The Washington Times - July 28, 2008, 05:11PM

Ralph Friedgen has a way of recycling a lot of his jokes. That’s OK. A lot of comedians do that. A lot of non-comedians do that. And I most certainly do that.

So when he says something or spins a yarn someone who’s been around the program for a while has heard before, it’s repetitive. But more often than not it wasfunny the first time around, and you’re reminded of it when the first-time listeners get a chuckle out of it.

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So who knows if the Maryland football coach had polished off this little nugget at any point over the summer. But when he unveiled it last week at the ACC Kickoff, it was pretty funny.

A reporter placed a small video recorder on the table, Ralph looked at the guy and said “Is that Nick Saban?” That, of course, refers to the Alabama coach’s use of video teleconferencing to get around an NCAA rule preventing coaches from visiting high schools during the spring evaluation period.

Then the big fella looked right at the recorder, grinned and said “Hi, Nick!” before bursting into laughter.

And make no mistake, it was pretty funny.

It would be helpful for everyone around the program if Practical Joker Ralph – the guy who took a look at my credential at a basketball game last winter, playfully tossed it toward my face and cackled at his benign immaturity; it was a moment that left me amused as well – is more prevalent than Grumpy Ralph.

And that holds true even if I have to hear the same story for the 17th time.

Patrick Stevens