Friday, December 31, 2010

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Tale of the Tape - You Win Some, You Lose Some
by Alyson Gramley, ATC
Friday, December 31, 2010 - 7:00pm

To begin...Alyson's Year in Review...a few pictures of my adventures in 2010 (because I couldn't figure out how to get them at the bottom):

I missed wishing you all a Merry Christmas, so without further ado...Merry Christmas! The basketball team played in a tournament in Utah right before the holiday. Then I was fortunate enough to spend 4 days with my family in a familiar place (we lived in Utah 24 years ago) doing some skiing and reconnecting as a family. It was the best Christmas presents, just laughter and lots of love! The perfect way to remember 2010.

And so now, as 2010 is winding down, many of you are sitting around their fireplaces, tables, kitchen bars with family and friends, good food and drinks, reminiscing the past year(s) and vowing to do something new and different in the coming one. at basketball practice. I am, however, an athletic trainer and that's what we practice. I have even had the joy of watching two today! Don't interpret that I'm complaining. I'm only stating the facts. When school isn't in session, we can practice as much -or as little- as we'd like. This morning was a typical, run/shoot/defense/offense kind of practice and tonight is more like a birthday present for Ben Fletcher...shooting drills and such! I guess if anyone would rather be somewhere else more, he would be the winner.

Some of you may look at our win-loss record and automatically assume I meant "games" in the "some" of the title this time. If that were the case, I could have probably said "You win a couple and lose the rest." But that's not at all where I was going with this one.

At this time of the year, people are looking back at the wins and losses in their personal lives for 2010. I am no different. I've won and lost this year on many platforms, on and off the court. I've accompanied the Trojans to 23 wins and 13 losses. I've won three rings and lost one. I've been there as a handful of athletes have lost a season to injury and have accompanied another handful to stepping back into the Trojan uniform after considerable length of time lost to injury.

I have witnessed things this year I have never seen: the grassy knoll where a president was assassinated, hip surgery, tib/fib fracture (which most of you probably saw as well because it was on national TV), and others that slip my mind at the moment. I do know that I have evaluated and treated more injuries in the short basketball season thus far in 2010 than I have in my seven years combined! And that's the truth!!

I'll repeat something I've said before and believe wholeheartedly--winning is the easy part of all of this, it's the losing that's hard. Winning comes to those that work hard, give 110%, 24-7 and losing is the result of the 5 P's, or apathetic individuals only working at half-speed.
That's what they tell us, anyway...well one of my mentors told me something one time that resonates in my mind: "They say" is a liar!
I can guarantee that I have never been a part of a team that doesn't want to win every game. But guess what...the other team does, too. That's why they schedule them and make us play them.
So when you're "armchair quarterbacking" or "coaching from the sofa" or posting on message boards about negative things (or worse...not even caring...) because your team isn't a National Champion every year, remember those that are actually getting dressed up for every game and sitting on the bench or pacing the sideline. You think it's hard for those bystanders to see their team lose as the score scrolls across the ticker, you should see the faces of these young men and women in the locker rooms across the nation when they've done everything they can to win...and still came up short.

Another adage I repeat often: sometimes your best isn't good enough.

I guess that took a different tone than originally intended, but maybe I'm trying to ease into 2011 with a clean conscience, too.

As this year comes to an end, I am reminded continuously that I am most thankful for my job...a job I love, for my dysfunctional as it may seem at times, and my health. I have seen some beautiful sights in the past year and hope to continue to do so into the new year. I have some resolutions for 2011, as I always do. Some are repeats and some are new to the list this year.

I'll be wrapping up shortly and headed home to enjoy a marathon of Toy Story, House, and pizza with a tween! I couldn't imagine a better way to start the new year...
Go Trojans!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from Utah


Troy basketball wraps up play in the World Vision Invitational in Logan, Utah, tonight against the host Utah State University Aggies. It's a late start, so the coaches accepted a gracious offer from our host family for the event and took the team to an elk preservation ranch outside town high in the Wasatch Mountains this morning. It's a breathtaking place called the Hardware Ranch , and we all had a blast. We were taken around on three different sleighs, one of which was the "working" sleigh, where trainer Alyson Gramley, manager Christian Laing, seniors Travis Lee and Levan Patsatsia, junior Flynn Clayman, and yours truly volunteered to throw the hay out to the (extremely hungry) elk. It was ironic, because Flynn immediately assumed a supervisory role at the front of the sleigh and left most of the physical labor to the rest of us; the irony was that Flynn was uniquely positioned to capture the full bouquet of the prodigiously gassy horses pulling us (left).
There were several snowball fights, obviously, with several players taking advantage of Vernon Taylor's limited mobility (he's on crutches with an ankle sprain) to practice their aim. VT set a state record in his senior year in high school with 11 interceptions; well, he caught a few snowballs today.

Here are some random photos: at left, Travis Lee, Alyson Gramley, and Christian Laing take a break after unloading all the hay and watch the very grateful elk.

Travis Lee, Christian Laing, Flynn Clayman, and Levan Patsatsia, contemplating all that hay they're gonna have to unload. Flynn's making sure the elk don't sneak up on us.

David Felix, Don Maestri, and our very excellent bus driver, Colleen, on Executive Sleigh 2. Our host family came along with us, and they told us that very few teams actually have taken them up on their offer every year of this tournament to come up to the ranch. Don and David, to their credit, believe that these are experiences these young men should be given as often as possible.

Travis Lee and Levan Patsatsia, experienced elk farmers, commemorating the last of the hay being unloaded.

This is a look from QB Corey Robinson's perspective of what he sees when he lined up in the shotgun formation this year behind Tyler Clark, Kyle Wilborn, and Tyler Graves.
No, seriously, this is the best guess I have of the area where I lost my cell phone while feeding these elk.

And here's the emotional payoff for all the girls who root for the Trojans. The obligatory bunny pic.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In The Zone - A Whirlwind Trip

Saturday, December 18, 2010
Travis Jarome (email)

The Troy University women's basketball team began a six-day, two state road trip on Friday morning as they left for Atlanta at 6:30 in the morning. After a short pit stop in Montgomery to pick me up, the team was on the road (I-85 to be exact) to Hartfsfield-Jackson Airport. The flight to Jacksonville could be one of the shortest flights ever as it took 55 total minutes to fly from Atlanta to off the east coast of Florida.

The team did not have much down time on Friday as they arrived at the hotel, had a chance to look out the window and see the beach and then it was off to practice at UNF Arena. The team had a spirited 90 minute workout on the floor they will see action on this weekend. This could be the weekend, after watching the practice on Friday, that things starting gelling and this young team starts to turn the corner.

For those that though the day was over with practice, "not so fast my friend", as the team went back to the hotel for 30 minutes to shower and change for a team dinner. After a team dinner at Carrabba's Italian Restaurant, the team went back to the hotel for a film session and then most of the team was in the bed by 10 pm (EST) preparing for the game against North Florida on Saturday.

This weekend is a chance to see old friends as former Trojan Audrey Muse is a native of the city, as are former Media Relations Director Tom Strother and Assistant Media Relations Director Joel Lamp. As you can see from the picture that is included in the blog, the Trojans' hotel is not in a bad location to spend three nights before heading off to the cold in Washington, DC for the remainder of the trip.

The team is wrapping up preparations for North Florida on the floor Saturday morning while most are still sleeping at 9 am (EST), and the game is at 3 pm (EST) the same day in what will be an eventful day of athletics on WTBF with men's basketball beginning at 10:30 am (CST) and football at 6 pm (CST).

Until after the game ... Go Trojans!!!

Days 3-4 in New Orleans

E-Mail Ricky Hazel

By the time Thursday rolled around, things here in New Orleans had settled into a typical game-week routine.

Personally, the last couple of days have been rough. I have come down with my annual December cold and have spent more time in bed than anything else. Saw Jon Adams first thing on Friday to get a shot and some other meds, but was still not feeling well that evening.

Thursday included the Trojans' final practice at the dome. The session was a little late in getting started because several players spent time visiting the Children's Hospital here in New Orleans.

That is always one of the highlights of any bowl trip. The players really enjoy visiting the sick kids and watching their faces light up.

Thursday night the Troy University family got together for a reception at the Bourbon Vioux to celebrate another successful season. Dr. Jack Hawkins spoke to the crowd, as did director of Athletics Steve Dennis and head coach Larry Blakeney.

Many of the folks at the reception had a big time out on the balcony, which overlooks Bourbon Street. They were throwing beads down to Troy fans as they walked past, in typical New Orleans fashion. With the Sound of the South in town and many other students and fans rolling in, there were a lot of Trojans fans to choose from.

Friday morning started early with team photos at the Superdome at 8 a.m. One of the things that has told me that the Trojans are focused on the game is that there has not been a single incident with a player being late for a meeting, breakfast, or anything else.

Breakfast for the players was at 7:15 on Friday, and they were all there on time.

We got to the dome and took care of all the team and group photos in about 45 minutes. Jeff Shearer from WSFA was there and grabbed a couple of interviews. We've had good representation from the media this week. Patrick Claybon from WTVY has been in town for a couple of days, as has Tim Gayle from the Montgomery Advertiser. Drew Champlin from the Dothan Eagle has been here since Tuesday.

Following photos, Coach Blakeney spoke with the team about getting plenty of rest and preparing themselves, both mind and body, for the game. I didn't go to Bourbon Street last night, so I don't know if any players went out, but most of them were either hanging out in the lobby and taking it easy in their rooms.

Friday featured the bowl banquet, with both teams, both bands and cheerleaders for both schools. Former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints star Deuce McAllister was the keynote speaker and he emphasized to all the players how important it is for them to take advantage of their opportunity and get an education.

The only major glitch at the luncheon was the MC referring to Troy State a couple of times. His error was pointed out and he made the correction. Like most events of this nature, the players hurried out afterward to find some food because the offering during the banquet was a little light.

There were three receptions to attend on Friday evening, but I only made it to two of them. The first reception was at Adams and Reese, a New Orleans law firm, and was hosted by former Trojan Britton Bonner. From there it was on to the Ernst Cafe for the New Orleans Bowl VIP party. There was another reception on the docket for later in the evening, hosted by Randall Moore, but I called it a night early.

On Saturday there is a Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues - $40 per person if you want to go -at 11 am. From there it is a quiet day leading up to game time. There is a Battle of the Bands set for 5:30 outside the Superdome. The Sound of the South, at more than 350 members strong, vs. the Ohio Marching 110 is a mismatch on an epic scale.

Hopefully, tonight's game will also be a mismatch.

I'll try to blog again following the game tonight, but it will likely be 1 or 2 am before I will be able to even think about it.

Go Trojans!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 2 in New Orleans

E-Mail Ricky Hazel

Following Tuesday night's trip to the Rock-n-Bowl, most everyone in the travel party made a bee-line to Bourbon Street. Tuesday was really the only night for everyone to cut loose and take in the famous sights the French Quarter uniquely offers.

Many of the staff members, some coaches included, made their way to the world famous Cat's Meow for an evening of karaoke. Of course Aaron Taylor brought the house down with performances of a pair of his standards and Ryan "Pokey" Hayden also turned in a solid effort.

Wednesday morning got off to a more somber start with news of an accident back home in Troy that took the lives of two students from Pike Liberal Arts School. Everyone's thoughts and prayers are with the families of those youngsters at this time.

Following breakfast, Coach Blakeney had several phone interviews to do. He spoke with a radio station in Knoxville, Tenn., with Tim Brando for his show on Sporting News Radio, which airs during Friday's broadcast, and with Jason Toy of the Motor Racing Network for a football show they will air on Saturday.

Later in the day, Blakeney went live on local station WWL in New Orleans with former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert.

In between, the Trojans went to the dome for their final serious practice in preparation for the Ohio Bobcats. The team went through a spirited workout for a little more than two hours.

After returning from practice, everyone had to make a quick change for dinner and the world famous Antoine's Restaurant, which is the oldest family owned restaurant in the United States. The evening was sponsored by the Sun Belt Conference and included a visit from Santa Claus, who had a special gift for Coach Blakeney, the 2010 Sun Belt Conference Championship trophy.

Follow this link to see photos taken by John McElwain of the Sun Belt from the evening. PHOTOS

Thursday promised to be another full day. I'll follow up with info from the events of the day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 1 in New Orleans and my feet hurt already

E-mail Ricky Hazel

NEW ORLEANS -- Everyone has arrived save and sound in New Orleans for the start of bowl week. I have a little break between some interviews and the team meeting, so I am firing off a short blog. I'll try to provide blog entries as often as possible during the week.

The wife and I arrived in town late yesterday and made it to the New Orleans Arena last night in time to see former Trojan Windham Rotunda in action with the WWE. Windham, now known as Husky Harris as a member of the Nexus, got in on a beat-down of John Cena early in the live RAW broadcast and then was out again for a short appearance later.

Having a wife with a theater background, we always watch the goings on the background. The WWE has to be the biggest touring stage company in the world. There were hundreds of people working behind the scenes to make sure the show went off well.

Today has been mostly doing some work setting up interviews, but included a trip to Port 'O Call for one of their world famous cheeseburgers. A trip to New Orleans would not be complete without one.

Coach Blakeney did a couple of interviews today and will do some more tomorrow. On the list for tomorrow is a stint on the Tim Brando Radio Show, taping a segment with Jason Toy on the Motor Racing Network for a Saturday football segment and going on live tomorrow afternoon on WWL here in New Orleans with former Saints QB Bobby Hebert.

After a team meeting this afternoon, everyone will be at the Rock-n-Bowl tonight for the bowl kickoff party. We'll shoot some pictures and video during that event and post with the next blog entry.

Remember that there is plenty of time to buy your tickets for the game. Don't miss out on what is sure to be an exciting game on Saturday. Go online to and click on the ticket link to purchase online.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mortarboards, Goetta, Lucy the Wonder Dog, and Run-DMC


The Trojans are in southwestern Ohio this weekend to take on the RedHawks of Miami University in intercollegiate basketball, and it's
been an interesting trip already! First of all, congratulations are in order for center Bernard Toombs for not making the team flight out of Atlanta, because he was graduating in front of a LOT of family and friends at Sartain Hall Friday afternoon. He's at left with one of his professors, Teresa Johnson. Bernard caught a later flight and is on hand for this afternoon's game. His place was taken by Lucy, the tiny family dog of the Felix family, who rode up in her dog-carrier to visit with David's son (and former Troy GA) Drew Felix, his wife Heather, and newborn Nash, who live in Columbus, Ohio. Lucy was an outstanding traveler and Nash's big buddy.
At the Cincinnati airport (which is actually just over the Ohio River in Kentucky, the guys ran into Darryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C. and persuaded him to pose for a few photos. Here he is with (from left) DeAndrae Ross, Steven Cunningham, and Travis Lee. I definitely know Run-D.M.C., but I'll admit I didn't recognize him until I asked!
The team is staying in Hamilton, OH, which is near Miami University. After a long run in the 30-degree Hamilton morning, breakfast was in the Ohio Diner, where I was introduced to a southern Ohio delicacy called "goetta" (which is pronounced "getta"); it's a combination of ground sausage and oatmeal. I usually am game to try new experiences, so I ordered it up. I told the waitress it was wonderful, but it tasted like a corkboard. If you ever get to Ohio, just say no to the goetta. Thank me later.
Troy looks to take care of business this afternoon in Oxford, OH, against the Miami University RedHawks at 3:30 Central Time, with the air time on the Troy Sports Network from IMG College set for 3pm. You can hear it over the air on WTBF, 94.7FM, in Troy, and WOOF, AM560, in Dothan, plus online coast-to-coast and worldwide at

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What a Roller Coaster Ride

It has been a while since my last blog entry, but football season is like that sometimes. There just isn't enough time in the week to do everything I want to do and, when basketball starts, there is even less time available.

True, I have two guys who take care of 99 percent of the basketball stuff, but I still like to be at every home game.

Things have been especially hectic over the last few days as we prepare for the 10th Annual R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Like a lot of folks, I had my doubts in November if there would be any bowl at the end of this season, and the "Drive for Five" looked to be DOA.

But, give this Troy team and their coaches a ton of credit. They put two devastating losses behind them, gave two very good performances in the last two weeks of the season, and got a little help from our Blue Raider friends. All of that resulted in a fifth straight Sun Belt title.


How rare is it to win five straight conference titles you might ask?

Well, in the FBS, or former Division I-A, it had happened just five times prior to Troy joining the club. BYU won 10 straight in the WAC, USC won seven in a row in the PAC 10 before Reggie-gate, Ohio State won six straight in the Big Ten in the hey-day of Woody Hayes, Bear Bryant led Alabama to five in a row in the SEC in the early 70s and Bobby Bowden won five straight in the ACC at the end of the 1990s.

That's it, the entire list. David Letterman could not do a Top 10 list in this category because there haven't been that many.

Over 20 seasons at Troy, Larry Blakeney has done nothing but win and produce quality citizens in his football program. He'll start his third decade next year ranked 10th on the list of active head coaches in career victories.

But, before that third decade gets started, the second still has one game left to play.

When I worked at Marshall, we played the Ohio Bobcats every year in the "Battle for the Bell", a trophy much like the one that sits in the Troy football office from the now dormant series with Jacksonville State.

I am not ashamed to say that during my four seasons in Huntington, the Thundering Herd was a pretty difficult team to handle. Marshall posted an overall record of 43-9 during those seasons, with one of those losses coming at Ohio. During that same period of time, Ohio was 17-28, but always caused Marshall problems.

Now in their sixth season under Frank Solich, Ohio football is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. The Bobcats are 8-4 this season on the heels of a 9-5 record in 2009. This will be the third bowl appearance for Ohio under Solich and the fourth all-time bowl for the Bobcats, who have never won a bowl game in more than 100 years of football, going back to 1894.

The Trojans have not had great success in bowl games either. The last two years have been particularly heart-breaking, with an overtime loss to Southern Miss in New Orleans in 2008 and a double-overtime loss to Central Michigan back in January.

The key to the Trojans' success in this bowl game is, quite simply, the Trojan Nation. If Troy can get close to 30,000 people to New Orleans for the game, it would be the most to ever see the Trojans play and be, as head coach Larry Blakeney said he is looking for, the largest gathering of Troy fans, friends and alumni ever.

That is where you come in. For the Trojans to have the kind of support they need to win the game, every single Troy fans has to get involved. Buy ticket, take your family to the game, give tickets to your neighbors and friends as early Christmas gifts. Do whatever it takes to fill the Superdome with Troy fans.

One of the many great things about playing in the New Orleans Bowl is the game is early in bowl season. In fact, it is the third game on the first day of bowl season. I know there are two other teams from the state playing in bowls, but their games are 14 and 23 days after the New Orleans Bowl.

If someone was so inclined, there is plenty of time to drive from New Orleans to Orlando and then out to Glendale to go to all three games. Air travel makes seeing all three teams play a snap.

The thing to remember is that those other schools really don't care if you go to their bowl games. They have so many fans to draw from, it doesn't matter if some decide to pass this year.

For the Trojans, every single fan is important and it is critical that we have as many as possible in attendance at the game.

There really should be no excuses. The game is on Saturday night, in a great city, inside the world's most famous domed stadium where weather is never a problem. Even if you have to work on Friday, you could leave on Saturday morning, get to New Orleans in time to enjoy the game and the city for an evening, and drive home on Sunday.

Please do your part and support the Trojans this year in the New Orleans Bowl. Call the Athletics Ticket Office at 877-878-9467 or 334-670-3680 or visit the Troy Athletics web site,, and buy tickets for yourself, your family and friends.

You can also buy tickets to donate to help send members of the Sound of the South marching band to the game. Any tickets donated past what is needed for the band will be used to send underprivileged children from the New Orleans area to the game.

Do your part and support the Trojans. The team, the coaches and the entire Troy University community need your help.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Trojan Talk this Tuesday WILL feature football

4:45 PM, MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010


Lots of news and previews coming out of the bowl announcement and press conference in one of the most memorable three-day stretches of my life. To call the 44-7 win at FAU for Troy's seventh win, then to be in the middle of the plane on the way back and find out Middle Tennessee had beaten FIU to give the Trojans a share of their 5th straight Sun Belt title, THEN bellow along with Coach Blakeney as he led the plane in several spirited verses of "Trojans, One and All"... well, that's a mighty fine day, all in all.
The R&L
Carriers New Orleans Bowl bid was sweet as well, and the media was again on hand at the Courtyard by Marriott for the press conference today. Dawn Railey of the hotel is as Troy as Troy can be, and she proudly presented the guys with a commemorative cake (designed and made --as a matter of fact-- by defensive tackle Emmanuel Dudley's wife) dedicated to Troy's successful quest for the "Drive For Five"! Make sure when you get your tickets (and I know you will) that you get them through Troy University by calling 1-877-878-9467 or getting them online at One of the main reasons Troy has gone to so many bowl games for you to enjoy is because Troy has always done a good job of selling tickets to those bowl games. If you don't buy those tickets through Troy, the Trojans don't get to reap those benefits, and you'll have Jonathan Massaquoi to explain yourself to!
Comments from the press conference came from Larry Blakeney, QB Corey Robinson (the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week), Sam Sellers (the Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week), WR's Jerrel Jernigan, Tebiarus Gill, and Jason Bruce, DE Jonathan Massaquoi, and LB Xavier Lamb.
One final note: we chad mentioned that last week was the final Trojan Talk scheduled to talk strictly football but, with so much good news and the help and accommodation of AD Steve Dennis and Larry Blakeney, we'll spend Tuesday night's show talking about the bowl, Saturday's win, and the matchup against Ohio. You'll be able to hear Trojan Talk on 94.7FM, WTBF in Troy, and on 960AM, WOOF in Dothan, as well as online. Call in toll-free between 7p-8p at 866-736-5889. We'll be live at Santa Fe Cattle Company in Troy!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Regular season closes; so does Lockhart

10:45 AM, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2010

Troy makes its return to Lockhart Stadium, extremely adjacent to the Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport, on Saturday to finish the regular season against FAU. The picture at left was taken on the set of "The Trojan Football Report" TV show after the last time the Trojans played there in 2007, and we hope that Coach and I can talk about another win and a 7-5 regular season record!
The stadium is a bad one, a long way away from the FAU campus, with very few amenities, but FAU will unveil a new facility next year and I, for one, am looking forward to it. Troy-FAU kicks off on Saturday at 1pm Central Time, which puts our radio airtime at 11am on the Troy Sports Network and on
Remember, Troy's men's basketball Trojans play at Arkansas on Saturday at 2pm. Joe Davis and Taylor Bryan will have the radio broadcast of the contest online here. Go Trojans, and let's hope to bring back a couple of road wins this weekend!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Final Football Edition of Trojan Talk Tonight


After eleven football shows and several barrels of peanuts consumed at our table at Santa Fe Cattle Company, the schedule shows that this is the last Trojan Talk featuring solely football coach Larry Blakeney! He and I will be on the air amidst dozens of the Trojan Nation (including, hopefully, you), bushels of peanut shells, and lots of your phone calls to talk about Troy football from 7p-8p tonight on the fine stations that comprise the Troy Sports Network and online at We'll get your questions and comments, as always, toll-free at 1-866-736-5889 and on our Troy Facebook page as well! What's the outlook for the regular-season finale at FAU? What led to Troy's win last week vs. WKU? What are the bowl hopes and plans for the Trojans? I can ask those questions, but we'd rather hear it from you tonight!
That does NOT mean, however, that we're done with Trojan Talk for the year! Men's basketball coach Don Maestri and women's coach Michael Murphy will be on the show through the end of the regular season, starting next week, and we usually have a bowl preview edition of Trojan Talk near the holidays with Coach Blakeney!

Finally, here's some audio highlights from Monday's weekly press conference prior to FAU week: Head Coach Larry Blakeney, QB Corey Robinson, WR Jerrel Jernigan, LB Xavier Lamb, and RB Chris Anderson. Go Trojans!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Let Us Be Thankful For These and All Our Many Blessings

Tale of the Tape, November 26, 2010
Alyson Gramley, ATC
Contact me:

WOW! It's already Black Friday...seems like yesterday we were gearing up for pre-season football camp and now I'm in Starkville, MS, for the fifth basketball game of the year! There have been some up's and down's along the way since I've last contributed to the blogs. In my defense, I've been extremely busy with my real job. With that said, it has been a record year in the Injury Department, both with football and basketball. Hopefully that department will be among the many others depleted with all the after-Turkey Day shopping going on today!!

Indulge me in "Reasons Alyson is Thankful This Year" if you will (not in any particular order):

Reason #1: Improved Modes of Travel-We traveled over to Starkville on Thanksgiving Day on one of my many reasons for thanks: a sleeper bus! The Men of Troy started utilizing this method of transportation a few years back and I can't imagine making a long trip in any other fashion. Since I immediately seem to fall asleep when the bus is put in drive, the horizontal possibilities on the sleeper bus are much more favorable than those on a regular "seated" charter bus. Now, don't get me wrong, the satellite TV and internet are added bonuses!

Reason #2: Life's Lessons Learned in Spectacular Places-I've been around the sun seven times as the basketball athletic trainer at TROY, and over 14 times all together as a member of the Trojan Athletic Training Team. I've been to Europe, The Bahamas, The US Virgin Islands, Texas, Alaska, Miami, and almost everywhere in between, all in the name of TROY! That is an amazing statement by itself. And in all those years, I've had my share of winning and losing. Thankfully, however, there has been more of the former than the latter! I have learned one profound thing about myself in that time: I don't like to lose. In a recent philosophical debate with some of the basketball media staff, I made the comment that "winning is easy, it's the losing that's hard!" They didn't necessarily agree with me. Maybe I'll explain my point in another blog one day.

Reason #3: Health- Although my job relies on the presence of un-health of active individuals, I've been blessed with reasonable personal healthiness. I am consistently trying to increase my physicalitythrough jogging and the like, recently to my detriment. I am currently harboring a little shoulder thing acquired in my plight to acheive "INSANITY" with some co-workers. It was a fun time had by all and we definitely did some insane things in the workouts. Unfortunately my right shoulder couldn't keep up with Level 2 of Insanity...I'll eventually heed some of my own advice and work through it, but for now there are others that need attention.

Reason #4: Extended Family- I have an exceptional travel partner on this trip, my daughter. Since my "real" family was spread about and our travel plans had us on the road for Thanksgiving this year, I was able to bring Mere's along for the trip to Starkville, MS, with my "other" family. My Trojan Family has been almost as important to me as my Gramley Family and both are equally a tad dysfunctional at times! The Holiday Season reminds us all to be thankful for our friends and family. I am truly thankful for the many blessings I've been granted in the "Awesome Family and Friends" department!

When my dad says the blessing at meals in our house, he always says "Let us be thankful for these and all our many blessings." It was what his mother said when she blessed our meals! Remember to be thankful every day, not just on the Thanksgiving Day.

In closing, here's a few Alyson-ism's:
Be thankful for wins when we get them and the lessons learned when we lose.
Be thankful for health when we have it and for Athletic Trainers, like me, when you lack it.
Be thankful for your family regardless of how dysfunctional it may seem.

Thankful, as always...
Go Trojans!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Cincinnati

Thursday, November 26, 2010; 7:30 pm
Travis Jarome (

Before I start, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and at this time of the day, I hope each of you were able to enjoy the day. Although we were not able to enjoy with our immediate family, the Trojans women's basketball team was able to enjoy the day with our second family - each other.

Today started off like any other on the road, a nice early wake-up call followed by breakfast in the hotel. I can honestly say, and head coach Michael Murphy made the same comment, that this breakfast reminds us of the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. The girls were able to enjoy a variety of foods; including a heathly helping of fruit.

After breakfast, the team boarded the bus to the Cintas Center - which is on the campus of Xavier University - and is only five minutes from where we are staying, the Kingsgate Marriott on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Walking into the area, it became apparant quickly that we were now in the best arena we would play in all season long. The arena is huge, seating over 10,000 with LED boards throught and a huge scoreboard (digital) mounted over the court. Walking around the concourse while the team was practicing was an eye-opening experience with the Hall of Fame area on one side, the X-Store in the middle and pictures throughout on the walls. The arena was complete with suites and each concession stand had no less than 2 flat screen televisions mounted above for the patrons.

After a nice practice session, the team came back to the hotel to change and get ready for our Thanksgiving team meal. We traveled to an Italian restaurant named Buca di Beppo for a nice Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, bread and dessert. You couldn't ask for anything better when you are away from home.

The Trojans take on fifth-ranked Xavier (3-0) tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 pm (EST), a team that was a basket away from the Final Four last season. And for those that don't understand how close they were to the Final Four, a missed lay-up and a foul sent the Stanford Cardinal to the national championship in which they were dismantling UConn in the first half, before the Huskies were able to pull away in the second half. THAT IS HOW CLOSE THIS TEAM WAS TO THE FINAL FOUR!!

This will be the first meeting between the two schools in their respective history and can be heard by clicking here.

I also need to mention a special thanks to Cincinnati-natives Mike Frigge and Tony Ferrante in the Troy University Athletic Department, who prepared me for the trip here and gave pointers throughout.

Friday night in Starkville, Saturday afternoon in Troy


After a great Thanksgiving meal with the family and a little TV, it was back at it Thanksgiving night, preparing for a busy next four days, including two Trojan basketball broadcasts and a hugely important Troy football game.
I'll be trying to negotiate my way around Tuscaloosa on Friday during the Iron Bowl on my way to Starkville, MS, where the basketball team closes out a four-game road stretch against the unbeaten Mississippi State Bulldogs. Tipoff is scheduled for 6pm from Humphrey Coliseum, with air time on the Troy Sports Network from IMG College set at 6:30 Friday night, with myself, Taylor Bryan, Mike Mote, and Michael Buchanan. The over-the-air broadcast will be carried by 94.7FM in Troy and 560AM in Dothan, plus online coverage at
Then, after the game, straight back from Starkville, a little sleep, then on to Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy for Senior Day, where the Troy Trojans close out the regular-season home schedule against the WKU Hilltoppers at 2:30.We'll broadcast it on the radio beginning at 12:30, on the Troy Sports Network and online at as well.
Sunday will be spent preparing for Monday night at Sartain Hall for the (hopefully) triumphant return of the Trojan hoops squad for a home matchup against the UAB Blazers. Tipoff is at 7pm, air time is at 6:30 on 94.7FM
in Troy and 560AM in Dothan, plus online coverage at, again!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Monday, so this must be San Antonio

3:30 PM, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2010

The Trojan basketball squad is bunked at the historic
Menger Hotel (everything in San Antonio's downtown is evidently "historic"), which is directly across the street from the historic Alamo, which is very cool for a guy like me who enjoys history. A reference as to where I'm blogging right this very moment: if I opened my room's window on the second floor and spit my gum as hard as I could, it'd hit the right side of the Alamo as pictured here:The reason why Troy basketball is here is to win an intercollegiate basketball contest against the RoadRunners of the University of Texas-San Antonio tonight. Troy has lost two in a row --to Alabama and Georgia State (both on the road)-- and sits at 1-2 early in the year. UTSA is 2-1, and neither school has a win over a D-1 program, so we don't really know what to expect from either side!
Troy practiced on Sunday at the training facility used by the San Antonio Spurs, which was fairly incredible. We got a tour of the facility after practice, and senior guards Vernon Taylor and Regis Huddleston checked out Tim Duncan's locker (which was immaculate) and his shoes (which were not). Regis is sitting at Antonio McDyess's
locker and pointed out that Dice, like Regis, is a Mississippi guy; I asked if McDyess was from Meridian, as I remembered, but was quickly corrected: "He's from Quitman, man. Quitman.."
Media relations wizard Taylor Bryan makes his on-air debut for the 2010-2011 season on the radio coverage tonight. Tipoff is set for 7pm Central time, with our air time set for 6:30 on 94.7FM in Troy, 560AM in Dothan, and online at Then Troy prepares for a Friday game at Mississippi State!
It's been a crazy schedule for me recently, but it's always great fun to follow the Trojans!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Trojans in Ft. Myers before heading home

In The Zone
Sunday, November 21, 12:03 pm
Travis Jarome (email)

It is gameday here in Ft. Myers on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, makes you wish this was an outdoor sport. But not to worry, Alico Arena is a beautiful setting in its own right. A nice qaunt gymnasium on the back side of campus, along with tennis, softball, baseball and the aquatic center. It was just five years ago that I was down here for another athletic trip, and boy has the campus grown - not only in buildings but students as in 10 years it has gone from 2500 to 12,00 students - and the athletic department has gone from NCAA Division II to a perennial power in the Atlantic Sun at the NCAA Division I level.

The team got a chance to get out of the hotel a little bit on Saturday after a long day of traveling on Friday after practice. After a spirited practice at a local high school on Saturday afternoon, the team and staff headed over PF Changs for a great team dinner. After dinner, everyone walked around the Gulf Coast Town Center - which I would be remise if I didn't mention how big it is. The place has stores that are usually separate from each other, all closed off and makes one big shopping center.

In the middle of the shopping center, there an older gentleman singing songs from Elvis to Fats Dominio to Christmas to recent hits to a big crowd gathered in the courtyard. It was an experience that if you enjoy just sitting listening to music, would be one you wouldn't soon forget.

After listening to the music, myself, Jennifer Wasson and Michael Murphy walked over to Rita's - an Italian Ice establishment. Once there, we went through a tasting period in which were informed that during the summer months anytime anyone buys Alex's Lemonade, then a donation is made to the child for whom it is named for to her cause (young lady with cancer).

But anyway, back to today, the Trojans and Florida Gulf Coast tip at 2:05 pm (EST) at Alico Arena in a game that will be a test for the Trojans. Florida Gulf Coast is among the nation's leaders in three-pointers made per game, however TROY has always been among the nation's best in three-point field goal percentage defense.

Until next time, check back with after the game; and for live updates, links are available on to watch and listen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Troy-South Carolina sports conversation


It's about time for a shameless plug for my "other" job, as the sports-talk co-host on the Budweiser SportsLine on SportsRadio 740, WMSP-AM, in Montgomery. We'll have some interesting pre-game conversations Thursday leading into Saturday morning's Troy-South Carolina game with the Gamecocks' radio play-by-play voice Todd Ellis scheduled to stop by at 8:05am and Troy's own Larry Blakeney at 9:35am. It'll be the Trojans' third trip to Columbia and we've always enjoyed the atmosphere; I like "Also Sprach Zarathrustra" and the fire extinguishers at the entrance and, not only do I respect their mascot choice (and its Hawaiian shaka sign, left), but I like the Rooster Crow they play at Williams-Brice after a big play, although I hope they don't get a chance to play it much Saturday. If you can't listen in on WMSP's blowtorch radio signal, you can listen online at!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Big show planned again for Trojan Talk tonight


It's Tuesday, and it's football season, which means head coach Larry Blakeney will be sitting to my right on the first table in the sports bar area of Santa Fe Cattle Company tonight from 7p-8p for Trojan Talk, answering your questions, reviewing the loss at FIU, and previewing the game against the SEC Eastern Division champion South Carolina Gamecocks. Nobody in the Trojan Nation is happy about the loss on Homecoming, but Coach has never sugar-coated anything (to the media, to the players, or to you, the fans), so this opportunity for you to get his honest thoughts about his team and this program will always get his candid, straightforward response.
Of course, the team has already moved past and is putting their best foot forward in preparing for South Carolina, and your comments and questions about that challenge are welcome as well toll-free at 1-866-736-5889, as are your comments on our Troy Sports Network Facebook page. The broadcast itself is aired over the Troy Sports Network (why the change to the new name "Troy Sports Network"? Because "Mighty Trojan Death Machine Network" was too long for the bumper sticker), and online at Make it out to Santa Fe Cattle Company if you're in the area; it's on Highway 231 in Troy, just south of George Wallace Drive, and we always have a good time with the Trojan Nation, as evidenced by the pic (left) of me, Coach, and my son, Jack, who's a freshman at Troy .
Your phone calls are the premier attraction of the show and, if I may admit so, will be especially so tonight, because I may be a little punchy by 7pm. Jerry Miller and I called Troy's basketball loss in Tuscaloosa last night to Alabama and I got in at 12:30 in the morning! Jerry and I will drive to Atlanta Friday to call Troy hoops at Georgia State, then pile into the car again after the game and drive to Columbia, SC, for the morning football game Saturday, then I've got a flight out of Atlanta on Sunday morning for basketball again at Texas-San Antonio Monday night! Bring it on!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Press conference, then Tuscaloosa


Sitting here at the Courtyard by Marriott with just a few moments before the weekly football press conference with Larry Blakeney and the media hordes, then Bobby Templin and I will hit the trail immediately for Tuscaloosa, where the Troy Trojan basketball team will visit the men's basketball team representing the University of Alabama, and Jerry Miller and I will broadcast it on the radio.
It will be instructive for those of us who love Troy basketball team to see just how well the Trojans stack up against a talented opponent, and how head coach Don Maestri will overcome not having his BFF's, The Chief Executives (left), patrolling the baseline and harassing the opposition. Jerry and I have commented many times on how much fun students have at basketball games and how hard it is to understand why every student on campus isn't at each tipoff! The Chief Executives have a great time, the crowd loves 'em, and the opposition doesn't. Can't beat fun at the old gymnasium, folks! The game tonight at Coleman Coliseum tips off at 7pm, with our air time set for 6:30 on 94.7FM in Troy, 560AM in Dothan, and online at
Because of the basketball trip, I won't be able to post the audio from the football press conference until Tuesday, so I'll pass that along and preview Tuesday night's Trojan Talk then. Go Trojans!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Overlap has begun

1:00 PM, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2010

To paraphrase my second-favorite sportscaster named McKnight ("Dodgeball"'s play-by-play man Cotton McKnight, no relation), " It's time to separate the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys!" At least from the sportscaster perspective. Tonight starts the most challenging part of the Troy calendar for me: the "overlap". Troy basketball opens tonight at home against the Huntingdon Hawks at Sartain Hall at 7PM (air time 6:30 on 94.7FM in Troy, 560AM in Dothan, and online at, then Homecoming football Saturday at 2:30 at Veterans Memorial Stadium featuring the Troy Trojans and the (no longer "Golden") Panthers of FIU. Air time for that one is at 12:30 on the full Troy Sports Network and online at as well.
Then, Sunday to prepare for Troy @ Alabama basketball Monday night in Tuscaloosa, after the Troy football press conference in Troy Monday afternoon....