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CURRENT STORIES


Pressure mounting for Rodriguez

by Matt Harvey

ASST. MANAGING EDITOR

West Virginia University's football team looks headed for its second abysmal season in three years under coach Rich Rodriguez.

If the Mountaineers can't turn it around this year, let's just say the pressure on Rodriguez to win is going to be brutal by next season.

Whether you like his philosophy or even consider him a really nice guy, winning is just the reality of the business of major college football. And two losing seasons out of three doesn't cut it at a place where Don Nehlen built and sustained a winning tradition.

n n n

It's amazing the way some commercial country radio stations jumped back on the Johnny Cash bandwagon as soon as he died.

Where were they the last several years when Cash was putting out all kinds of excellent music?

I'll tell you where: They had written him off as too old to fit the demographic they were trying to reach, just as they've written off many other aging artists, including the great George Jones.

In other forms of music, stars can still make it big even as they age.

Consider the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith, for instance.

It's time country's kingmakers stopped putting so much emphasis on youth and beauty.

n n n

On a recent trip to North Carolina, I was very impressed with the scenery of that state's western mountains.

I was somewhat discouraged by the high volume of traffic, all the suburban sprawl and the crazy motorcycle racers (several had their rides up to 90 or 100 mph or greater on dangerous roads).

Happily, though, the people of North Carolina in general seemed as courteous and friendly as those in West Virginia.

Maybe that's because so many originally came from here or have ties to here ...

n n n

I've heard a lot of complaining this year about NASCAR's points system.

Does anyone here think there would be any bellyaching if one of NASCAR's superstars, like Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Jeff Gordon, had the huge points lead instead of Matt Kenseth?

For whatever reason, Kenseth simply hasn't been able to strike a chord with NASCAR fans or, just as importantly, the media who cover Winston Cup racing.

But if Kenseth doesn't bump up TV's ratings and advertising revenue, that's no reason to change a points system that has worked so well for so many years.

Oh, and just in case you forgot: Kenseth won several races last year, but didn't come close to winning the title.

Why? He wasn't consistent. I don't seem to recall anybody whining about the points being unfair to him then.

Assistant Managing Editor Matt Harvey can be reached at (304) 626-1442, or by e-mail at mharvey@exponent-telegram.com