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While most people are anxiously anticipating the matchup between the Steelers and Packers in the Super Bowl tomorrow evening, or at the very least looking forward to the parties that accompany the event, another possibly more important game occurred this past weekend at the Adger’s Wharf Dog Park Stadium.  No, it wasn’t Puppy Bowl 2011 .  This was a rough and tumble gridiron classic between the overmatched and outnumbered Finley and two Labrador Retrievers named Luke and Stella.

Observed by a raucous crowd of six people and a couple small dogs, the mother/son labrador duo proved to be far too much for Finley.  They worked together to dominate the time of possession, throwing epic butt slams at every turn and generally just decimating any hope of victory for our young Golden. Finley’s lack of skills didn’t help her case much.  She couldn’t figure out exactly how to even pick up the football.  Her own trademark butt slam was non-existent.  It was like we were watching a completely different player out there than the one we had coached.

The labs may have won the Adger’s Wharf Super Bowl but that didn’t stop Fin from galloping into the shadow of a live oak to stare at the dogs with a smug look on her face, which, when I think about it, is really the move she performs best.

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As much as I love the history, pageantry, and aura of this great city, I would be completely remiss to at least comment on the success of a piece of Charleston’s fabric that tugs at my heart strings just a little more, at a different level, than possibly all of those combined. The College of Charleston Cougar’s men’s basketball team are doing work, eh?

Truth be told, I consider myself something beyond a college basketball junkie. My interest in it is more than unhealthy and probably clinical.  Growing up the basketball-obsessed state of Kentucky and spending my college years at the home of the winningest program in the history of college basketball can do that to a person and I embraced all of those environmental stimuli like no other.

Over time, my fandom for my home state’s flagship university never wavered, but I developed an equal affinity for the college basketball itself.  Regardless of team (with one exception), I enjoy watching literally any basketball game regardless of stature, conference affiliation, game relevancy, or matchup.  I simply enjoy the game.  I enjoy good basketball, lousy basketball, and the nuances that comprise the meat of both.

Which of course, brings us to the College of Charleston Cougars, which have once again risen to the upper echelon of mid-major basketball after a departure from the success of the mid-90’s, thanks to the direction of legendary coach Bobby Cremins (who, I must say, is very fond of our dog Finley).  It’s been very fun to watch Andrew Goudelock, a bona fide Southern Conference (if not beyond) star, develop his game from a being more of a shooter during his first two seasons to being an all-around player on both sides of the ball while continuing to enhance his scoring prowess.  The Cougars have a solid core of guys around Goudelock and, after last night’s 65-61 win on the road with Georgia Southern, sit at 15-6 overall and 8-1 in the South Division standings.  This was the team that was really the first to expose Tennessee for their inconsistent play, have competed tightly against tough competition all season (besides running headlong into Morehead State’s bruiser Kenneth Faried) and if they continue to get work done in conference, may be a looking at an opportunity to garner consideration as an at-large bubble team to go along with being the favorites to take the Southern Conference tournament crown.

It’s great having a local college basketball team doing some good things and catching the interest of the community in a land where football talk normally rules.

*Photo courtesy of College of Charleston Basketball.

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