Charlotte's Todd Tucker, 42, started school at N.C. A&T in 1984. He's attended Aggies football games ever since. He hasn't missed a home game in five years. And he's seen a school famous for its “Aggie Pride” and powerhouse team suffer lately.
Since winning the MEAC championship in 2003, Aggie Pride has turned into Aggie Slide.
A&T, a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) school, hasn't had a winning record in five seasons. The Aggies start a new season Saturday against J.C. Smith, carrying a 27-game losing streak, the NCAA's longest. But Aggies fans keep returning . A&T's average home attendance was 14,610 in 2005. That dipped to 11,596 in '06 but up to 14,245 last season.
In March, A&T officials approached J.C. Smith athletics director Steve Joyner with a one-year contract. Both teams needed a game, and it probably didn't hurt that Smith may have looked ripe for the picking. The Bulls, a much smaller Division II school, have three winning seasons in 20 years. Joyner said Smith received a guarantee that would pay his school more money than for a typical home game, plus a chance to play a team the Bulls' fanbase is familiar with. Smith and A&T have played 41 times since 1926. A&T is 29-9-2 in the series and hasn't lost to Smith since 1973. The teams last met in 1993. A&T won 52-7.
“This is about rekindling the rivalry,” said Smith coach Daryl McNeill, who was offensive coordinator on the 2003 A&T team. “But there is some motivation for us. We were in the same boat a few years ago (a 24-game losing streak prior to the 2006 season).”
I'm thinking ABC's “Dancing With The Stars” will get phenomenal ratings – and some new male viewers – when it debuts next month. Beach volleyball Olympic gold medal winner Misty May-Treanor joins Kim Kardashian and singer Toni Braxton among the contestants.
Remember Terri Runnels, the WWE wrestling “diva” who once was “Marlena,” the manager for wrestler Dustin “Goldust” Runnels? She's started a national writing contest at maketheworldwrite.com that is giving away her house in Gainesville, Fla., plus $100,000 to the winner.
So much for there being any hard feelings between Golf Channel announcer Kelly Tilghman and Tiger Woods. Tilghman faced a national media controversy in January after saying young PGA challengers should “lynch” Woods in a back alley in order to have a chance to beat him. Guess who is providing handling play-by-play in Woods' new videogame? Tilghman.
Charlotte Knights groundskeeper Anna Kimbrell, a senior at Nation Ford High in Fort Mill, earned a spot on the U.S. Women's national baseball team. She is a catcher. Kimbrell is in Japan with the team competing in the Women's World Cup. In three games, she's 2-for-2 with two RBIs for the U.S..