(Note: Since no one realized Marcel Dareus was still on the team in 2010, I reached back to 2009. Thanks, 57.)
That should hold us until Wednesday. See you then. Roll Tide.
(Note: Since no one realized Marcel Dareus was still on the team in 2010, I reached back to 2009. Thanks, 57.)
1) Alabama (5-1)
2) Florida (5-2)
3) Kentucky (4-2)
3) Tennessee (4-2)
5) Arkansas (4-3)
6) Vanderbilt (3-3)
6) South Carolina (3-3)
6) Mississippi State (3-3)
9) Georgia (3-4)
10) LSU (2-4)
11) Ole Miss (1-5)
12) Auburn (1-6)
Thoughts on athletes and 'toughness'
While in college, I experienced problems with my shoulder: it burned, would sub-lux (the medical term for “pop out of place sometimes”) and generally served to annoy.
Because my mother made me (and because the shoulder once caused me to cry while moving a relatively light cardboard box), I visited an orthopedist who ordered an MRI on the faulty joint.
(Quick sidebar on this particular orthopedic doctor: In my lifetime, he has checked multiple broken bones, a knee ligament and this shoulder on me, stress fractures on my brother and multiple knee issues with my other brother. Mom used to joke that we bought the guy a summerhouse. At least I think it was a joke.)
Anyway, eventually I had to have surgery to repair a torn labrum. People would repeatedly ask, “What did you do to hurt your shoulder?”
“Um, I slammed into a large man wearing shoulder pads repeatedly. In high school.”
And they would marvel at me for carrying around a torn labrum three years. It made me “tough,” I suppose. And there’s nothing more important to someone who plays sports than being tough.
Being an Alabama fan, I was raised on stories about the great Paul Bryant, still the greatest coach in the history of football (and I won’t argue about this). Bryant, of course, had a career founded entirely on an aura of toughness. He earned his nickname wrestling an actual bear, played in college on a broken leg (“It was just a little bone,” he said years later) and conducted practices as a coach that seemed sadistically designed to kill ordinary people.
Even in 2011, as we learn more about the human body and its limits, we continue to debate the concept of toughness.
During Sunday’s NFL semifinal between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, Bear quarterback (and Vanderbilt alumnus) Jay Cutler played poorly for a half, then limped to the locker room with an apparent knee injury. When the team took the field for the second half, Cutler emerged from the locker room but did not take the field, instead (apparently) sulking on the sidelines, done for the day. The Bears eventually lost 21-14.
The outcry from everywhere — the media, the blogosphere, even fellow players (current and former) — was as immediate as it was bloodthirsty. “He’s GOT to gut that out!!!” they said in unison. “Does he not have any TOUGHNESS??”
Injured or not — Cutler was diagnosed Monday with a sprained medial collateral ligament — the quarterback was expected to soldier on with a championship on the line. Like Bryant did.
The legend of the tough-as-nails athlete is one that continues to endure in our culture, even as we lead, by all accounts, the most comfortable lifestyle in the history of the world.
Still, we like to think of the Boston Celtics’ Kevin McHale, who broke his foot in 1987, kept playing on it, broke it again, still kept playing and nearly helped win a championship that summer (the Celtics lost to Los Angeles in six games). Even now, he says he’d do it again.
Except that he could never do it again. In fact, McHale still walks with a limp nearly 30 years later; he did permanent structural damage to his feet by ignoring the pain in them during those playoffs.
It’s the part of the game, and of life, that we try to ignore in these discussions about “toughness” — when something hurts, it’s usually hurting because your body’s trying to tell you something’s wrong. And it wants you to stop before you hurt yourself even worse.
But, of course, that’s the athlete’s unending question: Is it worth ignoring agonizing pain (and the ability to walk like a normal person) for a chance to win a championship and be remembered forever?
(Actually, I don’t have a good answer for that one.)
Halcombe (3:01 p.m.): Okay, it's what like Jan. 18 and they're still airing College Football Live? Really? Jesse Palmer doesn't have a D-list celebrity golf tourney to play poorly in?
Halcombe (4:43 p.m.): Announcer for ESPN college hoops coverage pronounced peanut butter cup sponsor as "Racists." I can't speak to Reese's feeling as it is I don't know their race.
Halcombe (5:05 p.m.): If "ankle, ankle, knee" was applied to Jordan, Pippen and Rodman, or Magic, Worthy and Jabbar, would they receive same notice as Heat trio of Owies?
Stacey (6:57 p.m.): Roll Tide. I love you.
Whit (8:10 p.m.): Pretty sure John Masingill is still on the front row of the student group tonight ...
Maguire (8:37 p.m.): Is it me, or do the UK players seem to not respect Calipari very much?
Rob (8:52 p.m.): I like that we actually play defense. When do we fold? I am guessing with 5 to go.
Zach (8:53 p.m.): Sounds like you're winning.
Zach (8:55 p.m.): Or radio guy is just giddy.
Zach (8:58 p.m.): Easy win on Saturday.
(This, by the way, was the halftime show that had everybody talking.)
Whit (8:59 p.m.): Well that's talent.
Dad (8:59 p.m.): You can do that.
Rob (9:00 p.m.): Yeah but that's awesome!
Whit (9:08 p.m.): We ain't white, we ain't white, we definitely ain't white!
Audra (9:12 p.m.): What's up with Bama leading Kentucky?
Audra (9:17 p.m.): Them blue boys is rattled — it's over from where I sit.
Maguire (9:28 p.m.): I sure hope so.
Rob (9:29 p.m.): When Hillman makes any shot besides a dunk or layup it's your night.
Audra (9:29 p.m.): Crowd is too pumped, they are in the minds of Kentucky — it's over.
Whit (9:38 p.m.): So at what time left in game does UK take lead?
Maguire (9:45 p.m.): Geez. I'm going to take Jamychal's wallet from him tomorrow. Should be easy.
Audra (9:47 p.m.): Well damn — the crowd just quit on them, that sucks.
Jamie (9:57 p.m.): Coach Cal may have just lost his team.
Maguire (10:06 p.m.): Somebody said, "That's an interesting scenario." And Mrs. Hillman said, "That's what I'm gonna name my boy." But she misspelled it.
Rob (10:07 p.m.): Put the 7-footer on the inbounder.
Jamie (10:08 p.m.): Nice W.
Rob (10:08 p.m.): It counts.
Whit (10:09 p.m.): We almost beat the hell outta you.
Jamie (10:09 p.m.): W=W.
Maguire (10:09 p.m.): How about that?! Roll Tide!
Jamie (10:10 p.m.): Do only the ugliest 10% of fans go to bball games?
Zach (10:38 p.m.): Wow. Turned out to be a close one huh. Good win.
The only cure for election burnout is more election
Late last week, while driving around — something I do pretty much all the time — news came over the radio that the White House was preparing to “shake up” its staff members.
Specifically, the analyst said, President Obama was likely to change his press secretary, his secretary of state and possibly his chief of staff within the next few days. As I type this, the press secretary (Auburn native Robert Gibbs) has already stepped down.
This is happening now, the analyst went on, because of the election.
“They’re shifting into campaign mode again,” he said. “Gibbs is great on the campaign trail.”
Well, I thought, that’s kind of a stretch, right? I mean, the election isn’t until November and it’s only January. Is he really that concerned about an election that’s 10 months away?
The host of the radio show howled.
“Campaign mode?” he said. “The election isn’t until 2012!”
This, it seems, is the way of the world in American politics these days. With the new Congress barely warming its seats in Washington, the conversation is already shifting to who will win the next election, in November 2012.
This isn’t a new trend, of course: Presidential candidates for 2008 were emerging in the middle of 2007, and some of the members of the current legislature had already begun campaigning against the current administration before they’d even taken office in 2008.
It’s a disturbing trend, really. Analysts, columnists and bloggers who focus on politics all seem to have their eyes on the same issue: Will this help (Candidate X) win the next election? Every issue — health care, Afghanistan, the economy — is viewed through the same prism.
What no one ever seems to ask is the following: Putting aside how this issue helps or hurts your political aspirations, is it good for your constituents? Is it good for America? Is this the right thing to do?
It won’t end anytime soon, of course. From now until 2012, Obama and the Democratic party will saw back and forth with the Republicans in Washington — the phrase “will of the people” will emerge multiple times, politicians will disingenuously complain about “government waste” (while openly lobbying for more federal money to go into their own districts) and every debate will center around “how it will play” in various political circles.
And we, the voters, will fall for it. Guess we always do.
Halcombe (8:06 p.m.): Zoooooooooooooookkkkkkkk!
Whit (8:24 p.m.): The Zooooooker!!!!!
Maguire (9:58 p.m.): "Playing under control" something Nathan Saturday never learned to do.
Pedro (3:44 p.m.): Do they make everyone wear pinstripes at the Pinstripe Bowl?
Jamie (7:59 p.m.): Word to the wise, when you lose your helmet stop playing.
Jamie (9:19 p.m.): My Lord, it's football not chess. CONTACT SPORT!
Jamie (9:20 p.m.): Then they DON'T call THAT?
Jamie (9:24 p.m.): They don't deserve to make this kick.
Jamie (9:29 p.m.): Lost in all the commotion was the fact that Janzen Jackson got flagged for "tackling too hard."
Pedro (9:51 p.m.): "History maybe ending on ESPN2." Does this mean the end of the world, the end of the Deuce, the end of women's basketball, the end of UConn?
Pedro (10:13 p.m.): The Mrs., "Are you kidding me? Oh my God, are you freakin kidding me? Show me the football game! That's it, I'm going to bed. Not like we don't have ESPN2."
Maguire (1:52 p.m.): They have Bluth bananas in Disney World.
Pedro (2:09 p.m.): Not sure I'm a fan of interviewing the incoming coach in the midst of his predecessor's finale. Methinks Randy Shannon not a fan of that CBS programming choice.
Halcombe (3:08 p.m.): ESPN, absolutely "love" the Roll Tide spot during the Liberty Bowl. Priceless.
Halcombe (3:18 p.m.): Have to say, I'm pulling for O'Leary, but today he may show why he should have actually earned the degrees on his resume.
Halcombe (4:07 p.m.): NOTRE DAME IS BACK!!!! Oops. I meant to say Oregon is all hype. My bad.
Jamie (5:52 p.m.): P to the a to the thetic.
Jamie (5:54 p.m.): Hey Chris Durham, you're 6-6 going in. Nothing to cry over chief.
Jamie (5:57 p.m.): Charlie Weis to UF. Good move by Mchamp.
Jamie (7:22 p.m.): FSU and SC hitting the hell out of each other.
Jamie (7:27 p.m.): Chicken bowl is my favorite.
Halcombe (7:40 p.m.): Woof woof woof. Go dawgs. Schmucks.
Rob (8:47 p.m.): Yeah the SEC looks weak so far.
Maguire (8:48 p.m.): We haven't played yet. And I'll take an SEC 0-fer if it means Oregon shuts those people up.
Pedro (8:53 p.m.): We've always got MS State. They can take Michigan, at least most of America thinks so.
Zach (9:43 p.m.): Yeah. This is bad.
Zach (10:18 a.m.): However, all 3 have been from East.
Zach (10:22 a.m.): Bama will not lose.
Zach (10:23 a.m.): Guaranteed.
Jamie (12:04 p.m.): Rhodes Scholar nominee ...
Maguire (12:21 p.m.): That's a great way to start the game. Now let's see if we can play D.
Jamie (12:28 p.m.): Man to man buster. Crossing and go routes.
Whit (12:28 p.m.): Yeah we are manned up on the WRs and are bringing heat on every play, it seems.
Maguire (12:30 p.m.): Lester!
Maguire (12:46 p.m.): Good to capitalize on the turnover. Rtr.
Zach (1:12 p.m.): As I said, guaranteed.
Rob (1:19 p.m.): Seriously can we maintain in the second half.
Pedro (1:28 p.m.): TiVo shocker of the week — 1:23, Saban caught smiling/laughing at McElroy's block.
Rob (1:32 p.m.): Did McElroy's block remind you of you in high school?
Dad (1:37 p.m.): Is 28 enough?
Rob (1:51 p.m.): SEC West is showing good so far.
Maguire (1:55 p.m.): 30 more minutes ... let's finish this season strong.
Dad (2:02 p.m.): Just remember we are all counting on you.
Pedro (2:12 p.m.): Think we'll send a mercy pickle to the MSU sideline for that guy's cramp?
Rob (2:12 p.m.): Upshaw and Dareus together are scary.
Dad (2:12 p.m.): Good luck. We are all counting on you.
Rob (2:15 p.m.): Wow second string in.
Audra (2:22 p.m.): Is there a run rule in football? They need one for this game.
Pedro (2:40 p.m.): Go State, Go State.
Rob (3:01 p.m.): Instead of SEC we should chant "SEC WEST."
Pedro (3:32 p.m.): "They (MS State) have smelt great today." See?
Pedro (3:33 p.m.): I wouldn't know that without ESPN's announcers.
Pedro (3:51 p.m.): I'll take it, but hope we can do better next year.
Rob (3:52 p.m.): Well it will be interesting to see who leaves for the NFL.
Rob (3:52 p.m.): But 10 wins is nice yes.
Maguire (3:53 p.m.): I'll take it. 36 wins in the last 3 years.
Dad (4:00 p.m.): As Auburn would say, Wait till next year!
Pedro (4:17 p.m.): My wife really enjoys saying, "Hook 'em, horned frogs."
Halcombe (4:18 p.m.): I'm waiting for Musberger to toss this gem at Herbie: "What does a lion call a monkey's balls? A sack lunch. And the Badgers take the early lead."
Dad (4:21 p.m.): I bet Toon's nickname is Car.
Halcombe (4:23 p.m.): Wonder how long it will take before TCU sideline reporter shouts, "We don't need no stinking Badgers. Back to you in the booth."
Halcombe (4:37 p.m.): Wonder how many pancake-eating contests Clay has won this past year?
Halcombe (4:44 p.m.): What's up with all the Adidas bicep bands? Badgers going for the "Gladiator" look?
Rob (4:45 p.m.): Big Ten defenses equals sucks.
Pedro (6:15 p.m.): Illinois might win the Big Ten next year. Vandy could. Opelika High School would.
Halcombe (6:58 p.m.): Forcing out Wannstedt is looking better and better isn't it Pitt?
Pedro (7:08 p.m.): AND THE ROSES IN THIS GRAND OLD STADIUM ARE ... HORNED.
Halcombe (7:11 p.m.): WAY TO GO BIG TEN!!!
Rob (7:13 p.m.): How many times can Erin Andrews say, "Put that into perspective."
Halcombe (7:36 p.m.): Can't wait to hear all the Plus One talk coming out of Herbie's mouth on Sportscenter, the Sports Reporters and OTL.
Dad (7:55 p.m.): Red means mean.
Dad (7:56 p.m.): Please drive through.
Audra (7:57 p.m.): Quote of the day from a blonde co-worker, "What state is Yukon from?"
Halcombe (7:58 p.m.): So did UConn have to beat Delaware in the FCS title game to earn a berth in tonight's Fiesta Bowl?
Maguire (8:08 p.m.): I wonder if Edsall is imagining Bob Stoops with a baby in place of his head.
Halcombe (8:13 p.m.): There's football on ESPN? I've been too busy catching the New Year's Day marathon of "V." AMAZING SPECIAL EFFECTS, even if there's no Michael Ironside.
Dad (8:16 p.m.): I will need more than 16 points.
Halcombe (8:22 p.m.): Haywood after his last arrest: What did I tell my old lady with two black eyes? Nothing. I done tole dat trick twice.
Dad (8:33 p.m.): We are back in it baby!
Halcombe (8:40 p.m.): Apparently fumbling is a trait for any OU offensive starter and not unique to AP.
Audra (8:41 p.m.): We like our kickers to have a lil gut.
Halcombe (8:46 p.m.): We hear so much talk about the chips, but what about the accompanying line of queso and bean dips? Then we could have the Tostitos con queso Bowl.
Audra (8:47 p.m.): The second best quote: "Hey, isn't UConn a women's basketball team?"