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  • 11/06/12--07:12: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 11/6/2012
  • 152054234

    FINE. THIS IS WHY WE AMERICA. It is election day, so get some patriotism on.

    U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

    U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

    JOHNNY FOOTBALL! Bill C. and Jason make the case for Johnny Football over AJ McCarron, something you'll get to see them do in person on the football field on Saturday. Please direct all flaming bricks to them, not us, and keep calm and ROLL TIDE.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY. This is how you successfully juxtapose scene with quote, journalists:

    Off the field, during the South Carolina weekend, Florida made it abundantly clear why it's ranked No. 3 on Playboy's most recent list of party schools—even if an anti-alcohol-abuse campaign does seem to be curbing episodes of public vomiting. "It really has calmed down a lot," junior Lizz Smith said last Saturday as she stood at a tailgate across from the stadium, adjusting a blue afro wig and cradling an orange Jell-O shot.

    We don't actually think that article does much else besides that, but it really doesn't need to after that.

    THAT HYPOCRITE SITS TWO TIMES A DAY. Good Bull Hunting is all over the Bryant/Stallings 2012 ticket on this election day.

    THE COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES REVEALS THE SECRET OF THE BELL AT LAST. Sixty years later, the guys who stole the bell at Colorado reveal the secrets of how they lifted the 1,200 pound bell from the Buffs' campus, welded a huge "M" for "MINES" on the side, and then dumped it back on the Colorado campus. Secret ingredient: military veterans operating like it was a campaign.

    ETC: Oh, the horrors of the actual menu at Guy Fieri's American Kitchen and Bar. The only campaign speech you need to pay attention to today is Horse_ebooks' stump speech. Middle Earth is real. Atlanta's hip-hop community is the best sports analyst ever.


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    Screen_shot_2012-11-06_at_12

    OH YEAAAHHHHH---

    Kliff Kingsbury ascends to funky sainthood in forty seconds of funk. Thanks to WIll, who wrote a whole song about a five second GIF in one night.


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  • 11/06/12--11:05: BLATANT HOMERISM: MISSOURI
  • Hnnng_medium

    1. I couldn't watch this live thanks to a shoot we had to do in Athens. At one point, with the cellphone network already jammed and starved for updates, I found a tailgate of Georgia fans calmly watching the game at the exact moment Mizzou nearly gave up a safety according to the officials. (It was a safety. Officials, if you don't know, are allergic to calling all but the most obvious two-point plays.) The officials reviewed it, and when the ruling on the field stood--no safety--I did this.

    Hnnng_medium

    2. Patton Oswalt's "The Magician" details Oswalt being screwed out of money by a club manager, and then watching the main act (also cheated by the manager) tank his comedy magic act over the grand sum of five dollars. Inky black comedy follows, but Oswalt goes through with his act because, in his words, "I NEED that twenty dollars."

    3. If you have never listened to it, you should, because more than anything else I have ever heard it captures the exact moment when, having hit rock bottom, you adapt and learn to skitter along sideways like a crab on the seafloor of life. The other piece of art that comes close: the episode of Breaking Bad where Walt goes utterly around the bend, "Crawlspace." You can say a lot of things about Walt, but you can't say the man didn't fucking evolve.

    4. Anyway, I was in because we needed those two points, and suffering a minor heart attack because without them Florida would have had zero on the scoreboard, the exact sum they did carry over into halftime and well into the third quarter. Florida scored fourteen points at home against a team that allowed 19 to Vanderbilt. Florida got 11 first downs on the day against the Mizzou defense, only got 75 yards for Gillislee on the ground, and allowed unblocked Mizzou linemen to bore in on Driskel all day. In a season loaded with offensive atrocity, this was clearly Florida's second-best attempt to devolve into an overequipped rugby team.

    5. I didn't know this at the time, of course. The eerie sense of calm despite all numerical evidence to the contrary crept over me, and at one point in the shoot someone told me that Florida had not only tied it up, but had won 14-7. Sounds like it was ugly, but whatever. I have "no one said victory had to be pretty" tattooed on the inside of my eyelids, and have since the Texas A&M game.

    6. Then I watched it in full yesterday, expecting rage spasms, false heart attacks, perhaps a frisson of a real heart attack, and then the usual agonies following a three hour dose of Will Muschamp football. This happened instead:

    Tumblr_lxuw8cvqsq1qkv4zy_medium

    Perhaps I'm just over the concept that this team of adolescent pain junkies should be overwhelming anyone with anything right now in any fashion. Maybe I remember last year all too well, the year when we were Missouri: injury-wracked, incapable of catching a single positive bounce of the ball, and losing games by both painfully large and excruciatingly small margins. Maybe the levels of sheer fuck-it-all in my bloodstream are so high that the notion of complaining about a win, any win, in the year 2012 seems like pure toddler-wail.

    7. Do not confuse this for pleasure. Watching this game, even with the benefit of a fast-forward button, was sandpaper for the eyes. The offensive line had problems with basic assignments to a degree that should horrify coaches watching any game tape with the timestamp beginning with "November." Missed tackles were an issue on defense, something else that hasn't been true all season long. Ghastly, abhorrent, just plain shitty, soul-scalding, shambolic football at every turn. If you get the urge to watch this game again, ever, you have reached the end of your mind. Please turn around and go back the other way before you do harm to yourself.

    8. Were it not for James Franklin throwing four INTs, including the final merciful game-killing strike to Josh Evans in the endzone, Florida would have lost. And this exact point is where we remind you that football is hard and involves hard questions with no real good answers.

    9. For instance: David Yost, Missouri offensive coordinator and hair tragedian, called a brilliant game by the numbers and game tape. 23 first downs, over 300 yards of offense against a vicious defense on the road, and open running lanes and receivers all over the place. By design, it was quality work.

    10. By execution it was a nightmare, and not entirely due to the incompetence of one player, person, or entity. James Franklin wildly overthrew receivers all day not because of an innate inaccuracy, but because Franklin had difficulty planting on his injured leg, thus causing balls to sail on him when he didn't follow through all the way. Well then, start Corbin Berkstresser, genius? Sure, and take away the better run threat, i.e. the one who opens up those running lanes on the zone read. Even with the bad knee? Yes, even with the bad knee.

    11. The point is that sometimes there are no great choices, only choices where you mitigate bad circumstances with the least bad decision possible. That's not what you want things to be: you want options, and the depth that preparation and recruiting gives you, and for all that preparation to pan out into a seamless gameday mushroom cloud obliterating your opponent. What you want is Oregon's offense on Saturday, where you run stretch runs all day and let your beautiful killing machine do the work flawlessly.

    12. What you sometimes get is the Oregon defense this past Saturday, or "making it work and emerging from the fight covered in what you think is mostly the other guy's blood." (Mostly.) It was hideous, and it was awful, and let's never talk about it again except as a footnote to going 7-1 in the SEC. We really needed that $20, and we got that $20. That's what the non-headliners do: take what they can get, and move on to the next gig.


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  • 11/06/12--13:56: ACCEPTANCE SPEECH 2012
  • 5-idiocracy-dwayne-camacho

    I first want to say thank you for making this happen. This was not me. You did this. We get to move forward together as a result.

    We have a great amount of work to do, America.

    Yes, we have accomplished much. We have successfully implanted a cyborg baboon heart in a man, and then made that man the football coach of the Ohio State University. We weathered the worst storm of our time, the great Real Good Times Typhoon of 2011.

    Why, over forty years ago, man walked on the moon for the first time. But within the next four years, a horse will lead Tennessee to an SEC East title. His name is Mantequilla, and he has no time for recruiting restrictions.

    We swore that those who opposed freedom with tyranny and violence would be hunted down, no matter where they hid, and no matter where they ran. On a cold night in Pakistan, we kept that promise. Justice found Craig James, just as it finds all those who seek to drag the world into darkness.

    But we need to press forward. There remains so much to do, and so little time.

    No longer will we stand afraid of fourth and three from our opponent's 37 yard line.

    We will embrace the values of our founders, who never called a draw play on third and forever. That is some bitch-ass British shit.

    Gary Danielson: run. Start running now.

    We will continue to nurture hard work by supporting small businesses. Some of our finest for-profit ventures are run by dwarves. This nation needs more Nick Sabans--nay, must have more of them--in order to thrive.

    Defense spending will be increased across all conferences, and measures will be put in place to make sure that Art Briles doesn't just spend it all on Twizzlers again.

    UConn, you have been sold to the CFL. You get none of the proceeds, and Jordan Jefferson is now your starter.

    Education will continue to be our strongest hope for the future. No longer will our student-athletes be allowed to take fake classes and receive grades for doing no work. They will be held accountable, forced to buy test answers off the Internet like everyone else.

    We will continue to push Congress to pass our energy bill. We CAN put the Oregon offense in a supercollider. We CAN see what happens, no matter what the scientists say. Chip Kelly wants to do it. We want to do it. Hear their voices, Congress, and give the country the unlimited power it needs to soar into the 21st century.

    By executive order, I have also forced Notre Dame to join the ACC as a full member, and to stop lying to its priest who totally knows that they're not only sleeping with the conference, but are also using birth control to keep from having an accidental baby with Florida State. Blood will out, and you're not going to pay the legal fees you'll splash for just keeping that child unjailed and half-eligible for community college.

    As for pants? That time is over for us as a nation. The trousers of oppression are forever cast on the floor of history. Walk free and underpanted, or perhaps even au naturel as long as one puts a towel down before sitting.

    Health care in college football will improve, as we encourage Jarvis Jones and Jadeveon Clowney to go to the NFL, using a pit covered with palm fronds if we have to.

    I also promise you this: Auburn will never, ever win a national title again. Ever. Fuck them. Fuck them so very, very hard for the rest of our nation's eternal, righteous, and big-dicked romp through this poorly ventilated brothel of a planet.

    I know I'm not supposed to say that as President, but Jesus hold my hand, I just have to let that out now that I literally have nothing to lose, and don't have to worry about the repercussions of my actions.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, I really have some options here. I might declare the entire place a Superfund site and have the school moved to a series of trailers on the outskirts of Troy's campus. I can do that, because I'm the goddamn President, and if you look closely in the Constitution I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want to do at any time.

    Thank you for the excuse, Harvey Updyke. You're welcome for the upgrade in facilities, Auburn students.

    Suck it, Auburn. Suck it hard, and suck it forever.

    And though we have struggled toward this end, and struggled in vain for much of the time, we believe we can achieve a punt-free America in the next four years. Teams may still have punters. They will be kept around as secondary mascots and cookie boys.*

    *The cookie boys will be in charge of greeting offensive and defensive linemen as they exit the field. Two cookies shall be awarded for big plays. No cookies will be distributed for negative play.

    Finally, we're going to continue to stand for the values we as a community believe in. We believe in college football. We believe in bourbon. We believe in the combination thereof in immoderate amounts. We believe in dogs, and that those dogs should be allowed on couches, and sometimes at the controls of passenger aircraft. Those dogs should take us to Costa Rica, where we will open offshore sports books, have delightfully tan babies with lithe bodies and agile minds, and funnel money to recruits in manners so elaborate Chinese shipping conglomerates will shit themselves at our byzantine trickery.

    There will be breakfast tacos.

    Oh, you bet your fucking ass there will be some breakfast tacos up in this bitch.


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  • 11/07/12--06:07: RIP, Darrell Royal
  • Screen_shot_2012-11-07_at_12

    Darrell Royal had no signature totem, no hat like Bear Bryant, no dark glasses to glower behind like Joe Paterno had. He coached a defense-first, conservative brand of football where punting took priority over passing. His sideline attire was simple: golf shirts and slacks, occasionally topped by a Texas varsity jacket. He had no pregame superstitions, did not pray before games because he didn't think God cared much, and claimed "compulsive hand-washer'"as his greatest personality quirk. Time Magazine called him "a man who looks both ways before crossing a oneway street."

    For a state priding itself on outlandish living standards and outsized behavior, Royal kept a black-and-white profile as the coach of Texas football. Fortunately for him, Royal spoke only in technicolor.

    I was so poor that I had a tumbleweed as a pet.

    If worms carried pistols, birds wouldn't eat 'em.

    You've got to think lucky. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket - you might have caught a fish.

    Football doesn't build character. It eliminates the weak ones.

    Three things can happen when you pass, and two of 'em are bad.*

    *This quote is often attributed to Woody Hayes. Most historical data leans towards Darrell Royal as the origin for the quote, but if you're really upset about it, just let them split the championship for the quote, a fine solution for two legendary pre-BCS era coaches.

    Royal partially made up for his blandishment by being instantly quotable. Winning excused any other complaints about Royal's style (or lack thereof.) After stints at Mississippi State and Washington, Royal landed at Texas in 1956, coaching against his mentor, Oklahoma legend Bud Wilkinson. Royal would play a large part in breaking the Sooners' streak of dominance in the rivalry, finishing 12-7-1 in the Red River Rivalry for his career. There are 155 other victories in his Texas career, and three national titles and 11 Southwest Conference titles, but no wins matter more than those 12 against the Sooners.

    Royal's teams won mostly with staid fundamentals, but two of those national titles (1969 and 1970) came after Royal did something entirely contrary to his image: he changed. In 1968, looking for a way to "make a slow fullback faster," Royal and offensive coordinator Emory Bellard unveiled the Wishbone offense. The rush-first attack dominated the college landscape for 20 years afterwards, so much so that even Bear Bryant rushed to Austin to learn it and take it back to Tuscaloosa. Royal, in a move that would be deemed suicide today, happily let him into the Longhorns' war room. In gratitude, Bryant offered to build a room onto Royal's house. Bellard, meanwhile, parlayed the offense's success into a head coaching job at rival Texas A&M.

    That same offense--honed into killing form by Barry Switzer at Oklahoma, who went 3-0-1 versus Royal--would eventually help run Royal out of the Texas job in 1976. It was about more than that, of course: age, fatigue, and increasingly cutthroat competition in recruiting were said to have caught up with him. Royal himself would admit as much in later interviews, even though Royal in his prime ran a program where players were described as "meat on the hoof," and forced to compete constantly for limited scholarship space.

    Royal did abhor cheating, with his dispute with Barry Switzer over Oklahoma sending a spy to Texas practices standing as his most famous and most public outrage over the rulebreaking rampant in SWC country. Simultaneously, Royal clearly worked the advantages of the scholarship system to the limit of the rules like any other coach of his day, embracing a boiler room approach to roster management and running off his share of players he found unproductive. If this sounds like cutting and pasting from contemporary headlines, it should. Little has changed in that respect.

    Royal was also slow to come around to the idea of racial integration but was persuaded by a heavy hand on the matter: President Lyndon Johnson, a friend who pushed Royal to integrate the football team in 1969. Johnson chipped in personally in the effort by landing his helicopter on the lawn of his on-campus Presidential library during visits, waltzing across the lawn and giving both black and white recruits the hard-but-undeniably-flashy sell on Texas football.

    Royal lived for 36 years after his retirement in 1976, staying on as the athletic director for the University. He played golf with Willie Nelson, going as far to pay for Willie Nelson's country club membership at Pedernales Country Club when Nelson declared bankruptcy and had his membership seized by the IRS. He hung around Longhorn football to fundraise, shake hands, and see his name emblazoned on the football stadium on the Austin campus in 1996.

    He enjoyed his retirement, just as he had enjoyed the rest of his life, despite a long streak of tragedies. The middle initial "K" in his name came from his mother, Katy, who died of cancer in his infancy. He was told she died in childbirth, and believed this well into adulthood. Royal lost two sisters to disease before he turned 11. Two of his three children--his daughter Marian and son David--died in accidents before they reached thirty. He looked both ways before crossing a one-way street with good reason.

    Royal suffered from Alzheimer's toward the end of his life. It is a disease anyone who has dealt with knows has its good and very bad days. This was Royal on one of his better ones.

    "The other day, he said, 'Edith, I have to go to Hollis (Okla.). Uncle Otis died.' I said, 'No, Darell. Uncle Otis didn't die.' He said, 'Well, Uncle Otis will be glad to hear that.' You have to see the humor in it sometimes," Edith Royal said.

    Quotable to the end, Royal died this morning at the age of 88.

    Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.

    Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


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  • 11/07/12--08:52: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 11/7/2012
  • Screen_shot_2012-11-06_at_12

    GIG THAT ASS. This week's episode just talks mostly about how fun Texas A&M is, and how JC Copeland of LSU is the most Shutdown Fullback of all time, what with his Rick Ross beard and tendency to commit aggressive personal fouls.

    Chips Kelly steals the damn show. We hope he survives the rats and ants and makes it to next week. Remember! If you're a young lady and want to have sex with a strapping young man in a Scooby-Doo costume, you have no choice but to root for the Aggies. (Who could theoretically beat Alabama, says Bill C. IN THEORY.)

    RIP, DARRELL ROYAL. We look at the life of Darrell Royal, especially the part where he said fun, Texan kind of stuff. Burnt Orange Nation is flying the Longhorn flag at half-mast. A bit of research we couldn't include in the obit: Royal's playing weight as an Oklahoma high school running back was 124 pounds.

    THIS WEEK IN SCHADENFREUDE GOES TO JUAREZ. You make fun of the casual USC fan, but do you really want to deal with the serious USC fan a lot when they're openly dreaming of Lane Kiffin meeting his doom in Juarez? Like, even Lane Kiffin doesn't deserve that. (We think.) (You never know.) (Seriously, the Paterno case has caused an epidemic of qualifiers about what coaches can and can't deserve at every level.)

    MARK RICHT IS THE MOST COMPETITIVE SWINGER IN THE LAND. Mark Richt realized he'd completely jacked up his hip while doing P90x, but traces the injury back to a particularly competitive swinging session in the 1990s. We had no idea Mark Richt could swing so hard he destroyed a perfectly healthy hip, but his wife was there and said it was hilarious to watch in person. We have seen documentaries on this, and Kathryn Richt, we assure there was nothing funny about watching retirees doing unspeakable things to each other, and very little we would sanction as competition.

    RICHT, CONT'D: Wetzel goes longish on him, and the "peace of God" sounds like Richt's code for "haters to the left."

    CATLAAAAAAAB. RonP for President never dies.


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  • 11/08/12--06:32: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 11/8/2012
  • 11057233

    MARK RICHT IS A VISUAL THINKER. A coach would use a whiteboard to explain anything, even a twenty year old anecdote about damaging his hip on a swing.

    Mark Richt has his moments, like when he does this, or does swan dives off the high platform during spring practice swim breaks.

    LANE KIFFIN AND DEFLATED BALLS AND GO INTERNET GO. The Trojans fired a student manager for deflating balls used in USC's game against Oregon on Saturday. The manager did this without the knowledge of the coaching staff, and given Lane Kiffin's history of creatively interpreting rules at the margins, um, no, sure, no one on the Trojan staff knew anything about this, and you should believe them when they say they don't.

    THE SAGA HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN. Robert Nkemdiche is going to kill so many sad obsessed rednecks from stressby the time this is over.

    KLIFFY. The man behind the Aggies' offense is our most bro-ish coach, per a totally uncredible and unreliable source in the Feldman piece on Kliff Kingsbury. Not included in this article: Kingsbury graduated from New Braunfels High School, the only high school in the nation to use the unicorn as the mascot. Motto: "Unicorn Pride Is Justified." None of this is surprising or not awesome.

    THIS SHOULD QUALIFY AS AN EXCUSED ABSENCE. The doctor's note says "torn blood vessel in your heart," and we'll accept that as a very real and understandable reason for missing the rest of the season, Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden. By the way, D.J. Hayden was hit so hard in practice that IT TORE SOMETHING IN HIS FREAKING HEART and he DIDN'T DIE. Get better, and please don't be involved in any further hobbies or activities where heart-tearing might occur, dude.

    OH HO HO HO HO HOHO HO HO HO HO OMG. Bobby Petrino is interested in the Kentucky job, which is especially fun given the anecdotes detailing Petrino's gleeful torture of the Wildcats during his time at Louisville. To wit:

    This thing was heavy and I am holding it up and waiting. Paul comes in and they stand at his desk where Bobby reads the score out loud: "Louisville 28, Slapdicks nothing. I f*&$ing love it, those little smurfs didn't even score a point." They looked at me and said, "that is what winners do, kick their ass." He told me to set it down where he could look at it and as I was leaving he grabbed me and said "get used to it, we are going to kick their ass every year."

    "Little smurfs."

    ETC: This is an astonishing piece of journalism.


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    The Cotton Bowl made a short film detailing the festivities surrounding the 1968 matchup between Texas A&M and Alabama, and it contains multitudes. This is not an exaggeration: an aspiring cultural studies major could slice up half of it into a thoroughly satisfactory thesis, and pass with flying colors. (They would then submit an application to law school immediately.)

    These are just the highlights of at least a hundred noteworthy things scattered through 25 minutes of sheer insanity:

    1. BEAR IN A RED HAT.

    Screen_shot_2012-11-08_at_11

    2. A 32 year old Gene Stallings. Like everyone in the past, at 32 he looks not a day under 45 years old.

    3. At the 2:21 mark, the camera watches Alabama players go to bed. Nick Saban sees nothing wrong with this kind of surveillance.

    4. The announcer starts leering over ladies at 2:30, saying "Sugar and spice, etcetera, etcetera." He does this enough times during the video to convince the viewer that somewhere, there is a school. This school, and others like it, are a place the announcer cannot come within 500 feet of per court order.

    5. At 10:30, the pervy announcer calls Bear Bryant "old." Bryant would coach another fourteen years after this. Gene Stallings "observes meteorological conditions."

    6. The following phrases are used to describe football during the game portion:

    • "battle of guided muscles"
    • "The Aggies get a five yard spanking"
    • "Pass breakages" instead of "pass breakups"
    • "royal soil," not "endzone"
    • scoring = "decorating the scoreboard"
    7. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE BLACK PERSON IN THIS WHOLE VIDEO WHO IS NOT SERVING FOOD.

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    155410105

    A, B, C. As in exhibits, since something needs rebuttal and needs rebuttal now. Imagine a world where you had not watched Alabama play LSU last Saturday night, then searched "LSU prevent defense" on Twitter. You would believe, sight unseen, that LSU has lost the game by playing in a "prevent" coverage. By "prevent," I refer to dropping seven or more players into deep coverage, and thus preventing a deep pass from beating you late in the game.

    A lot of people said this, including me in a bad Arrested Development reference. Those people, including me, were all terribly wrong.

    A. First down and the whole field, basically. LSU shows a six man front, and then falls off into man-to-man with a four man rush. It's not a blitz, but it's not exactly prevent either.

    Ruybr_medium

    Norwood on the completion, though you can't be sure of the exact route combo because this is definitely not All-22 footage. (Best guess: post-curl combo.) AJ McCarron takes the short hitch, and Kevin Norwood turns a six-yard route into an 18-yard gain thanks to some bad tackling, not a prevent defense.

    B. Back to first and 10 at the Alabama 46.

    Bun67_medium

    LSU bluffs again, this time with a three-man front and multiple bobbing players along the line, but settles for another four-man rush with a twist: Jalen Mills blitzing from his slot coverage on McCarron's left. LSU remains in man, and that's too bad for No. 34 Micah Eugene, who gives up a 15-yard completion to Norwood again on a smash combination.

    C. First and 10 at the LSU 39-yard line.

    Pkh0k_medium

    LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis actually blitzes this time, bringing five out of the three-man front--part of the 3-2-6 "Mustang" package--and again, letting everyone play man-to-man. McCarron likes this, because Norwood is open along the sideline and then makes a leaning catch of some difficulty to get another 11 yards out of the Tiger defense.

    That's 3 plays, 44 yards, and the quarterback throwing to one dude in man coverage. There is nothing complex about this whatsoever. Absolutely nothing, except for the part where you have to do it against a running clock in a hellish road environment at full game speed. Besides that, this is TOTALLY SIMPLE.

    On the next first down, McCarron sees a four-man front with man coverage and runs out of time before missing Norwood in the endzone. The only incompletion of the final drive comes off a four-man pressure out of a three-man front.

    Dagger.

    Psu1h_medium

    Endzone. McCarron sees a possible seven-man rush, ideal for a screen pass call. This was no audible, by the way: this was something Alabama was waiting on, and that center Barrett Jones mentioned specifically to the Tide's coaches before the final drive. LSU ends up rushing six towards McCarron. When you do that to A.J. McCarron and you haven't accounted for T.J. Yeldon on a screen pass, you're gonna have a bad time.

    Screen_shot_2012-11-07_at_2

    LSU played the final five downs of the game in five different looks, with none of them resembling a prevent defense. They played man-to-man defense like they usually do, and got beat at individual matchups at multiple spots: Norwood against Eugene, the Alabama o-line versus the LSU d-line, and even T.J. Yeldon (a freshman!) destroying a blitzer on a pickup block.

    Flurry. Rapid movement, the kind occurring on a football field that confuses players in person and, evidently, viewers at home. LSU played nothing like prevent defense, and in fact was so aggressive down the stretch Alabama built that into the endgame with fatal results for LSU. So why did people get it so wrong? It's mostly due to plain ignorance and exotic excitement. People don't know that LSU wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary because they--like most football viewers, yours truly included--suck at watching defenses, and that it was all very exciting, and thus interfered with thinking about what you were watching. The former is a matter of light study; the latter is something you probably don't want to short-circuit, because sports should have the power to turn you into a shrieking, irrational banshee in the moment.

    Geeeeeeeeks. Bringing us to this disastrous imaginary person:

    Screen_shot_2012-11-07_at_5

    The NFL does things right in one respect: it publishes All-22 film, so that if you are inclined, you can see the full span of a play as they unfold on the field. It is not the most TV-friendly angle--it can look like the "blimp" view from certain stadiums' crows nests--but it does show a lot you won't see from TV angles. (CBS in particular can be a little tight, probably because it looks so much better at the point of attack.)

    Heavy. On the other hand, the idea of all but the most diehard NFL fan being able to spot a zone blitz in action is as funny as a casual fan knowing what the hell a quarterback was actually reading during a flexbone triple-option play. Football fans generally don't know what they're watching at both levels, and 90 percent of the time don't really have to because BOOM pass OW score YAYYY WE WON. But when that 10 percent comes? Get your ass some Smart Football, son, and make the right criticism you carefully wrap around the brick you throw through your coach's bedroom window at 3 a.m.

    P.S. That appears to be 185 on the bar for Zone Blitz Willie, which seems a bit heavy for him. Also, knowing what is happening on the field will not make you friends, especially in the proletarian NFL where the reaction might be, "WELL WELL PERFESSER, UMM....GRITTINESS, MANHOOD, SOMETHING."

    I-81. The interstate running through Blacksburg, Virginia, home of Virginia Tech, a 4-5 team likely falling to 4-6 after playing Florida State tonight. The offense--particularly QB Logan Thomas--isn't doing anything the Virginia Tech offense under Frank Beamer hasn't always done, i.e. piddle around, wait for the mobile quarterback to make a few plays, and then kick field goals after stalling out in the redzone. That's S.O.P. for the Hokies, and it hasn't stopped them from winning 10 games or more for eight straight seasons.

    John Mayer. The time Virginia Tech did not win 10 games in 2003, John Mayer released "Your Body Is A Wonderland" in the same calendar year. Should you be worried that the two are connected, and Mayer's next unkillable vanilla poopbeast of a love song will surface from a benighted crack in the earth's crust because Virginia Tech won't win 10 games this year? Yes. You should worry about this exact thing. (Especially now that he's cocooned up in Montana, just waiting to emerge as a new variation of douchebag butterfly.)

    KO. As in "kickoffs" in play-by-play notation. Bud Foster's defense is one problem. They've been very good except when they haven't, and then they haven't opposing rushers have taken free yardage in chunks. The Hokies are a ghastly 81st in the nation in long opponent runs allowed, but that still is only part of the equation. The other culprit: special teams. For a team crafted around defense and special teams, sitting at 109th in opponent kickoff returns and 105th in punting will put you on the bad side of short fields way more often than one can afford.

    Leach. As in Mike, who needs a vacation.

    Let's just all back away from MIke, leave a bag of Clif Bars and a Camelbak full of fresh water by the door, and let him go on walkabout until he feels better. While he's in the woods, maybe he'll find Marquess Wilson, his leading receiver currently suspended from the team, and the two of them can settle their differences while asking the creatures of the forest for advice. I am totally serious in suggesting this, and you know I am because Mike Leach just might do this before the UCLA game on Saturday.

    Mackin'. It gets cold on long Minnesota nights, and that's why Goldy Gopher never sleeps alone.

    Dscn0964_thumb_medium

    Goldy Gopher is trying to pick up your girl in front of your very eyes. If the gentleman in the grey wool cap seems defenseless, it is because he is just following the lead of his football team

    Noriega. If you were casting dictators out of the ranks of SEC coaches, you might instantly think of Nick Saban. You're not entirely off the mark, but Saban isn't the most obvious choice to the connoisseur of dictatorships. Dictators, by tradition, wear ugly shirts. They aren't particularly bright, and catch a huge number of breaks on their way up the ladder. They are surrounded by toadies, and when the end comes, it comes fast and in ugly fashion, usually after some hysterical overreach of power.

    Overreach. You know, like hiring a private security firm to watch your off-campus players' curfew compliance. Perhaps you would like it in terms applicable to your life? Okay. You are a severely underpaid minor league athlete with few rights as an employee to begin with, and then your boss--your boss whose methods have amounted to zero conference wins this year--decides to check and see if you are in your bed by 11 p.m. through some form of check or surveillance. Your boss also wears the shacket, the stupidest form of clothing ever created. That's not entirely relevant, but it's not irrelevant when estimating the credibility of the man, you know?

    Piss off. So if Auburn players mail it in against Georgia, I'd understand. Dictators are pretty compelling when there's parades to go with the police state, but without the ticker tape it's just a hollow bore in a suit. Which, at the moment, describes Gene Chizik in his capacities as the coach of the Auburn football team--a role he won't have for much longer, no matter what happens against Georgia.

    -qise. As in the unconventionally spelled Marqise Lee, who really is just a terrifying blur of knees and elbows unlike anything seen since Randy Moss. You might think his practicing on defense is Lane Kiffin's worst idea yet, and without defending the move in particular let us assure you: Lane Kiffin has had so many other bad ideas that this isn't even in the top 20 of Lane Kiffin's Worst Ideas Ever. If you've seen the USC defense in action against spread offenses, you would also have to admit that the worst idea for them would be continuing to do what they have been doing.

    Rams. By the way, this is what Marshall Faulk once volunteered to do in a professional football game when the Rams couldn't defend the pass. Marshall Faulk was dead serious about playing DB cold in the NFL after playing running back for a whole game. Marshall Faulk was fearless beyond understanding, and if Marqise Lee is willing to do this, then hell, put him in the same category.

    Spliced. Or juxtaposed:

    Bzqlb_medium

    Torrid. As in the pace of Kawann Short of Purdue, who has blocked four kicks this season, a good number for a whole team in the course of an average football season and an astonishing number for one player.

    Unwinfeated. For variation, let's do those winless in conference play: Kansas, Auburn, Connecticut, Purdue, Illinois, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Washington State, Southern Miss, Kentucky, New Mexico State, and Tennessee.

    Volunteers. Hey, Jon Gruden is coming! It's happening! It's really happening!

    Wariness. Due to K-State, who play TCU, a team clearly on a suicide mission since going for two to beat WVU late on the road in Morgantown. TCU's doing this with 50 percent new starters, and without Casey Pachall at quarterback. Gary Patterson is bad at shirts, and very good at coaching football.

    Xtacles. As for Johnny Manziel: the key to beating Alabama is to remember your rocket boots, and then scream, "Let's do thiiiiiiiiiiis," as you take the field in Tuscaloosa.

    Y-formation. As in the wishbone, or "right-left" as Texas and Darrell Royal called it when it was unveiled in 1968. Texas used the formation against Arkansas in the first "Game of the Century," Texas' title-clinching, 15-14 defeat of the Razorbacks in that same season. When they met at midfield afterward, this is what Royal did.

    Flanked as usual by his 11-year-old twin daughters, Broyles was stoic. The girls, Betsy and Linda, were not. "We were bawling," Arnold said Wednesday. The Texas coach shook hands with the Arkansas coach. And then, before leaving the field, Royal tried to console the girls, wrapping one in a hug.

    And to demonstrate the range of a man, please also see this story from commenter macsm about meeting Royal as an awestruck child.

    I was in the locker room at a golf course in the Austin suburbs waiting for my dad to come out of shower when in walked the big fella. Two 30-ish looking guys approached him and offered to buy his drink. One of them was in a UT golf shirt. The other was in a maroon and white TAMU shirt, with a matching aggie koozie. DKR asked to see the aggies Koozie because ‘it can keep my dick warm.’Persuaded by the good grey coach, the aggie proceeded to hand him the koozie. To which DKR responded, "I’m fucking Joking, I don’t want to touch that." it was all in fun though, DKR bought him a beer and shook his hand.

    I stood in awe, for one, I had never been that close to a living legend and two, I had never heard a man in 80’s say dick or fuck.

    After beers The coach called for a van and walked out.

    When Texas lines up in the wishbone tomorrow on the first play in tribute, it will honor their greatest coach, a man of compassion, but also one who knew the value of a rival's koozie.

    Zombocom. You can do anything at Zombocom, Notre Dame, but in the real world it will take a miracle to get you into the BCS title game. (But to repeat: you can do anything at Zombocom.)

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  • 11/08/12--12:10: ALPHABETICAL: BONUS LETTERS
  • 20120922_mje_se2_394

    THE ALPHABETICAL IS UP OMG IT'S UP.

    Alpha. Everyone and their grandmother (who is very good at breaking down game tape) has done the last series of Alabama/LSU, but we wanted to focus on the defense because watching it really made us feel a.) bad for LSU, since they were just doing their thing, and Alabama's thing happened to be better, and b.) because at the time, we had watched it and thought they had gone soft-ish, as well.

    Beta. Kawann Short of PURDUE, not Texas. We had them mashed up in a single note, and have since corrected it.

    Gamma. Chizik using a private security firm to conduct curfew checks confirms our belief that he's the SEC's most likely suspect for being a dictator in a former life. Not a really good one, but one of those boring, mediocre, and cruel functionaries of a South American junta, or Auburn football. Same thing.

    Delta. In a random television note: Samantha Steele has been perfectly pleasant this season, and the only complaint we've seen has come from a few women who said "girl got some jacked-up extensions." Being a man we don't notice this, but we do know that she gave Nick Saban a birthday cake and didn't get dropped through the trap door Saban has rigged under every chair in his office. She must be doing a fine job.


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    The Factor Five, as always, determines the winner of the Thursday night game with a mix of five different extremely unscientific factors: Nebulous Statistical Comparisons of Dubious Validity, Mascot, Aura, Names, and Grudges/Scores to Settle/Sheer Cussedness.

    Nebulous Statistical Comparisons of Dubious Validity: As we mentioned in the Alphabetical today, one weak spot of the Virginia Tech statistical profile has been the tendency to give up very long runs of the sort that make Bud Foster think about opening up his lunchbox. Bud Foster's lunchbox contains a vial of pure aerosolized monkey herpes, and he motivates his teams to great heights with the threat of its release.

    Unfortunately for them, Florida State is not only a top ten team in rushing offense, and has also had 31 runs of twenty yards or longer on the season. Someone's getting aerosolized monkey herpes in the face, and Bud Foster told you this would happen, so it's not his fault, is it?

    Florida State also hasn't forced many INTs this year, but Logan Thomas already has 12 on the year to 13 TDs against defenses nowhere near as fast as Florida State's. The only solution: throw passes so slow the rabbit-heeled Seminoles run past them.

    We've said it before: if Logan Thomas has the knuckleball going, he's damn near unstoppable.

    Advantage: Florida State

    FLORIDA STATE, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D!

    Mascot: For the second week in a row BonerTurkey makes his appearance in the Factor Five, and we've shared our reservations about him, particularly his lack of gym etiquette and poor benching form. He's a turkey, and even though Virginia Tech did at one point have a "turkey wrangler," we simply can't get that excited about a bird, any bird, at any time.

    Still, Florida State's mascot is just the worst.

    Scott-stapp-looking-stupid-as-usual-784939_medium

    Advantage: Virginia Tech

    VIRGINIA TECH, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D

    Aura: It is Lane Stadium at night, and that means "Enter Sandman," drunken people in hunting gear, and brown liquor and turkey legs all over the place. But consider this as being more important than anything: it will be cold as hell tonight, getting down into the thirties during the game. Floridians shatter in temperatures below 40 degrees, and that meant we went looking for that scene in Jason X where he freezes a woman's face in liquid nitrogen, and then smashes her into a counter. This is what we found.

    Stone-cold_medium

    That's nothing like what we were looking for, but it made your life better nonetheless.

    Advantage: Virginia Tech

    VIRGINIA TECH, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D.

    Names:

    FSU

    Dax Dellenbach

    Nile Lawrence-Stample

    Sterling Lovelady

    Jacob Fahrenkrug

    Ridge Read

    Gelnn Hall (that's how they spell it on the official site)

    Virginia Tech:

    Donaldven Manning

    Dahman McKinnon

    Vinston Painter

    Hunter Windmuller

    E.L. Smiling

    George George III

    Advantage: Florida State (BUT HOLY SHIT, GEORGE GEORGE THE THIRD)

    FLORIDA STATE, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D!

    Grudges/Scores to Settle/Sheer Cussedness: Virginia Tech is 4-5, pissed off, and has nothing to lose. They also have Bud Foster waving around that terrifying viral lunchpail at them.

    Advantage: Virginia Tech.

    VIRGINIA TECH, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D!

    SUMMARY: 3-2, VIRGINIA TECH, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D! Maybe Jimbo will fall onto his knees like he did at the end of the Virginia game last year. Boy, that was a delight. Then, if they win, Bud Foster will literally consume an entire keg of beer and go sledgehammer down a local dam for the hell of it because he's never liked the disrespectful way they look at him. Plus rivers, like Bud Foster, are wild and free, and need to be allowed to flow downhill to sea like they ought to.


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    THE BEST REPRESENTATION OF THE COLORADO BUFFALOES THIS YEAR. When they do it right, NMA does it fuckin' right.

    We didn't really take any rumors of Kiffin losing his job for 7-5 this year seriously, mostly because Bill Plaschke said it, and betting against Plaschke on anything is a pretty sound wager. Yet somehow, after seeing a CGI Lane Kiffin throwing a fit on the sidelines in Chinese, it all seems so much more plausible now.

    RIP. Tennessee State football player William Wayne Jones III died after collapsing at practice yesterday. Thoughts, prayers, etc to him and his family and teammates.

    EXIT LIGHT/ENTER HAVING TO BEAT UVA JUST TO GET TO A LOWLY BOWL GAME. Florida State's aggressive was better than Virginia Tech's aggressive, but it also helps that Virginia Tech's aggressive involved taking horrendous pursuit angles at a critical point late in the game. Good news for Virginia Tech: Michael Cole, taken off the field in an ambulance, was released from the hospital this morning, and has no fractures in his spine.

    Also, no one was injured in this play, and the illegal forward pass call was totally right, even if Ron Cherry did an abominable job explaining it. Ron is an artist, and he never explains or apologizes. Sadly, George George III did not figure prominently in VT's gameplan, and this is probably why they lost.

    SAD QUACKING. Chip Kelly's departure for the NFL is "inevitable," something we cannot possibly understand but sure, hurry-up option coach, that makes TOTAL SENSE.

    ADIOS, PASTOR. One of the nicest people in football, Bill Curry, will retire this year after his final season at Georgia State. If you want to read a wrenching bit on why Curry won't be doing anything else in his retirement, see the quote where his son asks him if he's going to miss his grandchildren's childhood, too. :(

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. If you have to celebrate a win over Kentucky, make sure it's one that left grown men in tears on both sides from sheer shock. Happy tenth, Bluegrass Miracle. Guy Morriss is currently cringing in his offices at Texas A&M (Commerce).

    THE GANG'S BACK TOGETHER. Blue-Gray Sky back! (For a night! One night only!)

    A TERRIFYING TOLL. Oregon's knockout times are...horrifying. Simply horrifying.

    MGOBLOG WILL MAKE YOU FAMOUS. Lloyd Brady be up in ESPN, yo.

    ETC: Just fucking unacceptable. We so feel you, Rod.


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    Thunderball. I ain't admitting anything. But if an NFL coach were to return to work after a sudden departure from a Super Bowl Champion, and then return suddenly to work, might it have been because he blew his fortune re-enacting the entire plot of James Bond's finest film? And building a full-scale Kiss Kiss Club he burned down and rebuilt weekly? Against numerous environmental laws carrying fines that would drive anyone into debt? Not admitting a damn thing, but that might coulda happened. Perfection. Five marlins.

    Die Another Day. Was that the one with the ice something and the swords and the diamond face Asian fella and...shit, you know what, I gotta be honest. I was sun stroked as hell when I saw this. (That's what I call getting a handjob behind the popcorn machine.) Five marlins.

    Casino Royale. Bond ends this movie single, handsome, and holding a gun while wearing a tailored suit. He also survives being poisoned at a poker game, an experience I've shared with 007. Don't play poker with Jerry Jones. Ever. Five marlins.

    Live and Let Die. Charles Haley was unmanageable until I started calling myself Kananga, and him Baron Samedi. Sure, he'd masturbate into everyone else's locker, but coach's chair was spotless, and that's the only one that matters. This is also a very realistic depiction of recruiting in Louisiana. Don't think Les Miles hasn't jumped across the backs of alligators to get a defensive end, because he has. Four marlins.

    Licence to Kill. I never got to cut a player by putting him in a depressurization tank and making him explode. But I'm not dead yet, either. Four marlins.

    Goldfinger. Film study isn't telling me a lot that's good here, 007.

    Goldfinger_sean-connery_terrycloth-playsuit_full-door1_medium

    On the other hand, there's a lady painted gold. That's practically making her one living Notre Dame helmet, and I did enjoy doing unspeakable things to them. I'll give it four marlins for that and for Oddjob, the scrappy Zach Thomas of villains.

    From Russia With Love. Tricking a man to open a tear-gas booby-trapped briefcase was my signature way to cut someone in Dallas. The film ends with Bond getting ready to bang out a little turkish delight in a gondola, and if you've never had sex in a boat with a poor Italian servant watching, you haven't lived, compadre. Four marlins.

    On His Majesty's Secret Service. Bill Belichick has a Blofeld tramp stamp because of this movie. It's not pretty, but devotion is devotion. I liked it because of the ten female assassins. If there were one more of them, you'd have an offense better than the Eagles'. Which Eagles' offense? All of them. Every last single bitch-ridden one of them, ever. Three marlins.

    For Your Eyes Only. I'm an open minded man, but this movie still makes me a little leery of Greek folks. That's why I've identified myself as Bob Papa during several police interviews. Three marlins.

    The Man With The Golden Gun. You've got a private island. A bait-sized assistant. And a Chinese junk. AND YOU DON'T HAVE A SINGLE DAY OF DEEP SEA FISHING YOU GOTTA BE KIDDIN' ME BUDDY. Two marlins.

    The World Is Not Enough. The most emotional Bond film.

    Screen_shot_2012-11-09_at_2

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TAKE THE GIRL NOT THE BOAT.

    Two marlins.

    The Living Daylights. You want a nice piece of Hollywood gossip? Joe Don Baker thought this was a documentary. Every time he'd have me over for dinner he'd pull out a crate of missile launchers, just offer me one of 'em. "Never know who you might meet in a dark alley," he said. Sights were off on it though. You're lucky JDB was sloppy, George Seifert. Two marlins.

    You Only Live Twice. Never understood why James is so fixated on women washing him. If I wanted to watch a man with a hairy chest get bathed by five Asian ladies, I'd go over to Michael Irvin's house. Two marlins.

    Octopussy. I've lived with several circus troupes, and not a single one spent more than six hours sober. And that includes the month I guested as Cookie on The Bozo Show. Two marlins.

    The Spy Who Loved Me. Just awful. Did give me an idea that kept me from every having to waste time going to the dentist, though.

    Jimmy_2520jawsson_jpg_medium

    One marlin.

    A View To A Kill. There's an action sequence involving a slow-ass blimp in this movie. I coached Dan Marino in his final seasons. You make the connection you need to make between these two sentences while I bite the caps off every beer in this twelve pack of Heineken. One lead-footed marlin.

    Tomorrow Never Dies. Told Terry Bradshaw we were gonna see this and took him to Home Alone 3 instead. It's still his favorite Bond movie because my close friend Terry Bradshaw has severe brain damage.

    Dr. No. Damn I know you nerds like this one, and I know why. It's old. You like old things just because they're old. That's a stupid way to live life unless you like getting written into heiress's wills. I've humped myself into no fewer than five, but not because I liked it. One marlin, because it's boring and I ain't into Scandinavians. Cold people right down to their carnival parts.

    Quantum of Solace. I'm not a cinephile, but even I know Paul Haggis is to screenwriters what Dan Devine is to coaches. Zero marlins.

    The Rocketeer. Pretty confused that James Bond turned out to be a Nazi. I've done some crazy shit to get women not half as jaw-dropping as Jennifer Connelly. But ExtenZe and National Socialism just ain't in the same ballpark, man. Zero marlins.


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    "Hey, are those Beats By Dre headphones, son?""Yeah, coach. You like 'em?"

    "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WASTED MONEY ON THESE IT'S NOT THAT YOU SPENT MORE I DON'T MIND I UNDERSTAND THAT HEADPHONES FOR A MUSIC LOVER OR PROFESSIONAL SUCH AS YOURSELF BUT SERIOUSLY THE SOLO MODEL IS ONE OF CONSUMER REPORTS' LOWEST RANKED MODELS AND I'M NOT SORRY BECAUSE VALUE NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE."

    (via @bubbaprog)

    UPDATE: Tuberville's explanation:

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    3dypz_medium

    9vsal_medium

    Cardiology? He don't have a heart.

    Need a hug or smile? That's a false start.

    He can teach you how to play a Cover 2

    But throw a Manziel in his face and he'll HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO

    He teabags with ease

    And he poisons trees

    Makes an late offsides to bring you to your knees

    3dypz_medium

    BA-MA-KNOW HOW!

    (bama know how bama know how)

    BA-BA-BA-BA-BAMA KNOW HOW!


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    Chug

    Chug_medium

    YOU MAY TAKE WASHINGTON STATE'S FOOTBALL TEAM BUT YOU CAN NEVER TAKE THEIR FIREBALL CINNAMON WHISKEY OR FISTPUMPS.


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  • 11/11/12--11:19: THE ANGRIEST THREAD
  • 156000955

    We're busy shooting Shutdown Fullback and putting together various pieces of critical, life-changing content for tomorrow. But we understand that for the half of you did not have the good fortune to watch your DOMINATING team COMPLETELY ANNIHILATE a powerful standard-bearer for quality college football like UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE, yesterday was a tale of woe, agony, and ultimately, loss.

    So please: heal, let the pain out, and if you have to curse a deity for what happened to your football team yesterday, make it the transcended Buddha. He's chill, and will totally understand your need to take out your frustrations on a 30 pack of wings you ordered from the sketchy Chinese restaurant down the road. Which we may have done even after a victory. Because RAGIN' CAJUNS BY A BLOCKED PUNT AT THE BUZZER Y'ALL.


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    4158980842_b17e4e3ebf_z

    1. The first time was in Taiwan, at a tea house. Tea house makes it sound really grandiose and oriental. A tea house in Taiwan could literally be anything. I went to one that was a front for a brothel and methamphetamine sales, and looked like a Barnes and Noble up front. Another looked like a billionaire's Colorado mountain fuck-lodge, complete with John Denver playing and lots of elk antlers built into the furniture. I didn't actually check to see that they weren't deer antlers, by the way. The person laundering money through this tea house sprung for the damned elk antler, most likely sawed off an endangered species by a drunken Manchurian somewhere on the tundra.

    2. This tea house was a weird French pastoral set smashed into three boxy rooms in an apartment block, like a Martha Stewart kitchen dismembered and thrown into an East Asian apartment block. It had really good coffee, however, and at the time that was a really, really rare thing to find in the hilljack corner of Taiwan we called "the hilljack corner of Taiwan we lived in for money."

    3. And to this point, it is important to note that unlike most anyone else I knew, my ass had not exploded once. Not once: not after eating street food like a derelict stray dog for six months, not after working with filthy, grub-fingered children for weeks and months at a time, not even after eating whatever wok-hammered insanity I'd eaten while blackout drunk in the night market. I cracked raw eggs into hot pot weekly and ate it before it could have possibly even tickled the weapons-grade salmonella lurking in them. And nothing, not even one dreaded mustard gas giardia fart from swimming in mountainside waterfalls.

    4. So if I leaned casually on one ass cheek and hazarded a cautious, well-measured fart, I did so with the confidence of a Blue Angels pilot ripping into a 7 G minimum radius turn. Then, the wings came off the plane, so to speak, and I shit through my pants and into the floral-patterned cloth of the chair.

    5. I don't know what scared me more: that this happened, or that it happened in a manner unlike anything I could have imagined as someone shitting their pants for the first time. Losing control of your ass is so horrifying because it is pretty much rule one of autonomy as a person. The word "no" is first, and then second comes "as a human, walking amongst other humans for hours and hours of the day, I have the self-control to not allow my own waste to come flying willy-nilly out of my port exhaust." It's not just a line in human boundaries, it is the line. When you lose control of your shit, they take your car keys, prop you on a couch, buy you a small, sad dog from the pound, and then turn on the Weather Channel until you die. That's how bad shitting your pants is.

    6. But that wasn't anything like this. There wasn't the fear sweat of an impending food poisoning-powered torpedo about to leave the tube, or the cramping accompanying an approaching Taco Bell splattercane. This just happened, an small but pestilent cloud blowing through my colon like a rogue bit of fog moseying its way around a London streetcorner. I expected something like the sulfuric acid of alien blood leaking through the chair, then the floor, and then all the way down to street level and beyond. Instead, it almost said, "Ello" as it exited, and then probably went and had some tea and biscuits with its mother at the home where they put people who can no longer control their asses.

    7. The next time was Nepal. The neighbors already had on the morning's Nepali Babu movie, blasting at no less than 60 decibels from the television. Nepali Babu is a crime-fighting fat man with a mustache and a gigantic knife, and his understanding of due process in justice could be called appalling at best. I ran to the bathroom, a combo shower, toilet, and vanity with one drain in the middle of the floor and one Western toilet perched adjacent to the drain. I made it to the bathroom, but the Nepali Babu of food poisonings does not respect your due process of removing pants, shirt, or whatever else gets in the way of Nepali Babu thrashing his way to justice.

    8. Fortunately, the whole thing was one big drain, you could puke into the drain while sitting on the toilet, and in the end just flush the whole thing down to the sewers and leave your utterly unholy clothes reeking in the garbage can. Clothes are cheap in Nepal, both because labor is inexpensive and because the tourists who buy them explosively shit them off on a weekly basis.

    9. The first stateside pants-soiling as an adult wasn't even worth being mad about, because it happened for the most obvious reason of all: naked stupidity. I was knocking around the house cooking lunch, going commando in a pair of workout shorts. If you don't walk around your house shirtless and commando, I don't know what your definition of pleasure is, and I don't want to know. If company comes over I'll but on something, sure. But dickslanging in front of no one, or perhaps your wife, is the right of every castle-owner in the United States, and indeed beyond. It's also hot as hell where I live six months out of the year, and life's too short for too much underwear or modesty in private.

    10. That's not the dumb part. The dumb part is eating like a one-man garbage scow, something I have done for most of my adult life. In this case, it was a pack of sugar-free fruit mentos, something that plays into two of my greatest faults as an eater: small grabby edible things (nuts, candy, anything you can crush with your mighty, meat-shearing jaws), and and sugar. Plus, they were sugar-free, so why not devour the entire pack, and not notice the gigantic Sorbitol on the list of ingredients.

    11. This is a description of Sorbitol's side effects.

    Ingesting large amounts of sorbitol can lead to abdominal pain, flatulence, and mild to severe diarrhea

    12. My wife was sitting at a table in line with the kitchen. I didn't even misfire on a fart. This just flew out of my ass and straight to the floor with a plop that I understand now, as a parent, is the distinctive sound of some human byproduct hitting the floor. It happened with such horrifying speed, going straight down the leg with such exit velocity it didn't even soil the shorts.

    13. I looked over and started laughing at my wife, and for so many reasons.

    1. WHAT THE HELL EXPLODING ASS
    2. Have you ever shat in front of someone? You won't be surprised, but I'll say it anyway: there is no proper reaction. None. It's not something your brain is prepared for after decades of conditioning. Laughter, screaming, or weeping are the only real options. Concern would be the logical one, but no one in horror movies ever watches someone eaten by a lab accident and goes, "Well, now, Gary, let me get the shotgun, because it seems like you're in a real pickle, here." They flip the fuck out, just like you would if you saw someone poop right in front of your eyes.
    3. "I am the man who you married, and I just pooped on the floor in full sight of you. I will now put on "Whatta Man" by Salt 'N Pepa, and clean up the poop I put on that floor."

    14. It was terrible. It was also utterly my fault. We all learned a lot of things that day, but mostly not to eat anything that says "sugar-free" by the shovelful, or indeed ever. Diabetes is ugly, but it reserves uncontrollable diarrhea for the bitter end, right around the point where they start lopping extremities off.

    15. The last time it happened was another error of planning: during a run. Running is a lot like Will Muschamp football: it takes years to ramp up, isn't very much fun a lot of the time, and even when it's working it takes a tremendous amount of effort just to get competent. Additionally, it may involve sudden and unexpected moments of shitting yourself in public.

    16. Having to shit yourself is terrible, but it's actually less bad than the panicky, miserable despair of running and realizing that one mile from home, while jostling up and down the whole time, your body has a powerful and necessary urge to poop. It is as close as I would ever want to get out to living out 127 Hours. While running a half-marathon once, the asshole race organizers put no bathrooms between miles six and ten along a race route in downtown Atlanta, and I started crying real, embarrassing tears considering what bush in front of the BellSouth Building I was going to christen in front of vomiting onlookers. I made the bathroom at the ten mile mark. If you were next to me, I'm not sorry for the loud "OH GOD THANK YOUs" you heard through the walls.

    17. I've never gotten the run/poop timing right. It always seems to hit right as I'm passing through a neighborhood where I know no one, have no cover, and no one has opened a business in years. This last time it hit right as I was trudging up a hill in Kirkwood, a good mile from my house, and on the way to meet my wife and son at the playground. There was a fight--oh, a protracted, determined fight--but even Patton had to surrender to the inevitable. You know who understands pooping your pants? A toddler. They just nod, like, "Yeah, Tuesday. Let's go get a popsicle, dude."

    18. This is every time I have ever shit myself as an adult.

    19. Even though the Gators won, I would rather write about this all day than ever watch Florida's game tape from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette again, for any reason.


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    Tommy Tuberville is lucky this happened in Lubbock, and in a game where no uninvested viewer was watching. Shall we tapdance through a slightly complicated argument here? That Tuberville was clearly a dick to do this, because you shouldn't and can't go around yanking the headgear off your employees in any job, particular as a college football coach or underwater salvage operator? And that he should also not be fired, since we a.) do tend to be a bit quick on the firing trigger, and b.) REMEMBER WHEN MIKE LOCKSLEY TOTALLY PUNCHED AN ASSISTANT AND KEPT HIS JOB?

    Not that you should use New Mexico as your guide on anything football-related, but still: let's fire people for good reasons, not this admittedly stupid thing you caught on camera. (Note: will not be an issue when Tuberville runs the hell out of Lubbock at the first chance he gets.*

    P.S. If they didn't fire Bobby Knight or Billy Gillispie, seriously, Texas Tech ain't doing SHIT about this.


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