Friday, February 22, 2008

The Works, Last Call-style

All right, so I've just got a few football-related loose ends that need tying up before I finally move on to loosing the endless reams of mid-major hoops thoughts that are cluttering up my head (Cornell! Kenny George! "Deserve's" got everything to do with it!), just as every no one's been hoping. There's also a lot of bloggin'-bout-blogs to be taken care of and a couple of updates about the site itself, but I'll at least put the actual semi-news-related items first. I don't blame you for not so much caring about the rest, given its very "Self-five!" nature ....

Anyways ...

Well, on second thought, maybe it's a little defensible. Pretty sure any regular reader here doubles as a regular reader of Phillip Marshall, so I'm sure we're all familiar by now with this blogarticle on the travails of Chaz Ramsey. The question: does reading about how Ramsey's 15-year-old brother has gotten harassed on Facebook make me regret posting this?

Well, to some extent. If this is how bad the response has been elsewhere, I should have made more plain that I don't hold Ramsey or Pugh personally responsible or believe they acted with intent. I should have taken a more even-handed tone and chosen a less inflammatory title for the post. When the rest of the college football is crying for Tiger blood, Auburn fans should probably respond with something a little more rational, right? Consider the outright anger redacted.

But the calls for action and suspension remain intact. However much Nall protests, other teams played freshman linemen on TV every week and didn't have them diving into the back of other teams' knees. Tubby should hold a press conference, cite every bit of the defense Marshall's reported, profess unequivocally Ramsey and Pugh's innocence, swear that neither he nor his coaching staff accept these results much less encourage them, offer a (second) genuine apology that this has happened on his watch ... and announce suspensions. I think Tubby (and probably a lot of Auburn fans) would likely see this as an admission of guilt; I think if done in the right way, it would be seen as simply an admission that Auburn is taking this issue seriously. And there's not really argument it needs to be taken seriously, is there?

And while we're linking to Marshall efforts ... Surprised the comment thread on this post was so un ambiguously positive after Franklin admitted "We always throw first and run second. That's always the rule. We are going to throw to run instead of running to throw," which I'm sure dealt a few aging Auburn Dye-hards their third heart attacks. I can't say I'm thrilled to hear it, either: you have to run and stop the run to win at this level, period. The Spread Eagle did a good job with the first and had no impact on the second in the Clemson game, but will the same hold true when the quick-out-for-five-yards-on-first-down is "the rule"? When "throw to run" is 100 percent ingrained in the philosophy of the team? Can't say we know. I'm still excited about the Franklin hire, yeah, but I'm not going to be totally comfortable with Auburn as a throw-first team until we see what happens next fall. (Mind you, I'm sure some Florida fans said the same thing before Spurrier showed up and again after the Meyer hire, so, yeah.)

We agree to disagree, but with f-bombs. Like Thanksgiving at Uncle Albert's! So the little RBR vs. MGo brouhaha I had a cameo in ended up (sorta) resolving itself in straightforward fashion: Bama bloggers believe if Saban has to make cuts it's no biggie; Brian believes the potential cuts and even that there's a legitimate "if" are, in fact, both biggies. I think my previous post made it just a wee bit obvious which side of that fence I'm on, so I won't repeat myself other than to say that if a high school football player's decision to attend classes and receive a degree at the University of Such-and-Such is (by the other side of the fence's definition, basically) irrelevant compared to said player's contribution to the football team, it's time to move the whole shebang off-campus, rename it the National Fake Amateurs Professional Football League, and be done with it.

And, forgive me, one more point I can't help making: the meme (I think started by Todd and picked up on by Pete Holiday and various Bama commenters in various places) that a student losing an academic scholarship for bad academics is equivalent to a football player losing their football scholarship for bad football is wrong, wrong, wrong. An academic scholarship gets lost for bad grades because the grades imply the student is wasting the scholarship; given that the purpose of a football scholarship is not, in fact, to build a football team but to educate the players who happen to be on the football team, I daresay the fourth-string nickelback who's on track to get their degree is still doing anything but wasting theirs. Depriving him of his promised four years because he's not a good football player is equivalent to the scholarship student suddenly getting fired from his job scrubbing floors in the Applebee's kitchen because he couldn't pull down a 3.0. The analogy sounds reasonable and I can see where Todd is coming from, but there really, really, shouldn't be a connection.

You really love me! So the College Football Blogger Awards are currently ongoing, and yours truly is up for "Best Post of the Year: Funniest" for the AD post. The cynical hipster in me wants to be too-cool-for-school on this sort of thing--oh, wow, blog awards, does that mean we'll walk the red carpet in our pajamas, har har har--but the truth is that people like Orson and SMQ would be incredible writers whatever medium they chose and that if anyone thinks my work is even as remotely funny as BHGP's "car-like substances" post or the Octonion posts, well, forgive me for thinking maybe I did some good work. In sum: it's nice. Thanks, Cabal, thanks to Todd and the SECFB for the nominations, and thanks to Kyle and TWER for their support.

While we're on the topic, let me say I really wish I could write-in a couple of votes for "Best New Blog," since it's criminal neither the Best of SEC Blogs nor the War Eagle Reader got a nod. TWER, in particular, has been freaking unstoppable over the past few months and I haven't linked their way nearly enough, particularly since they've been doing things like talking to the actual Joe Cribbs and providing the single awesomest shot of cheesecake on any blog this season:

More here! Go now!

Read them or FAIL.

One more quick piece of hot blog-on-blog action. I also want to give the brief proverbial shout-out to the JCCW's CFBA choice for "Funniest" and "Best Writing," Doug at HeyJennySlater. Doug's prose not only makes mine and virtually everyone else's look like a certain class of tearjerking poetry, I got lucky enough to meet the guy on his trip to Ann Arbor last November and can tell you: he's every inch bit of dead sexy you would expect from someone carrying the title the Chancellor of the Sexchequer, and that whole "hella funny" thing extends past the blog, too. If I may be so bold, ladies, you're making a huge mistake.

So in Doug's politically-oriented honor, here's some completely useless trivia my college buddy Hench J-Bug Stoner Aron e-mailed this week that I found way more fascinating than it is:

"You should check out a website called I have been learning all sorts of interesting stuff about Presidential elections the past couple of days. The best feature is an electoral map of every single Presidential election in U.S. history starting in 1789.

I spent a little time on there yesterday and learned some interesting stuff. I was looking at election results since 1900 and was looking for states with the best and worst records of picking the winning candidate. I thought you would all be interested to know that Alabama has picked the losing candidate more often than any other state in the 27 elections starting from 1900. We missed 14 out of 27 and are the only state to be wrong in the majority of elections in that time frame. Once again, we have beaten Mississippi, who came in second with 13 missed elections."

Good news for the Dems, I'm thinking.

Lastly, some navel-gazing. Tomorrow the JCCW begins its mid-major hoops coverage in style with a balls-to-the-wall liveblog of the entire BracketBusters Saturday, starting with VCU at Akron at 11 a.m. and rolling 'til 2 a.m. with Kent St. and St. Mary's. (There will be a break late in the evening when coverage shifts to ESPNU/360, as I don't get either of those.) Consider it a massive apology for the dearth of mid-major related posts here to this point.

Just so you know, Auburn fans: barring some huge development at spring practice, from now until the tournament's end it's all mid-majors here. I think you should stick around and enjoy the poorly-informed ride, but just so there's no confusion.

You should also know that I've been hearing the complaints (in comments and e-mail) about the white text on black background look of the blog. The current plan is to relaunch the site in early May (after hoops season and a certain major personal event long-time readers can probably guess) with its own URL and a new look, a look that I promise you will not be so tough on the eyes. So just bear with me for a few more weeks.

And as this is sorta the final Auburn post for the 2007 season, let me take a sec to thank each and every one of you have read this blog and offered your comments and e-mails (which I have to admit I've done a completely sh*tty job of responding to since about, oh, September) as we've rode the Auburn football snake together over these past several months.

Cool as something like a CFBA might be, your contributions and readership mean a hell of a lot more. Let's do it again sometime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Merci beaucoup...