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ESPN helps to discover the Great Outdoors

Dear readers, there are a multitude of sports stories out there that deserve our thorough consideration. One of the greatest home-run hitters of all time, Mark McGwire, is retiring. The Titans lost another heartbreaker to the Ravens after coming up a yard short again. College athletes are being suspended left and right. The stories go on and on and on ...

But that, dear readers, is why God invented SportsCenter. I, on the other hand, would like to bring your attention to the real sports news that you have been missing. I would like to open your eyes to the wondrous world of stories waiting for you in ESPN.com's "Outdoors" section.

I, too, was shocked at the myriad of stories available on this indispensable site. For example, did you know that our very own rival, Virginia Tech, was ranked ahead of Virginia in the list of top colleges for deer hunting?

In fact, Virginia Tech was rated one of the top-five schools in the nation for deer hunting opportunities, hunting locations and target shooting programs. Tech even sponsors controlled hunts on its Kentland Farm area. I'm not sure if this category falls under the ratings system for the Sears Cup, but we need to step up our own hunting programs for fear of the Hokies diminishing our nationally renowned excellence in sports.

For those of you who, like myself, are fans of Animal Planet, you will be disappointed that some of these stories slipped by your ever-wandering eyes.

On Monday, in Illinois, a man was forced to escape through a window in his office after a deer walked in and began charging him. The man, thinking quickly, used a chair to keep the deer at bay before trapping the animal in his office and exiting through the window.

You also might have missed this gem of a headline from this most amazing of sites - "Bear enjoys hot tub until foiled by bad melon." Seriously, can you believe this wasn't on the national news? The bear, obviously one of the country club types, had been showing up to a New Mexico resident's hot tub for a relaxing midnight dip for two weeks at the end of October and beginning of November.

Unfortunately for the bear, the woman caught on to his scheme. After scaring the bear away one night by turning on the jets in the hot tub, she then laid out bits of rotten melon that led to a trap set by state wildlife officials. The bear has now been forced to relocate to a remote area where his hot tub habit will be curtailed.

There are so many other great stories, such as "Health freak polar bear steals toothpaste and vitamin-C" and "Dead deer found in McDonald's bathroom," but I'll leave you to search for those stories at your leisure.

For those of you that are avid hunters, perhaps you just bagged a huge turkey or a nine-point buck and you want to show up your friends who said they bagged the biggest prize this weekend (and no, I'm not talking about your bedroom adventures). Check out the stories focusing on scoring systems for turkey and deer hunting to see if you truly can make your buddies eat their words.

Maybe your interests lie more in the direction of professional animal calling. Don't worry, the Outdoors section has got you covered there. Did you know the 66th World Duck Calling Championship is coming up Nov. 24? The U.S. Open champ, Brad Treece, already is a heavy favorite after defeating two-time world champion John Stephens. Ben Stoner from Lowell, Ind., recently won the Tennessee State Goose Calling Championship, but, in the calling community, all the attention was focused on the duck calling contest.

So, while you read up on Randy Johnson winning the National League Cy Young Award and ponder who will win the American League award, don't forget to spend some quality internet time in the Great Outdoors.

Cause, ooh baby, baby, it's a wild world.

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