Back in 2005, the NCAA declared that Native American mascots were “hostile and abusive” and outlawed them. Eight years later, the fact they are still around may be the perfect example of why the NCAA is the standard by which one measures ineffective and hypocritical organizations. The fact the debate spread beyond that is even more of a damning statement.
In today’s installment of the Dubscast, J-Dub takes a critical look at how the NCAA really isn’t interested in “hostile and abusive” because it clearly makes decision based on other criteria it won’t tell anybody. It is important to understand this IS NOT a discussion as to whether these mascots are “offensive,” you will need to get past that debate in order to see the bigger picture in play in this issue.
In other words, after checking out this episode of the Dubscast, you will need to decide for yourself why the NCAA either cannot or will not enforce its own rules.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of our File Dump, we here at Dubsism believe that when we have just too many good jokes about somebody that we haven’t gotten around to using, and then their career is over, we just can’t let all that good material go to waste.
According to several reports, Nutt has been informed by Ole Miss this will be his final season in Oxford. I’m not sure this comes as a surprise, given his 10-20 mark in SEC play, including 12 straight losses. It would seem Saturday’s 30-13 loss to Kentucky will be the proverbial final nail in Houston Nutt’s coffin.
First of all, I don’t think Nutt’s career is over; he’s going to get another job somewhere. But his next gig might be in a place where he doesn’t enjoy the visibility that failing in the SEC provides. To that end, we must never forget that the Nutt is Blog and Photoshop gold. These very pages drip with Houston Nutt jokes; Francis Ford Coppola won Academy Awards on Houston Nutt jokes.
The beauty is that Nutt’s own biography lends itself to this.
Many people forget about Nutt’s service in Vietnam. Below he is shown leading refugees onto the evacuation choppers during the fall of Saigon.
After his stint “in country,” Nutt explored a career in entertainment; it only really had two moments of note. The first came during his guest appearance on the 60’s NBC cult-hit “Star Trek.”
The other came in Nutt’s riveting performance as the Wicked Witch in a Boise, Idaho dinner theater reproduction of the “Wizard of Oz.”
Another fact about Houston Nutt most people don’t remember is that at one time he was an Olympic contender in men’s gymnastics.
It was after Nutt’s Olympic failure that he moved to Spain and became a premier toreador, until an unfortunate goring incident cut his career short.
Even this failure couldn’t quell the spirit of Nutt, the Renaissance man. He left Spain for the elite art world of Italy, yet Nutt’s proclivity for “Beavis and Butthead” level humor led to yet another unceremonious exit, this time from a position as the curator of an art museum.
This sent Nutt back to the world of college football. Despite what has happened in Oxford in the past few days, Nutt has to resurface somewhere for two reasons. First of all, his resume is simply too good to fade away. Even if you don’t want to accept the things’ I’ve just mentioned, just look at his track record in football.
Don’t forget, he is the guy who started Boise State’s move to the big time. In the land of the Smurf Turf, Nutt inherited a 2-10 team which had just made the jump to Division I-A football and wanted a recruiter to jump start their program. Before Nutt, Boise State was the lowest ranked of all Division I-A schools; Nutt took them to a 5–6 record in 1997 playing at the Division I-A teams with a roster comprised largely of Division I-AA players.
Despite that, Nutt’s team beat rival Idaho and almost pulled off an upset against Wisconsin. Nutt parlayed that success into a job in the best conference in the country, the SEC. He became the head coach of the University of Arkansas in December 1997.
During his first press conference as coach, Nutt immediately mentioned a national championship as his goal and felt that Arkansas had the program to do it. Of course, this resonated in the ears of Hawg Nation one. The Razorbacks had suffered through a long period of non-relevance under a succession of head coaches in the previous years.
While he never won that promised crystal football, he did restore the Razorbacks to some success. Under Nutt, the Razorbacks were one of three SEC schools to play in three New Year’s Day bowls within five years. In Nutt’s first six seasons, he led the team to a bowl game each year and averaged eight wins per season. However, by the end, Nutt was being criticized for his ultra-conservative play-calling.
When the Arkansas days were over in 2007, Nutt moved downriver to Ole Miss. However, in between gigs, Nutt found time to briefly tour with AC/DC.
Once again, Nutt’s time in Oxford started with a lot of promise, as his Rebels went 9-4 in each of his first two seasons and won consecutive Cotton Bowls.
Trouble was that the Rebs followed those Cotton Bowl wins with a 4-8 record in 2010, including a 1-7 mark in SEC play. The 2011 Rebel record of 2-7 with the aforementioned 12 consecutive conference losses ended the Nutt regime in Oxford.
Maybe it was better that it ended this way. A prolonged exit may have made have made Nutt flash back to his days as a light-heavyweight contender; the kind who doesn’t know when he’s beat and that it is time to move on to a new fight.
The other reason Nutt must resurface somewhere is purely selfish…the man is a well-spring of material. Like you didn’t already figure that out. The real beauty is that he doesn’t even require photographic tomfoolery to look 100% batshit crazy. To that end, I offer the following completely unretouched photos.
This begs the question…what’s next for the Nuttiest coach in college football? He does have a bit of “redneck deputy sheriff in him.”
Of course, the other side of that same coin is the Nutt also has a bit of “Cool Hand Luke” in him.
What if the Nutt went back to his entertainment roots?
But…given the way certain other stories in college football are breaking right now…what if???
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.
1) Hotty Toddy Gosh Almigh…FAAACK!!!
When Houston Nutt’s Ole Miss Rebels travel to Columbia for a showdown with the South Carolina ‘Cocks of the “Ol’ Ball Coach,” and you put it on national television, entertainment should abound. First of all, there’s at least three good Beavis and Butthead-types jokes in the prior sentence alone. Then there’s always the side-bets…How many visors will Steve Spurrier fire into the turf? Will Nutt finally have the brain-splattering stroke he always looks just on the verge of having? Anytime the Nutt gets exposure, you never know just what could happen.
As for the game itself, one could be in for a ridiculous multi-overtime affair with each team scoring north of 60 points. Or just as likely, one could be treated to a cro-magnon yet exquisitely brutal old-school SEC mud-and-blood defense-fest. The only way it could suck is getting neither.
Nutt’s Rebels must have decided that a #4 ranking was a bit much, as they really offered a gripping demonstration as to why they believe so. Granted, winning on the road in the SEC is never easy (unless you are in Knoxville), but when you have the offensive guruistry of the Nutt armed with a big-time quarterback in Jevon Snead and a Percy Harvin-type playmaker in Dexter McCluster, you must put more on the board than two field goals in the first thirty minutes.
Sometimes you win like a Nutt and sometimes you don’t, but to win you always gotta score touchdowns on the road.
2) Who Wants to be Jan Brady?
If you are my age, you remember the “See and Say.” It taught you what noises various animal made. What Oregon showed us on Saturday is that a Duck can make a Bear say “FAAACK!” Cal made this utterance collectively while having their traditional title-hopes-ending loss a week early, as they really looked like a team concentrating on losing to Southern Cal this week.
Of course, this just delays Southern Cals’ triumphant return; the clubbing they put on the closest rival for the title. Now, we all wait until the end of October for Oregon to take it’s turn as one of the Pac-10 troika that rotates playing Jan Brady to Southern Cal’s Marcia.
3) A World Simultaneous “FAAACK!” Record
All the way from Lexington you could hear it. A full-throated, this-is-the-end-of-days type roar erupting from the freaked-out face of every Florida Gator fan at the precise moment Tim Tebow hit the turf at Commonwealth Stadium. It looked bad in live action, but thanks to instant replay, you got the Zapruder-like imagery needed to determine exactly how close Tebow came to being killed. First, you were amazed that his head didn’t actually come off. Then you were convinced he was going to be paralyzed. As happy as you were to see him walk off the field, you still couldn’t believe it was happening.
4) The FAAACK-ing FAAACK-Eyes!
So, now it’s official. Iowa now gets “the red circle of seething hatred” on my Penn State football schedule; the very same usually permanently reserved for Ohio State and Michigan. The Hawkeyes will remain that third circle every fall until the Nittany Lions actually beat this team.
Not even a Tarantino-style “going medieval on their asses” will suffice. This calls for the ultimate; a Sam Peckinpah-esque slo-mo orgy of death.
No, the Right Reverend Houston Dale Nutt is not fisting Jim Rome…yet. Rather, these are just the themes from the latest examples of the completely bi-polar nature of the Nutt, and by extension, any institution affiliated with the Rt. Rev.
Houston Nutt is just a head-scratching, what-the-hell-happened-there type enigma. I can’t decide whether the man is geniunely bat-shit crazy, or just a cunning master of deception. In the last 24 hours, the following pieces appeared on the interwebz, each painting a picture as different as Grant Wood vs. Salvador Dali on acid after a month-long tequila bender.
1) The Germ-o-phobe:
In an effort to ward off the aggressive and debilitating advances of Outbreak Monkey (the H1N1 virus), Ole Miss is considering having its football team wear surgical gloves during its stroll down the Walk of Champions before Saturday’s game against SE Louisiana, CBS College Sports Radio reports. Typically the team walks through the Grove, glad handing the fanbase on its way to the stadium, but the fear of disease, namely the flu, which has swept through the team in recent days, may prompt the move to a more sterile interaction.
Didn’t Howard Hughes go through something like this? Sure, it starts with the gloves; but the next thing you know, you are cloistered away insane-monk style on the top floor of your Vegas hotel with your feet stuffed in Kleenex boxes and saving your own urine.
2) Full-On Caligula:
Ole Miss, in just a year and a half of sustained football excellence, have bypassed the stable, prosperous stage of football glory and skipped ahead to the decadent, endstages of Caligula-esque imperium. They don’t want the steady, stable period where fans behave semi-normally, coaches don’t hand out hundreds for good play, and orgies don’t break out with shocking regularity. They prefer to skip right to the part where they enjoy the Senators’ wives, thank you very much. Proof of this: the hiring of dwarves, a sure harbinger you’ve entered the decadent phase of a civilization’s lifespan.
“I am looking to hire a professional Dwarf Actor for frat house party entertainment at the University of Mississippi in Oxford Mississippi.”
Now that’s the I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-germs-I’m-sticking-it-into-that side of Vegas that should stay there. For those times when a Buick full of tanked-up quasi-skanky sorority girls just isn’t enough, there’s only one answer: “professional” midgets.
Frankly, I’m not sure just how one’s professional status is determined for such a thing, let alone exactly at which skill did they reach the professional ranks. It matters little; the diametrically-opposed nature of one hand with a rubber glove with the other ostensibly on some very-low-to-the-floor naughty bits is the heart of the duality of the Nutt.
Either way, until further notice whenever at Ole Miss, you should be wearing rubber on something.