Hippo Manchester
December 1, 2005


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Longshots: Event-filled weekend missed en route to evil empire

By Dave Long

Anyone out there ever go away for a couple of days ó when everything seemed pretty sedate ó but when you come back, BOOM?

The last time it happened to me was when I went to the Final Four and came back to find that half the town (at least thatís what it seemed liked) got busted in a gambling sting on the night of the final. The most recent was this Sunday when I returned from the evil empire after skipping out of town a little early before Thanksgiving. I knew about a lot of it of course but since I was on the radio to talk about all of it (plug, plug), Iíll hit you with a random and rambling series of thoughts about what was a big week for the Manch Vegas sports community.

On my way out of town: In Bill Herrionís first head-to-head battle for an in-state player, UNH lost out to SNHU for Bowís Paul Chergy.

Friday: In a nice piece by the about-to-go-on-vacation Commissioner, I found out Jimmy Schubert was retiring as Central football coach as the West beat the Green on Turkey Day. This is may be the first time itís happened since Schubert was playing for the Green. Iím not an expert on his historical place among all whoíve coached football in the city but I can say heís the best one Iíve seen. Maybe I just missed all the arrogant stuff but heís a good man to me.

When it was finally, final I was dismayed the Red Sox showed they still canít get out of the fetal position in the wake of St. Theoís departure. I mean, they had to give an alleged five-tool prospect, whoís never hit double digits in homers, and a projected number-three man for a 25-year-old top of the rotation starter they desperately needed. Iím sure Theo would have gotten Walter Johnson, but getting Josh Beckett ainít bad. 

I missed the welcome-back party of one of my favorite all-name teamers this week after the LA Kings claimed Yanick (knock, knock) Lehoux (Ďs there) on waivers and assigned him to the Ms.

Saturday: After looking at the list of semi-finalists to be voted on for their annual selections, itís clear itís a lot harder to get in the Pro-Football Hall of Fame than in baseballís. Thereís 21 guys on the list, including Kenny Stabler and others who retired when Reagan was president. Iíd vote for 19. I mean Art Monk canít get in and he caught  more passes than anyone whoíd ever played when he retired.

Thanks to the ULís snappy new Web site I didnít have to wait until Sunday to learn the íCats Pasted Colgate. Though if I were writing the headline Iíd have used ďU Shines Brightly Pasting Toothless Colgate.Ē And I found it interesting the Monarchs averaged more than 8,500 for (no disrespect intended) ho-hum games over the weekend and the U drew just 7,000-plus in an unprecedented try to get closer to winning a national football title.

After seeing Ricky Santos (Claus is coming to town) run for more than 100 two weeks in a row, are you buying my Doug Flutie comparisons now? Heís Larry Bird-like. Itís not really about the arm, as much as itís about instincts and his vision.

Speaking of Flutie comparisons, hereís one for Sean McDonnell. After Flutie left BC, Ohio State came knocking to give coach Jack Bicknell (who, oh by the way, now lives in Meredith) the big-time contract heíd never get at BC. He turned it down, in part out of loyalty. Some years later they returned the favor by firing him. The moral: you usually only get the big financial bump going someplace else. Iím not saying they wonít, but if the U doesnít step up to the plate to at least match what an outsider like Herrion got to coach basketball, McDonnellíd be wise to remember what happened to Bicknell and listen to those who do come knocking.

With all due respect to all on the U football team ó if Iím Herrion, Iíd point directly at Santos before a BC gets a big-time local like Tyler Roche to commit. It will show that the right guy in Durham can do what Taylor Coppenrath did for Vermont basketball.

Sunday: Given how mortal the injury-riddled Patriots looked losing to the Chiefs 26-16, itís more apparent just how much of a miracle last yearís Super Bowl was, with Richard Seymour and the starting corners out for most of the stretch.

With the U in round two, some big early season college basketball games and the Patriots facing a important test on Sunday, next week should be just as interesting. Except this time Iíll be here.

Dave Long hosts Sports Night with Dave Long nightly on WGIR-AM from 6 to 7 p.m.