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Thanks for joining us! We write about sports, food, life and anything else interesting here in Ashburn and Loudoun County, all while cramming as many features into the site as possible.

Our staff consists of one old man and a dog named Maggie The WonderBeagle. Want to know more? Click on the icon below:

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College Notebook: Remember Dave Leitao?

After earlier accepting a contract extension through the 2013-14 season, DePaul coach Dave Leitao faced an uncertain future Wednesday as he took the Blue Demons (4-13) into a Big East tournament meeting with Providence on Wednesday night in New York.

Remember Dave Leitao?.

Leitao was the head coach at Virginia for four seasons, 2005-2009, and compiled a 65-60 record. In his last season, Virginia lost 13 of its final 16 games.

In his last game, the Cavaliers were 76-63 losers to Boston College in the ACC Tournament. My abiding memory was of running into then-UVa  associate athletic director Jon Oliver.

The impression with which I was left by Oliver was that Leitao's chances of keeping the job would be dependent on his willingness to make changes to his coaching staff.

In his conversation with me, Oliver indicated that his preference would be for Leitao to make changes in the coaching staff, specifically bringing in an assistant who previously had been a head coach.

As it was, Leitao remained loyal to his coaching staff. which included Bill Courtney, Drew Diener and Steve Seymour. That didn't last much longer.

On hand the next year was new coach Tony Bennett and a staff of Ritchie McKay, Jason Williford and Ron Sanchez. McKay and Sanchez later took head-coaching positions at Liberty and Charlotte, respectively. McKay has taken the Flames to three consecutive Atlantic Sum championships.

IT WILL BE INTERESTING to see where VMI scoring leader Greg Parham winds up after he entering the NCAA Transfer Portal. Parham is making that move after averaging 18.4 points this season for the Keydets (13-12).

Parham, a 6-foot-4 guard from Monacan High School outside Richmond, was not rated among the top 21 prospects in Virginia by 247Sports in 2018, but he had better numbers after three years in college than almost any of the in-state players recruited ahead of him.

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Forget Who Let The Dogs Out?, Who Let The Dogs Edit?

It’s been about a month since Doug Doughty started contributing to the pages of DullesDistrict.Com, but I have failed to mention two other very important parts of the package.

All good writers have great editors, and I have mentioned frequently how blessed I am to have Maggie The WonderBeagle making sure all my “I’s” are dotted and all my “t’s” are crossed. Doug, for those who don’t know, has a similar support package.

Joining the site as associate editors are Henley and Harper, who have undertaken the enormous task of keeping Doug focused. I was, in fact, inquiring as to the status of this week’s college notebook when this picture was taken.

Harper, the senior member of the editing team, is laying near the arm of the sofa, and assured me Doug would not be leaving his seat until the writing was done, or until a treat was being retrieved.

Henley is the more active member of the editing duo, carefully reading over every word Doug writes and providing instant feedback on whether it’s approved or not.

So Henley and Harper, welcome to the Dulles District staff.

We want you on that wall.

We need you on that wall 😊

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Keep An Eye On ND-UNC Game If You're A Hokie Fan

Day One of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament was just about all you could hope for. There was one decent game, one snoozefest, and one furious finish with a buzzer beater that just might help Virginia Tech Thursday.

Miami beat Pitt 79-73 in the first game, which was good, but not great. It was like two fat men sumo wrestling in a vat of chocolate pudding in an empty arena. One would make a move, the other would slowly answer. That kept it close, so you kept watching, but this was not a tape that was going to replayed at coaching clinics.

Finally, one of the fat men got tired, didn’t get up out of the mud to answer, and Miami ended up winning. The Hurricanes will be facing a Clemson team today where the pudding should be thicker and the opponent a bit leaner and active.

The second game reminded me of the Tom Clancy novel “The Sum of All Fears,” as Duke put together a decent game, made a boat load of three pointers, and the pundits rejoiced for a team that was now one game over .500 this season. I turned on ESPN this morning, and the chyron on the bottom of the screen asks “can Duke run the gauntlet?”

Dear ESPN: Of course they can’t. They’d have to win 5 games in 5 days. The most they’ve won all season is 4 in a row over 9 days. What are you, drunk?

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Dave Fulton


Networks want Duke for ratings just as they hope Yankees go to World Series yearly. But the way some of the announcers fawn over t... Read More
Thursday, 11 March 2021 08:02

If Duke's A 20-1 Favorite, Then I'm A Unicorn

Today it begins.

Three games in the ACC Tournament are on tap, with Pitt playing Miami at 2, it's Duke versus Boston College at 4:30, and Notre Dame against Wake Forest at 7:30. All three games are on the ACC Network, meaning a heck of a lot of basketball fans who get their cable television from Comcast won't be watching.

None of these games are very compelling, so I decided to take a look at the betting odds to see which ones may be closer than I think. In the the course of doing this, it became apparent as to which team to pull against.

Starts with a "D", ends with an "e." Likes the color blue.

According to BetMGM, and posted in a story today in the Athletic, Virginia is the top favorite at 5-2. The Cavaliers should be, as they are the top seed and until someone tells me otherwise, have the last national championship trophy awarded sitting somewhere inside John Paul Jones Arena. Florida State is barely behind the Cavaliers at 11-4, and that’s understandable too, since they led the league down the stretch, and hammered Virginia in the last game between the two teams before laying an egg the size of Plymouth Rock against Notre Dame in the regular-season finale.

Virginia Tech and Louisville are both 7-1 favorites, and that seems fair too, considering how they finished the season.

But then you scroll down to Duke. They are 20-1 favorites.

Excuse me sir, you must be new here. You’re playing in the first-round play-in games on a Tuesday. You finished in 10th place in a 15-team league. Your odds should be 1000 to 1, as no one wins 5 games in 5 days in a tournament. Plus it’s not like Duke didn’t earn that appearance on day 1, either. Duke doesn’t even have a winning record, finishing the regular season at 11-11. The Blue Devils lost their last three games in a row to finish the regular slate, including a 91-73 thrashing at the hands of North Carolina.

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Recent Comments
Dave Fulton


The only way that ham sandwich could get 20-1 odds would be if it were slathered in Duke's mayonnaise.... Read More
Tuesday, 09 March 2021 13:01
Dave Scarangella


Well played
Tuesday, 09 March 2021 13:32
Guest — Johnny Hurst

Brillo Pad

I hope Bill Brill is seeing the standings! If so he is spinning in his grave. I still have an intense dislike for Mr. Brill and so... Read More
Wednesday, 10 March 2021 08:46

Virginia Defense Made Jones Earn Every Point He Scored

Followers of men's college basketball from southwestern Virginia and beyond were no doubt aware of the threat Virginia faced from Louisville guard Carlik Jones, who was named the Big South Player of the Year as a redshirt junior at Radford in 2019-20.

Jones subsequently entered the NCAA Transfer Portal and elected to spend his final season of eligibility at Louisville, where he is averaging a team-leading 17.0 points per game and has a Louisville-high of 82 assists.

Louisville, the host team, entered Saturday's game as a two-point favorite over the Cavaliers, who never trailed in a 68-58 victory at KFC YUM! Center, where UVa has won five of the last six games between the teams.

Jones entered the weekend as an ACC player-of-the-year candidate and would go on to make the All-ACC first team Monday as the third-leading vote-getter.

That followed an unexpected performance against Virginia, which held Jones to six points. He was 2-of-15 from the field and did not attempt a 3-pointer. That was not his specialty during a season when he averaged fewer than three 3-point attempts and one made 3-pointer per game.

"I think he's one of the best penetrators in the country," Louisville coach Chris Mack said after Saturday's game. "And, he does so much for our team … he lives in the lane. I'd probably have to go and watch the film, but he was in the lane a lot.

"Now, in the lane against the 7-1 guys [like UVa's Jay Huff] is a little different and so a few of his touch finishes that we’ve all seen go in, went in and out."

At 6-foot-1, Jones has a couple of inches on UVa point guard Kihei Clark, whom the Cavaliers list at 5-9, but Virginia also has a freshman, Reese Beekman, who is listed at 6-3.

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I'm Begging You Virginia Tech, Take My Money

A month ago, I wrote this story, saying how much I wanted a tin of popcorn with Mike Young's aging mug on it. 

Now I want more.

That request was for something I could send out to friends at Christmas time who were fellow Hokie fans. Everyone likes flavored popcorn, and there'd be no better way to say "Go Hokies" to friends in the middle of basketball season than a tub of it with the basketball coach's image on it.

But today's news warrants something extra. Perhaps a limited edition can to commemorate Mike Young winning the ACC Coach Of The Year honors.

The popcorn would still taste as sweet, but it would be something that would be more of a collector's item to remind you of what a memorable season this has been. It could be a limited edition run of only so many cans, and when those were sold, there would be no more.

Before you laugh, I have boxes of cereal from the 1990s commemorating Virginia Tech successes on the football field. You can buy old Sports Illustrated editions with Michael Vick on the cover for far more than what they cost back in the day. People like to have things that remind them of a happy time years ago. 

Exhibit A would be the tin of popcorn sitting on a shelf here in my office that says "Washington Nationals, 2019 National Champions." The popcorn was long gone only a few days after the tin arrived at my home

But it’s not going to ever be thrown away. Nor would a limited edition tin of Mike winning Coach Of The year. 

So to the good people in the marketing department at Virginia Tech, take my money. Give me a reason to overpay for popcorn. Force me to join the Hokie Club if you have to, but there's money on the table all across Hokie Nation.

Give me a reason to send it to you.

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Mike Young: A Very Deserved ACC Coach Of The Year Winner

Virginia Tech’s Mike Young has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of The Year, and for a minute there, I got a little nervous yesterday about whether he was going to gain the honor or not.

Pockets of people on social media were doing the old “let me dig up statistics and bend them to support my opinion” on social media, and there seemed to be some who thought Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastner was more deserving.

Some of the people saying this I like. Some of them I even admire. Some of them, I've always thought, are totally clueless.

To overlook Young as Coach of the year is to overlook just what the term “coach” means. You can look at it as an X’s and O’s game manager, and if you do, I suppose digging up stats to say your team had more wins on the road against teams ranked in the top 25 while the moon is in its waxing Crescent phase and Jay Bilas is involved in the ESPN broadcast might mean something.

But to me, a coach is more than a basketball strategist. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important. But he’s also a teacher, psychiatrist, talent evaluator, cheerleader, mentor, salesman, tough love kind of guy and second Dad. Young was all of those things, and he needed every skill he had to pull off the miracle that is Virginia Tech basketball finishing 3rd in the conference this season.

It was less than two years ago that Young took over a program that had been rebuilt by Buzz Williams, but after reaching the pinnacle of his 5 years in Blacksburg, he left the cupboard bare. Many coaches also find similar situations when taking over a program, but the Hokies weren’t even a couple of good leftover players and 5 guys from the Y. In fact, they didn’t even have 5 guys on the roster.

Buzz did a masterful job in his 5 years in Blacksburg, but he sold recruits on himself. Play for me, Buzz said, and you will be noticed by the NBA. Play for me, and I’ll teach you the game that will get you to the next level. That’s not a criticism of Buzz by any means, but it did mean when Buzz left, players left too. The reason they came to Blacksburg wasn’t UT Prosim and Hokie, Hokie Hi. It was Buzz Williams, who was now in Texas.

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Dave Fulton

Great Choice

A great choice and the best choice.
Monday, 08 March 2021 12:46

Sometimes, You Need A Little Help From Your Friends

Earlier today I wrote a story analyzing the chances of various teams in the ACC Tournament.

I apparently didn't properly credit the assistance I received from a certain hound dog in drawing my conclusions, and Maggie the WonderBeagle is not happy about it.

So I'm posting this brief story to make sure she receives the proper credit that she believes she is due.

Maggie, for some reason, likes to sit in my lap when I'm writing, and when I'm staring too long at a screen, she will prop herself up to see what's so important that I'm looking at it for such a period of time. This morning, as you can see in the picture on the right, she sat up in my arms and seemed to be following along with me as I tried to see which teams could potentially be facing Virginia Tech when the Hokies finally play in the ACC Tournament Thursday night. 

Sometimes I will even ask her which team she prefers, and she usually responds with a look that says "did you ask me if I want a treat?" Other times I'll just ask her if she agrees with what I wrote, and she also will respond with a look that seems to say "did you ask me if I want a treat?"

She doesn't answer all questions that way. Sometimes she'll give a look indicating she wants to go outside and chase a squirrel. But it's usually food that drives her decision making tree.

So this week she will be watching basketball with me to study up for her potential upset picks when she fills out her NCAA Tournament brackets next Monday. And considering the degree of luck versus skill it takes to pick the NCAA Tournament winner, her guess is as good as anyone's.

Well, as long as you ask her if she wants a treat :)

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Recent Comments
Dave Fulton

Helping Paw

Every writer can use a helping paw from time to time.
Monday, 08 March 2021 12:50
Dave Scarangella

And as we both know....

...every dog has its day
Monday, 08 March 2021 13:15

As No.3 Seed, Hokies Will Now Participate In The Late Show

As I’ve always known, the best way to jinx something you’d like to see happen is to write about it.

So yesterday, when I wrote this about not wanting to play in the 9 PM game Thursday or be in the same bracket as Florida State, I just about guaranteed those two things would happen. And indeed, the two things that needed to happen to force that scenario occurred within hours of me saying it.

The first was Notre Dame’s shocking 83-73 upset of the Seminoles, throwing them into the group of teams at the top of the standings with four losses (the other three at the time being Virginia, Louisville and Virginia Tech), then Virginia excused the Cardinals from the group by handing them their fifth league loss of the season.

When the smoke cleared, Virginia was in first by virtue of having played two more games than Florida State, so their .765 winning percentage made them the top seed, while the Seminoles .733 percentage dropped them to second. The Hokies moved up to the No. 3 seed, which ties for the highest seed the Hokies have ever claimed in the ACC Tournament (Seth Greenberg did it in the 2006-2007 season), while Georgia Tech filled Louisville’s vacancy to take the 4th seed.

Louisville, by losing, got drop-kicked all the way down to the 7th seed. Virginia Tech WILL now be in the 9 PM (or later) game Thursday night and they WILL be in the same bracket as Florida State.

But it’s not all bad.

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I'm Pulling For The 2:30 Game And Avoiding Ga. Tech

Today is not the regular-season finale kind of day I thought it would be for Virginia Tech’s basketball team.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been an incredible and surprising season. Remember that feeling after upsetting No. 3 Villanova right after Thanksgiving? And wondering who this Keve Aluma guy was? Or beating Duke AND Virginia at Cassell? Or being ranked every week of the regular season like a big dog with the exception of one week, where pollsters punished the Hokies for losing to lowly Penn State?

I expected few to none of those things to happen in November, so no matter how the season finishes, it’s already been a great one. But with such flashes of potential during the season, today was suppose to be the day we all were locked in our chairs, watching every other ACC game to determine tournament possibilities, and hopefully ending the regular season on a high note.

Instead, it’s kind of lonely. The regular season ended with whimper, not a bang. Finishing in the top 4 and getting a double bye into the ACC Tournament should have been cause for celebration. Now it’s cause for concern.

We all know the story about how sitting on the sidelines affects a team, because we heard it often enough back on Feb. 23, when the Hokies played their first game after 3 postponements and 17 days of inactivity. The Hokies not only know the story, they lived it, showing the same rust everyone else did in losing 69-53 to Georgia Tech.

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When Cheap, Quick and Filling Is What You Crave...

I will admit that the first time I heard about this dish, I openly mocked it.

I saw it in a commercial from Kentucky Fried Chicken, and they called it a “Famous Bowl.” Where I grew up, I told my wife, that was called “leftovers” and there was nothing famous about them. You just dumped everything left over from dinner the previous night, topped it with cheese and said “here.”

But then one Saturday afternoon when my wife and daughter were out shopping, they brought one home, and offered it to me with the qualifier “if you don’t like this we’ll go get you something else.”

Since I was at the time hungry, I ate it. It’s hard to admit, but it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t steak and lobster, but it was good old fashioned comfort food with a touch of salty, sweet, crunchy and creamy.

So the other night, I found myself looking at a few items on sale at the grocery store and realized you could duplicate the dish at home with arguably better ingredients, yet cook everything in under 10 minutes.

It started with a buy one, get one special on Simply Potatoes, which are pre-made mashed potatoes. I got the garlic mashed potatoes flavor, then enhanced them. You’re suppose to cook them in the microwave for 3 minutes, remove the top, then cook 3 more minutes. I do just that, but at halftime, I add sour cream, a little garlic powder and butter. That makes them smoother, creamier, more garlicky and much better tasting than the KFC ones which bear a strikingly similar taste to a glue stick you’d accidentally stuck in your mouth back in second grade.

Right next to the potatoes at the store were a refrigerated chicken nugget product Perdue makes that were also BOGO. I've had them before, and properly cooked in an air fryer, are as good or better than what you can get at fast food restaurants. I realized I could now buy the chicken and potato parts for around $4 and their cooking times are similar. The potatoes cook in about 8 minutes (3 minutes on high, 2 minutes to rest, 3 more minutes on high). The chicken nuggets also take 8 minutes in the air fryer at 390 degrees. They're breaded and crisp just like the KFC chicken strips, only I cut them in half to give it more of a bite size consistency to blend in with the other ingredients.

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Dave Fulton

Oughta Be a Law

There really should be some social media law preventing dropping such an article in subscribers' mailboxes at 11 pm, AFTER they ha... Read More
Friday, 05 March 2021 23:23
Dave Scarangella

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We inform, teach how to cook AND get you in trouble
Saturday, 06 March 2021 07:48

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