Monday, April 04, 2011

Spring FB 'Almost' Sprung

Lede from a story in today's Daily Dartmouth:
The Dartmouth men’s football team has completed its first full week of practice.
That got me wondering for a second if I had pulled a Rip Van Winkle. A glance at the date on the top of the newspaper this morning brought some relief and a quick check with the football office brought news that as 9 this morning spring practice is still slated to start tomorrow afternoon as long as Memorial Field is free of snow. (At 9:15 this morning it is snowing up here on the mountain but the forecast for tomorrow afternoon is 49 degrees, "mostly cloudy and breezy with times of rain."

The Daily Dartmouth story was referring to unofficial "captain-like" practices.

Statistically speaking ...

Dartmouth junior Nick Schwieger led the Ivy League in rushing for the second year in a row last fall, this time with 1,133 yards. He will enter his senior year with 1,883 yards in his career, second all-time on the Big Green charts. He dropped David Clark '90 (1,812) into third on the list when he ran for 105 yards in the 2010 finale at Princeton.

Schwieger needs just 413 yards to break the Dartmouth career rushing record of 2,252 held by Al Rosier '91. Here's how Rosier set the record:
1987 – Freshman team
1988 – Missed season
1989 – 40 carries, 97 yards
1990 – 150 carries, 723 yards
1991 – 258 carries, 1,432 yards (led nation)
Total: 448 carries, 2,252 yards
Here's how Schwieger has gotten where he is:
2008 – 27 carries, 81 yards
2009 – 139 carries, 626 yards (carries in seven games)
2010 – 242 carries, 1,133 yards
l: 408 carries, 1,840 yards
The Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont isn't exactly known as a hotbed for developing Division I football players. While there have been several locals who walked on at FBS programs and served as scout team players over the past 25 years or so, 2008 Hanover High graduate Carl Cutler was the true exception, a scholarship tight end-turned-fullback at Syracuse. ( listed Dartmouth as one of his schools of interest coming out of Hanover.) After redshirting as a freshman, Cutler started two games and caught his first TD pass against Rutgers as a sophomore. He missed his entire junior season after tearing an ACL on the first day of spring practice a year ago. After working hard on his rehab, he suffered yet another tear three days into this year's spring practice. Tough luck for a talented local.
Speaking of injuries, The New York Times writes that the next edition of the popular Madden NFL video game will be ...
... realistic enough not only to show players receiving concussions, but also to show any player who sustains one being sidelined for the rest of the game — no exceptions. Beyond that, in the background, the game’s announcers will explain that the player was removed because of the seriousness of head injuries.
From the story:
John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach for whom the game is named and who is involved in its development, said that the impetus for the changes was twofold: to further hone the game’s realism, and to teach youngsters to play football more safely.
And this ...
“It’s a great approach to teach kids in a way that no one else can reach,” said Chris Nowinski, the co-director of the Sports Legacy Institute and a former Harvard football player, who speaks at schools and summer camps about the seriousness of concussions.
Sad day for the Ivy League community with news that Yale hockey player Mandi Schwartz '11 lost her valiant fight against cancer at age 23. (Yale Daily News story) From the story:
Her death followed a 27-month struggle with acute myeloid leukemia, which sparked bone marrow drives and fundraising efforts at Yale and beyond that have benefitted others diagnosed with the disease, adding roughly 4,200 potential donors to bone marrow registries in the U.S. and Canada.
And finally, watching the NCAA Final Four Saturday I had a fingernail on the blackboard moment when I heard an otherwise terrific announcer say a team or player had to, "score the basketball." Argh!

And Mrs. BGA, who has suggested TV directors use electronic dog collars to zap athletes- and coaches-turned announcers when they make grammatical mistakes was even more annoyed when she heard Lou Holtz say a Notre Dame women's basketball player, "could have went" to Connecticut. Zzzzzzzzzap!

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