Now that my brackets are so much smoldering wreckage, it is time for a big dose of what the original purpose of this blog was: a profanity-filled tirade about shit I don’t like. This promises to be a particularly nasty edition since for the first time in the history of my filling out brackets, I’ve lost both teams I had playing on Monday Night in the first weekend tournament. So, since I can’t like this tournament anymore, here comes the bile…
In alpha-suck-abetical order:
Wow…somebody wrote an article saying Pope Urban I may not be so saintly. Color me shocked. Let’s face it, the guy is a big-time college football coach, which means he’s part politician, part used-car salesman, and complete sleazewad. If you doubt that, look at a coach who has won a BCS game in the last ten years and tell me how many of them weren’t scumbags.
Honestly, Pope Urban I may really be just like some other popes from the era of corrupted indulgences. In the Catholic church, the word “indulgence” originally meant kindness or favor; in post-classic Latin it came to mean the remission of a tax or debt. In Roman law and in the Vulgate of the Old Testament (Isaiah 61:1) it was used to express release from captivity or punishment. In theological language also the word is sometimes employed in its primary sense to signify the kindness and mercy of God.
However, none of those definitions match what an indulgence really is. By the strict Catholic definition, an indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God’s justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the merits of Christ and the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive.
Now, you may be asking yourself just what the hell does all this Catholic doctrine have to do with this have to do with Urban Meyer?
First of all, Urban Meyer’s reign as a big-time college football coach has some major similarities with his namesake’s reign as the Supreme Pontiff. The real Pope Urban I was consecrated in 222 A.D. and ruled until his death in 230 A.D. And like Meyer, much Urban I’s life is shrouded in mystery, which has led to many myths and misconceptions.
In the case of Urban I, it was believed for centuries that he was martyred. But recent historical discoveries lead scholars to believe that he died of natural causes. This is just like how Urban Meyer left Florida under the guise of “health reasons;” reasons that miraculously were cured by being an analyst at ESPN for ten months.
Urban I’s reign saw a great deal of freedom in the Christian community leading to the growth of the Roman Church, which led to the belief that he was a skilled converter. Urban Meyer had the job on the Florida sideline during a time of relative success, which meant there was little scrutiny from the NCAA, which allowed him to recruit without a lot of hindrance from the NCAA, which led to the belief he is a skilled recruiter.
Urban I’s time in Rome was borne of strife as his predecessor was under wide criticism and there was a divide in the Church as the schismist Hippolytus was still leading a rival Christian congregation. Hippolytus also published the Philosophumena, which was little more than an attack on Urban I’s predecessor Callixtus. Urban Meyer took over at Florida in the wake of the “Fire Ron Zook” era, many harsh words were penned about Zook, and once Meyer left Florida, along comes the Sporting News to be his version of Hippolytus.
So, it goes without saying that we here at Dubsism weren’t surprised by the article published by the Sporting News this week that leveled some pretty hefty allegations at Meyer. To really understand our level of non-shockitude, it’s time for another patented Dubsism breakdown.
The uproar and controversy of Urban Meyer’s stunning recruiting coup at Ohio State settled in and Stefon Diggs, still on the Buckeyes’ wish list, was debating his future.
Diggs, the second-highest rated wide receiver in the country, had narrowed his list of potential schools to Maryland, Florida and Ohio State. For more than a week following National Signing Day on Feb. 1, and before Diggs eventually signed with Maryland, Meyer relentlessly pursued Diggs.
Multiple sources told Sporting News that Meyer—who won two national championships in six years at Florida and cemented his legacy as one of the game’s greatest coaches—told the Diggs family that he wouldn’t let his son go to Florida because of significant character issues in the locker room.
Character issues that we now know were fueled by a culture Meyer created. Character issues that gutted what was four years earlier the most powerful program in college football.
Whether we are talking about recruiting or converting matters little; it’s amazing how both will spark controversy. If you are a missionary in the jungles of Outer Wherever, the wrong words can mean you end up as a shrunken head on some tribesman’s belt. If you are a football coach, you will say just about anything to get that recruit, even if those words are borne of blatant hypocrisy.
It was Meyer who declared the Florida program “broken” at the end of his last regular season game in Gainesville in November of 2010. But why was it broken?
“Over the last two years he was there,” one former player said, “the players had taken complete control of the team.”
Only now, through interviews with multiple sources during a three-month Sporting News investigation, do we see just how damaged the infrastructure really was and how much repair work second-year coach Will Muschamp has had to undertake in replacing Meyer—who has moved on to Ohio State less than a year after resigning from Florida for health reasons.
Meyer denies allegations that he cast Florida and its players in a dark light when he spoke to the Diggs family, and said, “I love Florida; I’ll always be a Gator. My motives were pure as gold when I left. We left Florida because I was dealing with health issues that I’ve since learned how to control.”
Hmmm… “Always be a Gator” said while wearing Ohio State gear. “My motives were pure as gold,” knowing full well there’s a big difference between 10 karat and 24 karat. I bet it helps tremendously to believe in transubstantiation to buy that bilge.
But multiple former players and others close to the program say the timing of his departure was also tied to the roster he left behind. Remember it was Meyer who hinted the program that won 13 games in 2006, 2008 and 2009—and lost only 10 games from 2005-09—was flawed beyond the unsuspecting eye.
Now those issues have surfaced for all to see. Left in the wake of Meyer’s resignation were problems that can destroy a coaching career: drug use among players, a philosophy of preferential treatment for certain players, a sense of entitlement among all players and roster management by scholarship manipulation.
The coach who holds himself above the seedy underbelly of the game, who as an ESPN television analyst in 2011 publicly berated the ills of college football, left a program mired in the very things he has criticized.
Go back to my earlier statement about blatant hypocrisy. Meyer is bordering on being the guy who kills his parents, then begs for mercy because he is a orphan.
Ironically, Florida’s downfall began at the height of Meyer’s success—the 2008 national championship season. Three seasons of enabling and pandering to elite players—what Meyer’s players called his “Circle of Trust”—began to tear away at what he’d put together.
“I’ve never heard of Circle of Trust before in my life,” Meyer said.
Former players, though, contend it was the foundation of Florida’s culture under Meyer. In the season opener against Hawaii, Meyer said a few elite players (including wideout Percy Harvin, linebacker Brandon Spikes and tight end Aaron Hernandez) would miss the game with injuries. According to multiple sources, the three players—all critical factors in Florida’s rise under Meyer—failed drug tests for marijuana and were sitting out as part of standard university punishment.
By publicly stating the three were injured and not being disciplined, former players say, Meyer was creating a divide between the haves and have-nots on the team.
There’s almost no better way to destroy a team than by playing favorites. But so many coaches do it because it solves short-term problems despite the fact that it creates far more long-term ones. It sure looks like Meyer bailed when the long-term problems outweighed his ability to deal with them. Not only that, does anybody else see the coincidence that Meyer got the hell out of Gainesville once Nick Saban rejuvenated Alabama, which had to suck a lot of the oxygen out of the room in the recruiting world of the SEC? But let’s get back to the destruction of a team mindset…
The biggest impact, former players say, was for those in the Circle of Trust. It wasn’t so much a focus on trust as it was a revelation of talent. If you could play and contribute, you were part of the chosen few.
“(Meyer) lost the team’s respect,” Thomas said. “That kind of stuff spreads through the players. They see what they can get away with, and they push it. Even the star players; they liked him because they were in the Circle of Trust. But it backfired on him. They didn’t respect him.”
Said Meyer: “Was I dealing with entitlement issues? Yes. But they were great kids. If they weren’t, I would’ve gotten rid of them.”
This begs the question “What do you do with the guys on the outside looking in?”
One way of ridding a program of undesirables is roster management. Recruiting is the lifeblood of all programs. A direct correlation exists between winning at recruiting and winning on fall Saturdays.
Few do it better than Meyer. Few are as ruthless when it comes to recruiting—and when it comes to making room for recruits. Thomas was a four-star recruit from Zephyrhills, Fla., and had a series of knee injuries hinder his development.
After the 2008 season, Thomas says he was told he had to “move on” because he wasn’t in the team’s plans for 2009.
“I told (Meyer) I was on track to graduate, I wasn’t a problem and I did everything I was supposed to do—I just had a knee injury,” Thomas said. “I told them I wasn’t leaving, and if they tried to force me to leave, I was going to tell everyone everything.”
The next day, Thomas says he was given a medical hardship letter by position coach Chuck Heater stating Thomas had an injury that would prohibit him from playing football. The medical hardship scholarship doesn’t count against the NCAA limit of 85, and allows the affected player to stay on academic scholarship.
It also made room for another recruit. Meyer denied this tactic of roster management.
What a liar. I’ve been in management and business for close to twenty years, and I will tell you as a matter of fact that “roster management” is part and parcel to leading any team, whether you are running a supermarket or a football team. Where Meyer went wrong is he based his “weed-out” criteria on the wrong things.
Now, the question becomes how does this travel north to Columbus?
Before he walked on the field this spring to coach his first practice at Ohio State, Meyer ran into two more significant problems.
According to sources, Wisconsin accused Meyer and his staff of using former Ohio State NFL players to call high school recruits. Wisconsin also accused Meyer and his staff of bumping into offensive lineman Kyle Dodson, who was committed to the Badgers but eventually flipped and signed with the Buckeyes. The practice of “bumping” occurs when coaches accidentally “bump” into players during recruiting dead periods.
Both the alleged phone calls and bumping are NCAA violations.
When asked about the specific charges, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema declined comment but told Sporting News a day after National Signing Day that, “I wasn’t upset with Urban because of a gentlemen’s agreement. It was something else that I don’t want to get into. I told him what I knew, and he said he would take care of it and he did.”
Frankly, there’s far more in this article from the Sporting News, and it links to much, much more. More importantly, places like Ohio State and Florida have been the churches of college football for decades, and guys like Urban Meyer are the popes. But like the Catholic Church, the game of college football has some serious problems which need to be addressed. To fix them is going to take more than prayer; we need a Crusade.
Now that my brackets are so much smoldering wreckage, and now that my teams are out, it is time for a big dose of what the original purpose of this blog was: a profanity-filled triade about shit I don’t like. And since I can’t like this tournament anymore…
In alpha-suck-abetical order:
When the hell did Baylor start to mean anything in college sports? Whatever happened to the good old days when Baylor was just the “free square” in the bingo card that was the Big 12 schedule? I blame women’s basketball; after they gave up immolating religious whackos, that was the first sport anybody in Waco anybody paid any attention to until a few years ago, and it’s only gotten worse now that Joakim Noah plays for their womens’ team.
If I were a doctor and were going to give the state of Ohio an enema, Cincinnati is where I would stick the nozzle. What amazes me is that this miasma of suck has two universities, and both of them got into the Sweet Sixteen (more on that later). Shit-cinnati is a subtle blend of all that is wrong with city-living and all the suck that bucolic splendor brings. Want to know what walking down a street in downtown Cincinnati is like? Dress all the zombies from “The Walking Dead” in Ohio State shirts, Bengals hats, all in various states of filth and mis-sized. If you get past this parade of freaks who will attempt to panhandle you to death, you get the upscale Cincinnatians who are all rude and pretentious just because they have reservations at the “Steak and Shake” that has tablecloths.
I think the above photo says it all. That’s the university president.
I know this may be hard for anybody under 50 to realize, but there was a time within the last 30 years where a college basketball team in Indiana could actually win something. Obviously, that was never Purdue or Notre Dame , and it got so bad in the land of basketball people were actually rooting for Butler…fucking Butler. Calling Butler “real college basketball” is like calling a hot dog “real meat.” Now that Indiana is back in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in a decade, every in-bred slackjaw south of Fort Wayne is resplendent in his IU 1981 NCAA Champs t-shirt that he wore while doing a lube job on his 1985 Ford pick-up truck, because nothing hides your sister-mom’s DNA like a few quarts of Quaker State.
The fundamental problem is that Kansas fans believe that they should win every single year, and when the Jayhawks don’t, their fans cocoon themselves in this layer of false history. Jayhawk fans think the entire sport is their birthright; that its history is proprietary to Kansas simply because their legendary coach Phog Allen was rumored to be Dr. James Naismith’s gay lover. To understand this fraudulent nature, let’s break down that history they love so damn much. First of all, while Naismith was the inventor of basketball, he didn’t invent it in Kansas. Do you know what did get invented in Kansas? Shooting people over slavery. But that’s not as “feel-good” as believing your basketball team is historically elite.
It says all you need to know about Kentucky to notice this is a program which replaced Tubby Smith with Billy Gillespie, then replaced him with career criminal John “Don’t Drop the Soap” Calipari. Think about that; this is a program so myopic they dumped the last guy to win anything for them and ultimately ended up with a guy who has managed to make Final Four appearances disappear at two different schools because of NCAA violations. Despite the fact that other than last year, they hadn’t earned a trip to the Final Four in thirteen years, UK fans still believe they are relevant, and will continue to think that even after this season inevitably gets wiped off the books. It must be a great time for bail bondsmen in Lexington.
Dear Residents of Louisville,
Let me explain to you why nobody has any respect for your city. First of all, to be a world-class city, you have to settle on a standard pronunciation. You would never see a sign the like the one above in a real city. Secondly, you keep describing your city as the “capital of Kentuckiana.” If it weren’t bad enough there is no such place, you’ve created one out of the two worst parts of two of the worst states in America. Combining Indiana with Kentucky is like joining infected, oozing hemmorhoids with a bowel obstruction.
Now, let’s talk about this basketball team for minute, shall we? Somebody in Louisville needs to tell Rick Pitino that coaching basketball in Kentucky in a building called the KFC Yum! Center while wearing white suits is just begging for “Colonel Sanders” jokes…and having a bird mascot doesn’t help. I’ll get you started – “Cardinal basketball – a special blend of eleven secret fouls and turnovers.”
Since Marquette is a catholic school in Wisconsin, insert your own “alcoholic pedophile” joke here. That also means they really aren’t worth thinking about, so here’s exactly what I said about them last year. I think you will find it is all pretty much still true.
This place ought to be renamed The University of Gutless. Marquette’s basketball team used to be known as the Warriors, until every member of their board of trustees grew multiple vaginas and decided AGAINST the will of the student body and the alumni that the nickname was “insensitive to Native Americans.” Of course, this completely ignores the fact that a “warrior” is defined as a person experienced in or capable of engaging in combat or warfare, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based society that recognizes a separate combatant class. There’s a whole range of cultures to which that applies, ranging from the Bushido Samurai to the Spartans. Yet, the pointy-heads at Marquette decided it could only apply to those who when they cash their government checks get blind-drunk on the “firewater,” then build casinos.
This begs another important question. Since when does the Catholic Church give a flying fuck about political correctness? Don’t forget that Marquette is a Jesuit school, and the Jesuits aren’t just garden-variety papists; they are the Waffen-SS of Catholicism. They can show up in any diocese and do whatever the hell they want, and the local bishop can’t say shit to them. In other words, these aren’t exactly the guys who cower at a bunch of soccer moms who think “we might be being mean to the Indians.”
If that weren’t enough, the Catholic Church as a whole isn’t exactly the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to being sensitive to public opinion. In fact, their only recent change on the position of contraception is it is acceptable to use a condom only when the altar boy has diarrhea.
Really, I should just write a generic bit for all the Big Twelevten in this tournament; Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana, and Sparty. They all really do the same thing. They get into the tournament, and then somehow lose to some peckerwood SEC team like Kentucky. But Michigan State deserves a special layer of scorn and derision as they aren’t even an original member of the Big Tweleveten. They didn’t join until 1949 when it was still known as Michigan State Sit When You Pee College and Tire Care Center.
Once again, I will quote the good people at Deadspin since I can’t improve on the accuracy of their assesment.
No school has benefited more from having an archrival who happens to be even more haughty and douchetastic. I’m onto you, Tarheels. You think just because you hate Duke that you can sneak by without anyone hating your fucking guts. But you are WRONG. But the truth is that, if Duke didn’t exist, YOU would be Duke. You’d be the most hated program in the country, what with your gross sense of entitlement and Dickie V lapping up Roy Williams’ seminal fluid like it’s cereal milk. You people owe Duke a steak dinner for covering up so much of what makes you despicable.
FACT: Every three seconds, a person in the North Carolina wilderness is being raped. I drove through the state once, and you see the forests on the side of the road and you just know, twenty feet in, someone has a penis inside them that they don’t want inside them. North Carolina is also the only state where it’s legal to rape someone and fish at the same time.
North Carolina State
Thanks to the fact that Georgetown’s John Thompson III is one of the shittiest tournament coaches in the history of shitty tournament coaches, I’m going to have to re-live this moment about a bazillion times between now and the time NC State wakes up and remembers they are NC State. 1983 was almost 30 years ago, Jim Valvano is dead, so is Lorenzo Charles, and NC State is still the school people only go to when they can’t get into to Appalachian State.
According to the good folks at Listverse, Ohio University is the most haunted university in the country.
This should not be a surprise. It is well known and documented that Ohio University is perhaps one of the most haunted places in the world. From ghost teachers that talk to students, sounds and voices heard in sealed rooms, to an entire ghost basketball team, this campus is truly full of haunts. Nearly every single building on campus has at least one ghost associated with it. In a place literally full of ghosts, one manages to stand out among the rest. Wilson Hall is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the United States, and was featured in the TV series “Scariest Places on Earth”. A female student practicing satanic rituals supposedly died violently in room 428. While this story has no real backing, what is true is that school officials have closed and sealed the room because no student could live in it peacefully. Voices are heard throughout the halls, doors lock and unlock, open and close on their own, and ghostly figures wander the building. The building is also dead center of a pentagram formed by five cemeteries which surround the campus. Rumor has it that this building itself was built on top of an old mental hospital cemetery, however this was proven to be untrue.
So in other words, this university has a student body that gets wigged out by the same kind of faux spooks that even Shaggy and Scooby-Doo could figure out in under 30 minutes. Perhaps this means we will see Daphne and Velma on the court for the Bobcats come this weekend.
Even though he was a football guy, nobody was a more loyal Buckeye than Kirk Herbstreit, and even he was giving double-birds out the window on his way out the the shit-hole formerly known as Columbus. In other words, even he had to split town because he only fellated the statue of Woody Hayes once a day rather than the expected thrice. This is exactly the problem with Buckeye fans; they have so little else that unless you swear your undying devotion and back it up on an hourly basis, they declare you a heretic and kill your house pets. In all honesty, the best description I’ve ever read about Ohio came from the good people at Deadspin:
“We make fun of Ohio here at Deadspin an awful lot, and with good reason. If you placed an electrified cupcake in the center of the state, half the population would be dead by morning. And the other half would be asking for extra sprinkles.”
What else can you say? These are the people who expect perfection while investing only idiocy; the kind of people who try to “return” foster children after they’ve raped them. Buckeye fans belong in that same circle of hell reserved for pederasts, people who run scams on the elderly, and deadbeat fathers.
Syracuse fans are always bitching because they feel they never get any respect. Half the time, they don’t deserve it, like when they kept trying to tell me Gerry McNamara was the best scorer in college basketball. The other half of the time they spend missing the point; like during all that McNamara twaddle they forgot they had Carmelo Anthony.
Then there’s this year. First, longtime assistant and Jim Boeheim’s right-hand man Bernie Fine was accused of sexually molesting two young boys. To top that off, it seems Fine’s wife may or may not have slept with players while they were members of the team. Then it was revealed that the school violated its own drug policy and that the school may or may not have reported it to the NCAA years ago. And if that weren’t enough, Fab Melo was ruled out of the tournament because may or may not have been academically eligible this semester.
Despite all that Syracuse, makes the big dance as a #1 seed, and advances to the sweet sixteen. The fun part: Earlier this season, when Syracuse was #1 in the AP poll they received 61 out of 65 first-place votes, and Syracuse fans, after all the shit that team had been through, did nothing but bitch about the four writers who didn’t vote Syracuse first.
As long as the state of Wisconsin exists, R.J. Reynolds will never go broke since they own Kraft Foods, Miller Beer and Marlboro cigarettes, which happen to be the three dietary staples in America’s Dairyland. Sconnies drink and smoke on an Olympic level because Wisconsin basketball is to watch four sausage-fed forwards and one guard who doesn’t play like Herman Munster. It’s hard to watch, hence the Wiscy-level of drinking, which easily can put even the most moonshine-riddled southern peckerwood to shame. If you see a Badger fan on the street, crash him over the head with the nearly-empty whiskey bottle he’s carrying and bring him to the local hospital for a liver transplant. He will need it, trust me.
Here’s a fun, yet useless fact I’ve been hearing all day: there are as many schools from the city of Cincinnnati (2) left in the tournament as there are from either the SEC (2), Big 12 (2), or ACC (2). Here a more accurate statement. There are as many teams from those conferences that anybody gives a shit about as there are from the entire state of Ohio. Whats’ funny is that at the beginning of the season, Xavier and Cincinnati got into a brawl in a game for intra-city bragging rights. This is like two bums fighting over the least piss-stained raincoat at the Salvation Army.
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Being that we are at the end of what has proven to be a tumultuous twelve months, why not take a look back at the biggest sports stories of such a year? After all, I’m pretty sure nobody else does these sort of retrospectives…
15) The Establishment of Two All-Time Winningest College Coaches: Paterno and Krzyzewski
Will there again ever be a year in which we see the crowning of two all-time winningest coaches? We may not see either of those records (Paterno, 409 wins; Krzyzewski, 903 and counting) fall in the next half-century, let alone having them both occur in the same year.
14) Kevin Love’s Double-Double Streak
For nearly 30 years, Moses Malone’s record stood at 51 consecutive games, until Kevin Love scored 16 points and grabbed 21 rebounds against the Indiana Pacers for his 52nd straight double-double. Love’s streak ended at 53 three days later at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.
13) Two More Yankees Make The Record Books
Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter…Get ready for two more monuments behind the center field fence in Yankee Stadium. Rivera notched his record-setting 602nd career save, eclipsing Trevor Hoffman’s previous mark. And in the same season, Yank captain Derek Jeter smoked a long ball to reach the 3,000-hit milestone, becoming only the the 28th member of the exclusive club and the first 3K Yankee.
12) The End of The Peyton Manning Era
The Colts spent two decades as an NFL afterthought before the arrival of the wunderkind Manning in 1998, and now neck surgery may spell the end of the Manning era in Indianapolis. Manning’s surgically rebuilt neck, his back-loaded contract, and the Colts prime real-estate in the upcoming NFL Draft form a perfect storm scenario in which if Manning does ever take an NFL snap again, it may be in a uniform not of Colt blue.
11) The Improbable Run to the Championship
When is the next time you will see such a harmonic convergence of “underdog” champions?
- NFL: The Green Bay Packers make the playoffs as the bottom 6th Seed.
- MLB: The St. Louis Cardinals literally make the playoffs as a wild-card on the last night of the season, then they win what may be the greatest baseball game in a generation, Game 6 of the World Series.
- NHL: Granted, The Boston Bruins were a #3 seed in the East, which isn’t a prohibitive underdog, but nobody gave them a chance in the Stanley Cup Finals against the President’s Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks
- NBA: Like the Bruins, the Dallas Mavericks entered the playoff tournament as #3 seed, but it was their complete domination of the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers which set the tone for the next two series, both of which saw Dallas facing teams which seemingly should easily over-match them in terms of talent on the floor. That was until Dirk Nowitzki decided to become unstoppable.
- NCAA Men’s Basketball: Again, the #3 seed proved magical, as the Connecticut Huskies rode that to the top of the field of 64. The fact they played their way to that seed was only slightly short of a miracle, considering they entered their conference tournament as a #9 and had to play AND win four games in four days to ensure getting into the NCAA tournament. Honestly, the ten-game streak in the Big East and NCAA tournaments pulled off by the Huskies may be one of the great playoff runs of all time.
- NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey: Another #3 seed…are you sensing a theme here? The University of Minnesota-Duluth (which is really the UCLA of hockey) had an improbable run to the championship of the Frozen Four.
- NCAA Women’s Basketball: I know that it is hard to call a #2 seed an underdog, but let’s not forget the womens’ basketball world was dominated by a single goliath at Baylor which Texas A&M had to slay, but there was the ever-present team dragons in Tennessee, Stanford, and Connecticut.
10) The NBA Lockout
In what may prove to be a Quixotic exercise in abject futility, the NBA owners locked out the players on July 1st for reasons I still really can’t understand given what has happened since the lockout ended. Star players getting big money has been the rule in professional sports for decades; Babe Ruth was the first jock to pocket more than the President of the United States. But when the Samuel Dalemberts of the world world are getting $13 million a year in a league that can’t pull in big-time national TV money, the problem is much larger than a simple collective bargaining agreement.
9) The Death of the Man Who Made the NFL What It Is Today
There’s a certain amount of irony in the fact the world lost Al Davis and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il in the same year. Much like the regime of Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il, the end of the Al Davis Era marks both the end of an era that once made the Raiders a serious factor in the world of the NFL, but now leaves them as an isolated dictatorship viewed as a pariah in contemporary circles.
Kim Il-Sung shaped at least a half-century of world history when he ordered the North Korean army into South Korea in 1950, starting a war that is still technically unresolved to this day. Al Davis forever changed the face of the NFL when he sued the league for the right to move his franchise as he pleased.
Much like Kim Il-Sung left his eternal mark on North Korea beyond the war, the legendary Raiders owner had six decades’ worth of unique impact on pro football. I would be lying if I said that I never criticized Davis. Just a few months ago, I included him on my list of the 15 Worst Owners in Sports. However, as I said in that piece, that criticism was reserved for the Al Davis of the past 20 years or so.
For those of you under 30, you may not believe there was a time when Al Davis wasn’t a batshit crazy Cryptkeeper look-alike and the Raiders were not the laughing stock of the NFL. In an 18-year span during the 70′s and 80′s, the Raiders won 13 division championships, made 15 playoff appearances, and took home three Lombardi trophies. This is the era when the Raiders were the winningest team in all of professional sports, and love him or hate him, Davis was a respected and visionary leader who helped build the AFL into a league so successful the NFL couldn’t beat it so they joined with it.
That paragraph only scratches the surface as to what Al Davis meant to the world of professional football. Davis literally climbed the football ladder, going from college assistant coach to an NFL assistant coach, to head coach, to owner to AFL commissioner, to Super Bowl champion, and ultimately to the Hall of Fame.
Perhaps his single greatest honor is having made a record nine presentations of inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Al Davis made presentation speeches for Lance Alworth, Jim Otto, George Blanda, Willie Brown, Gene Upshaw, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Ted Hendricks, and John Madden. Davis himself was enshrined in Canton in 1992.
Davis changed the game of football through sheer personality; a personality which was a collection of contradictions. At once, he was was loyal and rebellious; cantankerous and vindictive, yet sentimental. Yet through all that, Davis’ name must be included amongst the founding fathers of the NFL; a name that must be mentioned with same reverence in NFL circles as that of George Halas.
His contributions to the league as a whole notwithstanding, there the matter of his success with the Raiders. His trademark slogans weren’t just some words on a banner, it was a philosophy that propelled the three-time World Champion Raiders to the very top of the professional sports world. In the 48 year marriage between Davis and the Raiders, they had 28 winning seasons, including 16 in a row from 1965 through the 1980 World Championship season.
Davis died earlier this year died at age 82 and it’s hard to dispute the Hall of Famer’s place among the most influential of the sport’s history-makers. Davis was controversial. He was a contrarian. But he was also a gift to the game.
8 ) The Ever-Deepening Cesspool That Is The NCAA
This is only layer one of what is wrong with the NCAA. The truly disgusting stuff comes later down this list. This entry is all about the corruption and the hypocrisy of the organization which is supposed to keep these factors out of college sports.
It all starts back in January when the NCAA first found violations at Ohio State, but let the players who committed the violations play in their bowl game. The theme here is the NCAA clearly values money over integrity. Keep this in mind as you read.
In August, the Miami situation broke, when it was reported that Nevin Shapiro was pumping thousands of dollars in illegal benefits to past and present Hurricanes players over the past decade. The tale told by Shapiro from his prison cell (he’s currently parking his ass in a federal cell for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme) includes prostitutes, cars, cash, and paid vacations, much of which he alleges were known of by Miami staff and coaches. Shaprio dimed out the names of 73 current and former players.
Go back to the Ohio State situation. At first, this was just about tattoos. Then it mushroomed into costing head football coach Jim Tressel and starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor their jobs. In this case, it wasn’t so much the crime, but it was the cover-up which killed everybody. But the fact the NCAA dicked around for months only underscores the fact they are not really than interested in enforcement.
Then there’s the completely laughable finding that Auburn “committed no infractions” in the Cam Newton affair when there were admissions about cash payments totaling $180,000.
The best part is this isn’t just teams who are mired in unethical activity. The Fiesta Bowl committee was exposed in a 276-page report which detailed allegations of Fiesta Bowl employees being reimbursed for donations to state and local politicians (which happens to be a felony), $1,241 spent at a Phoenix strip club was illegally charged to an expense account, and the misappropriation of $33,188 bill for Fiesta Bowl’s president and CEO Junker’s 50th birthday party. Junker has since been fired, but more stories like this will emerge until the swamp that is the NCAA is drained.
7) The Conviction of Barry Bonds
Another story indicative of what a depressing year in sports this really has been. Again, instead of talking about accomplishments on the field, we are dealing with matters decided in a courtroom.
In April, Bonds became the first player from a “major” sport to be convicted for an issue stemming from the latest round of scandal about performance-enhancing drugs. While he was acquitted of the more serious charges, just this past Friday U.S. District Judge Susan Illston issued a 20-page order refusing to overturn the obstruction of justice conviction handed down by the the jury in her courtroom nearly eight months ago.
6) The Continuing Tectonic Shift in College football
Texas A&M is headed to the SEC. So is Missouri. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are bolting from the Big East to join the ACC. West Virginia is trying to ditch the Big East for the supposedly greener pastures of the Big 12; the same greener pastures TCU left the Big East at the altar for. In return, the Big East extended invitations to at least six teams, and the madness isn’t over yet.
5) The Phenomenon Known as Tim Tebow
I’ve been watching football for nearly 40 years, and I’ve never…repeat NEVER…seen anything like the Tim Tebow story. He’s either loved or hated; he’s either the future of the Denver Broncos or an impostor. Everybody has a strong opinion, and everybody is convinced they are right.
Frankly, I have no idea what to make of the guy, so I’m going to stick with the facts.
- Whether or not the Broncos complete this miraculous run to the playoffs, there is no denying this team was on life-support when they handed Tebow the keys, and that team responded to him.
- The Tebow story is one of the few uplifting stories in a year in sports filled with so many negatives.
- Like it or not, Tebow is the biggest star in the NFL right now. Doubt that? Tell me another NFL player that had an hour-long special dedicated to him exclusively.
4) The Night of the Dueling Collapses
In the last story, I said I have been watching football for nearly 40 years. I can say the same for baseball, and again, I can say I never saw anything like the last night of the regular season. In what was inarguably the wildest night in baseball I’ve ever seen, the Red Sox and the Rays, and the Braves and the Cardinals entered the last game competing for the American League and National League wild-card berths respectively.
This set the stage for six hours of baseball that will be talked about for at least as many decades.
In the National League, the Braves blew a ninth inning lead, eventually losing in the 13th inning 4-3 to the Phillies. This loss opened the door for the Cardinals to capture the wild card by cruising past the Astros 8-0 to complete their amazing late season run; one that found them trailing Atlanta by 10.5 games on August 25th but prevaiiling in the end by winning 23 of their final 31 games.
Believe it or not, the collapse in the American League was even more epic. The Boston Red Sox led Tampa Bay Rays by nine games on September 4th, which seemed to be an insurmountable lead. It wasn’t, as the Sox found themselves in need of a win on the last night of the season to keep their playoff hopes alive. The stars seems to be aligning Boston’s way; they seemed on the verge of staving off a historic choke-job, taking an early 3-2 lead over the Orioles while the Rays fell behind the Yankees 7-0. But then somebody messed with the lenses of the Sox telescope; Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon surrendered consecutive hits to Chris Davis, Nolan Reimold, and Robert Andino to earn a season-ending 4-3 loss. Meanwhile, the Rays regrouped and mounted a comeback on the shoulders of a pair of dramatic homers from Evan Longoria, including a 12th-inning walkoff game winner.
3) The Fiasco of the Los Angeles Dodgers
We may never know how sordid the details of Frank McCourt’s mismanagement of the Los Angeles Dodgers really are; what we do know is that after the Dodgers began showing signs of financial trouble in 2010, Commissioner Bud Selig made the decision to give the league control over the club’s day-to-day operations starting in April 2011.
Since then, we’ve been treated to McCourt attempting to overturn Selig’s take-over via the courts, then threatening to engage in more legal maneuvering over a proposed television deal with Fox Sports was rejected by Selig. Then since the Dodgers struggled to meet payroll deadlines, the club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, all during which McCourt was embroiled in what may have been the nastiest divorce in the history of the state of California.
Thankfully, Major League Baseball and McCourt reached an agreement in October under which he will sell the team and the media rights by April 30, 2012.
2) The NFL Lockout
Really, all this lockout proved is that the NFL owners and players really don’t understand the problems they have. They think this new collective bargaining agreement solves all the acrimony we all lived through, but that’s an illusion made of money. Realistically, the NFL and the NBA share some common problems, namely that they have franchises in places they shouldn’t, and those franchises are draining the league’s resources. The difference is the NFL is the country’s most popular sports league, it is literally floating on money, so it can pave over it’s issues with revenue-sharing. When the NFL finally hits the point where it has priced itself out of the market (wait until you see what the new TV deal is going to do to your cable bill), all of a sudden the illusion made of money will disappear. Mark my words, the next NFL lockout (and there will be one) will look and sound just like the NBA lockout we just lived through.
1) The Penn State and Syracuse Sex Abuse Scandals
This is the one story here that transcends sports. We have all heard the allegations, we have all read ad nauseum about all the sickening details; there’s really no need to rehash them here. What matters most is that these stories should serve as a wake-up call to all of us. We all must take a stand in stopping this sort of abuse of our children, and we must do it now. There is no excuse for any other course of action.
To that end, this should serve as the moment of truth for the NCAA. It’s time to find out how many more Jerry Sanduskys and Bernie Fines there are out there, and it’s time to ensure they are stopped. If the NCAA can’t do that, then the NCAA needs to be dismantled.
1) Minnesota might be the worst BCS Conference team I’ve seen since…well, Minnesota
The good news is the Golden Gophers found the end zone this week, and they didn’t need a Sherpa guide to do it. The bad news is both of their trips to paydirt came after they were already down by six touchdowns, and once again they didn’t even look competitive in a game against Big Ten competition. In two Big Ten games so far this season, the Gophers have been outscored by a total margin of 103-17.
2) I take that back, I forgot about Kansas
After six minutes, the Jayhawks led, 7-0. At the half, Oklahoma State was in charge 56-7. By the time it was over, Kansas gave up up 10 touchdowns and 600 yards in total offense.
3) Why The NFL Drives Me Crazy – Part 6,452
Seriously, this league gets more exasperating every year. First of all, There’s no clear cut great and complete teams anymore. I’ve spoke to this at length before, but honestly it’s getting worse.
Now, people keep trying to tell me that some teams are so great far too early in the season simply based on their won-loss record. I understand Detroit Lion fans are excited that their team is 5-0 for the first time since the Bobby Layne era, but let’s be honest…what happens in October doesn’t matter at all compared to what happens in January. Seriously, does anybody out there think the Lions are as good as the Packers? Does anybody think the Lions are better than the Patriots?
To illustrate my point, I’m going to use a phrase that makes my colon twist up like an over-used phone cord: “If the play-offs were to start today…” So, here’s what the post-season would look like (based on current play-off tie-breaking criteria)
- San Diego (bye)
- Buffalo (bye)
- New England (wild-card #1)
- Oakland (wild-card #2)
- Green Bay (bye)
- San Francisco (bye)
- New Orleans
- Detroit (wild-card #1)
- Tampa Bay (wild-card #2)
It is so plainly obvious this is NOT what the playoffs will look like come January. Yet, people get all whipped up saying ridiculous things based on what is happening a scant five games into the season. Again, I ask, does anybody really think Buffalo is the second-best team in the AFC? In fact, how many of the teams that I listed here won’t get a sniff of the playoffs?
4) What the Oklahoma Sooners have in common with the Detroit Lions
Primarily, this is a cautionary tale for both teams…both sides have a lot of positives, but those upsides are also obscuring some flaws that may haunt both of these teams later on down the road.
While both are 5-0 and have their fans at full-throat, neither team has played a “good” team yet. The Sooners have fatted up on the likes of a faded Texas rose and a fraudelent Florida State squad while the Lions won’t face a “good” team until the host the Packers on Thanksgiving Day.
The Hidden Weaknesses:
Both teams have at least one, and nobody seems to want to pay attention to them.
Oklahoma has a serious special teams issue. This came into play twice last Saturday against Texas, who gashed the Sooners’ kick coverage for two touchdown returns. If not for a penalty on the second return, Oklahoma would have surrendered more points to the Texas kick return team than the Longhorn offense could manage.
Both the Sooners and the Detroit Lions have fraudulent running games. Oklahoma did not generate much of a rushing game against the Texas defensive front, and the Lions had the same issue against the Bears. The problem is this is largely hidden by a few big runs by the Sooners’ Dominique Whaley and the Lions’ Jahvid Best. If you subtract any runs of 25 or more yards from the Sooners’ or Lions’ rushing totals, the lack of a real running game becomes apparent.
Any offensive coach worth his weight in Spam will tell you that while the “home runs” make for sweet fantasy football numbers (spoken as Jahvid Best owner), they do not make an effective running game. Teams that truly can run the ball can routinely get first downs on the ground.
5) The Philadelphia Eagles are finished
Not just this season, either. This team has a ton of talent, but it has a serious lack of leadership. At some point, Andy Reid lost control in Philadelphia, and unless he regains it soon, it may be time for the longest-tenured coach in the NFL to get a new mailing address…end of story.
6) The time to hit the “Panic Button” in Columbus is now
If you are an Ohio State fan, it’s time to get worried…very worried. You just watched your team blow a three-touchdown lead to a team that got smoked like a cheap cigar the previous week by Wisconsin. Not only does that mean you are arguably a third-rung team in the Big Tweleveten, but the Tattoo-gate story still just won’t go away.
When this first broke, I thought this wasn’t going to be a big story. Now, Jim “Cheatypants McSweatervest” Tressel is gone, as is Terelle Pryor. Devier Posey’s suspension has been lengthened, and the digging isn’t over yet.
7) Today marks the beginning of the end of the Tebow era
This isn’t about hating on Tebow, this is about why Tebow is now the starting quarterback in Denver. The perception is that John Fox and the Broncos’ organization caved to fan pressure. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is actually a calculated move on the part of Fox and the Bronco front office which inherited Tebow from the previous regime. Think about it this way…
Fact #1: Tim Tebow isn’t an NFL quarterback…not yet, at least.
Fact #2: The Bronco fan base is desperate.
Fact #3: John Fox and John Elway aren’t “Tebow” guys, otherwise this move would have been made a while ago.
Fact #4: The Broncos spent a first-round pick on Tebow.
Fact #5: Tebow has a well-spring of unreasonable supporters who have been clamoring for his day under center.
So, what we have is a back-up quarterback so popular he once led the league in jersey sales before he ever having took a single snap; popular with everyone except his coach and general manager. We have an unpopular starting quarterback, but he a proven winner in the NFL. Its’ apparent that the fans won’t shut-up about their wanting Tebow, and Kyle Orton is a free-agent after this season anyway.
So, Fox and Elway took the opportunity Orton presented them this week. When he had the off day everybody has at some point, the Bronco leadership decided to launch “Operation Timmy Fail.” That’s right, the plan is to throw Tebow to the NFL wolves and wait for the impending disaster.
The only way to get the Tebow era over is to get it started. He isn’t going to get any more prepared in the remainder of this season before Orton blows town, so why not get the ball rolling now? Frankly, the Broncos have nothing to lose.
First of all, the Broncos are already terrible, so Tebow can’t do any harm to a team which isn’t going to see a playoff run anytime soon. If Timmy is in fact terrible, it gives Fox and Elway want they really want; to be free and clear of the Tebow phenomenon. If he succeeds, they get to be heroes for pulling the plug on Orton.
The trouble is it is pretty clear they are gambling on the former. Tebow is one of the most unprepared quarterbacks for this moment I’ve ever seen and the Broncos have made sure that is the case. The Broncos in turn are doing him a great disservice because they want him gone; they can’t cut him otherwise the Teb-o-philes will come after them with torches and pitchforks.
Frankly, I hope Tebow shoves this little scheme up Fox and Elway’s collective asses. He’s off to a nice start by managing to bring the Broncos back to a “puncher’s chance” to win against the Chargers. He has guts and the team clearly responded to him. I want him to succeed, but I think it is a long shot simply because he doesn’t have the tools to play the position…someday he may, but he doesn’t now.
8 ) #OccupyGameDay
This hashtag is the Twitter home of the movement launched by fans of the Dan Patrick Show against “The Mothership.” It’s all about sneaking references to the Dan Patrick Show into the background of ESPN’s College GameDay.
KEZI in Oregon ran a story on “Occupy GameDay” this week. Here is the text:
EUGENE, Ore. — Security at ESPN’s College GameDay in Eugene on Saturday will be on the lookout for more than the usual safety threats and foul language on signs. Now, they have references to radio host Dan Patrick’s broadcast to watch out for.
Last Saturday when GameDay was in Dallas, Texas for the Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas one sign in particular snuck through the crowd without oversight. The sign read: “Chris in Syracuse.”
For those unfamiliar with Mr. Patrick and the meaning of the term, the sign seems relatively harmless. For regular listeners of the show — and ESPN — the sign goes against what Patrick claims has been previously allowed in the crowd. On his show Patrick said that fans at the Oklahoma vs. Texas games were being turned away if they had signs or cutouts with obvious references to him or his show.
Patrick was an anchor at ESPN from 1989 to 2006 and his show was part of the ESPN family until 2007. He helped coin the nickname for ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter with fellow anchor Keith Olbermann, calling it “The Big Show”. Patrick has stated several times that ESPN often does not allow current employees to appear as guests on his current radio show.
So what does “Chris in Syracuse” mean? The sign references a listener of Patrick’s show who calls in to offer his opinion on a daily basis. The caller — Chris, from Syracuse, New York — is part of the Dan Patrick Show canon of running gags and bits.
Patrick has made reference this week to the sign being held up on last Saturday’s show and seems to be encouraging his listeners to take part in trying to sneak past the College GameDay defenses repeating a simple message on today’s show, “Occupy GameDay. Eugene, Oregon.”
What signs and running gags can Eugene residents expect to see that may be related to Patrick’s followers? Here’s a list from the show’s WikiPedia page:
-Height and weight of a given person or player, a bit on the show.
-References to “Passion Bucket”, a running gag involving a quote from UCLA Bruins head football coach Rick Neuheisel.
-The quote “Against the Grain” a popular segment on the show.
-The phrase “What did we learn today?” another segment from the show.
-The “Best and Worst of the weekend” a segment from the show.
-References to “a well-listened-to radio show” a running gag based on a reporter reference to the Dan Patrick Show.
-References to “The Danettes” by group or by name (Patrick’s producers and employees): Paulie Pabst, Seton O’Connor, Andrew Perloff and Todd Fritz (Fritzy).
-References to nicknames on the show including: McLovin (Perloff), Sequin/The White Swan/Soft O’Connor (Seton O’Connor) Danny Jawface (Patrick).
-”ROAR!” the result of a lost bet on the part of O’Connor wherein he must shout “ROAR!” before speaking on microphone during the show.
As Dan himself says, we don’t condone this activity, but we do celebrate it. Considering this whole “What We Learned” bit is
completely ripped off from a respectful tribute to the Dan Patrick Show, what else could I say?
P.S. Jarrett Lee does eat boogers.
Because we are into the greatest 12 weekends of the year, it is also time to remind some people of just who they are. In other words, we are taking the pre-season Dubsism Top 25 and reminding them that they suck. Let’s be honest, a big part of college football is trash-talking. This is exactly why I intend to go through the Top 25 and say awful things about every team and state involved.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Bear Bryant is dead, and it is high time you assholes quit running around in those houndstooth hats.
More importantly, with all the schools now getting caught for (insert NCAA violation here) it really just has to be a matter of time before Alabama gets caught (again). It’s been a program so dirty Mike Rowe should be investigating it.
If the world of college football were a bunch of children, Oklahoma would be the one you tell its OK to take candy from strangers. There really is nothing quite like the crap OU fans will put you through as they are reminding you what a storied program the Sooners are. Of course, they generally have to do this after Oklahoma’s most recent choke-job against (insert lousy Big 12 doormat here or crushing bowl game loss here).
Ten years ago, you didn’t need to pay attention to this team and its seizure-inducing uniforms. Now, since they’ve made it a point to recruit every Los Angeles street thug even USC won’t touch, we have to hear about them every year. Thankfully, now they’ve scheduled a real game in September, so hopefully we won’t need to hear about how great they are just because they can handle Washington State. Seriously, if you are going to pay to illegally obtain recruiting film, do it so you can beat somebody worthwhile.
As long as the state of Wisconsin exists, R.J. Reynolds will never go broke since they own Kraft Foods, Miller Beer and Marlboro cigarettes, which happen to be the three dietary staples in America’s Dairyland.
Honestly, Wisconsin is like Penn State and the SEC had an illegitimate child. Joe Paterno himself couldn’t construct a better offense based on gargantuan, sausage-fed offensive lineman and a bruising running back who eats contact like candy. Then, their is the Wiscy-level of drinking, which easily can put even the most moonshine-riddled southern peckerwood to shame.
LSUcks. I mean, they’ve won two titles in the last decade, but neither should count. The first was just Nick SabaNazi splitting the love with Petey Cheaty TrojanFace and the second was beating arguably the most over-rated (and by “over-rated” I also mean “terrible,” and by that I mean “Ohio State”) teams ever allowed in a BCS Title game. Not to mention Les Miles is a complete mental case.
Where do I start? First of all, there is the fact that finally this team is in a real conference, which means they get to go somewhere more interesting than the land of endless Kansas they’ve been imprisoned in for decades. Nothing can improve your situation more than never having to go to Kansas ever again.
Plus I still think Big Tweleveten should have deferred Nebraska’s admittance until they specifically defined what a “Cornhusker” really is. I’ve been told it is just a guy who beats off in a cornfield a lot, and I just don’t think that is appropriate. Not to mention it totally changes my view of “popcorn.”
Oh, and Tom Osborne molests collies.
7) Florida State
What can you say about an institution that makes the University of Florida look good? Florida State is the “strip mall” of universities, and it is exactly that level of non-sophistication which makes it perfect for Tallahassee, which is actually the capital city of Lower Alabamida.
8 ) Boise State
I’m so tired of this team. They’ve been playing this “David” bit against everybody else’s Goliath, and I’m totally over it. This is a team that has been living off that Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma a few years back, and they haven’t won anything meaningful since. Join a real conference and play a real schedule, otherwise you are just a western Notre Dame.
How can anybody have any respect for a school which is supposed to be full of the uber-smart, yet it can’t even figure out its own mascot. The nickname is the Cardinal, not the bird or the pope-in-training, but the color. Somehow, this color is represented by an ass-eating tree. No wonder I weep for the future of this country.
10) Oklahoma State
You almost want to feel sorry for Oklahoma State…almost. The only people who go to Oklahoma State are the ones who couldn’t get into Oklahoma. That’ s gotta hurt all by itself; it’s like going to Costco because you couldn’t even get a membership at Sam’s Club. Worse yet, imagine having to deal with that kind of rejection while living in Stillwater. Even people in Tulsa think Stillwater sucks.
Oklahoma State fans think somehow the success of their basketball team means anything to football fans. Their chants at football games are generally some unintelligent ramblings about the other teams love for male genitalia. Of course, the hoards of douchebag fans which inhabit Stillwater have nothing but time to be so creative as the average OSU female tends to prefer female genitalia. This is why it is metaphysical certitude one of them will start carving up hookers and dumping them under T. Boone Pickens Stadium.
11) South Carolina
Gamecocks… What else do I need to say? The jokes write themselves. Feel free to contribute your own.
12) Texas A&M
Legend has it that the “A&M” in Texas A&M used to stand for “All-Male.” We’ve also noticed the” aTm” on the Aggies helmets represents a particularly nasty acronym, and I don’t mean “at the moment.” I’m just sayin’…
13) Virginia Tech
It used to be that Virginia Tech was the poster child for over-rated, waste-of-time East Coast football. Then Virginia Tech and Miami joined the ACC supposedly forming a superconference. That idea got so screwed up I’m surprised Barack Obama wasn’t involved in it. But since they are on the East Coast this team for some reason is always a “dark horse” national title contender. Tech is good for 10 painfully boring wins and an equally boring bowl victory. Honestly, watching a Virginia Tech game is like watching ice melt, except not as exciting.
There’s being a fan; then there’s going too far. Somehow you just know this is less about “supporting the team” and more about greasing the railsl for a serious discussion with the family about Daddy’s transvestism.
Every year, TCU plays archrival SMU in a game known as the Battle for the Iron Skillet. All this really accomplishes is to see which Christian Texas asshole school gets to lay claim to cookware. Big deal. What should really play happen is BYU should play Notre Dame every year so we can see which Christian asshole school won’t be a BCS buster.
- noun, often capitalized \ˈshä-dən-ˌfrȯi-də\
- Definition of SCHADENFREUDE: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others
- Origin of SCHADENFREUDE: German, from Schaden “damage” + Freude “joy”
- First Known Use: 1895
I’m going to enjoy this so much…words can’t describe how much I hate Lane Kiffin. He’s college football’s equivalent to that kid at your office who only has the job because he’s somebody nephew or frat brother or some other connection which has absolutely nothing to do with his crushing incompetence. I can’t even begin to describe how fun it is going to be watching this pompous pseudo-fruit hurtle over the NCAA cliff. I hope the they find out all the crap he did at Tennessee, then I hope they find more stuff he did at USC, then I hope they ban him from the game.
That won’t happen, but it would be fun to see Kiffin’s slime trail return USC to the Paul Hackett era, when the Trojans couldn’t beat TCU in the Sun Bowl. God, what a sweet time that was.
17) Ohio State
I should leave this section blank, because I was really raised to believe that if you can’t say anything nice, then you shouldn’t say anything at all. But if I were to do that, then this whole article would be blank. What else can you say about Ohio, a state where the rivers catch fire and sodomizing a relative is considered a proper form of greeting? Seriously, Ohio is the reason why “To Catch A Predator” exists; 8 Saturdays a year 100,000 Buckeyes cram themselves into Ohio Stadium, which is the anus of the Big Ten. The best thing I can say about Ohio is somehow it manages to let those hillbilly dipshits from the SEC have self-esteem.
18) Michigan State
Really, I should just write a generic bit for all the Big Twelevten teams who aren’t Wisconsin, Ohio State, or Penn State. They all really do the same thing. They become bowl-eligible, and then somehow lose to some peckerwood SEC team like Mississippi State “We Both Humped Our Sisters, But Our Accents Are Weirder” Bowl. What makes Michigan State different is their coach who enjoys having heart-attacks after game winning field goals.
Auburn has a long tradition of hiring mouth-breathers as coaches. There was the runt of the Bowden litter, then there was “Dumbo” Tuberville, and now there’s Gene Chizik. Chizik is an over-hyped bag of guts, which is perfect for a school full of frauds, closet racists, and over-inflated egos. Honestly, all that separates Auburn from being a southern-fried Notre Dame is the dark and barbarous Catholic Church.
20) Mississippi State
If you can’t play football, at least give us slutty, naked cheerleaders. This marks Mississippi State’s first measure of relevance in nearly a century.
Don’t be mislead by the production, this isn’t a book, it’s a pamphlet. You can’t fill a whole book with “Be ranked until you play Oklahoma.”
There’s a reason why they call it “UGAy.” Seriously, it doesn’t take much to figure out all those good, ol’ boys at Sanford Stadium secretly bat for the other team. After all, it was a dead give away when we noticed they love to wind down after their annual “Queer Beating” by doing the world’s biggest “elephant walk.” At least they aren’t playing “soggy biscuit” anymore…I think. Not to mention “Deliverance” was set in Georgia. I wonder if Georgia football makes Ned Beatty clinch up just a little.
Gainesville represents the epicenter of culture in Florida, which means they have log sculptures of Tim Tebow and they change the urinal cakes at the stadium once a season.
24) Penn State
There is a rule out that says you can’t say anything bad about Joe Paterno, because he is the dean of college football. He is 643 years old, which is why he doesn’t seem to have the sense of urgency needed to beat a bunch of nipple-gummers like Iowa or Ohio State. The last time he had a sense of urgency was when he ran off the field to take a dump a few years ago. It matters little as he will win more Big Tweleveten titles, even if it means we see a robotic JoePa patrolling the sidelines of State College.
25) Arizona State
These two tongue-lappers are a perfect representation of Arizona State. First, since they know they have been passed by Mississippi State on the slutty cheerleader scale, they get desperate for attention. This is the only reason girls like this make out with each other; so you’ll see past their sluttiness because they know every straight guy in America has that “two chicks” fantasy. The problem is they rarely will go all the way, much like Sun Devil football hasn’t seen a Rose Bowl since Jake “the Snake” Plummer.
That’s right, with the addition of Nebraska, the Big Ten has twelve members. Gone are the days of hiding the “ten that is actually 11″ thing Escher-like in the conference logo.
Gone are the days of my being able to refer to this league as the Big Eleven Ten (I will be sticking with Big Tweleveten until they expand again). Gone are the days of Penn State being the figurative new kid on the Big Ten block. But when the focus is returned to this upcoming season, what isn’t gone are the days of Penn State having an early loss. In fact, the Blue and White may have doubled-down on that trend as the Nittany Lions face Iowa and Alabama in their first six games. The end of the schedule doesn’t get any easier, with a home game against Nebraska followed by consecutive road trips to Columbus and Madison.
September 3 - Indiana State
Let’s be honest…This is merely a tune-up. The Indiana State Fighting Trees won’t mount any real opposition; instead, they will be happy to take a Happy Valley seal-clubbing, and return to Terre Haute check in hand.
September 10 – Alabama
Last year in Tuscaloosa, this was the Ghosts of College Football’s past. Back in the days when Penn State was still independent, a JoePa vs. Bear Bryant contest was a regular on the schedule. Not to mention the Nittany Lions routinely faced an SEC team in their usual bowl game.
This year in Happy Valley, the Penn State faithful will remember how they were outclassed at Bryant-Denny Stadium. This will be one of those games where if you see just the final score, you will know the winner. If the final score is 12-7, you know Penn State won. But, if the final is 43-6, you know that was an Alabama victory.
September 17 – @ Temple
Once again, Temple will face the Nittany Lion buzzsaw. Once again, they will set a record for losses to a Joe Paterno-led team (27). Once again, this will just continue to put the in-state rival from Philadelphia in sole possession of the distinction of suffering the most losses to a Paterno-led team.
September 24 – Eastern Michigan
For the second week in a row, the Nittany Lion buzzsaw will slice through the flesh of a MAC sacrificial lamb. Eastern Michigan is ranked dead-last in the Dubsism pre-season rankings; look for this game to be over by half-time.
October 1 – @ Indiana
Now for the big streak Penn State has since joining the Big Twelevten. Penn State is 14-0 vs. the Poosiers in conference play. This streak will continue, just like Amy Winehouse’s current consecutive Days-Not-Alive streak.
October 8 – Iowa
For the second year in a row, this game is the Rolaids Bowl. Now with the current conference re-alignment as resultant schedule, Iowa has replaced Michigan as one of two “red circles of seething hate” on my Penn State schedule (of course, the Ohio State Suckeyes being the other). How does this game get such a distinction? Because (deleted) Iowa always finds a (deleted) way to win this (deleted) game. This is why the Fawkeyes are 8-1 in their last nine games against the Nittany Lions.
October 15 – Purdue
Purdue represents the second conference foe in Indiana toward which I am officially dismissive. Gone are the salad days of Drew Brees, Kyle Orton, and uh….give me a minute…you know, that other Purdue Toiletmaker that didn’t suck. You know, tall guy, always wore a shirt…never mind. The point is Purdue has had a few years to forget what a historic death-pit they’ve found Happy Valley to be, but they should be getting a reminder about 12:30.
October 22 – @ Northwestern
Honestly, Northwestern scares me when Penn State has to go to Evanston. The Blue and White have only ever lost three times to the Wildcats; two of those occurring in Illinois. While Northwestern has improved to the point where the Mildcats are no longer everybody’s homecoming patsy, they tend to have surprises at home.
October 29 – Illinois
REVENGE GAME: Thanks to the quirks of scheduling in a growing conference, the Fighting Saliva get to return to the scene of the Homecoming crime they committed last year. I want to drink beer out of Ron Zook’s hollowed-out skull. Somebody needs to make that happen.
Michigan supporters simply won’t support any further slippage of this program; its “bowl or bust” for Rodriguez, and like Zook, he isn’t likely to get a helpful outcome in State College.
November 12 – Nebraska
This is first conference match between Penn State and the Cornsuckers who used some B.S. pity party (“poor Tom Osborne hasn’t won a title yet” even though he NEVER deserved one…) to rob the Nittany Lions of a National Championship in 1995.
This also marks the “make or break” stage of the schedule; this is the first of three straight games against Top-20 pre-season opponents, and the only one at home. I may need to save some of those Rolaids from the Iowa game.
November 19 – @ Ohio State
There is a formula for beating the Ohio State Penitentary University; Joe Paterno has proven it, but hasn’t been able to pull it off in a couple of years. The calculus remains the same; if you want to see a Penn State win, you want to see a plodding, ball-control type game with stiff defense on both sides, something akin to watching two sloths using a rock to break open a coconut. If that happens, the blue sloth wins by a field goal.
November 25 – @ Wisconsin
I’d love to say Penn State gets to this game with the idea that a win in Madison means a trip to the first Big Ten championship game, but I’m not that drunk yet. Honesty, I think the Nittany Lions roll into Camp Randall stadium eyeing one those 25 Big Twelevten/SEC New Year’s Day bowls.
scha·den·freu·de - [shahd-n-froi-duh] - noun: satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.
It really shouldn’t surprise anybody that when you see a lot of a particular team’s gear out there, occasionally a picture will surface featuring some less-than-palatable creature sporting said gear. Welcome to the world Ohio State find itself in.
This isn’t a new development. It first came to my attention a few years ago, thanks to an investigative reporter in Cleveland named Carl Monday who exposed (so to speak) a ring of pervos whacking it to kiddie porn in the public libraries.
We all know that there are a ton of issues surrounding Ohio State’s program these days, so the last thing they really need is this:
I’d really hate to be Ohio State’s public relations guy right about now. First, there’s just the obvious stuff swirling around Columbus now with the whole Memorabilia-gate saga. Then, it comes out the players intend to wear bracelets to honor the memory of disgraced former coach Jim “Cheatypants McSwetervest” (how long before those end up in a pawn shop in the greater Columbus area?). Just as he’s reaching for the Rolaids, that picture hits the internet.
That level of stress helps to explain the tone of this response.
A rep for the university tells TMZ, “We are never surprised to see Buckeye pride displayed across the world. Buckeye hoodies and hats have traditionally been spotted across the world, and we understand that as a result, our logo will be seen in a wide range of news situations, whether positive or negative.”
Of course, that wasn’t his first response. That probably went more like “Oh, that’s just great…not like I have enough problems, now I have the most hated woman in America showing up wearing my logo.”
Then they showed him this picture.
“Oh, now that’s just fucking terrific! Why doesn’t she just perform a live sex act on that jersey with O.J., then bury her dead kid’s body in it?! I need a fucking drink…”
Casey Anthony is a reprehensible human being who got away with murder, but she is doing for Ohio State what Jonestown did for Kool-Aid, and I must approve of that.
Here’s time #8,756 I’ve said this – the NCAA is a joke.
It didn’t exactly take the Amazing Kreskin to see this coming when star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and three other offensive starters were cited by the NCAA last December for selling rings, jerseys and other memorabilia as underclassmen. But 6 months later, Ohio State vacates all 12 wins from the 2010 season, including the Sugar Bowl win, and placing itself on two years’ probation as penance for fielding multiple ineligible players. Now, they’ve announced Pryor would have been ineligible for all of 2011 and he has been banned from all contact with the team for 5 years.
The Buckeyes’ self-flagellation comes as part of their official response to accusations of major NCAA violations involving both the ineligible players; Pryor, running back Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams, and reserve defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, not to mention disgraced former head coach Jim Tressel’s season-long cover-up.
Am I supposed to be impressed by this?
First of all, it’s about 6 months too late. When Ohio State first tried to keep their Bucknuts out of the NCAA deep-fryer last December, all they were doing was avoiding the inevitable. The thinking was if you let the NCAA get its pound of flesh up front it, they could get away with a slap on the wrist and maintain the hope the NCAA would be placated and not care to do anymore digging.
That means by its very nature it is disingenuous, and it didn’t work. Granted, they managed to keep the offending players eligible for the Sugar Bowl and they kept the regular seasons wins intact.
However, everything backfired once Jim “Cheatypants McSweatervest” Tressel got caught in a season-long cover-up, which is the only reason the NCAA even decided to return to the case at all.
Now, Tressel is gone, Pryor has been banished, and the Buckeye house of cards keeps falling. The first go-around at self-punishment was all about avoiding the record books being wiped clean. Well, that’s going to happen anyway, and it begs a question. By banishing Pryor, now what is Ohio State trying to avoid?
Think about it. Right now, Ohio State is still getting off light. Even if the 2010 season is erased from the books, they still get to pocket the cash those games generated. Plus, in light of the heavy scholarship losses and two-year bowl ban the NCAA dropped on USC last year for essentially the same kind of violations, an eraser to a record book is the aforementioned wrist slap.
Ohio State is again hoping it can avoid harsher (and deserved) penalties by looking “proactive” and by throwing Tressel under the proverbial bus. The problem is the NCAA seems to be buying this bilge. Ohio State is singing a big song to the NCAA to the tune of admitting major violations of NCAA regulations, but in the same stanza claims they should not face harsh punishment because no Ohio State official other than Tressel was aware of player violations.
Now for the big question: since when did “self-punishment” become acceptable? I ask because I really could have used this twenty or so years ago. There are plenty of times I would have copped to breaking curfew if it meant nobody found out what I was doing at 2 a.m. For me as a kid, that moment of truth always came when it was time to sneak back into the house. For Ohio State, they get to try to sneak into the house next month when they have a hearing in front of the NCAA. That will be the moment of truth; will the Buckeyes’ self-flagellation be enough, or will the NCAA actually hold them accountable?
Editor’s Note: For purposes of full disclosure, J-Dub is an alum of the University of North Dakota and is a fervent Fighting Sioux hockey fan. In fact, that’ s his real fat ass all Sioux-ed up. For Christ’s sake, the man has a Fighting Sioux shower curtain. We mention this only for purposes of stating up front this article may be written with a bit of a bias. If you disagree, feel free to comment, or start your own blog. Either way, you’ve been warned.
College football isn’t the only sport in the NCAA experiencing a tectonic shift in it’s conference alignments. Two of its oldest and most storied leagues are breaking up and re-forming a college hockey world that will look very different from the way it does today.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) will celebrate its 60th anniversary this fall. The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) turns 41. However, it is these two leagues which will be the most effected by the announcement yesterday that the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) will begin play in 2013-14 with some of the game’s most powerful programs as charter members.
Perennial power North Dakota, defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth, along with Denver, Colorado College,and Nebraska-Omaha are leaving the WCHA for the new league. These five schools have combined for a total won 17 national championships. Miami (Ohio) is departing the CCHA for the NCHC.
For those of you unfamiliar with college hockey, if such a shift were to happen in college football, it would be the equivalent of (current sanctions notwithstanding) USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State all announcing they are leaving their current conferences and forming their own.
“The WCHA has changed pretty dramatically over the years,” Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph said. “As we look at the institutions that are most like us from a hockey perspective, the institutions our fans like seeing and the institutions that are providing national media for us, it became a pretty defined group.
Such a shift was inevitable once the Big Ten sponsored men’s hockey as a league sport. Once Penn State added hockey, the Big Ten had the needed six teams to form a conference once it gained Minnesota and Wisconsin from the WCHA and Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State from the CCHA.
This re-alignment will leave the WCHA with only five members: Alaska-Anchorage, Minnesota State, Bemidji State, and charter member Michigan Tech.
“Obviously, it’s a tough day for the WCHA and a sad one for me personally, and it’s not one that is easy to put into perspective,” WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said. “We wish everyone well, but make no mistake, the WCHA is not going away. . . The WCHA has a short-term plan that we will implement immediately. In the long-term, we will formulate a strategic approach that will ensure the well-being of this Association and its members for the long run.”
The CCHA fares a bit better…for now. As it stands now, the league will have seven remaining schools, the most notable being Notre Dame. However, their is a strong possibility the Fighting Irish will join the Fighting Sioux in the new conference.
The league, which intentionally didn’t define itself with one region of the country, may expand by the time it starts. The National, as it was called by coaches and athletic directors at Wednesday’s introductory press conference, covets adding Notre Dame as a seventh team. If the Irish come aboard, an eighth team is possible as well.
The thing that all college hockey fans must remember that such big shifts are not new. Set the Wayback Machine for 1982 when Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Northern Michigan all bid farewell to the WCHA for the CCHA. Two years later, Boston College, Boston University, Maine, and New Hampshire were the vanguard of what became a seven-team defection from Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) to form Hockey East.
I know you are all wondering…what does does J-Dub, North Dakota alum and fervent Fighting Sioux fan think of this?
First of all, everybody thought 1982 was some sort of apocalypse; everybody thought all those teams leaving the WCHA (more importantly, the split of the North Dakota/Michigan rivalry) was the death knell of the WCHA. In fact, the opposite was true. North Dakota and Michigan continued to be the pre-eminent programs in the game, and both the WCHA and CCHA flourished as conferences.
The same held true for Hockey East. People thought it was bad for college hockey when Hockey East was formed and it strengthened the game in the East. Look at how many times Boston Fucking College has beaten the Sioux in the Frozen Four lately. That didn’t happen 20 years ago.
Not to mention, this will be good for the development of new programs. At the outset, we get a new Penn State program (fun for me, as I did some post-grad work there, and the Beaver Stadium experience is what hooked me on college football). Since I literally now live spitting distance from the Purdue campus, you know I’m going to be doing whatever I can to get them to move hockey from a club sport up to the level of competing with the big boys; I sure as hell don’t want to have to keep get my college hockey fix in South Bend or via satellite.
But beyond my myopic needs, this could bring the college game into a growth period. The calculus works like this: a period of more conferences smaller in size instead of the double-digit alignments of today means six-team conferences like the Big Ten and the new NCHC have slots for new programs. If I can get Purdue to pick up hockey, they are a no-brainer for the Big Ten. The non-regional nature of the new NCHC means it is rife with possibilities, ranging from adding members from existing, yet struggling conferences to welcoming newcomers.
Either way, the future of college hockey is at the same time different and bright. I for one look forward to it.