Friday, December 31, 2010

Bowl Mania NYE

Today's Bowl Mania comes from the lovely confines of the Pensacola Airport. If I see Roy Jones Jr., I'll be sure to tell him what you said about him. (You shouldn't talk about Roy like that.)

Let's hope that today's picks better informed than a late-game running playcall by Butch Davis.

South Florida +5'
Notre Dame/Miami under 47'
Florida State +3
Central Florida +6'

I won't have time to write about last night's Tennessee game. But quickly in a lovely, numbered format:

1) Tennessee fans who complain about the personal foul call on JJ - and you're out there, I know - you lose all credibility when discussing UT football. Couldn't of been a more textbook spear.

2) I bet there were a few brawls in Nashville last night. Once the ref said UNC had :01 left, downtown Nashville went on high alert. Would love to get a hold of the police activities from last night.

3) Derek Dooley is fantastic television. I love animated, irritable coaches. The guy couldn't have been pulled in more directions emotionally last night. I list track of the amount of times I read his lips, coming up with "What Bullshit!". Funny.

4) And yes, all the talk about the spike/non-spike/too many men on the field/no timeouts stuff. If there's no :10 runoff, then why don't the receivers on the previous play just snap the ball once it's placed so you don't jab to wait on the fat, dumb lineman to catch up? Just my thought.

5) And I continue to be amazed at how uninformed and panicked both college athletes and especially coaches become in these situations. And remember, these coaches are making millions of dollars. I'd hope they'd find the time to run through a few of these scenarios before kickoff.

- posted from the road

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tonight's Bowl Mania

North Carolina (Raise Up!) +1
Washington/Nebraska under 53'

Go get cash.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bowl Mania #9

A late lunch break has forced the tardy post. My apologies.

According to the closing and current lines, here is today's Bowl Mania:

ECU/Maryland under 70'
Baylor/Illinois under 64
Arizona +4

- posted from the road

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bowl Mania #8

I'm still at work, and I haven't had time to post anything for tonight. (There should be holidays for the times you have to come back from holidays - lots of work to catch up on.) So I promise I haven't seen anything.

Here are what I have for Bowl Mania:

NC State/West Virginia under 50
Iowa +3

More madness as the week continues...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Be Smart, Don't Fall Into This Trap

Just got done seeing the last 1:41 of the Little Caesar's Bowl, and I'm catching a whiff of some stink coming off of Twitter. Some samples:
@MsMajorBOSS: bring on the sexy transfer students and athletes!!!! FIU on the map now!

@Britty1908: The Lil Ceasars by FIU just said free unlimited breadsticks n $2.50 hot n ready. Just bring ur panther ID!

@HOOODtony: No school for all FIU students for next semester due to the bowl win ! Free 12 credits for everyone !
Now, I understand the kids are excited about their first ever bowl win, but let's not get crazy. No matter what the holier-than-thou crew might throw at you, the only people this win matters to are FIU fans. No one else is going to remember this win. I bet you most people didn't realize that this game was on tonight.

And when the ratings come out tomorrow, don't point at me and laugh. It's going to be an inflated figure. Remember, we had people flipping around the tube wondering where the hell the Eagles game was, and they came across this game.

But the reason I want to temper the excitement is because we don't need anyone of any influence using this game as an example of why the current bowl/BCS system is the one that we need to keep. They'll say that with a playoff, this game wouldn't mean anything.

But guess what - it doesn't mean anything ALREADY! Okay, you've won the Dec. 26th bowl game featuring a bowl-eligible MAC team versus a bowl-eligible Sun Belt team that made the bowl because there weren't enough bowl-eligible Big Ten teams. (Yes, that's how FIU got there - because the Big Ten is terrible.) And since you've won that game... nothing. Maybe some pizza.

So don't let it get twisted into a defense of the current system and against a college football playoff. A college football playoff wouldn't kill this game - we can still have the game, and FIU can still win it's first bowl game.

And the game will matter just as much then as it does now. To anyone who doesn't or didn't go to FIU, not much.

Bowl Mania #6

Bowl Mania continues to disappoint you... and me. Believe me.

Let's try again.

Tonight's Bowl Mania brings you:
Toledo +2

12/26 NFL Locks

I'm looking to spread more holiday cheer, as I've got my own glass of milk and cookies to take care of today. The snow is still on the ground here, and it sounds like weather is going to play a big part in some of today's NFL.

I of course, went to my chief meteorologist and asked him about it. This is what he had to say:

San Francisco +2'
Miami -3'
Green Bay -3
Cleveland +4
Denver +2'
Oakland +2'

Bowl Mania for the Little Caesars Bowl later this afternoon. Good luck with the professionals.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Or Happy Holidays For Those of You Who Don't Push the Christian Agenda

(Yes, the title's a joke. Settle down.)

From a wintry day in Northeast Alabama, Happy Holidays. Glad to see the weathermen in Alabama don't take a break from getting it wrong, even during the holidays.

"Some light snow possibly late in the day on Christmas."

My ass. It was snowing when I woke up. And still is.

I apologize for the futile attempts for Bowl-Mania to this point. I had a talk with Santa, and we're going to get it right going forward.

If you care, some anti-public plays for the remainder of today's slate:

Heat/Lakers Over 193'
Nuggets/Thunder Over 212'
Blazers/Warriors Under 202

And NFL...
Cardinals +7'

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bowl Mania #5

Happy Christmas Eve. So far, my traditional Christmas activities are holding strong: my father continues to take advantage of another able body around the house, as I continue to pick stuff up and put stuff down, get items from the basement, and get firewood from the back. Ah, the holidays.

Hope you are enjoying yours.

Let's enjoy it all some more, as we're now closing in on full-blown college football for the next week and a half.

Bowl Mania continues, as we currently stand with a paltry 2-4 record through the bowls to this point.

Today's Bowl Mania:
Tulsa/Hawaii under 74

Let's hope Santa comes a little early for us tonight.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bowl Mania #4

Bowl Mania has not been as rousing success as we had hoped for early on. If anyone can find Boise State's offense, please return to its owner.

Tonight's Bowl Mania Play:
San Diego State -3

Let's all be champions again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bowl Mania #3

Posting from I-65, heading towered my aunt's undercooked chicken. Hope to see you on the other side.

Tonight's Bowl Mania: Utah/Boise State over 57'.

Good luck.

- posted from the road

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

12/19 NFL Locks

Horrendous start to bowl season, as I jump out of the gates with an 0-3 on official picks. However I am a bit torn on my grief as it wasn't as bad for me personally, since I got the Northern Illinois over at 46'. So it's 1-2 on my personal scoreboard, but what was posted was posted.

We look to rebound today with the professionals, and I've called up my man who went 5-0 last Sunday. Let's shoot for a repeat.

The Locks:
Tennessee -1
Baltimore -2
Giants -3
NY Jets +4
Seattle +6

As for me, I am waiting with baited breath over whether or not Matt Cassel will be starting for the Chiefs. If he does not, and our boy Brodie takes the helm again - put the entire Dow Jones on the Rams. Now THAT'S an economic solution for the country - betting against Brodie.

Good luck.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bowl Mania #1

I had a lot of requests for Bowl Pick 'Em leagues this year. Either everyone really enjoys my company, or everyone was looking for another sap to throw a few more dollars into the pot. I haven't decided yet on what was really going on.

But enough with those silly pick 'em leagues. I'm looking to take out the folks over at BetUS. That's the money I want. I'll be picking every bowl game this year - either a side or a total, so let's lock and load.

New Mexico Bowl: UTEP/BYU under 51
Humanitarian Bowl: Fresno State/N Illinois over 57'
New Orleans Bowl: Ohio +2

I'm still getting a few questions regarding Cam Newton and how it's seemingly been very quiet over the past week. This I do know - he's not going to be found ineligible before the BCS title game. Because if he was, Tostitos, FedEx, AT&T, and a host of other advertisers will majorly pissed off.

Trotter Cobb:
A view from the sidelines.
I'm not sure if you've noticed, but Barrett Trotter ain't Cam Newton. What a major disappointment that would be.

I still struggle with how he is still eligible, as I am of the opinion that the NCAA didn't follow their own guidelines here. That's why the folks over at Southern Cal are so mad. I've said on many occasions that while we may not like the NCAA's (or anyone's) rules - the rules are the rules, and if you break them, you suffer the penalties.

I haven't been convinced yet that Cam Newton and his family didn't break the current rules.

So while I know it's quiet, my advice is to get used to it for about another month. No way anything major happens between now and then. Too much advertising money out there to disappoint.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NFL Locks for 12/12

I'm in Auburn today, posting from Momma Goldberg's. The guy working here says that ESPN hates Auburn.

They were setting Cam up pretty bad last night, I must say. Every time there was a graphic, names like OJ Simpson and Reggie Bush kept popping up.

That's fairly ominous. I'm not saying that Cam or Cecil Newton is a murderer... at least that we know of. (Duh Duh Duuuhhhh!!)

More on that if I ever get around to it. 'Til then, let's make money the right way by betting on football, as opposed to selling our sons off for football.

Today's locks from my man:

Dallas +3'
Pittsburgh -9
Buffalo -1
New Orleans -9'
San Francisco -5

Good luck. And remember, Dan Mullen would be better off if he had just paid the man his money.

- posted from the road

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Championship Saturday Plays

Here we go.

No cutesy talk today. It's time to put up or shut up.

Auburn -4'
Auburn/So Carolina over 62'
Florida State +3'
Troy -5
Boise St -38'

Do it do it.

- posted from the road

Sunday, November 28, 2010

11/28 NFL Locks

I got my man on the line, and gave him a pep talk. Needless to say, we need a big bounce back. Let's make it happen with the professionals.

Ravens -7'
Falcons -1'
Bears +4
Chargers +1'

Good luck.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

11/27 College Football Locks

Got my man on the line, and he's a little unsure his liver can take the extra day of football. But, like Kellen Winslow, he'll pull through.

We're head-to-head on two games today, I believe. So, we'll have to get creative with the teasers.

The Locks:

Kentucky +3
Cincinnati +2'
Ole Miss +3'
Clemson +4

Technology Failure & College Football Plays for 11/27

I went to the Iron Bowl yesterday, and it seems that despite all the civic infrastructure improvements that Tuscaloosa, AL has made in comparison to Oxford, MS, there is one area where both towns are right on par: cell phone data coverage.

I had locks ready to go, and even wrote a brief post on my iPhone about gameday traffic. Saved it load... And the sucker disappeared. My apologies. We can all blame AT&T together.

And you can be split on how you feel about it. If I had gotten them to you, we would have gone 4-3. And just for full disclosure, yesterday's locks were: SMU, Alabama, Auburn/Alabama OVER, Oregon, Arizona/Oregon UNDER, Nevada, Boise St/Nevada UNDER.

I've got the locks coming shortly, but here are today's plays from me:

Miami -12
Penn State +1
Mississippi State -3
South Carolina -2'
Southern Cal -4'

*Bonus: South Carolina/Clemson over 45*

I've got the locks coming in mere minutes, so check back here in a few. And remember to follow me on Twitter.

Everybody go do what you have to do. Good luck.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What's Really Important Thanksgiving Weekend in Alabama: Fan Status-ship

I have been pretty out of the loop over the past two weeks. And I can't believe I haven't listened to Finebaum since before the LSU game. Ordinarily it would seem that I wouldn't have missed much - that's the great thing about that show, it's like a soap opera that you can miss a few months of, come back, and still be up to speed on everything that's going on.

However, it has come to my attention that the Finebaum Radio Network and crew have brought back the famed 'Call to Arms' speech by the Great David Housel.

Alabama fans, of course, are throwing it out there just how warped Auburn fans are. But if you recall - and Auburn fans have - David Housel's speech was right before Auburn pulled out six straight wins in the Iron Bowl. (I doubt the wins were a result of the speech, but that is what happened.)

As batshit crazy as David Housel's speech was, I do think that he was about 5 years early to the party. Perhaps he was a visionary. But a lot of what he said in his speech (and don't worry, I have it below) kind of turned out to be true. Auburn won 5 straight Iron Bowls, had an undefeated season, and had a pretty legit beef in regards to the lack of national championship opportunities.

Remember the 'One for the Thumb' t-shirts? I know they're out there, locked away in orange and blue closets. There was a point in the mid-'00s where the state of Alabama really was at a crossroads, fan-wise. Seriously, you saw a lot more of the grammar school kids sporting orange and blues.

I do recall Alabama fans being very nervous. The fan 'status'-ship in the state of Alabama was changing. It had been 15 years since Alabama had won a national title. No 18-year old athlete going to college could themselves remember Jay Barker handing off to Derrick Lassic.

It had become a new world - Bear Bryant had passed away over 25 years ago. Alabama had been terrible or close to it for about a decade. The mystique was gone. And Auburn was taking advantage.

Then... HE arrived.

The day Tommy Tuberville lost his job was the day that Nick Saban got kissed by a drunk lady on a runway. It totally flipped the tables. I was doing a radio show with a Birmingham News sports columnist on that day, and I remember taking a caller that, when asked what his expectations of Saban were, said, "I expect us (Alabama) to be competing for a national championship in three years."

I called the guy a lunatic.

Here was Alabama, just after four years of one of the most ineffective game managers of all time* in Mike Shula, with Mike Price, Dennis Francione, and Mike DuBose before that. It had been a ROUGH decade. And this guy thought Alabama was going to win a national title, and Saban hadn't even been formally introduced yet.

*This was before Les Miles really got into his groove of mismanagement.

That caller may still be a lunatic, but he wasn't wrong.

And the momentum had swung back to the crimson. It really had deflated what had become a very big Auburn balloon. It wasn't a year later that finally the bigwigs at Auburn had their reason to get rid of Tommy Tuberville and hire...

Gene Chizik?

Yeah, I was a big hater on this, too. Remember how ludicrous that hire was at the time? You couldn't find anyone to defend it. Anyone. And Auburn fans were furious. How quickly they had fallen back down the mountain, only with Alabama topping Everest one more time to really drive a needle into their side.

Perhaps Auburn fans felt like they had their chance, and that S.O.B. Nick Saban took it away from them. Frustrating.

But here we are now. Auburn - albeit under some eyebrow-raising suspicions - is undefeated and is poised to actually compete in a real game for a national title.

Could Auburn find themsleves right back on top? Did anyone really think that would be possible? I mean, three months ago, Alabama fans were convinced that the Crimson Tide had lost their last football game ever. And while this season really hasn't been a terrible one for Alabama, NO ONE thought Auburn was going to be doing what they are.

And more importantly, that fan 'status'-ship. If Auburn wins this game, and rolls on to go undefeated for a national title - are they now 'officially' on the same competitive plane as Alabama? And would Alabama fans really be able to handle this?

Coming from a family of predominantly Alabama fans and most of my friends swaying towards the Tide, I'm not sure that they can handle it. Would that snoody, over-confident arrogancy be available to them without being phony?

Because if there is something wrong with Alabama fans, that's it: they BELIEVE that they are better than Auburn. Some show it more than others, sure. But that is one undying truth about Bama fans - they actually think it's true.

Auburn fans - they believe the same thing. That Alabama fans believe that Alabama fans are better than Auburn fans, but Auburn fans don't think that's true, and it frustrates the hell out of them that they can't get Alabama fans to realize they shouldn't feel that way. So they react and respond with a mirroring attitude towards Alabama fans.

And it goes round and round in a perpetuating cycle, like the kindergarten kid who wants the cool kid to think he's cool, too.

So, I guess that's what I'll be paying attention to over this weekend. Should Auburn win this game and then roll on to a championship, can Bama fans handle it?

Or will Auburn lose in Tuscaloosa, and the momentum again goes out of the balloon. And Alabama fans stick their noses higher in the air, their status-ship back where they think it ought to be.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter. And tell your friends about the blog. Thanks.

And as promised, the David Housel transcript:
TRANSCRIPT:
I, like you, have read everything, I’ve heard everything, and I’ve seen everything. Now the time has come, the time has come to decide who we are, what we are, and what we’re going to do.

You Alabama fans listening in to see what we’re saying, how we’re feeling, how we’re thinking – how about giving us a moment alone, just us Auburn people, so we can talk among ourselves. Would you do us that favor? We’d appreciate it. Take a break, go to the bathroom, get another beer, do whatever you want to do, I don’t care. Just give us Auburn people a moment alone.

Well, now that we’re alone what do you think? Ah, I know they’re still there, I know they’re still there listening in on what we’re saying, but so be it. I’m not scared of them and you’re not scared of them either, not since coach dye came, none of us have been scared of them anymore, none of us. If they weren’t scared of us, they wouldn’t still be listening in and thinking we didn’t know they were there.

Funny thing is they probably thought we were stupid enough to think they would leave when we asked them to leave. They’re the ones with the problem, not us. In fact I want them to hear what we’re saying and what we’re talking about. I want them to know what we’re thinking, they need to know, and when they find out, they won’t sleep good tonight, tomorrow night, any night. We’re coming after their butt. We’re coming after them today, we’re coming after them tomorrow, we’re coming after them the day after tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.

We will not rest, we won’t sleep, we will not be deterred until we reach our goal, and that goal is simply this: to paint this state – the entire state – not North Alabama, not South Alabama, not East Alabama, not West Alabama, the entire state, orange and blue. Now Terry Bowden and I didn’t always agree, and we didn’t always see eye to eye on everything, but we did agree on one thing. We might not get them, the Alabama mamas and papas, but we were going to get the sons and the daughters. We were going to get the children, and we are getting them. Birminghan was once their bastion, their home ground, their turf. Lookat the statistics. Statistics don’t lie. Birmingham and Jefferson County students are coming to Auburn as never before.

We’re winning the battle there, and we’re winning the battle everywhere else. Take a snapshot here, take a snapshot there and it might not be evident. But in your heart, in your heart of hearts, you know we’re winning the battle, and you know we’re winning the war. Where are their sons and daughters going to school? Think about your Alabama friends and the number of their children who are coming to Auburn. Inch by inch, person by person, child by child we’re winning the war. It might not be evident in every battle, and it may or may not be evident today, but we’re winning the war.

All we have to do is keep the faith and keep on fighting. Every day in every way in every arena. The future is ours. All we have to do is fight for it and take it. Keeping the faith, that’s the key. And I don’t want to get anybody mad, and I don’t want to offend anybody, but think about the Vietnam War. Think about it in the context of the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. Time and time again we Americans claimed victory. We read about it in the paper, we heard about it on television, we beat ourselves on the chest.
And what did it get us? In the little things and the hearts of the people? That’s where wars are won and lost, and we’re winning this war with Alabama, just as sure as you hear the sound of my voice, we’re winning it. You know it and they know it.

That’s what will keep them awake tonight, that’s what will keep them awake in the nights to come. Winston Churchill, he of the Auburn heart said it best, “Never, never, never give up. We will fight on the land, we will fight on the sea, we will fight in the air, we will fight until Hitler and his Nazis are driven from the face of the earth.”

Now I’m not comparing Alabama to Hitler and the Nazis. Not at all. There are many good Alabama people, and I have many good Alabama friends, at least a few, and I have great respect for them and their program for what they’ve accomplished down through the years. But this is not about them, this is about us: who we are, what we are, and what we are going to do.

We are going to fight them today, we are going to fight them tomorrow. We’re going to fight them every day and every way. We won’t win all the battles, but we’re going to win the war.

You Alabama fans out there, still listening in, eavesdropping voyeurs that you are, lurking there in the deep, dark shadows of radioland, you can bank on it. We’re going to win the war. Remember Dunkirk, the gallant British army was virtually driven into the sea. That was but one battle. It was a long, long war as this has been, and will continue to be, a long, long war.

No, this is not about you. This is about us, the Auburn people. And this is a call to arms. Today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the day after that, and the day after that. We will fight until victory is ours.

And as for today, Coach Jordan said it best, and that’s beat hell out of the University of Alabama. We will fight until the victory is ours. We may get knocked down, but we will not be knocked out. We will get up and fight again. We may occasionally be downhearted, but we will not be defeated. Never.

It is not in our nature, not in our makeup, it is not in our heart and it is not in our soul. Remember Goliath, remember the Roman Empire, remember Ozymandias. Learn from them, my Alabama friends. Learn from them and prepare to join them. No, Ozymandias was not Ozzie Nelson’s cousin.

Now go listen to Eli. He’s a good man, he’ll tell you who Ozymandias was. Back to you, Paul. Let’s get it on.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NFL Locks for 11/21

Ah, Sunday. The day of rests, monster truck rallies, and professional football. I've got the locks from my man early today, so there's no sense in keeping you in suspense.

The Locks:

Pittsburgh -7
Jacksonville -2'
St. Louis +3'
NY Giants +3'

Good luck.

*Bonus pick from me - Vikings +3'*

Saturday, November 20, 2010

11/20 Locks

Got my man on the phone and he feels like a champ. We go head to head once this weekend, and we've teamed up against Arkansas.

The Locks:

Illinois -7'
Miss. State +3
Iowa +3
Vanderbilt +8'
Texas A&M +2

Good luck this weekend.

11/20 College Football Plays

Pretty sure I promised a post about the life of Auburn fans in my last post, but I was so flabbergasted (yes, flabbergasted) that Auburn played Cam Newton last week that it's taken me some time to get myself together. I absolutely cannot believe that they played him. Honestly, I was floored.

I'll do my best to get some commentary about that later on today, but business comes first. Let's make some money.

Today's Plays:

Northwestern +7'
South Carolina -20'
Miss. State +3
Ole Miss +14'
Virginia Tech -2

I've got a text out to my man for his locks, so check back shortly. And of course, follow me on Twitter for random sprinkles of knowledge.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NFL Locks for 11/14

Yes, I'm flabber-gasted by what Auburn did yesterday. Can't believe they played him. I'll get to that later.

Busy day with work, so quickly today's NFL locks from my man:

Cleveland +3'
Denver +1
San Francisco -5
Jacksonville -1
Miami -1

Good luck.

- posted from the road

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Locks for 11/13

My man put down his chicken biscuit for a minute in order to give us his locks. Glad he could take the time.

We go head-to-head on only one game today. And if you've been paying attention over the past two weeks, I think we all know how that's going to work out...

The Locks:

Arizona State +4'
Georgia +7
North Carolina +3'
Mississippi State +13
Notre Dame +6'

Today's College Football Plays 11/13

Alright, let's make today a winning day, shall we?

My book has the Auburn game open. And if you read my earlier post, you'll see why I'm loving that under.

Totally weak slate of games today, isn't it? After going over the games again this morning, I might decide to actually go outside and get some work done today.

But if you're determined to stick it out, you might as well drink up, because we've only got a few more weeks of college football.

Today's Plays:

Miami +3
Michigan/Purdue over 63
Utah -6'
Georgia/Auburn under 63'
South Carolina +6

My man went to Chick-fil-A for a biscuit. His locks coming shortly.

To Cam or Not To Cam

Yeah, I'm interested in how all this is going to play out. I was talking with a friend last night, and we were trying to balance today's decision about whether or not Cam Newton will play for Auburn.

A couple of different scenarios:

1) The "Stand By Your Cam" Stance: Auburn maintains that it's all "garbage", Cam Newton did nothing wrong, and dammit, he's going to play. Totally fine with this if Auburn - at this point in time - HONESTLY believes that Cam Newton didn't do anything wrong.

If this is truely the case, Auburn could possibly side-step any huge (or at least 'more' huge) penalties with a 'we honestly didn't know about all this stuff' position if things go south.

But here's the problem - if things aren't on the up and up - don't you think Auburn probably knows that by now?

Which leads me to #2...

2) The "To Hell With You And All Your Rules - Cam's Playing" Stance: This is where Auburn decides to stay with their boy, despite knowing deep down that he's ineligible. On the surface, you can almost rationalize a "what else would Auburn have to lose?" theory - if they are going to have to vacate wins, what's the difference between 10 vacated wins and 12 vacated wins? In the grand scheme of things, not much, right?

Wrong. This would probably be the dumbest thing anyone could do. To know that it's wrong and be so stubborn to the point that you put the guy on the field anyway. It's kind of like a drunk guy that can't remember what he just said, but is positive he's right about whatever is going on.

And maybe Auburn fans would rally around this. They can hike up their britches, breathe in through their noses real deep, and give everyone a "what are you going to do about it?" attitude. That'd be awfully short-term thinking. And really, really dumb thinking. Who exactly are you thumbing your nose at? The 800 lb NCAA?

If you throw a guy out on to the field that you KNOW shouldn't be eligible to play - that's lack of institutional control. And Gene Chizik will have truely made his mark on Auburn football.

That's why I don't think he'll play today. Which is #3...

3) The "Shit. We Knew It Was Too Good To Be True" Stance: Yep, Auburn fans. Wave the white flag. I was actually pulling for you guys on this one. It wasn't too long ago that I was declaring Cam Newton as one of the greatest college football players I had ever seen.

I was listening to Paul Finebaum's show a week ago and a caller (surprisingly Paul was taking calls that day) was throwing a conspiracy rant on Mississippi State insinuating that they should keep their mouths shut and that they were "just mad they didn't get Cam to Starkville" and that "it wasn't like they'd be undefeated if they had him". I totally disagree with that. If Cam Newton was at State, they would be 9-0. Because what is Auburn minus Cam Newton? A lot like Mississippi State - or maybe not even that.

It's unfortunate it all had to roll out like this. One of the more exciting players college football had ever seen, mixed in with the Auburn Tigers legit shot at a national title, right on the heels of Alabama's win last year. Auburn would have shown that despite Nick Saban dominating the state press for the past four years, Auburn was still there and was a factor.

This would of been HUGE for Auburn.

Instead, they're now stuck with three undefeated seasons, no national title, and an NCAA (and FBI) mess for the next few years.

I'll be having fun with this throughout the day. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @harry_long.
Picks and locks in a bit.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NFL Locks for 11/7

Horrendous Saturday for us. But I've talked to my man, and we realize how important it is to bounce back. So this is what he's got for us.

Atlanta -9'
Detroit +6'
Philadelphia +3

Good luck.

- posted from the road

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Locks for 11/6

I got my man away from the jagermeister for a minute (yes, at 10am - perhaps it's time for a self-assessment), and he's got locks for us. We're going head to head on two games, so who do you love more?

Clemson -4
Texas A&M +3
LSU +6'
Utah +5
Maryland +9

- posted from the road

College Football Plays for 11/6

I'm in a limo heading to Baton Rouge. (It wasn't my idea, so I don't want to hear any lip.)

New Orleans is a mean lady, too. I've been reminded why I rarely visit this city.

Stay away from those test tube shots. Bad news.

On to the picks.

Tenn -19.5
So Cal -5
Bama -6'
Michigan -3
Miami -8

My man is with me now, and if I can pry him away from that Heineken I'll get his locks.

- posted from the road

Friday, November 5, 2010

Don't Fall Too Hard, Aubie.

I like the spirit, but it appears that Auburn fans may be setting themselves up for disappointment...



More on the life of an Auburn fan after the weekend.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Reaction to the Latest Cam Newton Mess

Didn't I just write a whole big piece about how Cam Newton is better than Tim Tebow ever was? So good, in fact, that he rivals Reggie Bush as the greatest college football player of my lifetime?

Well, it seems that there's rain in the forecast for this parade.

I'm not going to spend much time on trying to break down whether or not it happened. I don't have the time or the access to try, and I'm sure somebody else will figure it out pretty soon.

But I will say this...

If it's it true, I won't be surprised.

Not because I think Cam Newton is a bad guy. Or a cheat. Or just a poor kid who is only trying to provide for his family. Or that he's an athlete mad at all of these old men making millions of him, and he just wants his piece. None of that.

I won't be surprised because whenever one of these stories pops up, it just always seems to turn out to be true. Sometimes it all unfolds in a big Yahoo! Sports exclusive, and there are other times that it drags on for years and years to the point that no one cares anymore. And then there are the times that it drags on and on and then the NCAA extinguishes the USC football program.

But it's almost become numbing, hasn't it? If Cam Newton got paid, should I be mad about it? Maybe, but I'm betting I won't be. Because I've seen this story before. Quite a few times.

This isn't an opinion of whether or not Cam Newton deserves money either. Yeah, these kids make a lot of money for these old men in suits, and that doesn't seem right. But if you start paying the college players, you're opening up a big bag of problems - does this mean you pay the women's soccer team, too? And what about the schools where paying players would bankrupt their programs - would they start cutting athletic programs across the board?

It's all messed up. Which makes me wonder why we all care so much about it.

Or at least we have been.

I think it's safe to say that college sports are bigger now than ever before. With the ratings and billion-dollar TV contracts now generated, the passion that people carry with them every weekend (and basketball weeknights) for college sports is at an all-time high. Every Saturday, from 11 o'clock central until I fall asleep, there is a football game on my television screen. You can't escape it.

But I wonder if this gluttonous approach we are taking (or being force-fed) will have a generational effect. Do you think that majority of the next generation of sports fans, those who are 2 to 13 years old right now, will share the same level of passion for college sports?

Care as much about organizations that constantly find themselves in and out of probation, under investigation, or with postseason bans? Self-imposed penalties and coaches who straight up LIE to investigators? Players who are on the take, and agents with runners. Runners with their own runners.

At some point, enough is enough, and it makes you stop caring.

Now, I'm too far in now to ever stop caring myself, because I just enjoy the entertainment way too much. But I do think this is something we should take note of.

The sport is turning itself into something we don't want to attach ourselves to emotionally. Technology allows us all kinds of opportunity to dtach ourselves from it: your living room is now a better seat than the stadium, more availabl games on television and online allow you to spread your rooting interests thinner over a larger group of teams, and technology's access to gambling allows you to care less about the team - and more about the pointspread. (Something I have a little 'issue' with.)

Will the next generation - my kids, your kids and grandkids (born and unborn) - be a generation of passionless sports fans?

Now, this little soap box rant was started by a story on whether or not Cam Newton was shopped around. I don't know if he was or not, but I'll say again that it always seems that when this stuff is brought up, more than likely something fishy was going on.

And if it does turn out to be true, I won't be surprised. Because I'm numb to it now, and I don't really care if he was on the take or not.

And I think not caring is a problem.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Has Cam Newton Already Surpassed the Chosen One?

Perhaps this has been written about before, and I've missed it. But I've been talking to some of my closest college football confidants lately, and we keep circling back to the same subject: how awesome Cam Newton is. Week after week, he does something else to amaze us. Against LSU, he breaks free and blazes by every LSU defender for a 49 yard touchdown. This past weekend, he shows us that he can tightrope a touchdown catch.

Dude is incredible. On that we all agree.

But in these conversations, I've started tossing out a question that has brought some of my ordinarily strong-opinioned know-it-all buddies to a long pause. And it's an idea that I believe would make Gary Danielson cry.

Is Cam Newton better now than Tim Tebow ever was?

Some have reacted strongly that there's no way. We haven't seen enough of Cam yet. Maybe. But the fact that we've only seen Cam for eight games isn't fazing me. Tebow was a major benefactor of the amount of hype he received coming out of high school, and the ticker line tracking his every move during recruitment. The Tebow train started early.

Tim Tebow was recognized by media as the greatest college football player of all time as soon as he took his first shotgun snap in a Florida uniform. The talking heads loved this kid. And why shouldn't they have? Great athlete, good looking, great personality, and an unmatched off-field storyline. A broadcaster's dream.

And I'm not writing this to say that Tim Tebow wasn't great. He most certainly was. But I think the Gary Danielson and crew cheerleading Tebow as a "once in a generation" athlete and quarterback talk has been disproven in less than twelve months.

By a guy who was once Tim Tebow's teammate.

Before this season, Cam Newton wasn't exactly getting a lot of pub, as most of the attention statewide and nationally was whether or not Alabama was going to repeat as national champions or if Alabama was ever going to lose a football game again.

Now, just eight weeks in - is there even another option for the Heisman Trophy? USA Today is trying to tell me that Kellen Moore and LaMichael James still have a chance. Please save the ink.

To give you an idea of the type of impact Newton is having: last year, Auburn was 7-5 and won the Outback Bowl. Gene Chizik was the head coach, and even after the season no one had a clue why Auburn had hired the Iowa State coach that had only five wins in two years.

Now - if the season ended today, Auburn would be in the national title game. What was the difference between last year and this year? Pretty simple: #2.

Cam Newton showed up to play with a team that still has a quarterback playing wide receiver. That's Kentucky-like stuff.

This offensive line that so many of the talking heads are now praising as the best in the SEC? Auburn had ONE offensive lineman in the first or second team pre-season all-SEC.

Onterrio McCalebb and Michael Dyer have played very well, and Auburn did have a running back make preseason all-SEC. That running back was Mario Fannin, however. (Ha!)

You what kind of team Tim Tebow joined and took over as the quarterback when he was a sophomore? A team that had just won the national title his freshman year, and had players with names like Percy Harvin, Brandon James, Kestahn Moore, Riley Cooper, Aaron Hernandez, and others. (Chris Rainey didn't even see much of the field in '07: 1 carry, 10 yards. Florida was pretty good.)

Tebow was (only? - it's still pretty good) able to take that team to 9-3. Here we are in 2010, and Cam Newton is taking a lesser team overall (yep) and they are 8-0, currently #2 in the BCS.

I'm sure there are some statistical arguments that can be made in Tim Tebow's favor, but I'm also sure that there are some strong stats that would back Cam. I'm not looking for a statistical debate. What about just watching how the guys play?

Right now, if you were the team captain for a pick-up football game, who would you take first: Tim Tebow or Cam Newton? Remember, you want to win.

It'd have to be Cam Newton, right?

One of my friends described Cam as a more 'dynamic' player than Tim Tebow. I'll do my friend one better: not only is Newton more dynamic, he is the living, breathing representation of "a man playing among boys". Cam Newton, against SEC competition, gives the appearance of a bunch of 13 year olds playing with one of their 30 year-old uncles, and the uncle is showing no mercy on the children.

Consider this: if Cam Newton had stayed at Florida, what would there record be right now? Anyone want to disagree with undefeated? Didn't think so.

Let's take it a little bit further. If Cam Newton was the starting quarterback for Mississippi State - who are already 7-2 without Cam (amazing, right?) - would the Bulldogs be on top of the BCS standings? I can't say they wouldn't be.

It's a whole other level of talent and athleticism. Cam Newton is a level of player that Terrelle Pryor cannot even fathom. That's how much better he is than everyone else.

I've said before that Reggie Bush was the greatest college football player that I had seen in my lifetime (I'm 29). Some favored Tim Tebow in this debate. I was fine with a Tebow v. Bush debate.

But now with Cam Newton, I'm not sure there's one to be had.

NFL Locks for 10/31

Happy Halloween. For those of you who went out last night and are working off the hangover, my man can help with some NFL locks. Make you forget about your troubles.

Carolina +3
Cincinnati +1
New Orleans -1

Good luck.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Locks for 10/30

Got a hold of my man, and this is what he has for us. Let's do it.

Florida +1
Air Force +7
USC +6'
Nebraska -8
Iowa -6

Just Win, Baby.

10/30 College Football Plays

Last week was a good one for the plays, going 4-1 and bringing our yearly tally to 25-15. And unlike Jenn Sterger's show The Daily Line, we're back this week.

I've got more on that topic later. Til then, let's make some money.

My plays for today:

Florida +1
Miami -14'
Ole Miss +7'
Oregon/USC under 73
Colorado +26

And I'm expecting word from my man for his locks. Look for him to have a big bounce back this week. Keep checking back, or follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Letter to Les Miles

With it being Halloween this weekend, I recalled something that popped in my inbox from a few weeks ago, back in the heyday of Les Miles debacles. Perhaps this is why LSU didn't pull it out against Auburn?

Enjoy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NFL Locks for 10/24

Had to get my man on the line, because he has been crushing the NFL over the past few weeks. This is what he's got:

Dolphins +3'
Bears -3
Rams +3
Chargers -1

Good luck.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Locks for 10/23

Got a hold of my man. Unfortunately we go head-to-head in one game, but we do agree on another. Make of it what you will.

Nebraska may have lost, but that
doesn't make us love Holly any less.
The Locks:

Northwestern +6
Ole Miss +11
LSU +5'
Colorado +4
Baylor -6'

And for some inside baseball, my man is a BIG Kansas State fan, so if he likes Baylor in that game, I think he's pretty confident about it.

Again, check back later for any picks that he or I feel good about later today, or just follow me on Twitter for the head's up.

10/23 College Football Plays

Through 7 weeks, the plays stand at 21-14, so we are in the black. And that's better than not being in the black, isn't it?

Tracy Wolfson loves this guy.
I'm breaking the rules just a little bit with two picks on one game this week, so some of your online books won't allow those parlays. Too bad, but I like what I like.

Let's do this:

Colorado +4
Auburn -5'
UAB/Miss State over 52
Miss State -20
Miami -6'

Tracking my man down, and locks will be up shortly. We may have some other plays throughout the day, so keep checking back or follow me on Twitter.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Love for LSU Fans is Validated Even More

Had dinner tonight with a big LSU fan. The guy was fantastic. He would rail on Les Miles, recall every play over the last three years, and continued to call Alabama's coach "Nick 'Satan'". Like, EVERY TIME. Almost as if he really believes that's his name.

I love LSU fans. They love the agony of losing probably more than actually winning. They are the best.

And the Miles frustration has now jumped to full, public display. Les Miles, for some reason (because he's dumb), takes calls on his weekly radio show. What are people saying?

What you'd expect, of course...

Big college football tomorrow. Picks and locks coming.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maybe Football Needs to Borrow a Rule from 'Football'

It appears that everyone's soap box chatter of the week is revolving around concussions and football. Yeah, DeSean Jackson and Todd Heap forgot who their mommas were for a little while because of some brutal headshot hits.

It is a problem, defensive backs are firing into defenseless receivers at such speed and ferocity, that it's like we're watching guys get in to major car wrecks about a dozen times every Sunday. I'm honestly surprised we haven't seen anyone killed in the last five years.

And there's a lot being said by the talking heads in regards to NBC Sports' Rodney Harrison's comments on Sunday that, as a player, fines never got his attention, and that it was only when he was suspended that he would reconsider the manner in which he played.

A day later, cue the NFL. Ray Anderson, NFL VP of Football Operations:
There's strong testimonial for looking readily at evaluating discipline, especially in the areas of egregious and elevated dangerous hits... Going forward there are certain hits that occurred that will be more susceptible to suspension.
Now, most everyone is applauding this stance, but I don't believe we have really gotten anywhere yet. There are a few blanks to be filled, such as: Which hits will be deemed suspendable? Will they all be one game suspensions, or will 'bigger' hits be more than one game? Who decides how long the player is out? Are the suspensions enacted immediately (is there an appeal opportunity)? Can a player be ejected by a referee for one of these hits, and will a suspension then follow?

You can see that there is a lot of grey area to still be filled out. It looks like the NFL needs someone that can provide some guidance, and some answers.

That's where I come in. You know me, I'm a 'solution' guy.

Before I begin with my proposal, I want to you to know that I expect this idea to be met with immediate dismissal. Not because the proposal isn't sound, but because people are generally dumb. As I will explain, my proposal is already present in two of the biggest sports in the world, just the general public doesn't realize it.

I propose the NFL adopts a yellow card/red card system similar to the sport that, in other countries, bares the same name. If you are unfamiliar with how the soccer yellow card and red card process goes, here is a refresher:
A yellow card is shown by the referee to indicate that a player has been officially cautioned. The player's details are then recorded by the referee in a small notebook; hence a caution is also known as a "booking". A player who has been cautioned may continue playing in the game, however a player who receives a second caution in a match is sent off (shown the yellow card again, and then a red card), meaning that he must leave the field immediately and take no further part in the game. The player may not be replaced by a substitute. Law 12 of the Laws of the Game (which are set by the International Football Association Board and used by FIFA) lists the types of offences and misconduct that may result in a caution.

...the accumulation of a certain number of yellow cards over several matches results in disqualification of the offending player for a certain number of subsequent matches, the exact number of cards and matches varying by jurisdiction.
Now, the red card:
A red card is shown by a referee to signify that a player has been sent off. A player who has been sent off is required to leave the field of play immediately and must take no further part in the game. The player who has been sent off cannot be replaced during the game; his team must continue the game with one fewer player. Only players, substitutes and substituted players may receive a red card. Law 12 of the Laws of the Game lists the categories of misconduct for which a player may be sent off.
So, to recap that for you and apply it to American football (I'll follow with some clarifications):

A player engages in what is deemed an 'illegal and egregious play' by the referee or anyone on the officiating crew. That player is shown a yellow card, so that player is now 'on notice' that a second yellow card will result in an ejection from that game and a suspension from the following game.

That yellow card booking stays with that player through their next game (or two - something for the NFL to decide), so that the player is still 'on notice' and eligible for a suspension on their next 'illegal and egregious play'.

If a player engages in an act that the game officials decide is overly egregious, then they have the right to give that player a red card on the spot, regardless if the player was 'on notice' or not. They are ejected and suspended from the following game.

Through the course of a season, if a player accumulates multiple (maybe 5 or 6?) yellow cards, they are suspended for a game. This way, multiple-time offenders that have gotten away from successive-game yellow cards still have to be aware of how they play. Perhaps a second or third red card would result in an additional game suspension.

Of course all game suspensions are without pay. That way, we've REALLY gotten everybody's attention.

Got it? Fairly simple, right?

There's lots of wiggle room with this in terms of the number of cards, how long someone stays 'on notice', and how many games per suspension, but that's the main idea. As I said, I expect to get a lot of immediate dismissal for this idea. You know why?

Because it's soccer.

That's honestly why many people won't like this idea. And that's dumb. Because these same people don't have this problem with another major American sport THAT HAS THE EXACT SAME RULE!

Ever heard of the NBA?

Confused? You shouldn't be. While they may not have yellow and red cards, they do have things called 'technical' and 'flagrant' fouls. The NBA has had a rule that during a season, on the 16th technical foul, the player will receive a one-game suspension, with suspensions to follow on future technical fouls. And when it comes to the flagrant fouls, go check out the NBA rules - there's a lot of words like "Commissioner" and "sole discretion" close together.

So soccer has this rule and so does the NBA, and we've been fine with it. Lots of people I believe would argue that the NFL is just too fast for officials to determine whether or not a hit was egregious, and that there would be too many errors. NBA refs and soccer refs make errors all the time, and in the NBA, the league has the option to rescind the technical or flagrant - the NFL can do the same thing. So don't be come at me with the 'speed of the game' argument.

And if we really want to outsmart the anti-soccer folks, just change the colors of the cards - they'd never know.

But in the end, it shouldn't be about what we like or don't like, or what pre-conceived notions we have about less 'macho' sports and their association with OUR 'macho' sport. The point of it all is to get NFL players to stop trying to kill each other, and while we can cry and wave banners for assistance in helmet technology, I believe it will only stop once the fundamentals of the game are encouraged.

Wild, bezerker-type assistant coaches may be encouraging their players to separate the ball from the man by any means possible. Well, they can't do it if they aren't on the field. I think this proposal would help with that.

And for the few of you out there that are saying this rule would be another rule to help the offense by taking some of the games better defensive players out, I do hear you. How about chop blocks by offensive lineman or receivers? You get caught with a dirty chop block - yellow card. It can work both ways.

So, the NFL can dance around this for awhile - and maybe we'll all forget about it this time next week. But the talk this week from the NFL doesn't just need to be lip service with cloudy, indistinguished guidelines.

They need a real plan. So, why not use one that already works?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

NFL Locks for 10/17

Oh my. I love football.
The professionals play today, and we're invested in them. Tracked my man down early today, and he's got three locks for us. Yesterday was a great day overall, let's make today one too.

The Locks:

New England -2
Philadelphia -1
Denver +4

Good luck.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

10/16 Locks Are In

Not sure what to think about this.
Tracked my man down, and he's got winners for us all, targeted straight at your bookmaker's junk. Let's make today one to remember.

The Locks:

Illinois +7
East Carolina +8'
Colorado +2
Washington -1
BYY/TCU under 50'

Good luck.

10/16/10 College Football Plays

Here we are again. Fairly good slate of games today, and the BCS rankings will finally be out, and we'll be playing with computer formulas for the rest of the year.

But right now, I'm more determined and concentrated on beating the bookmakers. Let's make today a good day.

The picks:

Georgia -14
Miami/Duke under 60'
Auburn -3
South Carolina -4'
Iowa -3'

Locks from my man coming in a bit, so keep checking back or follow me on Twitter.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Does the Gus Malzahn Red Phone Start Ringing This Weekend?

Hey Auburn fans, it's Debbie Downer Time!

While the undefeated Auburn Tigers host Arkansas this weekend, the buzz from the talking heads continues to be about the great Cam Newton, who has been, well GREAT. He racked up 198 yards last weekend... rushing. He also managed to put in 210 yards passing in between his four touchdown runs.

And all this talk is well-deserved. I've heard many Auburn fans moan about how Cam isn't getting enough talk about the Heisman. But who is? It's not necessarily full-blown 'Heisman' time yet, is it? I advise Auburn fans to calm down about this - if your boy keeps putting up 400 yards of offense a game, he'll be fine.

But it's just like Auburn fans to be paranoid about those types of things. Hey! Speaking of which...

Where do you think Gus Malzahn will be coaching next year?

This week, I called a radio friend of mine and posed a scenario and question: if Auburn beats Arkansas this weekend and goes to 7-0, what are the odds that Gus Malzahn leaves Auburn after this year?

His response: "They go up. Way up."

Will Malzahn be talking to a different uniform next year?
Ever since he showed up for one year in Fayetteville, Gus Malzahn has been roundly celebrated as an offensive genius. Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel in 2009:
...in the four seasons since then-Arkansas coach Houston Nutt took the unusual step of plucking the coach of nearby Springdale High to run his SEC offense, the soft-spoken, bespectacled 43-year-old Malzahn has become one of the sport's most innovative offensive minds, not just in the college ranks, but in all of football.
That's mighty high praise. And if Auburn continues to make a deep run this year, I believe there are a few programs out there looking for a new direction - and who better than Malzahn?

Last year, I believe Malzahn would of been a strong candidate for several jobs - Memphis, Louisville, Virginia, East Carolina, and a few more. But last year, there weren't too many 'big schools' making a switch. And perhaps Malzahn knows that he has an opportunity to go straight to the big-time. (Last year's big school coaching changes: only Notre Dame, USC, and Tennessee - none of which I think would of been comfortable with a first-time head coach.)

This year, that may not be the case. Yes, I'm looking at the University of Georgia. Should things continue to slide for Mark Richt, and the Dawg fan base clamors for a new direction - who better than the guy who, in one year, took the 104th offense in the country to number three (the Mandel article), and in his second year he is developing a Heisman candidate? The new athletic director needs to make a statement hire, and I think the folks in Athens could get excited about someone who has the track record of Malzahn. Honestly, who would you rather have RIGHT NOW - Gus Malzahn or Derek Dooley? Thought so.

But maybe it won't be Georgia. Maybe it will be Texas A&M, Washington State, Michigan (if it falls apart for Rich Rod - can you imagine Gus Malzahn and Denard Robinson together? Holy Crap.), or Clemson? All of these head coaching jobs are better than being the OC at Auburn, right? (Okay, maybe not Washington State.)

The success of the Auburn Tigers this year, should it continue, is very important to the Auburn fan base. Remember, Tommy Tuberville's last day on the job at Auburn was the day Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa. Since that day, the state of Alabama has been crimson. Should Auburn be able to pull off some magic this year in the second year of a head coach that NO ONE wanted ("We want a leader, not a loser!") - Auburn fans can believe, truly believe, that they can compete and win the state (and not just live off of borrowed time, that I believe many Auburn fans felt during Bama's down years in the '00s).

However, that success, should it come to fruition, will come at a price. Gus Malzahn has never been at any college for more than two years. And if Auburn can stay anywhere close to their current pace, that won't change. Gus Malzahn isn't a gimmick anymore - he's legit, and schools, I believe, are ready to jump on board with him in a big way.

So, while I know Auburn fans are feeling good about their team right now, and they should, just don't be surprised if the rumors start soon swirling about whether or not their offensive genius will be back next year.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Commentary on the Whole Brett Favre 'Thing'

Activities prevented me from posting yesterday, as I have had several thoughts, issues, and questions in regards to latest Brett Favre saga. So, here I am today, after everyone else has thrown in their $1.05 of freedom and commentary.

Since I have multiple tangents to go on here, I figured it'd be best to just number my thoughts:

1. Just what is the protocol of sending someone a picture of your junk?

I ask this question not in the curiosity of whether it's right or wrong, or if it's too perverted. I think it's pretty clear that it is NOT the most couth of activities and your grandma wouldn't be pleased.

I want to know the process. If one was to be a serial offender of this type of activity, do you send a different picture or set of pictures to each girl? Or do you get one picture or set that you consider to be the gold standard for your junk, and just keep those pictures available to be sent at anytime? In other words, do you stock up on the good pictures? Initially I thought this was a silly idea, but, so is sending a picture of your Greg Oden.

2. This is another example of how there is a whole other society out there that I am not a part of.

The 'sending pictures of your junk' society. Obviously, with technology expanding like it is, the opportunities for these people to engage in these activities are growing.

At this point, I'm thinking they're the weird ones. But, if more and more people embrace this kind of stuff as we evolve technologically - am I going to end up being on the outside looking in? Will there be a day when everyone knows what everyone else looks like naked?

I'm a bit torn on that.

3. Let's not hate on ESPN too much.

ESPN did finally acknowledge the story during Monday night's broadcast, although (from what I saw) it was relegated to the scroller and a brief word from Chris Mortensen - with Schefter quickly changing topics in their on-air segment. The worldwide leader just seems really hesitant to jump in on this - and I don't know if it's that they don't want to give credence to regular ESPN-hater Deadspin.com or if they don't feel comfortable with the 'TMZ-ness' of the story.

I'm not really anti-ESPN, because I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing. They have their business interests to keep in mind. ESPN makes Disney a lot of money, and ESPN continues to roll out new content and channel options all the time. People tune in to watch Brett Favre and if ESPN brings more attention to this story, maybe it becomes a bigger deal, and it could lead to a world without Brett Favre. And that's bad business for ESPN.

In radio, lots of listeners would get upset about something and accuse the hosts of "only caring about their sponsors". What exactly is wrong with that? The sponsors are the ones who pay the bills, indirectly. I always found that to be a flaw in today's radio audience. Because most radio listeners have obtained their radio content for free, they have become a bit spoiled. Audiences need to remember that television and radio are just like any other businesses - the people who own the stations are in it for the money. While it is good business to cater to your audience and maintain the platform, they don't actually have an obligation to not skew things in their best interests. Like with Brett Favre, if it's bad for ESPN, then they aren't going to go out of there way to make it any more of a story than it has to be.

And I don't find a lot of fault with that. When you or your boss' feet are put to the fire, you may do the same. Whenever I hear a radio show caller say, "you only care about the station sponsors", I think, "Yeah, so what?"

4. I'm glad we had a reminder of just how hot Jenn Sterger is.

Don't you try and be too cool about this. My friend Luke says all the time that she's "not that hot". That's bull. She is too hot.

It's more amazing that this girl has managed, on some level, to stay in the spotlight. According to her website, she's an actress, model, writer and television host. That's quite a 15 minute run from a camera shot during a football game. The only one who has done better is Pamela Anderson, and Jenn hasn't put enough time in yet.

But I encourage you all to not be one of those people hating on something with no basis. I hate on Kobe Bryant, but I have my reasons. Not thinking Jenn Sterger is hot is not hating, it's foolish.

5. One more Jenn Sterger question:

What ever happened to the other two?
We know Jenn, but where are Fabiola and Chrystal?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Not Satisfied with Ole Miss' Reasons Why the Mascot Isn't Going to Be a Horse.

The Admiral.
As discussed before in this space, the Ole Miss mascot search has been a total disaster. First, they allow themselves to be beyond 'nerdish' in allowing the Admiral Ackbar saga to perpetuate itself for many months, and then they stick the alumni with these three sorry choices.

I am not an Ole Miss alum or student, but somehow I have ended up on the mailing list for all information regarding the Ole Miss Mascot search. Lucky me.

I had long been a fan of the Rebel Horse or Stallion, as I thought it'd be cool to have a horse lead the football team on to the field. Supplement that with a costumed horse, and you aren't doing anything embarrassing - which at this point, should be Ole Miss' only goal. Don't embarrass yourselves.

Today I have received the 'Committee's' reasoning for why they threw out my horse. And I am not satisfied. From my inbox today:
Since the top five Ole Miss Rebel mascot concepts were identified this summer in the first poll, the Rebel Mascot Selection Committee has been hard at work with the mascot design professionals developing designs to share with the Ole Miss community. The time is finally here for you to see these ideas and offer your input!

The committee could not be more please with the participation in the first poll. After receiving more than 1,000 suggestions and considering the results of more than 33 focus groups, the Rebel Mascot Committee submitted 11 mascot concepts to the Ole Miss community for input. Over 13,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and season ticketholders joined the process, and 96% of them responded to at least one mascot concept in a positive way. Since that time, the student committee has been reviewing the concepts and holding them up to the values identified by the Ole Miss family as being important to the new Rebel on-field mascot. The Rebel Mascot Selection Committee has taken more time than expected to make sure the designs presented in this round of polling are respectful of the Ole Miss traditions and pride.

In doing so, the Rebel Mascot Selection Committee has eliminated the Rebel Lion and the Rebel Stallion from the list of potential concepts. Though there was positive response to the play on the words in "Rebellion" and "Pride of the South", the committee concluded that the connection to Mississippi and Ole Miss was not strong enough for this concept to be viable. Also, many were enthusiastic about a live horse as a mascot to lead the Ole Miss Rebels. However, because of limited space on the stadium sidelines and in other athletics venues, the committee soon realized that a live horse would, at most, have a brief and limited role at the beginning of each football game. As a result, this mascot idea ultimately turned on the appeal of a costumed horse to lead our teams during all games (including basketball, baseball and other venues where live horses would not be practicable) and to attend special events. Very little support for a costumed horse emerged in the focus groups and among the student committee, which led to the elimination of the Stallion concept.

Based upon the earlier poll, the Rebel Stallion and the Rebel Lion were the fourth and fifth most popular concepts. Thus, the committee was comfortable eliminating them based upon the reasons described above.
It's like these people live in a cocoon. Ole Miss, they don't take Mike the Tiger to Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge! The horse would have been fantastic. Little children could visit the horse throughout the year and take pictures. Every 3-5 years, a new horse is chosen. Copy from the Georgia Bulldogs, it doesn't matter. You could of had Rebel I, Rebel II, on and on.

So what that he would only be around at the start of the football game? It'd make it that more special. Run him out there, go up on two legs at midfield, and charge off. Then the costume mascot can handle it from there. That's not crazy - in fact, I think it makes a lot of sense.

And look back at that line, "...the Rebel Mascot Selection Committee has eliminated the Rebel Lion and the Rebel Stallion from the list of potential concepts. Though there was positive response to the play on the words in "Rebellion" and "Pride of the South", the committee concluded that the connection to Mississippi and Ole Miss was not strong enough for this concept to be viable."

And a Bear or Land Shark is more "connected" to Mississippi? Hey, Ole Miss, 'Land Sharks' aren't REAL!! There are less than 100 bears in Mississippi!

More from the email I received today:
It is the Rebel Mascot Selection Committee's greatest desire during this selection period that all parts of the Ole Miss community are aware of the process, and remain well informed about each decision. The committee members thank you for your patience and support and are looking forward to the end result!
Well, Ole Miss fans, nevermind that you may not be satisfied, at least you were informed throughout the process of how terrible this all is.

More:
Now for the fun part! The Rebel Mascot Selection Committee has three creative mascot designs for you to review: The Rebel Black Bear, The Rebel Land Shark, and Hotty Toddy. Your feedback in this phase of the mascot selection process is incredibly important. The poll results will greatly influence which concept becomes the new on-field mascot for the Ole Miss Rebels. As always, we value your input tremendously, so please give each design a chance to "soak in" and then give us your thoughts.
Yeah, tons of fun. You know why they want you to "soak in" the candidates, because any sane person, on first glance, should be disgusted by these choices.

What you're left with.
But notice that it doesn't explicitly say that the mascot receiving the most votes will be the mascot - it will "greatly influence". Could this already be decided? And if you're an Ole Miss fan, are you comfortable with that?

Considering how it's gone to this point, I'm not sure that I'd be.