Alabama’s Song, SEC Dominance, NCAA Bullshit & BCS Fuckery

Yes, the conifer trees of Stanford beat the Oregon Ducks in a narrowly decided conference game. The deed was done with a lousy game by the far superior Ducks, but credit to the Tree, they won then and have now won the PAC-10.X Championship after downing UCLA 27-24 before a curiously half full stadium in Palo Alto. With the win, Stanford will go to the Rose Bowl and the Ducks, the fifth ranked team in the BCS standings, very well may have to settle for a lower tier bowl. The BCS still sucks, and their crappy four team playoff ginned up for future years won’t materially improve anything.

So, we have a Saturday lineup of more conference championship games in the NCAA and a few decent games in the pros. What are people doing to celebrate the festivities? Hmmm, lets check in on Jim White:

Rare weekend at home without family. Gonna make a big batch of burrito filling tonight and then watch TV sports until I melt into the couch.

Well then!! Lets see what Jim may be watching. Like the Quacker fans, Jim won’t be watching his Gators in the conference championship game. No, the SEC will have Georgia taking on Alabama. Contrary to somewhat popular belief, I think the Dawgs have a chance. Georgia’s defense is not as good as the Tide’s, but they are still very good. And Aaron Murray is a very experienced 4th year QB who can get the ball down the field. Is that enough to beat Bama? Probably not, but worth watching.

The other games are, frankly, not nearly as interesting. Oklahoma/TCU, Florida State/Georgia Tech, Texas/Kansas State and Nebraska/Wisconsin will be on the tube. All relative snoozers. Really, Texas gets to play in a conference championship? What a joke. The Boise State/Nevada game may be interesting, as Boise always is. I miss Johnny Football already! And, yes, just give him the Heisman already.

In the pros, the game of the week is the Cardinals at Jets. Hahaha. Just joking. Normally you would have to say Stillers at Ravens is the game of the week, but with Big Ben still out, probably not so much. Instead, I am looking at the Monday Night game of Giants at Skins. Good or Bad Eli against new stud on the block RGIII. Are the Gents due for a letdown after their smashing of the Cheese? I think they may be. It is almost inexplicable that NBC did not flex eliminate the putrid Cowboys/Eagles game in favor of Tampa/Broncos. By the way, while nobody was watching, the Bucs have gelled nicely and are playing really good football for Greg Schiano. But this game is at Mile High, and Peyton seems to be on a mission, and that should be good for a Donkos win. Vikings at Packers and Squawks at Bears may also be worth paying attention to. Cutler is back for the Bears, so they probably have the edge.

On a tragic note, Chiefs LB Javon Belcher appears to have shot and killed his girlfriend at home and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he went up to Romeo Crenel and Scott Pioli, thanked them and then killed himself by gunshot. It was hard to imagine how Kansas City’s season could get worse before this incident, but it sure did. I really don’t know what to say about this, what a human tragedy. As of now, the NFL still plans to play the Chiefs/Carolina game at Arrowhead tomorrow afternoon. I guess the show must go on, but it is hard to see how it does for the Chiefs so soon.

Music is by the Doors and the Alabama Song medley; it is a great video. What y’all got?

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
152 replies
  1. JohnT says:


    Yes, the conifer trees of Stanford beat the Oregon Ducks in a narrowly decided conference game.

    Edit: Oh, read it wrong. Thought you were talking about the game last night

  2. Jim White says:

    I have no idea who hacked my Twitter account yesterday. I’d never be that lazy.

    I actually think that Georgia is likely to win today over Alabama. It’s virtually a home game for them (several people tweeted photos of a Georgia fan sporting a “Go DWAGS” sign at Gameday, spelling just isn’t their strong suit) and they looked really sharp against Georgia Tech. Georgia’s defense is a lot better than Texas A&M’s. Georgia obviously doesn’t have Johnny Football, but their offense is solid. I’d say something like Georgia 20-10.

    The Quackers and Gators are in virtually identical circumstances. I’d love nothing more than to face them in the Sugar Bowl. Already have my hotel reservations in the Big Easy and will finalize the rest of the travel plans after the matchups are official tomorrow night.

    I’m melting. I’m melting.

    Anybody want a burrito?

  3. Peterr says:

    It was hard to imagine how Kansas City’s season could get worse before this incident, but it sure did.

    Indeed. A local television station summarized the incident like this:

    At 8:02 a.m., police were called to the Chiefs practice facility on reports of an armed man.

    “The description matched the suspect description from that other address. We kind of knew what we were dealing with,” he said.

    The player was “holding a gun to his head” as he stood in front of the front doors of the practice facility.

    “And there were Pioli and Crennel and another coach or employee was standing outside and appeared to be talking to him. It appeared they were talking to the suspect,” Snapp said. “The suspect began to walk in the opposite direction of the coaches and the officers and that’s when they heard the gunshot. It appears he took his own life.”

    The coaches told police they never felt in any danger, Snapp said.

    “They said the player was actually thanking them for everything they’d done for him,” he said. “They were just talking to him and he was thanking them and everything. That’s when he walked away and shot himself.”

    I can’t imagine how Arrowhead will feel tomorrow, both in the stands and in the locker room. It’s one thing if a player dies in an auto accident. It’s something else if they succumb to an illness. It’s yet another if they commit suicide. But to have committed suicide at the stadium in the presence of the GM, coaches and players . . . this is gonna hurt for a long long long time.

  4. Peterr says:

    The BCS still sucks, and their crappy four team playoff ginned up for future years won’t materially improve anything.

    I disagree. It will substantially improve the financial return for the BCS.

    And really, the bottom line is all that matters.

  5. P J Evans says:

    As of now, the NFL still plans to play the Chiefs/Carolina game at Arrowhead tomorrow afternoon. I guess the show must go on, but it is hard to see how it does for the Chiefs so soon.

    They didn’t reschedule the Niners game when George Moscone and Harvey Milk were murdered, either. People had asked them to do that much.

  6. Peterr says:

    @P J Evans: True, but neither Moscone nor Milk were expected to take the field for the 9ers the next day, nor were they shot at Candlestick Park. Not to downplay those two killings in the least, but it’s one thing for people in general to ask for a postponement, but quite another if the players and/or team asks.

    I could see it going either way as far as the team goes. They could ask for a postponement, out of respect and grief, or they could go ahead and play “because that’s what Jevon would have wanted.” Either reaction would make complete sense to me.

  7. Stag Party Palin says:

    In defense of the poor turnout at Stanford last night: cold rain sucks and in SF and environs it’s really cold, especially when it’s a night game; more importantly, the PAC 12 raised ticket prices to where it was $80 for end zone seats! I didn’t want to drive 400 miles for that.

  8. Jim White says:

    And now after beating TCU, the Land Thieves are reduced for rooting for the Whorens tonight. The entertainment value of thinking about that just can’t get any better.

  9. Peterr says:

    The always-readable Mr. Pierce offers his own trashtalk . . .

    My game of the weekend is the SEC championship between Alabama and Georgia. I know two things about this game: 1) that Alabama is really playing for a chance to beat Notre Dame 357-0 in the BCS title game, a laudable goal that I unreservedly applaud. (I see that noted football pundit, and former advisor to Hollywood Jews, Gregg Easterbrook has jumped onto the family-values running board of the Irish bandwagon. That’s strike 20,987 against the place, by my count.), and 2) that, if Alabama does win, the calls for Georgia coach Mark Richt’s head back home will begin no later than Monday afternoon. Because I know baby Jeebus is my amigo, I know ‘Bama will win, and that wonderful things then will follow in the national championship game.

    At the same link, he also demands that the NHL end its lockout. Click through for the full discussion of his logic, in which teletubbies figure prominently.

  10. Bay State Librul says:

    What the fuck, no mention of the 2013 edition
    of “who travels to Cooperstown?
    All we hear is college football drivel(grin)
    Whattabout Rondo’s fight to energize the Celts, and Commish Stern’s 250K penalty to a
    damn coach who just wants to coach his way?

  11. Peterr says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    Stern has screwed this one up big time. I’m surprised the coach didn’t say “OK, you want to trade jobs? Here are my keys — just hand me yours.”

    Never mind the whole “but think of the fans, who paid to see A, B, C, and D?” thing. That’s a bright shiny object if ever there was one. If you’re a fan, you pay your money and you take your chances.

    Also, let the record show that tired players — especially older tired players — become injured players, and then who wins?

    Never mind that Stern & Co. made the crazy schedule that made the coach think he needed to rest his stars like that.

  12. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: Stern is whining about the fans? The Spurs played a hell of a game against the Heat, even without their stars. Yet fucking Stern sends the Wizards out to rip off NBA consumers every night. What a load of shit.

  13. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Here’s the official press release. Note, please, the last three words:

    The NBA announced Friday that the San Antonio Spurs organization has been fined $250,000 for its decision to send four players home prior to the Spurs’ Nov. 29 game in Miami. The Spurs’ actions were in violation of a league policy, reviewed with the NBA Board of Governors in April 2010, against resting players in a manner contrary to the best interests of the NBA.

    NBA Commissioner David Stern stated: “The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case. The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way. Under these circumstances, I have concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.”

    By “fans” I’m sure Stern meant “sponsors.” I suspect he got an earful from a couple of skybox-owning CEOs, pissed that they didn’t get to see the players they wanted.

  14. angry bitter drunk says:

    @Peterr: Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is my fave NBA writer. He absolutely destroys Stern on the Spurs’ situation (sorry this link isn’t tinyurl-ed):

    Link to story

    David Stern is a vile, vindictive little man.

  15. Peterr says:

    Baylor had so much fun knocking off then-#1 Kansas State that they did it again to #23 Oklahoma State. Wow.

  16. bmaz says:

    @Bay State Librul: Heh, believe it or not, that is almost exactly the percentage both he and Bonds got from an AP poll of a little over 100 official HOF voters. Although there were more than a few (wasn’t stated how many precisely) that said they were likely only a no vote on the first ballot buy may well be yes votes on 2nd or subsequent years. Even with that, they appear to be clearly below the 75% for the indefinite future.

  17. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: When I look at Christie, I think of the football coach of my old high school, who also taught drivers’ education. IIRC, his own personal car was am AMC Pacer. Whatever model it was, the car leaned to the port, as the suspension on the driver’s side was completely shot by the coach’s weight. I remember overhearing a conversation near the teacher’s parking lot, when a substitute teacher parked next to the coach’s car, looked at it, shook her head, and asked another teacher “Whose poor car is that?” The other teacher laughed . . .

  18. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: You know, yeah, it is easy to laugh at Christie. But, as much fun as I, and we, have made of him over the years (HEY, wife, girlfriend, four others and large dogs in a freaking Chevrolet Lumina??? Just get the fuck out) even I find something appealing about his in your face honesty and willingness to say close enough to what he is thinking. I actually find Christie more worrisome than any of the other preening poseurs on the GOP horizon. Don’t sell the man short. Do you think a calculating pussy like Obama would have ever given the embrace Christie did to Barack in NJ regarding Hurricane Sandy? No, his head would have still been up his ass while Axelrod and Plouffe ran the numbers. Do NOT sell Chris Christie short.

  19. Peterr says:

    @Jim White: Indeed. I’m with Charlie Pierce that the score will be a blowout. But I think this is more a matter that the Domers have no place in the championship game , rather than a statement of the dominance of the CSA’s favorite football conference.

  20. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: Well, in NJ there is probably a turnpike short cut, but real ‘Mericuns can’t afford it. Skirts the “Christie Beltway” because most cars can’t go that far “around”.

  21. bmaz says:

    Here in Phoenix, an infomercial for “Best of the Carol Burnett Show” is on after SEC championship game. It has FAR more power than Notre Dame’s offense.

  22. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: Padre, Ima still trying to figure out how Christie got all them not yet at Weight Watchers people PLUS dogs in the Chevy Lumina.

  23. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Why does her sign-off song come to mind?

    I’m so glad we had this time together
    Just to have a laugh or sing a song
    Seems we just get started
    and before you know it
    Comes the time we have to say
    So long

    Must be that “seems we just get started” part.

  24. bmaz says:

    Nobody is gonna talk about the “B1G” championship game?

    Crikey, time was we had this tougher than a prop rugby woman who would weigh in for Trash Talk about the Big-B1G and other tasty morsels. #ThoseWereGiddyTimes

  25. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: You know, seriously for a moment, Carol Burnett was teh awesome. She has been, and still is, under-appreciated for the genius she really was; not to mention the cast she consistently worked with: Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Carol Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner etc. Really, just wow.

  26. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Wow is an understatement.

    Though, as she herself noted in a Q&A at UCLA, today’s television world is different than is was in her day . . .

    Burnett discussed whether the variety-show genre for which she became famous could ever be revived in prime time today. She thinks not. For one, the show would be too expensive. “We couldn’t do today what we did on our show,” she said. Every week they had “28 musicians, 12 dancers, two guests stars … 50 Bob Mackie costumes.”

    She regrets that good writers are out of jobs today because of reality shows “that cost $1.98.” After reminiscing about contemporaries such as Bernadette Peters (who also appeared at the Festival of Books on Saturday), Lucille Ball and Vicki Lawrence, Burnett praised today’s female comic actors including Tina Fey, Tracy Ullman and Jane Lynch. The audience broke into applause at McNamara’s suggestion that Burnett play Lynch’s mother on “Glee.”

    50 Bob Mackie outfits a week? Oh my.

    And for the record, let us note that on Tina’s show “30 Rock,” Matt Damon played a pilot who has a relationship with Tina’s Liz Lemon. Matt’s character’s name? Carol Burnett.

  27. sluggahjells says:

    I disagree firmly with Charlie Pierce on that one.

    Alabama D’s just is not good against elite talent, especially since the only elite teams they have played were a flawed LSU team with a shaky QB in Mertenberger, then Texas A&M down 21-0 at home and eventually lost, and were a Mark Richt and Mike Bobo few plays calls from letting the game be blown today against Georgia and their underachieving defense.

    Norte Dame has the three elements that really can cause Alabama problem.
    1) A talented quarterback, whether a good enough passer or a credible duel threat QB, with vertical passing options.

    2) A defensive Front 7 good enough to contain how dominant their massive offensive line is.

    3) An elite coach in Brian Kelly.

  28. bmaz says:

    @sluggahjells: You know, I kind of agree with that. I really dislike both Alabama and Notre Dame, but I will grudgingly say both teams earned their way into the Championship game under the current bogus BCS structure; however, I do not think either are really the best team in the country.

  29. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Both the Slightly Darker Reddish Hued Lunar-driven Oceanic Fluctuations and the Domers average 218.8 yards per game of passing — tying for 78th in D-1 — so hearing either team talk about their great QB strikes me as homer-ism in the extreme. Similarly, each team had their cupcakes on the schedule. The one team they both played was the Wolvereenies . . .

    Domers: 13-6 in South Bend on Sept 22 (Michigan then ranked #8)
    SDRHLOF: 41-14 in Tuscaloosa on Sept 1 (Michigan then ranked #18)

    On that basis, I lean toward SDRHLOF.

    Also, note that last week the Wolvereenies (now ranked #19) lost to undefeated and bowl-ineligible Ohio State 26-21 at OSU.

  30. Starbuck says:

    It wuz those black uniforms, I tell ya! Designed by Nike of all places.

    Phil Knight ought to be ashamed. He blew it.

  31. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: Just catching up (I’ve moved, but now I gotta do all those nesting things you do after you move).

    Mostly I’m embarrassed that the 3 seed from the other half of the B1G is kicking the shit out of the team that beat the Eenies out.

  32. Peterr says:

    In other sports news, the DIA is trying to unseat the #1 ranked CIA in the Surveilencing People, Y’all (SPY) league. From Greg Miller at the Washington Post:

    The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said.

    The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units.

    Scrutinizing a much-discussed, little-understood, bloody video is in some ways representative of how the outside world now watches the war.

    When the expansion is complete, the DIA is expected to have as many as 1,600 “collectors” in positions around the world, an unprecedented total for an agency whose presence abroad numbered in the triple digits in recent years.

  33. emptywheel says:

    @Peterr: Not Tuscaloosa. Jerry Jones’ house. Which might as well be Tuscaloosa, for as unfriendly as it must be to ‘Eenies.

    That said, yeah, you do the math against the common opponent, and ‘Bama should have an easy time of it. EXCEPT ND has been playing better as the season ends, ‘Bama not so much.

    Ultimately, I think ND found the magic by starting their season in Dublin and will win on that alone. But then I should hold out bc the damed Irish seem to be stalling on giving me a passport.

  34. rosalind says:

    @Peterr: ok, this cracked me up – via twitter:

    jeremy scahill [email protected]: The CIA has a spy network? RT @gregpmiller: Pentagon to build spy network rivaling CIA in size.

  35. Peterr says:

    @emptywheel: Yeah, ND really did well against their last three opponents — USC, Boston College, and Wake Forest.

    The Dublin start was a nice touch, and I loved the shoes, but seriously . . . The Fighting Journalists did better against BC than the Domers.

  36. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @bmaz: Agree. The only problem he has is getting through those ridiculous primaries. If he can somehow manage that without having to move too far to the right he could take it all in 2016.

  37. Peterr says:

    There’s still 6 minutes plus left in the Nebraska v Wisconsin game, and the Badgers have over 500 yards of rushing, with an average of more than 11 yards per carry.

    70-24, and it’s going to be uglier for the Cornhuskers before it is over.

  38. GulfCoastPirate says:

    What was Georgia thinking at the end of that game?

    I think the Domers handle Alabama.

    Realignment is killing college football. Did anyone notice all those empty seats posing as fans at all the championship games over the weekend?

    If I hear Johnny Football one more time I am going to puke. At best A&M is middle of the pack in the Big XII. The SEC is a much easier league. I’d take the PAC over the SEC.

  39. Jim White says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: @Peterr:

    I give Mr. Pirate a pass for that indiscretion. All the pollution in his region from the unregulated refineries eventually diminishes reasoning capacity. We can revisit the relative toughness of the SEC and the BigSomethingOrOther after the bowls are finished. Best guess right now is a Florida-Oklahoma Sugar Bowl and Kansas State-Oregon Fiesta Bowl. Those two games will tell a lot.

    And I wish I could claim credit for making this association, but a headline in my morning paper made this brilliant observation about the Jan 7 “game”:

  40. Jim White says:

    @bmaz: Oh, but I insist on it being inserted into the trash talk post for that game. How can it not be there?

    It might just insert itself when you aren’t looking.

  41. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Jim White: LOL – I suppose it did come out sounding a little harsh so let me make it more harsh. :)

    The SEC isn’t an offensive league. A middle of the road, underachieving Big XII team with a relatively poor defense and a new coach who cares little for defense goes into the SEC and produces far better results than what they could have achieved in their old league. In their old league they would have gone up against UT, OU, K-State, Baylor, WV, Okie State, Tech – all teams that can put points on the board. In their new league they go against LSU, Florida and Alabama – none exactly known as offensive juggernauts. They can knock off that league’s champion by scoring only 28 points. They wouldn’t have been able to do that in the Big XII. In fact, their joy at leaving the Big XII and joining the SEC should tell you all you need to know about how much they fear those supposed SEC juggernauts.

    The SEC is the Israel/AIPAC of college football. They control the press and keep telling everyone how great they are but they all follow the same formula – play three or four Division Nine schools, five or six SEC scrubs (unless you consider the likes of Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss to be something other than scrubs) and then a couple games against the other top teams in the league (although Florida does play that ACC juggernaut Florida State who managed to squeak by that other ACC 6 – 6 juggernaut Georgia Tech). Frak, they’ve got 9 wins before they even play a decent team which they only do a couple times a year. If you put Alabama, LSU and/or Florida in the Big XII or the PAC they’ll each lose 2 or 3 games every year. None of them score enough points on a weekly basis.

    So, give me ND and definitely OU. Maybe the rest of your bowl eligible teams can find some Big X teams to beat up on and improve the league’s bowl record. :)

  42. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Jim White: On a week in and week out basis its the defenses that can’t stand up and your offenses can’t keep up on those weeks.

    Frak, little ole UH that got left out of the big money because they kicked the shit out of UT and A&M repeatedly when they had the chance beat one of your better middle schools two out of the three years we played them recently and then they refused to continue playing. The only year they could beat us is when the first and second team QB went down with knee and shoulder injuries. After seeing those results LSU paid us off and cancelled future scheduled games in favor of playing the Little Sisters Of The Poor.

    That’s my whole point about the SEC. After the top 3 or 4 teams it’s a terrible league and none of the middle or bottom teams have a chance at upsetting anyone because their offenses are terrible. That’s not the case in the Big XII or the PAC – which is why an A&M can have a much better year in the SEC than they ever could have had in their old league.

  43. Bay State Librul says:


    Break away from SEC football,and BCS bullshit, the winter meetings begin next week.
    Head to the The Hot Stove Saloon “a cozy sports pub located on Route 28 in Harwichport, Massachusetts.”
    Bring your checkbook, Free Agent lists, cell phone, and roll the dice.
    The Red Sox have some holes to fill, sign Cody Ross, lasso Josh Hamilton, and trade Lester and Lackey for a seasoned right-handed pitcher
    Use cash, get players, be competitive
    Take a swig of Stone Brewing’s IPA 12.21.12 (9.4% ABV) and forget Bobby V

  44. What Constitution says:

    Late to the party. Do I understand that there may be some people here who still believe God will allow the Domers not to become National Champions this season? I guess that, since it seems to be presumed that God does permit free will, it’s not necessarily grounds for a lightning strike to think things like that — but it’s living dangerously, that’s for sure. Then again, I still hold it against Carol Burnett that I find it impossible to watch Gone With The Wind without breaking up every time Scarlet makes the dress from the curtains: “You forgot the curtain rod through the shoulders!” A show justly famous for the actors’ understandable inability to get through the scene without laughing themselves to death, every episode was like watching the outtakes from Dr. Frankenstein and Igor meeting the womenfolk at the castle in Young Frankenstein. I still have to wipe coffee off my monitor just remembering.

  45. rosalind says:

    @What Constitution: The Museum of TV & Radio (now called Paley Center – blech) does an annual festival w/casts of classic TV shows. My personal highlight was seeing the entire cast of the “Carol Burnett Show”. Just being in the same room with them as they cracked each other up for two hours was comedy gold.

    Re. the classic “Went With The Wind” sketch, Carol recounted Bob Mackie coming into her dressing room and going “I have an idea about that dress”, and said her entrance prompted the longest laugh they ever got on the show.

  46. Peterr says:

    @What Constitution: I have a 3rd year law student in my congregation, and one Sunday over coffee after worship he made a passing reference to a very good paper he’d read by a first year law student. I burst out laughing, remembering Reggie Walton’s smackdown of Scooter’s amicus pals and their brief asking that Scooter be given a pass by the court:

    With all due respect, these are intelligent people, but I would not accept this brief from a first year law student.

    It took me a couple of minutes to calm down my laughter and explain myself. Then he started laughing . . .

  47. 4jkb4ia says:

    A second 49ers-Rams OT on a 53-yard Zeuerlein FG and a dubious penalty when Bradford was hit sliding into the turf.

  48. JohnT says:


    Frak, little ole UH that got left out of the big money because they kicked the shit out of UT and A&M repeatedly when they had the chance beat one of your better middle schools two out of the three years we played them recently and then they refused to continue playing. The only year they could beat us is when the first and second team QB went down with knee and shoulder injuries. After seeing those results LSU paid us off and cancelled future scheduled games in favor of playing the Little Sisters Of The Poor.

    Totally. One easily forgotten story from a few years ago was when Boise State was scheduled to play a top tier Nascar Conference team at a neutral site, or at the Nascar Conference team’s stadium, but, low and behold the Nascar Conference team cancelled because they were afraid of losing to the Broncos

    That’s my whole point about the SEC. After the top 3 or 4 teams it’s a terrible league and none of the middle or bottom teams have a chance at upsetting anyone because their offenses are terrible. That’s not the case in the Big XII or the PAC – which is why an A&M can have a much better year in the SEC than they ever could have had in their old league.

    Exactly. Several times, a few years ago, I gave a link (from an SEC fan website, with documentation) where it was proven that in head to head match ups between SEC teams and Pac 10 teams, Pac 10 teams won at least 50% of the time. And that was before the Oregon offense started playing like a pinball game. And that was before Stanford became Stanford

  49. JohnT says:

    @4jkb4ia: Crap! Wasn’t it the Rams who they wound up tied with a few weeks ago?

    Was watching the Cheeseheads have their way with the Vikings. (Vikings are still paying for Brad Chilldress’s horrible drafts)

  50. 4jkb4ia says:

    There was no formal Big XII championship game because there aren’t 12 teams. (There are now two conferences that can’t count.) I think the situation was that K-State and Oklahoma were tied but K-State gets the BCS nod.

    Thank you, Peterr, for mentioning Rick Majerus. He was a much better coach in the context of SLU than anyone could have expected and died far too soon. I remember being so excited in March that Majerus’s comeback was NYT material. It is very sad to think that those were the last two games he would ever coach.

  51. Peterr says:

    Mark Cuban weighs in on the NBA’s fine of the Spurs. Unsurprisingly, he tells everyone exactly why Stern did it. Surprisingly, he kind of agrees with Stern:

    “Look, I respect the Spurs,” said Cuban before the Mavericks beat the Pistons 92-77 on Saturday night. “Pop is the best coach in the league. I understand why he did it. I might even take the fine if it was us, but I understand why the league (fined the Spurs). It maybe should have even been higher, because the amount at stake is enormous.”

    Cuban called the national television contracts “the money train” for the NBA, pointing out that those contracts are the difference in the league being profitable or not “by a long shot.”

    “We’re still a business,” said Cuban, whose fine totals from his 13-year ownership tenure are well into seven figures. “Resting the stars for the long haul one game earlier, one game later, sure. Resting when you’ve got our biggest customer at stake, that’s a whole different animal.

    And by “customer” Cuban does not mean “fans.”

  52. Bay State Librul says:

    SI article on Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance was a joy.
    With emphasis on Evers.
    The dead ball era comes alive.

  53. jo6pac says:

    9er O couching staff goes from Brilliant play calling to WTF. Yes the Ram have really good D but as Chuckie pointed out last week it’s hard play against a Pure West Coast Offense so why do they go conservative in games like this is beyond me. Who starts next week at Q? I want to stay with Colin.

    Oh we sure these aren’t the replacement refs? It’s time for wine.

  54. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @emptywheel: Thank you. I hear that illustrious BCS team from the ACC, Florida State, with a gazillion BCS dollars backing them up, is going to get a shot at NIU in the Orange Bowl. I hope NIU wipes their asses out. I’m sure by tomorrow morning the papers will be full of crap from the SEC AIPACers about how it is so unfair that their illustrious league doesn’t have 4 or 5 BCS spots after their top teams beat up on the Little Sisters Of The Poor and all those illustrious mid-level teams in their conference.

  55. Jim White says:

    BCS Fuckery is in high gear. Looks like Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl against the Seminoles and the Gators get Louisville in Sugar. KSU and Oregon in Fiesta. Oklahoma left out. Rose is Wisconsin losing to Stanford.

    Would have liked better matchups, especially Florida against Oregon or KSU.

  56. Jim White says:

    @bmaz: Yep. At least you don’t have to hit the road for a good game. Our family is still set to head to New Orleans. Trip will be fun even if the game isn’t a big as it could have been.

  57. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @JohnT: You are correct about the SEC and I’m not sure I wouldn’t take Stanford right now over any other team in the country.

    The Aggies only lose two games in that league after decades when they struggle to reach .500 elsewhere? Yea, great league.

  58. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Jim White: LOL – The SEC must have lobbied hard to keep OU from kicking one of their team’s asses. :)

    How can you not even win your DIVISION, not your conference but your DIVISION, and get a better bowl bid than the team that did win the DIVISION?

    I’ll take Louisville and the points.

  59. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @bmaz: Indeed – K-State and Oregon is a nice matchup. But hey, how did the PAC manage to get 2 BCS bowl bids and the SEC only get two? Don’t you know the SEC deserves 3 or 4? Oregon should turn it down and let one of the better teams from the SEC go there instead.

  60. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Jim White: OK, just so you don’t think I’m a total asshat over my attitude towards the SEC here’s my New Orleans tip – hit John Besh’s Restaurant August while you’re over there if you get a chance. They even have a daily $20.12 lunch special if you can’t make it in the evening. Very, very good.

  61. Peterr says:

    @Jim White: Never eaten at his restaurant, but I’ve used some of the recipes in his cookbook . . . very, very yummy stuff!

    Meanwhile, all signs point toward the Fighting Journalists going to the “ Gator Bowl”. When is Florida going to just sell out completely and give up the whole “gator” thing? For that matter, do you know how much Chick-Fil-A paid Georgia to give up the Peach in the Peach Bowl?

  62. Jim White says:

    @Peterr: No answer for your question on the naming issues. The stadium lost its “Gator Bowl” name long ago. I think it was during the renovation to bring in the Jags, who desperately need their own renovation now.

  63. What Constitution says:

    @Peterr: As a former first year law student myself, I’m sure there are plenty of people who burst out laughing at the mention of … me. But Judge Walton made a pretty fair point, generically speaking, I’m afraid. Glad it left a mark — I just wish he had had the opportunity to have reiterated it while sentencing John Yoo.

  64. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Why am I not surprised that the Arizona Bidwells (then in Chicago) got their first uniforms at a going-out-of-business-sale when the University of Chicago cancelled their football program in 1901?

  65. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Jim White: Hmmm ……. the wife and I really like NO so it’s tempting indeed. Can you get some decent tickets? I’m not into those nosebleeds in the Superdome.

  66. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Peterr: ‘Never eaten at his restaurant, but I’ve used some of the recipes in his cookbook . . . very, very yummy stuff!’

    His cookbook (the one about his New Orleans) is very good. The stuffed shrimp are outstanding.

    We’ve only been able to get into Restaurant August once but it was indeed an outstanding meal. Everything that I had heard about it before getting a chance to go there. Funny thing is I’ve heard some not so great reviews of some of his other, more touristy, places. August is high dollar but for that ‘one night in New Orleans’ definitely a contender. Of course, NO has some other contenders also but everyone I know who has been to August has enjoyed it.

    I can’t remember if it was in the cookbook or on the TV show that accompanies the cookbook but I got an outstanding tip from him one time. I love gumbo and make it all the time but I had never heard of letting the onions cook separately in the roux to make the roux darker from the sugars in the onions. When the roux was ready I always threw the ‘trinity’ in all at once. I tried it his way one time and am never going back. Putting in the onions first and letting them cook down before adding the bell peppers and celery really makes a deep, deep, dark roux. Very tasty.

  67. Jim White says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: Don’t know yet on the tickets. We’ll be getting 5, since our older daughter is bringing a boyfriend. We don’t have season football tickets, but I’ll be on the phone with the Gator ticket office early tomorrow to see if I have to wait until the season ticket holders have bought theirs before I can get in line.

    Last time we went, we did StubHub. Had pretty decent seats that were kind of expensive, but all in all I’d rather sit with the Gator fans if possible.

    The ticket situation is the one upside of Louisville instead of Oklahoma. Would have been a pretty easy drive for Sooner fans who probably would have come in huge numbers.

  68. Peterr says:


    Ooooohhhh . . . Gotta try that with the trinity next time.

    Meanwhile, we’re having a simple dinner of peel-and-eat shrimp tonight. Mrs Dr Peterr has never been to NOLA, but I’ve been there to visit relative more than a few times. The two strongest images are getting shrimp that’s just come out of the Gulf from shrimpers with their trucks alongside the highway, and fresh oysters for a dollar a dozen in the French Quarter. Sure, prices have gone up since my first visit, but that’s what they were the first time I had them, and in my head, that’s the way God Meant It To Be.

  69. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Gloria Allred had them already lined up? Sorry to hear that, but I’m sure you’ll find some clients somewhere.

    Maybe if you went to NOLA and did some “tailgate chasing” you could come up with a few.

  70. phred says:

    @JohnT: So the Mr. and I went up north for the weekend for a bit of holiday cheer and upon our return I peruse the Trash Thread just to see what I missed. Lo and behold, I find a Cheesehead Bed (must… not… dial… the… phone… with… credit… card… in… hand…), a delightful stroll down memory lane (I loved the Carol Burnett Show), but you JohnT topped them all : ) I’ll be giggling over that trade deal all week ; )

    Packers beat the Vikes
    Bears lost to the Seahawks

    Christmas came early ; )

  71. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Been switching between the Dallas game and watching some of the BCS show on ESPN. The big boys are beside themselves with NIU getting in over more ‘qualified’ candidates. Well, big boys, if we had a 16 team playoff in which all schools and conferences had an equal chance at a REAL national championship and a big payday you wouldn’t have gotten yourselves into this mess. Now that we supposedly are going to get a 4 team playoff the big boys are trying to realign themselves into 4 big conferences and shut everyone else out. Nothing but greed – they’ll never learn.

  72. emptywheel says:

    @JohnT: Have you seen me talk about my high school, which was the Poway High Titans, bc some defense contractor was making Titan missiles locally?

    The town has rather predictably become drone central, and two high schools have opened since I left. I’m hoping they’ve named one of the new high school mascots the drones.

  73. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @bmaz: I agree 8 would be better than 4. The only reason I say 16 is that way you could give all conferences an automatic berth like you do in basketball. You would then still have a couple spots left over for the better teams in the larger conferences that don’t win their conference championship game although the way the conferences are consolidating you may not end up with many automatic berths since there wouldn’t be many conferences left.

    I read an interesting article the other day on how this Rutgers/Maryland thing went down with the Big 10. Apparently, the Big 10 Network was getting 7 cents per household for every cable household they reached that was outside a state that included a Big 10 team. If that state did include a Big 10 team the Big 10 network then got 70 cents per cable subscriber. By taking those two teams the Big 10 network now gets 70 cents instead of 7 cents for every cable subscriber in New Jersey and Maryland whose cable system carries the Big 10 network. The inclusion of those two schools had nothing to do with the strength of their programs or regional rivalries it was only about MONEY. No surprise there but how much longer will the cable/digital companies allow themselves to be used this way to increase revenues to the conferences? If they balk then we’re left with conferences that make no regional sense in terms of traditional rivalries.

    Down here in the Houston area the Rockets/Astros games as well as some regional college games used to be shown on the local Fox Sports Net. The owners of the Astros and Rockets decided they weren’t getting enough from Fox and Fox balked at paying more so they went to Comcast and started their own regional sports network in which they had a significant ownership interest to show the same programming. The problem is that no cable/digital company other than Comcast is carrying the channel because of the higher fees the Rockets/Astros management wanted to impose so only the small percentage of Comcast subscribers in the area are now seeing the games. The Longhorn Network is not shown anywhere around here because of the fees. You have to wonder how long it is going to be before the cable/digital companies balk at carrying these networks.

  74. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @emptywheel: Yes. Traditionally when making a gumbo, when the roux is the color you want (and everyone likes it a different way although I prefer the dark, dark rouxs for gumbos)that is when you would add the trinity (peppers, onions and celery)and let them sweat out a little bit. Besh says to add only the onions at this stage and as the onions sweat out they will start releasing sugars and those sugars will then make the roux even darker – almost a black color. Sure enough, it does. I think it has something to do not only with the sugars but also there is less water that leeches out of the other vegetables before you get the roux a dark, dark color.

    Paul Prudhomme down in New Orleans does something similar but he adds a small amount of tomato paste to the roux (be careful trying this as it bubbles like crazy when it hits the hot roux) before he adds any vegetables. This also gets you to a darker stage than what you can get by just cooking the roux.

    Someone up above mentioned being curious about buying live seafood down in Louisiana. I think you know I grew up in Galveston and now live along Galveston Bay. Obviously, we do the same thing here. We probably eat more seafood than meat. I usually go to a place called Katie’s down in Galveston and if you time it right you can get fresh fish/seafood right off the boats as they dock at the back of the building. I know it would probably be impossible to do in Michigan but if you wanted to make a really good gumbo use the crab backs to make the stock for the roux and then throw a few claws into the pot as everything is cooking. Take the live crabs and steam/boil them. When cool separate the crab shell from the body. Inside the shell you have the normal innards that need to be cleaned but right along the shell where the shell begins to form a point on each side is some brown looking ‘stuff’ that you want to leave on the shell. That’s ‘crab fat’ and flavors the stock.

    The other thing we usually do is make stuffed crabs when we make gumbo. Instead of putting all that breading in there we just use the gumbo as the binder. Pick your crabs while the gumbo is cooking and after having saved the crab back shells that you used to make the stock. Clean those shells out real well. Sweat a few peppers and onions in relatively small pieces and when ready throw your crab meat in the saute pan (low heat). You do need a few crushed bread crumbs but not many. You want to taste crab not bread. Put the bread crumbs in there then add some of the gumbo ‘juice’ as the binder. Not a whole lot. Just enough to keep the crab meat together. Stuff into your cleaned out crab shells and bake until ready.

    Damn, now I’m hungry. I may have to make a trip to Galveston Friday to see if any live crabs are still available. :)

  75. Peterr says:

    @emptywheel: Following GCP’s thought that it may have been from his cookbook, I went and checked, and sure enough: it’s in his “My New Orleans” cookbook. Besh says he starts the roux as usual and whisks it until it becomes milk chocolate colored, then adds the onions and stirs it with a wooden spoon it until the roux becomes dark chocolate colored, then adds whatever other veggies he is using.

    You’ve got to like a chef who uses a color palate based on varieties of chocolate.

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