The Carson-Newman Eagles Women’s Soccer program was once a force to be reckoned with in Division II. They had been to back-to-back Final Fours just a decade ago, but after their last playoff appearance in 2009, the program has been struggling.
Richard Moodie, a former CNU soccer player himself, was named the Men’s Soccer coach five years ago. A year later, he agreed to take on the Women’s program as well. While he took the Men to the National Championship game in 2013, he quietly and patiently began to rebuild the Eagles Women’s team.
The first three years were a struggle, as they combined to win a total of 12 games. Entering 2015, they were expected to finish 9th in the South Atlantic Conference. Tomorrow, they play their first Championship postseason match since 2009, coming off an unbelievable 18-2 season, sweeping both the SAC regular season and tournament titles. Unbelievable to everyone but themselves of course.
My latest piece at NCAA.com tells their magical story:
Do you know what 440 is, sports fans? It is roughly the amount of hours left until the Green Packers and defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks kick off the NFL season. I almost did the calculations in minutes because that’s just how boring this week in sports was. But, as always, we here at Wayniac Nation always find the lighter side in sports to bring you all that you need to know about the week that was.
Well, folks, I have finally made the jump to a full fledged soccer fan. This past weekend, Nomi the Greek and I took a little road trip to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Guinness International Champions Cup. The match, which pitted AC Milan versus Liverpool, was a star studded bout that ended in a two to nil victory for the boys from England. I was extremely spoiled as I got to see not one, but two whole goals scored! Based on my past attempts in converting to a soccer fan, this seems like a rarity.
Our adventure goes back to the World Cup final. While enjoying the game at our World Cup headquarters, Old Blinde Dog in Atlanta, where friends of Wayniac Nation Nomi the Greek, Jaybird and Kid Robot bartend, my fiance won two tickets to the match. While my fiance, a former standout soccer player herself, enjoys the game very much, she knew Nomi the Greek is a huge Liverpool fan and insisted the two of us take the tickets. Did I pick a winner or what?
We took the four hour drive from Atlanta to Charlotte and got to Bank of America Stadium right around game time. It was my first time visiting the Queen City as it’s affectionately called and it really had a fun looking downtown area. The town was overflowing with soccer fans. When it comes to soccer in America, I am still somewhat a cynic. No matter how grand the World Cup ratings were, that is a once-every-four-year phenomenon. To say I was very surprised by the amount of people flooding the streets in the Liverpool red and AC Milan red and black kit would be an understatement. Nomi the Greek who is a huge soccer fan concurred, which surprised me even more. I figured he would take the “See, dude, I told you soccer was for real,” approach, but he too was amazed by the outpouring of love for futbol.
Our section on the ticket was 342. Based on endless trips to stadiums across the country, Nomi the Greek and I both thought we were in the upper level. As we ascended the ramp amongst the drunken soccer brood, we stopped in confusion when we approached the 300 level. The sign read Silver Club Level. There was no way we won free tickets to this game AND were going to get to sit in sick seats, was there?
Why, yes, yes there was. We had a great view and after an endearing singing of You’ll Never Walk Alone (Liverpool’s theme song for those of you not in the know… how these buffoons chose a Gerry and the Pacemakers tune over a Beatles song is beyond me but that is their business) the ball was in play. Less than twenty minutes into play, Liverpool led a ferocious attack on AC Milan’s net, booting one off of the post and then one off the goalie before Joe Allen put the rebound in the net. The crowd went bananas, Liverpool had one of those group hugs that futbol clubs do after scoring and I was pumped. I was certain that I was in for a high scoring affair unlike any other. Alas, I would wait approximately 68 minutes for the next goal to occur.
Is that why soccer finds itself such a hard time being accepted stateside? The tempo? It can’t be that because if you have ever been to a baseball game in Atlanta in mid-August when the temperatures are always hot and the Braves are always cold it feels like the game last for days. Is it the lack of finality? Of the Big Four American sports, hockey is the least favorite. Like soccer, it is the only sport that has a healthy amount of ties throughout the season. We like resolution. We want answers, we want to know who is the better team. Think about how angry you are when two NFL teams play to a tie. It’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen, right?
Being at a soccer match is a world of difference. The fans are totally energized and it felt like ninety of the quickest minutes I have ever lived. I’ve often felt that when I am watching soccer matches on TV that it takes an eternity to get through, especially when I have no rooting interest in either team. But actually watching this match in person with two teams I had nothing invested in was a blast. I was actually yearning for another half of futbol, but Liverpool had to get down to Miami to get whooped by Manchester United in the Championship Match.
While driving back to Atlanta, Charlotte’s streets were a mob scene. Nomi the Greek was creeping along at maybe two miles per hour. We were sitting in the middle of some road, dead stopped in traffic when all of a sudden AC Milan’s coaching staff started getting off of the bus two cars in front of us. Tired of the jam, they started walking towards the Omni Hotel. Shortly after, the players started walking. “If Balotelli gets off that bus, you are getting out of this car and getting an autograph,” Nomi the Greek commanded. Sure enough, a few players later, there he was. I felt like I was looking at the Shaquille O’Neal of soccer. He was a huge hulking specimen with an electric blonde mohawk. The rap against Balotelli is that he is extremely over rated, which I can understand, but watching him play live and in person, I see it otherwise. Balotelli is about to turn 24 years old. He is a kid who is sought after by every significant futbol club in the world. Like many youngsters who had too much too soon, he seemed to get cocky. I can tell you straight up after watching him in Charlotte that this kid can do what ever he wants with a soccer ball. He can dribble in and out of defenders, send a perfectly placed pass anywhere he chooses and fire on goal seemingly at will. But the effort was clearly not there 100 percent of the time. He often looked bored on the field. Maybe he is one of those Carmelo Anthony-esque players who look like they are just cruising along because the game comes so easily to them, but I think he takes plays off. I can also tell you he is not the most personable of people, but hey, at least he signed an autograph for me!
Overall it was an amazing experience, especially for a sports blogger who has just recently began to explore the unchartered territory of soccer fandom. Perhaps I will finally take in that first WNBA game in hopes that the experience is the same, although I highly doubt that day will come. Thanks for a great evening Charlotte!
The reason I started Wayniac Nation, for those that are still unaware, was my complete and utter disdain for ESPN. I think a majority of their anchors are hacks and that their programming has become complete fluff. As I have said before, they are the TMZ/ Enquirer of sports. I get way more from my daily dose of Chuck and Chernoff than I do from ten minutes of SportsCenter. The coverage of the LeBron James Decision Part Deux has only justified my remorse.
That said, the biggest sports news of the week comes from the NBA. First overall pick Andrew Wiggins completely outplayed second overall pick Jabari Parker in their first meeting Friday in the NBA rookie summer league from Las Vegas. Elsewhere, LeBron James, aka The King, aka The Chosen One, also returned home to Cleveland, the place he left four years ago to rise to amazing heights in Miami while Cleveland sunk into obscurity. Fans burned Bron’s jerseys when he left for the Heat, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said some harsh words about his character, and people across the nation deemed The Decision as the biggest egotistical piece of horse manure they ever had to endure. And now he is back. The Cavaliers went from 60-1 underdogs for the NBA title to the 3-1 overall favorites to win the whole dang thing. Here’s the thing: if this whole sign and trade with the Lakers and Bulls falls through for Pau Gasol and the Spurs wind up with Gasol, none of this matters. Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich will have one for the other hand.
This whole thing smells fishy to me. I feel like this was David Stern’s master plan, and if any league in the world would set something up simply for ratings, it is certainly the soap opera that the NBA is. No one cared when Bron was in Cleveland, so did the NBA ship him to Miami, a major market, to revive the fading NBA viewership? You can’t argue that it didn’t work. The NBA is back and now, LeBron can go home. Maybe I give to much credit to the Illuminati, but I feel like that this was all set up four years ago. And now poor Carmelo Anthony has resigned with New York. I guess this guy never wants to win a championship, but at least he got a chip with my boys up in ‘Cuse!
Moving on to futbol, today is the day we find out the kings of the world. The 2014World Cup concludes today with Agrentina facing off against Germany. Germany decimated host country Brazil, scoring more times in six minutes than seniors do on prom night. It was unreal and seemed entirely too easy. Four goals in six minutes and a nation was left crying. CRYING!!! Could you imagine if Jimmy Dugan was the coach?
Lionel Messi gets the chance to add the final piece to his ultimate trophy collection and prove that he truly is the best player in the world. Argentina advanced to the finals after a grueling 120 minutes of nothing. Seriously, that game was why it is so hard to get Americans to completely convert to futbol. Then, when nothing was decided, they turned to penalty kicks. I like the concept of penalty kicks, but I do have a problem with such a big game being decided by them. They are largely luck, either the goalie chooses correctly and dives in the right direction, or you lose. Regular season games, sure. Quarter final games, why not? But once you are in the semi finals, I think you play until someone scores. And if players start collapsing then so be it! Could you imaging Game 7 of the World Series tied after 10 innings and they go to a home run derby to decide the world champion? Wait a second, that actually sounds amazing!
Speaking of the MLB, Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum continue to do ridiculous things with the baseball. Kershaw’s scoreless innings streak was snapped at 41 yet he still hurled a complete game. His last seven starts are video game-esque: he has allowed a mere three runs while striking out 71 and walking six with a no hitter along the way. The Freak has been equally superb allowing just one run over his last four starts with a no hitter as well. Meanwhile, the Yankees have one, ONE, starting pitcher in their rotation that started the season with them. Looks like I picked the right year to start writing for my favorite team. Oooo, can I really line up that Jeff Francis interview now?
TheNHL free agency period continued this week.
Lastly, the Andre Johnson soap opera continues out of Houston in the NFL. Andre wants out, but John McClain, who knows more about the Texans than Gary Kubiak ever did, says Johnson isn’t going anywhere. Due to his hefty contract, the Texans won’t trade Johnson and eat all of that money, so the question remains whether he will hold out or play. Across the state in Dallas, Kyle Orton still hasn’t reported either, leaving Brandon Weeden the backup for Tony Romo. That is the worst sentence ever typed in the history of the NFL.
Another week of sports is in the books. We have a lot on deck here at Wayniac Nation this coming week, including a look into why minor league baseball is so much fun. When you are finally Bron-ed out, come on back and check out some quality sports insights! Till next time.. MESSI MESSI MESSI!!!!
What a week, folks! Highlighted by yet another Suarez attack, there was a lot that went down around the sports world. So, fasten you seat belts, Wayniacs, as we go around the world of sports.
Here’s a little known fact: Did you know that the odds of getting bit by a shark are approximately 3.7 million to one? That means that based on the Vegas line and the course of his career, you are less likely to get bit by a shark than Uruguay’s vampire-esque superstar Luis Suarez. Suarez put the World Cup center stage with his antics, biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in a game which would eventually decide who was the last team to advance from Group D. Coincidentally, Uruguay would win, but Suarez would pay the price being suspended from soccer for the next four months. The US lost to Germany in a decisive game that still allowed the USMNT to advance for a match against Belgium this coming Tuesday. So you win a game, you draw a game, and then you lose a game… but you ultimately come out of the Group of Death alive. This all proves that Americans are still too stubborn and stupid to comprehend soccer. Can I get an amen, Ann Coulter?
Turning to America’s other pastime, baseball had an eventful week. The hair is a little bit shorter and the mustache is a bit more porn starrish, but when Tim Lincecum is feeling it, he still has the ability to wow any baseball fan. The Freak no hit the San Diego Padres for the second time in a calendar year this past Wednesday, missing a perfect game by a mere one walk of Chase Headley. The Angels’ young superstar, center fielder Mike Trout also blasted his way into the the headlines. Trout slammed a home run 489 feet into the fountains at Royals’ Stadium, proving the old adage: chicks dig the long ball.
The NBA had a lot going this past week. Currently, everyone but Norris Cole has opted out of their contracts in Miami. Now, throughout the month of July, we all get to play the Where will Queen James go? game. Who cares? Where ever it is he goes, he will win a lot of games, score a tremendous amount of points, and then lose to Tim Duncan in the NBA Finals who said he will return for another year. The NBA Draft was also this week, and of all the picks and trades that went down, none was better than Baylor’s Isaiah Austin. Austin, a projected first round pick, had to end his career before it started due to Marfan syndrome, yet Commissioner Adam Silver still called his name Thursday making Austin an honorary NBA draft pick. Between tossing that bum Sterling out on his racist rear end, not rigging the NBA Finals to let Bron win, and now this move, Silver is certainly gaining a lot of friends and momentum heading into his first full season as Commish.
The NHL had their draft as well.
Hail to the Not So Politically Correct Native Americans! The big news in the NFL this week came off the field, as the Redskins name and logo lost several of its trademarks and copy rights. It is looking more and more like Daniel Snyder will have to change his team name from the Redskins. Rumored replacement names have been the Affordable Health Cares, the Socialists, and Daniel Snyder’s Big Pile of Wasted Money. In Texans news, there is hope on the horizon, fellow Texans’ fans. Third string quarterback Case Keenum plans on reaching out to Andre Johnson to throw with during his hold out. Yea, that’s exactly what Andre needs. Everyday, AJ must be one step closer to losing his mind.
And lastly, everyone’s favorite troubled golfer Tiger Woods returned to the limelight this weekend at the Quicken Loans International… well, kind of. Woods didn’t do terribly in his first two rounds of his return, but it wasn’t good enough to make the cut. No red shirt this Sunday, but the golf world is happier their favorite feline is back.
What does the week in sports have in store? That’s the beauty of sports: you can read the Vegas lines and people’s predictions all you want, but they are about as accurate as a meteorologist. Until next time, let’s hope the Yanks beat the Sox in the rubber match tonight and make sure you have your red, white, and blue on Tuesday at 4 PM. In the immortal words of Journey: Don’t stop believing! USA… USA… USA!!!
Well, it wasn’t pretty but it certainly was entertaining. Suarez got hungry and the US lost to advance. On top of it, I only got 10 of my 16 teams to advance in my World Cup bracket at Verde. Spain really screwed me, but I was not alone. It was a historic showing for Spain as they set the new standard for worst performance by a defending champion.
Of my four super upsets only two advanced, but again, I don’t think anyone, including half of Chile, saw Chile doing what they did to Spain. My Ticos from Costa Rica won a group that no one gave them a chance in and our own US of A came out of the Group of Death alive, but not so well. Hopefully, Jozy gets clearance and is able to suit up, but we shall see. Brazil and Chile kick off at noon today, so follow along the Knockout Round and root for yours truly to march on!
Tune in tomorrow for your Wacky Week in Sports. Until then, I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!!!
Welcome to the newest feature at Wayniac Nation. Every Sunday, I am going to take you the world of sports for the week that was. So sit back, grab some coffee, and let’s go around the world of sports!
The entire world has been engulfed by the World Cup this past week. Whether you love futbol or are one of those people who loves to bash it for being boring and soft (yet tune into baseball and LeBron James and his cramps), the numbers don’t lie: more people are watching than aren’t. Luis Suarez had two goals in his 2014 World Cup debut to send England packing before the knockout round for the first time in nearly 60 years. In just three short weeks, Suarez has to return to Liverpool for the start of The Barclays/ EPL season where I’m sure he will receive a very warm welcome. Spain, who has been ranked number one in the world since 2008 and are the reigning World Cup champs, were bounced by the Cinderella Chile national team. And then there is the good ol’ US of A. Our men’s national team pulled off a big win against Ghana in game one and later today, take on an injury-plagued, suspension-filled Portugal team. The US had two great goals against Ghana but played an otherwise uninspiring game, despite the fact that major sports sites gushed about their game one performance, proving what most of the world already knew: Americans know nothing about soccer. Jozy Altidore is out, our captain has a broken nose, and the man who put US Soccer on the map in Landon Donovan is sitting at home.
Speaking of boring sports, let’s turn to baseball. MLB’s biggest diva hadn’t been in the spot light for several months, so Alex Rodriguez returned to the headlines by dropping his lawsuit against the Yankees’ medical staff. Early reports indicate that A-Rod didn’t necessarily realize he was wrong, but ultimately discovered that no one gave a rat’s ass. On a serious note, the baseball world and San Diego mourned the passing of a great one. Tony Gwynn left us this week, but will always be remembered by his big hits and bigger smile. As a lifelong Gwynn fan, I paid tribute to him this past Tuesday. If you missed it, please check it out: The Loss of a Legend.
BONEHEAD OF THE WEEK AWARD: Hanley Ramirez, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers.The 30-year old, 10-year MLB veteran short stop made the biggest error of his career on Wednesday night. Ramirez threw away an easy out in the seventh inning an in doing so, he threw out Clayton Kershaw’s perfect game, which would have arguably been the best perfect game ever thrown. Kershaw was dealing Wednesday night, needing just 107 pitches en route to striking out 15 Rockies and walking none. Yet Hanley Ramirez couldn’t reach first base. Well done, dumb ass.
Big news in the world of golf: Lucy Li, an 11-year old prodigy, made big news appearing in the Women’s US Open becoming the youngest girl ever to do so. While she didn’t make the cut, she did extremely well with 78s on an extremely tough Pinehurt No. 2 course and finished 120th out of 154 contestants. I mean, really, how bad do those 34 women feel who lost to an 11-year old right now? Oh yea, Tiger Woods also returns this coming tournament. Waffle House waitress nation wide rejoice.
The NBA is done and the Spurs, as predicted here on Wayniac Nation, won their fifth championship. Which of course means all the talk has been about Pat Riley and his big three attention hounds in Miami. Will LeBron be back? Is Dywane Wade healthy enough? Is Chris Bosh really a dinosaur? No one seems to care that Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward of all time, is 38-years old and may retire. Everyone forgot that Tony Parker was banged up heading into the Finals and like Wade, his body seems to be wearing down. Oh yea, Gregg Popovich secured his fifth ring in 18 years. No one cares.
The NFL OTAs are still under way and Andre Johnson is still a no show. I’m sure that Bill O’Brien officially naming Ryan Fitzpatrick starting quarterback for my Houston Texans will change Johnson’s mind and have him running back to training camp.
And lastly, there is nothing to report from the NHL because, well quite frankly, who the hell cares about hockey anymore anyway? But seriously folks, the Rangers lost the Stanley Cup to the Los Angeles Kings. Hope you enjoyed it Rangers’ fans. If history has showed us anything, your team won’t be relevant for at least another 20 years.
There you have it, the world of sports in under 700 words. Now go get your red, white, and blue on because I BELIEVE…
Well, folks, kickoff for the 2014 World Cup is just hours away. I have always watched the World Cup, but on the grander scale, I am really just learning about soccer. The boys from The Thread and I all picked a Premier League team last season to help delve ourselves into the world’s most popular sport, and I chose the Tottenham HotSpur. While they gave an emotional roller coaster of season firing two coaches along the way, there wasn’t much in the form of excitement from such a low scoring and boring team.
So while I boosted my knowledge of some players and the sport, here’s what I know about this year’s World Cup: it is being played in Rio Di Janeiro, Landon Donovan was left off the US Team, and FIFA hates the Americans and gave us a nearly impossibly draw. That being said, I turned to some reliable sources, my guys Manyool (aka Manny) and the notorious CP that I work with pretty much 50 hours a week. These two guys are stud soccer players and pretty much eat, breath, and sleep futbol. In fact, if futbol was a lady, they would take her out and wine and dine her. When I started putting Tottenham games on the TVs at Verde during the soccer season, they began telling me all they knew about soccer. I can assume, much like the rest of the nation, Manny and CP will be getting drunk together yelling at TVs for the next month of their lives. To ensure no stone was left unturned, I also turned to some others for help. Wayniac Nation’s own Q – Tip chimed in and, of course, I turned to The Thread for their input as well. So, sit back, pop yourself open a nice cool Brahma, and enjoy some crazy predictions.