Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Final Football Edition of Trojan Talk Tonight

BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

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 troytrojans.com. 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: adgramley@troy.edu

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

BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

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 troytrojans.com.
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 troytrojans.com 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 troytrojans.com, again!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Monday, so this must be San Antonio

3:30 PM, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2010
BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

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 troytrojans.com. 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 TroyTrojans.com after the game; and for live updates, links are available on TroyTrojans.com to watch and listen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Troy-South Carolina sports conversation

BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

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 sportsradio740.com!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Big show planned again for Trojan Talk tonight

BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

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 troytrojans.com. 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

BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

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 troytrojans.com.
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
BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

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 troytrojans.com), 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 troytrojans.com as well.
Then, Sunday to prepare for Troy @ Alabama basketball Monday night in Tuscaloosa, after the Troy football press conference in Troy Monday afternoon....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In The Zone

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Travis Jarome (email)

First of all before I get into the trip, I would like to wish a Happy Veterans Day to those who have served and currently serve that have given us the luxuries and the freedom we cherish. I would also like to give a special thank you to my father and father-in-law, who have both served - serving in Vietnam - for their service.

It's that time of year again and the women's basketball team has made its arrival in North Carolina for the season opener. The trip went alot smoother than some trips have gone in the past, easy ride to Atlanta and a very short flight to Raleigh/Durham. If you ever wanted to get the feel of basketball, this is the place to be - Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill just down the interstate - while we are just a bit north in Elon.

We are staying in Burlington this weekend, and the trivia question of the day is what member of the Troy Athletic team went to school here? The answer ... drum roll please, Barry McKnight - and did not know that until this past Monday afternoon.

The Trojans will head off to practice here shortly at Elon and later today, we will take a look at some things that are not in the game notes that pertain to the game between Troy and Stony Brook on Friday afternoon. We will also try and get some quotes from players and coaches, as well as video.

The game will be broadcast on Friday, and you can find all the information you would like on the game by clicking here.

Until then, stay safe and Go Trojans!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Homecoming edition of Trojan Talk tonight

12:40 PM, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2010
BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

The weekly gathering of the Trojan Nation at Santa Fe Cattle Company is tonight! We'll light the candle to "Trojan Talk with Coach Larry Blakeney" at 7pm this evening, with your calls taking the large portion of the hour-long fiesta. Coach is always extremely good and forthright with callers' questions and comments, and he and I will break down Troy's road win at North Texas last Saturday and preview the big Homecoming matchup (with first place in the Sun Belt on the line) at Veterans Memorial Stadium this Saturday between Troy and FIU. The toll-free call-in number is 1-866-736-5889, and we'll have another drawing for an authentic game-worn Troy jersey and dinner for two at Santa Fe! The list of radio afiliates is here, and the online listening source is here!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Homecoming Week Press Conference Day

8:47 PM, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2010
BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

The media throng descended upon the Courtyard by Marriott to get a final take on the Trojans' win at North Texas and a preview of the Homecoming matchup against FIU this Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The audio came from, first and foremost, head coach Larry Blakeney, as well as wide receiver and Sun Belt all-time all-purpose yardage leader Jerrel Jernigan, quarterback Corey Robinson, and defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi.

This week is also the start of the "overlap", when the football season runs into basketball season and means a very busy time for your local broadcaster. This week: Trojan Talk on Tuesday at Santa Fe Cattle Company, the basketball season opener at Sartain Hall Friday versus Huntingdon, football Saturday against FIU, and, next Monday, another football press conference followed by a mad dash to Tuscaloosa for basketball against Alabama. We'll continue to blog with as many updates, audio, links, and broadcast information as we can before, during, and after!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Going to the Big "D" and I do mean Dunbar

8:00AM, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2010 BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

A sm
ooth flight into the Fort Worth Airport on Friday from the Dothan Regional Airport, and now I'm blogging from the sumptuous accommodations of the DFW Airport Marriott, where the team bunked last night in preparation for tonight's matchup against North Texas in Denton. A big group of us at at the Trail Dust Steakhouse in Arlington (right next to Rangers Ballpark), then a smaller group of us took off for Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas to soak in some history about the Kennedy assassination. Jerry Miller, Chris Blackshear, Ryan Hayden, Taylor Bryan, Alyson Gramley, and I took in the Grassy Knoll, the Texas School Book Depository, and the on-site memorial. Powerful stuff!

On to North Texas today to, hopefully, start a new long Sun Belt winning streak again against the Mean
Green. North Texas is known as the alma mater of former Eagles drummer Don Henley (left), but is more recently (and problematically for the Trojans) as the home of UNT running back Lance Dunbar, who Coach Blakeney thinks is one of the top 10 backs in the nation. I'd look for the Troy offense, led by a resurgent QB Corey Robinson (remember Levi threw for 469 against these guys last year) to get back to Troy standards, but the defense and their work against Dunbar may be the telling factor in the game for the Trojans!

There is no live television coverage planned for tonight's game, so you either need a radio, computer, or ticket to follow the action. We'll have the radio broadcast beginning at 4pm, on the radio conglomerate of the Troy Sports Network, or online at troytrojans.com. Kickoff is at 6pm, and we'll fly back to Dothan right after the game!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trojan Talk Tuesday

11:11 AM, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2010
BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

Make a note! "Call Coach Blakeney on Trojan Talk tonight at 866-736-5889 at 7pm". We've had great response from callers and fans attending Trojan Talk every Tuesday at Santa Fe Cattle Company in Troy, and I thoroughly appreciate it, and I know coach does as well! We'll be on from 7pm-8pm and have a lot to cover, from last Saturday's loss at ULM to what promises to be a real challenge this Saturday night at North Texas. Coach and I have a lot of conversations about a lot of things, but the show is always great when there are a lot of the Trojan Nation having the conversations with him! Again, we'll have several giveaways --including an authentic Troy jersey and free Santa Fe meals-- and great food, so make it out there if you're in the neighborhood, or join us on the phone at 1-866-736-5889. We have a new Facebook page, in case you want to post questions or comments there, and you can try to Tweet me as well to get in with us! The list of fine radio stations that carry the show is here, and you can listen online here, as well!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Minor Setback to a Major Comeback

2:10PM, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2010
BARRY MCKNIGHT (b_mcknight@yahoo.com)

It wasn't easy at Monday's Troy football press conference to remember any of the questions the media asked the last time the Trojans lost a conference game, partially because it had been two calendar years since there had been a post-SBC-loss press conference and partially because it seemed that Troy had already moved past the ULM loss and was already focusing on a road game at North Texas this week. In listening to Coach Larry Blakeney (who may have channeled his inner William Wallace this week) and his (Scottish) Trojans, the loss certainly stung, but they can't linger on it too long or else a loss becomes a losing streak. WSFA-12 Sports reporter Derek Steyer out of Montgomery told sophomore defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi that "he's the most positive guy he knows" after Jonathan called last weekend "a minor setback to a major comeback". You can hear his comments here. As always, we have audio comments from Blakeney, plus WR Jerrel Jernigan, QB Corey Robinson, LB Xavier Lamb, and freshman WR Jamel Johnson. Enjoy!

We'll have information in the morning about Tuesday's Trojan Talk. We also have a new Facebook page for information about broadcast times, links, audio, features, etc., since we've changed our name to the Troy Sports Network; our new Facebook page is here, and my Twitter page remains the same.