Sunday, November 30, 2008

Assorted Rants

Last time I checked, Alabama was a 8.5-10 point dog versus the Gators. While Florida has looked quite impressive and they do have tremendous team speed, I find it odd that no one gives the Tide much a chance against them. Various pundits across the media spectrum assume that Florida will play for the BCS Championship.

OU jumping Texas is total bullshit. The Longhorns beat the Sooners. My hope is that Mizzou upsets the defense-optional Sooners and Texas gets into the title game. 

So Lane Kiffin gets the head coaching job in Knoxville? Where aren't people howling about Tennessee not interviewing minority candidates? At present there are only two African-American head coaches in the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) since Croom resigned instead of getting canned by Mississippi State. The guy who really deserves a chance is Charlie Strong, who was the defensive coordinator at South Carolina for a long time and is the current D coordinator at Florida. I also expect Turner Gill to move up to a higher profile school sometime soon. When a guy's made the U of Buffalo relevant in football, he's worked miracles. 

Sunday Hangover: Auburn

The Tide took out six years of frustration on the Tigers Saturday. I love that it was a shutout, but I honestly wanted Alabama to hang at least forty-something on the Cow College.

The defense played well. Instead of running behind the left side of the line most of the night, the Tide ran right with great success. Glen Coffee was strong once again, and Wilson managed the game well. Darius Hanks, a wideout who received a lot of praise pre-season, has begun to establish himself as a viable option in the passing game alongside Jones (WR), Walker (TE), McCall (TE), Smelley (TE), and Maze (WR). 

Auburn did have a few chances, however. Their best cornerback, Powers, dropped an interception that had the possibility of being a pick-six later in the game. 

But, all in all, it was total domination by the good guys.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Cause I Can Get Behind

Click HERE for an interesting blog post by Tucker Carlson.

Here are some teasers to seduce you:

"If you can convince a good Christian girl that she's serving God by having sex with you, it's hard to argue with that logic."

"Once you factor out venereal diseases, there's almost nothing better for you than regular sex."

"It's a natural analgesic that also reduces the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease. It lessens the incidence of colds and flu. It burns calories."

"Americans, despite appearances, don't have enough sex." 

Preach on, brother.

Pre-Emptive Music Friday: "My Poor Old Heart"

Since we'll be in Iowa and I won't have wireless internet service at the old homestead, I thought I'd post Music Friday on Tuesday.

Click HERE for a song from Alison Krauss and Union Station.

If there are angels and if angels sing, their voices sound like Alison Krauss.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weis Has the Golden-Domers...

Charlie Weis has the Golden-Domers in a tough situation. He hasn't done well as a head coach at all, but he has some insane clause in his contract that if he gets fired then Notre Dame pays him big bucks.

Wait, that's not insane. I want that contract. 

Regardless, Notre Dame has recruited well since he's been there. Pundits can't chalk up the bad seasons to a lack of talent. The Irish have consistently had top 10 or top 20 recruiting classes for years. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Quinn Kicking Back in His Overalls

Halloween Photos

For Halloween, Hannah went as Sharpay from High School Musical, and Quinn was Elvis.

60th Anniversary Photos

I thought I'd share a couple of photos from the 60th wedding anniversary of Virg and Deloras.

It happened a while back, but congrats to 60 happy years.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Off-Week Blues, Part Deux

Alabama has an off-week before the Tide hosts Auburn in T-Town.

But I offer some picks for some of tomorrow's games:
Mississippi State over Arkansas.
Ole Miss pulls out a squeaker down in Red Stick. Rev. Nutt's camp revival rhetoric works its magic for the Rebels. 
Vandy makes Fulmer's farewell even more bitter. 
Ohio State destroys the Wolverines.
Penn State has a convincing win over the Spartans.
The Hawkeyes take home Floyd of Rosedale. 
The Sooners beat the Red Raiders by two touchdowns.

You read it here first.

"Ten Republicans to Watch"

For many interested in politics, "The Fix" blog is a must read.

And his topic today is GOP leaders to watch, Republicans on the move upward if you will.

Click HERE for his top ten. 

From my monumentally amateur analysis, I think Cantor and Sanford will be major players in the near future.

Music Friday: "Fruitless"

Click HERE for an eighteen-year old video of "Fruitless," a song by the Chicago-based Poi Dog Pondering. The song comes from the band's very fine album, Wishing Like a Mountain, Thinking Like the Sea.

I saw these guys in concert at Baldwin Auditorium when I was a sophomore. It was a very good concert. I bought a cassette right after. Yes, a cassette.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Forget Clinton

With all this slow-mo kabuki dance that is going on with Hillary possibly becoming Secretary of State, just make Richardson the SoS.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Hangover: Mississippi State

Javier Arenas will haunt Sylvester Croom's nightmares for a good while, I think.

The "project" recruit who didn't have any big school offers when he came out of Florida continues to impress. After having a few shaky games this year with fumble trouble, no. 28 took one punt down to the opponent's 3 and another for a TD. 

Alabama's defense played solidly, but the offense was out of sync most of the night. Finally in the third quarter the offense got it together and put a stake in the Bulldogs' hearts. 

MSU's defense was quite good though. While their offense was stifled by the Tide's D, I was impressed with the play of State's QB, Tyson Lee. He's elusive and has a strong arm. 

The Tide has a Saturday off until the Iron Bowl and then the SEC Championship. After watching the Georgia-Auburn game, Auburn seems to be getting its offense together. Kodie Burns (QB) is doing better, and they've started running the ball again. 

The Iron Bowl is one of those "throw out the record book" games. And Auburn has to beat the good guys to be bowl-eligible. It'll be interesting.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Music Friday: "Zigaboogaloo"

Click HERE to enjoy one of the best jazz musicians alive, Nicholas Payton.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good Advice

For a long time I've been interested in short sayings that provide good advice. Aristotle in his Rhetoric termed them "maxims," short sayings that offer wisdom and a sense of meaning or direction to our lives. Later on, Emerson utilized aphorisms, which are essentially maxims.

I have some maxims in mind that probably shouldn't be presented in this forum ("beer before liquor, never sicker," and we can regress from there), but one I've always found value in is a statement that Virg, my father, said that my grandfather liked to say: "A wise man will change his mind, but a fool never will." 

Also, the Southernism of "That whip don't mean too much when the mule ain't got a chance" resonates with me since I'm a teacher.

I also like the weird saying that some people in the South use when food is so dang good that it incites feelings that create insanity: "So good it'll make you slap your mother." 

So what are sayings/maxims that you find valuable or interesting? 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sugar Bowl Bound?

As far as the college football pundits on ESPN go, Alabama might as well not even show up in Atlanta when we play the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship. We should just make our hotel reservations early for New Orleans.

According to them, Savior Tebow and Gators will defeat the Tide. 

They may be right, but speculating that Florida is the second best team in the country with many games left in the season is premature. 

The Gamecocks and the Seminoles could give the Gators some trouble. And Mississippi State and Auburn, although weaker this year, are no pushovers for Alabama. They're SEC and rivalry games, people.

Hangover Sunday: LSU

Well, the Tide attempted to give away this game early on with a foolish first half: a touchback instead of a touchdown, a dumb unsportsmanlike penalty by Wilson after he scored, a fumbled punt return, and an interception.

But Alabama overcame self-induced adversity with four interceptions of their own, three of which from Rashad Johnson (pictured above). He made that pick in overtime, but earlier in the game he showed off his running skills (originally walked on as a running back) on a pick six. 

I was happy to see the offensive line work pretty well in pass protection, and the running game finally asserted its will in the second half. Mr. Coffee had another outstanding game.

This game was game one of three games that Alabama needs to get off the schneid. LSU had a winning streak against us. State has a two-game streak against us. And, well, then there's Auburn. 

Time to "teach the bulldogs to behave." 

I wouldn't be surprised to see Texas Tech jump Alabama in the rankings. We'll see.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Interview with Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers

Howard Wolfson, former advisor to Hillary Clinton, has a really interesting blog to check out if you enjoy reading about music and sometimes politics.

He recently interviewed the head man of Drive-By Truckers. Click HERE if you're interested.

Music Friday: "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"

For the most part, I've had kind of a crappy week.

But this morning I got an email indicating that a major journal in my discipline has accepted and will publish one of my research articles. 

And I feel fine. 

Click HERE for a classic video and song.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thoughts on Last Night

Below are some of my so-called thoughts on what happened last night.

Once Ohio went to Obama, it was over.

I don't know why I'm obsessing about this, but I'm disappointed that Missouri didn't go blue. If Indiana can go to the Democrats, I thought Missouri might actually tilt the good guys' way. What I find fascinating that the Democratic party has made serious inroads in a couple of states in the Old Confederacy: the Old Dominion and the Tar Heel State. In addition, the fact Colorado flipped blue and Montana was fairly close make many parts of the West look very attainable. 

The argument could be made (and some have made it) that the GOP has become a Southern party.

The news story that needs to be covered in much more detail is how the Obama campaign is incredibly efficient, agile, and connected. They took down Clinton, who was a candidate with all kinds of advantages with the traditional model of campaigning, but Obama's grassroots organization coupled with the use of social-networking tactics was strong as hell. While this victory is historic for reasons that are being discussed (almost ad nauseum), this victory may change the way campaigns will be run hereafter. We'll see.

I want to see diverse and bipartisan Cabinet. Pick the best people based on the "content of their character."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First Tuesday of November

Well, I voted for a Democrat (Prez, of course), a Green Party candidate who might actually win (State's Attorney), and a Republican (County Coroner) today.

That diversity of selections hasn't happened on my ballot before. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Hangover: Arkansas State

Although Arkansas State isn't a cream puff, Alabama dispatched them with defensive domination.

The troubling aspects of the game are that Wilson had an "off" day and the offensive line still isn't doing a great job of pass protection.

When the Tide travels down to Baton Rouge, Wilson will need to "on." And the offensive needs to protect him. 

Coach Saban might need to rent the Popemobile for when he enters Tiger Stadium because I can see many Cajun coon-asses throwing empty bottles along with rotten fruit, vegetables, and sausages at him. 

It should be interesting, but I'm not optimistic about the Tide's chances. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

SEC vs. Big 12

It seems that depth-wise the Big 12 is stronger as a football conference than the SEC this year. This year, mind you.

But the only aspect about the Big 12 that makes me use "seems" in the previous sentence is that most of the teams in that league have weak defenses. Even a team like Ole Miss this year--mediocre offense but a decent defense--could give trouble to an offensive powerhouse, such as Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, et al. 

But, wow, what a finish in Lubbock. Crabtree is a pass-catching freak.