Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Honesty from a head coach, I appreciate that.

Tennessee Football Over the last 72 hours or so, Lane Kiffin has made a number of statements about the Tennessee Volunteers’ performance against the Ohio Bobcats this past weekend, and about the general state of things for the Vols football team.  Each was unabashedly brash and straightforward—the style many have already come to expect from Kiffin, though most Vol fans are still just getting to know him as a coach.  For instance:

  • During his post-game show he admitted that the Vols had probably underestimated the Bobcats and had looked past them a bit en route to this week’s game against the Auburn Tigers;
  • He told the KNS that there were no excuses for poor play; and
  • During the Lane Kiffin Show, he pointed to breakdowns and failures of the players and staff in reigning in Ohio.

These are but a few.

What you didn’t hear from Kiffin was “coachspeak” that is, the deflection of uncomfortable questions, a litany of pre-rehearsed (dare I say, “Palin-esqe”) lines, and endless praise for meaningless accomplishments.  In the political world that’s called “spin,” in the lawyering world it’s called “advocating,” and in the normal world it’s called “bullshit.”  None of this, was present in Kiffin’s comments.

I like that.

The reason I like that is that Kiffin seems more than willing to cut through the crap—that so regularly pours forth (no, not of the George Brett variety) from coaches far and wide—and just tells you what he actually believes.

Even more impressive to me personally is the fact that in every circumstance he has spoken not just to the problems but also to how he plans on addressing them.  Take this video for instance:

Video: Lane Kiffin Speaks about Practice

HTvia: Inside Tennessee

I find this to be as unusual as it is refreshing.  While I will say that the Vols still have a ways to go before they are back on top—which I knew would be the case this season—I am pleased to say that the man at the top, the one I call the Blackjack General, does seem to actually know where he is going as he leads his troops and the nation of Big Orange Fans.

– So it goes…About Lawvol

The US Congress and College Football: An epidemic in the making

In case you hadn’t heard, the United States Congress has been hard at work lately—tackling the hard-hitting issues that our country is facing.  Our representatives in the House have been addressing monumental concerns impacting the daily lives of all Americans far and wide.  What, you might ask, is the single most important question in the minds of Representatives Joe Barton (R-TX), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) and Mike Simpson (R-ID)?

Whether the BCS / Bowl system for determining NCAA football championships needs to be replaced by a playoff system.

As a result, these congressmen introduced a House Resolution in April seeking to have the United States Congress and the United States Department of Justice investigate the Bowl Championship Series.  In particular, this obscenely overstated meaningful legislation resolves that the House of Representatives:

(1) rejects the BCS system as an illegal restraint of trade that violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act;

(2) demands the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigate and bring appropriate action to have the BCS system declared illegal and require a playoff to determine a national champion; and

(3) supports the establishment of an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Championship playoff system in the interest of fairness and to bring parity to all NCAA teams.

• 111th Congress, House Resolution 68

Heavy stuff, that…

As a result of the tireless grandstanding efforts of these shameless self-promoters champions of the common man, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection held hearings this past week to look into the actions of the BCS in hopes of determining whether something nefarious is afoot.  This included taking testimony from: John Swofford PDF Document (Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Coordinator of the Bowl Championship Series), Craig Thompson PDF Document (Commissioner of the Mountain West Conference), Derrick Fox PDF Document (President and CEO of the Valero Alamo Bowl), and Gene Bleymaier PDF Document (Athletic Director of Boise State University).

For those of you out there that hate yourselves, you can view a streaming video of the entire hearing through the committee websiteNote: Apparently the Congressional muckety-mucks are too busy to hire someone schooled in the basic art of video editing.  Thus, you will want to fast forward to approximately 19:45 to view the hearing (that is, unless you just enjoy watching a blank screen for almost 20 minutes).

During the hearing, the Committee specifically looked into whether the BCS amounted to a monopoly, running afoul of federal anti-trust provisions.  With the great all-encompassing seriousness that can only come from the stuffed shirts of Congress and with the aire of the Watergate hearings, the committee set about digging deep into the bowels of college football’s deep dark secret.  Having watched some of the video of the hearing, it was obvious, in the minds of some of the assembled officials, that they felt the very sanctity of our American Republic hung precariously in the balance.


Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to the idea of a college football playoff, in fact I would gladly support such a system—so long as it is fair.  The disdain that is oozing from this article comes not from my opposition to the notion that college football needs a playoff, but rather from the nauseating belief by those in Congress that they are the answer to this problem.  Oh yeah, there is also the minor fact that the entire nation is passed out from the H1N1 flu in the economic toilet of the world with chunks of last night’s General Motors and Wall Street flavored hot dog still clinging to its mouth while these clueless egomaniacs are wasting their time trying to determine how we end our football seasons.

I’d love to sit around in a fancy conference room with hospitality service and get paid to talk football all day as much as the next guy, there’s no denying that.  The thought that our Congressional leaders have nothing better to do than just that, is more than a little bothersome.  The fact that they can do it with a straight face while purporting to represent the best interests of their constituents, makes me think of three words: “explosive projectile vomiting.”  I suppose that this sentiment is precisely what led CBS’s Dennis Dodd to note that “Retching is common for these kinds of mundane Capitol Hill gatherings.”

Read the rest of this entry

The College Football Playoff Act of 2009 — Read Between the Lines

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

In case you hadn’t heard, a “College Football Playoff Act ” has been proposed in Congress.  Nice to see that Congress is focused on what really matters. Fortunately, my friends at Hugging Harold Reynolds have taken a little look at the statements surrounding this proposal.

Yesterday, Texas Congressman Joe Barton (R-Ennis/Arlington) issued the following statement after introducing the College Football Playoff Act of 2009. Because it is riddle with political jargonese, HHR has translated so that the average sports fan can comprehend…

• via: Hugging Harold Reynolds: Rep. Barton Issues Statement on College Football Playoff Act of 2009; HHR Translates.

Sweet translation, give it a look…

You Know, This Makes Tennessee’s Football Season Seem Fun…

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Everyone across the Vol Nation has been griping, complaining, wringing their hands, and holding their head down this season due to Tennessee’s poor showing on the football field…

It’s hard to argue with their frustrations.

That said, the news coming out of Wall Street and Washington DC today, makes the Vols’ football woes seem a little bit more bearable.

As everyone media outlet in the world that covers the financial markets are reporting, thanks to 40% of the Democrats and over 66% of the Republicans in the House of Representatives voting down the Financial Bailout bill this morning, stock markets the world over are plummeting.  In fact, during the time it took me to write this 182-word story, the Dow Jones dropped an additional 172 points.

SCNCAP050 2008 - 09 - 29, 15_51

Heck, even Tennessee doesn’t go down that fast and that hard…

Anyway, this gloomy bit of news just goes to prove that watching the Tennessee Volunteers battle it out on the greensward of Shields Watkins Field—even when they are destined to lose, perhaps badly—isn’t really all that bad…

– Go Figure …

Stock Market Chart:

Headlines, Links & Lies…


Quality Tested and Superior to all the Rest…


Here are a few links from around the Blogosphere:

Huh, I guess Hillary was telling the truth…
– 19 Producer

Think of it like this. If Summitt was on the Memphis sideline on Monday night, don’t you think the Tigers might have had a better chance to hang on against Kansas? Yeah, me too.

– St. Petersburg Times (HT to Professor Falken)

Holly Simmons of Tennessee

Finally, don’t forget that you can now get access to the most abysmal greatest links on the web at anytime with Gate 21′s new Headlines, Links, & Lies … LIVE!” widget over in the right sidebar.

Ain’t Life Grand!

– Go Figure …SIG%20-%20Lawvol%20(Small) McAlisters%20-%20Crossout

Images Courtesy of: Photo of the Day & SI On Campus

Headlines, Links & Lies … The Catch-up Edition

No, I haven’t been sleeping…

Despite my complete lack of meaningful activity over the last few days, here are a few links worth checking out…

I have said many times that I am a coach that digs his roots deep within a community. That is especially the case here at the University of Tennessee. In the last three years we have averaged more than 25 wins while winning SEC championships and making back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances. The fan support has been amazing with 20,000 fans at Thompson-Boling Arena creating the best homecourt advantage in the nation. While there have been rumors about me being considered for coaching jobs at other schools, I want the Tennessee fans to know that the only school I am interested in talking about is the University of Tennessee. We have started something special here and I look forward to being a part of it for a very long time. It is great to be a Volunteer.

Fulmer’s Belly &

  • Check out the newest Musical Sensation — Knoxville’s own Sons of Bruce:

The Bruce is Loose

  • For anyone who feels like seeing my blog design handiwork, you can slide on over to Bears Necessity, and my bud Avinash — who covers the California Bears in detail — and check out the new look for his home in the blogosphere — Bears Necessity

– Go Figure …

Images Courtesy of: LOL Jocks • World According to MoonDog • Elk Valley Times

Bloggers, Vote for the College Football Blogger Awards!

Just wanted to remind everyone that the balloting for the 2007 College Football Blogging Awards is now open. You must be a blogger with a blog devoting a substantial amount of coverage to College Football to vote for all but the “People’s National Champion.” Balloting runs through the end of the week. The folks over at EDSBS concocted a handy-dandy voting thing-a-ma-jig which makes it easier to vote than falling asleep after drinking 9 bourbons before a game. The “voting booth” includes links to all of the nominees in each category, thus, you can give blogs a final look before you cast your vote. Just make sure you read the instructions when you vote.

The ballot for the “People’s National Champion” is on the sidebar over at EDSBS.

Not to engage in overt electioneering, but Gate 21 has been nominated for “Best New Blog” and “Best Looking Blog.” Being nominated was a real surprise (considering I didn’t even start until November 2007). I’d appreciate the vote of any and all out there entitled to vote. I do this because I enjoy it, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to win one of the awards. That’s all the campaigning I’m going to do.

 At any rate, head on over to Everyday Should be Saturday for instructions, and the chance to make your vote count.

– Go Figure …

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