Great Sports Writing: “Football Season Is Over. Football Season Has Begun”

Last night officially kicked off the college football season, but tonight marks the first night you’re likely to see a top 25 team get challenged when TCU travels to face Baylor.  This of course is all followed by the real first day of the college football year tomorrow, with some terrific night games in Boise facing Georgia and Oregon meeting LSU at the JerryDome.   With all of this in mind, take the time this afternoon to read my personal favorite college football writer Spencer Hall.  He runs the blog “Every Day Should Be Saturday” and in my opinion is the best sports blogger on the Internet, and if not that, then most certainly the snarkiest.  Every year he writes a brilliant piece that in the blogging world pretty much officially signals the start of the college football season.  Take a moment and read last year’s brilliant work titled “Football Season Is Over. Football Season Has Begun” and try to tell me bloggers aren’t great writers.  It’s so far beyond the every day content of your average sports writer that it makes any of us actually trying to write about sports feel utterly stupid and mostly jealous.  Check out why.  From Every Day Should Be Saturday:

My grandfather died in February. He looked like Bill Clinton crossed with Shrek. Personality-wise, he was more of the latter and the former, and in a good way. He liked to cook country ham on a hot plate on his sealed concrete patio. He tended a terraced garden big enough to feed a family and regarded squirrels with a hatred bordering on the pathological. He would take me out in his shed–a mini-house across the creek in the back of the property with wood-burning stove, radio tuned to WSM radio, and a hundred well-oiled tools hanging on the wall–and just sit there occasionally telling me stories while he fed split wood into the belly of the stove.

He was usually sipping on coffee during these chill sessions. Later, after his death, we would find whiskey bottles stashed all over that shed. I did not lick a taste for stimulants mixed with alcohol off the grass. 

He was one of the first people I can remember telling me anything definite about football. My grandparents owned a Magnavox. They don’t even make these anymore, and by they I mean “Americans who made televisions,” a rare breed of people that existed before we collectively acknowledged the universal truths of international existence: that Asians make killer electronics, that Germans make face-ripping cars, and that we do best when just sit back and kind of improv like the brilliant bullshitting nation we are. 

It was huge, and made a supernatural humming noise when you turned it on. For a time as a child, i believed televisions in wooden casings made to look like distinguished furniture could only pick up three types of programming: Hee-Haw, Gunsmoke, and Barnaby Jones. My grandfather seemed to live off pork products, black coffee, and those three television shows. He got vitamins from them, and were an important part of his balanced diet. 

It shocked me one day when football came on the television and shattered my beliefs about the receiving abilities of wooden-based television arrangements. Vanderbilt was playing Tennessee. I was maybe eight years old at the time. Tennessee scored off a short TD run. My grandfather made a displeased grunt from somewhere in his enormous lantern-sized head, the same one that totters on my neck like a bowling ball taped to a gameday shaker. 

“What’s wrong, Gran-gran?” 

“I’m thinking Tennessee’s a little bit more physically equipped than Vanderbilt is.”

Gameday baby.  Go Frogs.

[Every Day Should Be Saturday]

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The article where I announce my hatred for Texas Tech

If you’re anything like me, and you’re not, you spend way too much time reading message boards about college sports. Whoever says that the college game isn’t as good as the pro game is crazy. If the game is being a fan, the college fans have the pro fans absolutely beat. I think a pro fan will spend minutes watching some basketball highlight on you tube before putting on some horrible looking retro Knicks jersey to announce to the world that his allegiance to actual players can change faster than an owner can scribble his signature. College fans spend hours every day reading message boards! I mean, dammit, I hear some Stars fans bad-mouth Mike Modano because the franchise’s manager with a goofy name that I don’t want to Google for spelling decided to not sign him. His name is spelled Neuyendike or something like that.

But us college fans don’t have limp wrists and even limper allegiances. We stick by our players, teams and ourselves. I guess I probably like the Mavs, but do I feel any sort of allegiance with other Mavs fans… No! In fact, I would probably hate most of them if I met them.  They, along with the “alternative lifestyle” group, make college fans run from Dallas, except for at SMU where all of this stuff is standard Saturday night fare. Everyone at Auburn knows that Cam Newton is a douche, but they’ll instantly become fans of whatever NFL team drafts him, because of loyalty. “He represents our Wal-Marts in Alabama, not those fancy ones they got in Northern Florida.” And Lebron James… most of those cocaine wonderland groupies in Miami had never even heard of him before the decision, but now huge fans, just love him. It fits perfectly with some crazy ass groupie attitude. But I think that more nookie happens after college games than pro, but the girls at pro games are sluttier. How does that happen?

I’m rambling to put off this hard declaration, “From here on out I am going to hate Texas Tech.” This will apply to anything and everything. This was a long way coming, but after years of just being the biggest collection of dumbasses that make dumbass decisions on the national stage, I can’t take it anymore. Everyone talks about how delusional A&M is, but have they listened to the average Tech fan recently? “Tuberville’s gonna get the best recruiting class in the country.” Two months ago, “I hate Tuberville, he sucks, Myers is trying to ruin this school so we become some kind of pussy institution with high academic standards like Texas State.” That’s right, Tech ranks below Texas State in academic rankings. But Tech fans, most of which couldn’t even get into crappy-ass Tech, will tell you how they are on the way to being a Tier-1 research institution that would have fit in perfectly in the proposed Pac-16. It’s insane!

But this shows how college fans are better than pro fans. They love their teams so much they develop schizophrenia, paranoia, narcissism, delusion, and a myriad of other mental disorders just through the irrational love of a team. I mean they wouldn’t even need to play the actual games for college fans anymore, it’s just a full on debate about who out-recruits who, who has better facilities, who has better chicks walking around tailgates, who has more attendance, etc. I mean can any pro sports fan beat this. I don’t hear any Cowboys fans make fun of Vikings fans because of the difference in the stadiums (or lack thereof). You ever hear a Spurs fan because a Mavs fan about which team has better lockerrooms? No you haven’t. How about Penguins fan debating a Capitals fan on which franchise owns better zambonis? Can that at least happen? For college…. we’ll debate that mess all day long.

I’m tired of defending Tech, a place where guys brag about taking beer bongs up their butts. I’m not doing it anymore. I’m 24 years-old, I don’t want a beer bong up there. But some 50-year Tech fan does.  When the Texas State students are smarter than the Tech students… I’m out.

You know what? I’m not even mad yet. These idiots from Tech cancelled a game with TCU, a game in a season where TCU is losing the core of seniors responsible for the success culminating in a Rose Bowl victory. Will they admit it to be fear? No. Will they admit it to be anything logical? No. They talk about how TCU doesn’t deserve to play Tech. Yeah seriously. They honestly banter to themselves about how they don’t need to be involved in doing anything that would give TCU any credibility or boost than tiny little program up. Screw them! We just won the Rose Bowl. Tech has never been to a BCS game… ever! But they think we strive to be them. What a bunch of clowns. As these morons go door-to-door selling life insurance and Edward Jones front-end loaded mutual funds to other retards from Texas Tech, they convince themselves that Texas Tech is a good school with a relevant football program and TCU is just some small school that’s irrelevant that gets lucky. Well I’m here to say that Texas Tech sucks. I hate it. I won’t like anything about it ever again. If they somehow make some run to get to a BCS bowl, I’ll cheer against them. But that won’t happen; those idiots have never even won the Big-12 (Bevo 10). If I totally bomb the LSAT and can only get into that joke of a law school, I won’t be a lawyer. If I somehow end up living in Lubbock, I won’t go to Chimys. The only thing I’ll miss about Tech is seeing all the girls squat and pee in-between cars in the parking lot (at church!).

Why does Tech think they’re so hot, because they’re in the Big-12? How stupid is that? So if you point out that they have no power in the Big-12 and that even A&M laughs at them, they don’t deny it. If you talk about how they are nothing other than UT’s doormat and bitch, they don’t deny it. You know what they say; at least they want us, unlike you, TCU. They take pride in being UT’s bitch. I’m, personally, glad that TCU does its own thing and nobody is our pimp. I hate Tech. Tech is like that stupid girl that gets all of her esteem through making guys, who will cheat on her and call her fat, like her. She’s a screwed up, unintelligent, promiscuous chick that will buy your drinks at the bar (if only she had any money). That’s Tech. I like UT more than the Texas Tech. UT slaps all those other schools around with their pimpin’ hand, and I kinda like watching it. Now I would never want TCU to start pimpin’ institutions around. I like that we’re classy and above associating with some pit stop off of Interstate 20. So I like that we aren’t like UT or Tech and that we aren’t in a conference with them. I don’t think we should have anything to do with that group. But in that group UT is definitely the money, and if I were to side with any Big-12 school, I’m taking the money.  Tech is dumb enough to be proud to have a pimp, proud to be a little bitch, proud to be dumb, proud to be irrelevant and proud to be delusional. “But UT wants us, they don’t want you TCU.” Yeah because we won’t let them make us their bitch. Way to go Tech! Wreck ‘Em. I’d rather hang with BYU in Cowboys Stadium. Thanks BYU by the way for filling the void left by Tech. BYU is like the slightly chubby girl at the bar at 2am that you go after when you look up and all the pretty girls are gone. I love this girl more than anything in the entire world.

No Tech you are not the pretty girl. You’re the nasty one we can’t get rid of. And don’t say that you cancelled the game, so it’s the opposite. That’s how your dirty logic works. You call us good guys up for a booty call, then at the last minute back out. Thus, in your logic, we wanted it, you didn’t give it up, and you’re better than us. You then think we have to “earn the right” for you. That’s a stupid game that TCU doesn’t need to play anymore. The only way that institution, Tech, should be able to reach us is by dialing *67 to trick us (another weak trick).

I’m disgusted that I spent a 1/4 to 1/3 (ok maybe 2/3) of my life actually supporting that asylum.

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Fight ‘Em on the Ice

By Ross Morgan:

“Fight ’em until hell freezes over. Then fight ’em on the ice!” – Dutch Meyer, TCU Head Football Coach 1934 -1952

Hell has frozen over.

Last night, on it’s newly created BCS Countdown Show, the Great Beast, ESPN, had a discussion about TCU playing in the BCS Mythical National Championship Game. In fact, the entire 45-minute show was one long debate about how well TCU would fare. (editors note: If TCU does end up playing in the big game, I will likely no longer refer to ESPN as a creature from the book of Revelations. In fact, I’m pretty close to ending this practice, but not until they fire Skip Bayless. He looks like the satanic villain in every religious/horror movie ever made).

It seems like the ESPN/ABC/Disney/Satan media monster is starting to hype a TCU appearance in the national championship game to the point that there was not a single word muttered about a potential matchup between Auburn and Oregon. It’s like the perceived battle of the existing 1 & 2 teams would be a disappointment to ABC if it occurred. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. I felt like I did when the Texas Rangers began playing game one of the World Series. This feeling was for an ESPN show!

I just want to do a small recap of what made this show so shocking and so special to me and other TCU diehards (or blowhards).

The first moment that my jaw dropped was when Craig James began discussing TCU. Now to give some brief history on Craig James, I will just say that I have never supported anything he has done in his career. To start, he and Eric Dickerson formed the “pony express” backfield at SMU in the early 80s. These were the teams that were found to have committed the cardinal sin of NCAA football (paying players) and caused SMU to receive the death penalty. I hate both SMU and the dirty money in college football, so this already makes me not trust James. After he graduated from SMU and slummed in some minor-league Kenny Powers style, he was drafted by the New England Patriots. Playing for them he received the nickname, “The Great White Hope”. I’m not kidding, he got the nickname because he was a white guy with speed (an apparent rarity). So not only is he the last player to cause a school to get the full extent of the death penalty, but he’s probably the last player to have a racially-charged nickname (Remember Rush Limbaugh got fired from ESPN for calling McNabb black). Then of course, he pulls some strings to get his son Adam a starting spot on Mike Leach’s Texas Tech Red Raiders. Well of course, Leach was accused of locking Adam James in a supply closet for two-hours. Leach counters that Adam put himself in the closet and took pictures with his Iphone. This was to get back at Leach because Craig and Adam James were both upset that Adam had been demoted to third-string. If this is true, then Craig James is the worst person alive in the sports world.

But tonight he made me excited. It seems weird, like I should be on my toes. I feel like I could be the dumb drunk girl who pretends to hate some guy and calls him a jerk but gets excited when he starts buying her shots and will let him do anything he wants to her (That’s about as emotional and strange as this blog will ever get.). So Craig James began the show by making some pointless argument about how a lot of traditional powerhouse teams are under-performing because of an increased pressure that exists today due to social media like Twitter and blogs. My thoughts were, “Oh God! That was absurd. Here we go again.” I began bracing for another 45-minutes of scripted excuses for the shoddy performances of your normal powerhouses. (One excuse I can’t believe I haven’t heard yet: the pressure to please fans. We always hear about great road victories in front of hostile crowds or how a hostile crowd cost a road team a game. Why haven’t we ever heard the excuse from a powerhouse-school supporter that a home crowd filled with 100,000 people just creates so much pressure for players to make them happy that they choke…AKA Stage Fright. Schools, like those in the SEC, love to point at their large-crowds as a way to show some entitlement. Why not add the aforementioned excuse so that you have one for both home and away games, and therefore no loss is ever your fault.)

So after Craig James finishes his Facebook thesis, he changes personalities completely when he reveals his top-10 ballot. He placed TCU in the 3rd spot, and only had great things to say (you would have had to have kept up with his opinion for the last few weeks going into years on TCU to understand how big a shift this is). He said, point blank, that he would put TCU in the National Championship game. That’s huge. TCU has never really had a mainstream commentator come out and say that before. For it to be Craig James is just… wow. So Mr. James went through his reasons for being a Frog fan. He talked about how this is the most-balanced team in college football, and in addition, how our defense is number one in the country with no true competitors even close. He then talked about TCU’s offense with praise and called Andy Dalton one of the best leaders in the whole sport. He had no caveats. He’s sold. So when his Frog loyalties were questioned by Rece Davis (more on him later) asking if he would put TCU in the NC over a 1-loss SEC champion (Scenario: Auburn loses to Alabama but wins conference). He said this, “TCU deserves a chance to play for the national championship over a 1-loss SEC champion, this year.” By then, the world seemed to have flipped on its head. If you would have asked me who the hardest person to sell TCU to would be, I would have said Craig James.

Of course, ESPN has got to get a counter argument out there quick. I don’t blame them for this at all. They release BCS rankings in a 45-minute show when Fox used to do it in 30-seconds after the afternoon NFL post game show. That’s a lot of time to fill. So the arguments are of course, TCU in the national championship game and TCU vs. Boise. I think it’s official that TCU is the biggest story in all of college sports. As such, is it a stretch to think that ESPN/ABC may want us in the national championship game?

So to make the, “non-AQs don’t belong ’round here,” statements, ESPN’s Rece Davis! Rece comes on and starts ranting. I mean this rant is emotional. It’s like he really means it. He’s up there, and he sounds like Chris Christie. He says that he doesn’t understand the “people” that support TCU and Boise St. He doesn’t understand why “people” would want TCU or Boise St in the national championship. He doesn’t understand why “people” don’t want to see TCU vs Boise St play in a bowl game to see who the best non-AQ team is. He states that if either of these teams are actually good enough to play in the national championship, they’re good enough to play each other (I didn’t get this argument, but he said it, emphatically). He then started pimping the idea of a TCU vs Boise matchup in a bowl. Just to make it obvious, TCU and Boise should not play because we have played each other in bowls for the last two-seasons, and we will be in the same conference next year (as long as TCU doesn’t join the Big [L]east). So Rece Davis is not only the antagonist tonight, he is going to go for the gut punch. As a TCU fan, I, like every other TCU diehard/blowhard, was devastated/horrified/irate/confused last year when the Boise match-up was announced. If it happened this year, I just couldn’t imagine the atmosphere it would create in Fort Worth. It would be like the LA Watts’ riots, only whiter. Davis isn’t the bad guy that’s out to kill you. He’s the guy that is trying to kill your loved ones so he can watch you hurt.

Then my boy came on, Kirk Herbstreit! He’s been great for the cause lately. He’s raised awareness on ABC and has pleaded that others not place a ceiling on the non-AQs. Then, like when Sting joined the Wolfpack, Herbstreit did a shocking 180-degree turn and became a heel. Herbstreit pleaded this week that everyone not get ahead of themselves on TCU. He said he was convinced that Boise St was a better team because, for example, they won the Fiesta Bowl last year. Herbstreit, of course, doesn’t care that Boise beat Oregon last year as he votes Oregon number 1 week-in and week-out. Herbstreit had Boise at number 2 going into this week. Now he says he has changed his mind because the “body of work” for a school in the Pac-10 or SEC is just much more demanding and impressive. Auburn beat up on Chattanooga on Saturday, that’s the impressive body of work he’s talking about. I realized Herbstreit is full of it.

Typically, Craig James would beat up on schools like TCU and Boise like they’re kids at a high school lunch table playing Magic the Gathering and Herbstreit would come to our defense telling him to take it easy. Somehow, this switched. Craig James came on during the Herbstreit interview and starting tearing his argument to shreds. Then he went after Rece Davis like he was nothing. It was like when The Rock became the people’s champion instead of the corporate champion. Then he brought a new tag-team partner in, Chris Fowler.

Chris Fowler came on and talked about how he saw TCU’s performance from the sideline and it impressed him so much that he thinks we should be in the national championship game. He’s voted us number 2. Chris Fowler argued with Herbstreit about how great TCU’s performance against Utah was. Herbstreit made the comment of, “Maybe Utah, at number 5, just wasn’t that good and we had them overrated.” Herbstreit picked Utah to win the game on Saturday’s College GameDay broadcast. Herby is done.

To put the icing on the cake. Craig James commentating partner on the show, Robert Smith did the greatest thing that has ever occurred on ESPN. A bombshell if you will (it’s how they described it). When revealing his top-10, he voted TCU as number 1. That’s number 1….. in the country!

Craig James and Robert Smith are both pro-TCU for the time being. It’s the craziest time ever to be a Frog fan. Last night was the strangest night in ESPN history for this viewer. The same channel that aired the Decision aired 45-minutes of debate on TCU getting a sports title. In 2005, If you would have told me, after I got pumped-up about a single win over Oklahoma, that TCU would be in the hunt for the national championship, I wouldn’t have listened. This is happening. Regardless of what the destination ends up being, I sure have enjoyed the ride.

Go Frogs!

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TCU Featured in World’s Largest Newspaper

 New York Times — T.C.U.’s Rise Could Lead to Change in Leagues

A few months ago I wrote a column detailing my reasoning for wanting TCU to join the Big East conference should it receive an invitation. One of the prevailing reasons cited in my article was the increased media exposure we would receive by competing in an area saturated by the world’s largest media enterprises. More people, around the world, read the New York Times than read the Las Vegas Sun. Therefore, being a school that is heavily covered by more popular publications helps the school all-around from athletics to academic research.

I believe I’m right about this because today, in the print version of the New York Times, TCU is featured in an article that paints the school in a very likable light. The article presents all of our current success and discusses why we would be a good fit and good addition for the Big East Conference. A New York Times reporter was at the TCU vs. Utah game with Chris Del Conte, TCU’s Athletic Director. There are quite a few detailed quotes from the AD that are telling and show how great he is at selling the school. He doesn’t try and elude the fact that joining the Big East would add value to the school. However, he talks about our recent success and infrastructure in place to ensure future success to show that we don’t need a conference to support us. The Frogs can handle it on our own.

My favorite quote came when he was asked if the Mountain West TV contract has hurt TCUs chances in being considered a championship contender. “‘We’re third in the country,’ he said. ‘Baby, we’re on the nose. We’re on the 1-yard line trying to go in.'”

Go Frogs!

[New York Times]

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My Mind is Blown – CBS Projects TCU to get MNC berth

Like every sports media outlet, except this one, CBS Sports, each week, releases their bowl projections from the results of the latest AP Poll. Most of the time these projections are easily predictable.

CBS Sports has taken a stand and risk by projecting that TCU and Oregon will meet in the national championship game. I feel like John Boehner because seeing this made me a little misty eyed. This is the first time that TCU has ever been projected to be in the national championship game (other than in drunken conversations at Chimys).

I might have to print this out and tape it to the wall over my bed.

Check this out and support CBS Sports. Who knows what ESPN’s Craig James is going to say tonight to ruin this whole weekend.

CBS Sports – TCU in National Championship

[CBS Sports]

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