Duke came into the ACC championship game with fewer negative-yardage plays than any team in the ACC, at 3.83 per game. Its very first play resulted in a one-yard loss on a run by Josh Snead. ... The rest of the game was more of the same.
My hands are snug and tucked and tight, and when there is noise beyond, my palm grips hold of my bow and the cold air tightens and I feel the exposure and am reminded of the cold.
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I could have driven along these woods. I could have used the off-road vehicle and navigated this path. Yet, it felt appropriate to walk. It felt authentic to step over sticks. There was something natural about my gait and the melodic repetition of my feet in the soft mud.
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Virginia has won 33 times to Duke’s 31 in the all-time series that dates back to 1890. But Duke has won four of the last five with coach David Cutcliffe on its sideline, including a resounding 42-17 triumph at Wallace Wade Stadium one year ago this month.
The naked light bulb is silently persuaded by what remains of an overnight wind. He stands by the screen door, and his left hand lingers along the switch panel. It is 5:30 a.m., and he is up and dressed as one cup of coffee is being followed by a second on the last Saturday of the summer. His knees are one season older, and his eyesight is another sunrise weaker.
Duke will make history Saturday (12:30 p.m., WRAL TV) when it hosts Pittsburgh as a fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member for the first time. It’s not the first time the teams have made history in what is now Wallace Wade Stadium.
We had walked through the knee-high grass toward the stretching moon with darkness chasing us. Instead of leading this subtle charge up the hill, which rises from west to east, I was following. In front of me and below me was a properly fearless 7-year old whose hands I know well. His eyes are stoic and absorbing, and his lips are pursed just so.
One of these days, I’m going to follow the rainwater that falls on the hill and crawls to the stream below. I will follow this water through the tall grass and puddles of mud. The stream will become wider, I suppose, and tickle its way into a river. I’ll marvel at the scenery nearby. There will be birds in trees and game upon the banks.
It is about time. It is about wanting more time, not wasting any time and wondering how time goes by. Again, another passage of summer has occurred. Oh, what of these 13 years of writing of the passage of summer. And what of these years living the passages of summer from childhood to adulthood.
It has been the summer to be cleansed. The rain has washed us, encouraged growth, swollen creeks, muddied paths and made rivers rage. As an angler and someone who gains spirit and purpose from my steps outdoors, the weather serves as a catalyst to how purpose and spirit evolve.