Monday, October 10, 2011

Washington Post articles from the weekend -- Washington Capitals; Wake Forest and Jim Grobe

Here are my two newest articles for The Washington Post which ran on over the weekend --- 'Washington Capital's time for raising little banners is over' and 'Wake Forest's Jim Grobe achieves beyond the numbers.' ---

Shortly before they began their 38th season, the Washington Capitals unfurled a banner in the rafters of Verizon Center. It was another little one, the eighth among the nine they have raised that is a tribute to a regular-season accomplishment. The exception to the rule is the one that celebrates their Eastern Conference championship in 1998, the one year they have reached the Stanley Cup Finals.

The time for hanging little banners is over. Although opening night was hardly exultant, with the Caps pulling out a 4-3 overtime victory against the middling Carolina Hurricanes, this is a season that shouldn’t end until mid-June.

Win another Southeast Division title? Fine. A Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record? Okay. But General Manager George McPhee didn’t go out this summer and add Tomas Vokoun, Roman Hamrlik, Jeff Halpern, Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer in order to win another division title or try to advance another round in the playoffs.

“I think if people think we’re good enough to win the Stanley Cup, we should embrace that idea,” McPhee said a few minutes before Saturday night’s game. “That’s where you want to be, in that handful of teams that’s good enough to win the Cup.

“That doesn’t mean you don’t go through the process of trying to do things right the entire season. But you do that to get to the point where you can be at your best in the playoffs.”

Click here for the rest of the column: Washington Capital's time for raising little banners is over


When the time comes for Jim Grobe to retire, the chances that he will be voted into the College Football Hall of Fame are probably somewhere between slim and none with slim having little chance of prevailing. Almost halfway through his 17th season as a head coach Grobe has an overall record of 99-94-1.

And yet, if any of those voting were to take a close look at Grobe’s accomplishments he might be voted in by acclamation.

Consider — for starters — some numbers.

Grobe is in his 11th season at Wake Forest. After his team’s 35-30 victory Saturday over Florida State, the Demon Deacons are 4-1 and Grobe is now 66-61 at Wake. That record might not sound overwhelming until you consider that he is the first Wake Forest coach to have a winning record since D.C. “Peahead” Walker retired in 1950 with a record of 77-51-6. The last four coaches prior to Grobe’s arrival combined to go 95-159-2 in 23 years. Those four — John Mackovic, Al Groh, Bill Dooley and Jim Caldwell — weren’t exactly hacks. All but Dooley went on to become head coaches in the NFL and Dooley had a record of 132-91-3 in 20 years at North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Grobe’s first job was at Ohio University where he was 33-33-1 in six years. Again, hardly Hall of Fame numbers. But if you consider that in the 10 years prior to Grobe’s arrival Ohio had four separate losing streaks of at least 12 games, that record becomes a lot more impressive.

Click here for the rest of the column: Wake Forest's Jim Grobe achieves beyond the numbers

No comments: