Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Notre Dame BCS?

Hey we beat these guys...give us some credit.

Let me say first of all, that my blogs will be very infrequent for the next two weeks. In the most manly way possible, I have procrastinated and therefore will have my nose in books for the last two weeks of school. But before I say goodbye I wanted to take one more gut shot at Notre Dame.

Why the heck is everyone talking about giving the Fighting Irish a BCS bid? Looking at their schedule, they have defeated ONE, yes only ONE, top 25 team. That top 25 team, Georgia Tech, very well could have beat them and was the first game of the year. Notre Dame's two games against top 10 teams (USC, Michigan) haven't really been close, and they should have lost to lowly Michigan State. Oh, but lets not forget they have beaten the Military tri-fecta of Army, Navy and Air Force.

Don't get me wrong, Ole Miss would NOT beat Notre Dame, but we at least played LSU, Auburn, and Arkansas. Heck, we played LSU and Auburn close. Our resulting record is 4-8 with a big 3 point win over Miss. State. But hey, the team showed improvement, and we can always talk about next year.

The curse of "The Bear"

It's just getting commical in Tuscaloosa. The best complimentary to success in knoxville, is turmoil in Alabama. I'm loving this. In case you havn't hear, Bama fired Mike Shula yesterday. Why? Because He was not "The Bear". This is their curse, this is what made them and is killing them--ain't it great, you have to appreciate the irony of this program. The man who brought them into "the promise land" is the very same reason for their continued 'exile'. Grant it Shula was not a genious or maybe even the answer to their problems, but the continued turnover and expectations there are interwoven into their search for the next "Bear". Maybe Bama will go through this until all the old people in the state die, salvation may not come until their is a generation there that has to ask "who is the Bear?" The story is that Bama has trapped themselves in the past and refuses to face reality. 5 coaches in 7 years, i don't care who you--you can't have success like that. Shula came into the worst of circumstances and did pretty well with what he had. Bama fans just seem to not understand that THEY DON'T HAVE TALENT, they just neglect what these scholarship sanctions have done to them. I've read articles that note Bama fans thinking Shula did a lousy Job last year when they went 10-2, Ivan Maisel (who is a whining Bama fan on ESPN.com) said "it was rediculous he had that record with that amount of talent"---um, what maybe 1 or 2 pro prospects were on that team?? The main reason he was fired was for his record against Auburn, LSU, and Tennessee --yet his talent compared to those teams is nearly laughable. Shula had no talent, no scholarships to offer, and came in what has been the height of Auburn football--what else would you expect from a cross-state rival? Bama fans just expect every coach to be able to do what the Bear did...Win, and don't get caught cheating. Alabama has not been a high profile program in 12 years. The AD said "However, we did not make progress on the field this season and have not been able to maintain the positive momentum necessary to return Alabama football to a place among college football's elite programs," -- what Bama doesn't understand is before they can ever think of returning to greatness, they must REPENT of their past, repent of "The Bear". Maybe they should burn one of those hats at a game instead of putting the material on their jersey, or rename the stadium??

The comedy for me in this situation is the Irony, Bama is their own worst enemy. Maisel noted that "Moore praised Shula on Monday for providing "stability for our program through four years of NCAA probation" that ends Feb. 1, 2007"---are you seeing this, he praises Shula for STABILITY and then creates more instability in firing him. Who would want that job?? Sure it's got tons of history, big fan base, facilities--but until another coach walks out in a coat, tie, and goofy hat--the fans won't love him. The Alabama Job is death. If your a stud highschool player in the southeast, why would you want to play there instead of Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, or even Ole Miss? You don't know if the coach recruiting you will be your coach when you get there. The story gets even funnier when you see who Alabama thinks they can get to replace Shula. Again Maisel said "Moore didn't name any potential candidates but said he was beginning a national search. The most high-profile names on Tide fans' wish list -- South Carolina's Steve Spurrier and the Miami Dolphins' Nick Saban", and Pat Forde noted "They're aiming high on this thing," --that's how lost they are. Bama fans reflect on their program, and think Surely this guy would love to stop coaching the Miami Dolphins and work for us!! I think they see it as almost a 'promotion'. This is the curse of "the Bear", and i love it. Sure Alabama may find some fool out there who doesn't know what he's getting into, and he may even have a few winning seasons - no SEC titles - but some winning seasons, then we will be writing another post about another fired Alabama coach. Here's to more years of hardened hearts, oh you "stiff-necked" people--as true in all things, your only hope is to Repent and Believe!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

a Sweet Emotion Thanksgiving

I love this holiday, i'm not sure if it gets a whole lot better than tommorow: eating, sleeping, family, and football. Well, here on Sweet Emotion we are about three main things: a seinfeldian, reformed, manly life. So here is how to have a sweet emotion thanksgiving...

1) Eat so much the button on your pants springs off, all the way across the room if possible. Eat no less than 3 full plate fulls. Don't serve yourself either, sit at the table and demand to be waited on. Only speak in imperatives, like "Turkey..NOW!!"

2) Watch at least 8 hrs of football. If you of course naturally fall asleep, make sure to tape the games and watch them later, or if neccessar pop in an old tape from this fall!

3) An outdoor football game is an absolute for sweet emotion. A trip to the hospital only confirms a memorable thanksgiving - someone better have blood on their shirt.

4) If you are asked to say the thanksgiving blessing, since we are reformed on sweet emotion, make sure to use words like "covenant" or "eschatological" when you pray about being thankful, none of your relative will really know what that means, but hey...you sound pretty smartt!

5) some of the best memories of thanksgiving come from stories that start with "remember when uncle Jerry drank so much...." or "i'll never forget the time Grandma found mom's..." or "Mom, the dog ate granpa's heart medicine and is...." You get the picture. But being reformed, we don't condone any provoking-but you know what needs to get done to make those memories.
6) If thanksgiving gets bored, go ahead and celebrate "Festivus", all you need is a big pole and to start beating someone, that will spice up the day.

there are other methods to be used that we don't have time for, please share yours or your great thanksgiving stories.....Happy thanksgiving everyone!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Can we know someone loves Christ, and how a conference championship game hurst you

Forgive me if you are tired of J.C. Ryle, but I must refer to his book, Holiness, one more time. A mark of a Christian is the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke 7:47 states that “He that is really forgiven is the man who will really love. Or as Ryle states If a man has no love to Christ, you may be sure he has no faith.

The next question must be, How do I know a person loves Christ? Ryle states In what way and manner does love show itself between people in this world, brother and sister, between friend and friend? In other words, we may be sure a person loves Christ the same way we know a person loves anyone. Ryle continues:

1) If we love a person, we like to think about him – People we love we do not forget, and the same is true of Christ. Just as well, A Christian thinks often of His crucified Master

2) If we love a person, we like to hear about him – Friends, wives, and family alike. We like to hear about their achievements, successes and interests. Also, A Christian loves to hear sermons full of Christ.

3) If we love a person, we like to read about him ­– I will be vulnerable (unmanly I know). But when I was engaged to Liza long-distance, I loved to read letters from her. Well, it is just so between the true Christian and Christ! The true Christian delights to read the Scriptures, because they tell him about his beloved Savior.

4) If we love a person, we like to please him – Who hasn’t found themselves doing things they never thought they would before…simply because it pleases the girl they are pursuing. I’ve watched quite a few romantic comedies simply for that reason. The same must be true of a Christian. We must love what He loves and hate what He hates. Show him anything in his daily practice that Christ hates, and whe will give it up. Show him anything that Christ delights in, and he will follow after it.

5) If we love a person, we like his friends – I’ve become friends of Samuel Husband, simply because if they are friends with the person I am. In the same way, a Christian must love the church.

Of course, none of these things are the basis of our salvation. Grace alone, through faith alone is the only basis of our salvation. But, our culture today shies away from declaring we can have a good idea who loves Christ or not. And ultimately, complete assurance of salvation really is with the individual. However, as Ryle says, then let it never be said that we cannot find out whether a Christian really loves Christ. It can be known; it may be discovered; the proofs are all ready to your hand. You have heard them this very day. Love to the Lord Jesus Christ is no hidden, secret, impalpable thing. It is like light, it will be seen. It is like sound- it will be heard. It is like heat- it will be felt. Where it cannot be seen, you may be sure there is none.

On a second note, ESPN’s judgment day is over. It was a great game, but still the hype was out of control. It appears that USC controls its own destiny now. If they win out, all experts say they will be in the National Championship. I will have to say that one thing that is never discussed is the conference championship game. In the SEC, you are automatically forced to play a top 15 team, yet again. And sometimes the opponent is even someone you have previously played. I love the championship game (and just hope one day that Ole Miss will make it….gosh please), but the championship game does nothing but affect you negatively in the national spotlight. Think if Ohio State had to play Wisconsin next week in a Big 10 championship game. How hard would it be to get up for that game after judgment day? Well, let’s just be honest, no conference championship game is quite like the SEC. The Big 12 game will be Nebraska vs. Texas. I’ll take Texas in a blowout. The ACC is possibly Wake Forest versus Georgia Tech. It’s always fun to watch Calvin Johnson, but compare the game to Arkansas versus Florida. Have a great and sweet emotion Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 17, 2006

#1 vs. #2 ....Just down on main Street

#1 vs. #2

As We anticipated earlier here (see midseason reflections), This Ohio State - Michigan game is being hyped as a new 'game of the century'. It seems the media has been trying to re-make one of those 1966 Notre Dame - Michigan State or 1970 Oklahoma - Nebraska games forever. I will say that this comes closer than any regular season game in a long time. These clearly seem to be the best 2 teams in CFB. Though it is tough to get up for a big ten game, i do look forward to tommorow's game. I'm of the opinion Michigan will win (i have my reasons). Because the BCS has done a good job of placing #1 v #2, these regular season games are somewhat anti-climactic. But i think we can agree that this is anything but.

So with all that, this post is not so much about paying homage to tommorow's game, but to the greatness of football and big games. How fun and wonderful it is to watch a game that makes you feel nervous, even if it's not your team. I do think it is a SHAME that ABC has the game, b/c one of the best things about these games is the 'intro' done before the game. ABC is w/o a doubt the worst of the networks at this (Grey is right, Brent Mustburger makes me wanna puke). They never do anything chilling that captures you on your couch. Though sweetemotion despises Notre Dame, this intro clip is one of those that gets you--it's more of a tribute to Bob Costas. Bob may be the best of our time at grabbing you in and really capturing the moment. Maybe it's is voice, his words, i don't know. I'll never forget the intro he gave before game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals when Jordan had the Stomach Flu --- Bob painted this heroic image that MADE you want to see Jordan perform. Bob has just always been able to make something that you thought to be un-exciting, the greatest moment in recent sports history. Everytime i see him do the Olympics, he somehow hooks me in to thinking this long-distance cross-country skiing event is the most exciting thing the world has witnessed in recent times. He makes every sunday at the U.S. Open feel thrilling. The NBA desperately needs him back. If you've never seen him talk about Kirk Gibson's walk-off homer in the 1988 world series, you need to find it. Sports need people like him, he is the reason we have media. I do think that CBS usually does some pretty cool intro's as well, i remember the Ole Miss-LSU one a few years ago, Auburn-Tenn 2004 SEC championship one made me want to run through the wall. Maybe these intro's are for us fans who just dream and fantasize about what could have been. They make us eager to keep watching. With the release of PS3 today, the most needed improvements for the NCAA football games are some dramatic intro's!!! Who hasn't imagined themselves in one of these?? So, I hope your weekend is well, and makes you love the fall -- All that it stands for. Get goose bumps, crack open a cold one, and be a true american in the fall.

...in the spirit of this blog, please drop off any memorable intro's that youtube may have, or your favorite Bob Costas moment, or what you think the greatest #1 vs #2 game is....oh yeah, and if this clip inspires you to an IMMEDIATE game of tackle football, we want to hear about it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A quick break from football

No worries, the break from football will only be momentary. College Basketball has tipped off and that means Bobby Knight is on the floor again. It took just one game before he hit the headlines. Apparently, he lifted a players chin, told him to hold your head up and don't worry about your mistakes. People are making a huge, ridiculous deal about it. Good grief, the player himself and his families are wondering what the big deal is.
Now with that being said, Bobby Knight's past does warrant close scrutiny. You can't expect to not be looked at differently when you have a track record like his. It's like the "bad kid" in class that doesn't understand why he continues to be singled out for misbehavior. If you've built a reputation for it, then people will start watching you more closely.

Personally, I think Bobby Knight is a good basketball coach. I don't condone many of his actions or many of the things he has said. He has provided me with quite a few laughs. Who can forget when he was asked about possibly coaching in the NBA? He responded with "if there was a show about frogs mating on channel 3 and the NBA on channel 4, I would watch channel 3 everytime even if it came in fuzzy." His comments never cease to surprise me, and I love the way he just won't respond to dumb reporter questions.

Here is a compilation of Sportcenters top 10 Bobby Knight soundbites. Pretty funny with lots of bleeeeeeps. My favorite is highlight number two where he makes fun of the "gameface." Coming in a close second is number 3. He loses it on a reporter and then within seconds calmly looks at the camera and states "now back to the game."

Secondly, check Gray's Blog for more on this. The Ohio State/Michigan hype is out of control. Big game, yes. But I heard a hilarious mockery of it on Talk Radio this morning. The ad said "The cure for aids, and the fight against poverty all take a back seat this Saturday, because the biggest event in all of history is going down....Ohio State/Michigan."

Thirdly, If you haven't seen Stranger Than Fiction yet, in my opinion it's a must see. Great Cast and great story. Once you get over the weird plot, it's a cool story with good humor and good acting. Without giving anything away, it makes you realize, if a Divine author is writing my story, then every detail and circumstance in life has beauty and meaning. I have no idea if the writer is a Christian or not, but I think it hints at some great truths about God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Maybe I'm way off...if so...feel free to disagree.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The perfect season

I laughed last night when i saw the results to the Rutgers/Louisville game. This is such a repetitive pattern in college football, a team wins the biggest game 'ever', people talk all week about them in the national championship, and then they lose the next game (Notre Dame 93', Fla. State 96', Tenn. 01', ect..). I'm of the opinion that Louisville would have had NO business in the BCS championship game. But, I just knew that they were not going to finish the regular season undefeated. I think most can agree, that the one thing that holds me back from full support of a playoff is that it kinda takes away from the magic of "The perfect season". So much has to happen for that to come true, and when your team has one it is beyond special. I think it's harder to go undefeated in college football and win the championship, than it is to win any other collegiant championsip (surely we all agree on that). Here is what i think it takes to have "THE PERFECT SEASON":

1) A favorable schedule: A few things here, you cannot have more than 3 really tough regular season games. Also, and this is crucial, your 'tough' games must be spread out over the schedule. That is, you can't have all your tough games in one month, not frontloaded or backloaded (examples this year are Florida, Auburn, Louisville). Also the favorableness of your schedule must involve some luck in playing certain teams at the right time. That is, catching teams before they peak or after they have. For example this year, huge luck for Ohio State in catching Texas in the second week of the season before Colt McCoy could develop. Or teams that had to play Florida later in this season were more fortunate, catching them kinda beaten up. Rutgers was very fortunate to catch Louisville AFTER the West Virginia game--if that game is at another time in the season, maybe its a different story.

2) luck with Injuries: All teams are going to get some injuries, the luck lies with who gets injured and when. You cannot afford a star player injured before a big game (Georgia went through HORRENDOUS luck last year with D.J. Shockley going down week before Florida game, otherwise their season would have been a different story). Certain teams just get lucky in thie area, also if a 'star' does get injured, it must happen early in the season during a mediocre part of schedule or around a bye week.

3)The stud player:Each team that has run the table in the past has always had one player (usually a senior, but not neccessarily)who the team can count on to 'make a play' when it is most needed. Teams are going to have a close game, and their must be some guy who is going to step up and make something happen. Perfect examples (Charles Woodson 97', Al Wilson 98', Peter Warrick 99', Ed Reed 01', Chris Gamble 02', Matt Leinhart 04', and the Archetype example: Vince Young 05')

4) Luck from the 'gods': College football is tough to get up every week, especially when you are a team that everyone is gunning for. You need some huge breaks, many teams the season is defined by a near "miracle play", where it seems that the 'football gods' are just in your favor. Examples such as: in 97' nebraska's kicked backwards ball in endzone, in 98' Clint Stoener's putting ball on ground when had Tennessee beat, in 01' the interception by Ed Reed tipped off of a lineman's leg when BC was about to score and win game, 02' the "pass interference" in OT for Ohio State, 04' Cal guy falls down in Endzone against USC, 05' Ohio State gonzoles drops touchdown that would have sealed game against Texas.

5)The big Road win: Every contending team usually has one really tough road game that either makes or breaks their season. The road win is so huge because it tells a team that if we can win here, we can win anywhere. You know what i'm talking about, when gameday is there and Corso puts on the mascot head of the home team, the atmosphere is magical, and your team goes in and gets the job done. That kind of win is what will boost a team's confidence more than anything for running the rest of the table, most 'perfect teams' usually look back to that game as the one that assured them of how good they were. Examples: Texas winning at Ohio State 05', Auburn crushing Tennessee in 04', Oklahoma at Kansas State in 00'.

I'm sure there are many more glorious examples that i have left out, of which i'm sorry. I'd be pleased to have more memories added, and even "formula" adjustments that you think are neccessary. I'm not sure if we will have a "perfect team" this year, but we will still have a national champ, it won't be as special though. On a different note, has anyone seen "Borat" yet?? heard it was halarious!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

J.C. Ryle does it again.

Ole J.C. Ryle

The cost of Christianity has been on my mind lately. For one, I think I’ve been trying to figure out what indeed Christianity has cost me. A hard verse for me to read is when Jesus says ”if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” It’s hard for me to read because life as a Christian seems way too easy. I mean, I have a hard time confronting people because I'm scared it will cost me "how much they like me."

Let every reader of this paper think seriously, whether his religion costs him anything at present. Very likely it neither costs you trouble, nor time, nor thought, nor care, nor pains, nor reading, nor praying, nor self-denial, nor conflict, nor working, nor labour of any kind. Now mark what I say. Such a religion as this will never save your soul. It will never give you peace while you live, nor hope while you die. It will not support you in the day of affliction, nor cheer you in the hour of death. A religion which costs nothing is worth nothing.

I don’t really have much to add to J.C. Ryle’s quote. When Jesus says ”if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” He assumes that our following Christ means it will come with a cost. I don’t know about you, but for me, I sometimes wonder how much Christianity has really cost me. I’ve grown up in the “Christian” friendly south. I’ve always been surrounded by Christian friends, and have even been working for a campus ministry for the past 4 years.” But alas, Jesus did not say, Christianity will cost you something….unless you are from Mississippi.

Nope, I dare say the reason Christianity costs us so little is because we fear man more than we fear God. In Mark 6, King Herod stands at a crossroads. He can either have John the Baptist beheaded, thus pleasing his adulterous wife, daughter in law, and rich friends, or he can refuse to murder John the Baptist and forfeit the favor of his colleagues. King Herod sadly fears the dislike of his friends more than God and therefore executes John the Baptist.

What’s our answer? We look to the cross and see what it cost our Savior to bring salvation to His loved ones. Jesus, the Son of God, who was, is and always will be in perfect communion with Trinity, took on a body and walked the earth 2000 years ago. He became his own creation! Was rejected and despised by even his own people. Then horrifically suffered torture and then a slaves death on the cross, took the full, unmitigated wrath of God upon himself, and died. Why? All to pay the debts of his people and secure our complete redemption. When we look at the cross we see that Christ paid the ultimate cost, so that we might have life with him eternal.

Ryle asserts that Christianity will cost us our self-righteousness, our easy life, and the favor of the world. But when you compare the cost…it’s no comparison….because we get Jesus. Marrying Liza (my wife for those of you who don’t know) meant things had to change in my life, but it’s all worth it because I have Liza. And following Christ means emptying my wallet, confronting my friends about hard things, not being selfish with my time, and yes much, much more. But “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Mark 8:36).” As Ryle concludes

We shall marvel that we made so much of our cross, and thought so little of our crown. We shall marvel that in “counting the cost” we could ever doubt on which side the balance of profit lay. Let us take courage. We are not far from home. IT MAY COST MUCH TO BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN AND A CONSISTENT HOLY MAN; BUT IT PAYS.

Secondly, I was driving from class yesterday and noticed a big banner at McDonald’s that said “the McRib sandwich is back!” Good grief, why does that food item (I refuse to call it to a sandwich) keep coming back. Who actually eats the McRib and who celebrates when it comes back? I can just see a family gather the kids together in the living room. Kids, guess what, put on your best clothes…we’re going to McDonald’s because the McRib sandwich is BACK.!
The McRib falls right behind the BK Big Fish sandwich as my grossest fast food item.

1. BK Big Fish
2. McDonald’s McRib
3) Anything from Captain D’s.

Sweet emotion!... Holiness by J.C. Ryle is a great book.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

paying homage....

Just b/c, i had to point out that Allen Iverson is in a 76er uniform, they are the only 3-0 team in the eastern conference because he is here getting his 40-50 shots a game...oh yeah and he was NBA player of week

....but we don't care about basketball here until AFTER January, still-keep launching it AI!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Manly Stadiums

In keeping with sweet emotions love for manliness, I thought I would rank the manliest places to be on a Saturday. And by all accounts that means ranking the SEC football stadiums and atmospheres. A quick disclaimer, I am ranking the stadiums/atmospheres based on knowledge and personal experience. I’ve been to a game in every stadium except Florida and Arkansas. Those two stadiums I have walked into but never experienced a game. I’ve consulted my friend Miles Gresham since he has attended a game in every SEC stadium. For that manly achievement Miles and Gray Hardison, we salute you.

1) LSU/Death Valley – It doesn’t get much better than a night game in Baton Rouge. With the best pre-game in America and the rowdiest fans, it’s an atmosphere that is hard to beat. Add to those two elements a full day of drinking for the Cajuns and Death Valley becomes not just intimidating but frightening. At 92,400 strong, it’s a tough place to play. Bear Bryant once said playing in death valley was like playing inside of a drum. And in one victory over Auburn in 1988, the crowd reaction registered on an LSU geological seismograph. Death Valley is a cool place to play, and the fans love making tiger bait out of the opposing fans. Two other big pluses for Tiger stadium is that they still use the double goal post and the Tiger walk with the band before the game is top notch.
Interesting fact - Unlike most football fields, where only the yard lines ending in "0" are marked, Tiger Stadium also marks the yard lines ending in "5".

2) Tennessee – My personal experience wasn’t too exciting in Knoxville. However, my one game was an 11:30 JP game during Tennessee’s horrible season last year. First of all, most people don’t get fired up when the Rebs come to town and secondly, it was the 11:30 JP game. There is no atmosphere killer like JP 11:30. I can’t discount the experts here. The sheer numbers put UT over the top. As of late it has become a little easier to win in UT, but the splitting of the T amidst 104,079 screaming fans is still a great tradition. It wouldn’t hurt for UT to cut down on the number of times Rocky Top is played, but all in all Neyland Stadium is a classic SEC stadium. In my book, the fact that the stadium sits on Philip Fulmer way is a little too much.
Two notable facts regarding Neyland Stadium are.
1) The Sporting News ranked Neyland Stadium as the nation's No.1 college football stadium in a poll in the spring of 2001.
2) Largest stadium attendance was on Sept. 18, 2004 against Florida with a record of 109,061 people. A 30-28 Volunteer win.

3) Georgia – With the coolest stadium situated in a neat town, Georgia combines good tailgating with good football. Sanford Stadium sits in a valley, thus enabling passerby’s on a bridge to see down into the stadium. It’s the 5th largest on-campus stadium in the SEC. Tailgating spreads all over campus, Athens is a great football town, and the atmosphere between the hedges is always exciting. However, Georgia can’t ever seem to capitalize on the atmosphere, thus keeping them from being an elite football program. I’ve heard Miles compare Mark Richt to David Cutciffe. I think I like the comparison more and more. I give a big thumbs up to Georgia fans. My one time in Athens, a random Georgia fan invited me into his tent to dine and then he got my e-mail address and began forwarding me all his political e-mail.
Two notable unique facts regarding Sanford Stadium are: 1) One unique attribute of Sanford Stadium is Georgia's deceased mascots (UGAs I-V, all descendants of the original white English bulldog) are actually buried or entombed within the stadium's east end zone.
2)It is also one of the few college stadiums in which the football field is oriented to face East-West as opposed to North-South. Many of UGA's opponents have found it difficult for players to see as the West Endzone is still open and the sun shines in the faces of the players, although both teams face the sun during the game.

4) Auburn – I spent two years in Auburn, Al and one was during their undefeated season which means I witnessed an extra-amped up crowd. Jordan-Hare is a great atmosphere and the circling of the eagle before the game gave even me chills. The new “hold hands and walk out of the tunnel” for one game was cool but watching it every game makes it goofy and lame. Also, this rebel fan considers the “Tiger Walk” a poor man’s grove walk, but for this decade, Jordan Hare has been a tough place to win. Their cheerleader on a microphone leading chants needs to go, but the paintings at the front of the stadium of Auburn’s all time greats is pretty neat.

5) Alabama – Bryant-Denny would probably be ranked higher if Alabama football hadn’t been struggling as of late. The stadium is the fourth largest in the SEC and is the only stadium with three jumbo trons in the country. The game day atmosphere is full of tradition and the expansion of the stadium adds to the intimidation. The pre-game video latent with winning tradition and the Famous “Roll Tide” give the stadium a nice buzz before kickoff. Bryant-Denny has had 56 consecutive sellout games since 1988. As an Ole Miss fan, I can personally attest to the difficulty of going into Tuscaloosa and coming home with a win.

6) The Swamp – I relied on Miles for this one. I’ve only walked into Ben Hill Griffin stadium. But Miles ranked it at number six. If this poll was going during the Spurrier days, it probably would be in the top 3. Spurrier was 68-5 in the swamp. I would have thought it would be higher, especially since EA Sports NCAA football ranks it number one. However, I’ll trust my esteemed friend on this one. The gator chomp is a great cheer.

7) Ole Miss – If we were voting on atmosphere alone I would put Ole Miss in the top 5. I know I am biased, but it’s hard to beat tailgating before an Ole Miss game along with the walk through the grove. The pre-game before the showdown with eventual national champion LSU in 2003 was memorable. People were hanging in the tree during the walkthrough and the stadium was rumbling after the opening interception.
Vaught-Hemingway as a stadium is pretty poor. The two expansions don’t go together very well and it has the worst sound system in the SEC. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a complete sentence from the jumbo-tron. The bands performance of from Dixie with love is top notch, but Ole Miss needs to come up with something better than celebrity Hotty Toddy. At capacity, Vaught seats a little under 61,000.

8) Arkansas – Razorback Stadium is cool for two main reasons. The name is razorback stadium, and it has a jumbo-tron (also called the pig-screen) the size of most football fields. The Pig Suie chant has got to be the most annoying in the SEC and the razorback hats are well self-explanatory. They broke their record attendance this year for the USC game by putting 76,564 in the stadium. The big minus for Razorback stadium is that it is located in Fayetteville, AR. I promise, no one but Arkansas fans live near Fayetteville.

9) USC – big minus for USC is the off campus stadium. Located at the fairgrounds with railroads all around, it’s a poor site for a stadium. You feel like you are in the middle of some scrap yard. The Gamecock “railcars” are nothings special, and there is something about tailgating on asphault and concrete that just isn’t college football. The screech of the Gamecock during the game is extremely annoying and their mascot’s “Magic Box” entrance is too gimmicky. USC does have a great, committed and boisterous crowd though. The crowd alone saves the atmosphere, because the stadium and its location add nothing to it. My one trip to Williams-Brice stadium was memorable because I saw Ole Miss come away with a victory with Ethan Flatt at quarterback….a miracle in and of itself.
Notable facts: the playing of the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey as the Gamecocks run onto the field at the start of every game, which The Sporting News called "the best entry" in college football. ** I strongly disagree.

10) Kentucky – My trip to Lexington this year was sub-par. My colleagues were a blast, but the atmosphere and the Rebels performance was poor. Just trust me when I say the campus is a basketball campus. No one even seemed to care about the Wildcats even after the victory. In this stadium, you are guaranteed to hear AC/DC blaring over the speakers a good 25-30 times.

11) Miss. St – Davis Wade is the second oldest Division 1-A college football stadium. Other than that, it’s a pretty weak stadium/atmosphere. Cowbells somehow still ring even though they were banned by the SEC. I guess no one will care until they start winning again. No doubt, the best stadium on campus is Dudy-Noble field. The baseball stadium is one of the best.

12) Vanderbilt – Show your gold. The only pre-game that welcomes the opposing team by playing their fight song. Vandy has no tradition and it shows. They change their uniforms every year, and the students usually don’t even show up until halftime. The Dores are always trying to find some sort of gimmick, but it’s just a sad atmosphere. I’ve been to high school football games louder than Vanderbilt Stadium.

Don’t look now but where was Dave Neil and Dave Baker last week? Rumor has it that only Dave Rowe was around. Any word on that?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The time isn't right

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I suggest there has only been a handful of truly staple, steady things in my life. My parents have loved me since the day I was born, the New Orleans Saints/Ole Miss Rebels have always been a steady part of my life, a smile comes to my face everytime the Star Wars trilogy comes on TV, and The Price is Right has always been on from 10:00-11:00 every weekday.

Things are moving kind of slow here in Jackson, and I think its safe to say that everyone is a little sad that Bob Barker has announced his retirement. His reason, "I've decided to retire while I am still young." In 1956, Bob Barker took the trademark "long skinny" microphone for the first time and daytime entertainment television changed forever. Sure, through the years his skin color has changed, his hair has gotten sno-white, but the legend of the game show industry still has it all. It never fails to get a chuckle from me when he hesitates revealing the final number in "Lucky 7". He'll point at the number, the frantic contestant leans forward desperately awaiting the verdict, then he'll stop, look back at the contestant and ask "Now, what are you going to do if you win this car." I'm telling you, the smooth conversational hesitation which breaks the suspense before revealing the winner NEVER GETS OLD. Nobody does it like Bob Barker.

My brother Mark and I enjoyed countless hours of "The Price Is Right" growing up. Mark was such a fervant fan that he could name the upcoming game based on where Bob had the contestants stand. Then as college came around, I realized that no longer did I have to be in school at 10:00 AM. A few of my buddies and I would have a 9 o'clock class followed by an 11 o'clock. Therefore, we would gather in the Union, grab the remote, change the channel to CBS, and watch Bob work his magic. Numerous times, someone would land a dollar on the wheel or get a chance to play plinko, and a roar would come from our table! Other people in the Union would peer around the corner to see what all the commotion was about. Well, I'll tell you what the commotion was about: Bob Barker in all his brilliance. If seeing Bob Barker flip the "hole in one" sign to a "hole in two" doesn't make you smile, or if seeing someone win both showcases in the Showdown doesn't make you cheer, then you have missed out. I will never forget one morning in the "A-Frame (house in college." The Price is Right was on, I was watching it in a back room and Nathan Michaels was viewing it in the front. Bob Barker, with an extra skip in his step, points and reveals a new game "TRIPLE PLAY." Nathan was screaming, I was screaming, the crowd was going ballistic as Rod Roddy three times yelled "you could win this." Each time it was a new car.

It has been a dream of my brother and me to one day get a chance to "spin the wheel." However, It looks as if we will never get our chance. Bob Barker is responsible for many happy times and many neutered dogs. I think its a shame that they will try to keep the show going without Bob. The show should live and die with Bob. Here's to Bob, always a friend of sweet emotion, and a true legend. "Help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered."

***Feel free to comment on some of your favorite "Price is Right" moments.