Sunny side? It's hard to find happy news

When my husband learned the Washington Redskins traded away both Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth, he was elated. “It’s a new day for the Redskins,” he exclaimed.

"I wouldn’t count on it," was my sage reply. My answer was the same regarding Tiger’s impending comeback, the chance Chad Ochocinco will keep his mouth shut now that he’s a Patriot, and the likelihood that Tiki Barber will ever again be considered a good guy.

Maybe it’s the unceremonious resolution of the NFL’s overly dramatic lockout that makes me so pessimistic. It might be that HBO aired Derek Jeter 3K a mere 20 days after Jeter’s 3,000th hit, or perhaps it's Junior’s uncharacteristic melancholy that’s contagious. Whatever the reason, this Pollyanna is feeling a bit jaded. Maybe I need to dig deeper.

Is the fact that UVA still doesn’t have a quarterback as worrisome as it seems? Turning any of the four candidates into starters will be a true test of Mike London’s and Bill Lazor’s coaching abilities, and that might be a good thing. If London and Lazor can transform inexperience into ability, they will have proven their worth and will surely make Virginia attractive to future recruits.

But one wonders how the rest of the team will fare, given that quarterbacks need so much attention. London and Lazor will undoubtedly rely heavily on cornerback Chase Minnifield to lead the team, but Minnifield already has a job, and it’s not babysitting. Hmmm. Trying to put a positive spin this season’s prospects isn’t really working. Let’s look elsewhere.

Around the ACC (and almost everywhere else, for that matter), there isn’t much love for Duke outside Durham, so news that Coach K may have violated recruiting rules was likely cause for celebration around the NCAA. Despite any benefits that may mean for the rest of the ACC, I can’t take pleasure in Coach K’s troubles.

No matter how one feels about Duke’s seemingly unassailable dominance, Krzyzewski has always been a pillar of integrity, refusing to take “one and dones,” making sure his players are academically eligible, and remaining loyal to his program despite obscene offers from the NBA. Krzyzewski is the kind of coach every college team wants, but few ever get. To gloat over his mistakes would be unseemly. So we must move on.

UNC’s firing of coach Butch Davis, and athletic director Dick Baddour’s resignation must be good news, right? It would be– if the school acknowledged either man’s culpability in the brouhaha surrounding Carolina’s football program.

As it is, Chancellor Holden Thorp is just trying to clean house without admitting any wrongdoing. The Chancellor still maintains that he doesn’t believe Davis knew about the program’s internal rot, even though he “reached the conclusion that ... the athletics program will need to pay whatever it is we need to pay to make the separation happen.” And his unquestioning acceptance of Baddour’s resignation is more evidence of Thorp’s plan to minimize the University’s responsibility. Good news? Not exactly.

But hope springs eternal. Peyton Manning brought a little sunshine, even in the midst of all the NFL’s drama. When Colts’ owner Jim Irsay approached the quarterback with an offer to make him the highest-paid player in the NFL, Manning dismissed it, saying he would rather the money go to improving the team overall. Manning knew his new contract wouldn’t leave him in the poorhouse, but it was still refreshing for a superstar to take such a stand. Or does the $90 million for which Manning eventually signed dim the sunshine just a little?

Do any readers have some rose-colored glasses they can spare?
Juanita lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son, and many dogs.