As I wrote three weeks ago, the main difficulty with the Coatesville basketball team is inconsistency. Last week was living proof. After the best week of the season with wins over Downingtown West and Oxford, all the wheels fell of the wagon.The Raiders played their absolute worst game of the season against Henderson when turnovers outnumbered field goals. Nothing went right including foul shooting and rebounding. Also, Henderson seems to be hitting their peak after the holidays.

The Avon Grove game was a very winnable contest and could have been won in regulation. Coach Nelms came up with an excellent play with seconds left, but two very makeable shots were missed so the game went to overtime and Avon Grove won by three. Rules don't allow the coach to shoot ... unfortunately.

Victor Ford played the best game of his career, 31 points, but sadly in a losing effort. The second half of league play begins this week and the Raiders must regroup. The Ches-Mont is still wide open, but some tough games are away this half.

The PIAA has to do something about the length of the football season. Dec. 15 is MUCH too late for state championships.

Too many teams qualify for playoffs under the current setup. Sixteen teams from District One is overkill. The regular season has to count for something. The real fiasco is in District Seven, the WPIAL. There are 23 quad A teams in the District and 16 make the playoffs. Outrageous!

Speaking of scheduling, are you aware that the basketball season ends on Jan. 31? This is the earliest I can ever remember.

I understand that the PIAA wants the state championships over the week before Easter, which is VERY early this year, March 23.

Some smaller schools which rely heavily on football players for the basketball season will suffer because of the late football playoffs.

Michigan football fans are excited that new coach, Rich Rodriguez, will bring his spread offense to the Big Ten. My question is, does he have spread offense material? He needs quarterback Terrell Pryor from Jeannette, Pa., as a basis for his system.

Just as I predicted: Eli Manning is moving on in the NFL playoffs and brother Peyton is going home. Okay, so I didn't predict that and no one else did either. Well, maybe Pat DiDavide, my barber did. He's a Giant fanatic.

I'm afraid that the banged-up Chargers will be cannon fodder for the Patriots. Tom Brady has made a real believer where I'm concerned. He's all that. The Giants travel to the frozen tundra of Green Bay where anything can happen and weather can be a great equalizer.

Villanova's national ranking will probably disappear this week and justifiably so. The Wildcats are weak inside and need the return of big man, Drummond, out with a foot injury. They may win some home games but are in serious trouble on the road against Georgetown, Connecticut, Pitt and Louisville. Guards can only take you so far.

Sports Quotes of the Week: Jay Leno: "Kobe says he's staying with the Lakers out of loyalty. I certainly hope so. The last time he wasn't loyal to someone cost him four million bucks in jewelry."

Mitch Albom of ESPN: "College football coaches are constantly changing schools and breaking contracts in the process. Their reward is more money. When a college athlete transfers, he is penalized by sitting out a year. Justify that." Amen, brother.

P.S. The great thoroughbred, Man o'War, lost only one race in his entire career. The horse that beat him was named UPSET! From that time on, anytime a favorite was defeated by an underdog, it was an upset. Honest.

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