Shawn Yancy and Duke football
After each of her son’s first three seasons at Duke, Shawn Yancy asked him whether he ever regretted his choice to play college football for the Blue Devils.
Anthony Young-Wiseman, a onetime standout at Whitman High in Bethesda, had chosen Duke despite scholarship offers from more traditional programs like Syracuse and West Virginia. Yancy -- a co-anchor for Fox 5 News’s 5 and 10 pm broadcasts -- supported his decision; “he told [friends] that making this decision wasn’t about the next four years, but about the next 40 years of his life, and I think that’s what made us most proud of his decision,” Yancy told me this week.
Still, she wondered whether her son -- a 6-foot, 220-pound safety -- wouldn’t rather be playing in prominent bowls and high-profile December showdowns.
Obviously, she doesn’t have to ask that question any more. Young-Wiseman and his teammates just won 10 games for the first time in school history. They’ll go to a bowl game two years in a row for the first time. They are riding an eight-game win streak, have two wins against ranked teams for the first time in two decades, and are playing for their first outright ACC title since 1962 in Saturday’s ACC championship game against Florida State.
The Blue Devils are massive underdogs, of course, but that won’t stop Yancy from wearing blue during Friday night’s newscast, nor from dropping a “Go Duke!” at some point, nor from leaving the station at 11:30 after the final broadcast of the night and driving directly to Charlotte, where the game will be played Saturday night.
Still, there are predictable side effects from being a D.C. media member rooting for Duke, a media member who is fond of Duke boosterism on social media.
— Shawn Yancy (@ShawnYancy) November 30, 2013
— Shawn Yancy (@ShawnYancy) December 1, 2013
— Shawn Yancy (@ShawnYancy) November 30, 2013
— Shawn Yancy (@ShawnYancy) November 30, 2013
“You always get the ribbing, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter,” she said with a laugh. “Whenever I write something about Duke, I get boooo. But it has been fun this year, with the success Duke football has had. I tease all my friends that went to Virginia Tech or Virginia, just about the fact that we’re kicking their butts now.”
Yancy, who has been at WTTG for 12 years, didn’t want to predict what she might say about Saturday’s title game during Monday’s broadcast, without knowing what will happen on the field. But after her son was a part of Coach David Cutcliffe’s second recruiting class -- going from sub-.500 records his first three seasons to this -- she said her Twitter talk won’t stop.
“For this to be the way his senior year has played out has been phenomenal. Just incredible,” she said. “This has been an incredibly unbelievable year for the Duke football family.”
Gilbert Arenas says he’s ‘teamwiz4life’
Of course, the team has specifically focused on embracing the distant past, while also focusing on distancing itself from the immediate past. Haven’t been a lot of nights honoring the last team to win a playoff series, in other words. No “Haywood-Thomas Fight Night” bobblehead promos. And all sorts of players from the recent past have been booed when returning to Verizon Center; Nick Young was the most recent example.
And yet a large group of Wizards fans still love Gilbert Arenas, even though he was central to the dissolution of those playoff teams. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think if the team had a retirement ceremony for Arenas at center court -- despite everything -- he would earn a massive ovation. That’s my guess.
Clearly, that won’t happen, but Gilbert is embracing the Wizards regardless. He recently posted this message on Instagram. (Some punctuation has been altered for clarity.)
If u don’t let go of ur past u will never live in the present. Some of us are stuck on things that happened 2,6,even 10yrs ago and the ppl u were around have moved on while ur still dwelling on the past .(Felt the locker room story got flipped and made worst then what it really was) .5yrs later i can say I’m teamwiz4life. Thx lil bro @john_wall. Thx for believing in me and asking for help before games and after..#allstar (if u believe u can’t be stopped then u won’t ..only u can stop u)
Wall replied in the comment section, like so:
yessir big bro
Maybe Gilbert could just buy a ticket and show up in a Wall jersey and see what happens.
George Washington coaches wear buff sports coats
If you aren’t super familiar with George Washington athletics, you might not have realized that their official colors are buff and blue.
“Hail to the Buff, Hail to the Blue, Hail to the Buff and Blue!” as the fight song goes. Via the school:
The university colors were changed from orange and blue to buff and blue [in 1904] to commemorate the colors of the uniform that George Washington wore when he resigned as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783.
I still can’t say for sure when I’ve ever heard of the color ‘buff’ outside of GW, but I’m sure someone can correct me below.
Anyhow, the basketball team had a ‘Buff Out’ on Wednesday, when GW hosted Rutgers. And Mike Lonergan and his coaching staff got into the spirit of things, wearing ‘buff’ sports coats. If you can find me another DI men’s basketball coaching staff entirely outfitted in buff formal wear, I’ll raise high to you.
(By the way, the Colonials, if you haven’t noticed, are 7-1, with a massive game against Maryland Sunday afternoon at Verizon Center. They received two votes in last week’s AP Top 25 poll, which is two more votes than Georgetown and Maryland, combined.)
Martell Webster on male pattern baldness
It was only a matter of time before one of the local television entities built a regular segment around Martell Webster. Whether he’s crashing teammates’ interviews or breaking into song, if there’s a camera around, Webster will perform.
Comcast SportsNet has wisely noticed this, and has started a segment called, “Martell it like it is.” Chris Miller gives the Wizards goofball a topic and then lets him have at it. So, here is Martell Webster on male pattern baldness.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Det was clearly watching the Sound of Music.
— Ross Detwiler (@NationalDet) December 6, 2013
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“Hah. I am only Drago on the court. In life, I am a clown.”
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Some old school John Wall for your Friday.
— John Wall (@John_Wall) December 5, 2013
WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT
Bucks at Wizards, 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet. All TV/Radio listings here.
Kirk Cousins’s proposal story
The week before Thanksgiving, Kirk Cousins tweeted a photo of what was clearly himself proposing to his girlfriend, Julie Hampton, with a picturesque D.C. in the background. I spoke to the Redskins backup quarterback this week and he shared the story of how it all went down.
“I talked to my U.S. congressman from my home area in west Michigan, Bill Huizenga, who I had gotten to know a little bit,” Cousins explained. “I called him to see if I could propose on the balcony of the Speaker of the House’s office, because I had been there before and seen the view and thought it was a great view. He said they could set it up.”
They found a day that worked, which ended up being Friday, Nov. 22, and Huizenga’s assistants agreed to be on hand to take pictures of the moment. Cousins told his now fiancee that they were going to do a tour of the Capitol building so they headed downtown together.
“I was extremely nervous,” Cousins said. “On the way down driving the car, as we got close to the Capitol building I was holding her hand and she goes, ‘Why are your hands cold and sweaty?’ I said, ‘I don’t know,’ but I knew it was because I was super nervous.”
The couple, who have been together a year and a half and met through a mutual family friend, made their way through the building and to the balcony, presumably to check out the view.
“I just mentioned the view, and told her how we’d gotten to know each other in this city and how we had good memories when we used to walk through the city on some of our earlier dates,” Cousins recounted. He then popped the question before Julie could get suspicious. “I went down a knee before it got too sappy, before it got too awkward. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but she said yes. That’s all I needed to hear.”
Cousins presented his bride-to-be with a round-cut solitaire diamond set in white gold that he purchased during the Redskins’ bye week in October, more than a month before the proposal.
“Once I got it, it was tough to have, so I just put it out of sight in the upper corner of my closet by the Christmas decorations and just hid it back there and made sure I wasn’t even looking at it so it would be kinda out of mind,” Cousins said. “I wanted to wait and make sure I did it the right way and not rush it.”
Cousins managed to hold to the ring for a month and a half, and the proposal went mostly according to plan. He did say that there were a few minor details he would have changed about the scene in the background of the happy moment.
“I was hoping she wasn’t starting to get suspicious, and she didn’t, so that was as planned. I wanted to make sure those guys could take good pictures while I was on one knee, and they did, so that went as planned,” he laughed. “The view was great. We were trying to get it at about 5 o’clock, when the sun was setting, but it was a cloudy day, so we didn’t really get the sunset. The scaffolding was still on the monument, but I couldn’t do a whole lot about the scaffolding. I couldn’t pull some strings on that one. Couldn’t pull some strings on the sunset. There were two big cranes in the background. I would have liked to have those removed.”
Despite the minor glitches that only Cousins himself was aware of, it was a perfect moment and the happy couple is wasting no time in taking the next step. They plan to get married June 28 in Atlanta, Hampton’s hometown.
“I didn’t want a long engagement at all,” Cousins said. “If it were up to me, I’d get married next month. But obviously she needs time to prepare and have the wedding she wants and has dreamed about. But I think it’ll just be fun to have family all together in one place for a day. And I just want her to be happy and think positively on it for years to come.”
And perhaps some Potato Oles at the reception?
“That’s not a bad idea,” he said. “Maybe I’ll have to send another email and see what I can do.”