See other templatesSee other templates

Welcome!

Thanks for joining us! We write about sports, food, life and anything else interesting here in Ashburn and Loudoun County, all while cramming as many features into the site as possible.

Our staff consists of one old man and a dog named Maggie The WonderBeagle. Want to know more? Click on the icon below:

About Us

Feb
10

Addition Of Kristaps Porzingis Makes Wizards Interesting Again

Up until about 2:30 p.m., it looked like Bradley Beal’s season-ending wrist injury would leave the Wizards with the same roster that had lost 26 of its last 40 games.

But sometimes, deadlines create an increased level of urgency.

Minutes before the 3 p.m. buzzer sounded, Washington agreed to send point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and power forward Davis Bertans to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for forward/center Kristaps Porzingis. General manager Tommy Sheppard found a suitor for his team’s two least tradable contracts without attaching draft picks to them, while acquiring a valuable player.

Continue reading
1
Tags:
Feb
06

What Will Wizards Do At Trade Deadline? What Should They Do?

It’s been a strange, disappointing season for the Washington Wizards. With a five-year, $242 million new contract potentially looming this offseason, Bradley Beal hasn’t been able to elevate the Washington Wizards to a top six record in the Eastern Conference so far this season. By his own admission, another play-in game appearance would be a step backwards.

With the NBA Trade Deadline coming up on Thursday, February 10 at 3 p.m., the Washington Wizards, and President and General Manager Tommy Sheppard (right), have multiple decisions to make. Do they want to push forward for a playoff spot, or is it time to start over? Who amongst the plethora of young players on the roster should be retained as foundational pieces going forward? Who could be moved on from for something of greater value?

The Roadmap For A Rebuild

If the Wizards were to “blow it up” – which is what a lot of Wizards fans want, they’d have to do so delicately. Realistically, the organization will want to keep Beal, and Beal will also want to get paid as much as he can get (which by league rules, can only happen if he re-signs in Washington).

Continue reading
2
Tags:
Jan
24

Ricky Thinks It's Doubtful This VT Team Makes NCAA Tournament

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech)
Sean Pedulla (left) and Nahiem Alleyne

I’ve never been very good at easing into tough topics. Ask my editor, the wise and thoughtful Dave, and he will tell you the same thing. Too often, my ledes hit the reader over the head with a giant mallet rather than leading them to the topic I’d like to discuss.

So, the above paragraph is my latest attempt to lead my audience to an uncomfortable truth that I’m writing about today — Virginia Tech men's basketball is probably not going to make the NCAA Tournament this season.

At 10-8 with just two ACC wins, the Hokies are all but dead in the water. Barring a sudden turnaround from multiple players, we have learned exactly who the Hokies are this season — a below-average Power 5 team.

I honestly can’t believe I’m writing this with 13 games left on the schedule, but I’ve seen enough. Virginia Tech does not look like they're going to accomplish their goal of reaching March Madness.

Even in failure, there is opportunity. So, during these final 13 games, here’s what I’m hoping to see from the Hokies.

Continue reading
1
Jan
17

Brent Pry Gets It. He Showed That Today On The Drillfield...

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech)

So much of hiring the right college football coach comes down to “fit”.

There’s no concrete definition of what that means, but you know exactly what I mean when I write that. Bostonian Brian Kelly is an awful fit at LSU, but the Tigers’ athletic department hired him anyway. Shane Beamer was a great fit at South Carolina, and the Gamecocks looked competent for the first time in years this season.

In sports, fit matters. It matters more so in college athletics, which is why it was critical for Whit Babcock to find someone who fit in Blacksburg. Not just anybody can be a head football coach at Virginia Tech.

We just finished learning that lesson in earnest.

Enter Brent Pry, who in the span of just a few days seems to have confirmed that he is the right fit at Virginia Tech.

Continue reading
3
Jan
05

He's Back! And Ricky Has A Few Resolutions To Share...

First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed your holiday season. Christmas and New Year’s are important holidays on the calendar for my family, and it almost always means a trip west to see Father LaBlue on his Tennessee farm.

After my return, I, like many of you, watched Virginia Tech get demolished on national television. And to make matters worse, the ACC Network replayed the Hokies’ abomination for the few freaks who get off on bad football.

But all that is in the past now. As the calendar turns, so does Brent Pry and Virginia Tech.

I imagine that nothing is going to be the same. Did Justin Fuente ever tweet out a rallying cry to the fanbase after an abysmal performance? Did the Hokies ever walk up to a premier Power 5 program and take one of their best coaching assistants?

I didn’t think so.

So with a new year and a new coaching staff comes new resolutions for the Virginia Tech football program. Here are my recommendations:

Continue reading
2
Jan
04

Now If I Could Only Get My Apple Watch To Measure These...

A year ago, I wrote a story about my new year’s resolutions for 2021. To be honest, I had completely forgotten about it until the woman who owns all my stuff reminded me last week that I had listed a number of goals in that piece, but being nicer to her and being more receptive to what she wants was not in the top 3.

Do better this year, she gently suggested, as only a spouse of over 40 years can.

“Yeah, what she said, but for me too,” said a certain brown and white dog who answers to the name “Wonderbeagle.”

So there will be no goals or resolutions this year. In fact, the point of any resolution I might have made this year would be to avoid all the numbers and measurements that seem to have dominated my life these last 65 years.

It starts the first time anyone plays sports, as it is drilled into you to always strive to do better than you did the last time. You measure how long, how fast, how much, etc. and then next time out, see how you fare in pursuit of a “personal best.” It then progresses to your business life, where you compare previous performance in other months, quarters and years to determine success. If you can’t measure it, you find yourself saying, you can’t manage it.

Then at one point later in life you find yourself walking around in a circle in your living room at 11 PM on a Thursday night. Why? Because you’re 113 steps shy of 10,000 steps and you just can’t let that happen. Doesn’t really matter that 6 laps around the coffee table on carpet in your bare feet doesn’t have much of an impact on your overall fitness. But by then you’ve become a slave to the numbers.

The obsession ends up extending far beyond exercise. I like to read, but found myself looking up all the titles I’d consumed for the year in December to see how many books I’d read in 2021. Did it matter? No. But other people were posting on social media how many books they’d read, how many miles they walked, etc. And if you’re a competitive person, you HAVE to keep up with all these people on social media. That you’ve never met. And never will. And don’t even know their real names.

Continue reading
2
Tags:
Jan
03

I Don't Just Like The Hire Of Joe Rudolph; I LOVE It...

There are a lot of things Hokie fans can say they’ve been concerned about over the past few years, but the one question I’ve had trouble answering of late has been these three words: Who are we?

During the hey day of the Frank Beamer days, it was an easy question to answer. The Hokies were tough defensively with Bud Foster’s attacking defenses. They earned the nickname DBU for all the defensive backs the Hokies sent to the next level. They were a hard-nosed running team that got you two yards when you faced 4th and 1.

And above all else, they were stable and consistent. Meet the staff one day in Blacksburg, then come back five years later, and 95 percent of the staff would still be the same. Virginia Tech had a brand, and it meant many of the things.

The last few years, that changed and certainly contributed to why the program changed head coaches two months ago. But today, with the formal announcement that Joe Rudolph has been hired as associate head coach/run game coordinator/O-line coach, it sure looks like Virginia Tech is about to go back to the future.

Continue reading
3
Dec
30

After Yesterday's Game, A Change WILL Do Us Good....

It was only a few minutes after Virginia Tech’s 54-10 loss to Maryland that the question arrived on my phone via text.

“Do you think,” asked the text, “that this was the most unsatisfying season you’ve seen as a Hokie fan?”

It’s an interesting question. It didn’t ask if this was the worst season. Or biggest disappointment of a season. Just if it was the most unsatisfying.

Since I’ve seen more than 50 seasons of Hokie football, I had to think for a few moments. That season in 1973 when the team went 2-9 and lost to Alabama 77-6 was a pretty bad one, particularly in light of the team under Charlie Coffey having a winning season the year before. But in that situation, I was a new Hokie fan – so I didn’t have much to compare it to – and change was immediate. Coffey had a bad year, and the next year he wasn’t the coach.

Then there was the famous Frank Beamer season of 2-8-1 in 1992, where just about every close game went against them. A 50-49 loss to Rutgers was that team’s version of the 77-6 loss to Alabama 19 years prior, and the Hokies only beat two teams – James Madison and Temple.

But even then, I can’t say it was unsatisfying. In at least 5 of those games, Virginia Tech had a better than average chance to come out the winner, no matter whether you wore orange and maroon colored glasses or not. You could see the potential, and when Beamer made some changes on his staff, the next year began the streak of 27 consecutive bowl game appearances.

Continue reading
4
Dec
29

John Madden: He Was The Real Deal...

I think enough people have written about the greatness of John Madden as a coach and broadcaster in the last 24 hours, so I’ll leave that sort of story to others. Instead, I’ll talk about one aspect of Madden I’ve always admired and tried to take to heart throughout a lifetime of watching and listening.

Madden, when it came to the people he coached and the people who were around him, cared, and it was no act. He had a gift for understanding people, realizing everyone is unique in some aspect, and learned to push the different buttons we all have to get the very best of you.

It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people can’t or won’t do that. Over the years, I’ve worked with people who think everyone must be treated the same and conform to a similar outlook, and they’ve all had one thing in common: they were incompetent managers.

Madden understood that what works with one person and his unique experiences did not always work with someone with a different background. It’s why he took a collection of very talented but labeled by some as uncoachable misfits, and was able to mold this band of free spirits into a Super Bowl Champion in Oakland.

Some can coach a team full of No. 1 draft choices to a title. Madden could win with players from the island of misfit toys.

Continue reading
2
Tags:
Dec
23

Who I Would Play In The Pinstripe Bowl For The Hokies...

The Hokies have released their depth chart ahead of Wednesday’s Pinstripe Bowl against Maryland, and with the amount of roster attrition that has taken place since the end of the regular season, it seems a difficult task in trying to put a particularly inspiring team on the field.

Despite all of that, however, I think there are some alternatives that should be considered.

As always, depth charts are unofficial. What you see above may not be reflected in the players’ on-field usage during Wednesday’s game. In some cases, maybe we should be hoping that the pecking order at some positions changes on game day.

Continue reading
1
Dec
23

Here's To Hoping This Holiday Season, Your Cup Runneth Over...

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and since every Christmas deserves a good story with a happy ending, allow me to tell my 2021 version of such a tale.

The adventure begins back in 1974, when in the first five minutes after I had moved into Pritchard Hall on the Virginia Tech campus, I met Doug. He was in the room next to mine, and after meeting each other, we became instant and lifelong friends.

We were both competitive sorts who enjoyed trash talking each other, but our skills were widely different, making competitions between us a bit interesting. When it came to sports, I was a 6-foot-4 white guy who couldn’t jump and had the quickness of a pregnant rhinoceros, but if left open, I could consistently hit an outside shot. This came in handy when Doug and I played either H-O-R-S-E or one-on-one, as I’d toy with him and let him get ahead, then drill three straight long jumpers to crush him.

Doug, conversely, was a table game wizard. On a foosball table, he could snap his wrists with no effort and score goals at will. I later in life bought a foosball table for my basement, trying to learn to be good enough to give him a run for his money. But every time he visited, he toyed with me in foosball the way I taunted him in basketball.

The rivalry went up a notch during my sophomore year at Virginia Tech, where I received at Christmas a gift that became the focal point of our competitions for years to come: It was an NHL Hockey game (the one where the players were connected to long thin rods that you’d push or pull to move your player, and twist the knobs connected to those rods to make the players shoot). After the holidays, I bought it back to the dorm, and Doug and I ended up playing this game all the time (this was before video games, cell phones, the internet, and a bunch of other stuff my daughter can’t believe we did without).

We knew nothing about hockey, but it provided everything we needed: a game you could play that allowed for constant trash talking, required no electricity or special equipment, was portable, and could be set up just about anywhere.

The game came with a miniature Stanley Cup, and whoever won that day’s game took it back to their room, as the trophy’s presence in your living area afforded you bragging and trash-talking rights until the next game. It went back and forth between us until for some reason, momentum shifted squarely to my side.

Continue reading
4
Tags:

Login

Current Subscribers Log In Here

Ricky LaBlue

Ricky LaBlue

A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.

Stephen Newman

Stephen Newman

The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.

If You Absolutely Insist...

Donate

The site is a labor of love, so we don't expect any help. But if you absolutely insist, here's how you could do it...Just click here.

Go to top