National / Sports / September 22, 2011

Fulton County Haze: The first go around

In what will become a recurring piece here in the Sports section, juniors Nate Williams and Gabe Ayers (both natives of Fulton County in Illinois) will debate and discuss anything and everything that is sports.

NCAA Realignment

NW- FIRE IT UP! Let’s start with a headline which broke Saturday, that being the addition to the ACC of Syracuse and Pittsburg.

GA- Gotta love the Orange going to the ACC. You’ve got to, because even though it was done now during football season it is very obviously a basketball move.

NW- Definitely basketball driven.

GA- It is big for them because they obviously weren’t getting any competition so this move is big to the ACC.

NW- Now Pitt is also a Big East basketball power but it seems they are looking to make more strides on the football side of things.

GA- Yeah I can see that. I mean, in terms of basketball Pitt has never really gotten much credit. It’s like, ‘yeah they are good … in the Big East,’ and they are obviously a bit more of a football program than ‘Cuse.

NW- And with these moves I wouldn’t be surprised to see UConn sniffing around and looking to join the ACC.

GA- I mean, give it two years at this pace and we will have three conferences in the United States.

NW- Well, we are even seeing moves in Division III, and one actually involves Knox College. Cornell College is coming over from the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

GA- IIAC! Excuse me there. True statement, though. They are the Rams, and I am sure they will fit in here great since they are Purple and Black. And here’s some personal history, Cornell was the last college I got rid of before choosing Knox.

NW- Really?

GA- Yep, so that will be fun to play some Purple and Black on a team that I could have been on.

Cam Newton

NW- Well transitioning from college to pro ball, how about we talk about one of the most prolific NFL players of late?

GA- If I’m right about this, you have a pretty big man crush on Cam Newton, so please, Nathan, inform us about Mr. Newton.

NW- I wouldn’t really say that it is a ‘dude crush’. This is definitely a ‘dude love’. Cam Newton is the rookie quarterback for the Carolina Panthers and the number one overall pick for the 2-14 Panthers last season. Todd McShay of ESPN was not fond whatsoever of Cam Newton, but I am very high on Cam, obviously. He has a huge arm, but his accuracy is scrutinized, which is acceptable. Newton is 6’6” 250 pounds and his smile can light up the world.

GA- Ok, wait a minute.

NW- Just think: Newton’s first game he set the rookie passing record in a debut with 422 passing yards and in his second game threw for 432 yards. The combined 854 yards in two weeks sets an all-time record for most passing yards in two games. Only question marks are with accuracy.

GA- That is the thing though: when so many college quarterbacks (like Newton) are scrambling quarterbacks you almost have to call into question their accuracy because they won’t be throwing on the run as much in the NFL as they did in college. It makes sense. I do, however, think he is good for the Carolina Panthers and for football as a whole, and this is going to be a fun storyline all year in the NFL.


GA- Well now we are on to the other pro league in play right now, how about those MLB Playoff Races? The two that everyone are talking about are the AL and NL Wild Card races. As of Monday the Cards are within 2.5 games of the Atlanta Braves and the Rays are within two games of the Boston Red Sox.

NW- I guess for the Rays the key has been Evan Longoria, though it took a while for him to get going.

David Price has also snuck himself into the Cy Young race with his recent performances.

GA- Well think about this: James Shields, the Rays number two, had his eleventh complete game the other day, the most in the AL since 1999. Fairly impressive. You can just feel the air getting sucked out of Red Sox Nation, them having dropped six of seven to the Rays recently.

NW- Well how about them Cardinals? They are another team on a roll.

GA- Yeah, they have gained about six games in the last eight games on the Braves. Getting really close for the last two weeks.

NW- The Wild Card teams that are hot normally get in and the Rays and the Cards are looking good, so who ya got?

GA- I don’t know…

NW- You gotta make the pick!

GA- Ok, ok, I have this feeling that one of either the Rays or the Cards won’t get in, so I am going to say the Rays will make it and with a dark horse the San Francisco Giants (yes the Giants) only four games out, will win the NL Wild Card.

Nate Williams

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