Dr. I: Of coach Hurley and the ‘Passin’ Paisan’
Idle Thoughts, while waiting for UConn-Kansas, the high school football playoffs and for someone to purchase Tommy Tuberville a one-way ticket to Tibet:
• Dr. Idle, Dr. I to his close friends, had a hard time interpreting Dan Hurley’s postgame comments after his Huskies strolled through Manhattan the other day:
“A lot of our players don't get the credit, because our culture is so unselfish and these guys are so about winning," Hurley told the assembled media. "They're not huge on social media or making it all about themselves. … People that don't watch the games, that just watch TikTok highlights, are the ones judging. They don't know (anything)."
His players “don’t get credit?”
Dr. I understands that Hurley is a unique cat and that straw man arguments are good at riling the masses. But the guy has the defending national champion and a 2023-24 team with more answers than the Jeopardy board. An odd time for contrived moral outrage.
• Yes, that’s Dr. I’s alma mater, Xavier High, with two quarterbacks in the NFL.
(We also have the highest SAT scores per capita in the western hemisphere.)
• Quiz: Who has kicked the most field goals in the history of the New York Football Giants? (Answer below)
• If former LPGA star Dottie Pepper married local barber Louie Pica, divorced him and married former NHL forward Michael Peca, divorced him for former Raiders’ lineman Bill Pickel and then divorced him for Patriots’ safety Jibril Peppers, that would make her Dottie Pepper Pica Peca Pickel Peppers.
• Mad props to Eastern Board football referee Jon Crowley, who got us to the Thanksgiving table a lot faster the other day.
Crowley was the “white hat” for Ledyard/Fitch, which lasted a crisp 1 hour, 46 minutes. This is now the gold standard for white hats across the ECC.
Crowley, whose sons Patrick and Chip played at Coast Guard, splits his officiating time between here and California (where he runs a business). Before Ledyard/Fitch, Crowley officiated a game in California last week at Coachella Valley High School. (School nickname: “The Mighty Arabs.” Not kidding).
• Dr. I is stealing this from Tony Reali at Around The Horn, who is calling Tommy DeVito “The Passin’ Paisan.” Love it.
• Who is it easier to root against: Kim Mulkey or Angel Reese? Kind of a tie, says Dr. I.
• Best dressed administrator at Thanksgiving football: Groton superintendent Susan Austin, who as a Ledyard grad, wore a cap that was half Ledyard blue and half Fitch scarlet.
Austin credited Groton schools facilities director (and former Ledyard baseball coach) Sam Kilpatrick with making the hat.
• Congrats to East Lyme High grad Carly Thibault Dudonis, the second-year head coach of Fairfield women’s basketball. The Stags clobbered Rutgers last week, a few days removed from nearly upsetting Vanderbilt in Nashville.
• Notre Dame is really building a statue to honor Muffet McGraw?
That must mean UConn is due for a cathedral to honor Geno.
• If Dr. I were a boxer and had one punch left to give, he’d use it on Nick Sirianni.
• Outstanding effort Friday night from Jim Cavalieri, who hosted the Waterford Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony at Langley’s. Great night.
• First team to 10 points wins Giants/Pats on Sunday. But will either team get 10?
• Quibble all you’d like. Jim Mora is spot on about UConn football’s survival being tethered to Name/Image/Likeness. You may not like it or understand it. But it is changing college sports a little more every day.
• Is Paige Bueckers going to leave UConn as The Greatest Player Who Never Won Anything?
• Quiz answer: Pete Gogolak kicked 126 field goals from 1966-74, the most in Giants’ history. He is ahead of Brad Daluiso (123) and Lawrence Tynes (122).
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro
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