Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who's Your Daddy?!?!

After a furious Lakers' rally from 12 down with less than 2 minutes to go to tie the game; the always-clutch Shane Battier drilled a long triple with 2.5 seconds left from Phil Jackson's lap to nail down a season opening 95-92 win for the Houston Rockets. The three, coming on the heels of chasing Kobe around for 40 minutes, was the 1st game winning shot of Shane's career since his first season in Memphis.
Your move Mavericks!

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Time to Show Some Class, Dude

Maybe it's because the only other team to win last night was the Rangers, when A-Rod decided to opt out, or maybe it's because for one game I enjoyed watching the Patriots beat the crap out of the Redskins, or maybe it's just the recognition that the Red Sox proved themselves the best team, but in the end, Boston winning again didn't bother me as much as I thought -- they're really sticking it to the Yankees, which I don't mind, and at least Curt Limbaugh Schilling didn't play as big a role as '04. So Congratulations, Undude. With Indy coming up next week, these are heady times in Massachusetts.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Evil Empire Steals Title From Colorado

Better Than the Famous Cal-Stanford Play?

You be the judge! I'd say it's the single most amazing play I've ever seen on a football field...

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Very Dude Blog Indeed!

This is an army we all stand together on!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm guessing Duke Doesn't Use Savings Accounts

Apparently our alma mater is pretty good at investing its money, to the tune of a $6 billion endowment.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Interesting Jason Whitlock column

Not sure whether I agree with his prediction, but his opinions are thought-provoking.

Booooooooooooooo Obama!

A string of emails I've received in the last two days have convinced me to unsubscribe from the Obama email list serve. I had already shifted fairly comfortably to the Hillary camp a month or so ago, but now that he's decided to attack Hillary head on, it's coming up short. Email 1 is lame because the numbers show Hillary actually has gotten contributions from as many individuals, and Email 2 is lame because Hillary hasn't even hinted at being the presumptive nominee, but Obama's trying to put those words in her mouth. Booooooooo.

Email 1:
They asked me to send this note to you because I just made my first donation to the Obama campaign.
I read Barack's message about closing the gap and made up my mind to give because I believe we have to participate in the political process again. That's what this campaign is about -- regular people getting involved.
I want to see a change in politics. Barack's refusal to accept money from Washington lobbyist bigwigs appeals to me. It shows that he wants to make decisions with ordinary people in mind.
But it also means he is relying on people like us to close the gap with Hillary Clinton.
Please make a $25 donation now:
Thank you,
Kristina WhitakerLeawood, Kansas

Email 2:
I'm leaving the Tonight Show studio and I wanted to share something.
Jay Leno just asked if it bothers me that some of the Washington pundits are declaring Hillary Clinton the winner of this election before a single vote has been cast.
I'll tell you what I told him: Hillary is not the first politician in Washington to declare "Mission Accomplished" a little too soon.
We started this week $2.1 million behind the Clinton campaign -- a lead they built in large part with contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs.
We don't accept money from federal lobbyists or PACs. But we've already cut that advantage in half with small donations from people like you.
Let's close the rest of that gap now. Please make a donation of $25:
Thank you,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

America's Team returns?

At least in the ratings game...

Sunday's Dallas Cowboys-New England Patriots game was the highest-rated regular-season game on CBS since the network reacquired NFL rights in 1998, according to preliminary ratings released Monday.
The game scored an 18.5 rating in the 56 largest TV markets across the country. Final national ratings will be available Tuesday.
The previous record for a CBS game was a 16.9 on Dec. 6, 1998, when the Denver Broncos extended their unbeaten record to 13-0 by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-31.
Thus far this season, the Cowboys have played in the highest-rated game on CBS, NBC and ESPN. Their victory over the Bills on ESPN last Monday night was the highest-rated program on cable all season.
Dallas-Fort Worth produced the highest ratings for the Cowboys-Patriots, narrowly topping the Boston market, 37.0 to 36.5.
In Houston, the Cowboys-Patriots pulled a 17.5 rating in the second game of a doubleheader, topping the hometown Texans-Jacksonville Jaguars noon game, which earned a 16.7.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Lane Report

This week's Wade Report is renamed after Virginia Tech's stadium, as the Hokies essentially played a home game in Durham. The crowd was orange and purple from the start, and as Duke fans soon fled for the exits, things only got worse.

This is a game where there were no positives. After scoring to cut the lead to 13-7, Duke fell apart, simply outmatched by a much better football team. They got a pick off of the 3rd string QB, but that's the only positive over a two hour stretch in the middle of the game. It was homecoming weekend, alums were outnumbered and disappointed, and it was the type of game where it took a lot of will power to not leave early.

This is not me backing off. This is just a report of the game. I'll be back Nov. 3 when we beat Clemson.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

LiveBlog 8: Romo v. Evil

Enough Chit-Chat. Let's get it on!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Duel in Dallas -- Overhyped?

Though we all have rooting interests in this one, can we all agree that something about the media coverage for Sunday's game feels a tad bit over the top? The whole "Duel in Dallas" moniker seems to be universally in place, whereas if any of a number of plays had gone wrong in the last two minutes this past Monday, all of this would have been for naught. I recognize that this is only the fifth time 5-0 teams have ever met, and I recognize that the game pits the best team of this decade against what many consider the most glamorous NFL franchise, but maybe it's the part of me still not entirely sold on how good the Cowboys are and the acknowledgment that this is a nice game for the Patriots, but they'll probably look to the game against the Colts in a few weeks with more anticipation, when both may still be undefeated. As Troy Aikman said on his radio show this morning, interconference regular season games usually aren't as big of a deal to the players. That's not to say I'm not excited about the game, because let's face it, the Cowboys haven't had this big of a game in years, but I guess I look at it, and realize that a loss to a nonconference opponent means very little, especially in the NFC, and just figure they can lose this one, beat the Vikings next week, and head into a bye week sitting pretty at 6-1.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dude Committee Hall of Fame Inductee: A.J. Carr

Amid the bluster of AP's David Droschak, the outsized presence of Al Featherston, and the general buffonery of Chronicle writers, there was one quiet presence that demanded everyone's respect during our time - the wise News and Observer's former Duke beatwriter A.J. Carr.

When the dudes needed a wise reporter to chat with about a particular topic, or just someone to share in the amusement of a certain situation, A.J. was always there, providing the comradery, advice, and laughter that you'd expect from the irreplaceable A.J. Carr.

Although A.J. has sinced moved on to the NC State and the Durham Bulls beat, the Dudes will always remember A.J.'s calming presence in the Wally Wade and Cameron press areas. A.J., we know you're busy tracking down the evils of flaxseed oil these days, but we wanted to take at least a moment to honor you as an inaugural inductee into the Dude Committee Hall of Fame.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Folk Legend!

Next week's mega-matchup is miraculously, improbably, unmistakably intact!

Better Know a Movie: the Staircase

Sundance awards aside, this film brings added significance to the Dude Committee as it's probably the only documentary that covers the murder trial of a former Duke Chronicle editor. Suffice it to say, I do not anticipate that Kate Stroup will be showing up on Court TV anytime soon.

In any case, "covering" is the approprone term here, as this 8 episode (6 hours, as each episode covers about 45 minutes - equal to an hour minus commercials) exhaustively blankets Michael Peterson's life following the discovery of his dead wife Kathleen. The filmmaker is granted extraordinary access to preparations of the defense team, led by a charismatic David Rudolf, and the result is a stunning behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for a murder trial where no expense is spared. In the end, the viewer is left with many questions, and not the least of which is the amount of uncertainty in the meting of justice.

The initial episode and a half is somewhat slow to develop - but once the trial preparation starts, I was at the edge of my couch for the remainder of the film. With the caveat that selling folks on watching a 6 hour documentary is the tallest of tall tasks, I do highly recommend the Staircase if you're interested in any of the following: criminal intrigue, law, Durham, or an intense movie.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Wade Report

I have been a Duke football fans for 12 seasons now, and Saturday’s fourth quarter featured one of the most classic “That’s Duke football” moments of my career. After a furious rally, the Blue Devils were down a score with all the momentum in the world behind them. Their offensive drive stalled largely due to four bad Thad passes, and it was up to the defense to make a stop.

The same D that had completely stifled Wake over the last several drives needed one more three-and-out. On the first play, with 2:24 left, the Deacs run right, a Duke safety doesn’t shift in time, and Wake scores on a 53–yard TD run. A guy sitting in my section says, “That’s what they call a stadium clearer” as throngs of fans hit the exits. It was so typical of Duke Football. So close, yet so far.

“They made one more play than we did, and I’m tired of saying that,” Ted Roof said later.
I’m tired of hearing it, coach.

Of course, those fans that left early missed one last charge and touchdown, but the Devils’ could not recover an onside kick, and Wake was able to run out the clock. We had burned two timeouts on an earlier drive when Thad took a pair of sacks when he needed to get rid of the ball.

My game report features no video this week. My seats are technically for behind the end zone, but because Wally Wade usually has a few empty seats available, I always just walk into the more expensive sideline seats. No one has ever said anything in these last five years, but as I made my way down to my regular section, my brother, decked out in gold and black was stopped, forced to show his ticket, and we were booted too far for good video.

After the 9-0 start (a safety and another deep strike to Riley), the first 2 ½ quarters are a blur of unpleasantness. Thad threw two interceptions (one not his fault) within our own 20, one returned for a TD. Bad defense, bad passes, no running game. They converted on every 3rd down; we converted on none (note: that is not an official stat, just an impression). The low point came in the third when down 34-9 the large Wake section began chanting, “Waaaaaake! Foressssssst!” and the Duke faithful were too beaten to try to drown them out. Luckily, Thad’s arm was the silencer.

After another Riley TD cut the lead to 34-15, I told my brother, “All we need is 8-8-3.” The cocky bastard thought I was joking. Meanwhile, Duke finally said, “Screw it, let’s just keep chucking it around.” It worked. Riley’s stats (143 yards and 2 TDs) don’t even cover the numerous pass interference calls he drew as the DBs decided to just start hitting him for the 15 yard penalty than actually cover him. Next thing you know, I’m chanting “8-3.”

The fans are getting into it and we scored again when Wright made a sweet move on a wide receiver screen; alas, we failed on the conversion. (This is just as well… do we really want to be in the situation where we need a field goal to send the game to OT? No, I’d rather just keep chucking it into the end zone than see Joe Surgan’s ugly foot again.) Alas, we never covered that last score, and I was left broken-hearted yet again.

A lot of what-ifs… Thad missed a lot of open guys, and we had a drop in the end zone and a drop inside the five (in fairness, both were tough catches). Down five with 6 minutes left we punted on 4th and 1. We did get the ball right back, but I still don’t agree with the call. Another coaching issue… on an earlier 4th and 1 we line up to go for it, do a funky shift and the refs blow the whistle. They discuss and realize it was not an illegal shift, but the refs did halt our attempt to take Wake off guard. But then we send our punting unit and try a fake. C’mon! You just showed you wanted to go for it… Line up man-to-man and take the yard.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Flight Plan: Lewis Nears Legend

Prior to last season's game against Wake Forest, Thad Lewis's stomach was a verifiable butterfly colony as the freshman awaited his first career start as Airborne's QB (mind you, Lewis would throw for over 300 yards in that start).

Just one year later, Lewis is fluttering toward history.

With only 212 yards through the air in tomorrow's noon kickoff against the Demon Deacons, Lewis will surpass Airborne legend Spencer Romine in career passing yardage. Suffice it to say, such an honor would leave anyone awed.

"I grew up with a poster of Spencer Romine on my bedroom door," Lewis would probably say if DudeSpin interviewed him. "As a kid growing up in Miami, my friends in the neighborhood all had Dan Marino or Jay Fiedler posters - not me, Duke's No. 14 was on my door, poised to fire a rocket into the arms of Richmond Flowers, thank you Jesus."

And probably sometime during the second half Saturday afternoon, Lewis will surpass his childhood hero with a flick of the wrist that's becoming familiar to Airborne fans everywhere. A flick of the wrist that will surely adorn the walls of the next generation of Airborne signal callers.

This Week's Sign of Hockey's Demise

I always thought Hockeytown was merely a self-proclamation worth little merit, but taking it at face value, it's worth pointing out that the Red Wings opened the NHL season Wednesday. So you would assume they played to a sellout crowd loaded with octopus and good cheer, right? Not quite. There were more than 2,500 empty seats. Similarly, Colorado didn't sell out in its opener against the Stars, and Dallas likewise is expected to have empty seats in its home opener against the Bruins tonight. The former trifecta that dominated the Western Conference, and in part the NHL, in the late '90s, can't seem to attract 18,000 fans at the start of the season.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dude Committee Hall of Fame Inductee: Fred Goldsmith

Others may disparage Fred Goldsmith's play-calling; certain DudeSpin Hall of Shame Soon-to-be Inductees may terminate his contract way too prematurely, but DudeSpin would be proud to sprint onto the field at Wally Wade under the guidance of this former Airborne coach and icon.

Indeed, no one more personified Airborne's grit and pluck (a necessity when competing with lesser talent) than the methodical teacher and a builder of defenses and programs. Goldsmith twice won national coach of the year honors at schools that are more associated with Mr. Rhodes than Mr. Heisman.

Indeed, perhaps the best gift ever exchanged between Dude Committee members was the miniature Duke football helmet signed with love by Coach Goldsmith.

Coach, that evil Mr. Alleva may not have allowed you to coach the most talented group of players you've ever had in their senior season - but DudeSpin will. You finished the 2000 season 7-4, and played in the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu.

Congratulations Coach Goldsmith, DudeSpin will create Wikipedia entries for you, and we will honor you as a member of the initial class inducted into the Dude Committee Hall of Fame.

Journey on Airborne!

Congratulations to Airborne and the Journey for scoring high marks in the newly-released NCAA graduation numbers. Airborne graduated 93% of its players over the study period and was one of only 20 NCAA programs (I could not figure out how many of those programs were BCS Conference, or even Division IA programs) to score higher than 90%. The Journey recorded similar high marks with a 90% graduation rate.

At the other end of the spectrum: Maryland men's basketball was the only NCAA school to achieve a perfect score in that sport - graduating 0% of its players. Congratulations Gary Williams - you're the new Bob Huggins.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More Duke Cheating News

Unfortunately it seems as if Ted Roof resembles the hooded sweatshirt in the one way we don't want him to. That's right, Duke now finds itself in a little video tape controversey of its own. Of course, this would never be news if a) the Terps weren't a bunch of cry-babies and b) the Pats hadn't made video cheating so trendy for the liberal media.

Dukie Named in Steroid Probe

I guess it was bound to happen at some point given the scope of the current steroid investigation, but I was still a little surprised to see ESPN reporting that Scott Schoeneweis received six steroid shipments while he was a member of the White Sox in 2003 and 2004.

Or maybe it's not THAT surprising. Even though Schoeneweis is generously listed at 6-feet, 190 pounds in his official MLB profile, I'd say that having seen him up close back in the day, he's actually smaller than all of the Committee members except for The Dude.

The sad thing is that as a survivor of testicular cancer, Schoeneweis would make for a sympathetic figure if he 'fessed up. Since he's taking the opposite approach, let's hope he's innocent as he claims.

Oh, and if he is taking performance-enhancing drugs of any type, they sure didn't help him during the stretch run of the Mets season...

Flight Log: No Finishing Kick

Unfortunately, no DudeSpin staff were able to make Airborne's matchup against Miami this week as: (1) it wasn't in Durham; (2) it wasn't on TV; and (3) Mike Cragg has not set us up with season press passes as of yet.

Such that being the case, we have little to add to the boxscore. Airborne was down by 3 with 3 minutes to go, but surrendered a late touchdown. Such are the Growing Pains of a young squad trying to get to the Head of the Class I suppose.

Life goes on.

Monday, October 01, 2007