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    "Oy, 'ello! 'Oo arr youuu?"

    "I'm Mary Poppins. I'm here to fight the evil wizard Voldemort at center stage."

    "Oi, roight. 'Ow you gonna do that?"

    "I have a bag you can stuff anything in. I can also fly and speak to members of any social class without fear or awkwardness."

    "Really? Are you sure you're British? Because the first two I buy, ma'am, but the last one seems roight fanciful."

    "Shh. I'm actually American."

    "Roight! So you gonna put him in that bag with your powers, eh?"

    "American, son. Voldy's taking two in the dome from his heat, son."


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    Gadzooks, what a handsome bastard David Beckham is. He may not know that's not a car, but a boat. He may not be able to perform basic maths (hullo British readers.) He may not even know where he is right now. It doesn't matter, because David Beckham is basically the Minister of the Smugchequer, and could keep the Pound afloat through sheer unbridled confidence and smirking. (P.S. David Beckham has no idea where he is going. Please send the British Navy after him, as he will run out of gas before reaching the French coast.)

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    And now, 33 short reviews of national delegations and their clothes.

    Cameroon: Our outfits are a traditional print called "to hell with your television."



    Cayman Islands: Five blue jackets, $500 billion offshore dollars in each.

    Chad: Sadly, not one lonely man named Chad from Alabama, Mississippi or anywhere else where guys just get named Chad for some reason.

    China: Not one athlete smoking while entering, totally fake, come on sheeple.

    Congo: Costas: "And this is the delegation from Congo, the [reads CIA Factbook country summary] [hangs self]"

    Costa Rica: "We have a passion for beig."

    Croatia: "You try and match something with checkerboard, jerk."

    Czech Republic: "Galoshes were on sale, y'all."

    DPRK: "[Eyes unguarded exits]"

    Democratic Republic of Congo: [Bob Costas kills self twice]

    Djibouti: There's a woman wearing a gold veil, which is the ballingest form of visual impairment ever.Djibouti_1_medium

    Ecuador: Just there to represent the hell out of the Prime Meridian's eternal rival.

    Estonia: Appeared to be microwavable jackets you can also use to cook vegetables.


    Finland: Jackets patterned after the preferred music of the nation, endless white static.

    Former Yugoslav Republic of WHATEVER YOU READ IT FOR YOURSELF:


    France: Sadly, no William the Conqueror references on their clothing.

    Georgia: Outfitted in cheap mafia surplus.

    Germany: Jackets are made of delicious fruit roll-up.

    Hungary: Outfits indicate country is the Mexico of Eastern Europe. Goulash fiesta for all!

    Independent Olympians: Notre Dame, stop it what are you doing there...

    India: Ain't lying. I'd wear a turban every day if I could just to avoid messing with my hair. #realtalk

    Iraq: In ill-fitting tracksuits, just like the dude who owns the Dunkin' Donuts in your neighborhood.

    Israel: Shaving the Star of David into the side of your head? That kind of enthusiasm makes you eligible for SEC membership, Israel.

    Italy: Couldn't see outfits, writhing on ground begging for yellow card.

    Jamaica: Your ladies wear yellow print and your abbreviation is JAM, WHY DON'T I LIVE THERE?!

    Kazakhstan: Flag-bearer bore strong resemblance to evil Power Rangers Megazord.


    I approve with extreme enthusiasm.

    Kiribati: Wearing old CBA warmups, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    South Korea: Slim tie and tiny hats tell me Tommy Hilfiger still makes a metric buttload of money in your fine nation.

    Luxembourg: A shoo-in for a gold in "banking."

    Malawi: Bob Costas called it "the warm heart of Africa." No country is referred to as "the cold heart of Africa," but that's definitely Somalia.

    Marshall Islands: "That's some crap, four athletes ain't close to a thundering herd."



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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04:  Tavon Austin #1 and Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers celebrate after Austin caught a 37-yard touchdown reception thrown by Smith in the third quarter against the Clemson Tigers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    In order to better understand college football's major conferences, we must plot each according to its Fun and its Skill. SPOILER: Alabama is both great and as fun as a gas leak.

    Debating conference strength in football is a lot like using a key party to evaluate someone's sexual prowess. After a season of scrimmaging against the usual contractually obligated competition, college football teams place their hands in a bowl, fumble for a moment, and then pick an opponent with one eye firmly squinted open. Then everyone goes upstairs, competes awkwardly, and comes away confused by the whole experience.*

    *This is especially true for the team that pulled West Virginia's key. Ashamed and yet satisfied beyond all reason. (Also: Holgo).

    Our principal point here is that one embraces certainty at their own risk. Our secondary point is that your grandparents played some parlor games you would rather not know about, but mostly the first thing.

    The only real honesty in college football is embracing subjectivity. People generally like conferences for the stupidest and most durable reason: because their team is in this conference, and therefore this conference must be superb in every way.

    No one can take this away from you, college football fan, not even when this conference is yes, very good, but also dominated by a stultifying, asphyxiating brand of play landing somewhere between "Italian soccer" and "dutch oven given with the covers pinned over your shrieking head." This is you, SEC, and the angry man holding the covers over the head of the conference is Nick Saban. Please eat less cabbage, Nick Saban. The rest of the conference would appreciate that ever so much.

    The two things that make a congregation of teams in any sport worth watching are the general possibility for entertainment when said teams are on the field and the general level of skill employed in playing the game itself. Given these two extremely subjective elements, I have illustrated the general fun/skill biases of each BCS conference by creating an even more grandiosely subjective presentation of an overall conference's profile.

    Note: this relies exclusively on my own biased estimations of teams watchability and overall skill. It solves no problems. However, nothing in college football ever does, and this does provide some visual assistance when attempting to explain why the general perception of certain conference leans one way or another, or at least gives an entirely unscientific graph one can present as fact in an argument.

    If this fails, just make up some numbers. It's what everyone else does, and if you doubt this WOOO SEC SIX IN A ROW CAN'T ARGUE WITH THAT. See? Science.

    Big Ten


    2012 Big Ten Preview by Dan Rubenstein || Also watch Shutdown Fullback on the Big Ten

    Iowa never did anything interesting on purpose and their spot here reflects this. Penn State now has an NFL-style coach with the defensive coordinator who almost had Auburn losing to Utah State, so without factoring in anything else whatsoever they were headed for a rough year anyway, and just lay down there for a while, Penn State. It is for the common good.

    The rest flatters the Conference of Leaders and Legends. The general bulk of the conference falls somewhere in the intersection of good (which is good, and not damning with faint praise) and fun. Ohio State's a bit underplayed here because of a coaching transition and some uncertainty, but there is no reason Braxton Miller cannot turn Ohio State into something resembling Brady Hoke's miraculousy charmed 2011 Michigan team. Michigan State under Dantonio is always good and several degrees more interesting than you might think. Whatever Northwestern lacks in talent they make up for in effort, discipline, and the willingness to try anything at anytime.

    Michigan has Denard Robinson. So, yeah. They go way up there.

    The idea of Wisconsin is always a bit more fun than the actual team they put on the field, though throwing 70 points on an opponent does liven up the proceedings from time to time.There is a clump of utter misery at the bottom of the conference, but as Samuel Johnson said, in order for here to be order, there must be subordination. In the cases of Purdue, Indiana, and Minnesota, there's a lot of subordination going on there. (Illinois under Tim Beckman, bad though they might be, should at least be entertaining.)

    Big 12


    2012 Big 12 Preview by Bill Connelly || Also watch Shutdown Fullback on the Big 12

    Look way, way down at the bottom: Kansas State is the least fun you'll have watching the Big 12, and even then there is a kind of caveman pleasure to be had in watching Collin Klein run the single wing in 2012. High-variance teams like Baylor, Texas Tech, and Iowa State specialize in detonating randomly on some unfortunate Texas or Oklahoma every year or so. Even Kansas is fun, if you like rolling disasters. (And I do.)

    Dana Holgorsen's Hair Raid offense makes WVU the most volatile substance in conference, but TCU's daredevilry remains deeply undersold. Gary Patterson runs a weird 4-2-5 defense and a spread offense AND won a Rose Bowl against a Wisconsin team that outweighed his defense on the line by 450 pounds per man. This number is not accurate, but it is truthy.

    Oklahoma is Oklahoma: consistently excellent and sometimes great. Texas is anyone's guess past "stifling defense and strong run game."



    2012 SEC Preview by Dan Rubenstein || Also watch Shutdown Fullback on Alabama

    This did not come out as badly as we thought, but was not without some surprises. LSU is less fun than you think, mostly because Les Miles picks his spots to be genuinely batty. Over at Arky, though John L. Smith will pick his spots to be genuinely sane. That is why the Razorbacks are way up there in fun, but downgraded in skill, because hoo-wee! John L. Smith, head coach at the SEC's craziest-ass football program. This is totally and actually happening.

    Alabama sits at the intersection of Bryant and Saban, meaning they're awesome, and as interesting to watch as an autopsy. We're not saying (but we're saying) that Saban enjoys a good autopsy. Florida is not much more interesting, but is half as good. South Carolina is better skill-wise but less fun now that Spurrier's given up on ever throwing the ball in the 21st century, Georgia and Mizzou are both just fun enough with UGA maintaining a clear talent advantage, Tennessee has a real live offense and a coach with nothing to lose, Texas A&M brings the Air Raid to the SEC West, and Ole Miss, doomed from the start, should at least be more fun to watch than Houston Nutt's orphaned 2011 team.

    Vandy and Mississippi State are acceptably entertaining and good at what they do. (Losing close games in heartbreaking fashion thus far is "what they do.") Kentucky is not a good football team. Auburn could win four games or win 10, but assume they're just a slightly better Florida right now. That does not say much, but it is as close as we could get to describing whatever it is Auburn is this year, which is "unambitious and punty."



    2012 ACC Preview by Bill Connelly || Also watch Shutdown Fullback on the ACC

    See that big clump of teams in the low middle right around "Good/Golf Clap?" It's not that the ACC is bad, it's just that so many teams fly along at about the same skill level with the same style of play that unmuddling them becomes a sport of the bored and overly curious in and of itself. N.C. State is marginally more interesting than UVA, UVA is marginally more interesting than Miami, and all three are stalled at something like the same level of overall skill.

    The basement does not help. Duke and Boston College were already there, but Maryland's plunge into the depths of submediocrity makes the bottom of the ACC a wretched hut of arthritic spiders praying for a stray fly to crash land through the door. If this seems like an extreme metaphor, you clearly did not watch Maryland or Boston College play last year.

    Hope? It's there. Virginia Tech and Florida State are both passably entertaining and excellent football teams, albeit ones that will do their business in an, um, "business-like" fashion. (JImbo's tainted with Sabanball; Frank Beamer is suspicious of offensive touchdowns, and has been since the Ford administration.) Clemson, for whatever else they may be, is rarely boring, and often way better than anyone's willing to admit.

    Georgia Tech is way up there; just being crazy, entertaining, and probably really frustrating to those who wish they'd recruit some defense, run out of the shotgun every 50th down or so, or recruit a quarterback capable of throwing a pass that doesn't look like an anvil tumbling end-over-end. But otherwise: totally fun.



    2012 Pac-12 Preview by Dan Rubenstein || Also watch Shutdown Fullback on the Pac-12

    The difference in the Pac-12 are the outliers. When teams are really good in the Pac-12, they tend to be really good and play the sort of football you willingly forfeit sleep for in the name of entertainment. Stanford is a margin call in entertainment value on the basis of their defense over USC. Oregon towers over both in entertainment value. If you do not agree, you may not be stricken with crippling ADD and may not trust the hurry-up spread option. I pity you on both counts.

    Washington State earns a Ham rating for the sheer entertainment of Mike Leach's offense attempting to sew together the scraps of the Paul Wulff era. Otherwise, the Pac-12 has the usual bell curve, and then poor Cal, UCLA, Colorado, and the Arizonas rounding out the conference's full, luscious bottom. If the ACC is big in the middle, the Pac-12 looks like an upended barbell in terms of fun/skill: a brawl at the bottom, not much in the middle, and then high wire kung-fu fights at the top.

    Big East


    2012 Big East Preview by Dan Rubenstein

    I ...

    I ...

    I immediately regret making this.

    Please move on.

    And let us all pretend this never happened.

    While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s Youtube channel:

    Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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  • 07/30/12--06:57: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 7/30/2012
  • GIMME BACK MY HAT, YOU CURSED BIRD. Dabo doesn't even really look like he's looking so much at the gymnast as much as the raven that just stole his hat off his head. Dang you, you old crowthing!


    The Olympics theme will continue with a piece Messrs Bobby Big Wheel and Celebrity Hot Tub will have up around noon-thirty. We're on half-duty thanks to a working vacation in Colorado, where no one really cares about college football or us attempting to smuggle home a buffalo calf in an overhead compartment (hopefully.) (Shut up, it's for Holly.)

    WELL, THIS REALLY ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR IDEA OF FUN. We happen to find Sabanball to be the equivalent of one long Dutch Oven, albeit an expertly assembled Dutch Oven. But if you get really bent over a scientific chart that includes such precise measurements as "EH" and "NFL," then you get exactly what you deserve. The Big East's cluster is...well, it explains so very much about everything.

    THIS MAY ALSO DEPEND ON YOUR IDEA OF FUN. Les Miles' greatest challenge--winning a national title with less at quarterback than any other team in the history of the game--appears to be an ongoing project. The 2016 season where LSU wins a title with a 700 year old baobob tree under center will be his greatest achievement, second only to his innovative driving instruction techniques. (via)

    WE ARE ONLY A FEW VARIATIONS AWAY FROM REALTREE CAMO. If Wyoming can make this work, Arkansas State is just a few months away from playing a game in hunting camo. It will--and must--happen. Michael Dyer, sadly, will miss all the fun as he eventually tumbles down to D-3 ball after getting kicked off seven different teams.

    AIRBHG IS REAL. Iowa's demon-god refuses to relent in his pursuit of every last Iowa running back's career ever.

    MARK RICHT HAS LOST CONTROL OF BRIONTE DUNN'S ONE-HITTER. The Ohio State running back was cited for paraphernalia and a seatbelt violation, and we're really way more upset about the seatbelt because no, dude, sure, you're going to brace yourself and catch the dashboard in event of an accident, and not turn into a flopping 200 pound projectile capable of killing me in an accident.

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  • 07/31/12--06:36: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 7/31/2012
  • THIS HAPPENS IN 30 DAYS. "This" means "announcer yelling 'reverse' when they don't know what a misdirection play is."

    It's a Statue variation with the underrated Amos Zeroue, and a really cool one at that, but part of your offseason conditioning includes anticipating certain announcing shortcuts.

    • "Reverse!" equals "I'm not really sure who has the ball right now but it's neat!"
    • "Heeeeeee....." [is waiting on the spotter to tell him if a TD catch was made]
    • "And that's unfortunate." A player has just taken a knee to the balls.
    • "A perfect day for Big Ten football." Permacloud, fifty, and everyone's stinking drunk and unhappy

    There are many, many more of these, but we're all out of shape. Start slowly and work into the more complex lexicons, particularly the complex patois of Musburgese.

    HUGH FREEZE IS SO COMMITTED TO YOU, BUT NOT YOUR KNEE INJURY. College football is a business, something jaded fathers realize when their sons are told that commitment means commitment, but that commitment might mean something else entirely if that knee injury you've got turns sour for a few months. That commitment also means another of the 246 or so offers we've made might just start looking prettier, and when you've got 246 on the line, son, that's just a matter of math and these wandering eyes.

    It's cool, though. God is a DJ, and he just decided to skip your song for the moment, kid.

    GEORGE O'LEARY REALLY PAYING OFF AT UCF. UCF will receive a one year postseason ban from the NCAA for recruiting violations. Like most great football ventures at UCF, the additional effort yielded them no actual benefits, and in fact damaged them in the long run. With a dynamo like George O'Leary at head coach, however, we're sure this will all work itself out in the long run.

    CHARLIE STRONG IS APPRECIATIVE, AND HAS NO IDEA WHY YOU DID THAT. Big East media day is today, and Louisville came up as the clear conference favorite even though Charlie Strong has no idea why you did that, BE media. (But thanks!) Skip Holtz also acknowledged that BJ Daniels has been the quarterback at USF since 2002, something we all know is true in our heart if not in fact.

    OH COME ON. There's so much in one cake, really.

    ETC: Green transportation fad sweeping the Wild West of China; prepare streets of Brooklyn for mauled hipsters attempting same. London doesn't give a shit about the Olympics.

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  • 08/01/12--07:15: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 8/1/2012
  • AU REVOIR, GREG REID. The scourge of Marcus Lattimore's face was thrown bodily from the FSU football team today after "a violation of team rules." That violation likely has something to do with Reid's arrest in Valdosta for weed possession, but like most ongoing disciplinary struggles with talented athletes, this was was about a long series of things rather than one isolated incident.

    We'll miss your spotty defensive coverage, punt returns, and that aforementioned thing you did to Marcus Lattimore's face.

    Reid wasn't that good anyway, and will be replaced by a first-round draft pick who will somehow manage to be part of a can't-miss national title team that loses three games in the ACC and is a favorite of local police organizations everywhere.

    THE SHIP IS FLEEING THE RATS. Once Silas Redd formally left for USC yesterday, the border fence of courtesy came down for Penn State transfers. Again, Rob Bolden has gone to LSU, something that is far funnier than it should be since Rob Bolden is way closer to being an SEC quarterback to begin with than a Big Ten quarterback rolling into the SEC. WELCOME HOME, ROB.

    THE MOST NAUSEATING HEADLINE FOR A PREVIEW EVER. If this were a real piece of pornography, viewing it would cause instant death. You might also get a Hawai'i Bowl bid and a mediocre rushing offense, but that's just the kind of free money you get when you pour three million dollars into a Charlie Weis-shaped hole.

    COME ON YOU HAVE SPELL CHECK. Brent Pease, Florida's new offensive coordinator charged with filling the Weis-sized hole in the Gator offense, took two weeks to go on safari and hand out rubber bracelets to tribesmen. Remember: in all kinds of weather we all stick together and often pass out symbolic rubber bracelets. The article refers to the "Messiah" tribe, which from the photo we assume is the Masai tribe via "never taking an anthropology class."

    RELATED TO ISOLATED TRIBES: Zeke Pike is not currently part of the Auburn football team, and that is fine because Clint Moseley has GOT THIS, y'all.

    EXCUSE US. But Todd Graham posted this and LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL.

    ETC: THIS IS WHAT VICTORY LOOKS LIKE. Dana Holgorsen is a superb lipwriter. If you go strictly by hair, he is already a legend.

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  • 08/01/12--12:07: THE SEC SUMMER OLYMPIAD
  • We're still on the road somewhere in the American West. BOY YOU PEOPLE DON'T CARE ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL AT ALL. We tested this by Gator chomping madly as we pushed past a 16 year old Jumpstreet employee, hit the trampoline hard like a Russian, and then landed joyously in the foam pit before earning a lifetime ban. They didn't even talk conference shit back at us, which is so very disappointing.

    Anyway, let's SEC-ize the Olympics right quick while we're thinking about it and have a tiny amount of time between important, low-humidity social obligations in the Mountain State.


    Archery: No changes.

    Basketball: Ask Kentucky, because they're the only ones who care.

    Boxing: Controversial international points system replaced by Nick Saban seeing which fighter really wants this grayshirt.


    Diving: Competitors try to amaze the crowd with increasingly complex tricks. But Dad isn't paying attention. He never is.


    Fencing: Epee and saber replaced with buck knives and rakes. Points are scored when blood and scream.

    Triathlon: Shoot protected game fish with unlicensed handgun. Swim away from state game and wildlife officials. Steal children's bike when you reach shore. Ditch bike, run until caught. Competitors ranked on "Total Distance Before Tasing."

    Hammer throw: An actual hammer, thrown at Todd because he's a dick and INCOMING, TODD! YEAH? WHAT?

    Handball: Formal dress event. You must dine and waltz with Vanderbilt O-Line Coach Herb Hand...and not fall in love!

    Canoe/Kayak: Same whitewater course, but with flat of Keystone Light and unsecured infant in boat. Losing the beer is an instant DQ.

    Golf: We only play 14 holes, and then claim superiority over other conferences that play a full 18. BUT THOSE HOLES ARE HARD, PAWWWLLLLL.


    • Rings: two tire swings. Do the splits between 'em and you get the gay medal.
    • Parallel bars: Sharkey's on one side of the street, Hammerheads on the other, and Stephen Garcia runnin' relays in between, son.
    • Floor exercise. Bobby Petrino is winking so hard right now.
    • Trampoline: double-bounce duel format. First to fly into the woodpile over there loses.
    • Pummel horse: it sounds savage, but your hand will break before the horse does.
    • Vault: Steal ATM from convenience store, open in less than 20 minutes using only a Leatherman and a can of WD-40.

    Judo: Gis replaced by Carhartt Jackets; bare feet swapped out for cowboy boots. Nutpunching with double-nut rattle and vomiting ends match instantly.

    Marathon: Nope.

    Modern Pentathlon: ATV dressage, paintball, inner-tubing, the Electric slide, "dip."

    Racewalking: What we're calling the Egg Bowl this year.

    Rowing: [/slaps outboard motor on back] [/blasts David Allan Coe] [races ahead with two middle fingers in air] [coxswain is a miserable, seasick Nick Saban]

    Rugby: Also known as "SEC Football"

    Sailing: Done with catamarans only. First to flip the boat and lose the deposit wins. Must be done with yard-long Panama City beach margarita in hand.

    Shooting: Oh, hell yes.

    Swimming: All events done in dark, full-length blue jeans.

    Table Tennis: Paddles replaced by funnel cakes.

    Volleyball, Indoor: A pinata is hung carelessly inside a garage and an aluminum bat is produced. NOBODY CALLS THE COPS YOU GOT IT.

    Wrestling: Multidisciplinary judged event mixing gymnastics, kabuki, extemporaneous public speaking, and grappling. Principal rivals: Japan, Mexico. Judging: corrupt. Spanish language announcers' table: already doomed. The James Franklin flying elbow: required element.

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    This may be one of the few times an athlete can legitimately say "I gave 110 percent" or any other mathematically impossible number in reference to their effort. It is legit because in order to give more than 100 percent, you have to borrow from somewhere else. When you borrow something, you have to pay it back. Paying it back is never, ever fun.

    What we're saying is that South Korean weightlifter Sa Jae-Hyouk definitely gave 100 percent in trying to snatch 357 pounds in the 2012 London Olympics. Then, he borrowed 10 percent or so from his right elbow. And then, if you are not squeamish, his elbow took back that 10 percent plus interest in a GIF you can watch after the jump.

    Skip Bayless cannot WAIT to insult the character of this man's elbow. "TIM TEBOW'S ELBOW WOULD NEVER FADE IN THE CLUTCH LIKE THAT, STEPHEN! NEVER!"

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  • 08/02/12--07:27: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 8/2/2012
  • NOPE NOPE NOPE. Yes, it has higher production values than the Tennessee "Overcome the Tide" video, but that is true of most Kige Ramsey Wal-Mart product review clips. Yes, it appears to have been "produced," and for that you get three to four cents worth of credit. It does not feature a cameo by Childish Gambino, which while not a possibility is still something that deserves some degree of praise here.

    Still, Bane's "Still Choppin'" is atrocity in a fitted, and it gets so much worse and more FSU-ish when you read his bio.

    For example:

    Its no secret that Bane is a non-conformist.


    His anti-industry sound is a direct result of his values and morals, which stem from his faith in Jesus Christ.

    Oh, ohhhh boy.

    He promotes celibacy, sobreity, faithfulness and righteousness in his thoughtful lyrics. Bane has long been an advocate for the death of the current hip hop industry so it can be reborn as a positive influence on its listeners. This idea of forsaking the rap game, instead of attempting to "save it," is immensely unpopular to the commercial audience, but to be a Christian in a ungodly world is to be rejected.

    "I'm into hip-hop, but I'd like to turn it into a really chill youth group where we can talk about God." Bane, we sincerely hope Scarface drives up to your house, throws a molotov cocktail into your leased Escalade, and then drives off cackling as the flames reach skyward. Bane also has a Christian rap alter-ego called "Kloak'd," and owns a Colorado Rockies fitted. Jon Bois and Bill Hanstock did not make this man up, and GO NOLES. He's all yours.

    TRADER FERA ALSO HEADS WEST. And to the south, joining the growing queue of those leaving State College.



    This is all going to be so much fun for everyone. (Except Arkansas fans.) GET YOUR PISS HOT!

    IT IS HARD TO KEEP THEM ALIVE iN HOT WEATHER. But at least follow UGA's lead and clearly announce the death of your bulldog mascot, and then immediately request an even more obese, inbred, and utterly adorable bulldog so that you can continue to make the same mistake over and over, Louisiana Tech. It's like you don't know how to Southern, or as we call it, "traditioning." (Then again, covering up the death of a bulldog and then making a public story out of it is a pretty redneckish caper.)

    IF YOU ARE A LEFT TACKLE PLEASE CALL MIKE GUNDY. Possible Cowboys starter Michael Bowie is transferring after the usual "violation of team rules," something translating to "we're both just utterly sick of each other's shit."

    OF COURSE IT HAPPENED LIKE THIS. When Lane Kiffin calls, you best believe it involves private jets and casual references to expensive forms of transportation.

    WE HAVE FINALLY FOUND A USE FOR FACEBOOK. Howard Schnellenberger photos appear on it, after all.

    ETC: Hey, weightlifting is really hard, y'all. Immense pride swells for BurritoBrosShit, who bemoaned the pitiful stateof the Jacksonville Jaguars at KSK.

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    Awwwww girl, we got Erin Andrews to appear topless on the show. Or rather, "Aaron Andrews."

    The best way to appear shirtless on camera? Submerged to your clavicles for your viewers' comfort, of course. We explore the sex secrets of college football announcers, explore actual rankings, and spend enough time in a hot tub to prune the soles of your feet. We also wear a jaunty straw hat, because IT'S AUGUST LET'S GET JAUNTY, Y'ALL.


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  • 08/03/12--07:53: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 8/3/2012
  • SIDEBOOB FRIDAY. Hi SEO term boob olympics hot athlete football chick-fil-a gabby douglas kayla harrison ryan lochte shirtless OMG WYOMING FOOTBALL SIDEBOOB--

    We're not sorry for a bit because Wyoming was too busy to talk to us this past week while we were out in Colorado--REALLY, WYOMING?--and also because if you got here by searching for any of those terms, you got exactly what you deserved. The overalls are lovely, don't change a thing. (via)

    FLORIDA FOOTBALL LOSES 180 POUNDS. Wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill resigned today from his position at the University of Florida, most likely because of his entanglement in the Nevin Shapiro case at Miami. During his time at Florida as a position coach Hill developed no wide receivers, and was in charge of recruiting Palm Beach County. This is about all you can say about Hill, who issued a statement saying he was resigning for "personal reasons."

    The position coaching will be done by Brent Pease and assistant Bush Hamdan, the two guys who were coaching the wide receivers anyway. Did you know we had wide receivers at the University of Florida? That question is kind of the point here, and of all the things wrong with Florida football right now, this is not one of them.

    (The other coach mentioned prominently in all this? Clint Hurtt at Louisville. Might be a completely different situation if Strong thinks he's doing his other job besides recruiting, an issue that was also a sore spot in Hill's case.)

    MONTEE BALL WAS NOT FIGHTING IN THE CLUB/PARTY/STREET, PER MONTEE BALL. Montee Ball insists the five men who jumped him were not retaliating for an earlier scuffle. This will have to be believed pending further evidence. What is definite: a concussion will keep him out of the beginning of camp, though there are no expected long-term side effects from the injury that would affect his role as the Badgers' starter during the season.

    AND FIELD TURF RUINS NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL FOREVER. We talked a bit about FieldTurf coming to Notre Dame on Twitter, but to reiterate a really obvious series of points:

    • The problem with the ND in-game experience is not a Jumbotron, or the lack of one, or the wooden seats, or the grass. It is the ethos of sad asses planted to seats shushing anyone who shows enthusiasm.
    • If you want this to be your thing, and to keep Notre Dame as the Westminster Dog Show of football environments, that's fine. That's your thing. It will be the opposite of fun, and a drudge to watch, and it will be tradition because tradition because tradition. You go ahead and do that.
    • But if that is not what you want--and there are Notre Dame fans who do not want this, and would like to have a good time at games without things devolving to utter, LSU-ish anarchy--then you need to do a few things.
    • You need to stand up. You need to stop telling others to sit down. You need to yell. You need to act like you care without being the repressed Midwestern uncle of in-stadium fanbases. You see what the student section is doing? DO THAT. Okay, don't attempt pushups on top of the extended hands of your friends, because that's a great way to dislocate a middle-aged shoulder. But the other stuff, yeah: DO THAT.
    • Those who don't like it can go to the luxury boxes, where you can feel really great about all the money you've made via superior virtue, and most definitely not because of your social connections purchased through a degree. You go up there, and let the wolves have their fun in the stands.
    • It is a football game. It is not Death of a Salesman in pads.
    • Oh, and fire every usher in the place. They're worthless pocket fascists who wear--we are not kidding--UNIFORMS. Point and laugh at them until they leave if firing is too complex.

    If you want a real environment, do all that. If you want the mausoleum, just keep on doing you, Notre Dame. We could couldn't care less, since there are no fewer than fifty or sixty college football stadiums we would rather see a game at. Boise has a better atmosphere than South Bend once the whistle starts, even if you get kicked out in the first quarter for drinking in the stands. Which we did. On a work assignment. Go Broncos.

    [/end Notre Dame monologue]

    LES MILES CALLS IT HIS MATING ATTACHMENT. Barkevious Mingo needs to "re-adjust his eating apparatus," thus leading us to now rename every body part in Les Miles speak. "Poop-egress" is a no-brainer.

    THIS BABY'S NAME IS "BUTKUS" BECAUSE THAT'S THE ONLY HOPE WE HAVE LEFT. Yes, we saw this yesterday, and now feel slightly about ourselves as a parent.

    ETC: Brian Shaw is just goddamned beastly. Trampoline: better than you can possibly imagine as a sport. Dan Devine is writing nothing but smoothness for the Games. The Robot Apocalypse: way less dramatic than you might think.

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    The Beautiful Bacardi Bowl in Havana, Cuba.

    Florida's football coaches have accomplished so much through the years. Charley Pell figured out how to turn two hours' work at a chicken plant into 40 hours of actual labor. Steve Spurrier turned a "Noah Brindise" into a half a quarterback. Ray Graves invented the novel "punt on third down to piss off your offense," Ron Zook mastered the art of the perfect snack machine headbutt, and Galen Hall was like a dormitory named Charley Pell. Urban Meyer won two national titles, and then let Temple's head coach take a spin at the wheel while he quietly became the world's highest ranked Starcraft player.

    It's been a serious run of real accomplishment, obviously, but not one of these men accomplished what George E. Pyle did in 1912 as the coach of the Florida Gators' football team:

    The argument led to the Florida coach refusing to continue and the referee responded by awarding the game to the CAC by forfeit. The Cuban police arrest Pyle for violating a law against suspending a ticketed sporting event without finishing the it or refunding the spectators. Arguing with referees was not new to the game, but it rarely resulted a head coach's arrest.

    That's right: OUR FOOTBALL COACH GOT ARRESTED IN CUBA. Not that football coaches haven't been arrested in Cuba before, but few have had the good luck to flee via steamship. Jimmy Johnson bought his way out with smiles and 200 rolls of two-ply toilet paper, while Schnellenberger, after three marriages and four children conceived, simply dove into the waters of the Florida Strait and let his friends the dolphins carry him home atop their domed, smiling heads. (HT: Kleph)

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  • 08/07/12--06:26: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 8/7/2012
  • HIGH ELBOWS, SON. It's not football-football, but the slap of pads, coaching chatter, and passes zipping into waiting hands should just be enough gridiron potpourri for a quick morning fix.

    Bill C. previews Oklahoma State and reminds you what happened the last time expectations were this low for OK State, i.e. they did pretty well, and thus confirmed your bias that whatever you think is going to happen in 2012 will not happen to your team. Except for you, Ole Miss. You will be as horrible as you imagine.

    ADIDAS SHOULD STOP MAKING UNIFORMS. Wisconsin's new uniforms are not helping the argument that Adidas' uniforms are being made by a drug-addled Belorussian graphic designer being paid ten dollars per design.

    THESE MAKE NO SENSE AND LET'S JUST GIVE THEM MORE POWER, YES? The NCAA continues to specialize in making great, sensible rules.


    JUST GRAB A SPARE FROM PENN STATE. Oklahoma loses starting guard Tyler Evans to a leg injury, continuing the preseason stream of Sooner injuries, and giving you a second ominous reminder: the team you love has parts, and sometimes those parts fall off, snap, or fail for no reason whatsoever.

    SEE IT LOOKS SO SIMPLE. Pass coverage concepts explained from The Key Play. What we love most about pass coverage diagrams? Like offensive diagrams, the outcome in theory is perfect every time.

    UNCLE LUKE MAKES AN APPEARANCE. Luke appears on the Solid Verbal to talk Ohio State, and discusses how weird it is that an Ohio State fan has to want a relevant, live Michigan in order for the universe to be whole.

    THERE ARE SIMILARITIES. USC 2012 and UGA 2008: not necessarily the same team, but let's go ahead and assume they're the same team. [waits for west coast to wake up and explode]

    PINK HOUSES ON THREE READY BREAK! Hud Mellencamp, son of John Mellencamp, walked on to the Duke football team. He did it Americanishly, probably while humming a song about farmers or that time with the girl in the cornfield HEY-AYYY-AYYYY-AYYY [kick] [guitar flourish].

    ETC: Just one thing, but one reaaaaaaaallllllly good thing.

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    The Fulmer Cupdate is brought to you by Boardmaster Brian, who this week is parlaying his Reggie Nelson-esque talents into a gig conducting several regional orchestras at once. Updates and notes follow.


    WE DID IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT. The ticker for total points hit 239 points this week, easily outstripping the 230 point record from the 2011 season. This season is officially the most felonious/misdemeanorish of all, and for that we can only thank those responsible: law enforcement, the bored athletes of college football, and the decision-making impairment only the potent combination of testosterone and alcohol can induce. These are monumental times. Do not let them pass without notice.

    Arkansas remains far ahead by a margin so large that not even John L. Smith can blow it.

    IOWA: AIRBHG strikes again, and again, and when you think he has gone and taken his cursing stick somewhere else, he returns and resumes walloping. This time the target is De'Andre Johnson, who in three days ran into the loving arms of the police twice: once for the fantastic "maintaining a disorderly house" when a party got too loud, and then two days later for doing 60 in a 25 and not stopping for the cops.

    All three charges are misdemeanors, but let's throw a bonus point in to recognize Johnson's unique burst and production and call it four points for the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Fulmer Cup. AIRBHG is everywhere, but mostly Iowa City, really.

    GEORGIA: Chase Vasser's inherent Dawg-ness is already so far off the charts all metrics surrender: floppy-haired, named "Chase," probably loves the Masters, and plays in a backup role for UGA before an inevitable career in something requiring him to play a lot of mid-week golf. He couldn't even get an non-UGAish Fulmer Cup crime, since getting a DUI in Buckhead driving on Piedmont Road is pretty much the most "Chase Vasser" arrest ever.

    That's two points for UGA in the Fulmer Cup, and we look forward to Chase Vasser's impending marriage to a Cobb County girl with nuke-white teeth and an SUV blasting some Kenny Chesney 24/7.

    OHIO STATE: One charge of disorderly conduct for Bri'onte Dunn gets tOSU one point in the Fulmer Cup for charges which initially could have been a bit worse. And look, not a Huntley Johnson in sight!

    SOUTH CAROLINA: Tanner McEvoy's tipsy driving did not earn him a suspension from Steve Spurrier, but it did get the Gamecocks three points in the Fulmer Cup. As Stephen Garcia knows, McEvoy only has somewhere between five and fifteen more chances, so use them carefully, son.

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    1. ESPN The Magazine's innovative business model involves sending everyone a cover every week. Or month. Or something. There are things in it, and you can read them online instead between a cover like this and a gigantic expensive watch ad on the back The rest are ads for things you do not and will not buy, or things you will never, ever in a million years. Every year or so, they get a bunch of athletes to pose nude. Like, buttcrack nude, not repro-piping-exposed nude. You still look at it, because goddamn Carmelita Jeter looks like an assassin from countries unimagined and fearsome beyond all reason. Thanks for that and the new amputee fetish. We and our search history can't ever really thank you enough for that.

    2. Otherwise, ESPN the Magazine goes right in the recycling, because you are responsible and will never buy an expensive watch because you will lose the bastard minutes after putting it on your wrist, and then have to purchase another slightly less expensive watch. Medical fact: If you buy expensive watches, pens, or cufflinks, you do not have ADD. If you do, you know that life is a black hole you just throw possessions into, expensive and inexpensive, and that is why you always ask for food, booze, or charitable donations for holidays.

    3. ESPN knows this. This is why they send it to us, and you, even years after you cancelled your ESPN Insider account. We cancelled ours three years ago, and yet there it is, the stray toy dog of the sports publishing world straggling up to our door every month. We have no idea how it survives out there, but its tail wags every time we open the mailbox. It's a sad moment putting it in the recycling bin, but it's necessary for public health. Otherwise it just sits there, making more ESPN Magazines, and yet still more ESPN Magazines, and then one bites a child and there we are at Dr. Pasteur's door, begging for the expensive and painful miracles of science. Love requires so much cruelty.

    4. That cover you get is usually high quality cover, though. So is the writing within, though seriously, you can just read it all online, for the most part, because that's where people read things now when they're not a.) over 50 and b.) on an airplane without WiFi, and seriously why are you flying in Central Asia anyway, there's nothing but Tashkent and spitting mules there. Oh, and Baku, Azerbaijan, where they have a combination disco/sushi bar/high-speed adult go-karting center where you can get trashed and then drive "disturbingly speedy" go-karts to your heart's content.

    5. This cover, though. At the last second, desperate for a college football cover, the photographer just takes a light box and starts stuffing it with SEC plush dolls, "Um hey guys GUYS IT'S A VOODOO DOLL THING, GET IT HUH BECAUSE THE SEC NEEDS CURSING!" Some of the greatest ideas in human history come from duress, but this is not Jawaharlal Nehru improvising the midnight speech announcing independence from India on the Red Fort. This is last minute desperation when your "WHAT IF THE SEC WERE ON DUBSTEP WITH BANKSY?" conceptualizing went belly-up and you had to get something, anything on the board. We now feel some sympathy with you, unknown cover artist.

    6. The pin placement sucks. Every guy on the planet when considering the issue of where to put pins on a voodoo doll has the same answer: right in the dick. You know voodoo practitioners are largely female because you always see the pins spread out, usually in some vague spot in the torso. Like the placement of gunshots in "slo-mo" mode in shooting games, men would take fifty pins and put them accordingly:

    1. Forty pins: dick
    2. Three or four in the ass
    3. One in each eye
    4. Drop the rest, step on them barefoot randomly for a few months.

    7. Like Les Miles DOESN'T employ counter-cursing voodoo queens. This is dumber than you even thought it was before we started.

    8. But not as dumb as assuming Georgia hasn't already gotten the worst curse of all: a high preseason poll ranking. Throw on the worst of your Gypsy curses: nothing can possibly do anything worse to Georgia football than this, and that includes whatever Alabama can do to them in the SEC Championship Game. (When they get there, because surely both teams will coast through to the matchup without incident or hiccup HAHAHAHA CURSES! THEY COME IN A THOUSAND FORMS, DON'T THEY?)

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    For lack of a decent sample size, we can't say for certain that Vanderbilt is the best dancing football unit in the SEC. We have no visual data on Auburn's dancing ability, though we suspect Trooper Taylor is dancing, and it is with your mother, and she is not complaining. Nor will we ever have footage of the Alabama football team dancing with their coaches, because Alabama football is not fun, and never will be. They dance only at gunpoint, perhaps for Nick Saban's amusement.

    For the moment, though, the Vanderbilt Commodores are in the lead.

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    Weightlifting guru Mark Rippetoe is fond of saying, "Strong people are harder to kill." This is one of those things you hope you personally never have to road-test, since situations that almost kill you are terrifying, stressful and often mean you have to buy new pants. Pants-shopping is almost as awful as almost getting killed.

    German Olympic lifter Matthias Steiner was nice enough to test that rule for you. He's nice like that.

    Steiner, the gold medalist from Beijing, took more than 400 pounds -- 196 kilos, if you're metric -- moving rapidly downward to the back of the head. Because he is both strong and lucky, he suffered no serious injuries. The lesson here is clear: You need to get stronger, and also need to do this without ever putting 400 pounds over your head and then dropping it on your skull. The Olympics continue to educate you in obvious things unlike no other human endeavor. (Via)

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  • 08/08/12--06:41: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 8/8/2012


    John L. is gonna be the best, y'all. Just watch. (via 247Sports via @cbahn)

    TANNER MCEVOY IS SEEKING HIS GOOD TIMES ELSEWHERE. Just after Steve Spurrier dismissed talk of any serious punishment for his "drinking after consuming" charge, it turns out that quarterback Tanner McEvoy will not be continuing his football career or education with the University of South Carolina. The decision has as much to do with the depth chart as the arrest, but the whole thing feels like a bad fit resolving itself via transfer more than anything else.

    THE SOURCE HERE SEEMS COMPLETELY DEVOID OF CREDIBILITY. If you never thought we would ever appear as anything but an example of the negative in society in a Dennis Dodd column, THE CIRCLE HAS NOW BEEN BROKEN. It's mostly about the Pac-12's branding and where they're going with their weirdass, mind-bogglingly ambitious media deal, but there is also the detail about us going to the first night of the Pac-12 network, which should be very interesting if only for the Ronnie Lott stories. (We may look Ronnie Lott in the eye! And not die!) For a head start on the Pac-12's branding, this photo should explain where they're going, or at least make you want to put on a shiny helmet and go surfing.

    THIS THING IS LIKE THIS THING. Game of Thrones/SEC edition, because sure, why not.

    DREAM A DREAM FOR US, RUTGERS. Oh man message boards are just the best.

    WAVING AROUND A PELLET GUN IN A HEAVILY ARMED STATE IS JUST NOT A VERY GOOD IDEA. CU players driving around Boulder made the mistake of waving a pellet gun around at each other in their cars, and did so in cuddly, hypervigilant Boulder, and that's how you get the unfortunate sight of two cars full of CU players pulled over by cops with their guns out. The situation was defused without any charges being filed, though head coach Jon Embree did suspend two wide receivers for the incident, including DeVaughn Thornton, who did not handle the arrest as well as one could.

    Officers said Thornton told officers, "Go ahead! Shoot me, mother (expletive)," "I can go wherever the (expletive) I want," and, "This is Boulder and you have your guns out?"

    DON'T EVER ASK A COP TO SHOOT YOU. This may seem like a commonsensical rule, but they're really happy to do it if you ask enough. There will be no charges filed in the incident. Don't ask people to shoot you, especially if William Burroughs or Fred Lane's wife is holding the gun.

    YOUR PAIN, GIRL: Other Texas fans feel it.

    EVERYONE LIKES EVERYONE THIS YEAR. Well, isn't that nice, Florida coaches. Who's gone? Ah, that's right. No one. (Via Alligator Army)

    THE NCAA CONTINUES TO AMUSE AND DELIGHT JUDGES EVERYWHERE. The judge's response to the NCAA refusing to divulge member profits from licensing deals is essentially "LOL NOPE," which in five years will be a legitimate legal term.

    ETC: The bartender hates you when you order it, and we sympathize. Matthias Steiner, you went for it.

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    Tyler Bray, seen here staring down a bobbing swimmer in preseason jetski drills.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

    The season of Bray continues:

    According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer Dewayne Williams, Bray was driving a Jet Ski with a woman passenger when he was observed by Williams "hot dogging" with another Jet Ski. Williams explained the term "hot dogging" as "almost like playing chicken" on Jet Skis.

    Just another variation on pool work, man, but with live blockers thrown in to avoid. Don't hate on innovation, TWRA officer Dewayne Williams. Embrace it, because all Tyler Bray does is change the way we prepare for the game.

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