Friday, September 28, 2012

Steve Spurrier Fires Back at Ron Morris

Every Thursday night during football season, Steve Spurrier has a radio-call in show that gives him a forum to talk about the week’s upcoming football game, talk about how the football team is doing, and generally answer questions from fans. It’s not usually very newsworthy, as the usual comments about how the football team is doing aren’t exactly “news”.

Spurrier changed that last night.

During the show, Coach Spurrier went off on a little soliloquy about winners and losers. He specifically mentioned that there was a certain journalist in Columbia that was a “loser” and an “enemy”. Coach Spurrier never mentioned the journalist by name, but everyone knows that he was referring to Ron Morris of The State newspaper. At one point, Coach Spurrier quoted Attila the Hun. Here's what Coach Spurrier said that I want to get into:
"If Mike McGee (former USC athletics director), when he hired me, he would have said 'Steve, we're gonna give you a chance to run the football program at South Carolina, you hire your coaches, do your thing, but there's one thing you gotta put up with, the local media will try to trash you, they'll try to ruin your reputation, they'll try to portray you as a mean, evil, self-serving person.' And, I would have said, 'well you give that job to somebody else, I'll wait for the North Carolina job to open.' which was opening the next year. But, I'm glad it worked out."

"That is not part of being the head coach at any university, is to be the target of the newspaper to give a guy who obviously has an ax to grind. I'm not that mad at the guy. The guy is who he is, we all know who he is."

"But we need to make some changes and I really believe between President Pastides and the guy that runs the newspaper, that some good changes are coming forth and I encourage the people that canceled their subscriptions last year, when some of this crap started last year, to give the newspaper and our university a chance. I believe that our city is going to be better off."
Mr. Morris and Coach Spurrier have been in a feud of sorts ever since Mr. Morris wrote a column stating that Coach Spurrier “poached” Bruce Ellington from the basketball team and convinced him to play football. Coach Spurrier took exception to that characterization, and feels that he has been accused of dishonest conduct. Given the connotation of the word "poaching", I can't say that I blame him.

I thought the feud had reached the high point last season when Coach Spurrier actually refused to continue with a press conference while Mr. Morris was still in the room. Last night may have marked the beginning of the end of the feud. I'm all for having a strong, vibrant newspaper - but that's not what we have right now.

I don’t know what this all means exactly, but it sounds like the University is backing up Coach Spurrier on this issue. I know that Mr. Morris is in the business of writing controversial columns that generate page-views and circulation, but there’s a difference between writing an opinion and misstating facts that impugn someone’s character. Also, simply trolling the football program to get internet traffic isn’t exactly a great business model, and it should be beneath the dignity of our newspaper. It’s bush-league.

It’s fine for the newspaper to criticize the coach when he deserves it, give him praise when he deserves it, and offer insight into the sports program. I would welcome that. But that’s not what we have. Our local newspaper seems to perpetually criticize the football program, and doesn’t offer any great insight.

Heck, I don’t even go to The State for sports coverage anymore. It’s just not that good. In any event, there should be some sort of shake-up with either how USC Football is covered by The State. Maybe the end result could be some good journalism.

Black Sox Day

Today is Friday, September 28, 2012. On this day in 1920, the infamous 8 Chicago White Sox players were indicted for fixing the 1919 World Series. They were acquitted of all charges, however, they were still banned from baseball for life. They made a movie about it - maybe you've heard of it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Modern Marvel: Banana Slicer

As if it wasn't funny enough on it's own: go read the reviews for this product. Hilarious.
Hutzler Banana Slicer
Seriously, go read the reviews.

Little Lebowski Urban Achievers

I think they became the replacement referees.

Not really being an NFL fan, I'm hoping for as much chaos as possible. This was a good start.

Audio of William Faulkner Teaching at UVA

I intended to post this yesterday (as it was William Faulkner's birthday) but the day got away from me. In any event, this is too cool to pass up. Faulkner is one of my favorite writers (and probably my favorite Southern writer). At some point, I really need to get to Oxford, MS to see his home (and the Grove), but I digress.
Thanks to the University of Virginia, a new audio archive of the author reading, lecturing, and answering questions has recently been published online, accessible to the public for the first time. Nearly fifteen years in the works, the vast archive encompasses almost thirty hours of audio transferred from open-reel tapes.
Here's the link to the UVA audio tapes.

William Faulkner teaching at UVA in 1957
[H/T: Garden & Gun]

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More Violence in Five Points

We've had one person almost beaten to death, and now we have more violence. In the latest incident, the alleged attackers were able to run away before the police showed up. Hey, crazy idea: Maybe if we had some police there, the bad guys can't run away. Whatever happened to good ol' police work?

Five Points is a great area, but the crime is out of hand. The City of Columbia has to actually assert some authority here. Simply cleaning up the bodies after the crimes is not a valid solution. Protect and serve the community, y'all.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Goodbye to Summer

Not much news today folks. Carolina rolled against Mizzou, Clemson lost to a very good Florida State team, the Bataan Death March that we call the Presidential election continues, and fall is officially here. On this day in history, George Washington signed the Judiciary Act of 1789, establishing the Supreme Court and the basic structure of the Federal Court system.

I can't wait to throw on a sweater. Fall is definitely my favorite season. Say goodbye to summer.

How to Impress the Boys

Saturday, September 22, 2012

College Football Saturday; Missing Burt Reynolds

Once again, I continue the tradition of waking up earlier on Saturday than on every other day of the week. It's almost like I would rather watch college football than litigate other people's problems. Crazy, right?

I have to say, I'm disappointed that ESPN did not listen to me and ask Burt Reynolds to be the celebrity guest for today's episode at Florida State. Reynolds would have been the apex of coolness for a Seminole guest. So, when you're watching today, and they have some motorcycle guy there, just remember what could have been:

Just two good ol' boys watching some football.

In case you were not aware, they call him the Bandit.

Just for kicks, here are my picks this week against the spread:

  1. Florida Atlantic +50.5 (They can't do worse than Arkansas, right?)
  2. Arkansas -7 (They can't do worse than last week, right?)
  3. Minnesota U -1.5
  4. Vanderbilt +18 (This might be wishful thinking.)
  5. Notre Dame -7 (Is ND for real?)
  6. Florida -26.5 (They're playing Kentucky.)
  7. Penn State -6.5
  8. Auburn +23.5 (Too many points at home, even against LSU.)
  9. Clemson +14 (FSU wins, but I think Clemson plays it tight.)
  10. Missouri +10 (I think Carolina wins, but in a squeaker.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

To The Bat Cave!

I'll be busy for the rest of this week, so posts may be sparse. I can't tell you where I will be, but here's a clue:

My office is an old building (circa 1919) so it doesn't have these little signs. If you work in a new, large office with these kind of signs, I challenge you to come up with something as good. I would do something from "Lord of the Rings".

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is Ireland Like the South?

Garden & Gun has a nice article about the English-based folk/rock band Mumford and Sons. One line in particular caught my attention:
“The South is a lot like Ireland,” he says. “I have no family, no connections at all. But within a week you meet everyone’s relatives. That never happens in England.
I always hear about how "reserved" the British are, and I thought that extended to the Irish. Maybe it doesn't. I wonder if the Irish and English view each other in a similar manner that Northerners and Southerners in the USA do. If so, where does that put Scotland?

Thinking about the Irish/Southern analogy more: There's a similar history of armed conflict (that both losing sides are still somewhat sore about) and there is a similar agrarian/industrial difference. Now...we just need the Irish to dominate a sport like the SEC dominates college football, and we'll be complete. Drinking is a sport over there, right?

Read the whole article at Garden & Gun.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

All ye' salty sea-dogs know that today be the Talk like a Pirate Day. A time o' merry drinkin' an' shoutin accordin' to yer true plunderin' nature. Pour out a' jug o' grog (recipe) an' peruse how the blessed day started. Flaunt yer jargon an learn up on yer' pirate facts 'n myths (fact-checkin'). Fancy yerself up wit' ideas fer a scurvy pirate costume. Finally, sit yerself down to watch ol' Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy teach ye lubber'n arse the basics of talkin' like a scurvy dog

(It's a good thing I don't have Court today.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Facts Matter

Here's an e-mail exchange I had with a dear friend of mine today. He lives up North, but he can tie a bow tie.
Friend: Oh, Mitt,why are you sinking yourself with your stupid comments?

Me: It’s the facts – not the daily news cycles that determine elections.

Friend: HAHA, do you really believe that?
I thought about that. Do I really believe that? Am I being naive? There has been so much about "fact-checking" in this election. I really hadn't even heard of a "fact check" style of article until this election season. Now, fact-checkers are ubiquitous. After every major debate, speech, or campaign commercial, there are legions of fact checkers out there to tell us what is a fact and what is not. There are even fact-checkers for the fact checkers. But, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, right? facts even matter? Is all this fact-checking an exercise in futility? Do I really believe that people will look at "Facts" when they vote this year? I guess the answer is: I hope so.

Here's what I think...

Monday, September 17, 2012

From the Dept. of Bad Ideas

Which part of this sounds like a good idea?
Guy has a Flying Boat.  He then attempts to perform stunts. He doesn't have a license to operate this type of craft. Guy has been drinking.
How do you think this ends?

In other bad news, the Middle East still doesn't like us very much, and Connor Shaw's shoulder blade has a "crack" in it.

So, yeah. It's a Monday. Life is hard. Time to suck it up.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

US Embassy/Consulate Under Assault

The U.S. Consulate in Libya and the U.S. Embassy in Egypt have been attacked and the U.S. Ambassador to Libya has died from smoke inhalation.
The attack in Libya came hours after Egyptian protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, pulling down the American flag and temporarily replacing it with a black Islamic banner. The brazen assaults - the first on U.S. diplomatic facilities in either country - underscored the lawlessness that has taken hold in both Egypt and Libya after revolutions ousted their autocratic secular regimes and upended the tightly controlled police state in both countries. Islamists, who were long repressed under the previous regimes, have emerged as a powerful force but new governments in both nations are struggling to achieve stability.
I'm not sure what the difference is between a consulate and an embassy, but I'm pretty sure that they shouldn't be getting attacked by mobs. Perhaps that's culturally insensitive of me. Maybe that's just how they celebrate 9/11 over in the middle east.

Apparently, they were upset over a movie. I get it. This is the way they give out negative movie reviews in the middle east.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Best BBQ Sauce?

Savory Reviews claims this sauce is a great starting point for other BBQ sauces. I think I'll do some extensive testing. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

9/11 (Eleven Years Ago)

I can't believe it's already been 11 years. Take a moment out of your day to think back about that day and the days immediately afterwards. Today is about loss, bravery in the face of danger, and remembering that there is pure evil out there in the world.
I am reminded that I need to be a positive force for my family, my friends and my country. Let's decide that we can all do better...and then let's roll.

Dhani Jones Gets a Sporting Clays Lesson

Here's a video of former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones taking a sporting clays lesson at the Biltmore in North Carolina. It's a little heavy on the mindset, so I keep waiting for the instructor to say "It's 90% half mental".

Oh, and there's a nice car in there as well.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicago Teachers on Strike

[UPDATE] This post has generated a fair amount of comments, and a good deal of discussion. That's good, but it is not my intention to simply anger people. Constructive and civil dialogue is what I am after. In that vein, after consideration, my original post painted teachers with too broad of a brush.

I don't think teachers are dumb. Additionally, the vast majority of them work hard. My main point was reserved solely for the teachers who are currently on strike, and they are a minuscule fraction of the total number of teachers in the country. Also, just because something is easy to do doesn't necessarily make it easy to teach. Just because someone can add 2 + 2 doesn't mean that they can teach it to a room full of kids. I know plenty of guys who are great shooters, but they can't teach new shooters very well.

There is also a huge difference between the teachers' union and teachers. I failed to make that distinction.

A commenter made the point that teachers have to deal with unruly students too much, and consequently, cannot actually teach. Therefore, the teachers believe the proposed standardized test score benchmarks are unfairly high. I don't know what to say to that other than the best teachers I had were the ones who demanded the most. Isn't that kind of the opposite of what lowering the benchmarks is?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Garden & Gun Weekend

The bourbon will be substituted for rum this weekend, as I'll be attending my first Garden & Gun Club Event at Sea Island, GA. The theme is "An Ode to Havana and Key West".

The cocktails and evenings should be great, but I'm most looking forward to shooting some clays out on the what should be a really nice course with my favorite shooting partner (my dad). From what I've heard, the course is out along the marsh and waterway, so I'm hoping for a sporting clays version of The Ocean Course at Kiawah. I'll try to get some pictures and a review the sporting clays course which is said to be a "stunning mile long nature walk".

A Cuban party with some cigars afterwards sounds like a great way to unwind after multiple rounds of clays on Saturday.

Friday Morning Coffee Thread

I didn't watch Obama's speech last night, but I heard the guy can give a heck of a speech. If you're interested in how it went, Ann Althouse live-blogged it.

In more important local news, if you're like me, you've been frustrated with the lack of coverage at Williams-Brice Stadium when 80,000 plus people all try to make telephone calls and text at the same time. However, Verizon will be upping the capacity with a mobile cell site. This is great. Now, you can read my blog and follow me on twitter while you're at the game.

See y'all on the other side of the weekend. 
This post is brought to you by Daytona Beach, 1906.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

ECU vs. South Carolina (Against the Spread)

Last week didn't go as planned for me or the Gamecocks. I thought that South Carolina would come out focused and with few mental mistakes. I was wrong. From the intial fumble and interception to the missed tackles, it was a sloppy game from our Gamecocks. Nevertheless, a road win in the SEC is a very good thing. A win is a win, even if South Carolina didn't cover the spread. In any event, onwards to the East Carolina game, which is the home opener for the Gamecocks 2012 campaign.

My breakdown and pick against the spread is below the jump.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Math - It's Hard

The Columbia City Council spends more Hospitality Tax money than it brings in
The Council itself has a track record of overspending its H-tax budget – then turning around to balance the deficit with money from a hospitality surplus account that over the past four years has been all but drained.
What the heck is wrong with these people? Don't spend more money than you have. It's simple. They just decide to give everyone Hospitality Tax money and then pull money from another ledger. It's crazy.

At some point our elected officials need to learn to say "No."

Read more here:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday College Football Open Thread

Lots of great games on the first Saturday of the season.

Enjoy your day, you crazy kids. Remember, liquor before beer.