Monday, December 7, 2015

The Ten Dumbest Statements in College Football

Dang... how are my other 13 SEC
teams doin'?
Dang, I haven't posted since July. My wife said I missed my window back in June when I got a bunch of hits. But I got too busy going to the beach, drinking, fishing... you know, just Charleston things. But here we are now. Half of our state is rejoicing Clemson's undefeated dream season/ACC title/playoff berth and the other half is pondering how their team lost to the powerhouse that is the Citadel. But regardless, it's about this time that college football fans and analysts start making some pretty moronic statements.

You know what I really hate? When people write list articles and then spout off a long intro before getting to the actual list. So let's get on with it.

1. But (insert team vying for a playoff spot) hasn't played anyone! Ah, the crutch argument of every clown who hates the team trying to lock down one of those coveted spots. Of course, this neglects the fact that each of the Power 5 conferences has perennial cupcakes, even the vaunted SEC. And all of the great teams play some FCS pushover because the money from those games helps the FCS programs survive.

And giving your boys some much needed real practice in an easy win is what every Power 5 team does each season. Well, unless, of course, this happens...

2. (Insert one-loss team) should be the #1 team because it passes the "eye test". For those not familiar with this farcical term, it means a team is spectacular because, well, the person watching said team thinks it looks spectacular. Nevermind that they dropped a boneheaded game to some inferior team. Those fellas look purty, so let's ignore that loss and put them ahead of an undefeated team.

Boys, you ever date a batshit crazy girl? Did she pass the "eye test" before you started dating her? Now you see why eye tests aren't always so reliable.

3. That team runs a gimmick offense. Does that offense score a bunch of points? Does the team win a lot of games? Then shut your face and deal with it.

4. Team A is gonna beat Team B cause Team A is in the SEC. A lot of stupid statements in college football stem from some incarnation of SEC lore. We don't need to hash out how the omnipotence of the SEC has been an overblown myth. Plenty have done that already. And so forth. What we can do is round up all the logical fallacies that occur with that statement.

So based on the logic of "SEC team will win cause SEC," that means an SEC team never loses to a team outside the conference, right?

Oh.

5. Strength of schedule should play a large factor in determining playoff teams. And what determines that? Preseason rankings? Eye tests? Conference affiliation? Sure seems like a lot of gray area. Perhaps we should stick to records of Power 5 teams. Come out undefeated? You're in. Win your conference championship game with one loss? You're in.

But you say the prowess of a team can't be determined until we examine strength of schedule. But we can't measure the skill of those teams on the schedule until we analyze their... strength of schedule?

Listen, going undefeated in any Power 5 conference is no small task. Rankings are too arbitrary to calculate an accurate strength of schedule.

6. We need to fire our coach because he can't win a national title/beat Alabama/balance the Congressional budget/discover cold fusion. Of course, that's directed at the UGA base. And the LSU one. C'mon. You know you clowns almost canned Les Miles. What, so you fire a guy because he recruits well, wins a lot of games, but can't win a national title? That's like firing a salesman who brings your company millions but can't land the Coca-Cola account. And you want to get rid of a guy because he can't take down Bama? Get in line. About the only way to consistently take down Darth Saban and Bama is to fire two well-placed photon torpedoes down the exhaust port.

7. I'm a (insert conference) fan! Ok. So it's really just directed at SEC fans. You can't be a fan of a conference. You pull for a team. That's how it works. Stop footballing wrong.

My diploma is from Clemson, not the ACC. Your receipt is from Wal-Mart, not the SEC.

8. The (insert really amazing college football team) could beat the worst team in the NFL. You know how many of those guys on the incredible college team are going to make an NFL roster? Just a few. You know how many of those guys on the worst NFL team made an NFL roster? All of em. The Cleveland Browns would curb-stomp any team Nick Saban put on the field.

9. It was an early loss, so it shouldn't hurt them as much. How in the actual hell did we start excusing one-loss teams for a meathead loss simply because it was early in the season? What if we applied this concept to other areas of life?

"Oh, it's okay, sir. You got drunk earlier today, so I won't give you a DUI."

"Hey, man, don't worry about losing that account that cost us millions. It was early in the year."

"Bombed those first couple of tests? It's cool. That was early in the semester. Let's give you an A."

"It's okay, baby, it happens to a lot of guys..."

A loss in September counts the same as a loss in November.

10. Notre Dame should be in the playoffs. Just stop. Duke basketball has already started up. Go watch that.

That's all I got, so here's an image of Steve Spurrier with a chicken.



Monday, July 6, 2015

Beats All You Never Saw

In an action that would have seen them run out on a rail in South Carolina 20 years ago, 37 state senators took a stand to finally remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. There's still some work to be done, but it looks like it's coming down.

A few weeks ago, I made an argument that the South hadn't protected its brand in regards to the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia (i.e., letting racists hijack it). I stand by that argument. I also didn't expect all the site traffic as a result of that post. I hope my six regular readers didn't mind the company.

But in the aftermath of the Mother Emanuel AME shootings and our state's push to remove the flag, the reaction by other people across the country has been a bit zealous. Wal-Mart, eBay, Sears, and Amazon all pulled Confederate flag merchandise from their shelves. The Confederate flags were removed from Fort Sumter, which, for those of you who slept through history class, was where South Carolina gave 'Murica a "It's not us, it's you" break-up that started the Civil War.

And then TV Land pulled the Dukes of Hazzard reruns. Now wait just a Waylon Jennings damn minute here.

For any kid who grew up in the 80s, this TV show was a holy grail to our childhood. My parents' first recordings of my voice were, "Dukes of Hazzard... mash da button." Which is Southern toddler speak for turn on the TV and lemme see the General Lee. I got in a fight with a kid at recess during preschool because we both wanted to be Bo Duke as we turned a jungle gym into the General Lee (I'm sorry. Tom Wopat, I really am). Your cool kid status in elementary school broke down whether or not you had a Dukes of Hazzard or Knight Rider lunchbox.

So this is where longtime fans of the show lost our cool. Anyone who has seen the show knows there was nothing racist or sinister about how the Duke boys painted their prized race car. It was a family show. Bo and Luke weren't attending any Klan rallies at night. Daisy wasn't spitting on black kids as they integrated schools. Uncle Jesse didn't lynch African Americans who tried to vote back in the day. Sheriff Roscoe wasn't spraying protesters with water cannons at the Hazzard County line.

I mean, I'm sure Boss Hogg did a little gerrymandering when he got the chance, but other than that, it was innocent. The Duke boys were never meanin' no harm. Waylon told us so in the song.

But after hearing the news of TV Land's decision, I had to put emotion aside for a minute and think about it from a 'Murican perspective:

There's nothing wrong with what they did. Why? Because they're a private entity that can make this business decision. It's not infringing on our rights. It's not restricting the First Amendment. It's not our society losing its mind, as some opponents declared. It's a business making a decision that they feel is best in light of current events. We played with our General Lee Matchbox cars back in the day without seeing the Confederate flag on the roof as anything sinister. But now that I've grown up and stopped playing with toy cars for about two years now, I can look at it in a different light.

So no, I don't overall agree with TV Land's decision. But I understand and respect it. Same with Wal-Mart, et al. I also understand any private entity that still wants to sell or use the flag for whatever they choose. That's one of the beautiful freedoms we have in this nation. That's part of what our nation has stood for since creation. And I'm not sure that's a mission statement that the Confederate movement would have agreed with when the states seceded.

Fort Sumter, though? The flag is still part of history, and it has its place at such a historical locale.

So, to sum up this long piece: The flag has no place intermingling with our state or local governments. It has no belonging there, and yes, it now represents messages of hate and oppression. But any private individual or corporation that wants to support or do away with the flag has every right, and their decision won't negatively affect our lives in any way.

But if that still ruffles your feathers, and you still think the flag needs to fly proudly on the statehouse or you're furious that a private entity wants to distance itself from the flag, you may want to consider who is on your team.

Just a suggestion.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tallyho in the Squat is free again!

Howdy, folks. For a limited time (and by that, we mean June 24 and June 25), Tallyho in the Squat is free to download. Enjoy!

Download FREE here starting June 24.

And my main website.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Southerners, you didn't protect your brand

In the irregular moments I update this blog, I try to fill it with as much Southern comedy and cartoons as I can. But in light of the horror that happened just a few miles down the road from me Wednesday night, I find it neither appropriate nor feasible to bring any humor into the murder of the nine innocent people at the hands of an admitted white supremacist.

The only truly uplifting moment that has arisen from this tragedy rests in the way the Charleston community has flocked in force to the church on Calhoun Street. A polychromatic gathering of Charlestonians, native or transplant, have joined as one to send a message to the entire country: This won’t stand. This isn’t our South Carolina.

And thousands of people of this state have now turned their sights on a familiar target that has fluttered in some way, shape, or form on our statehouse grounds since 1961: the Confederate battle flag. Since the mid 90s, the flag on the statehouse grounds has been a heated topic in our state. It cost one governor his office when he said he would take it down. It’s resulted in an NAACP and NCAA boycott that still continues today. It’s an issue that more than one politician has called “political suicide” to address. As a born-and-raised South Carolinian, I recall just how much anger has been generated by both sides over this symbol.

Let’s be clear: that flag didn’t drive Dylann Roof to murder nine innocent black people. His actions come from a much darker place inside his soul and mind, and no flag waving in front of the statehouse can shape or alter that. But how our state leaders react to the tragedy—shedding tears and lowering the state flag to half-staff while still flying the Confederate battle flag proudly—is one reason why our state—and the South—still struggles with racial strife.

The immediate counter response is predictable and well-worn. “It’s about heritage, not hate.”

And to that, there is only one word with which we need to answer that argument.

Bullshit.

You see, for those of you who truly believe the flag stands for your heritage and the glamorous aspects of the antebellum South, you’ve made a big mistake over the decades. You haven’t protected your brand.

Here’s what I mean from a marketing perspective. Disney will sue the pants off anyone, big or small, who uses Mickey’s likeness without their approval. Remember the stickers of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes urinating on various logos? Bill Watterson, the strip’s creator, sued to protect that brand from such usage. Does Coca-Cola let just anyone use their iconic logos whenever they see fit? Try to sell merchandise with your favorite college’s logo without their permission and watch the cease and desist letter arrive promptly in your mailbox.

These entities protect their brand so that it doesn’t become soiled. So it’s not misused for despicable purposes. So it’s not twisted beyond the sanctity of those who created.

And you, fellow Southerners, didn’t protect your brand.

You let the Ku Klux Klan take the flag as its banner following the Civil War. You stood by as racist segregationists waved it as their rallying symbol while fighting against the Civil Rights movement. You didn’t stop it as it flew proudly at Selma and was held up to taunt black Americans as they crossed that bridge. You’ve turned a blind eye as neo-Nazis in America and beyond adopted it as part of their symbolism. Even the hoisting of the flag to the top of the South Carolina statehouse in 1961 was meant as a direct affront to the Civil Rights movement (no, it wasn’t to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Civil War—stow that crap elsewhere).

If you wanted it to stand for heritage and not hate, you should have tried a lot harder to keep it from being associated with hatred.

Maybe there wasn’t much you could do. A swastika, prior to World War II, used to have a benevolent meaning. Now, it’s synonymous with evil. Perhaps you can’t stop a group of ignorant, hateful people from sullying a brand and giving it a permanent new meaning.

But you do, at some point, have to accept that your brand is lost. You have to accept that it was adopted decades ago by the bottom feeders of our nation, and it doesn’t get to represent what you want it to anymore. The hateful people of America took ownership of it long ago.

Look no further than the front license plate of Dylann Roof’s car. The Confederate flag was his brand. Are you sure you still want it to be yours?

Bring it down, South Carolina.  

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Just a quick reminder that my Southern comedy novel, Tallyho in the Squat, is available FREE for download from Amazon on June 24 and 25.

Download it here FREE starting June 24.