Penn State beats #17 Wisconsin in basketball

People are starting to believe in Penn State men’s basketball.

Yesterday, over 14,000 people watched the Nittany Lions beat the Badgers, 56-52, for the frist time with Ed DeChellis as coach. It took 12 tries over 8 seasons.

Penn State is very tough to play against right now, beating 3 ranked opponents and coming close against #1 Ohio State and #15 Purdue on the road. They are very much in the mix for a NCAA tournament berth, but my prediction is the same as the one I got texted from the Maryland Bureau CHief this weekend: “you can’t spell Nittany without N-I-T.”

I think the Lions will get stuck in the “last four out” scenario they were in 2 years ago. The flame out in the non-conference schedule that included a loss to MAINE is probably too much to overcome unless they do really well in the Big Ten tournament or beat Ohio State in the rematch. In other words — just good enough to break your heart.

Nittany Lions return from oblivion, top Badgers 56-52Patriot News

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Why the Washington Nationals need a winter fanfest in 2012

For reasons not elaborated on (probably cheapness and staff turnover) the Washington Nationals will not be holding a fan festival this winter like many baseball team. An event at Nationals Park in the middle of the week the day before Opening Day will occur instead. Nats Fans Girls had a great post on the (typical) tone-deafness of this decision and I don’t see much need to elaborate on it, though I will add one thing.

Their needs to be a Nats winter event next winter, if only so the complaining about the lack of one doesn’t overwhelm Twitter again!

Thank you for you attention and tweeple, I’m not mad at you, just the Nats.

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Natty Boh will be available on draft in Baltimore

National Bohemian beer to be served on draft againThe Sun
National Bohemian Beer which is better known for its one-eyed Mr. Boh mascot than taste will be available on draft in Baltimore starting in October. Billed as “from the land of pleasant living” it was the indigenous brew of Baltimore and sponsor of both the Washington Senators (Mickey Mantle‘s 1953 tape measure home run clipped Griffith Stadium’s Mr. Boh sign) and Baltimore Orioles. In fact, I think the O’s and Natty Boh were both owned by the same people before the brewery was sold, closed, etc.

I drank a bottle of Boh at some Fells Point bar back in 2003 or so. The beer was rather unremarkable, but if it were the hometown beer, I wouldn’t be averse to ordering it. It is better than say, Pittsburgh’s Iron City. If I ever go to a Ravens game, I’d order a Natty Boh out of principle. I’ll never go to an Orioles game.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a few places around D.C. put it on draft as well. I’d even be okay with it being served in Nationals Park due to the brand’s history with D.C. baseball, though I would not order it.

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Nats DFA Justin Maxwell

Farewell, Justin Maxwell, Olney, Md. native, Maryland Terrapin, 2005 draft pick. You had the talent, but sadly couldn’t put it together with the hometown Washington Nationals. Unless the bases were loaded…

That was September 30, 2009, the final game of the season. I was thinking of going to that game, held off asking for the day off.

I blew it.

Maxwell hit grand slams 3 out of the first 4 times he was at bat with the bases loaded.

Justin Maxwell designated for assignment – Nationals Journal, The Post

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Heavy Metal Parking Lot approaching 25th anniversary

So, I go to the NY Daily News Web site this morning and I see this:

‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ 25th anniversary celebrated at Found Footage Festival screening.

It is already almost 5 years since I interviewed Jeff Krulik and John Heyn about the 20th anniversary of Heavy Metal Parking Lot. The cult classic is a documentary about tailgaters prior to a 1986 Judas Priest concert at the old Capital Centre in PG County. It goes down exactly like you’d expect it too.

I heard from Krulik not that long ago about an appearance on Carson Daly’s Last Call:

Krulik and I have already discussed a follow-up interview, so look for it as we get closer to the anniversary. If there is any question you want me to ask him, let me know.

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Lots of winners in CSN Washington decision to hire Nats beat writer Mark Zuckerman

Mark Zuckerman, who has been on the Washington Nationals beat since their inception, has been hired by Comcast SportsNet Washington to cover the team. His new full-time position comes after nearly year of covering D.C.’s baseball team on his own Web site, natsinsider.com and on a freelance basis for CSN’s Web site, CSNWashington.com.

Zuckerman had been at The Wash. Times for nearly a decade before the newspaper decided to close its sports section at the end of 2009. Joining Zuckerman at CSN will be Rich Talender of RealReskins under a similar arrangement. Here is the CSN press release.

Zuckerman’s successful transition from newspaper reporter, to independent blogger/entrepreneur to cable sports network Web site writer has several winners:

Zuckerman – He gets a “real job” with benefits and the security as well as exposure. His experiment to go off on his own has been quite successful as he was able to continue covering the team and build an audience that was attractive to an established local media outlet. As part of his deal with CSN, they will buy natsinsider.com which he will continue to run. Where content appears — under the CSN Nats beat flag or natsinsider.com has yet to be determined.

Journalism – Zuckerman showed that is possible for a determined journalist who knows his audience to succeed without having the backing of a major media organization. Zuckerman was able to generate revenue and “subscribers” because people cared enough about what he did. Those subscribers were given extra content and information. Zuckerman also ran advertising on his a site. While this is not a blueprint for every journalist who has been downsized, it shows that for certain audiences it is possible.

Nats fans – By supporting Zuckerman over the last year, they showed that there is a market for coverage of a franchise that has struggled for mainstream coverage for a variety of reasons. Covering the Nats is not economically viable, but necessary in the D.C. media marketplace.

In addition to the winners listed above, CSN has made a big decision to cover the Nats. The channel will never get to even bid on airing the Nats games because as part of his “compensation” for “allowing” Washington to get a team, Peter Angelos got the Nats TV rights for some reason. Basically, Angelos is a big coward who feared regional competition and MLB commissioner Bud Selig is an even bigger coward who caved into the ludicrous demands of Angelos. For CSN to put that aside and decided to cover a team on a rival channel shows that they see the necessity of covering every local team, regardless of who broadcasts them, is promising. CSN has some challenges ahead of it with Ted Leonsis openly discussing forming his own channel for broadcasting his teams games, so moving in the direction of a sports news outlet is a smart business decision.

Another aspect of this is whether the Nats have followed this situation at all. If they have, they ought to be really pleased that the fanbase cares enough to have supported Zuckerman’s experiment. Given overall tone deafness about…well, everything (see no winter caravan/convention) , I don’t know if they will comprehend that this is a promising development.

Yesterday, I contacted Zuckerman because I had not seen if he would be traveling with the Nats on the road. In his email reply, he indicated that he expected to attend as many road, about 60, as he had with natsinsider.com. Call it a hunch, but that post-All Star break trip to Atlanta and Houston just might not make it on the itinerary. DCRTV also indicates that Zuckerman will help out with CSN’s Washington Capitals coverage.

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Watch out JDLand, here comes Stephen Strasburg! Gorzo, too

The Post checked in on Stephen Strasburg again and the good news is that he is “in the best shape” of his life which I was not expecting until the start of spring training. Except for his elbow of course. He expects to pick up a baseball again later this month for this first time since his UCL popped in August.

In his spare time, Strasburg is taking classes at San Diego State University.

In an effort to work toward a degree, he took two public administration classes at San Diego State. SDSU, PA 460 and PA 497, a thesis course. He wrote his thesis on the effect new stadiums have on neighborhoods, focusing his research on Nationals Park. He poured through pored over facts and figures, including the hiring process of construction workers and the history of the Anacostia waterfront.

See that JD Land, Strasburg is butting in on your turf!

I hope his thesis becomes available, I am quite curious to find out what his conclusion winds up being. Suppose he concludes that new stadiums are bad — that’d be awkward.

GORZO THE MIGHTY!

Oh and the Nats acquired Tom Gorzelanny for 3 “prospects.” I, for one, welcome our new emperor of the universe.

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