channel’s afternoon and late-match analyst, appear in short features and interact with fans on the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds.

A tennis prodigy, Austin is best known for dethroning four-time US Open champion Chris Evert in 1979 at the mere age of 16, making her the youngest US Open champion in history. She was the No. 1 women’s singles player in 1980 and boasts an impressive collection of 30 singles titles, including two US Open championships along with a Wimbledon mixed doubles title. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.

“Tennis Channel tries to put as much of the US Open on fans’ television screens as is humanly possible, and I’m thrilled to join them this year,” said Austin. “This is an exciting time of the tennis season and this tournament has such special memories for me.”

Tennis icons Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova are back as Tennis Channel’s lead US Open analysts, again putting the all-time men’s and women’s singles titlists in the same booth. They will be joined once more by veteran sportscaster Bill Macatee, a mainstay of the network’s Grand Slam coverage since its first effort in Paris in 2007. Lead commentators Ted Robinson and Ian Eagle are also back on Tennis Channel’s on-air roster, as are former players Leif Shiras, Katrina Adams, Jimmy Arias, Justin Gimelstob and Corina Morariu. Year-round Court Report anchor Cari Champion will also be on the tournament grounds for special news and feature segments. US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open are hosted by Davenport and Frazier from Tennis Channel’s Los Angeles studio, with nightly Court Report segments from reporters Arlene Santana and Angela Sun.

“Grounds Pass”

After bringing its “Grounds Pass” Grand Slam coverage approach to the US Open last year for the first time, Tennis Channel is doing even more to give audiences the feel of spending a late-summer afternoon at the tournament. New in 2010 is the “Tennis Channel Plaza,” a fixed interview and fan-interaction site centered just outside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Throughout each day’s coverage Gimelstob, Champion and others will conduct interviews while surrounded by tournament ticket holders, routinely carrying on public address conversations with the crowd in the interim. The network’s main set has been moved from the top of Louis Armstrong Stadium and brought outside to the second level of Arthur Ashe Stadium, in full view of the public. Usually featuring Robinson and Eagle, this set will be the center point of Tennis Channel’s coverage, from here taking viewers to center court with Macatee, Connors and Navratilova; off to the outer grounds with roving reporters; and on-air analysts or anywhere between.

Broadband and Digital Coverage

What the network cannot squeeze into viewers’ television sets over the Flushing Meadow fortnight is likely to be found on Tennis Channel’s Web site, http://www.tennischannel.com. Beyond real-time scoring, schedules, draws and order of play, the site will include on-court video highlights, behind-the-scenes features, interviews and Court Report news segments. Exclusive US Open photo gallery scenes capture the raucous energy of the event, while reporter Steve Flink and humorist James LaRosa have become Tennis Channel digital favorites who will again offer their online opinions as the competition unfolds. At the same time, Web visitors can sign up for network sweepstakes and play its “Racquet Bracket” prediction game. Tennis Channel’s YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel) pages offer additional opportunities for fans to stay digitally engaged.

Tennis Channel’s Live 2010 US Open Match Schedule

Date Time (ET) Event

Monday, Aug. 30 11 a.m.-7 p.m. First-Round Action

Tuesday, Aug. 31 11 a.m.-7 p.m. First-Round Action

Wednesday, Sept. 1 11 a.m.-7 p.m. First-Round, Second-Round Action

Thursday, Sept. 2 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Second-Round Action

Friday, Sept. 3 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Second-Round, Third-Round Action

Saturday, Sept. 4 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Third-Round Action

Sunday, Sept. 5 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Third-Round, Round-of-16 Action

Tuesday, Sept. 7 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Round-of-16 Action, Doubles

Wednesday, Sept. 8 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Doubles Quarterfinals, Mixed Semifinals

Thursday, Sept. 9 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Doubles, Juniors, Wheelchair

Tennis Channel’s US Open Tonight, Breakfast at the Open Schedule

US Open Tonight runs evenings and mornings Monday, Aug. 30-Sunday, Sept. 12, while Breakfast at the Open will air Monday, Aug. 30-Friday, Sept. 10. Both are interspersed with same-day, encore matches. This year US Open Tonight will start at the conclusion of play each evening which, especially the first week, could mean well into the early morning hours. Because of the uncertain start time for US Open Tonight, Tennis Channel’s 11 p.m.-3 a.m. schedule will vary in terms of the number of times US Open Tonight airs, as will the length of the encore match. The schedule is generally as follows (all times ET):

11 p.m.-3 a.m. – US Open Tonight / Encore Match

3 a.m.-4 a.m. – US Open Tonight

4 a.m.-6 a.m. – Encore Match

6 a.m.-7 a.m. – Breakfast at the Open

7 a.m.-10 a.m. – Encore Match

10 a.m.-11 a.m. – Breakfast at the Open

On Friday, Sept. 10, Tennis Channel will air a four-hour special, US Open Tonight: Best of the US Open, from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Three consecutive encore editions of this will run through 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. From 12 a.m.-12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, the network will air four US Open encore matches. During the week of Sunday, Sept. 12, Tennis Channel will run encore replays of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles finals and mixed doubles final, TBD.

Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.

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The 2010 United States Open Tennis Championship starts today from New York and here’s ESPN’s press release on their coverage plans and announcers:

ESPN & the 2010 US Open: Multi-Platform, Worldwide Coverage

Brackets Announced on ESPN2 August 26; 100 Hours on ESPN2 HD, Nearly 400 on ESPN3.com
’30 for 30’ Documentary Unmatched Sept. 14 – Intimate Portrait of Evert-Navratilova Rivalry
Roger Federer

ESPN will present unprecedented multi-platform and worldwide coverage throughout the entire two weeks of tennis’ final Grand Slam event of 2010, the US Open from New York August 30 – September 12. Fans will enjoy 100 hours in high definition on ESPN2 HD, nearly 400 hours on ESPN3.com’s multi-court offering plus coverage across ESPN’s platforms in the U.S. and around the world.

ESPN’s multimedia coverage will begin Thursday, Aug. 26, with the live, exclusive announcement of the tournament’s men’s and women’s singles brackets on ESPN2 with the 2010 US Open Draw Announcement Special at noon ET. Chris McKendry will host the one-hour show, with Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert and Patrick McEnroe. The program will also be available on ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV.

During the first week of the tournament, ESPN2’s coverage will start at 1 p.m. each weekday and will continue non stop for at least 10 hours through both the day and evening sessions. The latter, Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM, will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. or when play is concluded, whichever is later. On opening night, Monday, August 30, a ceremony celebrating those who “Dream, Succeed and Inspire” will precede the action. Four-time US Open champion Martina Navratilova, fan-favorite James Blake and reigning US Open Wheelchair singles and doubles champion Esther Vergeer will be honored. The ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium will be hosted by ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour and will feature a special musical performance by Grammy winner Gloria Estefan.

The second week, ESPN2 will have Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM at 7 p.m. on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6, followed by day-long windows Tuesday – Thursday starting at 11 a.m. (There is a two-hour gap on Thursday, Sept. 9 from 6-8 p.m.)

While ESPN2 is on the air, SportsCenter will have the right to cut-in live for updates and key moments. SportsCenter’s daytime edition is on ESPN until 3 p.m. with later editions from 6-7 p.m. and 11 p.m.-midnight. In addition, as of Monday, August 30, it is also on ESPNEWS 3-6 p.m. and 7-11 p.m.

On the final day of the tournament, Sunday, Sept. 12, ESPN2 will televise live the women’s doubles championship at 1 p.m., and will review all the action at 9 p.m. with a special two-hour edition of SportsCenter at the US Open. As with the other three Grand Slams, ESPN2 will work with Tennis Channel to bring fans virtually round-the-clock coverage during the US Open, each utilizing its own commentators.

Fans will enjoy a new view of the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium on ESPN2 HD. In a first for any Grand Slam event in tennis, a camera will fly over the court on a four-point aerial system. The angle should be both dramatic for walk-ons, ceremonies and walk-offs and incisive for replays.

ESPN2’s Commentator Lineup | Photos

The dean of ESPN’s tennis team is Cliff Drysdale, a former US Open finalist who has been with ESPN since its first tennis telecast September 14, 1979, exactly one week after the network launched, making him second in ESPN tenure among commentators behind only Bob Ley. Chris Fowler, ESPN’s lead studio anchor for Grand Slam tennis since 2003, will serve as a host and call matches. Mike Tirico of Monday Night Football, Hannah Storm and Chris McKendry will also serve as hosts. John and Patrick McEnroe will again often be paired in the booth, and the rest of the ESPN tennis team returns: Darren Cahill, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert and Pam Shriver. In addition, Rick Reilly and Tom Rinaldi will contribute features and essays during the first week of action.

More US Open from ESPN, Inc.

ESPN3.com, the company’s signature live sports broadband network, will cover the action from five courts beginning at 1 p.m. the first five days. ESPN3.com will also simulcast ESPN2 for the full tournament, select additional court coverage and a simulcast of the Women’s Doubles final for a total of approximately 375 hours of US Open tennis on the web.

ESPN3.com is ESPN’s live sports broadband network, giving fans a 24/7 online destination that delivers more than 3,500 live, global sports events annually. It is available at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider, and is currently available in more than 53 million homes – a majority of U.S. broadband homes. It is available via dozens of Internet Service Providers of all sizes nationwide, including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Charter, Windstream, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more. It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

ESPN.com

* US Open Central: ESPN.com will again feature US Open Central, a dynamic content application that will feature the official live scoring for all matches throughout the tournament. Additionally, US Open Central will be available for the first time on the ESPN Mobile Web site.
* The Pulse: A multi-tool application with all-court scoring, match stats, Cover It Live conversations, poll questions, rolling Twitter feeds and scrolling bottom line.
* Digital Serve: Exclusive daily dotcom video segment previewing the next day’s action.
* Slam Central: A daily destination for all US Open fixtures.
* Open Notebook: An aggregation of what the latest happenings are on the grounds of Flushing Meadows. From interviews, latest results, and even vetting the food, fans will get a taste of everything.

ESPN Interactive TV will be presented on DIRECTV. During the ESPN2 telecast windows for the first five days, a six-screen mosaic will include the ESPN2 program, along with matches with commentary from five other courts. In total, viewers will have access to more than 435 hours of live tennis action and 140 extra matches. Production will be enhanced with press conferences, interviews and features that will be added during court changeovers and between matches. All six screens can be expanded to full screen or picture-in-picture at the touch of the remote button. In addition, DIRECTV will offer “Matches On Now,” a graphic across the bottom with scores from each of the matches currently on the court channels, with the ability to tune directly to the match, and “Results,” an instant look at real-time scores and schedule info for matches ahead – all without leaving the match the viewer is watching.

ESPN International will offer 140 hours of live coverage on nine networks covering Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean and in high definition in Latin America. Coverage to Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America will be anchored by Luis Alvarez and Eduardo Varela with analysts Javier Frana and Jose Luis Clerc and reporters Sophie Cortina and Miguel Simon. Sam Gore and Mark Brown will handle English play-by-play with analyst Kathy Rinaldi. Latin America’s ESPN Play will feature over 300 hours of live streaming coverage which will include up to four tennis courts in separate windows. Additional Spanish content will be available on ESPN360.com, ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN Mobile, featuring daily webisodes of “ESPNiando” hosted by Varela, access to reports from New York and daily highlights.

ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language U.S. network, will present 15 hours of live action during the first week of the US Open. Luis Alvarez and Eduardo Varela will handle the play-by-play with the analysis of Argentinean former tennis players Javier Frana and Jose Luis Clerc. Sophie Cortina will serve as reporter. ESPNdeportes.com will also serve U.S. Hispanic fans featuring daily webisodes of “ESPNiando” with the latest news and information. In addition, the site will offer special daily reports, highlights from New York and updates on Twitter by Varela, Cortina, and Alvarez. ESPN Deportes Radio will feature daily segments during the morning drive show Al Amanecer.

ESPN Mobile TV will present 74 live hours of live action, including men’s and women’s quarterfinals and the women’s doubles final, in addition the one-hour 2010 US Open Draw Announcement Special on Thursday, Aug. 26 at noon.

‘30 for 30’ Documentary Unmatched

Even after the championships are awarded, tennis fans will be able to continue to enjoy the sport with a unique and personal look at the rivalry between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with Unmatched on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. Directed by award-winning filmmakers Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters, and produced by ESPN’s own Hannah Storm, and part of ESPN’s acclaimed “30 for 30” series of 30 documentaries, Unmatched tells the story of one of the greatest rivalries in sports and captures these two extraordinary athletes’ views on tennis and an ever-changing world. Filmed over the course of a few days in a variety of settings – relaxing, jogging, driving, hitting on the court and more – and without narration or host, the two reflect upon their differences and similarities and public personas.

ESPN Classic: Great US Open Matches from the Past

All this week and during the tournament, ESPN Classic will present great US Open matches from the past. They range from the 1974 Women’s Final between Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong (won by King 3–6, 6–3, 7–5, airing Sunday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m.) to last year’s dramatic five-set men’s final in which Juan Martin del Potro upset Roger Federer (Sunday, Aug. 29 at 11 p.m.).

Of special note are showings of two particularly noteworthy matches upon significant anniversaries:

* the 1980 Men’s Final – 30 years ago – when John McEnroe defeated Bjorn Borg 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4 for his second of four US Open titles (Aug. 29 at 9 p.m. and Sept. 7 at 9 a.m.),
* and a 20th anniversary look back at the 1990 Men’s Final, in which Pete Sampras won the first of his 14 major titles, downing Andre Agassi 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to become the youngest US Open men’s champion (Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. and Sept. 9 at 9 a.m.)

Two more Evert-Navratilova matches will lead into Unmatched on Tues., Sept 14. The ESPN Classic schedule:
Date Time (ET) Match
Tue, Aug 24 9-11 p.m. 1984 Men’s Semifinal: John McEnroe vs. Jimmy Connors
Wed, Aug 25 9-11 p.m. 1990 Men’s Final: Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi
Thur, Aug 26 9-11 p.m. 1995 Men’s Final: Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi
Fri, Aug 27 9-11 p.m. 1989 Men’s Quarterfinal: Jimmy Connors vs. Andre Agassi
Sat, Aug 28 7-8 a.m. 1979 Women’s Final: Tracy Austin vs. Chris Evert Lloyd
8-10 a.m. 1981 Women’s Final: Tracy Austin vs. Martina Navratilova
10 a.m.-Noon 1984 Women’s Final: Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evert Lloyd
Sun, Aug 29 7-9 a.m. 1976 Men’s Final: Jimmy Connors vs. Bjorn Borg
9 a.m.-Noon 2001 Men’s Quarterfinal: Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi
6-7 p.m. 1974 Women’s Final: Billie Jean King vs. Evonne Goolagong
7-9 p.m. 2004 Women’s Quarterfinal: S.Williams vs. Jennifer Capriati
9-11 p.m. 1980 Men’s Final: John McEnroe vs. Bjorn Borg
11 p.m.-2 a.m. 2009 Men’s Final: Roger Federer vs. Juan Martin del Potro
Mon, Aug 30 2-4 a.m. 1994 Men’s Final: Andre Agassi vs. Michael Stich
Tue, Sept 7 9-11 a.m. 1980 Men’s Final: John McEnroe vs. Bjorn Borg
Thur, Sept 9 9-11 a.m. 1990 Men’s Final: Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi
Tue, Sept 14 4-6 p.m. 1988 Australian Open W.Semifinal: Evert vs. Navratilova
6-8 p.m. 1984 Women’s Final: Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evert Lloyd

ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place

Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year.

ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.

ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993) and Wimbledon since 2003.

ESPN2 & the 2010 US Open
Date

Time (ET)

Event
Mon, Aug 30 1-11 p.m. First Round Action
Tues, Aug 31 1-11 p.m. First Round Action
Wed, Sept 1 1-11 p.m. Men’s First Round/Women’s Second Round Action
Thur, Sept 2 1-11 p.m. Second Round Action
Fri, Sept 3 1-11 p.m. Men’s Second Round/Women’s Third Round Action
Mon, Sept 6 7-11 p.m. Round of 16
Tues, Sept 7 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Men’s Round of 16, Women’s Quarterfinals
Wed, Sept 8 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Quarterfinals
Thur, Sept 9 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Men’s Quarterfinals
8-11 p.m. Men’s Quarterfinals, Mixed Doubles Final
Sun, Sept 12 1-3 p.m. Women’s Doubles Final
9-11 p.m. SportsCenter at the US Open

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Jets DE Calvin Pace will have foot surgery this week and will be out 4-6 weeks. That’s a huge blow to the Jets pass rush.

And ESPN Newyork.com’s Rich Cimini is reporting that as a result, Adalius Thomas could be a Jet soon. That would be a positive.

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The thing I hate most about being a diehard golf fan is when non-golf writers make a foray into the golf journalism arena and attempt to put together thoughtful and insightful articles about the sport they cover only a couple of times a year.

See: Ian O’Connor’s article about the PGA Tour Playoffs — which is the culmination of the SEASON LONG RACE for the FedEx Cup.

Ugh.

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Here’s my story on Monmouth University Football’s second scrimmage today for New Jersey Newsroom’s Press Box:

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — The Monmouth Hawks football team held their second and final Blue-White scrimmage today at Kessler Field, with Head Coach Kevin Callahan looking to use the game to see how his team would fare in certain situations. Afterword, he seemed pleased.

“I thought it was a fairly good culmination of the preseason,” Coach Callahan said. “I thought we started a little sluggish but then we picked it up in the third or fourth series. I liked what we were able to do coming off of the backed up situation, coming off the three yard line. We put a pretty good drive together there.”

The first-team offense looked strong early on, highlighted by running back Bobby Giles’ 60-yard scamper on the first play from scrimmage. It would eventually lead to a field goal.

“I saw the hole — the quarterback could have kept it or could have given it to me,” Giles said of the big run. “I honestly think I kind of grabbed it a little bit because I saw that no one was out there and I had it behind my back, so I was running with it behind my back.”

Giles would add a touchdown later on, ending the day with 82 yards on six carries. Starting quarterback Kyle Frazier went 10-for-15 for 91 yards, but it was the backups, namely Andrew Mandeville and Craig Peterson, who got the majority of the snaps. Mandeville finished 9-for-13 for 91 yards and Peterson 8-of-12 for 93 yards. Ryan Folsom led all receivers with seven catches for 100 yards, including a nice 37-yard catch.

The defense worked efficiently, allowing only one touchdown and two field goals. Jose Gumbs led the Hawks with six tackles, followed closely by his counterpart Kendall Haley who added five. Lineman Brad Harris recorded three sacks, resulting in a loss of 12 yards. He also had five tackles on the day

On special teams, punter Jack Daniels stood out. His 9 punts averaged 44 yards, including a long of 53, and pinned the offense inside of the twenty three times. Defensive back Kenny Amsel also blocked a 47-yard field goal attempt by kicker Eric Spillane.

For this scrimmage, the white team was the offense and the blue team was the defense. The game took on a unique look and feel with players unable to tackle the returner on kickoffs and punts, and the quarterback on offense. Also no game clock was in use except for the two-minute drill. In addition, coaches had full discretion on where drives would start, and when substitutions could be made.

The Hawks now have a full week of practice left before they start their season next Saturday against Colgate. Giles, for one, seems ready.

“We just can only get better from here, every day we’re going to keep improving,” Giles said. “We have this whole week to focus on Colgate and study what they do.”

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Here’s my NEC preview article for New Jersey Newsroom’s Press Box:

This is a big year for the Northeast Conference as, for the first time, an automatic bid into the FCS playoffs will be available. So here’s the 2010 NEC football preview:

(In order of the NEC preseason coaches poll)

Central Connecticut State (9-3 in 2009, 7-1 in Northeast Conference)

Head Coach: Jeff McInerney, 5th season

CCSU won the Northeast conference last year and lost to Butler 28-23 in Gridiron Classic that was held in Indianapolis.

Key Returners: RB Brian Fowler, RB Eric Richardson, WR Josue Paul, Richie Martin, LB Jeff Marino, LB Alondre Rush

Key Newcomers: LG Garth Harrison, OL Devon Dixon, DB Nick Delgado, DB Markeith Cirinna

Offense: Multiple types

Defense: multiple types

Coach McInerney after August 18th’s Morning Practice to CCSU’s website: “[It was a] very physical practice and I was very pleased with the effort and the development in technique with the OL and I thought that the receivers and DBs competed and our quarterbacks improved, our running backs improved…it was very, very physical. We need to get better at consistency.”

Key Games: 10/23 at Albany, 10/30 Wagner, 11/6 at Robert Morris

Robert Morris (7-4, 6-2)

Head Coach: Joe Walton, 17th season

Robert Morris finished fourth in the conference last year. They are hoping to continue the momentum they found late in the season into this season.

Coach Walton looking ahead to 2010: “Every year is a different year. Regardless of what has transpired in the past, regardless of how much talent you think you have, how a team blends together and who steps up to become leaders determines how far your football team will go.”

Key Returners: HB Myles Rush, RB Raphael Johnson, QB Jeff Sinclair, WR Anthony Coleman, ILB Alex DiMichele, ILB Elias Navarro

Key Newcomers: FB Nick Groat, TE Tyler Digby, DL Nolan Nearhoof, DL Connor

Sullivan

Offense: Pro-style

Defense: Multiple Types

Key Games: 9/25 at Wagner, 10/16 Albany, 11/06 CCSU

Albany (6-5, 5-3)

Head Coach: Bob Ford, 38th season

Albany finished second in the conference last year but has some uncertainty this season after graduating 17 seniors.

Key Returners: QB Andrew Smith (who could be labeled as a newcomer, as he has only thrown two passes in his college career), WR Jason Poore, WR Ryan Kirchner, CB Ross Bertrand, DE Zach Gallo

Key Newcomers: TE Paul Booker, RB Tramaine Wilson, LB Jon Morgan, LB Raymond Dorcely

Offense: Multiple Types

Defense: Multiple Types

Coach Ford on his outlook to the season, according to Albany’s Media Guide: “”We have enough talent, but it depends on how quickly we put the package together. I feel better about our depth at the cornerback and linebacker positions. Our offensive and defensive lines are solid. The quarterback-tailback situation is wrapped together.”

Key Games: 10/16 at Robert Morris, 10/23 CCSU, 11/13 Wagner

Wagner (5-6, 5-3)

Head Coach: Walt Hameline, 30th season

Wagner finished third in the Northeast Conference last year and is looking for improvements this year with 12 returning starters across the board.

Key Returners: RB Dominique Williams, QB Nick Doscher, WR David Crawford, TE Morgan Mizell, DB Chaz Legette, LB Keith Davis

Key Newcomers: WR Tyrone Collins, OL Zach Johnson, LB Julian Stanford, LB Jeremiah Brown

Offense: Multiple Types

Defense: Multiple Types, including 3-4 and a 3-3

Key Games: 9/25 Robert Morris, 10/30 at CCSU, 11/13 at Albany

Bryant (5-6, 4-4)

Head Coach: Marty Fine, 6th season

Bryant is still looking to come onto the Northeast Conference scene. The team is still looking to build up for 2012, where it believes that it will be a formidable football opponent and also becomes a core member – with the ability to be invited to postseason tournaments.

Key Returners: RB Jordan Brown, QB Mike Croce, TE Matt Tracey, WR Khalel Pritchard, LB Jason Riffe, DL Andrew Regan

Key Newcomers: LB Frank Tebou, RB Mike Canfora, Stanton Sturgis

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 4-3

Key Games: 9/25 at CCSU, 10/2 at Wagner, 11/13 Robert Morris

Duquesne (3-8, 2-6)

Head Coach: Jerry Schmitt, 6th season

Duquesne finished seventh in the conference last season but is looking forward to this season with a total of 19 starters returning.

Coach Schmitt on spring practice and looking forward: “We had a number of competitive battles this spring,” said Schmitt. “The intensity level was outstanding even though we were missing a number of potential starters due to injury. Overall I was pleased with the effort and attitude of our players and I look for that to continue into the offseason.”

Key Returners: RB Larry McCoy, RB Bill Bair, QB Connor Dixon, WR Dave Williams, WR Jay Spinks, OLB Nathan Totino, ILB Horvin Latimer

Key Newcomers: TE Matthew Glose, LB Serge Kona, LB Derrick Lakins

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 3-4

Key Games: 9/25 Albany, 10/9 at CCSU, 10/30 at Robert Morris

Sacred Heart (2-8, 2-6)

Head Coach: Paul Gorham, 7th season

Sacred Heart finished eighth in the conference in 2009 but thinks if QB Dale Fink can stay healthy their prospects for 2010 look brighter.

Key Returners: RB Marcel Archer, QB Dale Fink, WR Rich Rossi, WR Jo Jo Jamiel, OLB Chris Mandas, OLB Brian Flumere

Key Newcomers: LT Desmond Mighty, LG Bill Romaniello, CB Titus McIntosh, DE Justin Embler

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 3-4

Key Games: 9/11 Robert Morris, 10/2 CCSU, 11/6 Albany

St. Francis (PA) (2-9, 1-7)

Head Coach: Chris Villarrial, 1st season

St. Francis finished last in the Northeast Conference last season after being winless the season before and saw the resignation of former Head Coach Dave Opfar take place after the final whistle. Offensive coordinator Chris Villarrial was named Head Coach. In the offseason Villarrial made sure that the players on his roster wanted to be on the team and stressed the team aspect of football.

Key Returners: RB Jude Yearwood, RB Kyle Harbridge, QB John Kelly, WR Omar Winston, WR Anthony Howze, LB Scott Lewis, LB Matthew Parker

Key Newcomers: WR Jeff Wasilewski, TE R.J. Wingertsahn, CB Brian Lane, CB Luke McConnell

Offense: Multiple Sets

Defense: 3-4

Coach Villarrial on John Kelly: “He’s had a year to mature and get used to calling the plays. I think he’ll be able to step in and show improvement this season.”

Coach Villarrial on his linebacking core: “They’re both physical and have the nose for the football we’re looking for. Parker has had an awesome spring; he’s ready to do some damage this fall. And Scotty just gets after it every down.”

Key Games: 10/2 Robert Morris, 10/9 at Albany, 11/20 CCSU

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