24 November 2011

Thanksgiving

With all due respect to the Pilgrims, to the traditional sentiments of harvest time, and to expressions of gratitude, both cosmic and local, Thanksgiving Day for some of us constitutes chiefly the center of the football season -- its culmination for high schools, and a good time for the college games that serve as the natural lead-in to the wonders of the bowl-game season. Have you ever noticed, after all, how much a turkey looks like a football?

Last year at this time (and the year before) I was expressing my own gratitude to the fates for bringing Coach Edsall to the helm of the football program of the University of Connecticut. This year, that might not seem apt, since Edsall is no longer there. Just after the end of last year's (glorious!) season, which brought the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl,  he left for what he called his "dream job," coaching the Maryland Terrapins.  I don't begrudge him upward mobility, but the I have to say I thought the manner of the announcement unnecessarily harsh.

Also, alas, UConn isn't haven't the kind of outstanding season to which I was reacting last year.

Still, think good thoughts!  Though the Huskies lost last weekend to the Louisville Cardinals, 34 to 20, QB Johnny McEntee threw for 253 yards and redshirt freshman Lyle McCombs (of Staten Island, New York) became only the second UConn freshman ever to pass the 1,000 yard mark rushing in a season.

So: good effort guys. And, by the way, Edsall isn't exactly going gangbusters at his new job. Wake Forest just administered a shellacking to them. Edsall's old team has a better record than his new team for the season. Good luck to Coach Paul Pasqualoni, and may he and this team prosper in years to come.

This coming Saturday, UConn plays the Rutgers Scarlett Knights. The Knights' roster includes their sophomore phenom Jawan Jamison and junior wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. Tough opposition, and it would be a worthy notch on the bedpost for UConn to pull out a W there.

The kickoff is set for noon at Rentschler Field, and the game may be covered by ESPN2. If it is, I'll be grateful.

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