Monday, August 02, 2004


Excuse the sand falling out of your Gazette today, it is time for my semi-annual Florida report and I had to pack this column off in a hurry.

Most of what they do in August in Florida is dream of September. Not because it is any cooler or less humid, it’’s because this strange game called football kicks off next month.. Now the incoming freshmen at the Beach probably aren’’t sure if a football is grown, pumped or stuffed but old timers at LBSU still get misty-eyed remembering the brown and gold.

Around here every news stands is five deep in football magazines, and depending where you are in the state the cover boy could be a Gator, Cane, or Seminole. Miami and Florida State are both in the Top Ten nationally and Florida U is lurking in the Top 20. The first big contest of the year of course is that September 6 national TV Monday night showdown at the Horseshoe in Little Havana known as Miami’’s Orange Bowl. Not a place that Seminoles like and a structure that creaks and groans more than the Coliseum or Wrigley Field. And that’’s just game one of at least a dozen Dixie tilts that will decide who plays USC for the national title, yes indeed, held back here in the Sunshine state.

Of course the pro football fans also have their day in the sun, is there anything but sun here in the summer? So of course when the Dolphins fair-dreadlocked runner Ricky Williams, he of the preference for a puff of weed more than the NFL would like, bolted for the Far East leaving millions of dollars behind the locals were nearly rendered speechless. That’’s when talk radio comes to the rescue and the best of the Ricky one-liners was the fellow who said, "well I have smoked a lot of dope myself so I know where he’’s coming from, but I wonder what will happen when he comes out of his haze?" To which the announcer said, "Ricky will probably say, I did what?"

REALLY ROAD DUST--Back on the travel beat the Sixth Man’’s boosters aren’’t promising any national titles but the Beach basketball team wants some passionate fans to follow them as they travel to Honolulu, Hawaii for the 41st Outrigger Hotels/Rainbow Classic, Dec. 20-23, 2004. Reservations are being accepted now at 562-799-1335. The opener is with host Hawaii and then the tourney continues with all sorts of other stalwarts including Georgetown, Oral Roberts, Clemson and the like.

Also on the move is the other half of that German volleyball connection of Doering and Fleig. Doering ditched the Beach a year early for graduate study back in the homeland and nowMelanie Fleig, who had a red shirt year, is said to have transferred to Long Island University. The 2004 Beach team will open with nine straight home matches kicking off on September 1st versus Northeastern.

Moving in to town is a new men’’s hoop helper, Anthony Stewart, who’’s last address was Columbus State Community College where he spent the past four years as an assistant coaching, among others, current 49er Shawn Hawkins. Columbus State was 86-36 in his four years as an assistant. Meanwhile number three guy Reggie Howard takes over the Associate Head Coach title, replacing Bill Carr who left in June to become the head men s basketball coach at UC San Diego.Confused, me too, so it must be time to get back on the boat and catch the one that got away.–– DR. DAN


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