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At last, back home, normal schedule ... no travel, no conferences. A lot of catching up to do.

I caught some of the Heat's opening effort. They battled with Indiana, another deep playoff threat. But the one big problem with the Heat came to light. When Shaq goes down (with Shaq it's not if, it's WHEN) here comes (drum roll) ... Alonzo Mourning. I love 'Zo, and admire him for battling through a lot, but he was an under-achiever in his prime.

-- B --

A couple of local partisans were discussing the future of Louisville standouts Brian Brohm and Michael Bush. They opined that if Bush forgoes the NFL one more year he would be a prime Heisman candidate, and Brohm might be among his toughest competition. I don't doubt that these guys can and will put up Heisman-esque numbers but let's face it, these two aren't going to get a sniff of the Downtown Athletic Club or wherever they're having it now until U of L becomes a serious player at the national level. This year the Cards haven't had many opportunities to lift their own stock, but they've taken full advantage of their opportunities to flop.

Sadly, the Cards could have run their table, and would have been lucky to have two games that people could point to to justify Louisville playing with the big boys at season's end. Instead they've already got two games that make people say, "Told you the Big East wasn't any good," or "They can't win the big ones on the road."

-- B --

Big game this weekend: Miami at VIrginia Tech. The 'Cane fan in me hopes Miiami can compete. Realistically the Hokies have a big edge IMHO. Miami's "D" against Marcus Vick is a compelling matchup. Unfortunately, even a ferocious defense such as Miami will bring to Blacksburg, can't hope to stop Vick. They can contain, slow, and hassle him, but he'll get his shots in. The big mismatch is on the other side of the ball. Miami's offense is still a work in progress. It's going to take a monster game from Tyrone Moss to compensate for QB Kyle Wright's inexperience and inconsistency.

-- B --

It looks like Joe Paterno may have finally figured out how to do what so many, from Jimmie "the Greek" way back when to Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry last week, have gone down in flames for doing: pointing out what even a casual sports fan can't help but notice but isn't allowed to point out.
You have to be careful the way you say things sometimes ... Poor [Air Force coach] Fisher DeBerry got in trouble, but the black athlete has made a big difference. They have changed the whole tempo of the game. Black athletes have just done a great job as athletes and as people in turning the game around."
I guess if you read carefully, Paterno never claims that there is any difference between caucasion and African American athletes because, once again, that's not allowed. No, somehow they've made a big difference despite there being no discernable difference between them and any other race of athlete.


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