Saturday, September 6, 2008

All day and day, blog

By linking to this interview with pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman (one of my favorites), I suppose I'm essentially proving his point about the blogosphere:

Unlike journalism, blogging is not competitive — its cooperative. Networking is far more essential than writing or reporting. Which is why I don’t need to read any specific sports blog on a day-to-day basis; I will eventually get all that information without even trying. It aggregates itself.


... now EVERYBODY wants to be funny. That’s all there is. You can’t blog about any subject without making some sort of obvious joke, and that kind of thinking has spilled into the mainstream media. I guess what I’m really waiting for is a legitimately smart guy who wants to write a totally unentertaining sports blog.

And he's probably right, on both counts.

Given that I only have so many hours to read in a day, I visit only a handful of blogs everyday and check out a handful more semi-regularly throughout the week. It would be overwhelming to read 10-15-20 blogs everyday, not to mention the other newsier Web sites where I keep up with the day's events and the subsequent analysis.

So it wouldn't offend me if, say, of my five regular readers, that only two dropped by this site every single day. I don't even have those sort of expectations of the First Lady of False Hustle. Life happens. And I figure you'll get your vegetables somewhere else, just like me. Blogs should never serve as a substitute for real news. The blogosphere is simply edutainment. Go see a professional, you know?

For me, this blog is simply a dumping ground for the things that I keep on mulling over in my endlessly cluttered mind. I resisted doing this for so long, partly because of work obligations, partly because I was worried no one would read and mostly because, as a professional journalist, I was being a snob.

However, once you start writing and reading other blogs (other good blogs), you learn to see the virtue in the blogging community. I've enjoyed the experience more than I could have ever imagined; sometimes, I find myself blogging when I should be devoting attention to much more important things.

Finally, I also understand what Klosterman means when he refers to everyone wanting to be funny. In fact, some bloggers have confused comedy with crudeness or cruelty. I'm not really into that, for a number of reasons - some of them related to my regular paycheck. I only occasionally go to the shallow end of my comedy well because I'm not completely confident that my sense of humor will go over well or if its actually funny.

Either way, I'm out here with the rest of you, typing away in the silence of my second bedroom, hoping that some folks are feeling me and my digital doctrine. But if you've got something else to do, that's cool too. Just don't forget to come back home. Continue Reading »

"Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate!"

Via Spottie, a link to Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine waxing poetic on the Hater's Ball that was the RNC.

I'm just surprised Rudy G didn't come out and say something to the effect of, "Barack's mama got one bit titty and one little titty, and they call her Biggie Smalls." If I had gone that far, maybe I'd have more respect for him. But somehow I doubt it. Continue Reading »

My first taste of Florida football

Maybe it's pathetic, but I watched a high school football game on TV last night (yeah, Fridays aren't as exciting for me as they used to be).

The game was right here, in Tampa, between Armwood and Plant, a couple of nationally ranked teams from the area who have developed something of a rivalry. The top-ranked recruits in the game were Plant QB Aaron Murray, who has already committed to Georgia, and Armwood DE Ryne Giddins, one of the nation's top defensive ends.

Armwood won 9-2 in a really, really sloppy defensive struggle but here's one man's opinion on the blue-chippers involved in the proceedings: Giddins is definitely the real deal and Murray, who finished 17-for-36 for 200 yards and was sacked six times, looked pretty awful.

It's tough to know if it was the fault of his porous offensive line but even when he had time to throw, Murray repeatedly underthrew and overthrew receivers. Murray showed a complete lack of touch on many of his passes and, overall, didn't show a lot of fight when things got tough, which was pretty much from the first offensive series of the game. Georgia fans can't be too excited after that performance.

Meanwhile, Giddins reminded me of all those dynamic defensive ends that Florida State had when Bobby Bowden still bothered with coaching. Giddins chased Murray from sideline to sideline, bowled over much-larger offensive linemen (on one play he pretty much toppled an offensive tackle with a simple shove) and pretty much looked like a "helmeted Godzilla wreaking havoc on innocent teenagers," to borrow a line from Sports Illustrated's Austin Murphy. When I see Giddins, I'm reminded of Peter Boulware. As Bushwick Bill might say, now that's a creep that I be seeing in my sleep.

I think I'm really going to enjoy my first football season in Florida. I feel like I've made my pilgrimage to the Gridiron Mecca.

* I had to provide a link to this great story about one of Giddins' teammates, Man-Man Jackson. My colleague, John Cotey, did an awesome job with this one. Continue Reading »

Looking for some Friday night lights

When the sun disappears in the sky and the stadium lights cast their familiar glow on the horizon, I can't help but turn into Uncle Rico - with more career touchdowns - on fall Friday nights.

Whether I've been on the sideline, in the bleachers, on the field or in the press box, almost nothing moves me like the theater of high school football. It all feels familiar, whether I'm in some small north Louisiana town or a multimillion dollar big-city complex. Give me a ticket, some binoculars and a roster from the booster club, and I can make myself at home almost anywhere.

But to be honest, it's hard not to miss the feeling of playing beneath the Friday night lights. Even today, at 30, I can still remember tense moments in the huddle with my teammates, some of them still my close friends today. Of course, in our memories, we're all better, faster and stronger than the 185-pound, nerve-wracked teenagers that we really were.

I suspect this revisionist's version of history also has fogged my perspective of all the super blue-chippers I've had the privilege to cover over the years: Vince Young will always be my favorite highlight reel of a quarterback; Adrian Peterson will remain an unheard-of east Texas tailback bound to make it big; and I will never understand why Roylin Bradley couldn't make it on the next level. It's tough to reconcile the reality with my memories, you know?

Anyway, as I drove by a half-dozen stadiums on the way home from work last night, I was reminded of all the kids who got their first bit of varsity action or were hoping they caught the eye of a recruiter or were simply hoping this was the first step en route to a state title.

I was all of them once and it made me a little wistful for my youth. Uncle Rico would understand. And maybe you, too.
(Photo credit goes to - at one of the stadiums I've visited before in Friendswood, Texas. Great place, great photo.)
Continue Reading »

Friday, September 5, 2008

About Elitism

Great line last night from "Daily Show" correspondent Rob Riggle: "I want a leader I can relate to, who's like me or worse." Continue Reading »

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Remember when it was taboo to use images of Sept. 11 for political gain? Those days are over, starting tonight.

* I'm not sure if I'm live blogging or not. We'll see how things go.

UPDATE: Nah. I'm bored. Maybe a little more later.

UPDATE 2: You've got to admire how McCain refuses to exploit his days as a P.O.W. for political advantage. A profile in modesty, it is.

UPDATE 3: Do you think there's a chance Sarah Palin might drop McCain from the ticket?

UPDATE 4: Is it me, or were there like thousands of black people in the arena tonight? Seems like there was a brotha or sista everytime the camera took a swing through the audience.

UPDATE 5: McCain seemed really tired. He had a last gasp in the final couple minutes of the speech but, overall, what a lifeless performance.

UPDATE 6: Certainly, Democrats dance much better than Republicans. I think I saw a guy doing the "Elaine." No, seriously. Continue Reading »

In defense of Ocho Cinco

The All-Pro receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson wants to be called Chad Ocho Cinco. What's the problem?

All the derision and mockery surrounding Ocho Cinco's name change feels unbecoming, and something a tad more than paternalistic. This is really not a big deal, folks. Not to mention, people, especially sports fans, have notoriously short memories.

Chad isn't the first entertainer (and let's not get it twisted - the NFL is all about entertainment) to change his name for a spotlight grab. Or have we already forgotten about the likes of Thomas Cruise Mapother IV or Caryn Elaine Johnson or Anna Mae Bullock or Shawn Carter? For sports aficionados, what about World B. Free?

Is it a marketing stunt? Sure. And for that, Ocho Cinco should be given his fair share of props: Chad has made himself into a bonafide star through his superb play and occasional antics on the field and his engaging personality off of it. Ocho Cinco might be the first real football superstar to play in Cincinnati. Taking the place of, I guess, Ickey Woods or Boomer Esiason.

Guys like Ocho Cinco make sports a little less bland. Especially if you have the misfortune of rooting for the Bengals.

If there's a real reason to take issue with the name change, it's that it's essentially a mish-mash of Spanish. If Johnson were really trying to be accurate with it, his new surname would be Ochenta y Cinco.

But that's not gonna move No. 85 Bengals jerseys off the racks. And, really, isn't that the point?

* By the way, isn't nice to be talking football again? Unless, of course, you root for the Redskins. Blech. Not to much to look forward to this season in D.C., eh? Continue Reading »

Never trust a big butt and a smile

That means you, John McCain. Continue Reading »

Breaking the code

Remember when I made note of the fact that commentators and conservatives were coming perilously close to calling Barack Obama "uppity"?

Well, Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland went ahead and crossed the line earlier today.

Look, as a 30-year-old black man from the South, I'm getting much better at understanding how to break the code. It's a defense mechanism. "Arrogant," "elitist" and Rudy G's new barb "cosmopolitan," were the old standbys until Westmoreland veered from the playbook and ran an audible.

Understandably and sensibly, Obama's camp didn't make note of the racially tinged rhetoric here. But they didn't have to. Westmoreland and others like him are finally revealing themselves to us. And they look mighty familiar to many black folks. Continue Reading »

Daunte Culpepper is finished

In a league where the likes of Gus Frerotte, Chris Redman and Cleo Lemon still collect regular paychecks, the NFL apparently had no use for a 31-year-old former three-time Pro Bowler.

Daunte Culpepper might be nursing a bruised ego at the moment. And rightfully so. But I wonder if he'll reconsider if another opportunity arises in the near future. Continue Reading »

The case for Oklahoma City

Confirming what people already knew for months, Oklahoma City's NBA team revealed Wednesday that it would be called the Thunder.

Here's a thought from Thunder star Kevin Durant's mom, Wanda Pratt:
“Coming from a large city like Washington D.C., sometimes people aren't as friendly because of the hustle and bustle,” Pratt said. “The thing I really like about Oklahoma City is how welcoming the people are here. I've really been impressed with that.”
I've got to agree. OKC is really an underrated gem. I lived there for eight glorious months, both professionally and personally. To this day, I'm a tad regretful that I didn't stick around longer - which always seems to surprise people.

The city is affordable and clean, easy to navigate (it rarely takes more than 15 minutes to get anywbere), the people are friendly, all the usual cultural offerings are there and the weather is mild. My only real complaints were that I couldn't find a movie theater that showed independent films and it was hard to find good produce there. (Now that I've had a chance to move around a little more, I might also add that OKC isn't pedestrian-friendly and tailored almost exclusively for motorists).

OKC is not a big-league city in the sense of New York, Chicago or Denver but I think the team has a chance to do well there, especially considering the NBA's relative success in cities like Sacramento, Portland and Salt Lake City. And though I hate to see Seattle without a team, I'd like to see the Thunder stick around for awhile. Continue Reading »

Conveniently sexist

Hoosiers for the Hot Chick. Continue Reading »

Taking it all in

My rapid-fire thoughts following Wednesday night's festivities in St. Paul:

Mike Huckabee is an honorable and engaging adversary, which is no great surprise since he's from the great state of Arkansas.

Rudy Giuliani, jerk that he is, is a scourge upon our nation. That was a lot of tough talk from a guy whose presidential campaign was memorable only for its miscalculation and abject failure.

Meanwhile, Gov. Palin should have saved all the biographical information for her 100-page memoir that - as a good friend mentioned this evening - would probably be written in crayon.

I missed Mitt Romney's speech. But I'm sure I'll be able to read all the substantive parts in "The Onion."

I'm really, really disappointed in this nugget of information labeled as "fact" at the bottom of CNN's screen last night: Sarah Palin won election to the governorship as a maverick reformer willing to distance herself from the Republican Party. No. Here's a fact: Palin won election to the governorship as the Republican nominee. That's it. The term "maverick reformer" is completely subjective, as is her supposed willingness to take on Alaskan Republicans, and they should not be passed off as truth to CNN's viewers. I really expect better from them.

Since when did it become a bad thing to work as a community organizer? Judging from the Republican lineup last night, you would think it was a dishonorable profession along the lines of strip club bodyguard or porn-set fluffer. Is it right to demean the good people who have chosen to work with people in our forgotten communities?

It worries me that Palin and others like her view habeas corpus as some sort of impediment to punishment. What happened to the rule of law?

And let's see Gov. Palin make it through a round of sit-down interviews and debates. She reads a teleprompter well. But now the hard part begins.

I'm a little disappointed in Cowboy Troy. I mean, go ahead, do your country thizzle. But to show up on the other sideline? Brother, your ghetto pass has been revoked. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

On my grizzly

Sorry for the extremely light posting on here today. Wednesday has been unusually busy, which is sad to me, because there's so much going on that I would love to comment on.

Here's five quick-hit thoughts that I wish I had more time to really dig into. Links to come later:

1. The Republicans' Cinderella story might be nearing midnight, to borrow a hilarious riff from blogger extraordinaire UBM. Even the National Enquirer has joined the fray.

2. McCain actually had the gall to denigrate Obama's Ivy League education. Which isn't surprising for a guy who finished near the bottom of his class at Annapolis. I think, as has been the conservative tradition in recent years, that McCain is appealing to idiocy and dressing it up as confronting elitism.

3. Isn't it remarkable how fast we've moved on from Gustav? That's phenomenal, given the nonstop coverage the storm received on Sunday and Monday.

4. I spent about two hours today arguing about the importance of state's rights (I'm not a big fan). And not with leaders of the Sons or Daughters of the Confederacy either. I definitely move in interesting and enlightening circles, to say the least.

5. I think people should calm down about the sudden resurgence of UCLA under new coach Rick Neuheisel. The Bruins won a really ugly game at home against a relatively mediocre Tennessee team. L.A. is still a one-team town, as far as I'm concerned. But what a team it is.

There may be more later today. Maybe not. But Thursday should be different.

Peace. Continue Reading »

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Talk about must-see-TV: Barack Obama has agreed to go on "The O'Reilly Factor" Thursday night, the same evening that John McCain accepts the Republican nomination for president.

The appearance appears to stem from a recent "truce" between Obama and Fox News executives. Sounds like a win-win all the way around: Obama gets a chance to make his pitch directly to conservative viewers and the network benefits from his proven drawing power.

This is Fox's chance to prove that it's not just a ratings champion but a legitimate news outlet. I expect nothing less than tough questions and fairness. That's really all you should really expect in an interview.

Think O'Reilly will ask Obama about Rev. Jeremiah Wright? About William Ayres? Tony Rezko? I hope so. I sincerely do. It's easy to be the bully in your own backyard. But it takes a man to bring the fight to Front Street. We'll see if O'Reilly is really up for the fight. Continue Reading »

Go, Joe, Go. Away.

Republicans are applauding the halcyon days of the Bill Clinton presidency. Thought I'd never see the day.

UPDATE: Is it not disingenuous for Joe Lieberman to claim to speak for and to Democrats? He's no longer a part of the party; he was reelected to his Senate seat in 2006 as an independent.

So it's patently ridiculous to read quotes like these from former New Jersey Gov. Thomas: "He's going to be punished by the Democratic Party and he knows it."

Punished, how? Joe turned his back on the Democrats a long time ago, and they've since moved on. And tuned him out. Continue Reading »

Bad acting

The bias here is evident but, man, Fred Thompson was really, really boring tonight. Was Thompson this wooden an actor on "Law & Order"?

I wouldn't know from previous experience: I've never heard Thompson speak before and I never, ever watched "L&O." Continue Reading »

Take that, take that

Diddy to McCain: Come again?

I'm assuming Diddy doesn't spend much time vacationing in Alaska.

(Hat-tip to the WTF crew). Continue Reading »

In search of black people in St. Paul

We've heard a lot over the years about Republican efforts to reach out to black voters. Like most other initiatives the GOP has tried during the past eight years, this effort seems to have failed too.

This article in USA Today about the diminishing number of black delegates at the GOP Convention predicts that "John McCain likely will end up with a historically low share of the black vote despite his outreach to groups such as the NAACP."

The chief reasons, the group said, are Democratic nominee Barack Obama's enormous appeal to black voters and McCain's "association with President Bush, an exceptionally unpopular figure" among blacks.

The report said McCain also is hurt because his home state of Arizona has few blacks and there are no well-known black elected officials to make his case.

I might add that McCain's efforts at "outreach" come off as remarkably transparent: trying to insinuate that would rely heavily on Rep. John Lewis despite have no previous relationship with the former civil rights leader; his half-assed apology for earlier objections to making MLK's birthday a national holiday; and offering up soft praise of Obama at the NAACP Convention - really the only time he's made that gesture during the campaign.

And a word about that last point: if going out and actually talking with black voters during an election year constitutes "outreach" for the GOP, then it's no wonder that there's been some resistance. Specifically, McCain has done little to nothing to reach out to his black constituents in Arizona.

Coming around every four years to troll for votes and make your case is not an honest effort. It's a pander, and I think many black folks know the difference.

But if you must have some Black Republicans, check out this link. Continue Reading »

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Teenage Love

So, I caught myself in a bit of a quandary while watching "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" on TV the other night: is it OK to check out a girl that I used to obsess over as a teenager, even though I'm 30? I'm not into that R. Kelly stuff, you know. It might be a question with no real answer.

But there's not enough time or room in Cyberspace to get into how much I used to adore Ashley Banks (played by Tatyana Ali) during my high school days. She was pretty much my favorite TV girlfriend. Ashley was smart, sensitive, rich and, obviously, a dime piece. If she was falling for Tevin Campbell, I've got to think I had a chance.

However, Ashley wasn't the only one who caught my fancy. She was No. 1 but the competition was thick. I really had some enduring crushes. Here's a rundown:

2. Lisa Turtle, Saved By the Bell: If only I could have gone to Bayside High. Then, at the least, I would have had a prom date and Lisa would have been spared from the advances of Screech. Would it have killed the writers of SBB to have had one black dude on there? I mean, didn't A.C. Slater have to hand off the ball to someone on the football team? That could have been me. And then Lisa and I could have shared a milkshake at the Peach Pit. Uh, The Max. Sorry about that.

3. Kelly Bundy, Married With Children: It's tough to resist the neighborhood floozy. Before there was Maxim magazine and Internet porn, Kelly Bundy was pretty much as sexually suggestive as it got for me in the early '90s. I definitely wasn't getting any rhythm in high school. So it was nice to think that, somehow, I could convince the dumb girl to make it happen.

4. Tiffany Warren, In The House: Goodness knows, there's no way that I could have afforded the tastes of Tiffany. She was extremely shallow. And in my senior year of high school, I drove a 1987 Honda Civic CRX with more than 100,000 miles, didn't have a job and thought I was doing it big if I took a girl to Chili's. So, in all likelihood, Tiffany would have never looked my way. But a brotha can dream.

5. Penny, Inspector Gadget: Come on. I was, like, 6 or 7. Penny was smart for her age and had ponytails. For whatever reason, I was really big into ponytails in first grade. Not to mention, she was really good with computers. We probably could have played "Oregon Trail" for hours together on the Macintosh in my elementary school's library.
Honorable mentions: Hillary Banks, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; Punky Brewster, Punky Brewster; Maxine Johnson, Family Matters; Justine Phillips, The Cosby Show; Moesha Mitchell, Moesha.
Continue Reading »

Good question

I asked the same question to the First Lady of False Hustle this afternoon. Continue Reading »

And baby makes 6

Everyday, we learn something new about our presumptive Republican nominee for vice president. Today, for instance, we find out the Palins are soon to become grandparents.

From Matt Y: Palin family sticks with anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-single motherhood principles and arranges shotgun wedding for Sarah and Todd Palin’s 17 year-old daughter.
UPDATE: Is it a coincidence that this bit of news was released today, when most news outlets are intently focused on Gustav?
UPDATE: To that end, I think this is the final time we'll mention Bristol Palin in this space. I just don't think it's a tasteful topic. When it comes to politics, we sometimes tend to forget that people are people. Bristol didn't ask to be thrust into the spotlight.
Continue Reading »

Northern Exposure

(Hat tip to TPM). Continue Reading »

Sunday, August 31, 2008

McCain's case for affirmative action

Over the past few years, I allowed myself to be lulled to sleep. I was ready to declare the need for race-based affirmative action over and was prepared to embrace a system that was geared more toward class and income.

Then John McCain and the right-wing cabal started to make their case for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Not as vice president. But as a more experienced, qualified candidate for public service than Obama.

And that's when I realized it was time to wake up.

In an interview with NBC News, McCain called comparisons of Palin's experience with Obama "ludicrous":

"She has balanced a budget, she had executive experience as governor, as mayor, as city council member and PTA. So she was in elected office when Senator Obama was still a 'community organizer.'

Sen. Obama has never had one day of executive experience. ... It’s no contest."
Agreed. But, obviously for very, very different reasons.

Look, there's reasonable ways to make the argument Palin was a good choice as v.p. Chief among them that she's a popular governor, she can reinvigorate the social conservative bloc of the party and that, in only two days, she's generated more excitement for the McCain campaign than it's had in the past 18 months. But arguing her qualifications as a public official over those of Obama ... that's just insulting and bordering on offensive.

I don't even have to mention the differences in education credentials (a B.S. from the University of Idaho compared to a B.A. from Columbia University and a law degree from Harvard) because that's too obvious. But I could do that. Easily.

Most importantly, Obama has been a U.S. senator for three years from the nation's fifth-most populous state while Palin, for little more than a year, has been governor of the 47th-most populous state. There's significant gaps in their experience on issues like foreign policy, pushing important legislation through the House of Reps and dealing with a multitude of other important federal issues on a national stage.

About the only professional experience where Palin has a significant edge over Obama is as a beauty contestant and a sportscaster. She might even be his equal as a basketball player though somehow I doubt it (in all fairness, Alaska did produce Carlos Boozer and Trajan Langdon).

Yet there's McCain and Co. arguing in all seriousness that Palin is better prepared than Obama to work in the White House. What an unserious argument from a group of dangerously irresponsible people.

And we should take note of this. If some people are willing to argue that Palin is more qualified than Obama, then we should wonder what some people are considering when they're making the job-hiring decisions at banks, newspapers, police departments, etc. Using that standard, no black person could ever be more qualified than any white person, ever. I mean, McCain even went so far as to refer to her "executive" experience on the local PTA and as a council member (which is odd, because quite the contrary, that's not an executive role) to sell his argument. Not for one second pausing to consider the value of certain types of experience - a manager of your local Taco Bell has more "executive" experience than McCain, for instance. But that's a weak point.

A word of thanks, however, to the McCain camp for rudely awaking me from my slumber. I'll try to remember to never sleep on affirmative action again.

UPDATE: Publius at Obsidian Wings explains the importance of using common sense when invoking the phrase "executive experience." Continue Reading »

Surviving the storm

Two of the final three weekends as a Louisiana resident were spent in south Louisiana, a swath of swampland almost as near to my heart as my hometown of Houston. Unless you've been there before, you've probably never been to a place like it.

So today, I'm really, really worried about the future and long-term viability of places like St. James, Slidell and, of course, New Orleans.

With Hurricane Gustav bearing down on the Gulf Coast and set to make landfall Monday, I can't help but wonder if south Louisiana will be able to withstand its second devastating storm in three years.

My most recent trip, in December, along the I-10 corridor revealed an area still slowly recovering from Katrina. Whole neighborhoods still looked like dimly lit ghost towns, buildings still bared the scars of flood damage and the battered cypress swamps along the freeways looked like something out of "Tales From The Crypt." My favorite hotel, the Hyatt Superdome, remained abandoned more than two years after the storm, a towering reminder that some wounds still hadn't healed.

And here we are, with Gustav on the way, and Mayor Ray Nagin telling folks that "it's unfortunate, but this looks like deja vu. It doesn't look good down here...A lot of areas that didn't get hit last time might get hit this time."

I had made plans to return to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi later this year, with the First Lady of False Hustle in tow. It would have been a chance to visit friends, enjoy the sights, soak up the culture and mingle with the friendliest people anywhere in the country - I virtually adopted the good people of St. James Parish. So, I'm going to do some praying tonight and I suggest you do the same.

We all need south Louisiana to be there after the storm. Continue Reading »

Thanks but no thanks. No, really, thanks.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was for the "Bridge to Nowhere" before she was against it.

In September, 2006, Palin showed up in Ketchikan on her gubernatorial campaign and said the bridge was essential for the town's prosperity.

She said she could feel the town's pain at being derided as a "nowhere" by prominent politicians, noting that her home town, Wasilla, had recently been insulted by the state Senate president, Ben Stevens.

"OK, you've got Valley trash standing here in the middle of nowhere," Palin said, according to an account in the Ketchikan Daily News. "I think we're going to make a good team as we progress that bridge project."

Continue Reading »

It's only a holiday when football is involved

Posting will be light today - lighter than usual - because it's a holiday weekend, the weather is wonderful here in Tampa and I really, really need to catch up on some reading. But here's a brief run through the wonderful, wonderful start to football season:

  1. I had to make note of Clemson's face-plant against Alabama the other night. The Tigers looked unprepared and soft as hell in their season opener against Saban's boys, yet they still should be favored to win the ACC crown this year. Which tells you all you need to know about the strength of the ACC.
  2. I don't want to read too much into one game, especially the first game of the season, but Alabama looks like it will be a force to be reckoned with this fall. They're going to be well-coached and they've got enough talent throughout the roster to put a scare into the SEC's elite teams, Georgia, LSU and Auburn (Florida isn't on their regular season schedule). In fact, I'm going to predict the Tide beats at least two of those teams this season.
  3. Man, Texas A&M stinks. Maybe it's time to accept that A&M never really was an elite program and never will be. Remember: the Aggies' salad days in the late '80s and early 90s came when UT, Oklahoma and LSU were all down. Now they simply can't compete consistently with those schools - on the field or the recruiting trail.
  4. For whatever reason, ESPNU showed the Labor Day Classic - Texas Southern against Prairie View A&M - on TV last night. I've gotta say, TSU QB and former Oklahoma State star Bobby Reid pretty much stunk out the joint. For the life of me, I can't figure out what happened to him. Or TSU, for that matter.
  5. I was just thinking: Oklahoma will be pretty damn good in a year or two. That's after Mike Stoops gets fired at Arizona, returns to Norman as defensive coordinator and restores the Sooners' defense to its dominant ways. Because, really, OU has never been the same on defense since Brother Stoops took off for Tucson.
  6. Ouch to Mississippi State going into Ruston and getting handed a "L." Coach Croom just can't keep his gig losing to teams like Louisiana Tech, even if he did recently sign a contract extension. But much like A&M, MSU needs to face the facts: they're not a football power and never will be one, unless like A&M, they resort to cheating again. The one thing those schools have in common during their successful periods is Jackie Sherrill, college football's answer to Jerry Tarkanian.

I must mention, in closing, that apparently there was a heavyweight championship fight in boxing last night. It's tough to take seriously, however, when punchless and virtually lifeless John Ruiz is the other half of a title bout - another sign that boxing is in serious trouble. Not surprisingly, Ruiz lost and the 7-foot Russian stiff won.

Continue Reading »