Category Archives: Uncategorized

College Football Months, Ranked


College football season is not long enough, because yadda yadda amateur athletes, and something something concussions. This means that while the sport, in season, is the best sport on the planet, there is a TON of dead air surrounding it. A player arrested for failure to yield while on a bicycle qualifies as news in college football in June.

If the NFL gets one thing right, its staying in the news cycle. They somehow make minicamps and a SECOND round of free agency news, and draft hype carries them four months. Unfortunately, the NFL Draft makes May more compelling for college football. That is the level of dead space we have to conquer.

SPOILER ALERT: This is being written in March, a month in which there is nothing to write about, further explaining our conspicuous absence on the DudeYouPodcast and this website.

  1. October. If you think November is better, I won’t fight you about it. October, though, gives me all of the football feels. Great weather, perfect tailgating, awesome rivalry games, and every team still has some semblance of something to play for.
  2. November. Like October, but with slightly better rivalry games, slightly worse weather, and a lot more dead weight in games that have no significance on conference or playoff standings. College football writer/savant Bill Connelly disagrees with me, and you probably will too after reading this.
  3. September. Hope. Sundresses. Tailgating. Pretty sweet neutral-site matchups on Labor Day Weekend. And the novelty of college football. If I were to rank the 52 weeks of the sport, opening week would probably be #1.
  4. January*. Important bowl games. The caveat here is the playoff returning to January 1 as opposed to New Year’s Eve. January’s intrigue doesn’t last very long on the field, but you get weird recruiting stuff leading up to Signing Day, if you’re into that, after.
  5. December. Conference championships and a personal favorite, getting sneaky whiskey buzzed and watching meaningless bowl games with friends and family. Cheers to you and rest in peace, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
  6. April. Hey, spring football games are ABSOLUTELY meaningless. But they’re still worthwhile so people like me can pretend to know who’s going to break through in the subsequent season. The little taste of football is just enough to not drive one mad.
  7. February. Signing Day. If you’re into that. Gives us something to talk about for a couple of weeks, at least.
  8. June. Phil Steele’s magazine comes back, and if you can’t bridge July to training camp with Phil Steele, you’re doing it wrong.
  9. August. Training camp. This is actually the worst month because the only thing that ever really happens is your key receiver goes down and you stress over how the offense will cope.
  10. May. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS IN MAY. Best case, your school only ends up with 1-2 academic casualties, and if you’re living right none are on the two-deep.
  11. July. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS IN JULY. Someone will be arrested on Independence Day, and that will suck. July has the most helium of all of the months, because if God graced us with a return of the NCAA Football video game series, it would drop in this month. July’s ranking, up through 2013? Probably #6.
  12. March. Sweet God, there is nothing to talk about. Bye.

 

On Grace, Finality, and Tragedy


Its taken me all week to feel up to writing this one, and I know it won’t make sense or do these people justice. 

The past week in sports has been one with a lot of things to celebrate, and a lot of things to bemoan.

Tennessee fans learned that a Duck CAN pull a truck as they beat Florida for the first time since the first W administration. Georgia fans learned that the Kirby Smart era is a major work in progress. NBA teams opened camp with (insane unless you’re Golden State or Cleveland) optimism, and Notre Dame lost to Duke. In football.

Everything mentioned above is a petty reminder of why sports really matter: they are a great diversion from the realities of life. Age, the passing of time, unrest, and outright tragedy are all realities of life, and sports provided great lessons in each this past week.

On Grace

If you don’t like Les Miles, you either hate LSU way too much or are blinded by your team’s colors. Miles is a man who navigated Katrina-devastated LSU through abject tragedy before coaching his first game in 2005, who told us to have a nice day after some careless reporting on the day of the SEC Championship Game, who constantly ate grass, and played it fast and loose with clock management to a terrifying extent for his 11 1/2 years in Baton Rouge.

Miles got fired on Sunday after an 18-13 loss at Auburn, when his Mad Hatter tendencies finally backfired and LSU’s last-second miracle touchdown was overturned.
http://www.espn.com/core/video/iframe?id=17629632&endcard=false

Miles, escape artist that he is, was not fired because of that one result. He was fired because, as AD Joe Alleva put it (paraphrasing), “we didn’t want to start winning and go through this cycle again.” If you’ll recall, Miles was all but fired before triumphing in his ‘last’ game against Texas A&M last year. Boosters and administration still wanted him gone, and they got rid of him because they KNEW he’d survive again if they didn’t take swift action.

I’ve luckily never been fired from a job, outside of one where the North Carolina ABC threatened to shut down a pub at which I was pouring drinks at 16 years old. Les Miles was fired from a job he truly LOVED, and was able to handle it with grace I can’t imagine having.

From the Dan Patrick Show on Monday:

How were you told you were fired?

Face to face. Joe Alleva said we’re going to have to make a change. And I’m for the tigers. Anything they see that makes the Tigers better, I’m for it. I accepted the outcome and will support that decision and these Tigers going forward

Did you try to fight it?

It was beyond fighting. The enjoyment of being here, the enjoyment of community, the experiences that my family’s had, it’s too important to fight over. It’s history. It’s what we were are. If they see a change makes the tiger better, I’m for them.

If you beat Auburn, would you still be employed?

I want you to know something. How that game ends, with the Tigers fighting for their breath, maybe there’s a way the coach could’ve got them a second more. I would argue that I made those moves. One second. It’s certainly a decision that was made more appropriately over more than a second.

Was you being fired an undercurrent there or lingering?

If it was there, I went beyond it. I enjoyed going into my room and enjoying seeing the young men I recruited and I coached. If there was an undercurrent, it did not exist in the that building. What goes on inside the building just didn’t matter.

I’ve never had an opportunity to meet Les Miles. But Les Miles humanized a sport in a conference where robotic, calculated decision-making, soulless enterprises of football excellence, and canned, cold coachspeak are absolutes. He was the opposite of those things, and showed a humility, a reality, and a grace seen far too little in his profession or on this planet.

Whether he coaches again or not, I am more a Les Miles fan than on Saturday– I was already a big one. With the way he handled his exit, I hold that you should be, too.

On Finality

My sports fandom began in 1995, as the Atlanta Braves won their only World Series. At 7 years old, I was conditioned to expect such success from all of my teams, and have been disappointed more times than I can count. Part of the draw of sports is the hope for triumph, but the overwhelming odds that disappointment will be the outcome. Again, the outpouring of human emotion for something that has no direct effect on your life is why we care.

Kevin Garnett started his NBA career in the same year, meaning that I have watched him toil, dominate, get close, toil, get traded, and finally succeed over the exact same lifespan as my fandom. He was the prototype of the modern power forward in the NBA, yet a tragic figure who could never get the supporting cast to get over the hump in the NBA.

Garnett was, by all measures, a freaking psychopath on the court. I think about how much I care about sports, and it feels trivial compared to KG. A 6’11 behemoth of athleticism routinely headbutted basket stanchions, give primal yells in meaningless December games, and wore his emotions on his progressively-broader shoulders– and he did so for 21 years.

Garnett played in the league for 13 years before reaching the top. To this day, there is no greater example of exuberance or joy in reaching the pinnacle, giving one’s blood, sweat and tears for a happy ending.

As KG’s skills regressed, he returned with much fanfare to Minneapolis, and in one year passed the torch to a cast of Timberwolves who may well represent the future of the NBA.

Kevin Garnett: the gift that gave nightly through his antics, for 21 years, and may continue to give through his leadership. Despite unrealistic expectations of more, the above clip shows that 1 out of 21, in sports, is not bad.

On Tragedy

I really didn’t know what to do with Arnold Palmer’s passing in this piece. To live a full life of 85 years, be by FAR the most-well liked of many legendary contemporaries, and have a delicious drink named after oneself…anyone can hope to live to that, and in passing, be a cause for celebration, not grief. I know no less than 25 people who met The King, and no less than 15 who posted pictures with him on Facebook on Sunday night. I struggle to think of a single negative thing I’ve ever read about the man– he was gentle, courteous, patient, and universally beloved.

That fits more into ‘grace’ or ‘finality’ than it does tragedy, but for the world to lose such a revered soul is always a tragedy.

The other sports death on Sunday was much, much harder to stomach.

Due to the waning popularity of baseball in my age demographic, I don’t know how many of my contemporaries got a chance to marvel at Jose Fernandez, or even knew who he was. Fernandez was a Cuban pitcher, 24 years old, and a Miami Marlin. From a team standpoint, a Cuban superstar in the heart of Miami was a marketing coup for a team always finding itself on the wrong side of the PR battle. Fernandez was certainly that and more on the field, compiling a 29-2 record with a 1.49 ERA in Marlins Park over his career. His career ERA of 2.56 was also remarkable given his age– better than Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver, Pedro Martinez, and countless other legends.

For his exploits on the mound, Fernandez was more an embodiment of what contemporary Bryce Harper so callously claims to do– “make baseball fun again”. Jose Fernandez epitomized that with his actions on a daily basis: jose

His story? Oh, one where he tried to defect from Cuba FOUR times before making it to the U.S., saving his mother from drowning on the successful journey. One where his grandmother, the most influential person in his life, sat on a tin roof in Cuba to listen to his starts. One where his girlfriend just last week announced she was pregnant with his child.

SBNation’s Grant Brisbee said it best about Jose: he was pure joy. Nobody knew to fully appreciate him until it was far too late, until baseball and sports reminded us why we can channel human emotion through the exploits of millionaires playing a child’s sport:

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The magic of sports: withdrawn from our personal lives, from the tribulations of the world, but still something that allows us to feel. We’ll see an all-too-soon 30 For 30 on Jose Fernandez, and it’ll be excellent. Billy Corben will be able to funnel all of the emotion of the past 72 hours and put it in a digestible format….and it won’t do the human Jose Fernandez was justice. One more snippet into that:

But he also had a big heart, McGehee said.

“The toughest part for me has been having to tell my son,” McGehee said, choking back tears.

McGehee’s son Mack has cerebral palsy and formed a close bond with Fernandez.

“I think everybody knows about my son and some of the struggles that he deals with,” McGehee said. “A lot of people don’t really know how to treat him. But for some reason, Jose had a heart for him.

“I’d get to the field and it wasn’t like, ‘Hey Jose, do you mind keeping an eye on him while I hit?’ It was, Jose coming to grab him and they were together from the time I got to the field to the time my wife came to pick him up. I think that really says a lot about what was truly in his heart and what kind of a guy he was.”

 


Sport, in the context of life, really should be less of a priority than it is for me, or anyone digging this deep enough into the internet on this Wednesday morning for a diversion– but that’s what it is, a diversion that humanizes us by allowing us to feel raw human emotion without having to experience it directly.

As Jim Valvano once said, “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s one heck of a day.” If you remembered the goofy, appalling, and downright hilarious exploits of Les Miles upon his firing, you laughed. If you reflected on KG’s or Arnie’s legacy, you had a chance to think. And if you reflected on the passing of Jose Fernandez, you are either a robot or you cried, at least a little bit.

I guess that’s why sports are important. We get to live and die by the actions of complete strangers in the name of what’s on the front of the jerseys. We fall in love with brands, individuals, and in some cases shape the human experience based on triumphs and failures. And we are provided an escape to express emotions– good or bad, jovial or furious– in a safe haven that, if done responsibly, allows us to grow emotionally without any real consequences to life.

If only life could be so inconsequential.

Rest in peace, Jose and Arnold.

 

The Officially Official DYC Super Bowl Preview


Here we are again; the inevitable end of the football season, and the inevitable begin of counting down to the next football season. Make no mistake – this is America’s Game now, and waiting for more football is the second most popular sport. The NFL has had the PR season from hell, and ratings haven’t budged. As a nation, we get outraged over the audacity of the League to lie to us on multiple fronts…during the week. Come Sunday? A collective voice rings out across the land, echoing from all 50 states:

“GIVE US OUR FOOTBALL.”

And give us football they shall. The most dominant 15 year run in the salary cap era vs. an emerging defensive dynasty is a helluva storyline the NFL has handed us. We’re going to go over what happens when each team has the ball, some friends of the blog are gonna make some picks, and we’re gonna have some fun. I’ll be checking in Sunday with all your prop betting needs, but I want to do more. I want to help you win even more money with a prop in this blog, so this next one’s on me. Four straight years I’ve won this bet, and it’s the first prop I find when the line comes out.

National anthem over/under.

This year, we’ve got Idina Menzel singing the anthem, and Wikipedia says she’s a Broadway singer who used to be married to Taye Diggs. Sure, her ex-husband doesn’t matter at all, but this was literally the only name I recognized on her Wikipedia page. The line this year is a logical 2:01, which means that someone is paying attention to the money I’ve been winning. It’s safe to assume that she’s not going for the record (Alicai Keys , 2:36), but she want’s to be respectable. Toss in the fact that they’re in Glendale with good conditions, and I get the feeling she’ll want to show off. Bang the over.

(Blah blah I’ve overthought this blah blah crippling gambling addiction. Grow up.)

I’ve been made aware that Ms. Menzel sings the Frozen song. As a 29-year old man with no children, I remain blissfully under informed about this movie or song. Back to the blog!

I have no rooting interest in this game, as both teams are generally unlikable. Except for these two guys.

Get them a sitcom, a buddy cop movie, or an advice column ASAP.

On to the Super Bowl. FWIW, I reserve the right to Chad Ford any pick that I get wrong going forward. Didn’t know that was an option until now, to be honest. Next year, when I’m retroactively perfect against the spread, thank Chad Ford.

NEW ENGLAND @ SEATTLE

When We Last Saw New England: They were murder-death-killing the Colts by a billion points, which everyone has conveniently forgotten about in the face of BALLGHAZI. A couple of quick points about this non-scandal: 1. Every quarterback adjusts inflation to their own liking, and if you believe every other quarterback is within the acceptable parameters all the time, you’re crazy. 2. We’ve seen grown men on television nearly cry over deflated ball, impassioned calls for justice from owners, and the swift moving machine of the NFL collect video and statements and commission reports. But they never saw the Ray Rice video. Right.

Moving on so the Shield doesn’t shut down this blog, the Patriots played basically their dream game against the Colts. Passing at will, they were able to even activate their heretofore optional running game, all stemming from the abilities of their monster tight end to affect the defense. The Pats pass to set up the run, and early success downfield against the Seahawks will allow them to control the clock. Gronkowski’s presence on the field will force adjustments out of this Seattle defense, and New England’s ability to utilize him to occupy the safeties in the passing game will decide their offensive success.

Defensively, I don’t feel great about this Patriot side. They are going against a multifaceted offense with a front that has generated a grand total of ZERO sacks in the playoffs thus far. And you know what? Russell Wilson is TONS more mobile than Flacco or Luck. Then again, the defense has stepped up when they needed to (twin comebacks in the same game against Baltimore). Plus, who’s really betting against the bad guys?

When We Last Saw Seattle: Seattle was finding a way to win (copyright every coach ever) in overtime against the Packers. Russell Wilson looked super pedestrian (or concussed!) for the majority of the game, but cleared out the cobwebs in time to scratch and claw his way back to another Super Bowl. Take away that Matthews hit and subsequent crappy quarterback play, and the Seattle offense looked the same way it has all year; dominant running game setting up big plays downfield. No team has really thrown a wrench in this plan since Seattle’s last loss before Thanksgiving, and that kind of consistency is rare these days. Every team since Week 12 knew this was their plan, and could do absolutely nothing to stop it. Also – #WheelRoutes. They’re coming.

The Patriot offense appears to match up on paper well with this Seahawks Voltron-esque defense. Chancellor and Thomas will have their attentions focused on the middle of the field with the propensity of Brady to look for both his tight ends and his running backs when the outside receivers are taken away, and trust me: Maxwell and Sherman will help take the outside away. The Patriots offensive line has gotten exponentially better over the course of the season, but the Seattle front four is a unique challenge that they need to be ready for. Old timey land baron Pete Carroll says they won’t be.

pete carroll

THE PICK: I’ve got my opinion, but I turned to friends of the blog for their opinions because hey, the more the merrier.

Kriss (owner/operator of Movie Trailer Reviews, tolerates me ruining his podcast once a week, @insanityreport) – “I’ll take the Seahawks but only because I don’t want to get fined.”

Leonard (owner L. Brothers Media, viewer of life through Tar Heel blue lenses, @LBrothersMedia) – “Seattle. I just hope to see Skittles flying and Marshawn trolling in the post game interviews.”

Chad Floyd (writer at DudeYouCrazy.net, former intern, @Chad_Floyd) – “Seahawks. Thank you, Patriots, for again making a mockery of Super Bowl week and providing our mainstream media with extreme #HOTSPORTSTAKES. I hope you burn in hell.”

Brandi Mills (writer at The Big Spur , Google Hangouts beard gang member, @brandicmills) – “34-23 Seahawks.”

I then asked Brandi to elaborate for the blog. So what happened next is my fault.

“To the window
(/•_•)/
to the wall
\(•_•\)
Till the air drips out my balls

I’m so ashamed”

Michael Felder (lead college football writer at Bleacher Report, drinker of beer(s), @InTheBleachers) – “I don’t know about lines but gimme the Seahawks for sure. Love #AllRussellWilsonEverything & the LOB is going to put the paws on the Pats.”

Rodimus Prime (host of the award-winning podcast The Black Guy Who Tips, better at podcasting than us, @rodimusprime) – “ I say the Seahawks win by 16. Black quarterback power and a dominant defense will expose Tom Brady’s spaghetti arm for what it is!”

Andrew Hall (site runner at DudeYouCrazy.net, mid-podcast vanisher, @DudeYouCrazy) – “Picking last huh? Taking the Patriots because if I’m right, I get to beat more people than if I take the Seahawks. That’s what we call fading the public. Old gambling secret.”

Partially because I’m a lover of defense at heart, and mostly because betting with Andrew is always a horrible idea, I’ve made my decision.

Seattle (+1) over New England

Get drunk, make deflation jokes during Katy Perry’s halftime show, and enjoy the game.

Oh, and buy Lipitor. Just in case they really are giving out money. DudeYouCrazy – Not for sale, but we’re taking payments.

CUE THE PATRIOTS’ MUSIC!

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at @dpalm66.

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Tennessee Has The Worst Fans In The SEC, Never Going To Knoxville Again


New Level Of Hatred 

My first trip to Knoxville proved to be an eye opening one this past weekend when I watched my Crimson Tide beat the Tennessee Volunteers. I am used to dealing with hatred between Auburn, LSU, and even Ole Miss fans, but nothing compares to the rudeness of UT fans.

Friday Night: 

When we arrived in Knoxville, I could not contain my excitement to see what the campus and game day atmosphere that I heard so much about looked like. As we were walking down the street taking in the sites,  a Vol fan screamed “Go Vols” as they were walking towards us. So, I proceeded to say “Roll Tide” figuring it was just playful banter, but instead I got cussed out for even breathing this Volunteer fan’s air. This similar incident happened ten or fifteen times in the first 15 hours we were in Knoxville. Strike One.

 

Saturday:

I figured the night before was just a bunch of drunk guys trying to get a rise out of some Bama’ fans, but Saturday proved to be even worse. As we walked by the river to see the “Vol Navy”, we continued to be taunted by Volunteer fans left and right. As we were waiting for a cab I heard this really white trash voice saying, “hey pretty boy, hey pretty boy”, so I turned around and proceeded to get taunted for dressing up to a game. I guess I forgot to wear my bright orange UT shirt with “Brick by Brick” all over it. My response to this lovely Vol fan is a little more R rated so we wont be sharing that.

Once the game ended and I heard “Rocky Top” and “Third Down For What” too many times, I left that cramped stadium with a wonderful smile on face, praying that I encountered one of the several fans that were so rude before the game.

 

Moving Forward 

I understand that Alabama and Tennessee is a big rivalry, but for a representation of their fan base to be so rude to people they have never met, is just pathetic. Every fan base has fans that they are not proud of, and maybe I ran into all of the bad UT fans at once, but that was just a miserable experience for myself and the other Tide fans with me. I am sure there are plenty of great Volunteer fans out there, but I did not meet a single fan that did not have some snarky comment about Kiffin, Saban, or the fact that I am apparently white trash who attends Alabama.

I will forgive Volunteer fans for now, because I do not know how I would take it losing to a rival 8 consecutive times, and losing to the coach that took my team to their last bowl game. Don’t worry, I am sure the “Brick By Brick” and “I gave my all for Tennessee today” sayings will get you to a bowl game soon. Roll Damn Tide.

 

Looking for Georgia football highlights?  Download The UGA Vault for FREE today and gain access to exclusive interviews and the greatest plays in Bulldog history.  

-Alex

Auburn Gets Away With Cheating Again, Lou Holtz: Sneeze Heard ‘Round The World, And More


CHEATERS

I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times, Auburn is the luckiest team to ever walk this earth. The final play against South Carolina on Saturday should have been replayed and Auburn should have been penalized. Auburn had two players with the same number on the field at the same time! I assure you that if this is any other team, it is called and SC ends up winning the game. Here is Auburn cheating.

 

Easy Call

A player got his face-mask ripped off on Saturday. That is enough for me to want to find out more on how that happened. The referee’s job just got much easier because this is the most blatant face-mask I have ever seen. Good news: my Tide just got one step closer to the playoff with the Ole miss loss, bad news: LSU needs a new face-mask. Here is the complete video.

 

Bless You

Everyone loves Lou Holtz. He either reminds you of your Grand-Dad or you just love to hate him, but either way you love him. People took to twitter after Doctor Lou let out the most violent sneeze I have ever heard. I honestly thought he blew a gasket on this one, and I am sure others did as well. Do not fear, the Doctor is okay and someone gave him a Kleenex. Here is the full video.

 

 

-Alex

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