This verges on the poetic:
… Of all the self-inflicted daggers Bray has wielded over the last three years, none has cut quite as deep as his late, game-killing fumble in Athens, which should not have come as a surprise – it is Tyler Bray’s raison d’être to absentmindedly push the wrong button, pull the wrong cord, lock the wrong door, nudging his beleaguered head coach ever closer to the edge – but somehow did after Bray completed four passes to move the Vols within striking distance of the tying (or potentially winning) touchdown.
**Sniff** That’s beautiful.
This is freakin’ brilliant.
There are three Clemsons inside of Clemson, each battling the other for supremacy, and it’s become customary to see at least two of the three over the course of a single season – like last fall, for example. First, there’sTitle Contender Clemson: you saw these Tigers over the year’s first eight games and in the A.C.C. title game, when it knocked off Virginia Tech to win the program’s first conference title in 20 years. Then there’s Clemson Being Clemson, a team that lays an egg against Georgia Tech, committing four turnovers in a 14-point loss, or one that nearly plays down to its competition before sneaking a three-point win past Wake Forest – we all know this Clemson. Then there’s My God, Clemson, the team that fails to show up for a rivalry game against the Gamecocks, or the one that allows West Virginia to break the speed limit in a 70-33 Orange Bowl loss.
Clemson Being Clemson – I love that Clemson. Which one’s your favorite?
Granted, he’s gathering low-hanging fruit, but Jon Solomon’s piece on what a disappointment the addition of the 12th game to the college football schedule has turned out to be is an epic snarkfest. And I do mean epic. Here’s a sample:
“I would understand if the media misinterpreted the motive for the 12th game as a long-term fiscal fix, but I would be disappointed if athletics administrators saw it as anything but a short-term salve,” NCAA President Myles Brand wrote in 2005. “I believe most administrators and presidents understand that the decision is not a panacea for fiscal responsibility.”
No, that’s why a playoff is coming. But I digress.
**Sniff**. That’s beautiful.
Josh Moon has a funny piece about the playoff talk at SEC Media Days. This quip is my favorite part:
Kentucky’s Joker Phillips was all for the new setup, as was Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen. They’ll each be hosting watching parties at their homes.
The lede to Paul Myerberg’s preseason analysis of Kentucky made me laugh:
Congratulations are in order for Kentucky. For the whole basketball thing, of course, but don’t forget this: Kentucky is no longer the 11th-best program in the SEC – or 12th, if we believe Vanderbilt can continue building upon James Franklin’s debut. Yes, congratulations: you did it, Kentucky. Today, after Mike Slive and the league’s decision-makers added Missouri and Texas A&M, the Wildcats are the 13th-best program in the 14-team SEC – or 14th, dead last, under the same conditions as above.
Just wait ’til the SEC expands to sixteen. That’ll show ‘em.
When it comes to political blogging, I tend to follow folks on the basis of the quality of their writing as opposed to the quality of their ideology. Right now, my favorite political blogger by far is Charlie Pierce. Pierce has also been a sportswriter (and still pens on occasion at Grantland, if you’d prefer to skip the politics) and that will sometimes show up to make a point.
Which is why I enjoy the lede to this post so much. You don’t have to agree with his politics to get a kick out of the insult.
The Wiz links to as nifty a takedown of Craig James as you’re gonna read. Indulge yourselves:
… James seemingly has everything else. He’s got the looks, the buzzwords and the ESPN-honed ability to speak at length without saying much. Being a former football star in a football state would normally help, too.
It was all there Friday night in Dallas in a debate among Republicans competing for Texas’ open U.S. Senate seat. James was vague, offering little insight, but when did that ever stop anyone in politics?
James said he was just a citizen who would be guided by the Constitution and his faith. “I want to go do the work of ‘We the People,’” he said, which sounds nice enough.
So does his Facebook page. There, under activities, he lists “ranching, real estate, restoring traditional values.”
For those who don’t know: Before restoring, strip and sand with steel wool.
If he sounds insipid, that’s because insipid can be effective in an election. James is not unlike other celebrities who skip steps to run for high office. They lean on name recognition.
But that’s the catch — James’ name gets recognized the way the guilty do in a police lineup…
Ah, that’s good. I really dig that “the ESPN-honed ability to speak at length without saying much” part. Nice killing two birds with one shot stuff there.
Normally, when I post an Envy and Jealousy number, it’s about somebody who’s written something I wish I had. Today’s offering is a little different. It’s something I suspect many of you would have liked to have tossed in a comment here. It’s from somebody in Big Ten country who read Matt Hayes’ piece on Urban Meyer and became (as you’re about to see) quite incensed.
… He was a smooth talking, greasy, head hunter that mortgaged the Gators football future for a pair of national championships to appease a rabid fan base that got way too used to winning.
“Greasy” adds a nice touch, don’t you think?
From the always great Charles Pierce comes this bit in his piece about the Final Four and its place in NCAA hypocrisy:
… Davis has become something of a celebrity based not only on his game, but also based on his eyebrows, which are only barely separated at the top of his nose. The “unibrow” phenomenon has taken off. “It’s great for him because it’s given him a lot of publicity off of that,” said Kentucky guard Marquis Teague. “Only he can pull that off.” In fact, sales of fake eyeglasses with unibrows above them have exploded.
“That’s great. People did a good job making them,” said Davis, who, of course, cannot profit from any of this. The man doesn’t even have the economic rights to his own face. I’m surprised the NCAA doesn’t make him wear a bag with its logo. That’s my contribution to the changing paradigm: I think every play — er, student-athlete — should be able to turn a buck on his eyebrows.
Sure, it’s a small barrel. But he’s a very good shot.
Bruce Feldman’s terrific piece about college coaches who never played the game is worth the price of admission just for this one-liner: “there are two things in America every man thinks he can do: work a grill and coach football.”
I’m seriously thinking of changing this blog’s motto.