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The 2nd Annual Marios

Spring football ended two weeks ago and fall practice won't begin for another three months, but we'd be remissed here at the GPP if we didn't get to the 2nd Annual MARIOS Spring Football Awards.

For those that did not attend last year's inaugural Marios awards, here's our disclaimer: The Marios do NOT include opinions expressed by the FIU head football coach and all results are tabulated by the accounting firm of: Soley, Maya, Opinion and Dats-It.Mario

Each Marios award winner will receive a 1-foot high MARIO statue (picture, right) depicting an Italian plumber, because like the plumber all Marios award winners have shown that they are not afraid to get their hands dirty to get the job done on the gridiron this spring.

Jja Let's welcome our Marios awards presenter to the stage, Miss Jennifer Aniston, who is currently in Miami filming a movie with Dupree at the Marlins game last Friday.Ja_2 BTW, JA is holding the prototype Marios award in the photo on the left. Now, on to our first Mario....

The Visine Award....And the Mario goes to....Jeremiah Weatherspoon and Marshall McDuffie. Both players were a sight for sore eyes with their returns to the team, especially for an FIU secondary in need of some safety help. JW had an excellent Vis_2 spring, not only in the defensive backfield, but returning kicks as well. At 6-1, 221 and with a burst of speed, JW could be a weapon returning kicks. He returned one for a TD in a scrimmage. MM is a great story coming back after the whole brawl fiasco. Besides making things better off the field, MM also showed he wasn't too rusty on the field.

The Missouri Award....This award is named after the "Show Me State", because the recipient, you guessed it, showed what he could do in the spring and now looks to bring that same effort to the regular season. And the Mario goes to....It's a three-way tie. FIU running backs A'mod Ned, Julian Reams and Daunte Owens all receive a Mario for showing flashes this spring of what they can do. AN had a long touchdown run in one scrimmage. JR broke free for 37 yards at the Blue & Gold Game and had a 40-yard kickoff return in another scrimmage. DO ran for nearly 120 yards in the first spring scrimmage. Now it's time for one or more of these backs to consistently show us again starting at Kansas, Aug. 30.

Rhh The Robin Hood Award....And the Mario goes to....Colt Anderson. It may have been the quietest, strong performance of the spring. Like the denizen of Sherwood Forest did with a bow and arrow, CA showed he can be pretty accurate throwing the football. In the last two scrimmages, including the spring game, CA was 15 of 18 throwing the pigskin.

The Matrix Award....And the Mario goes to....The new option play. Unveiled this spring, the play gives the FIU offense another dimension. New offensive coordinator Bill Legg brought a revamped spread offense and with it the option. Not saying FIU is turning into the old Big 8 Conference teams of Oklahoma and Nebraska, but the option is a nifty little play to have in your arsenal. Reams broke a long TD run off the toss from Paul McCall in a scrimmage this spring.

The Surround Sound Award....And the Mario goes to....Bill Legg. Without some throat drops or some hot tea, the new FIU OC won't have a voice by the third game of the season. Remember, Turtle with Ss_2 the  mike at FIU baseball, no microphone needed for BL, who could be heard loud and clear this spring while he taught the new O to the Golden Panthers. Would like to hear a contest between BL and FIU D-coordinator Phil Galiano (who won the Mario for Best Pipes last year) to determine whose voice would last the longest.

The Food Network Award....And the Mario goes to....The H-Back/Tight End position. Something special could be cooking with this position in 2008. Four players (Travis Felder, John Ellis, Eric Kirchenberg and James Wiggins) manned the position this spring and some intriguing possibilities resulted, especially with JE going long on several passes. TF, with his basketball skills, may have the most athleticism to become a big part of the FIU O here. (NOT comparing here, but remember San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates and Kansas City Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez were former hoopsters).

Ab_2 El Monstruo Award....And the Mario goes to....Another three-way tie or we could just rename this the Munsters Award. Defensive linemen Reggie Jones, Quentin Newman and Jonathan Betancourt all brought to mind former FIU and current Baltimore Ravens LB Antwan Barnes, with their tenacious work in the offensive backfield this spring. Although not with the same quickness as AB, these three excelled. In two scrimmages, RJ had 6 sacks, QN had 5 1/2 and JB had numerous tackles for loss, along with 3 sacks.

The Anti-Saturday Night Live Award....And the Mario goes to....Marquis Rolle. Unlike, the SNL performers, MR is ready to be a prime time player. The receiver has size, is physical and showed a penchant for making catches in traffic and beating defensive backs for balls downfield. Twice MR and Colt Anderson connected for long TD passes down the sideline.

The Sleeping Giant Award....And the Mario goes to....The FIU Athletic Deparment. For the second consecutive year, the Blue & Gold Spring Game was a hit drawing more than 3,000 fans after having more than 2,400 people show up last year. Like it's been mentioned on here before, if there is this kind of interest for a 6-year-old program that hasn't had that breakthrough win yet, imagine the response when winning becomes a habit at FIU.

Cc_2 The Cindy Crawford Award....And the Mario goes to....The 63-yard touchdown pass from Paul McCall to Jeremy Dickens down the middle of the field that split the defense at the start of the spring game. Like our inaugural Marios Awards Show presenter, Miss Crawford, the pass play was the prettiest of the spring and got the loudest reaction from the spring game crowd. When PM dropped back you heard the crowd buzz and when Dickens got open and caught the ball, a big roar came from the stands.

That's going to do it for the 2nd Annual Marios Spring Football Awards. Thanks for reading and thanks to Jen for presenting the Marios. New football season starts in 117 days.


OutoftheCage88: Welcome to the GPP. Still a little too early for making any predictions on the coming football season considering the whole team has yet to practice (the freshmen arrive in August). Your 9-3, 8-4 and even 7-5 records may be a bit out of reach this season. Still those ambitious records would probably result in a Sun Belt title and Coach of the Year honors for MC. But you may be getting ahead of yourself there. Without having brushed up on FIU's opponents or having seen the entire Golden Panthers team, I would think if FIU wins 4 or 5 games it would be an accomplishment since the team is so young -- more than 70 percent of the team is freshmen or sophomores.

gpantera: The hiring of Tim Harris across town should not affect FIU's pipeline with Booker T. First of all, until FIU starts winning on a consistent basis, the canes are going to have first choice in recruits. But the canes can't get them all. All college teams are allotted 25 scholarships each season. Plus, when you factor in the work ethic in recruiting of MC and his staff, FIU is going to get its share of quality players. Remember, MC and co. have contacts all over the U.S. Last year, while TH's kid, Brandon, signed across town, FIU still got Florida's sacks leader in Kambriel Willis and defensive end Jonathan Jackson, plus Tarvis Pullins and Winston Fraser.

FIUBlueandGold: I really don't have an answer for TH taking an admin. role instead of a coaching role in Coral Gables. Maybe there are no coaching positions available now and after this season Randy Shannon will fire someone and then TH becomes a coach over there. I'm sure TH will be involved with recruiting Cof over there. You don't hire the coach of the #4 high school team in the country to push papers around and serve coffee to the coaching staff.


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Did asst basketball coach Bill Wuczynski resign or get fired?

The 2nd Annual Blogger Mario's

The Mario for....

Picking Your Spots - The blogger who picks his spots best and makes comments when they are needed the most - MIA/NY Josh

Craziest Blogger - CrazyCane (after all, the award is named after him)

Most informed blogger - TheU24/7

Best Looking Blogger - MIA/NY Josh

Most controversial blogger - FIUdad

Newewst Moron blogger - Outofthecage88
Oldest moron Blogger - BlueandGold

Most diplomatic and realistic - CJ

Least missed blogger - FiuMom

The "I wish he'd come back so we could all make fun of him again for being so stupid" blogger - Scumsanitizer

Hysterical that a person who considers himself a journalist can't give an answer on Tim "Ice" Harris' signing. Maybe that's what a public school produces.... or maybe that just contributes to the horrible reputation the Herald has, either way, instead of playing a little game of "hide the ball" I'll give you the information since basic research and an inclination for some success would have produced the information.

Ice Harris can't be a coach because he doesn't have a college degree, and, to destroy the excessively incorrect information FIUBlueandGold put forth in the previous subpar blog about repetitive underachieving, non-coaches can take place in recruiting. Once he earns a college degree he can become a coach though.

The hiring of Tim Harris won't pose any problems towards FIU because contrary to this "journalist's" beliefs, FIU and UM won't be recruiting against each other. It's not an "until" factor, it's an "if FIU starts winning, joins a real conference, develops discretion in their admittance policy" factor.

P.S. To add to Mia/NY Josh's list:

Most missed player: Devon Freeman a.k.a. FIUMom's son as the "bottom of the curve/worst grade in the class" Mario award. How does a coach who will probably get busted down a rung on the ladder get a series of awards named after him. Andy Garcia is heads and shoulders above any other alum FIU has to offer, might as well name it after someone somewhat successful.

Wow..are they one and all the same? LOL.

Great blog, Pete..

Asst. Coach Wu did not get fired. He got a better offer somewhere else. Best of luck to him. FIU will miss him.

I could've been at that Marlins game! Argh!

Pete, we got Bull Durham coming to us from Netflix. :)


lol MIA/NY Josh thanks for the most diplomatic and realistic award in your back door mario's lol love how you got yourself as best lookin blogger lol too funny. Pete Great job on the Mario's! Jonathan B. is a stand up guy. had him in a class and i approached hime congratulated him on his performance in the Spring game. very modest cat! good guy cant wait to see him tear it up


The insults just keep flying ?? LMAO !!!

I proudly accept the award for "Oldest Moron Blogger" considering I am 35...

CC, Josh and Fomentor, we appreciate your dedication to our blog. If I wasn't still young, successful and good looking - I'd probably take offense to most of your comments toward me or the other folks at FIU. But I have the pleasure to share these ridiculous comments from you "ladies" with my UM employees here at the office.

I take great satisfaction in knowing that some of our better business minds are UCG grads. However, the best satisfaction is knowing that those great minds from UCG work for me and my other two business partners (UF grad and FIU grad).

U24/7, I have come to appreciate your posts and will table any remarks against you.

As for the "3 stooges" - you just have no clue do you. I suppose everything you see and hear from scUM city is gospel huh ??

I say it again, the football program is a sinking ship. It's too expensive for a private school to be going to the Pollo Tropical bowl and the Metro PCS bowl...It will never survive. The stadium deal becomes an albatross of an agreement in a few years. If UCG is not back in a BCS game with several years of high attendance, university advancement will no longer be able to solicit the BIG donations from the "fatcats" that Shalala and company pander to.

"oldest" as in been around the blog, not by age....had to differentiate between you and outofthecage who is a newcomer

The 2nd Annual Blogger Mario's? Was there even a 1st? Sounds like someone's got too much time on their hands. :)

Seriously... blogger Mario's would be pretty cool, but only if Pete did them. Lord knows, the off-season's long enough to do one. And everyone else here is waaaaaaay too biased to do it justice.

One more thing... before someone else goes around questioning Pete's journalist creds... if they were serious, maybe they ought to pick a better subject than Tim Harris going to UM to do it with. That's a question for Manny Navarro, not Pete.

Last week there were posts about how crazy and dad might be the same person well I have another accusation to make.

After BlueandGold went on and on about being successful and having UM people work for him (which i still question), I remembered a previous blogger who made similar comments. SCUMSANITIZER. I also went back 6 months or so and found numerous posts where blueandgold uses the trademark "scUM". There was even one post 6 months ago where someone calls out the sanitizer and he says, oh, i only post under this name to aggravate people.

That is right, blueandgold = scumsanitizer (and possibly fiuandme as well but havent found as much evidence as to that)

So, if dad and crazy are the same and made missteps as to reveal this truth, you are just as dumb and careless....but i guess i am not surprised as you both claim to be FIU grads.

Pete, you should've had the FSU Cowgirls giving out the awards.


Nice try, Sherlock. Not me...

The real question is how long until FIU athletic program suffers from budget cuts (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/florida/story/522429.html)
because about 80% of the alumni I've met that graduate from FIU are embarrassed they attended that school (as they told me, their motto was "go to fiu, anybody else can"). And truthfully, judging from the responses from professors, alumni, and colleagues that I saw when I went to grad school 5 years ago I understand their embarrassment, even moreso once I visited the school and the general slummy traffic congested area. It looks like an art noveau nightmare.

Yo check dis, this site sux yo i red thiz an thot you all is so stupid. UM is so much beter then fiu it aint even funny. fiu iz a bunch of punks tring to play in um backyard and it aint gonna never happen yo. i wish um would play thos guys so that they culd continu to whip that ass. for real tho, um is gonna be so good next year, fiu is still gonna suk. believe that.

Oye DaU4Life. Ju jes jelas meng, que ju no go to FIJUW. Mi escuela es la bomba, everyonez here is like pitbull, we jest classy and one day we are goings to put ju rich boys en jur place. Hialeah en da house bebe, be careful, I graduated number UNO from mi clas en hialeah, FIU is going nowehre pero ups meng. From Hialeah to sweetwater to berger king, if you no nice to us, we going to be jelas of Miami-Dade instedz. Viva FIU, where we all knows we da baddest like DJ Khaled.

Hey - gangster boys, this is not boys in the hood, take it elsewhere. This is a blog fer educated fans who like to talk to eachother, not act like hip hop punks. if you want to talk like uneducated idiots, and use these slang terms that noone here really understands and if they do understand it, dont wish to use it on this blog, go find a blog for soldier boy or something like that.

I do however think that it is funny that FIUESTUDIANTE admits that he is an FIU student and talks like that - I do not believe that U4Life said he was a student, maybe he is - but I doubt it.

What the hell are DAU4Life and FIUESTUDIANTE saying? Is Mrs. Beaver available? ("I speak jive" - from the movie Airplane.)

That was great FIUESTUDIANTE!!! lol I wouldn't be surprised that DAU4Life is a current UM football player.

Nice write up Pete. I can't wait for the football season, I can see Marquis Rolle being star player on offense next year.



Fomentor The Hate,

I recognize that empirical data won't dislogde you from your entrenched position of FIU hate...but just in case, here's a small taste of fact:

The incoming freshman class at FIU had an average SAT score of 1144, a 24 ACT score and a 3.7 high school GPA. The freshmen acceptance rate for the first 2007 semester was 37%.

I recall you went to an Ivy league school, but you may have avoided the tough quant courses. Just in case you can't figure it out, 63% of thoses who applied didn't get in. This ain't your father's FIU. Update your fact sheet and get your modern FIU history right.


Viva Hialeah!!!!!

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