It’s time for another one of our patented Dubsism comparisons with another gem we found over at Listverse. As the title suggests, we found a list of ten books that literally defy explanation, until you realize the sports world is full of figure who could have easily written such strange stuff.
10) How to Abandon Ship – Written by Phil Richards and John J. Banigan
Apparently, getting off a sinking ship is more complicated than you’d think! First published in 1938, this novel little volume was written from the voice of experience since one of its authors was forced by the Nazis to abandon the Robin Moor before they torpedoed it in 1941. While the authors do discuss the necessity of departing one’s ship in an orderly fashion due to a variety of circumstances, they also explore concepts like buoyancy and open sea boatmanship. Just in case you thought jumping off was a matter of counting three and hoping for the best, give this informative survival guide a try if you have any plans to go sailing.
Could Have Been Written By: Bobby Petrino
Honestly, who knows more about jumping ship than Petrino? He bailed on Louisville, then bailed on the Atlanta Falcons before the season was even over, then bailed on his wife which ultimately got him tossed over overboard at Arkansas.
9) Gangsta Rap Coloring Book – Written by Anthony “Aye Jay” Moreno
Many adults do enjoy coloring and this is certainly a selection better suited to a grown-up than a kid since it features a cover-size gun, well, right on the cover. Many of hip-hop’s most memorable and, indeed, colorful rappers are depicted by thick black illustrations that await the bold hand of an artist. Biggie dares you to color him pink. Thugs to some and musical superstars to many, these rappers will have you sharpening your kids’ Crayolas in no time (see bizarre book selection #3 for assistance). Since this book was published in 2004, copies are still widely available from venues like Amazon.com.
Could Have Been Written By: Ron Artest
While not an exact match, it isn’t hard to imagine that a guy just enough off-center to pen a rap shout-out to his therapist might be the same guy to make a gangsta coloring book. It makes about as much sense as celebrating an NBA Championship with a song written long before Artest joined the Lakers.
8 ) The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices – Written by Brenda Love
This book might stifle conversations as much as it starts them depending on who you invite over. In general, this is not mother-in-law material, so hide it from the coffee table when she visits. With 700 entries that include everything from love potions to the most unusual sexual practices on earth, this book does contain and portray some highly unusual stuff that is not for the faint of heart. Anyone interested in the bizarre or, at least, highly unusual practices of humans will be both shocked and entertained to learn what floats some people’s boats when it comes to sexuality.
Could Have Been Written By: Rex Ryan
7) Urine Therapy! Confessions of a Mad Pee Drinker - Written by P.P. Powers
One would expect this to be a joke book given the pseudonym of the author, but urine drinking for health benefits is a real concept and this isn’t the only book devoted to it – just the one with the best title, book jacket, and personal reflections. Published in 2007, this intriguing “self-improvement” book, as described by its own author, suggests that drinking one’s own urine over a period of time can cure chronic ailments. The author describes his own experiences drinking “midstream morning urine” and how the practice cured his depression, fatigue, dandruff, irritable bowel syndrome, bad skin and fibromyalgia (many readers will be wondering if he’s on Match.com). According to P.P., the fountain of youth may truly be inside each and every one of us.
Could Have Been Written By: Ray Lewis
In a world full of performance-enhancing drugs, Lewis is claiming to have found a fountain of youth in some unknown vegetable juice concoction. I’m not casting any aspersions here, but I’ve always been suspicious of “miracle” diets and vitamin supplements…especially ever since the Jim Carrey Juice Weasel.
6) Manifold Destiny – Written by Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller
It’s true that twenty-first century vehicles are far better insulated than twentieth century cars, making this a nearly-obsolete cookbook unless you have a vintage car – probably anything pre-1990. On the other hand, if your engine runs hot, this cookbook is still in print and filled with many great recipes that you can make right on your car engine. Ideal for traveling cooks who don’t mind cooking with fumes, this book covers one-of-kind cookery. One reviewer maintained that engines steam everything and always leave his vegetables al dente, but if you can discover the knack of this vehicular art, you’ll never have to pull into a greasy roadside diner again! You can crank open your hood and run your own!
Could Have Been Written By: Prince Fielder
Prince’s dad traveled everywhere…Toronto, Detroit, Japan, New York. Prince has logged a few lies himself between Milwaukee and Detroit. You would think a couple of big guys putting on some big miles might have tried a manifold burger at some point…especially since I never swallowed that “Prince Fielder is a vegetarian” twaddle.
5) Natural Bust Enlargement – Written by Donald L. Wilson
Published by the Total Mind Power Institute in 1979, this book takes the “I think I can, I think I can” concept to a surprising new level. One must assume that there might be a few glitches contained in this highly unusual do-it-yourself book or the cosmetic surgery industry wouldn’t be booked quite so solid with breast enhancement appointments. As an odd publication, it does, however, have its place in lists of bizarre books. Kudos to the book’s cover, as well.
Could Have Been Written By: Morganna, The Kissing Bandit
Obviously, there’s two reasons why Morganna is the choice for authoring this book.
4) If We Can Keep a Severed Head Alive – Written by Chet Fleming
Published in 1988, this book also contains the author and inventor’s patent for a device that keeps the head of a mammal alive. A considerable portion of this book provides an explanation as to why this inventor, who is also a practicing attorney, devised a patent he says he does not intend to use. It’s unclear as to whether or not Fleming advocates the practice of keeping severed heads alive or simply wants to explore the possibilities that the marvels of science and technology may provide in the future.
Could Have Been Written By: Dick Vitale
Honestly, has there been a better example of a severed head being kept needlessly alive that Dickie V?
3) How to Sharpen Pencils – Written by David Rees
If you’ve ever lamented that you stuck your pencil into a cheap twenty-five-cent plastic sharpener – those children’s gadgets that break more tips than they sharpen – this book is for you! Painstakingly crafted and nearly exhaustive in its coverage of an unusual subject, this author treats pencil sharpening seriously and, upon reading it, you’ll take it more seriously, too. Witty and informative, this highly irregular volume may seem bizarre unless you happen to be sitting there with a broken pencil and are unsure how to best sharpen it for use again.
Could Have Been Written By: Vince Young
Anybody with a Wonderlic score of 6 obviously is a dumb ass who might need a step-by-step to sharpen a pencil.
2) C is for Chafing – Written by Mark Remy
A child’s alphabet book of running, this strange little book and its correspondingly disturbing cover is about the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly sides of running. The title, of course, simply dares the onlooker to open this book up and give it a whirl, but some of the subject matter, like vomiting after a race, is about as gross a topic as that covered in Walter the Farting Dog: Banned from the Beach by William Kotzwinkle, an honorable mention and runner up for this list of bizarre books.
Could Have Been Written By: Olympic Speedwalkers
If that walking motion doesn’t give you a chafing problem, then it doing with a load in your shorts must guarantee a dose of “fire crotch.”
1) Gadsby – Written by Ernest Vincent Wright
It’s unclear what the author had against this most popular of vowels when he wrote this novel of constrained writing, but there is, indeed, no trace of this letter in the work. Considering all the English verbs that require the –ed ending, this is a remarkable, albeit bizarre, achievement. This self-published work is a highly collectible book in spite of its unusual treatment of a popular letter. Published in 1939, this odd novel is perfectly readable and contains a reasonable plot, proving that the letter “e” is not as e-ssential as one might have thought.
Could Have Been Written By: Former Baltimore Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick
Not only does his name also have no “e” in it, he won a Super Bowl with no “O.”
Maybe because he hasn’t been caught with a mistress half his age whom he put on the university payroll?
Well, not yet, anyway.
Yeah, you read the headline correctly. The University of Arkansas, in a continuing quest to succeed in football despite itself hired John L. Smith, former Michigan State mediocrity-meister to replace the disgraced Bobby Petrino.
John L. Fucking Smith.
This hire may set records for completely not making sense, ironically because it does make some sense. You may have to follow me closely to catch the pretzel Arkansas logic in play here.
Let’s talk about the parts that sort of make sense. Arkansas through a funky set of circumstances found itself in need of a football coach at a time when most other programs are in the midst spring practices, and John L. Smith is a a football coach. Not only is Smith a coach, he just so happened to be an assistant coach on the Arkansas staff some years back. If you only look at those points, then this hire almost…almost makes sense.
But looking at this hire with that filter is like calling a Kardashian “attractive” without seeing what they look like without the trowels full of makeup required to make them look human.
The fact is rather simple. John L. Smith sucks as a football coach. Why do you think the only place he could get a job was at middle-of-nowhere Weber State? Yeah, he wrapped getting that job in the usual bullshit about coming home to coach his alma mater; Smith gushed about leading Weber State to the national championship with “I’ve always had a place in my heart for Weber State.” I’ll come back to this; right now I want to focus on Smith’s suckitude as a football coach.
He’s 1-6 in bowl games, and has never taken a team to a bowl game better than the Alamo Bowl, which he lost with Michigan State. His record in “big conference football” is pretty dismal, especially if you remember that I don’t count Louisville and the Big East as “big conference football” because it isn’t. At Michigan State, John L. racked up a 22-26 record – 12-20 in conference play – and had the aforementioned Alamo Bowl loss to show for four seasons in East Lansing.
Here’s a question: Was this hire a panic move because Gus Malzahn wouldn’t return Arkansas’ phone calls or did Arkansas wait until they found a guy who could be as much of a douche-nozzle as Bobby Petrino?
Oops, did I let the “P” word slip, Hawg fans? Well, it’s time a for a bitter pill to swallow in Woo-Pig-Sooie land. The problem in your football program may be bigger than the head coach…it may be time to look at your athletic director Jeff Long.
Long is the guy who hired Petrino, and did so knowing he was stealing a coach away from a prior commitment in the middle of a season. Long is also the guy who put the “P-word’s” mistress on the university payroll. Long is the guy who threw the “P-word” under the bus only after his douchebaggery became public knowledge. And now Long hired John L. Smith.
Look at the track record here…First you have the “P-word,” who has left a snail trail everywhere he’s been. Even before the discovery of his university-paid bimbo, Petrino secretly interviewed in midseason Louisville for the Auburn job, a move intended to stab his friend Tommy Tuberville in the back. All through his career, he has always flirted for other jobs, including ditching the Atlanta Falcons in mid-season at Jeff Long’s behest. The “Long” and short of it is that Bobby Petrino is a bad guy; so bad that ultimately even winning wouldn’t cover for what a bad guy he is.
Now, let’s go back to John L. and his alma mater. He made such a big deal out of being “back home,” yet skipped town in the midst of spring practice season the minute the phone rang. That makes it pretty clear this guy’s words means as much as something you might scrape off the sidewalk, which also makes it pretty clear Long has replaced one douchebag with another.
Don’t get me wrong here, I understand that coaches bail on teams all the time; I’m not “Polly-Anna” enough to buy that there’s any loyalty in college football. But just because everybody is a douchebag doesn’t mean you have to be one as well. I know Weber State isn’t even in the same universe with Arkansas. I know Weber State isn’t in the BCS. But I also know Weber State is John L.’s alma mater, and he’s the one who gave us the “Oh, it’s so great to be back home” sap-fest.
What utter bullshit.
John L. skulked out of town perfectly Petrino-like after filling us with such twaddle about his “alma mater.” Never mind he hasn’t even coached a single game at Weber State. Never mind all he did was coach the spring scrimmage game. Never mind that now we know John L.’s word means less than nothing. What matters is as convoluted as this all is, it still doesn’t make sense while making sense.
We know Petrino was a guy with no honor or loyalty. We know Jeff Long is the sort of guy who hires guys with no loyalty or honor. We know that because John L. is also a guy with no loyalty or honor and Jeff Long hired him.
Forget about how Long got down to John L. Smith’s name on his list. Forget that to replace Petrino, Long first wanted the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll, who left Southern California months before the NCAA could hammer Carroll’s Trojan handy-work with the harshest football sanctions since Southern Methodist got the “death penalty.” Forget that Sean Payton, the same suspended Saints sideline man who is balls-deep into his own scandal, was rumored to be on Long’s list. You can even forget that Jeff Long is clearly a terrible judge of character.
What matters is that Long knew John L. Smith would never turn down this job. He knew this because like the “P-word,” John L. has a track record. Don’t forget this is the very John L. who left Louisville for Michigan State literally during a game. Louisville was playing Marshall in the GMAC Bowl when the news broke that Smith had taken the Michigan State job. John L. was standing on the Cardinals’ sideline, as cameras caught his players learning during the game their coach wouldn’t even be on the team flight home that night.
Now for the twist. This isn’t even a “real” job offer; John L. is only getting the gig on an “interim” basis. This makes Long’s knowing John L. would never turn down his offer all that much more important. Long needed a coach and he knew John L.’s song and dance was so much bullshit that he would ditch the “sanctity of his alma mater” to be a fucking temp…
This brings us back to what and what doesn’t make sense. The personalities of Petrino, Long and John L. clearly fit; there’s something to be said for building your own den of thieves. But I may be waiting a long time before somebody can make sense out the expectation of having football program run by John L. Smith.
Over the past few weeks, there have been two issues that really chapped my ass. I’ve been trying to just let them go, but then I realized I’m a blogger; it’s my non-paying job to bitch about stuff. So, here it goes…
1) The Bobby Petrino Situation
The guy is a scumbag, pure and simple. But Arkansas got what they deserved, and the only person I’ve seen say that is the guy over at Klown Times.
Keep in mind that (Arkansas athletic director Kevin) Long is the same AD who hired Petrino away from the Atlanta Falcons DURING THEIR SEASON. If that wasn’t bad enough, Long did so without asking permission to speak to Petrino.
Plus, I find it hard to believe that Long did not know of Petrino’s past transgressions. After all, this is the same Petrino who secretly flirted with Auburn while former coach Tommy Tuberville was still employed there. And of course there was that Atlanta Falcons “thing.”
Let’s take Klown’s position as a starting point. I’ve always had a sort of “three strikes” rule when it comes to forming opinions, and this latest incident with Petrino was clearly worthy of ringing him up as a complete dick…100%, USDA Prime, Grade A Tube Steak.
Look at the Auburn situation. You know what kind of guy flies into town secretly to discuss ripping a job out from under another coach? The same kind of guy who pretends to be your best friend, then bangs your wife the minute you are out of town on business. Not to mention, this tells you a lot about how much this guy values loyalty. He was perfectly fine not only with leaving town unannounced in the middle of the night, he was willing to sneak in the back door at his secret destination. I understand that valuing loyalty in college sports is like cornering the sunscreen market in Alaska in January, but at some point you simply cannot advertise you are willing to stab anybody in the back at anytime; karma can be a real bitch. We’ll come back to that point later.
Then, there’s what happened with the Falcons. The way that situation ended in Atlanta could have been a 500-level class in douchebaggery. Not only did Petrino actively seek to bail the minute things got tough mid-way through a failed season, he secretly campaigned for the Arkansas job while then-Hawg head coach Houston Nutt was embroiled in his own scandal, and when Bobby-Boy got the job in Fayetteville, he informed the Falcons of his mid-season departure with a letter. The Falcons, and their owner Arthur Blank made a huge commitment to Petrino on the assumption he would be the big-time coach to make the transition from college to the NFL. Fat chance; instead the Falcons realized the hard way they had married their future to a guy who couldn’t wait to skip town the minute a greener pasture presented itself. Perhaps if Arthur Blank had paid Petrino in 25-year old motorcycle riding suck-sluts…
As much as the douchiness already oozes out of this issue, there’s two things that really pissed me off here. First of all, there’s the people who thought Petrino shouldn’t have been fired. Tell that to Houston Nutt. For those of you who may not recall, Nutt got himself run out of Fayetteville for some extra-marital cannubial bliss. To make a long story short, Nutt’s relationship with local news anchor Donna Bragg hit the public arena when a fan who was angry with the Nutt filed a Freedom of Information Act requesting Nutt’s email and phone records, at which point he exposed his carnal canoodling with Bragg.
Of course, this led to Nutt’s firing, not for his won-loss record, but for his extra-curricular activity. I will admit I’m a fan of the Nutt, if for no other reason as he makes wonderful blog-fodder. But this is more about the potential headache Arkansas could have faced. If the university had not fired Petrino, the Nutt could have excoriated the Arkansas administration, especially since Petrino upped the ante over what the Nutt did by a) messing with a University employee who b) Petrino got on the payroll nad c) tried to cover up the motorcycle accident, up to and including trying not to call 911 to aid his injured mistress, which led to d) the filing of a false report on the incident to university administration.
Speaking of coaches who have no love for Petrino, do you wonder what Tommy Tuberville thought of all this? Sure, now Tuberville has his own issues to deal with at Texas Tech, but don’t forget that Tuberville hired Petrino at Auburn to run his offense. In a move of complete foreshadowing, Petrino stair-stepped that experience into the head coaching job at Louisville, the very same job from which Petrino then tried to secretly steal Tuberville’s gig at Auburn. Here comes that karma thing again…
St-eeee-rike Three. Grab some bench, Bobby…you are out.
As far as blog-fodder is concerned, here’s a classic bit from the Dubsism archives about Bobby Petrino, Houston Nutt, Tommy Tuberville, and the classic Vietnam War story…
2) The Overblown Ozzie Guillen “Controversy”
I really don’t know where to start with this one. I don’t know for whom I have the most invective for in this case. It could be the douchebags in the media who asked the outspoken Guillen a loaded question when they knew both the answer he would give and how they would attempt to explode the statements of a baseball manager into some sort of geo-political catastrophe. It could be the dumb-asses who stood in front of the Marlins’ ball-park acting as if Guillen’s statement about the murderous scumwad known as Fidel Castro had somehow been responsible for all the misery caused throughout the annals of human history. Hell, it could also be the people who acted as if this was the worst thing that could ever happen, then completely lost interest as quickly as they became so righteously indignant.
Let’s start from the top.
First of all, it is a sad state of affairs when I have to agree with that pompous bag of anal leakage known as Bill Maher. But his defense of Guillen, while done for reasons ideologically different from my own, is still nonetheless correct.
“If you say something Communists don’t like, they take away your job and send you to a re-education camp until you come out with the one approved opinion,” Maher said sarcastically. “We wouldn’t want that here in America.”
Granted, the blood of tens of thousands of innocent people is on Castro’s hands. If I were in Cuba and made the anti-Castro comments I’m making here, you can bet your beard and cigar my ass would be in a cell in no time. That’s what dictators do. But in America, the press has the right to ask a loaded, pre-meditated, and/or albeit pointless question, much like Guillen has the right to answer it even if it means sticking both feet in his mouth up to the ankles.
Am I the only person who was reminded of the Marge Schott incident? For those of you who don’t recall, Schott was sand-bagged by ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio when she made some pro-Hitler comments. For this she was run out of baseball, despite the fact that all she did was answer a question. If you read the transcript of the interview, two things should leap off the screen at you. First, what she said was hardly a ringing endorsement of Hitler, and second, you should find it curious that the exact wording of Paolantonio’s question is missing.
Here’s why that matters…if you are going to ask an out-spoken person like Schott or Guillen such loaded questions, aren’t you doing so EXACTLY to illicit such a quote you as a journalist can use to gin up a tempest on a keyboard? Doesn’t that then mean that the very same journalists who are fanning the flames of indignation are doing so while hiding their matches and gasoline cans?
Then, there’s the people who were so whipped up over all of this? This whole thing dripped with so much hypocrisy; people who don’t even go to Marlins games threatening boycotts unless Guillen was fired, yet they were noticeably absent when Guillen returned from his suspension. Oh, that’s right, they weren’t going to show up anyway. Not to mention, many of these Cubans who were supposedly so upset by Guillen’s comments are the very same who have done nothing to help those people still stuck under Castro’s thumb. I understand this in no way applies to all Cubans, but there is a sizable portion of that community who have taken a decided “I got mine, you get yours” attitude towards those still in Cuba. If you want to create change, you have to do more than show up for three hours with a cardboard sign.
Not to mention, there’s nothing quite like the supreme assholery of those who are so quick to label something “unforgivable.” Guess what, you sign-waving dipshit? It is your very intolerance upon which dictatorships like the abhorrent one of Castro are built; the soul of tyranny is the stamping out of that which is deemed arbitrarily to be “unfavorable.”
Now, for the most important question. Why does anybody give a frog’s fat ass about what Ozzie Guillen thinks? He’s a baseball manager, and that’s all he is. He’s not the President, a Governor, or any sort of politician or government leader. He’s not an ambassador to the United Nations, he’s not even an over-paid entertainer who gets away with saying stupid shit on a daily basis. But like those entertainers, his words carry no weight, so outside of baseball there is no reason to give a damn about anything he says. One of the items in the Bill of Rights is the right to free speech; which is why one thing that isn’t there is the right not to be offended. There’s lots of truly offensive things in the world, and if you get your hackles up over the ramblings of a half-wit baseball manager, you really need to get out of the house more often.
Spring games…just another reminder that we are mired in the doldrums of the college football off-season. Sure, it has been another off-season with its usual carousel of coaches, but none with the drama of what happened in the Southeastern Conference in 2007; the year that my favorite completely insane sideline leader finally fell victim.
That December marked the time Houston Nutt went down the river from Arkansas to Mississippi. But it was more than just a leader going to the other side of the river; the ripple effect could be felt throughout the conference. The angst of the Arkansas athletic department led by former director and Hawg legend Frank Broyles combined with the need of the other coaches in the league to reign in the Rebellion Nutt had established in Oxford led to the remake of a classic Coppola film. After all, even the river wanted Nutt dead.
The scene: Fayettte-nam, 2008
ACT I – The Mission
Fayetteville…Shit; I’m still only in Fayetteville…Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said “yes” to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into college football.
I’m here a week now…Waiting for a mission…Getting softer; every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter.
Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I never wanted another.
I was going to the worst place in the world, only I didn’t know it yet. Weeks away, and hundreds of miles down a river that snakes it’s way through the SEC and straight into Colonel Nutt. It was no accident that I got to be the caretaker of Colonel Houston D. Nutt’s memory; no more than my being in Fayetteville was an accident. There is really no way to tell his story without telling mine; so if his story is a confession, then I guess so is mine.
“Play the tape for Captain Petrino.”
“I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor; throwing a forward pass. That’s my dream; it’s my nightmare, crawling, slithering along the edge of the razor and surviving, throwing forward passes. But we must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army. And they call me an improper recruiter. What do you call it when the improper recruiter is recruited?
“Houston Nutt was one of the finest coaches this country ever produced. He was brilliant; he was outstanding. He was a good man, a good humanitarian man. Then he joined the Razorbacks; his ideas, his methods became unsound. Now, he’s crossed into Mississippi with this Rebel army of his that worship him as a god, and run every play, no matter how ridiculous. Well, you see, Petrino… in this game, things get confused out there; power, ideals, the old morality, and practical football necessity. Out there with these kids it must be a temptation to be God. Because there’s a conflict in every human heart between the rational and the irrational, between good and evil, between running and passing. The good does not always triumph. Sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. Every man has got a breaking point. You and I have. Colonel Nutt has reached his. And very obviously, he has gone insane. Your mission is to proceed down the river in a Navy patrol boat. Pick up Colonel Nutt’s path at Oxford, follow it and learn what you can along the way. When you find the Colonel, infiltrate his team by whatever means available and terminate the Colonel’s command.”
Terminate?… the Colonel?
“He’s out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct. And he is still on the field getting recruits. Terminate…with extreme prejudice. You understand, Captain, that this mission does not exist, nor will it ever exist.”
ACT II – On the River
How many people had I already killed? There were those six that I knew about for sure; close enough to blow their last breath in my face. But this time it was a Razorback, and a coach. That wasn’t supposed to make any difference to me, but it did. Shit, charging a man with improper recruiting in the SEC is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. I took the mission; what the hell else was I going to do? But I really didn’t know wha I’d do when I found him.
The crew of the patrol boat were mostly just kids; rock ‘n’ rollers with one foot in their graves. The machinist, the one they called Miles was from Baton Rouge. He was wrapped too tight for ‘Nam; probably wrapped too tight for Baton Rouge.
Richt on the forward .50s was a surfer from the beaches. To look at him, you wouldn’t believe he ever called a play in his life.
Then there was Saban…“Mr. Clean” was from some NFL shithole, and I think the speed and the money of the SEC really put the zap on his head. And the Chief…It might have been my mission, but it sure as shit was the Chief’s boat.
Then there were the Gators; our escorts to the mouth of the river. They’d cashed in their tailbacks for choppers and gone tear-assing around the SEC looking for the shit. And their C.O., Colonel Meyer…He was one of those guys that had that weird light around him. You just knew he wasn’t going to get so much as a scratch here.
If that’s how Meyer ran an offense, being completely dependent on one superstar, I really wondered what they had against Nutt. It wasn’t just insanity and improper recruiting; there was enough of that to go around for everyone.
Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right; unless you were going all the way. Nutt got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin’ program. How does that happen? What did he see on that first tour? 40 fucking years old; if he joined the Razorbacks, there was no way he would ever get above Colonel. Nutt knew what he was giving up.
The more I read and began to understand, the more I admired him. His family and friends couldn’t understand it, and they couldn’t talk him out of it. He had to apply three times, and he put up with a ton of shit, but when he threatened to resign, they gave it to him. He could have gone for General, but he went for himself instead.
October 2007; on special assignment in Ar Kan Sau province, Nutt staged “Operation Wildcat”and paraded a major success. He received no official clearance; he just thought it up and did it. What balls! They were going to nail his ass to the floorboards for that one, but when the press got a hold of it, they let him start calling the plays again.
Man, the bullshit piled up so fast in ‘Nam, you needed wings to stay above it. No wonder Nutt put a weed up Broyle’s ass. This whole offense was being run by a bunch of four-star clowns who were going to end up giving the whole circus away.
Late autumn, 2006. Nutt’s teams started coming under frequent ambush; the camp started falling apart. November, Nutt orders the assassination of four leaders of the “Springdale Parents Revolt.” Enemy activity in that recruiting sector dropped off to nothing. Guess he must have hit the right four people.
Broyles tried one last time to bring him back into the fold, and if he’d pulled over, it all would’ve been forgotten. But he kept going; he kept wanting it his way. Then, they called me in. They lost him; he was gone. Now even rumors and random intelligence – mostly from captured Rebels; the Rebels knew his name by now, and they were scared of him – said Nutt and his men were playing “single-wing” all the way into Mississippi.
“My orders say I’m not supposed to know where I’m taking this boat, so I don’t. But one look at you, and I know it’s gonna be hot, where ever it is.”
We’re going down river about 75 klicks past the Oxford bridge.
“That’s Mississippi, Captain.”
That’s classified. We’re not supposed to be in Mississippi, but that’s where I’m going. You just get me close to my destination, and I’ll cut you and the crew loose. My mission is to make it down the river into Mississippi. There’s a Rebel colonel there who’s gone insane. I’m supposed to terminate the colonel’s command.
Charlie didn’t get much USO…
ACT III – Oxford
He was close, he was real close. I couldn’t see him yet, but I could feel him. As if the boat were being sucked upriver and the water was flowing back into the jungle. Whatever was going to happen, it wasn’t going to be the play they called back in Fayetteville. Part of me was afraid of what I would find, and what I would do when I got there. I knew the risks, or imagined I knew. But the thing I felt the most, much stronger than fear, was the desire to confront him.
“Just hit your siren, man. And, watch out; I mean, those monkeys bite, man. I’m a Plainsman, an American civilian. I’m a photojournalist. I’ve been covering the SEC since ’64. I’ve been in ‘Nam, Mississippi, ‘Bama…Shit, in a few years I could end up stuck in some damn place like Texas Tech.”
Who are all these people?
“Yeah, well, they think you’ve come to take him away.”
Take who away?
“Him! Colonel Nutt! These are all his recruits, man, as far as you can see. Hell, man, out here, we are all his recruits.”
Could we, uh, talk to Colonel Nutt?
“Hey, man, you don’t talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet-coach in the classic sense. I mean, sometimes he’ll, uh, well, you’ll say hello to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you, and he won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say ‘Do you know that ‘ing’ is in both words in ‘single wing?’”
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you. I mean, I’m no, I can’t – I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s, he’s a great man. I’m just a pair of ears scuttling across the SEC. I mean, look at me. I’m not going to be the one who sets him straight. It’s you.”
I wondered if the generals back in Fayetteville could see what I saw, would they still want me to kill him? Probably more than ever. Even the river wanted him dead. He broke from them; then he broke from himself.
“I’ve seen horrors… horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me an improper recruiter. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that…But you have no right to judge me.”
“It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror…Horror has a face…and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with the Razorbacks; seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into Springdale to recruit some kids; one of ‘em a big-throwin’ quarterback they had up there. We left after we had given out a bunch of those Hawg rubber-bandy type bracelets.”
“This old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every braceleted arm. There they were in a pile; a pile of arms. And I remember…I…I…I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my tusks out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized…like I was shot…like I was shot with a pass…a forward pass right through my forehead. And I thought…my God, the genius of that, the genius. The will to do that; perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure.”
“Then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters. They were coaches, old-school, ground-game ball-control coaches. These men who coached with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love…but they had the strength…the strength…to do that.”
“If I had ten coaches like that, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have coaches who are moral, and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to run a warmed-over single-wing offense without feeling…without passion…I mean, without passing…Because it’s passing that defeats us.”
And after all that, there is only one choice to play Bobby Petrino in the movie…Winnie the Pooh.