A cold night at JPJ, no excuses for Leitao, quit yer whinin’ about the NFL Network
The Best Seat in the House Column by Chris Graham
I didn’t know why it was so cold – all I knew was that I felt a noticeable chill in the air from my seat on media row at the John Paul Jones Arena Wednesday night.
I say noticeable because my memory from the 18 games that I’d attended in JPJ previous to the UVa.-Syracuse game was that the gym tended toward the warm side.
It now occurs to me – could it have been that somebody was trying to keep things cool for Virginia guard Sean Singletary and teammates who were muddling through a bout with the flu that put Singletary on the trainer’s table at halftime with an IV stuck in his arm?
Makes sense to me.
Officially, I’m sure, it was mere coincidence – or maybe it was just me feeling drafts that weren’t there. I mean, for all I know, I’m coming down with something that will keep me out of commission (day-to-day, in sports parlance).
Credit to whoever turned the thermostat down – if that’s indeed what happened.
Sorry. It was just me.
Credit also to Virginia coach Dave Leitao for not throwing his team under the bus for their subpar performance against The ‘Cuse – and at the same time not playing the excuse game with the health issues surrounding his team.
I couldn’t tell what the media members in the postgame news conference wanted out of Leitao – though it seemed that they wanted him to flog Singletary for his underwhelming performance (3-of-14 shooting from the field, an uncharacteristic 2-of-8 stat line at the charity stripe) and to give them a quote to the effect that his team had been doomed from the start because of the flu bug.
He ended up doing neither of the above – which isn’t necessarily the easy way out on this.
I have heard from Virginia fans who have questioned his game plan against the trademark Syracuse 2-3 and his personnel moves relative to playing Singletary for 35 minutes when it was clear that he wasn’t healthy enough to be a reliable contributor.
Personally, I want to give him the benefit of any doubt that there might still be on this.
Can we get the endless ranting and raving about how the NFL Network has Thursday-night games that a lot of the country can’t seem to watch to come to some sort of peaceful end, please?
I live in Nowhereville, Virginia, and I somehow have access to the NFL Network – have since it debuted, in fact.
I’m sorry if your cable or satellite provider doesn’t offer it at all or if it is only available if you pay for a certain premium sports package.
I happen to pay for the channel because I like its regular offerings and because I want to see its late-season Thursday-nighters.
And I don’t feel guilty that I was one of probably 10 people nationwide who got to see the Green Bay-Dallas game last week – it was a pretty good one, for the millions who didn’t get to watch at home.
Write your cable or satellite provider to get them to include the channel on your list of available channels – or if you already have access, pony up to get it added.
And quit yer whinin’.
Chris Graham is the executive editor of The SportsDominion.