where i ramble about stan white when i should be making my dreams come true

Turned a sentence I was going to use in a story about the 1899 Auburn-Georgia game in a separate post (trick of the trade), something quick and dumb about the 1992 game, which weirdly I had almost forgotten about. But when I found that video, yep, totally the way I remember it. Exactly. So here’s the screen cap of Stan White I used for the preview window on the homepage. Because I liked it.

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I’ve always liked Stan White. Wish there were more solid memories of him. But I guess there are enough. I just called him (left a message) about maybe interviewing tonight on It’s Pronounced Jordan. I don’t know, I just like Stan White. Great quarterback, and he’s actually really good up in that broadcast booth. America is better for him.

Also, I really don’t consider that a mullet. Some Georgia fan on the message board where I found the video was all LOL about it. But I think there has to be intent with a mullet, like, you have to be going for length, i.e. a subversive-ish long-hair-on-a-dude statement. With Stan, and even with Saved By The Bell era Mario Lopez (which is pretty much his only era, right? Save his right place / time side-by-side with Miss The Iraq And Such As), I think it’s just the cut or something, if that makes sense. I mean, you’re allowed to have hair on the back of your neck a little. Mine starts growing out and looking dumb, but that doesn’t make it a mullet.

I mean, here, even in high school. He’s just a dude, right? That was four years ago and I didn’t think to try to take a quick, easy, mullet snark angle to the post. And no one left any mullet comment or anything… no spamlink to a mulletstickers.com or something.

Hope to hear from you, Stan!

exploring cheerleader gender roles in 1970 knoxville

I can’t really think of a good pun or anything. I was just prepping a post of some old Auburn-Tennessee game footage for TWER and saw this and hit pause. Makes you wonder if this was some sort of cheerleader thing to do at the time. But I Googled around for Guy Cheerleader Rides Girl Cheerleader’s Back type stuff and couldn’t really find anything beyond porn plot outlines (which I suppose I should have anticipated). Though judging by the dude there on the left, I’m not the only one it made go hmmm…

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Whatever works I guess.

credentialed is a state of mine

ontransit

Part of a Van Emst media member halo today. (apparently made the al.com story, cousin just texted me).  I was invited on the AU Tailgating 2.0 tour. They’re revamping things, opening up more space, etc. Talked with Todd (fellow Vestavia Rebel, though he’s forgotten everything about the place), Jay Jacobs, beat dudes, Athletic Dept. bigwigs, sat next to Andy Burcham on the bus since we’re old pals. Lots of “Love what you do” from most everyone I talked to, some people just straight up coming up to me to say so. Felt special. I may be losing my “credentialed is a state of my mind” stweet cred, but I’m gaining free lunches and $100 Under Armour sunglasses.

deadspin famous

Back before the Iron Bowl, a writer for Deadspin asked to interview me for a story he was writing on how it is that dudes that write for Deadspin know who Paul Finebaum is: will his shtick work nationally, should it work nationally, does he have the talent to make it work nationally, is Harvey Updyke the best thing to ever happen to him?

Days went by. Weeks. Months. I thought they had scrapped the thing, and my paranoia over being misquoted and taken out of context and being made to look a general fool who despite being editor of the greatest of all possible Auburn websites actually doesn’t know all that much about football, etc. kind of had me wishing that they had  (I could still truthfully tell people I’d been interviewed by Deadspin). This was Deadspin for crying out loud; they can smell that kind of fear and make animated GIFs out of it.

They finally ran it yesterday.

“I’m surprised how well Finebaum seems to have translated nationally,” says Jeremy Henderson, editor of the War Eagle Reader, “because the stuff he’s talking about is mostly Auburn and Alabama fans screaming at each other.”

… and (punching bag… sure, why not):

Finebaum got his start in radio appearing on morning shows in Birmingham in the mid-1980s, when he was a columnist for the Post-Herald. As the Auburn blog editor Henderson remembers it, the morning show hosts brought the writer in as a punching bag

… and lastly:

“He isn’t just giving voice to the Auburn-Alabama rivalry,” Henderson said. “He now has the power to actually affect it, to permanently change the narrative. The main story line of this year’s Iron Bowl—I’ve already nicknamed it Toomer’s Karma—was essentially written by his producers. His producers put Updyke on the air. His producers took the concerned call from the Auburn horticulture professor who heard Updyke on the air. His producers pulled the audio for police. After Updyke’s arrest, his producers put him back on the air. And back on the air. And back on the air.”

Though surely some syntax was lost in translation in that first quote, I generally come away sounding not like a jackass / dick (say what you will, but Paul was tres nice when I interviewed him), which was the goal. Thus achieved, the experience can officially be remembered as one of the tiny personal victories that dot the recent calendars of my career–perfectly-timed air bubbles in the Aquatic Ruin Zone of this Sonic The Hedgehog 2 we call our early 30s.

Thanks to Jack Dickey, the writer. He wrote late last night to thank me again. And to offer his condolences for Bama’s win. Deadspin and TWER, BFFs.

photo credits: the war eagle reader

ESPN’s producer Martin Khodabakhshian (real name) sent me an urgent email the night of the Arkansas game, which I needed no excuse to step away from: he wanted some of TWER’s popular, old Punt Bama Punt photos for their upcoming documentary on the Iron Bowl (which we were the first to break news of, by the way, back in August). Credit promised, sure thing.

I spent an hour or so uploading the photos, copying them to his bosses, etc.

I didn’t know if ESPN was actually going to use them or not, but ah, yes, they helped tell the bogus story (here’s the real-er story) of how and why Toomer’s began to be rolled.

Still, it was nice to see the site front and center like that, not as a microscopic afterthought.

all hail the power of toomer’s

@ToomersOaks tweeted. The Auburn beat writers interviewed the Bama fan with the “Screw Updyke” sign. CNN kept after the 60-somethin’ Auburn woman dressed up for a War Eagle mardi gras. Auburn fans shouted the Auburn fight song at the young, disturbed street preacher, who instantly responded with the worst version of “All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name” ever sung on Toomer’s Corner, or elsewhere.  God scratched his head. I left The Hug, and headed for the library and the microfiche.

I found an interesting story on Jay Jacobs in The Birmingham News from 1982, and some interesting descriptions of the scene at Legion Field after the ’82 Iron Bowl from The Plainsman: “Guys were hugging guys, girls were hugging girls, and guys were hugging other guy’s girlfriends.” And apparently if you looked hard enough you could find “23-22” Elvis dolls for sale.

On the way home, I read an email from a reporter at the Opelika-Auburn News who wanted to interview me about the supposed Bear Bryant Death Rolling. I am, apparently, an expert. And I have to say… I don’t want to lose this feeling.

i swear i’m not trying to make it all about me…

… I’m just scared it might be.

I recently posted on TWER a rambling, mishmash of an old, poorly written post about the last time I saw Tommy Tuberville, my poorly expressed feelings on it now being the last time I’ll ever see him, and my theory as to how the complete implausibility of his ever being the coach at Texas Tech walked the plank of my magnetism.

Exhibit Z: This screen cap of the front page of my old paper’s web site. Look at Tuberville’s eyes. Look where they’re looking…

They’re looking at the photo / link to a story I wrote!

So you tell me: what are the chances that, right, right, I go to Lubbock, come back, all the things that happened happen, and then when the final thing happens – TT at TT, the biggest, freakiest of them all –  a story I sold them (the Boats! story – I still write for them occasionally) ends up adjacent to their coverage of it, i.e. directly under Tuberville’s wistful gaze?

Exactly.


zondervan and the read option

A Bama fan sent this to a TWER reader who sent it to me. Bama fans are horrible people.

My year old (recently recycled) story on Tim Tebow’s impact on the Christian’s game day belief set –  i.e. whether or not God cares about football – made Dan Shanoff’s SECCG Eve list of “great Tebow-related stuff” along with pieces from ESPN and ABC and various other big-time sports sites. So that’s cool.

What’s not cool is that Tim did not win Solomon’s daughter. The Philistines prevailed. Evil reigns.

At first I thought the loss proved exactly why the phenomenon of Tebow’s eye black, which I realized, after discovering the blog Tebow’s Eye Black, might be able to revolutionize the cottage industry of “pigskin parables,” might not be able to revolutionize it; unlike a score-a-touchdown-for-Christ devotional simply worded to “appeal to your football fan,” a “Which Verse This Week” Bible study watch party organized to learn how you too can win the game (of life) like Tim Tebow might get pretty deep on nights like tonight.

But thanks to Tebow’s obviously divinely inspired choice of scripture, nights like tonight (eye-blacked not with the dauntlessness of Philippians 4:13, but the eschatological resignation of John 16:33) are exactly why The Gospel According to Tebow would work:

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.