Sunday, 14 October 2007

We was robbed

Rick Cleveland points out that the SEC apparently uses a different definition for “indisputable” than the rest of humanity—not that we should have expected the competence of SEC replay officials to exceed the legendary incompetence of its on-field officials in the first place.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Photos by request

Alfie, as one of my sole remaining commenters, requested that I post the following photo.

Alfie loves Haley

My other pictures from Saturday are here.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Cox blows its chance at $22 (or more)

I found out last night that the faculty party I was planning to attend tonight was cancelled due to a family illness, so today I was left with the choice of whether to use my ticket to see Tulane play Houston or stay home tonight to listen to Ole Miss play Vanderbilt on XM. Then I found out the game is on pay-per-view… but apparently there’s no way for me to order it, since Cox’s sales office is closed after 5 on Saturday, the website only lets you sign up for a season subscription, Cox doesn’t give me access to ESPN360, and the stupid cable box Cox gave me doesn’t show it as a pay-per-view event.

So I’ll be listening on XM 232 instead, and Cox just blew its chance to sell me the game (or upsell me to the GamePlan season package).

Wednesday, 12 September 2007


The big football news this week is that everyone’s (well, everyone except Bill Simmons’) least favorite football coach, Bill Belichick, was caught having an assistant coach videotape defensive signals in Sunday’s Patriots victory over the New York Jets. Speculation about a penalty ranges from draft picks to a Belichick suspension, but to my mind Roger Goddell should be looking to how the NCAA, NASCAR, and soccer leagues around the world punish cheaters: hitting teams in the only thing the Patriots and their owner Bob Krafft really care about—standings and the win-loss record. Make the Pats forfeit their win over the Jets, or force them to—at best—be the #6 seed in the playoffs, in effect forfeiting a potential bye and playing all their games on the road (assuming they qualify), and the sartorially-challenged self-declared football genius will curb his misbehavior much more quickly than if threatened by mere fines or a meaningless sideline ban.

The big higher education news is SIU president Glenn Poshard’s apparent plagiarism in both his master’s and doctoral theses. If SIU‘s board of trustees had any guts, not only would they can the guy, they’d also revoke his degrees. Unfortunately, being an administration stooge seems to be an essential qualification for board membership at many universities, including at SIU and now at Dartmouth too.

Sunday, 9 September 2007


You know, if someone had told me earlier in the week that Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis would run for 226 yards and Seth Adams would pass for 305 today, I’d probably have been happy. But zero execution in the red zone and missed conversions = a loss to Missouri. I’d have consoled myself with a Mississippi State loss to Tulane, but no such luck, despite the game being tied at 17 at the half. What’s even worse is I was sitting next to a kid, so I couldn’t even shout profanities at the State fans or the referees.

So instead I consoled myself by seeing Superbad. That did the trick.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Last man standing

Apparently Discovery Channel’s strategy in the 2007 Tour de France is paying off; instead of winning stages, they’re just waiting for everyone ahead of them on the tour to get kicked out of the race. The latest doping casualty: none other than the maillot jaune himself, Michael Rasmussen.

þ: Nick, who classifies the news as “huge.”

Sunday, 24 June 2007

US beats Mexico in CONCACAF Gold Cup Final

The US men’s soccer team again demonstrated continental supremacy at fútbol today by defeating Mexico in the final of the Gold Cup. Keep this up and we might actually have a decent showing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Duke lacrosse book review

As promised, the review is up at OTB. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the book, although I’d imagine that those less familiar with the case would think it was better.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Nifong quits, loses law license

Via The New York Times and QandO, I just learned that Mike Nifong has quit as Durham County’s DA, apparently in the hope that the state bar will be lenient with him at his ongoing ethics trial. Good riddance.

In quasi-related news, one of my projects for this weekend is to review the book about the case by Don Yaeger for Outside The Beltway.

Update: CNN and others report that Nifong's trial ended Saturday with him being disbarred.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Sports law expert: no more major leagues in New Orleans after 2020?

The Times-Picayune has a lengthy interview with departing Tulane sports law prof Gary Roberts, in which he predicts the New Orleans Hornets will be leaving the Crescent City in the next five years, soon to be followed by the New Orleans Saints. Roberts also talks about the continued viability of Tulane’s intercollegiate sports programs, the BCS, and the effects of the newly-introduced NCAA Academic Progress Rate.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Sheehan: I'm sorry

That would be Ruth Sheehan, apologizing for her inflammatory columns at the beginning of the Duke lacrosse “fake but accurate” rape scandal in the Raleigh News & Observer, rather than anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who as of last report is still emulating a homeless woman in Crawford, Texas.

þ: Craig Newmark.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Takei on Hardaway

This has been making the rounds… so if you need a laugh, here you go (context, if necessary).

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Ding dong, the witch is dead

The NCAA has killed rule 3–2-5-e in college football, to the delight of gridiron fans everywhere, while recommending new rules changes that should both speed up the game and satisfy fans without reducing plays. A particular highlight is the NCAA following the NFL‘s lead by moving kickoffs back five yards to the 30, which should lead to more kickoff returns.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Super Bowl Tech

Ars Technica gives an overview of much of the neat technology that CBS will be using to bring Super Bowl XLI into our homes on Sunday—in some of our homes, in glorious high definition to boot.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Ed Orgeron: Ridin' Dirrty

I am truly speechless.


Sunday, 14 January 2007

Colts-Pats, yet again

In the grand scheme of things, I think today’s AFC divisional game came out best for the Colts—Indy, particularly this season, fundamentally matches up better against the pass-happy Patriots than the running game of the Chargers. And, this year the Colts have two advantages: Adam Vinatieri, a definite upgrade over Mike “Liquored Up” Vanderjagt, and home field in the Hoosier RCA Dome. So, I’m picking the Colts to make their first Super Bowl under Peyton Manning… and unless the Patriots play much better than they did today, I expect it won’t even be close.

On the NFC side, I have to say I’ve become a convert to the Saints bandwagon, and they definitely have a good shot at beating the Bears in Chicago: Drew Brees is a much more consistent passer than Rex Grossman (or Brian Griese), and the Deuce/Reggie combo should be able to pound out a lot of yardage if the weather isn’t conducive to passing. The Bears should be favored mostly due to home-field advantage, but I don’t think that will be too much of a factor in the game because of the way the Saints’ strengths line up. So I pick the Saints in a mild upset.

Monday, 8 January 2007

Gator bait

Congratulations to the Florida Gators on their resounding defeat of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the national title game this evening. Now the eight-month drought begins.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

For those who live under a rock

The NFL playoffs begin Saturday. Those of you who haven’t decided who to root for this weekend can use this handy-dandy tool from the NFL to help you decide.

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Random leftover college football thought

Some free advice—if you plan on asking someone to marry you, don’t tell Chris Myers unless you want him to inadvertently propose to your girlfriend on national TV on your behalf.

Saban 'Baman

My quick assessment of the winners and losers from Nick Saban's acceptance of the Alabama head coaching job:
Winner: Nick Saban. $32 million over eight years, guaranteed, is hardly chump change. Particularly in Tuscaloosa.
Loser: families of Alabama recruits. $32 million over eight years, guaranteed, is hardly chump change. Look for a downgrade from Cadillac Escalades to Honda Pilots for recruits.
Winner: The SEC West. Saban brings a high profile to a division currently only notable for the novelty of its coaches (Croom, Orgeron) or the novelty of their leadership structure (Arkansas, seemingly now run by the Springdale High School PTA instead of Houston Nutt).
Loser: LSU and Les Miles. Way to get upstaged the day of your last conceivable BCS bowl under Les Miles.
Winner: Alabama high school football players. Your options are now significantly upgraded over Tommy Tuberville and Sly Croom and UAB's coach of the week.
Loser: Sly Croom. Increased probability of playing on Sundays in 3-5 years or playing for a black coach. You do the math. Plus Saban has his dream job for the rest of Croom's likely career.
Winner: Ed Orgeron. Doesn't compete with Alabama for many recruits, and now has a new chip to play with Louisiana kids: the Les Miles death watch.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

QB of the future, take 30 or so

Sunday’s Commercial Appeal has a lengthy article by Scott Cacciola profiling the latest iteration of the Great Cannon-Armed Hope to arrive in Oxford, ex-Texas QB Jevan Snead. Snead has at least one thing working in his favor: the cajones to mess with The Orgeron:

He felt comfortable enough with Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron and Werner to play a practical joke when he called them from Morris’ office to say he was committing.

“Thanks for the visit, you all were great, but I don’t think I got enough out of this weekend,” Snead recalled telling them before pausing—a big dramatic pause. “So I’m going to have to ask you to keep me around for four more years.”

Morris estimated that Orgeron and Werner whooped and hollered on the other end for close to 30 seconds. Yes, they were excited.

If nothing else, Snead’s recruitment probably puts the kibosh on the Cannon Smith era beginning anytime soon, if the latter’s felony drug arrest hadn’t already done so.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006


EDSBS links the bizarro-universe version of its site, Every Day Should Be Lemsday, written exclusively using Michael Lewis’ transcription technique for Orgeron-speak (a language related to, but not exactly, Louisiana Cajun). Never mind that “Lemsday” isn’t really a day of the week in Orgeron-speak—I believe it is a contraction of “let them stay.”

Monday, 11 December 2006

The Saints go trouncing in

Like BigJim, I’m stunned by the performance of the Saints on Sunday Night Football against the Cowboys—a team that looked like it was the best in the NFC coming into Sunday, but looked thoroughly lost tonight (along with the officiating crew). Frequent Commenter Alfie and his bride-to-be certainly picked a good game to go see in person.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Another turn in the Auburn sham course scandal

Margaret Soltan shares some commentary on a report in Sunday’s New York Times on an investigation into grading irregularities involving Auburn scholarship athletes. Key paragraphs of the NYT report:

An internal audit at Auburn University found that a grade for a scholarship athlete was changed without the knowledge of the professor, raising the athlete’s average in the final semester just over the 2.0 minimum for graduation.

The grade, which was changed to an A from an incomplete, was one of four A’s the athlete received in the spring semester of 2003. None of the courses required classroom attendance. ...

The grade was changed without the consent of the instructor listed for the course, the sociology professor Paul Starr. He said he did not teach the course to the athlete that semester and did not recall ever meeting the athlete.

“It was a phantom student in a phantom class,” Starr said in an interview in his office this week. “The schedule was a very strange one. You don’t cook up a schedule like that yourself. There was obviously some kind of guidance and special allowances with someone who had that kind of schedule.”

Starr said he found out about the grade change, which occurred May 12, 2003, only eight days ago, when he received an e-mail message as part of the internal audit. The information systems auditor who sent the message, Robert Gottesman, said the audit had nothing to do with the sociology department or the athletic department. It is not known whether the grade changes were widespread, but other sociology department professors received e-mail messages from the auditor this week.

The e-mail message Starr received Nov. 29 said, “As part of an ongoing audit, Auburn University Internal Audit is reviewing changes made to grades where the documentation was signed by someone other than the instructor of record.” ...

Starr said that he would like to find out who had authorized the grade change but that he had heard nothing since replying to Gottesman on Nov. 30.

“I want to know more about the circumstance,” Starr said. “If credit is assigned by my name, I should know the background to it, whether it was an error or an inappropriate act, because I’m the instructor of record.”

The same week Starr received the audit notice, other professors in his department, which includes sociology, anthropology, social work and criminology, received e-mail messages from an auditor.

This does not look good, to say the least. As Margaret puts it, in a nutshell: “Are we clear about what’s going on at Auburn? People affiliated with the sports program are getting in to the university computer, adding the names of players to professors’ class lists, and assigning them A’s from those professors.”

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Michael Lewis Part Deux

EDSBS posts the second part of their interview with Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side and Moneyball, spouse of Tabitha Soren, and no relation to Kurt Loder.