WASHINGTON — Emotions in sports are awesome. We love the thrill of victory, and, we also revel in someone’s agony of defeat, right or wrong.
Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds tied Montee Ball for the NCAA All-time rushing touchdown lead with 77 touchdowns. I was fighting tears while I was on the air. I’m an emotional guy, period, especially with family accomplishments and sports. I watch John Riggins 42-yard run in Super Bowl 17, I still get massive goose bumps as Frank Herzog screams “He’s Gone, He’s Gone.”
(Editor’s Note: Pete Medhurst is in his third season as radio play-by-play announcer for Navy Football.)
Reynolds is a wonderful player and an even better kid. He and his teammates wake up at 6:30 every morning. How many football players do that during the course of the week? He is humble, hard-working and deserves all the accolades that come with breaking the record in a huge matchup in the American Athletic Conference this week at unbeaten Memphis. It’s likely that, by early Sunday morning, he will be all alone atop that list, and do it in his home state.
Duke-Miami Blown Call
The raw emotion for Duke, which had its season derailed by poor officiating mechanics at its highest level. The scary part; the line judge was looking right at the Miami player whose knee was on the ground. LOOKING RIGHT AT IT! How do you blow that call? If you have ever been in a replay booth, a decent percentage of replay officials are retired officials and, for whatever reason, don’t want to overrule when it’s close, or maybe just can’t see. There cannot be a nine-minute review.
Officiating is subjective in many ways. However, there are certain mechanics that need to be followed and this crew did NOT do that. They committed multiple errors in trying to get a resolution to end the game. They did not do their jobs. The ACC acted accordingly in suspending them.
Frank Beamer Retiring
Listening to Frank Beamer’s press conference, I fought tears again listening to a proud man who turned around a program that had nothing going for it when he took over. 277 wins, seven conference titles, and turned the program into a legitimate national power. He brought high level football and developed a fan base that is as loyal and die-hard as any in the country. The team became known as a Special teams stalwart, embraced Thursday night games in Blacksburg and did it without the NCAA lingering in the hills of Tennessee with a telescope looking for problems.
Most notably, Frank Beamer is calling his shot. He’s getting out before many accuse him of being a CEO, like Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. Two coaches who hung around too long and spoke in generalities at their press conferences in latter years. Beamer made Virginia Tech a brand. One year it looked like UNC was wooing Beamer and the longtime coach showed great loyalty to a school that his kids attended and allowed him to become a big name in the profession.
Matt Kenseth Wrecks Logano
Finally, Matt Kenseth is a champion NASCAR driver. One of four top-flight drivers at Joe Gibbs racing and, by all accounts, a genuine good guy in the sport. An incident at Kansas that produced a spin costing Kenseth a possible victory was still fresh in his mind on Sunday at Martinsville. Joey Logano was on the verge of his fourth straight win with 47 laps remaining when Kenseth, several laps down, plowed into the side of Logano, forcing him out of the lead and costing him valuable points in The Chase standings.
It begs the question: Can the ACC reverse Duke-Miami outcome? Should NASCAR take the unprecedented step of awarding Logano points that he lost due to Kenseth’s intentional act, that left fans giving him a standing ovation? We know the answer is no. No one has the you-know-whats to take that step, but, it was a weekend of great emotions that sports theater gives us every week. Some are tears of joy, some are not.
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