Monthly Archives: June 2013
Over the years Texas A&M seems to have good seasons, look like they are finally getting on track to be a perennial top 25 team, only to have disappointing seasons and fall back into irrelevance on the national college football scene. Being an Aggie fan my whole life I have been on the emotional roller coaster that is Aggie football, and since 1998 it has been mostly low. I have seen the hope that has come from breakout seasons from Reggie McNeal, Stephen McGee, Jerrod Johnson and Ryan Tannehill only to watch fourth quarter leads get blown into 7-5 records. I thought Franchione was a good hire (proceed laughing at me here) and then thought Sherman could turn things around. But during all that time never have I felt the way I feel about the Aggies’ future as I do now.
Things have truly changed in Aggieland and it all starts with Kevin Sumlin. I’ll admit that when Sumlin was hired I questioned it. I thought going into the SEC we should have hired a defensive minded coach like Kirby Smart (again you can laugh at me here). Sumlin brought something much more needed to College Station than a defensive mindset; he brought a whole new attitude. For years it seemed that the attitude of both players and coaches at A&M was that they were part of Aggie football and that was good enough. Sure winning was nice, but just being part of the team was a huge deal and all the extra work needed to be a champion was not necessary. This was abundantly clear in the multitude of fourth quarter leads that were lost in the years prior to Sumlin. Coaches were too stubborn to change their game plans and too scared to remain aggressive in their play calling. Players were exhausted, unable to keep up with teams that were in better shape.
When Sumlin arrived he changed all of this. It started in the spring before the 2012 football season, when he brought in Larry Jackson to be the strength coach. That spring Sumlin gave Jackson two extra weeks to work with the players in the weight room. This was done to prepare the players for the fast pace Sumlin wanted to play at, but I also believe it was the beginning of changing the attitude of the Aggie football team. Players openly complained about having two extra weeks of strength and conditioning, but when the season rolled around it paid huge dividends.
Sumlin also instilled the heart of winners into his players. I was very disappointed after the loss to Florida last season; it was another second half lead blown and I thought things were going to the same as they had been before. But I saw a glimmer of hope that things were changing. Sean Porter came into the postgame press conference livid, promising that the season would not be like the ones before it, that the Aggies would not continue to blow second half leads. For as furious as he was in the press conference, he admits he was much worse in the locker room after the game. I had not seen this in the years before. Losses had not put a fire into the players to step up their game for the rest of the season. It had seemed that before this season a loss only brought the players down and they gave up later on in the season when put in the same situation.
When A&M went on the road to play Ole Miss their newfound resiliency was put on display. After six turnovers and a very poorly played game A&M came back from a two score deficit to beat Ole Miss. The locker room celebration after the game was something special as Sumlin put on a rare display of emotion jumping around with the team like they had just won a title. It was at this moment that the team and Aggie fans realized that things were different; it had been years since the Aggies had pulled off a fourth quarter comeback.
The next week A&M showed resiliency in a different way. After storming out to a huge lead against Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs made a tremendous comeback to make it a close game late. Instead of folding as had been the trend in the past seasons, A&M held on for another huge win.
Then came the game in Tuscaloosa. When Alabama came back from being down 20 it almost seemed a forgone conclusion that the Tide would finish the comeback and win the game. But A&M left everything they had on the field, fighting all the way to the end to get one of the biggest wins in Aggie football history.
The way A&M won last season certainly signified a major change in the football world around Aggieland. Add to this the recruits A&M has landed and it’s clear that the Aggies are well on their way to being a perennial top team in the land. Just this month A&M has landed four recruits and have 14 commits to the 2013 class, nine of which are in the top 300 nationally. This class includes the top defensive player in Texas, Hoza Scott, top ten safety Dylan Summers-Gardner, and one of the most coveted quarterbacks in the land, Kyle Allen. Before Sumlin came to town the hope was to land a few top 300 guys and hope the three star guys turned out to be pretty good. But when Sumlin came to A&M he brought in assistant coaches from across the nation who were top recruiters in their area. Guys like David Beaty and Clarence McKinney have hit the recruiting trail with a certain “swagger” about them that has all the 17 and 18 year olds across the country drooling over the opportunity to play for A&M. Of course the chance to play with Johnny Manziel has been a real draw too.
There is a new attitude in Aggieland, led by the man wearing a visor. Sumlin has changed A&M from a school who was just happy to see there football team be above .500, to a national powerhouse that only accepts winning.
I found this on UrbanDictionary.com. And, please note that it was published on January 10, 2012 by someone who is not me.
That’s all I got/
WordPress does a really good job of letting me know how people find my site. Reviewing the “Search Engine Terms” section of my analytics page is one of the highlights of my day.
Over the past few days I have experienced an inordinate amount of Search Engine Traffic thanks in no small part to Aaron Hernandez. In the last week the following search terms represent the 10 most common ways folks have found my site through search engines:
- aaron hernandez twitter
- why did aaron hernandez kill
- did aaron hernandez kill
- aaron hernandex tim tebow
- aaron hernandez net worth
- who did aaron hernandez kill
- oldin lloyd
- aaron hernandez
- did aaron hernandez kill that guy
- why did aaron hernandez kill that guy
In total 202 different search terms and over 800 searches with the word “Hernandez” dropped folks off at my site. (Side note: my favorite term leading to my site during the last week was “2013 gamecock foot team good.” Keep crushing the smooth Google searches South Carolina fans!)
So, obviously I am some type of expert. If you’re joining my “coverage” (and I use that term loosely) here is a recap of my writing on Hernandez:
- Last Thursday I broached the possibility of Aaron Hernandez being a murderer. I was confident in his guilt saying, “Aaron Hernandez definitely killed a man. Probably.” More importantly, I explored Tim Tebow’s involvement in the murder and drew some conclusions that I have not seen elsewhere.
- On Friday I asserted that Aaron Hernandez’s odd Twitter stream offered insight into his need to kill. In short: he killed out of boredom.
- Lastly, yesterday I wrote the Pretty Little Liars/Aaron Hernandez column that I was born to write. You’re welcome.
That’s all I got/
You can tell it is the off-season.
News is fairly scarce, unless you are Aaron Hernandez. Research is slow, unless you’re a Georgia Mutt awaiting the next suspended player or arrest
of a Clemson player. So, I figured with a recent commitment to the Gamecocks, I would do a quick recruiting update. Ready, Set, Go!
All star ratings are based on Rivals.com.
So far, the Cocks have eight committed players:
- Joe Blue 3* FB
- Bryson Allen-Williams 4* LB
- Kalan Ritchie 4* TE
- Malik Young 2* OL
- Kevin Crosby 4* TE
- Wesley Green 4* CB
- Darin Smalls 3* CB
- Jhaustin Thomas 3* DE
Out of these eight players, I am most impressed with Bryson Allen-Williams. Not just for his abilities on the field, but for his seemingly limitless commitment to the University of South Carolina. He’s already acknowledged that most think he is undersized, and has already bulked up to 228 pounds. Outside of his efforts to be college ready, he is a great recruiter. Seriously, Coach, we need to get this guy a job as a recruiter after his playing days are over. He is always talking to prospects, and helped us land a 2015 recruit from his school. He’s very intelligent, and has a high football IQ, he will be a great player for the Garnet & Black.
Underrated Player Award goes to Malik Young, from what I hear he hasn’t really camped much, which is what has lead him to be ranked so low.
Most disappointing loss this recruiting season so far would have to be Drew Barker to Kentucky. We led all the way until iJoker got iFired. Once he was out, the new coaching staff started pursuing and that was it. Kentucky was his favorite school, he’s from Kentucky, once they offered then it was over. Can’t blame him for wanting to play for his home state school. I still want us to register 20 sacks on him over his career. Sorry, Drew.
Joe Blue is a fullback, I’ve heard rumors about him converting to Linebacker, not entirely sure right now.
Two four star tight ends make me feel very good about the future at that position. Maybe more two tight end sets?
Who is left on our board that I feel is a MUST GET… I have to go with Derrell Scott, a speed back that can hit the edge and blow by. MUST GET. See this, Coach?
Shout out to Bryson Allen-Williams for the commitment to the University, and helping draw in some other big time players!
As Always, It’s great to be a Gamecock,
JB Signing Off.
Breaking News and Pretty Little Liars: The Aaron Hernandez Arrest that Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone has Gone Down
Aaron Hernandez was just arrested and released by the Patriots. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. What has been interesting is the differing angles this story has taken. Late last week when it broke the general media take was, “Oh snap! A Patriot killed somebody!” (For reading along these line’s check out this article by Deadspin – it details the live feed of Hernandez driving around in his SUV says, and I quote, “Today has circus potential.”) Then when an arrest failed to occur over the weekend the story changed to, “We can’t assume too much about Hernandez based on his past.” (From the same source, Deadspin, this article downplays context and is entitled “The Stupid, Stupid Implications About Aaron Hernandez’s ‘Ominious’ Past.”)
I think Aaron Hernandez’s past does matter. There are consequences for actions. One of the consequences for continually being in or being around trouble is that when more trouble arises and you might or might not be involved, people will assume the worst. It’s a kind of residual hit for previous wrongdoing, and I’m totally OK with it. I believe in “second chances,” sure. But I don’t believe in “a clean slate” without cause. Why did we wipe Hernandez’s slate clean? Because he plays in the NFL? Because he didn’t get caught using drugs during his first three years in the league? Because there are only two reported incidents in the last 12 months involving him and a dispute and a gun (one a lawsuit alleging he shot a man in the eye, another about beef with a Jets fan) (outside of the possible murder charge)? Why exactly is his past irrelevant?
I’m sure most of you, being college football fans, are big fans of the ABC Family Original Series Pretty Little Liars. What’s that? Nobody other than Casey Carpenter? Hmmm….well here’s that show’s miserably addicting existence summarized in a few bullet points:
- High school girls hang out and gossip.
- One night group gets their drink on, leader of group disappears.
- Leader of the group (Alison) is not found.
- Other four girls (Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer) look suspicious as they “don’t remember anything.”
- Turns out Alison is dead. They find her body a year later.
- The other girls don’t get convicted but they refuse to be totally forthright with the cops (drinking is never mentioned, etc.).
- It also becomes increasingly evident that none of them really liked Alison.
- They continue to dig around like a bunch of girls who MomYouCrazy would describe as “Looking for trouble.”
- Their curiosity and lack of normal social lives places them around a number of other crimes – other murders, vandalism, grave exhumation, theft ,driving of a police car into a lake (seriously), etc. Just small stuff.
- They continue to act outraged when they are suspects in every single crime that goes on in the sick and twisted town of Rosewood.
Aaron Hernandez is a pretty little liar. Did he kill Oldin Lloyd? Maybe or maybe not. But he certainly had enough ties to imply some semblance of motive – Oldin was Hernandez’s girlfriend’s sister’s ex-boyfriend (or something like that). There could have been enough beef to compel Hernandez to go with his buddies, get Oldin nice and liquored up (they were seen together at a bar) and then shoot him. Or enough disdain to lead him to get his buddies involved in the dirty work while he watched.
But what really makes Hernandez look guilty – and in my opinion immune to “seeming innocent despite his past” – is the fact that he has had previous run-ins with the law (marijuana use, failed drug tests, bar fights, a lawsuit saying he shot a guy, etc.). Combine those scraps with his destruction of a cellphone and home surveillance equipment during a police investigation of this homicide and suddenly Aaron Hernandez ain’t lookin so squeaky clean.
Pretty Little Liars survives on the assumption that
teenaged girls grown men like me will side with the Liars because they see the “good” in them. The writers and producers keep the show moving by banking (literally) on viewers’ desire to ignore Liars’ tendencies to break laws, act suspicious, drink and use drugs, date their high school teachers, lie to authorities (police and parents alike), lie to each other and otherwise suck at doing the right thing. That plan obviously works on a high school murder mystery within the context of ABC Family programming (case in point: the show is in its fourth season and has a loose spin-off starting in the Fall). However, that type of thinking does not work in the real world.
Contrary to what the media has tried to sell over the past two or three days, Hernandez’s past does matter. Hernandez’s shady friends, bad habits and brushes with the law do provide context. Is he entitled to a fair trial by jury? Absolutely. I hope he gets one. But it is ridiculous to expect the general public – the folks who have been taught (rightfully so) to stay away from drug-using, gun-wielding criminals and those who associate with such types – to give Hernandez the benefit of the doubt. There are consequences for bad decisions. And, unfortunately for Hernandez, a bad reputation is just as valuable as a good one.
That’s all I got/