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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:

About Us

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There Are Signs Out There Of Things Returning To Normal

Once upon a time, as a retired guy, I looked forward to that one day a week when I ran errands and got things done.

I called them “Thursdays.”

When you’re retired, you never really rush to do anything unless it involves the last serving of a decadent dessert on the counter in the kitchen, so I’d ease into the day with a few cups of coffee, a few bits of conversation with my wife, and a few snuzzles from Maggie the WonderBeagle.

The errands came first, and like the days of old, yesterday I took my wife to her appointed place to get the second of the COVID vaccinations. I always do this for all medical situations with her because it not only makes it easier when someone drops you off at the door, I’ve found as we grow older, there’s this slight bit of nervousness that accompanies all visits to a doctor. It’s like an inner voice that asks “am I OK? Am I having a side effect?”

Having a big, burly bodyguard in the car available to listen to all this and respond with feedback as to what is real and what is imagined, can be comforting. Plus, if there is a real issue, my vehicle knows the way to quickly get to places that can provide further assistance.

Expecting it to take a long time, I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly the vaccination process went. I couldn’t even get through the first round of senseless arguments on Twitter before I saw her returning to the car, so after taking her home, I decided to go on to the next item on my list: getting a haircut for the first time since before we were singing “Hark The Herald, Angels Sing.”

I used to always go on Thursdays because for some reason, nobody was there around lunch time of that day of the week. Now you need to set up an appointment and make it a much more formal event than just driving by and sticking your head in the door. But when I called, the voice on the other end said “when do you want to come?” and when I said “now,” he said “I’ll see you in a few minutes.”

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NC State Game Cancelled, Hokie Regular Season Is Over

Looks like the Virginia Tech men’s basketball regular season is now over.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that not only is tonight’s previously scheduled game with Louisville cancelled, but the season finale on Saturday against N.C. State has also been cancelled. On its website, the ACC said “The canceled game follows quarantining and a contact tracing review within the Virginia Tech men’s basketball program. The team is adhering to the outlined protocols within the ACC Medical Advisory Group report.”

You now have to wonder if the COVID issue is to the point that the team might not be able to clear contact tracing protocols in time and thus not be able to play in the ACC Tournament. The good news/bad news scenario for the Hokies is by not playing the final two regular-season games, they will finish with only four league losses, which puts them in the top 4 of the standings, and clinches a double bye in the ACC Tournament.

That could provide the time for Virginia Tech to clear up its COVID issues, but would also mean the team would once again go almost two weeks without playing a game. Such a long layoff occurred just ten days ago, and the team looked rusty from that layoff in a 69-53 loss to surging Georgia Tech.  

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Family Of VA Governor Hopeful Has Deep Basketball Ties

Television advertisements for gubernatorial candidate Glen Youngkin may have elicited some curiosity among viewers who previously were unaware of his college basketball background.

It turns out that Youngkin scored 82 points in 58 games at Rice from 1985-89.

His son, Grant, played at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., before walking on at Rice, where he played in eight games over three years.

The most distinguished basketball player in the Youngkin clan is the late Carroll Youngkin, who died in 2019.

Carroll Youngkin, originally from Winston-Salem, N.C., was a key figure on the 1960 team, coached by Vic Bubas,  that rewarded Duke with the 1960 ACC championship, its first ACC championship.

The elder Youngkin finished his career with 1,154 points in 81 games for Duke during a period when freshmen were ineligible.

Glen Youngkin came out of Norfolk Academy and was named first-team All-Tidewater on a squad in 1995 that included future North Carolina star and first-round NBA Draft pick J.R. Reid.

Around The ACC

Prior to its 80-77 overtime loss Tuesday night at Georgia Tech, Duke's 14-game winning streak over the Yellow Jackets was its longest active streak against any ACC team. None of the Blue Devils' eight losses this season have been by more than seven points.

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Recent Comments
Douglas R Wright

Great to see DD continue this ...

Always enjoyed Doug’s notebook.Thanks for making available.Carry on DD !
Wednesday, 03 March 2021 15:49
Dave Scarangella

Been reading College Notebook ...

Can't stop now
Wednesday, 03 March 2021 16:24
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At A Time When Most Needed, Cavaliers Have The Numbers

At a time when rivals are waging a war of attrition, Virginia has the benefit of a much-valued commodity.

Plain and simple, the Cavaliers have numbers.

Virginia used 13 players Monday night in a 62-51 victory over visiting Miami.

Only one UVa player logged as much as 30 minutes. That was Sam Hauser, who played 32 minutes

No Miami starter played fewer than 36 minutes and the Hurricanes' starting five combined for 188 of a possible 200 minutes.

"I think our effort is good," said Miami coach Jim Larranaga, once a UVa assistant whose Hurricanes got as close as 55-49 with 3:07 left. "It’s the fatigue factor. We can't sustain it for all 40 minutes.

"I think that was a big part of how [UVa]  got the lead at the end of the first [half] and even when we made our runs and got a little closer in the second half half. We just didn't have the bodies to keep the pressure on them."

Tomas Woldetensae had missed two UVa games as the result of contact tracing, and Cavalier hopes were lifted by news of his return, but there should have been enough firepower to fill any void.

Indeed, Woldetensae, who started against the Hurricanes, played only 15 minutes and got his only bucket on a 3-pointer.

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Virginia Tech's Game With Louisville Wednesday Cancelled

Well, it looks like Virginia Tech’s streak with Louisville won’t end tomorrow night.

That’s because the game won’t be played. According to the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Louisville at Virginia Tech men’s basketball game scheduled for Wednesday, March 3 has been canceled.
 
The canceled game follows a contact tracing review within the Virginia Tech men’s basketball program, the ACC Site said. The team is adhering to the outlined protocols within the ACC Medical Advisory Group report.
 
So now, the Hokies have only one game left in the regular season, which is scheduled to be played at 2 PM Saturday in Raleigh against North Carolina State.

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It's Time To Pay Louisville Back The Debt It Is Owed

Tomorrow night, the most pivotal game of the Virginia Tech basketball season will come down to a matchup between the Hokies and Louisville.

Of course it will.

Much is written about the rivalry between Virginia Tech and those neighbors to the East in Charlottesville, but when you are discussing a pure and intense rival for another team in basketball, nobody stokes the fires for me like Louisville. I'm sure there's a better and more diplomatic way to say it, but I just don't like them.

Should you be too young to remember, it was the Cardinals who led the movement to cast the Hokie basketball program into the desert to wander around in search of a permanent home for many years back in the mid-1990s. Virginia Tech had joined what was then the Metro-7 in 1978, sharing a league with the likes of Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Memphis, St. Louis, Tulane and Florida State.

Georgia Tech had just left the Metro to become the 8th member of the Atlantic Coast Conference after South Carolina had left, and the Hokies took their place. Eventually, South Carolina would join too in 1983 and as basketball conferences went, it was a pretty stout league.

Louisville, because they would win national championships in 1980 and 1986 under Coach Denny Crum, thought they owned the league. Much like Duke and North Carolina have always pushed the non-tobacco road schools in the ACC, Louisville held the role in the Metro. What they wanted, it seemed, they got.

But not in the Hokies’ first year in the league. Virginia Tech finished 4th in the Metro that initial regular season, then beat Cincinnati in the first round of the Metro Tournament. Dale Solomon was an imposing force for the Hokies in the middle, but in the second-round game against Louisville, he did not play due to a death in the family. The 13th-ranked Cardinals, with players like Darrell Griffith and Scooter McCray, expected to breeze past VT on the way to winning the tournament.

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Recent Comments
Dave Fulton

Academics

The ACC really breached both its academics and ethics standards with the admission of Louisville to the confetence. Integrity stil... Read More
Tuesday, 02 March 2021 14:54
Dave Scarangella

We're going to have to find so...

if you're going to keep making comments like this
Tuesday, 02 March 2021 15:02
Dave Fulton

Meds

Tho' I'm currently taking post surgery pain meds, I have been known to stand up for Virginia Tech previously. When UVA guys & VT g... Read More
Tuesday, 02 March 2021 18:46
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Final Week Is The Real March Madness For Hokie Fans

Today is the first day of March, and starts off the final week of the regular college basketball season.

A week, which to Virginia Tech fans, is usually the real March Madness.

It’s the week when a great season can be completely erased by having a poor last week, and it’s not just the Hokies. Many a team has had a nice season only to lose the last two games of the regular season, then carry that funk into a conference tournament and get eliminated in the first round.

Despite a good record and some nice wins, your team goes from “you know we’re dancing” to on the bubble.

So having been a Hokie fan for 50 years, my first instinct this week is to look at the standings and try to figure out which scenario will be the biggest dagger in my heart, so I can prepare myself. And as the life coach in the Geico commercial tells his group while they’re in a home improvement store, “we all see it. We all see it.”

In first place with only 3 losses in the ACC is Florida State. Since they finish with two teams with losing records – Notre Dame and Boston College – I’m going to concede first place to the Seminoles because they’re not losing this week. Three teams are technically tied for second with 4 league losses: UVA, Virginia Tech and Louisville.

If you’re an optimist, you could look at the scenarios where the Hokies win their remaining two games with Louisville and N.C. State. Beating Louisville reduces the tie to only two teams, and if UVA and VT finish with only 4 losses, VT beat the Wahoos in their only meeting. I’m not sure how the league would treat this because UVA played more games, so you’d have a 13-4 versus an 11-4, and if you went on winning percentage, Virginia would win the tie.

But that still casts a worst-case scenario of being in the top 3. Now look at it as a pessimist.

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Recent comment in this post
Dave Scarangella

Only 12 hours after I wrote th...

Nothing is predictable in this league. Virginia did beat Miami as expected...
Monday, 01 March 2021 21:48
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How Only A Few Words Can Brighten A Rainy, Dreary Day

There aren’t many words that can immediately make me think of bright sunshine on a dreary, rainy Sunday morning.

But there they were on the schedule of today's sporting events:  “Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, FL, 1:05 PM.”

That's the site of the Washington Nationals’ first spring training game of the year today against the St. Louis Cardinals.

It was only two years ago in a world that feels like it's now thousands of miles away that my cell phone rang. “Hey,” said the voice of my oldest friend Doug from the high temps and humidity of Southern Mississippi, “have you ever wanted to go to spring training?”

Of course I did, as every kid who has ever thrown a baseball or swung a bat wanted to back in the day. But on the spur of the moment, you drive to a fast food joint or head to the grocery store. You don’t just pack up one day and head to West Palm Beach.

But Doug was ready. “I’ve booked the hotel, I’ve gotten a rental car and I’ve got a plane reservation in front of me from Dulles to Charlotte where we can meet, then we’ll fly the rest of the way together,” he said. “All you have to do is say yes.”

He had, in the words of The Godfather, made me an offer I could not refuse.

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Recent Comments
Dave Fulton

Bucket List Check

You checked off a bucket list item with that adventure that I suspect is near the top of every sports fan's list. To do it it with... Read More
Tuesday, 02 March 2021 10:33
Dave Scarangella

It Really Did Make It Special

Let's just say memories were recalled, lies were told, and at least for a few days in the Florida sun, we were college kids again.... Read More
Tuesday, 02 March 2021 11:31
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Hokies Unleash The Fury In Rout Of Wake Forest

When Mike Young wins the ACC Coach Of The Year Award at the end of the season (and if he doesn’t, we all need to call the FBI and report a crime), there will be people who ask what makes him such a great coach.

I offer today’s 84-46 win over Wake Forest as exhibit A.

Young seems to know how to fix things when his team plays like a car with four flat tires. Three other times the Hokies have laid an egg at center court, and next time out, all three times Virginia Tech did exactly the opposite of what ailed them in that previous loss.

After a surprisingly loss to Penn State, the Hokies bounced back to beat No. 24 Clemson; they took a beating from Syracuse, then outplayed Notre Dame on the road and No. 8 Virginia in succession; a pitiful effort against Pitt was followed by a near-miracle overtime win over Miami.

So when the Hokies tried to shake off the rust of a 17-day layoff and played poorly in the second half in a loss to Georgia Tech, it didn’t take advanced crime scene analysis to find the problem. The team didn’t shoot well. They didn’t penetrate to the basket. They played tentatively. And by not providing any real reason for the GT defense to come out and guard the backcourt, they negated any advantage they might have had down low with Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts.

They also allowed Georgia Tech to shoot 61.5 percent from the floor in the second half.

I don’t know what buttons Young pushed, but the Hokies took the floor this afternoon like they were in the movie Road Trip and Tom Green was yelling “Unleash The Fury” at them. They hit their first five shots from the floor, looked cool and relaxed, and they never looked back. Aluma couldn’t miss, finishing with 23 points on 9 of 11 shots, Tyrece Radford was back to his normal self, nailing his first four shots and aggressively driving the lane, and the Hokies shot 67.9 percent from the field to quickly turn the game into a rout.

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Cavaliers Continuing Their Success In SEC Country

Virginia signed a combined nine players from Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama in its 2020 football recruiting class, and early results indicate the trend is continuing.

Five of the 2020 recruits were from Georgia, and the Cavaliers' 2021 class, according to Rivals.com, includes all-purpose back Rodney Hill from Statesboro, Ga. and 6-7, 218-pound tight end Karson Gay from Chattanooga, Tenn.

Gay has been listed with offers from Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and South Carolina, among others.

Remember when Virginia did not put great emphasis on the tight end position? Now, the Cavaliers' staff can point to Tony Poljan, who had 38 receptions for 411 yards and a team-high six touchdowns in 2020.

In addition to holdovers Grant Misch and Mike Kosar, UVa will be adding a transfer, 6-7, 260-pound Jelani Woods from Oklahoma State. Woods, like Poljan, was a quarterback in high school.

The Cavaliers' 2020 recruiting class, announced in December, included 6-6, 225-pound tight end Jack Witmer from Cypress, Texas.

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At Least For A Few Months, Goodbye ACC Network

Today marks a milestone for Virginia Tech fans, as a source of considerable aggravation will disappear for at least a few months.

That’s because today’s game with Wake Forest at 4 PM marks the last time during the regular season the Hokies will be on the Atlantic Coast Conference Network (ACCN). Wednesday’s game with Louisville is set to be televised on ESPN2, and the regular-season finale at N.C. State is going to be aired on a regional sports network, which in this market will be the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN)

The very early rounds of the ACC Tournament that include play-in games will be on the ACC Network, but the Hokies don’t plan to be in any of those games. The remainder of the tournament will be on regional networks or ESPN.

So goodbye Spurtle. Goodbye Tac Light, Tac Shaver and Tac whatever product they’re selling this week. No more ACC Network until football season for me.

To say that the network has been a thorn in my side is an understatement. The league started in 2019 with the expectation everyone would carry it, but they violated one of the cardinal rules of sales: always get some sort of buy-in from the 800-pound gorilla of the customer ranks before launching. Give it away if you have to, but get the Goliath signed up, then squeeze the smaller players to make up for it. The big guy’s presence creates market pressures that force the smaller players to sign on.

The ACC, in its infinite wisdom, chose not to do that, as cable television’s Incredible Hulk – Comcast/Xfinity – didn’t add the channel. The ACC, believing they had the same market strength as the Big Ten and Southeastern Conference, launched any way, believing there would be an uproar from customers who would simply complain and whine the cable provider into compliance.

Comcast. Did. Not. Care.

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Recent comment in this post
Lee Whitlow

Hit the nail on the head!

I was a Comcast/Xfinity customer for years and was very satisfied with the cable network. When they did not get ACCN, I cut the ca... Read More
Saturday, 27 February 2021 14:06

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They Finally Did It...

They Did It

After a long and bumpy road, The Washington Nationals finally won the World Series. And made an old man in Ashburn cry...

Never Grow Old...

Never Grow Old

A trip to Spring Training reminded me we're all still kids at heart, and no matter how old, you keep playing until they get you out.

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