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11 posts from May 2007

May 29, 2007

FIU at the Movies

Film It's been said Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. During this time, the baseball pennant races begin and so do the blockbuster movies at the box office. Since the FIU sports year came to a close 10 days ago with the baseball team ending its season at FAU, the GPP has sought the help of films that opened in the past 12 months in order to review the past season in FIU sports....grab some popcorn!

Snakes on a Plane: Or in FIU football's case it should be renamed Snakebitten on a Plane. The Golden Panthers lost their first four road games of the 2006 season by a total of 9 points culminating with the 7-OT disaster at North Texas. Of course, with a depleted squad after the UM game, the road game at Alabama became Anaconda.

Sjax_2 Miami Vice: FIU vs. UM, Oct. 14 in OB...enough said.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning: TexaschWho knew we'd be referring to the 0-12 2006 football season. While the loss to North Texas was not a massacre in score, it sure was in the way it went down.

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny: The defense was tenacious and let's rename the middle of this film's title to "and the pick of destiny" referring to the choice of MC as the head coach to put FIU football on the map.

Depart The Departed: Former FIU coaches and athletic staff.

Employee of the Month: The only reason to see this movie was Jessica Simpson. But in FIU terms, we'll refer to FIU media relations maven Rich Kelch. Until the new athletic administration took over, Rich always made lemonade out of lemons for the media while he was short-handed. But sorry Rich, Jessica's picture goes here. Simps

Saw III: That's what these FIU hoopsters did on the court: Johwen Villegas (166 3-pt. shots), LaQuetta Ferguson (149), Alex Galindo (127) and Iva Ciglar (120) all saw three.

Fiudaz_2 Dreamgirls: The Golden Dazzlers. Beyonce would make the squad.

The Pursuit of Happyness: Coach Sergio Rouco looking to make a better life on the hardwood with his talented incoming recruiting class. Heard Will Smith was a pretty bad hoopster.

Blood Diamond: Could be the theme of the FIU baseball season. The gory lowlights were the 2 last-inning losses to UM and the finale sweep at the hands of the Owls. Is the new baseball coach a diamond in the rough?

Blades of Glory: Let's rename it Racquets of Glory to salute the FIU tennis team and their 3rd straight Sun Belt championship. Good job, ladies. I'm sure Will Ferrell will eventually make a tennis movie. Tenns_2

The Fantastic Four: Yeah, I know there's more to the title of this latest movie, but that's too many words. Four of the few bright spots on this year's baseball team: Chris Dunn, James McOwen, Bryan Pullin and John Petika. But sorry, boys, like Rich, we have to put another picture here. Albafor

28 Weeks Later: 28 weeks roughly equals 7 months and that's how long PG has been on the job. The "sleeping giant" got a wake up call, now it's time to win.

300a 300: Judging from spring practice, the Blue/Gold Game and reading your e-mails and comments, I'd say it's been a 300 percent turnaround in the culture of the FIU football team by the new coaching staff.

TMNT: Now, I don't know who would want to go see this garbage flick of green sewer turtles with karate skills. Hey, Hollywood, "Those Days are Over, Son!"....T.D.A.O.S.

Did we miss a movie relating to FIU? Let the GPP know.


FIUandME: I'm sure there will be unique touches to the new Cage. Haven't heard of any yet, but a Golden Panther statue at the entrance could be a start.

Hay: FIU is talking to pro soccer about playing in the new Cage. Recently, I was at an MLS press conference in Miami Beach and MLS commissioner Don Garber said the MLS would like to come back to Miami. However, the MLS season runs from April-October so they would have to work around FIU football home games.

gpantera: I'm sure you'll be seeing more FIU/UM coverage this coming season, obviously including the Sept. 15 rematch in the OB.

FIUFanatic: Gracias, for reading the GPP from Puerto Rico.

We'll see what the FIU witches have been stirring up about the new baseball coach in the next blog !!

May 26, 2007

The New Cage breaks ground

So I'm having lunch Friday at the Davie Ale House with some colleagues -- some of who are also Herald bloggers -- and they're bringing up funny material that could end up on a blog.

Inadvertently, one of these Herald bloggers, who is also a die hard um fan starts venting about how bad the um stadium situation is. Keep playing in historic, but outdated OB or move to Dolphin Stadium. Then he finally comes to the conclusion, that um may have to end up playing at the new FIU Stadium.

Well, the first step was taken for this scenario Friday morning when they stuck many shovels in the dirt and ground was broken at FIU Stadium. Gbreak_3

Hoffa No, Jimmy Hoffa's body was not found, but construction of the new state-of-the-art Cage is underway with the dismantling of bleachers early this week. Mark your calendars, the Cage's gates open next September against South Florida. 

There will be plenty of bells and whistles on the new FIU football palace. Here's the link to my story on it in Saturday's paper to explain all the details.


As for new drawings of the Cage, they should have some on the FIU sports site soon. I saw a new drawing on Friday morning and folks, the new Cage is going to look sharp. The drawing I saw was looking at the facade of the stadium from the outside and it looks like an attractive place that can easily draw concerts, soccer games and other events to bring in revenue.

Switching to FIU baseball for a second and I know we'll be talking a lot about it in the coming days. I heard the interview with um pitching coach J.D. Arteaga on "Descarga Deportiva" sports talk show on Thursday night. Asked point blank about the FIU job, J.D. said he "would be very interested" in the coaching position.

From all the e-mails sent my way and reading your posts, J.D. seems to be the leading candidate, but then again none of us is PG and he's the one who gets to make the hire. We're going to have to consult the newly-adopted FIU witches again on the next blog regarding the FIU head coaching job.


YouGotGold: I refer to the FIU baseball coaching job as the Next Big Hire, because after football, baseball is the top sport in Miami. Like I've said a zillion times, there is no reason WHATSOEVER, for FIU baseball NOT to be ranked in the Top 25 every year and challenge for Omaha. There is WAY TOO much talent in our area for this not to happen. If we were referring to the badminton coaching job, we could call it the Replacement.

GPantera, thanks for your support and if you have to go to another blog for FIU's sake, then the GPP board of trustees is ok with that.

FIUNation (Minnesota) and FIU-M FAN (Colorado) gives us 9 states of readership. BigPapi has joined the GPP, while he's not DHing for the Red Sox. Nice to hear from the Dominican Republic. So as of this blog, we got 9 states and one country on board.

FIU-M FAN, sorry the GPP witches do not travel, but you'll be happy to know they have become FIU fans since joining GPP.

May 23, 2007

The Next Big Hire

As far as the new era of T.D.A.O.S. at FIU goes, Mario Cristobal has been the most significant hire. Because even the casual sports fan knows football is the sport that drives ($$$$) an athletic department. If FIU is going to take the next step as an athletic program it will be because of football.

But there's a tremendously important hire coming to FIU in the next few weeks: a baseball coach.

Silo_2 And to help me divine who could possibly be the next FIU baseball coach I have enlisted the help of three "Charmed" witches to see if we could figure this out. Charm_2 Holly is on the left, Alyssa is in the middle and Rose is on the right. Ladies, are you ready with your magic spells? I'm already mesmerized.

Before we get to some possible candidates, the GPP would like to wish former coach Danny Price the best. Coach Price has always been a class act on and off the field. The man never turned down an interview, even when times were not good he still answered all the questions with class and dignity.

Now who's going to make the lineup card for the Golden Panthers next season and beyond? Yes, Alyssa we'd love for you to do it, but FIU wants to keep the attention on the diamond.

Plate_3 I'm sure the baseball resumes are coming in to FIU by the truckloads as we speak. Holly already sees 4 mail trucks in her witch's brew delivering resumes.

Ok, girls let's focus. We must first look towards um.

Pitching coach J.D. Arteaga's name has been swirling and with good reason. The man is a smart baseball guy and has good ties with local high school baseball coaches. Don't discount his ties with FIU grad/ BoSox 3B Mike Lowell and Yanks 3B A-Rod either for possible financial support for FIU baseball. The girls have told me you can hear J.D. on Thursday at 6 p.m. on 1550 AM where "Descarga Deportiva" will interview him and knowing that show they will most likely be talking about the FIU job. Oh, they'll talk about you girls too, so let's not complain and get back to figuring out who the FIU coach will be.

Here's an interesting option that came to mind even though I can't concentrate right now. Turtle Thomas. He is currently the first-year hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for No. 6 Arizona State, who just won the PAC-10 title. Previously, he did the same for LSU and was also at um earlier in his career. Thomas had 18 straight recruiting classes ranked among Collegiate Baseball's Top 10 at both um and LSU. He is the only recruiting coordinator in the nation who has signed the number one rated class four times. Isn't Mario's strength -- recruiting, hmmmm??

Lazer Collazo is an option. Yes, he does have a history, as has been well-documented from posters in the previous blog. But the man can recruit. Lazer is the pitching coach at USF now.

There are also 3 intriguing local high school options: Pace's Tom Duffin, who has made the Spartans program into a powerhouse and had 2 No. 1 draft picks last year. Flanagan High's Ray Evans also has turned his high school program into a perennial winner -- 2 of the last 3 6A state titles are his. Rich Hofman, who has won 5 state titles in both Dade and Broward counties is also out there. He's currently coaching at Piper High.

One thing is for sure with these candidates: they must bring the 3 things we had in the previous blog: Better recruiting, salesmanship of the program and a pitching coach.

The girls are still stirring their brew and have yet to decide. I'm in no hurry to ask them to leave.

Golden Panthers fans: Who do you want as the next FIU baseball coach?


Ok, thanks to NY Panther's relocation to the O.C. and FIUJERZ joining the GPP, we now have reached 7 states in readership: Florida, Georgia, New York, Maryland, Tennessee, California and New Jersey.

Iz: FIU has had 4 players in the major leagues by my count: Lowell, Brad Eldred, pitcher Evan Thomas (Angels & Phillies) and pitcher Steve Kent (Devil Rays). Thomas and Kent are not currently on MLB rosters.

DannyPriceFieldNOW: I have not heard anything on the stadium or the field being named after Price. It would be a nice touch, though.

fiurulez: Like others have posted, FIU first needs to concern itself with dominating the Sun Belt and then think bigger. Eventually, a natural fit would be the Big East, b/c my understanding is the BE is still ticked off that um left them for the ACC and the BE would like nothing more than to get another team from the Miami area.

FIU2: I think the literature you were referring to was Dylan Thomas's poem "Do not go gentle into that good night" and Thomas wrote "gently into that good night" not "quietly" into that good night. I'm a college grad, but the only reason I know that is because Rodney Dangerfield had to recite the poem in the movie "Back to School". No respect, I tell 'ya. Rod_2

Hey, let's break some ground on the football stadium will ya. Anybody got a shovel? Will let you know who stuck the shovel in the ground and if Jimmy Hoffa is buried under there.

May 20, 2007

A Whole New Ballgame

We were going to play Name that Tune -- FIU style tonight, but the inevitable went down late Saturday night as baseball coach Danny Price was let go after FIU was knocked out from participating in the Sun Belt tournament.

Sources have told me Price was asked to resign and/or retire and accepted neither, so therefore he was dismissed.

Yes, Price built the FIU baseball program and had some success -- the high point the Super Regional vs. USC. The man won more than 1,000 games, but the fact is change was desperately needed in the FIU baseball program. FIU could not even make its own conference tournament. C'mon, that should be a given every year.

With all the local high school baseball talent in our backyard and just south of us in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the rest of Latin America, there is NO reason why FIU should not be in the Top 25 every year in college baseball. NO reason. Heck, FIU should NOT only be in the Top 25, but every season the Golden Panthers should be knocking on front door of this place...Cws_3......

So who should the next FIU baseball coach be? For one thing, the new coach has to do a better job of recruiting. Too many of South Florida's top high school players have been escaping north to schools that have no business taking these players.

PubAnother thing, the new coach has to be a salesman as well. I think there have been more people in line at the Publix deli on a Sunday morning than there were at FIU baseball games the past few years.

The new baseball coach also has to bring in a "PITCHING" coach. The past couple of years there's been a rotation of pitching coach duties between DP's assistants. Someone please call Mark Calvi in South Carolina.

Like I said in the "Beauty of Baseball" blog in April, Pete Garcia get some door reinforcements, because here comes every available college coach and even some high school coaches about to bust your door down for the FIU baseball coaching job.

Before we get to the Panther Pawse, I''ve been getting a lot of e-mail lately concerning the numerous coaching changes at FIU. Well, folks, here's how GPP sees it: Before PG took over as AD, the FIU athletic program was going nowhere fast. Mediocrity ruled. The jobs were not getting done as you can see by FIU teams' won-lost records. For those of you who have e-mailed me complaining of the swift changes, well, I'll quote Donald Trump: "Hey, it's not personal, it's just business"......Here's a picture of Ivanka Trump since she's easier on the eyes than her father. Ivanka

As for FIU sports business, it's been bad for a while. Here's to T.D.A.O.S.


My apologies to Baltimore Panther: Thanks to BP, the GPP is currently read in 6 states: Maryland (Home of El Monstruo), Florida, Georgia, Colorado, New York and Tennessee. And read over a spot of tea in jolly Old England by Quijote.

FIUobserver: An MC interview sounds like a great suggestion for summer reading. GPP will get to it.

Yippee, I will be at the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday morning. Should be a pretty historic moment when they break ground on T.D.A.O.S. and the stadium, too.

May 17, 2007

On the road with the GPP

Beach_2 This (picture, left) in Sarasota can wait a few hours as the GPP posts and comments pile up. So let's take care of them.

Here's some new football stadium info. The old stadium's dismantling will begin within the next few days and the word I'm hearing is the process to get the stadium going is moving a lot faster than expected.

Like so many of you have written in concerned about, there will be new pictures of the stadium and its club seats appearing soon on FIU's official website: FIUsports.com. I have been told to look for the new art some time next week before the groundbreaking ceremony which is next Friday, May 25 at 9:30 a.m. on-campus.

On another note, let's welcome our latest out-of-town reader: TN Panther from Chattanooga, Miss_usa_2 Tennessee. That's the home state of Miss America (Rachel Smith, right). By my count, the GPP is now read in 5 states including Florida: Colorado, New York, Georgia and Tennessee. Let's see if we can get all 50 states eventually on the blog.

As far as the rankings, you guys asked about. The GPP was No. 4 among the Herald's sports blogs last month and No. 6 overall. From the report I got, here were the rankings: 1. Dave Barry; 2. Some political blog; 3. Miami Dolphins; 4. Cote; 5. um; 6. GPP.....thanks again.

Who's up in Sarasota representing our area? In 6A, Palmetto and Pembroke Pines Flanagan are there...they would only play each other in Saturday's final. And Belen is the only team from Miami in 4A.

GPP wants to wish former FIU softball coach Kim Gwydir all the best in her future endeavors. I used to catch the softball team's batting practice in center field to get me ready for my Sunday softball league. Now, guess I'll just stick to pitching.

Hey, Red Army, no one is invisible in this blog. Your posts are always welcomed and we'll do the best we can to answer them. As for Steven Jair Cabas, I guess we'll know more when the new soccer coach is in place.

Many of you have written in about the baseball team and believe me the next post will be dedicated to the latest and the future of the team. But let's get some things cleared up here...

Folks, I've noticed the tone of some posts have taken on (as FIU-M Fan so accurately stated) the theme of last year's Rocky 7 at the OB. Please, let's stop the name calling. Let's drop the "morons, idiots and disgustings". If we need to, we'll settle this out on the kickball field during recess.

Here's something for everyone to brush up on: the next blog will feature a different version of the old game show: Name that Tune....live from Sarasota !!

May 14, 2007

Recruiting Fast Break & Thank You

Here's a quick recap of FIU basketball's recruiting class:
Add former Florida State freshman guard Josue Soto to FIU's class. He transferred Monday to FIU. Soto will be eligible to play in the 2008-2009 season for the Golden Panthers.

Soto was Florida's Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Jacksonville's Arlington Country Day. He led the Apaches to the first two state titles in their history, earning Florida Class 2A Player of the Year honors both years.

Soto_2A former member of the Miami Tropics on the Nike Travel Team circuit, Soto was the
second leading scorer at the 2005 Peach Jam, averaging 25.4 points per game and trailing only future North Carolina star Ty Lawson.

Soto, a 6-1 point guard, becomes the sixth member of FIU's 2007 recruiting class, following 7-foot center Russell Hicks (Pepperdine), 6-11 center/forward Badara N'Diaye (Senegal), 6-2 guard Kenneth White (Texas A&M), 6-3 swingman Sadell Ayala (Iowa Western CC) and 6-2 point guard Tremayne Russell (South Dade, MCI Prep).

For those interested in Nestor Colmenares, no, he did not sign with FIU and will not sign with FIU.

Looks like coach Sergio Rouco has put together a nice class and should be able to make some noise in the basketball-weak Sun Belt. Like in baseball, there's no reason why the Golden Panthers should not be battling for the conference title year in and year out. I got a feeling they will be doing that in football real soon.


Speaking of football, Red Army has been writing in asking for a football preview. I think it's a little too early for that since the freshman class has yet to arrive. But if you go by spring football alone, I could tell you these 2 things: 1) FIU WILL NOT go 0-12 again....just because of the intangibles the new coaching staff brings: discipline and a work ethic. 2) The offense will not average 9.5 points per game like it did last season....because although all the athletes MC and co. need may not be here yet, there is going to be some creativity and more aggressiveness with the O. As for the number of wins.....check back in late August for my thoughts.

Hey, a big thanks to you all, the first ratings numbers for the Golden Panthers Prowl were e-mailed to me by the Herald earlier tonight and after just one month on-line the GPP ranked 6th among the 30 Herald blogs. Thanks for your support. We had 9,882 hits after being on-line for the first 40 days.

Here's a Panther Paw to you all !!    Gppaw

I'll be blogging to you next time from Sarasota where I'm off this week to cover the state high school baseball championships. Should be some interesting talk about FIU baseball in the next blog.

May 13, 2007

They will build it...

If you ask it, GPP will answer. Here's some answers and thoughts on your latest questions and posts.

Fiustad_4A chain link fence has been installed around FIU Stadium signaling that demolition of the old stadium and construction of the new stadium will begin soon. The old stadium is expected to come down within the next few weeks and on May 25, FIU will stick a shovel in the ground and hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new stadium. Odebrecht has installed their offices inside the FIU fieldhouse and should begin work later this month. As for the track, no it will not be part of the new stadium. In fact, the plan is for the stands to be just 5-10 yards from the field to provide a distinct home field advantage...unlike the acres of land between the stands and the sidelines at Dolphin Stadium. The track is supposed to go around the soccer field.

Coff_2 As for the FIU baseball team, well, they stuck a few more nails in their coffin this weekend by not showing up against Middle Tennessee. Covering the first two games of that series this weekend, made me think of how the 2006 FIU football team mailed it in after the Rocky 7 auditions at the OB. In defense of the football team (which was their strength last year) they were missing 18 players (11 starters). FIU baseball is just missing.

An astute reader reminded GPP that FIU has 3 national championships and not 2 like was previously stated in the last blog. Along with 2 soccer titles, former Golden Panthers track standout Sheri-Ann Brooks won an NCAA title in the 200m in 2005.

As for your other questions in the last blog, GPP is working on them. Now on to the PANTHER PAWSE

First like we always do, let's take care of our FIU posters. Alt 7787, right now, GPP does not need an apprentice for the blog, but thanks for your interest.

GPantera, nice post comparing FIU to um. You must be related to FIUFanatic. FIUMOM, Happy Mother's Day.

You know what? I think we have a celebrity secretly posting on the GPP. Did you guys read one of 24/7's latest posts. According to himself, the guy is a legend on the backyard basketball court an astounding record of 176-36 against the neighborhood kids. He's also a checkers champion against elementary kids, a tetherball hall of famer and an outstanding little league coach. Now this got me thinking, hasn't Will Ferrell made a few sports-related movies of late?

Ricky-Bobby: NASCAR champ (well, they wave a "checkered" flag when you win a race, hence the checkers champion reference). Outstanding little league coach?? Hmm, anybody see "Kicking and Screaming" (Will was a soccer coach in that one). In "Old School", Will was just an all-around athlete at the end of the movie.....like 24/7. The similarities are eerie.

Rickbob_2 Kicks Hoopswil


May 09, 2007

FIU's Wide World of Sports

I know football is king around these parts and your posts -- whether they've come from the homestanding FIU fans, the visiting umers or even the national champ Crocs fans that found this blog -- are extremely passionate about football.

Spring_4  But before this blog turns into one of those trashy daytime talk shows, let's all take a deep breath and side track to other FIU sports for a second.

The FIU baseball team has 6 HUGE Sun Belt games remaining as they sit in 7th place at 11-12 in the conference. Only the top 8 teams get into the Sun Belt tournament. FAU is 8th at 12-15 as of today. With the three bottom teams in the Sun Belt -- South Alabama, Arkansas State and UALR -- each with at least 14 losses, it would take a monumental collapse by the Golden Panthers to miss their own conference tournament. But getting out of the Sun Belt and earning their first postseason bid since 2002 is another story.

The FIU tennis team heads to Gainesville this weekend for their NCAA Regional match against South Florida. Also in that regional is UF and Jacksonville. Here's hoping the tennis team has a better fate against USF than the football team did last year. Memo to Coach Bernstein: break out the shotgun if the girls are struggling to score points. Sorry, had to get in a football reference, after all the sport is king around here.

And finally, before we get back to football, soccer coach Karl Kremser retired earlier this week after 27 years at FIU. Kremser's teams brought FIU its only 2 national championships so far. FIU was the Division II national champion in soccer twice in the early 1980's.

Back to the gridiron, let's add tight end Sam Smith to the FIUers in the NFL. Sam was invited to the Bears rookie camp last weekend, but no word yet on how he did. Ssmith Bears

And Nick Turnbull asked for and was granted his release from the Bears and appears to be headed back to the Falcons.

Now on to your posts....

Panther Pawse

Not a fan of bringing politics into the blog -- this isn't CNN or FOX News. Who cares which school has the better Prez? FIU or um. Neither MM or DS play on the field. All I can say about the Prezs is this: Remember the aftermath of Rocky 7 last year in the OB. FIU took a swift and hard stance when it came to suspensions and such. As for um, well, when ESPN interviewed me at halftime of the FAU/ULL game they televised the Thursday night following the brawl, I brought up Donna Shalalalalala's reaction her school's punishments: to paraphrase, DS said she did not want to review the video, because she didn't want to be influenced to make tough decisions. She continued by saying at um, "we don't throw people under the bus". Now, there's a leader of a university to be proud of. hahaha-shalalala.

Enough with the poli-sci. Hey, let's welcome the Crocs to the blog. Yes, UF is all powerful and mighty during these times and congrats. Keep posting, just don't get CLAWED out.

Summer is almost upon us and the college season is winding down, so drop GPP a line as to what blogs you guys would like to see in the next 2 months before we start the MC era.

May 04, 2007


What is it about everytime GPP puts a picture of a lovely lady in a blog that fireworks erupt.

When Catherine Zeta-Jones made a cameo here, you guys set a record back then for posts. Now in the latest entry, Jessica Biel makes an appearance and we've got a brand new record of 65 comments.

Ok, so maybe we won't attribute the extra attention in the GPP to the lovely ladies, but it doesn't hurt.

Yes, I know we have umers now who have become fans of the GPP and like it was so famously said once on Seinfeld..."Not that there's anything wrong with that". Js_2

Now let's get to the real meat and potatoes of this blog. Been busy the last few days trying to understand all the legal jargon in this NCAA Academic Progress Report, which I had to write a couple of stories for this week. Here's the link to the one concerning what FIU is doing about its low APR. http://www.miamiherald.com/601/story/92201.html

If you want to grab a legal dictionary to understand this, go right ahead. But here is GPP's take on this:

First of all, kudos to Pete Garcia and the new athletic adminstration for rolling up their sleeves and taking charge of cleaning up the mess left by the previous athletic adminstration. This is another example of the new unofficial motto for FIU sports, uttered by a new FIU coach and proposed by GPP: "Those days are over,son !" T.D.A.O.S.

Broom In the past, FIU athletics probably would have waited until the last minute to take care of this. As you can see, not PG and co.

So FIU loses 12 scholarships, but 9 have already been taken care of. Yes, the 9 in football hurt, but better now in the transition year b-tn coaches than a few years down the road when MC has the FIU football program on the rise.

The two in basketball, well we'll see how much of an impact that has. Sergio does have the two 7-footers this year and point guard Kenneth White among others coming in. And we all saw how much a lack of height on last year's squad hurt FIU. As for the one scholarship in baseball, that's pretty much insignificant. FIU is more than just one player away from getting the baseball program back on track.

Panther Pawse No. 2

First of all, let's take care of our own.....the FIU bloggers. CJ and FIUmom, GPP appreciates your enthusiasm as to who was the first blogger on GPP. FIUmom earns the distinction with a 12:52 pm post on March 21 (GPP's debut). But CJ you get honorable mention--Not that there's anything wrong with that. Fiupaw

As for 24/7's comment about PG fixing the problem and raising academic standards, meaning getting better in classroom and not on the field: Well, I don't think the minimum GPA to play football will go up from 2.0. From GPP's understanding the problem with the low APR was that the resources and the right people to help the athletes were not in place. Hence, there have been some folks fired and others reassigned. With the new plan and resources PG and co. have in place, the APR should no longer be a problem at FIU. The problem before was the previous FIU athletic administration did not have the right leaders or personnel to make sure athletes passed classes and graduated. But now..................................T.D.A.O.S.

May 01, 2007

Panther Pawse

Yeah, I know I spelled paws wrong. I never won a spelling bee in school, but I did have perfect attendance one year.....Anyhow, GPP would like to introduce a new segment to this blog: Panther Pawse. Gppaw

The Panther Pawse segment is designed to pawse from blogging and answer your questions and posts in previous blog entries.

So let's get to work.

Great, passionate exchanges in Sunday's "Welcome to the NFL" blog. First of all, let's welcome our newest readers of GPP and diehard um fans: MIA/NY Josh and TheU24/7. Guys, GPP appreciates your enthusiasm and welcomes all posts from all readers (of course, FIU fans as well) as long as they are kept clean -- this is a family blog --Rated E.

Any entries not suitable for printing will be CLAWED out by the Panther's Pawse. Gppaw_4

With that being said, we'll get to the posts in a second, but first to answer Iz's post about doing a future blog on former FIU athletes in the pros.....consider it done when we have down time after FIU baseball season, which with the crazy Sun Belt Conference who knows when that will be. FIU was left for dead in 10th place 2 weeks ago and is now in 7th. The first 8 SBC teams qualify for the SBC tourney.

Alt7787 suggests to get national commentators to refer to Antwan Barnes as "El Monstruo". I think in time when AB makes his mark in the NFL, they may start referring to him that way. GPP asked Antwan what he thought about the nickname the other day and El Monstruo said: "I don't speak Spanish, but that nickname sounds good to me. I like it." He said this after GPP explained what EM translates to in English: The Monster, because AB has terrorized QBs for the past 4 years.

I agree with part of TheU24/7's post that to have a rivalry you need to have 2 sides. Just ask the Red Sox/Yankees, Rebels/Evil Empire and Scooby-Doo/Ghosts. Doo_2 Darthvader

So TheU24/7 post as much as you'd like, just don't get CLAWED out. And that goes for everyone, post as much as you'd like just keep it clean or risk being CLAWED out. As far as FIU being behind top high school programs, c'mon not even you believe that  -- unless a softball konked you on the side of the head -- but the comment added a little fuel to your post. By the way, is TheU24/7 is that like a convenience store in Coral Gables? GPP hears the people at 7-11 are a little upset, you're stepping in their territory.

MIA/NY Josh had a good point about how having a friendly, crosstown rivalry is healthy. After all the common ground for both umers and FIUers is that they both love college football. Only 137 days until the rematch at the OB.

FIU Fanatic again displayed why he won the first MARIO awarded to a reader of the GPP in the 1st annual MARIOS that took place April 21st. Fanatic writes in part of his post: The point is, for the historical position we are in, it is not bad at all to have 2 players drafted. . .I agree, we should not have any problem with UCG fans coming here and post, particularly if coming here with a decent level of common sense and camaraderie.

By the way, Fanatic, GPP found your posting of the 1930 um football sked very amusing. Bowdon St. ...did Bobby go there before replacing the "o" in his last name with an "e"?

As far as the exchange between our FIU posters and the new um posters...on who started the dancing at the OB last year, well folks, does anyone know what came first: the chicken or the egg? Unless, you had 75 camera angles filming at the OB on Oct. 14 last year.....no one will ever know. Let's just say there was plenty of barley, yeast and hops-filled beverages involved in the crowd and that sure didn't help. And let's not ask Lamar Thomas, because that clown is auditioning for the role of a boxing promoter in Rocky 8.

Chick  EggThe point of starting the GPP is to provide a forum for FIU fans to discuss FIU athletics.

You posters behave and GPP may invite you to the next MARIOS awards show and get a chance to meet our next guest presenter....rumored to be Jessica Biel. Biel_3

Keke to Big Easy

Keke No_2 Before we get to the emotional housekeeping posts of the previous blog "Welcome to the NFL", GPP would like to congratulate linebacker Keyonvis Bouie for being invited to the New Orleans Saints mini-camp on May 12.

GPP spoke with Keke after he graduated from FIU on Monday with a degree in Business Administration/Management. Keke said he was happy to get a chance to prove himself at the next level. The Saints drafted only one linebacker, Marvin Mitchell from Tennessee in the 7th round. New Orleans has a talented linebacking corps, but a couple of linebackers are in their 30's.

Best of luck to the 2-time Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, who arrived at FIU as a fullback, but evolved into one of the best defenders in the program's five-year history. 

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