Game Day: San Diego State @ Notre Dame

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After waiting for a long nine months (or 12, if you knew the season was over after Georgia Tech AND Michigan), Notre Dame’s 2008 Football campaign kicks off today against none other than San Diego State, member of the juggernaut Mountain West conference. Couldn’t we at least have gotten BYU? Regardless, our proverbial Christmas has arrived, and hopefully Charlie, Clausen and Co. come bearing gifts. We definitely know they are bringing a cupcake to the party. My question is: Are YOU pumped yet? Kick off is only 3 hours away! If you aren’t, then watch our ND propaganda.

Are you not entertained!?! Hehe. Coverage kicks off at 3:30 on your local NBC station, home of all Irish home games. It’s genuinely tough not envisioning myself getting ready to be heading out to the stadium right now. For the past four years, no matter what, opening weekend was always spectacular. I guess this would be the four year anniversary of the epic Michigan upset where we got to rush the field in our first game as freshman! We never got to again.

What to look for today? well, hopefully, lots of points. SDSU has lost half of their defense due to injury. Hopefully the revamped offensive line can capitalize on this and just pound the rock up their throats. Success in the running game not only today, but this year will be the key to rebounding from the tough year last year. SDSU can definitely get the confidence going (as can beating a weakened Michigan next week, well, beating Michigan at ANY time). We’ll also see if the defense can rebound from getting pummeled last year as well. There often was no penetration, and blitzes were often ineffective. The coverage? Well that hasn’t been a strong point for a couple of years, but we’re hoping that our young DB’s can develop (quickly), though we saw flashes of brilliance last year with Walls.

Today should be a relatively easy game for the Irish. I’m jealous not to be there, as many fellow ’08 grads, not to mention, my best friends, are at the game! Hope you guys enjoy! Look for the Irish to win comfortably 34-13 and continue their winning streak from last year.

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The Redeem Team… and other Olympic Tidbits

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It’s nice to actually be up a decent hour! This means that I can actually watch the Olympics in the living room (since the remote to MY tv is still in Texas). Perhaps the best part of the morning? Hearing the old NBC NBA basketball theme song during the US – Greece game. If you miss it as much as I do (but not so much the NBA itself) you can listen to it by watching this clip from youtube!

The USA basketball team was affectionately dubbed as so by the media prior to today’s basketball game between USA and Greece. All the talk leading up to the game surrounded the victory by the Greeks in the FIBA semifinals against the United States, a 101 – 95 upset. Today’s game had a different outcome, as the US totally dominated for most of the match beating the Greeks comfortably 92 – 69. A much improved defense and noticeable chemistry s probably attributed to the program’s new head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and he means business. He, of course, brings his Duke coaching expertise to the table, and has managed to forge a skilled basketball-playing machine from a conglomerate of professional athletes. Oh, and he has their respect too. The win improves the US to 3-0, and makes the highly anticipated showdown between the US and Spain even more dramatic, as both teams will enter the game with undefeated records. Catch it Saturday morning at 10! (Just your classic Coach K instructional pic… with ‘Melo listening)

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Men’s soccer disappoints… AGAIN. They didn’t even have to worry about being on European soil! After a narrow escape from Japan in the opening match, the Dutch seemed to have knocked the life out of the US with a goal in stoppage time to force a 2-2 draw. This left the US the manageable task of simply drawing or beating the Nigerians. The US simply could not finish their chances, having plenty of them despite a 3rd minute red card to Michael Orozco, which left them a man down for the rest of the match. This pic definitely captures the spirit of the moment. Very down.

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Women’s soccer moved on to the quarterfinals. No surprise there. We’ll see how they match up against stiffer competition, especially with the absence of Abby Wambach.

Some random notes: Cuba won a gold in Greco-Roman wrestling. The first few matches I saw were pretty boring… just a lot of maintaining the advantage in the defensive position. But of course, leave it to the Russians to kick it up a notch. Badminton is probably the craziest sport I’ve ever seen on TV. The announcers said that strikes of the shuttlecock can exceed 200 miles per hour!?! That’s faster than jai alai! The reflexes required are ridiculous. Currently, its South Korea and Great Britain. Annnnnd James Blake just took the first set from Roger Federer in men’s olympic singles tennis. That’s only Blake’s second set win against Federer out of the 23 they have played against each other. Wowsers.

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Edit: Blake “just” (darn tape delay) won the match, 6-4 7-6 (7-3) moving him to the semis! Congrats James!

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