Some mid-day nourishment for you.
Stewart Mandel declares that “With Lane Kiffin now muzzled as a member of Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama, Bielema is threatening to replace him as college football’s most reviled figure.”
There’s only one thing I don’t get about this list – if Alabama indeed reloads and not rebuilds each year, shouldn’t it be at the end?
I can’t say I was a big fan of Marietta’s Bobby Franklin. The man knew how to put the “far” in the far right. But he said something during Georgia’s infamous flag debate that has always resonated with me.
The compromise flag that emerged was the idea of one of the most conservative members of the House, Representative Bobby Franklin, Republican of Marietta. A former member and camp commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Mr. Franklin wrote recently that ”allowing hate groups and white supremacists to hijack the Confederate battle flag and pervert it into a negative symbol without publicly and repeatedly repudiating them has been a grievous moral failure.”
In other words, organizations like the Sons of Confederate Veterans that want to insist they’re taking an honorable stand by defending symbols and standards of the Confederacy fail to recognize they lost the moral high ground they believe they’re entitled to occupy when they didn’t fight to preserve their integrity as unsavory groups appropriated those same symbols and standards for their own racist ends. And that’s why folks like the Sons of Confederate Veterans aren’t entitled to the benefit of the doubt now when they try to reclaim that position.
It’s also why, as much as I’m willing to acknowledge there are plenty of people of good will who are sincerely offended by the latest racial incident that occurred at Ole Miss – ironically, complete with that very Georgia state flag Bobby Franklin wrote about – I’m having a hard time working up a lot of sympathy for Hugh Freeze about the difficulties incidents like that may cause him on the recruiting trail. As John Pennington notes,
Fair or not, the University of Mississippi’s history is tied to racism. The Confederacy’s economy — everything about the Old South, for that matter — was based on slavery. Yet the school’s athletic teams are called the Rebels in a reference to the Confederate States of America. The school’s athletic teams often wear gray in addition to their red and navy colors. Hell, the statue of Meredith isn’t far from a memorial to Confederate soldiers on the UM campus.
It is impossible to separate the school or its sports teams from the Confederacy and the racism that was ingrained in that institution.
Ole Miss coaches have complained about this unwanted legacy since Billy Brewer’s time. That it’s still a perceived issue for the school says a lot, sadly.
The Swamp has become a victim of the law of unintended consequences. Students aren’t showing up, and there’s a big reason why.
One thing UF officials have learned from student feedback is the students do not like the early kickoffs (noon and 12:20), something that was evident last season with all those empty seats in the student section for early games.
“Our students in some ways are a lot like our entire fan base in that they enjoy night games,” Hill said. “That Arkansas game (at night) last year had a tremendous crowd. Our students do not care for the early kickoffs. They’re just rolling out of bed.”
Hill said UF is having discussions with the SEC and its television partners about scheduling Gator games later in the day or at night, especially early in the season.
“We have made it clear to the conference that the early season games, we need those to begin in the evening or late in the day. The heat is so oppressive,” Hill said. “That’s not just for our students but our entire fan base.
“We’re communicating that to our television partners as well. If we can come out of the gate with later kickoffs, we think that will contribute to bigger crowds and better attended games by our students.”
Your television partners would like to know if you’ve been cashing their checks, dude. If you have, perhaps you should communicate to Jeremy Foley that winning four games and playing a weak home schedule isn’t the kind of formula that gets you a lot of 3:30 start times.
Then again, you could always try playing more loud recorded music at games. If nothing else, that might help wake the students.
Okay, America, you decide – is building a winning football program at Army important enough to risk recruiting increasing numbers of “… football players… more than twice as likely to fail courses, more likely to leave the Army early and less likely to be promoted to higher ranks in the Army compared with their non-recruited counterparts”?