Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Western Carolina

Yesterday's game is one fans always worry about. 

And Crimson Tide fans got some scares. Amari Cooper went out early with a bruised knee, and both A'Shawn Robinson (starting DT) and Cam Robinson (starting LT) went out of the game with twisted ankles. Thankfully, it sounds like all three will be fine for the Iron Bowl. Unfortunately, it sounds like Brian Vogler and ArDarius Stewart won't be available for the next game. Stewart has looked good recently. He's a deep threat.

While pundits might nod disapprovingly at giving up 14 points to Western Carolina, the first score was a gift because Alabama clearly recovered a fumble, but the officials didn't deem it so. And then Henry fumbled deep in Alabama's territory, which gave the Catamounts great field position, and they then got a touchdown on a back-shoulder pass. There should have been review on it because the receiver bobbled the ball. 

But whatever. 

The Tide offense came out flat, but the D played well. When they ran the ball, Henry and Fowler looked good in place of the usual tandem of Yeldon and Henry. Yeldon was held out because of his slightly gimpy ankle. Besides the stupid fumble, Henry looked great. And I always enjoy when they line up Fowler at running back. 

This is the type of game a fan watches to see how the youngsters play. Of the younger guys, here are some pertinent stats:
  • RB Tyren Jones: 11 carries for 75 yards, 1 touchdown
  • RB Altee Tenpenny: 11 carries for 66 yards
  • WR Chris Black: 6 catches for 101 yards
  • WR ArDarius Stewart: 5 catches for 51 yards
  • WR Robert Foster: 4 catches for 40 yards
  • WR Cam Sims: 3 catches for 33 yards, 1 touchdown
Blake Sims only played the first half, so we got to see the offense under the guidance of Jacob Coker. I wasn't all that impressed. He did an okay job. 

But I was impressed by the play of Tyren Jones. He's reminds me of Mark Ingram, but he's probably a a bit shorter and slimmer. His legs are always chugging. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Music Friday: "Green Machine"

This week I've been playing the heck out of an old album, Kyuss's Blues for the Red Sun circa 1992. 

Back in the 90s, my buddy Roy and I went to a show in Columbia, MO and saw a triple bill of these bands: Kyuss, Biohazard, and Fishbone. It was excellent, and as much as I'm a huge fan of Fishbone, Kyuss was the band that really impressed both Roy and me. 

So today I offer up "Green Machine." Listen to it, and you can thank me later. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Mississippi State

One of the knocks against Alabama's strong defense this season is that they haven't created a lot of turnovers. That changed yesterday. 

Though State dominated the game from a statistical standpoint, the Tide dominated the game from a realistic standpoint. Key interceptions from Nick Perry, Cyrus Jones, and Landon Collins deflated the Bulldogs yesterday. And the D's ability to shut down State's fine running back Josh Robinson made their offense pretty predictable ~ either Prescott was throwing or running. 

I hadn't seen a safety in a while, so it was fun to witness one of those in the first quarter. 

As for the offense, it sustained some drives, but it wasn't clicking like it could have. Sure, Amari Cooper was out there doing Amari Cooper things, but State's D is pretty salty, especially in the red zone. The offense and Yeldon got it going in the fourth quarter to finally put the game away even though State came back in the fourth, scored a touchdown late, and didn't succeed with an onside kick.  

If I'm getting this right, the SEC West breaks down this way: 

  • If Alabama wins against Auburn, it goes to the SEC Championship.
  • If Alabama loses to Auburn and State beats Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl, State goes to the SEC Championship.
  • If Alabama loses to Auburn and Ole Miss beats State in the Egg Bowl, Ole Miss goes to the SEC Championship.
The East breaks down this way:
  • If Mizzou loses a game, Georgia goes the SEC Championship.
  • If Mizzou wins the rest of its SEC matches (Tennessee and Arkansas), they go to the SEC Championship.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Music Friday: "In the Meantime"

I've been in a musical rut lately. However, I purchased the new Foo Fighters album this week after having watched the first four episodes of their HBO series Sonic Highways.

It's the only album I have from the Foo Fighters. I don't know why I never got into them. I like uptempo hard rock, so you think they'd appeal to me. The band usually employs three different guitars at a time. I like that. And they have a good drummer. 

I'll ponder this all while in the meantime, I'll give you a classic song circa 1992, Helmet's "In the Meantime."  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Hangover: LSU

Last night in Baton Rouge we watched a typical Alabama-LSU slugfest. None of this spread-you-out, soft, finesse football. Hard hits abounded. No bullshit football. 

Besides a few drives by the Crimson Tide, LSU dominated the the game in regulation. Alabama beat the Tigers in total offensive yards - 315 to 259 - but LSU had the ball the most on offense: 38:16 to Alabama's 21:44. That's a huge difference in ball control. 

Credit the Tide D for hanging in there and sustaining a pounding. 

Credit the offense for waking up with 50 seconds to go in regulation. Sims came alive, and so did the receiving corps. 

On defense, DL Jarran Reed and LB Reggie Ragland accounted for 28 total tackles:
  • Reed: 2 solos, 13 assists, one of which was a tackle for loss
  • Ragland: 4 solos, 9 assists, one of which was a tackle for loss
The great catch and run by Cooper for a TD and the beautiful fade pass to White for the winning touchdown in overtime are plays to remember from this game. 

As much as I'm happy about the win, I'm concerned about the Tide's running game. The Tide will get tested by Mississippi State's "Psycho Defense" this coming Saturday. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stay Positive: How To Suck at Your Religion

I'm not as huge of a fan of The Oatmeal as I'm sure other people are, but the recent offering of "How to Suck at Your Religion" hits my sweet spot. Check it out. 

Music Friday: "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing"

After watching the Mr. Dynamite documentary (mentioned in my previous post), this week trips in my car have been funkified by listening to James Brown's 50th Anniversary Collection, which is a two-CD set of fifty songs. 

One of my favorite songs is the one below. That video is an extended version of the song. And I've linked the song as covered by Living Colour

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stay Positive: James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party

Earlier this week I watched the HBO documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown. It's quite a good one if you're interested in music documentaries. 

But since I grew up watching SNL, anything about James Brown reminds me of Eddie Murphy's great skit, James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party. It's below for your viewing pleasure. 

James brown celebrity hottub by codordog

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Bye Week

Saturday night was a disappointing night. 

Mrs. Nasty went to Ole Miss, so the Rebels' loss to Auburn was difficult. Their best WR broke his ankle on a play that would have had Ole Miss go ahead in the game (if I remember right). He released the ball in pain before the ball crossed the plane, and Auburn recovered the fumble in the end zone. 

At right around the same time, the Razorbacks drove in the waning moments of their game against State. The Arkansas QB threw up a ball short in the end zone, and a Bulldog made an interception to seal a victory in Starkville. Arkansas will upset someone in the SEC this season, and they only have a few games left to do so. 

The annual cocktail party in Jacksonville was really interesting to watch though. Georgia having two losses has put the East up for grabs, and Mizzou is leading it now. 

I didn't watch much of the Notre Dame-Navy game, but I would imagine a service academy putting up all kinds of points on the Fightin' Irish isn't going to impress the AP voters and the selection committee. 

In Morgantown, West Virginia lost at the end when they probably should have won that game against TCU.

Kansas State continues to roll along. They demolished Oklahoma State last night.

 Oregon soundly defeated its consistent nemesis Stanford. 

I suspect the top four teams the selection committee will have on its board this Tuesday are Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn, and Oregon. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Music Friday: "Different Names for the Same Things"

This summer I was reading a document with two other people, and two of us go hung up on terminology. I thought the concept should be called a certain term, and another person thought it should be called something different.

In the end, they were different names for the same thing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Random Notes from a Crank

In the November election in Illinois, there are a number of ballot initiatives. The Millionaire Tax Increase for Education has a certain degree of appeal. You could argue that it's a flat-out voter turnout generator in response to Rauner running for Governor (and probably winning since Quinn and the Democratic Party of IL are so inept). Then again, maybe there's something more to it if you've read "Right vs. Left in the Midwest" from political science professor Lawrence R. Jacobs. 

Here's how US Uncut described the situation on its FB page:

Today The Onion provided a fine article from its archives. Check out "18-Year-Old Miraculously Finds Soulmate in Hometown." 

I'm thinking about buying some dark brown, old-school wingtips. I've always liked wingtips.They look good with dress slacks, and they look good with jeans. Yes, I just used the word "slacks." If you like wingtips, that old-fashioned term is appropriate. 

If you're not watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, you should. Grist has a short intro to his report about sugar. Here's "John Oliver's Takedown of the Sugar Industry is Pretty Sweet."  

I don't know if I buy the pseudo-Rogerian argument that leads to a delayed thesis in this article, but "Why Comics Are More Important Than Ever" made me think about my reading practices and some of the reasons I like comics/graphic novels. 

Speaking of comics, in the mail today I got Brian Wood's final installment of his four-volume storyline of Star Wars after the Rebels destroyed the first Death Star and are looking for a base of operations. 

May the Force be with you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Tennessee

It was the Amari Cooper show again. He earned a school record for the most receiving yards last night with 9 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The first touchdown was on the first play of the game for 80 yards. 

The Crimson Tide started out the game throttling the Vols, but then Tennessee got it together and found a quarterback in Joshua Dobbs, a dual-threat QB who ran for 100 yards. 

I was surprised the Alabama D didn't get more sacks last night with Tennessee's makeshift OLine. However, they did have 7 tackles for loss to go with 2 sacks. 

Yet again there was some sloppiness from Alabama with two fumbles, one of which was deep in Tennessee territory that thankfully only led to a field goal. 

The running game was mediocre to Alabama standards. Yeldon seemed off last night, Henry was good, and Sims had some key runs/scrambles on third down. 

The Crimson Tide will need to get healthy, clean up their game, and get their rushing D ready because the next game in two weeks will probably be a night game at LSU, a team that knocked off Ole Miss last night. 

A significant injury in last night's game was starting left tackle Cam Robinson suffering a high-ankle sprain. He's probably the best offensive lineman on the team. 

LSU played a heck of a game last night. The Crimson Tide will need to play cleaner offense along with much stronger defense when they travel to Baton Rouge. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Music Friday: "Bring on the Night-When the World is Running Down"

This week I downloaded an album I played the hell out of when I had it as a cassette. It's the live album of Bring on the Night

I have always been a huge fan of the Police, and I enjoy Sting's early solo work. I haven't followed his more recent stuff, recent signifying anything past the mid-90s. 

Back in the late 80s/early 90s, his band mixed in jazzy feel into his pop-alt sound, and I dig it because I like jazz. Heck, back then he had Branford Marsalis as his sax player, and he's one of my favorite saxophonists of all time. 

Anyway, here's a live performance of Sting and his band circa 1993. Enjoy. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Texas A&M

Yesterday's game was like if you combined the offensive performance of the Tide in the 2012 BCS National Championship and the defensive performance of the Tide in the 2011 BCS National Championship.

The Crimson Tide dominated the Aggies yesterday afternoon. 

Halfway through the second quarter it was clear Alabama had broken the spirit of Texas A&M. 

The recently maligned offensive line played well. They paved the the way for 298 net yards rushing and a grand total of 602 net yards gained. Yeldon had a great game (13 for 114 yards), and Derrick Henry amassed 70 yards on 7 carries. Both Tenpenny and Jones got playing time starting in the third quarter. And Blake Sims looked much more comfortable than he did in the two previous games. 

Amari Cooper was back to his old self -- 8 catches for 140 yards and 2 TDs. Alabama still needs to create a consistent set of foils for Cooper. TE O.J. Howard is certainly a player Tide fans want to see emerge as a consistent threat. DeAndrew White has a solid track record. I'm interested in seeing what Chris Black can do, and both true freshman Cam  Sims and redshirt freshman ArDarius Stewart got some playing time. 

As much as the performance by the offense provides hope, I was most impressed by the defense. Alabama's D held A&M to 8 first downs, 31 net yards rushing, and 172 net yards gained. As would be expected with those numbers, Alabama won time of possession, 36:31 to A&M's 23:29. 

My only complaint about the game is most of the kickoffs weren't touchbacks. With that said though, coverage was solid, especially the play of LB Reuben Foster, who reminds me of a violent brick running down the field. 

Next up is the Tide visiting Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Despite their record, the Vols are an improved team, most significantly on the defensive side of the ball. They're going to upset someone this season, and I hope it's not Alabama. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Music Friday: "Danger Zone"

In honor of that compilation of danger-zone moments from Archer, this Music Friday I'm getting all Kenny Loggins on you. I have been always more fond of "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack fame, but here's that Top Gun video.