Saturday, September 21, 2013

A New FAU Era In Conference USA

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The last time the FAU Owls opened the season at home against Middle Tennessee was a day that Michigan Wolverines Football fans certainly would like to forget.

On September 1, 2007, Appalachian State stunned the Wolverines 34-32 in front of 109,208 shocked fans at The Big House.

The rematch will be August 30, 2014.

This same day, I was covering My first FAU contest against Middle Tennessee at Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium. The Owls defeated Middle Tennessee 27-14. Since that win, FAU has lost five straight games to Middle Tennessee and trail the series 7-3.

Six years later, the Owls have opened at home again against Middle Tennessee, but two major things have changed.

FAU has moved from the Sun Belt Conference to Conference USA.

Three years ago, FAU moved into it's beautiful on campus stadium that faces the Atlantic Ocean. You can see the ocean from the Sixth Floor at FAU Stadium in the Press Box.

Four teams made the switch to Conference USA. Florida International University and North Texas were the first to make their announcements. Months later, FAU and Middle Tennessee followed them.

For the last few years we've seen a lot of conference realignment. Schools like Colorado, Utah, Texas A&M, Missouri, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, West Virginia and TCU are acclimating to their new rivals. The Big Ten will add Maryland and Rutgers next season while Louisville is headed to the ACC.

How have the Owls adapted thus far?

After FAU's 42-35 overtime loss to Middle Tennessee, the Owls are 1-3 and 0-2 in the conference. The Owls have now lost six in a row to the Blue Raiders and trail the all-time series 8-3.

FAU's only victory occurred September 14, as the Owls defeated My Alma-Mater the University of South Florida Bulls 28-10 in Tampa.

It's hard to win committing five turnovers as FAU did, in addition to allowing Middle Tennessee to amass 446 yards in total offense.

It's rare to see a team compile 503 yards in total offense and lose. But that's what happened to FAU.

Wide Receiver, Daniel McKinney, a senior from Detroit was FAU's leading receiver. He had nine receptions for 82-yards and a touchdown. This was a career high for McKinney.

Sophomore QB Jaquez Johnson threw for 321 yards, three touchdowns but also had two interceptions.

When the game was over, FAU Coach Carl Pelini said despite the close loss, he's said there is no such thing as a moral victory.

"You're not going to beat a good football team like Middle Tennessee when you constantly shoot yourself in the foot," Pelini said. "I don't think we were very disciplined on the defensive side of the ball, and I think we made a lot of mistakes on the offensive side of the ball. You can't have five turnovers in college football and expect to win games. It shouldn't have come down to overtime."

Pertaining to the turnovers, Pelini added, "they're tearing at the football. You know you saw it, and we just got to be stronger. We practice ball security everyday, so it's unacceptable."

FAU returns to action on Saturday, September 28 at 7 pm as it hits the road to play in the first "Owls Bowl" visiting Rice in Houston, Texas.

There is one thing FAU didn't have to deal with that two other Florida schools had to face Saturday.

The Florida A&M Rattlers were ripped by the Ohio State Buckeyes 76-0 in Columbus.

FAU's rival Florida International University went to Kentucky and was crushed by Louisville 72-0.

After today's offensive display, I'll be curious as to see what's ahead in the coming weeks for FAU. I find it hard to watch a team score 35 points and lose.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Sports Scene

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Here is a change of pace from the norm.

I've decided to take one topic from each of the Four Major Sports and talk about it.

Lets start with the NFL. I know this is a sensitive issue, but I have no problem with Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder keeping his teams' nickname. The fan base has identified with the Redskins and it's Snyder's right to keep it. He is a businessman that's allowed by the free enterprise system in this country to turn a profit. I doubt you'll see Commissioner Roger Goodell pressure him to change the name. I'm sure they'll talk about it, but that's as far as it will go. There is a rich tradition with the Redskins name.

The only time I ever objected to Snyder trying to make a profit was when he used to charge fans money to see team practices in training camp early in his ownership. But when he saw it was a bad public relations move, Snyder backed off.

Super Bowls have been won with the Redskins name and legendary Coach Vince Lombardi also coached in the Nations Capital.

Many college universities had to change their Indian names or they risked harsh NCAA penalties such as not being able to host NCAA sanctioned events and would be subjected to fines if they didn't comply..

The Florida State Seminoles have been able to keep their name.

I can't see Robert Griffin III or Alfred Morris playing for the Washington Wheels. So no worries Washington fans, you'll be able to see important games at your stadium as long as your team is good enough to play in them.

Hosting a Super Bowl is the only exception because warm weather climates and indoor stadiums get these games.

If the Redskins have to change their name, then the Kansas City Chiefs should do the same to make sure there is no double standard. We know that won't happen.

These Indian names will stay.

In MLB, some of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their division title by doing belly flops and jumping in the outfield pool at Chase Field after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks took offense to this because they felt as though they were showed up as a sign of disrespect.

Seriously?

Really?

This was a lighthearted celebration and really a good idea.

The Diamondbacks should be complimented that they have one of the newer and nicest stadiums in baseball therefore it was utilized in a positive way.

Besides, it's nice to see a celebration out of the clubhouse and we're showcasing water and not alcohol. I will never object to anything that is creative, original and different.

In the future, the Diamondbacks should win the game instead to avoid such a celebration in their house.

In the NBA, we're starting to see a trend of former star players playing in games overseas and finishing their careers in places like China. Former Houston Rockets Guard Steve Francis played their briefly in November of 2010. For a short period, Francis had an inexpensive shoe that he was selling in China.

Allen Iverson also played overseas in the Turkish league in 2010-2011.

Now recently retired Tracy McGrady is contemplating the idea. I think this is neat because it allows the world to see some of these athletes. There has been a lot more of this in baseball as players careers that wind down go to Japan.

If a player can get paid to do what he enjoys doing, live in another culture, then more power to him. If these guys have endorsement deals, then it's another way to market them, especially since basketball shoes are huge overseas. The NBA has done an outstanding job marketing overseas especially now that they're playing exhibition games that are leading to regular season contests.

In the NHL, it's hard to believe that hockey is playing exhibition games. What will make this year much different then any other is that the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets are now in the Eastern Conference while the Winnipeg Jets are in the Western Conference.

This is a move long overdue and it will be interesting to see how both teams adapt to the physical nature of the Eastern Conference.

In a different way, I doubt they'll be much adapting to the reduced travel schedule and not changing the time zones.

But I have to admit that in a perfect world, it would be great if the Chicago Blackhawks played in the Eastern Time zone if for no other reason, all Original Six Teams would be in the same conference. However, that will never happen unless there is future expansion which somehow allows this to take place. I'm not holding my breath.

I'm glad the Red Wings will have the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens in the same division and they'll see more of the New York Rangers. Five Original Six teams in a conference is a great consolation.

Being a resident in The Sunshine State, I'm looking forward to seeing the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning face the Red Wings more often.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

MLB's Feel Good Story Lines

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

This years final two weeks in MLB's drive to the playoffs have many interesting Story Lines.

Inside those Story Lines, there are some great Manager Of The Year Candidates.

There are some perennial losing franchises that have become winners.

The 2013 season can also have a "Back To The Past" theme as certain teams which faced each other in the playoffs in the past, could very well do the same.

Lets start in the American League.

As of this moment there are four teams that are within 2.5 games of the final wild card spot. The current leaders are the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers.

On the outside looking in are the Cleveland Indians, managed by Terry Francona, the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals.

Yes, the Kansas City Royals.

Once upon a time, the Royals and the Yankees faced each other in the playoffs from 1976-78. The Royals only World Series title occurred with late former Yankees Manager Dick Howser in 1985.

After many years of frustration, the Royals have built their team through the farm system and Manager Ned Yost has done a fine job with this squad. Whether Kansas City makes the playoffs is one thing. But the Royals have also created new revenue streams as they renovated Kauffman Stadium for $250 million.

Despite being known as a small market franchise, things are looking good for Kansas City, and who knows, perhaps they will face the Yankees again in future postseasons.

For now, Royals fans are just happy that they can talk about baseball late into September and don't care who they meet in the playoffs. They just want to get there.

In Cleveland, Francona has definitely done a fine job in his first year as Indians skipper. Buck Showalter led the Baltimore Orioles to the playoffs last year and just simply wins every where he manages. Being in the toughest division in baseball makes his work even more impressive. Despite injuries and performance enhancing drugs distractions, I give the New York Yankees a lot of credit for still being in the pennant chase.

In the National League, there are only two teams to talk about.

We're in the "Back To The Past" theme.

In any other season, the Manager of The Year Candidates can come from a group consisting of Francona, Joe Girardi, whose done a masterful job dealing with adversity, and Yost, who could still be a possibility.

The two candidates who are my odds on favorite to win the award are Boston Red Sox Pilot John Farrell, who has his team in first place in the American League East. The one-time Boston Pitching Coach inherited a 69-93 squad which suffered it's first losing season since 1997 and worst since 1965. Now they're certainly the front runner to win the World Series.

The man that I believe Will Win the Manager Of The Year is Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle. In 2007, Hurdle led the Colorado Rockies to the franchises' first World Series appearance. Colorado was swept by the Red Sox 4-0.

This seasons managing job has been monumental for Hurdle as the Pirates have snapped a 20-consecutive losing seasons mark, the largest in North American professional sports history.

The Pirates likely opponent in the playoffs could be the Cincinnati Reds.

Back in the 1970's, these two rivals played in Three Rivers Stadium (Pittsburgh) and Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati). Both stadiums had artificial turf. They both had some great Hall Of Fame players. Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente and Johnny Bench were a few.

Pittsburgh won the World Series in 1971 and 1979. Cincinnati's Big Red Machine, led by former Detroit Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson, won two-straight championships in 1975-76. Now it's very possible they'll play a one-game wild card playoff to advance deeper into the tournament.

It will be neat to see how these Feel Good Story Lines turnout as well as which Manager is honored.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Historical NFL Contests

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When you watch this weeks NFL Games, there are some interesting match-ups that might require a timeline and a USA Map. There are also some interesting coaching stories.

The Tennessee Titans travel to Houston to take on the Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Titans used to be the Oilers, who played in the Astrodome across the parking lot.

My only visit to the Astrodome was when the Detroit Lions faced the Oilers and Hall of Fame Running Back Barry Sanders eclipsed the 10,000 yard rushing mark. The intriguing part of this game is the Texans debated about taking University of Texas standout QB Vince Young, but passed on him and he was drafted by the Titans.

The New Cleveland Browns visit the defending Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens in Maryland. Once upon a time the Ravens were the Cleveland Browns. But when former late Owner Art Modell saw all of Cleveland's Sports Teams get new stadiums and his was left out, in addition to the fact that the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame was built, he bolted Lake Erie for the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The Ravens have won two Super Bowls since departing Ohio and the Browns have a new stadium, but have struggled to field consistently contending teams.

When the Dallas Cowboys face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, how many people remember that these two franchises once played in the same city?

From 1960-1962, Chiefs late Owner Lamar Hunt had an American Football League team in Dallas that played at the historic Cotton Bowl. They were called the Dallas Texans. They had a Hall of Fame QB named Len Dawson and legendary Coach Hank Stram that were with the Texans and won an AFL Championship in 1962.

Stram and Dawson played a huge part in the Kansas City Chiefs lone Super Bowl Title. In 1969, the Chiefs pounded the Minnesota Vikings 23-7,  in Super Bowl IV. The announcers in this game were the late Jack Buck, late Pat Summerall  and Frank Gifford. The cost of a 30-second commercial was $78,000 and the audience had an estimated viewership of 44.3 million viewers on CBS. The Vikings entered the game as 12 point favorites. The contest was played in front of 80,562 fans at the now demolished Tulane Stadium, in New Orleans, LA.

The Miami Dolphins go to Indiana and face the Indianapolis Colts. Former Dolphins Coach Don Shula lost his first Super Bowl appearance as a head coach for the Baltimore Colts. In Super Bowl III, the New York Jets defeated the Colts 16-7 on January 12, 1969. This is the game that Jets Hall of Fame QB "Broadway" Joe Namath delivered on his Guarantee to deliver a championship to the Big Apple. Shula would eventually win a pair of Super Bowls with the Dolphins and piloted the only perfect season at 17-0 in NFL History.

Finally, the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins have never played in the Super Bowl, but have a common link to the game when they play in Wisconsin on Sunday.

Hall of Fame Coach Vince Lombardi has the Super Bowl Trophy named after him and has coached both historic franchises. He won Super Bowls I and II defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders in consecutive years.

From 1959-1967, Lombardi guided the Packers to an 89-29-4 mark. He coached one season with the Redskins and led Washington to a 7-5-2 mark. Prior to Lombardi's arrival, the Redskins had 14-straight losing seasons.

Lombardi's career record was 96-34-6 with a winning percentage of .738. In the post season he was 9-1 with a .900 winning percentage.

When you watch the game at Lambeau Field, while Aaron Rodgers and Robert Griffin III are the present and future stars, Lombardi's connection with both franchises is indeed something to remember.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.



Friday, September 6, 2013

This Weeks Headlines

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

During the past week there have been some interesting headlines on the Sports Scene.

Here are six that standout.

1. I don't put too much stock in the Boston Red Sox 20-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers Wednesday Night. Despite the fact that the Red Sox hit a club record eight home runs in the game, for Detroit, this only counts as one loss. Some of those home runs occurred on the right field line. It's called Pesky's Pole and it stands 302 feet from home plate. This is the shortest outfield distance, left or right field in Major League Baseball. These two teams could very well meet in the post season. The Red Sox are currently 85-57 while the Tigers are 81-59 so it would be to Detroit's benefit to at least win more games than Boston so they would have home field advantage at spacious Comerica Park. Detroit could get a break if Boston is eliminated before they meet.

2. I'm glad that the Pittsburgh Pirates finally secured a winning season ending their 20-year futility streak of being a sub .500 team. The Pirates, 81-58, are definitely the feel good story of the year led by the leadership of Manager Clint Hurdle. If the number had reached 21, this would have been sad because Pirates Hall Of Fame Outfielder Roberto Clemente wore it. But thankfully this never happened. For years this team made trades at the deadlines to help contenders. This season, the Pirates made trades as they get ready for their first postseason since 1992. I wish them well except if they face the Detroit Tigers.

3. It's no crime to get hammered by the Denver Broncos in the NFL Season Opener Thursday Night. When Broncos QB Peyton Manning throws for 462 yards and seven touchdowns in the Baltimore Raven's 49-27 bashing, the largest loss by a Super Bowl Champion in NFL history, just look to next week's home opener against the Cleveland Browns. Manning's seven touchdown passes tied an NFL record for most in a game. He joined Joe Kapp  (1969), Y.A. Tittle (1962), George Blanda (1961), Adrian Burk (1954), and Sid Luckman (1943). Manning became the second player in NFL history to have seven touchdown passes zero interceptions joining Tittle.

The heart of the Ravens defense Ray Lewis retired in the off season. Baltimore was playing in the high altitude of the Mile High City. Manning was carving the Ravens defense like we'd carve a pumpkin at Halloween. My Girlfriend Candy took the Ravens defense in her fantasy league. I told her that there was no need to panic because Dr. Manning was simply performing surgery as he does on all defenses. Therefore, judging Baltimore's defense now would be premature because of these circumstances. If the Ravens defense falters in future weeks, then consider making a change.

4. Florida Atlantic University (FAU) loses the first of their four-game series against the Miami Hurricanes on Friday August 30, 2013 at Joe Robbie Stadium 34-6. FAU used three QB's in their new Spread Offense. I will be curious to see how many games it takes for Owls Coach Carl Pelini to find his starter. On Thursday Night, FAU dropped to 0-2 by losing on the road to East Carolina 31-13. Next for FAU, a trip to Tampa to face My Alma-Mater the University of South Florida Bulls on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

5. Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers Coach Bobby Petrino made an impressive debut on Saturday August 31, 2013 playing in Nashville, Tenn. A crowd of 47,623 fans at the Tennessee Titans home LP Field with plenty of WKU fans in attendance, saw the Hilltoppers defeat in-state rival the Kentucky Wildcats for the second straight year. This time the score was 35-26. Western Kentucky out gained Kentucky 487-419 in total offense and held the ball for 35 minutes. Western Kentucky's Football Stadium has a capacity of 22,000. This turned out to be a good financial move to play the game in Nashville.

In his career, Petrino is undefeated in season openers, improving to 9-0. When he's had more than a week to prepare for an opponent, he's 28-8 in such games. The former Louisville coach is now 5-1 against Kentucky. His lone loss occurred when he was the head coach at Arkansas.

Petrino, 52, was fired from Arkansas in April of 2012 for misleading school officials about a motorcycle accident that revealed his mistress was a passenger and employed by the coach.

His overall college record is 76-26 and is 4-3 in Bowls. Petrino landed the Western Kentucky job when coach Willie Taggart was hired by USF.

We'll see if Bobby is smart enough to not blow this opportunity.

Petrino's team gets another SEC opponent this time as they travel to Knoxville and face the Tennessee Volunteers in front of 100,000 plus fans on Saturday.

If he wins this game, he could be elected Mayor of Bowling Green, KY.

6. As we approach September 11 this week and remember the tragedy that changed all of our lives, I commend the Arizona State Sun Devils for honoring a legendary alumnus. At Sun Devil Stadium, Tillman Tunnel welcomes the Sun Devils. The Tunnel has received a recent makeover complete with inspirational signage a PT-42 "The Heart Of A Champion" logo and a photo veil of Tillman.

Eight months after the September 11 attacks, Pat Tillman turned down a $3.6 million contract offer from the Arizona Cardinals  to enlist in the U.S. Army. He became a Ranger but was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan in 2004.

The Sun Devils celebrated the events Thursday night blowing out Sacramento State 55-0.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

NFL Cut Down Day On College Football Opening Weekend

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

What was more entertaining Saturday?

Watching the scores of Major Routs in college football or the NFL Cuts pertaining to former big name collegiate quarterbacks?

I'll let you be the judge of that.

Here is a list of the routs and then I'll talk about the quarterbacks.

1. Ohio State manhandles Buffalo 40-20.
2. Oregon blasted Nicholls State 66-3.
3. Texas A&M routs Rice 52-31.
4. Notre Dame trounces Temple 28-6.
5. Oklahoma crushes LA-Monroe 34-0.
6. Wisconsin massacres Massachusetts 45-0.
7. UCLA pounds Nevada 58-20.
8. Washington waxes Boise State 38-6.
9. Michigan clobbers Central Michigan 59-9.
10. Texas tramples New Mexico State 56-7.
11. Florida drills Toledo 24-6.
12. Alabama mauls Virginia Tech 35-10.

Just because you've won a National Championship or are a former Heisman Trophy Winner doesn't mean you'll be a great quarterback. There were other big name quarterbacks that also got pink slips on Saturday.

Some have found new jobs either on the active roster or on the practice squad. Some teams have opted to keep just two signal callers and figure that these quarterbacks will be available if there is a major injury.

1. Tim Tebow, 26, won a National Championship and a Heisman Trophy. He is now a free agent after the New England Patriots released him. I see an outside shot that he returns to New England if there is an injury. His only hope is Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels.


2. Rusty Smith, who is pictured, is the best QB in FAU History. He was cut by the Tennessee Titans but was re-signed and will be on the team's practice squad.

3. Vince Young was released by Green Bay and is a free agent. Once a National Championship QB for the Texas Longhorns now that's a distant memory as he struggles to find a home in the pros after being released by the Tennessee Titans in 2010.

4. Matt Leinart won a National Championship and a Heisman Trophy with the USC Trojans. He is a free agent and was recently cut by the Buffalo Bills.

5. Jimmy Clausen was a heralded signal caller at Notre Dame and was expected to be a starter for the Carolina Panthers. That was before Cam Newton arrived in Charlotte. Now he's available to all 32 teams.

6. Greg McElroy won a National Championship at Alabama. He leaped ahead of Tebow on the depth chart to start a couple games last season. His criticism of the Jets locker room and conflicts with Coach Rex Ryan along with an ankle injury has him looking for work.

7. Jordan Palmer is the younger brother of Carson Palmer. He was cut Saturday by the Chicago Bears and I'll be curious to see where he lands. His brother Carson plays for the Arizona Cardinals.

8. Trent Edwards was also cut by the Chicago Bears Saturday. Since his departure from the Buffalo Bills in 2010, he's been with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2010), Oakland Raiders (2011), Philadelphia Eagles (2012) and the Bears. With the Bills lacking an experienced backup signal caller, I'm surprised that they don't call him. He could make a phone call to his former Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh. Age 29 isn't too old to land a spot.

9. Dennis Dixon signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on February 14, 2013 to be reunited with his collegiate Offensive Coordinator Chip Kelly. Despite the Oregon connection, Dixon didn't make the Eagles final roster and is a free agent.

10. Brady Quinn had a fine career at Notre Dame but he's bounced around the NFL. When Seattle released him on August 31, the New York Jets wasted no time adding him to their roster as a back-up to rookie Geno Smith, when they inked him on September 2, 2012. New York released Graham Harrell on September 2, 2013 after signing with the Jets on August 28, 2013. No time for Harrell, the former Texas Tech standout, to get a cup of coffee and bagel in Manhattan.

11. David Carr was the No.1 pick for the first-year Houston Texans in 2002 and was the first player ever selected by the franchise. He collected a Super Bowl Ring as the backup signal caller behind Eli Manning with the New York Giants. At age 34, I have a feeling that he'll get another job if an injury occurs. Right now, he's just a victim of the two QB's numbers game.

12. Seneca Wallace deserves frequent flyer miles this year. After Seattle Coach Mike Holmgren drafted him as a fourth round draft choice out of Iowa State in 2003, he's had an interesting journey to his current spot. He followed Holmgren to Cleveland in 2010 and stayed until 2012. In 2013, Wallace has been with the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49'ers this off-season. On September 2, 2013, he signed with the Green Bay Packers to backup Aaron Rodgers. There is no doubt that the Packers figure to use his knowledge in their opener against the 49'ers.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mission Accomplished!!!

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When I approached former Deerfield Beach Observer Editor Ric Green about the possibility of joining his staff in 2007, I couldn't have been happier that he created the FAU Football beat. 
Being reunited with Howard Schnellenberger, the former Miami Hurricanes football coach who led UM to the National Championship in 1983; now watching him build this program from scratch was special.

While I enjoyed our time during the championship season, this was a different feeling.

Despite the early stages of back problems that led to surgery two years later, I enjoyed that first training camp and watching practices in the sweltering South Florida heat. Thanks to physical therapy, I held up fine that season.

It was neat when Public Relations Assistant Dawn Elston reunited me with Schnellenberger again after 25 years at the conclusion of that first practice.

Things worked out well that season and Green awarded me by allowing us to expand the coverage into all sports.

I enjoyed the associations with former Baseball Coach Kevin Cooney and current Basketball Coach Mike Jarvis.

I also enjoyed the Christmas Party at the end of the year and the editorial staff did an outstanding editing job on the stories.

Green usually had me write as many as five stories a month, but a minimum of four. During the latter part of his tenure, due to declining advertising, it dropped to three. Green resigned from the Observer and became the CEO of the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce.

His successor David Volz did a good job continuing covering FAU Sports. Once Volz was removed as Editor, he was replaced by Diane Emeott-Korzen.

During the past couple years, it's no secret that advertising in print media has declined drastically. The Observer has been around for 50 years which is rare especially for a weekly publication. Many newspapers have gone out of business or have merged with their competitors. 

Emeott-Korzen was limited financially as my contribution maxed out at two stories but the majority of the time was limited to one.

Gone are those full page previews with three stories and a couple photos that I took at training camp at the end of August.

On August 29, 2013, this years Observer Sports Section was limited to a few youth sports stories and the paper was 20 pages.

This will be a different football season for me. It will be my first without FAU Football as a writer for the Deerfield Beach Observer.

Due to their declining advertising and decision to cover their local teams, there was no reason to have a writer assigned to a major university in their backyard. It would be easier to publish press releases, use the FAU website or hire an intern and pay nothing, therefore eliminating concerns that payroll would be met on time.

When I began covering FAU, I had the following goals:

1. Stay on until Howard Schnellenberger retired.
2. Cover the first game at the New FAU Stadium.
3. Watch FAU compete in its first bowl game. I saw their first two and the Owls won the New Orleans and Motor City Bowls.
4. Seeing QB Rusty Smith become the first FAU player drafted by the Tennessee Titans.
5. Being at their last game in the Sun Belt Conference as they are now a member of Conference USA.
6. Former FAU running back Alfred Morris rushed for 1,613 yards in his rookie season of 2012 and was named Second-team All Pro.

Mission Accomplished!!!

Towards the end, FAU Football was limited to monthly updates. 

Gone were the weekly conference calls as space size declined and I wasn't contacted anymore. 

Those conference calls were great as Schnellenberger would open up to myself, Marcus Nelson, Ted Hutton and Tom Ryan about the good, bad and the ugly. We learned a lot about the team, and a lot about football. 

When Carl Pelini took over as football coach, media access after Schnellenberger's departure was tremendously reduced.

While my tenure of covering FAU Sports is over with the Deerfield Beach Observer, This Website and the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association (DSBA) will provide this upstart university with some National Exposure.

My projected FAU slate is 2-3 games and I'll be watching closely as to how well the university competes in their new conference.

I still look forward to working with Katrina McCormack and Justin Johnson.

Last year, I didn't see Hutton at Football games as he went to Nursing School. Ted saw the newspaper business declining as he left the South Florida Sun Sentinel to find a new career.

I once told Green that when things aren't fun anymore, it's time to stop doing them. It was fun working with former FAU President Frank T Borgan, former FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos and Arkansas State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir.

Ironically, Angelos landed a job at My alma-mater the University of South Florida. I have a feeling that our paths will cross again. 

It was fun while it lasted and a new chapter begins.

Mission Accomplished!!!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com. 

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