Archive for the ‘Sports Media’ Category

HLL: Sports Animal Interview with Monte Kiffin and other Links

Headlines, Links & Lies... | Gate 21

Here are a few more running links that I will try and update as the day goes on.

After he fired Kiffin in ’07, [Al] Davis famously noted, “It hurts because I picked the guy. I picked the wrong guy.”
The University of Tennessee now knows just how Davis felt.

And if history tells us anything, so — eventually — will USC.

On another note, sorry to anyone reading for being so disjointed in my posts today, but I’m trying to simply post things as they come to the fore.  I hope to try and post a few thoughts of a substantive nature later today.

Urban Meyer gets “Slived”

Some of Slive's Henchmen at Work

Well, it looks like there are a few teeth to Mike Slive’s new edict that coaches refrain from criticizing the SEC’s finest.  What’s more, and somewhat to my surprise, it appears that the new policy even applies to Urban Meyer.  The basis for these conclusions?  Mike Slive’s decision to fine Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer $30,000 for criticizing the officiating during the Gators’ game against the Georgia Bulldogs, which was announced via an official release earlier today.

I am sure that Jeremy Foley will be lodging a strongly worded protest shortly, demanding that Lane Kiffin apologize for not being fined before Meyer…

So this raises a question: can you get fined for criticizing the fine you got tacked with for criticizing the officials?  I wonder if we will find out?  That could be highly entertaining.

At any rate, I guess we now know that Mike Slive actually meant what he said when he declared himself the High Inquisitor of the SEC.  Of course, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition…

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HLL: Lane Kiffin, Coach of the Year?

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Unlike Stewart Mandel at, apparently some of the national media agrees with Tennessee fans (and Lil’ Wayne) that Lane Kiffin is doing a pretty good job of righting the ship.

Ten deserving candidates for coach of the year

Every conference needs an Eddie Haskell, right?

HT HT / via: Fox Sports

Nice to see a little cred for the Blackjack General

Clay Travis’ “On Rocky Top”: Beautiful Agony

Shoutin Out | Gate 21

On Rocky Top After living through the unmitigated disaster that was the 2008 football season for the Tennessee Volunteers, I was not so sure I was prepared to take a stroll with Clay Travis down memory lane via his new book “On Rocky Top.”  The 2008 season was the most gut-wrenching experience of my sports-watching life, one which Travis himself likened to having your arm amputated without laudanum.  It was truly painful and not merely because the Vols lost seven games.  Losing comes with competition, I can handle losing.  Watching an entire program, an entire fanbase, an entire state devolve into a constant state of turmoil, however, was the part that made it an experience that I was more than ready to forget.  Even  after nine months of good vibrations—buoyed up by the hopes and energy of new Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin and his band of invincibles—assuming that I was prepared to join Travis’ on his retrospective journey through the 2008 season, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to make that trip into the past.

I suppose, I was just ready to move on.

When first I saw that Clay Travis had written a book on the Vols 2008 football campaign, my reaction was that he picked one hell of a bad year to write about Tennessee.  I knew Clay was a fine writer, having read his work for CBS, Fanhouse, and his book Dixieland Delight.  Still, I remember thinking to myself “Man, that really stinks for Clay—all that work to write a book about a 5-7 season.” After all, who wants to read about a team that loses, and loses a lot?

You do.

Clay Travis’ new book “On Rocky Top” is one of the best sports books I have read in a long time.

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Headlines, Links & Lies: “Shystering is Hard Work” Edition

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Lovin’ ‘da Law

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a bit scarce lately.  Such is the nature of a lucrative, overly time consuming, and somewhat sketchy litigation practice.  For the record, if taking 14 depositions in 16 days is on your list of things to do, take it from me: skip it.

There have been a lot of things going on lately, but, in light of my near-perpetual absence over the last fortnight, I’ve had little to no opportunity to say one thing about any of them.  Thus, here are a few items of interest I felt like passing along:

bullet Clay Travis’ “On Rocky Top” is Released:

You’re going to be hearing a lot about this book, including my own review which I hope to post later this week.  In short, Travis’ new offering is outstanding.  I have read a lot of sports books over the years, and this one is one of the best.  What’s more, you do not have to be a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers to enjoy this wonderful look at SEC football and—more importantly—SEC fandom.

You may remember Clay Travis from his days at DeadSpin and as a contributor on CBS  He is also the author of “Dixeland Delight” and “Man! The Book” as well as a contributor to the “Rocky Top 2009” annual published by Maple Street Press (to which I also contributed).

Seriously, if you are a fan of SEC football, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Travis’ new book.  Trust me, you will be glad you did.  “On Rocky Top” is now available at bookstores or through web retailers such as

I’ll be offering up a little more on this one in the near future…

bullet The 2009 CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll

Yes, yes, friends and neighbors, once again the powers that be have elected to allow yours truly to participate in the CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll.  All I can say is that I am truly honored to get the chance to cast my weekly vote for the Top 25 college football programs and to be counted among some of the best of the best in the blogosphere, and, yes, there are a bunch of great blogs involved, including my brethren at Rocky Top Talk and 3SIB.

The format for the 2009 BlogPoll will be the same as in the past.  Each week, I will post a Draft or Preliminary Ballot after the conclusion of the week’s football frivolity (usually on Sunday night or Monday morning) for those of you out there to attack and destroy with all your gusto and might via your comments.  Please, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong or flame me for being an idiot.  Interaction with the fan community is a core component of the BlogPoll philosophy.  I promise that I will consider all comments.  Thereafter (around Wednesday-ish) I will—at least in theory—post a revised ballot noting any changes made as a result of your insults input and epithets suggestions or based upon other developments around the world of college football.  From there, the collective will of blogosphere will be posted for all to see at CBS, along with an analysis of the week’s balloting by the BlogPoll Illustrious Potentate, Brian Cook of the venerable MGOBlog.

In any event, the BlogPoll is a really wonderful partnership between the traditional media and the world of sports-bloggers (dare I say, “the Fifth Estate”?) and is a lot of fun for voters and readers alike.  Look for the first ballot next week.

bullet SEC Power Poll

In much the same vein, as above, Gate 21 will be kicking off it’s participation in the 2009 SEC Power Poll, which brings SEC sports-bloggers together to rank each of the SEC schools on a weekly basis.  Last year this was a ton of fun.  Just like with the BlogPoll, I promise to consider any and all comments from the peanut gallery regarding my weekly ballots.

Once submitted, each week Power Poll is analyzed and sensationalized by the CockNFire of Garnet and Black Attack and Team Speed Kills.  For me, this is one of the best opportunities in blogging.  As a dyed-in-the-wool SEC fan, there is nothing closer to my heart than all things “ESS-EEE-SEE!”  I have also been known to … err … take a bit of creative license with my analyses of the various team, but I figure, what the hell?

bullet RTT College Football Pick ‘em Pool

Though I had given some thought to creating my own weekly college football pick’em contest, I decided that the best option was simply to ride the coattails of the competent collaborate with others.  Furthermore, I just enjoy it more when there are more folks involved, thus, I will be participating in Rocky Top Talk’s College Pick’em Pool which is hosted at Fun Office  The interface and function is easy to use, and it is just a lot of fun to show the entire world just how brilliant or how stupid you are.  Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?  All you have to do is sign up and you’re good to go.  Be sure to jump in before the season starts.

Oh, and I assure you that the College Pick’em Pool does not violate the SEC’s new Media Policy (which is as laughable as it is draconian).

Yeah, I know, not much in the way of substance, but this lawyerin’ is getting to be like having a job…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 2

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by: 3rd Saturday in Blogtober

This week marks the second edition of the 2009 version of the Big Orange Roundtable and is hosted by the guys over at 3SIB..

Week 2

1)  We will start with an easy one.  Last week, our beloved Rock was relocated across the street to make room for a new building on campus.  What are your thoughts on the Rock’s relocation?

bullet HSH: Being a student, I actually have the slight advantage of seeing the change.  I drove by as the crane was lifting the behemoth out of the ground, and I’ve only seen it once since it’s been moved.  I have to say it’s going be to a little odd driving through the stoplight next to Stokely Athletic Center and the Thornton Athletic Student Center (where all the UT athletes get their school on), looking to my left and not seeing the Rock.  It might take a little bit of time to get used the change come the fall.

For me, it’s just another aspect of a common theme of my years here as a student.  Here’s what’s changed or been built since I came to Knoxville in the fall of 2006: all the recent renovations to Neyland Stadium, the makeover of Thompson-Boling Arena, Pratt Pavilion, a new soccer stadium, a new softball stadium, the brand new aquatic center.

And that’s just the changes on the athletics side of campus.  There’s also been the total change in the old Glocker Building, which has now become Haslam Business Building where all the business majors do their thing.  The Baker Policy Center was risen up on the corner of Cumberland Avenue and 17th Street, replacing the parking lot where my family parked for every game I came to up until I graduated from high school.  Those are two major projects, that I’ve seen started and completed in my days as a student.

Back to the Rock, my only contact with actually came before I was officially enrolled.  I had two of the more enthusiastic Orientation leaders, and late one night during the two-day event we got together and painted the thing.  I would have visual evidence to prove it, but my computer erased my hard drive awhile, thus I have nothing…

The Rock in its new Home

The Rock in its new Home

bullet Lawvol: First of all, I am glad that the Rock did not unceremoniously disappear from campus as a result of the new Student Health Center that is being constructed.  The worst thing imaginable would have been for the university to simply blow the thing up or what have you and cart it off.  I realize the process of relocating the Rock was both onerous and expensive, but I have to give a little credit to university administration (a/k/a “The Big Orange Screw”) for making the right call and preserving this tradition for future generations.

All that said, the last time I painted the Rock was 1997.  I say “painted”—my involvement actually centered more on leaning up against the Rock in a near catatonic state as drool fell from my gaping mouth and I uttered various slurred obscenities at my cohorts.  You see, I was completely pissed drunk overcome by a multitude of circumstances at the time and my recollection of that particular evening of frivolity is fuzzy to say the least.  Still, the Rock does have a special place in my mind due to its tradition of announcing great events, lurid innuendo, and Gameday proclamations.  Considering it is directly across the street from where it used to be located, I doubt there will really be all that much difference.

Of course, I do wonder whether some students may be confused by the relocation—in particular, those suffering from the same … mental confusion … that afflicted me the last time I painted the Rock.  If so, the university may be faced with a long road of maintenance as the drunken masses repeatedly paint the front of the new Student Health Center.

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Remembering John Ward: Ten years since “Give Him Six!”

Tennessee Football Regardless of how things turn out for the Tennessee Volunteers this fall, the 2009 season represents so very many milestones—it really isn’t even worth the trouble to try and count them all.  There has been so much change lately and so very many new looks and faces that everything seems as if it is in flux.  Some feel this near c-change is long overdue, others decry it as a loss of tradition, others still reserve judgments and simply point to the inevitable movement of the hands of time.  Still, no matter how great the changes may be, the echoes of years gone by still ring in the air around Neyland Stadium.  Thankfully, this will never change.

Vol Network In addition to all of the “obvious” landmark events that have or will occur as part of the 2009 football season, there is one more that may go unnoticed by many.  Though it hardly seems possible, the 2009 season marks Bob Kesling’s tenth year as the “Voice of the Vols.” Since the kickoff of the 1999 football opener against the Wyoming Cowboys, Kesling along with color-commentator Tim Priest, and sideline reporter Mike Stowell (who succeeded Jeff Francis in 2007), have brought the sounds of Big Orange football into our homes via the “Statewide Stadium” that is the Vol Network.

As have I pointed out in previous posts, since I was a child, I have always been a dedicated fan of live sports radio broadcasts.  I learned at an early age that television broadcasters, no matter how good they may be, simply cannot match the style, flair, color, or excitement that a gifted radio sportscaster can bring to a game.  There are few on television that come close—Ron Franklin and Mike Gottfried being pretty much the best—but even they cannot quite stay in step with the great radio broadcasters of the game.  Of course, for every Franklin and Gottfried, there are a bevy of lackluster talking suits which do little more than get in the way of the game rather than actually improving your understanding of what is taking place.

Thus is the curse of television…

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