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Chuck Landon: Marshall fans have options in pro football

Jun. 15, 2013 @ 12:21 AM

Pardon me for asking, but. ...

Besides personal allegiance, which teams should Marshall's fans cheer for in the NFL?

New England leaps to mind, of course. Former Marshall star wide receiver Troy Brown was a mainstay for the Patriots for years. Then, another former Herd great, Randy Moss, starred in New England.

Now, Marshall's Aaron Dobson is continuing the trend as a highly regarded rookie wide receiver, who was the Patriots' second-round draft choice in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Then, of course, there are the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Their roster includes former Marshall standouts Albert McClellan at linebacker and Omar Brown, safety.

Otherwise, there was a sprinkling of former Herd players throughout the league during the 2012-13 season. Defensive end Vinny Curry is in Philadelphia; safety C.J. Spillman, San Francisco; offensive tackle Daniel Baldridge, Tennessee; and defensive tackle Johnny Jones, Oakland.

Then, suddenly, two new NFL franchises have leaped into the hearts of Marshall's fans. The Colts signed former Herd star running back Ahmad Bradshaw this week and he will join ex-MU standout linebacker Mario Harvey in Indianapolis.

But the new leader as far as Marshall is concerned?

Say hello to the Buffalo Bills.

The new-look Bills already had former Marshall tight end Lee Smith on their roster. But, now, Buffalo has added ex-Herd star center Doug Legursky, who will contend for a starting offensive guard job. And don't forget that Greg Adkins, former Marshall standout offensive lineman and assistant coach, is the Bills' new tight ends coach.

Besides their Marshall heritage, Adkins and Legursky also are West Virginia natives, hailing from Nitro and Beckley respectively.

So, that definitely puts the Bills in the lead, which is poetic justice, actually. Think about it. The Thundering Herd and the Buffalo Bills. ... they just go together.

Did everybody hear about Marshall's football team making a two-mile run from campus to the crash memorial for a special service on Friday morning?

Several of the new players and new assistant coaches were very moved emotionally by the experience. They openly talked about how football at Marshall is more than just about the players and the coaches. It is much bigger than that. It's about the community.

Let's hope that sentiment is remembered when preseason camp begins in August. If Marshall football and its rise from the ashes really is about the community, then all the practices and scrimmages should be open for this special community to attend.

Since a full year has passed since WVU joined the Big 12, isn't it time to assess the move?

SI.com thought so. That's why the on-line arm of Sports Illustrated magazine graded the move, giving WVU a "C."

"The Mountaineers get credit for getting out of the Big East, but they've put themselves in a tough situation," wrote SI.com's Andy Staples. "That became evident last year when the football team went to Austin and won a shootout against Texas and turned around the following week and traveled to Lubbock, where it was promptly destroyed by Texas Tech. A six-game losing streak to end the men's basketball regular season included a four-day stretch that featured trips to Lawrence and Norman. With no East Coast travel partner, the Mountaineers appear awfully isolated."

Ah, the sporting life. ...

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2827 or clandon@herald-dispatch.com.



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