Monday, June 26

Top Gameday Experiences

This is a write up of my best college football experiences. It's about the complete package; not just the stadium, town or university. These are the experiences that have left the biggest impression on me and the origin of my obsession with all things College Football.

1. Notre Dame (South Bend, IN) - Yes, I am aware that southern football fans are supposed to hate The Irish, but don't knock it until you've tried it. This blogger is lucky enough to have some Notre Dame in the family. Notre Dame is like The Yankees of College Football - You love them or you hate them.

Either way, If you are
a true fan of the game, you respect their tradition.

The Moment I stepped out of the car in South Bend, I was awe struck. All the legendary sights that I had seen so many saturdays on NBC were laid out before me. From brats on the quad to the Golden Dome to Touchdown Jesus - As St. Andrews is to golf, the campus of Notre Dame is to College Football. It is Mecca. From the legendary pep rallies to the pre-game parade, they've got tradition down pat.

No flashy jumbotrons or modern aminities. You just sit, huddled in the freezing cold on what feels like a 2x4 and take in college football in it's purest form.

These Catholics may not admit to it, but they treat Football with much the same reverence as they do The Virgin Mary.

only they had a little eye candy...Ouch!

2. Ole Miss (Oxford, MS) - As far as gameday e
xperiences go, this is one that will stick with you. Here, old times are not forgotten, but for the most part, that's a good thing.

Southern charm creeps slowly up from the hills like molasses on a sticky Mississippi Saturday afternoon. Typically, everything moves alittle slower in this rural university town, but that is not the case on football weekends. Imagine if your town doubled or even tripled in size for a football game!

Under the timeless oaks you will find most family and friends catching up in The Grove. Bow ties and seersuckers blend quite nicely with the southern belles in their debutante attire. If not for the massive quantity of booze, this genteel scene could, at first glance, pass for a church picnic. Words cannot do The Grove justice (pictures might help 1, 2, 3). Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

Some say that in Oxford, football is just an excuse to party, but recent signs show that football doesn't take a backseat to anything. With a newly completed, state-of-the-art Indoor Practice Facility and upgrades in all phases of personnel (coaches, staff and recruits), these Rebels are obviously not satisfied with living in the past.

3. Auburn (Auburn, AL)
Bama fans would have you believe that Auburn is just
another insignificant little cow town.

That's like calling Bo Jackson, "just another running back."

The Agricultural stereotype is nothing more than an attempted slam from opposing fans. This school and town bring to mind good, hard-working southern folks that some might say have an unhealthy passion for their football.

The tailgating scene has a little something for everyone. From the massive RV crowd to the more "Grove-esque" tent tailgating around the stadium, the Auburn faithful have partying down to a fine science. All this tailgating leads up to a college football must see event.

There's no better way to immerse yourself in Auburn tradition than experiencing a Tiger Walk. Hordes of rowdy (often inebriated) fans line the path to the stadium and personally encourage each player and coach with a hardy cheer or pat on the back. All the while, the Auburn pep band is blaring old Tiger favorites like
Crazy Train or Eye of the Tiger. If this doesn't get your gridiron juices flowing, you don't have a pulse!

The town is as cosmopolitan as you would like with great restaurants and bars, however nothing sums up the college bar experience quite like The War Eagle Supper Club. It is a must on game weekends and has been for decades. I've even met a few members who use their mother's/father's vintage membership card like a badge of honor.

Here is what ESPN Gameday's Chris Fowler had to say about this hallowed ground.

Other Experiences of Note:

4. Georgia
5. Alabama

Top Ten Gameday Experiences On My "To Do List":

1. LSU
2. Tennessee
3. Florida
4. Penn State
5. Texas A&M
6. Washington
7. Florida State
8. Arkansas
10. Nebraska

Thursday, June 22

The Casting Call, Part II

This is the long delayed, second half of my Casting Call: The actors that would play your favorite SEC Coaches in a made for TV movie.


Thomas Wilson (Back To The Future's Biff Tannan)
as Urban Meyer (Florida)

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Both are hardasses that we thought could do no wrong. Their tightly cropped hair never wavering as they ruthlessly yell, point and bark orders.

Quickly, these men worked to claim the prize. The SEC East/Marty's Mom was thought to be in jeopardy! Then, somehow, we realized...these guys bark is much worse than their bite.

Once we figured them out, sadly, they were relegated to boo-hoo for themselves while all covered in feces (literal and metaphorical).

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Urban's Secret Weapon

After this first installment, we don't need a time machine to know that they will be back to try and rain on our parade again some time in the near future. These men are stubborn and won't give up without a fight!

But, will they end up all covered in crap again?

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If these are any indication, Urban should age like a fine wine

Steve Carell (of The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Mark Richt (Georgia)

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Other than a few early brain farts, these guys are extremely likeable. The kind of guy that any Mom would wants their daughter to bring home.

They're both just your average, wholesome, Leave It To Beaver-esque, white guys. They aren't fat, they don't have big ears, and they don't have an alcoholic past. They're not banging the secretary, they would never be caught dead in at The Cheetah, and they're not known to fly off the handle. They don't ruffle any feathers and, for the most part, they treat people with respect. Ok, they're a little too likeable.

In a nut shell, they're damn boring.

This Is Deep South Football for Pete's sake! Give me something to work with here!

I even went as far as to ask Tennessee and Florida fans (Georgia's Most Hated Rivals, mind you) for some scathing gossip or angle to "hate on" Richt. If anybody has the goods on Marky Mark it's his SEC East Rivals, right?

Nope. Nadda. Everybody loves the guy.

He's damn near untouchable.

One Florida fan offered, "He has twin sisters if that helps any..."

While a fun fact, it's not exactly what I was looking for. Then, a UT fan even made allusions to Richt's Divinity.

"According to the Davinci Code he had a wife and children on the side"

So much for the whole Virgin thing.

Harvey Keitel as Rich Brooks (Kentucky)

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Rich Brooks used to do some quality work, just like our friend Harvey. Unfortunately, as of late, they've both found that it's kinda difficult to craft a masterpiece working with pure human waste.

Brooks spent damn near two decades of his life slaving away to make The University of Oregon respectable (as respectable as a non-USC Pac-10 team can be), and he even led the Ducks to The Rose Bowl.

Yeah,it's all been down hill from there.

A couple of years with The St Louis Rams, a couple years with The Falcons, Yadda Yadda, Blah, Blah, he's out of the game for a few years.

Ah, Retirement...

Then... The University of Kentucky comes calling...


Why Coach Brooks ever put down the crossword and picked up that call, we may never know.

Talk about your lose-lose situations. You know it's bad when the guy you're replacing left for The Baylor Bears!

Geez, even Bear Bryant couldn't take the heat in Lexington.

What the hell? Brooks thinks he's f'n Better Than The Bear?


whoa...Sorry about that. I've been living in "The Heart of Dixie" a little too long I guess...

Anyway, both men seem to live in a constant state of intestinal discomfort which is prominently displayed in their facial expressions. It appears that either the sun is perpetually in their eyes, or this afternoon's chimmichangas are getting unruly. Possibly both...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that taking the top job in Kentucky Football is kinda like eating spicy Mexican food on a hot, sunny day. The results are uncomfortable, stanky, and extremely unprofessional.

Robert Patrick (T-1000) as Steve Spurrier

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When I was a young lad, I was forbade to watch R-rated movies. My ultra conservative Mother made this very clear, and though I didn't understand the reasons, I obeyed. Unless I was a out of the house. Then all was fair game.

It was one such night, at my Catholic Cousin's home in Tullahoma, TN, when I first witnessed T2 in all it's cinematic glory. I then realized what my Mother was trying to shelter me from:

Unadulterated evil, violence and harsh language were as natural as breathing!

As great as it seemed, I knew it was wrong, and I realized just how ruthless and freaky movies can be. I mean, that T-1000 was just a walking nightmare!

A heartless killing machine that will do anything to win...

Then It hit could I have been so blind?

My Mom should have been more worried about me watching Steve Spurrier's brand of Florida Football than these silly R rated movies!

Starting early in the 90s, fear had a new face, and a visor.

A foe that, despite his slight physical appearance, routinely brought tough guys/Defensive Coordinators to their knees.

Spurrier came out of nowhere to quickly become a thing of legend. He regularly concurred the SEC East, and made the rest of us look like fight scene extras from a Jackie Chan movie.

Once you think you had him pegged, he would just morph, shift gears and run one through your gut. Gruesome, I know.

Before you even knew what hit you...Wham! It's over. It was a real ugly scene for a while.

Then, when we finally think we've seen the last of this SOB (NFL/frozen with chilled nitrogen), he reunited and went straight back to whooping ass!

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For that poor player's sake, I hope that's chilled nitrogen

Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9-11) as Philip Fulmer (Tennessee)

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One Man is the most hated figure in Southeastern Conference Football. The other man is the most hated political figure in The Deep South.

However, neither man has seen their respective equipment since The Kennedy Assassination.

That's right, they are huge, chunky fatasses! It doesn't get much more spot on than this, folks. No detailed explanation needed.

This one is a deal breaker. If we can't get Michael Moore on board, this film is off!

Close your eyes and imagine tons-of-fun, Michael Moore walking the sidelines in a big orange moomoo windbreaker and a block "T": hat.


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He's just big boned

Steve Martin as Bobby Johnson (Vanderbilt)

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Much like Rich Brooks/Harvey Keitel, these two haven't had much to work with lately, but to their credit, they keep trying. Like a threat of military action from The French Government, nobody really takes these guys seriously. Vandy doesn't even have an athletic department, and Martin hasn't made a palatable movie since "The Father of the Bride."In true hopeless, Steve Martin fashion, in 2005 Johnson and Vandy were poised to make it to their first bowl game since The Civil War... but they f'ed it up by losing to Middle Tennessee State University. Boooo!Yes, MTSU. B.J. beats Tennessee in Knoxville and loses to Middle Tennessee at home.

What a jerk!

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