The Washington Times - September 30, 2008, 09:12AM

It’s amazing how much easier it is to write an offbeat story when the person you’re looking at is incredibly eager to help out.

That was the case with Dave Philistin, the Maryland senior who told me about his new altitude machine back in camp when I was working on a story about the Terrapins‘ depth at linebacker.

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Needless to say, a guy sleeping in a bubble is much more interesting and fun than a mundane “depth-at-linebacker” story.

One thing he wouldn’t initially reveal was the cost of the machine. But after some questions to some other folks, I came back to him with the $7,000 price tag.

One, his brother is paying for it. Two, it is being paid off with an installment plan.

As well as the common sense question that needed to be asked: How the hell is a college kid paying $7,000 for an altitude machine. And Philistin is smart enough to know he should be ready in case someone at the NCAA with a nose for investigation starts looking his way.

“I have all the information just in case anybody wants to inspect it,” Philistin said. “I have all my receipts and everything.”

Patrick Stevens