The Christmas spirit has officially overtaken the Breakfast. No, I won't be showing be sliding down your chimney and eating up all your cookies -- unless you want me to. No, I won't be singing Bed Intruder Christmas Carols through your neighborhood.
Actually, I have two Gen Admission tickets to the UC-Miami game Tuesday at Millett Hall I want to give away. I truly appreciate all you guys. Without your readership, emails and comments, well, I wouldn't be buying many Christmas gifts for anybody.
So, here's how I'll pick the winner of the tickets. Just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the top reason you are excited for UC sports in 2011 and the top reason you are concerned about UC sports in 2011. Football, basketball, baseball, anything.
Please include an explanation of your choices and I'll randomly choose a winner. Just get your email to me by 6 p.m. today (Monday) and I'll send a confirmation email to the winner tonight and we'll arrange a way to get you those tickets.
I'll feature your emails in the Breakfast over the next few days and we'll discuss your optimism/concern. Again, thanks to all of you who started reading the blog when I took over this year, I hope it's been as enjoyable for you as it has been for me to this point.
All right, enough charity, let's eat...
--- Only one place to start and that's with the Bearcats win at Oklahoma to become 10-0.
UC didn't play particularly well. They bricked 3-pointers, got into foul trouble and struggled early from the line.
But on the road, against a team from a major conference (subpar or not), they found a way to win -- by 10.
How many times could we say that over the past four years? Many people would come away disappointed with the game, saying the mistakes they were making were reminiscent of the last few years. In fact, a few of you took out your frustration on your keyboard and emailed me. But this was different. I viewed through a different lens. You know this team can play much better and they still walked away with a victory.
Good teams win games when they don't play well. They are far from perfect and I am not placing them among the elite of the Big East just yet, but it's about time they stopped getting crushed for not playing anybody and earn some respect for being 10-0.
--- Bill Koch traveled to Oklahoma and writes about UC not panicking in OKC. Defense and rebounding shut the Sooners down. Here's a quote he had from Cronin:
"Our defense has been pretty constant all year," said UC coach Mick Cronin. "It has to be. You're going to have nights, especially on the road, when the ball doesn't go in the basket and you've got to make sure you defend your way to a win."
--- Jeff Capel, on the other hand, didn't think what happened was as much good defense as it was bad offense, as he told the Tulsa World.
--- Oklahoma came away slightly encouraged, from the Oklahoman.
--- Tom Groeschen spoke with Mick Cronin's father, Hep, who won more than 400 games as a high school hoops coach and was a scout with the Atlanta Braves. He talks about hearing criticism from fans and the difficulty of staying in the background.
--- Dion Dixon made the nastiest move of his career on Saturday night. He went all Jordan on Patrick Ewing with the fake retreat off the baseline then charged the hoop with a huge one-handed jam.
--- Even more jersey talk after the black throwbacks hit the mainstream on Saturday. Those really are nice. Hopefully they bring them back later in the year.
As I pointed out last week, the throwbacks were shipped out on Friday and should be in stores soon. I don't have a direct link to where to buy them, but any of your local sporting goods store would be your best bet.
--- Tuesday night's game at Miami is on SportstimeOhio, which is channel 662 for Directv -- and, of course, on 700WLW.
--- Miami has been up and down this year. They beat Xavier at home, but were owned by Wright State this weekend.
Of course, strong Moeller product Troy Tabler chipped in 16.
--- Syracuse moved to 11-0 but only beat Iona by six at home. Anybody want to bash them?
--- Two big plays from UC grads in the NFL on Sunday.
--- Tyjuan Hagler returned an onside kick 41 yards for a touchdown to put away a huge win for Indianapolis against Jacksonville.
--- Also, Brent Celek pulled in a 65-yard TD reception as part of the Eagles amazing comeback in New York. Of course, the game will be remembered for DeSean Jackson's incredible walk-off punt return, but Celek's TD changed the momentum of the game.
--- How about some randomness....
--- I hope Little Jerry Seinfeld wasn't among this group. Jerry Seinfeld, big or small, takes a fall for nobody.
--- There's this....and in related news, the Progressive lady leaves viewers eardrums irritated.
--- Sadly for my Ohio Bobcats, the most memorable aspect of their bowl game against Troy was the opposing punter's beard.
--- My likeness to Trent Dilfer has been much talked about here, including the inability to get a photo with him at Fresno State as my biggest disappointment of 2010.
Well, my good buddy Jim, we discovered this weekend looks frighteningly similar to Colts C Jeff Saturday.
So, we've got a QB and center. If you know anybody that looks like a WR and RB we may be able to put together an all-bizarro offense. If you know anybody, pass along a photo. And yes, we are nerds, we're aware. No need to remind us.
--- Don't forget, send me an email (email@example.com) if you want those UC-Miami tickets.