The Monday Melange 10.10.11 (Dead Celebrities Edition): Al Davis, Steve Jobs, Fred Phelps

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, welcomes you to this week’s Dead Celebrities Edition of the Monday Melange.  First up, we have Al Davis.  Al Davis died this past week at the age of 82.  He was the owner of the Oakland Raiders forever; under his watch they became the Los Angeles Raiders and then the Oakland Raiders again.  He also served a stint as commissioner of the AFL and oversaw its merger with the NFL in 1970.  In 1992 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

–Next up we have Steve Jobs.  Steve Jobs died this past week at the age of 56.  We all know who he was.  If you have a Mac, an Ipod, an Iphone, an Ipad, an Iwhatever, you know who he was.  Steve Jobs had had health problems ever since 2004, and had taken several leaves of absence for that reason before stepping down for good earlier this year.

–Now we have an item for the People With WAY Too Much Time On Their Hands archive:  Here is somebody who isn’t dead, but he and his church spend lots of time picketing other people’s funerals.  Of course I’m talking about Fred Phelps and the good people over at Westboro Baptist.  They announced that they would be protesting Steve Jobs’ funeral.  Their reason:  Steve Jobs had (so they say) a huge platform from which to glorify God and he did not use it for that purpose.

They made this announcement in a Tweet sent via Iphone.  Aloysius:  “Perhaps they should have used the iRony hashtag.  These people have WAY too much time on their hands!!!!!”

Since we’re talking about Fred Phelps, it is appropriate that we close out this week’s edition with a video of Derek Webb performing a song he wrote in honor of Phelps and the good people of Westboro Baptist entitled “Freddie, Please”.

The Monday Melange 10.03.11 (Creepy Pastors Edition): Ted Haggard, Rob Bell

Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone's Entitled to Joe's Opinion, registers his opinion of the Pholdin' Braves' epic fail. Yep, they choked.

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, welcomes you to this week’s edition of the Monday Melange, the Creepy Pastors Edition.  Once again Aloysius is a little out of his field, but that has never stopped him from offering an opinion if he is so inclined.  And when it comes to creepy pastors, he is especially inclined.

Somehow I am not surprised at this guy winding up on Celebrity Wife Swap.

First he would like to direct your attention to Ted Haggard, who will be appearing with Gary Busey on Celebrity Wife Swap.  For those of you who don’t know, Ted Haggard was pastor of a large church out in Colorado Springs and a prominent evangelical political figure on the order of James Dobson or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, until a nice juicy scandal involving drugs, queer sex, and a massage therapist forced him to resign back in 2006.  Haggard laid low for a couple of years but now he’s back in the old neighborhood.  Somehow it seems appropriate that he is now on Celebrity Wife Swap.

Aloysius says, “Somewhere out there Jerry Springer has got to be kicking himself for not coming up with something this sordid.”

Rob Bell is leaving Mars Hill up in Michigan (not to be confused with Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill out in Seattle).  He and his family will be moving out to California to work on some projects, which Bell does not care to elaborate on at this time.

Aloysius says, “What kind of projects?  A time warp machine?  A machine to replicate Austin Powers’ mojo?  A machine to turn the BCS into a sensible and viable means of choosing a champion in college football?”

Bell is best known as the author of that book about heaven and hell which all the most respected names in evangelicalism do not want you to read but people are reading anyway.  Don’t know which book?  Then what rock have you been hiding under the last several months?

The Monday Melange 09.27.11 (Musical Edition): REM, Nirvana

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, welcomes you to this week’s Musical Edition of The Monday Melange.  Aloysius is speaking out of his field here, since his specialty is sports, but he never lets that stop him from holding an opinion.  And he is a bear–don’t let that cuddly, loveable teddy bear exterior fool you.  So if he wants to venture his opinion on a particular subject, then by golly, he will.

To start with, Aloysius wishes to direct your attention to this news item:  REM has broken up for goodThey issued an official news statement via their website last week; the post has since been updated to include comments from the individual band members.

Aloysius’s response to this:  “Of course we all know that official news releases aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.  What this really means is that REM is about to hire Nick Saban as their new lead singer and the new album will be in stores next week.”  Me, I would have guessed Urban Meyer.

At any rate, Aloysius found this video of REM performing one of their earlier hits on David Letterman:

Aloysius:  “I’d like to see Jim Donnan start a band.  Maybe he could call it Tunnel Screen.  Maybe Mark Richt could join up if the Georgia gig goes south for him.”

–Aloysius would also like you to note that this past week was the 20th anniversary of the release of the album that completely and totally changed the face of pop music:  Nirvana’s “Nevermind”.  In honor of this occasion, he wishes to direct your attention to this video of Nirvana performing “Come As You Are”, one of the lesser-known hits from this album.


The Monday Melange 09.19.11: PETA, Chad Ochocinco

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of  Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, welcomes you to this week’s edition of The Monday Melange, the People Running Their Mouths Because They Have WAY Too Much Time On Their Hands Edition.  For our first exhibit, Aloysius wishes to direct your attention to the good peeps over at PETA, who are a walking, talking, living, breathing example of what it means to have WAY too much time on your hands.

Yes, they are at it again.  Last week, during the Mississippi State pregame, Auburn’s war eagle mascot Spirit made his customary flight from the upper decks of Jordan-Hare down to the field, one of the finest traditions in all of college football and an impressive sight to behold.  Except that this time, he crashed into the window of one of the luxury boxes.  Guess he saw somebody’s buffalo wings and decided he wanted some.  You know how keen eagles’ eyesight is.  Only he didn’t see the glass.  No harm was done; he bounced right off and continued his flight relatively unfazed.  The video of this ill-fated flight was a Youtube sensation this week.

PETA: Always good for a laugh anytime they open their mouths.

Of course the peeps over at PETA had to open their yaps.  They took full advantage of the opportunity to denounce Auburn’s use of a war eagle mascot, issuing a statement in the Montgomery Advertiser that read in part:  “Animals aren’t performers or party decorations, and they don’t deserve to be frightened, hurt or even killed just so we can have a momentary thrill.”

Aloysius responded to this by saying, “Yeah, and I bet after that they broke for lunch at Chick-Fil-A.”

In case you missed it, here is the video of the Auburn war eagle’s ill-fated flight:

–Next up in our illustrious gallery of people saying stupid things because they have WAY too much time on their hands, we have Chad Ochocinco.  Chad Ochocinco seems to make a living at that, so I guess we shouldn’t be too terribly surprised.  But here we are.  Ochocinco, now with the New England Patriots, hit the Twittersphere to express his awe at the Patriots’ offense after last Monday’s game, saying, “Just waking up after a late arrival, I’ve never seen a machine operate like that n person, to see video game numbers put up n person was WOW.”  He was vigorously taken to task for this by former Patriot Tedy Bruschi, now with ESPN.  Bruschi called on Ochocinco to “drop the awe factor” and “stop tweeting and get in your playbook.”

Aloysius says, “Thank you Chad Ochocinco.  You’re always good for a laugh.  Tweet away, buddy!!!!!”


The Monday Melange 09.01.11: Roger Goodell, Terrelle Pryor, Jim Donnan

In honor of the USA All-Pro cycling race this weekend, Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone's Entitled to Joe's Opinion, attempts to plank off my bike.

Due to the anniversary of Katrina earlier this week, I felt compelled to take a break from the usual goings-on here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion.  But with the start of football season only a couple of days away, I couldn’t let that go by without getting one of these out there.  So here we are again, even if a couple of days late.

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, has had no small amount of fun teasing me about the SEC and its possible plans for expansion which would include the addition of Texas A&M.  He would like to direct your attention to this piece from AJC sports columnist Jeff Schultz, which supports his contention that SEC schools are all about nothing more than football and money, money, money.

Aloysius:  Just shut up and go get some Aggie jokes ready.

–While Aloysius is on his soapbox, he would also like to say a little something about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.  He says that Goodell is an arrogant little prick, and wishes to direct your attention to this piece from AJC sports columnist Mark Bradley as proof.  What happened?  Goodell suspended former Ohio State player Terrelle Pryor for the first five games of the 2011 season.  Pryor had been suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of 2011 because of his part in a memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal that rocked Ohio State and brought down coach Jim Tressel.  Presumably to get out of serving this suspension, Pryor declared for the NFL supplemental draft.  So Goodell suspended Pryor, using as his basis the argument that Pryor’s conduct undermined the integrity of the rules for draft eligibility.

I am strongly tempted to agree with Goodell, but here’s the thing:  If Goodell disapproved of Pryor using the draft to escape serving time for misdeeds committed while in college, he should never have allowed Pryor to enter the draft in the first place.  But he did, and here we are.  Why?  Money money money, baby!!!!!  Apparently Goodell didn’t want to take the chance of Pryor escaping to someplace else (i. e. Canada), so he approved of Pryor entering the draft.  We want him playing here, just not for the first five games of the season because by golly, we have standards to uphold!!!!!  Apparently, as Mark Bradley argues, integrity is a flexible concept for Goodell.

Ponzi scheme: Sounds kinda like "tunnel screen" if you say it fast enough. And we all know how this guy felt about tunnel screens.

–We here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion have been tracking with the ongoing saga of Jim Donnan and his recent legal troubles, and we are happy to report that everything is now settled.  The settlement is about as good as could have been expected:  Donnan will transfer about $5.5 million in personal assets over to GLC Limited, the liquidation business that he ran for the better part of the previous decade.

For those of you who haven’t heard, Donnan filed for bankruptcy last month when GLC Limited went out of business.  (In this economy, I find it excruciatingly difficult to imagine a liquidation business failing, but here we are.)  Later, Donnan was accused of running a far-reaching Ponzi scheme.

–In honor of football season, the start of which is only a couple of days away, allow me to bring back an old Monday Melange favorite.  (Okay, it was one of my favorites.  I can’t speak for the other two or three Monday Melange readers out there.)  This actually happened right here in the ATL at a Thursday night game a couple of years back.

So what do you do when your team falls behind Georgia Tech 24-nil, then comes all the way back and takes a fourth-quarter lead only to let the game get away right at the very end?  Simple:  you do what this poor Clemson fan did.  And he did it so well that the ESPN announcers who were covering the game caught it on camera and used it in their postgame wrap-up.  The first two minutes or so are just idle banter by the announcers; the actual broadcast starts around the 2:05 mark.  Note the skilled use of the telestrator by the announcers at around the 1:20 mark; also note Chris Fowler struggling to keep from bursting into hysterical laughter on the air at around the 2:15 mark.

–While we’re looking at videos, allow me to close with a song that is extremely appropriate to what we’ve been talking about in this edition.  Please enjoy ABBA’s “Money Money Money”.  (Sometimes these deals don’t work.  So just in case, here’s the link.)

The Monday Melange 07.25.11: Jim Donnan, Gene Chizik, Dan Radakovich

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, has been in stitches over last week’s item about the running of the bulls in Spain.  He has been saying to me, “You humans are SOOOOOO STUPID!!!!!!!!!  [in mocking voice]  ‘There are bulls running loose in the street today!  I think I’ll go for a run!’ ”  Aloysius never tires of reminding me that bears have much better sense than to go for a run when there are bulls running loose in the streets.  Yeah whatever.  But I have nothing to say to him in response.  He is right on this one.  Sometimes it annoys me, and when I’ve had enough I just remind him–ever so gently–of that bear that got stuck on that bridge out in California a couple of years back, and that usually shuts him up.

Ponzi scheme?!?!? I thought the guy said "tunnel screen"!!!!!

–Jim Donnan’s legal and personal troubles are deepening.  Not only is he now bankrupt, he is now accused of running a Ponzi scheme.  Well, at least he’s got the right guy to defend him:  Athens lawyer Ed Tolley, who has a long career of making sticky situations for UGA not so sticky, is on the case.  Not that Tolley needs any suggestions from me, but here’s one:  Say that Donnan thought the guy said “tunnel screen” (sounds kinda like “Ponzi scheme” if you say it really fast) and said, “What?  Tunnel screen?  I love those!!!!!  Sign me up!!!!!”

If you’ve been wondering about the state of the NCAA’s investigation into Cam Newton at Auburn, wonder no longer.  Julie Roe Lach, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement, came to the SEC coaches’ annual meeting in Destin and gave a presentation there.  When she opened it up for questions, Gene Chizik raised his hand.  What followed was a testy exchange which resembled the scene at the congressional hearing in The Godfather II where the Corleone family lawyer gets up and says, “…We hope that you will have the decency to clear the Corleone family name with the same publicity with which you have besmirched it.”  Chizik peppered Roe Lach with questions about the status about the investigation, complaining that the open-ended nature of this investigation was hurting recruiting.  To which Roe Lach responded, “You’ll know when we’re finished.  And we’re not finished.”

Translation:  Sit down and shut up.

–It usually doesn’t go very well for you if you get testy with the NCAA.  Dan Radakovich at Georgia Tech could tell you a thing or two about that.  Georgia Tech just managed to take what should have been nothing more than a secondary violation and squeeze four years probation and a forfeited ACC championship out of it, because they were deemed as failing to cooperate with the NCAA’s investigation.  AJC sports columnist Mark Bradley contrasts the Georgia Tech situation with the situation at LSU, which had a major infraction and could have gotten in huge trouble but got off with the equivalent of time already served because they cooperated with the NCAA in their investigation.

The Monday Melange 07.18.11: Edwin Edwards, Derek Jeter, Damon Evans

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS if your 10K time is over 30 minutes.

–We here in Atlanta just had the Peachtree Road Race last week.  60,000 people running down Peachtree Road on the hottest day of the year.  Why?  Because we’re ATLiens and that’s how we roll!!!!!!

Of course the Kenyans won.  They always win this thing.  In the time it takes you to finish the PRR, the Kenyans would have time to finish, run all the way back to the start, and run all the way through the course again, this time stopping to get all the free samples and drink all the free beer that was being passed out.

But what would have made the PRR a lot more interesting is if they had bulls running loose on Peachtree Road during the race.

I’m not kidding here.  They actually do this in Spain.  They have this thing called the Running of the Bulls, where they let some bulls loose in the street and people actually try to run with them.  Has anyone figured out that this is an EXTREMELY BAD IDEA?????????  Of course Ernest Hemingway liked this.  But Hemingway was weird anyway.  He had a habit of drinking too much and writing novels with crazy long sentences that nobody can make sense of.

Think about this, people.  The bulls have a decided advantage here.  Even if the people attempting to keep up with them are Kenyan.  Bulls the world over actually plan their summer vacations around this thing.  (“No Ferdinand, I get the fat guy this year.  You can have the guy who doesn’t have any clothes on.”)

I’m not kidding about that last one.  Somebody actually tried to streak the Running of the Bulls this year.  Now, it’s stupid enough to attempt to run while there are bulls in the street if you do not have a 10K time of less than 30 minutes.  But to take your clothes off while attempting to run with the bulls?  That is taking stupidity to a whole other level.  Any bets on how long that would last?  If this video is any indication, only about 40 seconds.  Of course, the guy holding the video camera yelling “Kill Killer Kill!!!” at about the 20-second mark is a very nice touch.

–How would you like to be Facebook friends with a crooked Louisiana politician?  Well, now’s your chance.  Former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards is now on Facebook.  And you too can be his friend.  PSYCHE!!!!!!  No you can’t; he has too many friends.

If you look at his profile, you will notice that he says very little about being governor of Louisiana.  Can’t say I blame him.  If I were a four-term governor of a third world country who served jail time for racketeering and corruption while in office, I’d probably want to keep that on the DL too.

What does that say about Louisiana that a former governor who served jail time for racketeering and corruption has so many friends on Facebook that they won’t let him have any more?

–Congrats go out from all the staff here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion to Derek Jeter, who last week just hit his 3,000th home run.  Amazing.  Not even Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, or Barry Bonds could touch that, and Jeter did it without even touching steroids (at least that we know of).  WHOOPS!!!!!  Turns out he actually got his 3,000th hit, which just happened to be for a home run.

Here’s a link to the video of the CNN newscast, in which you can actually see them flash the graphic announcing Jeter’s 3000th homer, then take it down a split second before the newscaster correctly announces that Jeter has gotten 3,000 hits.

–Former UGA athletic director Damon Evans will soon be back in college athletics again.  According to a report in the Savannah Morning News, he has been hired as a consultant to the athletic department at Savannah State after they suddenly fired athletic director Marilyn Suggs.  Evans is currently working with the Markley Group, a Boston-area marketing firm.

The Monday Melange 07.11.11: Lorenzo Charles, Jim Donnan, Willie Lyles

It is with sorrow this week that we note the passing of Lorenzo Charles.  He died on June 27 when a bus he was driving (he was the only passenger) crashed on I-40 west of Raleigh.

Those of you who remember Lorenzo Charles, probably remember him as the player who made the greatest shot in all of college basketball, slamming home a desperation halfcourt heave to give NC State the win in the NCAA championship game over Houston in 1983.  This was the Houston of “Phi Slama Jama” fame, the team that featured Akeem Olajuwan (no, I will not defer to the present-day fashion of calling him “Hakeem”).  This was the Houston team that had dominated its competition all the way up to the finals, and whom many thought would dominate an NC State team that looked pedestrian in beating Georgia in the semifinals.

But Lorenzo Charles was not just a one-trick pony.  Charles had an excellent career at NC State, dominating Houston with 23 points and 13 rebounds in a rematch the next season.  He also put in stellar performances at Clemson and Georgia Tech.

This was an era when the ACC was truly the ACC.  Some of Charles’s collegiate contemporaries:  Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Ralph Samson, Tommy Amaker, James Worthy, Len Bias, Muggsy Bogues, and Mark Price.

Charles went on to the NBA and was drafted by the Crocks, where he was simply the wrong player at the wrong time.  He played forward on a team already stacked with forwards (Dominique Wilkins and Kevin Willis, just to name a few).  He lasted one year and then was off to Europe, never to grace the NBA again.  Too bad.

Where did all that money go? "Don't ask me," says Jim Donnan.

Jim Donnan has filed for bankruptcy.  After leaving UGA in 2000, Donnan settled down in Athens where he headed up a chain of liquidation stores.  Seems these stores didn’t do too well:  Donnan wound up owing creditors $10 million, including $300,000 in back taxes.  Maybe he could get back into coaching.  Maybe ESPN could take him on.

Of course, if Harold Camping is right about the world is ending on October 21, then it’s kind of a moot point.

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, has made himself rather scarce lately here at the Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion compound.  I’ve turned the place inside out looking for him, and can’t seem to find him anywhere.  And I think I know the reason why.

Aloysius is a huge fan of Pac-10 football (for the life of me I can’t understand why, but he is a bear with California ties and I am not, so I guess I’ll just have to let it go).  He loves to rag me about SEC football, especially when SEC programs are in trouble or SEC coaches and/or school administrators say and/or do stupid things.  Now the shoe is on the other foot.  Southern Cal got hammered by the NCAA last year, and now the Pac-10 faces the prospect of having two of its signature programs on NCAA probation in the not-too-distant future.  So I can understand Aloysius being a little reluctant to show his face these days.

Last week, this guy named Willie Lyles down in Houston told reporters at Yahoo Sports that a $25,000 fee he had received from Oregon for “scouting services” was actually more for his influence with Texas recruits.  (Maybe he was just offering geographic influence:  Oregon is all the way over on the other side of the country.  It can be a daunting challenge for people from our side of the country to find it.  If you’ve ever played Oregon Trail (kids:  Wikipedia), you know this.  If not, trust me.)

In an attempt to make this payment look legit, Oregon demanded that Lyles cook up ex post facto scouting reports.  In Lyles’ words:  “They said they just needed anything. They asked for last-minute [stuff]. So I gave them last-minute [stuff]…”  Lyles also turned over cellphone records which showed copious calls to Oregon coaches, including seven calls to head coach Chip Kelly.

But wait.  It gets better.

John Canzano, a columnist for the Portland Oregonian, says that Kelly lied to him about his relationship with Lyles.  He interviewed Chip Kelly back in March when this Lyles thing was starting to percolate.  Kelly said he didn’t know Lyles.  After the Yahoo report came out, Canzano called Kelly out on this.  Kelly responded that he was confused when Canzano asked about “Willie” Lyles, because “around here, we call him ‘Will’ “.

Aren't these the ugliest uniforms in all of college football?

He didn’t just say that, did he?  Oh snap, he did.

A guy named Willie sometimes goes by Will.  I can totally understand where that might cause people some confusion.

Of course, the NCAA is on the case.  This could spell big trouble for the Ducks.  But then, I never liked those uniforms.

Willie Lyles may be a scoundrel, but he’s an honest scoundrel.  He has stepped up and admitted publicly that he did things which were wrong, and everything he has said up to this point checks out.  That’s more than you can say for Chip Kelly.

Sorry, Aloysius.  I know you love to rag me about the SEC being a big-time football conference that plays fast and loose with the NCAA rules.  But for now, we don’t have anything on your beloved Pac-10.  What comes around goes around, so come on out and take it like a bear.

The Monday Melange 06.27.11: Clarence Clemons, Paul Simon

–Those of you who were Bruce Springsteen fans back in the day no doubt remember Clarence Clemons.  Clarence Clemons was the saxophone player in Springsteen’s band, and he played memorable solos on songs like “Born to Run”, “Bobby Jean”, and “I’m Goin Down”.  He played with other artists as well; he played the saxophone solo on Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway of Love” and even played with Lady Gaga within recent memory.

Alas, Clarence Clemons is no longer with us.  He died of complications from a stroke on June 18.

In his honor, I leave you with his most well-known work apart from Bruce Springsteen, in which he teamed up with Jackson Browne on the 1985 hit “You’re A Friend Of Mine”.

–While we’re looking at videos, let’s check out this song by Paul Simon from his new album So Beautiful or So What that came out back in April, called “The Afterlife”.  This song presents a tongue-in-cheek, bureaucratic vision of the afterlife (“You’ve got to fill out a form first / Then you wait in line”).  Paul Simon shows that even after all these years, his songwriting chops are still fully intact.  Enjoy.

The Monday Melange 06.20.11: Lebron James, Harold Camping

–Aloysius, our Executive Director of Sports Information here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion, wants all of you out there to know that at the end of the day, you have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life you have today, with the same personal problems you have today.  He says he is going to continue to live the way he wants to live and continue to do the things he wants.

Aloysius was not all that crazy about Lebron James’s little stunt last year when he went on ESPN for a full hour to tell the nation that he was “taking his talents to South Beach”.  So when Lebron James dropped his latest bomb after the Heat lost the NBA championship, Aloysius really took offense.

The quote in question?  “All the people that were rooting me on to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life they had before. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want with me and my family and be happy with that.”

Just shows that Lebron James doesn’t really care about playing hard and winning.  Well, maybe he does, but it sure seems that he cares more about making money and using it to do the things he wants to do.

Harold Camping just had a stroke.  Maybe October 21 will be his last day, ya think?

If you listen to him speak, and if you listen to the kinds of things he says, it certainly seems as if he’s already had a stroke or two somewhere along the line.

–I am certainly thankful for Harold Camping.  Thanks to him, all of my friends will remember my birthday every year for as long as I live.