In THE SPORTS LANDSCAPE Bill Sullivan on February 1, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Super Shocker: Forty-two years ago, the New York Jets upset Baltimore in the Super Bowl.  Joe Namath got the credit but the Jet defense held the Colts to a season-low 7 points, 22 below their average.  The upset snapped the Colts’ 10-game winning streak, reports and left them with a 15-2 mark. Baltimore hadn’t lost a game away from Memorial Stadium all season. In its two playoff wins prior to the Super Bowl, Baltimore outscored Minnesota and Cleveland by a combined 58-14.

What’s With the Wiz? After a record-setting 23rd -straight road loss to “start” the season, Washington Wizards players revealed problems. “We’re soft, man, soft as hell.” said Al Thornton. Teammate Nick Young added “We don’t stay consistent with play-calling. Everybody came out forced.” And this, from Trevor Booker: “We didn’t stand up to the challenge and play with energy.” After Memphis had scored 68 points in the paint, Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich said, “It was pretty much a layup drill for most of the game.” Besides coach Flip Saunders, the Wizards have seven Randy Wittman, Don Zierden, Sam Cassell, Wes Unseld, Jr., Ryan Saunders, Mike Wells and Gene Banks. Just what are they doing? Or not doing? By no coincidence, Wes Unseld, Sr. failed as head coach, as it seems Ryan’s  father is doing. BTW, it’s 24 and counting…

Self PromoSHUN: During halftime of the Richmond – Xavier basketball  game, the geeky studio host prodded partner Jay Williams about his running  in a charity race. He teased him about his time before praising Williams once being national player of the year. There was NO mention of the specific charity. The host could have asked why Williams participated but he was busy “sucking up.”  Charities are slighted these days by celebrities looking to promote themselves. True charity is when no one knows except the recipient in need.

Malcolm in the Middle: Ravens Coach John Harbaugh gave Malcolm “Cam” Cameron expanded duties with the offense while firing quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn. Two Ravens assistants left for other NFL jobs. Cameron failed as head coach at Indiana University (18-37) and with the Miami Dolphins (1-15). Four NFL owners besides Miami’s Joe Robbie interviewed Cameron for head coach vacancies  in 2006-07. Still, ‘Cam’s’ resume is weak for one who keeps landing jobs and gaining promotions. He never played a down in the NFL but  Zorn quarterbacked for 12 seasons. Now, QB Joe Flaaco is sounding off, saying They know I’m not happy about it and my feelings aren’t going to change.”

JMwho?: The Dukes of James Madison collected four votes for the AP Poll despite one quality win (S. Florida) and one quality loss (Kansas St.). When it faced tough league foes – Old Dominion, George Mason and Hofstra – it lost each time. Among the Dukes’ cupcake wins: Presbyterian, Radford, the Citadel, Longwood, Eastern Michigan, Towson and William & Mary.

Capital Improvements: But ODU has defeated Xavier, Clemson and Richmond while losing to Missouri and Georgetown (by 3). And fellow Colonial member VCU – 16-5 – has toured the PAC-10, ACC, Big East and SEC. In so doing, it defeated UCLA and Wake Forest and lost to South Florida (by 1 in OT), UAB (by 3) and Tennessee (by 5). Richmond is also 16-6, having defeated No. 8 Purdue, Arizona State, Seton Hall, Wake Forest and Charlotte while losing to Georgia Tech. See the difference?

Skin Deep: Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson’s minions paraded the scarlet-lettered Mike Leach around campus while a College Park Realtor did the same with Leach’s wife. This while Ralph Friedgen still was coach. In Steve Yanda’s Jan. 26 Washington Post piece, he wrote new coach Randy Edsall is a “more alluring” successor and how he’s going to lure Terrapin boosters with his “character traits – reliable, calculated and organized.” This implies Friedgen lacks character. Yes, Ralph is obese and doesn’t have the “Crest smile” or bronze tan of his successor. But it  shouldn’t have gotten him fired. He’s a Maryland alum and 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year. Anderson’s been on Maryland’s campus about three  months.  It’s obvious why Friedgen was never hired as a head coach. Kudos to Debbie Yow for knowing “character” minus the gift wrap when she hired Friedgen.

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