Monday, October 31, 2011

A Lost Weekend

The final stats from Saturday night do not show Brad Dornak with a touchdown, but they should. Here he lowers his head and bulls into the end zone . . . sans helmet. Unfortunately, the NCAA rules a player down where the helmet comes off. This video is courtesy of Dartmouth Sports Publicity.

Harvard's video highlight package may be viewed here.

Click here for the Daily Dartmouth follow story on the Harvard game and here for the Harvard Crimson story. To see what the Boston Globe wrote, click here.

There wasn't much to laugh at last weekend in Boston if you are a Dartmouth fan, so laugh at me.

With a junior varsity game on Friday afternoon and Saturday's game slated to start at 6 p.m., I had little option but to get a hotel room for a couple of nights. And no, I didn't camp this time. Good thing given the weather, huh?

Anyway, thanks to an Internet bidding service you've heard of I ended up at a name-brand hotel about 25 minutes from Harvard Stadium. I don't know how the folks in the hotel business feel about those of us who score rooms for half, or in this case, less than half the price they charge you at the front desk, but I'm sure they'd rather have customers who pay full boat.

The reason I bring that up is when I got to my room I found that somehow, in a hotel that has 281 rooms, I ended up two doors down from the common area where the New England Jazz BanjoFest was holding continuous jam sessions. It was so loud that when I first got to the room I had to boost the TV volume to hear SportsCenter over the cacophony of banjos, trombones and piano. When I sat down to write I pulled on sound-canceling headphones and turned up the sound of ocean waves ... and still the banjos called to me.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not anti banjo. Shoot, I used to watch the Philadelphia Mummers parade on TV as a kid. But this became Chinese water torture after a while. The drop-in sessions would go on, seemingly nonstop, until midnight Friday and I woke to banjo music on Saturday morning.

When I went outside to clear my head (and put Rain X on my windshield) I had a serious case of stuck song syndrome. Mercifully, I've forgotten what the song was, but after I found myself humming a Dixieland standard as I worked on my windshield I marched to the front desk of the motel and for the first time ever, begged for a room change. . . .

Returning to the hotel Saturday night after surviving a harrowing drive through the snow from Harvard Stadium, I skied a slalom course between banjo-toting seniors to my new, quiet room and sat down to write. I was midway through my first story when the lights blinked, blinked again, and finally went out for good. When the battery power on my laptop died I headed down the long hallway to fetch a flashlight from my car. I wasn't at all surprised to hear the banjos still plucking away and found myself feeling a little sorry for the new bargain hunters in my old room who couldn't drown out the sound by pumping up SportsCenter on the TV.

Feeling like I had just spent a weekend in a Woody Allen movie, I checked out of the hotel Sunday morning before the scheduled start of the 4-string banjo gospel jam. And no, I am not making that up. . . .

I was finally able to post my stories from the snow-covered parking lot of a Panera restaurant about 50 miles down the road. There was a sign on the door saying the business was closed for the day because of the power outage, but thankfully the juice must have been back on for the router to work.

Your weekly Sagarin Ratings with last week's ratings in parenthesis:
108. Harvard (99)
117. Brown (112)
185. Yale (179)
189. Cornell (194)
211. Penn (213)
216. Dartmouth (216)
226. Princeton ( 223)
242. Columbia (244)

Non-League Opponents
155. Holy Cross (133)
197. Colgate (198)
225. Sacred Heart (233)

246 teams rated
Interestingly, Harvard fell in the ratings despite a big win as did Brown. Penn improved despite a loss and Dartmouth stayed the same.

The Dartmouth Aires will make another appearance on the NBC TV show The Sing-Off tonight. Dartmouth Now has a story and clips from their previous performances on the show.

An old friend from my newspaper days in Pennsylvania was honored at the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards in London recently and yes, he's come a long way since shooting action shots of the Carlisle Thundering Herd football team. Check out this underwater picture of a grizzly bear swiping at a salmon and this shot that won the underwater category.

The Optimist and The Other Guy will be on Green Alert premium tonight.

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