VIEW FROM THE BOOTH - DAVID CRANE

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October 29, 2007

EIGHTH TIME THE CHARM?

Blazer fans,

I've seen enough purple and gold to last me a while, and if I hear another "Arrrrrrrrrgh" in the next, oh, nine months, I think I'll call coach Shoop and borrow a baseball bat to use on my skull. East Carolina, regrettably, had a happy homecoming at the Blazers' expense last Saturday. Coach Callaway noted in his weekly press gathering that there really weren't many positives you could take from the game last Saturday. He also said the team would be returning to a more physical week of practice. The coaches had backed off somewhat the last few weeks due to all the injuries and the time of year. Most teams scale back, somewhat, on the amount of hitting during the week the later you get in the season. Coach Callaway hopes the renewed "energy" on the practice field will carry over to Saturday.

Speaking of Saturday, I hope you're planning on coming out to Legion Field for the Southern Miss game. The weather should be picture perfect for tailgating and football. I know the last two weeks haven't gone exactly as planned, but now isn't the time to jump ship on the Green and Gold. With four games remaining, the Blazers can still have a positive finish to the season and set the tone for the off-season and spring practice. It was great to see over 41,000 at the East Carolina game in Greenville last Saturday, and it sure would be nice to have a good turnout this weekend for the first of the two remaining home games in 2007.

Southern Miss has had our number over the years. The Golden Eagles are 7-0 against UAB all time, but it hasn't been easy. The Blazers have been oh-so-close on numerous occasions, and I can't think of a better time to end the skid than this Saturday. USM played a mighty good UCF team in Hattiesburg on Sunday night, and Jeff Bower's team will be anxious to get back in the win column after the home loss to the Knights. Let's hope the short week will have a negative effect on the Black and Gold. They were the pre-season pick to win Conference USA, but two losses in Hattiesburg have severely hurt their chances. It sure would be nice to add to their misery AND pick up win number one over Southern Miss all in one night. Our pre-game show begins at 4:30 PM from Blazer Village, just outside the north end zone at Legion Field. Kickoff is slated for just past 6 PM.

We're heading into the final month of football's regular season, so that means basketball season is right around the corner. You'll have a chance to get a sneak preview of the UAB men's team this coming Thursday night. The Blazers will play an exhibition game against West Alabama here in Birmingham. Tip time at Bartow Arena is set for 7 PM. There's plenty of excitement surrounding Mike Davis' squad, and it sure will be fun to see them in live action.

The season gets underway on November 10th. The Green and Gold will play at Georgia State to start the campaign. The first home game comes November 13th as Stetson will pay a visit to the Magic City. If you haven't renewed or placed your order for season tickets, DO IT NOW!!! The Blazers are picked to finish second in Conference USA, behind pre-season top-five-ranked Memphis. Oh by the way, the Tigers come to Bartow Arena on Saturday, February 16th, for the first of two regular season showdowns.

Don't forget to FALL BACK next Saturday...an extra hour of sleep is nice...the sun setting at 4:30 PM...not so much.

Have a great week, and GO BLAZERS!!!

DC

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