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Articles on this Page
- 04/05/13--12:39: _RASSLIN' IS REAL
- 04/08/13--08:12: _THE DEEP SIGNIFICAN...
- 04/08/13--14:21: _OTHER SONGS BY BRAD...
- 04/09/13--07:50: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 04/09/13--11:26: _THE CRYTERION COLLE...
- 04/10/13--08:03: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 04/10/13--10:13: _PROTO-SPURRIER: THE...
- 04/10/13--15:06: _THE NEW CAL LOGO IS...
- 04/11/13--06:40: _The most beautiful ...
- 04/11/13--07:36: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 04/11/13--10:35: _Celebrating Masters...
- 04/12/13--08:02: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 04/12/13--10:27: _ON PANTS
- 04/15/13--09:54: _A badgeless Masters...
- 04/15/13--15:18: _Boston Marathon bom...
- 04/16/13--08:43: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 04/16/13--11:20: _THE FANTHEON OPENS ...
- 04/17/13--08:03: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 04/17/13--11:41: _FURTHER ETIQUETTE T...
- 04/17/13--14:29: _Tim Tebow is either...
- 04/05/13--12:39: RASSLIN' IS REAL
- 04/08/13--08:12: THE DEEP SIGNIFICANCE OF A REFERENCE TO THE 1968 COTTON BOWL
- Don is offered tickets to the 1968 Cotton Bowl by Bob Benson, a pushy underling who'll tell anyone about his Wharton degree while Don silently recites "Hobo A&T, Class of '48" in response. Benson says he got them through "low level corruption," and Matthew Weiner clearly understands something about college football.
- That 1968 Cotton Bowl pitted Alabama against Texas A&M, and matched Bear Bryant against his former player and protege Gene Stallings. Stallings was a young upstart at the time, something you would never believe since Gene Stallings looked forty when he was twenty. (He did, however, have a fantastic smug bastard pose.)
- The obvious takeaway here: a mentor is surpassed, if only temporarily, by his student. Like a thousand things on Mad Men, this is both an intentional and oblique reference to the surrounding plot, but it's certainly not an accident. Don is the Bear, and someone's gonna upset Draper on the way towards winning a bowl purse.
- Peggy Olson is the current leader at 5/2, per a sportsbook we just invented.
- The reference also comes at a pivotal moment Mad Men keeps flirting with: integration. The 1967 Alabama team did not have a black player on the starting roster, but it did mark the first year Alabama allowed black walk-on black players on the practice squad. In at least one degree, the 1968 Cotton Bowl team was the first Crimson Tide team to resemble anything close to an integrated squad.
- Texas A&M went further in 1967 by using two black walk-ons, James Reynolds and Samuel Williams. Neither started, but both saw actual playing time.
- The 1968 Cotton Bowl was quietly the first integrated bowl game for both schools. MATT WEINER MAKES NO ACCIDENTS.
- Along with a Super Bowl reference, the Cotton Bowl mention is one of two big football references in the episode. This is another subtle but important pivot: the moment when America as a viewing audience began to turn to football in earnest is somewhere around 1967, the year of the first Super Bowl and the year after ABC acquired the rights to NCAA football. Football ratings took off from that point forward, and baseball's did this.
- The announcer for those NCAA games: the one and only Keith Jackson, of course.
- In summary: in a single reference, Matt Weiner manages to allude to a possible upset for the reigning champion Draper, add an integration angle, and add historical context by quietly noting the ascent of football to the front of the American viewing palate. If you wonder why people on the internet write so much about Mad Men, this is why: you can unfold one casual reference into a full dinette set with ease, and then have a substantial meal on it.
- 04/08/13--14:21: OTHER SONGS BY BRAD PAISLEY AND LL COOL J
- 04/09/13--07:50: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 4/9/2013
- 04/09/13--11:26: THE CRYTERION COLLECTION: TEXAS A&M/OKLAHOMA 2003
- 04/10/13--08:03: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 4/10/2013
- 04/10/13--10:13: PROTO-SPURRIER: THE DELICIOUS FLORIDA ORANGE JUICE YEARS
- 04/10/13--15:06: THE NEW CAL LOGO IS SOMETHING
- 04/11/13--06:40: The most beautiful moment in American history
- 04/11/13--07:36: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 4/11/2013
- 04/12/13--08:02: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 4/12/2013
- 04/12/13--10:27: ON PANTS
- 04/15/13--09:54: A badgeless Masters: 'They just wanna drink'
- 04/15/13--15:18: Boston Marathon bombings: A timeline of Monday's tragic events
- 04/16/13--08:43: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 4/16/2013
- 04/16/13--11:20: THE FANTHEON OPENS AND THIS MAN IS FIRST
- 04/17/13--08:03: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 4/17/2013
- 04/17/13--11:41: FURTHER ETIQUETTE TIPS FOR FOOTBALL FANS
- 04/17/13--14:29: Tim Tebow is either a dinosaur or a hallucination
Why do I watch wrestling? This was a question that I was asked during one of my Twitter Q and A sessions that I do every week. It was admittedly a glib, offhand troll question, one the asker didn’t think I’d answer.
As an aficionado of trolling, I took it in stride and was going to answer in the same, glib, offhand manner in which I was asked. However, I thought about it. If you can’t explain why you like something, then should you really like it? That’s a loaded question. Sometimes, we don’t know why we like certain things, but our passions, those aren’t things that we take seriously on some level.
Me, well, I write, edit, and curate one blog about wrestling and contribute to two others. I watch at least seven hours of televised wrestling a week, not counting the DVDs, pay-per-views, videos on demand, and straggling YouTube matches among my wrestling consumption. I read several intelligent writers on the subject. Yes, they exist. So of course, if there was a subject that I should be able to write about why I was a fan, it would be professional wrestling.
But wrestling is such a niche, low-class subject in the minds of a lot of people. RAW is lucky to get 5 million viewers Stateside a week. Given that it’s the flagship show of the biggest wrestling company in the United States, it’s safe to assume that’s the ceiling of people who may consider themselves wrestling fans right now. That’s a shade under two percent of the people in the country. I’m in a minority, and not just any minority. It almost feels like an oppressive psychological frontal assault if I even think about mentioning wrestling in some crowds. It’s considered to be the basest of the forms of sport or entertainment.
Even Glenn Beck, a Republican pundit so vile in tactic that he’s been disowned by more than a few fellow conservatives, refused WWE’s invitation to come on the show to give forum to his own criticisms of the new parody character of the Tea Party movement, saying he’d rather be doing anything else. Beck, a man who sheds crocodile tears over partisan nonsense, sneers at professional wrestling. I don’t respect Beck intellectually at all, so it really doesn’t hurt that he thinks the thing I love is not worth his time. I’m just pointing out that even among the hucksters, the intellectually dishonest contrarians consider themselves superior to Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
But wrestling isn’t just domain of WWE. It’s a large part of it though, and the sleazy business decisions, questionable characters, and the way that WWE wears its misogyny, homophobia, and racism on its sleeve sometimes doesn’t help the perception of wrestling at all.
Then again, there’s one four letter word that really drives home why wrestling is probably sneered upon – fake. Wrestling is fake, haven’t you heard? It’s used by fans of mixed martial arts who explain why they watch UFC instead of WWE. It’s used by outsiders who try to find moral superiority over fans. It’s even used by hateful columnists within the wrestling journalism world (and in Mark Madden’s case, I used the word "journalism" in the loosest way possible) to show how self-loathing he is as someone who deigns himself to write about this thing that isn’t quite a sport but is still too visceral to be considered entertainment.
So, how can I watch something that’s fake? Well, that’s the problem. Wrestling is not fake at all. It’s staged, yes. The outcomes are predetermined. It’s scripted, sure. The wrestlers, unless they’re cerebral self-starters like CM Punk or insanely charismatic catchphrase fountains like The Rock, don’t speak their own words.
But that doesn’t mean the show is fake, not by a longshot. Wrestling is real, not because it’s a "real fight." Wrestling is real because among the fans, the true believers if you will, it elicits a real response, a visceral, passionate, reaction that causes us to cheer until our voices are hoarse at our heroes and boo like Philadelphia Eagles fans at a long touchdown run by the Dallas Cowboys at the villains. (NOTE: as an Eagles fan as well, I feel like I’m qualified to make that statement.)
The fallback response to people who levy the "fake" claim is to let them know that the stuff they like, whether it be scripted dramas, sitcoms, movies, theater, or the worst offender of them all, "reality" television, is also staged and predetermined. To me, that feels like a straw man. It’s true, obviously, but it feels like a diversion. This is a referendum on wrestling, right? So what is it about wrestling that makes it real? Why do people sit in high school gyms and tearfully call out to their heroes of old, claiming how it’s always been genuine to them?
Basically, wrestling is a combination of everything that appeals to the human psyche. Our base hormonal instincts allow us to appreciate the feigned violence. At its most basic level, good and evil are distilled into their purest forms and put on display, but that’s only at its most basic level. There’s a knob on the side that allows for the white and black to mix into wonderful shades of gray.
When they’re mixed together with deftness and care, you get something like Chikara or even something like what WWE did during the Attitude Era. When not done well, you get John Cena and Rock taking turns tossing gay slurs at each other. But the point is that it can be as much of a morality play as any movie or TV show can be. Comedy is heaped on at different points of the show, whether it comes in the form of Santino Marella clobbering you over the head with exaggerated motions and movements or a tandem like Colt Cabana and Mike Quackenbush, who embed subtlety within their mat wrestling. There’s value in the no-frills, stone cold killer and the gaudy, colorful peacock.
In theory, wrestling is the ultimate blank canvas, and it can be anything to anyone and still be tremendous.
This plea is not meant to be a recruiting pitch at all. I’m not one of the ratings-obsessed fans who want segments on RAW that will only increase viewership. I couldn’t care less if what I like was popular. But as is my most fatal flaw, I do care to some extent what my peers think about me. While I don’t think those who didn’t understand why I watch wrestling will now sit beside me on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, I do hope at least that their lack of understanding is rectified. Wrestling isn’t lowbrow. WWE might be sometimes – okay a lot of the time – but there’s nothing in the art of wrestling that suggests it has to be the bottom of the barrel. That’s been my aim ever since I decided to put font to bandwidth as a writer.
Just as I’d expect any writer here to explain why they love the sport they cover if asked, that is my answer to a glib, offhand, troll question that really only seems to be asked of a fan of such an art form that is professional wrestling. If you love something, you should be able to explain why, right? Well, I love professional wrestling. I don’t apologize for it. I don’t think should have to.
Mad Men's season debut dropped a single, tiny reference to the 1968 Cotton Bowl last night. First, you really should watch the entire insane 1968 Cotton Bowl film to realize just how weird 1968 was, and how much you will NOT see one coach carry another off the field after losing to him in 2013.
Second: this is how Mad Men drops a single half-ounce of reference to the 1968 Cotton Bowl and makes it weigh ten pounds.
--and now other songs of GREAT IMPORTANCE to the national dialogue about race and healing. (See also: Rembert on this giant hunk of musical glory. SHOUTS OUT TO ROBERT E. LEE.) They're about what divide us; they're about what brings us together.
"All The Same (Assuming You're Christian)"
"Cracker Barrels" (Paisley raps with Ghostface about gun rights)
"Stockton to Malone"
"Psych (the country song)"
"Colorblind" (LL gets wasted and steals a jet fighter, with disastrous results)
"F.Y.B.Y. (For y'all, by y'all)"
"It's Not Racist (To Prefer Asian Women)"
"Rock The Spells"
"Soul and Skoal"
"Mama Only Bought Me The Edited Version"
"The Only Skin That Matters" Eight minutes about pork rinds.
"Nathan Spreadford Forrest"
"They Don't See Color" (bat infestation)
"Shades of Grey (The Roethlisberger Remix)"
"Friends In Snow Places." (feat. Rick Ross)
"Bass Hoe Shops"
"The Truth Is In The Loving" (Strom Thurmond ballad)
"Blinded By Hate (And Also A Fireworks Accident)"
"No Shirt, No Shoes, Arrested for Vagrancy"
"Big Ole Butt 2K13 Remix"
"C.R.E.A.M. (Carhartt Rules Everything Around Me)"
CONGRATULATIONS, LOUISVILLE. Teddy Bridgewater scored 56 points, grabbed 24 rebounds, and dished out 34 assists as Louisville cruised to a victory over the Michigan Wolverines in last night's NCAA men's basketball championship in the Georgia Dome. Congratulations, new Derby City overlords, who apparently cannot lose a game in anything in 2012-2013. (Except for UConn and holy hell what the shit was that.)
THE TEAM THAT TROLLS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER. Godfrey went to Tennessee and found the coaching staff doing all kinds of new things, including having coaches and players trash talk each other on Twitter. This will end with a coach being tricked into tweeting out a link to Meatspin. This will happen, and we have powers.
CORRECTION: The curator of the Bryant museum in Tuscaloosa writes re: our Mad Men reference post yesterday.
Just read your article about the 1968 Cotton bowl, which was very interesting, but you made one mistake- You stated- "The 1968 Cotton Bowl was quietly the first integrated bowl game for both schools." If by this you meant the first time Alabama or Texas A&M played against an integrated team, then at least for Bama that’s incorrect- the 1959 Liberty Bowl vs Penn. State was the first for Bama, I can’t speak for Texas A&M.
But if you meant the 1st time each school played a bowl game with African/Americans on both teams, then again @ least from the Bama’s side that too is wrong. Andrew Pernel as a walk- on did make it through the 1967 season but at the end of the school year( before the bowl game) he had to make a choice stay with the team and give up his church scholarship or Give up football and keep the scholarship, he made the only choice he could make, he paid for school. So technically he was not on the team for the 1968 cotton bowl game.
So the 1972 Sugar bowl vs Nebraska(btw: maybe the greatest college football ever!) was the 1st time both teams were integrated.
Thanks for your time and roll tide,
Paul W. Bryant Museum
University of Alabama
Noted, sir, and um...no we can't end a note with that, but we're glad you work in an office where that's actually part of the job description, Mr. Watson.
MIAMI APPEARS TO BE ALIVE. And recruiting well in the Tampa Bay area, since Miami has the innovative hook of "come to play for us, and open up the doors to leaving Tampa forever." Prized OL prospect Reilly Gibbons spurned Florida and Florida State for the Hurricanes, a sure sign he liked what Al Golden is pitching, and that he likes the prospect of living in a place where hijacking boats is a hobby and not a crime.
CEASING AMBLING (FOR NOW.) If you remember Markeith Ambles, you remember him as a feather in Lane Kiffin's cap in the 2010 recruiting season. Like so many Lane Kiffin recruits, that feather fell out, caught a draft, and has now landed somewhere else, specifically Houston.
NIXON OVER RIGHT TACKLE FTW! The documentary on the 1969 Texas/Arkansas game looks incredible.
Dennis Franchione is currently being paid to coach football at Texas State University, where per their website he has "a history of rebuilding struggling programs." This is mostly true: Franchione began the rebuilding project at TCU that Gary Patterson perfected, and set Alabama on something like steady legs following the Mike Dubose. He was supposed to do the same at Texas A&M when he took the job there in 2003. Maybe we should talk about the time Texas A&M lost to Oklahoma by seventy-seven points and scored none in a game of American college football.
Maybe we should talk about that. We're going to talk about that. If you are a Texas A&M fan you should stop reading right now, because we are going to talk about that, and mock the moment your corpse rolled for four hours down the steep, unforgiving crags of Blood Mountain.
It's not like the 2003 Texas Aggies came into this game expecting anything but blunt force trauma. In fact, none of this should have unfolded like anything resembling a surprise. A&M was 4-5 going into the game, teetering on the verge of .500 and that golden standard of the Dennis Franchione era in College Station: a 7-5 record, and a bowl bid, and a quiet pardon for going 4-16 against ranked opponents during his tenure.*
*All information available in Dennis Franchione's exclusive subscription newsletter sold with inside information out of the offices at A&M, with proceeds going directly to Dennis Franchione. This really happened, because Dennis Franchione, who also openly flirted with the Kansas job while at Alabama.
Then the following happened:
Jason White completed his first fourteen passes, and threw five TDs in the first half. The Sooners' backs averaged over five yards a carry, meaning even if they had started to run the clock out in the second quarter that they still would have easily cruised to over 100 points as a matter of procedure, not malice. Oklahoma's offense averaged 7.7 yards a play, punted once, and was up 49-0 at the half.
Even putting the backup quarterback in made things worse. With Oklahoma burning like a metal-fluorine fire, all Texas A&M could do was throw a fire extinguisher into the blaze, run, and watch Paul Thompson singlehandedly outpace the entire Texas A&M offense by himself in the third quarter--ON ONLY NINE PLAYS.
Oklahoma stopped passing after going up 56-0 in the third and still managed to score another three TDs, including a fumble recovery returned for a score that would have been the precise moment we turned to a bystander, took advantage of the abundance of concealed carry permits held by Aggie fans, and begged them to ventilate the top of our skull with the sweet mercy of a discharged bullet.
Yet this was more than a blowout. OU had eleven more total points than the Aggies had kick return yards. They never advanced past their own 40 yard line, and never held Oklahoma behind theirs once. Even with nothing to lose, Texas A&M never attempted a 4th down conversion. They never attempted a fake punt. Even with ample opportunity and zero cost in playing it loose, Reggie McNeal only attempted 13 passes, completed four, and had zero TDs and 32 yards total offense on the day, and had a whopping negative four yards offense in the second half. His last completion came in the second quarter. The rest: a sad series of disintegrating bricks thrown off the stiff iron hands of panicked, shoddily made robots called the TAMU receiving corps.*
*Oklahoma had 33 first downs. Texas A&M had three on the day, and was outgained 639 yards to 54 yards by the Sooners. This really doesn't capture how bad it was even at those numbers, or how impossibly long this fucking game was. Relative distortion set in: time crept so slowly you could have turned on a flashlight watching it in the dark, and watched the beam slowly roll out in spectrum across the room. Bob Stoops had players fall down on 4th and goal as an act of euthanasia, because the fourth quarter of this game was not football, but rather a hospice room for hope.
It was like the entire team developed a dramatic allergy to football, went into anaphylactic shock, and rather than reaching for an epipen or calling 911, just pulled out the flip phone and played Snake until the bitter end arrived. 77-0 wasn't even like A&M showed up and got blown out; it was like Texas A&M never happened that day, and submitted and committed to a voluntary self-abduction from the game of football.
BURRTR PIZZAHHH. Haaaaayyyyyy. DISSS GOOOOOOOOD. Million Pizzaz. Noppez wait: TWO MILLION PIZZURZ. I been sellin' goat as beef for YEARSZZ. Secrut ah mah sukcessss. GO CARDDDDZZZZ.
SYSTEM THAT HAPPENED TO WORK OUT WELL FOR BOB STOOPS IN A SINGLE CASE ENDORSED HEARTILY BY MULTIMILLIONAIRE BOB STOOPS. The current system, per guy who benefits enormously from it, is the ideal system, per someone who thinks it's okay for players to learn things by starving on a Sunday. Bob Stoops makes $4.6 million a year to coach college football. These are all facts presented without the commentary we want to make, which is "Bob Stoops is good at football and bad at thinking on an abstract, non-personal level."
THE ARTIST SPEAKS. Geoff Collins is the man behind Miss State's amazing "YOU'RE A BALLER" letter, and he's not afraid to preview the upcoming "SWAG-O-METER" he may just send to one lucky recruit.
THAT WON'T BE A PROBLEM AT ALL NOPE. Noah Spence has been unblockable all spring, per Eleven Warriors, bringing up the delightful double-edged sword of spring practice hype: Spence is probably really good, yes, and this also may mean Ohio State's o-line has some of the same issues it had last year in pass protection. Braxton Miller's bone-metal replacement surgery will be extraordinarily painful, but worth it in the end.
MMMM, REMEMBER THAT. Go to the 1:29 mark of this video to see a depopulated Death Valley, and stand in awe of the terrible things a Curley Hallman can do to a football program.
ETC: Tavon Austin is a...well, he's just a Tavon Austin.
Tom Keiser of the Classical (and other illustrious internet places) brings us the first part of a series on the young Steve Spurrier, whose development included a period as an orange juice-slangin' pitchman and "promising young NFL QB." Spurrier would end up being known more for his punting in the NFL, but he probably still drinks fine, fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice. Enjoy, and follow Tom at @keisertroll on Twitter.
Steve Spurrier may now be one of the most legendary football coaches of all time, but a long time ago, he was among us mortals, doing what he could to get his name out there. At one point, that even meant starring in a filmstrip for the Florida Department of Citrus on behalf of frozen concentrated orange juice. What follows is Steve Spurrier’s connection to the Anita Bryant/Trading Places Illuminati.
Design For Winning is thirteen minutes of fantasy, disguised as a filmstrip used to promote orange juice. It dates from around 1970; coach Ray Graves had already retired to the U of F front office but hope remained that Spurrier would be something more than a punter and a glorified NFL backup. The Gatorade mythos was still in its infancy, so you could still get away from claiming that three square meals and a quart of orange juice a day would help you lead the Florida Gators to victory. John Reaves would soon add alcohol, cocaine and quaaludes to this mix, at least during his professional days.
Were Spurrier around today, he would’ve been a scrawnier, watered down Tim Tebow. More precisely, had Tim Tebow been born forty years earlier, he would have been a less humorous, more pious Steve Spurrier. Either way, they both would be selling Jockey underwear. Spurrier’s NFL career is surprisingly Tebow-esque. As the #3 overall pick in the 1967 NFL Draft (one ahead of Bob Griese), you could have said the San Francisco 49ers were grooming him to replace aging starter John Brodie. Brodie went on to play seven more seasons, winning the league’s MVP in 1970, and leading the Niners to NFC title game appearances in 1970 and ‘71. And who says Dianetics doesn’t work?
Hampered by the lack of free agency and an aversion to playing in Canada, Spurrier did the best he could, filling in for Brodie when his thetans got the best of him, and by being a decent enough punter for half his stay. This is how Spurrier saw time in the 1970 NFC Championship Game. Although Spurrier helped lead the Niners to the playoffs when pressed into duty in 1972, his playing career peaked, and by 1976 was the starter of the 0-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
SPURRIER SKY HOOK OMG
So when Design For Winning was made, one could still make a case that Steve Spurrier the quarterback was going places. Most of the 49ers footage comes from around 1969, when John Brodie’s tendonitis gave him enough time to associate himself with the works of L. Ron Hubbard. It also gave Spurrier the opportunity to upset the Baltimore Colts, perhaps the highlight of San Francisco’s 4-8 campaign.
Like all 25 year old former Heisman Trophy winners, the Spurrier of Design For Winning rests on his laurels. There are quite a bit of scenes of him leading Florida to victory, including his Orange Bowl win against Georgia Tech. What few remember about the 1966 college football season is that Miami, with absolutely no sign of its post-Schnellenberger swagger, was ranked higher in the polls than Florida, who finished 11th in the UPI polling and out of the AP Top 10, and even beat them head to head. Losing to pre-swag Miami was about as embarrassing as losing to today’s swagless Hurricanes.
There are plenty of teaching moments in Design For Winning, such as when you learn about the dropback pass and the rollout, the only two plays a quarterback will ever need. The sideline cut is performed by a receiver afflicted with what future generations would call "jazz hands". You also get to see Steve Spurrier in all his athletic forms, from barely getting in a layup on the basketball court, to missing a Bob Barker-level putt on the golf green.
While modern sports drinks were born from the University of Florida’s research around this time, Coach Graves and Steve Spurrier were clearly in the tank for Big OJ. Loving wife Jerri makes a cameo buying orange juice at the local grocery store; Steve says he has her trained right. Spurrier talks about OJ as if he was a contemporary Jesus Freak: "I got on this Florida orange juice kick back in the university." And even Ray Graves drinks the orange juice Kool-Aid: "It’s been proven that drinking orange juice cuts the losing to a minimum." Spurrier and Brodie might have each been espousing dogmatic beliefs in the early 1970’s, but at least Steve’s goes well with toast.
Until you realize this is Florida in the early 70’s, it’s hard to grasp how dated Design For Winning must have been for most of America even then. Absolutely no hint of the decade which preceded it, be it through countercultural change or progress in civil rights, seems to have made its way to Gainesville. NFL Films footage is used, of course, but the rah-rah marching band soundtrack of generations past dulls the splendor. The quality of the filmstrip itself also lends an Instagram quality to it, but here, the poor preservation of media is genuine.
Steve Spurrier was building towards his destiny to coach the Tampa Bay Bandits, but on the road to success came obstacles which could not be overcome the way John Brodie overcame his. Spurrier would become an assistant at Florida, Georgia Tech and Duke before becoming the youngest head coach in USFL history, leading Duke football to actual success, and of course winning a national championship and SEC glory with Florida and later South Carolina.
There were many things Steve Spurrier had to do to get to where he is today. Starting his day right with a big glass of Florida orange juice might have been the most important.
That's a pretty spankin' new alternate logo, Cal. There's a lot to like about it: it's fierce, it's ursine, it's got a giant, California-sized font befitting the flagship university of the state and its periodically competitive football team. ROWR! Just look at it! It's practically mauling a toddler as we speak.
But most importantly it doesn't appear to have a single hidden penis in it. Why, we challenge you to find one single way to turn this beastly and impressive new bit of design into anything remotely offensive or juvenile, internet! Why, it's damn near---
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time.
--Walt Whitman, probably writing about watching this exact moment from his steampunk time machine.
DEE MILLINER IS A DICK.
WHEN WILL JOHNNY MANZIEL STOP GLORYBOYING AROUND? A polo shirt and doing an interview? TYPICAL SPOILED HEISMAN BUST BEHAVIOR, JOHNNY MANZIEL. And talking to bloggers? FOR SHAME.*
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Keeneland race track will happily shuttle you back and forth to the track if you show up early for Kentucky's spring game, and do so for the low, low price of one dollar a piece. If you are attending, and wish to have some solid horse betting advice: put one dollar on every horse in every race and you can't possibly lose! The combination of three irrational activities in one day--horsin', drinkin', and watching Kentucky football--could kill you but you'll never find out until you try, test subject, because SCIENCE.
AU REVOIR, COACH WE BARELY KNEW. Bryant Young, Florida's DL coach, resigned for personal reasons yesterday to spend more time with his family, which could mean anything including "I want to spend more time with my family" and "I have been indicted in an orchid-smuggling scheme." When Will Muschamp throws you off the ship, it happens before you have a chance to salute the Union Jack, sailor.
USING PHONES: STILL A CHALLENGE IN AMES. Or rather, using phones too much might be an issue with the NCAA, but shit, it's Ames. You have to call people just to pass the time. As with all NCAA violations, we suggest you mail it back to Indianapolis in an envelope filled with glitter, because once that shit gets on your hands it stays there for weeks.
GO DAWGS. Get crunk, Georgia Department of Agriculture.
ETC: Pandas set to Ludacris. The new Big K.R.I.T. is fantastic, and has Big Sant saying "My car older than your favorite rapper." FIVE HOURS OF ALEX JONES SAYING CRAZY THINGS. Yes, Llama, said Penguin. Let us go and be happy forever.
1. Jim Nantz opens every broadcast with "Hello, friends," and if you learn one thing by living in a sketchy large city, it is that someone who addresses you as "friend" isn't one and should be avoided. Maybe we just got off on the wrong foot, Jim. You are just trying to be friendly, and I am expecting you to either ask me to attend your megachurch or to distract me while I am robbed on foot by your partner. (In your case, that could be Phil Simms, who would hold the gun backward and accept an expired hotel room key as my "credit card.")
2. Maybe we don't get along for other reasons. You are bland, predictable, and as literal as a Billy Joel song title.
3. Billy Joel, for those unfamiliar with the official suburb-state poet of Long Island's work, was at one point a ridiculously popular performer in the United States who had sex with beautiful women and made scads of filthy American money, though never at the same time. He now looks like Wisconsin athletic director and former coach Barry Alvarez, but at one point Billy Joel was popular enough to serve as our ambassador to the Soviet Union.
That went brilliantly:
In reality, Billy Joel was furious about the Soviet police spotlighting kids who were dancing in the audience, because Western music is decadent, and none more so than Billy Joel's "Sometimes a Fantasy." To put this in context, Slayer's "Reign in Blood" came out the year before Billy Joel went to Russia. Soviets knew nothing about terrifying, society-destroying music, because if Slayer had played the USSR in 1989 you would not be reading this. Dead people cannot use the internet.
4. Jim Nantz and Billy Joel share something in common: they both have more money than you will ever have, and neither is capable of producing a single unit of figurative language. Take "Sometimes a Fantasy," a song about a man having phone sex, which is a fantasy that he doesn't have all the time but only sometimes. Or "Piano Man," a song about a man playing a piano, or "My Life," a song about his life, or "It's Still Rock 'n Roll To Me," a song about how rock 'n roll has changed, but is still recognizable to Billy Joel as rock 'n roll. A song called "The Gall Bladder Song" would not be an experimental suite based on a pentatonic scale Joel lifted from a Schoenberg suite. It would be about Billy Joel's gall bladder, and how a surgeon cut it out of his very literal stomach with a knife.
5. Jim Nantz undoubtedly owns "The Gall Bladder Song" and other imaginary and real Billy Joel songs, and appreciates every single hyper-literal word. Nantz in mid-game/match is nearly invisible, noting events and periodically raising his voice when appropriate. If Gus Johnson is stuck to the rafters after an alley-oop, Nantz will be somewhere three stories below, his shoes not nailed to the floor because Jim Nantz isn't jumping anywhere, much less in those $400 loafers. He calls a tight, anodyne game, light on embellishment and and heavy on nothing. It is like watching a game called by the most intelligent, autotuned announcer computer science could create.
6. It is also as moving or interesting as Deep Blue calling a game. At big moments, the crescendo during which other announcers stamp their imprimaturs on a moment, Nantz instead raises his voice and declares ... what just happened, literally, and often predictably. Jim Nantz has said all of these at huge moments or endings of games:
Hinrich puts up the shot, it's too long, and Syracuse is your national champion!
A Kansas comeback for the history books. Rock, Chalk, championship! Kansas takes the title!
Picked off. Look out! Gets past Manning. And it's Tracy Porter taking it all the way! Touchdown, New Orleans!
Just when everybody says you can't, you can, and UConn has won the national championship!
Florida takes its place in history, back to back and unforgettable!
If Jim Nantz had called the Miracle on Ice, we would have had "The Time the United States scored more goals than the Russians and then advanced to the finals of the 1980 Olympic men's hockey competition." Secretariat would have been described as "a very fast horse" and not "a tremendous machine," and no hobnail boots would ever do anything as impolite as stepping on anyone's face, particularly not in the course of a football game.
7. Nantz calling anything is a degree of perfection: it is airless sports commentary, perfectly hewn to suffocate any trace of memory that might cling like so many barnacles to the hull of the event. I remember Bubba Watson's trigonometrically impossible shot out of the woods to clinch last year's Masters, but have no recollection of what Nantz might have said about the shot. I have watched the Masters every year like the world's most expensive screensaver, a smear of azaleas and pines infested with fist-pumping men in pleated khaki shorts and golfers grimly staring past my shoulder towards some evil bit of landscaping just behind my couch. I cannot remember anything Jim Nantz has ever said without looking it up, either from the Masters or from any other event he has ever covered.
8. This is a kind of compliment. It takes years of effort and study to be as utterly invisible as Jim Nantz the broadcaster is, and yet simultaneously good at your job. Go rewatch the 2013 Super Bowl and you'll hear Nantz, the play-by-play guy, dragging a clearly baffled Phil Simms throughout the broadcast, desperately trying to pull something resembling analysis out of him. Listen to him call a basketball game and marvel at the timing, economy, and accuracy in the delivery.
9. Now try to recall any of this an hour later. Nantz will be gone, his work a sound file on a thumb drive that destroys itself five minutes after play. The list of people calling sports I would rather have calling any event is long: Ian Darke, Verne Lundquist, Sean McDonough, Rece Davis, Gus Johnson, Vin Scully, Robot Keith Jackson (make one of those, science), Wes Durham, Martin Tyler, Marv Albert, Mike Tirico, and even Andres Cantor bellowing away in Spanish all come to mind before JIm Nantz even makes a cameo appearance in casting.
10. You would pay almost all of those announcers for their presence, judiciously spread out over the course of a sporting event. (Gus Johnson is the exception: you pay him to detonate, reassemble himself, and then continue cycling between explosions for the duration of the game.) Whatever Jim Nantz is, he has a niche no other announcer has: you pay him for his present absence, his not-being in a broadcast. That can be a problem in a sport like college basketball where you want a mirror for the game's sudden turns, drops, and stunning reversals.
11. At the Masters, Nantz's cultivated wooden demeanor is ideal: CBS pays him to disappear completely into the backdrop, whispering occasional facts and updates into the viewer's ear. He becomes essentially a highly paid tree, a genuine skill I don't like but can certainly appreciate. This is my phrasing, not Billy Joel's. Joel would write a song about Nantz called "Jim Nantz Does His job Calling Sports," a song about Jim Nantz and how he calls sports for a living. People would pay for it in cash.
More Masters from SB Nation:
ASS POWER. LSU keeps posting more Big Cat Drill videos, and we will keep reposting them as long as they keep showing large men demonstrating the raw power of properly charged glutes discharged in the name of knocking someone on their improperly charged glutes.
P.S. if you've never read the most important piece of butt-related literature ever written, do so now. If you are a man, your wife/partner/girlfriend is not ogling, she is merely trying to help you bet to win by properly estimating the athletic potential indicative in a well-prepared ass.
LOOKIN' GOOD, TB! If you can't dress in drag in a college a few times, you have simply done college wrong, even if you are a top-flight quarterback who frankly is not the most attractive fake lady in the world. He's no Kenny Stills, but no one in drag is. (Via)
THANK YOU, DAILY SHOW. The NCAA now has a good six months to live, and for that we can thank the Daily Show.
OOOOOOOOH SO SECRET SAID NO ONE. The SEC Network, the worst-kept secret in the history of the SEC and that is saying something, will be announced in Atlanta at a press conference on Tuesday. This means more money for the Southeastern Conference, but more importantly means hours and hours of filler programming like old games and reruns of Evening Shade. That last part may not be true, but it should be.
ETC: Atlanta is so much sexier than you can imagine. Wu-Tang has one more mission, but we'd assume this meant a literal commando strike, and not necessarily a new album, Pitchfork. FROZEN TURKEY VULTURES URRWHERE.
Behold primitive man:
He's doing so many fantastic things you cannot do: wearing his beard as long as he wants, carrying a flaming tree branch around wherever he goes, killing a wooly mammoth with a spear, and dying by 30. Like, guaranteed dead-by-30, most likely toothless, illiterate, scarred like a brothel's most worn-out dildo, and with some truly horrendous ideas about the notion of sexual consent and property rights. You want to be paleo, bro? Dying by thirty pantsless and starving would be the most paleo thing you could do, bro. You should probably die right now for maximum authenticity and authentic quality of life-ness.
Pantsless is the crucial term here. Pants are awful for everyone everywhere, the smothering twin-tubed oppression voluntarily belted, buttoned, and in some cases crammed onto and around miserable legs, asses, and personal parts from Tangiers to Tianjin. Pants are the most popular form of lower body covering in the world. This would be an endorsement for people who confuse ubiquity for quality. In other news: people love Internet Explorer, Time Warner Cable, and cancer, and this is a fucking stupid way to think about anything.
All pants and pants parts are terrible, but all in different ways.
PLEATS. No. Pleats could be, in theory, a way to tuck a big piece of fabric into a smaller space, and thus leave room for future expansion. We have scissors and cheap pants made by child labor now, and there is thus no reason to ever have them.
But they're slimming. Fat bros, the pleat is never slimming. It takes your waist and turns it into a piece of delicately puffed pastry, and makes it appear you have grown a doily over your genitals, and then cinched it between the legs. Sit down and you turn into a half-assed Zouave. If you have one gut, it creates two. If you have two guts, it creates a quantum universe of infinite guts. In none of those possible universes do any of them look good.
The chinstrap beard, pleats, and hawaiian shirts are all fraudy little hooks you keep swallowing in the hopeless effort to not accept your physique and do what fat men have been doing with dignity for years: DRESSING LIKE THE ETERNAL, UNDYING KING OF UNKILLABLE FAT MEN, JOHN MADDEN.
They even turn skinny men into garnished inverted turkey drumsticks. Look at Matt Damon, and how when costume designers wanted him to look like an utter goddamn loser they made the easiest, most logical choice: pleat him up and let the fumes of sorrow and mediocre taste waft from the seams of every deep crease.
One man is allowed to wear pleats: Alvin Wyatt, former head coach at Bethune-Cookman.
Alvin also lived in the dorms at BCC to save money. He pulled both off, and you cannot because you are not Alvin motherfuckin' Wyatt. Do not even attempt it.
SKINNY JEANS. We have taken you and strapped a bomb to the ankle cuff of these skinny jeans. We have made the jeans wet. You have five minutes to get out of the jeans. You can attempt to take them off, or you can use this hacksaw to cut your foot off just above the ankle. You're going to be using the saw. We don't advocate picking your pants based on hypothetical Mad Max/Saw scenarios, but it must be at least a small part of your decision-making process. You won't regret seeing photos of yourself in these in ten years. Nope. Not one bit.
THAT POCKET WITHIN A POCKET. If you have ever used this you are on drugs or sell them. That is the only thing anyone has ever used this pocket, ever.
WHAT CUT IS RIGHT FOR ME? None of them. You don't even know what any of them mean. Target sells boot cut jeans for twenty dollars, and there is exactly one part of that sentence the average Target shopper understands: these pants cost twenty dollars. I have that many dollars in my bank account, and my other pants have holes in them. Most men's drawers contain four or five pairs of pants bought because they fit at the waist and cost somewhere aroundtwenty American dollars. All pants look stupid because you are a bipedal ape, not because you picked a bad cut.
KHAKIS. Horrible. Only Dr. Dre in 1991 made them work. Wearing Khakis for a white man is to surrender to being at best an undercover agent in Golf Narnia. If you wear khakis while watching HGTV and drinking a craft beer, your penis will shrink up inside you and turn into a third backup kidney that emits a low hum of Dave Matthews' "Satellite" when examined by MRI.
PATTERNED PANTS OF ANY SORT. Just khakis with an earring, a tattoo, and an interesting recent divorce to talk about.
FLAT FRONTS: no one wants to see your penis, but you've never cared what other people think of you.
CARPENTER JEANS. If you can't fit a Sega Dreamcast into each and every pocket, get with the fucking program
CARGO PANTS. Because you love work and carrying shit around so much that you built an entire pair of pants around the notion of becoming a walking, sack-assed trundle of distracted clutter on the hoof. The overloaded Okie Dust Bowl Flatbed With Your Entire Life Packed Into It of pants, because you're gonna go to Californy and eat grapes and let the juices just a-run down yer beard! God, we're so glad the grandfather in Grapes of Wrath dies and dies hard.
DICKIES. There is no designer cut; the legs are the same circumference the whole way down. They were designed to fit a double-barrel anti-aircraft gun.
FATIGUES. They're really comfortable, but you risk being confused for someone terrible like a white supremacist, or a Goth, or Jeremy Shockey.
CAPRIS. The mindbending pant that from a distance makes you say tiny pants....OR HUGE HUMAN?
SWEATPANTS. The gentleman's choice, and the only really honest pair of pants in the world. Rather than insist pants have some innate virtue, and get at least one thing right, sweatpants achieve the highest degree of pants nobility by getting everything wrong at once: simultaneously too big and too small, too hot and yet not warm enough, unflattering at every single angle, sweatpants are incapable of telling any lies. They are a ramshackle, poorly made series of tubes that cover half the body, and tell everyone around you the basics: genital size and location, basic fitness, inattention to detail, and lack of willingness to live or even try anymore by doing things like paying your bills, obeying basic civil codes, or caring.
Everyone on C.O.P.S. ever wore sweatpants, because criminals never lie with anything but their mouths. Sweatpants are a signature on the social contract that reads "Mybutt Yerface, Esq." In your most honest moments, they're all you would ever wear if you had to wear pants.
CORDUROYS. Only fun because brushing one leg against the grain and then smoothing the other out around a person with OCD is the quietest, nonviolent form of torture you can ever engage in against another human. Corduroys are made of rejected pie crusts. One time a man in corduroys thought about sitting down. He exploded, and is dead.
TRACK PANTS. Cousin Niko Bellic America is the land of dreams you just have to out and take it preferably with a rocket launcher--
Thanks to Jon and Janie for important pants contributions.
Golf scalpers don't look right. The universal uniform of all scalpers never changes anywhere else but Augusta: athletic shorts, track pants, a t-shirt, some form of mojo around the neck, a baseball cap, and the sad, nervous look of a man sitting on a bomb. There is a camp chair sitting somewhere within twenty feet of them, and a sign in their hand reading "NEED TICKETS." He wants tickets, but does not need them, but no one said the middle-aged hustler that is every scalper on the planet understands the fine tuning of proper verbiage.
A scalper cannot sell within 270 feet of Augusta National. You cannot really do anything 270 feet away from Augusta National, a warped pear-shaped fortress of bamboo and wisteria-draped fencing cordoned off from the rest of the town. The main entrance barely allows a peek inside; the side gates are blind angles toward security gates and more green fencing. A fat uniformed redneck sits at every gate. He could not catch you if you charged through the gate badgeless, but when the person who can finally does, you will have made a fat man run, and thus made a fat man trained in close-quarters violence very, very angry.
Augusta National's manners are impeccable, but like most courtesies there is a polite undercurrent of please fuck off before we release the hounds flowing beneath it. Augusta National, to the outsider, is an inscrutable block of greenery cordoned off from the rest of the world and surrounded by worker bees scrubbing the perimeter clean of unsanitary intrusions of the jorted hoi-polloi.
The best note here is referring to a bag's dimensions "in a natural state." Please do not breed Prada handbags crossed with Goliath frogs and expect to tote this unnatural creature into Augusta National, or expect to tote any other unnatural creature you created in your laboratory into the tradition unlike any other.
Do not try to bring in your gun: your concealed carry permit works in church in the state of Georgia, but not in Augusta National.
The buffer zone has a purpose. Without it, the junket tents, corporate spreads, private events, and array of Jaguars spread out on the grass along the sidewalk would flow right up to the main gate, and not instead sit just along Washington Road, where a megachurch is trolling the living daylights out of the litigious and militant attorneys for Augusta National 24/7.
The apostrophe is everything. They, like everything else in Augusta, were closed on Sunday for the Masters. A trio of pissed-off British golf fans stood on the corner, ticketless and asking for badges. I asked them if the market was good or bad. The one who looked like fat Ricky Gervais said, "You're the journalist, you tell me." I would have told him I hoped he died cold and alone and listening to horrendous dubstep remixes, but that would be redundant. He is British; this is precisely how he is going to die.
A grown man with a Sunday Masters badge and golf standard time gear passed us wearing a brand new pair of Vibrams. Someone wore Vibrams on Augusta National. I like this man a lot, because he clearly does not care what the living or dead think of him, ever, for any reason.
If you do not have a ticket, you have a few options. You can try to snag a badge. This will require thousands of dollars, patience, and blatant luck since most of the people at the Masters have to give those badges back to their employers, sponsors, or to their junket lords back at the white tents pitched in the parking lot of the CVS just across from the green walls of Augusta National. There are people who go out of their way to enter the lottery, but a solid chunk of the people fist-pumping and yelling "WAR EAGLE" after tee shots got their tickets from a company. The Super Bowl crowd and the Masters crowd aren't that much different: lanyarded corporate effluvia drunk on beer and patronage, set loose for the weekend wifeless and aimless in a hazard-free amusement park of park-n-ride shuttles and (for them, at least) free hotel rooms gouged from the budgets of someone else higher up the corporate food chain.
For all that wifeless -- and aside from young women in sundresses under thirty, it is almost entirely male -- time on their hands, the crowd at Augusta does little wives at home would mind. They hand over their phones to confounded African cabbies from Atlanta, drunk, sunburnt men in Izod hoping a Liberian man they have never met before will get them to their hotel. This Liberian man will never get them to their hotel; they are still circling Augusta right now, texting their wives that it will just be a few more hours, and asking the cabbie to pull over so they can get more beer.
The other option is watching the tournament at Hooters. The waitress at Hooters is from out of town, too. Hooters brought in people from as far away as Arkansas to work the weekend. Tents are slapped up in no particular order around the building, tents still empty as the rain drifts in and starts soaking Adam Scott, squinting in the rain on a flatscreen over my head. The employees huddle by the POS system out of the wind because they are Hooters waitresses, and wearing stupid and impractical clothing for their job.
She sits down and starts talking. No, these aren't the biggest assholes in the world. They tip well, and they don't, and like most people there is literally no telling how well they are going to tip. They do not break things, or cover the room with toilet paper like Alabama fans. They do not tip badly; they do not tip well. Like everyone else at Augusta, a fog of docility covers everything, and the lofty aspirations of some of the most privileged people in the world on a Masters Sunday barely crest the lip of a pint of Bud Light.
"These guys don't get much time away from their wives," says the waitress at Hooters. "They just wanna drink."
On the way out I stop by the bathroom. A picture of a beaming and much younger Tiger Woods hangs on the wall. His face is unlined, his shoulders devoid of the massive traps he built through years of weightlifting. The heads of three Hooters waitresses surround him in the frame. For the first time on the day of wandering around Augusta I feel a real emotion: pure, unadulterated sadness at how happy he looked, there, in the moment of making terrible decision after terrible decision, and at how happy bad living, good golf, and a plate full of spicy garlic wings made him.
2:50 p.m.: With 4:09:43 showing on the race clock, an explosion goes off just short of the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Ten seconds or so later, a second explosion goes off 1500 yards away on the same street, Boylston Street, along the finish of the race.
2:57 p.m. The Boston Globe's Twitter feed reports a witness hearing "two loud booms" near the finish line.
3:14 p.m. Video emerges online of the scene following the explosions.
3:15 p.m. Runners still on the marathon course are stopped. They are rerouted to Boston Common.
3:55 p.m. Boston police detonate a suspicious object near Copley Square in a controlled explosion, per the Boston Police scanner.
4:02 p.m.: Boston police confirm 2 dead and 12 injured in the explosions via Twitter.
4:12 p.m. Boston police respond to a third explosion, at the JFK Library in Dorchester. No injuries are reported.
4:24 p.m. The AP, quoting an anonymous U.S. intelligence official, reports two undetonated explosive devices were recovered from the scene.
4:44 p.m. White House statement announces a Presidential address at 6:10 p.m. regarding the explosions.
4:44 p.m. News leaks that the Boston Bruins opted to postpone Monday's scheduled home game with the Ottawa Senators.
4:50 p.m. Boston police confirm the two explosions at 2:50 p.m. in a televised press conference with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Boston police also confirm a fire and possible explosion at the JFK Library, which they consider related. They emphasize that a link between the two marathon explosions and the third is only suspected, and not confirmed.
5:01 p.m WBZ reports cellphone service in downtown Boston has been shut off to prevent any detonation of other possible explosive devices which may be in the area.
5:06 p.m. JFK Library spokesman says the third incident may have just been a mechanical room fire, and says there were no injuries in the incident.
6:12 p.m. President Obama addresses the nation. "The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight."
Update: A new, complete timeline of Monday's events is now available. Click here to view the updated timeline.
Additional updates as they become available will be included in SB Nation's StoryStream.
HI. We got tied up yesterday on this end because someone decided to leave bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Despicable shitheads are born every day, and when they are killed, combinatorial genetic randomness just produces more. One of those assholes is Eric Rudolph, who set off three bombs in the city of Atlanta from 1996 to 1997 and also made a cameo in Birmingham. He is in a hole in the ground now in Colorado, and will be for the rest of his life until he dies forsaken by the sun and humanity.
He claimed to have reasons. They always do, at least by their definitions of reason: some hairy blip of the braincase skips a track, slips a gear, and malignantly connects the unrelated dots of their life into a pattern of deformed fictions. False flag. Jihad. Christian Identity. Liberation. The homeland. Those reasons turn into four dead black girls in Birmingham, a body lying in Centennial Park, and an eight year old boy who died yesterday waiting for his father to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon.
I remember speeding--my wife driving 100 mph on I-75, headed home because somehow it made sense, in the panic and haze after we heard the bomb go off live on WGST, a noise not unlike a transformer frying out--and thinking that my family was down there that night, wandering around the park. In retrospect I'm embarrassed for the total lack of stiff upper lip, comportment, or whatever you call not freaking out like a trapped bat the instant someone set off a bomb near me. In retrospect, everything was fine: my family had driven back to the house hours earlier.
In retrospect, I wish I had been more cool, more composed, less affected by the stupid, violent conclusions of a deranged argument. I also wish I hadn't wondered why: there never is a why with arguments ending in bodies, blood on brick, and the long trail of hellhounds set loose on the scent of God's errors. I've always hated movies like Se7en not for the gore and violence, but for the credence they give utter morons (even fictional ones) spat out into this life by a haphazard turn of the human roulette wheel. There is no lesson. There is no reason. There is no need to read the first word of that idiot tract, or wait around for its finale. Listening past the first proposal of blood is a waste of time, life, and brain cells.
Joe Andruzzi didn't listen to it. Neither did Bill Baxley, the former Attorney General of Alabama who eventually convicted those responsible for the Birmingham church bombings. This was his reply to a KKK leader who didn't want him to do that.
They captured Eric Rudolph in 2003 behind a Save-A-Lot in Murphy, North Carolina. He was starving and crawling through a dumpster like a shithouse rat. If Eric Rudolph had made me read the whole story, I'd think about other things when I thought about Centennial Park. I wouldn't think about watching Wayne Coyne sing beneath a giant projected image of a naked woman smearing wasabi across her breasts at a Flaming Lips concert. I wouldn't think about meeting Big Boi on the Gameday bus a stone's throw away from the bomb site, and thanking him for everything he's meant to the city. (I did this. It is the most fanboy shit I have ever done, and I would do it again in a second.) I wouldn't think about missing a tackle, and watching my son run headlong into the endzone of the fountains without a change of clothes to wear, because I am a terrible father.
If I'd read the whole story someone who finished their martyr's story scavenging behind a glorified Piggly Wiggly wanted me to read about a place, I'd think about that bombing all the time. I don't. When I think of Centennial Park, I think about Gameday being there every September on the first weekend of college football--literally the least and yet most important thing in the world. There's another story someone wants you to remember about places. There is a letter to send them. Aside from the dates, it looks a lot like Bill Baxley's letter to Edward R. Fields, and will have to be resent with different recipients more times than you would believe possible in a lifetime.
P.S. There is no Curious Index today, but we'll be along in a bit.
We do not have a Hall of Fame for fans, and that is an error we plan to rectify right now. The Fantheon is open, and this man is the first nominee and inductee. You say you'd like to vote on that? Oh, you can, but the committee auto-drafts the first member as a model of everything a member of the Fantheon should be.
The shorts? CHAMPION-GRADE CUTOFFS OF A PAIR OF WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS PANTS. The amount of ballsy confidence required to suggest that what was in your pants were worthy of an entire sports variety show's billing is staggering enough, but to make cutoffs out of them? Jim McKay once appeared personally to announce this man removing his pants, and swears it was the most moving sporting event he has ever covered.
The hair? Too long to be a conk, blown out and parted down the middle, a veritable Honeybaked Ham of a haircut variation last seen on James Brown in Kinshasa in 1974. The socks are pulled to the knee because a.) ladies, legs and b.) THEY'RE AUBURN SOCKS. The glasses are pure country disco Don, and the shoes are Converse but not Chucks because he's about the now (ladies?).
Finish with the War Eagle shirt and you have the living embodiment of one of our four favorite schools of style: things worn by country black dudes from the seventies and early eighties. (See: the Selmon Brothers here, and yeah probably Barry Switzer, too.) Those other three schools of style: Phil Collins in the "I missed again" video, African dictators, and and cool dogs wearing sunglasses.
It is decided: welcome to the FANTHEON, Captain War Eagle Cutoffs Guy. You are the first, both chronologically, and also in our hearts.
P.S. This guy is also in, we just haven't gotten to him yet.
P.P.S. Nominations welcome in the comments below.
FOLLOW BRENT PEASE. But only if the Florida offensive coordinator uses this (or at least a screencap) as his avatar.
Florida hired Pease's buddy Jeff Choate as special teams coordinator for the Gators. Choate has coaching experience at UTEP, a valuable experience if you are looking for someone who knows how to run a football program off lizard hides and discarded remote control batteries. Wait: HE COULD DO THIS AT FLORIDA. Will Muschamp is preparing our program for the eventual post-electricity, post-peak oil wasteland, and that's why he's a pro.
UNGODLY AND WRONG. Never, ever rooting for Texas Tech in anything ever again. (P.S. Mack Brown recruited this as fondue.)
WELLLLLLP. You're not a real blog until you've had a friend of the blog indicted in a Ponzi scheme.
THE CORRECT ANSWER IS "NONE OF THESE WEEKENDS."If you have to get married at any point this fall, you don't. Just don't get married during the football season, because no matter what weekend you pick you will be ruining someone's month, and perhaps their entire season. If you absolutely must do this there's a guide for what weekend to pick thanks to Kirk, but seriously don't do it because if you marry someone during the fall, there is a 100% divorce rate for those marriages according to this bag of sunflower seeds we consulted on the matter.
JONATHAN BUTLER, DO EVERYTHING. It is going to be a tremendously long season for that young man.
In light of the continuing lack of uptake on the whole "don't get married on Saturdays in the fall thing," let's review a few basic rules about living with or near college football fans.
1. Don't make plans on a weekend in the fall. Plans are bullshit in general, and super bullshit when made in the fall. Someone called us the other day asking about doing something on a Saturday in September. Joseph Stalin had five year plans, and that is about all you need to know about people who plan obsessively.
2. Napkins are only to be used at table for cleaning one's hands and mouth. They are not for the blowing of noses, and they are CERTAINLY not for whatever you're doing under the table, Lane Kiffin.
3. DVR. The DVR will be 85% full at all times, and possibly worse. Do not delete any of it: that Sun Belt game that's been mouldering on it for 45 weeks contains a hidden code you need to stop someone from stealing the Constitution and recovering the lost gold of John Heisman buried beneath Grant Field.
4. In fact, just know that there are times when the best thing you can say is nothing at all. We know it is "just a game" and "it could have gone either way" and, when appropriate, that "the better team won." If we wanted to embrace rationality, we wouldn't have bought that 1995 RX-7 that's been sitting in the garage for four years. WE ARE GOING TO FIX IT UP AND MAKE IT AWESOME BE QUIET.
5. You do not leave early, be you attending in person or in spirit via the television. (That is how television works, per documentary classic Poltergeist.) Football is meant to jolt you out of your emotionless existence, for good and for bad, and that means you take the busted hands along with the Blackjacks. Besides, your alternatives are traffic or a Say Yes To The Dress rerun. SPOILER: There is needless screaming in both.
6. The fork above the plate is the dessert fork. The one furthest left is the salad fork. The next one in is your fish fork, and then you reach your dinner fork, aka the one you stab whomever made you put on a suit during a weekend for a formal event with because there is one pair of shorts you wear until November on weekends, and then one pair of horrendous pants you switch to for winter weather.
P.S. You shouldn't ever attend formal events anyway. We watch Mad Men. Formal events are solely organized in order to get some disgruntled mother-in-law ass for old WASP overlords like Roger Sterling. We're not against that, but wait until February for it.
7. If you attend a funeral in Alabama in the fall: it is a trap. No one dies in Alabama from September to January. Nice try, Child Support Enforcement officials of Lee County.
8. You may ask the football fan to opt out of the first hour of Gameday. In certain circumstances, the first hour and 45 minutes can be devoted to household tasks and errands. The final 15 minutes are mandatory, however, and not negotiable. Lee Corso might say "fuck it" on air again. Rob a person of this and you are the worst human ever.
9. Do not ask why the football fan is checking Twitter, even while driving to or through a grocery store.
10. One should attempt to suppress yawning in polite company, even if they are watching Big Ten football.
11. Gifts are a common social courtesy. Taylor Martinez brought you turnovers; not having something in return would be embarrassing.
12. When given the opportunity to eat endless amounts of grain, cows will consume far more food than they need to survive, to the point that they suffer acidosis and die. This is why we are watching the 11 PM kickoff of a Cal game. Do not turn it off.
13. When receiving an invitation, it is polite to respond as soon as possible, especially if you're a 6-6 Ohio State team bound for NCAA trouble and just dying to get a piece of that sweet Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl pie.
14. You should not wear a jersey in public. Football pants are okay, though. Long as you got the butt.
15. A traditional gift at the holidays is the gift of spice. Please be sure to clarify the definitions of this with your guests from Auburn to avoid an uncomfortable situation later.
16. It is impolite to ask about someone's sexual orientation. If you are a sports talk radio host, however, feel free to say someone is gay without any evidence or respect to their privacy, and then use it to fill air time.
17. It is common courtesy to hold a door for women and common sense to do it for Jadeveon Clowney, because that's a perfectly good door and there's no reason to let him ruin it.
18. Reserve personal space when talking with others. The common length between you and another in a conversation is an arm's length. Note: there is not safe distance between you and George O'Leary. Avoid conversations of this point at all times and in all situations.
19. Titles matter and should not be done away with cavalierly. To that end, you should call him Heisman Finalist Rex Grossman, and then you should finish making this hunch punch, pledge.
20. Never bring prepared food unless asked. The lone exception to this: when visiting Will Muschamp throw a raw steak in the corner as an offering. It delays the attack, and pleases the hostess.
QB guru Steve Clarkson would like Tim Tebow to get a chance to play, preferably as a Jacksonville Jaguar. Clarkson is one of Tebow's QB tutors, so he should feel like Tebow deserves a chance, but what we really want to point out is that under Clarkson's tutelage Tebow is either a.) capable of turning into a weird dinosaur, or b.) makes you trip so hard you see 30 Tebows at a time.
P.S. Tebow, pageviews, Tebow.