Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Couple Quick Thoughts

So, as I sit her thinking about how many Thanksgiving calories I can burn by simply thinking about burning Thanksgiving calories my mind finds itself deviating to a couple other things...

First, and I'll keep this one brief, I realized for the first time in my life what Thanksgiving really is. It's a tailgate party for women. When someone told me this, I calmly chuckled and said, "Ha ha. Good one. That's funny." Then I started to think about it. That's when I decided to take a hard look at the women in my family during Thanksgiving and found that there is actually some validity to this whole thing.

Just like men at a tailgate party the women showed up each carrying a different dish - something to share with the group. Then they set up camp for the day. They went on to joke around with one another and shared stories of year's gone by. Most importantly though, this all took place right before the "biggest game of the year"...BLACK FRIDAY! The Super Bowl of Shopping Day's for women. I swear I heard my cousin Ellen and Lady Cheek harkening back to the glory days of Black Fridays of the past.

"Oh, that will never top the great sale of '94!"

"You girls don't know the half of it! Back in '74 we won the Macy's National Championship! Those were the good ol' days."

Second, Jack Swarbrick. You don't know who he is, do you? Well, he is - of course - the illustrious Athletic Director of the University of College Football in America...better known as "Notre Dame."

Ol' Jack had an interesting quote today as he was signing Charlie Weis's $18-million dollar walking papers.

"I am excited to embark full bore on the process of finding the right next successor to the legacy of Rockne and Leahy and Parseghian and Holtz."


Listen, everyone who really loves Notre Dame...and I mean, REALLY loves Notre Dame...is like 60 years old. They walk around calling people "whipper snapper" and complaining about kids' long hair and loud music. Bottom line is getting those 17 and 18-year old blue-chip athletes on your campus is what wins games, not tradition. Those players don't care about Knute Rockne, they don't care about the "Four Horsemen" and they sure as heck don't care about this so-called legacy and tradition. Those things are for fans.

Athletes of that age and potential care about four things when considering college: sunshine, hot chicks, academic standards that aren't too rigid and getting to the NFL. Look at the biggest powerhouse football programs out there right now - Southern California, Florida, LSU, Texas, etc. Notre Dame isn't offering the same thing as them.

Seriously. Come on, Jack. I don't even know if Knute Rockne ever really existed. I don't know anything about this "Lee High" fellow and the only reason I know Ari Parseghian is because of the movie "Rudy." And don't get me started on Lou Holtz - he's not a legend. He was a decent coach who strung together a couple good years and now spends his days spitting at the cameras on the set of ESPN shows.

Get over yourself, Notre Dame. You're not what you think you are.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Mr. Jimmy Fallon...as Mr. Neil Young.

Nothing screams delicious pop culture quite like a washed up Not Ready for Prime-Time Player, dressed up and imitating a washed up rocker, singing the theme song to a washed up family sitcom from the early 90's.

Until next time, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Look

So, in an effort to jazz this place up...

I've come up with a little graphic for the top of the blog. It was fun to make and I think it turned out well. I'm continually trying to make this blog look a little sharper and thus enhance, frankly, my entertainment in using it.

It's not as dramatic a change as the first time that we saw Andre Agassi show up without those gorgeous locks of his but it's still a change.

So, you're probably asking yourelf, "Self, what is this fancy picture that Cheek has come up?" Well, it's my imaginary room - full of a bunch of crap that I simply must have to live my life. It's pretty simply living mind you but that's just sort how it goes for me. It's "imaginary" for two reasons: A) my room doesn't really look anything like this and 2) Lady Cheek would never let me leave all of my pop culture relics lying around the place.

Lady Cheek also thinks that the picture is kind of like an old issue of Highlights...you know, that classic magazine that we used to read as kids while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist (I never saw that magazine anywhere else). You basically look through the picture and find all the random references to my life. I've included references to favorite movies, books, TV shows, music and sports.

One of the nice things about this picture is that I can constantly change it. I can add things and delete things. It rather fun to do so.

Take a gander and tell me what you see. Let me know your thoughts and if you see something that I need to add, subtract...or mulitply and divide.

See you next time!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rush Party!

So, as I sit here contemplating my future as the owner of an NFL Franchise...

I wonder why Rush Limbaugh was blackballed by the NFL's Office of the Commissioner. I understand that Rush is a politically driven, ultra right-wing radio commentator but should that really keep him from being a part of an ownership group looking to buy an NFL team?

I say, "No." I know why people dislike Rush. He makes some stupid, and sometimes border-line racist, comments during his time on the airwaves but the man has the money to buy a team (at least, he is a part of an ownership group that has that money), right? So why shouldn't he be able to spend his money on what he wants?

When asked about Limbaugh's comments concerning Donovan McNabb in 2003, NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell said that the comments were "polarizing" and that they don't "reflect accurately on the NFL or our players." Goodell went on to say, "I obviously do not believe those comments are positive and they are divisive. That's a negative thing for us, obviously."

Of course the comments were polarizing! That's what Rush does. Do you think that the guy became the most listened to man in America because he toes the company line and gives otherwise bland commentrary on the world? Don't be naive. Rush knew exactly what he was doing when he said that. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even mean it. By saying something like that, he could ensure ratings. That's what's important. Not image. Not beliefs. Ratings.

There's a different problem that I have here with Goodell though. I ask, don't we have to give Rush Limbaugh's ownership group the opportunity to purchase an NFL team? Regardless of sex, creed, religion, political views, capacity of idiocy?

I don't believe that the NFL is taking the right approach on this. A league that prides itself on "second chances" and being an equal opportunist should at least let this group go through the motions. That being said, I also don't believe that the NFL will be harmed in the slightest by this move. "The Shield" is probably one of the most powerful organizations in the world and is almost above the law.

My other issue: There are multiple players in the NFL who are convicted felons. Let me say that again...CONVICTED FELONS!!! Where are the people that have been defending their right to play in the NFL? Those "activists" aren't exactly knocking down the door on Limbaugh's behalf.

And as for the players who said that they wouldn't play in the NFL if Rush was allowed to own a team...liars. Filthy, dirty, unbelievable LIARS! I don't care what an owner said - if they were handing out $10-million dollar checks the players would be lining up. I think that Stephen A. Smith (who, for the record, I am NOT a fan of) said it best:

Now, for a little gamblin', g-g-g-gamblin':
Last Week (4-2)...but it didn't count...boo!!!; Season (6-12-1)

-What are the odds that I blow this week after having a decent record that didn't count last week because I didn't "post it"? Probable.

#8 Cincinatti (-2.5) at #21 South Florida
-90% of the time, college football that is played on a day other than Saturday is pointless. This Big East game is NOT an exception. Still, I'll take the boys from Tampa.

#20 Oklahoma vs. #3 Texas (-3.5) -- in Dallas, Texas
-Ah, the ol' Red River Shootout...one of the best names for a game in college football. I really feel like Texas gets things going early and wins by a touchdown. Colt McCoy will always remember his last Shootout.

#6 Southern Cal (-10) at #25 Notre Dame
-This is a really tough one for me. I pretty much hate both teams. I dislike pretty much everything that has ever been produced by the Clausen Family. But, I'm going to throw, my boy, O.C. a bone here and take the points and the Irish.

#4 Virginia Tech (-3) at #19 Georgia Tech
-Is there anything that anyone has seen that would tell you that Virginia Tech is going to lose this game? Is there anything that could tell you that this isn't going ot be a blow out? Is there anything that could tell you that Georgia Tech isn't full of a bunch of nerds who do nothing but lie and cheat? No, no, and no.

#22 South Carolina @ #2 Alabama (-17)
-This game is just full of evil. And that's a lot of points to lay. But the Tide...they're just too good. They are going to run, pass, jump and whatever else you can do OVER South Carolina...over South Carolina.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pop Culture at Its Best

So, I didn't post last week because I was a little busy with other things. Therefore, I went 4-1 in my college football picks. You gotta love that.

Anyhow, as Mother Nature continually tries to punt me from my house via copious amounts of precipitation and flooding, I find solace once again in the world of Pop Culture.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is yet another example of why we invented the internet. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Folk and Future

So, I’ve sort of let sports over run my thoughts lately…

That’s not necessarily a bad thing when you work in sports and are currently going to graduate school to further study sports. At that point, you’re sort of supposed to let the topic spin through your head. Well, I’ve been flooded by consumed with sports to near suffocation lately.

Therefore, it seems like it’s time for some music/TV/movie talk. Variety is, as they say, the spice of life.

New music that I am currently diggin’:
Angus & Julia Stone
From Australia they released their debut album, A Book Like This, back in 2007 but it didn’t reach the American shores until just over 6 months ago. I’ll be honest with you from the get go – if you’re looking to really sink your teeth into some wild tunes and expand your mind to another dimension, this isn’t really for you. The point is not to blow you away. It’s supposed to be enjoyed. And you really don’t have to work to hard to make it through this album.

The brother-sister duo is as folksy and sweet sounding as they come. Angus is borderline hypnotic on songs like, “Paper Aeroplane” and “Mango Tree.” Julia’s quirky, but genuinely nice, voice softly swings through “Wasted” and “Hollywood.” Then there’s this little number that is just dripping with sticky pop:

Other stuff I’ve been listening to lately: She& Him, Brett Dennen and the soundtrack for Where the Wild Things Are with the music coming from Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

New TV that I am currently diggin’:
Sure, I’m still sticking with the ol’ standbys of 30 Rock and The Office but you have to sprinkle in some new stuff every now and again. FlashForward fits the bill…despite the fact that they spell it as one word with a capital “F” stuck right in the middle. It’s an interesting concept – at the same moment, everyone in the world blacks out for 137 seconds. Beyond the mass chaos that ensues, everybody has glimpsed a surreal but grimly convincing vision of the future exactly six months ahead. It’s just intriguing enough to keep me coming back for one more episode (sort of the way Fringe did last year).

The only issues that I have with the show so far is I have no Earthly idea how you carry it past season one…but that’s for the writers to figure out. The other issue: Harold as an FBI agent?! Can I really buy into that? Well, I bought into Kumar being a doctor for a couple years so maybe this won’t be too difficult.

Other new stuff I’ve been watching lately: Glee (it’s almost surprisingly decent…and Jane Lynch is great in it) and Modern Family.

New movies that I am currently diggin’:
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to venture out to the local cinema lately. It just takes such an effort when you live in Atlanta. Traffic and parking in the city is just dreadful and then you have to expect to pay $25 per ticket and $12.50 for a medium Coke. Plus, it’s the fall…the time right in the middle of the summer blockbusters and holiday-season hits. That being said, I’ve heard good things about The Informant!, which stars, my boy, Matt Damon. I’m looking to take suggestions, though, if you’re willing to tell me what you’ve seen lately. Good or bad, let me hear it.

Now, back to more pressing matters...The Betting Man:
Last Week (2-2-1); Season (6-12-1)
-Stupid Houston keeping me from a winning record for the first time this season. You’re not even a real school! And stupid Ole Miss not being able to handle their own business against the Ol’ Ball Coach and the Gamecocks. AND…stupid California being favored by a touchdown and then getting absolutely shellacked by nearly 40 points. Unbelievable!

Wisconsin at Minnesota (-2.5)
-Gophers, while a nuisance to Carl Spackler at Bushwood Country Club, are still cooler than Badgers. Plus, they’re “Golden.” That has to count for something, right? Plus, it’s a Big 10 football game so nobody really cares anyway.

Texas A&M (-1) vs. Arkansas -- in Arlington, Texas
-This game isn’t exactly a home game for Arkansas (Arlington is about 400 miles away from Fayetteville). But I’m looking for Hog-QB Ryan Mallett to throw the ball all over the yard.

Auburn at Tennessee (-1.5)
-Old man Monty is going to have the Vols ready to roll. Auburn, who hasn’t played anyone worthwhile to this point is about to have someone show them what defense is. The Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagle/whatever-they-are-calling-themselves-this-week’s winning streak is over.

#7 USC (-5) at #24 California
-For the record, under normal circumstances, I would stay the heck away from this game. Cal is coming off an embarrassment and USC is trying to get back into the swing of things. Cal isn’t a bad pick here but I’ll take those crazy Trojans and their rendition of Lean On Me.

#8 Oklahoma (-7) @ #17 Miami
-No Bradford? No problem. I am just not going to buy into the hype of Miami. They are a nice team but I just don’t think they are there yet.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Poll Vaulting

So, I haven't been able to write much this week becasue - in case you didn't know - it's been raining in Atlanta. And, boy, did we get some rain! Creeks rose, rivers overflowed and my neighborhood flooded to my doorstep...

But I'm dry now and assessing the world of sports, though, I'll be trying to keep this brief.

Today, let's talk AP Poll. It's an interesting little monster that, I think, drives the popularity of college football. Have you ever wondered how it works though? It's actually pretty interesting when you consider some of the whack-jobs that get to decide on it. If you're interested in taking a second or two to look throgh some of the AP's voters' ballots, HERE is the list. I would encourage people to take a quick gander at the ballots of Mr. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News and Mr. Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. These are the very "whack-jobs" that I was telling you about. Or are they?

From ESPN Senior Writer Pat Forde

"What people think in August [when filling out preseason Top 25s] is at least partly based on what Phil Steele and Athlon thought in April [when their preview magazines are written]," Lesmerises said. "A multi-gazillion-dollar industry based on people putting 15 minutes into a poll that is based on a magazine that did its rankings in April is not a good system."

It should be noted that, unlike some human voters, both writers put a lot more than 15 minutes into their ballots on a weekly basis. Wilner said he works for hours on his Top 25. Lesmerises said he usually does three or four drafts before sending in the final version.

This week both Lesmerises and Wilner rank Alabama No. 1 and Miami No. 2.

Lesmerises has Houston No. 3 and Cincinnati No. 4, while Wilner goes with Texas third and LSU fourth.

You and Urban Meyer might both be wondering where a certain orange-helmeted team fits in. Both have the Gators a heretical fifth.

Lesmerises has Texas lower than any other AP voter at seventh. Among his other against-the-grain rankings: Penn State 15th, Ohio State 22nd, Mississippi 24th and USC 25th.

"I cover Ohio State," Lesmerises said. "I can't pretend to be an expert on every team in the country. Because of my ignorance of the college scene as a whole, I fall back on results."

"I'm trying to treat every team as Team X, where it doesn't matter where you were ranked in the preseason and it doesn't matter what conference you're in and it doesn't matter what your record was last year. What matters are results, results, results. But I'm not a computer, so 10 to 20 percent of my voting tends to take in my perception of how good a team is."

Wilner has Virginia Tech sixth. Houston is seventh. Oklahoma State is 11th. And Penn State is 21st.

"Every August, the AP sends out a list of voting guidelines," Wilner said. "The No. 1 guideline is to base your ballots on results. They also say, 'Don't be afraid to make radical changes week to week.' They want you to shake it up. I try to mix results and common sense."

To Wilner, Lesmerises and three other AP voters, Florida does not deserve its current ironclad place atop the rankings.

"Not when other teams have good results," said Wilner, who stresses that his rankings are not predictive but reactive. "Florida beat Tennessee, but I don't think Tennessee is that good -- unless UCLA is really good, and I don't think that's the case, either."

And both writers are amazed to find Houston ranked lower than Oklahoma State. Despite a double-digit victory in Stillwater, the 2-0 Cougars are one spot below the 2-1 Cowboys in the AP poll and seven spots lower in the coaches' poll.

Because of their willingness to vote outside the mainstream, both writers have become accustomed to scrutiny. And they welcome it. Said Lesmerises: "I have to be able to defend every single spot on my ballot."


All very intersting stuff. We'll see how things will "shake up" after this weekend.

Now for this week's edition of The Betting Man:
Last Week (2-3); Season (4-10)
-Better week but that's not really saying much. Things better turn around quick or I'm going to have to switch from ALPO to the "store brand" dog food for dinner...and NOBODY wants that! Too bad the games aren't getting any easier to pick.

#4 Ole Miss (-3) at South Carolina
-My first impression is to take South Carolina and their defense to keep things close at home. But my "first impressions" are 4-10 this season...

#9 Miami (-2.5) at #11 Virginia Tech
-Miami has been on a hot streak and normally I'd ride that hot streak into the ground. But if I'd "normally" pick Miami then I'd probably "normally" be wrong...

#15 TCU at Clemson (-2.5)
-I love almost everything that there is about TCU. It's in the south, it's a good ol' private Christian-based school in Texas and they took an otherwise useless mascot (the frog) and put some "awesome" in it...the HORNED FROGS!!! It's just too good!

#6 California (-6) at Oregon
-Stupid Oregon and it's multiple personality disorder! There is absolutely no telling WHICH team is going to show up against Cal. And there is absolutely no telling whether they will be wearing crazy uniforms or not.

Texas Tech @ #17 Houston (-1)
-The line says that this is basically a "pick the winner" game. I just can't, in my right mind, pick Houston here. Tech is going to be gunning after the loss to the Longhorns and Houston can't possible out-gun the Red Raiders...right?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Breakin' Up With the Bravos

So, now that football has officially stolen the nation’s consciousness away from everything else, I have a simple message for my Atlanta Braves…

We’re through. Listen, we had a good run. Every spring you suck me in. You’re like the college girl that comes back from Holiday Break but hasn’t put on all the extra L-B’s. You saunter through the first party (around Valentine’s Day) and I get entranced every time. You always seem to look great and seem to have a very bright future.

This year was no different. I was legitimately excited. You got some hot new clothes (aka starting rotation) and you still had that foxy little number that you always wore downtown (aka Chipper coming off a batting title). Things were looking great and we were having fun...even when I think we were sort of delaying the inevitable.

But you started to get a little lazy in May and June. You were looking a little slow and things just weren’t clicking between us. Plus, you always seem to let that crazy chick from Florida (aka The Marlins) push you around when we are out trying to have a good time with our friends.

We had a fantastic July though. We went on a couple road trips, crashed some parties and it started to feel like old times – I really felt like I had fallen in love all over again. And don’t even get me started on Tommy Hanson…that entire move rocked my world! Even August was decent – you hung around with me and kept my attention.

Then September came. And with every September comes a new set of challenges. Recently, you’ve put on a show. Five straight wins, huh? No…I’m not going to let you do this to me again. No…I have to move on. I have to get this figured out. I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s me.

Don’t get me wrong, we can still be friends but let’s be honest here – we both know that this relationship isn’t working out. So, I think it would be a good idea to just make a clean break. No, no…I just don’t think that you are ready for a serious relationship. I mean, what do you think I’m in this for? I’m getting to a point in my life where I need more than “just a good time.” I’m sorry. It’s over.

Until next season at least…

Speaking of picking up the pieces of my broken heart, let’s move on to this week’s The Betting Man:
Last Week (1-4); Season (2-7)
-Ugh!!! This has been as bad a start as I have ever had. I think this is why Dad always told me that “we don’t bet on college football.” An emotional week – but what do you expect from a bunch of teenagers? But like my intern said, “When you’re down with the bookie, just start doubling your bets.” Good advice from the young man [rolling my eyes].

#14 Georgia Tech at #20 Miami (-5.5)
-Last week, Tech screwed me. I should have been ashamed of myself for picking Tech in the first place. I won’t let that happen again!...Even if Miami isn’t exactly the Miami that we all remember.

Tennessee at #1 Florida (-29.5)
-Twenty-nine and a half?! That’s crazy talk! But Urban Meyer is mad. Gator Nation is mad. Tim Tebow is…well, Tebow really doesn’t get mad. That all being said, I’ve seen what happens when “Corch Urban Meyers” gets mad – he takes it out on the scoreboard.

Florida State at #7 Brigham Young (-7.5)
-I hate to say it but I don’t think that Florida State is a very good football team right now. On the other hand, BYU might be a pretty decent football team right now. They’ll take on a late field goal to cover the ‘Noles.

#19 Nebraska at #13 Virginia Tech (-4.5)
- I remember when Nebraska was great. Not good – great! Unfortunately, Tommy Frazier ain’t walking through that door. Tom Osborne ain’t walking through that door. But…

#18 Utah at Oregon (-4)
- I’m worried that this might be the “Year of the Little Guy.” I want to pick Oregon. They’re quack-tastic! But they aren’t as good at football as Utah is.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Problem With You (and Maybe Me)

So, I’m still shaking out the cobwebs from college football’s triumphant return and I would normally use this time to talk about the upcoming week but…

You’re crazy. You are completely insane. I’m not pointing my finger at “you,” my blessed reader. It’s more of a collective “you.” I fall into that group as well, from time to time.

Let me explain why YOU are nuts though. It’s because you have fallen into the trap. The trap created by technology, by the media and, frankly, by ourselves. That trap is called INSTANT GRATIFICATION. And you need it in EVERY aspect of your life. You, my friend, have Veruca Salt Syndrome.

When you have a question, you don’t find a book on the topic, conduct research and come to a conclusion, do you? Are you kidding me?! No, you go to your good friend Google. When you hear a song on the radio that is half-way decent, you rush to your computer to download it on iTunes so that you can put it on your iPod (which you keep in your pocket at all times) so that you can listen to the aforementioned song at any particular time that the need beckons. Even worse than all that, however – when it comes to sports, you want to win and you want to win now. Not later, now! And you don’t give a damn about what happened last year, or even last week for that matter. That coach/player just better figure it out for you NOW!

I sat in a room watching the Georgia-Oklahoma State football game this past weekend and was amazed by how quickly everyone’s tune changed just before the first half came to an end. I wish that I had hired a videographer for that event to prove it to people. It was simply astonishing.

Before the game, people were in good spirits (probably because the “spirits” weren’t flowing to heavily yet). The Bulldog Nation was riding high as a kite after the opening drives as well.

“Joe Cox looked very good on that drive – a polished senior.”
“The running game looked fantastic. Richard Samuel was really pounding the ball out there.”
“The defense looks sharp. They are really hitting hard and making good tackles.”

But, wow – how things change! By the middle of the third quarter I found myself sitting in a room where people were, literally (and this is not an exaggeration), questioning whether Joe Cox could actually throw a football 20 yards. I heard more than one person condescendingly mention that Coach Bobo had “never won an SEC title as the offensive coordinator.” Worst of all, and I still can’t believe that someone would actually say this – I actually heard someone mention that if Coach Richt can’t get things squared away soon that he might be looking for a new job.

You can’t possibly be serious, folks! Did ANYONE actually watch the game that just took place?!

First off, anyone who questions whether Mark Richt is the right coach for the job is a moron…that’s right, and you probably shouldn’t be allowed to speak either because the incoherent drivel that comes spewing from your mouth will make everyone in the room dumber!

Second off, can Joe throw a football more than 20 yards…I’m not going to dignify that with a response. Does he have the same type of arm as Matthew Stafford? No, he doesn’t. But we can’t just throw the guy under the bus for that.

I understand why we think this way though. It’s the whole idea that I need deserve the biggest and the best and I deserve it now! I shouldn’t have to work for things or, God forbid, wait for things! I should graduate college, fall ass-backwards into a cushy $90k per year job, have a big house and two BMW’s and maybe a Mercedes for the weekends. This topic goes way past the way that we think about sports. It’s about how we live our lives. It’s about maturity. Maturity is the ability to delay pleasure now in order to ensure a better tomorrow.

Off the soapbox and onto The Betting Man:
Last week (1-3); Season (1-3)
-Well, I didn’t know that Oklahoma was going to lose their Heisman Trophy-winning QB and I didn’t know that LSU was going to be jet-lagged before they even got to Washington. Otherwise, those numbers might have been flipped. Either way, we move on to Week 2.

Clemson @ #15 Georgia Tech (-5.5)
-The patented ACC Thursday nighter. And an ACC opener for the Tigers and Jackets. A-Backs, B-Backs, whatever. I think that Georgia Tech handles Clemson at home and readies itself to make a statement in the conference.

#3 Southern Cal (-6.5) @ #8 Ohio State
-Huge game for Ohio State. If the Buckeyes can’t keep this close and make a game of it then a lot of people are going to lose a lot of respect for not only “The” Ohio State but also “The” Big Ten. Side note: the over/under for this game is 46.5 points…if I were a betting man, I might take the over on this.

#18 Notre Dame (-3) @ Michigan
-If people would just leave Rich Rodriguez alone he could have himself a contender in a year or two. But since I like the Irish this year, I’ll give Michigan the three points and ride the Charlie Weis Gravy Train! Hoo hoo!

Vanderbilt @ #11 Louisiana State (-14.5)
-Why is it that every time I write out “Louisiana State” I get confused as to which school I am talking about? Regardless, it’s hard to recover from a flight across the country and then prepare for a pesky opponent. Vandy looks good here.

UCLA @ Tennessee (-8.5)
-I gotta to hand it to Lane and Monte. Those guys are bat @#$% crazy! I think you’re going to hear some serious singing on ol’ Rocky Top this weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Boise @#$% State

So, I would normally make this particular type of post on Wednesday (that way I have the rest of the week to agonize over it) but I was out of town early in the week and have been busy catching up on the 78 emails that my friends have been firing back and forth about this upcoming weekend's college football games...

College football. It's back! And not a moment too soon. Like I have always said, "There are really only two season in the south - College Football Season and Gettin' Ready for College Football Season." The latter was getting a little played.

Therefore, I found myself in fron tof the tube last night watching the Ol' Ball Coach and the South Carolina Gamecocks take on North Carolina State. For those of you that didn't watch...what a freakin' train wreck that was. Just miserable. I sure am glad that we have good games on the docket for the weekend. Games of importance.

The interesting thing about last night, though, was that there actually was an important game last night. Now, when I mention which game it was, I don’t want anyone complaining or leaving saying, “That’s garbage! That game wasn’t that big.” Just hear me out.

#16 Oregon at #14 Boise State

On the surface, I wouldn’t watch this game if it was being played in my back yard. It’s just not all that intriguing – except to see what uniforms Oregon is going to show up in (which ended up being White on White…that’s weak, Oregon).

But as I thought about it, I realized something. Do you have any idea what is going to happen if Boise State wins this game? There is going to be some weird junk happen. I mean, Boise is already a little weird. They play on blue astroturf for crying out loud! They have weird players and weird cheerleaders...they're just plan weird!

Well, they did win the game, 19-8 (which is a weird score). The meaning of that win: it pretty much means that Boise will make a trip to a BCS game barring a complete and utter meltdown. That meltdown would definitely be weird seeing that their remaining schedule looks like this:
-Miami (OH)
-@Fresno State
-@Bowling Green
-UC Davis
-San Jose State
-@Louisiana Tech
-@Utah State
-New Mexico State

That’s it. If they lose one of those games, it’s “season over!” If they win all of them, which they should, they will go to a BCS game.

What I think everyone needs to prepare themselves for is to watch them climb their way up the AP poll over the next couple months. They are going to be a Top-5 team by mid-October. Teams from the Big 12 and SEC are going to sit there and pick each other off and Boise is going to sit back and watch it all happen while playing one of the worst schedules in college football. Just be prepared for another “Should Boise State be playing for the National Title” argument with that random guy in accounting. It is DEFINITELY coming.

Now for the start of the 2009 Betting Man Games! Play with me, play against me, whatever. You can leave your picks in the comments section if you like or keep score at home. It’s up to you. Enjoy!

Week 1 Games (Theme: “Prove it!”):
#20 BYU vs. #3 Oklahoma (-22)
-The teams suit up in Arlington, Texas for this one. I’ll lay the 22 because I think that Sam Bradford and the Sooners are going to try to put on a show and prove that their recent title appearance was no fluke.

Nevada at #23 Notre Dame (-14.5)
-Again, another opportunity to watch a team try to prove something. Only this time, Charlie Weis and the Irish better prove it or he could be looking for a new gig.

#11 LSU (-17.5) at Washington
-LSU is going to be trying to prove something...that they can fly across the country win a game too (like Georgia did a year ago in beating Arizona State). Washington is going to be overmatched on a lot of levels here.

#5 Alabama vs. #7 Virginia Tech (+6.5)
-The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta! Great match-up! I think that Virginia Tech could pull this thing off and that could prove to some that big things are in store for the Hokies down the road.

#13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State (-5.5)
-We don’t bet on Georgia games on this site. That being said, expect a nice little game of keep away from the Dogs this weekend -- even if Joe Cox fights off his bout with the flu. The Cowboys’ offense can’t score if they are on the sidelines.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remembering: Teen Wolf

So, because Webster's Dictionary has become as close to irrelevant as you can get in the age of Google, I’ll say… Wikipedia’s definition for a Coming of Age Film: "a category for films that portray coming of age themes."

Since that got us nowhere, I had to dig a little deeper.

Wikipedia’s definition for Coming of Age: “a young person's transition from adolescence to adulthood.” Okay, we’re getting somewhere. I feel comfortable saying that Wikipedia defines a Coming of Age Film as, “a category for films that portray a young person's transition from adolescence to adulthood.” There it is. That’s our definition, right?

Cheek's definition for a Coming of Age Film: "a film that portrays a person who wants so desperately to be popular in some way -- becasue he or she wants to hook up with the hot girl or guy that they would never get down with under normal circumstances -- that they will do anything, only they end up pissing off their REAL friends in doing so and then come to the ultimate conclusion that life wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed before so they go back to their REAL friends, apologize in some weird way without actually apologizing and everything ends up hunky-dorry.”

Which brings us to one of the best “Coming of Age” stories ever told – Teen Wolf. Why do I feel it necessary to talk about this? Well, two reasons:
A) The movie was released 24 years ago this week, and
2) “they”…most of the people in Hollywood don’t deserve to be addressed by their actual names due to some of the incoherent drivel that flows from that place…anyhow, THEY might be remaking this masterpiece. That’s right, re-making it. How dare THEY?! You don’t see me walking into the Louvre and saying, “I don’t know, I think that Monet over there could use some updating. It just isn’t connecting with the young hipsters anymore.”

The movie is fine the way it is and stands alone perfectly. Sure, there was ALLEGEDLY a second film made ("Teen Wolf Too," featuring Jason Bateman as the basketball-wielding, hairy hoopster), but as far as I'm concerned, that movie never happened. You understand? Much like Rocky V, Caddyshack 2, Fletch 2 or the second season of Heroes, That Movie never happened. I see no reason to discuss it further.

Back to the triumphant epic of Scott Howard:First things first, it has a great story: High-schooler Scott Howard is 17 years old (despite being portrayed by 25-year old Michael J. Fox).

His dad owns Howard’s Hardware, a local mom-and-pop supply store. Scott is a basketball player and token-hottie, Pamela Wells , is dating that jerk, Mick, from the local rival, the Dragons. Scott has two best friends, Boof and “Styles.” Boof is, of course, an extremely average looking girl who likes Scott more than Scott likes her. Styles is, of course, “a complete cheeseball” and remind me of a near perfect cross between my friends Fitz and Joe – a party animal who is full of hair-brained schemes.

But the question remains -- what are we going to do to make this film stand out from the crowd? I imagine that it all went down like this:
Writer No. 1: We have to make this one good.
Writer No. 2: We could have him turn into an animal…
Writer No. 2: How about a were-wolf?
Writer No. 1: YES!!!
Writer No. 2: And he could lead his team to the championship as the wolf but then decide to play the last game as himself…but they play as a team and win anyway.
Writer No. 1: HOLY @#$%!!! THIS IS PERFECT!!!

The rest, as they say, is history. But like most things in this world, I feel the need to analyze and, thus, have formulated three simple questions for us to ponder:

-Was there anyone who could have been a better friend in high school than Styles? Anywhere? In the world?
Class-clown, entrepreneur, great dancer, could drive convertibles and delivery trucks with ease…you could make the argument that Ferris Bueller would be better to hang with but not every day is a day off. I often wonder what Ferris was like on an average Wednesday…but that’s another post entirely.

-How could Scott Howard have possibly made the high school's varsity basketball team if he had to jump to get the ball to the rim on a free throw?
He was as terrible as anyone I have ever seen, myself included. That being said, because of one of the key feature of a 1980’s teen movie – the wonderful, action-packed music montage, we get to see just how awesome Scott Howard and the Beavers can be:


It should also be pointed out that the Beavers had 10 points in the first 2 and half quarters…which all came after Chubby drained his bomb after being called a “fat boy” by Mick. I went through and tried to figure it out and I estimate that Scottie led his team in scoring with 20 points in the championship. I’m guessing that he had at least 5 steals and 8 assists. Pretty stellar for a guy who can’t really shoot.

-Are there any rules that are more important to live by than Coach Bobby Finstock's?
1. Always get at least 12 hours sleep.
2. Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city.
3. Never go near a lady that has a tattoo of a dagger on her body.

No. Truer words have never been spoken.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Fall of the Ol' Ball Coach

So, I'm about to say something that is not only unlike anything that I have ever said before but that will probably also frighten and, at least, anger most of you...

I feel sorry for Steve Spurrier.

The Evil Genius, who brought us the Fun N' Gun Offense, Gator Pride and the abomination that we call "Rex Grossman," has taken a nose dive. And, yes, I actually feel bad about this. Hear me out, okay?

We all saw the video footage of Spurrier explaining what happened during Tebow-Gate (the now infamous vote that left Tim Tebow NOT being the unanimous choice for Preseason All-SEC Quarterback). The ballot from the University of South Carolina did not vote for Tebow. BLASPHEMY!!!

But this isn't why Spurrier has fallen...it was his reaction -- he appologized?! This isn't the Steve Spurrier that I have come to know and hate. The Steve Spurrier that I know would have sauntered up to the stage at the SEC meetings, looked down at the members of the media, made a few condescending remarks to them, taken a shot at the University of Georgia, made yet another jab at Peyton Manning and then thrown an assistant or two under the bus on the way out the door.

He's just not controversial anymore. He's lost that swagger that made him a jerk. I'm just not scared of him anymore. Do I worry that South Carolina might beat my team in any given year? Sure. But I don't have that same hatred of Spurrier that we all shared back in the late 90's. It just isn't the same.

I can't even say "I hate him" anymore. I can only embark on the upcoming season with a mild, but healthy, dislike.
So that's what has become of Steve Spurrier. He's reduced himself to becoming almost exactly like my laundry. Sure, I don't want to talk about it but if I ignore it then it's really going to be a burden next week.
Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet ball coach.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Burning Questions

So, I haven't been writing much due to traveling for work, grad school projects and playing at the pool...
But I find myself plagued by three questions lately:

Question 1 - Where has Terrell Owens made a bigger contribution to society: the reality show, "The T.O. Show" or the cereal, "T-O's"?
--This one was hard one to answer on the surface. The T.O. Show is bad. I mean REALLY bad. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when those VH1 executives were sitting in the room coming up with new show ideas...
VH1 Executive 1: Okay. We need something new. We need something that the kids can get behind.
Exec 2: we could start playing music again-
VH1 Executive 1: Damn it, Billy! We've discussed this! Music is dead!
Exec 3: We could try doing a reality show.
VH1 Executive 1: I'm listening...
Exec 3: Okay. So we grab a star from the NFL. Someone that isn't really that great anymore, since we can't pay much, but someone who loves themselves so much that just the very thought of being on television makes them need to change his pants...
VH1 Executive 1: Jimmy...you just described Terrell Owens! This could actually work! The kids will LOVE it!

The problem is that the show ended up being like an episode of Cops - it's so bad that people can't actually look away. It's worse than a train wreck. It's so bad that it come back around, full circle, to being not nearly as bad as it should be.

That being said, you just can't beat cereal. Guys love cereal. I think it has something to do with being able to eat and drink, simultaneously, with one hand while not looking.

Winner: The Cereal

Question 2 - Who is the better replacement: Martin Prado or Bar Refaeli?
--This one seems easy on the surface. The only thing that guys like more than cereal is super models. And it takes one hell of a super model to replace Gisele Bundchen. Enter Bar Refaeli, who recently replaced Gisele as the face of Rampage. What's Rampage, you ask?...Who cares?! All I know is that in order to replace Gisele you better be pretty hot.

Martin Prado, however, has been hotter. In the month of July the guy has hit safely in 15 of 17 games. He's batting .361, with ten extra-base hits, an on-base percentage of .424 and eight RBI. In other words, "Sorry, Bar..." We weren't doing that bad with Gisele but the Braves were not doing so hot with Kelly Johnson at second base.

Winner: Martin Prado

Question 3 - Which LeBron news item is more disturbing: the "dunk" tape or smoking pot in high school?
--This one isn't easy to answer at all...mainly, because both news items are completely lame. My reaction to both pieces of news was "Meh." I mean, who cares? Lots of people smoked marijuana back in the day and a few of those people went on to become our nation's President so what's the big deal if another one has gone on to become the greatest hoopster in the land (Sorry Kobe fans). If you had told me that he was getting in fights in high school, I would have been a little more alarmed but still probably wouldn't care. If you told me that he had been drinking and driving and received a couple DUI's...then I'd be concerned. But smokin' a doobie?...Meh.

The dunk tape controversy is weird though...mainly because it makes Nike, but mostly LeBron, look petty. So, you "got dunked on" by a kid from Xavier. You still make millions of dollars and are considered by most to be the best basketball player on the planet. Why couldn't you just laugh that off? Why couldn't you just say, "Hey man, you got me." Then, come back down the court and just embarass the kid. Don't tell me that you couldn't do that.

Winner: The "Dunk" Tape

More "burning questions" to come in the future.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So, I didn't do any sort of tribute to Michael Jackson...

I just didn't think it was necessary. I mean, I enjoy his music. I'd even go as far as saying that I think "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" is one of my favorite party songs and it was released almost a full year PRIOR to me being born.

It's a great tune. The "Thriller" album was really, really good. I listened to songs like "Bad" and "Black or White" like crazy when I was a pre-teen. So why didn't I fill up a blog post, a Facebook status or hit up Twitter with a fitting tribute to Michael The Artist... well, because he just never profoundly impacted my life, I guess. But I'll tell you who did: Ken Griffey Jr.

Warning: If you don't like Ken Griffey Jr. (and I can't honestly think of why you wouldn't) then I suggest that you go read something else. "The Kid" is my childhood hero. Consider yourself warned.

I watched, what seemed like, every at bat this guy took from about 1990 up through 1998. I distinctly remember begging my mother to let me stay up late on random Wednesday nights to catch ESPN's "Wednesday Night Baseball" game - which always seemed to be random west coast gaes that often featured the Seattle Mariners.

I didn't play basketball but I threw some hard-earned lawnmower money at Nike to pick up some Nike Swingman baseball spikes when I was a kid. Man! Those shoes were sweet.

I know that I had at least a couple posters of the guy plastered to my bedroom wall. I collected his baseball cards (which are stored away somewhere in Mom and Dad's attic I suppose). I was legitimately angry in 1994 when the players' strike happened. Not because players seemed greedy or the owners seemed like jerks but because Junior had hit 40 bombs in 111 games - he had a shot at Maris' long-standing homerun record!

That all aside, I was interested to find out that my idol had decided to grace the patrons of Seattle Mariner baseball with a small, yet fitting, tribute to the King of Pop. He strolled to the plate for his first at-bat Tuesday night with the sound system at Safeco Field groovin' to M.J.'s "Billie Jean." Plus, a closer inspection gave way to the slugger's grip on the bat, which showed a bare left hand and a white batting glove worn on his right. Griffey usually wears dark blue gloves on both hands.

Kind of cool.

He didn't walk up the plate and do a quick Jackson-esque kick in the air or moonwalk his way down to first after his walk. He was subtle yet effective. Classic Junior.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

So, with all of Hollywood dropping like flies lately...

I stumbled upon this headline that scared the bejeezus out of me at first, until I realized that Casey Kasem wasn’t dead. Whoo! Almost lost another one.

As it turns out, Casey has officially stepped down from his weekly radio countdown show to focus on “other projects.” This brings up two questions for me:
1.) What the hell “other projects” is Casy Kasem working on?
--Surely, he isn’t a part of the Wal-Mart Welcoming committee now. I doubt MTV is calling, considering that they don’t play music anymore. Plus, they only hire people that want to be famous for ten minutes and then live the rest of their lives saying, “But I was on The Gauntlet VIII!!! PART EIGHT I TELL YOU!!!”

2.) Has Ryan Seacrest taken one more step toward taking over the world?
--It appears so. First Dunkleman and now Kasem. I hope that we are all ready to see this guy for the next 50 to 60 years. He will be our generation’s Dick Clark. Hell, it won’t be too much longer and Seacrest will have Clark wiped off the face of the Earth.

Anyhow, I hate to see Kasem go. I always enjoyed him on the radio. He provided just enough insight and just enough cheese to keep me entertained. And how can you not respect a man that made a cameo on Saved by the Bell?! TWICE!

So, here’s a special long-distance dedication for you, Casey. Best of luck in the future. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!

Cheek, out!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Television and Sports

So, I was stuck somewhere in between a Braves rain delay and the NBA Finals...

While I do enjoy the occasional hoops matchup, I just didn't find Magic-Lakers to be all that intriguing. Despite all the talk about how this was a huge series for Phil and Kobe, I just couldn't get into it. I just couldn't get excited. That all being said, because it was basketball's world championship...I'll took the Lakers in five...they ended up nailling things down in six.

Because of the my lack of interest in Naismith's Game, and Mother Nature's denial of baseball, I was left sifting through the DV-R (which I once described on this very blog as one of the best inventions of my lifetime). This great machine captures all my favorite shows - and a lot of the crap that I really shouln't waste my time with - but it got me thinking. What kinds of shows am I watching? What kinds of shows are you watching? And, frankly, how can I make some sort of sports comparison?

That's when I started jotting down a list of some of the shows that you can find on TV right now and tried to figure out who their athletic counterpart would be. Let me know what you think about this:

30 Rock = Manny Ramirez
They might both be the best out there. People under the age of about 35 LOVE them...people over the age of 35 don't really get them. The "oldies" find them both obnoxious and hard to relate to. You can't argue with the production though. They consistantly give you what you came to get - a couple of awkward moments and bunch of laughs. And sure, an occiasional steriods/female-fertility drug scandal.

The Office = Phil Mikkelson
What's interesting about these two pudgers is that they each have some of the best and worst moments on television. Plus, they need to just do what they do best...rely on the short game. Hour-long episodes of The Office that are "story-driven" just don't work as well as the half-hour episodes that have Jim and Dwight picking on each other. Just put it on the tee, knock it out there, then just give me short little pitches from afew of the tertiary characters and you have yourself a winner.

Heroes = Dontrelle Willis
Nothing has ever started out so hot only to take such a turn for the worse. Both are borderline unwatchable at this point but you gotta keep them in the rotation because you never know when they might catch fire again.
Quick side note: I just don't know if I am okay with Hayden Panettiere being 19 years old...it just makes me feel creepy. Can't she go back to being that little 5-year old girl who draws up high school football plays for her father in Remember The Titans?!

Seinfeld = Ken Griffey Jr.
This is a comparison that I just recently came to terms with. Both, in there time, were unquestionably the best in the business. Both had a long career and have been beloved by almost everyone. Both have become a little dated in the last year or so. Hear me out. I'm not saying that Seinfeld (or Junior for that matter) is done. I'm just saying that neither can really stand with the current players. Sure, every once in a while The Kid goes yard and every now and again you get "The Opposite" and you get that old warm, fuzzy feeling.

That's at least a start...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fortress of Smooth-itude!


On June 5th, I ventured to Andrews Upstairs to see Yacht Rock Revue. Adorned in a naval captain's hat, I set sail on a voyage the likes of which few get a chance to experience. YRR belted out smooth tunes by, to name a few, the Doobie Brothers, Captain & Tenille and Toto. Which brings me to today's featured tune: Toto's "Africa"

I was simply amazed by how popular this song was amongst the packed house. This song is already good but it becomes exponentially better when you've had a handful of bourbon and cokes.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Back To The Blogger

I believe that it was either Mary Todd Lincoln or Marty McFly who once asked, "What the hell is a gigawatt?"

Well, a gigawatt is what Jeff Francoeur just put behind a 2-1, Kevin Gregg-delivered fastball in the bottom half of the 9th inning...just a few seconds ago, mind you... to tie things up with the visting Cubbies. It's been a long time since the hometown boy knocked a bomb like that - a menaingful one too. A no-doubter blast!

But I'm not here to talk about Frenchy, or the possibility of moving him away from the Braves. I'll be saving that for another entry.

What I am here to do is welcome myself back to the blog-o-sphere. Back to the creative writing world. Back to commenting on, critiquing and complaining about all the minutia that makes up life. It's been a lengthy hiatus from my regular blogging, which was only ever "regular" during college football season but I'm going to try to get onto a schedule and report on all those big topics that are hitting our world.

My boy Joe, our beloved Suburban Wino, is really my most recent inspiration. He does a spectacular job telling us all that we ever wanted to know about food, wine, beer and music that we haven't thought about in years. Keep it up, Joey!

I've also started a knew life project - went back to school. That's right - me and Thornton Melon. Better start brushing up on my Vonnegut...

The nice thing about this go 'round is rather than studying something lame like English or History or Molecular Biology, I actually get to study sports. Yep, I said sports. I just spent the last three weeks trekking down to a classroom in Georgia State University's Sports Arena to discuss topics like Augusta Natioal Golf Club's membership, fighting in the NHL and about how Manny is...well...simply "being Manny"...

A la Zach Morris, FREEZE IT!

Lou Piniella elected to pitch to Chipper Jones with a runner on second...with first base open...in a tie game...in extra innings. Brian McCann is on deck. Don't you have to walk Chipper here?! I mean, McCann is good but Chipper is a Hall of Famer, for crying out loud. I'll tell you what, I'm not letting a Hall of Famer beat me. Needless to say, Chipper got a base hit and was subsequently tackled in the infield by Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur. Good win for the Bravos!

...anyhow, to shorten it up, grad school is a trip. I just completed a whirlwind of a May-mester and will be starting another 7-week class discussing revenue generation in sports next week. It's wild stuff but it's actually pretty fun.

So, here's what I'm going to try to accomplish: Two to three posts a week (with audience participation in choosing said topics). I'm going to try to step up "The Goods." I'm also going to be looking to spruce this place up - suggestions are definitely welcome.

For the time being, sift around through the old articles and I'll have something new up soon.