The Halloween edition: Prepare to be scared

October 31, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Oct. 31, 2012

Monarch Blog

IT'S A RITUAL: Each year, Old Dominion's players dress up for the team meeting the Sunday before Halloween. For the second time in three years, offensive tackle Robbie Duncan took home top prize. He dressed up as Bane, the evil villain featured in Batman's latest movie," The Dark Knight Rises." Duncan went all out, shaving his head and practicing the voice to get it right. "I'm a senior, I was going to go all-out to win," Duncan laughed. Little-known comic book nerd fact coming: Duncan is slightly older than the Bane character, which made its comic book debut in January of 1993. Duncan was born in 1990. Duncan also won top prize two years ago when he dressed up as offensive coordinator Brian Scott. Last year, Ryan Jensen took home first place when he dressed up as assistant coach Bill Dee, who has since become the defensive coordinator. So what's up? None of you guys have the guts to dress as head coach Bobby Wilder?

I REALIZE MANY of my blog readers want to know what quarterback Taylor Heinicke went as. If you must know, he was "a 1970's redneck basketball player." Think Will Ferrell, as in Ferrell's Jackie Moon character from "Semi-Pro" meets Ricky Bobby from "Talladega Nights." "I was rockin' the high knee socks, the Converse All-Stars, the crazy hair and the headband," Heinicke said. The outfit that got the laughs, however, was provided by wide receiver Nick Mayers. He dressed up like me. Me ... as in sideline radio reporter and blogger Rich Radford. Yours truly. No, seriously. He did. I asked Nick the very simple question: Really, Nick? As Nick said, he got major points "for originality."

HEINICKE HAS BEEN to the Georgia Dome a lot. Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, he figures he's been to "The Dome" about seven or eight times. So when he visits Atlanta with the Monarchs to take on Georgia State Saturday at 3:30 p.m., he will be in familiar surroundings. "I was on the sidelines last year watching (Thomas) DeMarco play," Heinicke said. "This time, I get to play." Heinicke knew early on this year that the request from friends for tickets would be overwhelming. He figures about 200 or so good friends will make it to the game. "I've got a lot of friends who go to the University of Georgia and they're telling me they're coming to the game," Heinicke said. "I tried to line up tickets for about a dozen family members, but that's as much as I could get done." Georgia, by the way, is hosting Mississippi that day, same time. So if Heinicke's got some Bulldogs who are passing on their own school's game to see ODU's No. 14 play, that's devotion to a friend.

ODU'S MEN'S SOCCER TEAM will take a 10-3-2 record into its final home game of the season when it hosts Northeastern Friday night at 7 o'clock in a game that was rescheduled following Hurricane Sandy. Then the Monarchs will play the waiting game. Since ODU isn't invited to the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, the Monarchs will be left hoping that their record and ranking -- they were No. 8 in the country before dropping a 1-0 decision at Hofstra over the weekend -- is enough to get them a nice spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The loss to Hofstra was a painful one. ODU outshot the Pride 25-10 and had nine corners to Hofstra's two. That's the crazy part about soccer. The crazy part about this season is the Monarchs will have to wait 10 excruciating days after the Northeastern game to learn their NCAA Tournament fate. So it would definitely be nice to end the regular season with a win.

MORE TOURNAMENT NEWS abounds with the FIELD HOCKEY TEAM, which is hosting this year's NCAA Tournament Final Four at the Powhatan Complex. It sure would be nice if the host team happened to make it into the Final Four, which will be played on the ODU campus Nov. 16 and 18. The Monarchs are 14-5 and awaiting a tournament bid. Their five losses this season have come to top-ranked North Carolina twice, Virginia, Penn State and Maryland. All four programs are ranked in the top 10. Maryland and North Carolina have accounted for the last seven NCAA titles, with Maryland winning five times during that span. Could there be a better sendoff for departing ODU head coach Beth Anders, who has coached the Monarchs to nine national titles in her storied career? If she were to lead the Monarchs to the title, she would finish with a record 550 victories as coach. And if the Monarchs make the tournament field, which they are almost guaranteed, it will be Anders' 30th trip to the tournament. Another nice, round number. And if ODU won it all, it would mark the school's 10th national championship.

Ronnie Cameron IS WRITING a blog for the Huffington Post and you can read it at Cameron has spent this fall as a member of the Cleveland Browns' practice squad. A year ago, he was the Colonial Athletic Association's defensive player of the year. This fall, he's spent a lot of time watching from the sidelines, and not just watching football. Cameron is what's known as a social media maven. He has over 1,000 followers on Twitter. And when the presidential debates began last month, Cameron was Tweeting at warp speed, giving his opinion on social matters and offering commentary. The Huffington Post noticed and called Cameron, offering a chance to speak his mind with his own blog. For those unaware, Cameron has a master's degree from ODU and he's only 23. In just a week, Cameron has posted three blogs, chastising the presidential candidates for turning the debates into a mock trial, pleading for more focus to be placed on our infrastructure, and offering his opinions on a need for stronger educational resources. Writes Cameron: "The United States currently ranks first in GDP with $15 trillion in market value of all goods and services, twice that of China. Our education rankings aren't matching up with the amount we're spending which means we have a nation of spenders and not a nation of creators. We currently rank 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 30th in math globally."

Looks like I'll have to add this blog to my RSS feed list.