Dec. 27, 2009
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and Santa Claus made a delivery. I'm sitting on the sofa watching some boring NFL football...trying not to go raid the refrigerator...again. The weather in north Alabama was adequately Christmas-like...cold...blustery...and we even saw a few snow flakes on Christmas morning. It is the most wonderful time of year, and I do hope you all were able to make the most of it.
I'm anticipating one more Christmas gift to arrive Monday...a top-25 ranking for the UAB basketball team. The Blazers have certainly earned the right to ranked among the best teams in the country after putting together a 10-game win streak and knocking off two ranked teams in the span of a week. The Green and Gold were receiving votes last week in the AP poll, and I will be totally shocked if Mike Davis and company are not appearing in both polls this week.
As we all recover from Christmas and get ready for the arrival of 2010, the Blazers will be closing out the non-conference schedule with two more opportunities to impress the nation. If UAB can come away with wins over an ACC and an SEC team in the next seven days, both on the road, then the question of a ranking will be irrelevant. The question will be how high will the Blazers be in the polls? Now, going to Virginia and Arkansas is not the easiest way to continue a double-digit win streak, but I do think UAB has a good chance, if the Blazers play well, to come away with wins in both. The good news about these two games is that I think it does nothing but help Mike Davis' team, win or lose (barring a total disaster in one or both). It's two quality opponents...on the road...from power conferences...with name recognition.
I've never been to Charlottesville, but I have heard wonderful things about the UVA campus. I look forward to seeing the sights and also calling a game from John Paul Jones Arena. Fayetteville is a different story. I've spent a good bit of time at the home of the Razorbacks. Bud Walton Arena is one of the absolute best to watch a basketball game, and one of my favorite restaurants is also in Fayetteville. I'm lobbying now to try to get them to open on New Year's Day!
It's two good trips...two good chances to extend the winning streak...two opportunities to gain a little more national attention...and a chance to be 13-1 heading into Conference USA play next week. (Next week? Really? Wow.)
On that note, we'll open the league slate with a home game on January 6th against East Carolina. The home crowds have been tremendous so far, and I hope you are making your plans to be a regular at Bartow Arena once 2010 arrives. If you weren't there for the Butler game, you missed quite an atmosphere. Coach Davis and the players appreciate you...the department appreciates you...and I appreciate you. As a broadcaster, a good team always helps things sound better...and so does a raucous crowd. Bartow Arena is a wonderful place to watch a game, and when the crowd gets into it, you can't tell if it's 8,000 or 18,000 there rooting on the Blazers. You make the broadcast sound better, and you make the Blazers play better!
I hope you have an uneventful final week of the year...and the decade (THAT is hard to believe, too.) If possible, don't work. If you do have to work, don't do too much! Enjoy all the bowl games this week...tune in for the Blazers and Cavaliers...and keep an eye out for the UAB/Arkansas game...there's a chance you may be able to watch it next Saturday. Regardless, we'll have if for you on the Blazers ISP Sports Network bright and early Saturday morning.
Have a very safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve...and a prosperous 2010.
Happy New Year and GO BLAZERS!!!