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I am so starved for football-related entertainment here -- and there is only so much Chengdu v. Dalian women's volleyball one can tolerate, not to mention Asian snooker tourneys broadcast live from the Philippines -- that I am considering staying up for the wee-hours China time webcast of Saturday's exciting University of Redlands v St. John's University playoff game in the NCAA Div III football championships.

St. John's, a school in Minnesota that I know and like, is unusual in (a) having an on-site Benedictine monastery, and (b) having been in its heyday the crushing titan of small-college ball. Their coach, John Gagliardi, has now passed Eddie Robinson of Grambling to be the winningest college coach ever. Through the decades they have been repeat national champions and have reached the national playoffs 22 times. Etc. Plus (c) lots of other ways.

Redlands, a school in southern California that I know, like, and am on the board of trustees for, is unusual in (a) its overall charm and (b) having been in its heyday the crushing titan of small college tennis. My Redlands High School classmate (and co-member of the RHS tennis team, he #1 and me in the cellar) Doug Verdieck went to the University of Redlands and was the national small-college single's champion four straight years. His father, the U of R coach Jim Verdieck, won the national championship nine times in ten years and was the John Wooden of college tennis coaches. Plus (c) lots of other ways.

Inconveniently for Redlands, they're playing football this time, and St. John's is the higher seed. Also, the defending champion and big power this year appears to be Mount Union College, of Alliance, Ohio. But anything can happen. If you'd like to hear the game from the Johnnies' perspective, their webcast is here. I'm assuming I can hear it from the Bulldogs' side, here. Go team.

Update: I didn't stay up, but I did wake up in the middle of the night and thought, Why not check out this web cast? I listened long enough to hear, "What is killing the Bulldogs today is the turnovers, plus their inability to stop the passing game..." and I thought I had heard enough. Final score: St. John's Johnnies 41, University of Redlands Bulldogs 13. Good luck to the Johnnies in the next round, against the winner of Central (Iowa) v Olivet.

Also: not such a good day for Bulldogs of any type on the gridiron yesterday. Go Crimson.

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