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Football Stars of the Week

Future IU QB Tre Roberson clinched Indiana Mr Football  this weekend when Avon visited for a Regionals matchup @ Lawrence Central. Down 15 points late in the game, he racked up half of his 500 all-purpose yards in a 29-point 4th quarter . LC travels south to Bloomington North this Friday for a chance to play Fishers or Valpo for State next Saturday at da Luc'. Irish's 11-game winless streak vs ranked opponents was snapped as Tommy Rees led the way in his first career start at Notre Dame. Wisconsin RB Monte Bell's first start contributed to an  83-point outburst  against the Hoosier defense. I actually rejoice in this loss, signaling the unofficial end of the Bill Lynch era . The Hoosiers basketball team got off to a hot shooting start in their season-opener vs FL Gulf Coast . The crowd (of 15k) at one point chanted "Yo-gi Fer-rell" as he was in attendance, and today he Tweeted his  top 6 . They play again Sunday and Tuesday. If all goes well, IU could be 6-0 hea

Its Indiana

With the announcement of Cody Zeller choosing to take his hoops talent to Bloomington next year, Hoosier Nation is excited for the future of Indiana basketball. In the past couple months Tom Crean and his staff have received commitments from Zeller (Mr Basketball?) and Austin Etherington to suit up in the candy stripes next fall; as well as Hanner Perea, Peter Jurkin, and Ron Petterson (Broad Ripple HS) in 2012, and two more top-10 nationally ranked recruits in the 2014 class: James Blackmon and Trey Lyles (Tech HS). There appears to be a direct pipeline from the AAU squad Indiana Elite  as they look to continue their national dominance on the collegiate level. Add another commitment from Yogi Ferrel (Park Tudor HS), it's possible that in 2 years the Hoosiers roster will feature 10 former Elite players. The chemistry of being teammates for so long will be a major advantage, as proven by Greg Oden & Mike Conley's championship reign .

Indy upsets #23 Tennessee

University of Indianapolis defeats Bruce Pearl's Volunteers (79-64) through keen coaching and team chemistry.   Stan Gouard utilized a full-court press he learned from his mentor while en route to a D2 National Championship in 1995 while both were at Southern Indiana. The Greyhounds, 33 of 40 from the line, were led by Darius Adams' 27 points and Adrian Moss - a Franklin HS grad and IUPUI transfer. Although this was the 2nd exhibition loss for UT in the past 4 years , there are larger concerns for the defending Elite 8 finalists. The NCAA is investigating Pearl's involvement in improper recruiting and lying to officials, which has already led to 1-year probation and reduction in salary.

Louisville teen wins Miss World

Earlier this year, we learned that our southern neighbor won Miss Universe , but a much closer southern neighbor has now won Miss World.  Alexandria Mills, 18, KY, won the  pageant featuring 115 other  contestants from around the globe, surpassing runners-up  Botswana and Venezuela.  Mills’ victory came amid a reported controversy however; critics claimed her biggest rival ( Miss Norway Mariann Birkedal ) was cheated out of the title due to difficult relations between her home country and the show’s host country, China. Mills says that she wants to pursue a career in teaching...  ...let's hope she stays in the area!

LC Bears ranked #1 in HS FB

This the first time Warren Central, Ben Davis and Center Grove were eliminated in the first round of Sectionals since Indiana tournament football started in 1985. I witnessed the mighty Warriors (defending State Champs) fall to Lawrence Central last Friday and surprised how fun it was to watch HS football. Tre Roberson is the QB - and he just might be the starting QB for the Hoosiers next year. I had gone to two whole games in the 10 years since I graduated, but I'll probably be doubling that total this weekend as LC hosts Perry Meridian. I felt as much pride as I do attending IU football games and its awesome to have a solid team to support. I'd be a real treat to see them make it to Lucas Oil next month. Some interesting matchups this Halloween weekend: Fishers @ Carmel Valpo @ Merrillville Avon @ Brownsburg Bloomington North @ Columbus North (Week 3 rematch, Cbus won 27-24) Terrible Haute North @ Pike (Patriots beat a good Zionsville team last week, Pike took down BD

Hoosier golfer unlikely Ryder Cup star

Although the Americans eventual fell to the Europeans, one Ryder Cup rookie was screaming " Boom Baby! " after holing out from the fairway for Eagle on the 8th hole. While Tiger and Phil had difficulty matching their counterparts, Jeff Overton not-so-calmly led the fight to keep the US hopes alive. Maybe it was his Midwest golfing background that suited him well in chilly Newport, Wales. Or maybe he's just hungrier? After all, he still hasn't won a single PGA tour event. Either way, my new favorite golfer will surely be tearing up the courses for years to come.

Mike Pence wins Straw Poll

Indiana Representative Mike Pence gained more votes than any other Republican at Iowa's annual Values Voter Summit. The socially conservative meeting suggests Pence as a serious GOP candidate to run for president in 2012, pulling in nearly a quarter of the votes. Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin also placed in the top five. Those casting ballots also listed their top issues as: government spending, healthcare overhaul, national security, religious liberty and abortion.

Indy ranks #1 Sexually Satisfied City

A recent survey from   Men’s Health   magazine released a list this week of “sexually satisfied” cities, as well as those who fare not so well. They looked at a number of statistical factors like birth rates, sales of sex toys and condoms, and rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Just a few hours away on I-70 Columbus, Ohio grabs the runnerup spot. Take a jog up I-69 where Ft Wayne ranks #3 or jump on I-74 where Cincy places #4 on the list. Rounding out the top ten is  Chicago , just a short trip up I-65. Must be something in the water?

Reds' Homer, BP top Dodgers

It had been 5 years since Cincinnati had even won a game in Los Angeles; Homer Bailey and Brandon Phillips broke that defeated streak Friday with 7 strong innings of 4-hit ball and all 3 RBIs powered by the second basemen.  Now, thanks to Joey Votto and Bronson Arroyo's heroics on Sunday, they have a series victory in LA. The MVP front-runner drove in three runs - including a go-ahead, opposite-field HR in the 6th - while starting pitcher Arroyo earned his 14th win, tying him with Chris Carpenter for 3rd-most in the NL. Speaking of the Cardinals, the Reds maintain a  3+ game lead over STL with 38 games remaining in 2010.

Hoosier Hoops Doubleheader

The instra-state rivalries will heat up next year with the Crossroads Classic, featuring Indiana's top four basketball programs going head-to-head in Indianapolis. Starting in 2011, Indiana University will play Notre Dame (after 69  previous contests) and Purdue will match-up against NCAA runner-up Butler. In 2012, IU will play BU and ND plays PU.

Indy shines amidst nation crippled by recession

Downtown Indianapolis is in the midst of a multi-billion dollar construction boom . As many as 78 projects totaling $3.3B are being invested in the city as renovations are underway in both public and private sectors. The convention center, government buildings and the new Wishard Memorial Hospital are supported by public funds; Methodist, Riley, Marriott and NCAA HQ are all funded privately. Of course this is not indicative of the US economy, where its difficult to find any leader willing to develop right now. Instead, Indianapolis is driven to succeed because of its own growth. Specifically, one rapidly developing spot in Indy is SoBro (South Broad Ripple), the area around 54th Street and the Monon Trail... a  beautiful mix of art, culture and community.

Noblesville named Best Places to Retire finalist

With no beaches, no mountains, and only a few celebs, Noblesville has picked up a nomination as one of the cheapest places to retire [MSN's Best Places study performed by Bert Spurling ] Also on the list were Mount Vernon, Washington; Rogers, Arkansas; Moon Township, Pennsylvania and Gainesville, Florida. This recent nod will only further the rapid growth of Hamilton County. Since 2006 we've been touted as the best area by BusinessWeek, Forbes, CNN, MSN and  the NBA .

Indianapolis HS amateurs #1

As of 2012, Indianapolis has been represented in 8 consecutive NBA drafts (add JuJuan Johnson + Marquis Teague to the pic below) Indy, the king of basketball, has produced more than a dozen NBA players since 2006:  Gordon Hayward , Eric Gordon Jr, Mike Conley Jr, Josh McRoberts, Courtney Lee, George Hill, Jeff and Marquis Teague. 3 more - Greg Oden, Rodney Carney and JuJuan Johnson - were drafted but currently don't see any action. Zach Randolph and Jared Jeffries do not qualify based on proximity and age. The same can probably be said for the Zellers and Plumlees. 2006 was the first year after the minimum age changed from 18 to 19. Since then, LA's amateur talent includes Mario Chalmers, Russell Westbrook, Robin and Brook Lopez, Demar DeRozan, Spencer Hawes, Chase Budinger, Jrue Holiday.

USA beats UK

BP still gets last laugh by killing our Gulf Coast  

Fishers ranks #1

I know I sound like a broken record, but its worth noting that another media outlet  has ranked Fishers as the best place to live in America. This time we've received the title of "most affordable suburb" which follows a long line of similar accolades in recent years. Not only is Fishers  healthy ,  safe , smart , fast , affordable and rapidly expanding  -- its also  fun !

Ken Griffey Junior retires

The greatest baseball player of our generation has decided to hang up his glove and spend the rest of his days with his family. Junior, the son of former Indianapolis Indians and Cincinnati Reds slugger Ken Griffey Sr, first burst onto the scene in 1989. Twenty-two seasons later, with 13 All-Star appearances, 10 Golden Gloves, 7 Silver Slugger awards, 3 HR Derby championships and the 1997 MVP - he will go down in history as one of the greatest players ever, both offensively and defensively. His last hit was a walk-off single on May 20 and he currently sits 5th on the all-time HRs list (behind Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, and Mays).

Purdue wins 3rd NCAA title

The Purdue Women's Golf team won a national championship, the third* title in school history. Although leading by 7 strokes entering the final round, that lead was squandered to just 1 after Maude-Aimee LeBlanc bogeyed hole #18. SoCal had a chance to tie it with a 10-foot birdie attempt on the final hole but the putt missed right. Since 1993, either a Pac10 school or Duke had won every national title. *The other two NCAA Championships were the 1999 Women's Basketball team and the 1961 Men's Golf squad. They still trail IU by 20 .

RunnerUp Champs

So far in 2010, Lawrence Central has lost to Brebeuf 3 times in County, including runner-up champions in both Golf and Baseball. Sure high school is a much smaller scale than the NFL, Olympics, NCAA basketball, WNBA, Confederation Cup and yes, even minor league hockey - the commonality is they're all teams in the § galaxy that have been to the championship this past year only to lose. Update: Chalk up 2 more: Notre Dame LaX just lost to Duke in the Natl championship and LC Boys Track placed runner-up at State - but hey, at least the Girls won! Update #2: LC football lost the State Championship to Fishers Tigers . The curse continues!

§ Galaxy of Stars Spring Report Card: A-

Lawrence Central won the Marion County Boys Track meet last night @ North Central, edging out Ben Davis and Warren Central, and set the meet-record in the 4x800 relay ( 7:53.30 ) This meet is generally regarded as the second-toughest Track&Field competition in Indiana, behind the State Finals which are held @ IUPUI in June. The baseball Bears play @ Victory Field tomorrow night in the County Championship versus Brebeuf. The game will add to the fierce rivalry between the two schools this year: Brebeuf eliminated both the basketball Bears (by 1 point) and the golf Bears (by 4 strokes) to win the County Championship last week. The 2011 class juniors are showcasing their hoop skills this summer in hopes of wooing top national programs for scholarship offers. Michael Chandler (LN), Cody Zeller, Branden Dawson, and Jeremiah Davis are all undecided, while Marquis Teague (UK), Ryan Taylor (UL), Darwin Davins (XU), and Austin Etherington (IU) are other Indiana stars ranked in the Rival

Duke spoils "Hoosiers II"

Butler almost pulled off the greatest story of hoops history tonight. Gordon Hayward had 2 chances in the final seconds to win the National Championship for tiny Milan High...er, Butler. Not only did they have full support from nearly all of the 70,000 fans, it was the hardest fought game you could ask for. It's awfully tough to lose a game like that, especially as the home team (wearing road jerseys). Reds kicked off the season opener in grand fashion today by getting stomped by MVP Albert Pujols and the St Louis Cardinals. The good news is that they're only a game outta first place. Tiger Woods returns to golf this week at the Masters, a tradition like no other. This man knows a few things about storybook performances, except his mistresses are the ones getting paid for telling them.

Astrology 201

Have you ever wondered what your compatibility was with others based on their sign? You might be thinking of Astrology, but that's actually called  Synastry . In Synastry, they determine love factors like romance, passion, affection, attraction using Mars  and Venus   based on where the planets appear in the sky. I wonder why they don't teach astrology in school (anymore). Without tools like Wikipedia and Google, you wouldn't know about the ancient civilizations that studied the stars at night. They determined that a year is the Earth's rotation around the star and then broke that down to 12+ months, each based on a Moon's lunar cycle (~28 days - also a female's cycle). Later on, they came up with 4 seasons in a year ( solstice/equinox ), and 4 weeks to a month (or moon phases) thus creating a 7-day cycle. "...and on the 7th day, he rested". Even today's holiday [Easter] is astronomical, determined by the moon and the equinox. Astrology is frow

Amateur All-Stars

Gene Keady, Matt Painter and Chris Kramer  during timeout at NCAA All-Star game @ da Luc' 

2010 Final Four, by the numbers

As history tells it , 18 of the past 23 Final Fours have featured either Duke or North Carolina (1991 had both). In fact, since 1956 there's only been a single Final Four didn't feature at least one of these schools: Duke, UNC, UCLA, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisville, Cincinnati or Georgetown. The year was 1979, featuring Indiana State's Larry Bird vs Michigan State's Magic Johnson in the championship game (DePaul & Penn were the other two.) While Coach K & Duke have clinched just their second Final Four in nine years, Tom Izzo & Michigan State are making their sixth Final Four appearance in twelve years. BigEast champ West Virginia's previous appearance was 1959, but Bob Huggins led Cincy to the Final Four in 1992 (along with IU, Duke and Michigan's Fab5). Although Brad Stevens will be coaching in his first Final Four among 3 Hall of Fame coaches, he's still got a major advantage: this is the first time a Final Four team is playing in their

Dancing with Hoosiers

After two unsuccessful tries, Randy Wittman's son Ryan has finally put Cornell into the next round. Ben Allen helped St Marys shock everyone by beating Villanova to advance to the 3rd round. North Carolina and Tyler Zeller have advanced to the NIT's Elite 8. The Butler Bulldogs took care of UTEP and Murray State, and are now halfway home. Who can forget Ohio's Armon Bassett's amazing March performance? Like Allen, Meezy played for Kelvin Sampson a couple years ago, as did Jordan Crawford - probably best known as that kid that dunked over LeBron James, now has Xavier looking to make another Regional Finals appearance. Purdue Boilermakers have shushed all doubters by advancing to their 2nd consecutive Sweet Sixteen. Ohio State and Michigan St are also representing the BigTen, with Northern Iowa/Tennessee standing in the way of a trip to Indy. However, not all is bright in the Schrockstar Galaxy of Stars: Notre Dame lost in the first round to Old Dominion; IUPUI lost the

The Road to Indianapolis

Back in October, I gave you a Tri-State Hoops Preview  highlighting Butler, Kentucky, Michigan State, Purdue and other area teams showing real promise to play in the Final Four. Now that the Tournament has arrived, we have a clearer view of possible Regional Finalists. If all #1s and #2s advance to the Elite 8 that would be boring - so I have Xavier upsetting Kansas State in Salt Lake City. What can I say? I'm a risk-taker! Here's a map of those eight perceived finalists

Assembly Hall should be named after RMK

Assembly Hall in Bloomington needs a name change, it's simply not unique enough. BigTen foe Fightin Illini also shares the same stadium name in Champaign - both basketball and football - but that's another rant. Other than it being beautiful architecture, the storied arena has bred a few national champs, a dozen league titles, numerous All-Americans, a 55-game winning streak, NCAA's last undefeated season, and countless electrifying games. Like when Marco scored 34 points over Josh McRoberts, Defensive PoY Shelden Williams and #1 Duke ; or Kirk Haston's game-winning 3-pointer over #1 MSU in 2001. That next season, Indiana fans led the nation in attendance on their way to the NCAA Championship game. Just like in 2005, when IU led the nation in soccer attendance - and then Yeagley 's squad won the National Title the season after he left. Another cawinkadink: IU football broke their 15-yr bowl drought just months after Hep died. OK, so things aren't the same a

2010 § Bracketology

Two classic Bracket Buster games tonight: Conference USA has Memphis@UAB fighting for a 2nd conference bid (UTEP) and the mighty Big East features UConn@Notre Dame, vying for an 8th conference bid. And even better match-ups tonight: Duke at College Park and Kansas State at Lawrence.  Mississippi State has the SEC West on lock due to the season-opener win in Oxford Jan 9th. The 2nd place Rebels would need to win at least 2 more games to have a chance: LSU and @Ark. Isn't it weird how they beat IU in Puerto Rico, then Kansas St and almost beat another top-10 Villanova in November?  But no quality conference wins? ouch. These teams are in: Florida, Clemson, Louisville, G.Tech, FSU, Wake Forest, Marquette, Notre Dame, OK St, Illinois, Saint Marys The Last 4 in: UAB, Dayton, Va Tech and San Diego State Which means these teams will probably not get an invite: UConn, Mississippi St, Rhode Island, Ole Miss, Charlotte, Seton Hall, Minnesota, Memphis, ASU.

Fishers Golf ranks #2 in the nation

Livability  is the latest publication to rank the Indy community among the best, this time for greatest golf courses in America , narrowly missing out on the #1 spot to Eugene, Oregon. The survey found that "central Indiana's gently rolling countryside are perfectly suited for great golf." My home course is River Glen, so I'm a bit partial to which one is best, but neighbors Plum Creek and Prairie View offer beautiful scenery too - as long as the White River isn't flooding it. Brookshire, Stoney Creek, Gray Eagle, Ironwood, Hawthornes, Pebble Brook, Sahm, Fox Prairie and Forest Park are all within a few miles as well. Oh yeah, I've heard that Purgatory and Crooked Stick are decent courses too.

Indy Real Estate ranked #1

CNN  has once again ranked Indianapolis the most affordable place to live in America. Fishers and Carmel have received numerous similar awards in recent years, and Noblesville is sure to follow. Hamilton County is also the #1 healthiest county in the state , defined by "quality of life" and "health risks".

Indy Airport ranked #1

JD Power ranked North American airports based on customer satisfaction: accessibility, food, facilities, security, check-in and baggage claim. Indianapolis International Airport got the top award amongst airports under 10 million yearly passengers. The fact that we're included amongst "small" airports is a blessing considering our population ranks us the 12th largest American city. I guess many of the surrounding cities (Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit) consume a large portion of the trans-continental connecting flights, thus reducing Indy's traffic.

106th & Keystone recognized as nation's top cement structure of 2009

The Portland Cement Association will present the National Award of Excellence in Phoenix next month to American Structurepoint, an Indianapolis construction company that designed the intersection in Hamilton County. The overall cost of Keystone Parkway cost Carmel $112 Million, with new intersections built at 106th, 116th, 126th, 131st, 136th Streets and Carmel Drive. Still no word on whether the speed limit for the virtual highway will remain 40 MPH.

Americans in the 2010 Winter Olympics

Some of the stars you may remember from 2006 include Shaun "Flying Tomato" White, Bode Miller and Apolo Ohno. By now, you've probably also heard of Lindsey Vonn and Chani Davis.  Some other athletes NBC will surely focus on: ice skater Tanith Belbin, hockey player Natalie Darwitz, XC skier Kikkan Randall and skeletoneer Noelle Pikus-Pace... But my favorite story  so far is that of the US bobsled team, and how the driver of the 'Night Train' was legally blind until recent surgery. His commitment to feeling the track - rather than seeing it - has led to the Americans being heavy favorites in a sport they haven't won since 1948. He keeps his helmet visor intentionally blurred to remind himself that steering the sled by memory is better. 

XLiV mirror: Reggie, Pierre, Peyton, and a Purdue QB

In Superbowl 44, the Conference Champ and #1 seed will feature a Reggie (Wayne and Bush), a Pierre (Garçon and Thomas), a Peyton (Manning and Sean Payton) and a Boilermaker QB (Curtis Painter and Drew Brees). New Orleans Saints have 2 Hoosier return specialists: Tracy Porter playing CB and Courtney Roby . The kickoff return man has multiple touchdowns this season after being released from the Colts early last year. Further making Roby a local icon: he graduated from North Central (attended Lawrence North), has siblings at IU, Cathedral and Carmel - and also lives in Geist.

i69 - Exit 10

What are they gonna call this area?  Exit 10, I-69: Fishers supports everything south of the highway but Noblesville supports everything north. State Road 238 is being renamed 'Southeastern' Way , which is not only the area's high school name but also the direction 238 travels. 'Olio' is ruled out because that's what they call the area down on 116th St (Caslers is a nice IU bar). It probably wouldn't be 'Geist', especially after the residents just lost a property battle to Fishers. M y vote is 'Deer Creek', paying homage to the natural terrain and the original shopping center that launched too early (Amish Furniture?) and the Music Center, which was later renamed by corporate whores. I have a feeling this area will become more than just a folksy town with all these new med/tech parks in the neighborhood. There needs to be distinction from actual-Fishers and actual-Noblesville.

Peyton Manning wins 4th MVP

As we enter the new decade with the Pacers on an 8-game losing streak and the Hoosiers undefeated in BigTen play, I wanted to keep my streak going of passing on tomorrow's news : Peyton Manning will win an NFL-record 4th MVP and the six Pro Bowlers mentioned below will also include Bethea but none of them will be available to play due to XLiV.