Sunday, July 29, 2012

Michael Dyer Doing His Best Jimmy Johns Impression

Well, if you haven't heard - now you have. Mike Dyer has been dismissed from the Arkansas State football team.

It's really been an odd career, hasn't it? Kid sets the freshman rushing record at Auburn (beating Bo Jackson's first year - not shabby), gets named MVP of the National Championship game, and now he's not on a football team.

Any resemblance?
I won't say it's Maurice Clarett, but on paper, it's close.

And it's probably easy to go with the 'bonehead' label for Dyer. And best I can tell, the title fits. Shame, really. Maybe he can hook up with Stephen Garcia in the CFL.

I actually don't think we've seen the last of Michael Dyer. Perhaps not in college at any major level, but I think an NFL team would take a fifth or sixth round flyer on a guy that put up 1,000 yards in the SEC. Twice.

Hopefully someone gets a hold of him, or Dyer gets a hold of himself. There's a lot to lose here for him, and Maurice Clarett is a great poster child for what can happen when you A) have a history of poor decisions and B) will be removed from a team environment/structure for a full year. Not good.

So, good luck, Mike?

It's also worth noting how this reflects on Gus Malzahn. Is this a positive thing? He kicks off the guy who followed him to Arkansas State? Dyer obviously wasn't on the best of terms with Chizik, so maybe Dyer had no choice but to go.

This can go either way. Kudos to Malzahn for not allowing trouble into the locker room, or Malzahn can't handle a troubled player that followed him to his new school. What's the real story?

Malzahn really is an interesting story, isn't he? Can he co-exist with anyone over a period of time? Not Houston Nutt, Not Gene Chizik... and I guess not Michael Dyer.

In the end, it'll all be determined on the field - Malzahn's either going to win and move back to the big league, and Dyer's going to get his head on straight and make it to the NFL.

And I'm on Twitter. If you follow me there, it will change your life. @harry_long

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ralph Cindrich Knows Not Where He Treads

Ralph Cindrich.
Lawyer. Agent. Adult.
Hot Head.
All this business with Ralph Cindrich's comments about having "stuff" on Nick Saban, insinuating that The Process has been less than on the up-and-up, has really caught my curiosity.

Particularly, Cindrich's Twitter feed.

I think you can tell a fair amount from someone's Twitter feed. And in this instance, Cindrich appears to be a hot head and not the most mature dude around.

I've had plenty of fun with the Alabama fan base - to describe them as volatile would be a bit of an understatement - but I've never made anything up to stir the pot. (Or at least nothing I recall that wasn't absolutely obviously a joke.) But I think this dude unknowingly entered a world of pain.

And while I would find it hysterical on the Alabama fans and their reactions - I recall the Phyllis from Mulga phone-ins to Finebaum during the Fulmer/NCAA investigation series - what I don't find cool is when people claim to have 'dirt' on someone but never produce.

Remember Scott Moore's claims of the Cam Newton tapes? Never produced them. I didn't think that was too cool, and it backfired on Alabama fans who championed it as the smoking gun to bring Auburn down. Auburn fans were initially messing their pants, but once Moore never released the tapes, they laughed away.

I'm fairly confident that's where this is heading. Cindrich will be (is) harassed by Alabama fans (isn't social media great?) to spill the goods - because they've seen this movie before. Cindrich won't release or prove anything, and it eventually goes away.

It's clear to me that Cindrich didn't know the level of shit he was stepping in. You don't throw out claims on these fan bases. He's mad about Penn State, and is slinging mud wherever he can - but he's picked a bigger dog. Bad choice, and he'll end up looking the fool.

And, by looking at his Twitter feed, he already is looking that way. Here are my favorites:

Well done, Stacy. You kept Clay Travis out of it with
the proper "you're" usage.

1) Avella, PA is on the WV/PA border. It's unincorporated,
so I don't know if those are mean streets or not.
2) If you don't want to know them, why respond
on Twitter?

Whoop his ass, Bo!
(And that's a real man's 'stache.)

Ralph is def Zen. Like Phil Jackson.

Chris must be from Missouri.

Haha. Shove it.

Save you the trouble - I Google'd it - that's not her in the pic.

I wonder how many "eff you's" Mr. July 6th gives out a day?
Sunrise, mid-morning...

Damn, Nick! Can't leave the door open like that.
Attention to all fans - when you go public with written arguments -
you really need to read it before you send it. Little spellcheck.


If there's a lesson at all here - most of these people are adults. Think about that.

And yes, I am on Twitter. You should give me a follow. I'm nicer than Ralph Cindrich. @harry_long

'12 vs '92. Let's Leave This One Alone Folks. Non-Debatable.

This is getting ridiculous.

Now LeBron says they could beat the '92 team. Why even go there? (Actually, I understand why it happens - because reporters don't stop asking the question.)

Here's how he (and everyone else) should answer this:

"You know, it's a fun question, and it would be fun to go up against a team that had 11 Hall of Famers. But until we've got a time machine to help get us all together, I'm not sure that we'll get a chance to try. So I guess they are still and will always be the original Dream Team."

See? Easy enough.

Kobe, LeBron, and the rest need to have someone tell them you can't win on these things. Just swallow the pride a tip your cap, smile, and say that you don't know if you could of beat them - they were awfully good. Anything else is doomed to fail and fall to the boisterous critics. (I haven't heard Skip Bayless on this, but I bet he's being loud about it. Just a hunch.)

Now - could '12 beat '92?

No way in hell.

We can sit and debate the MJ versus Kobe, Magic versus LeBron, Pippen versus Durant, Barkley versus Love (really - we need to compare that?), and the rest - we can debate all that. Some '12 guys may get the checkmark.

But there is ONE comparison that ends all this.

Ewing ain't pretty, but
Tyson Chandler ain't going
over the top of him.
Tyson Chandler versus Patrick Ewing. (And David Robinson wasn't too bad either.)

No way the '92 team with all that talent in the backcourt - and also defensive prowess - doesn't absolutely own the paint with Ewing in the middle. Tyson Chandler may be just fine on the pick and roll, but he's not running into Ewing at the rim. With Barkley/Malone rotating from the help side? Come on, now.

'92 vs '12 - '12 doesn't have a shot.

I do the Twitter: @harry_long

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Facebook Post of the Day

Today's Facebook Post of the Day comes courtesy of our boy, TBLTT:
Tom Banks
Why can't everybody just talk about how excited they are about The TIDE and leave all the pro and against Chick-fil-A shit alone? I'm not interested in the politics of chicken-- I'm just ready to see Dixie's Football Pride make all their asses quit. Roll Tide.
I hear ya, TBLTT.

As someone who just frequented the Chick-fil-A on 280 about five hours ago, I guess I'm not standing strong on any moral ground. But the chicken is just soooo good - what can I do?

(My go-to combo (also known as the 'Harry Combo' in certain circles - the #5 eight-count nuggets, fruit cup instead of fry, and lemonade.)

It's a bit of a shame the there is this hubbub with Chick-fil-A. I've always felt that as long as you're not hurting anybody else, live how you want to live. If a man prefers to have sex with another man, good for him. Not my game, but I'm fine with it.

Either way, I with TBLTT - let's forget this talk and get to football. Or at least football smack talk. Tom's post above got me thinking about what other loon Alabama fans are doing right now...

Cowboy, where you at?

I'm on Twitter. You should follow me. @harry_long

Monday, July 23, 2012

Penn State Gets It, But I Still Don't Know What "Extreme" Is

Well, it went down today. NCAA laid the wood to Penn State, and the Big Ten gave a pile-on kick to the stomach for good measure.

At least I get to trumpet that I got most of the penalties correct.

And I think all in all, the NCAA won the day. I mean, who could really argue? (Besides this guy. Oh, and the Paternos.)

Mark Emmert says penalties were "Thiiissss Big."
If there were going to be sanctions, they had to be tough. At least there will be games played. While they will still be affected, those whose businesses depend on Penn State can still walk on. Maybe not as high as they could have, but there dreams aren't shattered. Penn State players can stay, or they can go - it's up to them. (Obviously not their #1 choice, as they wanted to play for Penn State and compete for national titles, but they can still play football.) The fans can still sport their jerseys on Saturdays and chant "We Are... Penn State!"

It ain't perfect - a lot of innocent people are getting a raw deal. (Or at least considerably less than ideal.) But in a situation like this, collateral damage was probably unavoidable.

And in the end, after I read and understood the penalties. I really felt okay about it. I'm not a Penn State fan, so I'm sure they feel different, but I think the rest of the college football world probably understood, knew it was severe, and can likely sleep tonight with the decision.

For this individual situation, this was probably about as good as we could do without a time machine to stop it all in the first place.

However, my concerns about these disciplinary actions have not changed. If the head of the NCAA can step in and be judge, jury, and executioner in "extreme situations" - where's the line that defines "extreme"? Everyone was pretty up in arms this time last year about Miami, prostitutes, and "bounty" payments to Hurricane football players.

Gregg Williams and Jonathan Vilma.
Nothing to see here.
"Bounty"? Sounds familiar. And I recall an executive taking pretty "extreme" actions against the offender in that case. Like, somebody ain't coaching at all this year. (And another dude will likely never coach again.)

If this Penn State horror had happened a year ago, and this year the Miami story broke... would Mark Emmert have stepped in there?

I don't know, and I doubt anyone else knows either. But once a door is open, sometimes those things are hard to close.

The decision to discipline was made for this situation, and I can see why it was. I'm just curious where the "extreme" bar is set. Does anyone know?

Be awesome and follow me on Twitter. All the cool kids are. @harry_long

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Unprecedented Prediction

What my crystal ball tells me.
My guess on "Unprecedented":

We're looking at multi-year probation, and USC-like scholarship reductions. But the big headline: I think they strip Joe Paterno's win total. Either from 1998 forward or 2001 forward. That amount of wins and what it means for the history books I think would constitute "unprecedented".

That does enough to take him out of the all-time wins lead, but Penn State doesn't have to 'abandon' any national titles.

(Congrats, Mr. Bowden. You're #1!)

If you've got a guess, throw it in below, on the Facebook page, or hit me on Twitter. Would love to know what everyone thinks this will be.

We'll see tomorrow morning, 9a. Get your popcorn ready.

Check out: More Penn State
Also check out: "Unprecedented" Actions

Follow me on Twitter: @harry_long

"Unprecedented" Actions

Stepping In.
"Unprecedented", huh?

I am beyond curious to know what the NCAA is going to do. Mostly because, I'm not so sure that it is their place to do anything. And just what does "unprecedented" indicate?

What happened at Penn State was awful. People in power positions broke the law to protect others and damage vulnerable people. And there are laws, procedures that society follows when people are found to have done these things. The legal system.

Isn't this the legal system's jurisdiction? I'm not sure it's the NCAA's.

Theoretically you can claim that it's a 'lack of institutional control' issue, and that the NCAA has some governance over this.

But boy does this open up a large jar of pickles. So, if the NCAA has jurisdiction over this situation, the next time a college coach or school official breaks the law, the NCAA can jump in with punishment?

The tennis coach walked out on a restaurant tab? Lack of Institutional Control!

A graduate student didn't properly file his tax returns? LOIC!!

These are silly examples, but even serious ones - say that someone in the athletic department's staff murders their wife. Awful crime, right? So the NCAA gets to punish the University for this action? Come on, now.

The counterpoint is that the NCAA is going after more of the cover-up or lack of follow through by university officials than the actual crimes of sexual harassment/rape, etc., and that is why they are getting involved.

BUT those are crimes as well, and they will dealt with in the legal system!

The NCAA doesn't belong here - the legal system's done quite a fine job with sending Sandusky to prison for the rest of his life, and charges are coming on the others involved.

And to see that the punishment will be "unprecedented" gets me even more concerned. It's apparent to me that the NCAA doesn't like bad press. Well, guess what - it's never always going to be sunshine in college athletics. There is no obligation (or authority, in my opinion) for the NCAA to be dishing out punishments for events that gave Penn State no competitive advantage in athletics.

I always think that when punishments are given out, the intention should be that they should make things better. Sending Sandusky away to prison makes things better - he's off the streets, away from children, and possibly serves as a symbol to discourage anyone else who would consider doing these things.

I'm not sure that whatever the NCAA does to Penn State going forward makes anything better. The new coaches, new administrators, the fans, and mostly, the new players don't get better with sanctions. It hurts them, the school, and people who's businesses rely on Penn State football. The impact is far stretching, and a lot of innocent folks get hit by the schrapnel.

The NCAA is the governing body for athletics, not morals, and definitely not the law.

Also see: My "Unprecedented" Prediction
And: More on Penn State.

The Twitter: @harry_long

Just When You Thought You Couldn't Hear Anymore About Penn State...

Looks like it's going to be another Penn State week.

Paterno being lead out.
Yep, the statue came down Sunday morning - before most of the country had stumbled out of bed. And now the sports radio talk (at least a large portion - depending on Monday, which we will discuss later) will be second-guessing this decision.

Did they consult with the right people?
Is it fair to Joe Paterno, his players?
Why didn't they take the name off the library?
Are actions like this an effort to getting ahead of punishment from the NCAA?
Did they give it enough time and consideration?

You watch/listen - same talking heads last week that were advocating statue removal will be asking these questions this week.

I never thought that Joe should of lost his job. And then, there was the Freeh Report, and I had to jump off of that box. I mean, Jesus, Joe - what the hell? It doesn't 1,000% percent implicate Joe (there was no actual smoking gun, but there's enough insinuation, circumstances, and just plain simple logic that removed my reasonable doubt), but it served up a whole lot of new information that made it even more difficult for the pro-Joe Pa crowd.

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do in life is making the decision. Whether it's to ask someone to get married, declare bankruptcy, buy a home, etc. - doing it isn't as hard as deciding to do it. It's making a commitment. Looks like Penn State has made a commitment to move themselves away from the Paterno legacy, whatever it is now. (And I don't think there's a consensus on what his legacy is now - just too difficult.) While they are staying a little grey with leaving his name on the library (for now), I think the statue was much more symbolic and represents much more of the love/adoration/hatred/disgust of this confusing situation.

What's left?
And now that they've removed the statue, the University made that choice. While there will always be individuals who will shout that this is unfair to Joe's legacy and it disregards much of the good he did, on the whole, this action will encourage the greater Penn State family to move on. It definitely won't be easy, and it will take time (years). But Penn State has decided to take the path of leaving Paterno behind.

More Penn State:
"Unprecedented" Actions
My Unprecedented Prediction

Yeah yeah, here's the Twitter: @harry_long

Saturday, July 21, 2012

SEC Storylines for 2012

As SEC Media Days passed by last week, I guess it's time to get the blog warmed back up. Wish I could find inspiration in places outside of college football and basketball. Preferably in places that could potentially benefit me personally or financially.

But alas...

The storylines that I'm paying attention to going into the football season are below. There's not a whole lot of analysis here, just stuff that has caught my intrigue and will be keeping my pulse on:

1) Steve Spurrier Swagga

'Ol Ball Coach was looking good this past week, and I'm a huge fan of the smack talk. The SEC is more fun with Steve Spurrier, and even better when Steve's feeling good about his team. Connor Shaw's coming back after 9 starts (which the Gamecocks won 8 of) last season, and likely very little QB controversy. I'm a little curious to see more of what he's got, as last year his best play was the QB draw - not really Spurrier's signature style.

Dude is awesome.
And, of course, there's a healthy Marcus Lattimore. Kid's awesome. That's probably the cause of Steve's smirk.

But the storyline is whether this will hold - South Carolina always seems to lay an egg at some point. September's looking alright (maybe Missouri could be trouble, but game is at SC) - then murderer's row in October BUT they get the big one - UGA - at home. If the Gamecocks can get to October 6th with a 0 in the loss column, could be a second showing for South Carolina in Atlanta.

2) The New Kids

Texas A&M's got a new head coach (I like Sumlin), the QB with the hot girlfriend is long gone, and that's about all I know. Going to take some getting used to.

Missouri - I know even less. Gary Pinkel. That's it. And I know that if I start at 1:00 in the afternoon, I can drive to Columbia, MO and be there shortly after midnight. Only because I've done it before. (Nashville to St. Louis is the best way from Birmingham.)

I'm not happy what this has done to the schedules, and I'm pushing for the 9-game conference schedule (6-2-1, baby). Unfortunately, no one listens to me.

I plan on going to the Alabama @ Missouri game, as I want to get a feel for what Big XII football is about. What's the tailgating like when it's not Texas/Oklahoma? Interested to see if there's any culture shock.

Also curious to see if the Alabamas, LSUs, Georgias, etc. run up the scores - no one from what I've read expects too much out of either new entrant. So will the SEC schools try to crush them before they even get started? Beat the hell out of Missouri, and then go recruit up there to snag their best talent? ("Look, son, you saw what we were able to do to Mizzou last year - if you want to win, you need to come play at LSU.")

Les thinking it over.
3) Anything Les Miles Says

Enough said.

4) The Derek Dooley Carousel

Tennessee football has become a thrill ride for everyone except for Tennessee fans. With the expectations coming from the Finebaum's that this will be Dooley's last season, will Derek go for broke?

Well, we'll get an early look with Tennessee playing NC State in the Chick-fil-A kickoff. Lose that game, and wheels could come off real quick. Florida in week 3, and Georgia in week 5. And while it's probably foolish to say... but I bet that James Franklin is going to roll that tape of Dooley's postgame taunt on Vanderbilt going into the Vols' visit to Nashville. Franklin could really hammer in the last nail.

The money line comes in about 1:50.

5) James Franklin! Intensity!

I like James Franklin, as he's fighting the exact way I would as Vanderbilt's coach. The past is the past, and we aren't going back to that. Dude's changing the attitude.

Too bad it's an impossible task. Come on, dude. It's Vandy. But please keep me entertained. Go get in a fight with another assistant coach.

6) Will Muschamp! More Intensity!

Florida better get my attention real quick this year, because I haven't paid any attention to them. You take Charlie Weis out of my life - how can I forgive you?

Florida can't seem to find any stability, either with position players or coaches. They've done a better job of holding it all together than Tennessee, at least.

7) Dan Mullen - WTH?

I gotta say, a few years ago, this dude was my man. And then he goes and beats no one in the west except for Ole Miss, and they don't count.

But, as usual, Miss State is caught in that whirlpool of "if we fire him, then who would we get?" And I don't know either.

Either way, Mullen's stock as 'next hot coach' has slipped substantially. In his defense, he has had Chris Relf overthrowing passes for the past two years (maybe worst D-1 QB I've ever seen in person), so what could he really do?

If Mullen doesn't make some progress soon (and it's hard playing now in the same division as Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, and Texas A&M), he may keep the job in Starkville, but I doubt anyone's going to be knocking on his door.

Poor dude. Tough spot.
8) John L. Smith and The Whole Arkansas 'Thing'

Bobby Petrino at least made it an interesting Spring. Really haven't seen anything like this since Mike Price. And Mike Shula served up a 4-9 season that fall. (And same items - big arm QB, fair amount of experience coming back...)

I don't expect good things for Arkansas on the field this year. But, keep the off-field drama coming, please.

9) Ole Miss

Good luck.

10) Auburn Expectations

And this is a confusing one, because it's not about whether Auburn will meet expectations, it's what are the expectations?

I honestly don't know.

He looks like he can throw here,but the ball
hasn't left his hand yet, and it was also in warm-ups.
QB position is still a big question mark, as Kiehl Frazier wasn't allowed to throw at all last year, and now the message boards are saying he's Dan Marino. Not sure how far off from the truth that one is.

Malzahn's gone - and what's worrisome for Tiger fans is where he went to and why. Did he and Chizik just not get along, and that's the end of it? Or was Malzahn jumping ship? I just thought that he'd be leaving for a different job (Arkansas State). How desperate was Malzahn to get out of Auburn, and what was the real motivation?

We may find out on the field.


And that's really it. Some stuff for you kids to mull over, or at least take notice of going into the season. College football's changed a lot the past two years, and with more to come. Going to be a fun one.

Yeah yeah, Twitter: @harry_long

Friday, July 20, 2012

Aurora Tragedy & Its Economic Fallout

Batman marketing getting a shakeup.

Obviously the worst part about all of this is the senseless loss of life. Just a really stupid thing to do, and immeasurably unfair to the deceased, injured, and to those close to them.

As a marketer, I try to also think about how I would react if I was promoting this film. What the hell do you do?

Well, the TDKR execs are making a call:

They are pulling back big time.

I had a buddy who placed an entertainment bet on the over $202 million domestic box office for the opening weekend. I don't think he's going to win that bet.

With all the sadness that this awful situation brings, it also brings a major economic impact. Network TV, cable, digital... There's going to be a lot of expected revenue for these entities that won't be there.

It's going to be interesting to see just how this affects the box office gross. It makes me skeptical of going to a movie theater. Or if not skeptical, maybe anxious. And I don't think I'm the only one.

I could probably do a 5,000+ word piece on guns, society, and where we are in the world today, but I'll spare it for now.

In the economic silo, this tragedy's impact has a wide net, possibly close to $100+ million when taking into account box office and as buys. Big numbers.