Tag Archive: Alabama


On any given autumn Saturday there are seemingly 27 different college football games on nearly a dozen networks, all available in HD with exceptional video and sound.

And let’s not forget the HDTV games on Thursday and Friday nights as well.

For the addictive channel surfing male of species in particular, there are so many games to choose. There are cold microbrews in the fridge, snacks on the table, and an always available WC down the hall, all provided free of charge in HVAC comfort.

Contrast this climate controlled football nirvana with sphincters yelling in your ear, blocking your view, $10 making-love-in-a-canoe beers, lines for the commode, and endless commercial and instant replay reviews on days/nights which can be blistering or freezing and wet.

As a 30-year and counting Autzen Stadium season ticket holder, Almost DailyBrett has been tempted on more than occasion to leave the overpriced tickets (includes the required Duck Athletic Fund donation) on the coffee table, and watch the game in high-definition comfort at home. Wonder how many Oregon fans will take this option this weekend considering that Pac-12 Networks has decided the game against Montana will start … at 7:45 pm PDT, 10:45 pm EDT.

Seriously, how many folks in the Eastern and Central time zones are going to be watching Pac-12 Networks at midnight, when literally millions in the Pacific time zone cannot even access the network because of contractual issues? If the conference can’t be marketed east of the Rockies, then what’s the point of the late kickoff?

We know from the reporting of the Los Angeles Times that way too many UCLA fans are showing up dressed as empty seats at the 80,616 capacity Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Consider the optics last Saturday as an “announced” crowd of 36,000 attended UCLA’s latest loss, this time against juggernaut San Diego State.

Was the Rose Bowl half full or half empty?

Thankfully, this season will be the last in which the Pac-12 “Championship” game will be played in the nearly vacant Levi’s Stadium in gridlocked Santa Clara on a Friday night (December 6). The announced attendance last year was 35,114. How many freebies were given out to pad the crowd?

Do you know Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott?

The only winner was Fox Sports, providing the network with Friday night “programming.” The losers were the Pac-12 teams, the conference and of course, the fans.

The Networks Don’t Care About The Fans

Alabama is playing its September 21 home game against Southern Miss at 11 am local time.

Does anyone at the sports networks have any appreciation for the expected temps in Tuscaloosa, Alabama when the humid sun is nearing its zenith point for the day? Nick Saban is fried about it (pardon the pun), but he and the Alabama administration seem to be powerless to stop the madness.

Alabama is a perpetual national champion from God’s anointed conference, the SEC, and the school can’t convince the networks to find a  broadcast “window” that works for its fans, friends and supporters?

The networks and the universities want the optics and the revenue that comes from packed stadiums, but are seemingly indifferent to the potential of heat stroke/frost bite by fans. And what’s a fan to do?

How about watching the same cupcake, body-bagger game (e.g., Alabama vs. New Mexico State) in air conditioned comfort in High-Def for free?

Almost DailyBrett initially could not believe when one of my USC fraternity brothers announced that he would not be hosting his long-time tailgate parties at the LA Coliseum this fall. Instead, he said he would “Stub Hub” a game or two, and watch the rest of the games in HDTV.

“We also abstained from buying tickets, so, while we may attend a game or two, will be watching most of them at home.”

One may be tempted to dismiss the above story as simply anecdotal. What is not anecdotal is that college football attendance is down for the major conferences, save the ACC.

“What A Better Way To Spend An Autumn Afternoon” — ABC’s Chris Schenkel (1923-2005)

Almost DailyBrett remembers the days when there was exactly one college football game broadcast on Saturday afternoons by ABC.

The supply of the sport was obviously way under the demand, considering the literally millions of Americans who want to follow their alma maters and favorite teams.

Athletic departments needed additional revenues to fund a wide-variety of sports, the majority of which run in the red.

The networks came to the rescue, but predictably there are no free lunches. The “strings” that came with the deal was the loss of total control, particularly when it came to scheduling and kick off times. The universities, their alumni departments, and most of all their fans couldn’t engage in advance planning with game times being announced only six days before.

Almost DailyBrett is heartened by the complaints coming from Nick Saban and others. The universities want alumni and fans on campus. They want them to sing the fight song, hang out at the tailgate parties, buy the expensive jerseys, have a wonderful time and most of all … write checks.

To this date in recorded history, an empty seat or bench has never written a check to a university.

Doubt this empirical fact of life will ever change.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/ucla/story/2019-09-05/ucla-football-attendance-issues-crowded-sports-field

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/27581049/alabama-not-happy-start-due-heat

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/09/10/alabama-football-is-sick-tired-day-games-would-rather-beat-its-cupcake-opponents-night/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/6-a-m-tailgate-parties/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/01/02/the-conference-of-champions/

 

 

“I’m in favor of progress; it’s change I don’t like” – Mark Twain

The College Football Playoff is change; it’s not progress.

Instead it has become a shameless vehicle for ESECPN to proclaim the winner of a four-team playoff among the SEC, ACC and maybe the Big-12 as the “national” champion.

If Alabama doesn’t even capture its own division, let alone play and win the Southern Eastern Conference championship … macht nichts … then just place Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff anyway!

What’s the purpose of conference championships?

USC wins the Pac-12 title on a Friday night. Who cares? It’s what happens on the next day that matters.

Ohio State wins the Big 10 title the next day, easily beating previously undefeated Wisconsin. That achievement should matter, until it doesn’t matter.

We all knew when there are five “Power” conferences, and only four playoff slots, one champion would be the odd man out, and not invited to the party.

But two conference champions not being selected to pave the way for two SEC teams to be anointed for the playoff … that’s highway robbery and every other metaphor of outrage that applies.

Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry” once opined that opinions are similar to sphincters, everyone has one.

With this introduction here are the dispassionate thoughts from an admitted Pac-12 supporter (i.e., USC undergrad, Oregon post-grad), the author of Almost DailyBrett:

If the Pac-12 is annually dismissed by the Pharisees at ESECPN, and our champion, USC at 11-2, is not even taken seriously for the College Football Playoff …

… And this year, the Big Ten champion, Ohio State 11-2, is also summarily deemed unworthy of the College Football Playoff, then let’s do something radical:

Go back to the good ole days.

The Pac-12 and the Big Ten champions play in The Granddaddy of Them All®, the Rose Bowl.

Yep, let’s celebrate a classic rematch of USC vs. Ohio State playing each other on New Year’s Day.

That’s way it was, and that’s how it should be.

The Granddaddy of Them All®

Oklahoma vs. Georgia in the Rose Bowl, gag me with the proverbial spoon.

The Sooner Schooner being paraded down Colorado Blvd., while UGA does his business in the bushes? Give me a break.

With the BSC followed by the College Football Playoff, we can now conclude college football has taken a huge step backwards.

Consider when Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and Oregon blew out Florida State 59-20, ending the Seminoles 30-game winning streak and holding the 2015 Rose Bowl Trophy.

Was that a reason for passionate celebration for the Pac-12 champion? Well no, because there was another game.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rose Bowl is the game. The author of Almost DailyBrett grew up 20 minutes away from Pasadena. Didn’t want to meet my maker without the Ducks once playing in the Rose Bowl, let alone winning it.

The College Football Playoff Doesn’t Work

We all know now the College Football Playoff doesn’t work.

Expanding it to eight games, just means more slots for SEC and ACC teams.

The Pac-12 and Big Ten should pull out of this monstrosity.

January 2, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks running back De’Anthony Thomas (6) runs the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second half during the 2012 Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The two conferences should reestablish their exclusive with the Tournament of Roses, having their respective champions play on New Year’s Day.

If ESECPN wants to televise a “playoff” featuring the best-and-the-brightest of teams from the former Confederate States, go for it. Just pour some moonshine and scream “Go Bama, Go!”

Whattya think Rece “Bama” Davis? Concur Jesse “Gator” Palmer? Ditto David “Between the Hedges” Pollack?

For me, it’s time to go back to the Rose Bowl.

USC should be playing Ohio State in the historic Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California, not in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington Texas on December 29.

The playoff change did not work.

It’s progress to go back to the Rose Bowl.

http://www.azquotes.com/author/14883-Mark_Twain/tag/change

https://www.tournamentofroses.com/rose-bowl

Leave it to Lane Kiffin to be fired from a job (Alabama offensive coordinator) that he already quit.

That’s Lame … Kiffin.kiffinsaban

As a result, Kiffin won’t be on the sideline tomorrow for the biggest college football game in America as the Crimson Tide defends its national title in a rematch with Clemson in the “Natty.” His failed USC successor Steve “Moonshine” Sarkisian will be calling the plays for Alabama.

Who will ESECPN’s Kirk Herbstreit gush about for three-plus hours without Kiffin huddling behind his little laminated card? If you took a gulp of beer every time Herbstreit heaped fawning praise on Kiffin during last year’s Natty, you would have been smashed by the second quarter.

It seems as if a little dark rain cloud follows Lane’s every step of his rocky career. With Kiffin, there is an abundance of football talent, and yet a gaping deficit in personal public relations.firelanekiffin

Consider that Kiffin was shown the door by the Oakland Raiders, publicly called a liar by the late Al Davis. He skipped out on the Tennessee Volunteers after one season, leaving the school, team and coach staff in the lurch. He was fired in the LAX parking lot at 2:30 am by then-USC Athletic Director Pat Haden when too much became too much.

And now by “mutual” consent with legendary Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, Kiffin will not be the offensive coordinator for the best team in the land in the biggest game of the year.

If you are keeping score at home, here are the raw numbers for Kiffin’s another-chance-after-another-chance career: Oakland, 5-15; Tennessee, 7-6; USC, 28-15 for a grand total of 40 wins and 36 losses. Give Kiffin credit: He has turned mediocrity into a lucrative (read millions) art form.

And now he is the incoming head coach of the … (drum roll) … Florida Atlantic University Owls (2016: 3-9) of Conference USA. You have to wonder if the administration at FAU is so desperate that it would reach out to such a tarnished commodity behind a laminated clipboard. How long will it take before Kiffin embarrasses FAU? Three years? Almost DailyBrett will take the “under.”

The above question implies that Kiffin will actually spend three years at FAU. Considering Kiffin’s track record, three years is most likely a stretch.kiffinbillboard

How does Lane Kiffin keeping failing only to be given new life time-and-time again? It’s akin to giving Anthony Weiner access to Twitter once again. The result is not going to be pretty.

It would be hard for Almost DailyBrett to make up all of these transgressions: Airport parking lot termination, locker room fights, banned reporters, deflated footballs, missed dinners, departed team buses, jersey changing incidents, recruiting decommits, the hoodie, the sun glasses, even the petty precluding of visiting teams merely walking through the LA Mausoleum before games.kiffinshades

When the Crimson Tide’s Nick Saban hired Kiffin as his offensive coordinator three years ago, didn’t you know the Great State of Alabama was not big enough to hold both of their legendary egos and related arrogance at the same time?

The public explanation for Kiffin’s latest dismissal is that he was not devoting the time and effort necessary for a team preparing for the Natty. Kiffin was also hiring his FAU staff and recruiting players for the Boca Raton-based school.kiffinhoodie

Something tells Almost DailyBrett that Kiffin was garnering way too much attention (i.e., Herbstreit on ESECPN, Gary Danielson on CBS) and taking too much credit away from Saban. If Alabama wins Monday, he will tie the immortal Paul “Bear” Bryant with a record six national championships.

Somebody needed to go, and it was the one who was already going.

What’s curious is after one former failed USC coach being dismissed as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, Saban is now relaying on another former failed USC coach.

If Steve Sarkisian learned anything from the legendary mistakes of Lane Kiffin, it’s good to humble and to allow the boss to receive the lion’s share of the Crimson Tide glory.

http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/01/kiffin_is_as_kiffin_does.html

http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/story/lane-kiffin-just-cant-stop-sabotaging-010217

http://www.si.com/college-football/2017/01/02/

http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/story/lane-kiffin-florida-atlantic-fau-alabama-salary-contract-head-coach-hired-where-is-roster-recruiting-121216

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Atlantic_Owls_football

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/sec/2017/01/02/lane-kiffin-abruptly-out-alabamas-oc-steve-sarkisian-take-over/96081884/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/media-vultures-circling-over-kiffin/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/a-ball-inflation-needle-in-kiffins-coffin/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/uscs-vietnam/

 

Believe it or not, college football finally got it right.

Now let’s not screw it up.National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State

Think of it this way, there have been three eras in college football: The Bowl Era; the BCS and for the first time this past season, the College Football Playoff.

Using these three systems, only one would have produced the Ohio State Buckeyes as the national champion even though they would have played Oregon in the terminal bowl under each of the trio of regimes.

The other “champions” would have been Florida State (bowl system) and Alabama (BSC).

The Bowl Era

As a young tadpole, the author of Almost DailyBrett remembers spending virtually all of New Year’s Day watching the bowls.

As a football manager of the USC Trojans in 1976, we lost one damn game, our opener against Missouri at the LA Coliseum. That loss cost us dearly. We were contractually tied into the Rose Bowl. We beat Michigan. We ended up No. 2 in all the land.

Pitt with Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett went to the Sugar Bowl and ended the season, No. 1 and undefeated. We never had a chance to play them.

Using this very same bowl system, Florida State as the ACC champion would have gone to the Orange Bowl. Alabama as the ESECPN champ would been dispatched to the Sugar Bowl. Oregon and Ohio State would have played in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl.

If Florida State prevailed in the Orange Bowl, regardless of the opponent, the Seminoles would have been the national champion because of its perfect season and an unbeaten streak of 30-straight. There is zero doubt about this conclusion because everyone else had at least one loss.

Reality check time: This is the same Florida State team that survived a series of close calls against basketball schools only to be literally destroyed by Oregon 59-20 in the Rose Bowl (e.g. first playoff semifinal) as the Ducks feasted on five Florida State turnovers.GTY 460965378 S SPO FBC USA CA

So much for Florida State as the national champion, and its 29-game winning streak.

The BSC Era

In order to solve the automatic bowl tie-in conundrum, the college football gods came up with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

Reflecting back on the unfortunate BSC era, the idea was to create a non-subjective human/computer ranking system that would disregard bowl tie-ins and conceivably send the best two teams in all the land to the BCS Championship Game.

Besides triggering coast-to-coast controversy, the flawed subjective system paved the way for sanity to ensue in the form of a four-team playoff.

If the BSC still existed this past season, is there any doubt that Florida State and Alabama (e.g., the two semifinal losers) would have played in the Championship Game? And the winner most likely would have been Alabama, making everyone at ESECPN (e.g., Rece “Alabama” Davis, Jesse “Florida” Palmer, David “Georgia” Pollack, Lee “Florida State” Corso …) real happy.

The two playoff finalists (e.g., the teams that handily beat Alabama and Florida State respectively) would have played in the Rose Bowl. Translated: the result of the Ohio State vs. Oregon Rose Bowl would have been irrelevant in determining the national champion.

Thankfully: The Playoff Era

Ohio State would have been locked into the Rose Bowl under the auspices of the bowl era. Under the BSC, the Buckeyes would have been relegated to the Rose Bowl because the college football Pharisees would have selected undefeated Florida State and ESECPN champ Alabama.

In neither case would Ohio State be able to compete for the national title even though the Buckeyes have now proved they are the best team in the land.

The college football playoff provided the backdrop for Ohio State to play for and win the national title. Baylor and TCU may be upset about being left out of the dance, but doing the Texas two-step … there is no way the Bears or Horned Frogs would have beaten the Buckeyes.

There are some who may clamor for an eight-team playoff or a 16-team playoff, a 32-team playoff, a 64-team playoff, a 128-team playoff (e.g., Oregon State would be playing for the national championship).

Yes, there are five major conferences and increasingly inconsequential Notre Dame and one champion obviously will not make it to the four-team dance. Three wouldn’t have made it to the BSC championship game.buckeye

Let’s leave well enough alone. The College Football Playoff worked. Let’s salute The College Football Playoff for a job well done, and also the Fighting Chestnuts of Ohio State.

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowl_Championship_Series

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/rose-bowl

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Bowl_Game

 

 

 

What are you going to do for programming one month from today on SEC Cupcake Saturday, November 22?

cupcakes

Will the 24/7/365 Southeastern Conference-loving network (that would be you, ESECPN) treat the nation to Alabama vs. the Western Carolina Catamounts?

Or is it, Carolina Western? Even Nick Saban and Alabama alum Rece Davis of ESECPN can’t talk up the “potential” of Western Carolina.

Or how about Auburn vs. Samford (& Son) Bulldogs?

Jesse Palmer’s Florida Gators will be playing the dreaded Eastern Kentucky Colonels that same day in “The Swamp.”

And David Pollack’s Georgia Bulldogs will be lining up in between the hedges against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.

palmerpollack

Let’s not forget South Carolina vs. South Alabama Jaguars (Southern Mississippi would be a real opponent).

Reportedly, ESECPN Game Day will visit Nashville to get everyone stoked for Vanderbilt’s game that day against Vassar.

As they say: “You can’t stop the Vassar Brewers’ offense; you can only hope to contain it.”

Are these glorified late-season scrimmages the net result of the SEC refusing to play a nine-game conference schedule, and shamelessly loading up on body-bag games against sacrificial lambs?

Sure looks that way from this humble vantage point west of the Tennessee River.

Four Playoff Spots for Four ESECPN Teams?

Wouldn’t it be great for SEC’s cable sports network if the national championship was decided by a quartet of football factories located somewhere in the old Confederacy, south of the Mason-Dixon Line from Texas in the west to South Carolina in the east?

What if the South rises again, secedes from the union (and the NCAA), and makes the four-team All ESECPN playoff an annual event? No need to consider and follow the exploits of teams from the 14-team Big 10, the 10-team Big 12, the 12-team Pac-12 or any other sad-sack conference.

What is really unfortunate about SEC Cupcake Saturday is the loss of traditional rivalries that were played on the fourth Saturday in November. Included in these games on this hallowed date were the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn and the Egg Bowl between Mississippi and Mississippi State. Instead, Alabama and Auburn are devouring cupcakes that day, basically scheduling a “bye” in drag before the Iron Bowl.

There is hope for college football fundamentalists November 22: You just have to venture west of the Hudson River to Pasadena, California. Yes, USC plays UCLA that day in the Rose Bowl in a real football game with genuine competition. By closing one’s eyes, you can see O.J. Simpson (without his knife) and Gary Beban dueling it out in the Crosstown Rivalry.

Up north that day will be Stanford vs. Cal in the latest renewal of the so-called “Big Game.” Who can forget the one “Play” against Stanford that serves as the single highlight of Cal’s 128-years of inglorious football?

Instead of feasting on cupcakes the week before their rivalry games, the remainder of the Pac-12 is playing conference games that day: Arizona vs. Utah; Colorado vs. Oregon; Oregon State vs. Washington and Washington State vs. Arizona State.

Playing Conference Games in November?

The apologists for the Southeastern Conference at the studios of ESECPN will inevitably point to the fact that other teams in other conferences play their own cupcake opponents. The charge is valid, but these games come at the beginning of the campaign, not the week before the traditional season-ending rivalry game.

They will also cite that Arkansas plays Ole Miss on November 22; Ditto for Mississippi State vs. Vandy and Missouri vs. Tennessee … or six teams out of 14 are actually playing conference games in week four of November. Shameful.

Here is a unique idea for the folks at ESECPN in Bristol, Connecticut: Why not demand the Southeastern Conference play a nine-game conference schedule, putting an end once-and-for-all: Cupcake Saturday?

Let’s make it easy or simple enough for the occupants of the SEC’s headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama: Conference games and only conference games are played in November with the obvious exceptions of Florida vs. Florida State, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech and Kentucky vs. Louisville.

Whattyathink Jesse Palmer?

Any thoughts David Pollack?

How about it, Rece Davis?

Can you live without Florida playing a “home game” against Eastern Kentucky (e.g., the Gators would never step foot in Richmond, Kentucky let alone find it on the map) or Georgia taking on Charleston Southern in a glorified high school stadium?.charleston

Based upon a quick review of the secondary ticket market even with the football crazies south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the fans agree. Tickets for Alabama’s certain annihilation of Western Carolina on November 22 start at $119. Tix for the Iron Bowl the following week start at $297 and peak at $5,855 per ticket.

Which game would you rather watch? Hey ESECPN, let’s dispense with the cupcakes and go for good old-fashioned raw meat instead.

http://www.wcu.edu/

http://www.samford.edu/

http://www.eku.edu/

http://www.csuniv.edu/

http://www.southalabama.edu/

http://www.vassar.edu/

http://secsports.go.com/watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes Alabama and Auburn, “football schools”?

ironbowl

And conversely, what makes Duke and North Carolina, “basketball schools”?

It seems that the term, “football school,” has been around since the earth cooled. The ghosts of John McKay, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Darrell Royal, Bear Bryant, Joe Paterno, Bud Wilkinson and others would certainly agree from their respective resting places in Heaven and Hell.

Ditto for the words, “basketball school,” may also have been carved into the Rosetta Stone to commemorate “The Wizard of Westwood” John Wooden, Adolph Rupp, “Phog” Allen and Jim Valvano.

Does anyone in the State of Alabama let alone anywhere else, besides Sir Charles Barkley, really care about the basketball rivalry between Alabama and Auburn?

Does anyone in the State of North Carolina let alone anywhere else really care about the football rivalry between Duke and North Carolina?

Ask virtually anyone in Alabama what happened in the last second of the 2013 Iron Bowl and a huge smile or a deep sigh will emerge reflecting the religious fervor from both War Eagle and Roll Tide surrounding this game. They already know what they will be doing for nearly four hours on a late November night later this year.

michaelduke

Ask virtually anyone along the eight miles of Tobacco Road separating Duke and UNC and beyond what they are doing this coming Saturday night and they will most likely think the question is rhetorical: It’s North Carolina vs. Duke baby, and the “Cameron Crazies” are ready to go. You can be sure that ESPN’s Dukie Vitale will be there as well.

When one starts listing football schools which institutions immediately come to mind (moving from God’s time zone to the west)?

How about Penn State? Yep. Ohio State and Michigan? Certainly. Notre Dame? Must we? Alabama and Auburn? Definitely. Texas and Texas A&M? Ya better, ya hear. Oklahoma and Nebraska? Yes sir. USC? Fight On! Oregon? Particularly in the last two-plus decades.

When one starts listing basketball schools which institutions come to mind (again moving from God’s sacred Eastern Time Zone to points out west)?

Syracuse? Does the name, Jim Boeheim, ring a bell? North Carolina and Duke? No doubt. Kentucky and Louisville? Yessum. Indiana? Ever see the movie, Hoosiers or read Season on the Brink? Kansas? Dorothy would pass up the Emerald City to check out a game in Allen Fieldhouse. And of course, Arizona.

During the course of a KNBR (San Francisco) radio interview a few years ago, former University of Arizona basketball star Tom Tolbert asked NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young if Arizona would ever go to the Rose Bowl. Young without missing a beat told Tolbert to forget it because “Arizona is a basketball school.”

Even though there are obvious exceptions to every rule, Almost DailyBrett has to conclude that basketball schools are really not very good at football, and football schools conversely are really not proficient in round ball.

Do you remember Indiana’s last Rose Bowl? O.J. Simpson was carrying the ball for the other team.

Can you list the number of NCAA titles in Men’s basketball for USC (We remember you, Cheryl Miller)? That would be … none.

Can you list the number of Rose Bowls for Arizona? You already know the answer to that one.

As a Pac-12 kind of guy, let’s focus on USC, the football school, and Arizona, the basketball school. What makes the two so dominant in one sport and so mediocre (being kind here) in the other?

One could immediately point to tradition, and legendary coaches. USC is Howard Jones, John McKay and Pete Carroll. USC is the LA Coliseum. Heisman Trophies, Song Girls, Traveler, Conquest, Rose Bowls and National Championships. Steve Sarkisian has traded in a lumbering Ford F-150 (University of Washington) for a Lamborghini (USC). As a former football manager at Troy way back in the Gerald Ford/Jimmy Carter years, I can attest everything is football at USC.

carrollusc

In turn basketball was the near-empty L.A. Sports Arena, one of the most dreary and desultory sports experiences in the history of the planet. USC had no home court advantage for literally decades. Wooden was packing them in at Pauley Pavilion. The USC students really wouldn’t even walk a few blocks to the Sports Arena, but would make the same trek in droves to the LA Coliseum.

Today, USC plays in the beautiful Galen Center and no one friggin’ cares. The team is mired in last place in the Pac-12, trailing even the dreadful WSU Cougars. AD Pat Haden (e.g., a football star) hired Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield and the effort is a never-ending work in progress.

For USC fans, the goal every year is to win the Pac-12 and contest for the national championship, if not outright win the glass football. When it comes to basketball…Do USC fans really care? The answer is, not really.

Quick name a great Arizona quarterback since the Wildcats joined the now-Pac-12 conference in 1978?

How about a legendary Arizona football coach?

Sorry “Bear Down” disciples, Frank Kush coached for ASU. Even though Rich Rodriguez does not want to hear this: Arizona is a study of gridiron mediocrity. Even early erector-set Arizona Stadium makes one’s blood head north. This is NOT a must do college football experience.

lute

Now let’s talk McKale Center. Let’s remember Lute and Bobbie Olson. Let’s contemplate the 1997 NCAA title. Let’s dwell on the likes of Richard Jefferson, Miles Simon, Channing Frye, Salim and Damon Stoudamire, Luke Walton (UCLA Bill’s son) etc. Let’s visualize Arizona getting to the Final Four again this year (if they can make their free throws) with the likes of Aaron Gordon, Nick Johnson, Kaleb Tarczewski, T.J. McConnell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Coach Sean Miller has not made AzCat faithful forget Lute, but he is on the verge of starting a new Arizona dynasty in round ball.

Some things change, but more times than not, they stay the same. And when they change, it takes a long time. That certainly is the case for USC basketball and Arizona football.

A football school is a football school and a basketball school is a basketball school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Bowl

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina%E2%80%93Duke_rivalry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USC_Trojans_football

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_Wildcats_men%27s_basketball

Here’s a note to those residing in God’s time zone (e.g., EDT, EST), particularly south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

It’s NOT… OR-EE-GONE … It’s OR-EE-GUN.

Just think of the NRA whenever the BSC … oops BCS … once again snubs that team with the funny mascot located in America’s cul-de-sac, about 2,855.2 miles west of Tallahassee in your pickup truck with OR-EE-GUN racks on the back.

gunrack

Just to make sure that I am not directing all of my ire at Dixie, ESPN’s Tony “Pardon the Interruption” Kornheiser from Long Island, also refers to Oregon as OR-EE-GONE.

Being from New York, he would most likely pronounce the river that runs near Autzen Stadium as the Will-a-MET(s).

Think of it this way and you will never mess up the pronunciation: It’s Will-AM-IT; Damn-it!

Besides-so-many-near-the Atlantic being at best indifferent or at worst intellectually challenged in how to properly pronounce the name of the state located somewhere out on the Pacific Coast, there is the inconvenient problem that comes with the Ducks winning each-and-every game by three touchdowns or more.

Oregon is a solid No. 2 in both polls with first place votes coming from football writers and coaches respectively.

No problem? What? Oh, you are going to solve this annual West Coast annoyance with computers. I have seen this movie before in 2001, and I am not looking forward to the sequel.

Even though the BSC thankfully exists for only 76 more days, the Trilateral Commission for Global Domination by the Eastern Time Zone (TCGDETZ) has already initiated the Oregon snub.

This year may be tougher than most. Let’s say the Ducks knock off nationally ranked UCLA, Stanford (on the road), Oregon State and either UCLA or Arizona State in the Pac-12 championship game to finish at 13-0, how will the BSC arrange for two Southern football factories (or maybe Ohio State) to play for the “Natty”?

The first explanation may revolve around the notion that OR-EE-GONE should be happy to play in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, making it easy for its geographically isolated fans to see their beloved Ducks in yet again, another, other BSC bowl game.

The problem is that the “Natty” is also being played this year in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, just five days after the Rose Bowl game.

Not to worry. This is the same BSC that chose Nebraska to play Miami in the very same Rose Bowl “Natty” in 2001, even though the Cornhuskers were blown out 62-36 by the Colorado Buffaloes. The Huskers were then annihilated and destroyed by No. 1 Miami, 37-14.

By the way, Oregon thumped that very same Colorado team, 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish No. 2 in the nation. We were deprived of the opportunity of seeing Oregon play Miami for the whole bowl (no pun intended) of marbles by the BSC.

Even though the fix is in with the BSC setting up SEC Alabama vs. ACC (basketball conference) Florida State clash for the Waterford crystal football, this No. 1 vs. No. 3 system will mercifully go into the history books after Jan. 6, 2014. A four-team playoff will ensue and all the controversy will go away.

What’s that former coach Pat Dye from Ah-BURN in da S.E.C?

DYE

You don’t like that Condoleezza Rice as a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee because she is a woman and obviously did not play football?

Let’s see Pat, she was good enough to serve as the nation’s Secretary of State and National Security Advisor and now as the Provost at Stanford University, but she is not qualified to interpret won-loss records, strength of schedule, national rankings and computer modeling for college football teams?

She speaks fluent Russian, plays classical piano, figure skates, took a hand at making sense of the history, culture, religious animosities of the Byzantine Middle East, but she doesn’t have the football necessities to determine who are the best four teams in the country as one-of-13 members of the college football playoff selection committee?

condi

Pat, would you like to have the opportunity to take your comments back?

I have zero issues with Dr. Rice serving on the committee other than she may be predisposed to Stanford over Oregon, but my concern is mitigated that she is only one-of-13 votes.

Best of all, there will be no more BSC with favoritism to those who still pronounce the way-off state with the funny mascot, OR-EE-GONE.

http://www.lostlettermen.com/oregon-fans-enraged-over-bcs-snub/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCS_controversies

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/17/condi-rice-respectfully-disagrees-with-pat-dyes-assessment/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/nationworld/sns-rt-fbc-news-20130628,0,6685898.story

https://www.google.com/#q=Distance+between+Tallahassee+and+Eugene%2C+Oregon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condoleezza_Rice

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2013/10/16/meet-the-faces-behind-the-college-football-playoff-selection-committee/2993911/

“In Alabama, you can’t be for both. You have to choose. It’s either Alabama or Auburn. And once you choose, you are branded for life.” – Unknown Auburn fan

“Personnel? That’s for assholes!” – Clint Eastwood as Inspector Harry Callahan

“I was in Personnel for 10 years.” – Bradford Dillman as Captain Jerome McKay

(Long pause)

“Yeah.” – Harry Callahan

eastwoodRecently, a fellow public relations graduate school classmate was excited about her prospects of landing a position with Intel Corporation.

The only problem was the job was in Human Resources (with all due respect to those in HR).

I couldn’t help but immediately think about Dirty Harry’s reaction about being reassigned to “Personnel” in the 1976 feature film, “The Enforcer.” This point is amplified by his one-syllable response to Captain McKay informing him about his 10-year tenure in what we now label: Human Resources or HR.

My serious concern for my academic colleague had absolutely nothing to do with the largest semiconductor company in the world, Intel, but the position itself. Instinctively, I took into account that jobs are precious in this lethargic economy, even at a time in which we are celebrating the nation’s unemployment rate “declining” to 7.7 this past November as more-and-more job seekers give up the hunt.

In particular, I urged caution to her about inadvertently heading down the path to pigeonholing. She could record 10 years in human resources and suddenly come to the realization that she is permanently dropped into the lethal “HR” bucket. If she subsequently wanted to shift her career back to public relations, marketing, advertising etc. — what she actually studied as an undergraduate and in grad school — she may find the doors closed for her because she is now permanently branded as a “HR” professional, similar to “The Evil Director of Human Resources, ‘Catbert,’” in the Dilbert cartoons.

catbert

Another example is one of my students, who was saddened that he lost out for a retail management trainee job for Macy’s. This may have been a blessing in disguise unless he really wanted to spend his life in retail, which very well could have been the result if he was “successful” in attaining this particular job.

The point of this epistle is that we live in an increasingly demographic world and there is no going back. Think about how everyone is worshipping at the altar of Barack Obama political guru David Axelrod because his team correctly projected that 72 percent of the electorate would be composed of white voters…a number too low to elect Mitt Romney.

The exercise was to identify single women, African Americans, Hispanics and young voters and target the GOTV campaign (Get Out The Vote) to these demographic groups in their respective buckets. Some of this segmentation is obvious: Males and females; married or single: young or old. And someone is always dividing and subdividing each subgroup into tiny slivers to determine buying and behavior patterns for political or monetary gain.

From the Census to Facebook, we are compulsively segmenting people whether we like it or not (e.g., privacy advocates). From the Spartans to the Athenians, the Hatfields to the McCoys, the North and the South, Red States and Blue States, Israelis and Palestinians, we have a long history of putting people into groups. In Alabama, it is the red and white of the Crimson Tide or the blue, orange and white of the Auburn Tigers. There is no straddling the fence in ‘Bama.

To many Sean Connery will always be James Bond. Simon Cowell will be the absolutely brutal talent judge on American Idol. Simon Bond will always be the guy who wrote, 101 Uses for a Dead Cat. Reportedly, his subsequent books on any other subject were not accepted…he was always the “Dead Cat Guy.”

So does someone specifically trained in the verbal, written, digital media and communications choreography skills of public relations want to wake up one day and ask: ‘How did I become saddled in Human Resources?’ I am fearful that the lousy economy of today may result in some very painful and for the most part irreversible results a decade or more from now.

Should a graduate turn down a “position” in this crummy economy to avoid the dreaded pigeonhole? Or should that same graduate take a “job” to keep food on the table and gas in the tank, while continuing to search for the position that fits her or his career? This is a difficult predicament. And in many ways, it is an easy answer.

Choosing between Auburn and Alabama is tougher.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigeonholing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGCMyF-sA58

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/101_Uses_for_a_Dead_Cat

http://search.dilbert.com/comic/Evil%20Catbert

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/08/business/economy/us-creates-146000-new-jobs-as-unemployment-rate-falls-to-7-7.html?_r=0

Shouldn’t we all have the right to proudly wear the colors of our favorite team and safely cheer them on to victory…regardless of the venue?

And consistent with this right are we also obligated, regardless of the outcome and emotional impact of the game, to treat those who freely choose to root for our opponents with respect, particularly if they wear their colors in your home stadium?

It is called civility…something that is an endangered species in American society and we are not just talking about football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer or whatever sport immediately comes to mind.

And while we are embarking in this discussion are we really better people if our team wins? And conversely if our team comes up on the short-end of the scoreboard is that our personal defeat as well? After all it is only a game. We are not the ones tying on the cleats, applying the sun glare black or rubbing on pine tar. And yet to some fans…

Almost DailyBrett is exploring this subject because college football will be underway in about six weeks. This blog argues that college football is America’s most emotional game because in many cases the rivalries go back a century or more and the respective teams play a grand total of once in a given year. There are no best-of-sevens in college football.

Certainly good-natured ribbing and cajoling between fans of respective universities is just as much of a feature of Americana as tailgating, fight songs and cheerleaders. But what happens when the kidding becomes taunting? What happens when the effects of alcohol combine with rising testosterone levels? And what happens when violence seems to be the way to settle a score?

Take Alabama vs. Auburn, two schools separated by less than 200 miles. The so-called “Iron Bowl” between the two schools goes back to 1893. In the State of Alabama, you are either “Roll Tide!” or “War Eagle!”  Alabama won the BCS National Championship in 2010, and Auburn followed with a national title of its own this past January.

Growing up, I read about legendary Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, one of the greatest in the history of college football. Which brings this discussion to the stately oak trees at “Toomer’s Corner” in Auburn, Alabama. One of the traditions at Auburn is to “roll” the trees with TP to celebrate victories by the Auburn Tigers.

auburn

Following Auburn’s come-from-behind victory in this year’s Iron Bowl, an Alabama fan Harvey Almorn Updyke, 62, called regional sports radio host Paul Finebaum to complain that Auburn students allegedly rolled Toomer’s Corner upon hearing the news of Bear Bryant’s passing. When the host doubted the story, Updyke then announced that he had poisoned two of the Toomer’s Corner 130-year-old oak trees with a deadly herbicide, Spike 80DF. “Do you think I care?” Updyke asked. “Roll Damn Tide!”

updyke

Updyke’s attorneys have entered an innocent plea to criminal mischief, but their client’s crowing about his misdeed on sports radio may be all the prosecution needs to put his crimson backside behind bars. Meanwhile, the trees are in mortal danger.

Even more revolting than the poisoning of defenseless trees that just happen to grow on the Auburn campus is the sickening attack this past March against a San Francisco Giants fan, Bryan Stow, in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Dodgers beat the Giants that day, but that did not preclude a brutal attack on Stow, who ironically works for American Medical Response. Stow suffered significant brain damage and recently was upgraded from “critical” to “serious” condition at San Francisco General Hospital. A man with a prior felony record, Giovanni Ramirez, has been arrested in connection with the incident.

In this case, we are discussing baseball not football. We are also talking about one of the most long-standing and intense rivalries in professional sports going back to 1890 when the Giants were located in New York and the Dodgers in Brooklyn.

It may be easy to try to dismiss the Toomer’s Corner and Chavez Ravine (home of Dodger Stadium) incidents as criminal and isolated. Yes and No. The real question is whether they are representative to the loss of civility in American society?

As I grew up, I occasionally heard the phrase, “Magnanimous in victory; gracious in defeat.” If you follow sports, politics, business etc. long enough you will celebrate your share victories and endure your share of defeats. Being able to respect the feelings of the “losers,” while at the same time offering congratulations to the “winners” is a sign of maturity.

When the actual contest is taking place, it is a wonderful release from the pressures of daily life to be able to cheer for your team. And you should be able to wear your team’s colors anyplace, anytime you want…and to accept with a smile good-natured ribbing. Having said that, there is no excuse for insults, violence and certainly no justification for criminal behavior. Here’s to hoping that (if guilty) Mr. Updyke and Mr. Ramirez each spend a long time in a very bad place (this is not equating trees to a human life, but criminal behavior with criminal behavior).

My biggest concern is what happens if criminal behavior, masked as fandom, gets completely out of control? Will someone bring a gun to a stadium and shoot a fellow fan or a player or coach on the field? I am sad to say this is not the first time this thought has crossed my mind. I have many times wondered how many of my fellow fans are armed and will intoxicants provide them with liquid courage? Can we imagine having to walk through magnetometers in order to go to a game? Preposterous? Just think about how airport security has changed in the last 10 years.

One way to cool everyone’s jets and reduce this awful possibility is to simply enjoy the game, and remember it is only a game…not life or death. And if your team wins? Great. And if your team loses? Oh well. Remember: You personally did not win. And you personally did not lose. The team that you are rooting for, won or lost. It’s not personal.

Sometimes we seem to forget that.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/sports/pro/baseball&id=8205448

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/sports/pro/baseball&id=8200676

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodgers%E2%80%93Giants_rivalry

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=6129272

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeW1ECI3PVE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm8AqL9FV-o&NR=1

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2011/04/20/1547031/toomers-corner-tree-poisonings.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Bowl

%d bloggers like this: