Showing 1 - 10 of 381 posts found matching keyword: football

See if you can follow along: In 2005, as a college football player, Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy for athletic excellence. In 2010, it was determined that Bush accepted illegal payments and a car in 2004 which should have made him an ineligible player, which would have also made him ineligible to be nominated for a Heisman, so the trophy was reclaimed. In 2021, it became legal to pay college football players which means that you can now give a player a car and a Heisman. Today, fourteen years after it was taken away, Bush was given his Heisman Trophy back.

I've never had a very high opinion of the very subjective Heisman award, but now it's impossible for me to have less.

Bush has always decried having his trophy taken away because, well, I guess he thinks he deserved that car. Sure, he was indubitably a great college athlete, and sure, it's legal to pay players now, but it wasn't then. And that's the point.

According to their own website, the Heisman Trophy Trust admits explicitly charges all 928 voting members with the following criteria for their nominations:

"In order that there will be no misunderstanding regarding the eligibility of a candidate, the recipient of the award MUST be a bona fide student of an accredited college or university including the United States Academies. The recipients must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete."

Even if the Heisman committee has decided that players always should have been paid, anyone who breaks the rules in place while they are playing, by definition, cannot be "in compliance with [NCAA] bylaws." Therefore, letting him keep the trophy is in explicit violation of the Heisman Trust's own stated rules.

Hey, it's the Heisman Trust's trophy and they can do whatever they hell they want to with it. But if they want us to believe their rules have any more significance than the NCAA's, they should at least stop pretending their award is anything other than a popularity contest.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: football news rant

On behalf of the Classic City Collective and the Touchdown Club of Athens, we are thrilled to extend a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Plant the next generation of Sanford Stadium hedges!

That's the first line in an email I received last week from The Georgia Bulldog Club, the fundraising arm of the University's athletics department. The catch there is that the so-called once-in-a-lifetime opportunity1 is limited to 32 slots and costs $5,000. Skinflint that I am, even I don't think $5,000 is too big an ask, but I think I will decline the honor, partially because of who would get that money.

I received the email because I have given money to The Bulldog Club's William C. Hartman Fund every year for over two decades in order to be eligible for football season tickets. (Actually, when I started donating, it was called the Georgia Student Education Fund. It was renamed after former fund chairman Hartman died in 2006.2) Hartman Fund money is intended to support all student athlete scholarships, academic support, medical support, and more. I'm certainly okay with all that, and I expect I'll be donating to the Hartman Fund for years to come.

The Touchdown Club of Athens is Hartman adjacent. (Hartman was a founding member.3) It's pretty much a fraternal organization built around a collective love of Georgia football. I certainly don't have any problem with that, though I don't think they need any of my money. Although I also love Georgia football, I've long shared Groucho Marx's rule about not belonging to any club that would have me as a member.

The organization I have qualms about is the Classic City Collective, which by their own admission aims to be a facilitator for "Name, Image, Likeness" (NIL) contracts for University of Georgia athletes. That means, essentially, that they find ways to buy athletes, luring them to Georgia with more lucrative income opportunities than they might find at other schools. Something about that rubs me the wrong way. While I certainly believe that the athletes should share in the millions of dollars the University makes off their hard work, I think there's something unseemly about buying college players. Maybe I'm just an old prude who was raised in a simpler time of "amateur" athletics, but even if that's the way things are done now, it still feels like cheating. I'd personally rather the football team was made up of students who wanted to study at Georgia, not mercenaries playing for the highest bidder, even if that means we only win as often as Vanderbilt.

All that said, it would be disingenuous of me to say that the participation of the Classic City Collective is the only reason I'm politely declining this opportunity. There's also the fact that this fundraiser is about planting hedges. Sorry, but I don't do yard work. If I'm paying $5,000, it better be someone else who is getting their hands dirty.

1 This should be considered a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity only if you have the lifespan of an English Bulldog. Even the athletic department admits that the hedges live a maximum of 40 years ( And while most of the current hedges were last replaced for the 1996 Olympics, some are only as old as 2001, when the hedges were trampled after rowdy students stormed the field three times in a season. (For the record, the hedges were first installed as a crowd control measure when Sanford Stadium was built in 1929 — when the stadium sat 30,000.)

2 In 2004, the GSEF was briefly renamed the Georgia Education Enhancement Fund (GEEF) before becoming the Hartman Fund. I only mention that here because that timeline is surprisingly difficult to find in a diligent Google search. In the Internet age, it seems no one much cares when exactly the GSEF became the GEEF, and I can't entirely blame them; I was working on campus at the time, and I can't remember the switch either. These days it's all just Hartman, Hartman, Hartman, which I'm sure would make the former UGA football star proud.

3 According to the official public relations arm of the University (, the Georgia Student Education Fund (GSEF) was founded in 1946 in part by 23-year-old Bill Hartman — then Wally Butts' backfield coach. However, I have to wonder if they haven't conflated the GSEF with the Touchdown Club. Hartman's obituary and Wikipedia page don't mention founding, only that he was a former chairman of the GSEF beginning in 1960. (I suppose it's possible that the Touchdown Club created the GSEF, so all Touchdown Club founders are also GSEF founders.) I'm sure more information about the origins of the GSEF are hidden in the moldering stacks of the Athens library; maybe one day they'll be more accessible to online armchair detectives.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: football georgia sanford stadium william c. hartman

Back on December 12, I wrote

It is starting to look like 2023 will be yet another year where the Dolphins have a pretty good record heading into December only for the team to lose games they should win and flame out before the playoffs.

Final update: yep, they lost. After yet another December flame out, they lost their shot at winning the conference (last accomplished in 1984) and then their shot at winning the division (last accomplished in 2008). Once again, they backed into the playoffs as a wild card and then lost their shot at winning a postseason game (last accomplished in 2000).

Last year they lost to the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo in 28° weather. Last night, it was an even less competitive game, a dull 7-28 against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City in -28° wind chill weather. I'm a little worried about what the temperature might be in next year's loss (in Cleveland?). Oh, well. That's the price you pay for not winning enough games to avoid away field disadvantage.

(To be completely fair to the Dolphins, for the second year in a row, by the time they got to December, the roster was devastated by injuries. It's hard to win at any temperature when you have no first- or second-string linebackers [although the real fail in the late season was an inability by the offense to score, partly due to lingering injuries but also bad scheming, play-calling, and execution]. I don't watch each game with the expectation of winning a Super Bowl; I just like football, and I like the team I cheer for to play well. It's just disappointing when the team seems to always be playing its very worst when the stakes get highest.)

My bigger problem with the loss was that in order to watch it, I had to subscribe to Peacock. The Dolphins v. Chiefs game was the first ever NFL playoff game available exclusively on a streaming network which charged a subscription fee and still ran a shit ton of ads. Fuck you, NFL and NBC. I'm glad your game was a frozen turd, and I'm glad I watched on someone else's account so you didn't get an extra dime out of me.

Welcome to the future, where the playoff football is terrible and you have to pay extra to see it. Living in the past increasingly seems the better option. I hear that 1972 was a pretty good year.

UPDATE: The Detroit Lions have won their playoff game, which means they no longer are the NFL team that has gone the longest since their last playoff win (31 seasons since 1992). That honor now belongs to, you guessed it, the Miami Dolphins. Twenty-three seasons and counting! Woot!

And since we're on the topic, I might as well point out that the Miami Dolphins currently sit at #5 on the list of NFL teams with the longest stretch since appearing in a Super Bowl. It's been 38 years since Joe Montana beat Dan Marino. It's been 47 years for the Vikings and 55 years for the Jets but it could be worse; the Lions and Browns remain tied at "never." So, yeah, that's the bright side: it be worse.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: dolphins football nfl the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football

Wow, what a rough year 2023 turned out to be. Domestic political dysfunction, nonstop foreign wars, losing your starting wide receiver, starting running back, starting defensive end, and starting cornerback in a seven day span just before the playoffs in what was looking to be the most promising season since 1993... Ick. Less of all that in 2024, please.

As seductive as it can be to fall into despair, this is hardly the first time global events have seemed to be spiraling out of control. In such circumstances, it is always worthwhile to listen to voices of wisdom.

I'm reminded of one speech in particular:

There comes a time when we heed a certain call, when the world must come together as one. There are people dying, oh, and it's time to lend a hand to life, the greatest gift of all.

We can't go on pretending day-by-day that someone, somewhere soon make a change. We're all a part of God's great big family, and the truth, you know, love is all we need.

Honestly, it can't be said enough. We are the world. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we can make the choice to start saving our own lives.

We are the ones who'll make a brighter day, so let's start giving our all and make 2024 a year to remember proudly.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: dolphins football holidays music new years nfl usa for africa we are the world

Once upon a time, they called it the Blockbuster Bowl. However, corporate America being fickle and football bowl committees being greedy, it has since been sponsored by Carquest, MicronPC, Mazda, Champs Sports, Russell Athletic, Camping World, and Cheez-It (which had previously sponsored a different bowl now sponsored by the mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate). In 2023, the new tenant is Pop-Tarts. What makes the Pop-Tarts Bowl significant isn't the string of consumer product sponsor changes but its weird connection to America's real favorite pastime: eating.

A few years ago, Duke's Mayonnaise bought the rights to turn the annual Continental Tire / Meineke Car Care / Belk Bowl into the Duke's Mayo Bowl. Duke's big, attention-getting decision was to replace the bucket of Gatorade traditionally dumped on the head of the winning coach with a giant jar of mayonnaise. It's exactly as gross as it sounds. When I see it, all I can think is, "Oh, those poor eggs!" (For the record, I never think, "Oh, those poor gators!" Gators got it coming.)

Pop Tarts saw Duke's made-for-TikTok moment and raised. Their mascot this year is a Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tart which emerged at midfield in a giant toaster. Throughout the game, the Pop-Tart posed for photos with children, danced with cheerleaders, and made finger guns at the officials. Then, when the game was over, he climbed back in his toaster only to slide out of a slot in the side... where the winning team ate him.

[To be clear, the players ate a giant Pop-Tart decorated to look identical to the mascot. At least I really, really hope that's what happened. I'd link here to a video of the event in question, but that's exactly what Kellogg's wants me to do.]

I'll be the first to admit that I like both football and Pop-Tarts as much as the next red-blooded American. (My favorite is Brown Sugar and Cinnamon, but the box in my pantry is Frosted Cherry because they are very marginally less malnutritious.) And I regularly eat barbecue at restaurants with smiling pig mascots on their napkins. But if you spend four quarters giving your mascot a personality, I'm not okay with putting it in the oven and eating it, even if you claim "it wants it" — that's a mental illness, Kellogg's! I'm a red-blooded American, not a fairy tale witch in a gingerbread house.

Eat up kids. And clean your plate. Ethiopia is full of starving cannibals.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: food football

117/2283. Navy Blue and Gold (1937)
Robert Young and Jimmy Stewart portray Navy football players in this movie, but the director didn't seem to understand how the sport was actually played. The climactic sequence of events in which (SPOILER) Navy comes back and wins the big game is impossible in the game of football, even in 1937. (After a score, the non-scoring team receives the following kickoff.)

118/2284. Curious Caterer: Fatal Vows (2023)
As is usually the case, the solution here was obvious from the structure; motivation is explained only after all other suspects have been eliminated. If this was a real crime... nevermind. No crimes are committed like this. I don't watch these Hallmark Mysteries for their verisimilitude.

119/2285. Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
As much as I love the annual Scripps Spelling Bee, I had never seen this, a movie in which learning to spell makes the entire world better. Of course I loved it.

120/2286. The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
Akira Kurosawa's film noir tale of betrayal and revenge, with an underlying theme of how even a righteous crusade against greed can bring its own kind of corruption, is very, very good. It never quite goes where I expected. Kurosawa so rarely disappoints.

121/2287. Butterfield 8 (1960)
Yet another Elizabeth Taylor movie I didn't like. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to understand why anyone would like this film. I have to assume that its repudiation of the repressive sexual culture and forced conformity of the 1950s made it titillating viewing in its day, but its day should have long passed by now. Ick.

122/2288. Coraline (2009)
A dark fairy tale in the style I've come to expect from Neil Gaiman (with extra Roald Dahl flair for good measure). Very well done.

More to come.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: football movies spelling bee

Week one of this college football season, I told friend Randy that we should go the National Championship Game if his team, Florida State, ended up playing mine, Georgia. Well, we got half of that.

Randy didn't want to spend the time or money it would take to get us to the Orange Bowl (which is understandable since he's dealing with family medical issues), so we compromised instead on the Camellia Bowl played in the Cramton Bowl stadium in Montgomery, Alabama, where we saw the Northern Illinois University Huskies defeat the Arkansas State Red Wolves 21-19.

Maybe it didn't have the weight of an SEC vs ACC contest, but I can't argue with the price or location. We even had great seats. Well, pretty good seats, anyway. The banner in front of us did block our view of the near sideline, as you can see in this screenshot of us from the ESPN broadcast. I have helpfully illustrated the best looking Georgia fan in the stadium.

Look, Ma! I'm on TV!

Last year in Birmingham, we were very cold in the evening air. This year, we were very warm in the midday sun. As much as I dislike the cold, I also dislike noon kickoffs that require 9AM departures. Maybe next year the time and temperature will be just right.

Highlights of the experience include the Arkansas State crowd booing when the PA announcer suggested everyone should get COVID boosters, Randy's calling a fake field goal prior to the snap (by the position of the kicker), and Randy's recognition that the late game onside kick attempt was doomed to failure (by the position of the kicker). That Randy sure knows his kicking game.

Speaking of kicking, Randy also had a lot to say about the Camellia Bowl Queen who played football on her high school football team. Her position? Kicker.

Arkansas State 19, Northern Illinois 21

I'm glad we went, and I already wonder where we'll go next year.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: alabama arkansas state football friends montgomery northern illinois randy

Sometimes I feel like the people inside my television are from an alternate dimension talking directly to me....

One for the money

Two for the show

Three to get ready

Now throw, cat, throw!
from Late Night with Seth Meyers, December 12, 2023, via

The joke here is that Amber doesn't understand how football works, but even ignorant fools recognize that Dan Marino is the greatest to ever play the game. Respect!

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: football seth meyers television the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football

This time last week, despite winning zero games against teams with winning records, the Miami Dolphins were in position for the first place seed in the AFC, something they hadn't accomplished since 1984. If the Dolphins are the number one seed, they're guaranteed to make it to the first round of the playoffs and not lose for the first time since 2000... because they wouldn't play in the first round. Number one seeds get a free pass into the second round where they'll probably lose against a team with a winning record.

Then, last night on Monday Night Football against the 4-win Tennessee Titans, the Dolphins blew a 14-point lead in the last 4 minutes 34 seconds, something no team had done since 2016.

I've been watching football long enough that 2016 doesn't seem like such a long time. So far as I'm concerned, the Gold Standard for blowing a late game two-score leads remains the 2011 game where brand-new starting quarterback Tim Tebow led the 1-win Denver Broncos to score 15 points in the last 5:05 to eventually win in overtime... over the Miami Dolphins. It was the first time the Broncos had ever won in Miami. That game sparked the movement that would eventually become Tebowmania as he piloted the team to win their division and their first-round playoff game. Remember Tebowing? Yeah, that was the Dolphins' fault.

It is starting to look like 2023 will be yet another year where the Dolphins have a pretty good record heading into December only for the team to lose games they should win and flame out before the playoffs. I'm not mad about it. That's what the Dolphins do. If I wanted a different outcome, I'd cheer for a different team.

It could be worse. I could be an Atlanta Falcons fan.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: dolphins football nfl tim tebow

2023 SEC Championship: UGA 24, Alabama 27

On the bright side, it's kind of comforting to lose an SEC Championship game to Alabama again. In changing times, it's reassuring to have a familiar rock to crash your ship upon.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: football georgia

To be continued...


Search by Date: