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Saturday thoughts: Dunaj steps down at Torrington, two rivals come together and go away Lance Armstrong

POSTED January 05, 2013
BY Patrick Tiscia
Twitter: @PatrickTiscia


Rumors of Dan Dunaj leaving as Torrington football coach, which had been swirling for a couple of months, became official Thursday when he announced his resignation.

His record on the field over the past five years should be considered a success. The Red Raiders compiled a 30-21 record during that span and nearly made the state playoffs in 2011 on the back of Brenden Lytton's record-breaking season.

This year, Torrington got off to a rough start and appeared on its way to a losing season. The Red Raiders, though, rebounded strongly, winning their last four games, including a Thanksgiving payback victory over Watertown, to finish 6-4.

Dunaj, one can argue, did as well as you can with the program, especially considering how bad Torrington struggled in the years leading up to his arrival. The structure in place to succeed on the field is better today for Torrington than it was the day Dunaj came here.

However, in my opinion, it's still too early to give him his final grade.

As most of you know, there is still a pending investigation regarding a hazing incident involving players on his team, which led to multiple suspensions for the Holy Cross game. While the exact details of the alleged hazing has not been made public, the rumors of what was done is very disturbing.

Once the investigation is complete, I believe, is when we can fully evaluate Dunaj's time at Torrington. It's needs to be confirmed what, if any, knowledge Dunaj had about the hazing while it took place.

Right now, it's a waiting game.

***

A job well done by the Torrington and Naugatuck basketball programs Friday night, raising over $6,000 for the ALS Foundation in honor of Tim Considine. Having attended Naugatuck High School and covering Torrington since 2003, you can always feel the tension when these schools face off athletically. It's great to see everyone put that aside for one day and come together for a great cause.

Tim Gaffney chronicled the night on LitchfieldCountySports.com and it is worth the read.

***

When I was at the Register Citizen, I once wrote how I was skeptical of Lance Armstrong and his accomplishments, pointing out how crazy it was for someone to win seven Tour de Frances clean in a sport full of drugged up athletes.

It just seemed ridiculous to me, and understandably, due to the massive amount of Armstrong diehards, reader feedback wasn't too kind. Today, it appears everyone has seen the light on Armstong, based off the reactions from fans over his cycling ban and the reports which surfaced Friday.

Armstrong is now "considering" coming clean, admitting he cheated so he can be reinstated to compete athletically again. Not coming clean to his family, friends, fans and sponsors that worshiped the ground he walked on because it's the right thing to do, but just so he can compete again.

And I love the fact he's "considering" it. What can he possibly be thinking? "Um...maybe I'll admit it today, or maybe not? Well, since I want to compete again, I guess I have to."

Enough, Lance. It's over. Come clean to the people who supported you, take your millions and step away quietly (Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will hold the doors open for you). Your time is done.

***

Not too excited this week about the NFL, and not because the Giants are home. Other than Washington, I expect the favorites will all win comfortably. Next week, it will start to get good and the potential Peyton Manning-Tom Brady AFC Championship Game in two weeks will receive Super Bowl-like hype.

Maybe not Rex Ryan tattoo hype, but Super Bowl hype, no less.

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