Monday, September 03, 2012

Mac Thomason, R.I.P.

When I first began blogging, I originally intended to have both a journal that focused on politics and current events, and another on college sports.  The college sports blog, named Condredge's Acolytes (after the first African-American year-long starting QB for an SEC school, Condredge Holloway), was intended to be open, inviting other contributors.  The most enthusiastic contributor was Mac Thomason, who worked as a librarian in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and he provided invaluable analysis of SEC football, as well as personal encouragement to me in pursuing this interest.

It is with great sadness to report that on Saturday Mr. Thomason has lost his battle with testicular cancer.   This tribute, by sportswriter Joe Posnanski, who like myself never had the privilege of meeting him, but who also enjoyed the clear prose he brought to the blogosphere, beautifully describes the loss that those who loved and admired Mr. Thomason feel today.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mexico 1, South Africa 1: And so it begins. The Bafana Bafana narrowly avoid being the first host country to lose its World Cup opener, holding Our Neighbors to the South to a draw, causing great joy in South Africa and great consternation among teabaggers in Arizona. In fact, it was the Tricolores who needed to rally late, tying the game on a goal by Rafael Marquez in the final twelve minutes to earn the point.

Even more annoying than the non-stop blare of the air horns, which threaten to drive down interest in the sport to near-American levels in the rest of the world, is this year's set of announcers on ESPN. It has become a tradition among soccer snobs on the East Coast to make sport of whichever converted baseball announcer is doing the games for that network, that it became easy to forget that England is not just the birthplace of soccer, but also crappy sports announcing as well.

This year, Americans are treated to someone named Martin Tyler, a Chris Schenkel-esque bore who may have done more to reinforce the stereotype for Americans of soccer being a deadly-dull sport than anyone this side of Juventus. It took only forty minutes of listening to this clown and his announcing partner for me to switch over to Univision, where I can at least have the pleasure of listening to people who act like they enjoy what they're doing, even if I can't understand a word of Spanish. The low point for ESPN occurred when Mr. Tyler and his sidekick attacked a linesman for disallowing a goal, apparently not realizing that the rule in the sport requires that there be two defenders (one of whom may be the goalie) between the recipient of the ball and the goal line.

It should be a fun four weeks....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The NCAA Report on USC sanctions, here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Michigan 38, Notre Dame 0: After a rough start that featured losses to Div 1AA champ Appalachian State and Pac-10 power Oregon, the Wolverines finally got to a creampuff opponent on their schedule, and coasted. Before the game, Michigan received a motivational lift from Lloyd Carr's BFF, Russell Crowe.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

CAL [12] 38, Tennessee [17] 24: Unlike last season, when the Vols moved out to a 35-point lead in the third quarter, this game was evenly played, with a fumble return and a runback of a punt by Heisman-candidate Deshaun Jackson providing the difference for the Bears. By itself, the closeness of this year's game is enough to put the kibosh on the notion that CAL somehow "avenged" last year's shellacking. The 2006 opener not only put the knife in the hopes of any chance CAL had of going to Glendale, Arizona at the end of the year, it also signified that the SEC was da Bomb, a deep conference which produced the nation's best football; it may have been a leading factor in why Florida, and not, let's say, Michigan, got to play for the national title.

The game this year was a pick 'em, with the Bears doing just enough to pull away at the end. No one is going to look at the SEC any worse as a result of this game, and CAL's national title hopes are even more precarious this season, with road games at Oregon, ASU and UCLA still to be played. The 2006 game was more important, so winning the rematch can hardly be "revenge," even if the score hadn't been as close as it actually was.

Speaking of Michigan , who does Chad Henne have to f*** to lose his starting position? The Wolverines 34-32 loss to Appalachian State (!?!) Saturday is a testament to why it's always a stupid move to schedule a non-Division 1 school. You get no credit for getting the expected win, your players don't develop any competitive advantage for racking up a lopsided score against nobodies, and every now and then you actually lose the game, which sets your program back a decade.

Usually, it's the sort of thing that bites you in the ass at the end of the season, when berths in the BCS title game are handed out; LSU not winning the undisputed title in 2003, and an undefeated Auburn watching the championship game on TV in 2004, occurred largely because their schedules had too many cupcakes on the non-conference slate. But at least they won those games. The image of a Mountaineer player breezing in unmolested to block the potential game-winning field goal will be the legacy of the Big Ten policy that permits schools to schedule four non-conference home games, few of which have provided any value to the conference other than softening them up for the games that count in January.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gone, but not forgotten...the Dead Schembechlers:

Friday, August 03, 2007

The first USA Today coaches poll of the season is out, with USC ranked No. 1. With a road schedule that includes Nebraska, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Oregon and CAL, it is safe to say that someone else has a very good chance to win the national title this season.

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