Okay, let's start with the Colonials today. GW's solid, not spectacular, 63-58 win at Richmond the other night sets up a pretty good matchup tomorrow when the Charlotte 49ers return to the site of their magnificent meltdown last March. Charlotte forward Leemire Goldwire, whose complete loss of composure pulled the nails out of the coffin in which his team had all but buried GW, will certainly get a warm greeting from the Smith Center crowd. The Colonials are now 12-4 with only one quality win - against Virginia Tech - but no bad losses. Charlotte, to toss out the first cliche of the day, is better than its 8-8 record. The 49ers' schedule is sprinkled with names from big conferences and few real dogs, but they are only 2-2 in the decidedly mediocre Atlantic 10. Like GW, Charlotte relies on a veteran backcourt - Goldwire and big guard/small forward De'Angelo Alexander - that is proficient from short and long range, and a wiry 6-9 forward, senior E.J. Drayton. If the Colonials can neutralize the 49ers' emotional advantage, this should be a win for the home team and a statement that they belong closer to the top than the middle of the league, and Big Stein thinks they could jump to Number One. By the way, Cheyenne Moore's numbers through ten games (11.4 mpg, 4.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg, .400 3PFG%) show me a player who is slowly coming along and fitting in, although eyewitness reports cite a major need for improvement on defense. I still see his progress as the key to this season's success.
Much more on the line for the Wizards tonight as they try to hold onto first place in the Southeast Division against the second place Orlando Magic. The Knicks finally forced Washington to find someone other than Gilbert Arenas to hit a game winner the other night, and the Wiz made it look easy with a couple drives, kicks and dishes that found Caron Butler wide open for a dunk. Still, they'll need big presence from Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas to keep Dwight Howard from going wild in the paint tonight. With Cleveland at Denver later, the Wizards could wake up tied for first in the Eastern Conference tomorrow. Smells like a tasty doubleheader to me.
The good news is I didn't have to spend the week searching online for a vendor to sell me strings of purple lights to hang on the house. The bad news is I have to choose between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Let's see, Brady was a guest at the State of the Union, he has supermodels waiting for him outside the locker room, but every third commercial during an NFL broadcast features Manning. But the commercials are funny, and as much as I respect what Bill Belichick has done, I am tired of the notion that he could trot out Tom Brady and the New England Pee-Wee All-Stars and still win the Super Bowl. And it's easy to root for Tony Dungy, but he has to understand that while a Pat Buchanan level of conservatism on offense worked against the Ravens, he needs to move to the middle to win this weekend.
Nice little flip-flop by Boomer Esiason this week. Two years ago, he made studiomate Dan Marino cringe when he said that Manning could be destined for "Marinoville" after the Pats drummed the Colts out of the playoffs, 20-3. Scroll down to the bottom of this Ray Frager article in today's Baltimore Sun to see where he says, "(Manning) doesn't need to go to the Super Bowl to validate his career."
Might be time for my younger son's Michael Vick jersey to disappear mysteriously from his closet.
Oh, and in the other game, I'm going with the rest of America outside the Chicagoland area and cheering for the Saints. Sorry, Jay.
If you don't like reading what I write about this show, just think about how bad I feel writing it.
Pedro Almodovar, Penelope Cruz, "Volver," it all adds up to my finally getting a Netflix membership.
Hi Def Entertainment
From yesterday's Sun, Kevin Cowherd with a fun trick to play on your technology-obsessed, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses friends.