Friday, November 30, 2007

Remembering Tom Lee

I received word of Cal Poly Hall of Famer Tom Lee's death late Thursday night, but I wasn't able to write anything until today for the Web and for Saturday's paper. It was one of the toughest stories I've written having covered Lee's son, Larry, as Cal Poly and Cuesta's baseball coach for eight years now. I'd spot Tom at nearly every game I covered, sitting right there behind the plate rooting on his son's teams.
I also interviewed Tom dozens of times about his sons, or for Hall of Fame stories and obits on other Cal Poly legends. His stories were always classic.
Tom, a former Cal Poly coach and PE instructor, died at his San Luis Obispo home Thursday afternoon. He was 90.
Tom retired from the physical education and recreation department in 1988.
He came to Cal Poly in 1952 when he was hired as the varsity baseball, freshman football and boxing coach. Tom coached all three sports until the late 1950s and continued coaching boxing for 12 years until it was discontinued in 1963.
You can read more about his legacy in Saturday's paper, or you can find it at late tonight. A funeral is planned for next Friday at the Old Mission Church in San Luis Obispo.
I talked to a bunch of people around the community today, and the stories they had about Tom Lee were almost as classic as his own tales. Everything from how he fought in WWII, had the brakes go out on the family car during their move to SLO (going down the Cuesta Grade of all places), and how he even played in the NBC World Series alongside Satchel Paige. I saw a comment had already been posted just minutes after posting a short breaking news story on Lee's passing at and thought this could also be a good forum for readers to post their stories/memories about Tom as well. If you have any you would like to share, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Shotty signs with Philly

Former Cal Poly linebacker Kyle Shotwell, the 2006 Buck Buchanan Award winner, was officially signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad on Wednesday.
The Eagles, who run a speed-oriented and blitz-happy 4-3 defense that could be well suited for the 6-1, 240-pound Shotwell, made the move to replace linebacker William Kershaw, who was signed off the practice squad by Houston.
The move comes just three days after former Cal Poly standout Chris Gocong turned in his best game as a pro for the Eagles, tallying a sack and four tackles in a loss to the New England Patriots.
Gocong’s big night against Tom Brady and company might’ve reninforced the belief that small-school products like Gocong, another Buchanan Award winner, and RB Brian Westbrook (I-AA Villanova), a Payton Award winner, can succeed at the next level.
Shotwell, however, still has his work cut out for him. As a practice squad player, there are no guarantees, and he isn't eligible to play on Sundays until he makes the active roster. Since September, five players have been released from the Eagles practice squad. Then again, two players have been signed to other teams and two others were promoted to the Eagles’ active roster after injuries hit Philly on the defensive side of the ball. Stay tuned on this one.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Barden doesn't make final cut

The three finalists for the Walter Payton Award have been announced and, as expected, Cal Poly wide receiver Ramses Barden wasn’t one of them.
In fact, there were no wide receivers among the finalists as Barden wasn’t even among the top 10 receiving votes. Since the award was first presented in 1987, only one wide receiver has come away with the trophy -- Villanova's Brian Finneran won it in 1997. Four of the past five awards have gone to quarterbacks, starting with Tony Romo of Eastern Illinois in 2002.
The three finalists, as named by The Sports Network, were all quarterbacks: Georgia Southern’s Jayson Foster, San Diego’s Josh Johnson and Eric Sanders of Northern Iowa.
Yeah, can you believe it? Everyone’s favorite coming in, 2006 Payton Award winner Ricky Santos of New Hampshire, wasn’t among the finalists and finished fifth in this year’s balloting. Another surprise was where North Dakota State running back Tyler Roehl fell in the voting. He was eighth after a less than stellar finish for the Bison.
The Payton Award winner will be announced Dec. 13 at the Chattanooga Marriott during the annual Sports Network awards dinner.
The Buck Buchanan Award, given to the best defender in the FCS, and Eddie Robinson Award, for the best coach, will be handed out on the eve of the championship game as well. The Sports Network does not announce finalists for the Buck Buchanan, but Cal Poly does not have a player up for the honor for the first time in five seasons. Mustangs Kyle Shotwell, Chris Gocong and Jordan Beck won the previous three awards.
Delaware running back Omar Cuff was fourth in the Payton Award voting, followed by Santos, Southern Illinois quarterback Nick Hill, Richmond running back Tim Hightower, Roehl, Yale running back Mike McLeod and Appalachian State running back Kevin Richardson. That means Barden finished somewhere between Nos. 11 and 16. Here's a list of the 16 candidates coming into the week along with past winners of the award.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Poly volley off to Athens

The Cal Poly volleyball team earned the No. 16 seed to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday but was not rewarded with a host site.
The Mustangs will instead travel to Athens, Ohio, to play Xavier in the first round on Friday.
Cal Poly (21-7) lost to Xavier (24-10) in five games on Sept. 14 at the ASICS/Coca-Cola Invitational in San Francisco.
The winner of the first-round match advances to play the winner of host Ohio (26-15) and Purdue (18-13).
See Monday’s Tribune for more on this story. The 64-team bracket can be found here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mustang men's soccer feeling left out

The Cal Poly men's soccer team saw its season come to an end Monday when the Mustangs were not invited to the NCAA Tournament. Here's the bracket.
Getting left out of the tournament field wasn't all that shocking considering the Mustangs (11-4-4, 6-3-4 Big West Conference) won just two of their final eight matches after upsetting defending champion UC Santa Barbara at home on Oct. 17.
Cal Poly had an RPI of 31 last week, and 48 teams advance to the tournament, so it will be interesting to see where their RPI is this week after splitting its two matches over the weekend. Friday's loss to Portland might have been the one that burst the Mustangs' bubble. Like the Cal Poly football team, and the women's soccer team, Cal Poly might have been just one win away from the postseason.
The Big West Conference, which did not have a representative on the committee, got two teams into the tournament as conference champion UCSB and second-place UC Davis advanced. Cal Poly finished third in the conference standings, losing to UC Davis on Nov. 10. The teams split the season series.
The Pac-10, which had a representative on the committee as you can see in the previous post, got three teams in -- (11-5-2)(8-8-3) (8-7-4)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Men's soccer keeps its fingers crossed

We know the Cal Poly football team didn't make the playoffs today. Monday, we find out if the men's soccer team is going to the postseason. The Mustangs (11-4-4, 6-2-4 Big West) split two matches over the weekend, wrapping up the regular season with a 3-1 win over Cal State Fullerton today. The Mustangs, who came into the weekend ranked 31st in the NCAA’s RPI rankings, could have a tough time getting into the playoffs considering they dropped to third place in the league standings this week behind second-place UC Davis and league champion UC Santa Barbara. Cal Poly hasn't advanced to the playoffs since 1995 and only 48 teams are in the field. There are no Big West Conference representatives on the selection committee either, which won't help the Mustangs' cause. We'll find out Monday when the field is announced at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNews.

• • •
The selection committee is made up of:
Ken Kavanagh, Bradley University, chair
Craig Angelos, Florida Atlantic University
Elmar Bolowich, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
John Diffley, St. John’s University (New York)
Charlie Elwood, Fordham University
Mary Lu Gribschaw, University of Akron
Schellas Hyndman, Southern Methodist University
Gina Markland, Coastal Carolina University
Earl Koberlein, Stanford University
Seth Roland, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Metropolitan

Poly misses playoffs for second straight year

As expected, Cal Poly's football season officially came to a close today when it was not among the 16 teams invited to the FCS playoffs. Here's the bracket. New Hampshire (7-4) was the only four-loss team to make the playoffs, which shows just how important getting to that eighth win is. New Hampshire will open the playoffs next weekend against top-seeded Northern Iowa (11-0).
Montana (11-0) and Eastern Washington (8-3) advanced from the West out of the Big Sky Conference. The Gateway Conference, where the North Dakota State and South Dakota State will be playing next season, got two berths to the playoffs. The Colonial Athletic Association raised eyebrows when it got five teams in. New Hampshire got in despite being ranked No. 20 in last week's Sports Network Top 25, only five spots better than Cal Poly. The CAA was represented by UMass and former Cal Poly AD John McCutcheon on the selection comittee. UMass earned an automatic bid as a co-champion of the league.
As expected, no Great West Football Conference teams advanced. Neither did any of the Mustangs' nonconference opponents. Cal Poly finished 7-4 the past two seasons after making the playoffs in 2005 with an 8-3 mark.

• • •
AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS (8): Montana (Big Sky Conference), Massachusetts (Colonial Athletic Association), Northern Iowa (Gateway Football Conference), Delaware State (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley Conference), Fordham (Patriot League) Wofford (Southern Conference), McNeese State (Southland Conference).

AT-LARGE QUALIFERS (8): Eastern Washington (Big Sky Conference), Delaware (Colonial Athletic Association), James Madison (Colonial Athletic Association), New Hampshire (Colonial Athletic Association), Richmond (Colonial Athletic Association), Southern Illinois (Gateway Football Conference), Eastern Illinois (Ohio Valley Conference), Appalachian State (Southern Conference).

SOS distress call from Mustang fans

If you were planning on coming out to a Cal Poly men’s basketball game during the nonconference season, I hope you made it out to Thursday's home opener against Utah State because that might be the only good one until the start of conference play.
Utah State, favored to win the WAC this year, could be the best team Cal Poly brings to Mott Gym all season - and that's not saying much considering the tumble the Aggies are taking - as the Mustangs were able to schedule only 12 home games this season.
Cal Poly head coach Kevin Bromley was hesitant about bringing Utah State in after losing eight straight to the Aggies, but the move paid off Thursday when the Mustangs ran away with an 83-69 victory.
“Nobody in our conference will play them because they used to own this conference,” Bromley said. “But we only have 11 home games if we don’t play them and then 18 on the road – so I have to play somebody at home. Our booster club and our student-athletes deserve to have some home games.”
Well, the part about nobody playing the Aggies isn't entirely true. Utah State, sliding to No. 222 in the latest Sagarin Ratings, lost 70-51 at UC Irvine on Saturday night. Which makes you wonder, what the heck happened to Utah State?
Well, here’s what you get to look forward to from the rest of the Mustangs’ nonconference home schedule:
Dec. 2: Menlo College, an NAIA DII team that went 15-12 last year but returns five starters.
Dec. 15: Cal State Bakersfield, a team transitioning to Division I that did manage to beat Fresno State the other night.
Dec. 29: Southern Utah, a team that is a Division I program but is ranked No. 265 in the Sagarin Ratings.
For the record, Cal Poly's Sagarin Rating is 156, middle of the pack for the Big West, which ranges from 101 (Pacific) to 292 (UC Riverside). Which, if these numbers hold up, means Cal Poly fans might not see a top-100 team in Mott Gym this season. With those RPI and SOS (strength of schedule) numbers it looks like the Big West is a one-bid league again this season.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One play away from the playoffs?

Cal Poly head football coach Rich Ellerson says it all the time, the outcome of a game can "come down to one play." The play that everyone was still talking about following Saturday's victory over Iona College was Kole Heckendorf's 80-yard touchdown reception from Steve Walker a week earlier as North Dakota State overcame a 19-point deficit to stun Cal Poly and crush its playoff hopes. Even Cal Poly senior linebacker Jayson Relyea referenced the play today, knowing the Mustangs (7-4) were possibly one play away from making the playoffs, again. Last year's fourth-quarter letdown against South Dakota State likely cost the Mustangs a playoff spot during Relyea's junior season.
"That's kind of been our whole season," said Relyea, whose team lost three of its games by a total of 13 points. The Mustangs' worst loss of the year was a 48-35 defeat at Great West Football Conference champion South Dakota State.
"That one play. Those two plays that just kind of happen. That's kind of how it's been the past couple years."
As luck would have it, that "one play" has made its way onto YouTube for those who couldn't get a ticket to the sold-out showdown with the Bison. If you Poly fans can stomach it, it's embedded below.

Not a bad first year for Dally

I know, it’s apples and oranges comparing FBS and FCS players, playing USC or LSU vs. Idaho State, but after hearing Florida QB Tim Tebow became the NCAA's first 20-20 player today, it got me thinking about the numbers Cal Poly QB Jonathan Dally put up in his first season with the Mustangs. After Saturday’s 55-7 romp of Iona College, Dally finished with a school-record 29 touchdown passes and a 12 rushing touchdowns (four shy of the school record). Forty-one TDs isn't a bad start for a JC transfer who was largely overlooked by most FBS and FCS schools for that matter.
It's a stretch, but for snits and giggles and the stat geeks in the Cal Poly crowd, here’s how Dally’s numbers look when put up against the two big-name, double-threat
QBs in the Heisman Trophy conversation. Dally, for the record, is not up for the Walter Payton Award, the FCS version of the Heisman, although his favorite target Ramses Barden is - and for good reason - after catching a school-record 18 touchdowns as a junior.

  • Tim Tebow, Florida
    181 carries for 749 yards (4.1 avg) and 20 TDs

    198-289-6 (68.5 percent) for 2,870 yards and 26 TDs

    Total offense:
    329 yards per game

  • Dennis Dixon, Oregon
    105 carries for 583 yards (5.6 avg) and 9 TDs

    172-254-4 (67.7 percent) for 2,136 yards and 20 TDs

    Total offense:
    271 yards per game

  • Jonathan Dally, Cal Poly
    182 carries for 763 yards (4.2 avg) and 12 TDs

    104-192-5 (54.7 percent) for 2,238 yards and 29 TDs

    Total offense:
    272.8 yards per game

Comparing the stats show exactly what Dally wants to work on this offseason, passing accuracy. While Tebow and Dixon were completing close to 70 percent of their passes this year, Dally was down around 55 percent for most of the season. After getting picked off just once in the first nine games, he was intercepted four times over the final two (including three times in the red zone). The turnovers are the top concern, including the lost fumbles - which Dally had one more of in the finale. But all in all, it was a pretty good debut for the Santa Maria product, and if he improves on these numbers (with 10 starters coming back on offense) he might find his way on the Payton watch list in 2008.

Mustangs finish on a winning note

Quarterback Jonathan Dally threw two touchdowns and ran for three more as Cal Poly closed out its season with a 55-7 victory over Iona College.
The win ensured a second-straight 7-4 season but is not expected to earn the Mustangs a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) playoffs.
Dally threw a 48-yard touchdown to Ramses Barden to give Cal Poly a 7-0 lead with 5 minutes left in the first quarter as the Mustangs never trailed. Dally was just 4-of-10 passing but hit Ryan Mole with an 11-yard touchdown that gave the Mustangs a 21-0 lead.
The junior playcaller added 100 rushing yards on 17 carries, scrambling for touchdowns of 2, 9 and 7 yards out of the triple option.
Iona (7-4) foiled the shutout on Dane Samuels' 5-yard touchdown run with 10:12 remaining.
Cal Poly's defense scored for the third consecutive game on David Fullerton's 95-yard interception return.
Kevin Spach and Michael Chowtham rounded out the scoring with touchdown runs of 1 and 5 yards.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Offense vs. Defense

Statistically speaking, Saturday's football game between Cal Poly and Iona College pits one of the Football Championship Subdivision’s top offenses against the top-ranked defense.
Cal Poly comes in ranked second in the FCS in total offense at 491.4 yards per game. Only Appalachian State, which beat Michigan to open the season, has put up a better numbers at 492.9 yards per game. Iona is 50th among 116 FCS teams, averaging 383 yards.
Iona comes in ranked No. 1 in total defense, allowing just 254.1 yards per game. Cal Poly ranks 78th in allowing 386.9 yards per game.

Cal Poly beats Utah State in home opener

For those who can't get enough Cal Poly hoops, here's my first-run story from tonight's men's game. I usually write one quick first write for The Tribune Web site minutes after the game and then follow it up with my typical game story with quotes, etc., which you'll find in the next day's paper and at Many of you have bookmarked this site, so I'll try to post the first-run stories here after games. You also can usually read them in the breaking news column at

Cal Poly 83, Utah State 69
Cal Poly had four players in double figures in an 83-69 victory over former Big West Conference foe Utah State.
Titus Shelton and Lorenzo Keeler each had 19 points to lead the Mustangs, who were 7 of 12 from the 3-point line in the second half.
Dawin Whiten added 17 points, and Chaz Thomas had 14 for Cal Poly (2-2).
Thomas broke a 36-36 tie with a layin early in the second half and the Mustangs never trailed again. Cal Poly’s next 18 points came on six three-point plays.
The preseason favorite in the Western Athletic Conference, Utah State came into the game with a 15-1 record against Cal Poly, winning the previous eight meetings.
The Aggies (2-2) were led by Stephen DuCharme’s 22 points and 10 rebounds. Jaycee Carroll had 18 points.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Van Ostrand represents Canada at World Cup

Former Cal Poly baseball player Jimmy Van Ostrand and the Canadian senior national team were knocked out of the IBAF World Cup on Wednesday with a 7-6 loss to Australia in Taipei, Taiwan.
Canada fell one win shy of moving on to the medal round, finishing fifth in Pool B.
Van Ostrand hit .400 in Canada’s seven games, going 8 for 20 with a triple.
The first baseman’s biggest game of the tournament came Nov. 8 in an 18-0 romp of Thailand. The former Cal Poly outfielder and first baseman was 3 for 5 with two singles, a triple, two runs score and four RBI.
The national team went 4-3 at the World Cup and will return to Taiwan in March for the final qualifying tournament for the Olympics.
Tribune file photo by David Middlecamp.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Minnesota players coming to Poly?

Two more Minnesota products are expected to sign with the Cal Poly men’s basketball program.
Hopkins’ Anthony DiLoretto and Maranatha’s David Hanson, brother of current Mustang forward Matt Hanson, will sign with Cal Poly during the early signing period, according to today's Minnesota Star Tribune.
The NCAA’s early signing period began Wednesday and runs through
Nov. 21.
Cal Poly has not announced any signings as of this post.
The Mustangs have drawn a rash of players from the North Star State, including current Mustangs Hanson, John Manley and Zach Thurow.
Cal Poly's all-time leading scorer Chris Bjorklund was from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" as was former Minnesota transfer Shane Schilling.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

'They should fire me'

I’m writing more about this topic in Monday’s paper, but it’s already quite evident Cal Poly head football coach Rich Ellerson’s emotional postgame comments after the fourth-quarter letdown against North Dakota State tonight raised eyebrows everywhere from SLO to Fargo.

“I let (my players) down,” Ellerson said minutes after the 31-28 loss. “That’s on me. They should fire me.”
The game’s only a few hours old and Ellerson’s “fire me” comment has already been published on Web sites by The Tribune, Lompoc Record and The Forum in Fargo, N.D., where the North Dakota State Bison took a step closer to the Great West Football Conference crown and remained unbeaten after overcoming a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Ellerson apparently echoed similar comments during a postgame interview with ESPN 1280 AM, which I’m sure added to the disbelief of Cal Poly fans as they drove home after another Homecoming collapse.
While the comments were surprising, it was evident Ellerson was trying the shoulder the load of the loss and did not want the debacle being blamed on his assistants, an interception in the red zone, a blown assignment in the secondary or a missed field goal early in the game.
Because I’m a beat reporter, and not a columnist, I try to refrain from injecting my opinion on these types of topics (which has been the challenge of trying to publish and interesting blog), but I will reiterate what I wrote in my game story for Sunday’s paper.
It’s doubtful Ellerson would find himself on the hot seat any time soon after leading Cal Poly (6-4, 2-2) to its fifth straight winning season -- not to mention the fact that he’s under contract through at least the 2013 season.
This is Cal Poly football we’re talking about, not New York Yankees baseball.
After enduring three straight 3-8 seasons, Cal Poly fans and message board honks should keep in mind that the Mustangs have enjoyed winning campaigns in six of Ellerson’s seven seasons. The Mustangs went to the playoffs in 2005 for the first time and were one win – make that one quarter – away from a possible playoff bid the next two seasons. Two bad quarters against the Dakotas shouldn’t override 47 wins in the Mustangs’ other 76 games under Ellerson.
Flipping through the Mustangs media guide, Cal Poly hasn’t strung together five straight winning seasons since Joe Harper put together 13 straight dating from 1968-80.
Ellerson also has a .603 winning percentage in his seven seasons. Only three of Cal Poly’s 15 head football coaches have done better – Howie O’Daniels (.621), Roy Hughes (.662), Joe Harper (.685).
What are your thoughts on Ellerson's "fire me" comment?
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this one. Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bison trample Poly's playoff hopes

Here are the early stories from the Cal Poly football team's heartbreaking 31-28 loss to North Dakota State tonight.
As always, our full coverage of the game will be available at later tonight.

Cal Poly football team stunned by North Dakota State
The Tribune
Steve Walker hit Kole Heckendorf with an 80-yard touchdown pass with 38 seconds left as North Dakota State stunned Cal Poly 31-28 on Homecoming ...

Walker caps another fourth-quarter comeback
Dickinson Press
The legend of Steve Walker outgrew the size of the state of California on Saturday night...
Bison win in a flurry of late tds over Poly
Santa Maria Times
For the first 50 minutes of Saturday night's Homecoming game at Alex G. Spanos Stadium, the Cal Poly football team ...
Poly coach says he’s to blame for loss
It was stirring with big plays by NDSU and a major collapse by the Mustangs. ...
Bison pull off improbable come-from-behind victory
North Dakota State University kept its dream of a perfect season intact, scoring on an 80-yard pass play from Steve Walker to Kyle Heckendorf in the final ...

Friday, November 09, 2007

A closer look at the big game

If a page and a half of Cal Poly football previews in Saturday's paper isn't enough, here are some additional stories previewing Saturday's Great West Football Conference showdown between No. 24 Cal Poly and No. 2 North Dakota State:

At 6-foot-6, Cal Poly receiver creates havoc
In-Forum, N.D. - Nov 7, 2007
For Cal Poly to knock off North Dakota State on Saturday, wide receiver Ramses Barden will probably have to play a big role.

A road trip to forget
In-Forum, N.D. - Nov 6, 2007
North Dakota State is still looking for its first win at Cal Poly, where the Bison are 0-2 in San Luis Obispo.

Mustangs return home to face a big challenge in Bison
The Tribune - Nov 5, 2007
Cal Poly goes from 0-9 Southern Utah to 9-0 North Dakota State.

The Tribune - Nov 9, 2007
During a weekly Great West Football Conference coaches teleconference this week, Cal Poly head coach Rich Ellerson was asked how the Mustangs planned on slowing down Tyler Roehl and North Dakota State's dominant running game. He didn't have an answer. - Nov 9, 2007
Columnist Chris Kelly breaks down the game and picks North Dakota State to spoil Cal Poly's Homecoming festivities.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The end of the road ... is here ...

The mountains behind the Southern Utah campus in Cedar City make for a great backdrop on a lazy Saturday afternoon, especially when there are no fans to block the view. According to Saturday's box score, only 4,021 fans attended the game - and that number was probably a bit high.

The longest road trip in the Rich Ellerson era has come to an end ... thankfully.
The Cal Poly football team finished its grueling four-game road trip on Saturday with a lackluster 28-21 victory at hapless Southern Utah (0-9).
When it was all said and done, and the Mustangs finally rolled into town Sunday, Cal Poly had gone 3-1 and traveled more than 7,500 miles in the process.
Yours truly followed every mile of the trip and every minute of the four games, which is why I’m falling asleep ... as I write ... this last post.
I’d give you a rundown of how the game went and how beautiful Southern Utah was but ... my eyelids can’t keep up with fingers any more.
Instead of falling asleep by reading my sluggish post here ... read about the game here ... and here ... and here.
Before I doze off ... the news worth mentioning today is Cal Poly moving up to No. 24 in Monday’s Sports Network top 25 media poll.
Cal Poly (6-3) remains unranked in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll.
The Mustangs have won six of seven since dropping two straight to Texas State and Idaho to open the season.
Cal Poly hosts one of the top teams in the country when 9-0 North Dakota State comes to town for a Homecoming game Saturday. ... The Great West Football Conference favorites are ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll and No. 2 in the media poll.
The Mustangs have to win and then pray like heck if they want a part of the Great West title and a spot in the postseason.
Just thinking about the possibility of another road trip for the playoffs — the day after stuffing myself on Turkey Day — makes me sleeeeeepy ...