Trash Talk: NCAA Shame, Ephs and Jeffs

Marcy is correct, the article this week in the Atlantic magazine by Taylor Branch is an absolute must read. Entitled The Shame of College Sports, the article opens with a 2001 investigatory hearing in front of the Knight commission, a NCAA oversight board where slimy promoter Sonny Vaccaro matter of factly tells the Commission exactly what is going on in their sport; the Commission is incredulous, in denial and clearly thinks Vaccaro is scum. The reverse is, of course, the truth.

The list of scandals goes on. With each revelation, there is much wringing of hands. Critics scold schools for breaking faith with their educational mission, and for failing to enforce the sanctity of “amateurism.” Sportswriters denounce the NCAA for both tyranny and impotence in its quest to “clean up” college sports. Observers on all sides express jumbled emotions about youth and innocence, venting against professional mores or greedy amateurs.

For all the outrage, the real scandal is not that students are getting illegally paid or recruited, it’s that two of the noble principles on which the NCAA justifies its existence—“amateurism” and the “student-athlete”—are cynical hoaxes, legalistic confections propagated by the universities so they can exploit the skills and fame of young athletes. The tragedy at the heart of college sports is not that some college athletes are getting paid, but that more of them are not.

It is a long article that stretches in time from the beginning of college football in the late 1800s through the Cam Newton sham “investigation and disposition” prior to last season’s BCS Championship game. Coming on the heels of the stunning article on the corruption surrounding the Miami Hurricanes football program, it is a pretty stark reminder of just how filthy big time college athletics really are.

Many people have taken to advocating that college athletes be paid – above and beyond their scholarship terms – for their “services”. College basketball analyst Jay Bilas rants about doing so near daily in his Twitter stream. Personally, I am not sure that is the solution either. Do athletes at USC and Notre Dame get paid more because their brands bring in more? How much do each athlete get paid? Does Andrew Luck get paid a lot more than his left tackle? What about the universities not in say the top 64 programs, whose programs may not even be profitable, what do they do? What about basketball, baseball and track athletes? What about the girls and Title IX? I don’t know what the answer is, but I don’t like this one.

Interestingly enough, two of the most notoriously dirty major programs square off today when the Ohio State Felons take on the Miami Hurriconvicts in Miami. Nearly ten years ago, these two teams played for the National Championship (which Ohio State, true to their criminal form, stole from the Hurricanes on a horrid no-call on interference in the end zone in the last seconds). Now it is just another game. If only they could both lose.

To try to find a ray of clean and hope in this sick muck, let’s talk about teams that still play for the love of the game and the sport. Or so I am told. That’s right, I’m talking Ephs and Jeffs! The Williams Ephs open their 2011 season today at the always tough Bowdoin at Whiitier Field. While bitter arch rival, the Amherst Jeffs, open their season on the road against the fierce Bates Bobcats. Man, the stories we could tell about these games. Hopefully Marcy, Neil and/or Adam Bonin will come along and tell those stories cause, well you know, the ASU Sun Devils didn’t ever play those guys, I got nuthin!

In other games of note, Boise State already just tore up Toledo last night, and don’t be fooled, Toledo is a pretty good team. The BCS needs to get their heads out of their asses and give Boise some love. And Kellen Moore is simply amazing. The one truly huge game this weekend is Oklahoma down in Seminole land to take on Florida State. Oklahoma is, as befitting the number one ranked team, the favorite; but I dunno, I think FSU may be a sleeper here and, if their QB picks up where Christian Ponder left off, will win. I am agains personally interested in seeing Arizona State, who travel to Illinois. Been quite a while since ASU has been able to withstand prosperity, so being ranked at number 22 is a little scary. If Brock Osweiler has another big game, they should be okay, but the running game is not that good right now.

As to the pros, well the Deetroit Lions are the story of the year! The Kitties get KC, who got their asses kicked last week, at home in Ford Stadium. Look for Deetroit to go 2-0! Bears and Saint and Pats versus Bolts are the only other real excitement this week. I am going to let Marcy and Randiego battle that preview out in comments.

SPECIAL UPDATE!! – Uh, it turns out we gots some restless natives in these here parts, and they been demanding extra coverage. In another CRITICAL game, likely rivaled in scope only by the epic Cowboys/49ers tilt, Colt McCoy and the Cleveland Brownies are on the road at the Colts, and the Brownies are road favorites by 3. Wow. I must say, however, the fate of this game lies with Peyton. Peyton Hillis that is;the other one ain’t walking through that door. Oh, and speaking of Deetroit, Rosalind is right, the Tigers clinched their division yesterday. Congratulations, you gotta love Jim Leyland and Justin Verlander, who may yet be the first 25 game winner in MLB in decades (since Bob Welch).

Find more Jo Jo Gunne songs at Myspace Music

186 replies
  1. rosalind says:

    the other Detroit Kittehs just clinched the AL Central, and manager Jim Leyland gave a special shout out to the fans:

    ‘Manager Jim Leyland was emotional when he talked about what winning the division might mean to the Detroit fans.

    “I think it’s tough times for people in Detroit, we know that,” Leyland told FOX Sports Detroit during the postgame show. “Believe me, it’s not something that we don’t think about, because we do.

    “I come from a big family. My dad was a factory worker, I know about that. During times like this, a sports team can uplift your spirits, and I hope that we’ve lifted up the spirits of the fans in Detroit, because they deserve it.”‘

  2. emptywheel says:

    Don’t tell anyone, but I agree with those who say Rivers could pick apart the Merriweatherless secondary. Though I was pleasantly surprised to see Haynesworth was adjusting to his stroke of Pats luck than Ochocinco last week. If he continues to improve in this system, things could get awfully fun.

    As for the Ephs/Lord Jeffs, dunno, there were a lot of cranky people when the schools started allowed ESPN to film their games nationally.

    But the guy you’ll want to hear from on that front is Neil, who knows far more about Amherst football than me and Adam Bonin and Chris Coons and Paul Reickhoff put together.

  3. emptywheel says:

    Also, bmaz, if you don’t go back in that post and note that the Ponies are underdogs at home against a winless Cleveland, I’m gonna have go in and do it myself.

  4. Bay State Librul says:

    Leyland is pretty humble too.
    “Let’s give credit where it’s due,”
    he said when he won his 500 game as a manager. “Justin Verlander got 104 of those.”


    How about Lackey for Verlander and a season’s
    pass to Fenway which turns 100 in 2012?

  5. nomolos says:

    Ireland beat Australia this morning 15-6 in a great upset. Australia, the favourites to win the World cup, looked stunned at the end of the match, no surprise there.

    Interestingly Ireland had won none of their warm up matches and looked poor and disjointed in losing however they played a superb game, very tough in defense, brilliant scrumaging with the tight head, Cian Healy, named Man of The Match, tenacious in his tackling and incredibly disruptive in the loose. Upward and onward.

    Next up is Russia who gave the USA a tough game. USA played bloody well the other day and is definitely an up and coming side.

  6. randiego says:

    Well, it looks like the Brady Hoke bandwagon is rolling on! 28-3 3rd…

    We’re off to watch Texas Tech play New Mexico in a little bit. I think mommma will only make it through a half – hard to be pregnant in a bar!

    Bolts and Pats tomorrow – who knows? I do think the Pats secondary is vulnerable. The Chargers should have beaten the Pats last year, but turned the ball over on 4 straight possessions and gave it away.

    The Bolts have a much better secondary than Miami, but their front seven is a question mark. Takeo Spikes was a beast last week – 12 tackles I think.

    Wes Welker better have eyes in the back of his head, because Mr Bob Sanders will be looking for him.

    Bolts are fortunate they get to play late, and it will make for a much better game.

  7. randiego says:

    “Was this croquet or badminton?”

    Hah hah, good question. Maybe swimming or perhaps digging holes? The ozzies are really good at those…

  8. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: THank you.

    But can we call them the ponies until they actually win one? I’m actually quite bummed Peyton is out, but not so bummed I’m not gonna try to rub it in.

  9. nomolos says:

    @MadDog: Actually it was the game that American Football was derived from. The American’s needed to wear padding in case they got a little boo boo and, of course they needed 2000 players on a team so they didn’t get tired…poor little boys.

    Oh and the American’s needed a smaller field so that they would not have to run so far.

  10. MadDog says:

    @bmaz: Heh!

    My siblings and I have been chasing down our Irish ancestry lately via

    My great, great grandfather from County Galway stepped off the boat in New York city on Feb. 15 1849 as a 24 year old Irishman fleeing the Great Potato Famine.

    I even managed to search out and find the ship, the packet ship Jamestown, and its Manifest of Passengers listing his name.

    As well as a picture of the ship (page 4 of 16 page PDF).

    Until this past December, I never even knew his name.

  11. MadDog says:

    @nomolos: American football came from hurling? *g*

    I know, I know. You were talking about rugby, but hurling seems to better fit the American psyche (mobs swinging sticks).

  12. Randiego says:

    I’ve always felt that anyone that felt it necessary to point out how tough their sport is was overcompensating. :-)

    EW – 24 weeks. So far so good.

    Question: Where the heck is the Love for Brady Hoke on this damn blog? He’s a Michigan Man, aint he?

  13. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: FWIW, it’s perfect football weather in Maine. 34 this morning in Portland, mid 60s this afternoon, cold again tonight, trees just starting to turn. And Bates and Bowdoin are just down the road from each other – you think the Ephs and Jeffs will get along enough to share buses?

    There’s something about smaller-college football in the northeast, where the stadium’s on campus and the scholar-athletes are actual scholars, not just paper recipients of scholarship money to generate income to the U from the entertainment they provide, where the games get a couple seconds on the national ticker and nowadays maybe a broadcast on an obscure channel way up in the 800s once or twice a year, and where your student activity fee includes tickets to the games. I went to one of those colleges – the leading halfback on our college’s team became an MD, the QB is a successful businessman. None of them had any illusions about making the pros and they played for love of the game, not the perks of stardom.

    And when the weather’s right, that brilliant autumnal light on a Saturday afternoon (never Thursday night), a chill wind and a flask of rotgut schnapps under your jacket and all is right in the world.

    That’s what college football should be about – not an unpaid-for farm system for the No Fun League. And that’s why you should read the Atlantic article.

  14. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul:
    The Sawx seem to be doing a very good impression of lawn furniture – post-Labor Day folding up and being put away for the winter.

    I heard a radio talker yesterday consoling a Sawx fan, reminding the caller that the talker, as a lifelong Mets fan, was there to help. His advice to the Sawx fan was to find and embrace his inner 2003 Sawx fan – the one that had never seen a World Series win, the one that knew as an Revealed Truth that bad, strange things always seemed to happen to the Sawx’ chances of Winning, and that Aaron Fucking Boone was the spawn of the Devil. Too many Sawx fans, it seems, have forgotten that in the glow of 2004 and 2007, and they have a very good chance of being reminded of it this year. They need to get back to the basics of being Sawx fans and accepting losing as their lot.

  15. P J Evans says:

    The college I almost graduated from was, at the time, NCAA Div II. Then they downgraded it to a club sport. The school doesn’t seem to have been hurt, and it was sure cheaper than the ex-NFL guy they hired as a coach for those last couple of seasons.
    The first college I went to I actually was at the football games – I was in band. (I have to say that college marching band is good for your physical health. Lots of exercise.)

  16. scribe says:

    @randiego: Bolts are fortunate to play late, because the Patsies’ fans will accept Bieber’s invite and be well lubricated before they get close to their seats.

  17. emptywheel says:

    @Randiego: I’m skeered to jinx it.

    Plus, I remember the old days when UM used to win their early season pushovers (you know? WMU, EMU, and Notre Dame?). And then they’d go on to lose to the Big 10.2’s teams that will in turn go on to be embarrassed in some over-hyped New Year’s Day bowl.

    It has nothing to do with UM’s Other Brady. Just well-learned caution.

  18. rosalind says:

    and the enhanced pat-downs roll on: ‘NFL wants pat-downs from ankles up at all stadiums’

    “The NFL wants all fans patted down from the ankles up this season to improve fan safety.

    Under the new “enhanced” pat-down procedures, the NFL wants all 32 clubs to search fans from the ankles to the knees as well as the waist up.”

    (via a link at Amy Alkon’s blog)

  19. emptywheel says:

    @P J Evans: I think I did it pretty well, myself. Amherst for undergrad. Missed most of the football games because I was somewhere else playing–except for homecoming and/or Williams. Still, a great tradition.

    Then I went to UM. Yeah, big nasty sports, but in the Lloyd Carr era the players were smart. I had friends who taught Tommy Hendricks, Jeff Backus, Jason Hanson, and all were B students, only one of them in a gut class. It was at least respectable.

    I only got tickets one year, my fifth and last year as a student. But that got me superb tickets, right among the fifth year senior sorority girls.

  20. JohnT says:



    Forget where I found it, but my Dad’s family immigrated here about that time (1840ish)

    And here’s the surprise: they came through New Orleans. I hadn’t the foggiest idea that N.O. was a starting off point. Then most of the people on the ship went on up the Mississippi to Illinois and Iowa

    My Great (however many Greats) Grandpa was Justice of the Peace in – I forget the county – in Iowa

  21. emptywheel says:

    @JohnT: My Irish forebears–the ones we’ve been able to trace, on my dad’s side–came later, IIRC the 1870s and later (my grandmother’s dad came in the 1900s as a teenager).

    Which means my family was still IN Ireland when Mr. EW’s family arrived (his ancestors on the surname side were French (Normandy) sailors, sailed into Galway and stayed just about the time my forebears left.

    When he gets stroppy, I remind him I’m more Irish than him. Sort of.

  22. Neil says:

    “The Williams Ephs open their 2011 season today at the always tough Bowdoin at Whitier Field. While bitter arch rival, the Amherst Jeffs, open their season on the road against the fierce Bates Bobcats.”

    This is mostly true and a fine tribute to New England Small College Football played for “the love of the game and the sport” …and then I got to the trash talk: “Man, the stories we could tell about these games.” Ouch! In defense of Amherst Football I give you this:

    Tiny Amherst’s s four NFL alums enjoy off-field success.

    I once heard Jean Fugett compare playing in the Amherst Williams game to the NFL. I did a quick google to find the quote and to no avail but I found this instead:

    Pure And Simple: In the New England Small College Athletic Conference, athletes compete for one reason: love of the game
    “lest you get the impression that no NESCAC alum puts a real premium on winning, it should be pointed out that George Steinbrenner is a Williams graduate (’52, English). And, believe it or not, the New York Yankee owner is a firm supporter of the NESCAC philosophy. “What Williams and the other schools understand is that you learn just as much on the line of scrimmage as you do in the library stacks,” Steinbrenner says. “But the point is, a student shouldn’t just drink from the gymnasium fountain but from all the fountains.”

    Bmaz’ snark about “the stories we could tell about these games” got me to thinking. I wonder if or how the stories told by Amherst or Williams student athletes are different than those told by Michigan players, say Tom Brady, for example. Are the stories told by Amherst students about their experiences playing sports qualitatively different than those told by players at top ranked D1 schools? What did they learn from their athletic experiences? What stories do they tell about it? I can’t answer those questions but I think it might be interesting. If only I knew a person who is extraordinarily good at answering these kinds of questions, who competed in athletics, who attended Amherst and Michigan, and who taught students like Tom Brady.

    Last spring I met a professional lacrosse player who came to my U15 boys’ lacrosse practice to give a clinic. Before he played in Major League Lacrosse, he played at Cornell. After practice, I asked him what he studied at Cornell and he said, “I majored in lacrosse.” He laughed, told me his major, and emphasized that on campus, from fall to spring every hour of every day, revolved around Cornell lacrosse. Ivy League Cornell has top 20 D1 lacrosse team. I wonder if Mitch drank from the gymnasium fountain or all the fountains.

    BillBel could offer an opinion. He played at Little Three rival Wesleyan at linebacker. He was also a fine lacrosse player.

    But back to trash talk. Bmaz wrote, “The Williams Ephs open their 2011 season today at…While bitter arch rival, the Amherst Jeffs, open their season..” Surprisingly not today, next week.

    As I write this, BC is down by 1 against Duke. They made a defensive stand and took the ball down to the goal line. Ooooww! He hit the effing post! BC falls to Duke 20-19 on blown field goal.

  23. JohnT says:


    When he gets stroppy, I remind him I’m more Irish than him. Sort of.


    That’s about the time the Irish parts of both my Mom’s and Dad’s families came over. My Mom’s Irish family lineage was in Ontario and my Dad’s in Minneapolis – something kinda cool is my Great (however many greats) Grandma was named Kitty Belle

    PS the county in Iowa was Hardin Cnty

  24. emptywheel says:

    @Neil: One of the big differences at UM is the separate dorms. While there were times when Crossett felt like an official athletes dorm, they’re not “official.” Though for some reason the honors dowm ate w/the athlete dorm.

    Then again, such a high percentage of students at Amherst play a sport, you couldn’t very well do that, huh?

    And obviously, the kinesiology major ends up being a ghetto of its own.

    I never got to teach any Tom Brady types I had one football player, total, though I did have the most lettered athlete as a student (a 3-season runner who was #2 in the NCAA in several of her seasons).

    And then, she fell asleep a lot in class. There’s a LOT more traveling as a Big 10/2 athlete, even before including Nebraska in there.

  25. JohnT says:

    Oh btw

    There are now nine dead from the crash at the Reno Air Races yesterday


    Prayers for all the families

    PS My sister used to live near Stead (Lemon Valley), and saw the air racers all the time

  26. prostratedragon says:

    I wonder if Tom was a Tom-type student at UM. He usually had a couple of guys ahead of him on the depth chart, only emerged as a starter in his senior year, and had only a handful of game snaps before then. I doubt many people even remembered his name consistently.

  27. bmaz says:


    You know, all those things also described ASU when I was there. Well, the doctor may have been a safety instead of a QB, but still. My tuition was $225 a semester when I started, and season tickets in the student section, which was between the 40 yard lines on the east part of the lower level closest to the field, were an extra $20 or so and analogous basketball and baseball tickets were free.

  28. emptywheel says:

    @prostratedragon: I think that was primarily bc Drew Henson (and for different reasons, Brian Griese) were such media sensations. Plus, Henson was a MI kid.

    The one year I had season tix was Brady’s senior year. By then he was well known, at the school, tho not nationally.

  29. posaune says:

    My dad’s folks, Protestants, came from No Ireland (Tyrone) on the boat that docked in Charleston SC. Then they went to New Orleans. This was early 1780’s. My mom’s folks came into Ellis Island in the 1880’s. My grandmother remembered being on the boat in steerage (she was 6yo). They ended up on Pittsburgh. The dad died in a mine, and the kids were all farmed out to other families as workers (au pairs, etc.). Finally ended up in SD homesteading. Two generations later, my dad’s folks were still mad that he (1) married a catholic and (2) married a northerner.

  30. prostratedragon says:

    @emptywheel: Henson! I knew there was someone besides Griese but couldn’t remember who. Sic transit gloria, I guess.

    FWIW, I never was one of Mr. Henson’s believers, and by the time I saw Brady at last was more impressed with him -I got a thing for players who can execute basic plays- though it has to be said: Who knew?

  31. Jim White says:

    Okay, got the Gators through their game against the Rocky Toppers. Not too bad, but need to clean up all those pass interference calls for later SEC games.

    Looking forward to Sooners and Seminoles, even though my hate for both teams borders on pathological. Prolly will pull for FSU just to muck with the polls.

  32. scribe says:

    @Bay State Librul: I am a Yankee fan. I revel in the Red Sox losing. I shook with joy and rolled on the floor in a near-fit of pleasure when Aaron Fucking Boone hit his homer off Wakefield. I saw the Sea Dogs’ finishing this year with the worst W-L record in franchise history as a pleasant picture of things to come. A-Rod was right to try to whack the ball out of the Sawx player’s glove – that was not a bush play.

  33. orionATL says:


    your family’s position is perfectly reasonable and

    right in the middle of the southern-family bell curve.

    i was fortunate ( well, sort of),

    my family liked my pennsylvania girl-friend, now wife of many decades, better than they liked me :)

  34. prostratedragon says:

    @scribe: I get the feeling that embarking on a baseball career is a little high risk that way, because one just doesn’t know about the ability to pick up visually and hit a lot of breaking pitches until one is, well, faced with a lot of breaking pitches daily. And you just won’t see many of those until almost the bigs.

  35. randiego says:

    EW – don’t look now, but San Diego State just beat Washington State to go 3-0, coming into Ann Arbor next weekend.

    Look out Brady, the Aztecs are coming!

    Of course, the game is noon local, which is 9am Pacific. And we all know how those west coast teams do in the eastern time zone…

  36. Neil says:

    @freepatriot: That was a good game.

    umh …Florida St DE Bjeorn Werner 6’4″ 270lbs 4.7 in the 40 ….with the foot work agility of a soccer player. “He understands pursuit angles and when he decides he is going to chase a play down he is usually successful. On contact with a ball carrier he is extremely violent. You can tell how raw he is by the way he uses his hands. His first step is not explosive but is quick”

    @bmaz: C’mon Arizona, score. I’ve like Stanford since Elway but I’m always up for the cheering the underdog if they can show some game on either side of the ball.

  37. Neil says:

    @emptywheel: Were you suprised when the kitties put a thumping on the Pats in preseason? I was happy for them. It’d be great to see them win. It was also fun to see the clip of BillBel’s dad scoring a TD for the Lions.

  38. Bob Schacht says:

    I’m coming to this late, but when you wrote,
    “In other games of note, Boise State already just tore up Toledo last night, and don’t be fooled, Toledo is a pretty good team. The BCS needs to get their heads out of their asses and give Boise some love.”

    Hasn’t NCAA recently investigated Boise State for some of the shenanigans you excoriated the big schools for? To be fair,

    “The football team’s crimes? Couch-hopping and carpooling. Thou shalt not arrange basic needs for prospects when they come on unofficial visits, per the NCAA, so Boise State’s benevolence toward several future players during summer workouts was taboo. Fortunately, the media’s response has been refreshingly level-headed. These are not the headline sins of Reggie Bush or Jim Tressel. These are trivialities. No sense for Gregg Doyel to get involved.”

    Maybe it’s a warning shot across the bow of the Boise State Athletic Department: (excessive) Pride (in your football team) goeth before a fall?

    Bob in AZ

  39. Bob Schacht says:

    “I’m skeered to jinx it.

    Plus, I remember the old days when UM used to win their early season pushovers (you know? WMU, EMU, and Notre Dame?). And then they’d go on to lose to the Big 10.2′s teams that will in turn go on to be embarrassed in some over-hyped New Year’s Day bowl.

    It has nothing to do with UM’s Other Brady. Just well-learned caution. ”

    Well-learned caution, indeed. Michigan ran all over EMU, but Robinson was only 7 for 18 passing. What will happen when they face a Big 10.2 team with a decent defense?

    Bob in AZ

  40. Bay State Librul says:


    I stopped hating the Yanks in 2004.

    Hey Rip Van Winkle?

    “Mark it down. Oct. 20. It will always be the day that Sox citizens were liberated from 8 decades of torment and torture at the hands of the New York Yankees and their fans. Boston Baseball’s Bastille Day.”

    How about if the Sox trade for HanRam to fill
    their SS needs?

  41. Bay State Librul says:


    “Facing the Miami Dolphins last week was something like an open-book test for the Patriots’ young secondary. Today against San Diego might be more like taking the SAT.”

    Hint: Rip Rivers play book to shreds.
    Get in the hombre’s face, torch his Ph.D. in
    pass dancing, keep the poker table under control, spook him with pocket aces, whip his badass.

    Final: Patsies 33, Bolts 19 so I can
    beat the nine point spread I stupidly gave my brother (who now lives in the State of fruits and nuts).

  42. emptywheel says:

    @Neil: You know, I was out that day, and it wasn’t replayed, so I DIDN’T get to see it.

    I actually would have liked to. I’m cautious about getting on the Kitties bandwagon along with all the commentators–it’s a 16 game season–but their success (along with the Tigers’ success) sure cheers up folks in these parts.

  43. bittersweet says:

    Heh, you never know what the lurkers are thinkin’ do ya? I says to Burnt, “I can’t believe anyone knows who Be Bop Deluxe are!” Dug out my old records, looked them up on Ebay, and found they are worth $45! Then I dug out my original issue Lynyrd Skynyrd Street Survivors album with the band on fire on the cover, that was pulled from production when the band’s plane crashed and burned, and we had a sing along , “Oohooh that SMELL! Can’t you smell that smell!…” Dancin’ around like aged teens.
    So ya see bmaz, ya just never know what your posts are responsible for out here in tubz land!

  44. bmaz says:


    Oh man, Be Bop Deluxe was killer, very good live too I might add. And Bill Nelson one of the way underrated and underappreciated great guitar players. Axe Victim, Sunburst Finish and Modern Music all hold up very well still today. Sunburst Finish almost especially so.

    I have the original Street Survivors somewhere as well. Ya got great taste in music!

  45. bittersweet says:

    @bmaz: Yes, Bill Nelson was very fluid and precise. I believe that Tom Petty played “Break Down” as the opening band when I saw Be Bop Deluxe at the Santa Monica Civic Center…go figure.
    I used to have great taste in music. Then I got old!

  46. ecthompson md says:

    Here’s my thoughts of for day –

    Afternoon games

    Dallas Cowboys versus San Francisco 49ers – this is very simple. The Cowboys simply have to take care of the ball. No stupid mistakes. No blocked punts or fumbles on the 3 yard line. The San Francisco 49ers simply do not have the weapons. Spread the ball. Smart passes. Run Felix Jones. Run a lot of four wide sets – isolate the fantastic middle linebacker Patrick Willis on Felix Jones. The Dallas Cowboys should win this game easily.

    Cincinnati Bengals versus Denver Broncos – I think that this game is a tossup. I don’t think that either team has really identified with their “inner selves.” Who are they? Are they a passing team? Are they a running team? Mistakes will decide this game.

    Houston Texans versus Miami Dolphins – this is a unique opportunity in football where one team has an opportunity to really make a statement to the rest of the league. The Houston Texans want to be thought of as an elite team. They have to be able to take care of the Miami Dolphins. There is no excuse. They need to run the ball and throw the ball efficiently. Their defense under Wade Phillips, their defensive coordinator, must step up and crush the Miami dolphin offense. Look for the Texans to win this one by a touchdown or more.

    San Diego Chargers versus New England Patriots – this is clearly the game of the day. What is San Diego going to do? For the last three or four years San Diego Chargers have been one of the best teams in the NFL. They have great personnel. Yet, for some reason, they aren’t able to put together. Now is the time. You have to play well in all phases in order to be Tom Brady. I think it is critically important for them to make a statement early. They have to get the lead. They need to pressure the New England Patriots by scoring on their first two drives. On the other side of the ball, look for the New England Patriots to play a ball control type of football. Short passing. Long drives. This is going to be a great game. I really would like Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers to take the next step I’m just not sure it’s going to happen. I’m leaning towards the San Diego Chargers.

    Philadelphia Eagles versus Atlanta Falcons – the Atlanta Falcons laid a huge goose egg last week. They have to play better. The Philadelphia Eagles managed to get a win last week. I think all the pressure in the world is on the Atlanta Falcons. The big question is can their defense hold up to Michael Vick and that extremely fast offense. Will the offensive line give Michael Vick enough time? I look for Michael Vick to come out and dominate from the pocket. I do look for him to make one or two runs that are spectacular and jaw-dropping. After this game, look for a lot of finger-pointing from the Atlanta Falcons. The finger-pointing will be unfortunate but will be a result of a 0-2 start.

    more thoughts –

  47. 4jkb4ia says:

    The Jets are not on–we’ve got Kansas City. Also too, I have a large FOIA dump post I am working through.

    (Cam Newton 151 yards and a TD? You think that guy might be for real?)

  48. emptywheel says:

    @masaccio: they looked pretty good. I of course have to hate both teams, but this was the best possible outcome, as we already got the W AND now one of the better teams in the Big 10.2 has a big green-black eye.

  49. emptywheel says:

    Somebody brought LAST year’s Chiefs to Detroit. A good game so far. Sadly, it’s just the Chiefs’ own foot-shooting–in the form of penalties–that has the Kitties ahead.

    Oh, and that great Stafford pass.

  50. 4jkb4ia says:

    3-0 Tampa Bay against Price, bottom of the 2nd. The top of the 2nd featured a hit batter, a strikeout that got nullified by a passed ball, and a stolen base. This is the Red Sox. It’s all over.

  51. 4jkb4ia says:

    The agony: Another run on two passed balls–5-2.

    The ecstasy: McCown has extended his very long day by throwing his third interception and this game is essentially over.

  52. ecthompson md says:

    @bmaz: Rex Grossman can play very well. Unfortunately, there are some real bone head plays from Rex. the question with Rex is always will there be enough good plays to out weight the bad plays. Currently 2 ints. Yuck.

  53. masaccio says:

    No TV here, but it looks like the Titans need help on Offensive line: Chris Johnson has 47 yards on 19 carries.

  54. scribe says:


    “The agony: Another run on two passed balls–5-2. ”

    Scribe the Yankee fan smiles quietly.

    The ecstasy: Steelers 24, Seahawks 0. Zero Stiller turnovers.

    Someone sent Mendenhall back to Fumble Avoidance School – the one where he has to carry a ball around and, if a defensive player can get it away from him and back to the defense’s meeting room, Mendenhall owes the guy a couple hundred bucks.

    And they sent Ben to INT avoidance school.

    And, honorable mentions: Kitties 41 Chiefs 3. You were saying something about “last year’s Chiefs” showing up today, EW? Stafford with 4TD and an INT. Pretty good.

    And we got bounced out of the JETS game to the Raiders at Bills, where it’s still shirtsleeve weather and a very good game. Right now, Bills 31 Oakland 28. They both look like good teams – Al Davis may have had a blind squirrel year….

  55. scribe says:

    Pretty amazing catch by the Raiders’ rookie WR Moore – a 50 yd over-the-shoulder TD catch with two defensive backs draped all over him, one on each side.

    And the Kitties not letting up.

  56. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Hey Bmaz

    Have you heard the good news? There is apparently a story in the Austin American-Statesman this afternoon saying UT and OU to the Pac12. They get to bring their little bitches ITTech and Boone U along with them. The PAC is caving and letting the whorns keep their little network that no one can see since the cable operators aren’t carrying it. Tell all your boys out on the West Coast that if you let the whorns beat you you’ll get along with them just fine. If you kick their asses they’ll turn you in to the NCAA for violations and guess where the head of the compliance division is from. Maybe we can meet up in Lubbock or Stillwater one day to dine on mountain oysters and tumbleweed. :)

    What the hell happened to ASU yesterday? I thought them getting points was a pretty good bet. Is their offense not that good?

  57. rosalind says:

    noooooooo!!!! oakland 35, bills 31, 27 seconds left, bills 3rd down and 10 in the red zone, quarterback goes back…and – TV switches over to the next game.

    espn hasn’t updated their page.

    i am not happy.

  58. scribe says:

    @rosalind: Buffalo scored on the next play, a 4th and 1 pass to an uncovered receiver with 0:14 left.

    That’s 2 fourth-down conversions in that final drive.

    That game ain’t over yet b/c Oakland still gets to receive the kickoff.

  59. bmaz says:


    DO. NOT. WANT. THEM. Please keep them in your neck of the woods.

    Illinois was a lot better than I would have thought. ASU has a good offense but could get no running game going sufficient to keep them from shutting down passing. Disappointing, but Illinois won it.

  60. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Thinking ahead to next week. Can West Virginia knock off LSU in WV? I’m thinking they have a good chance. Holgerson can run an offense.

  61. randiego says:

    It’s not like it matters – the Chargers defense can’t do a thing against Brady – but the refs are watching two different games. The Pats DBs are getting away with all kinds of holds and BS off the line, the ball spots are suspect, a false TD, an incomplete that was a catch… on and on. The Pats don’t need any help, but they are getting it.

    The Chargers are moving the ball just fine, but you have to come away with points in the red zone. It’s like watching every playoff game in the last 4 years. The Chargers cannot win big games.

  62. scribe says:

    What kind of a bonehead play was that, running into the hole and then backing out?

    In fairness, if a Patsie did that, he’d be an ex-Patsie by Tuesday morning.

  63. Neil says:

    @bmaz: Pretty amazing interception one handed interception by Wilfork in the flats. His return down the sidelines had me howling.

    But the next part was amazing. With :09 seconds left, Brady completed 2 passes, left :01 on the clock and the Pats got a FG – 3 points at the end of the first half.

    Pats playing well: Mayo, Brady, Branch, Woodhead, Edelman, Gronkowski (I don’t know which one) Ocho

    Who did I miss?

  64. randiego says:

    @Neil You missed a defense that just gave up 500 yards in total offense to a team famous for shooting themselves in the foot. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  65. Neil says:


    “As for the Ephs/Lord Jeffs, dunno, there were a lot of cranky people when the schools started allowed ESPN to film their games nationally.”

    That was during my era. The NFL was on strike and CBS wanted to put an Amherst game on TV.

    The head coach put the kibosh on it. He said, “We’re in the education business, not the entertainment business” and his opposition was contrary to both college president’ support.

    It came up again later for the Amherst Williams game, which had been broadcast on closed circuit for Alumni for a few years but the push was on to go cable for a national audience.

    Coach explained that the students’ kazoo band and crowd of 10,000 in a “stadium” that compares unfavorably to Texas high school football in in majesty (never mind the big house in Ann Arbor) would not project well to a national audience.

    There’s big money in TV contracts for D1 football and the NFL but NESCAC schools don’t have the audience, the majesty, or the same incentives.

    The Wall Street Journal sent a reporter to cover the story who ended up spending a few days in Amherst. The article in the journal did a fair job covering the question. Once again the coach called the shot. He was quoted in the article saying, “They finally found the guy who bit the dog.”

  66. GulfCoastPirate says:


    Here’s a little more on your new playmates that I found on another website. Be sure to watch yourself when you hit Lubbock. They like to throw tortillas around.

    If I am USC, Oregon, and the other PAC team and were told that AVERAGE Texas Tech and AVERAGE Oklahoma State must come along for political reasons, so they could get UT and OU into their conference, I would agree.

    AVERAGE Texas Tech and Okie Lite are no threat to ever win the PAC16. Both have competed for a combined 100+ years of BCS/SWCon/BIG8 football with a combined total of ZERO outright conference titles. They are the masters concubine, their inclusion is non negotiable.

    TTech Titles.
    1976 – Best SWC TTech ever with opportunity to get its first ever SWC Championship and go to the Cotton Bowl after 16 years of SWC play. Loses to UH at home (before sell out home crowd). UH goes onto to beat Miami Fl. and then Maryland in the Cotton Bowl in its first year in the SWC. TTech is Co SWC Champion.

    1994 – TTech loses to Texas A&M, the SWC Champion that cannot represent the SWC due to terms of NCAA probation. TTech is Co-SWC Champion along with Texas, TCU, Baylor, and RICE. A&M was 10-0-1 and TTech was 6-5. They represented the SWC in the Cotton Bowl, their first ever, and were soundly defeated by USC by the close score of 55-14.

    2008 – TTech was the BIG12 South Co-Champion. Beat UT at home before a record crowd. Incredible catch and run near the end of game to win 39-33. Play at Oklahoma for the right to represent the BIG12 South in the BIG12 Championship game. Win the game and they would be in their first ever BIG12 Championship game. Oklahoma won the game by a close score of 65 – 21. WOW.

    That is all they have in the SWC/BIG12 football. That is 50 years of privileged membership and no outright titles.

    Okie. Lite.
    1976 Co-BIG8 Champions. Lost to Colorado and Nebraska. Did not represent the BIG8 in the Orange Bowl.

    That all for 50 years (that’s right) of BIG8/12 privileged FB membership.

    These are great concubines who serve their masters and seldom need to be punished.

  67. randiego says:

    @GCP Uh, say what you want, but they play real football in that league, up and down the schedule. You think all those teams you just mentioned are happy to be playing OK St and TT? USC and Oregon, maybe – but not the rest. That league just got a LOT tougher.

  68. emptywheel says:

    So I was petting pigs for the entire Pats games.

    Am I right in reading the stats that virtually the only difference in the game were those two picks?

    And can someone explain at more length wtf BillBel was doing with Wilfork?


  69. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: I’ll say that the pigs looked better than SD’s defense. Bieber had all day in the pocket, standing there, looking around, drinking an espresso, looking around some more, then putting a dart into one of his WRs not named Ochocinco.

    Yeah – the picks killed SD. IIRC, SD had 3 giveaways – the picks and the moronic running back diving into the hole and then backing out only to lose the ball, which quickly turned into another NE TD. After that, it got boring.

  70. bmaz says:


    Tougher? Yeah, the flip side is true too though; the PAC is a LOT tougher top to bottom than whatever joke it is they been playing in.

    One thing is for sure, the PAC just got a LOT uglier with all that garish orange.

  71. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: Yeah, but if you look at the stats, absent those TOs, it’s a tie game. Was the Pats D not that good either? Or Rivers was just that good, when he wasn’t throwing it to a Pat?

  72. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: SD marched up and down the field, and broke a lot of tackles and/or coverages.

    In other words, NE’s defense is, um, porous. If SD had been able to continue doing what they did on the Patsies’ first set of downs – get to Bieber, put him on his ass once or twice, and hurry him in a collapsing pocket – they could have won the game. But SD didn’t, for some reason, continue to push that advantage.

  73. randiego says:

    @EW: In the last two games against the Pats, the Chargers have turned the ball over 8 times, NE 0.

    Rivers threw for 378, Chargers has 92 yards rushing, 470 total yards in offense. Jackson had 187 receiving, so yeah that NE defense was just as bad.

    The pick by Wilfork was fluky, but the fumble by Tolbert was a killer.

    Brady did have all day to dance. I have no idea what you call that defensive alignment (a 3-8?) but the DBs were playing 10 yards off on each down, while the NE DBs were at least contesting the line of scrimmage.

  74. Strangely Enough says:

    @masaccio: If Hasslebeck can throw for that much, consistently, Chris Johnson makes an awesome, if somewhat expensive, decoy.

    And, eventually there will be some running room.

  75. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: You know, I was gonna say, talk to me after … thinking that the Kitties might have a bigger challenge coming up.

    But here’s their schedule:

    GB (Turkey Day, 4 day rest)

    I mean, it GETS tough at the end of the season. But on paper, noting until after the break is harder than TB away.

    Which may well give them the chance to make this winning stuff become a habit.

    That said, the way the GB games line up is killer.

  76. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @randiego: I think it’s the other way around. iTTech and Boone U won’t have Baylor and Iowa State to kick around any longer. I see another hundred years of mediocrity for the two of them.

  77. GulfCoastPirate says:


    ‘One thing is for sure, the PAC just got a LOT uglier with all that garish orange.’

    Now, now – be nice. You’re going to love Stillwater.

  78. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: Hot-lanta’s looking … meh, tonight. And Dallas is being Dallas.

    All of which means I get to root for the Kitties and have a chance of seeing them do well.

    Nice way to run down and tackle the Atlanta guy, Philly WR #10.

  79. randiego says:

    @GCP – Look, I get you hate them, or maybe it’s a Lubbock thing, but TT went to 10 straight bowls under Mike Leach, in a league where you play(ed) Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and A&M every year. OK St had a similar performance. That’s hardly mediocrity, if we’re being objective.

  80. emptywheel says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: Well, I don’t think they’ll SURPRISE anyone. Everyone’s already deemed them the turnaround team.

    I just think it’s the “revenge of the Rust Belt” this year–bc the Brownies look much much much improved and there are those Billies, who may well surprise next week. Guess who has averaged more points than the Pats?

  81. radiofreewill says:

    After that last Philly interception and runback, the refs ruled on the ‘catch’ but failed to notice that the defender was downed by the receiver at the point of the interception…instead they marked the ball at the 23 at the end of the runback…

  82. Mauimom says:

    Dammit, where’s the live blog of the Emmys?

    It’s tape-delayed here until 7:30 pm MAUI TIME, which means 1:30 a.m East Coast time.

    Oh well, back to the Dog Torturer @ Atlanta.

  83. GulfCoastPirate says:


    I don’t hate them and all you have to do is win 6 games a year to make it to a bowl. You play three non conference scrubs, Iowa State, Baylor and A&M and you’re in a bowl. Big whoopie do. They did nothing to deserve their place in the BCS money before they tagged along to the Big XII and they’ll do nothing to earn it now except suck UT’s dick. It is what it is. You may want to sugar coat it but not me.

    By the way, I happen to like Leach. Best thing that ever happened to that school. So what do they do? They fired him of course.

  84. Peterr says:

    I missed the Chiefs/Lions game, but caught some of the post-game commentary on the radio . . .

    It seems that the local sports folks spent two hours debating whether the Chiefs would go 0-16 and win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. The consensus was that they would, though a significant minority thought that the Chiefs would manage to win at least a couple of games and thus screw up that rosy scenario.

  85. 4jkb4ia says:

    EW, sherifffruitfly is being a dick. But if you have been out of work for more than six months the important thing is to show that you can do a job–especially if your skills may have atrophied. I suppose there is an IT czar for the federal government now who could think of things that unemployed computer people could do.

  86. emptywheel says:

    @4jkb4ia: Oh, I get that. But at a time when corporations are sitting on record cash, there’s no good reason to give them labor for free. There’s no reason that’ll turn into a job.

    It hasn’t worked in GA (largely bc it doesn’t turn into jobs). It’s about to die of its own death. So why are we trying to replicate it?

  87. emptywheel says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: Yeah. Exactly. And the commentariat are prone to jump on bandwagons WAY too soon.

    That said, like I said, their first half does give them the chance to work to improve.

  88. emptywheel says:

    @4jkb4ia: yeah, I think the program was badly designed in the first place–bc corporations should never get completely free stuff, particularly not if human labor is involved.

    But as it turns out the Dem guy who started this is bemused that O has latched onto it, bc hte wonky aspects of this haven’t worked out. They had to pay people for more to make them take the jobs, but when they did that, hte program became big $$.

    Turns out asking people to work for free for corporations not likely to hire them isn’t that popular.

    They had hoped, originally, this would give people training. But for the most part, the people hired were hired into non-skilled positions.

  89. bmaz says:

    As to the football stuff, Kafka out of Northwestern did a heck of a job. Even the last pass was dead on the money; it was just dropped.

  90. Bay State Librul says:

    Final thoughts.

    After week 2, the Pats are first in offense
    and last in defense.
    Scribe is right.
    As the season progresses will the Patsies hone in on their scary looking defensive problems?
    Enter Coach Billy
    “No one of this earth is more acutely aware of just how precariously the Patriots have been living on defense than Mr. Bill Belichick.” Ryan, Globe

  91. Mary says:

    EPU’d, but after watching way too much football yesterday, I have been left with one persistent question – what part of the chicken is the popcorn?

  92. phred says:

    @Mary: LOL. Missed the festivities hereabouts over the weekend, but saw the Packer game yesterday and the first time they ran that ad, the Mr. looks at me and asks the same question you raised.

    So here’s another question for you, does KFC’s ad agency have no editors? It is a mystery.

    • bmaz says:

      A couple of odds and ends:

      1) Pre game crew on MNF on ESPN just, thinking how brilliant they were, said “Well, heh heh, certainly nothing new here, just another game where a man named Manning has the longest streak of games started at QB in the NFL”. Yeah, well, bullfuckingshit. There has bee a grand total of four, count em four, games to date in which “a Manning” held this record. Peyton for a whole three games at the end of last season, and Bad Eli for a whopping total of one game this year. Never forget the Geezer!

      2) Regarding Geezer’s old team, yesterday’s harder than it should have been over the Camthers turned out to have been devastating to the Cheesers. The Pack lost three time Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins for the year to a head/neck injury. Thankfully, he looks like he will eventually be okay, but a HUGE loss for the Pack. Green Bay was already having problems stopping downfield passing attacks, this is really a problem.

  93. rosalind says:

    hilarious. if you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em!

    “…the San Francisco 49ers have carved out a stake in a $70 million deal with a Bay Area real estate firm to buy the Great America theme park.

    The details of the pact were sketchy Monday, but ending Cedar Fair Entertainment’s ownership of Great America removes a persistent thorn in the sides of Santa Clara stadium backers who’ve sparred with the park owners ever since the 49ers and city officials began negotiating a South Bay stadium deal five years ago.”

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