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Duuuude tackles Bruuuuce and others

MORGANTOWN - The ridiculous facts I can recall are so random and obscure that they serve me absolutely no purpose.

To wit:

  • Lost in Space, the futuristic TV series from the 1960s, was set in 1997.
  • A goldfish has a memory of three seconds, which is now roughly half mine.
  • The 50 states are all listed on the back of the $5 bill. West Virginia is on the top row of the Lincoln Memorial, between Kansas and Nevada.
  • There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
  • When full - or even mostly full - Mountaineer Field (60,000) holds more people than any city in West Virginia (Charleston is at 51,400 according to the 2010 census).
  • And the average life of a bottle of shampoo in my shower is roughly 15 months, which says far more about my few remaining follicles than my cleanliness habits.
  • Still, believe it or not, there are things I do not know. Lots of them. For those trickier questions I have The Answer Dude, who is always open for business:

    Dear Dude,

    To quote The Coasters, why's everybody always pickin' on me? Bruce Irvin says he was never taught how to pass rush? Really?

    B. Kirelawich,

    Tucson, Ariz.

    Dear Bill,

    Well, for starters, you've got to admit some guilt, even if it wasn't entirely of your doing. Let's face it, that junk defense you guys relied on - and served you pretty well in the Big East - didn't exactly place a premium on rushing the passer, so it's not like Irvin left as a technically sound pass rusher after two years.

    On the other hand, to say he was never taught how to rush the passer - as Irvin has several times now - is a bit of a stretch. He didn't get all those sacks entirely on athletic ability alone. But if you're Bruce Irvin and you feel compelled to market yourself to NFL teams, that's a pretty good stance to take: "How good do you think I might be after you teach me the basics?''

    NFL teams don't use first-round picks on guys with great bodies who never have been taught anything. If they did, there would be a ton of scouts at Gold's Gym. Apparently you did enough with him that when Seattle took him at No. 15 there were a bunch of teams cursing their luck, including the four teams that drafted rush ends in the six picks immediately after Irvin.

    In other words, the guy who had never been taught anything would have been a first-rounder even if Seattle hadn't pulled the trigger. So you must have been pretty good for him.

    Dear Dud,

    Go ahead. Try to beat me now, suckers!

    G. Schiano,

    Tampa, Fla.

    Dear Greg,

    First of all, it's Dude, not Dud. But I can see how you might get the two confused after more than a decade as the latter at Rutgers.

    And second, you do know that West Virginia is not on your schedule anymore, right? Drafting Najee Goode and Keith Tandy and then signing Cody Nutter and Tyler Urban as free agents might make your Buccaneers better, but doesn't the fact that you went after far more players from West Virginia (four) than your old Scarlet Knights (one) say just a little something about the job you did in Piscataway, N.J.?

    Dear Dude,

    I'm hearing that West Virginia Wesleyan has an opening for a basketball coach and that someone related to me might have a shot at it? Any truth?

    J. Beilein

    Ann Arbor, Mich.

    Dear John,

    I do believe Patrick has expressed an interest in the job, and as far as I'm concerned Wesleyan couldn't do much better. There might be a catch, though.

    We both know that Pat's upside as a coach is fairly limitless. After serving as an assistant at Dartmouth and the basketball ops guy at Bradley the last two years, if he's not at a high major as an assistant coach within a few years we'll probably both be surprised. The trouble is, Wesleyan's kind of ticked that it's hiring its fourth coach in four years.

    First, Jeff Price replaced Bill Lilly in the spring of 2011. He won a bunch of games and went to South Alabama as an assistant. Then Winfield native Jim Boone came aboard, won a bunch more games and fled a few weeks ago to become the head coach at Delta State in Mississippi. And that has ticked off Wesleyan AD Ken Tyler, who while disparaging neither Price nor Boone has made it clear that he wants to hire the next coach for the long haul.

    Not sure Pat Beilein is that guy, given his vast potential for upward mobility. But it would be fun to see him there for however long he might stay.

    Dear Dude,

    When Bruce Irvin was introduced to the media here, he was full of funny one-liners. Had he been working on his shtick or can we expect nuggets like that to flow all the time?

    Seattle Chapter

    Pro Football Writers of America

    Dear SC-PFWA,

    Last fall, after West Virginia's season had appeared to go down the toilet with losses to middling Syracuse and Louisville within the space of 16 days, Irvin was asked how he felt.

    "Like somebody just came into my village and did it with my wife,'' he said.

    Yeah, you've got a quote machine there.

    Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.


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