Archive for November, 2011

Football Rivlaries: Alabama vs. Auburn

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

The Iron Bowl Logo

The rivalry between the University of Alabama and Auburn University, better known as the Iron Bowl, is one of the oldest and most tension-filled rivalries in college football history. Beginning over a century ago, in 1893, Alabama and Auburn first met (and clashed) on February 22 in Birmingham on Legion Field. Not only did Auburn win 32-22, but the schools disagreed on whether the game would count towards the 1892 or 1893 season. The nastiness continued and eventually led to a temporary suspension in the series after the 1907 game ended in a 6-6 tie and there were several logistic and financial disputes.

In 1948, the series was revived, essentially by the state government who threatened to take away funding from both schools if the rivalry was not resumed. And so, the school’s presidents decided to set aside their differences and renew the series; Alabama went on to win the game in the most lopsided victory of their meetings: 55-0.

Other memorable games:

  • 1981 – Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant earns his 315th career win, becoming the all-time winningest Division I-A coach.
  • 1989 – The Iron Bowl is played at Auburn’s Jordan–Hare Stadium for the first time (Auburn won).
  • 1994 – Both teams enter undefeated, the Tigers come out with one loss.
  • 2010 – Auburn is down by 24, but rallies to win by just one point, 28-27.
  • 2011 – The Crimson tide come in seeking redemption and revenge for the previous year’s one point loss and dominate the Tigers 42-14. (Below is a video from this year’s game.)

The Iron Bowl is typically played on Thanksgiving weekend, and as of 1987, is a “home-and-home” series (odd year games are played at Jordan-Hare Stadium, even year games are played at Bryant-Denny Stadium). The current series record is 41-34-1, Alabama. Alabama also holds the longest streak in the series with 9 years.

Games like this go deeper than just a W on the schedule; they are about school spirit and more importantly, pride. It doesn’t matter whether you are a freshman, senior, or alumni you feel that strong sense of pride in your team and school, you understand (and feel) the bitterness of a rivalry that has been built up over the last century. If your team loses, the world might as well be ending. Games like these seem to mean more than the conference or even the national championship.

This video is from this year’s game at Auburn. Some Bama players hold up the number one, as if they had just one the SEC championship. The Bama fans scream the famous-and somewhat demoralizing-“Rammer Jammer” cheer, which as my sister, an Alabama freshman who attended the game, says was that much better “especially when you’re singing it in the Auburn student section.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk4c6XgOI2w[/youtube]

End Zone Celebrations

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Many players in the NFL have been known for their “end zone antics” throughout their career. Terrel Owens, Steve Smith, and Chad Ochocinco have been apart of the most memorable celebrations to date. After many celebrations getting out of hand, Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner put new rules into place banning props and incorporating teammates into a celebration . Immediately players began to get flagged for excessive celebrations. Goodell also began fining players to put a real hold on the excessive celebrating.

Memorable Celebrations

This Sunday, WR Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills added himself to the list of creative celebrators. After scoring a touchdown with 2:06 left in the first half to put the Bills up 14-7, Johnson pretended to shoot himself in the leg, which mocked Plaxico Burress and how he shot himself in the leg at a New York night club many years ago. Steve apologized after the game and Plaxico accepted. Plaxico said that he had exchanged many words with the Bills reciever and they have an understanding that Steve made a mistake.

Steve Johnson Celebration

Many of these celebrations by NFL players are very entertaining, yet at the same time they are a result of immaturity among young athletes. They often penalize themselves and their team. Some situations result in a lot of embarrassment. These players represent themselves, their teams, their coaches, and their franchise and these athletes disrespect all of those around them just by acting foolishly for a couple seconds. Don’t get me wrong, not all celebrations are uncalled for, many liven up the game and are great to see on Sundays. But celebrations like Johnson contain more immaturity than humor and should never happen in the first place. Sources say he should expect a fine later this week. Many other athletes have learned from their mistakes, hopefully Steve Johnson can do the same.

Tebow Time

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Everyone has doubted Tim Tebow his whole life. People told him he’d never win a state championship in high school or be a Divison I quarterback. Once proving his critics wrong and becoming the starting quarterback at the University of Florida, people said he’d never win the heisman or a national championship. Once again, he proved everyone wrong. Now his haters say he can’t be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL. Tebow is now doing so with a record this year of 5-1. What will his haters say next? He can’t win a super bowl? Tebow has been proving people wrong his whole life, at this point he seems like he’s capable of anything. He relies on the lord and a hard working attitude, and so far it has produced wins, which makes it easy to overlook his mediocre stat line. Last season, Buccaneers head coach, Raheem Morris stated, “stats are for losers.” I’d say I’d have to agree with this statement, Tebow backs it pretty well. People can complain about his throwing motion, but the guy keeps winning..

Game Winning Touchdown vs. Jets

NBA Lockout Comes to an End

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Early this morning the NBA and its players resolved the lockout issue. They are reopening their 4 billion a year business starting on Christmas Day. This will be a 66 game season and after the second longest lockout in the leagues history. In almost every account the deal is favored towards the owners. The players reduced their income up to $300 million a year in salaries. This is expected to be a 10 year deal which is the longest in NBA history. Training camps and free agency will both open on December 9th giving the teams two weeks to prepare for the season. The three games that are scheduled to be played on Christmas are the Boston Celtics at the Knicks, followed by the Miami Heat at the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls at the Los Angeles Lakers. The rest of the schedule will be reconstructed and released in the coming days. The season was shortened by 16 games and will be the second shortest in the modern era. The playoffs and finals will be pushed back. Though much needs to be done before the players take the court, there is still much to be negotiated.

Tentative Deal Reached

Weight Room Giggles

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Turning past the girly part of the gym at UMW, past the soda
machines, which are ironically places due to the fact that one soda a day for a
year is equivalent to 15 pound of body fat, the increasingly growing sound of
testosterone at work creeps up the stairs. Once down the first flight the sound
of clanging metal and dead life weighs cluttering to the floor echo throughout
the hallways. I walk in looking sporty with a pony tail I slung on top of my
head after changing into my sports bra and cut off shirt and a group of animal
eyes stare in unison. Automatically the pace of the room quickens, grunts are
louder, and clangs are heavier, as if to illustrate the amount of strain that
they are putting on their hard worked for bodies. It makes me giggle because
all I think when I walk into the crowded room is, “Damn it, the bars guna be
all sweaty.” It’s awkward to see the same guy who hit on you last weekend at
the party you left early, sitting beside you with the same amount of weight on
his bench bar. Ah boys. My roommate and I walked out of the weight room
laughing and wondering when they were going to bust out the rulers for the
measuring contest. Just wanted to document this observation.

Carrier Classic

Monday, November 14th, 2011

This past Friday, the military ship that sent Osama Bin Laden to his watery grave was transformed into a spectacular basketball arena. The 2011-12 NCAA men’s basketball season kicked off with the No. 1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels dueling it out with the Michigan State Spartans on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. Many military personnel from the numerous service branches were in attendance, and President Barrack Obama even graced the scene as this event came together on Veterans Day 2011.

There have been amazing images of sports played in odd and intriguing places, but none of them quite compare to the photos from this actual meaningful event that ESPN spearheaded. The awesomeness of playing a basketball game on such a military vessel has a coolness level of 11 out of 10 as is, but to host it on a day where the world is asked to turn their eyes in respect toward those who have and are currently serving elevates the event to another level. On a day where our nation is asked to reflect on what these people sacrifice in service of our country, even a Friday night basketball turns our attention to such facts.

And more importantly than just a reminder for the general population is the fact that those from the different military branches aboard that ship last Friday were given something back. Far too often the majority of this country is caught up with such a distaste for war that most people fail to show the proper respect that those in service have earned. We wrongfully connect our dislike of certain wars with indifference toward our military personnel. For those men and women who risk their lives and their well being for this nation, last Friday was an opportunity for some of them to witness a special event in honor of them and their brethren.

This sports fiction class has discussed why sports matter and the idea of seeing them in a bigger picture where they have a greater meeting. The college basketball game held aboard the USS Carl Vinson is a perfect example of both of those theories discussed in this course. From both team’s specially designed camouflage jerseys’ to the former servicemen referees, every intricacy of the game was maximized to show the greatest respect on a holiday so often confused with Memorial Day and overlooked in favor of Independence Day. Such an amazingly well thought out and original event deserves praise, and it won’t find itself getting shorted here.

Banned for gay acts

Monday, November 14th, 2011

My older brother showed me this video on World Star Hip Hop just a couple of days before we talked in class last Tuesday, and I feel like this article goes hand in hand with what we discussed. After reading through the article and watching the video, do you agree with how this particular league handled their punishment? How would a league in the States handle this situation?

TEHRAN — Two Iranian soccer players who engaged in “inappropriate” celebratory behavior during a game broadcast on national television might be sentenced 74 public lashings on the pitch, the Iran’s Fars News Agency reported Tuesday.

Iran members of parliament, sports officials and judges have called for the “swift punishment” of Mohammad Nosrati and Sheys Rezaei, two soccer stars who play forone of Iran’s most popular clubs, Tehran-based Persepolis.

After one of their teammates scored the winning goal of a 3-2 match on Saturday, ending a long losing streak, Nosrati touched Rezaei’s butt as they and their teammates jumped on one another in celebration.

“This shameless act upset, angered, and outraged Iranian sports fans,” said cleric Jalal Yahyazadeh, who is a member of parliament. “What happened is absolutely not acceptable because it was a very ugly thing,” he added.

In Iran homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment, and even execution of the accused. Some other things forbidden in Iran include spiky hair, pet dogs, Facebook, ponytails, mannequins, rap music and ties.

Football is the most popular spectator sport in Iran, although women are barred from attending matches as Iranian clerics believe allowing women to watch men in sports would lead to social catastrophe in the Iranian society.

Valiollah Hosseiny, a Tehran criminal court judge, told the Fars News Agency that the two players have committed “an act against public morality”, and that they should be sentenced to 2 month imprisonment and 74 lashes.

Iran’s soccer federation heeds the demands of the clerics. “Nosrati and Rezaei have been banned indefinitely from all football activities for committing immoral acts,” said Ismail Hasanzadeh, head of the Iranian soccer federation’s disciplinary committee, quoted on the website.

The two have also been suspended by Persepolis, a popular club financed by the government, saw their pay cut by 15%, and have to pay a fine of $500 million rials (US$40,000) each.

Iranian soccer stars say the authorities are overreacting to the latest indiscretion. Ali Parvin, a former Persepolis coach and a venerated figure in Iranian soccer, has spoken out against banning Nosrati and Rezaei, saying that officials should offer guidance to the players instead of punishing them.

“Come and execute them if it relieves you,” he said sarcastically.

Former national team player Mehdi Mahdavikia said Iranian media were making a big deal out of the incident.

“When I was playing in Germany, such things happened all the time,” he said.

Saturday’s game was broadcast live to millions in Iran and the act horrified its ultra-conservative radical hardline clerics.

Here is a video clip of the act:     watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=h5sN0oTApZ0


Sh!t Talking in Sports

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

With last nights game of the Jets v. Patriots, it had me thinking why do teams talk smack to one another, especially when this is a rivalry game.  It would be incredible if sports were played without smack talk and just by pure talent, but that would be asking for way too much.  Ever since Rex Ryan became head coach of the Jets he made sure that he would get into Bill Belichicks head and use any means to do it.  Last year when they lost by 40 points he told the press it was luck….pretty bold from a coach who just got spanked on national television.  On the other hand Pretty Boy Tom Brady complains and says they hold too much, talk to much, Rex Ryan isn’t that good of a coach.  While his teammate Wes Welker took it too a new level by calling out Rex Ryan with his apparent foot fetish as seen in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0usLS53Eq-c

This is definitely something to watch out for because even though Rex is boisterous and lavish with his comments, Bill is known for his sly and quite statements.  These two teams have so much hate that sometimes I feel the game is being played outside the lines and in the media instead.  No one seems to let their game speak for themselves anymore and that’s why I feel shit talking is funny but at the end of the day overrated.

Penn State Scandal: Paterno Must Go

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

On Tuesday night, a gaggle of Penn State University (PSU) students flocked to blindly support a man who may have intentionally shielded a child molester. Nittany Lions’ legendary football coach Joe Paterno thanked those who came out to support him amidst the recent child molestation charges brought against his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. With all the deserved media criticism that Paterno has received for his role in this mess since these reports surfaced last Saturday, I honestly didn’t see that kind of support coming his way.

As it stands now, it appears that at best Paterno was morally negligent and deferential to acts of incompetence of those above him. Sure, Paterno told his athletic director Tim Curley after the football team’s graduate assistant recounted horrific acts he witnessed between Sandusky and a boy estimated to be 10-years-old in the Penn State locker room showers back in 2002. But that doesn’t clear Paterno of guilt. When Curley and university President Graham Spanier didn’t act and call the police following the 2002 incident as required by Pennsylvania state law, Paterno could have. He didn’t. When those higher ups didn’t seek out the boy that Sandusky molested in the shower of Paterno’s own locker room to check on his well-being and get his account of what occurred, the iconic coach could have. He didn’t.

Instead, Sandusky was allowed to roam free and continued to be a presence at Penn State. He continued to work with his charity, The Second Mile, which constantly put him in close contact and in a position of power over troubled young boys. Sandusky has officially been charged with 40 different offenses, seven of which are involuntary deviate intercourse, and the failure to act on those in positions of power at Penn State back in 2002 could have prevented who knows how many of those atrocities.

So given all the information we currently have, why on earth would over 1,000 people of the PSU student body conduct a rally for Paterno on Tuesday night? Because he has 409 career wins? Please, don’t be ignorant. If they had any sense, those students would have done something (a vigil, perhaps) to mourn those whose lives were eternally scarred thanks to a sick and evil man and powerful enablers who decided it would be too embarrassing for their precious University to blow the whistle on him.

Instead, those in attendance of that rally elevated their iconic football coach over the innocence of those children. Rather than partaking in silent, somber prayers to whichever deity each person believes in, the mob boisterously cheered, “We want Joe” and “Beat Nebraska.” Hello? This is more important than football.

If police in mob gear needed to be in attendance, it should have been because the “Penn Staters” were up in arms and calling for the figurative heads of JoPa and Spanier (and the actual head of Sandusky).

Curley and fellow cover-up accomplice Gary Schultz, a Penn State school administrator, resigned this past Sunday. Last night Spanier joined those two, as he was dismissed from his post as university president.

Meanwhile, Paterno announced that he will be retiring once the season is complete, hoping for a chance to not have his storied career abruptly end amid one of the nastiest scandals the sports world has ever seen.

But while the student body is apparently okay having a coach who let a sexual predator stay a free man, Paterno cannot be allowed to coach another day. The Penn State Board of Trustees needs to either force his resignation or fire Paterno if he refuses. This should be blatantly obvious to all “Penn Staters,” but I suppose there are some who are too preoccupied with the Nittany Lions 8-1 record and 5-0 mark in the “Leaders” side of the Big 10.

Yet while the blind PSU fans look at the standings, I’m too busy digesting the irony that when all those prepubescent boys needed help, Penn State lacked an actual “leader” to step up and squash Sandusky eight years earlier.

The Pats Trim The Fat

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The Patriots have finally wised up and cut Albert Haynesworth after only half a year with the team.  Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald tweeted this about an hour ago.  The defensive tackle has played in just six games and recorded only 3 tackles this year.  The Patriots acquired Haynewsworth from Washington for a 5th round pick this past summer.  Haynesworth only played in eight games for the Redskins and recorded just 16 tackles.  I think it’s safe to say T.O. has a better chance to find a new team than Haynesworth does.  They both cause problems in the locker room, but at least T.O. can put up some half decent numbers.  I could go out and trip a few people up and record 3 damn tackles.

Now you can see why the Redskins got rid of him. He’s simply useless and causes too many problems off of the field

Go Skins!!