Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 130 - The NCAA (Not Capable At All)

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to spout off my opinions on Life, the Universe and Everything (RIP Douglas Adams, one of the funniest authors of all time). The summer months have brought about some changes in my day to day habits and have caused my time spent indoors to be severely limited. What all has changed since I last updated? Well, in a nutshell; not much. Everyone seems to still be in an uproar over the “Lack of Institutional Control” continuing to be displayed by college athletics governing body….The NCAA (Not Capable At All).

It seems like every time we turn around another big time program is being thrust into the spotlight for indiscretions surrounding their athletic programs. We started this downward spiral off with North Carolina and their snuggles with an agent. We then moved on to a couple of smaller schools grabbing a few headlines for violating this rule or that one. We saw the “Vested One” have his ever so shiny image tarnished beyond repair at Ohio State. This one continues to grow in most every aspect even now. The fallout from the tOSU scandal made it blatantly obvious that Delany and the Big 10 needed to be sweeping around their own door instead of taking cheap shots at the SEC. Oregon’s Coach Kelly started trying to cover his tracks a bit late in the Will (Willy) Lyles recruiting scandal.  Most recently, Nebraska has opted to out themselves in a text book scandal similar to the one that the Crimson Tide was in trouble over just a few years back. And then there is Auburn….

While it is no secret that my opinion of the powers that be at Auburn University is not a very high one, I must say that I have spoken with some very level headed Au fans that are sick of all of the controversy themselves. Granted, there is a much more vocal crowd of Au supporters that like to employ the 3D method of Deflect, Deny and Deter, but there are those Au fans that just want whatever is going to happen to happen. The numerous allegations being leveled at Au are not going away. While many of the Au faithful try to paint those of us who feel sure Au has been playing dirty as “Tin-Foil Hatters” or “Disgruntled Updykes”, they have had no success at changing anyone’s mind. Sure there have been smear campaigns aimed at the Scott Moores of the world, but overall; Au is viewed by the rest of the country as being dirty. Nothing new to me, however; I’m not going to rehash previous entries on this site regarding the suspected improprieties of Au and its administration. 

I am going to ask some questions though. I want to know why it is that it takes media outlets like Yahoo Sports to get any type of real reaction to allegations from the NCAA? Charles Robinson (The E.F. Hutton of Sports Reporter’s) seems to be our best bet at getting the NCAA to act on something. Based on previous reports by Mr. Robinson and the resulting fallout, I contend that he should be the President of the NCAA. How is it that the NCAA interviews Will (Willy) Lyles for 6 hours, yet do not bother to even ask him about the ins and outs of Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James recruitment at Oregon? I mean, why waste 6 hours of the man’s time if you aren’t going to ask him about the meat of the subject at hand? It took the likes of Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel to ask those questions. Speaking of Wetzel, I nominate him as Robinson’s Vice President of the new NCAA. Does the NCAA just not want to know? If the answer to that question is yes, then why even have a governing body? The NCAA repeatedly has more egg on its face than can be found in a 100 Waffle Houses. The very people that buy the tickets to all of these sporting events have ZERO faith in the NCAA’s ability to get anything right. Selective penalties, looking the other way, downright ignoring glaring facts are all things the average fan has come to expect from the NCAA. 

Are these problems because they are under staffed? That’s probably part of it, but it is not a valid excuse. Hire more investigators and make sure these investigators know what questions to ask. It’s not like the money isn’t there to hire as many investigators as they need. AHHHHH!!!! Therein lies the problem….MONEY. Do you suppose that dollars are the reason that tOSU has been allowed to play dirty for so long? Do you suppose that dollars are why Will (Willy) Lyles was not asked the pertinent questions in his interview with the NCAA? Do you suppose that dollars are the reason that the NCAA did not want to react on the allegations they were most definitely aware of concerning the two teams that played for the National Championship? YES to all of the above. What we have here is a governing body that is made up of its member institutions, not unlike your Neighborhood Housing Committee that gives you that phone call if your grass is taller than ankle high. The very schools that are corrupt pay the salaries of those that govern them.  No wonder they don’t want to do anything about corruption. The solution? See above and let a 3rd party organization that is paid off of fines levied at rogue institutions, bowl game revenues and endorsements govern college sports. This would take the conflict of interest away that is currently the real GOVERNOR of college athletics.

Make the “Not Capable At All” become the “Not Complacent Anymore”


Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 100 - Mountaineer's Worries /Gus Malzahn

So, here we are again….another two weeks or so have passed since I have slapped the world with my opinions. Again, I’ve just been busy with things outside of the World Wide Web. The state of college football continues to spiral downward with regard to cheating. It appears that Au’s slogan of, “Everyone does it, so we do too” may not be too far off base. We have Au and mass allegations being leveled at them. We have tOSU and the “Tattoo Bunch” featuring the “Vested One”. We have Oregon and their ties to the 7 on 7 play we have heard so many bad things about. We have NC and a lot of other schools who’s troubles now seem to pale in comparison to the stories of today. Now, add West Virginia to the list.

West Virginia University Head Coach in waiting, Dana Holgorsen has the WVU administration and fans fuming. It appears that there have been several (6 is the number that seems referenced the most) instances of Coach Holgorsen having alcohol related incidents at various casinos. According to the chatter, Holgorsen has had run-ins with Casino and Hotel management as well as the police for being way too intoxicated at several different venues. It should be noted that there have not been any charges filed against Holgorsen. So, we have a future head coach that has been accused of having a drinking problem and a penchant for gambling? Each one of those stigmas can create a volatile situation on their own merit, but having issues with both at the same time is a recipe for disaster. The whole thing reminds me of former Alabama Coach Mike Price. His two ingredients seemed to be alcohol and strippers, again; not a very good combination to put on as the main face of your University.

So, what’s next for the Mountaineers? After doing a bit of internet sleuthing, I’ve come to the conclusion that WVA has some of the same “good ole boy egos” that seem to run rampant in the SEC. Current Head Coach Bill Stewart has been accused of leaking Holgorsen’s drinking incidents to Chuck Landon (a reporter who, according WVA message board posters, takes great pleasure in making WVA look bad) in effort to sabotage the WVA program. There are also rumors of the offensive coaching staff and defensive coaching staff not communicating at all. Well, all of this in and of itself doesn’t appear to contain any NCAA related violations. From down south, it looks like there is a ton of internal turmoil going on within the WVA athletic department, but I’ve seen no evidence of any illegal activities. There are some rumors out there on twitter and on blog posts that do mention Stewart in relation to some NCAA rule breaking, but I’ve seen nothing that mentions details on them. As us Alabama fans know all too well though…Where there’s smoke, there usually is fire.

I guess a question I’ll be asked is, “Why the heck do you care what is going on in West Virginia?” There are a couple of reasons for my interest, but the main one is one of the rumors from the WVU supporters that is making the internet rounds. That is that Au’s Gus Malzahn will be leaving for the Head Coaching position at WVU. I’ve heard nothing about this down here and it may be that there is absolutely nothing to it. Sure there are few mentions of it on SEC message boards, but I suspect they are gathering their information from the same places I am. One other noteworthy rumor surrounding this situation is that WVU athletic director, Oliver Luck, has been told that if Holgorsen receives anymore negative publicity while at WVU, that Luck himself will be looking for a new job. This statement (if true) explains all of the sudden talk of Stewart being fired and Holgorsen no longer being the next Mountaineer Head Coach. 

While at this point the Malzahn speculation may be premature, I do question why Malzahn is one of the main names being floated and not some of the other, more experienced coaches that are out there? I think Malzahn is going to be a successful head coach at some point and I think he would be a good fit at WVU, but I’m not sure that’s who I would go to if I were Oliver Luck. I mean, considering the fact that the reason for a coaching change at this point would come from Luck trying to get away from negative publicity; I don’t think Malzahn would be a wise choice. With the amount of negative publicity Au has received since playing Cam Newton in the Georgia game, I don’t think Luck would want to take that gamble. A bad hire for him at this point would surely mean the end of his tenure at WVU. I’m not saying that Malzahn has done anything wrong at Au, but the allegations leveled at Au, its administration, athletic department and coaching staff and the confirmation of an ongoing investigation by the NCAA most likely would taint a Malzahn hire in this situation.

Another reason for my interest is the mention of the breaking of NCAA rules by current WVU Head Coach, Bill Stewart. As already mentioned, the details I have been able to find on these alleged violations are non-existent, but should there be anything to it, I want to watch closely to see how things are handled. I have a large interest in seeing college football cleaned up. I don’t really care what school is involved if improprieties have taken place. I want to see them addressed in a fair, consistent manner (something I have never seen the NCAA do). 

I look for a change to the entire landscape of college sports and its governing body. I see no way around it. It’s big money and regardless of its label, College Athletics are not amateur in nature. If it isn’t amateur, then it has to be professional. So, what do we do from there?


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 81 - Keep Helping / Brooks is Clueless

Hey Everybody, I’ve been on a bit of hiatus with the website for a couple of weeks. Various reasons have kept me from inflicting my opinions upon the world. The storms of April 27th, 2011 have wreaked such havoc across the Great State of Alabama and the rest of the South that I have been a bit busy with things outside of this site. I’ll talk a bit more about those storms and some of my opinions regarding the support this state has received. I’ll touch on a few Alabama and Auburn related things. I’ll laugh out loud at @banditref ( and I might even weigh in on my good buddy, Brooks. And….We’re Off…..

The storms of April 27th have decimated my state. As everyone is well aware of by now, Tuscaloosa was nailed as well as Birmingham, Huntsville and numerous smaller communities and towns throughout North and Central Alabama. I’ve mentioned the devastation in Phil Campbell, AL in a previous entry, but since that time I have had the opportunity (or should I say bad luck) to see the complete and total destruction of people’s lives first hand. There are children without parents, parents without children and both without homes. There are environmental concerns that could cause the chore of rebuilding some of these areas to be further complicated. There are con artists taking advantage of the good nature of the people that have already had so much taken from them. The situation in Alabama is still dire and I do not want the rest of this country to forget it. 

While I have witnessed so many bad things over the last couple of weeks, I have also seen some wonderful, wonderful people jump at the chance to help. My buddy @banditref has made a couple of trips to Tuscaloosa with his local church from Jacksonville, Florida  to help begin the rebuilding of that wonderful place that I hold so dear to my heart. Some friends of mine from an online gaming community ( have taken it upon themselves to aid people that they do not even know. The leader of the community (Ski) has taken up donations and sent them to Alabama to help individual families. He has also taken it upon himself to gather donations to help from people he knows outside of the gaming  community. The great thing about it all is Ski lives in Wisconsin and I assume he has never even been to Alabama. Furthermore the members of The Renegades community are from all over this country and even overseas. These people who do not know a soul in Alabama (other than me) have all given their thoughts, prayers and dollars to aid the rebuilding of people’s lives. That, in itself, is amazing. So, I want to personally thank @Banditref, Ski and the Renegades Gaming Clan for what they are doing for the people of my state. 

Then you also have thousands of other people who have consistently done every little thing they can to make sure the need for help stays at the forefront of everyone’s mind. There are people like @dbldeeisme who I know only through twitter (I’ve never even spoken with her). I can tell you this about her though… If there is a tweet out there about someone needing something to aid the victims of these storms, then she is all over re-tweeting it to make sure the information gets to as many people as possible. She spends a lot of time making sure these tweets get around and thus is contributing to the overall effectiveness of the entire relief effort. It’s because of people like her that “Name Your Foundation Here” that was out of water 1 hour ago, has more than they need now. I want to thank you for your continued efforts Ms. @dbldeeisme , it hasn’t gone unnoticed. 

I have to also mention Toomer’s for Tuscaloosa, an Auburn University based relief effort that has been a huge factor in helping the people of Tuscaloosa through this dark, dark time. I don’t know what the most recent dollar figure is that Toomer’s has raised is, but I want to point out that these Auburn fans have contributed much more than a few dollars here and there. They sent crew after crew to Tuscaloosa to help with the cleanup. They’ve sent truckload after truckload of medical supplies, toiletries, shoes and clothing to the very heart of the Alabama campus. It really is sad that the disaster of April 27th, 2011 was needed to get many of us to understand that there is a lot more to life than the Alabama verses Auburn rivalry. These Auburn fans have been wonderful at loving their fellow man and after all, isn’t THAT what it is all about?

While I would like nothing more than to put all of this Tornado talk to bed for good, I’m afraid that I can’t promise that. Seeing what I have seen and hearing the firsthand accounts that I am hearing lets me know that Alabama will be under this dark cloud for some time to come. I’ll try to lighten things up by talking about some different topics, but this event has impacted me severely which will compel me to make sure that the need for help stays at the forefront. The national media did a phenomenal job covering the events that occurred for about 30 seconds….then poof, it’s like we all magically healed. Not a word mentioned on any television station outside of the South. Initially they reported that the devastation was on par with what Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast, yet I have seen nothing that even resembles the outpouring of national media attention that was garnered from that storm. Why is this? Any valid answer would be appreciated. CNN…you’re based in Atlanta…DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On to some Crimson Tide related stuff. Once again, my buddy, my friend, my pal….Brooks from the sportsbybrooks website has decided to beat on a dead horse. Once again, from the sunny skies of California, Brooks has his stethoscope on the very heartbeat of SEC sports. Amazing how he only posts the side that supports his claims, yet completely ignores the facts surrounding the story. If he can get some clicks on his site, that’s all he is worried about. It doesn’t matter who it hurts, if the information is correct or if it has already been proven to be a moot point; if Brooks can get you to click on his website, he will. 

This week’s latest tirade by Brooks is in regard to Alabama’s Nick Saban and his supposed penchant for a practice in the college football recruiting world referred to as “Over signing”. The practice is referring to signing more potential college athlete’s than will be allowed to be on a team’s roster when the actual season starts. Every team is allowed to have 85 scholarship athletes on the roster per season. Saban has been accused of signing kids, having them work with the strength coaches over the summer and then (depending on their performance) either telling them there wasn’t room on the roster and asking them to leave campus and come back the following January or kicking another existing, less productive player off of the roster to make room for the new talent. This story has been hit 1000 times, yet Brooks feels the need to bring up quotes from Saban as far back as 2008. Ok Brooks, I’ll try to put this into terms you can understand. The great thing about posting it here is that I don’t have to worry about you censoring the post.

Brooks, instead of picking on Nick Saban, why don’t you check the facts elsewhere around the SEC and see exactly who is “over signing” these kids? While Saban is guilty of “over signing”, he by no means is the only one doing it. He isn’t even the one doing it the most. I guess the consistent underachieving by your favorite (UGA Coach Mark Richt) has put you on the war path. Are you taking classes from Au’s 3D (deflect, deny, deter) Department? Why don’t you write about how UGA has been poised at least 3 times in recent years to make a run for the SEC Championship only to be lucky to pull off winning seasons? Don’t get me wrong, I like Richt and I think he is a class act. It’s YOU that I can’t say the same about.

Below are the numbers to once again prove you are a dimwit:

From the years 2007 through 2011, Nick Saban signed the following number(s) of athletes:
2007 – 25
2008 – 32
2009 – 28
2010 – 26
2011 – 23

That is an average of 26.8 signees per year. You failed to mention in your article the normal average numbers of players lost to attrition, career ending injuries, academic casualties and willing transfers. You also failed to mention this next set of numbers:

Ole Miss Signees from 2007-2011:
2007 – 22
2008 – 31
2009 – 37
2010 – 26
2011 – 28

That is a yearly average of 28.8. Ole Miss is the school guiltiest of “over signing” in the SEC West. Alabama didn’t even win the West, so why exactly is Saban on the receiving end of your cheap shot? Let’s dig a little further (for the sake of saving space, I’m just going to give averages from here on out).

1.) Ole Miss – 28.8 players per year
2.) Auburn – 28.6 players per year
3.) Arkansas – 28.2 players per year
4.) Miss. State – 27.00 players per year
5.) Alabama – 26.8 players per year
6.) LSU – 25.6 players per year

Uh Oh Brooks, did I just put Alabama in 5th place in the rankings of the SEC West? OOOPS again for you man. Come on Brooks, if you’re going to enter into a battle of wits, at least have some.

You did quote Saban as saying that it wasn’t fair to label him as a chronic “over signer” without knowing the history and details of these cases. He is correct, you don’t have a clue. Star Jackson (QB) transferred from Alabama. Was he asked to leave, no he wasn’t. He was told that the chances of him beating out those in front of him were slim and Jackson made the decision on his own. That was the truth. I guess you are insinuating that Saban pushes these kids off the team to favor the new, younger talent. The problem I have is that you do not know what he is doing and to make the insinuation is sub par for a (and I use this term very, very loosely) “journalist. “ Even if your insinuation proved to be true, why are singling Saban out and not Nutt? I eagerly await your reply Brooks (but be careful, I have the power to censor you here).

Guys, if you want to laugh, go check out . @banditref  ‘s latest flow chart regarding Au’s 3D effect is sure to get at least a chuckle…even out of the Auburn fans.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 61 - Tornado Relief / Please Help

Please people, give the Google advertisements a click. Google will pay me a few cents every time one of you takes the time to click on one of their ads on this site. When I first put the ads up, I thought, "Well, maybe (over time) I'll get enough clicks to buy myself something that I normally wouldn't be able to get." Now, in light of the devastation that has cast such a dark cloud over my state and the rest of the south, I am hoping to speed up that process and use the money to help those that really need it.

As I am sure everyone knows by now, the storms that came through Alabama earlier this week left a trail of destruction, despair and doubt in their wake. While Tuscaloosa is the largest city that was hit, therefore garnering the majority of the media coverage; it is important that we realize there were so many other areas that were completely demolished by these storms. Close to home for me was the Phil Campbell area. A friend from work is from Phil Campbell and while he and his immediate family escaped both harm and material loss, he did lose several friends and a cousin.

Phil Campbell is what is often referred to as a "one horse town." A small down town area that consisted of a couple of shops, a convenience store, an ice cream parlor, a grocery store, a high school,a Masonic lodge and a couple of other buildings all kept in order by two traffic lights hanging over a 2 lane Alabama state highway. It is no more. While a couple of the buildings survived well enough to still be standing, for all practical purposes the town has been leveled. The tragic stories I am hearing from my friends and loved ones in my area concerning what they have seen and heard from those that survived the storms are horrific.

Phil Campbell was populated by roughly 1000 people. The way of life in this small area on top of an overgrown hill (that is lovingly referred to as a mountain by those of us who grew up here) consists primarily of about three job sources. Everyone is either a farmer or working in one of the plants (many mobile homes are made in this part of the state as well as a lot of furniture) or they commute to "The Shoals Area" for work. The people of this small Alabama town may not be as sophisticated as the New York City Slickers or as educated as all of the Washington DC bureaucrats, and they wouldn't have it any other way. They understand what a hard day's work consists of, they know what it means to be an American and as evidenced by the aftermath of the tornado, they know what it means to help each other.

Currently the death toll for this small community stands at 26 but others are still missing. Nearby Russellville, Alabama is the home of the closest hospital for Phil Campbell residents. After speaking with a nurse that volunteered to help the night of the storm, I can tell you that many, many of the people in Phil Campbell were injured. Some with life threatening injuries. This storm has had an enormous impact on my state and my psyche, but nothing compared to that of the residents of Phil Campbell. In my nurse friend's 25 years of nursing she said that she had never seen anything like what she saw in the Russellville Hospital. She said they were forced to send people with injuries that definitely needed further medical attention on their way because of the sheer volume of people with more pressing injuries. It's a scary thought, but I also understand that these types of decisions had to be made to save lives. She likened the scene to that of a military field hospital which, in itself, should give you a good idea of the scope of havoc that has been reaped on this small town.

A friend of mine who happens to be one of the best photographers I've ever seen, made the grim trip to Phil Campbell to take some supplies for those that needed them. While driving, she struggled with documenting what she found with her camera, but eventually felt that it was important for people to see what she had seen. Her website contains more pictures of the Phil Campbell area as well as a lot of her other work. The pictures attached to this article were all Taken by Amanda. Please go visit Amanda's site as well. Her ability to tell a story with a lens is truly remarkable. She can be found at:

Amanda Chapman Photography

Tuscaloosa is a city that holds a special place in my heart and I know that they too are in dire need of assistance. The death toll continues to climb in Tuscaloosa and several hundred are still missing. My point is that we need to remember that it was not only Tuscaloosa that needs help. Another small community (Hackleburg) was completely demolished by the same tornado that hit Phil Campbell. Harvest, Alabama (a Huntsville Suburb) was leveled by another April 27th, tornado. Alberta just outside of Tuscaloosa, Pell City outside of Birmingham and the list just goes on and on were all hit hard by these storms. Then we can add to that lives lost in Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee to make this one of the darkest days in the history of the United States.

I am proud to be an Alabamian for many reasons, but one of the largest ones is being displayed everywhere I have looked over the last couple of days. The people of this state are donating money, time, clothes, water, gasoline and their most heartfelt sympathies for their fellow Alabamians that have lost so much. I cannot fail to mention the outpouring of "love for your fellow man" being shown by Americans everywhere. Penn State has organized drives to help out those in Tuscaloosa. Former Alabama coach, Gene Stallings was photographed cooking food for emergency workers. Even Alabama and Auburn fans have put aside their ongoing feud to help those that need help. Regardless of the tragedy this state is dealing with, it is comforting to know that people all over this great country do still care.

Lastly, PLEASE CLICK the Google Advertisements. I made a post at (an Arkansas Razorbacks Message Board Community) asking for their help by clicking the ads. From that one post on that one site, I garnered 40 ad clicks and raised $30.81 through my Google Associates account. (Thanks Douglas and the rest of you Hawgs. You all are a class bunch.) By clicking on the ads, you are NOT agreeing to buy anything. It just takes a moment of your time and it is a way to help those who need it without costing you a dime. My intentions are to give all proceeds to the Red Cross. I am going to make sure this is done in a way so that the money is used in all states, not just Alabama. In all honesty, my communication is very limited right now due to the storms, but I will find a way to evenly distribute the monies. If that means writing a separate check to the Red Cross branch in each state that is what I will do. I will keep this site updated on what is happening with the money and how much we have been able to raise. If you have any questions, feel free to reach me at or on twitter at @bamason25 . Please spread the word and try to get some clicks for these people who are in dire need.

EDIT: 5/1/01 - WWW.TIGERDROPPINGS.COM (a LSU fan site) and WWW.HOGVILLE.NET (A Arkansas Razorbacks fan site) Have been instrumental in getting people to click the google ads on this site. I can't thank them enough. Many other people have helped me via twitter and facebook. If everyone can just get a person or two to come here and click a google ad, we will be able to make a decent donation to the Red Cross. Keep up the good work, we've got a long road ahead of us.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 56 - Alabama's Governor Did What? Trooper Taylor Did What?

Alright everyone, I'm back to ramble on about a few things. There has been a little movement in BingoGate. There has been mud slinging from the plains. Brooks of SportsbyBrooks is still wrong more than he's right. Bobby LOUDER has somehow retained power at Auburn University. John Parker Wilson finally broke down and got a twitter account. AND.... Will Ferrell is still hilarious.

This past week, Gilley (one of the original Bingo - Eleven) plead guilty. In more than one instance he directly implicated Milton McGregor as being another to bribe Alabama State Officials for their votes to legalize gambling in the state. Gilley's guilty plea has set off a firestorm in both the media and the  message board world. What exactly does Gilley's deal mean? That's anybody's guess. Regardless of what Milton McGregor's attorney (Joe Espy) would have us believe, it can't be good for Uncle Miltie. To me, Espy's statement of, "Nothing has changed." is about as convincing as Au's 2010 National Championship being on the up and up. How can things not have changed? One of the "co-indictees" has fingered Espy's client by name as being a party to bribery. Things have changed and this very well could be the beginning of the end for a lot of different people. Espy seems to think the Feds coerced Gilley's plea because of Gilley's personal situation (IE: In jail, sick wife, injured son, broke, cat is old, needs new tires, etc, etc, etc,). I hate to break it you Joe, but I think Gilley jumped on the deal knowing that if he did so first he would most likely get the most leniency when sentencing day rolls around. He's in the front of this roller coaster, but Mcgregor is the one with his hands up and screaming at the top of his lungs. Don't worry Uncle Miltie, you  may have screamed at the first little dip, but I bet the next big one gets you some screaming company.

On the other hand, it is possible that Espy is 100% correct. Nothing has changed. If you will remember, back during the whole Healthsouth debacle, founder and CEO Richard Scrushy was directly implicated by several different people in the organization, yet was acquitted on all counts. They ended up backdooring Scrushy so he is at least in jail, but he just almost got away with it. If Uncle Miltie walks, Espy is right, nothing has changed. Corruption still runs rampant in the Alabama government.

Speaking of corruption in the Alabama State government. How about Governor Bentley's stamp of approval for Bobby LOUDER being reappointed for another term as a member of the Au board of trustees? What? Did I just actually type that? No, it can't be. Why in the world would a governor anywhere condone the appointment a guy that is expected to be indicted at any time in connection with the 3rd largest bank failure in the history of the United States? What politician in their right mind would make such a move? Well, hang on to your seats everyone as the answer to that one might be a bit startling. The answer? NONE. There isn't a politician anywhere that would back this guy UNLESS.... he felt sure nothing was going to happen to him or that the connection to the future jailbird would be minimal. That's a little scary to me. Does Bobby LOUDER have that much power? I think he thinks he does and he may be able to talk the game well enough to convince people like Bentley that all is going to come up perfect at the end of the day. I think the variable here is the FEDS in general. While I by no means think that the Federal Government is void of corruption, I do not think that LOUDER will have near as much control over the outcome of any possible upcoming proceedings as he appears to think he will. At the state level, he may have a scary amount of power, but on the federal level; I suspect LOUDER would be considered a peon. Of course, this is purely speculation on my part and I am open to anyone giving me a good reason as to why Bentley would continue to back him given the current circumstances. Campaign contributions aside, it just doesn't make sense. The not completely silent minority of normal fans, faculty and alumni from Au (yes, it is true, they aren't all raving lunatics) have balked at this and I sure hope that some of their "open letters" garner some national media attention.

Another bit of Au news? Surely not. What else can happen down there? Believe me folks, I think things are just getting going good down on the plains. The latest OSU / Tressell revelations may be giving the Plainsmen a bit of a break, but I sure wouldn't get out of my foxhole yet if I were them. The most recent Au commitment, Zeke Pike, had a very interesting article published a few days back. In that article he claimed he wasn't worried about the accusations being leveled at Au because Gus Malzahn Turned down $15 million, to stay at Au. MY question is from WHERE? Let's take it a step further. He also claimed that much maligned and accused Au assistant coach Trooper Taylor turned down a job with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys to stay at Au. MY response...PROVE IT. I've been told from several different directions that the Cowboys did not offer Taylor a job of any kind. So, if someone out there has information to the contrary, I would love to hear it. Otherwise, I'll file this in my ever growing collection of "Au Recruiting Trail Bull Crap."

On to Brooks... my favorite reporter wannabe. Oh Brooks, when will you ever learn? I find it hilarious that he outed the University of Tennessee for being a co-conspirator in all of the racial hate that Colonel Reb (Ole Miss' former mascot) supposedly brought to the SEC. Sorry Brooks, the Volunteers moniker has nothing to do with the Civil War. I'm an Alabama fan and know that the Vols take their name from the state's nickname of The "Volunteer" State. This is in reference to the war of 1812 and more specifically the Battle of New Orleans where Volunteer Soldiers from Tennessee played a major role. Come on Brooks, is your Google broken again? Did your UGA ties not help you out on this one or have they all disowned you too? Someone retweeted a post from you saying that you didn't blame the Tennessee fans for being mad at you. Well, what do you expect with the half-assed reporting you continue to do from of all places, LOS ANGELES, CA? The state that I and every other SEC fan are sure to turn to first when looking for information pertaining to the South. Everyone knows that Los Angeles is known for it's prowess on having a thumb and forefinger on the very pulse of the Southern states. DUDE.... write about something you have a clue about and even if you don't have clue at least try to actually "look into it" before you publish it. A reporter with Jeff Lee as a source, a reporter that censors opposing views (that actually prove what a dimwit you are), a reporter....YEAH RIGHT!

Former Alabama QB, John Parker Wilson finally got rid of his Nokia Bag phone and has joined the world of Twitter. You can find him @jpwilson4. Bama fans, add him and let him know we haven't forgotten him. JPW was crucial to turning the Alabama program around and while I must admit that he sometimes raised my blood pressure 20 points, he always gave everything he had. JPW is a winner and I am thrilled to see him get an opportunity at the next level. I have every bit of faith that he will eventually leave is mark at the next level as well.

I have no idea if @wilIferrell is the real Will Ferrell, but whoever it is; that guy is hilarious. Worth the twitter follow for sure.

My buddy the @BandiRef over at is doing a major overhaul at his site. Keep an eye on it as it's about time for another one of his Toons to go viral. Show the love and remember to click an advertising link or two while there. It's a lot like tipping your waitress for guys like us. It only takes a second and actually does help us out.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 50 - Mark Ingram / Alabama's A-Day

 The University of Alabama has beaten its own record for spring game attendance. I was going to do an article on it but my Buddy over at  beat me to it. His article does a fantastic job of looking at spring game attendance numbers from around the SEC. By comparison, there isn’t a school that even comes close to Alabama. Go read Bandit’s article to see exactly what I would have said. Click on an advertising link or two for him while you are there. It really does help guys like us out when you all do that.

So, we have now established that Banditref stole my idea and has left me with nothing to talk about. Thanks a lot man. We could talk a bit about the same old Auburn stuff, but I don’t feel like getting a bunch of hate mail today. We could talk about sportsbybrooks, but he would probably just try to find a way to censor it. We could talk about Mark Ingram. Hey, that’s an idea as Mark seems to be spending his days stuck in various airports around the country.  We could also talk about what I saw at Bryant-Denny this past Saturday. So, off we go….

I’ve tweeted Mark and asked for an interview. As busy as he is these days, I completely understand him not responding as yet, but Mark, just so you know; I will hit you up for it down the road. I am assuming that since Mark is in Boston he has been there to speak with the Patriots. Let me preface something here… I’m a huge Patriots fan. How can a guy from Alabama be a Patriots fan? Well, to make a long story short, when I was kid my Dad took me to buy one of those Miami Dolphins letter jackets that were so prevalent back in 70’s and 80’s. Upon arrival at the sporting goods store, I was saddened to see all of the Dolphins jackets were gone, leaving me with nothing but the Raiders, the Steelers and the Patriots to choose from.  My Dad (not wanting to make another trip back for the Dolphins jacket) said, “You should be a Patriots fan son. They are red, white and blue…All American.” Well, from that day forward, I was a Pats fan. Keep in mind this was when they were horrible. They had some good players, but could never get it together, save maybe the 1985 season where the Bears trounced them relentlessly in the Super Bowl. They had players like Steve Grogan, Sam “Bam” Cunningham, Mosi Tatupu, Irving Fryar, Russ Francis and everyone remembers Darryl Stingley.  I loved them then, so you can imagine how easy it has been for me to be a Pats fan these days. So, if there are any Patriots coaches, staff or administrators that happen across this blog, you need Mark Ingram. Trade up, do whatever you have to do, but get him. 

Mark Ingram is being ripped off by Charlie Sheen on the whole winning thing. Mark Ingram is a winner period. I was lucky enough to meet Mark a couple of years back and was as impressed with his off the field demeanor as I was with what he did on Saturdays. In that meeting, Mark was surrounded by at least 100 other Alabama fans, but he did one thing that sticks out in my mind. I was trying to tell him something (exactly what it was I don’t remember. Probably just something about what a good job he had done earlier that day or any of the 1 billion comments like that he has to endure everywhere he goes).That day, Mark held his hand up (as if to say, “Give me just a second.”) and continued to listen to what I was trying to say. He could have grabbed the picture I was getting signed for my son and shoved it back to me while already getting to the next fan, but he didn’t. He took the time to appreciate me and what I had to say. I was already a Mark Ingram fan, but that day I became THE MARK INGRAM FAN. Add to this that the guy won the Heisman Trophy, runs like a cannonball and never, ever quits. He has fantastic hands and would fit perfectly in the Pats offense. He could contribute immediately and they need that. 

On to A-Day…. While some seem to think that A-day should be another closed scrimmage because the team could get more accomplished towards their goal of being Champions, I love the A-day game. I see the point and cannot disagree that an extra closed scrimmage would allow the coaches and players a chance to garner more valuable information to be used against the teams we will face in the upcoming season. On the other hand though, I love every second of it. The basic play book, (we don’t need Saban showing too much, too early do we?) the chances for kids that most likely will not get to play on Saturdays to get in the game, the atmosphere and our first glimpses of the new faces that will be sporting that Crimson Jersey in the upcoming years. I also think that A-day can and does provide some valuable insight to the coaches and the staff. It’s a chance for them to see how some of the younger kids are going to react when they are expected to perform in front of 93,000 people. 

The Quarterback Battle – McCarron or Simms? From what I saw Saturday, both are able to lead the Tide and neither separated themselves from the other. I’ve seen more scuttlebutt saying that Simms looked better than McCarron, but I just didn’t see it that way. I think they are neck and neck still. In my opinion, McCarron looks to be the safer bet in that he makes better decisions with his throws. This also makes me think that Saban probably has him a tick or two ahead of Simms. If you look at Saban’s history since arriving at the Capstone, he has placed a QB at the position that made good decisions. John Parker Wilson wasn’t the most athletic QB in the world nor did he possess a rifle arm, yet he’s making big money today holding a clipboard in the NFL. McElroy was from the same vein. I think Gmac was a bit more athletic than JPW and probably made better decisions on the whole as the Tide’s QB. I fully expect Gmac to have a successful NFL career as well. I think McCarron fits this mold better than Simms. You have to give the athletic ability a plus in the Simms column. As for arm strength, we hear more about Simms arm, but I think McCarron has a rocket as well. McCarron also seems to have a better feel for touch passes. Of course, this is all just my opinion, but I’m leaning towards McCarron being the front runner heading into fall camp. 

While on the subject of QB’s… I guess everyone noticed Blake Sims getting reps at the position. From what I have been told, Sims possesses a much better arm than anyone (staff included) originally thought. He spent his high school days in a spread type offence and performed very well in it. I wouldn’t be surprised for us to see him have some packages put together just for him. Remember over the last couple of years we (fans) kept wanting to see Mark or Trent throw out of the WILD TIDE formation. Well, I bet both of those guys would tell you that it probably wasn’t the best idea to do that very often. With Blake Sims, that may not be the case. Adding the ability to pass out of that formation will give opposing defenses a lot to look out for.  I’m excited about that possibility.

For the sake of time, I’ll do a more in depth write up on this year’s Crimson Tide in coming weeks, but I do want to go ahead and point out the obvious… TRENT RICHARDSON is a MANBEAST! He looked like he was ready to start the season already. He ran well, caught well and blocked well. He was a bit banged up last year, but man does he look healthy now.  While nobody is talking a lot about it, the fresh legs that we will see supplement Trent this year is most likely going to be Eddie Lacey. Lacey is a load, a big, big load. He is surprisingly fast and can move the pile. He is a hard to tackle, hard to catch kind of runner. I think he was misdiagnosed last season with a case of fumblitus. You guys have to look at this way, he had very few touches and maybe tried to do too much with them. He’s fine and will be one of those backs that nobody wants to tackle. Much like Trent and Mark.  Add in Dee Hart as a faster than a greased ghost on crack change of pace back and I see trouble for opposing D’s this year.  I feel really good about the Tide. REALLY GOOD.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 48 - The TMZ of Sports Stomps On Other's 1st Ammendment Rights

I probably shouldn't take the time to address this, but I just can't resist. This post has nothing to do with what I originally intended to write about, so I will get that one up for you guys as soon as possible

A couple of days ago, I received an email from a reader of this blog. In this email, he also copied a well known blogger (The Banditref, The email details how in retort to the second article posted by Brooks of concerning potential wrongdoings by Alabama in its recruitment of Brent Calloway that he was censored. The reader posted in the comments section of the Sportsbybrooks article and linked to my article, titled "A Babbling Brooks?" (that article can be found here: A Babbling Brooks? ). In that article I posed some questions to Brooks in a very fair and polite manner. I even stated that I WAS a fan of Brooks on several occasions. Brooks never to took the time to acknowledge or respond to any of my questions either by the way. The reader then proceeded to tell me that his link to my article and a link left by the another poster directly above his to a Franklin County, Alabama periodical that also refuted Brooks' article were allowed to be posted to the comments section of Brooks site....VERY BRIEFLY. The reader went back to that section a few minutes later to see if any responses had been made to his post only to find that both the Sports and Stuff article as well as the Franklin, County newspaper articles had been removed. The reader then posted another comment simply asking, "Censor Much Brooks?" As you can imagine, that comment never made it to the comments section of Brooks' site at all. More out of curiosity than anything, I went to the sportsbybrooks article and noticed numerous links to other sites that supported Brooks article, but sure enough mine was no where to be found. Now, I could understand Brooks removing all links, as it is his site and I can see (even if petty and self indulgent) why he may not want any other sites advertised on his page. This is not the case. He allowed the links that didn't refute his article and removed the ones that did. I was able to confirm that the reader who sent me and The Banditref the email was telling the truth as my site received a massive 2 hits from the link's very short life on Brook's site.

A screenshot showing the 2 hits Sports and Stuff received during the short time it was up.

Without calling names, I should also note that there have been numerous reports of SportsbyBrooks "telling on" others who have not blown favorable smoke in Brooks' direction. The funny thing is that Brooks never directly contacts the author that did not portray him in a shining light, but rather contacts the "YARDBARKER Administrative Team" (Yardbarker hosts blog sites similar to this and is affiliated with the FOX network). So, it appears to me that not only does Brooks censor people, he can't take the responses he gets when doing so without having to run and "tell the teacher" on whoever is doing it. A classic case of being able to dish it out but not being able to take it.

So, in my eyes, this seems to be irrefutable proof that SportsbyBrooks censors opposing views. Brooks is supposed to be a reporter but I can no longer attach that moniker to him. Reporters report, Dictators Censor. While Brooks hasn't proven to be either, I'm thinking he is more of a Dictator wannabe. Libya may be in the market for a new one soon and Castro can't live much longer. Maybe Brooks should go ahead an send his resume' in now. I'll give him a vote of confidence for either job.

Let's carry this a step further. I am now getting numerous messages that Brooks' latest "source" is none other than Auburn Rivals Site Editor, Jeff Lee (I guess impending legal troubles surrounding the Crucifixion of Peaches Winston, Brent Calloway and Darren Woodruff have caused him to go underground). Evidently, proof of that has also been removed from Brooks' site. I have not investigated these claims nor do I have anything to back them up, but I see no problem with putting it out there if it's ok for Brooks to twist the comments of a 9th grade high school athlete to fit the overall intent of his story. Nor do I have a problem with putting it out there just so that you guys know what I suspect Brooks of being. What's that you ask? I think Brooks is one of those guys that only cares about Brooks. He could care less about the validity of his articles much less the impact they may have on an innocent person. If this article can get one person to avoid paying attention to anything Brooks says, I will consider it a success. The thing is, I suspect many more than one will stop paying attention to him. 

At this point, I suggest everyone that agrees with me move your opinion of Brooks into the same column as Jeff Lee. In my case the header on that column reads: "Half Assed Reporter Wanna Be's / Part Time Soft Porn Authors". While, I've never seen Brooks post any "soft porn" musings, it seems he knows someone that could give him some tips. One last thing, every sentence doesn't need it's own paragraph.

Hey Brooks......."CENSOR MUCH?"


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 43 - A Babbling Brooks?

My last article was in response to the unfounded allegations by Auburn Rivals writer (and part time soft porn writer) Jeff Lee. In that article I pointed out several inconsistencies with both Lee’s allegations and his thought process. Since that time, it appears the Lee did succeed in causing a media swarm around Alabama’s recruitment of Russellville, Alabama’s Brent Calloway. The latest to jump on the “Bama did something wrong” bandwagon is While I generally enjoy reading Brook’s articles, his latest columns do very little to make me think he knows as much as I previously thought. 

Brooks seems to be reaching far and wide to support the ill reported story of Mr. Lee. I’ll take a few minutes to introduce you to all of the players in this scandal before proceeding:

Brent Calloway – A 3 to 5 star athlete (depending on which recruiting service you are viewing). Brent played both Linebacker and Running Back at Russellville High School. Alabama was recruiting Calloway more for the Linebacker position while Auburn was recruiting him as a Running Back.

“Peaches” Winston – Mr. Winston is Brent’s adoptive father who has a history of helping kids throughout the years. Mr. Winston has gone on record several times stating that he just wanted Brent to “do things the right way.” 

Darren Woodruff – a longtime friend of Winston and confidant of Calloway. Woodruff has stated that he is an Alabama fan but likes Auburn as well. Woodruff has been a part of Calloway’s life since Calloway moved in with Winston at the beginning of his freshman year.

Jeffrey Lee – Auburn Rivals web site editor. Mr. Lee has a long history of slinging mud at anything related to the University of Alabama. Mr. Lee has released the personal information of another internet message board contributor to the public simply because the aforementioned person had some less than flattering things to say about Cam Newton and Auburn University.

Brooks – The namesake of the sports related news site . Brooks is known for posting “more to the point” articles relating to sports matters across the United States. Brooks has a large following of which I must concede I am a part of.

Doug Goodwin – Russelville High School football coach until January 19th, 2011. He coached Calloway throughout his high school career. Goodwin was named the head coach at Homewood High School circa January 19th, 2011. Goodwin is a former Auburn University football player and alum. 

Now that we have the cast in place and have a little background on them, let’s see if we can nail anything down to Brook’s latest claims. Brook’s seems to think that Winston has unknowingly incriminated Woodruff by saying that Woodruff has helped with Calloway’s recruitment since his freshman year. He has supported this thought process by taking a statement made by Calloway that he transferred to Russellville High School to increase his chances at getting noticed by a major college. Brooks seems to think that these two statements have now branded Woodruff as a University of Alabama booster. I wholeheartedly disagree.

First off, a statement made by a teenager while a freshman in high school cannot be considered as bankable. When I was younger, I had delusions of grandeur about the possibilities of me playing for the Atlanta Braves. I may have even made that statement publicly to those that I went to school with, at church or other kids I played ball with. Sadly, my dream never came to fruition, but if it had; does my statement from years earlier mean that I knew it was going to happen? Of course it doesn’t. A lot of kids THINK they are going to be this or that when they get older only to find out that life’s circumstances get in the way. In other words Brooks, that part of your inference does not hold water for me.  
Secondly, the statement by Peaches Winston saying that Woodruff had been helping with Brent’s college recruiting since the 9th grade means absolutely zilch. There is no way you are going to get me to believe that as a 9th grader Woodruff, Goodwin or Winston could possibly know that Calloway was going to end up being a highly touted recruit. Sure there may have been signs that he could be, but there are way too many variables that could change the final outcome long before Calloway reached his senior year. He could have become a kid that got in with the wrong crowd and been kicked off the team as a freshman. He could have had a career ending injury as a sophomore. He could have just not developed in the mental aspect of the game to a point to where he was ever a factor even at the high school level. So, once again, your inference that Woodruff was acting as a “handler” for Calloway just doesn’t hold water. Woodruff was a family friend before Calloway and will be one after Calloway. Calloway’s choice to become part of that family endeared him to Woodruff as well. You can’t expect the elders in a kid’s life not to give valuable input on a kid’s future. Furthermore, Woodruff is less of an Alabama booster than I am as he gives no money to the University nor does he hold season tickets. These kids have real lives and will interact with adults. Those adults that genuinely care for the kid have a right to give advice in that kid’s best interest. Winston plainly said he would support Calloway if he went to Auburn as did Woodruff. As a matter of fact, I think Woodruff stated something to the effect of, “I am a Brent Calloway fan.” That doesn’t sound like someone pushing the kid anywhere. Winston simply wanted his son to honor his word as it relates to the original commitment he made to Alabama. He wants his son to do the right thing in the right way. From the tone of your two articles relating to all of this, it seems to me that you would have the kid either not listen to the advice of his family or better yet, let a coach that may actually have some underlying reason to steer a kid to a particular school play that role. Honestly, I don’t think you have looked at it from that point of view.

Speaking of coaches… Goodwin was still involved with Calloway’s recruitment after he was no longer the coach at Russellville High School. To me, that should be raising your eyebrows more than a documented relationship going back 4 years or so. Goodwin’s AU ties most likely had a good bit to do with Calloway’s flip from Alabama to Auburn in the first place.  At least it appears that way to me and many others from this neck of the woods. So, if you’re looking for a story, I suggest checking into that side of things. While you are at it, you might want to look into some of the other allegations floating around Calloway’s recruitment from the Auburn coaching staff. I’ll bet if you start digging in that hole, you’ll find more to write about than Calloway’s relationship with his father and a family friend. 

Add to all of this the fact that the writer that started the whole thing is less than credible. In your article inferring booster status to Woodruff, why didn’t you point out how everything else Lee claimed to be fact was debunked? Hard to pay a man’s mortgage off when that was done 15 years prior. Hard to produce a new car for a kid that rides the bus every day. We can go on and on here. Like I said, I am a fan of yours but in this instance I feel like you are reaching for a connection and I don’t understand why. Is it because you have been bombarded by Auburn supporters with emails calling you a Bammer or the like? Is it because you needed to get more clicks on your site to meet a quota of some kind? Just what is your reasoning here? I submit that you have lost focus on where the real issues may be.

The sad thing is this (and it doesn’t matter if you are an Alabama or an Auburn fan): This whole thing instigated by Jeff Lee has put the future of Brent Calloway in jeopardy. This was done simply because of Lee’s hatred of Alabama. If there is a wrong doing in this case on the Alabama side of things, I submit that it was done by Calloway’s family being ignorant of the NCAA’s multitude of selectively enforced bylaws regarding a prospect’s recruitment. I also submit that Lee’s actions will at most make Calloway ineligible before he has ever even enrolled at Alabama. So, Lee has tainted a kid and possibly ruined his entire future. Way to go Mr. Lee, I think you are better suited for the position of part time porn industry writer.