Wednesday, January 31

Put that coffee down! . . .

. . . and watch this YouTube video I found whilst hunting around for quotes to use in a magazine story I'm working on about the changing psychology of selling and salesmanship. It's the "coffee is for closers" scene from the 1992 film adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross, written specifically for the movie. Actually, Alec Baldwin's entire character was written specifically for the movie, and here's his one scene, all eight minutes of it -- but it's a pretty good eight minutes.

Needless to say, the audio is NSFW unless you're a sailor, stevedore, or Vice President Dick Cheney. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 30

Who's fat?

The last poll we hosted on this site was pretty successful, with a bunch of people participating, so I thought I'd do another one on something that's been bugging me for a while now. It concerns former Sports Illustrated swimsuit-issue cover model, Victoria's Secret angel, and all-around hottie Tyra Banks. Ever since her first appearance in SI in, like, my freshman year of college I've thought she was awesome. Now, with "America's Next Top Model" and her talk show and whatever else, she's pretty much turning herself into a brand name. Good for her.

But since "retiring" from modeling, some people seem to think that Tyra has let herself go. A few tabloids (I don't know which ones specifically started it) shot her on a beach in Australia looking a little heavier than she had in the past, and made jokes like "America's Next Top Waddle" and "Tyra Porkchop" based on photos like this one:

An unflattering photo? Perhaps. The pose is a little weird (though to be fair, this was a paparazzi shot, not an actual modeling shoot or anything), and the swimsuit might be a little mommish, but honestly, she's still fine as fuck. At least I think so.

Contrary to the tabloids that "estimated" based on the photos that she'd ballooned up to 200 pounds, Tyra says she's around 161. At 5-foot-10, that gives her a body mass index (BMI) of 23.1, almost right smack in the middle of what the NIH considers "normal." In fact, her previous height-of-her-career weight of 130 put her right on the edge of underweight according to the NIH.

So anyway, when the "fat" accusations were leveled, there was considerable backlash from the "Are you nuts, that isn't even close to fat" camp -- enough that I thought, OK, maybe this was just a non-story cooked up by the supermarket rags and it wasn't an accurate representation of what the general public actually perceives. But then there are enough people out there apparently saying "eww, what a fatty" that maybe this isn't universally recognized as utterly ridiculous.

So anyway, I could've written a long post about how I don't think Tyra Banks is that fat, she's still hot, female curves are something to be treasured, but I took a step back and realized that "Tyra Banks is hot" isn't exactly the most courageous stance out there, and I don't want to go off on some rant on an issue that may turn out to be ridiculous on its face. So to find out whether this is ridiculous, I ask you to take a look at these photos of the 161-pound, 20-percent-more-free Tyra

and then answer the following question:

What do you think of Tyra Banks?
Hott. With two Ts.
A little chunky, but hardly offensive.
Fatty fatty boombatty.
Free polls from

Sunday, January 28

Well met. I'll play your game, you rogue.

Look familiar? This is Donnie Davies, the "musician" behind the "God Hates a Fag" video and "Love God's Way Ministries" we discussed a few days back. Only it's not Donnie Davies. It's Joey Oglesby, a Dallas-based actor and comedian. And thus the mystery is solved.

I gotta say, even though it was eventually sussed out, Oglesby's hoax was a bang-up good one if it managed to keep this many people asking questions for this long. Good show, man. I can only hope that somebody will dig up a letter from James Dobson or Jerry Falwell or somebody sincerely proposing some kind of partnership with Oglesby's fictitious "ministry." (Oops, "propose," "partnership" . . . well, those kinds of things are illegal. Forget I even mentioned them.)

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the issue, and congrats again to Joey Oglesby. This is the stuff of which Internet stardom (or, hell, even beyond-the-Internet stardom) is made.

How do you like me now? Still not much, actually.

As someone who invested numerous hours in the thankless task of selling John Kerry to a resolutely uninterested Alabama public, I can tell you that there were few places where "I voted for it before I voted against it" was a bigger joke than it was here, and certainly not without reason. But my question is: Can we count on everyone to now heap the same derision upon Toby Keith?

Keith doesn't support the Iraq war -- "Never did," he says -- and he favors setting a time limit on the occupation. He says he suspects civil war in Iraq is inevitable and predicts the Kurds will be the victors: "I promise you, they'll end up with it all." (My emphasis.)

The story goes on to talk about how Toby is a lifelong Democrat who would "never switch parties," yet he's that rare breed of Democrat who donates exclusively to Republicans. He's also that rare breed of war opponent who put stuff like this up at his concerts.

Seriously, can anyone find me an instance from before May 2003 in which Toby Keith went on record as having opposed the war in Iraq? Anybody?

I know, I'm probably being ungrateful and ungracious. I should be happy that yet another prominent individual (one with conservative credibility, no less) has, for whatever reason, joined the anti-war chorus. And yet the only thing I care to say to Keith in this instance is: Fuck you, Toby, and the Ford truck you rode in on. And that's courtesy of the red, white, and blue.

Friday, January 26

The two most disturbing things I've read in the past week.


In an interview, Pelosi also said she was puzzled by what she considered the president's minimalist explanation for his confidence in the new surge of 21,500 U.S. troops that he has presented as the crux of a new "way forward" for U.S. forces in Iraq.

"He's tried this two times -- it's failed twice," the California Democrat said. "I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?' And he said, 'Because I told them it had to.' "

Asked if the president had elaborated, she added that he simply said, " 'I told them that they had to.' That was the end of it. That's the way it is."

Now, the reason for the steam pouring out of my ears is not the "Pelosi Says She Wasn't Consulted" headline; I mean, nobody should seriously expect that Bush has been consulting with anybody outside his own little inner circle on anything. If he's gonna blow off the entire Baker-Hamilton Group, he's sure as hell not gonna be giving Nancy Pelosi the time of day. But "I told them it had to"? That's the best you've got? What, have you been telling them, "Eh, guys, don't worry, if this doesn't work it's no big deal" all this time but only now, after four years in Iraq, you're telling them that stuff has to work? (Link via Atrios.)

Over to you, Mr. Cheney.


WOLF BLITZER: How worried are you --

DICK CHENEY: We still have more work to do to get a handle on the security situation, and the president's put a plan in place to do that.

BLITZER: How worried are you of this nightmare scenario, that the U.S. is building up this Shiite-dominated Iraqi government with an enormous amount of military equipment, sophisticated training, and then in the end, they're going to turn against the United States?

CHENEY: Wolf, that's not going to happen. The problem is, you've got --

After "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction" and "my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators," shouldn't "that's not going to happen" immediately set your hair standing straight on end? Seriously, has this guy been right about anything in the past six years? If Dick Cheney told me that giant rocks weren't going to start spontaneously forming in the clouds and falling to earth, the first thing I'd do would be to run out and get a helmet. (Link via Digby.)

It's time to face the reality (even if our leaders can't): This "surge" isn't based on what's right or wrong. It isn't based on sound strategy or policy. It isn't even based on what the military wants. It's based on blind, cross-your-fingers, close-your-eyes-and-throw-a-dart-at-the-wall hope. It's based on nothing more than Bush and Cheney shrugging their shoulders and saying, "Well, fuck . . . OK, heads we send more troops."

And now we have certain nutso elements in the right wing threatening what basically amounts to a purge against people in their own party who aren't satisfied with the Bush/Cheney strategy of merely leaving 21,500 troops under their pillow for the Victory Fairy to come collect. I'd almost have fun watching this, if there weren't, you know, people dying because of it.

Thursday, January 25

Friday Random Ten . . . plus 50% more free!

Last week Ann brought us a new meme (originally started by Feministe) that gives us the chance to talk ourselves up a little. As Ann writes, people in general "are conditioned to be self-deprecating, to avoid bragging, to apologize for our virtues and play up our faults," and nobody knows this better than me; someday when you've got seven or eight hours to spare I'll tell you about my miserable preadolescence and the havoc it continues to wreak upon my self-esteem to this day. Anyway, while I occasionally do some sarcastic bragging on this site about my brilliance or whatever, it's almost always in jest. Feministe's meme encourages us to do some honest-to-goodness, no-fooling, don't-be-ashamed-of-ourselves proclaiming of our best aspects -- which, as Ann says, isn't as easy as it sounds:

[M]y addendum to that is that you must list them unapologetically, without joking, making excuses, or trying to balance the good with the bad. When I first tried doing this, it was one of the hardest things I've done, not because I couldn't think of things I like about myself, but because I couldn't brag. Couldn't do it. If I was loving on my legs, it was always with the caveat that "while they aren't the thinnest gams out there..." and if I was loving on my sense of humor, it was "some might disagree..." When did that happen?

Well, I'm gonna give it a shot, and augment this week's Friday Random Ten with a bonus Not-So-Random Five of stuff that is awesome about me. Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and blah blah hmmmm zzzzzzz. Anyway, the Five:

1. I'm a good writer. And you think so, too, or you wouldn't be here.

2. I have a pretty good sense of humor, which you also agree with.

3. I'm willing to put other people's happiness and/or comfort ahead of my own, going out of my way and making personal sacrifices if necessary.

4. I am a machine at Scrabble.

5. I'm hung like a horse. Or so I've been told.

Affirming, no? I encourage y'all to do this on your own sites. It's a nifty little confidence-builder. And now, the Ten:

1. Morrissey, "The World is Full of Crashing Bores"
2. The Strokes, "Soma"
3. Gorillaz, "Left Hand Suzuki Method"
4. R.E.M., "Untitled"
5. The Dave Brubeck Quartet, "Meadow Lark"
6. Underworld, "Two Months Off" (edit)
7. Modest Mouse, "Dig Your Grave"
8. Sting, "I Miss You Kate"
9. Public Enemy, "Night of the Living Baseheads"
10. R.E.M., "Funtime"

Put your own five affirmations and/or your own ten songs in the comments. You are a winner!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it.

OK, Hey Jenny Slater readers -- yes! all three of you -- I have a mission for you. Or a favor to ask. Or an assignment, or something.

It has three parts:

1. Watch the video located here. (It's safe for work, but you still might want to listen via headphones.)

2. Explore the site(s) associated with it, including those of Love God's Way Ministries and Donnie Davies.

3. Vote in the poll below. (Removed -- see updates.)

Have at it . . ."

UPDATE: Donnie Davies surfaces again! He's got a new video that would seem to expose the whole thing as a spoof -- he thanks the openly gay, HIV-positive blogger Andrew Sullivan for "getting behind" him in his efforts. But The Stranger has a new theory: It is a hoax, but "Donnie Davies" is still a homophobe. Readers? All I know is I'm more confused than ever.

UPDATE THE LAST: The polls are closed, because the denouemént has been reached; go here for the exciting conclusion. In the end, it was 39% voting for "hoax," 32% voting for "oh, crap, it's real," and the other 29% still too confused to state a definite opinion. Results that even kind of tell you just how slick a job Joey Oglesby . . . er, I mean, Donnie Davies did.

Wednesday, January 24

Where have you gone, Shawn Bradley? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

I know it might not look this way sometimes, but I like the University of Alabama. I have family connections to Alabama. For as long as I can remember, I've cheered for Alabama over Auburn in pretty much everything, frequently to the displeasure of the Auburn girls who comprise a strikingly disproportionate chunk of my dating history. Florida and Tennessee I hate, but I got no beef with the Tide.

But holy jeez, you guys have been bringing it with the unintentional comedy lately. First it was the soap-operatic search to replace Mike Shula and the continuing insistences on the part of Bama fans that Jesus Christ our risen Lord himself would trade significant parts of His anatomy to coach the Tide. Then it was the outpouring of hosannahs, kisses, hotel keys, and everything short of firstborn children to mark the arrival of Nick Saban. (And I'm giving y'all the benefit of the doubt with the firstborn-children part.) Now we have fan reaction to the 81-57 beatdown that the 12th-ranked Tide got from unranked Auburn last night.

Now, I'm not criticizing anyone for simply being pissed off about getting a furious, unlubricated, four-on-the-floor rogering from an eight-loss team. That's understandable. But check out this message-board posting a sportswriter friend of mine sent me this morning:

5853. Here's you a stat!
by [Internet handle redacted], 1/24/07 9:46 ET
Alabama's margin of defeat, 21.5 points. Top 10 team my a$$. Not even a top 20 team in my opinion, and I'm an Alabama fan! Steele's ailing, Davidson is the softest 6'10 guy I've ever seen. He had 18 or so last night I know, but he gave up at least 25 on the interior to 6'6 and 6'7 guys. I've never liked him at all. He's been horrible since day one. Gottfried is a below average coach, and he's not that good of a recruiter. If so, he would get some CULTURAL DIVERSITY!!! That's right, I said it. You know Gottfried, white people can play basketball too! I promise you wouldn't have to worry about them playing hard every game either like you do with the so-called "great" athletes you have now. They play when they wanna play. That's bad coaching.

Yes, who among us has never looked at his favorite basketball team and thought, "You know, we could really get to the next level if we could just sign some more white dudes"?

Then, of course, we've got the not-all-that-cryptic racism attendant in his implication that the black guys "play when they wanna play" while upstanding whiteys would work hard every game. But that's probably a whole post all by itself.

Anyway, Mark Gottfried: White guys! There's the answer to your road woes. Somewhere Fisher Deberry's head is about to explode.

Bama's next hoops superstar.

ADDED: No, no, wait, wait. Bama's next hoops superstar is clearly this kid. (Hat tip: Westerdawg.)

State of the blah blah zzzzzzz.

If I ever get elected president, I already have the intro to my speech worked out. It will shoot my approval ratings up to record highs and will instantly join the pantheon of the greatest speeches in political history.

It will begin thusly:

Thank you. Thank you very much. Before I begin, if I may, a request.

I know it's traditional for the entire chamber to break into applause, and in some cases standing ovations, after every mention of a stirring political success or groundbreaking policy proposal. I can only hope that some of you will flatter me tonight by wanting to do the same. However, I would respectfully ask that you hold all applause until the end of the speech. If we do that, then we can all get home to our families sooner, the people watching at home can get back to watching their shows, and everyone's a happy American camper.

Now then. Mr. Speaker, Vice President Herseth, First Lady Theuriau, members of Congress, distinguished guests, particularly the 2034 national-champion Georgia Bulldogs up there in the gallery, and fellow citizens:

As for the actual State of the Union last night? Read it, didn't watch it (because I can read fast and don't have to stop for 30 seconds on every "Applause" line). And honestly, there was some good stuff in it. Tax deductions for health insurance? Sure. Energy independence? Yes please. Immigration reform? Yeah, probably gonna need that too. There's just one problem: For Bush, the State of the Union has turned into a repository of grand ideas he can truck out just long enough to give lip service on one of politics' biggest stages and then push down the memory hole like a child trying to "clean his room" by cramming everything into the closet and hoping it holds. Remember hydrogen-powered cars? Remember Mars, Bitches? Bush probably doesn't, and given that he's only got two lame-duck years left in his presidency, I doubt he's going to remember any of the things he said in this speech, either.

Of course, the difference between Bush's last five speeches and this one is that now he's actually got an opposition Congress who can hold him to these promises instead of chucking them aside to focus on gay married fetus burning or whatever Donald Wildmon happens to be raving about. But it's incumbent upon that Democratic Congress (and yes, folks, it is a Democratic Congress, not a Democrat Congress; Democrat is a noun, while Democratic is an adjective) to not wait for Bush to actually make any movement on these pseudo-promises. You want to, say, expand the use of hybrids and biodiesel fuel? Or balance the budget? Take the initiative and do it yourselves -- propose something and then force Bush to make good on what he said he wanted to do. If all you have the stones to do is wait for Bush to make the first move, you better bring a book, and it should probably be a nice long one, like Infinite Jest or Gravity's Rainbow.

Seriously, with Bush's approval ratings scraping Nixonian levels and most of the rest of the Republican Party turning on itself like the two-headed snake from the Ripley's Belive It Or Not! Museum, this is a chance to re-establish the Democratic Party as the party that's actually good at governing, the party that knows what they're doing, the party so well-run and in-control that it can clean up the manifold messes left by a group that controlled all three branches of government for six years yet left a legacy of nothing more than a shittily-run war and several failed stabs at a gay-marriage amendment. It's your show, guys, and if you can't come up with anything better to do for the next two years than whine about an obstructionist minority -- i.e., all the previous three Congresses did -- I'm going to be very disappointed.

Fortunately, I have reason to hope that they won't do that. So far, Nancy Pelosi has been a more effective speaker than anybody was willing to give her credit for back in November. Jim Webb gave the kind of Democratic response to the SOTU that indicated more courage and resolve than we're used to seeing from the Democrats (or even the Republicans, lately). Keep this going, guys. As advice columnists the world over have said, confidence is sexy, and if you really think you can do a better job of running the country, the first step is to act like it.

Monday, January 22

Props to the master(s).

Since I bogarted their idea for the 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football in a pretty wholesale manner, I have to give further props to The Beast and their 2007 edition of the 50 Most Loathsome Americans. Terrific as always, but I particularly enjoyed these gems:

On National Review editor Rich Lowry (#49): "The tragic irony of Michael J. Fox's life is that his breakout role as Alex P. Keaton inspired a million resentful Reagan-blowing nerds like Lowry to recast themselves as 'rebels' against gathering threats like universal health care and stem cell research."

On Rush Limbaugh (#30): "It's hard to believe this repulsive shit fountain is even human, until you remember that we share 70% of our DNA with pigs. Then again, to be any more hypocritical Rush would actually have to be a member of another species. After the Democrats took congress in November, Limbaugh said he felt 'liberated' because 'I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried,' essentially telling his listeners he'd been lying to them all year. The dittoheads didn't mind; that's why they listen."

On White House press secretary Tony Snow (#17): "After years defending the Bush administration's worst excesses on 'Fox News Sunday,' Snow's job transition to White House Spokesman consisted solely of getting directions to the new office."

Exhibit A for You (#17): "You're Time magazine's person of the year. So was Hitler."

I also loved their description of Joe Lieberman (#42) as a "sniveling sitzpinkler." (Origin of the term here for those unfamiliar with German.)

Commenters, lemme know if they missed anybody important . . .

Thursday, January 18


I'm kind of at a loss here. In my previous post I gave George W. Bush props for making what might be his first intelligent decision since the invasion of Afghanistan by agreeing to turn over jurisdiction for the domestic wiretapping program to an independent court, and now I'm about to make it two GOP-praising posts in a row. What on earth for?

On January 16 there was a roll-call vote on a bill commending the Florida Gators for winning the 2006 national title. One of those formality-type OK, let's do something goofy before we have to get down to the real job of running the country etc. kind of things. Everybody votes yea, they have a little chuckle, and then move on to health care or gay marriage or whatever.

Only not so fast. The vote was 414-1. The lone dissenter? Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia's 1st District (which includes Savannah, Brunswick, and pretty much the entire southeast corner of the state).

Wow. Two other Georgia representatives, Democrat John Barrow (who represents Athens) and Republican John Linder, voted "present" (as did Californian Pete Stark, for some reason). But Kingston wasn't content to do this. He's a University of Georgia grad, he despises the Gators like a good Georgia grad should, and he wasn't going to lend his support to even the most trivial of plaudits for the Gators' 2006 title run.

I'll be honest, Rep. Kingston -- I'm a Democrat, and a liberal one at that, so I can't say that I've ever agreed with you on anything before. There's a good chance I won't ever agree with you on anything ever again. But for this independent stand, for having a pair of balls that evidently nobody else in the Georgia delegation could quite muster, you have my running endorsement from now until the end of time. Thank you, sir, and may God bless America, the 1st District of Georgia, and the Dawgs.

Jack Kingston: Lawmaker, Georgia alumnus, defender of the faith.

Dawg fans, Gator haters of all stripes, whether you're on the left or the right, send your kudos to the distinguished gentleman from Georgia here.

(Hat tip: EDSBS's Orson, who is not nearly so approving.)

Wednesday, January 17

Wednesday Mystery Meat.

Yeah, just put that anywhere.

· You might think that after Georgia Tech got whipped for a sixth straight year by UGA, lost by heartbreakingly close margins in their first-ever ACC title game and then the Gator Bowl, and saw one of the best players in their program's history depart early for the NFL, I'd be tired of bagging on the Techies. But HA-ha!, I'm not!, and neither is Jonathan Tu, who brings us the following news story at his dead sexy blog 82 Sluggo Win:

ATLANTA, GA -- Taking his cue from a long precedent of movies, comic books, science fiction novels and other forms of popular media, Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson traveled back in time on Thursday in order to prevent former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865.

Johnson, 21, hoped to rewrite American history for the better, particularly in the area of racial equality. Along the way the junior pass catcher -- considered by many NFL experts as a top ten prospect in the upcoming February draft -- also hoped to remove the Georgia Institute of Technology from the space-time continuum, thereby avoiding three seasons of futility with the Yellow Jackets during the first half of the twenty-first century.

"I've always admired Lincoln," Johnson said during Thursday's press conference prior to his temporal voyage. "He was a great man, a great leader in a time of desperate need. That he should die a scant six months after his re-election always struck me as one of history's crueler jokes."

Continued Johnson: "Not as cruel a joke as [Georgia Tech quarterback] Reggie Ball 'throwing' to me, though."

"Make sure you put 'throwing' in quotes," he added.

I had to exercise a lot of restraint to only blockquote those five paragraphs; it's one of those things that you pretty much just want to grab the whole thing. You do if you're a Georgia fan, at least.

· I know I rag on the Bush administration whenever they do something wrong -- though in my defense, it's not my fault they've been giving me so much material lately -- but when they actually do something right for a change, it's only fair that I recognize and tip my hat to them for it. So, George, thank you for coming to your senses and agreeing to put domestic wiretapping under the jurisdiction of an independent authority. What's really funny (and I mean that in a funny boom-boom way, not in a funny ha-ha way) is how so many conservatives -- those anti-big-government, authority-mistrusting conservatives -- are coming forward to express their shock, shock! that Bush would actually take such authority out of the hands of the executive branch. Yup, American Conservatism: still dead. Never thought I'd actually feel sorry for George Will, but I'm starting to.

"You appeared in all those BMW movies, and yet somehow we end up riding the bus?"

· Your pop-culture endorsements for this month include "Children of Men," one of the few things outside of football that have ever given me cause to agree with Josh Massey -- it's an incredible movie, one that will give you plenty to discuss long after the closing credits have rolled. And I especially liked how detailed Alfonso Cuarón's vision of the year 2027 was -- just futuristic enough to know you're not in your own time period, but just grimy and depressing enough to be plausible. There aren't any flying cars or silver jumpsuits here, but what is there is stunningly rendered. To employ the Gunslingers' rating protocol, this is easily a Cadillac kind of movie.

Also: "30 Rock." One of the funniest shows on network TV right now, and along with "My Name is Earl," "The Office," and "Scrubs," it gives NBC its best night of prime-time programming since the "Seinfeld"/"Friends" years. Actually, maybe better than those years, because while "Seinfeld" and "Friends" were good, the stuff crammed in between them was inevitably crap. Now, NBC has four strong shows that are worth watching on their own merits and not just as something to distract yourself with while you're waiting for something that's actually good to come on.

Probationary endorsement: "Dirt" on F/X. I'm not convinced it's going to completely take the place of "Nip/Tuck," but it's fun and trashy enough to at least tide some of us over until "Nip/Tuck" returns in the fall.

· I know I'm way late to the party on this, but Clay Travis of recently released his Power Rankings for SEC girls, and w00t!, Georgia ranked #2, behind only Ole Miss. For the record, I can live with that. Well played, Rebels, well played.

But Travis declares Georgia #1 with a bullet in the boobs category, and has an interesting theory: Is it possible that, with all these prospective students' educations getting paid for by the HOPE Scholarship, a lot of the female students are taking the money that would have gone for tuition and channeling it instead into shiny new cans? If you're a UGA alumna or student who has taken the initiative to augment what the good Lord gave you, I'd appreciate you offering some insight into this theory in the comments thread; in the meantime, here's an excellent bit of philosophy offered via one of Mr. Travis's friends:

After my column ran about the visit to Georgia, he pulled me aside and said, "Listen, Clay, if it's inside the skin then it isn't fake. I mean, you don't run around pointing to people with new hearts or new hips or new knees and talk about how those are fake hearts or fake knees or fake hips. They're just breasts."

· And finally, on what I guess is probably a related note, I have found yet another future ex-wife to add to what is becoming a lengthy list. Her name is Casie, and CBS was gracious enough to show her gracing the sidelines of the Patriots-Chargers playoff game this past Sunday. My friend Tristan was helping me secure my wireless network during the game, and when she came on the screen you could've heard a pin drop on a pool table -- we just looked at each other and simultaneously let out a Keanu Reeves "Whoa." So anyway, Casie, if you're bummed that the Bolts are out of the postseason and you're looking for some consolation, c'mon by. I can't promise much, but I can promise you that a date with me is more fun than getting bounced out of the playoffs by Bill Belichick.

There was some guy named "Ladainian," some guy with the last name "Brady" . . . and then I kind of forgot what happened after that.

Saturday, January 13

Enemy of the taste.

In case you were wondering whether the right wing could possibly have any remaining tricks up its sleeve in its ongoing mission to turn the United States into an Orwellian parody of itself, you're in luck: They do! Leading the charge is ever-obedient right-wing mouth breather Sean Hannity, whose new Sunday-night program is naming, I shit you not, a weekly "Enemy of the State."

Now, I'm not going to go off on how blatantly fascistic/Stalinistic this is, because that should be readily apparent to anybody with an IQ higher than their inseam (and even a few right-wingers). Instead, I want to draw attention to Hannity's choice of whom would be the first to receive this dubious honor.

Sean Penn?

Look, I got no beef with Sean Penn as a person. He's a terrific actor -- if he didn't give you chills in "Mystic River," you don't have a pulse -- and he's spoken on behalf of some causes I agree with. But let's be honest with ourselves, and I'm talking to both Republicans and Democrats here: Sean Penn is about as politically relevant as Adlai Stevenson at this point. Hannity himself even asks whom Penn represents other than "other bad actors," and the answer is, well, nobody, Sean. Nobody has ever cast a vote for him for public office that I know of, which means that when he calls you a "whore" or calls for numerous people in the Bush administration to be impeached, he's not doing so with the endorsement or backing of any major political party; thus, he's really not all that different from any of the thousands of other people who have . . . called you a whore or called for numerous people in the Bush administration to be impeached.

Yup, there's lots of 'em, Hannity, and if you're going to declare them all "Enemies of the State," it's going to take you quite a few weeks' worth of shows. But you're not prepared to do that; you only picked out Penn because he's famous and would thus allow you to whip out the same old "Hollyweird" accusations you've been lodging since pretty much the beginning of time.

Now, as much as I abhor totalitarianism of any stripe, I can still acknowledge the sheer balls it takes for someone to pop up and start advocating it, particularly in a democratic society. Sean, when I heard you were actually starting up an "Enemy of the State" feature, I was prepared for what basically amounted to a fatwa. Like Andrew Sullivan, I was waiting for a Two Minutes' Hate. I was hoping to see you call out Democrats and left-wingers at the very highest levels of our government, spew unhinged accusations of the Kevin Bacon chains connecting them directly to al-Qaeda, and order the rest of us to destroy them. I was hoping to be shocked.

Instead . . . you chose Sean Penn. You had a chance to do something balls-to-the-wall crazy, and you punted. I'm disappointed.

Hannity, you're a pussy.

So I'm gonna help you out here, because next time you do this "Enemy of the State" thing, goddammit, you're gonna do it right. You're gonna put Barack Obama's face up on that screen and you're gonna remind the world that his middle name is "Hussein" and his last name rhymes with "Osama," and you're gonna repeat verbatim all those accusations on that he's a Muslim and, therefore, the Antichrist. You're going to put Hillary Clinton's face up there and make a direct appeal for a citizen militia to surround her house in Chappaqua and put her under house arrest. Bring Ann Coulter on your show, and together the two of you can demand proof that Nancy Pelosi didn't attend Saddam Hussein's funeral.

But if you're gonna invoke the most blatant of fascist themes, Hannity, then sack up and do it. Go big or go home. This is the very sanctity of our country we're talking about! Or do you not really care about that?

On second thought, don't answer.

Friday, January 12

Friday Random Ten and free bonus self-aggrandizement.

I try not to boast a lot about myself on this blog -- mostly because I rarely have much to boast about -- but a group of sports blogs associated with the Blogpoll have decided so start the College Football Blogger Awards, and in this, its first year of operation, they've named Hey Jenny Slater as a finalist in three (count 'em! three!) categories. They are as follows:

· The "Trev Alberts Quits to Do Construction" Award, for the funniest blog.
· The "Job Award," for "The blog that has suffered through its chosen team's dismal season with the most dignity." (Hindsight being 50/50, I don't think you could exactly call Georgia's season "dismal" when taken as a whole, but I won't deny it was certainly looking that way at various points; Brian at MGoBlog specifically nominated me for the toaster-throwing episode during the Georgia-Colorado game, which seems to have taken on a life of its own. I'm thinking of setting up a Wikipedia page for it just to see if it'll stick.)
· The "Jenn Sterger's Rack Award," for the best photoshop or other gag of the year (this was specifically in reference to the commemorative motivational posters I offered in the wake of this past year's Georgia-Georgia Tech game).

I'm not mentioning all this to beg for votes in any of those categories, because quite frankly, this blog can't hold a candle to some of the other blogs that were nominated -- really, you need to click on some of the links at Rocky Top Talk, where the finalists have all been collected, and check 'em out. But if nothing else, I wanted to point out that, yes, occasionally this blog does get recognition in a manner other than "Georgia football/the state of Alabama/the Washington Redskins/Democrats/the Volkswagen Jetta SUCKS, you faggot!!1!!1!one!eleven!!1!"

Anyway, good luck to all the other finalists . . . and now the Ten:

1. New Order, "Rock the Shack"
2. Orbital, "Lush 3.1"
3. The Chemical Brothers, "Otter Rock"
4. Pet Shop Boys, "Opportunities (Reprise)"
5. Pet Shop Boys, "A Red Letter Day" (live)
6. James Brown, "Papa Don't Take No Mess"
7. Venus Attack Project, "Riviera Paradise"
8. Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit"
9. The Stone Roses, "Begging You"
10. DJ Shadow, "Giving Up the Ghost"

As always your own Ten(s) are welcome in the comments.

Tuesday, January 9

Blogpoll ballot final: Saluting our new Gator overlords.

Florida may be h3lm3tl3ss, but you're still . . .

Well, that was about as thorough a housing as housing gets, and it blew up a number of myths, including, but not exclusive to:

· Florida didn't deserve to be in the national title game (Michigan fans);

· The SEC isn't really that good (Big Ten fans);

· The SEC's reputation for smothering defense is just a mirage (Heismanpundit);

· Ohio State is completely invincible this year (Matt Hayes);

· An SEC team can't win the BCS national title (Tommy Tuberville); and

· You need a helmet to play Division I-A football (everybody except Earl Everett, apparently).

So with the college football season officially over, here's my final 2006/07 Blogpoll ballot. I have to, you know, go to work and stuff, so I'm only gonna put the straight-up rankings up here for now, with the usual comments/analysis/threadbare excuses coming later on today. The first number after each team is their ranking from the previous (pre-bowls) poll; the second number is from my late-August preseason ballot. I hope all this isn't too confusing.

Other than that, congratulations, Gators; I guess it's time for all of us to have a stiff upper lip and get used to being Florida's bitch for the next 365 days. Don't worry, Rest Of The Country, I'll show you how to do this. As a Georgia fan, I am uniquely qualified.

1. Florida (last ballot, 3; preseason, 10)
2. LSU (4; 4)
3. Ohio State (1; 1)
4. Southern California (9; 6)
5. Louisville (6; 8)
6. Wisconsin (7; NR)
7. Michigan (2; 13)
8. Boise State (11; 21)
9. West Virginia (10; 9)
10. Arkansas (8; NR)
11. Auburn (12; 3)
12. Texas (16; 2)
13. Oklahoma (5; 17)
14. Rutgers (13; NR)
15. Brigham Young (22; NR)
16. California (18; 12)
17. Tennessee (14; 19)
18. Wake Forest (17; NR)
19. Georgia (24; 15)
20. Texas Christian (25; 25)
21. Notre Dame (19; 5)
22. Penn State (NR/29; NR/30)
23. Boston College (20; 22)
24. Virginia Tech (21; 14)
25. Oregon State (NR/28; NR)

The next five: Georgia Tech, Oregon, Nebraska, Hawaii, Texas A&M.

Dropped out from last week's poll: Texas A&M (15), Nebraska (23).

Dropped out from preseason poll: Iowa (7 -- yikes), Miami (11), Florida State (16), Texas Tech (18), Utah (20), Oregon (23), Clemson (24).

Sunday, January 7

The 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football: 10-1.

Well, we've come to the end of the road, and it's time to count down the last 10 of the 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football. If anyone you hate has been left off the list entirely, go ahead and bitch about it in the comments, though I can't promise you I'll do anything about it because You don't come into the OB playin' that stuff!!!! Sorry, went a little Lamar Thomas there for a second. But anyway, thanks to everyone for their nominations, kind words, and links. It's been fun. Now I gotta go put on my disguise so that I can walk down the street to Starbucks without Ed Orgeron jumping me in the alley.

Recap: 50-41; 40-31; 30-21; 20-11.

10. Myles Brand
Oversees a gigantic, Big Brother-like organization whose sole purpose is evidently to apply recruiting and player-benefit rules in an utterly arbitrary fashion, while providing teams with no actual perceptible benefits. Built a wall of secrecy around his organization rivalling even that of the Bush administration, resulting in a near-complete lack of accountability. Focuses on ridiculous non-issues like Native American mascots while letting increasingly outrageous recruiting practices go unchecked. Makes public examples of lesser programs while frequently allowing the big boys to skate.
Exhibit A: Declared Colorado punt returner Jeremy Bloom ineligible for taking endorsement money for his completely non-football-related Olympic skiing; took no action when Ohio State QB Troy Smith pocketed $500 from a booster.
Sentence: No less than 10 years' confinement at the bottom of one of those latrines that Calvin Johnson helped build in Third World countries.

9. Mark Shapiro
Whenever people complain about some aspect of ESPN that sucks, it can usually be traced back to Shapiro, the former programming exec whose Sportstainment-izing of the Worldwide Leader in Sports is at the root of some of the network's most insufferable changes over the last few years. These include, but are not exclusive to, the taint of Big & Rich (q.v.) on "College Gameday"; irrelevant nonentities such as Desmond Howard; and fungible, add-absolutely-nothing-to-the-show features such as "Wired" and the inexpressibly stupid "Gillette Game Face." Repeatedly punched the network's ticket on rides that took it closer and closer to the intelligence-deprived lowest common denominator.
Exhibit A: Left ESPN to become the CEO of a corporation trying to take over . . . Six Flags.
Sentence: A daily four-hour dose of verbal abuse from Stephen A. Smith.

8. You
Yeah, great, you were chosen Time magazine's "Man of the Year" -- you still suck. You blow entire Saturdays living vicariously through unsuspecting 19-year-olds whose 40 times you care more about than their GPAs, yet have no qualms about turning on them the moment they fuck up. Similarly, you hail every new coach as a "savior" with godlike powers to lift your team to the greatest heights of achievement, but call for them to be fired the minute the clock hits 00:00 on their first loss. Most of you have never played a single down of competitive football, but launch into frothing, rage-filled bitchfests about individual play calls or entire game plans before the dust has even settled on the field. And you spew hate-filled invective like a Mentos-doctored Coke bottle at people whose only sin is wearing different team colors from yours. Just what the fuck is wrong with you, anyway?
Exhibit A: Check any Alabama message board.
Sentence: Twenty years of being followed everywhere you go by the announcing team of Pam Ward (play-by-play) and Dave Rowe (color), who will loudly and conspicuously narrate every last embarrassing moment of your miserable, worthless life.

7. Dennis Erickson
Yes, he deepened the Miami Hurricanes' reputation for being a cesspool of thuggery and leveled the San Francisco 49ers with a 9-23 record in his two seasons there, but now he's even bringing death and destruction to poor defenseless programs like Idaho, which he left in December after only one season -- after having told the AD he would only leave if he retired. In 24 years of head coaching he has now held jobs at eight different places (nine if you count his separate stints with the Vandals).
Exhibit A: "It doesn't really matter who the coaches are -- well, it does -- but we're the reason they have jobs," [linebacker Brian Vobora] added. "If they're going to do that and play the politics game, it's going to be hard for us to trust our next coach because we've been [messed with] a couple of times, so it's hard to deal with."
Sentence: "TEMPE, Ariz., 11/25/07 -- Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson was fired today after just one season, in which he led the Sun Devils to an embarrassing 0-12 record . . . "

6. Paul Bryant Jr.
As the son and namesake of the legendary "Bear" Bryant, PBJ has faithfully taken up the task of fueling the Alabama fan base's delusional belief that anybody will ever be able to take the Tide to those heights again. Currently doing his best to give Alabama its own version of Bobby Lowder (q.v.), which of course is just what Alabama (and the rest of the world) needs. As a trustee of the University of Alabama, has exercised staggering amounts of influence for the sole purpose of ensuring that his dad's legacy is carried on everywhere and anywhere, and to hell with everything else.
Exhibit A: Told UAB $600,000 was too much to pay Jimbo Fisher to be the head coach (so they had to hire Neil Callaway, one of Bear's former players, instead), but happily signed off on dumping $32 million on Nick Saban.
Sentence: Shackled and chained to a support girder at Legion Field when the old thing is finally demolished.

5. Bobby Lowder
Continues to debase the college game by bringing in yet another NFL influence it doesn't need: the archetype of the rich, meddling, conniving-ass Jerry Jones/Dan Snyder owner-cum-superfan. Exerts more influence than anyone without an official university job title should, to the point of trying to hand-pick coaches (which nearly endangered Auburn's very accreditation not so long ago). Gauche attempts to simply throw wads of cash at any situation he finds disagreeable only serve to increase the already-monolithic role money plays in a once-accessible sport. Also looks really creepy.
Exhibit A: His abortive attempt to oust Tommy Tuberville turned one of the SEC's smarmiest, most dislikable coaches into a sympathetic figure.
Sentence: After having eyes pecked out by Tiger VI, has to work the Fry-O-Lator at Cheeburger Cheeburger on College Avenue.

4. Mark May
In one cranky, sanctimonious package, symbolizes nearly everything currently wrong with the Worldwide Leader in Sports. He is one of several poster children for ESPN's apparent philosophy that combative, self-satisfied pundits are what the American people really want; at the same time, he is a singularly obedient mouthpiece for whichever insufferable storyline the WWL wants to pump at any given moment. Happily straps on the kneepads and polishes the knobs of existing media darlings like USC and Notre Dame; witheringly, smirkingly dismissive of just about everyone else, most glaringly evident in an ignorance of the SEC that rivals even Heismanpundit's. In terms of public approval, makes Trev Alberts look like Ronald Reagan.
Exhibit A: Variously declared USC, then Texas, then Notre Dame the OMG greatest team EVAR -- in the span of less than one season.
Sentence: Alberts slices off the top of his head and sautees pieces of his brain like Anthony Hopkins did to Ray Liotta in "Hannibal," then feeds the pieces to Uga VI.

3. Mitch Cozad
A real mama's boy by most accounts, Cozad cast even greater aspersions onto the manliness of the punting position by choosing a strategy presaged by the Amazing Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom. Stabbed one of his Northern Colorado teammates, starting punter Rafael Mendoza, in the leg as part of a plot to, I shit you not, take over the starting punting job. Even before he turned felon, he was letting his mom follow him to all his practices and videotape him so that she could analyze his punting like the Zapruder film.
Exhibit A: "Kessler said Mendoza was attacked from behind after parking his car outside his apartment at about 9:30 p.m. About 10 minutes after the attack, a liquor store clerk told police that a car matching the description of the assailant's getaway car stopped outside the store, where two men stripped tape off the license plate and drove away."
Sentence: Either has to get the crap kicked out of him by Tonya Harding or has to have sex with her. Mendoza gets to pick.

2. Ellis T. Jones III
Didn't get much attention for it because he played for a team that very nearly ceased to exist a few years ago, but took the Marcus Vick stereotype of the out-of-control thug athlete to heights even Marcus Vick couldn't have conceived of. Between June 27 and 30, 2006, the San Jose State wideout lured people to his apartment via Craigslist offering to sell them various electronic devices, then promptly robbed them, occasionally after giving them a right good tasering. Added kidnapping to his rap sheet when he locked one victim in the trunk of his car. Compiled so many Fulmer Cup points all by his lonesome that he more than doubled the tally of the team winner (Marshall).
Exhibit A: The following sentence from this story: "Jones is in custody in Tulare County on suspicion of unrelated robberies committed in Visalia."
Sentence: Well, the California penal system will probably take care of him soon enough, so we'll simply assign him Mo Clarett as a cellmate.

1. Gary Barnett
The sorcerer who somehow managed to take Northwestern to a Rose Bowl in the mid-'90s worked similarly potent magic with the Colorado Buffaloes, but it was of the black kind, transforming the Buffs from a proud program into a reasonable facsimile of the late stages of the Roman Empire. Not only allowed prospective players to be tempted with booze and hookers on recruiting visits, but also looked the other way while private donations intended for his summer football camps were instead diverted to pay for this debauchery. Barnett continued to fiddle while Rome burned and player after player was hit with sexual assault allegations; eventually one of Barnett's own players, female placekicker Katie Hnida, came forward to accuse her teammates of rape. This was slagged off by the Barnster, however, who said Hnida should've known she didn't have the respect of her teammates because she was a shitty kicker. To the university's discredit, this merited only a temporary suspension; they didn't really get upset about all this malfeasance until Barnett led the Buffaloes to a 70-3 anal vivisection by Texas in the 2005 Big XII championship game, at which point he was fired. Barnett has done anything but go gently into that good night, however; he was last seen campaigning for the head coaching position at the Air Force Academy, a position which (at the time) was very much occupied. That last offense speaks to why Barnett won top honors in this list: He might've avoided the #1 spot were it not for the fact that, like Jim Harrick and Dennis Erickson, he's eventually going to get hired again by some program, somewhere, desperate enough for a name coach that they're willing to turn a blind eye to his slime-encrusted record. And then it won't be long before we're hashing all this out again.
Exhibit A: After trashing the CU program so thoroughly that his successor, Dan Hawkins, could muster no better than a 2-10 record in 2006, Barnett claimed this "vindicated" him. "It tore me two ways," he said; "I hurt for the kids. Those are my guys. I know the talent that we have there, the maturity and the leadership, and I want those guys to get everything they deserve, and I want them to play in the [Big 12] Championship Game again. Then, on the other side, I got taken out of that situation. I got removed from it and someone else made that decision. Part of me felt a little vindication because of it."
Sentence: Trampled by Ralphie IV and left in a dumpster behind the Bunny Ranch.

Again, thanks to everyone who suggested and/or linked. Enjoy the national championship game tonight, and don't forget to tip your waitresses on the way out.

Modest Proposal v5.0: The Wrath of Tubbs.

So Bobby Petrino has taken the Atlanta Falcons' head coaching job. First of all, I just want to go on record as saying this was a bad idea, as the whole NFL-team-hiring-a-coach-straight-out-of-college never works (except when the Dallas Cowboys do it, for some reason). But I have an idea for the Louisville folks.

This past July, Petrino signed a 10-year deal (heh) with Louisville that, at its height, would've paid him $2.6 million a year. Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville is entering the third year of a contract that started out at an even $2 million and will raise him $200,000 a year through 2011.

Louisville: Hire Tommy Tuberville. It would be, like, the funniest thing ever.

Saturday, January 6

The 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football: 20-11.

Eatin' welfare turkey out the can, it's the latest installment of the 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football.

When last we met: 50-41; 40-31; 30-21.

20. Matt Hayes
The print-media poster child for the sorry state of sports punditry these days and the punditocracy's belief that even when they're wrong they're right because, well, YOU weren't all that right either so who are YOU, asshole? Ha ha BURN!!1!!1! Makes vacuous assertions with the tone of Lincoln standing at the podium at Gettysburg, but when the smoke clears and he turns out to be wrong, there's no apparent reconsideration or "Gee, guess I screwed the pooch on . . . ", he just forges boldly and heedlessly ahead with more vacuity and wrongness. Has just as much deep-down seething contempt for broadcast personalities as all print journos have (trust me), yet in the end he's just as starfucky and susceptible to the next big fad as they are. Equally susceptible to the creeping influence of the Simmonsish cutesy-remark-as-substitute-for-actual-insight writing style.
Exhibit A: His "Mailbags" are basically nothing more than an opportunity for him to spitefully and sarcastically take potshots at the readers who've had the temerity to share their opinions with him.
Sentence: Surgically attached to Tom Dienhart and used as a counterweight for ESPN's SkyCam.

19. Lamar Thomas
Most people who witnessed the bench-clearing brawl during this past season's Miami-FIU game had the decency and good sense to immediately dub it a travesty, but not Thomas, the former Hurricane wideout CSS made the mistake of inserting into the broadcast booth for the game. Thomas not only encouraged the Miami players in the disgusting spectacle but also laughably announced his desire to "go down the elevator to get in that thing." Even Michael Irvin publicly declared him a dipshit.
Exhibit A:

Sentence: George Teague ties a bunch of hams to him and leaves him in the Everglades, "Nip/Tuck"-style.

18. Bobby Bowden
Pure bumpkin shystering. If Bowden were a car salesman, he'd be the guy who throws in all kinds of Scotchgarding/extended-warranty charges you don't see until it's time to sign on the dotted line, but grudgingly accept just to get the damn deal over with already. Has won by running one of the slackest, most thugged-out programs in the country, yet somehow skates in the court of public opinion because he's just so old and lovable. Those in the know regard him the way Democrats regarded Ronald Reagan throughout the 1980s: as a devious, scheming rule-bender who fooled everyone into thinking he was just a kindly old granddad through fatuously self-effacing insistences that he had no idea what was going on at any given time.
Exhibit A: Following the departure of offensive coordinator Mark Richt, he allowed FSU's once-invincible offense to devolve into embarrassing Keystone Koppery solely so that his talentless son Jeff could sustain gainful employment. When the university and fan base could finally stand no more, he blamed "eBay and e-mail and all that junk" for making El Jefe look bad.
Sentence: Mashed to a pulp and injected into breast implants for FSU's next generation of Cowgirls.

17. Mike Tranghese
As the braintrust behind the Bowl Championship Series, did his level best to ruin college football fans' enjoyment of the pursuit of the highest honor in the land. By reducing the selection of national-title combatants to an impenetrable bouillabaisse of computer-generated numbers and decimal points, basically implied that we can determine gridiron superiority without ever actually seeing the teams compete with one another on the field. Whined and cried about having his Big East Conference's three best teams bogarted by the ACC, then turned right around and looted Conference USA like it was a Circuit City during the Rodney King riots.
Exhibit A: Rose Bowl-bound and down, your 2001 Big 12 champion Big 12 North Division champion Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Sentence: One right hook from each of Auburn University's 23,333 students.

16. Nick Saban
The Terrell Owens of head coaches -- a crabby, egotistical, perpetually dissatisfied tyrant who has managed to alienate virtually every fan base he's ever served. Has taken the conniving job-jumping coach stereotype to levels only Dennis Erickson has so far been able to top: Denied interest in the Alabama job, repeatedly excoriated the press for continuing to ask about it, then took the Bama job anyway. With no buyout clause in his UA deal, three or four years from now he'll have probably left Tuscaloosa in his dust for the first NFL program (or, hell, less psychotic college program) that came calling.
Exhibit A: Abandoned the Dolphins after having personally saddled them with the virtually useless Daunte Culpepper and his $23.5-million contract.
Sentence: Has to appear in Culpepper's next "love boat" video getting a Cincinnati Bowtie from Marcus Vick.

15. Michael Adams
Provided the real-life inspiration for Jeremy Piven's character in "Old School." As president of the University of Georgia, decided it wasn't enough just to jettison AD Vince Dooley like a middle-aged man unloading his first wife so that he could start shopping for young blond trophies; also had to make a stink about the Georgia-Florida game being called "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," and instituted alcohol-free "family-friendly tailgate zones," an idea so hilariously lame it was scaled back after only two home games. Loses as many as five hours of sleep each night fretting over the fear that somebody, somewhere, might be having fun.
Exhibit A: Even the people at his previous school, Centre College, don't like him.
Sentence: Used as a human sponge to mop up the floors at Club La Vela from March through September.

14. Phil Fulmer
If Nick Satan is the T.O. of football coaches, then Fat Phil is the Barry Bonds -- a surly, comprehensively unlikable character who should have the decency to admit that his rise to the top has been based on all manner of unethical behavior, but doesn't. Instead, he occupies the position of the SEC's Hypocrite-in-Chief: Despite the fact that his program is an annual cavalcade of off-the-field shenanigans and iniquity, he has no qualms (or shame) about running to the NCAA and tattling on his big rivals -- then slinking back into the shadows, as he did in 2004 when he stayed home from SEC Media Days (at a cost of $10,000 to his university) for fear that he'd get asked about his role in blowing the whistle on Alabama in an earlier scandal.
Exhibit A: The rap sheet for 2006: a DUI for tight end Lee Smith; disorderly-conduct for mike linebacker Marvin Mitchell; and DUI, open-container, and underage-consumption charges for backup QB Jim Bob Cooter. Yahtzee!
Sentence: Breaded and deep-fried to a golden brown.

13. Kellen Heard
Won Cheap Shot of the Year "honors" for waiting until Texas QB Colt McCoy was unbuckling his chin strap to unload on McCoy in the waning moments of the UT-TAMU game. Also waited until McCoy had already been injured once in the game, the mark of a true manly man. Got ejected and then bitched vocally about it as his embarrassed coaches tried to usher him from the sideline.
Exhibit A: Viewable here.
Sentence: Sewn up inside a blocking sled (along with accomplice Eric Pedersen, the TAMU student writer who said the late hit was OK because McCoy lacked A&M players' "toughness") and presented as a gift to Bill Romanowski.

12. Tommy Tuberville
Brought a whole new level of false piety and smug, unctuous smarm to a conference not exactly lacking for it. Making an embarrassingly blatant attempt to fill Steve Spurrier's cocky, wisecracking shoes, tweaking fellow coaches and strutting around the sidelines with a champion's swagger in spite of the fact that he's won all of one SEC title and didn't accomplish squat before he hooked up with Al Borges. Promised loyal fans at Ole Miss that he wasn't going anywhere, then took a job at a rival school in the same division the very next day. Continues to act like the entire world owes him an official apology, a coronation, and a pony for the rogering his team took from the BCS in 2004.
Exhibit A: Whined incessantly the week leading up to the Arkansas game about how an SEC team couldn't make it to the BCS title game under the current system, then proceeded to get drilled, at home, by an unranked Razorback squad, 27-10.
Sentence: Forced to watch as an SEC team he beat earlier in the season goes to the BCS championship game in his place. Oh, wait.

11. Tom Lemming
Being an even creepier version of Mel Kiper. Kiper at least evaluates grown men angling to make millions in The Show; Lemming's so-called "area of expertise" is college recruiting, a "science" so inexact it makes draft analysis look like quantum physics. Lemming's life's work involves assigning star ratings to 16-year-old (or younger) guys from Florida to Idaho to Texas, a practice that should look ridiculous on its face, yet is discussed and pored over by legions of CFB fans too addicted to notice. Like seemingly everyone else these days, a blatant shill for Notre Dame. Probably hangs out with Jimmy Clausen (q.v.) on the weekends.
Exhibit A: Like the Jack Horner character in "Boogie Nights" (or, hell, disgraced congressman Mark Foley), makes his daily bread marveling over the physiques of teenage boys, using words like "big," "muscular," "long," "thick" . . . ugh, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Sentence: Forced to be the fluffer for Matthew McConaughey (q.v.) in "Varsity Dudes" and any sequels thereof.

Tomorrow: the top 10! It'll be way better than whatever that game is they're playing out in Arizona.

The 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football: 30-21.

The 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football rolls on, and it's come to my attention that a few people think posts like this are immature and petty. Well, those people have already clocked in at #37 on next year's list. Probably crammed between Craig James and Jimmy Clausen.

If you've just joined us: 50-41; 40-31.

30. Lou Holtz
Perhaps even more so than Bobby Bowden, has devoted his life to making the chicken salad of down-home aw-shucks folksiness out of the chicken shit of malfeasance and borderline senility. Has left nearly every program he's touched in the throes of NCAA sanctions or some other type of embarrassment; the final game of his coaching career was topped off by a 10-minute bench-clearing brawl between his South Carolina players and those from arch-rival Clemson, and when the Carolina players were finally separated, they began fighting each other. Sometimes succeeds in making even Mark May look insightful on "College Gameday Final," where any school he has ever coached gets the benefit of his shameless homerism.
Exhibit A: During halftime of this year's Louisville-Kentucky game, he observed that Kentucky had been disrupting Louisville's passing game by getting good pressure on UL's receivers; Louisville won the game 59-28 after piling up more than 600 yards of offense. Three weeks later, said that winless Colorado could make some noise in the Big Eight, a conference that has not existed since 1996. Oh: And "J.D. Stokley."
Sentence: Ground into tapioca pudding and fed to Joe Paterno.

29. Terry Bowden
In his first season, took the Auburn Tigers to an 11-0 record with Pat Dye's players, then immediately started steering the team downhill with his own guys. When he lost, he dodged responsibility like Deion Sanders avoiding contact, piling blame on his players or assistants but almost never accepting any himself. After being fired, could have gone gently into that good night but instead took his Campbell's-Soup-kid-like visage to ABC Sports, where he actually succeeded in making Craig James look deep and insightful.
Exhibit A: Not once in his ABC career has he been able to mention Bobby Bowden's name without adding the modifier "my diddy."
Sentence: TP'ed by Auburn students at Toomer's Corner and set ablaze.

28. Steve Spurrier
He was certainly loathsome when he was running up insane scores on opponents and laughing about it afterward at Florida, but at least you had to respect him. That's no longer the case now that he's struggling in the festering pit of Columbia, South Carolina, perhaps even more insufferable than before as he continues to cart around his planet-sized ego even though he no longer has the weapons to back it up. Has gone from gridiron death, destroyer of worlds, to dyspeptic codger who'll blame anyone from his (admittedly turd-witted) players to the refs to his own coaching staff for his frustrations. Traded volcanic visor-throwing for the fixed, constipated grimace of someone who wants to drop 70 points on somebody but can't and is furious at the world about it.
Exhibit A: Almost lost to Wofford. Wofford.
Sentence: Forced to open the 2007 season against a team composed of everybody who was playing on the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

27. Dennis Franchione
Brings the massive-ego-with-no-real-accomplishment-to-back-it-up steez prevalent in so many players to the coaching ranks, with repeatedly humiliating results. Declared his intentions to take Texas A&M back to the pinnacle of college football; has instead led them to a four-year record (25-23) worse than what his predecessor put up in his final four years in College Station. When fan displeasure with his mediocrity reached a fever pitch following a blowout loss to Iowa State in 2005, he posted a lengthy missive on his Web site basically informing the fans that they didn't know what the fuck they were talking about. And that's even before we get to him buggering out of Tuscaloosa without so much as telling his former players first, leaving them to find out about it from the local news stations.
Exhibit A: While getting horsewhipped by Colorado in a 2005 road game, quarterback Reggie McNeal visibly rolled his eyes at one of Franchione's play calls in the huddle.
Sentence: Nuts placed in vise, squeezed.

26. Mal Moore
Has used his Bear Bryant connections to coast on a stretch of failure and incompetence that would've gotten just about any other AD in the country fired. Hired Dennis Franchione by skirting the truth about just how severely Bama was about to get whacked by NCAA sanctions; when Franchione bolted, hired Mike Price, then axed him in the middle of the offseason for getting too friendly with a stripper; hurriedly replaced him with Mike Shula, then shit-cannned him for losing to Auburn, without having the remotest idea who his replacement was going to be. Misfired repeatedly in that search and only saved face by employing the college-football equivalent of the nuclear option -- throwing cubic yards of money at an NFL coach fresh off of digging his team into a Chicxulub-sized crater. Yet just to show that he could even fuck that up, he forgot to handcuff his notoriously short-tenured new hire into any kind of buyout clause whatsoever.
Exhibit A: Fired Shula without having a replacement lined up; offered the job to Rich Rodriguez not knowing whether he'd take it; told everybody he'd offered the job to Rodriguez not knowing whether he was taking it (which, embarrassingly, he was not).
Sentence: Losing to Auburn in 10 months, having to acquiesce to the inevitable demands that Nick Saban get fired for it, and then having to pay the remaining $36 million of Saban's contract out of his own pocket.

25. Big & Rich
Taking something beautiful -- ESPN's "College Gameday" -- and besmirching it with an eardrum-searing, nonsensical pop-country theme song that precisely nobody in America will profess to liking, and that robustly reinforces effete Volvo-driving Northeastern liberals' impression of Southerners as drooling, taste-deprived idiots. Honestly, it's like painting a tallboy of Thunderbird into the hand of the Mona Lisa. In some jurisdictions, "Comin' . . . to your ci-taaaayyyy" could be interpreted as a terroristic threat.
Exhibit A: "We'll all be flyin' higher than a jet airliner/And if you want a little bang in your ying yang/If you want a little zing in your zang zang/If you want a little ching in your chang chang/Come along."
Sentence: Strapped into the wreckage of Patsy Cline's plane and pushed out the back of a C-17 at 35,000 feet.

24. Referees
For decades they've comprehensively ruined at least a handful of big games every season through their myopia and/or inattentiveness, and now that they have instant replay to assist them, they're still fucking up. Adhere to a bizarre system whereby individual conferences field their own officiating crews. Wield the cudgel of pass interference as arbitrarily as a six-year-old buying up properties in his first game of Monopoly.
Exhibit A: Oklahoma-Oregon. Auburn-LSU. Auburn-Florida. Colorado's fifth down. JASPER WAS DOWN, BITCH!!1!!1!!
Sentence: A Ludovico treatment consisting of the 2005 Alamo Bowl on perpetual loop, backed by a soundtrack of eardrum-piercing whistle blows.

23. Reggie Ball
OK, maybe this is just the residual contempt of a UGA fan talking here, but few players have ever done as much shit-talking -- to opposing players, to opposing coaches, even to the fricking refs -- with as little actual ability to back it up as Game Ball. Jabbers conspicuously to anyone within earshot after every single offensive play, even when he's done nothing but gain one yard on a quarterback draw, yet his career completion percentage at Georgia Tech is well below .500, and his TD/INT ratio is 57/55. Just for good measure, finished said career by getting declared academically ineligible for the Gator Bowl.
Exhibit A: Commenced his freshman year by engineering a stunning defeat of Auburn; finished it by getting yanked from the Georgia game after decking one of the Bulldogs' trainers on the sideline. (The benching was later attributed to a "concussion," one which mysteriously didn't keep Ball from standing up on chairs and hollering like a jackass for the entire second half.)
Sentence: Must give nightly full-body massages to Ryan Leaf -- with "happy ending."

22. The Downtown Athletic Club/The Yale Club
Clogging otherwise enjoyable seasons of college football with a meaningless award that, in actual practice, is nothing but the kiss of death for top NFL prospects. Feeding the codependent need of ESPN,, etc. to hype the same five or six guys all freakin' season long. Fraudulently disguising a "Best Quarterback or Running Back from a Ranked BCS Team" trophy as an award purporting to honor the nation's best overall player.
Exhibit A: Eric Crouch.
Sentence: Being subjected to audio recordings of "Beano Cook Remembers," Vols. I-XXIII, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

21. Jim Tressel
Projecting an image of stoic integrity when in fact his record has been one of virtually unrestrained player indulgence ever since his salad days at Youngstown State -- basically, he's Bobby Bowden without the personality (or liver spots). Coddled budding sociopath Maurice Clarett just long enough to ride him to a national title, then shrugged his shoulders and washed his hands of him once Clarett graduated to full-blown felonies. His very existence undermines the good reputation of sweater-vest-wearers everywhere.
Exhibit A: He'd actually be more likable, and probably not on this list at all, if he was really writing "Tressel's World."
Sentence: Strapped inside an Escalade that is then filled with concrete through the sunroof and pushed into the Olentangy.

Tomorrow: #20-#11, whose milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

Friday, January 5

The 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football: 40-31.

It's Friday, and the 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football keeps rolling on. If this is your final destination, we thank you for choosing Hey Jenny Slater for your blogging needs; if you are connecting to another installment, a gate attendant will be along tomorrow with Nos. 30-21. Thanks and have a great day.

Previously: 50-41.

40. Jimmy Clausen
Raised the bar for callow rookie obnoxiousness before he'd played a single game at the college level. Orchestrated one of the most ridiculously overblown recruit signings in recent memory -- stepped out of a Hummer stretch limo at the College Football Hall of Fame to make the televised announcement he was signing with Notre Dame. Acted like a complete douchebag in the California state high-school championship game. Also has stupid hair.
Exhibit A: We're supposed to be going ga-ga over someone whose "bloodline" (older brothers Casey and Rick) includes 0 national titles, 0 conference titles, and a 4-8 record against their division arch-rivals. Whoopee.
Sentence: Serving as a tackling dummy for the Atlanta Falcons.

39. BuLLdawg
Whatever his intentions, BuLLdawg is the CFB equivalent of a Dungeons & Dragons fanatic, a poster boy for every overzealous, hypercaffeinated fan who has ever infarcted a message board or comments thread with staggeringly lengthy posts that attempt to win arguments through attrition, pounding dissenters into submission with an avalanche of repetitive, irrelevant, often misleading facts. Rather than bringing glory upon their respective teams, they bring shame upon themselves by revealing unequivocally to the world that, no, in fact, they don't have anything better to do than feverishly search the Internets for proof that Coach X's record is better than Coach Y's in nationally televised games on artificial turf on the second Saturday in October.
Exhibit A: This. Just for good measure, he posted it twice.
Sentence: Banned from attending Georgia football games for the next 50 years; instead, he must spend those Saturdays in a two-man chain gang with Michael Lasseter, scrubbing the latrines of AirTran jets with toothbrushes.

38. Rhett Bomar
Fucked over his team, the 2006 Oklahoma Sooners, thinking he could get by with the oldest sleazy-booster trick in the book -- taking paychecks for work he wasn't actually doing -- but apparently didn't get the memo that that steez has been the next best thing to a neon sign reading "NCAA INFRACTIONS PRACTICED HERE" ever since SMU got the death penalty two decades ago. Even before his "employment" at an unscrupulous car dealer, he was by all accounts a cocky, thoroughly unlikable asscrack in the manner of Ryan Leaf, whom of course we all miss terribly.
Exhibit A: Had already gotten caught drinking beer underage -- not at home or at a private party, but at a frickin' New Orleans Hornets game.
Sentence: Serving as the human hemorrhoid cushion for Kim Jong-Il.

37. John Heisman
Picture the '83 Nebraska Cornhuskers playing a schedule consisting of the entire Sun Belt Conference, Duke, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt, and you've got the M.O. for Heisman, who built his near-messianic status on the backs of opponents so humiliatingly overmatched even Kansas State would be embarrassed to book them. His one national-title season came at Georgia Tech in 1917, a year many other schools had suspended their programs entirely so that their boys could fight in World War I, and included tilts against such titans of the gridiron as Furman, Washington & Lee, and some entity called Carlisle. Even the award named after him is overrated.
Exhibit A: In retaliation for Cumberland College beating Georgia Tech at baseball in 1915, Heisman threw a tantrum to get Cumberland on the sked in football the following year, despite the fact that Cumberland had discontinued its football program. Proceeded to run up a 222-0 score, the biggest blowout in football history, on a Cumberland team cobbled together from frat boys and random students.
Sentence: Well, the dude's dead, so we'll just have to change his eponymous award from the iconic stiff-arm pose to a statue of Matt Leinart getting blown by Paris Hilton.

36. John Swofford
Set into motion a truly craven domino line of team-bogarting that resulted in Utah State, New Mexico State, and Idaho actually being picked up by a desperate conference. Ruthlessly sodomized the Big East in his quest to turn the ACC into a "superconference" and didn't even call them the next day. Sees nothing wrong with having divisions called "Atlantic" and "Coastal."
Exhibit A: Diehard FSU and Clemson fans now forced to trek a thousand miles up fucking I-95 every two years to spend a weekend in sunny, palm-tree-lined Boston.
Sentence: Forced to watch the Big East streak by his own conference in terms of respectability as Florida State and Miami degenerate into six-loss insignificance. Oh, wait.

35. Colin Cowherd
Even once you get beyond the devil-may-care plagiarism, you've still got a radio "personality" whose self-satisfaction is as audible as his contempt for his listeners. If he were a stand-up comedian, he'd be the only one in the club laughing at his own jokes, and would then go on blistering diatribes excoriating the audience for not laughing along with him. Types e-mails in all caps and uses ellipses instead of periods and actual sentence breaks, the mark of a true knob.
Sentence: "Waterboarded" in Dan Patrick's toilet.

34. John Mackovic
The man who apparently read The Great Santini thinking it was a how-to book is no longer coaching, but he is writing a CFB column for some newspaper in Southern California, which is kind of like Ike Turner guest-hosting the Dr. Phil show. "Motivational tactics" evidently inspired by the Tontons Macoutes have alienated virtually every player, fan, assistant, or sportswriter he's ever come across. Peter Principled his way into job after high-profile job despite having only nine winning seasons in 21 years as a head coach.
Exhibit A: Inspired a player mutiny against him at Arizona in 2002; got fired the following year before the season was even half-over.
Sentence: Serving as Mike Tyson's life coach.

33. Beck Campbell and the parents of Springdale High
Richly inhabited the stereotype of every overbearing, micromanaging Little League parent by trying to tell Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt how to do his job -- at a time when the Razorbacks were 10-3 and nationally ranked in the top 15. Happily sent their kids off to Fayetteville but then bitched when the coaching staff wasn't giving their kids exactly as many touches as they wanted.
Exhibit A: " 'Our boys are used to catching 60 passes a year,' [Ben] Cleveland told the Democrat Gazette. 'They want to go to a college where they get the same opportunity. Whether they're good enough to do that or not is a whole different question.' "
Sentence: Remanded to a halfway house under the supervision of Wanda "Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom" Holloway.

32. Heismanpundit
Football snobbery -- and West Coast football snobbery at that -- on a staggering scale. Unflagging adherence to an ill-defined notion of "scheme," as evidenced by his fawning over the offensively innovative "Gang of Six" teams, criteria for which is subject to change at any given moment and is pretty much whatever he says it is, i.e. "Teams I like are good." His crusade to counter perceived "East Coast bias" is noble to a point, but only ends up going way too far in the other direction with his eye-rolling dismissiveness of the concept of "defense" and subtle jabs at the Southern football fans he views as grunting, unenlightened troglodytes. An overall level of pretentiousness that would offend George Will.
Exhibit A: September 3, 2005: "The scenario we envision: Boise jumps out quick, forcing UGA out of its offensive game plan before it has a chance to settle in. The game turns into an aerial contest that the Bulldogs can't keep up with. Thus, Georgia's significant talent edge is neutralized and Boise goes on to win comfortably despite a late Bulldog surge. By this time tomorrow, we'll have a verdict on whether Boise's scheme was indeed enough to overcome UGA's talent." The next day: "In the end, I was wrong for the right reasons in regards to the Boise-UGA game, while others were right for the wrong reasons. In the long run, I prefer the former to the latter."
Sentence: A 50-year term cleaning stadium grease traps and draining RV honey tanks at the Iron Bowl.

31. Wayne Huizenga
Sure, if you live in the Miami area then you're already well acquainted with Cap'n Wayne's dicking around with the Dolphins and dismantling the World-Series-winning '97 Marlins team. But how has he worked his unique brand of douchebaggery into college football? Simple: By founding the Blockbuster Bowl, a postseason bowl game created with the express purpose of marketing Huizenga's Blockbuster Video company. It was the first bowl that went beyond corporate sponsorship for an existing bowl and went straight to naked corporate pimping, no "Sugar," "Orange," or anything else. This event gave way to a tsunami of embarrassingly named, and in most cases just plain embarrassing, bowl games: Blockbuster Bowl begat Carquest Bowl, Carquest Bowl begat Bowl, and from there we went to the MPC Computers Bowl and the Bowl and who the hell knows what next. Thanks to Huizenga's pioneer spirit, fans of mediocre teams who have nothing more to look forward to than a postseason matchup with the #6 team from somebody else's shitty conference now have even less to look forward to, unless the Meineke Car Care Bowl is something that really blows your skirt up.
Exhibit A: With a new bowl popping up every time some Fortune 500 company gets a wild hair up its ass, there are now 32 bowl games for 119 D-IA teams, meaning that any given team has a better than 50-percent chance (53.8-percent, actually) of going to a bowl. This year those bowls included the Emerald (Nuts) Bowl, the Insight Bowl, the Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl, the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the MPC Computers Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Capital One Bowl, and the GMAC Bowl. Enjoy.
Sentence: Tied naked to a goalpost at Bronco Stadium for the duration of next year's MPC Computers Bowl in exotic Boise, Idaho.

Tomorrow: #30-#21. You can neither stop it nor hope to contain it.