The Monday Melange 11.29.10: Cam Newton, Lebron James

–Are Auburn football and Louisiana Democrats similar?  Check out this post and see what you think.

–Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Lebron James has now defected from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat.  This move generated a massive firestorm of criticism from fans who saw it as nothing more than a cynical attempt to chase a championship.  Nike has aired a commercial defending the move in hopes of restoring Lebron James’s public image:

Didn’t work out too well, judging by this response from jilted Cleveland fans:

And here is South Park’s take on the whole thing:

Les Miserables 57: A Waif

Last time we made a quick pass through all of the action leading up to Jondrette’s attempted ambush of M. Leblanc.  Now, we will come back through and tease out some things.

During the course of the ambush, we learned that the Jondrette family who lived next door to Marius were, in fact, the Thenardiers whom we became acquainted with in Part 1 and Part 2.  This establishes that the Jondrette daughters were actually Eponine and Azelma.  Victor Hugo does not come out and state this explicitly, but there is enough in this sequence to also establish that M. Leblanc is actually Jean Valjean, and his “daughter” is actually Cosette.  So from here on out we will call everyone by their proper names.

Today we will look at Eponine.

First we will look at Marius’s first meeting of Cosette and see how it compares with his first meeting of Eponine. Continue reading “Les Miserables 57: A Waif”

The Monday Melange 11.22.10: Eva Longoria, Houston Nutt, Mike Slive

Tony Parker: Dude. You cheated on this woman??? Seriously????? Seriously?????

–Tiger Woods cheated on Elin Nordegrin, and Tony Parker cheated on Eva Longoria.  Anybody else out there want to join the Club of Stupid?

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information, says that he is available.  Heads up:  You’re not getting Aloysius unless you take me too.  But if you insist, be warned that Aloysius eats prodigious amounts of honey and you must be prepared for this.

–Ole Miss could very well finish 4-8 this year.  So what happened?  Simple.  The football gods saw Houston Nutt take in Jeremiah Masoli and they said “No!!!  This shall not pass!!!  We shall smite thee!!!”

Aloysius says "I'm available!!!!!"

–Black Friday is coming up this Friday.  And from what I hear, there is already a family camped out in front of a big-box retailer in Florida.  And you thought only football fans were crazy.

–Speaking of football, it seems to have become clear by now that the SEC does not intend to issue anything remotely resembling a reprimand to Auburn’s assault weapon Nick Fairley.  This is because the SEC makes prodigious amounts of money on a yearly basis, and Auburn stands to help them do that if they make it to the national championship, so we wouldn’t want to hurt them or cast any kind of negative publicity on them now, would we?

–By the way, Eva Longoria did not go to Auburn.

The Bulldog Tooth Bonus Feature: A Look at Some Games All Involving Teams Better Than Georgia (11.20.10)

After a long and exhausting ten-week stretch, it is nice to have a weekend to sit back and watch some games in the role of bemused observer.  So we will look at some games involving teams better than Georgia.  Alas, these days one does not have to look far at all to find games involving teams better than Georgia.

Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, will do the honor of wielding the vaunted bulldog tooth and making the predictions.

LSU vs Ole Miss: What is happening at Ole Miss this year?  Simple.  The football gods saw Houston Nutt sign Jeremiah Masoli and they said, “This shall not pass.  We shall smite thee!!!!!”

Les Miles reached the low point of his career last year in this game when clock management issues led to a 25-23 loss.  Won’t happen this year.

Prediction:  Les’s Miserables 38, Ole Miserables 24.

Georgia Tech vs Duke: Georgia Tech needs a win here to get bowl-eligible, and also to have a shot at beating Georgia (recall that Georgia has yet to beat a team with a winning record this year).

Prediction:  Georgia Tech 31, Duke 28.

Florida vs Appalachian State: Appalachian State may have fantasies of doing the same thing in the Swamp that they did at the Big House a couple of years back.  Won’t happen.

Prediction:  Florida 45, Appalachian State 26.

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt: Don’t look now, but Tennessee can get bowl-eligible with wins in its next two games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Prediction:  Tennessee 30, Vanderbilt 14.

Northwestern vs Illinois: They’re playing this one at Wrigley Field.  Kinda like playing a basketball game in an empty swimming pool.  This one ought to be interesting.

Prediction:  Northwestern 30, Illinois 24.

Stanford vs Cal: This one should not even be close, unless Cal resorts to faking injuries like they did against Oregon (Aloysius just growled at me threateningly.  Okay, sorry.)

Prediction:  Stanford 37, Cal 21.

Southern Cal vs Oregon State: I simply cannot and will not bring myself to cheer for the men of Kiffin.

Prediction:  Oregon State 38, Kiffins 35.

Franky Schaeffer: End Times and Election Results

Today, allow me to direct your attention to an article by Franky Schaeffer (I guess I’d better call him Frank now), son of the late Francis Schaeffer, in which he manages to tie last week’s elections, a canonical dispute, and the Left Behind series all together.  Amazingly enough, it all makes sense.

In this article, Schaeffer maintains that the results of last week’s election were driven by end-times paranoia fueled by the Religious Right over the course of the last three decades.  The path to Armageddon, as insisted upon by fundamentalist Christians led by the Religious Right, based upon a faulty, overly literal interpretation of the book of Revelation, is not somewhere we want to go.

Those of you who are of the conservative persuasion may not like this very much, but it is a message which the American church needs to hear.

Read “End Times”–Election Results Reflect Biblical Republican Paranoia by Frank Schaeffer

Les Miserables 56: The Noxious Poor

Having introduced us to the Parisian underworld in the previous book, Victor Hugo now takes us into the events leading directly to the third mini-climax of the story.  That is the pattern in this story:  scenes of intense action alternating with lengthy expository passages, then moving back into the action.  Get used to it.

There is a lot here in this section of the  story, so first we will blow right through it, then we will come back and tease out some things on the next pass.

We return to the action about six to eight months after the end of Marius’s crush on M. Leblanc’s daughter.  It is now the dead of winter, and Marius has been despondent.  He has tried constantly but in vain to find M. Leblanc’s daughter again.  Then one evening, some strange things started to happen.  First, he saw an old man wearing a cap who looked an awful lot like M. Leblanc.  He did a double-take to see if it really was M. Leblanc, but when he turned around, the old man was gone.  Then, a couple of waiflike girls brushed by him as they were running away from something.  He caught a fragment of their conversation and thought he might have vaguely recognized them.  As they passed by, they dropped an envelope.  He picked it up and took it home. Continue reading “Les Miserables 56: The Noxious Poor”

Same Place, But Everything’s Different Now

Eight years ago Georgia played Auburn in Auburn, and the result was one of the brightest moments of Mark Richt’s career and of Georgia football this decade.

Let me give you some context:  Georgia had not won an SEC championship in over 20 years going into the 2002 season.  Georgia cruised through its schedule and was 8-0 before absorbing the inevitable loss to Florida in Jacksonville.

This left Georgia desperately in need of a win over Auburn to clinch a trip to Atlanta for the SEC championship.  In the first half, it looked as if it was not going to happen.  Auburn jumped out to a 14-3 lead (which would have been a lot bigger if not for some outstanding defensive play by safety Sean Jones).

In the second half, Georgia came out and scored on the opening series.  Auburn answered.  Auburn then proceeded to punt Georgia back all the way into the shadow of its own goal.  A safety would have given Auburn a 23-10 lead and the ball, and a chance to blow the game wide open.  And on third-and-19 from inside the 5 yard line, the Auburn safeties were smelling it.  Musa Smith ran right by them on a draw play and gained 35 yards.  Georgia went on to score and pull within 21-17.

But then the Georgia offense bogged down.  Though they were unable to move the ball through the rest of the third quarter and most of the fourth quarter, Sean Jones kept making excellent punt returns to set them up with outstanding field position.

Then things finally started to happen.  Georgia worked its way down to the Auburn 14 with about two minutes left in the game.  Three straight incompletions and a delay-of-game penalty left them facing fourth-and-15 from the 19.

Watch what happened next:

Georgia played defense for a minute and 30 seconds after that, and then was on its way to Atlanta.

Yesterday evening, Georgia returned to the site of that marvelous finish that blew the lid off a long-frustrated program.

Alas, how things have changed since then.

After experiencing success after success in the early part of the decade, Georgia fell on hard times.  The decline started in 2006 when the loss of several key players left Georgia with a young team that was not ready for prime time.  They muddled through that season and were sweating out bowl eligibility–a most unusual position for a Mark Richt-coached team to be in.  They needed a win over Auburn–right here on this very field, in fact–to rescue a season that was spinning wildly awry.  They got it, and went on to salvage a Peach Bowl bid.

The decline was interrupted in the latter part of the 2007 season, when the infamous “Gator Stomp” catalyzed a rare win over Florida which sparked a remarkable run which saw Georgia jump right into the thick of the national championship discussion and finish the season at No. 2.

The decline continued apace in 2008, with Georgia starting the season at No. 1 but finishing at No. 16 with three losses which included brutal punishments at the hands of Alabama and Florida.  From there, the bottom dropped out.  Georgia muddled through 2009 with an 8-5 record, the worst ever under Mark Richt, and was lucky to salvage a trip to Shreveport.

But 2010 was even worse.  Worse–with 10 of 11 offensive starters returning and a hotshot young quarterback itching to prove himself.  Worse–with a $750,000 defensive coordinator who was hired for the express purpose of making things better on that side of the ball!

This left Georgia desperately needing a win here at Auburn, what would have been a most momentous win for the program–just to salvage bowl eligibility!

Didn’t happen.

Auburn came out sloppy and let Georgia build a 21-7 lead.  But then they started to click, and it was all over.  Cameron Newton put on a show, and by the time it was all over Auburn had boatraced Georgia 49-31.  Auburn punched its ticket to Atlanta in style, and Georgia was left to gape and gawk in amazement and wonder what the hell just happened.

Mad props go out to Auburn for this.  With all the distractions swirling around the program and around Cameron Newton this week, Gene Chizik did an amazing job of coaching his players up and getting them ready for this game.

Oh, how I wish I could say the same for Mark Richt!!!!!

Alas, I cannot.

Not that I blame Mark Richt for this loss.  He did all that he could do.  He had his charges ready to play.  They played their hearts out, and he coached his heart out.  They brought everything but the kitchen sink, and then went back and got the kitchen sink and brought that too.

Alas, it wasn’t enough.

In the end, they were outmanned, outclassed–and yes, outcoached–by Auburn and Gene Chizik.  By a second-year SEC coach who went 5-19 against Big 12 North competition (how hard can THAT be?) at his previous school.

And that, alas, is where Georgia is these days.  Georgia, once the pride and class of the SEC, now finds itself thoroughly irrelevant–the only reason people tuned in to CBS to watch this game was to see Cameron Newton and Auburn put on a highlight reel.  Mark Richt, formerly the coach who ALWAYS had the answers when the game was on the line–P-44 Haynes, 70X Takeoff, and a whole host of other highlights that filled the early part of this decade–is now in WAY over his head when attempting to compete with the newer, younger coaches of this league.

Eight years ago, on a cold November night, Georgia and Mark Richt had all the answers.  Alas, EVERYTHING is different now.

Can Georgia Make It Through the Auburn Game Without Requiring Major Medical Attention?

This is Serenbe.

Serenbe is a new-ish, planned community near Fairburn, GA, about a half hour southwest of Atlanta.

I completed a 15K race (that’s 15 kilometers, or 9.3 miles) there this morning.  This was the first time I had ever run a race longer than 10K (6.2 miles).

Much of the course for this race was along trails through the woods.  These trails can get treacherous in some places.  There is even a place where you have to run through a stream.  Fortunately, we haven’t had much rain here lately, so the stream was pretty low and I was able to make it through without getting wet.

One of my friends actually came in second place overall.  But that was not the goal for me.  For me, the goal was to make it through to the end of the race without requiring major medical attention.  I achieved that goal.

Georgia finds itself in a similar situation this afternoon at Auburn.

With Cameron Newton at the helm, Auburn has emerged as the No. 2 team in the entire country and a very strong national championship contender.  (Due to recent events, there has been some question this week over whether or not Newton would play today.  The latest reports seem to indicate that he is playing.  This means that Auburn is extremely confident that it is in the clear, or else extremely brazen.  Given Auburn’s past track record with the NCAA, that would not surprise me.  Guess we won’t know for sure until kickoff.)

Georgia has, up to this point in the season, shown itself thoroughly incapable of beating teams with winning records, let alone teams that are ranked in the Top 25.  Today, Georgia faces a team that is undefeated and ranked No. 2.

In light of that, the goal for Georgia today is not to win, but to make it through to the end of the game without requiring major medical attention.

We shall see what happens.

Here is the Serenbe website.  If the Auburn game gets too unbearably out of hand, you can take a look at this to distract yourselves.

SEC Football: Gotta Love It

UPDATE: As of Wednesday, Auburn was insisting that Cameron Newton was eligible and would start against Georgia Saturday.  Now, Auburn has changed its position to “No Comment”.

Those of you out there who love college football, I promise you that you will LOVE the way we do it here in the SEC.  Nothing else comes close, anywhere.

Where else does Alabama’s recruitment of a lineman from Memphis result in the Tennessee head coach being subpoenaed at the league’s Media Days?

Where else does the Arkansas coach have a woman who works for a radio station fired for wearing a Florida hat?  (And Arkansas fans actually think this is a good thing.  Come on, people.)

Where else does a wild night out in Pensacola, Florida (didn’t know that was even possible) end with the Alabama head coach being fired before he ever coaches a down for them?

And where else does the Cameron Newton story become the mutated monstrosity that it has now become?

Even by SEC standards, this feel-good-gone-bad story is bizarre.  And it stands to get even more bizarre before all is said and done, if it is ever all said and done. Continue reading “SEC Football: Gotta Love It”