Monday, December 29, 2008

Journal of a Cubs Fan: A Tale of Despair

A journal was discovered in the wreckage of a large building on the north side of Chicago. While officials do not claim that it has anything to do with the destruction of the building, or that the journal exists at all (seriously, if you call them right now, I bet they deny everything), the scrawl in these pages prove otherwise.

Oct. 4, 2008: Oh boy! Oh boy! The Cubs aren’t out of it yet! Sure, we’re down by two games in a best-of-three situation. But by golly, we’ve got destiny on our side! We couldn’t lose again and be left out of the World Series conversation. We’ve been too good all year long! We’ve got the most All-Stars on our squad, and we’re all healthy! There’s no way we can be denied this year, not in this century! And I mean, c’mon! We’ve got destiny on our side, by golly. Destiny!

Oct. 5: There is no God.

Oct. 6: Okay, okay, so maybe it’s not that bad. I mean it’s only a game right? So if it’s only a game, why haven’t I slept in 32 hours? And why do I find myself eating Hagen-Daas and watching the Lifetime Channel far too frequently? Or is it not frequently enough?...Where’s the model glue?

Oct. 8: This has been a rough couple of days. It seems my abounding optimism has left me with little credibility and even fewer prospects for friends. I had what I thought was a “running joke” with my boss – a Cardinals Fan - about whether or not the Cubs were going to beat the Dodgers. I was pretty cocky, so I said he could fire me if we lost. Anyway, I haven’t heard back from anyone on

I hate my life. And I’m out of glue.

Oct. 11: So my girlfriend left me. She said I was too “mopey.” Whatever, I don’t have to take a shower if I don’t want to.

Oct. 12: The Cubs have been forever tarnished by some sort of malevolent destiny, which has thusly tarnished my very soul. My therapist said that to me. After she said that I tried to bicycle kick her in the chest.

I awoke in a hospital bed days later, with my jaw wired shut. Apparently, my therapist was a highly-trained ultimate fighter, or so I was told as I immediately blacked-out after the first sight of my own blood.

The nurses at the hospital got my beloved baseball team all wrong. Albert Pujols came to tell me to keep my chin up. Then he signed my cast. It’s a full body cast, so I can’t wash it off, or do anything about it.

I think a nurse wrote “KICK ME” on the cast. The nurse or Pujols. Wait. I think Pujols was my nurse. Or my doctor.

Oct. 14: Oh hey, it looks like the White Sox might win a- nope. No, they lost too. Way to go, Chicago. Hang on, I’m going to go throw up off the top of a nearby cliff and think about trying to catch back up with it before it hits the ground.

Oct. 15: So one of the top people interested in buying the Cubs is something called a Mark Cuban. I hear he’s very involved with his team, the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and he is a very excitable personality. Maybe this is the sign I’m looking for…

Oct. 16: So I just met Mark Cuban on the sidewalk, and I’ve never had to actively restrain myself from lethally striking another human being. Every time Cuban smiled when he was talking to me, I felt the soul of an orphaned kitty cat die a grizzly death.

I’m out of glue again, but Cuban made himself useful and bought me a big bag of meth. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Oct. 18: I have no idea how to smoke meth. Up yours, Mark Cuban. You knew I wouldn’t know how to handle this crap. I’m pretty sure this isn’t even meth. I think it might be fiberglass insulation. Guess it’s back to the glue, anyway.

Nov. 1: I saw Kerry Wood on the sidewalk. I ran up to him and asked for his autograph. He said he was too injured. I was inconsolable.

Nov. 12: I’ve stared at a wall for eleven days now. My beard smells like a dirty pet store. My retro Cubs shirt looks like someone used it to dam up a mudslide, only instead of mud, it was poop.

Nov. 14: I ran into my old girlfriend. She was with that no-talent hack, Alfonso Soriano. Apparently his game is much better than his…well, game. I want to punch myself hard enough to either knock teeth out or throw up. Or both.

Nov. 17: It’s my sister’s birthday. I’d call her, but I know it doesn’t matter. She’s 20 years old, 81 years since a World Series; it’s all the same.

Nov. 23: I tried to give a defense for why being a Cubs fan makes sense. Why it’s noble to root for a team that has never and will never win. I broke down halfway through, which was weird because I was talking to a dumpster, so I shouldn’t have gotten so upset.

Nov. 27: Well, what do you think I’m thankful for. I’m thankful we were swept so I wouldn’t have to endure even more heartache at the loss of a National League Championship. I’m pretty sure that I would’ve suffered a major cardiac arrest at that time. And not the Baconator-induced kind of cardiac arrest, but the Lover’s Lament type of heart failure.

Either way, there’s a part of me that is dead inside.

But I gotta say, these sweatpants are holding up pretty well. Hanes Her Way? Definitely one of the better purchases I’ve made.

Nov. 28: I lost my sweatpants. I think Lou Pinella stole them to add to his track suit.

Dec. 1: If one more fake Santa Clause asks me what I want for Christmas, I’m going to punch them until my arms bleed. I already told the real Santa last year I wanted a Championship. I’m finding his apparent absence odd.

Dec. 12: Kerry Wood is getting traded to the Cleveland Indigenous Native Americans. My beard reaches to my nips, and frankly the smell that I have generated over the past few weeks of despair are enough to warrant that my other “roommates” pick up my cardboard “house” and throw it in the river.

Dec. 13: It’s a Saturday. I hate Saturday’s now. I’m going to burn down this building. 1060 W. Addison. Nothing here worth too much I don’t think.

Hey, is that a goat?

Monday Morning Shit Storm

Sorry gang, I'm having a shit storm block.

The only thing I can think of is the NFL playoffs.

They're set, so give us your NFC/AFC champion.

I like Pittsburgh in the AFC, and for some reason the Eagles in the NFC.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

For Real Real, Not For Play Play

Auburn has Just Hired Gus Malzahn as it's new OC.

Ok, so first some analysis.

This is interesting, very interesting. One could argue, "Hey we have a super spread OC teamed up with a defensive minded head coach. Awesome." And logically that makes sense. However, sometimes in football 1+1=shit. In his book The Hurry up no Huddle: An offensive Philosophy, Malzahan says something to the effect of If you want to run this type of offense you should not care about your defense. (Note- the book was written when Malzahn was still a high school coach in Arkansas, and at that time he believed in running a hyper speed no huddle.)

So is this going to work?

I don't know, you can never predict these things. Some people will point to the Tony Franklin project in the whole super-stud OC, defensive minded head coach debate. But to be fair, I really don't think Franklin was given full offensive control.

Does Auburn have the personnel? Who knows, maybe ole' Gus will be able to adapt his scheme to his players? Plus, although they had a shitty year, Auburn is still Auburn and they have the ability to get some of the best players in the nation.

I guess at the end of the day we'll just have to wait and see.

Now to the fun part.


You ever get bored at work? Yeah happens to me too. So here is one way to pass the time. Fansanity comments on message boards and newspaper articles!!!! I personally recommend any SEC team that has a recent loss.

Let's look at some comments from the cool-headed Auburn faithful, shall we?

Wareagle97 writes:
"I look for Auburn to be VERY EXPLOSIVE on Offense next year. Cant wait for the season to start.... WDE."
Excellent observation.

Aubtiger34 states:

"I was really worried that we were going to hire a power running OC that only the RB's would want to play for. This guy will get recruits all over the Southeast pumped about going to Auburn. I know of a big TE in Georgia who will love this hire. 4 Star JUCO All American WR/KR/PR/P/PK Cameron Kenney wanted to wait and see what kind of offense we were going to run before he made his final decision. This should make the choice a lot easier.

Look for Auburn to pull in a couple more tall WR's. You need them to run a Gus Malzone offense. Raymond Cotton will be kicking himself if he lets this opportunity go. I look for him to call the coach and say, "Gus Malzone, good hire guys, are you still interested in Ray?"

War Eagle.."

NC's are built around 4 star JUCO's and height.

The always astute Tiger Taz proclaims:

"LOOK OUT BAMA!!!!!!!! Best DC in the nation as our HC and now the best OC in the nation as our OC!!!"

Best DC/OC in the nation? Really?

The best part is when rival fans come in and shit in the apple pie.

Armybama42 writes:

(Sic'd) "Your silly-warm eathe fans-I,ve been a bama fan since 1973-in 50 years only missedthe bowl games6x."
Now, This is either a typical Alabama fan...or it could be an Auburn fan trying to make Alabama look petty and stupid. But why do they need to try?

See how much fun that was!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

John Witherspoon's Take on Steroids

So this is what happens when you ask yourself "Hey I wonder if Mr. Jones has any funny videos on youtube?" Well he does. The results are pretty much what you would expect. Here is his stance on steroids. (NSFW-language)

Simply speechless.

Saturday Morning Fun Bag!

We've featured Steve Nash in this spot before, but this is a better picture, and it bears noting that Steve became the 13th NBAer ever to hit the 7,000 assist mark on Christmas day. Roger Mason had to go ahead and piss in his Cheerios, though, as he buried a buzzer-beating three-pointer for the Spurs win. Sorry, Steve.

Anyways, I know this is a little late, but más vale tarde que nunca. Right? Right?

Also, since it is the dead of winter, this will be a snow-themed fun bag, so get excited about the cold, y'all.

So I really want this movie from Poor Boyz Productions this year. The film is called Reasons, and features basically every freeskier worth knowing about right now. The best part about this trailer may be the Australian hip hop that it is set to. The group is called Hilltop Hoods, and you can't find them on iTunes. Pretty wack.

So we've featured this video before, but it's crazy enough that we needed it again. Seriously. New Zealand + Rally Car + Snowboarders = Wackiness.

This is another example of previously viewed, but it is totally worth another viewing. What I love about this is that it deviates from the norm, and instead of straight ski porn, they use their resources to capture landscapes, wildlife, and everything in between that could illustrate how epic the life is.

There's a little geek in every snowboarder, so this short video really makes a lot of sense. Gnar Wars!

And finally, what we all really want: Crashes. Big Crashes. Funny crashes.

Alright. Let's do this. Cap 'em and strap 'em.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, you steroid abusing pussies!

Not sure if you assholes know this, but I finally got into the big leagues long after many of you chumps would have been considered washed up. I was old, but I was good.

Also, I struck out Babe Ruth. None of you chumps could do that. I fucking did. I didn't need any steroids to do it, either. I just did it in some field with some folks watching.

Also, I put a team on my shoulders, and dragged those worthless pukes kicking and screaming to victory. Me! Not Wilford Brimley, not anybody else. When we needed a hit, I hit it. When a ball needed catching, I caught it. Every single thing that could have been done. Did I demand more money? Fuck no! I didn't want fame or celebrity, I just wanted to play baseball. If I got to bang Kim Bassinger along the way, shit I earned it. But I did all of this after getting shot and having a drinking problem! None of you miserable punks could deal with that!

And steroids? Shit, I got good at baseball the old fashioned way. By smacking the shit out of the ball and throwing it hard. Steroids don't fix your eyesight, dumbasses! That's what you really need. You're all useless. You don't deserve to pound whiskey out of my flask in the middle of the fifth. Except that Josh Hamilton guy. Something about his mojo that I like.

So Merry Christmas to all of you steroid abusing pussies. Even though I was created in the mind of an author that mostly talked about Judaism in his books.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Caption Contest!

Rudy: I don't have to do this kind of shit on the Blazers.


Pau: Look at my sad face! So sad!


Marc: I carry you around, you get me a starting job on the Grizzlies, right?

Feliz Navidad from the Spanish National Team, maricones!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Aggregated Assault: The Festivus Airing of Grievances

December 23rd - just to get a leg up on Christmas - has been reserved in the lexicon of American culture as a day to remember all of the ways the people in your world have disappointed you over the past year. It is as day to embrace the feats of strength that bind us in our humanity. It is a time to not be distracted by tinsel, decorations, or pine needles.

This day is Festivus.

So in the good and merry traditions with which properly celebrating this noble festivity is duly associated, so we shall adhere. By airing our grievances, we are truly giving the only gifts that matter to our dear associates: a heavy dose of common sense, reality, and a stark realization of their seemingly endless amount of ineptitude. They are as follows:

  • Oklahoma gets what's coming to them
  • Roger Clemens gets clean urine
  • Travis Henry gets a slap on the wrist
  • Tony Romo gets a better girlfriend
  • Al Jefferson and Kevin Durant get traded (not for each other, just off of their respective shitty teams that are never on tv)
  • Charles Barkley gets elected (don't care where, don't care to what, don't care how)Jay Mariotti gets robbed, beaten, and left for dead
  • Marion Barber gets some peace and fucking quiet for once in his goddamn life
  • Stephon Marbury gets a contract in Italy
  • GRH gets articles from all seven authors in the same week
  • The Spurs get one more championship
  • The Rockets get one healthy season out of both Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming
  • Vince Young gets redemption
  • Pacman Jones gets a 13th step
  • ESPN gets competition
  • David Lee gets 5 minutes in Marion Barber's quiet utopia
  • Nate Robinson gets a jumpshot
  • Michael Jordan gets humility
  • Monta Ellis gets a car, instead of the moped he hurt himself on
  • The Grizzlies get Pau back instead of Marc
  • Soccer gets a foothold
  • John Daly gets another round
  • Eli Manning gets facial hair
  • Matt Ryan gets a rap CD
  • Lions get a win
  • Boston gets Tolerable fans
  • Virginia tech gets an offense
  • Houston Nutt gets star 87
  • Brent Musberger gets announcing ability
  • Auburn gets a 2008 Calendar
  • Tim Tebow gets a beer
  • Willis McGahee gets a prophylacticr
  • Brett Favre gets a free condo at The Villages (Florida's friendliest hometown)
  • Lendale White gets nutra-slim
  • Mike and Mike get a clue
  • Skip Bayless gets logic and reason
  • Joe Paterno gets respect…Seriously
  • The BCS gets fucked
  • Mike Vick gets a free session with Ceasar Milan
  • ESPN gets a trip back to 1997
  • Jerry Jones gets a soul
  • Pittsburgh gets a better mascot than Steely McBeam
  • John McCain gets the funk (gotta have that funk)
  • USC gets a legitimate excuse as to why they were defeated by Oregon State's lilliputian tailback
  • Santonio Holmes gets a contract from Vivid TV
  • Donovan McNabb gets a Caucasian Benefit of a Doubt (Kevin Kolb is your answer? Seriously?)
  • Chicago gets the Goat-Slayer 3000; It slices! It dices! It juliannes!
  • Ken Griffey Jr. gets some form of a dignified exit from the MLB
  • Heath Ledger gets an Academy Awar - oooo too soon?
  • Arkansas gets nothing. Nothing at all.
  • Rich Rodriguez gets a team that doesn't look mentally handicapped
  • Ike gets Tina back...from the graaave
  • Adam Sandler, Jim Carey, and Mike Meyers all get movies that don't make me miss my childhood
  • Bill Clinton gets a BJ. Looks like Santa came early this year. Ahthankyou.
  • Rihanna gets everything she's already got, because I'll be struck by a lightning shark before that lady puts out a bad song
  • Emmitt Smith gets a muzzle in order to maintain a shred of credibility
  • Woody Paige gets a Silky's Diver
  • Tom Brady gets a sack that isn't void of testicles
  • Barack Obama gets Nicorette. Yes, We Can (Do It and Nicorette can help)
  • OJ gets a fair trial (had the first one been fair, there wouldn't have needed to have been a second)
  • Bobby Petrino gets a five-year lease on his home
  • Claymation gets a comeback!
  • Popping gets locking
  • Steve Nash gets a late night talk show
  • Darren McFadden gets literacy
  • Anquan Boldin gets screwed (pleasurably) for each of the 31 screws (literally) in his face
  • Michael Jackson gets redeemed. Thriller. Period.
  • Detroit gets a working economic structure
  • David Stern gets street cred
  • Charlie Weis gets a physique that isn't so often described as "planetary"
  • Jay Cutler gets a pat on the back from Wilford Brimley
  • Matt Leinart gets a pat on the back from Jay Cutler
  • Ireland gets 24 hours of sobriety
  • Football gets a name that better describes the game itself. You only kick it at most twenty times a game, which accounts for roughly eleven seconds of game time. Let's call it Smashball and be done with it.
  • Adrian Peterson gets a team that can stand winning.
  • Tennessee gets in-state recruiting that's worth anything at all.
  • Bawston gets an accent that isn't immediately offensive
  • Mark McGuire gets into the Hall of Fame (by smashing a hole in the side wall)
  • Dante Culpepper gets a flux capacitor back to 2003
And finally, true sports fans everywhere get the ability to physically join to get to create one large moving leviathan organism that is roughly the size of a large skyscraper that can run at Boeing speeds. This ability will also allow the collective organism, known as the Keeper of Justice for Planet Earth will rid the world of the BCS once and for all. It will also toss Jay Mariotti somewhere in the vicinity of the Asteroid Belt outside Mars' orbit, and then it's going to have sex with a volcano.

Put that in your stocking. There it is. And a mighty fine Airing of Grievances it was. If there are anymore you'd like to add, do so in the comment section. If that doesn't float your boat, go screw yourself in the earhole.

So polish your poles, and be sure to stretch before your respective family's Feats of Strength. Happy Festivus everyone.

The Ghost of Roy Hobbs

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Unreliability of Romothelisberger

There are two teams in the NFL who at one point or another for consecutive weeks were "The" Team in the NFL. While one of them is a lock to be in the playoffs, the other is in a must-win situation. Both have premiere quarterbacks, and ironically enough, these two actual share a storied rivalry from Super Bowl lore.
Give up? Look at the title, dummy.

The Steelers and their oaf of a QB, Ben Roethlisberger, along side the Dallas Cowboys and their teacher's pet of a QB, Tony Romo, have both put their teams in position to win and put their teams in position to lose. The only reason I find this remarkable can be found in the thrid sentence of the opening paragraph: They're premiere quarterbacks.

While it doesn't seem necessarily odd to say this - one has won a Super Bowl while the other has been the catalyst in the revamping of America's Team - one has to contend that it wouldn't be necessarily odd to deny this. For each of their respective team successes, I don't think it can be said that it is strictly because of the play of either of these brosephs. In fact, I would go so far as to say that when the game is truly on the line, it is not the hands of these two gentlemen which which the ball should be handled.

Look at the stats. For Romo, the outlook is woeful. In only one game has he passed over 34 times and the Cowboys won. Against the simply terrible '49ers, as much is to be expected. Not to mention that game the Barberarian hustled the rock 19 times, and oh yeah, T.O. caught for 213 yards. In the games where the Cowboys have lost? He has thrown over 40 times in each, except for one, in which he threw 38.

The converse could be offered. With Romo out, the Boys lost two of three. I would counter with the fact that it is impossible for a quarterback who has dropped back deep into his forties to win a game, unless its against a team with which he won a Super Bowl.

Ever mindful of his gun-slinging persona, he tosses all sorts of junk just to get intercepted. With all of the talent around him, it might be safe to say that he's the best person on his team that needs to be in the game,Link but doesn't need to be depended to handle the ball.

Congrats, Tony. You're now in a category that is especially reserved for offensive linemen. Ouch.

Now Roethlisberger is a different animal, and don't kid yourself, he is in fact an animal. Prior to this season, this argument was much more sound, but it could be that Big Ben is actually developing into a decent player, despite massive brain damage, even prior to his segway accident that was covered up as a motorcycle accident. Big Ben make equilibrium go BOOM BOOM BOOM.

Prior to this season, the Steelers were a below .500 team when Roethlisberger passed over 25 times. When he passed under 25 times, he lost two. Two games? I'll take that to the bank, dog. Prior to this season, the motto should've been "Running backs, bring your A-game, or we'll trade you to Detroit."

Then, the unthinkable! Two running backs, Willie "Nilly!" Parker and Rashard "You've Been Zooked" Mendenhall, were down and out in the opening games, the Fightin Illini for the year. With a faulty offensive line and a running back who had his former training at a Foot Locker selling "ballin' Nikes" the task of dragging the Steelers kicking and screaming into prosperity lay at the large hoof of Roethelisberger.

He's done well, but let's not anoint this heaping mass, as made painfully clear in Nashville to the tune of two picks, five sacks and four fumbles, two of which were lost.Wahwahweewah. This year has been the exception rather than the rule, but I still think the point is valid: beware of Ben, Steely McBeam, the actual mascot of the Pittsburgh Steelers as of last year. You may not be the biggest dumbest thing on the field anymore.

Point of the story is simple: These teams can and likely will go to the playoffs, pending another game in Pennsylvania for one of the teams. But whether or not these teams do well or do anything at all in the playoffs is up to they the team, rather than these singular characters. If you happen to be a fan of either of these teams, let's hope the supporting cast shows up as well.

Monday Morning Shit Storm

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way (ha ha ha)
Bells on bobtails ring
Making spirits bright
(oh) What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing...


For several weeks I was trying to think of some epic shit storm for Christmas, but I realized there are way too many factors to cover in one question. So let's just consider this an open Shit Storm of sorts. I'll toss out some questions, but if you have anything to add go ahead and fire away in the comment section.

Opening presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?- Day all the way.
Favorite Christmas song? (non pop culture)- Carol of the Bells.
Favorite Christmas Song? (Pop culture)- Merry Christmas from the Family.
Real Tree or Fake Tree?- Real
Favorite Christmas cookie?- The peanut butter one with the Hershey kiss in the center.
Still believe in Santa? No. In second grade I figured that there wasn't one Santa and they worked like the postal service, where you would have regional Santa distribution centers, I also just figured he would show up at the door and your parents would pick them up. In third grade I saw my mom bring in my new Orvis Fly rod and I was like "Oh that's how it works."
Favorite Movie? (Classic) "A Christmas Story"
Least Favorite Movie? (Classic) "Miracle on 34th Street"
Favorite Movie? (Non Classic) Tie. "Home Alone" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."
Favorite Christmas food? Surprisingly...Ham.
Family Christmas Tradition? On Christmas Eve we go out in the woods and find mistletoe. If we can't reach it, we shoot it down with a .22.
Egg Nog, yes or no? A resounding yes.

This should get us started, but like I said just throw out some Christmas Spirit in the comment section.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Soccer Thoughts

Topic 1: Blacks and the English National Team

In 1978, Viv Anderson (pictured) became for first black player to suit up for the English National Team. (That's 31 years after Jackie Robinson and 32 after the NFL's integration.) That's mad slow for a country that likes to brag about abolishing slavery first. In 2001, England's Football Association (F.A.) issued a public statement, admitting that "it could have done more to combat the racism black football players faced as they sought to make their mark in the game over the past few decades." This a surprising statement for the FA, an organization famous for never accepting blame for anything, including for the recent downturn in the National Team's fortunes.

Last year England set a new standard in letting down the hopes of a nation when they failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 tournament. After which, aside from the players themselves, the biggest target for angry fans was the FA. Supporters complained that the association had not done enough to develop homegrown talent, also blaming the lack of transfer regulations in the English Premier League that allowing the influx of international players to push perfectly good English players out of top flight squads. That argument has a lot of holes. For one, the international influence is the reason the EPL is top-flight in the first place and arguably the best league in the world. Two, by all youth team indications, lack of available talent--particularly young talent-- is far from a crisis in England at the moment. The under-21 is currently one of the best in the world and almost boasts enough EPL starters and near-starters to field its own squad.

This all makes me question what football heads fully mean when they refer to "English" players. It's not a big leap to suggest that color is somewhere in the subtext. I'm a little bit obsessed of late with the new crop of young English talent, particularly the under-21 team, and frankly the biggest reason for this is that a pleasantly alarming number of them are black. In fact, of the players under 23 who've had and are expected to have the largest impact on the English National Team, present and future, I'd argue that the majority of them are black. The under-21 team, a serious contender to win it all in the upcoming U-21 World Cup, has no less than 10 black players either currently on the roster or in the mix of possible candidates.

From top to bottom, in the youth and senior national team ranks, at nearly every position, there's a promising young black player who could challenge for a starting spot over the course of the next 2 to 4 years. And several of them are still young enough for under-21 duty-- chiefly faster-than-lightning teen phenom Theo Walcott (think Tony Parker with an extra 70 yards of field to work with), Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor, stonecold central Manchester City defender Micah Richards, and another speedy winger, Tottenham's Aaron Lennon. (All three start for their respective club teams). After those, the next most likely to bust are big, silky Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone and Manchester United's next big thing (on loan to Tottenham) Fraizer Campbell, the barely legal total-package forward, whose name awesomely sounds like a heavyweight title fight. Add to that the quiver of slightly older players who are starting get National team shine-- the likes of Ledley King (the next likely heir to the central defender throne, post-Rio Ferdinand), Jermaine Jenas, Joleon Lescott (defender who can't stop scoring goals), Shaun Wright-Phillips (son of former great Ian Wright), and newly noticed right back Glen Johnson. And of course that doesn't include current stalwarts like Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, and newly reinstated no. 1 goalkeeper David James, who still have some years left.
[England Under-21 Squad]

That's a long roll call, and I won't pretend that any of that means anything to those more concerned with names like Tebow and Bradford. But, what it all boils down to is that, in the next five years, if a manager so desired, he could realistically field an internationally competitive, merit-warranted, all-black starting 11. I'm super interested to see what happens. The FA has talked a big game since their 2001 statement of guilt, and has been one of the leading public proponents of the anti-racism campaign in world football. But, words are just words, and racism is still magically and silently pervasive. Partly because of how blatantly they (namely former manager Glenn Hoddle) robbed my man Andy Cole back in the '90s (for which I blame this) and partly due to the fact that soccer managers are increasingly susceptible to top-brass pressure as they have about as much job security as stock brokers these days, I just have the distinct feeling that as the prospect of a field populated by more and more dark faces gets closer, scrutiny of black players' performance will get tighter and many won't get their fair shake.

It all sounds a little conspiratorial, but the notion is not without supporting evidence. As recently as January of 2004, the Guardian's Vivek Chaundhary reported that an unnamed former manager (popular speculation says it was Graham Taylor) “alleged that during his tenure he was told by senior FA officials not to pick too many black players," claiming "that he was called into an office where two senior FA officials were present and they told him that his England team should be made up of predominantly white footballers.” I've been suspicious of such quota-mandering since forever; that's just how I am. But, even I was taken aback at the brazenness of what that suggests.

That being said, England clearly fields the most black players in Europe in international play, aside from France. But, the world soccer scene is changing. Every year more black players attract bigger transfer fees and end the year on the medium-to-shortlist for league, European, and World players of the year. Is England ready to be like France; field a team almost entirely of African descent? France's recent World Cup record and the recent spike in world-class football in Africa suggest that maybe they and a bunch of other teams should look into it. Regardless, I don't think that the FA should start patting their backs just yet. The real test of how colorblind they're willing be is coming soon.

Football Season

In light of my severely lacking contribution up to this point, I'm gonna refrain from responding to the previous post on soccer. Instead, I'm just gonna get into it. I have three soccer channels with my cable package. I haven't really watched anything else for the past 3 months, so my next few posts are gonna be strictly footy--accumulated musings, opinions, and shout-outs. I know it's football/bowl season, and most don't have the interest or tv channels to find this personally relevant. But, it's also football season, and I don't care what you like.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Afternoon Fun Bag!

If you find yourself second guessing your sanity when viewing the regular installment of the Friday Afternoon Fun Bag juxtaposed against the non-conventional author of the aforementioned Bag of Fun, guess again. You're sane, and stuff just got weird.

So weird in fact, that Icehouse's boy Jimmie got a little hammered, and then took an exotic vacation with his main squeeze, Terry. It looks like stuff was getting very exotic, indeed.

I'm subbing in for the Icehouse while he's TCB: Taking Care of Bidness.

But I don't want to bore you with pleasantries; let's get to the Fun Bag.

Everyone knows Steve Nash is good. I'm a below-average basketball fan, and even I know that Kanuck can ball. But Steve Nash is also funny. This has been proven in the past, and has been proven as of late as well. Way to go, Honky.

I don't mind Chad Ocho Cinco's antics. I really don't. My one request is that your antics be more than just antics and be genuinely hilarious, as well as original. Ocho Cinco? Meet Stylez G. White. Stylez: 1 - Chad: 0.

I'm fairly certain this has already been FAFB'ed, but with the Holidays nigh, and with many of our friends travelling to The Sunshine State, I felt it appropriate to bring it up again. Oh, the timeless classics; they don't make them like they used to.

Word on the street is that they're making a G.I. Joe movie. These are pretty old, but it would behoove the producers of said film to attempt to make them as close to these cartooned shorts as possible. If you like to laugh, watch these multiple times in a row.

I also suggest googling them and finding more. They too are timeless classics.

And if you're wondering what Maury's up to these days, just ask this guy. Whatever it is, he's pretty pumped about it.

And to close, a Joe Homer shout out. God, Arkansas, you can't help but fulfill the stereotypes that justly plague my every move outside your borders.

Jim Bob was also a state representative, as well as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. I bet he thinks it's cool to be in People Magazine.

So that's it. I did my best. And I think I did alright. So have a good weekend folks. Have some Christmas cheer. Get some Egg Nog. Seriously, it's delicious.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

CFB Bowl Blowout

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Bowl season.

Here's how it's going to go down. 1. I'm going to give you my pick for who I want to win. 2. Who I think will win. 3. A short analysis.

Let's preview this shit. (Non BCS bowls through the 26th) all times EST.

December 20th

Eagle Bank Bowl 11 am (ESPN) Navy V Wake Forest
Fan Pick-
Navy, I've been to the forest of Wake, and there is some serious flavor deficiency, many bro's, cake eaters, jockfaces etc.
Real Pick-Wake
This is a very intriguing match up. For starters the two teams played earlier this year with Navy coming out on top 24-17. Wake's offense blows this year, but in that game they had like 500 turnovers. (Actually I think Skinner had 4 picks) Another intriguing factor is the fact that coach Grobes has ties to the flexbone, he coached at Air Force during their flex/wishbone days. He should know how to stop it. Plus if you really think about it, even with the turnovers, they did hold the Midshipman to 24 points. I think Wake wins, but I really don't want them to.

New Mexico Bowl 2:30 pm (ESPN) Fresno State V Colorado State
Fan Pick-
Fresno State, Pat Hill has a sweet stache.
Real Pick-Colorado State
Pat Hill always does well in bowl games, and Fresno played a killer schedule. Hill was up for the Washington Job, but withdrew his name, so the distraction factor should be minimal. CSU first year coach, Steve Fairchild will have to prepare for his first bowl game as a header. My confidence level is pretty low on this one, but CSU played well in the pretty damn hard MWC, including competitive games against TCU and Utah. at the end of the day it was a coin flip between logic and the stache, I chose logic. I'll probably regret it.

MagicJack St. Petersburg 4:30 pm (ESPN 2) South Florida V Memphis
Fan Pick- Dirty Memphis
Real Pick- USF
Yeah so this is pretty much a home game for USF, it's a 30 minute drive, no need for mapquest. The Bulls really underachieved this year, but they're still better than the Tigers. Memphis has the edge offensively, boasting a 1000+ rusher in Curtis Steele and a 2000+ passer in Arkelon Hall, both JUCO's. The USF offense consists of...Matt Grothe, who is the leading rusher and passer. USF went 2-5 in the Big East, but minus the Rutgers beatdown they lost the other 4 games by a combined 27 points. The Bulls had some bad luck down the stretch, but some home cookin' should flip that Karma.

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl 8 pm (ESPN) (17) BYU V Arizona
Fan Pick- Mormons
Real Pick- BYU
Mormons is Vegas!!! BYU has a sick sick offense, but their defense is also decent. They're giving up 21 points a game, which is respectable. Arizona also has a good offense, and their defense is also giving up 21 points a game. How do I know BYU will win? BYU won't be distracted by Vegas. Affliction University will.

December 21st

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl 8:15 pm (ESPN) Troy V Southern Miss
Fan Pick-
Uhhhhh Southern Miss?
Real Pick- Troy
I'm pretty sure I'll be watching the NFL on the 21st. Troy has done well this year even after losing OC Tony Franklin to Auburn. Statistically speaking, both teams are fairly even on both sides of the ball. However, Troy has had a much tougher schedule and performed admirably. Troy played at Ohio State, at OK State, and nearly beat LSU in the Bayou. their only other loss was a 31-30 battle at Louisiana Monroe. Southern Miss played at Auburn (hahahaha) and Boise. Troy impressed me this year, they get the nod.

December 23rd

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl 8 pm (ESPN) Boise State V TCU

Fan Pick-
Boise, I was on the bandwagon in 03.
Real Pick- Daaaamn I have no clue....TCU? I think?
This is easily the best non-BCS matchup in this year's bowl schedule. Boise, the undefeated WAC champion against the two loss Horned Frogs. (Again from the difficult MWC, and keep in mind the two losses were at Utah and Oklahoma, both BCS teams) Boise's offense is always solid and they roll into Saint Diego with the 12th ranked scoring offense but this was all achieved against shitty competition. In fact the only stand out win was against...Oregon. But here is the big kicker, while Boise's defense is statistically ranked higher, TCU is nasty on D. I hate stats and so do the TCU defenders. Horned Frogs win.

December 24th

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl 8 pm (ESPN) Hawaii V Notre Dame
Fan Pick-
What do you think?
Real Pick- Hawaii
It's a home game for Hawaii. Notre Dame Sucks. Furthermore, the Irish have not won a bowl game since 1993. If you would like to know what has happened since Notre Dame won a bowl please contact Icehouse. Seriously though, it's a home game and Hawaii is better.

December 26th

Motor City Bowl 7:30 pm (ESPN) FAU V Central Michigan
Fan Pick-
Central Michigan
Real Pick- Central Michigan
QB Dan Lefevour is pretty solid. MAC > Sun Belt. It's in Michigan. That's about it.

Ok we'll have the rest of the non-BCS bowls up later

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Caption Contest!

"You gotta hook me up with your dad's dealer, man, that stuff was the BOMB!"


"It's because you miss layups, that's why I don't pass to you."


"For the last time, it was CONSENSUAL! The court in Colorado said so, too. What else do I have to do to prove it to you?"

Do better in these captions, and you may be in the running for a prize.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Titans RB LenDale White Banned From Every Nashville Buffet

Apparently in Nashville, when it rains, it pours.

The AFC South Champion Tennessee Titans, after losing to the Houston Texans and losing salty defensive veterans Albert "Now MY Face Hurts, Isn't That Ironic?!" Haynesworth and Kyle "Hail Austria!" Vanden Bosch for the remainder of the regular season. With offensive leader Kerry Collins overthrowing all of his seemingly nameless receivers, the defense in a rebuilding process, and Jeff Fisher now sporting a goatee instead of a mustache, a lot of the Titans' success rests of the Thunder and Flash combination of LenDale White and rookie Chris Johnson.

Now it seems the yeoman's share of the work between the running backs will be carried primarily by Johnson.

LenDale White and the Nashville Police Department have informed Coach Fisher and the Titans organization that White has been banned from any and all buffets in Davidson County. His mugshot will be placed in the foyers and front doors of all restaurants that have any kind of all-you-can eat, cattle call, come-and-get-its, seconds-and-thirds-on-us, food trough, and cafeteria locations in the Nashville area, and local police forces have been notified to detain White by any means necessary, most likely involving the Ole Turkey Leg on a String maneuver, or some variation thereof.

According to sources, White has been flirting with this with this disastrous fate since his days in Southern California as a USC Trojan. But while the free spirited environment of SoCal may have disguised White's eating habits, but upon being drafted by the Titans and setting up shop in Nashvegas, his habits were better documented and closely scrutinized.

In 2006, LenDale White was arrested for loitering, disturbing the peace, and theft after an incident at a Shoney's near downtown Nashville. White had to be pulled away by a security guard, two fry cooks and a bus boy from the Satruday All-You-Care-to-Eat Buffet. Shoney's spokesman Andy Griffith said the display was appalling, atrocious and down-right gut wrenchin'.

The Ming, Chinese Kitchen, Chinese King, and Chinese Super Buffet all have recorded incidents between 2006 and 2008 resulted in all sorts of calamity in the streets of Davidson County of the Ninja/Samurai variety. Michael Bay has picked up the tab for the millions of dollars worth of damage done to the Nashville buildings and sidewalks, and is using the photo footage for the new Transformers movie, due out in 2009. It is still under investigation of whether or not the pummeled body of Shia LaBeouf had anything to do with this incident, as many think they young punk might've just had it coming for cutting in front of LenDale. Sounds like an open and shut case to this guy.

The final straw came between the Old and New Country Buffets, popular on Sunday afternoons following church dismissals in Nashville.

White arrived at the New Country Buffet, widely known for both its steak and its sizzle, has a popular Sunday lunch special. Unfortunately, they did not have a full lunch buffet, rather a two-for-one steak deal with an unlimited salad bar. It was the Old Country Buffet that, in fact, had the full buffet, and unfortunately for the staff and guests of both of the Country Buffets, LenDale was unsatisfied.

White ate the entirety - food, people, wood, nuts and bolts - of both restaurants, the Old and New Country Buffets. This event was overshadowed by the presidential election of Barack Obama, so few people heard about it. It was only discovered by mainstream America several weeks later, as White pooped out the roughly eight tons of sheer wreckage that he had been carrying in his bowels. What is less remarkable than the pooping, was that no one noticed the added weight in the first place.

White has been put on house arrest by the team and will be fed a steady diet of Big Mac's, Whoppers and Baconators in order to keep him satisfied enough to not attempt to eat his own legs and arms.

Pseudo Caption Contest

Ok first read this. Courtesy of the New York Daily News.

"Which professional athlete talks dirty in the third person? Many of his A-list conquests have had to endure "Yeah, [blank] likes it like that!"

Now on to the rules:

Has to be an athlete.

Have to use third person.

If you use something like "Roger" please designate which Roger.

And of course we want it to be funny.


"Annnnnd Kobe takes it to the hole."

(Thanks to Deadspin, Sports Crackle Pop, and of course, The New York Daily News)

Monday, December 15, 2008

GRH Book Club: He Got Game

"Basketball is like poetry in motion, cross the guy to the left, take him back to the right, he's fallin' back, then just J right in his face. Then you look at him and say, 'What?'"
-Jesus Shuttlesworth

Anybody who has been around me for an extended period of time knows that this is my favorite movie of all time. While I could talk for hours about it, I'll try to break down for you, dear reader, as concisely as possible, a few reasons why this movie endears itself to me.

The movie starts with a montage of basketball being played all over America by everybody. Young, old, black, white, in urban playgrounds and Midwestern cornfields. Simply by stating that, one could make a convincing argument that basketball is the most American of sports. It's a simple enough concept, and all you need is a ball and a hoop. You can dribble and shoot by yourself, play one-on-one with a friend or stranger, anything.

The cast is phenomenal. Of course Denzel Washington is something of a living legend these days, and he brings his A game to this movie. Normally pro athletes aren't great actors, regardless of how often they try, but there are several in this movie that are extremely convincing of their roles. Obviously the main character, Jesus Shuttlesworth, is played by Ray Allen (who, at the time, was a heralded UConn product in his second year with the Milwaukee Bucks). His character is of the utmost complexity, and he pulls it off. The whole movie hinges on his doing this, as the central conflict in the movie is Jake (Denzel) reconnecting with his son, Jesus, trying to earn his forgiveness. The real difficulty is that along the way, Jesus must navigate his way through all of the pitfalls that come with living in poverty and being the best high school basketball player in the country.

The list doesn't end there. Travis Best is great as Sip Rogers, Jim Brown plays quite the menacing Parole Officer Spivey, and of course, Rick Fox plays the wackiest guy in the world as Chick Deagan. I would have partied with him every night if I went to Big State.

Not to mention dozens of cameos ranging from announcers, coaches, current and former players, guys that never made it, and Michael Jordan's three words: "He got game."

As far as sports being played in the movie, there is an assortment of the best hoops being played in a fictional movie. It's well-shot, well-edited, and performed by people that are professionals at doing it. No stunt doubles needed. My one gripe is, and always is, that Denzel has no game. I'm not sure why movies about basketball somehow always feature a central character with a broke-ass shot (see: Snipes, Wesley and Harrelson, Woody in White Men Can't Jump).

The soundtrack is mostly an original Public Enemy album. The title track, "He Got Game" is a fantastic song about life in general, set over a sample of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," and belongs in every iTunes library. That said, when the basketball is being played, the London Symphony Orchestra takes over, which works out magnificently. The pick-up game in a housing project playground is set to Aaron Copland's "Hoe-down" (of Beef, It's What's For Dinner fame). It might be the music, it might be the hoops being played, it might be John Wallace proclaiming, "I got hops! I got hops!" while raising the roof, but the scene is among my favorites of all time.

Finally, there's Jesus and Booger's ride in Big Time Willy's Mercedes convertible. Of course, it's one of the most memorable scenes, being three minutes of Spike Lee lunacy. It includes a couple of homicides, heroin injected, crack smoked, craps played, and hardcore pornography. BUT! In my most recent viewing, during Big Time's discussion on 'bloodsucking leeches,' I noticed a younger Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield in The Wire) with one line, asking for money so he can get some new Nikes and a Hilfiger sweater. My mind exploded. I guess I was always laughing so hard at the puertoriqueño sister saying, "I need some pampers for my baby. I need some Dolce and Gabanna for me. I need some Chanel (pronounced, 'Channel')."

Don't put this movie on your Netflix queue, don't rent it. Buy it. Today.

Monday Morning Shit Storm

Let's get serious for a second.

Last week got me thinking. As I sat there and read/listened to all of the Cowboy drama, I wondered to myself, is ESPN good for sports?

I mean on the pro side, ESPN is a straight superpower, which means that there is always something sports related on any of their 24 hour stations. I'm not going to lie it's nice watching football 7 days a week.

However, on the flip side look at what ESPN was and what it has become. As a kid I used to wake up 30 minutes earlier than I had to just to watch Sportscenter and all of it's witty glory. Eggs, bacon, and Dan Patrick. (yes even that pompous ass Olbermann) That was the life.

Now we're exposed to team assclown. The biggest thing that pisses me off about Sportscenter is all the hyped bullshit. The older 30 minute version was 90% highlights and 10% dry humor. Now we have the Bud Light/Coors Light/Live Free and Die hard hotseat. I think the breaking point for me was the "Who's Now" segment where the WWL constructed a tournament which would determine the coolest athlete in the world. (Honorable mention: The time they declared the 05 USC Trojans the greatest team in the history of College know a week before they lost to the UT Vince Young's)

Which brings me to another point. Instead of making you think, ESPN tells you what to think. Just look at the Heisman Trophy, do you really think Bradford is the best football player in the country? Maybe you do, but I bet you didn't even consider a guy like Shonn Greene who is averaging 144 per game. What about Nate Davis? Brian Orakpo? Andre Smith? Do you know who they are?

However, there is still hope. Guys like Jason Whitlock, and really most of the blogs out there, are making fans think.

Ok let's start the revolution.

Shit Storm begin.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Ok first off, Auburn are you serious?


Over Turner Gill?

This reeks of dumb ass on so many levels, but here is the best example. Every year I wait for the day the Phil Steele magazine comes out. It's easily the most accurate college football preview out there. Anyway, every year I open up the magazine and flip to see who's number one, following that I check out to the back of the magazine to look at the worst team in the country. I don't have specific numbers, but I'm pretty sure Buffalo was there 96% of the time. Definitely bottom five. That is, until Turner Gill became head coach. It's a hyperbole, but what Gill was able to accomplish at that institute is nothing short of remarkable, yet Auburn decides to go with a guy who is 5-19 as a head coach.


I really don't want to think this is just good ole' boys being good' ole' boys, but it probably is.

Which is why I can respect this response:

Next in fansanity, The Cowboys.

Evidently T.O had his feelings hurt because he's not getting enough attention. Go figure. Either way, Ed Werder broke the initial story, and one Cowboy fan was pissed.

Now this is funny, but it is also crazy. I hate many members of the media, but I don't think I would take time out of my day to heckle them. I mean that's what GRH is for.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Afternoon Fun Bag!


Ok! So, we went a little weird there for a little, but I'm here to set the record straight (GET IT?). The Ghost of Roy Hobbs, while fully supporting alternative lifestyles and personal freedom, in no way advocates kissing of other men, by us.

That out of the way, WOOOO! Friday, muhfuckas! The hell you say? Yes! Yes I like beer! Let's get this party started.

So, Christmas is just around the corner, and as well all know, Santa Claus is always making his list. Price of coal being what it is, though, this year, he has something different to cram into stockings.

So anyways, we are big supporters of Title IX and all that, we definitely always show love to our sisters in the athletic world. Some more than others, though.

At Lattimer's request, here's this guy. As much as I like Jermaine, well...
/Smacks forehead

We all know how much we love commercials with athletes. While everyone has undoubtedly seen this one before, it bears mentioning. Fate.

Two gay dudes adopted a lion and raised it. Pretty sweet.

It's now getting pretty darn cold, and virtually all ski resorts in North America are now open. Which means it's time to strap on the planks and set world records.

Alright. It's go time. Make it fucking happen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NFL: The Year of the Dong

At least I didn't have to live through this.

Well, it's a fitting time to put this out there anyways, what with how homoerotic this site has been this week. I mean, an open thread about soccer being gay, a gay pose caption contest, AND an article about the SEC? I think we all can agree that the writers here need to put down the Cosmos (magazine) and the cosmos (drink) and get back to the manliness that this site was founded on.

Just kidding, I'm going to talk about penises.

If you're like me, you've noticed a few more NFL penises have been making their way into the public eye this year. Not like we've been looking for them or anything...
Let me start over.

The internet and television has found three NFL players' penises this year. Some were put there on purpose (Santonio Holmes), some were accidental (Visanthe Shiancoe), and some were borderline anonymous (Chris Cooley). They were all male sex organs, though.

What's up with this? Well, there's an element of stupidity in all three. Santonio took a picture of himself full frontal nude, and put it on the internet. Chris Cooley took a picture of a painting he had just done, and didn't notice that there were elements of himself in the picture, and Fox was stupid enough to go into a room, the sole purpose of which is for men to change clothes, with live cameras rolling.

It started out funny enough, I mean Cooley just wanted to give everybody a picture of his new painting. But it's getting ridiculous. This is worse than that Abu Ghraib shit, when you couldn't turn on the TV or look at a newspaper without seeing an ugly chick standing next to a pile of naked dudes. Shit was gross.

The internet is bound to be the place where everything captured on a camera phone is going to go first, but let's be sensible, please? If you're going to put naked pictures of yourself on the web, have the decency to make people pay for them. If you don't want naked pictures of yourself on the web, don't take them yourself. Fox, show some goddamn sense.


Now, I love to play soccer, but I've been saying this for 23 years an....

You know what, this is like fishing in a pay pond.
Just leave some comments.
Don't hate, or we'll ban your ass.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Caption Contest!

"If that is your opinion, then I demand that you step over here and breakdance as well!"


"You wanna hit this too?"


"Alright, but let me play leap-frog a little more and then I'll throw the ball in."

Keep it clean, y'all. Drop a caption in the comment section.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SEC: How Good Do You Really Want Your Coaches To Be?

The SEC is well known for practically breeding some of the biggest, fastest and strongest athletes in the country, and annually present more NFL-caliber players than any other conference in the country. The pedigree of the SEC athletes is renowned, and subsequently, the SEC itself is renowned as well.

If it's all about the players, then why is this coaching carousel getting to be at breakneck speeds, tossing bodies, pride, and egos left, right and every which way? Sure, everyone in the SEC wants that mold of Bear Bryant, or that Steve Spurrier type. In fact, one SEC school is still searching for that Steve Spurrier type even after hiring Steve Spurrier.

But let's face it, folks; those days are gone. With the very notable exception of PSU's Joe Paterno and FSU's Bobby Bowden, there really are very few truly tenured coaches in college football, and even fewer in the SEC. Jim Tressel at Ohio State, Mack Brown at Texas, maybe Pete Carroll in Southern California, if the NFL doesn't eventually lure him away. The SEC's most tenured coach? Bobby Johnson at Vanderbilt in his eighth season. Not to take away from the accomplishments of 2008 for the Commodores, but that leaves the cream of the crop being very fresh.

The most tenured coaches of this past season, Tennessee's Phil Fulmer and Auburn's Tommy Tuberville, with 17 and 10 season's respectively, no longer have jobs. Run out by single-season disappointments, the faces of those organizations are a kid from Oakland and Who Knows for the Tigers?

Success seems to be a dangerous accolade these days. Three notable coaches who had marked success have been shown the door, or made their exit before it was made for them.

Hitting close to home, Houston Dale Nutt excused himself from the University of Arkansas days after upsetting No. 1 LSU, and just one year removed from being the SEC coach of the year, not to mention an SEC Western divisional title.

His new home in Oxford, MS boasts a team with a winning record as well as a Cotton Bowl bid, and had it not been for that show-off in Tuscaloosa, AL, Nutt would've captured his second Coach of the Year award in three years.

Phil Fulmer's team rallied from early disappointments in 2007 to represent the East in the SEC Championship last year. Of course, while many thought Georgia was more deserving (and they probably were), the all-mighty tie-breaker left the Bulldogs in the doghouse and let the Volunteers play. But it seems a national championship and SEC championship honors aren't bulletproof, and Fulmer's dynasty ended in mid-season.

Rocky Top is left with former Oakland Raider coach Lane Kiffin, who despite glitz and glamor being associated with his name, has very little to show for it by way of head coaching victories or experience.

In a yet another strike against convention and a painful strike against the dwindling numbers of the already sparse number of minority coaches, Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom is out after four years as head coach, a position for which he was awarded Coach of the Year by the SEC.

While his overall record may not be as impressive as his contemporaries, last year seems like more of a distant memory than it should be, especially considering the obvious and vast improvements to the football program in Starkville.

If this is the new convention, what do we say of the youngbloods who are currently steering the SEC heavyweights Alabama, Florida, and...LSU? Are we saying that following a scary trend where a coach like Les Miles, who last year won a national championship, may begin the 2009 season on the hot seat following a late-season collapse in 2008?

Are the SEC schools so driven by megalomania that they think they should - and will - find someone better? I haven't seen a houndstooth hat recently, but I've seen a large hat being worn by a successful coach at LSU. If a national title is two whopping years away or two years in the past, does that warrant termination?

The answer may not be yes, but fewer and fewer people would be surprised if the answer were no.