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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Football and insomnia

Sleep? Who needs sleep?

Being a sports editor is a little like being a football coach, only with less film-watching and game-planning and more box score-complining and and high-school-soccer-story-reading. The point is, neither profession places an emphasis on sleep, and so at 3:22 a.m., this post comes to you live from The Trentonian news room, where the TV in the corner is showing highlights of the Eagles-Cowboys game for the 58th time.

Greg Schiano's press conference Monday was unlike any I've been to over the past two seasons. In spite of the Knights' humiliating 44-12 loss last week to North Carolina, I thought Schiano was actually in a better mood than he's been in at some other pressers. It was as if he figured things couldn't get any worse than they were last week, so there's no reason to be up-tight about anything.

At one point, Paul Franklin from the Home News Tribune suggested if Schiano were a fan, he'd have the best seats in the house, and Schiano quipped, "not if we keep playinglike this I won't."

The Knights play at Navy on Saturday with a good chance to pick up their first win of the season.
I'd be surprised if the Midshipmen could pull off the upset, but that has more to do with my opinion of Navy than it does my opinion of Rutgers. The Midshipmen are 1-2, having lost to Ball State (remember them?) and Duke in the last two weeks.

Quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada is expected to start after missing the first two games of the season with a torn hamstring, then leaving the Duke game in the third quarter because of heat exhuastion. He, along with slot back Shun White, make a dangerous tandem in Navy's trademark triple option offense, but the Midshipmen have been woeful this year at defending the pass, which would seem to give Mike Teel and Co. an opportunity to finally get going. Yet then again, if the Knights don't really get things together, maybe the opposite is true: Rutgers will give Navy's secondary a chance to get back on track.

The Knights opened the week as five-point favorites. I think even given the once-in-a-century instability on Wall Street, one of the dumbest things you can do with your money is use it to gamble on sports, but were I forced to place a wager, I'd take Rutgers to cover. But then again, I picked the Knights to win by 10 in each of their first two games, and look what happened. That's why I don't gamble.

Anyway, today's paper has a story about the responsibility the Rutgers captains have to lead the team out of this mess. With that, the fact that ESPN is now showing a re-run of Saturday's Maryland-Cal game tells me I need to get out of here.


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