Posted on: September 1, 2012 4:43 pm

And the Cat Almost Won

The Saturday of a three day weekend found me in a struggle for dominance.  What was I attempting to dominate and who else was involved in this struggle?  Well, it was my keyboard and my arch-nemisis turned out to be my male cat, Raiju.  You see, we both had different ideas about what to use the computer keyboard for.  I wanted to use it to type and well, he decided it might make a nice bed to stretch out on.  At first it was a struggle and I thought he was going to win.  Every time I would put him on the floor, he'd jump up again and stretch out on it.  In an act of desperation, I found a box.  
Ever wonder what it is with cats and boxes?  What exactly is the fascination that cats have with them (aside from the litterbox aspect of it).  Of course it's the same question that I have about my blogs and why they get so many hits.  Rather than looking a gift horse in the mouth, I'll just thank you for taking time to read me.  I promise, I will talk more about football and less about hot flashes as the season begins.  No, I'm not discussing hot flashes today, aren't you thankful for that?

With college football starting this weekend and the opening kickoff to the NFL just days away, all seems right with the world...well almost anyway.  There will be alot of focus on the cleanup efforts after Hurricane Isaac.  Our soldiers are still struggling on doing what they believe.  And it seemed fitting that an American legend was laid to rest on the day of a blue moon.  Well maybe all is not as right as we would like it to be, but we go on. 

Here in the state capital of South Carolina, there were a lot of groans and grumblings as the University of South Carolina Gamecocks opened their season.  They say Gamecock fans are pretty loyal to their team.  They also say that losing a game to Vandy is a fate worse than death.  I don't know if that's true and for the sake of first responders everywhere, I was just happy that we wouldn't find out what would have happened. 

Speaking of Carolina, I know that along with Andrew Luck and RG III, that Cam Newton in will be in the spotlight to see if he can surpass what he was able to do last year.  I think that there will be a slight drop off in Newton's performance.  Hopefully Panther fans will be patient and give Ron Rivera a chance to build the team around him. 

And I'm guessing that Newton is going to be a pretty hot commodity in NFL fantasy football drafts this season given his performance last season.  Heck, if I were playing, I'd might even take him.  But after two attempts of trying the leagues version and failing miserably on both attempts, as well as playing survivor and pick-em leagues and not doing well on them at all either, I gave up on that.  Now I'm trying a new twist at Fantasy Football.  Think of Shades of Grey, the New York Times Bestsellers List, NFL powerrankings and the NFLs sexiest athletes.  But that's for another time.

Teams are down to 53 and while I'm glad to see that the Steelers added wide receivers Toney Clemons and David Gilreath to the practice squad.  I wouldn't be too surprised if tight end Heath Miller becomes more involved in the passing game than he has been. 

As far as the Steelers chances against the Denver Broncos next Sunday, history doesn't bode well in favor of the Steelers with their "lifetime" series of 17-10-1.  But it's the first game and I won't judge how well a team is projected to do in it's first game of the season. 

Nor will I do any prognastications.  I've noticed sports analysts declaring the Ravens defense becoming old and slow this year.  The funny thing is, every time I've heard these "analysis" made about teams, those old and slow teams somehow manage to make it to the playoffs.  Go figure. 

Enjoy your college football weekend ... and here's to the opening kickoff.

And Happy Labor Day.

Posted on: September 10, 2008 6:24 am

Ten Things That Have Me Pondering

Early mornings, my brain seems to go haywire trying to defuse all the information that I take in while I sort through all the news, and all the extraneous garbage trying to put it in order.  The coffee helps, but not enough, so this morning I thought I'd try to sort out all my question and perhaps find some answers to them...

1)  Really, what is the appeal with NASCAR?  Okay, so there's fast cars going around in a circle.  How's that exciting watching that on the tv screen? 

2) Why is it a win over the South Carolina Gamecocks, deems a college team the best?  Even Steve Spurrier had questions about this season.

3)  Will the Pittsburgh Pirates ever win the pennant again before I die?

4) Why is it that the media darlings always end up disappointing?  A rookie Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers had all the attention on them his first year out, yet they failed to get past the Patriots.  Both the Colts and the Bengals were the glamour team the next year, they never made it to the playoff.  Chargers were the team to watch the year after, the Colts won the Superbowl.  Even Patriots fans got tired of hearing about all Patriots, all the time.  David brought down Goliath.  Cowboy fans, think the attention your team is going to garner might not be a good thing? 

5)  Why do people get upset when the media doesn't think their team is going to win?  Seriously, I love it when the majority of analysts pick against the Steelers, seems the Steelers like to prove them wrong.  Alot of  analysts picked the Texans to win over the Steelers.  All I have to say is keeping picking against them baby.

6)  Why is it that kharma comes back to bite you? Lot's of people giving Bengals fans grief about their "misfit" players, only to turn around and find that players on your own team had their own trouble with the law.  Chargers fans had to hear about Merriman and his roids...oops, someone was suspended for a few weeks for HGH.  Now people who've given that player grief about HGH, are seeing members of their own teams suspended for banned substances. 

7)  I have to clarify something before I ask this question.  The other day, on a thread on the NFL board, I caught a Patriots fan yacking about how a Steelers win over the Patriots this year would be a "paper only" win, because Tom Brady went down.  If this is the case, then isn't the Patriots 16-0 season paper only?  After all, Troy Polamalu was out for that game and we know that no matter how great Tom is, he wasn't going to exploit Samson like he exploited Anthony Smith.  Steelers were holding their own until Brady lit up Smith.  Just saying....

8)  Why is it a playoff team is considered a nobody, trying to take away, not only Buffalo's win but Seattle's accomplishments. 

9)  Why is it that fans of a team are referred to ALL fans?  Seriously, I'm getting tired of hearing that ALL Steelers fans are  a certain way, just like I'm getting tired of seeing ALL Patriots fans are a certain way. 

10)  When did we lose our common sense when it comes to elections?  Some of the stuff I've been hearing simply defies logic.  If Obama is a muslim, why isn't Michelle and his daughters wearing burkas? 

Okay, I seriously doubt that I'll really find any answers, but I bet we can come up with some interesting reasons to this.
Posted on: August 10, 2008 2:25 pm

Trustee wants to tie cops hands

Eddie Floyd believes in conspiracies. If you don’t know who Eddie Floyd is, he is a University of South Carolina trustee who has issued a statement to The State Newspaper here in Columbia, South Carolina, complaining of the actions USC’s Police Department targeting athletes. Eddie seems not to like it when USC football players get arrested. Of course Mr. Floyd would be upset, after all, he’s donated millions of dollars to the USC football offices. I’m sure he would do anything to ensure that his “Carolina” has as much success as possible.

There is no argument that, since Steve Spurrier has begun coaching the Gamecocks and the establishment of the new USC President, Harris Pastides, that the arrests of the universities athletes have been on the rise. Indeed, these arrests do include underage drinking. Personally, I say, it’s about damn time. However, Floyd doesn’t see it that way.

Indeed, under Lou Holtz and the previous university administration, athletes, to include Gamecock football players were given free passes to get away with almost anything they wanted. City police, would often turn the athletes over to the athletic department and university police had their hands tied, when it came to enforcing the law. In fact, one athlete, had been arrested for possession of drugs multiple times, and the university failed to take any actions until he was arrested in the upstate. Only then, was he suspended from the team.

Floyd states his intent with his statement was not to damage the reputation of the university, however, the reputation of the university was long since damaged when USC showed that it allowed the thuggish behavior. Of course, the board of trustees did turn it’s head and ignored the problem while it was occurring. Now with Spurrier’s iron fisted approach and the star players not being allowed to play if they get arrested, trustee members are upset.

Recently, the state of South Carolina started cracking down on underage drinking, prompted by a rash of automobile accidents and subsequent deaths, where underage drinking was involved. The argument that Floyd and attorney Neal Lourie, makes is that campus police overstepped their jurisdiction by entering the homes of students off campus. Personally, I’m surprised that neither are aware that the USC Police Department are state certified and credentialed police officers, who, because of the numerous campuses within South Carolina have statewide jurisdiction. In the past, campus police have worked alongside Columbia and other city and state police agencies. Why should they stop doing this now? Given that the USC Police are actually an arm of the states police force, why should there be special consideration given to athletes, when other students are getting arrested for the same reason?

Just makes me glad that my daughter actually listened to us when we told her she couldn’t apply to USC for the very reason that Mr. Floyd is fighting for.

Posted on: March 17, 2008 6:08 am

Despite the Season, Dave Odom is Still a Winner

I can honestly say that I’m not much of a fan of college sports.  This is probably because I’m not an alumni of a top sports college.  I’ll keep an eye on Penn State football because half my family graduated from Penn State and I have a soft spot of JoPa.  In fact, I’ll pull for the Nittany Lions football team when they’re having a good year. 

I do have a strong dislike for Oklahoma University football.  Perhaps it’s because of the problems and sanctions that came up under Barry Switzer.   More likely because I was in a bar in Norman Oklahoma during the Orange Bowl, when OU met up with Penn State to determine the national champion.  I was the only one cheering for PSU at the time, and was told in no uncertain terms that had Penn State won, I wouldn’t have gotten out of there safely.

But really, I’m more or less indifferent to the NCAA, especially college basketball.  So when March Madness rolls around, I shrug my shoulders and really don’t pay much attention.  This year was a little different.  I didn’t become a fan of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, however, I did take a bit of an interest in this past weekends tournaments and was in my own way, pulling for them.

This came about after head coach Dave Odom threw himself under the bus and announced his retirement earlier in the season, in an attempt to, at least turn around fan attendance at the games and get some of the pressure off of the players.   

The past few years hadn’t really been good years for Gamecocks men’s basketball.  The continuous losing seasons had begun to take it’s toll on it’s fan base.  When fans began booing during games this past season, Odom sacrificed himself for the good of the team.  No one asked him to leave, with the exception of perhaps of the fans themselves.  He thought that this would be best.

Living in Gamecock country, I know how fickle the fans can be.  Even in a decent year, you can see signs calling for Steve Spurrier to be replaced, or hear the conversations between fans about how they needed to get rid of Lou Holtz.  I couldn’t see the men’s basketball team getting away with less scrutiny. 

The SEC tournament in Atlanta would be the last series of games that the team would have for the season, the last series of games that Odom would coach.  For a little while, I kept an eye on the team, keeping my fingers crossed for them, hoping for them to advance.  Not so much as a fan for the team, but more so for wanting to see their coach leave as a winner. 

It wouldn’t happen.  South Carolina would be eliminated by a last minute shot by Tennessee to knock them out of the tournament.  The team would ride out a stormy night in Atlanta and return home to another stormy night in South Carolina.  The off-season will now leave the athletics department searching for a new coach and lots of questions on everyone’s mind as to what the next coach will do to bring the team about.

Despite the reason for retirement, Dave Odom still will retire as a winner.  In an era where coaches risk NCAA sanctions by using whatever means to turn to their team around to help them win, Odom chose to sacrifice himself rather then the program, to achieve the same means. 

Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com