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Wednesday Items: Philip Is Ready To Go In SD

-- Here's a good article from the Denver Post on Philip Rivers:

"The thing is, people outside don't see us in the locker room," Rivers said. "They don't see us in the meetings. They don't see us in the offseason throwing. All they see are Sunday afternoons out there on the field. I haven't been out there, so to them it feels like, 'Oh, this is a brand-new guy coming into the game.' It doesn't feel that way to me because, as a quarterback, you have to be one of the leaders on the team.

"I took pride in it, put a lot of time into it. That's the thing about the past couple of years. I felt like I was a leader even as a backup. I had to take a little back-seat role, but I was able to lay the foundation so that if I ever did get the opportunity, this is how it was going to go. Guys knew my personality. They knew what type of guy I was. It wasn't going to be, 'OK, who are you again?"'

It's easy to see why Rivers already has a lot of support from his teammates.

-- Players want the world to know the real Amato:

Some observers describe the seventh-year coach as disingenuous, and that his demeanor and look - from large bracelets, flashy watches and the Corvettes he drives - for an almost-60-year-old man make him an easy target for disenchanted fans and an overzealous media.

[AJ] Davis said his coach is just comfortable in his own skin. But that's only one small feature of a man most people know precious little about.

For a change, this is positive press for Amato. AJ Davis paints a rosy picture.

-- There will be plenty of ASU fans in Raleigh on September 2nd, as the Mountaineers have sold-out their ticket allotment. It's like they think they can win the game or something.

-- Brian, esteemed founder of the BlogPoll and one of the best college sports bloggers on these here Internets, played in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker this week, and survived day one only to bust out in painful fashion:

[Annie] Duke had had that reminder only moments earlier, when a young Michigan player, Brian Cook, crashed from Duke's table. Cook, who had earlier admitted to being "a little intimidated" by Duke when his own smallish starting stack grew large enough to allow for more creative play, lost his last $25,000 when his pocket aces were cracked by another player who called his pre-flop raise with 10-7, then put Cook all-in after a K-7-7 flop. This came only moments after Cook had lost a sizeable hand with pocket kings in a similar manner.

As Cook rushed off in frustration after his two-out ace failed to appear, the other players discussed his back-to-back, tough-luck hands. And as Duke offered, in the wake of Cook's departure, "He did nothing wrong."

Ugh. As angry as I sometimes get when I'm bad-beated out of a small stakes online tournament, I can't imagine how much worse it must feel at the WSOP.

By the way, if you're interested in reading more about the tournament, the PokerStars Blog is doing a fabulous job covering the event.