On the LSU/Crimson Tide Rematch: “Wa-Wa!” go the Shameless Bama Babies Tuesday, Nov 29 2011 

I listen to sports talk a lot in this football frenzied season.  After LSU took care of business against Arkansas Friday afternoon to seal their date for the SEC championship game, I heard some Alabama fans calling in to my favorite WWL radio (New Orleans) to talk.  I couldn’t believe some of the sniffling soreness that some of them expressed, still unable to accept the fact that they went down in that game.  I heard comments to the effect . . .

“Alabama outplayed LSU up and down the field.  If we wouldn’t have missed those field goals . . . ”

What’s the key word there?

“If.”

Yep, and it didn’t happen, and the fact is that Bama lost on THEIR home field.  LOST.  Like, a record of 11-1 as opposed to LSU’s record of 12-0.  C’mon, Tide fans, embrace the fact that you LOST!

And I certainly write not to boast that the narrow overtime victory in Tuscaloosa proves LSU is  assuredly the superior team.  I really believe that these are two teams that could line up for ten consecutive weeks and  end up 5 and 5.  They’re both in a class by themselves, above the rest of the country for sure.  I don’t believe either has the right to get too cocky about winning or losing against the other.

Will Miles outcoach Saban again?

But here’s the bottom line: For the time being, the Tigers hold the bragging rights.  If that changes down the road,(and there’s another big IF), so be it; and if Bama comes out on top in a rematch, I will be disappointed but not devastated, and I won’t hesitate to congratulate them, happy that if somebody other than my Tigers had to win, at least we keep it in the (SEC) family.

So please grow up, you Bama fans who feel like the better team lost.  The score is what the score is.  The only thing that will change the fact that you LOST is the score time we play.

And for the record, in case any wonder, I’m betting on LSU.  Geaux, Tigers!  Again.

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No Way, Bulldogs: Why LSU Will Win Friday, Nov 25 2011 

After LSU squashed Arkansas this afternoon to set the stage for the SEC championship game next week against Georgia, I was intrigued at the preliminary observations of two or three CBS “expert” commentators who just watched LSU clobber Arkansas.  The yo-yo’s  warned ominously that Georgia is a team that can beat LSU next week.

Huh?

I couldn’t believe my ears.  Not to disrespect Georgia, for they are a hot team, and admittedly, on any given day, a team that lets its guard down can underachieve.  What gave me pause, though, was the  eagnerness these pundits showed for the suggestion that LSU would be in trouble against Georgia.

What game did these idiots just get through wathching?  For that matter, what team’s season did these idiots just get through watching?

Don’t get me wrong–as an LSU fan, I RESPECT Georgia.  LSU should not approach this game lightly–Anything can happen in the SEC championship game!

But gollee, look at the facts.  LSU’s opponents this year have a combined record of 76-56.  Eight of LSU’s opponents were Top 25 ranked when the Tigers played them, and LSU whipped all but Alabama by double-digits.

The opponents Georgia defeated this year have a combined record of 45-55.  Only one of their victims was ranked.  (Of Georgia’s two losses, both were at the hands of ranked teams with combined records of 18-3).

If the records don’t lie, seems to me that Georgia, the team prone to lose to ranked teams, should be quaking in their boots at the prospect of being in over their heads next weekend.

 

 

A Country Boy Can Survive: The Hollywood Saga (a retread post) Wednesday, Nov 23 2011 

Around this time of year in 2006, I visited Los Angeles for the first and only time of my life.  The following is a recount of a Sunday afternoon sightseeing excursion to Hollywood on a break from the conference.  I hadn’t read it in a while, and it brought back memories.  So, with no better fresh invention, here I repeat . . .

It happened like this: I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard last Sunday afernoon (October 29, 2006) sightseeing. I had ridden the subway out from downtown, emerging from the bowels of the subterranean station  into a thoroughly unfamiliar piece of the world. I headed in the direction I assumed was back toward town, calculating I could walk the mile or so to the next subway station at Hollywood and Vine, return to the train, and travel back to the hotel.

As I walked and walked and walked some more, passing from the tourist-choked sidewalks along Grauman’s Theatre and the other gaudy sites in that heart of town, the neighborhoods became increasingly residential–rows of apartments on rows of apartments. After walking a considerable distance, I started to wonder: “Could I be headed in the wrong direction?”

At this point, a lesser man — a citified man, if you will — might have panicked. Here’s a summation of the situation:

Two thousand miles from home, alone, lost in the concrete wilderness.

Potentially exasperating?

 But never fear–those superior instincts honed in the wiles of Louisiana seized control and cooly analyzed the situation. Recalling from my map study before leaving the hotel that Hollywood Boulevard runs east and west, and realizing the hour of the afternoon was advancing, I simply surveyed the position of the sun. Determining that I was heading in the direction of the sunset . . . ergo, westward, I immediately reversed my course, backtracked the mile or so I had walked out of my way, and eventually came upon Hollywood and Vine, at which point I descended to the subway and rode back to town.

No panic, no stress, no sweat (except some literal perspiration, for the afternoon was a little balmy).

For you see, a country boy can survive!


Tim Tebow and the Grace Factor Friday, Nov 18 2011 

I got my first  chance to watch Tim Tebow at the big league level last night on national TV.  I’m a believer.

The quarterback gives glory. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)

In God, that is, not Tim.

And I’m pretty sure Tim Tebow would approve of that conclusion.  Here’s a guy that, according to the NFL passing talent standard, has no business winning four out of five games with a team that nobody thought would be good at the beginning of the season.  And at the beginning, he was the third string quarterback of that not-too-special team.

So let’s give Tim (and the God he praises) his due.  And at the same time, let’s stop playing up his lack in the conventional skill sets of  NFL quarterbacks.  Gollee, it’s not like the guy is making it without talent!  He’s smart, he’s athletic, and he reeks of intangibles–courage, leadership, determination, faith, humility.

But at this stage of the game, I believe that what he has most of all is grace.  Yep, grace, the God-givenness of whatever it is he lacks and doesn’t deserve simply because that’s how God rewards  humble people who have the guts (what’s the difference between “guts” and faith anyway?) to rely on him for whatever they lack.  Make no mistake: That’s why Tim Tebow is winning.

Some of the experts on the talk shows assert that it’s just a matter of time until the defenses figure him out and that’ll be the end of the Tebow flash in the pan.  Nuh-uh.  I don’t agree.  He’s young, he’s smart, and he’s learning–he’s growing.  Sure, the defenses will figure out what Tim did last game, but Tim is not standing still.  He’s figuring them out, he’s getting better and smarter.

And if t’is grace that’s brought him safe thus far, then I’m pretty sure that grace will lead him home!

Geaux, Tim!

Blue Monday Not So Blue If Saints Win Monday, Nov 14 2011 

This Monday is brighter because of this stuff of the Falcons’ on a failed 4th down conversion. Photo Credit: Dale Zanine/US Presswire photo at espn.com

By disposition, I despise Mondays (excepting holidays).    After all, Monday is the first day of the workweek that stands between me and the next weekend.  In my view, I work to live, not vice versa, so I set considerable store by what I do with me and mine between 4:30 Friday afternoon and bedtime Sunday, that dread overnight when sweet dreams, haunted by the prospect of awakening to Monday’s blue, turn dark and drear.

But during football season, one variable plays with how I’m going to bear Monday: If the Saints win, Monday is less blue and bearable; if the Saints lose,  Monday is more blue and unearable.

When the Saints win, I can take a break from work (like I’m doing now) to see what’s posting on the latest ESPN  blogs.  After work, I tune in the WWL radio Second Guess talk-show and listen to the colorful commentary on why there’s no need to second-guess what happened, because we won.  Then when the radio show ends, it’s time for another dose of Monday Night Football kickoff.  The world is rosey, even Mondays when the stock market tumbles or it rains all day.

Thankfully, the Saints are good in this season of my life, as they win considerably more than they lose.

If they really stunk week after week,  I’d probably have to give up watching them, lest I be given over to depression, lethargy, or madness.

End of DST: Now Begins the Twilight Zone! Tuesday, Nov 8 2011 

It's dark out early in the twilight zone.

I hurried home from work, changed into some walk-out clothes, leashed up the dogs, and struck out with Sarah to try to at least break a mild sweat before supper.  About 2/3 of the way through the usual route, Sarah reminded me that we needed to turn back so we wouldn’t end up stranded in the dark a quarter or half mile from home.  So we cut the walk short and beat it to the house, arriving right before the descent of twilight.  After supper, I looked at the clock: a few minutes after 6:00.  I looked outside: plumb dark.  How cruel!

During the long “daze” of summer, 6:00 was time for supper, followed by a long bike ride or an episode of brisk yard work.  We rarely went in before 8:00.  Now, it’s not even 7:15 and I’m sitting  before the keyboard with the dark of night streaming through the blinds, trying to stretch out the evening until it’s time to take a shower before AC 360 when it comes on at 9:00.  I don’t think I can stretch out a shower for 45 minutes: I’d shrivel up.

Obviously, writing this post provides the time-killing remedy for this evening.  But I don’t know what I’ll do tomorrow, or the weeks after, or the months after, for that matter.

But truly, this dark feeling of emptiness  is perennial.  I endure this adjustment every year.  To get by from night to night, we come up with a variety of needs, some real and some imagined, for an excuse to  grocery shop or run an errand–any mission to escape the home-binding twilight.

The early dark was easier to manage last night because Monday Night Football provided a distraction.  Tonight, there’s nothing.  Nothing but darkness.  And me stranded in this twilight zone, longing for the light of day.

Where, oh where art thou, merry March?  Thrust aside the chilling winter,  hie thee hence this way, restore the evening light of day!

Dr. Lou on 1 VS. 2? No, thanks. Thursday, Nov 3 2011 

Halftime on Thursday night football is a few minutes away. The announcers just hyped the menu from the studio : Dr. Lou (Holtz) on the LSU /Bama game.

Oh, boy. I can’t wait. Is my enthusiasm obvious?

Truth be known, Dr. Lou is a quack. I might listen, but only to see what kind of outrageous observations he offers. Like last month when he picked West Virginia to upset LSU.

Nope, Dr. Lou has no credibility with me. He needs to seek peaceful pasture. Oh, but that ESPN would help him pack his bags!

Dr. Lou, or Dr. Fou? Or maybe just Dr. Meaningless.