Sunday, October 30, 2005

Senior Walk-on

Thomas Runge '06 just wanted to play college tennis. In a school where nearly a quarter of the student population plays a varsity sport, Runge has found an opportunity at Davidson to live out his dreams. However, he only gets one year. Runge is a senior walk-on on the Men's Tennis team in a place where that rarely happens. "A lot of people might not have tried out if they only had a year left," Runge says. "But I want to see how good I can get."
Runge says that he didn't start to play tennis seriously until much later than most people who play Varsity tennis, who often start playing youth tournaments at a very young age. As a result, he was not highly recruited coming out of high school and decided to try to walk on at Davidson. However, as a freshman, Runge did not make the team. "I did try out my freshman year, but I didn't really have that clear of a purpose," Runge says. When he didn't make the team, Runge tried to stay sharp by practicing with the girls team during his freshman year. However, faced with the large prospect of getting back on to the team, Runge moved onto different things the next two years and decided not to concentrate on tennis. But there was something urgently pulling him back to the game that he poured so many hours into. "I just couldn't stand watching the team from the sidelines," Runge attests. "After all that time, you miss playing a sport competitively and I felt that I had to prove it to myself that I could put forth the effort and compete in a collegiate match."
Runge worked all summer and earned himself a spot on a squad that is always impacted by his sense of urgency. "He plays like a guy with his back against the wall," says teammate Philip Compeau '08. "But, for him there really is no tomorrow." Runge's first opportunity on the court came several weeks ago when the tennis team hosted several Southern Conference opponents during their mock fall schedule. Although he dropped his two matches in third-set tiebreakers, Runge knows that the match experience will continue to give him confidence in preparation for the spring. As both a senior and rookie at the same time, Runge has the unique experience of learning from the veterans while being a leader through his sense of urgency and drive to excel in his brief opportunity to play a collegiate sport. "I definitely feel like I am working against a deadline, but as everyone at Davidson can attest, that comes with its own special buzz."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Sick of writing

Well last week I went 11-3 which is a vast improvement over my first week's 8-5 debacle. Hopefully I will begin putting up some more articles that I have written because it seems that by the time I hit the internet, I am so sick of writing. Well here's my picks for this weeks and look for a tennis article coming soon.

BENGALS over Packers
COWBOYS over Cardinals
LIONS over Bears
Raiders over TITANS
Jaguars over RAMS
GIANTS over Redskins
PANTHERS over Vikings
SAINTS over Dolphins
CHARGERS over Chiefs
BRONCOS over Eagles
Bucs over 49ERS
PATRIOTS over Bills
STEELERS over Ravens

Friday, October 21, 2005

NFL Picks

Alright well here we go with some NFL picks for this week last week I was 9-5 which should be greatly improved this week.

Chiefs over DOLPHINS
Lions over BROWNS
Packers over VIKINGS
Colts over TEXANS
RAMS over Saints
BENGALS over Steelers
EAGLES over Chargers
REDSKINS over 49ers
SEAHAWKS over Cowboys
BEARS over Ravens
RAIDERS over Bills
Broncos over GIANTS
CARDINALS over Titans
FALCONS over Jets

That's all for the NFL, for all those that are interested, there are some interesting ideas being published about the nature of the NBA over willrob's blog. Go check it out. I happen to concur with many of them

Monday, October 17, 2005

Bad Picks

Well today was certainly a bad day on the NFL front. My picks went south pretty quick yesterday. In the end, it makes me happy that the only team I really have to pull for is the Panthers. And Chris Weinke. When Jake was knocked out with a concussion on the final drive. Weinke came in to orchestrate an excellent drive with passes to .... Ricky Proehl? Wow.

I should say, though, that Steve Smith currently owns the title for best touchdown celebrations. After last week's calling of his mother and watching TV, this week he rocked his baby to sleep along with the Ford Field crowd. Wow, that's untouchable TO.

Basketball practice continues today as I get to interview Frantisek Babka, a former Davidson player who now lives in Prague. He had played ball professionally in Europe before suffering an injury. Apparently he is visiting the campus and coach wants me to talk to him. Pretty exciting.

Finally, the latest episode of our radio show is on the air. It can be found at

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I have decided to add a wrinkle to my watching of NFL games every week by making predictions on my blog. This way I can cheer for entire teams instead of just fantasy players. So here we go for Week 6:

CHICAGO over Minnesota
DALLAS over NY Giants
Carolina over DETROIT
Cincinnati over TENNESSEE
Washington over KC
Atlanta over NEW ORLEANS
PITTSBURGH over Jacksonville
Miami over TAMPA BAY
Cleveland over BALTIMORE
BUFFALO over NY Jets
New England over DENVER
San Diego over OAKLAND
SEATTLE over Houston

I'm tipping my hat to the Dolphins and hoping they can upset the state rival Bucs. I also think that despite Jake Plummer's home record, New England is due for a breakout game. Belichek doesn't give up two TD's to Matt Schaub without saying anything.

So there we go! Bring it on Will

Thursday, October 13, 2005


For some reason on this Thursday night, I find myself very tired. A long week filled with Fall Break, papers and, of course weird sports. In preparing for a more discussion-based radio show this Sunday, I have devoted myself to SportsCenter to find out about what is going on. I was amazed to see the weird play in Chicago where AJ Pierzynski made it to first on a called strike three. The catcher was walking to the dugout and the umpire had already called him out. Then when he made it to first, the umpire changed his call. He wasn't sure whether the ball hit the ground or not and decided to call Pierzynski safe. The White Sox extended the inning and went on to win the game.

After being a counselor/referee at basketball camp this summer, I am certainly slower to criticize refereeing than I would be. It is difficult to be in a position where the players question your call and then you begin to question it. You realize that maybe you really didn't see things right and that the player who is yelling in your ear has a point. Perhaps so. But then why couldn't they use instant replay. It hasn't destroyed the integrity of football. In fact, with instant replay the Braves would have gotten the final out in that historic NLDS game where the first base ump said that Julio Franco had his foot off the bag. Instant replay, salary cap, and playoffs. Every sport needs them now. I'm out.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


After a long hiatus, I have decided to attempt to blog some more. It was helpful this summer to be able to develop my writing style. And now that I have so many topics of interests, I will be able to further hone that ability without worrying about grades.

Life has taken me on an interesting trip since returning to Davidson. I have witnessed first-hand the politics of leadership as I have had to navigate the murky waters of definition regarding the Sports Marketing Association. I have published a newsletter to a readership of 1700 in the form of the Wildcat Report. I have struggled with the nature of sports as an institution, a career, and a priority. So what now? What does one do when faced with a mid-term about Egyptian and Safavid history? One studies, of course. But somehow, I haven't been able to accept that. I need more. More reasoning and incentive. And because of that frustration, I have been shunned. Not physically, but intellectually. No one wants to hear my crazy ideas for the fear that they might upset their system. They do their work and get their grades and tell themselves they are happy. But that isn't good enough for me. Until this week when I have been faced with no other option. I have to study or else. Else what? I get a bad grade? What are the eternal consequences of a C in Environmental Biology. I assume that it signifies laziness and incompetence. However, in the context that we always think of as the "real world," the system of Davidson College is irrelevant.
There are no core requirements in the real world. You clock in at 5:30, deliver the bread on time and don't get in a wreck. You work for the rest of your day. You work to have a life when you get time. Your work does not assume importance during your dinner, nor does it ultimately judge your character. C students at Davidson College are morally inferior, whether the administration wants to admit it or not.
Am I merely excusing failure because I didn't work hard enough? Perhaps. But I guarantee that I used more intellectual prowess in assimilating this treatise than explaining the Carbon cycle. And isn't the ability to make excuses the mark of success in this world? My lawyer parents have made a living off of articulating the excuses of others. Political advisors become world-renowned for their abilities to excuse the downfalls of an administration. Perhaps Davidson has accomplished its goal of preparing my bright mind for the future. So then why do I still stress out over my 40-page readings. That's a subject for next week.