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Here's my ballot for this week's CBS Sports BlogPoll Top 25 hosted by—as you might imagine—CBS Sports.

Preseason Prognostications


Through 20 August 2009

College Football on Gate21.net

Stromectol For Sale, Well, it’s been almost nine months since last I posted a BlogPoll ballot, and let me tell you that it feels mighty good to be back in the saddle again.  This does not, however, mean that I have suddenly gained any sense or am any more reliable.


As a general rule, I consider preseason ballots to be dubious at best.  They are based upon little more than rumor and innuendo.  There is little to no basis for selecting one team over the other.  Thus, as Hooper has pointed out, this is little more than a turkey shoot.  That said, here’s my preseason Top 25 for everyone to attack:

My Ballot for the Week















































































































Rank Team
1 Florida
2 Oklahoma
3 Southern Cal
4 Texas
5 Penn State
6 Ole Miss
7 Alabama
8 California
9 Ohio State
10 Notre Dame
11 Georgia
12 LSU
13 Oklahoma State
14 Boise State
15 TCU
16 Virginia Tech
17 Illinois
18 Rutgers
19 Miami (Florida)
20 Nebraska
21 Iowa
22 Brigham Young
23 Pittsburgh
24 Clemson
25 UCLA

Explanations after the jump...


Comments, Explanations, and Excuses


So, how did I approached my preseason selections?  If nothing else, there is a slight method to my madness.  Here are the high-points:

bullet General Principles:

First of all, I am not going to tell you that I can irrefutably defend the precise ranking of every team in my Top 25.  Given there are still wide-ranging differences of opinion as to the rankings in November, it stands to reason that there is even less certainty in August.  I have no fancy system of metrics which uses the slope of a line tangent to the parabolic curve (bet you didn’t think I even knew what a derivative was—Ha!) of the passes thrown by the quarterback to divine how that team will perform over the course of the season.  I do, however, have a spreadsheet in Excel with many exciting and stimulating colors which sometimes cause me to lose focus and think of the rainbow on the front of a box of Lucky Charms.


I digress…


There is a fair amount of “gut-factor” included in my rankings especially at this point in the season.  That is, I attempt to look at the various teams objectively in the first instance, but I still often have little more than instinct, a bit of pocket fuzz, and a note from my mother with which to defend my ultimate choices.  It’s not rocket science but it is also far from exact.  You have been warned.

bullet You have to play somebody:

At this early stage, I do place a heavy emphasis on strength of schedule and on overall chances each team winning all of its games.  Given the fact that half of the teams in my Top 25 play one another over the course of the season, it is fair to assume that I did not find many teams that I felt were likely to accomplish this task.  Still, playing a quality schedule with some likelihood of actually winning most of the games on that schedule goes a long way with me in the preseason.  Thus, this poll is more relative in that each team is judged—to some extent—by the teams it plays and my half-cocked conclusions about how those contests will be decided.  In other words, any team needs help at this point in time…


…except for a select few.

bullet The Juggernauts:

My top three selections—the Florida Gators (#1), Oklahoma Sooners (#2), and USC Trojans (#3)—are in a class all their own in my mind.  Some may doubt me on this, especially when it comes to Oklahoma.  I think it is altogether possible for each of these three teams to win all of their games and run the tables.  I know that this is not likely, but I do think it is possible.  The ordering of these teams is based upon the following key considerations, assumptions, and delusions on my part:



  1. I believe that Oklahoma will win over the Texas Longhorns (#4) due to Mack Brown’s epic struggle to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory in another exciting installment of the Red River Classic.  The Big XII is not the SEC, but the Big XII is a solid conference—this matters.


  2. USC will mop up every single team they play with the exception of the California Golden Bears (#8), whom I predict they will barely beat.  USC has also shown a nasty habit of playing down to their opponents over the past three-to-five years and thus I think they are slightly more likely to lose a game than Florida or Oklahoma.


  3. Florida defeated the the Pittsburgh Steelers in a preseason scrimmage last week** and is a 73 point favorite over their first opponent, Charleston Southern.


bullet Struggling with those “outside the money:

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I struggled with ranking a number of teams.  In particular, I had a hard time with (and am still not completely satisfied with) the following:



  • The Ole Miss Rebels (#6) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (#7) were a tough call for me.  Ole Miss comes in with an extremely experienced team.  Thanks in no small part to Ed Orgeron who recruited the lights out for Rebels while head coach, the Right Reverend Houston Nutt has an impressive stable of talent.  What’s more, the Rebels improved every week last year and managed to knock off the mighty Gators in an upset of prodigious importance.  Alabama, on the other hand, has a stellar defense but only five returners on offense which raises questions in my mind.  This, along with the fact that Ole Miss avoids playing Florida and Georgia, gives the Rebels the advantage.  Ultimately, these two teams will likely battle it out to determine the SEC West champion in Oxford in early October.


  • I have questions about both the Penn State Nittany Lions (#5) and the Texas Longhorns (#4) which are essentially the same—namely, coaching.  Joe Paterno’s age is a factor, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  Having played in the very first college football game ever played, in 1875,** Joe is on the older side of completely indeterminate and it has been obvious that he is not truly running the program fully, but rather is simply along for the ride.  That said, the White-out brigade has a fairly weak schedule and has a lot of defensive power, enough, I think, to overcome the Joe Pa factor.
    Mack Brown, get Stromectol, Buy Stromectol without prescription, on the other hand is not particularly old and in many ways seems to be playing out a storyline which is somewhat similar to that experienced by another team in orange around 2001 (I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a “T” ends with an “e” and has “ennesse” in the middle).  Mack Brown is a fabulous recruiter, but does “less with more” with almost amazing regularity.  In all honesty, my Stromectol experience, Stromectol brand name, I would say he is the 3rd or 4th best coach in the Big XII.  Thus, I am a little suspicious of the Longhorns chances of breakout success this year.  Still, online buy Stromectol without a prescription, Online buying Stromectol, Texas has a ton of talent and has the ability to win a lot of games, therefore they are still in my Top 5.  I just personally feel that Oklahoma and Bob Stoops get the best of him this year.


  • The California Golden Bears (#8) are not flashy, Stromectol natural, Stromectol forum, but they are good and they are efficient.  With top 10 offensive and defensive lines, the Bears look to own the line of scrimmage—which is always a huge advantage.  All of this said, order Stromectol online overnight delivery no prescription, Stromectol results, their schedule is a bit on the weak side on the whole, but they do face the Trojans of USC early in the season.  While I am not willing to say that they win that game, effects of Stromectol, Is Stromectol safe, they definitely have a chance.  If they do, then they should be able to coast home to win the PAC-10, canada, mexico, india. Stromectol reviews, I considered dropping them a few spots, but ultimately felt that there is a ton of potential for Cal, Stromectol pictures, Buying Stromectol online over the counter, and decided they deserved to be in my Top 10.


  • The Illinois Illini (#17) are another team I had real struggles with.  Last year the Illini finished at 5-7 and generally underperformed.  That said, they have a lot of great talent and proved in 2007—when they went to the Rose Bowl—that they can win.  I think they lose to Penn State at home and probably to the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Stromectol price, Stromectol mg, but aside from that they have the ability to win the rest if they can just find a bit of consistency.


  • The LSU Tigers (#12) are really tough for me to assess at present.  LSU had a strong core unit in 2008, but simply gave up too many big plays and lacked consistency.  I continue to believe that the Tigers are an extremely tough team and have the ability to compete with any team in the country, kjøpe Stromectol på nett, köpa Stromectol online, Where can i cheapest Stromectol online, the question remains, will they?  With games against Florida, cheap Stromectol no rx, Stromectol dose, Ole Miss, and Alabama, Stromectol dangers, Stromectol wiki, I don’t see them being a contender for the SEC West, but stranger things have happened, fast shipping Stromectol. Stromectol blogs, The Georgia Bulldogs (#11) are similarly difficult to size up.  Last year everyone in the world felt that Georgia would win the SEC and likely play for a BCS Championship.  Obviously, that did not happen.  This year their schedule is still tough, herbal Stromectol, Stromectol street price, but not nearly as daunting as in 2008.  They also return their defensive core, but will be breaking in a new quarterback and will sorely miss phenom Knowshon Moreno.  I think the Dawgs have a chance at the SEC East, real brand Stromectol online, Stromectol without a prescription, but they are going to have to find some consistency and prove that they can score.  Still, I like the Dawgs chances of mixing things up.


Parting Thoughts

Having taken the time to consider my feeble attempt at ranking the powers in college football, Stromectol schedule, Stromectol steet value, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong -- which is part of the way the BlogPoll is supposed to work.  I promise that I will consider all insults comments.


You can view the final results of this week's poll over at CBS Sports later this week and check out an analysis of how the collective blogging brain-trust arrived at this week's result. If you're craving even more BlogPoll goodness, no prescription Stromectol online, Order Stromectol online c.o.d, you can also check out how other bloggers voted and see how your team fared across the Blogosphere.


And that’s the way it is (Godspeed, Walter Cronkite)...


-- So it goes…About Lawvol






CBS Sports Fantasy Football

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Buy Triamterene Without Prescription, Neyland Stadium is in the process of getting a new face, but now it is also getting a new name...


At a press conference early this morning, UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton announced that starting this season the Home of the Vols—known since 1962 as Neyland Stadium—will have a new name: “Nissan Stadium at Neyland Landing

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="204" caption="New logo for Nissan Stadium at Neyland Landing"]Nissan-Stadium[/caption]

Joined by UT Acting President Jan Simek, Athletics Board leader Jim Haslam, head football coach Lane Kiffin, and Nissan representatives, Hamilton unveiled preliminary designs for the new stadium logo and explained why Nissan was ultimately chosen as the new principal naming partner for Tennessee’s most visible icon.


This is an historic opportunity for athletics at Tennessee and for the stadium that we all love.  Furthermore, this partnership assures the financial future of this program for many years to come.  When we began the process of exploring a naming alliance, from the outset, we were committed to forging a pact with an organization that was both committed to this great state, but also one that fans and alumni could be proud of.  That is precisely what Nissan could offer.  Furthermore, this historic alliance only serves to amplify the national respect for Tennessee football and for the university as a whole.

• Mike Hamilton, commenting on UT / Nissan Partnership


In total, Nissan will contribute over $1.1 billion to the UT athletics program over the next 5 years.  Though unconfirmed at this time, there were indications that Nissan is considering a re-branding of its products to feature an orange and black color scheme.


Since the start of the athletic department’s master plan renovations to Neyland Stadium in 2004, the project has been funded by private funding sources.  UT Athletics Board leader Jim Haslam noted that, while largely relying upon VASF donors, the scope and size of the project was such that corporate partners were envisioned from the beginning.   “While it was never publicly advertised, the naming rights for the stadium were always available,” said Haslam.  Haslam also indicated that other companies were considered, but none could provide what Nissan ultimately offered.



The alliance with Nissan will fund the remainder of the $ 200 million phase III of the Master Plan renovations already underway, as well as future renovations to the stadium which have yet to commence.  In addition to its contributions to athletics, Nissan will also make sizable donations to the UT educational endowments, especially in areas tied to engineering and the automotive industry.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Nissan President Carlos Ghosn"][/caption]

Nissan North America President and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, remarked:


Since the 1982 construction of the Nissan assembly facility in Smyrna, Nissan has been committed to the State of Tennessee, this partnership with the University of Tennessee further cements that pledge to the people of this great state.  This is our bond to the people of Tennessee.  At Nissan we expect excellence, evidenced by the quality automotive products our thousands of Tennessee and worldwide employees produce.  The Tennessee athletics program is equally known for its excellence and its tradition of winning.  That is why Nissan is here.



In addition to its global facilities, Nissan currently operates facilities in Smyrna, Jackson, Franklin, and Decherd, Tennessee and in Canton, Mississippi.  The Smyrna facility, which employs more than 6,000 Tennesseans, covers 5.4 million square feet on 884 acres.  More than one-half million vehicles are produced there every year.


The announcement was not uniformly greeted with cheers of enthusiasm.  Some Vol fans are disturbed at the notion of changing the name of the stadium.  Knoxville resident Hooper Hollingsworth said, “I’m glad that Nissan wants to help out, but that’s Neyland Stadium, not some car company.”  Others were uniformly opposed to the proposition, “This is just another sellout.  What’s next, the Swaggerty’s Sausage Arena?” said Gus Harris of Clinton.  Some also noted that it was ironic that this announcement came one year to the day after the announcement that one of Knoxville’s other icons—the Sunsphere—was to be demolished.


The official renaming of the stadium is currently scheduled to take place during halftime of the September 5th football season opener versus Western Kentucky.


Oh, and I nearly forgot, April Fools


-- So it goes…About Lawvol



** Disclaimer: As if it were not completely obvious, this article is an April Fools post  and is a complete fabrication of the mind of the author (e.g. it is complete bullshit).  In no way does this post reflect the views of the University of Tennessee, Triamterene no rx, Online buying Triamterene hcl, Nissan North America, Inc., my Triamterene experience, Rx free Triamterene, Nissan Motor Corp, Ltd., online buying Triamterene, Ordering Triamterene online, or any of the individuals mentioned herein.  Furthermore, all quotes in this article are fictionalized and were in no way uttered by the persons to whom they are attributed.  Neither the author of this post nor this blog are in anyway affiliated with any of the individuals or organizations mentioned herein, Triamterene dangers, Is Triamterene safe, and all discussion of renaming Neyland Stadium is intended solely as humor. So please don't have your lawyers send me a bunch of nasty letters...



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Lexapro For Sale, According to Basilio and  GVX, Lane Kiffin has named former-Vol Inquoris "Inky" Johnson as a graduate assistant.  Johnson was a key member of the Vols' defensive backfield prior to his career ending injury in 2006.  Johnson will be coaching the defensive backs.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="317" caption="Inky Johnson in 2006"]Inky Johnson in 2006[/caption]

It was also announced that Kiffin has named Leonidas of Sparta as the Vols new Kicking and Hurling of Sharp Objects Coach.**

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(click to enlarge)

As you can see from the press conference, buying Lexapro online over the counter, Lexapro results, Leonidas is pumped.

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Image Courtesy of: UTVol.com

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Big Orange Roundtable: Week 2

This Week’s Host: The Power T

Week Zwei

(That’s German for "2")

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by none other than The Power T, who has served up a heapin’ helpin’ of questions for we "Volggers" to consider. Being that I am all about riding the coat-tails of others (and the fact they haven’t kicked me out of the Roundtable ... yet) here are Gate 21’s thoughts on all that is this week in the world of Tennessee Football.

(Questions in Sort-o-Teal-like color)

1) A position of strength for the Vols this fall should be wide receivers. Which 2 guys will emerge from the pack to start the opener against UCLA alongside Lucas Taylor? Why?

First of all, I think that Lucas Taylor is going to be a starter -- probably from start to finish. He is the most tested and reliable of the receiving corps this year. As for the other spots, well, it gets more difficult there.

The conventional wisdom would be to go with Austin Rogers and Josh Briscoe (not to be confused with Briscoe Darling) -- both have had significant playing time and key catches. They were solid down the stretch (especially in the overtime win against Kentucky, where Rogers saved the day with a huge 2-point conversion catch), however, they both had a few key weaknesses which hampered their overall production. Both had some big drops at key moments, and both appeared to have some shortcomings at times when it came to field awareness. That said, both of these upperclassmen now have an additional year of experience under their belt, and will no longer have to live in the shadow of the amazing and talented Robert Meachem.

The "Other" Briscoe

That said, I really like what I saw from Gerald Jones in his limited playing time last season, and something in my gut tells me that this talented sophomore will secure -- at a minimum -- 50% of one of the remaining starting spots. Based upon what I understand Dave Clawson’s offensive model to be, it seems that Jones would make a perfect fit -- especially when it is time to go deep.

I am a huge fan of using the Tight End as an additional passing threat (something that I have a feeling we may see under Dave Clawson’s tricked-out-offense), and I hope that we end up using Jeff Cottam more in that role to complement and build upon the strengths of this year’s receivers -- thereby making the Vols less one-dimensional and tougher to defend against. Either way, it seems to me that -- despite losing a gamebreaker like Meachem -- the receivers will be much stronger as a unit this season on the whole, largely due to experience and having more than just one go-to receiver. I feel this is especially true considering that, with Jonathan Crompton under center, it is fair to assume that opposing defenses will now have to honor the possibility that No. 8 may come running at them "Straight Outta Crompton" as well as throw to one of the wide-outs.

2) Which game on the schedule do you, as a fan, need Tennessee to win for your own sanity and happiness? Why?

For me, it’s a matter of whether the question is "Which game Tennessee simply cannot lose?" or "Which game Tennessee most needs to win?" While those appear to be the same, they really are quite different.

In terms of not losing, the choices are obvious: UAB, Northern Illinois, Wyoming, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. With the exception of the game against the Kentucky Wildcats, lose any of these games, and it is probably a sign that Tennessee is in serious trouble for the rest of the season. The Kentucky game is more a matter of keeping Tennessee’s 22-game winning streak -- dating back to a 12-17 loss in 1985 -- against the Wildcats. Kentucky is a good team, as they proved last year, so that one is hardly assured. Of this group, I think the game Tennessee can least afford to lose would be the game against Northern Illinois -- if the Vols lose that one, well ... they suck (I just call ’em like I see ’em).

In terms of games Tennessee most needs to win, as my last post made clear -- by my mind Tennessee’s biggest rival has always been and will always be the Alabama Crimson Tide (yeah, call me old-school). Thus, that one always matters. The other candidates would be the Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers, and Georgia Bulldogs.

From my perspective, not having the benefit of yet seeing whether the Vols actually know what they are about or simply lay down and die when you look at them sideways, I think there’s a strong chance that Tennessee loses to Auburn regardless of what I hope for. Having lost 3-in-a-row versus the Tigers, I’d like to see this year's contest end in a win, but that might be a stretch.

As for Georgia, well, they look to be hell-on-wheels this year, but they have an absolutely brutal schedule -- a fair part of which occurs before the 11 October game in Knoxville. I think Tennessee will have to bring it versus the Bulldogs, but I think that one is winnable. That said, though I do not want to see the Vols drop one to the Dawgs, I wouldn’t curl up in a fetal ball and drool for days if we lost.

As for Florida and Alabama, that’s a tough one. Since these two represent the Vols’ biggest rivals in my eyes, losing either one of these would rank right up there with having a colonoscopy with a fire hose, I’d just as soon win them both. Losing to the Gators -- especially after last year’s 59-20 annihilation -- will unquestionably ruin my sunny and pleasant disposition. This is especially true since I’ll have had to listen to those god-awful Florida fans for 4 hours, which in itself is enough to cause a body to lose the will to live.

That said, since Tennessee is inching closer and closer to evening the all-time series versus Alabama (currently Tennessee is 38-44-7 all-time), and the fact that I think Bama is beatable this year, I would have to say that a loss to Alabama would be a much greater disappointment. Losing to the Tide would make it that much harder for the Vols to even things up versus the Bammers any time soon. Thus, predictably, it’s Bama by a nose.

3) What are your thoughts on the 8-win clause in Coach Fulmer’s new contract that automatically rolls his contract over another year if he wins 8 games in a season?

Well, I am a homer. I like coach Fulmer, and I always have. Until someone can show me a the coach that they think is going to do a better job, I am not inclined to try and replace Fulmer just because people are getting tired of his tenure as coach. That being said, an automatic renewal of the contract is a bit much in my book -- especially at the 8-win level. If the contract provided for an automatic extension at 11 wins, or maybe even 10, then I suppose it would make more sense to me. Of course, if you just had a 10 or 11-win season, it would be unusual for you not to get an extension automatically.

I can understand why Coach Fulmer would feel a bit threatened and uncomfortable -- especially after John Adams’ piece earlier this year calling for his head. Thus, he asked for some security, which Mike Hamilton provided. No revelations there.

My gut tells me, however, that there is a story behind the story here. I think it is reasonable for Fulmer to ask for some guarantees, I also think it is reasonable for Hamilton to ask for some in return -- which I bet he got, but only via a personal promise from Fulmer. My guess is that Fulmer probably gave Hamilton the 2 magic numbers -- the number of years and/or wins after which he plans to retire. Let’s be honest, Phillip Fulmer is not exactly a young buck, and I don’t see him trying to be the next Joe Paterno. My guess is he told Hamilton his exit strategy, and Hamilton agreed to that idea by giving Fulmer enough security to make that happen. If all of my speculation is accurate then I have less of a problem with the deal.

Again, purely speculating, I’m willing to bet that Fulmer has his eyes on General Neyland’s all-time wins record at Tennessee, and then maybe a year or two more, but not much more. I honestly think that Fulmer is growing weary of the dog-and-pony show which revolves around the football program and is generally expressed most vociferously by those who scream for his head if the hot dog they order at the stadium doesn’t have enough chili on it. I think the hiring of Dave Clawson plays into this. I strongly believe that Coach Clawson was hired not just as the Offensive Coordinator at Tennessee, but potentially as the next Head Coach at Tennessee. That hire has all the marks of Fulmer taking steps to name a successor.

From my perspective (which, in case you haven’t noticed, is worthless) and based upon what I’ve seen so far, I think that Clawson has the potential to be the next head coach, but who knows what will happen down the road. I can say that, of all of the staff coaches Fulmer has had during his tenure, Clawson is the only one that I could ever see as assuming the mantle as head coach at some point in the future.

There are a few ironic things about this deal though. Most notably, all of the whiners and complainers who have moaned and yelled to have Fulmer fired for the last 400 years, can thank themselves for this contract. Had they given Fulmer a little more credit (and thus a little more comfort when it comes to his job security) then I doubt Fulmer asks for this deal. More importantly, unless there is something that Fulmer can point to which makes his feelings of peril credible, I doubt that Mike Hamilton agrees to it.

Thus, all of you who have been caterwauling to have Fulmer fired can pat yourself on the back -- you just got him a sweetheart of a deal!

The other ironic thing is that, again all of the anti-Fulmerites (you do realize that they chased Moses and the Israelites through the desert and all ... oh yeah, it’s in the Book of Hank, Chapter 41) have been de-crying this new contract as a travesty -- the worst thing since the free substitution rule, akin to stealing babies in the night, sleeping with pigs, and worshipping a statue of Bear Bryant. The fact of the matter is, however, this contract actually makes it more likely that Fulmer actually could get the axe.

For the first time in his career at Tennessee, there is a benchmark in his contract. The contract simply speaks of an automatic-extension if he wins 8 games -- it is silent with regard to what happens if he does not. Failing to hit that mark -- as a practical matter -- would make it nearly impossible for Mike Hamilton to defend Fulmer, because in that situation Fulmer would have failed to meet the only quantifiable benchmark in his contract. While I realize that the extension does not call for him to go if he wins 7 or fewer, the reality is that his departure would likely be the result.

So, everybody lighten up a bit...

In the end, I am neither angry nor elated at the new contract -- mainly due to my speculative suspicions. It is not what I would have agreed to if I were Mike Hamilton, but it is not un-thinkable.

Of course, Mike Hamilton never really asked my opinion...

4) What is your favorite gameday recipe, whether for tailgating or in your own kitchen? Explain why in delicious detail.

My trip to any game in Knoxville consists of: 1) Driving from Eastern North Carolina to Asheville after work on Friday; 2) Driving from Asheville to Knoxville with my Father on gameday morning; 3) Returning to Asheville immediately after the game (which is late for those 8:00 p.m. kickoffs); and 4) Driving back across the State of North Carolina on Sunday. Considering I travel about 6 1/2 hours each way to come to the games, I don’t get to spend a lot of time tailgating and so forth. Thus, like Will at SESB, my gameday fare is somewhat less grand than that enjoyed by others.

Up until the pretentious jackasses that run McAlister’s Deli closed it down, I used to go to Sam & Andy’s religiously on gamedays and enjoy a Kielbasa Sub on dark bread with spicy mustard, mayo, and provolone. They’d steam it up for me and throw a pickle in for good measure, until it was a work of art. Those sammiches were a Vol fan’s greatest dream -- and a cardiologist’s worst nightmare. Of course, once the Carpertbaggers hit town, that all ended.

Be that as it may, there is one recipe which jumps out to me as being particularly appropriate for stank-nasty football gamedays:

The Magna-rita:

I suppose most folks enjoy a good margarita every now and then -- especially when celebrating with friends. Mixing up a batch of the good stuff, however, takes time, effort, numerous bottles of mixers and tequila, cups, ice, salt, and a sombrero. The "Magna-rita" solves all these problems and is great for gamedays. Even better, it’s super-easy to make and -- most importantly -- dirt cheap. To make one of these beauties up, you simply:

  • Take one 40 oz bottle of of your favorite Malt Liquor -- the distinguishing whino gentleman generally prefers "Magnum," but feel free to use you own favorite brand, such as Colt .45 (just like Billy Dee Williams) or Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull. Actually, now that I think about it, you could use any kind of alcohol you can find: from a 1972 Dom Perignon to a 3-week old half-empty bottle of Ripple -- heck, if you got enough of those little alcohol wipes and squeezed them hard enough, you might even get enough sauce that way.
  • Next take one large bag of Skittles candy, and pour them out on a table, in a bowl, on the floor -- wherever, but make sure to save the bag.
  • Now pick out all the lime flavored Skittles and put them back in the bag, securing the bag tightly.
  • Jump up and down on the bag for about 3-4 minutes, or bash the hell out of the bag with a tire iron until the lime Skittles are broken into pieces.
  • Now pour the sort-o-lime flavored dust into your 40, and give it a swirl or two with a straw, a pocket knife, a coat hanger, stick, or whatever you can find.
  • Drink and enjoy.

  • Optional:
    • for a "Big Orange Magna-rita" substitute orange Skittles for lime
    • for those of you craving the salt around the edge of your Magna-rita, simply steal a few salt packets from McDonalds (or an actual salt shaker from McAlister's) and rub them around the mouth of the bottle after licking it a few times.

Most "Magna-rita" drinkers find that they enjoy this drink more if they drink 5-6 of these in rapid succession -- such as over a period of approximately 30 minutes or so.

5) You have a tag team championship match against the Legion of Doom coming up. Which current Volunteer do you choose as your tag team partner? Why?

Well, this one is a tough one. I’d have to say that -- if limited to the current members of the team -- I’d go with either Tennessee Center, Josh McNeil (6’4" / 280), or Defensive Tackle, Dan Williams (6’3" / 310), both of whom are some serious specimens when it comes to the smackdown. I’d take that action any day of the week.

If not limited to current players, then I’d take the Great Punkin himself -- who has been known to mix it up in the wrestling ring in the past -- against even the most dreaded Mark "the Man Beast" Mangino.

Phil Battling it Out!
Of course, I know absolutely nothing about wrestling (which is about the extent of my knowledge when it comes to football as well).

The Rest of the Roundtable:

Having wasted your time on my largely meaningless, juvenile, and insignificant thoughts for this week, go check out what the other roundtablers (who actually know what they are talking about) have to say (in no particular order):

Don’t you wish you’d just stood in bed?

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol


Images Courtesy of: TV Root.com • LSU Freek

Flashback: The Great Games — Alabama 1995

Flashback

The Great Games | Gate21.net

The Third Saturday in October, 1995

(14 October 1995)

Tennessee Football vs. Alabama Football

Tennessee 41 Alabama 14

Legion Field

There are a fair number of people in Orange Nation who -- ignoring the whole "national championship thing" in 1998 -- are of the opinion that the 1995 Tennessee Volunteers may have been the best football team fielded by the Big Orange in the modern era. Regardless of whether they were better than any other team -- the 1995 Vols were pretty darn good, and were a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Thus, a few of the games from that season make my all-time list.

It’s probably not all that hard to figure out the first one (No, I’m not referring to the stinkin’ East Carolina Game)

I don’t know that I necessarily agree or disagree with the folks who think the 1995 team is better than the 1998 team. I think there are strong points that can be made for both squads, but hardly settle the issue. After all, who is "best" is really a matter of opinion. This is the sort of debate which leads Basilio to offer his catch phrase of deepest profundity:

"Hmmm .... Interesting."

Translation: "I really don’t feel like arguing with you about this because I can’t prove you’re wrong, and you can’t prove you’re right." Of course, some folks love trying to prove their opinions are fact or -- at a minimum -- are superior to your opinions ("Oh, but I can prove it! Really, I can -- with a crayon, a note from my Mother, and this bit of string..." ). The type of people who seem to gravitate toward that sort of behavior are usually a little short on knowledge and a little long on ego which, while annoying at times, is forgivable. The rest are just egomaniacal degenerates, politicians, and lawyers (ugh)...

... but I digress (sigh).

By the time 1995 rolled around Tennessee had managed to keep from beating the Alabama Crimson Tide for nine (that’s right, I said "NINE") utterly abominable years. To that point, Tennessee had only beaten Alabama four times in my entire lifetime, which -- from my perspective -- sucked. The Vols came within a hair of beating Alabama in 1993, only to tie (that game was later forfeited to Tennessee due to Bama having offered big piles of cash to their players from 1958 until ... well ... minutes before the sanctions were imposed. Still, a forfeit on paper is hardly a win.). In 1994, my freshman year on the Hill, another freshman -- some Manning kid -- didn’t see an open passing lane to James "Little Man" Stewart who was standing in the endzone, all by himself, and practically sending smoke signals begging for the ball on the final play of the game. Victory to the Tide. Needless to say, I -- along with every other Tennessee fan -- was ready for that streak to end.

The game, like every other Tennessee-Alabama contest played in the state of Alabama from 1932-1999, was played at Legion Field in Birmingham.

If you’ve never been to Legion Field ... skip it.

I always referred to Legion Field as "Gray Lady Down Stadium," because it had a remarkable resemblance to a WWII vintage US battleship sunk into the ground up to its gunwales, with the exception of its hood-ornament. This was shortly after the Mercedes-Benz plant had opened in Alabama and, as a result, the stadium was festooned with an obscenely large Mercedes hood-ornament over the scoreboard in what I think was the South Endzone. It was probably somewhere between 30 and 50 feet high (and according to the New York Times weighed 5600 pounds). Apparently, the locals liked to refer to the stadium as "The Mercedes Benz of College Football" -- I always thought it was more in the class of "The 1977 AMC Eagle with Bondo Fenders and a Cracked Engine Block of College Football," but that was just me.

Mercedes Benz Symbol vs. The AMC of College Football

Mercedes or AMC? You decide.

A few years later, the hood-ornament disappeared from the stadium after Logan Young stole it and had it made into a necklace which he gave to Albert Means in return for Means agreeing to play for the Tide.**

Good Old Logan Young ... Good Times

Many people also think the area around the stadium is also a little rough. I have always felt this is an unfair characterization. In 1995 it wasn’t a little rough -- it was like stepping into Dresden after the Air Force carpet bombed it for several months. Think Baghdad, but without the "local color." I’m not trying to be pissy toward the Bammers, but I have never understood why in the name of God the Tide chose to play at Legion Field when they have a great facility in Bryant-Denny Stadium situated on campus in Tuscaloosa. Fortunately, since 2003 all Alabama home games have been played at Bryant-Denny since Legion Field was declared partially unsafe and the upper deck was demolished.

Moving right along...

On that particular Third Saturday in October, I sat on about the 10th row of the North Endzone because I was in the Pride of the Southland. I had a friend who had decided that it was unlucky for him to actually watch the game since everytime he watched Tennessee lost. Thus, he resolved that he would sit in the stands facing away from the field. It was funny, until the game started, and after the first play from scrimmage, everyone in my section decided he was absolutely right and forcibly restrained him from turning around for the next 4 quarters.

Tennessee got the ball on the 20 due to the touchback, and the offense came up to the line to get things going, then this happened (Ron Franklin with the call):

I can still remember watching Joey Kent running straight toward me, and thinking that I must be dreaming. When I saw the referee’s arms go up, however, I knew it was for real. Tennessee scored on the opening play, and never let up the entire night.

It was less than 11 seconds into the game and -- truthfully -- it was over ...

Bama never came back, and never really even made it a game. Tennessee went on to rack up 41 points that night, including a touchdown off of Peyton Manning’s beautifully executed bootleg ...

... and another off of a fabulous run by Jay Graham to put the game away.

The 1995 Alabama game was literally a virtual highlight reel as the Vols absolutely pounded the Tide and found themselves back in the saddle again -- finally scratching that 10 year-itch

bama95paper[1]

I can honestly say that the 1995 Tennessee-Alabama game was one of the most electrifying displays that I have ever seen from a Tennessee team. That night was truly memorable.

In my own way, I did my part to let loose on the Crimson Tide that night as well. More accurately, I actually "let loose a Crimson Tide." At halftime, I got hit in the mouth by a cymbal as the Pride of the Southland performed the 1995 iteration of the Circle Drill. I swallowed about 5 inches of my horn (hey now, no comments from the peanut gallery) and managed to bash both of my lips into a bloody pulp. I finished the show (pretending to play as I bled like a stuck pig), but by the time I came off the field, my once white glove and the front of my uniform were covered with blood. I ended up being unable to play for almost 2 weeks after that little crunch, and I still have scars in my mouth from that one...

... but you know what, it was worth it.

-- Go Figure …


** The bit about Logan Young stealing the Mercedes symbol is, of course, complete bullshit, but you believed it for a second, didn't you?
Images Courtesy of: The VIB ESPN.com Cascade Ramblers

Roger, You’re the Greatest!

Wow ... all I can say is "Wow."

We all knew it was bad when the Mitchell Report came out naming Roger Clemens as a doper, but I figured there was more to the story -- a more complete telling, if you will. It got worse when Brian McNamee started waving around dirty syringes and old beer cans, but I assumed - at least to some extent -- it was simply a ploy for attention by McNamee in hopes of deflecting the pressure that was coming down on him like a ton of bricks. It got downright embarrassing when Roger decided to "clear his name" before Congress. I assumed that was about as bad as it could get.

You know what, I was wrong...

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="134" caption="Mindy McCready"]Mindy McCready[/caption] Roger Clemens, has now passed from the uglier side of sports into the completely absurd, as revelations have now emerged regarding Roger Clemens alleged (and I use "alleged" because I am a lawyer, and I firmly believe that everyone has the right to refute charges leveled against them ... oh yeah, and because Clemens has lawyers too) ten-year affair with Mindy McCready.

Don't get me wrong though, I am not purporting to judge Clemens for supposedly having an affair. If he did he would hardly be the first or the last. People are human; people make mistakes -- even athletes. Far be it for me to act like some moral inquisitor on the issue of another person's love life.

I am, however, judging him for supposedly starting the affair when he was 28 and McReady was 15 years-old. It's one thing to be unfaithful to your wife (bad though it may be), it's an entirely different thing to commit statutory rape.

Good To Go

If all of this is, in fact, true, then Roger Clemens has just passed into legend. He has just won the all-time award for bad behavior by an athlete ... ever. He has cemented his place in the Lecherous Idiot Hall of Fame. He has earned the All-Universe Trophy for Excellence in Dumbassery. He has won the gold, silver, and bronze medals at the Celebrity Career Suicide and Flame-out Olympics.

Oh yeah, he may have also earned himself 15 to 20 years in the service of the state...

I have never personally witnessed -- forget me -- the World has never witnessed such an absurdly meteoric and apocalyptic meltdown of a figure in the public eye ... ever. Forget all the others, Clemens has so raised the bar on crashing and burning that there are no words to even describe it

Even Ron Artest knows you don't hit babies. Even Eliot Spitzer knows you have to check their age before you pay them. Michael Vick never threw puppies into the pit.

Still, it is hard to believe that a few months ago, Roger Clemens was doing cell phone commercials. Now he is untouchable.

A few public figures, however, have commented on Clemens' downfall:*

Joe Namath said:

Poor Roger, everything down the toilet ... I wanna kiss you.

Harold Reynolds chimed in stating:

Look what he's done, and they fired me? All I did was hug the b**ch!

Martha Stewart offered a bit of advice:

Well, I just hope Roger understands what prison life can be like. If it hadn't been for my award-winning recipe for making Jailhouse Hooch, it would have been tough.

Pete Rose probably summed it best by saying:

Those are some pretty long odds to gamble on ... so can I get in the Hall of Fame now?

From this day forward, anytime anyone in the public eye gets themselves in trouble for something insanely stupid, for something violating the code of sportsmanship, gets caught breaking the law ... hell ... gets caught doing pretty much anything they shouldn't ...

... they will be said to have "Pulled a Clemens"

Hopefully, this is the end of the fall for Roger Clemens, not because I feel particularly sorry for him, but because the situation keeps getting more ridiculous. I mean what could possibly come next, tying Clemens to Al Queda?

[caption id="attachment_356" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Osama Bin Clemens"]Clemens and Al Queda?[/caption]

Either way, Clemens will forever be emblematic of the select few amazingly talented people who just pissed their lives away.

When it comes to destroying your entire life, everything you have worked for, Roger Clemens is truly the greatest...

-- Go Figure …


*Disclaimer: As if it were not completely obvious, the quotes in this article are complete crap and are purely a creation of the unbalanced mind of the author. The quotes above (along with all images bearing the "Gate 21" Logo contained therein) are fictional humorous depictions (a/k/a "Farks"), intended as satire, of Roger Clemens and others, and do not reflect the views or position of the the individuals named herein. Neither this posting, those who created it, nor this blog are in anyway affiliated with Roger Clemens, or any other individuals mentioned hereinabove. So please don't have your lawyers send me a bunch of nasty letters...
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