Praising, panning sports can be a rule of thumb

January 04, 2004|by MARK KELLER

It's time for another installment of "Thumbs up, thumbs down," an occasional semi-regular feature in this space.

Let's get to it.

  • Thumbs UP to the Maryland football team, one of only five Division I teams to win at least 10 games each of the last three years.

  • Thumbs UP to Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen for his pledge to stay with the Terrapins. He says his work's not finished at his alma mater. That's good news for Terps fans.

  • Thumbs DOWN to the BCS. The reasons for this one have been well documented. It's time for the naysayers to pull their heads out of the sand. A playoff system is needed, and it would work.

  • Thumbs UP to the realigned and expanded Monocacy Valley Athletic League. Thanks to the three-conference setup, we've gotten to see some intriguing matchups in every sport so far this school year, including boys basketball games like South Hagerstown-Martinsburg and North Hagerstown-Thomas Johnson. This area hasn't seen those kinds of games since the old Tri-State League. Here's hoping we see more like it for years to come.

  • Thumbs DOWN to me. I stated in my column last week that Steve Spurrier was a Duke graduate. He is, in fact, a graduate of Florida. I apologize for the mistake.

  • Thumbs UP to Spurrier for realizing that he's not cut out to be a pro football coach and resigning from his job with the Redskins. His name's probably showing up a lot more now on that infamous Web site, Don't be surprised if he's back on the Gators' sideline in the fall.

  • Thumbs DOWN to overly biased radio broadcasters. I understand that local announcers (Maryland, West Virginia, Ravens and Redskins) are meant to provide the action from that team's angle. But the all-out rooting and the complaining about officials' calls and non-calls is just too much. Just tell us what's happening and leave it at that.

  • Thumbs UP to Houston Nutt. Not because he turned down the Nebraska football job to stay at Arkansas - just beacuse his name is Houston Nutt. It's a headline writer's dream.

  • Thumbs DOWN to Bobby Knight. His profanity-laced tirade toward a reporter (who was not even directing the question to Knight) was over the top even by Knight's standards. Yes, he's apologized and Texas Tech administrators consider it a dead issue, but this act has definitely run thin.

  • Thumbs UP to the new year. May it be better than the last for all of you.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

The Herald-Mail Articles