Monday, September 26, 2016

“Head Roll Bowl” Loser Les Miles Loses Head

Image result for les milesHe’s out.

Les Miles is now the former head coach of the Louisiana State University Bengal Tigers, and everyone saw it coming.

I can’t take credit for the term “Head Roll Bowl,” as a few of my Twitter, Facebook and TideFans pals coined it first.

But, oh my… was it prophetic.

I watched every single play of last Saturday night’s matchup between two of the four contenders for SEC West runners-up. I was both legitimately bored and completely amazed.

We knew both teams had stout defenses. We knew also that neither team had a go-to-guy at quarterback, a position which is becoming increasingly more important in SEC football. We also, also knew that LSU has college football’s best tailback in Leonard Fournette. We also, also, also knew that Auburn would sell out to stop him.

The outcome of the game—and the outcome of either coach’s career at his respective university—came down to one play. And that play would be the offensive penalty LSU committed before the highly controversial and much discussed play in which Danny Etling (1) finally saw an open receiver and (2) finally completed a pass to him.

It is often said that if the outcome of a game comes down to one play, then it’s your own damned fault for letting the game come down to that crucial play.

Had there been four, three or two seconds left at the end of regulation, we might be talking about why Gus Malzahn was fired and how Les Miles saved his job. The pass was made. The feet were down. It was a game winning score.

But it didn’t count, and now Les Miles is looking for something else to do.

Exit Questions: Why fire Miles now? Why let coach Ed “yaw-yaw” Orgeron take over as interim coach with the real meat of the SEC schedule remaining? 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Whose head rolls first: Malzahn or Miles?

Image resultI know this has nothing to do with Alabama football or politics, but I have to share this.

I had a very brief, yet very interesting conversation with two of my closest colleagues. One is a dyed-in-the-wool Aubie. The other is Deep Purple and Gold. I love’em both, they’re both good guys and damned good engineers. 

May God bless’em.

These two guys went at it like two brothers on different sides of the Mason-Dixon line in 1861. All I could do, and all I wished to do, was sit, listen, watch, and smile (evilly… I confess).

Among TideFans, We call that Schadenfreude. For those wer nicht Deutsch sprechen, that means taking pleasure from the pain of others, usually adversaries.

At 5:00-ish Saturday, the two teams collide at Jordan-Hare Stadium in what could be a pivotal game for both programs, neither of which is getting it done well enough for their respective fanbases. I know it’s anecdotal, but evidence is evidence.

imageLSU sits at 2-1, with an away loss to a decent, but beatable Wisconsin team. They’ve beaten Jacksonville State (Who?) and Mississippi State, and neither of those wins convinced Tiger fans about their team’s viability to win a title.

Auburn sits at 1-2, with their only win coming against Gus Malzahn’s old team, the Arkansas State Red Wolves. The only two teams considered quality opponents were Clemson in the season opener and Texas A&M. Clemson was the runner-up in last year’s National Championship game, but Texas A&M is still building and is considered so-so in the SEC West race. Auburn lost both and hasn’t won an SEC home game in two calendar years.

Two. Calendar. Years.

Either Auburn or LSU will come away with a loss Saturday night. Auburn has a surprisingly stout defense. LSU has one of the best running games in the conference. But neither team has a go-to guy at quarterback.

Both coaches have seats that can be generously described as “quite warm.” The loser Saturday night probably gets the heat turned up.

A lot.

So who do you think has his head on the chopping block? Does Malzie with another conference home loss? Does Miles with a close but competitive loss, albeit on the road?

We’ll See Saturday night. And one of my two freinds might not sleep well that night.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Remember when I said @realDonaldTrump wouldn’t fight “fair?”

That’s “fair” as described by the mainstream media and Democrats (I know… I repeat myself). In their minds, the Trump campaign was supposed to go on vacation while the Democrats held their convention in Philadelphia. That’s kind of accepted as the way things are just done. The Democrats observed media silence during the GOP convention last week, right? Of course they didn’t, but no one in the media paid any attention to that breach of protocol and instead gleefully ran every statement by the Clintonistas.

Along comes The Donald, who took the uncouth, unorthodox and totally unfair (snicker) step of holding a press conference right smack dab in the middle of the Democrats Philly lovefest, grabbing media attention and dimming the spotlight on the other side.

And to the media and Democrats (again repeating myself), abject horror, Trump sarcastically joked that if those responsible for hacking the DNC’s email server also gained access to Hillary Clinton’s homebrew email server, they should release the 33,000 messages she deleted while under subpoena.

“How dare Donald Trump hold a press conference and talk about Hillary’s email scandal?!? Totally unfair!”

I said back in May that Trump wasn’t going to fight fair; that he’s not going to run a campaign that fits within the boundaries understood by the old guard.

I also noted that not fighting fair is an American tradition that goes back to the Revolution. When you’re not in a fair fight, it’s in American DNA to not fight fair. It’s in Donald Trump’s DNA, and he’s demonstrating that by breaking not one but two rules that the media expected him to play by.

When Hillary gives her droning acceptance speech tonight, she’ll be figuratively glancing over her shoulder, wondering what Trump has next for her. As a betting man, I’m laying odds that his next move will be a shock-the-media doozy that also breaks a rule or two. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

AU writer at AL.com thinks legal system should punish Cam and Hootie

Imagine that—A dyed in the wool Auburn fan thinks that the pair of Alabama football players should suffer some kind of punishment for their arrest on stolen firearm and controlled substance possession.

Knowing the Aubarn Fambly as well as I do, I’m not the least bit surprised. Jody Fuller, an Opelika based writer and comic, penned the piece wherein he fails to acknowledge that anyone accused of a crime in the United States is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Auburn fans might not like that reality, but it is reality nonetheless.

So it is when rival fans hear news that a Bama player has been accused of a crime: Players arrested = players should suffer appropriate consequences via the legal system. End of discussion. Oh, and the rival fans get to determine what’s appropriate and what’s not—see his reference to Brock Turner, the guy out west who got six months for a rape conviction.

Mr. Fuller also doesn’t seem to grasp that the District Attorney in the case, Ouachita Parish District Attorney Jerry Jones is an integral part of the legal system that he thinks should have administered the sentence. If the DA decides not to prosecute—regardless of his reasoning for choosing that option—then in our system of justice the legal system has spoken.

Mr. Fuller makes no mention of any mitigating circumstances at work in this case. That’s because neither Mr. Fuller, nor me, nor anyone reading this have any clue as to what mitigating circumstances came into play or how they factored into Jones’ decision not to prosecute.

Mr. Fuller does note that there will likely be consequences imposed by Coach Nick Saban, but dismissively suggests that those consequences will also fail to rise to a boog’s standard for justice.

I suggested that Cam and Hootie should indeed be punished by the program. The difference between myself and Mr. Fuller is that I’m not only able to accept that the legal system has spoken clearly and with final authority, but that I also trust my team’s coach to administer the proper measure of discipline.

Make an example of them? Yes. Judge the appropriateness of the punishment—well, that’s not inside of my hula hoop. That ain’t on my side of the street.

That ain’t my cross to bear.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cam and Hootie will not be prosecuted. But should they be punished

Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones will not face prosecution after being arrested in possession of a controlled substance and a stolen firearm. The Monroe County District Attorney made the decision and released it to the media today, June 20, 2016.

DA Jerry Jones explained his reasoning:

"I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I'm doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years, working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning,"

Well, that’s magnanimous of him but the absolute truth is that it was Robinson and Johnson who stood to ruined their own lives. They are the ones responsible for being in the position they were in—facing at least one felony count and the high likelihood of time in the joint.

So that raises the question of whether there should be extra-judicial consequences for what can only be described as a very, very bad transgression against “team rules.” Those so-called “team rules” are used as a catch-all set of guidelines for how student athletes representing the university are supposed to conduct themselves, both on and off campus. The coach gets to decide whether those rules were broken and if so, what punishment should fit.

I’m all for leaving that decision up to Coach Saban but if these two young men were a part of a team I was responsible for leading, some kind of something ought to be imposed.

I don’t care if it’s running until they puke, cleaning the locker rooms after fall camp workouts or wearing a sign on the Quad saying “I’m a knucklehead.” Maybe sitting for the season opener (or better yet, sitting home in Tuscaloosa reading Moby Dick), I’d do something to make it hurt and make an example.

Breaking rules is not to be tolerated, whether the DA decides to prosecute a felony case or not.

This Bama fan thinks something fitting should come down. What say ye?