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Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Watkins. Boyd. Clemson. Wow…

In Football on October 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

Y’all. As much as it pains me to do this, I think we need to talk about Clemson. I’ve tried to turn a blind eye to their meteoric and completely unexpected rise to glory but number five in the AP poll is just not something I can ignore.  I wrote just before preseason how Clemson was not expected to do anything great this season, but that I had heard rumblings that this team was better than people may have thought. Turns out I was wrong. They are FAR and AWAY better than anyone thought.

Chances are if you are an ACC defensive player, you’ve been waxed at least once by the speed demon who goes by the name Sammy Watkins. Have you seen this kid run? It just doesn’t even look real. Fast people sit around and feel bad about themselves after he comes around, because he is just that quick.

And don’t even get me started on Tahj Boyd. I’m pretty sure that he has some kind of laser scope in his head or something because he just does not miss. He’s gotten roughed up a little in the past couple of weeks, but it doesn’t seem to really be slowing him down much. The combination of these two players plus several other stars has been deadly.

I fully expect Clemson to win their division (barring anything completely unexpected) but I’m still not convinced about their all around power. These high scoring games are wins, definitely, but they also point to there being little to no defense on either side. It’s no secret that I’m a Gamecock fan, but I really do think it’s going to be a different tune when the Tigers come to Williams-Brice in November. The Gamecock defense is generally very solid and frequently outstanding, so I have a feeling this is going to be a hell of a game.

All that being said, I have a confession to make. I really really like Dabo Swinney. I love seeing his enthusiasm and his genuine connection with the kids on his team. Oh, and his sound bites are fantastic too. Here’s a summary of a personal favorite: “I don’t really give a crap how many snaps we’ve got left. We just need to move the ball.” Love it. Anyway, no matter my feelings about our upstate rivals, it’s great to see outstanding leadership in college sports.

Back to my battered Gamecocks. South Carolina is on the road this weekend in Knoxville, and while TN really hasn’t put on a good show this season, the Gamecocks are so wounded right now that I really just have no idea what to think about this game. Like most Carolina fans, my suggestion would be to throw the ball to Alshon Jeffrey every chance they get. But apparently that secret strategy is not a secret, as Alshon frequently gets tangled up in double, triple and sometime quadruple coverage, thus slightly hindering his catching ability. Only slightly, of course – he’s still the man with the hands.

South Carolina still has a viable chance at being the SEC East champions but that is overshadowed by the fact that A. Georgia is on a serious roll and more importantly, B. whoever wins the West will obliterate the East. LSU and Alabama (Roll Tide!) are ridiculous this year. I’m looking forward to that match-up on November 5 like it’s the last game of college football ever to be played. There will be bloodshed, I guarantee it. This game is going to be EPIC.

To be honest, I’m kind of let down with football this season. Not entirely because of the Gamecocks erratic playing, but because overall the good teams are phenomenal and the okay teams are just okay. The not so good teams are truly awful but there just hasn’t been really anything in the middle. A few upsets, some drama, but mostly, just meh. And I know this is mean, but The Citadel is so boring this year that I can’t even figure out anything to write about them. Sigh.

Thank God CofC basketball is approaching soon – I’m really interested to see how they will do without the leadership of  Andrew Goudelock but with the addition of Adjehi Baru, the highest rated recruit ever to join the Cougars. CofC basketball is always fun though – great fans, great venue and history. Looking forward to this season for sure – last year was awesome and I’m excited about this one too.

Be back soon and have a happy and safe Gameday!

Gameday Funny

In Humor on October 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

As a Southern fan, I found this particularly amusing, but I’m sure any fan could find the humor in it.  This joke has made the rounds before, but it’s just so awesome that I can’t help but read it and it’s various incarnations every season!

Planning for the fall football season in the South is radically different than up North. For those who are planning a football trip in the South, here are some helpful hints.

Women’s Accessories: NORTH: Chap Stick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket. SOUTH: Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, waterproof mascara, and a fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary – that’s what dates are for.

Stadium Size: NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people. SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

Fathers: NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath. SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus Decor: NORTH: Statues of founding fathers. SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen: NORTH: Also a physics major. SOUTH: Also Miss America .

Heroes: NORTH: Rudy Giuliani SOUTH: Herschel Walker & Peyton Manning

Getting Tickets: NORTH: 5 days before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus. SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus, make a large financial contribution, and put name on a waiting list for tickets.

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game: NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they’re going to the game, because they have classes on Friday. SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don’t want to see the few hung over students that might actually make it to class.

Parking: NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game parking. SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.

Game Day: NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV. SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to where ESPN is broadcasting ‘Game Day Live’ to get on camera and wave to the kids up north who wonder why ‘Game Day Live’ is never broadcast from their campus.

Tailgating: NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down. SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance from the Dave Matthews Band,… Who come over during breaks and ask for a hit off bottle of bourbon.

Getting to the Stadium: NORTH: You ask ‘Where’s the stadium?’ When you find it, you walk right in. SOUTH: When you’re near it, you’ll hear it. On game day it is the state’s third largest city.

Concessions: NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda. SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team’s mascot on it, filled less than half way with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.

When National Anthem is Played: NORTH: Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up. SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

The Smell in the Air After the First Score: NORTH: Nothing changes. SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.

Commentary (Male): NORTH: ‘Nice play.’ SOUTH: ‘Dammit, you slow sumbitch – tackle him and break his legs.’

Commentary (Female): NORTH: ‘My, this certainly is a violent sport.’ SOUTH: ‘Dammit, you slow sumbitch – tackle him and break his legs.’

Announcers: NORTH: Neutral and paid. SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.

After the Game: NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends. SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker, while somebody goes to the nearest package store for more bourbon, and planning begins for next week’s game.

Nothing else in the universe comes even halfway close to the glories of Southern football! And for SEC Fans:

HOW MANY SEC STUDENTS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHT BULB?

At VANDERBILT: It takes two, one to change the bulb and one more to explain how they did it every bit as good as the bulbs changed at Harvard.

At GEORGIA: It takes two, one to change the bulb and one to stabilize the rolling beer cooler the bulb changer is using for a ladder.

At FLORIDA : It takes four, one to screw in the bulb and three to figure out how to get stoned off the old one.

At ALABAMA : It takes five, one to change it, three to reminisce about how The Bear would have done it, and one to throw the old bulb at an NCAA investigator.

At OLE MISS: It takes six, one to change it, two to mix the drinks and three to find the perfect J. Crew outfit to wear for the occasion.

At LSU: It takes seven, and each one gets credit for five Semester hours.

At KENTUCKY : It takes eight, one to screw it in and seven to discuss how much brighter it seems to shine during basketball season.

At TENNESSEE: It takes ten, two to figure out how to screw it in, two to buy an orange lampshade, and six to phone a radio call-in show and talk about how much they hate Alabama.

At MISSISSIPPI STATE : It takes fifteen, one to screw in the bulb, two to buy the Skoal, and twelve to yell, ‘ GO TO HELL, OLE MISS’.

At AUBURN: It takes one hundred, one to change it, forty-nine to talk about how they did it better than at Bama and Georgia, and fifty to get drunk and roll Toomer’s Corner when finished.

At SOUTH CAROLINA : It takes 80,000, one to screw it in and 79,999 to discuss how this finally will be the year that they have a decent football team.

At ARKANSAS : None. There is no electricity in Arkansas .

Y’all send any clean and mostly clean jokes you want to my way – I’m always up for a good laugh! Have a happy and safe Gameday!


Gamecock Down

In Football on October 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

Normally I try to include all three teams (Clemson, Carolina and the Citadel) in each post about football, but the South Carolina Gamecocks have really just stolen the limelight in the past week or so, and not for anything fantastic. First there was the dismissal of QB Stephen Garcia, which, while not unexpected, still was a shock to the Gamecock nation. And this past Saturday a young man by the name of Marcus Lattimore suffered a season ending knee injury.

I have written about Marcus before and am a huge fan of his, not only for his insane talent but also for his character and attitude. Humble, hard-working, honest, and a true role model in every sense of the word, Marcus has put the Gamecock football team on his shoulders on more than one occasion yet spends his free time bowling and witnessing to youth at local churches. Being a Heisman candidate hasn’t seemed to affect him one bit – just doing his job and being the best he can be are his top priorities and the fact that he is a household name across the country appears to have not fazed him in the least.

There is no denying Marcus’ influence on the outcome of South Carolina football games, but if there ever was a time to rally for and around someone, this is it. Marcus himself would tell you that it takes a team to win and a team to lose, so I encourage the Gamecock nation to keep the faith and not throw their hands up in defeat. To write this team off would be a mistake. The Carolina baseball team has written the playbook on overcoming adversity and in the words of star pitcher Michael Roth, “We battle. We’re a bunch of average Joes who love each other and come out and battle.”

The battle is not over and all is not lost. Marcus Lattimore will be back next year and ready to regain his status as running back extraordinaire. In the meantime, true freshman Brandon Wilds will have to step into some pretty big shoes. But victory is sweetest when it seems impossible and I suspect that Wilds will be highly motivated to show what he can do in Marcus’ absence. I’ll leave you with this:

WIN ANYWAY

 

 

Grilling On Gameday

In Tasty Tailgating on October 15, 2011 at 10:43 am

I love tailgating but sometimes getting your delicious vittles from home to parking lot is a bit of a trick. Which is why I’m sharing this awesome recipe with you – you can do about 80% of the work at home and still wow your friends at the game! It’s also easy to prep the night before and actually gets even better when it sits for a while. Baby back ribs are a great finger food entrée and a perfect alternative to the burgers, fried chicken and heavy h’ordeuvres that are often the staples at football games. I hope you really do print or copy this one down, because this sauce is good enough to drink. It will go on pretty much anything, plus it has bourbon, and you don’t get much more Southern than cooking with brown liquor. YUM.

So, without further ado, here is the second best recipe you’ll ever own. You probably have the best already, so I’m cool with being the first runner-up. 😉

Baby Back Ribs with Most Amazing BBQ Sauce Ever

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 can of beer – any kind will do – it’s only for tenderizing
  2. 1 c light brown sugar
  3. 1 c Dijon mustard
  4. 1/2 c Bourbon – I usually use Jim Beam, but that is because I’m married to a KA and he’d probably divorce me if it was anything else.
  5. 1/2 c soy sauce
  6. 2 or 3 whole cloves garlic, pressed
  7. 4 tsp. Worcester

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Arrange ribs in large casserole dish and pour beer over them.
  2. Cover tightly with foil. ***IMPORTANT***
  3. Bake @ 300 for 3 hours

Here is where you can pause the process and save the rest for grilling on site if you want. Or you can grill and transport later – either way is delicious, but hot off the grill is definitely better.

Grill on medium heat basting repeatedly, until sauce has set up. If you want to serve with sauce on the side, be sure to heat it first – remember the bourbon? And because the meat is already cooked you don’t have to worry about that pesky trichinosis problem associated with pork, so no sauce needs to be thrown out after basting!

So there you have it – I would put this BBQ sauce/baby back ribs combo head to head against anything and that is no joke. Try it soon – today even, because you still have time before the afternoon/night game!

Have a happy, safe and DELICIOUS Gameday!

 

 

 

 

Garcia Goodbye

In Football on October 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you will have heard by now that South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has been dismissed from the Gamecock football team. Apparently he did not adhere to the terms of his sixth reinstatement agreement by failing a test for alcohol consumption. Fans have been frustrated by his erratic performances over the past couple of seasons, but I don’t think anyone will argue the fact that he is an exceptional athlete who has plenty of potential.

I admit that I wanted him replaced just as much as anyone else, but I still can’t help but be sad about the end of his college career. To have that kind of opportunity and to implode like this is such a waste. People point to the drinking, partying, etc., but I also wonder about how someone like this has been coached. Just having coached my little rec soccer team has taught me that you have to inspire not deride. You have to command rather than demand the best of your players – and know that there is a big difference between the two.

Does he truly have some kind of substance abuse problem? Confidence problem? Both? We’ll never really know and it really doesn’t matter.  No one knows what it’s like to be one of these kids unless you ARE one of these kids. Let us all remember that judging people before you walk in their shoes is never a good idea. We don’t know them, the large majority of us have never been one of them and what happens in the inner circles is rarely public knowledge. Anyway, I wish Stephen well and hope that he finds peace and success in his future endeavors. 

As always, have a happy and safe gameday…I’ll be back in a day or so with something a little more festive. 🙂

Don’t Call it a Comeback

In Football on October 5, 2011 at 9:43 am

So because I’m a big weinie, when faced with personal difficulties, I tend to hide, figuratively. Which also means bloggy block. However, I am trying to force myself out of this hole I’ve been cowering in and get back in the game.

So let’s talk about some football shall we? Honestly, as a Gamecock fan, this whole post could be dedicated to all kinds of wonderful topics, like: how Stephen Garcia has lost his mind, or how Steve Spurrier will definitely throw a clot this season, or my personal favorite, how the Gamecocks lost the stupidest game ever to a pretty mediocre Auburn.

But I choose to be positive and focus instead on a bright spot named Melvin Ingram. In case you’ve been under a rock this season, you’ve heard about the defensive player who it seems can do about anything. Special teams? Sure, he’s a hands guy. Sack the quarterback? No problem. Catch an interception and run all three hundred pounds of him into the end zone? Easy peasy. Point being, Ingram has been an enormous influence on the outcome of the games so GUESS WHAT? He’s injured and may not play this coming Saturday against Kentucky. At home. With a second string QB. Siiiiggghhhh.

To be succinct, the above section of the post really could have just gone like this: AAARRGGGHH &*^@#^#&*$&@!!!! and everyone in the country would know what I was talking about.

Lifting our eyes unto the hills, HELL-O, Clemson!  Wow. Just wow. The Tigers have surprised pretty much everyone this season, including their own fan base. Which is great for them, and bad for the three ranked teams that they have rolled all over. I think Dabo went a little far with his comment that every ranked team they’ve beaten could be a national champion (Auburn?), but whatever. I cannot hardly deny that the Tigers have some serious momentum and are well on their way to a fantastic season.

The Tigers will host Boston College at home this weekend, and if the last few weeks are any indication, they should have no problems. Plus their home crowd is gonna be NUTS, which is always fun.

And back here in Chucktown, the good news is that The Citadel picked up their first conference win last week against Chattanooga. Hopefully they’ll be able to ride the wave of victory at home against Wofford this Saturday. This game is their Military Appreciation Day game, and with El Cid being a military college, they are sure to put on a good show for that at the very least.

Normally, I focus only on these three teams, but as a closet Tide fan I just have to say, HOLY.FREAKING.CRAP! Bama is ridiculous good this season. Personally, I think the Bama/LSU game is going to be EPIC and I cannot wait to see it. Rolllll Tide!

That’s all for now – I’ll be back with someone more entertaining soon. Thanks to all three of my readers for stopping by and always, have a happy and safe Gameday!