Matt Oakes

Oakes’ Outlook: Fall Feasting

It’s finally writing weather again. That means blue skies, full sun and this time of year, a refreshing breeze to go with it. It’s a glorious spot on the calendar for sports enthusiasts – baseball playoffs, President’s Cup golf, the rumblings of basketball season and of course, more football to go around than turkey at Thanksgiving. So from the comforts of my back porch, soaking up the last bit of warmth 2015 has to offer (depressing, I know), I get to jotting down my thoughts on the state of the sports world. –Phil’s still got that ‘Thrill’ Last weekend...

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Oakes’ Outlook: The ACC Stakes

And they’re off! It’s a quick pace and a fast track we have here today, folks. And as they round the far turn in The Atlantic Coast Conference Stakes, it’s last year’s title-holding thoroughbred, Cavalier, who’s managed to stick his nose in front. But Lucky Irish and Sweet Caroline are dueling neck and neck just behind. Oh, and here comes Devil Duke! He’s found an inside position along the rail. Cavalier’s got one of the rising trainers in the game in Tony Bennett. Bennett consistently gets the best out of his horses and knows what it takes to topple...

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Breakin’ It Down: Duke

The Battle for the Bell showcases one of the most bitter rivalries in college athletics before a nationally-televised audience in a primetime ESPN broadcast. Wait – this one’s not on the hardwood and doesn’t involve Coach K or Roy Williams? No, sir. This game will be played on the gridiron at Wallace Wade Stadium and features David Cutcliffe and Larry Fedora stalking the sidelines. For the first time, the two football programs will write another chapter in the Tobacco Road Rivalry on a Thursday night, in a meaningful ACC Coastal division showdown. The Tar Heels are coming off a...

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The Dog Days Of Sporting Summers

It’s that dreaded time of the year for sports fans. What do we really have to hold onto in the middle of the summer? I mean, besides the beach trips, lake days, oppressive heat, outdoor concerts, cookouts and sweet tea. I’m talking sports here. Exactly – we’re usually caught in the doldrums. This year, at least, we had the World Cup to help hold off our hunger. But let’s be honest, if you are anything like me, the soccer action down in Brazil didn’t really cut it. It was like being thrown a couple potato chips when you’re ready...

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Pinehurst Opining: Snapshot Of A Saturday

They call Saturday “Moving Day” out here on the PGA Tour – a chance for guys to make their run up the leaderboard with a low score and set up a prime chance at the trophy on Sunday. But in the US Open at Pinehurst, “Moving Day” takes on a whole new meaning. Quite simply, the players head in the wrong direction. I’d rather call it “Survival Saturday.” The bogeys were more plentiful than bunkers around the grounds on this day. And that’s saying a whole lot on this sandhills classic. One player in particular, Japan’s Toru Taniguchi, was...

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