Monthly Archives: March 2014
DudeYouCrazy’s own Jason Smith wrote about an incident in 1897 that almost ended Georgia’s football program.
Read about it on BourbonBrainTrust.
It’s worth a read if you’re a Dawg fan.
If you think AMC’s MadMen is a slow, plodding drama about a man’s descent, you are completely wrong. This 15 second trailer is about to prove you wrong. Here’s some second-by-second analysis.
Admittedly, this frame is innocuous enough. The sky is a lovely shade of blue heathered only but cotton-like cloud fluff. Don Draper, the shows protagonist, is making his way down the stairs of an aircraft that seems to be a multi-seat plane of some sort. That, or he’s walking backwards up the stairs. Ah yes, that may be it. Draper, always obsessed with looking back, is entering the plane backwards so as to reminisce at his life – time at war, time selling fur coats, time defrauding his wife and family, time hooking up with numerous women some of which aren’t even sevens on a 10-point scale, time drinking “for all the wrong reasons” as Roger Sterling would assert.
Will he trip on his backward ascent up the stairs of this plane? Only time will tell.
As it turns out, Draper is in fact walking down the stairs forward and not up the stairs backward. Or perhaps he’s doing a two steps forward, one step backward routine while facing the opposite direction. Or I suppose, he could be doing a one step forward, two steps backward move while facing the correct direction. Regardless of which way he’s going, I WANT ANSWERS. I’m now confident that Draper is involved with this airplane, but all I know is that the operator of this plane ends in “A.” What airline is he potentially flying? NBA? NWA? TNA? I bet Draper only flies TNA.
There is so much symbolism in this frame that it’s maddening. I suppose the maddening degree of symbolism enveloping this man is why the show is entitled “MadMen.” Draper is dressed almost entirely in black as an ode to Johnny Cash. His white shirt is obviously a reference to purity. As for the red stripe lining the stairs, no one can quite be sure as to its full meaning. Most likely, it’s a nod to the St. Louis Cardinals as John Hamm (the actor who portrays Don Draper) is from St. Louis.
Lest you think Draper has taken a sudden turn for the loser, remember that this kind of hat was perfectly respected in his era. And yet, there’s still much we don’t know about this headgear. Has he worn it already today? If so, he must have fixed his hair during the plane ride. Who fixes their hair during the plane ride? Perhaps Draper stretched his loins with a stewardess during the flight and then reassembled his follicles. But why waste such a stellar reassembly with a hat? The day doesn’t appear to be particularly sunny, rainy or cold. What calls for this hat?
The hat suddenly makes sense. Draper isn’t about to wear the hat, he’s reading a message that his been placed inside of it. “Dear Dad, I still don’t forgive you for what you did to Mrs. Rosen. I don’t really think you were comforting her and I’m beginning to think she wasn’t even upset. That being said, I think you should know that I’m going steady with Glen Bishop. He gets me.
Love From, Sally a.k.a. Your Daughter.”
Freud once (supposedly) said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Know what Freud didn’t say? “Sometimes a hat is just a hat.” The hat, as it now appears, is a coping mechanism for Don Draper. He’s done a lot of things in his life, many of which are regrettable. As he struggles with changing society, his age and the stresses of walking down the stairs, his hat gives him respite from even the most grievous site: his own face. It’s too soon to say if Draper will cover his face with his hat for the entirety of the season. That being said, we know that the final season has been split into two parts and it’s a safe bet that the first half of this seventh season will be plagued by Draper, the Hat-Faced Mad Man.
Wait, I was off on that one. It appears that despite the delightful conditions and the perfectly quaffed hair, Draper is going to actually wear this hat. We can’t be sure if the note from Sally was really in it, but we sure as hell can’t say definitively that it was not. Obviously, the symbolsim of this hat is still there but its meaning has changed. Draper has gone dark. Perhaps this ill-advised wearing-a-hat-for-no-reason move is indicative of past, current, future or imagined poor decisions. That would explain the darkness of his face.
Draper is getting closer and closer to the edge of the frame which can only mean one thing. He’s about to die. This has long been theorized. Some even think Don is the man floating downwards from the skyscrapers in the MadMen opening credits. The irony of him dying comfortably on the pavement after flying is not lost on me. It’s not lost on Pete Campbell either. Pete’s father died in a plane crash. Undoubtedly, Pete will have a snarky remark for Don’s untimely tarmac death. Undoubtedly Pete will get punched in the face while fans of the show ask aloud, “What was so bad about Trudy and her rich family?”
Based on the time count, Draper took that last step particularly slow which makes me wonder if he was anticipating his death. That would actually make a lot of sense given the whole hat thing. So his death must be more of the murder variety. But who’s doing the murdering? The Yellow King? Frank Underwood? Ezra Fitz? Someone else from another show I watch? Nope. Don Draper is about to kill Don Draper. As it turns out, the man whose identity Dick Whitman stole was never dead to begin with, he was playing possum. Now he’s back for revenge. “I’m Don Draper now, you’ll always be a ‘Dick,'” he’ll say with no sense of witticism…according to the unwritten text of this trailer.
Here, once again…Red = St. Louis Cardinals, White = Purity, Black = Johnny Cash. But what about these streaks? I see gold, I see silver, I see bronze. Ah, an Olympics reference as AMC capitalizes on post-Sochi withdrawals. Well played.
Much appreciated double entendre by the clever folks at AMC. Note that MadMen “Takes Off” on Sunday April 13. Is the show beginning then or taking a hiatus then? We’ll have to wait to find out. On one hand, the case could be made that “takes off” is a reference to the airplane. On the other equally strong hand, the show could be taking some time off.
There’s an increase in golden pigments in this shot. Obviously, the writing and directing staff believes this season is a winner. And yet, is the show airing on Sunday, April 13 or not. Even more important: Why is there no comma after “Sunday” and before “April.” This is either alluding to Draper’s general disregard for rules—even grammar. Or it’s an intentional flaw to demonstrate the shortcomings of the show’s characters.
10.9c? What does that mean? 10.9 cars? 10.9 crashes? 10.9 chickens? 10.9 channels? Any readers know what this means?
What the hell is this? A Transformer? I will be honest and vulnerable in my lack of foresight: I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! 10.9 Cybertrons! How did I miss that? Now I just feel foolish.
Really, really strong finish here. The only way you can follow up a Transformer’s interruption of a 1960s-1970s period drama is with a pun that might not be a pun. Is AMC “something more.” Or does the channel want us to AMC (read: See) something more?
I guess that’s what makes this show so compelling.
That’s all I got/
A few weeks ago I interviewed Isaiah Crowell briefly for a piece on National Signing Day that ran on Bleacher Report. In that article, Crowell talked about why he signed with Georgia, expectations that were placed on him and the impact of being a high school All-American.
Last Saturday afternoon, with the help of his representatives, I got to sit down with Isaiah at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta. The final product of that interview went up on Bleacher Report last night and can be read here, but I think it’s worthwhile to add some thoughts that were either cut due to word count restraints (I came in a bit strong at about 3800 words initially) or never written in initial drafts. Here are some of those thoughts.
The theme of time is addressed in the published article, but I’m not sure the final edit paints the fullest picture. When I arrived at the Loews Hotel, Isaiah was signing autographs. Not for fans and passers-by. He was signing hundreds of autograph placards that will soon adorn trading cards. That’s part of his job now as he upholds an already high standard for memorabilia endorsement deals, etc. When he wrapped that up, he grabbed a drink of water and showed up right on time for our chat.
Even though he was on time (I was early) he apologized for being late. On one hand, that was a nice gesture. On a more telling note, however, it shows how busy life is for a draft prospect like Crowell. He was in Atlanta to be recognized as a Black College All-American, he was there for just a few days following his trip to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine and he had his pro day at Alabama State coming up on Tuesday. What could have been a nice little break between the two most important workouts of his life was defined by a full calendar.
Crowell’s up against the clock on the 40-yard dash, but he’s also up against the clock on a dailybasis. And yet, he gave me all the time I wanted and was gracious throughout our conversation.
Perception vs. Reality
An ongoing theme in our conversation was the public’s perception of Crowell vs. who he actually was (and is).
Fans ordained him as the next Herschel Walker. He wanted to be the first Isaiah Crowell. Fans expected a Heisman Trophy. He just wanted to get on the field and help as a freshman.
Fans thought Crowell took himself out of games too often. As he explained to me, he battled bruised ribs against South Carolina (and stayed in the game and won SEC Player of the Week), fractured his wrist against Ole Miss (and again one Freshman of the Week) and tore ligaments in his ankle against Kentucky. Was he injury prone? I don’t know. But he was also an 18-year old kid adjusting to the physicality of college football and playing through bumps and bruises.
Crowell told me, “I would never want to be labeled as hot-headed or a trouble-maker, because that’s not who I am.”
After spending time with him and peppering him with an array of personal questions, that assessment is right. He’s mostly a laid back, soft-spoken dude.
Bigger Things Going On
As the article points out, Crowell wasn’t just dealing with football during his freshman year. He was also coming to grips with the death of two loved ones and simultaneously learning that he was going to be a father. These things drastically impacted his demeanor as he confessed to having a shorter fuse because of them.
There’s a rich silver lining to that, though. The fact that off-the-field components—things like family and death—matter more to Crowell than football is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, Isaiah perked up to a higher level every time we talked about the game he’s hoping to make a career, but he has balance in his life. And that’s a very, very good thing.
As much as Isaiah loves football, I don’t think it defines him. He works hard at the game both on and off the field and seems poised to be a true professional, but there’s more to life for him.
The article is light on this, but Crowell is a family man. His parents, who he pointed out are still married, are hard-working folks and huge influences in his life. His dad owned a truck and does lawn service while his mom manages an assisted living facility. He’s got four older siblings and he speaks with them daily.
His grandmother, interestingly enough, was the hardest person for him to tell about his arrest.
His son is impacting his every move. He’s training for his son. He’s maturing for his son. He’s doing it all for his son.
I was around Isaiah for a little over an hour in total, and he smiled for at least 58 minutes. The smile was partially (in my opinion, not his words) a reflection of his contentment and partially just who he is.
He was soft-spoken, light-hearted and forthright for the entirety of the interview. While he gave his fair share of “right” answers, he also gave enough depth to defy the notion that the interview was scripted or in any way inauthentic.
I’m five years older than Isaiah, and he called me “sir” every time he responded to a question.
Perhaps the most ringing endorsement I can give of his personality is that I’d do it all again under completely different circumstances. What I mean by that is this: If you take away my need to write a story, his NFL Draft aspirations and our combined connection to the University of Georgia…I’d still love to spend an afternoon with the guy. He was genuine, courteous and intriguing.
I can’t say that about everyone I’ve written about or covered.
Again, the article can be found here.
That’s all I got/
To my knowledge, the following constitutes DudeYouCrazy’s first college basketball post. Why ignore it as we have? It’s simply an inferior game to its professional counterpart. In football, the different styles and wide-open play style help college differ from the NFL in a good way. In basketball, the 35-second shot clock and the emphasis on slowing tempo has taken the fun out of the game. Ben Howland’s 2008 UCLA team, which boasted Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and Darren Collison, averaged just over 70 points per game. Syracuse, who was undefeated and #1 in the country two weeks ago, has not scored more than 62 points in its last 9 games.
There aren’t any dominant teams this year, any surefire NBA All-Stars (despite what talking heads tell you about Kansas’ Joel Embiid), or even any ridiculously compelling mid-major players that can singlehandedly lift their teams on magical runs, like Stephen Curry, C.J. McCollum, Jimmer Fridette, or (damnit Bobcats) Adam Morrison. One could say its a down year in college basketball. One would be right.
BUT there is something magical about March. Watching the games on-demand on your phone at work or in class, taking off at noon on Friday to sit at your favorite watering hole for 6 hours, seeing Lehigh beat Duke (gratuitous UNC graduate jab), and living or dying by your bracket pool make the NCAA Tournament the most widely compelling event in sports.
Obviously, the crew at the DudeYouPodcast will be in to break down the brackets in 10 days’ time, but let’s get a little primer on where we stand right now, for those who only get their sports news from DudeYouCrazy and have thus ignored the existence of college basketball:
Georgia & SEC
Depressing. Right now, Tennessee and Arkansas are included in the ‘last 4 in’ on Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology, with Kentucky still dropping like a sack of hammers and Florida (FLORIDA!) having all but clinched the overall #1 seed. Yes, there’s a chance that the SEC gets only two teams into the Big Dance.
Georgia, at 10-6 (good for 3rd in the SEC) makes a compelling case to be in the tourney, then you look at their nonconference schedule. Losses at home to Georgia Tech, 8-21 Temple, and half-decent teams such as Nebraska and Davidson when using the term half-decent liberally, and no wins over anybody of note. It’s just not a tournament resume, and the Dawgs would likely have to win out to at least the SEC Championship game to have a shot at a tourney bid.
Like I said, Florida is a lock. Barring any epic collapses, they should be joined by Arizona, Kansas, and… Wichita State? Yes, they’re undefeated, but they may represent the weakest #1 seed in the dance since the Jameer Nelson St. Joe’s team. Obscure reference? MAYBE! They were the last team to go undefeated in the regular season, as the Shockers have done.
The B1G and XII are the best conferences
…and nobody else is close. I look to conference competition when filling out my brackets, and I really think our champ comes from one of those two conferences. So… Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State all make decent bets for a national champion if you get your money in now (note: I don’t actually believe in Wisconsin at all but they lead the B1G right now).
In the ACC, Virginia is pulling the ole ‘winning the conference regular season but flaming out in the Sweet 16’ as Maryland, Florida St., Miami, Wake Forest, and basically any school not named UNC or Duke does. UNC and Duke? Both too flawed to win it all. Syracuse can’t score enough points to win.
The Pac-12 (Arizona), Big East (Villanova? Creighton?), and AAC (Louisville, Cincinnati, UConn) all have teams that COULD make a run. Just in case you’re confused: yes, the Big East still exists in basketball, and is a strange mix of non-football schools spanning from Rhode Island to Nebraska. The AAC is the same conference as the football conference, so you should (at least or at most?) be equipped with the knowledge that it contains Louisville until July 1st.
We Still Have A Week To Go Before Any of This Matters
So, go Heels.
Andrew Hall (@DudeYouCrazy) and Daniel Palmer (@dpalm66) go down countless “True Detective” rabbit holes in anticipation of the season finale. Spoilers abound. Where is Carcosa and do they serve Lonestar beer there? Will Marty or Rust live through this? What are the odds that Marty and Maggie get back together and live happily ever after? Is Chad Floyd the Yellow King?