Monday, December 26, 2011

Bully Cowards In Stripes

To borrow a phrase from my mother, here's something that really "burns me up."

I caught the below video on Yahoo!, with a nice little writeup on this kid in the class of 2014. Long story short: a kid who is much better than everyone else on the floor throws one down, and he is almost immediately ejected from the game for taunting (with a back-to-back technical call).

Here's the video:

Loads of crap.

I was reviewing some of the comments on the Yahoo! story, and the reaction was all over the place: it was an offensive foul, kid shouldn't of been hot-dogging, the ref is racist... on and on.

Here's where I sit:

That referee thinks he's bigger than the game. And that's a problem with me.

It was a clear case of this kid being better than everyone else, and the referee didn't like it and took it upon himself to 'equalize' the playing field. It is not the place of a referee to do this - the teams determine how level the playing field through their practice, preparation, and sometimes just sheer talent. And this dude tilted that playing field against the better team. I can tell from 10 seconds of video that this kid was far and away the best player on the floor (just from defensive stances, his teammates' floor positions, and the defense's floor rotation when he breaks loose from his defender).

And this referee felt like it put the other team at a disadvantage and targeted this kid.

It's not his fault he's better than everyone else - it's their fault for not being as good. Fair or not.

No, I don't think he should have been given a technical for pausing/posing on the baseline (NOT staring down the kid he just humiliated) - he did just make an amazing play after all, and perhaps he needed a moment to take in what he just did. (Yes, that can happen.) Nor do I think he should have been given a technical for saluting/acknowledging his OWN fans during a dead ball.

Yep, that's Teddy. There's no reason
we should know his name, but we do.
The bigger issue is that this kind of stuff happens all the time. Referees (particularly in basketball, it seems) often times can feel like they should be a major part of the game. That is all wrong. From junior high basketball refs to Teddy 'TV' Valentine or Tim Higgins in the NCAA - something about that whistle gives these guys a power trip that they just can't seem to handle. It's not universal - of course there are thousands of referees everywhere that do as good as they can with a difficult job. But those that take advantage of their situation and take it out on kids - are cowards and bullies. Bully cowards. And I don't like that.

There should be accountability - and rarely is it ever implemented. Those who say you should never question the referee or risk damaging their ability to umpire - I say boo to you. See above. The ref was looking for an opportunity to get rid of this kid, and he took it. That's not cool - and I don't think this guy should be allowed to ref again this season.

I'll finish this off with a quick story of my time as a high school basketball coach. An acquaintance of mine had just gotten some work reffing some high school games - and he was assigned to one of my games. He was nervous going in - he told me - but after the game, he came up to me and asked me what I thought of the job he did. I told him he was perfect. He had called fouls against my team and the opponent, so there didn't seem to be any favoritism (we weren't 'friends' - just two guys who knew each other). He asked me why I told him that he was perfect, as he said he hadn't called a perfect game or anything. I told him that I thought he was great because I didn't even really realize he was there - he didn't take away any attention from the game onto himself.

And that is what a good referee does.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Uh Oh...

Look who got Photoshop!!

Les Miles is... The Hat-bbit.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Your Bowl Guide

A little late posting on this (or anything else, it seems...), but my buddy LT and I are in a bowl pool together. Let this be your guide to betting this bowl season. Either by following our lead, or by going the other way. You decide.

And yes, we know that Ohio was a bad beat.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tebow Rises Again

Just saw that Tim Tebow is actually magical, as the Broncos knock down two +50 yard field goals to beat Chicago. And, yes, we did bet on the fighting Tebows today.

Speaking of magic & Tebow, I've got a friend who took a trip to NYC this weekend. She wound up in the middle of a Santa Convention. Here's your proof...

Santas at the bar... 
And on the subway...
Birthday boy.
So, it looks like all good fun, right? But wait, what's up with that last guy? Here he is again...
What is hairy, Asics-wearing Jesus doing?
It looks like Jesus is about to strike a familiar pose...
Of course.
Now it all makes sense. Tebow is not a fan of Jesus. Jesus is a fan of Tebow.

All he does is win. (win. win.)

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How Often Do You Think This Guy Washes His Car?

I guess one of the great(?) things about spending a lot of my time in Alabama, is that today, December 11th - two weeks after Alabama and Auburn played - this is still there:

RTR

This dude has heart. How long is Billy Bob going to keep this going?

Keep in mind we had about three straight days of solid rain last week. Is this dude parking his car under a tree? Will this even come down if Bama wins the national title?

And, yes, that is a Talladega tag.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Grammar Police

Hate to be that guy, but...

I've got lots of writer friends who from time to time make a grammar or spelling mistake in their columns or articles. And I've been one to do it as well on my little platform here. But over the years, I've found myself falling into being a bit of a grammar hound. I blame Mrs. Thagard from 4th through 6th grade English. Lady was a hound.

However, when your gig is PR - for one of the premier teams in the NFL - make sure you get at least the headline right.

Looks like spelling isn't much of a big deal in San Fran.
Yes, someone forgot the second half of "I before E".

(And when will people figure out the difference between "loose" and "lose"?)

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

In Marketing, Messaging Matters...

Tim Tebow continues his roll in the NFL (and continues to win me money, but that's besides the point...), so we'll continue to be bombarded by the talking heads about why he still isn't an NFL quarterback. That may or may not be, but this I do know - you will be marketed to.

I came across this ad, and I'm not sure how Mr. Tebow would feel about this ad from the folks at 55jerseys.com...


Sort of feels like an 'Oh My God' reference, even abbreviated, is a little inappropriate when referring to Tebow.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Boeheim Probably Going To Be Shown the Door

Right or wrong, I never felt totally comfortable with Joe Paterno getting the heave-ho. While I can definitely understand that perspective (and can't say that there is anything wrong with it), I just sit on the side that Joe didn't really know what all was going on. If he had actually known, then I'd of been all about kicking him out.

Whether he should have known or not, I guess that's what determines your feelings towards Joe Paterno's exit. And that's fair. I feel it's just a sad situation all around.

On to Bernie Fine. And Jim Boeheim.

If you follow the protocol/logic of the Penn State situation - how does Jim Boeheim survive? Boeheim says he's not worried about his job status. Boeheim is a bit of an asshole, so the "I don't worry about it" thing is probably just his way. But man, if I were him, I'd start filling my Netflix queue with all the free time I'd about to have.

There's no way he survives this, right? I don't see enough difference between Penn State and Syracuse to come to any other conclusion.

What's more - why is Boeheim still on the sideline?

What does the Syracuse administration know that would make them feel comfortable by not taking any action on Boeheim to this point? And should that make me reconsider the position that Boeheim is probably on the way out?

It may once again come back to what did Boeheim know. Was there ever a report to Boeheim about the accusations?

But again, if the Paterno pattern is followed - shouldn't he have known?

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week 13 Continues

Iron Bowl Saturday is here, and since Nick and the Tide have to sit out a week, they're going to leave something for everyone to remember them by. I just don't see how Auburn scores twice today. They need non-offensive touchdowns in the worst way to make this any kind of a game. I'm up against the clock, so on to the picks:

(We're 5-2 so far this holiday weekend, so let's all be thankful for that.)

Plays at the number that I got them at or bought to:

Ohio State +8 ('The Welcome Urban Meyer Party')
Georgia Tech +5
Alabama -20'
Florida 3'
South Carolina -3


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Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Because it's on my mind: B.S. personal foul call against Texas A&M last night. Refs have got to quit anticipating calls (in all sports - I'm looking at you, Tim Higgins), because this is the crap that loses teams ballgames.

Of course, if you're an Aggie, it seems that second halves also lose you ballgames.

These people are all fools.
Those of you who stayed up all night for midnight sales - you're a fool. I'll sit on my couch Monday and get good deals, online, from my nice and comfortable couch.

How will I pay for all that good stuff? With these...

Tulsa +3'
Arkansas/LSU over 52'
LSU -11'
California +7

Make that paper.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Stuffing

From Georgia fan Steve:
If things fall into place, every BCS conference champ could have at least 2 losses, yet the title game might include two teams that finished 2nd and 3rd in their conference. It amazes me no one is discussing this scenario. I know you are a Bama fan, but talk about some bullshit. And yes, I am still not over 2007.

ACC: Clemson
Big East: Someone terrible
Big Ten: MSU or PSU/Wisky
Big-12: Oklahoma
Pac-12: Oregon or UCLA/Utah
SEC: Georgia
I would say that you're not, Steve.

I can't sit here and say that this all "won't happen", because the last week and a half of college football has pretty much proven to me that just about anything can happen.

Alabama fans should rejoice in this - just to think that you cold actually be better off NOT going to the SEC title game. Pretty crazy.

As for Bulldog Steve's scenarios, I've seen Georgia play football in person this year. And while they are playing much better than the weekend I saw Chris Relf overthrow Sanford Stadium, I'm not sure the SEC East Bulldogs can match up physically with Alabama or LSU.

Georgia's turned out to be a pretty good football team - especially since they remembered they had Isaiah Crowell in the backfield. He's getting about 4 more carries a game since September, and reports are that he's back in a regular jersey (no more non-contact - that's for wusses). He needs to be getting it 22-25 times a game. Your best player, give him the ball. I'm hopeful he'll crack 1,000 yards this weekend against the Yellow Jackets.

On to business. Since it's Turkey Day, here are some items to be thankful for:

Detroit +4'
Baltimore -3
Texas/Texas A&M under 53'

Go fill up that belly.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Me Gusta Basketbol de Alabama

Well done by Anthony Grant's crew in Puerto Rico. What was a disaster a year ago, turned out this time to be a good trip to Puerto Rico. I'm obviously excited about this team, as I have always been a bit fair-weathered on Alabama's football team - I have always been a Bama basketball fan. Which is why I disliked Gottfried so much.

Here's what I like and don't like about the team:

Like #1) As Doug Gottlieb gushed over throughout Sunday's broadcast, this team is full of athletes that are playing hard. It's a big deal if you can get that to happen. It's a bit of a mid-major (VCU-ish?) method - you may not have the best basketball players, but you make up for talent deficiencies with superior effort.

Good news for Alabama - they've actually got some good players, too. Good players, that are athletes, that play hard is a good combination.

Like #2) Trevor Lacey. At least so far. I think it's fair to say that he is the best of the three freshmen (Cooper, Levi, and Lacey), but he doesn't start. If Anthony Grant has done what I think he's done, then this really will be a tough team.

I believe that Grant has communicated to Lacey that he likes him as a player, and that he probably is the best of the three freshmen. But he needs Lacey's minutes to come and help him with Releford. Lacey can bring the ball up, and while there will be times when it's Releford at the 1 with Lacey at the 2, Bama needs some quality minutes when Releford's on the bench - something that our boy Eblin just can't do.

He appears to have accepted this role - which is important for such a young team.

Like #3) As mentioned, we can all look forward to less Ben Eblin on the floor. That is a good thing for everyone.

Like #4) Levi Randolph. Kid does not play like a freshman. Brings the ball up, hasn't made many mistakes, and plays his butt off on defense. Really with he and Rodney Cooper - when either one is in the game or has the ball, does it seem like either is a freshman? They just both play with a lot of confidence.

And for better or worse, with this, it appears that Charles Hankerson is quickly making his way out of the rotation. Nice knowing you, Hank!

The Swede doesn't do it for me.
Dislike #1) The Swede is no good. Gets pushed around, and comes across as having zero basketball IQ. It's a shame that so many 7-footers just don't understand the game or lack that aggression that would make them great. But I guess not everyone can be Patrick Ewing.

Among Engstrom's issues, are that he just gets flat-out outplayed by anyone that is around him. Players 4 to 6 inches shorter than he just put him to the side and take him out of what should be good rebounding opportunities. If Swede's in the game for five minutes, he'll cost Bama 3-4 second chance possessions (offense and defense).

I was hoping that he could give Bama 8 to 10 minutes a game. Doesn't look like that's going to be possible. That leaves Bama with a low post presence of only JaMychal Green and (I guess) Nick Jacobs. That's it - check out the roster, you'll see.

And when JaMychal gets in foul trouble in an SEC game - it's going to be a problem.

Dislike #2) This is a nitpick. Tony Mitchell needs to tone it down. I've just got a feeling that he could be spending the year trying out for the NBA. He's crazy streaky, and I'm just concerned that when he's on a cold streak he'll try to push through it and possibly put Bama into a bad spot. Really just depends on where his head's going to be once more people start to take notice of him.

It's all good now, but challenges await with VCU, Georgetown, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State all in December. (Who would have thought Bama could actually schedule some games? Mark Gottfried told us all that no one would play them...)

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week 12's Cam Newton Plan

Wow. Well it didn't take long to get Bama fans back to reserving rooms on Bourbon Street.

And to think - it was done with a bunch of players recruited by... Gene Chizik. (Dah Dah duuuhhhh)

More thoughts on this later. But right now, we've got 'bidness to tend to...

Texas A&M -30'
Michigan -3
South Florida -1
Notre Dame -23'
Texas -7

Some more plays likely to come later. Keep checking back and please send a link to a friend. The site's doing well over the past two months, let's keep it going.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

B to the Izzy

I have been asked where I've been this week. You know, no posts and all. I thought about it and went and asked Merriam–Webster:

1.
A) engaged in action : occupied
B) being in use (found the telephone busy)

2.
full of activity : bustling (a busy seaport)

3.
foolishly or intrusively active : meddling

4.
full of distracting detail (a busy design)

I'm partial to definitions three and four. Those probably describe me best.

But busy is good, right?

Quick basketball thought:

I did have an opportunity to see Alabama play Maryland earlier this evening. I think it's fun when Alabama is competitive in basketball - or even just a group that plays hard. That had been lost in the last five years of Gottfried's reign. Mark had quit caring (or making any kind of an effort), and it was reflected on the floor.

Anthony Grant's got some talent coming in - which Gottfried was able to do. The difference is that Grant (to this point) is keeping that talent in school or at Alabama, and he's got them playing hard.

Makes a big difference and sets the tone for the program.

Hopefully, Tony Mitchell won't spend the year trying out for the NBA, and if they can get 12 minutes a game out if Nick Jacobs and the Swede down low, I like Bama as a potential second weekend team.

And, as you've probably realized, the only purpose of this post was to make a post. Hope we are all better off for it.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

What a Terrible Football Program Looks Like

A real football program and athletic department wouldn't allow this to happen. If any Memphis fans continue to gripe about getting passed over for BCS conference additions - show them this.


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Week 11 College Plays

Getting a late start to the morning. Here are the 11 o'clocks, more picks coming.

Penn State +3
Missouri pk
Pittsburgh +3'

And if anyone last night caught my karaoke performance of "Bette Davis Eyes", you're welcome.

Okay, now settled in. More plays for the afternoon:

Georgia -12
Texas A&M -5
Illinois pk

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What I Think Joe Pa Did(n't Do)

I'm torn a bit on this one, as I don't want to defend someone in an indefensible position.

The Penn State stuff really is sad. And I know that the real victims in all this are those young men who were violated, abused, and just put through something that is just truly unimaginable. I honestly cannot wrap my head around it.

I just saw Matt Millen's commentary (Tuesday) on ESPN, and it's obvious that there are lots of emotions involved for everyone.



It's sad, frustrating, and infuriating.

What comes next in the space is NOT a defense of this behavior, or of any individual. But I want to get into the reaction towards Joe Paterno's future.

The topic - In Light of These Accusations, Should Joe Paterno Be Allowed to Coach Anymore?

I have been reading and listening to the commentary towards what should be done with Joe Paterno. It is overwhelmingly positioned that Joe Pa should be pushed out. I got to talk a little bit about the situation with my friend Lance Taylor of WJOX. LT is a parent - 2 kids - and on the phone, he told me he thinks there's no way Joe Paterno survives. This may be true, and I think that parents, the victims and their parents, and lots of people agree.

He's the face of the program where all of these activities occurred. And it's easily arguable that he's responsible, and that he didn't do enough to protect these children.

Totally fair to say.

But I don't know if I agree. I'm not saying that I don't agree - just that I don't know. I really wish I couldn't sit the fence on this one, but I am a believer in due process, and Joe Paterno is not (at this point) being investigated in the abuse or the cover-up.

I have read the entire report. You can here, as well. It is not pretty.

Paterno probably didn't understand
what was going on.
I like to think of things in how they actually went down - not how they should have gone down, or what would be the politically correct story. From reading the report, I have my opinion of how this actually happened. I shared my thoughts with LT, and he said it really was possible that this was how it all went down. Again, my opinion only on what Joe Paterno did:

I think that the graduate assistant saw Sandusky and the boy just as it was described. And the GA flipped out, didn't know who to tell. He finally decides to go to Joe Paterno. The problem is that Joe is 70-something years old at this time, and I would imagine that telling a septuagenarian about a football coach sodomizing a child is very uncomfortable. And I think that the GA had one of those conversations where he attempted to tell Joe Pa what happened without actually saying what happened.

And Joe didn't make the connection. At least not fully. It's clear (to me, at least) that there is some grey in the report as to how specific the information that Joe Paterno had about the 2002 incident was. In the report, Joe Pa reports to Tim Curley (the athletic director) that something "sexual in nature" was reported to have occurred.

What may be "sexual in nature" to you and me may not be to Joe. Paterno really could have thought that it was towel-snapping or a butt-slap (like you see all the time on the football field). I'm not saying that the coach doing these activities with a child is appropriate - but Joe wasn't thinking sodomy when he was thinking "sexual in nature".

Remember, Joe Paterno was born in 1926. When Joe's views on the world were being formed - sexual conversation was not normal. And definitely not child sexual abuse. I believe that the GA got to Joe's house and couldn't quite get the right words out. And Joe Pa wasn't sure exactly what he was talking about.

As we said, Paterno reported it to the administrators. Here is another area where we have some grey - the report makes no more mention of anyone reporting this behavior to Joe Paterno. I think it's possible that Paterno reported this information (at this point - 2002 - not knowing if it was true or not) and never heard anything about it again.

Should he have followed up? Probably so. I think I would have.

But I'm not Joe Paterno. I'm also not (at the time) a 70-something and also not been told that a guy I coached football with (and who was likely a friend) for a long time was inappropriately touching/fondling little boys. But if I was in Paterno's position, it's not a conversation that I'd be looking to have.

It's just uncomfortable. I'm not saying that's an excuse for not following up - it's just probably why he didn't. He didn't hear anything else about it, and Joe probably assumed that nothing was found and everything was fine. He hadn't ever heard of or thought that Sandusky did these types of things. He was a fellow football coach, after all. One that he coached with for many years.

I think it came down to a miscommunication between Paterno and the GA, and an assumption that Joe Pa made that the investigation didn't reveal anything.

Was the responsibility still Paterno's at this point? A lot of talking heads have claimed he had a moral obligation to bring this to the authorities. Perhaps (and in retrospect, he should have). But he did what he did - thinking it was the right action to take. And when nothing new or update was given to him, he figured it was over. I know it's unfortunate, but I bet that's how it happened.

We all know that Joe comes from a different era where topics like this were extremely taboo and difficult. He miscommunicated and assumed.

Does that miscommunication and assumption justify pushing Paterno out?

I still don't know.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Early Shopping For the Holiday Season

This was just sent my way. New Daniel Moore print to commemorate LSU/Alabama '11...

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

What We (I) Learned Yesterday

Great football Saturday. It was a long one - as I decided to act like I was 22 years old for about 48 hours. Stayed out until 4:30am Friday night - then woke up and left Birmingham for Tuscaloosa at 9:30.

Every muscle in my body is sore.

What an incredibly long day it was. From my cloudy state of mind, I've got a few game thoughts to share:

1) Les Miles likes Jordan Jefferson more than he likes Jarrett Lee.

And that's why he was the starter going into the season. When it really got to nut-cutting time Saturday night, it was Jefferson - not Lee - behind center. Keep in mind I haven't seen a replay or a recap, but I don't remember Lee playing after his second half pick.

It's unfortunate for Lee, because all the kid did was win, but I would not be surprised to see Jordan Jefferson starting for LSU from here on out.

2) Jim McElwain has me totally frustrated.

I'll need to go back and confirm this, but why did Alabama abandon their hurry-up offense after the initial drive? If they didn't, it felt like they did. Bama's first drive, which yielded no points on a missed field goal (more on these coming up), was actually a very good looking drive that - save one play - that had LSU on their heels and Bama in plus territory in just two plays.

What did the Tide in during the first series was a 1st and 10 that lost about six, and Bama didn't recover. I have not gone back to watch the game yet, but I don't recall them using this hurry-up again. Aside from that one play, it was a solid drive that just didn't result in points.

Why abandon this?

3) AJ McCarron may not be ready for Prime Time.

Not to say that he isn't a good QB. He is. But just a good one, not a great one. I just saw that, against an elite defense, there were several rushed throws (those sideline outs felt like they were in the air forever), and never got the impression that the Tide coaching staff was confident enough in either McCarron or the receiving corp to go out and win the game.

I'm sure there were some plays and statistics that prove me wrong on this - but I never felt confident that McCarron would 'win' the game for Bama. Just a feeling.

4) That being said - why not go Dexter McCluster with Trent Richardson?

Better yet - why not go Mark Ingram? What I'm saying here is that a few years back, Dexter McCluster was the only player Ole Miss had. Although it took him 2/3 of a season, Houston Nutt finally figured out that on every play, he either had to give the ball to McCluster or make it look like they were giving him the ball. Mark Ingram would tear teams up through the wildcat with continuous 5/6 yard games.

Give it to him.
Why not just do this with Trent? This was the national title game, after all. Give it your best player every play. No need to fool around.

Perhaps that's a little simplistic, but if you don't think a game plan consisting of giving it to Trent Richardson or faking it to Richardson every play would be effective, then I think you'd be wrong.

As I'm writing this - I've gotten to a DVR recording of the game and have started watching. Trent is running like a truck. I'm seeing 23 carries for Trent - should of been 40. Not kidding.

5) That Maze wildcat pass was a terrible playcall, terrible idea all-around.

I can understand being aggressive, and don't really have a problem with that. But this again takes your best player out of the action. Why, on a drive that had Bama driving down the field - with a Heisman candidate at your disposal - you'd take that risk is just a bit much for me. (And I'm a guy who likes the the A-11.)


That's really it. I'm not piling on kickers, which I understand is happening in some other spaces. Those kids know that you don't score if you don't put it through the uprights.

The BCS shows the Tide at #3, with Stanford hanging out at the 4 spot. I spoke with my old radio bud (and fellow Annistonian) Ryan Brown of WJOX this evening who explained to me that this situation makes a rematch very much a possibility. You obviously need Oklahoma State to drop a game and Oregon to beat Stanford.

Where it would get the most bizarre is that if Arkansas beat LSU (including the OK State & Stanford losses). That'd give you a three-way tie in the SEC West. Which gives you a really weird tiebreaker. There are eight tiers to the tie break, and I believe this situation would push it all the way to #8:
The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game.
Which would mean that (again, Arkansas has beaten LSU, and LSU was still ranked ahead of Arkansas in the BCS) Alabama could be the #1 BCS team in the country, and would sit out the SEC Championship game. LSU would win that, and then (very likely) head to New Orleans to for the BCS Championship game against... #1 Alabama.

Weird how this works, right? I had to have Ryan explain it twice to me so that I was sure.

But even without the Arkansas upset, if OK State and Stanford fall, it doesn't look like there'd be any other option than the rematch.

So not all hope is lost, Bama fans.

It's not exactly how you would have planned it, but it seems like it would behoove Crimson Tiders to become Sooner and Duck fans. Bourbon Street could still be in your future.

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Day of Dread Has Finally Arrived. Week 10 College Football Plays.

Well, it's finally here. Bama/LSU, and the honest emotions are mixed. At least those of the 30 year old variety.

Here's how we see today. It's going to be great, but... It's going to be a loooonng day. And can we handle it?

Is it a sign if age that - on one of the biggest college football days in memory - all my friends can think about is how we scares we are of drinking for that long, with a game that late? It is a CBS 7 o'clock kick, after all. We ain't getting out of that stadium til 11.

It's going to be a disaster.

The whole day will be. I'm leaving Birmingham now, and I keep getting visions of what it will all look like.

I'm picturing Tuscaloosa like its a scene out of 300. Bodies flying everywhere, all fending for themselves. In Tuscaloosa today, Lord of the Flies will be tested.

I hope I survive it. Pictures to come.

Today's plays, at the number that I got or bought:

Alabama -4 (Say what you will, but I like Bama today. And my bet slip shows it.)

South Carolina +5'

Texas -13'

Iowa +4'

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

LSU/Alabama Rolls On

LSU/Alabama week continues. As most of my friends are Alabama fans, these are some of the images that come across my news feed.

I don't know when or where this was. But if it was
the Strip in Tuscaloosa... well, that's hilarious.
And our boy TBLTT has gone grocery shopping in preparation of LSU fans coming to Tuscaloosa...

Nose pins & Febreze. Apply evenly.

And if you've got any photos/images you want to share to smack talk, send them on. Pro-Bama or pro-LSU. Doesn't matter to me.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week 9 College Football Plays

Quick shout out to my boy B Jones in Huntsville. Saw him last weekend for the first time in awhile. He's been spending his time popping out a bunch of kids. For his wife's sake, let's hope he's done for awhile.

I'm writing this from different spots on 280, on my way to Auburn. It's an effort to see the SEC's worst team (Ole Miss) and contrast it to next week's Game of the Millenium. Hope I can handle the shock of it.

We've done really well the past few weeks on the site. Some of us (me) have been able to flip the script with a few well-timed parlays. I'd go back and give you our record, but I don't know how to do that from my phone.

Regardless, here are my plays for this week at the number that I got or bought down to, live from highway 280:

South Carolina -3 (I know - I am currently involced in a Spurrier boycott, but UT is soooo bad.)

Auburn -12' (Speaking of bad, the Rebels.)

Arkansas -8' (Vandy might be mad, but I think people are forgetting that Arkansas is clearly #3 in the conference, with a lot of space between them and #9 Vandy. I'd say at least 10 points of space.)

My man also has some trick-or-treats for us...

Louisville -3
Georgia Tech +3'
Nebraska -4
Oklahoma -13
Florida +3

Good luck.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Once Again, Photoshop Rules The Day

Thanks to fellow fantasy baseballer P-Shedd for hooking me up...


If anyone has any others they want to share, please send to the Facebook page or Twitter, and I'll put them up. Pro-Bama or Pro-LSU, doesn't matter to me.

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Saban Talks LSU

Is it just me, or is Nick Saban wearing this grey shirt a lot? Pretty sure I've seen it a few times now. Must be his 'Wednesday' shirt.

Anyway, here he is using a bunch of business buzzwords when talking about LSU.



He's not as bad as he used to be, I listened to it twice and didn't hear "process" once. Perhaps I missed it... or is Nick Saban slipping?

#PROCESS

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Stephen Colbert On The NCAA

Stephen Colbert welcomed NCAA hater Taylor Branch onto his show. Of course, not much was accomplished.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grocery Store Wine Bar?

Went to the Whole Foods in Mountain Brook earlier this evening. I remember when it first opened, I was doing radio in Birmingham, and I wanted to do a remote from the opening to cover the madness.

My next experience with a Whole Foods was in Memphis, TN. After two years of going to dirty Schnuck's and convenient-but-pricey Miss Cordelia's, I found the Whole Foods over in East Memphis. It was like going on vacation. Possibly the cleanest place in the whole city.

But tonight I saw something that I couldn't quite get my head around: a bar in the grocery store. And folks were actually there drinking, eating dinner.

Errbody gettin' tipsy at Whole Foods.
Just not sure I see the grocery store as a social conclave. Usually when I see people I know at the grocery store, I'll give you the nod and move on, or maybe a quick convo.

So how does it work? Do you call up somebody, and you decide to meet for drinks at the grocery store?

Is this cool to do or not?

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

An Endorsement for Asshole Baby & The Qualifications Required to Have a Child

This baby is an asshole.
Hello, all.

My buddy Phillip has started a new blog that I want to give a quick shout-out to. Asshole Baby.

It's a blog by a guy who I can't (personally) believe actually procreated. My friend Lance Taylor and I have discussed many times that people should have a license in order to have a child. At least some level of qualification. Think about it - is there a greater responsibility in life? You become completely responsible for another life. Without you, they don't eat, don't stay warm, nothing. And just anybody is allowed to take a run at it.

There should be some requirements right? Like Barney Fife, I believe that if you want to address a problem, you get in front of it. Nip it in the bud.

If it were up to me, the qualifications for getting your parenting license:

1) Be able to read at a fifth-grade level. I don't think children should be managing children, and if the parent can at least read to this level, they are likely to be employed or employable, with enough intelligence to have a basic understanding of what is right/wrong or safe/dangerous. If a person can't read the same stuff I was reading when I was 10 years old - you don't need a kid.

Can't believe Leah and Corey
didn't work out.
2) A desire to be featured on Teen Mom? If so, immediately disqualified, axe to the fallopian tubes. At least tie them up 'til your thirty. Teen Mom may be the greatest injustice to any child. Exploiting these girls and their families is WRONG. In what - I guess - was conceived as a deterrent for teen pregnancy, you end up with teen girls trying to get pregnant so they can get on the show. If you or someone you know would want to be on Teen Mom, lock them in a shed with the Bible for then next 15 years. Girls who want to have a kid so they can be on TV should not be parents, and this fact is prominently displayed on the show. At least I have Kim Kardashian fighting on my side here.

3) Can you name the current President? Assuming you're an American, if you don't know who is in charge of the country, you shouldn't be in charge of anybody.

4) A basic understanding of safety/good sense. Things like not taking the child to a baseball game on a sunny day with nothing to cover them. Or leaving them in the car alone. All of these people would be disqualified.

If you find yourself on the south side of any of these requirements, I'm sorry, but rules are rules. Feel free to change your lifestyle, and we can revisit. But I promise you and the kid that we are doing everyone involved a solid.

That's it. I'm not looking to exclude anyone that wants to have a child. I'm trying to weed out the people where the child wouldn't want them.

Asshole Baby is Phillip giving us an unfiltered play-by-play of what it's really like to be a parent. I am unsure if he would have gotten his parenting license.

I am having a hard time understanding how the mother is allowing any of this to happen. Perhaps she just doesn't know. But it is a bit of a refreshing read if you are in that stage of life where you are inundated with either wedding announcements or "look who's having a baby?" cues.

Phillip is not a politically correct guy - so be warned. He's already taken one post down that even I think went a bit too far. (So be sure to check his site daily so you don't miss out.)

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Waiting On Missouri. And the Hope That It Ain't So... Week 8 Of College Plays.

The Missouri saga continues, as some board of curators now has given the authority to some old guy to enter into contracts.

Listen, I've been to Missouri several times. St. Louis mostly, but I've also driven across it twice. It's really just a huge Alabama. At least that's what it looks like from the car.

I can't believe that Missouri is going to be in the SEC. Boo. Frank Beamer deserves a kick to that marsupial patch on his neck for not stepping up and saying something. Boo to Beamer, boo to that neck patch.

As always, these are my plays at the number I got/bought. Make that money...

Ole Miss +16. I cannot figure out why this # is so low. So that pushes me to it, and the Right Reverend is due to rally the troops in Oxford and - maybe not win, but - at least make a game closer than it should.

Alabama/Tennessee under 47. My buddy Reade has a crazy stat that since LSU '07, there's been only 1 over to hit at an SEC game in Bryant-Denny. That game was Arkansas this year. The question really is can Tennessee score 10. No they cannot.

Oklahoma State -6'. The public is all over the Cowboys here. Usually a bad sign. I don't care. The total is about 70, and that's enough points for Oklahoma State to get some seperation.

I've checked with my man, and here's what he's got:

LSU -21
Miami -2'
Notre Dame -8'
Missouri +6' (head to head with me - do what you must)
Michigan State +7

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

When You Die, They Say You See A White Light. And In That Light Will Be Tim Tebow.

ESPN's homepage this morning. Isn't this a bit much?

He's always looking down upon us.
ESPN.com homepage, 10/20/11
And it's not just on your computer, ESPN The Magazine is on board as well.

Golden boy.
Yes, this is all ridiculous. But I will say, there are two people that I believe immediately lived up to their hype. LeBron James' first few years in the league (the expectations have now changed for LeBron, but when he first got into the league - WOW) and Tim Tebow's impact at Florida.

I remember seeing the promos when Neese State (Tebow's high school) played Hoover on ESPN. The montages were beyond ridiculous. But, there we were, three years later, and Tim Tebow was on his way to a second national title during his tenure. His time at Florida was revolutionary and met or exceeded all the hype and expectations.

The guy's won at life every step of the way. I say screw the experts. In the NFL, he may not put up the stats of Aaron Rodgers. Hell, he may not put up the stats of Kyle Boller - but he wins. He always has.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Little Foolishness

Saw this on Facebook. Looks like it is old, but I thought it was funny.


Found some more of these here.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Where Googling Will Get You If You're Not Careful

I don't even know where I started. But here's where I ended up...

The Family Feud poll question - What Do You Put In Your Mouth, But Don't Swallow?

Surely, no one would say it, right? Right?



No - not the preacher's wife!

I also ended up with what sounds like the world's worst plastic surgeon...


There you have it. What happens when Google controls YOU.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

This Dude Does Not Like Tennessee

Oh boy, this is good...



And that about sums it up.

Dude does NOT like pumpkins.

(Thanks to my girl Lisa for the hookup. And please note that I would not recommend going to ORSM.net if you are at work, or near anyone whose opinion you value.)

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And For 'Fun', the NFL...

Just remember - she wants you to win.
I had quit posting NFL plays on the site, but just for fun (and in case you need some help buying back Saturday...).

This is a dual effort between my man and I. We have a strong disagreement on one of these games. (Hint: it involves an extremely hyped quarterback who deserves the praise, and an extremely hyped quarterback who does not. And it's being played at 4:15 eastern in Foxboro, MA. See if you can figure it out.)

Here we go, with the #s that I got them/bought them at:

Bengals -5'
Giants -2'
Browns +7'
Bucs +7
Patriots -5'

Good luck.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

On James Franklin: I Gotta Tell Ya... I'm A Fan

I haven't discussed Vanderbilt football in this space in... well, I believe never.

That changes now.

I am now a fan of James Franklin. This dude can own a press conference.



A few years back, I got to sit in at a press conference with Billy Donovan, fresh off his back-to-back NCAA Championship. When Donovan entered the room and sat behind that microphone - the entire room was mesmerized by him. Myself and about a hundred other grown men hung on every single word. It was odd how he had that effect on everyone there, and it was one of those things that I didn't even realize it until it was over. But he had completely captivated the room.

James Franklin ain't Billy Donovan. But what I saw tonight was a bit of a glimpse of that evening. Franklin owned that room there. I don't know if he's been doing this all season, but if he can continue to have this presence - in media rooms, press conferences, and most importantly - in the living rooms of recruits, this guy may actually change things at Vanderbilt. And from what I saw tonight, I hope he does. This is a guy that I want to be successful in the SEC.

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Cam Newton Is A Free Man! So Share Some of That Cash-O-La. Week 7College Plays.

Cam Newton and Auburn were vindicated this week, as the NCAA has closed the books on their investigation in his recruitment. I like the caveat of "until new evidence is brought forward" - just to keep Bama fans hoping.

So, it turns out that Newton's move to Auburn was on the up and up. Fair enough. I thought he was the greatest college football player I had ever seen (over-taking Reggie Bush's spot in my mind), and if his records/stats can stand, all the better to measure against the next great player.

I scored the new iPhone 4S yesterday, and I am pumped. I'm a little concerned about the battery life - it's better than my 3GS, but I'm not convinced it could make it through an entire day of solid usage. I'll be looking to add a lot more video and pics with the new phone.

As always, these are my plays, at the number that I got them (or bought them) at. I often dial in early in weeks when I feel like the number is going to move against me.

Pittsburgh -5'
South Carolina -3 (A case where dialing in early actually cost me a little.)
Florida/Auburn UNDER 51


Since I had a few early plays, I got with my man a little earlier this morning. Here's what he had:

Michigan State -3
Texas A&M -8
Florida -2
Mississippi State +3 (Another head-to-head. Do what you must.)

Let's hope that after today, we'll all be singing this...



How awesome were they? And still are!



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Friday, October 14, 2011

Not A Fan of This. You'll See Why.

Here you go...



If you ever want to piss me off - do something like this.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stephen Garcia. Is He Really Gone?

Heard the news today. Garcia no longer with the team.

In my despair and disappointment of being faced with the end of my favorite coach/quarterback relationship of all time, my mind immediately went to this.



Of course, perhaps it's an omen for Garcia. Both Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler were once kicked off of their college teams. And, as I understand it, they all had similar off-field lifestyle choices.

Let's hope we meet again, Stephen.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

RC Johnson Adds Another To The RC Archive

RC Johnson is the director of athletics at the University of Memphis. He may also be senile.

In what has been noted in this space before, Mr. Johnson has an innate (and seemingly incurable) ability to 1) have no perception of reality and 2) be willing to display this non-perception with the public.

Today, RC had this to say, courtesy of WMC-TV in Memphis:
"We want to try to get ourselves in the best possible place," Johnson said. "Ultimately we would like to be in the SEC. That's where we think we belong geographically. We think we deserve to be."
This from the man who has knocked on every conference door in the country, pleading with anyone to take his school into his conference. And with no success.


It is clear that with RC Johnson's statements he is completely in the dark on how the rest of the country views his athletic department. I'll provide some examples in a second, but where RC is taking this University - which, I believe, has a fair amount of potential - isn't just into oblivion. He's taken it into a total embarrassment. Now, I don't want this to happen, but I'm honestly fearing the day he wets himself on the podium. If this doesn't demonstrate that he's lost control of his faculties, I don't know what does.

If I can have a moment alone with RC...

RC, they are all laughing at you. Look...

Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated (@slmandel):
The beauty of realignment is that whenever someone says something stupid, someone else trumps it. Memphis' AD: http://t.co/vsthRPs9
Andy Staples of Yahoo (@Andy_Staples):
Is it bad that I originally thought the R.C. Johnson/Memphis "deserves to be in the SEC" story came from The Onion? http://t.co/9qCxLIgI
Bruce Feldman of CBS (@BFeldmancbs):
In football?? They'd struggle to compete in the SunBelt now. MT @mengus22: Memphis AD RC Johnson says Memphis "deserves to be in the SEC".
Chadd Scott of Atlanta radio (@ChaddScott):
Words fail me RT @mengus22 Memphis Athletic Director RC Johnson says Memphis "deserves to be in the SEC". http://t.co/f0XPOZ3w
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! (@DanWetzel):
Often asked why bowl games are able to rip schools off. Have you listened to these ADs? Yes you RC Johnson
Some guy named Doug (@doug_keegan):
And I deserve to be with Scarlett Johansson RT @CFTalk Memphis AD: 'We deserve to be' in the SEC: #collegefootball http://t.co/0J9mVh87
My friend Brandon (@bharris901):
Why didn't RC Johnson just say Memphis deserves to be in the AFC South? Might as well go all-out.
It goes on forever. Fans and national (influential) commentators are straight up laughing at RC. This does not move a program in a positive direction. I've been searching for about 20 minutes, and I haven't seen a positive or supportive tweet or comment on RC's statement yet.

If the trustees of the University are paying any attention at all, please go get granddad his pills and tell him he can't drive anymore. He's just making himself and Memphis look foolish.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cam Newton Plan Week 6

Good week in college last week. I got us a 3-0, while my man lost the Florida/Bama head-to-head matchup with a 3-4 week. Of course, I was pleased. That was until the NFL came Sunday and struck me down. Then, not so pleased.

I can't go anywhere without
this stuff. But not for long...
I'm very excited, as I've dialed in on my iPhone 4S. I would have been more excited had it been an iPhone 5, but then Steve Jobs went and died on Wednesday, so I didn't want to complain too much. I cannot wait, though. I have been bitching about my current iPhone (3GS) for almost a year now, as it gives me just about three hours of battery life. I have to take a charger with me everywhere I go.

But I'm really excited about it, as I think it can add a lot to what I put up here. I can shoot more videos, pictures, and I can have more fun with this space. Which is really what it's supposed to be about, anyway. So starting next Friday, I'll be blogging like a ninja - day or night, I can strike at anytime.

I'm sure you can't wait.


I have to attend a wedding tonight, conveniently scheduled at 6:00 central, which is when all the games I want to watch start. The southern fall wedding has been documented/commented on enough - but we all agree, it's a bad idea, and it's inconvenient on everyone. But I do love free booze and cake, so I'll surrender this time.

Here are my picks for this week. As always, these are my picks at the number that I got them at. I do dial in early in weeks when I feel the number is going to move against me. Let's all play like champions today.

LSU - 12'
Virginia Tech -7 (Big bounce back game here. Hokies are going to bring it.)
Vandy/Alabama under 42
Georgia -1'


My man is in the Big Easy this weekend, so I doubt we'll be hearing from him. If I do, I'll let you know what he's thinking.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure...



Because I couldn't help it, more from Thin Lizzy...



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Friday, October 7, 2011

My Memories of Hank Williams Jr.

We all know that Hank Williams Jr. got the boot this week from ESPN, and we will no longer be introduced to MNF with that great question, "Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!!!??"

Oh, Hank.
I know there's been a lot of heated debate regarding what Hank had to say about the Obama/Boehner golf pairing, and how that made him feel. And, in what was just a major communication disaster, Hank appeared to be comparing Obama to Hitler. I don't know if he actually was, but following it up with "They're the enemy!" probably didn't help his disaster relief/public relations team.

ESPN certainly has their right to hire/contract out whoever they choose. We can - and many are - all debate on whether or not Hank should have been pulled from the show. For now, I'll leave that to the talking heads.

I'm just more concerned about a generation of football fans that will now come along without that tingly-get-you-fired-up opening theme. There's something to this, as I will now explain. I have two Hank Williams Jr. stories, and here they are:

Story #1

September, 2004. I was in the beginning my second year of graduate school in Tuscaloosa, and Hurricane Ivan was making a path for the gulf coast. Ivan was the hurricane that many thought was going to take out New Orleans before making a last-second turn East. My mother was living in Perdido Key (on the coast, right across the state line from Alabama) at the time, and she was one of the smart ones who got out of there. Ivan ended up making landfall in Orange Beach and washed away the historic front room of the Flora-Bama.

Gallette's did not look this nice or clean
when I was in school.
That night, ever the opportunists, my graduate school friends and I decided to have a hurricane party. And so that we wouldn't feel too guilty, everybody chipped in $20 into a jar that we'd send off to some hurricane relief fund. After a good many rounds of flip-cup and full-contact beer pong, it was time to head out to Gallette's (Tuscaloosa's near-campus hole-in-the wall bar for those that don't know) for the night. It was about midnight, and I was one of the first to leave from the party. This is when the excitement happened.

An hour or so earlier, a friend from my fraternity house (I was an undergrad at Alabama as well) caught wind that there was a celebrity amongst us, staying at the Sheraton Five Points on campus. Bocephus himself, Hank Williams Jr.

Hank had apparently been hunting down near Greensboro that day, but was unable to get a flight out because of the storm coming in. So, he saddled up at the hotel in Tuscaloosa for the night. My friend, also an opportunist, took his happy, half-drunk ass over to the Sheraton to go meet Hank.

I'm not sure how, but he meets Hank and they start hanging out together and, well, drinking together. But that's not enough... to the Theta Chi house they go.

Imagine if you are an undergraduate at the University of Alabama, with about $12 cash to your name. There you are, on a Wednesday night, sitting on the couch in the brotherhood room drinking Keystone and watching reruns of South Park. A couple of girls are around, everyone knows there's no classes because of the storm. And then... Hank Williams Jr. walks right in.

They went nuts.

One guy even went upstairs and got his out-of-tune, rarely-played electric guitar and amp for Hank. "A Country Boy Can Survive" was played by the legend in the band room of the fraternity house.

Now, back to me at Gallette's. I was doing my socializing, and the place was slammed. Everyone there also knew classes were cancelled, and - it seemed everyone was an opportunist - the students were taking full advantage. My buddy Lee Yankie was on stage playing guitar. (Lee now plays gigs at the rebuilt Flora-Bama, if you want to check him out.)

I had only been there maybe 20 minutes, and as I was saddling up to the bar for another drink, I heard this roar coming from the front door. A fight? Likely. But not this time.

Hank Williams Jr. was charging through the crowd... and straight for the stage. He was up on stage, and I don't even remember what he sang. What I do remember was Hank flashing his rings and sticking his tongue out repeatedly. He was having a good time, and he knew he was giving a bunch of college kids a thrill.

And, for anyone else that was there, yes - he did lead chant of "Alabama P---y!!" (Fill it in, you'll be right.)

It all happened so fast - I don't think it could have lasted more than 5-7 minutes. After Hank left, my graduate school friends walked in and asked me what was going on. I told them they wouldn't believe it...

Story #2

This is more of a cuter story, which usually aren't my style. And it may not translate over to text. But when I was in high school, I was a pretty good tennis player and spent a lot of time at the tennis courts during the summer.

Our coach had a son who was a bit of a pudgy 7-8 year old. But coach would get John out and try to teach him hand-eye and get him some exercise. John wasn't a very good tennis player, but he was also only 7 years old, so how could we judge?

One of their routines would be to count how many shots in a row John could make. If I recall, John rarely made it past three/four shots. But one day, he gets on a roll.

Four, five, six... and with each shot, his dad (the coach) is getting excited, telling him how great he's doing.

Eight, nine, ten...

Now John is getting excited. He's jumping up and down between shots, smiling, laughing - just really getting pumped up.

twelve, thirteen... Could he make fifteen? He's NEVER done that...

FIFTEEN! (Now it's getting out of hand - neither John nor his dad can contain themselves) Can he get to twenty?

Eighteen... Nineteen... (And all the while, his dad is just feeding him the energy the entire time, with "Look at you go!" and "You can do it, John! Keep going!")

John gets the twentieth shot, makes it, and it is time to celebrate - there's this pudgy 7 year old who is laughing and smiling so much he can't contain it any longer. John jumps up and down, throws up his arms, lets out this huge yell, and screams out... "ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBAAAAAAAALLLL!!!!!!"

On a tennis court, in Anniston, AL. A child was overcome with so much joy and excitement that the only way he could express himself was by screaming out the catchphrase of the opening of Monday Night Football.

Some of my details may be off (number of shots, etc.), but I have never forgotten that.

So I guess the point of why I shared these stories, is that for millions of people going forward, that phrase - sang/said it that way, by that guy - won't be a part of our lives anymore. I remember being a kid - John's age - and that phrase was a big deal. It would give you goose bumps. There you were, probably with your dad, uncle, or grandpa, maybe an older brother, and you were going to get to sit at the TV and watch football with him. The college kids at Gallette's - they probably were introduced to his music in high school or college, but they grew up with Hank Jr. being the Monday Night Football guy. That was a cool thing to grow up with. And Hank Williams Jr. - through all his many, many faults - was a part of that.

Not anymore.

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Total Waste of Blog Cares...

A special message from the friends of ATWB...



And yes, I actually do know this guy. Everyone, do like Tom Banks and stay healthy this fall!

And of course, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so: @harry_long. I'd also appreciate it if you 'liked' the Facebook page of A Total Waste of Blog. You can do that at the top right of this page, or you can do it here. And you see all those buttons under the title of this post? That's how you share this thing. Get to it.