Saturday, September 23, 2006

Artist #2: 2Pac

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm going to start posting a video a day from each artist in my itunes library. Some of them probably won't have videos, but this is still going to take a while. First up, .38 Special:

It seems very appropriate that Skynyrd Lite would play Les Paul Jrs...

I'm also toying with the notion of doing another movie related "goal." Nothing on the magnitude of 1000 in a year, because that would probably drive finally and completely insane, but maybe just one new movie a day? I honestly kind of miss seeing something new every day...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Come Saturday, UAB will host Mississippi State at Legion Field. It will be the first time the Blazers have played an SEC opponent at home, and it's being considered a sort of defining moment in UAB history:

"It's a big thing for Conference USA," (Linebacker Orlandus) King said. "It's a big thing for Birmingham, especially UAB. Not just have an SEC school come here but let them know we can compete with the SEC. We're trying to be where they are."

While it's nice to have a BCS team pay a mid-major conference team the respect of a visit to their stadium, hosting Mississippi State isn't something that is going to boost the prestige of the UAB football program. If we really wanted to show we can compete with the SEC, our best opportunity to do so passed us by on Saturday in Athens.

I spent a good bit of Saturday at a local sports bar watching football. My old roommate Lee is getting married in a few weeks, and the plan was to watch a lot of football, drink a lot of beer, and cook a lot of meat for his bachelor party. At one point there was some discussion about strip clubs, but that was quickly voted down by everyone else because we're all apparently getting old and by the fourth quarter of the Florida/UT game even the bachelor himself was ready to go home and get some sleep. Anyway, midway through the third quarter of the UAB/UGA game, with no hope of winning and a shut out imminent, Lee looked at me with a dejected frown and drunkenly muttered "We'll never be more than a second tier team, will we?" It was a profoundly sad moment, not just because his team was losing in spectacular fashion on the day of his bachelor party, but because Lee is one of those rare breed of UAB fans that isn't also a (bigger) fan of Alabama, Auburn, or some other major football program that adopted the hometown Blazers as a secondary team. He's green and gold through and through, and in that moment it seemed like he had just realized all the hope and faith that he's poured into the Blazer football team was nothing but wasted and there was no way they would/could ever return even a fraction of the love he's shown them.

I suppose that, at some point, all the diehard fans of the mid-majors of the world eventually reach that moment. Unless your team is one of the Alabamas, Michigans, Notre Dames, or Southern Cals of the world, you really have no reason to expect anything more than competitive conference play and maybe the occasional upset. Sometimes you get lucky, like the Utahs and TCUs, and your school is the stopping off point for coaches headed for bigger and better things, but for every Urban Meyer there are five Watson Browns, guys who will run a clean program and give you the old "we're just about to turn the corner" shuck and jive, win just enough games to keep things interesting, but never get your team over the hump and still hang around 'cause the school doesn't really care about the football team and isn't going to pony up the cash to get a better coach. Unfortunately for us, we have the Watson Brown.

I told Lee as such, that I wouldn't really care if we dropped two paycheck games every year and are nothing more than a second tier team, but it would be nice if we could at least get competitive in conference play. Finally beating Southern Miss would be a bigger boost for this program than beating Mississippi State. We're 1-0 against the Bulldogs and look to make it 2-0 come Saturday, but we're 0-6 against the Golden Eagles. Finally getting that monkey off our backs and getting in the hunt for at least a division title is more important to me than whipping a basement dwelling SEC team that is routinely beaten by it's OOC opponents.

Two weeks ago at Legion Field I watched the Blazers return to form after pushing Oklahoma in the opener. An ECU team that gave up over 400 yards rushing to Navy the week before completely shut down our "power run" offense. A game that should have been a blow out for us ended with a miracle forced fumble to hold off a winning touchdown drive. I suppose that's progress, though, considering the only highlight video featuring UAB on YouTube is the SMU Hail Mary. The defense even held up pretty well against Georgia, despite eventually giving up 34. The Dawgs held only a 14-0 lead at the half, and costly special teams errors (seems like I've heard that before) provided their second half success. It might have been a "moral victory" if maybe we'd scored a few times, but as it stands it was just an old fashioned ass whipping.

This weekend, well, I just don't know what to expect. The Blazers are a 10 point favorite, but whenever this team should be a lock is when it's most likely to fail. And that's the real problem facing the Blazer football program, that no matter what, we seem to find ways to fail when we shouldn't and stumble bass ackwards into victories that no one expects. No one will take this team seriously or imagine they can compete on a higher level until the day comes when we can live up to high expectations and exceed low ones. If Watson truly wants to build this program, trying to get BCS teams to give you home and home arrangements is a waste of time. Beat the teams in your conference that are coming to your stadium on a regular basis first. That's all we ask.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

In an attempt to actually post content, I'll answer the blogpoll roundtable questions again, despite not actually being part of the blogpoll. Because that's just how I am.

1. Its only the third week of the season and we’ve already seen some highly ranked favorites drop out of national championship contention. Preseason favorite Cal dropped to #21 after a loss and a pair of underwhelming victories. Who’s your pick as the next NC contender to take a fall?

Probably Florida will be the next team in the current Top 10 to fall out because of their schedule. I'm pretty firm in my belief that Alabama hands them their first loss of the season again, but even if we don't there's just no way they make it through October still unbeaten.

2. By that same token there are several schools hanging around without a loss that all of a sudden look like surprise contenders. There are also a few one loss teams with a legit shot at getting back into it. Looking at the rankings who’s the team no one’s talking about with the best shot at crashing the party ?

The TCU hype level is pretty high, but they'll screw up and lose to someone like New Mexico or Air Force. My pick to run off 7 straight and possibly top 10 wins in the regular season is Navy. Look at their schedule:

Sat, Sep 2 East Carolina W 28-23
Sat, Sep 9 Massachusetts W 21-20
Sat, Sep 16 at Stanford W 37-9
Sat, Sep 23 Tulsa
Sat, Sep 30 at Connecticut
Sat, Oct 7 at Air Force
Sat, Oct 14 Rutgers
Sat, Oct 28 (12) Notre Dame
Sat, Nov 4 at Duke
Sat, Nov 11 at Eastern Michigan
Sat, Nov 18 Temple
Sat, Dec 2 Army

They already have 3 wins under their belts, Tulsa and UCONN are locks, Air Force and Rutgers are toss ups (it sucks having to take Rutgers seriously), and then Duke, EMU, Temple, and Army are all pretty much locks. Notre Dame is the only team on that schedule where I would bet against Navy. Of course, if Navy beats everyone but the Irish, they'll still wind up ranked in the low teens to twenties and play a 7 win MAC team in some crap bowl.

3. Every team has their quicksand away game. You know. That place you should win but somehow find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory or at least scare the &*%^ out of you every year. Did you know that over the last 21 years Kentucky wasn’t won once in Knoxville? Where is your team’s yearly sandtrap?

For Bama it's Arkansas. The Hogs are the only SEC team that we don't have at least a 7 game lead on in the series. We're 9-7 against them, and it's always a trap game for us.

For UAB it's harder to say. Southern Miss is the first team to spring to mind since we've never beaten them but have come within a score of winning 5 of the 6 times we've met, but we've only played in Hattiesburg twice. ECU is probably the best choice. We're 4-2 against the Pirates and both losses were in Greenville, with last years loss being a huge upset for the Blazers.

4. Now that you’ve looked into the darkest place in your football soul, free Escalades aside, turn and look into your crystal ball. Conference play is either just starting or a single game in. Based on what you’ve seen so far, give the order of finish in your conference, and if you’ve got a Conference Championship game tell us who the winner will be. Independents must predict the remainder of their schedule. The results your predictions will be held against you at the end of the season.

Ole Miss
Miss State

Champion: Alabama. I'm dead serious.

Southern Miss


Champion: Probably Southern Miss. UTEP is just too flaky at the end of the season for me.

5. In keeping with the spirit of Maize n Brew, name your beverage of choice on game days and why. It need not be alcoholic, as there are some of us who choose not to imbibe on game day. Further, it need not be limited to a single brand/type/category. If you enjoy drinking PBR and Kraft Turkey Gravy at the same time (which I have personally witnessed), please, elaborate. Finally, if you should feel so inclined, and this is not a requirement, add an anecdote involving said beverage choice.

Two drinks: Coke and beer. I drink unhealthy amounts of Coca-Cola, and it's nothing for me to buy a 12 pack Friday night and still have to head back to the store Saturday night so I'll have some for Sunday. As for Beer, I say I'm a Bud Light man, but I'll pretty much drink anything and usually make my selection based on whatever I haven't had in awhile or what I think will be funniest to drink. Against Vandy, I was drinking Abita Purple Haze because I haven't had it in awhile, and last weekend I was drinking High Life from a can 'cause the football watching came in the midst of an all day cookout/bachelor party extravaganza and it just felt right. This weekend I'll be drinking the leftovers of six packs gone buy that are still sitting in my fridge if I drink at all. My dad might be going with me to the Mississippi State game so I'd rather not be a little tipsy heading to Legion Field.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

So I forgot that the Steelers were on MNF last night when I said “I’ll update tonight,” ‘cause I’m a bonehead. Anyway, here’s a few thoughts until tonight where I dissect the terrifying lows, dizzying highs, and creamy middles of being a Blazers fan:

- Why was Roethlisberger out there last night? Anyone watching that game knew he wasn’t ready to play, and for him to continue on while being completely ineffective was selfish on his part and stupid on Cowher’s. Batch looked good against Miami (though seriously, who isn’t going to look good against Miami?) so why wasn’t he starting against Jacksonville? I know he wants to play and get back out there as soon as possible, but the Jaguars aren’t a division foe and this leaves him either too hurt to play at all or too hurt to be effective if he does against Cincinnati on Sunday. Great.

- Pick ‘em results: Those four ill-advised upset picks in Week 1 are coming back to haunt me. In Week 2 I went 11 for 12 by taking Penn State over Notre Dame and in Week 3 I went 10 for 12 by taking Notre Dame over Michigan and LSU over Auburn. I could have sworn I went back and changed my pick to Auburn after realizing the game wasn’t in Baton Rouge like I had previously thought, but I guess I didn’t. As for Notre Dame, they can seriously kiss my ass. After watching their pillaging of Penn State I started to drink ESPN's Irish Kool Aid and began to revise my “there’s no way they top ten wins this season” stance, but now I’m taking Sparty to win in a shootout this weekend. I hope you jerks lose to Navy (who, by the way, I seriously like to win at least 8, probably 9, in the regular season. More on that later.).

That Irish Kool Aid ain't half bad...

As for this week’s picks (my selections in bold):

Auburn vs Buffalo: Duh

Florida State vs Rice: Again, duh, but I imagine FSU is going to do the same thing they did last year…drop a couple of games they shouldn’t and yet somehow win the ACC.

Florida vs Kentucky: It’s déjà vu all over again…

Georgia vs Colorado: Seriously, how funny would it be if Dan Hawkins dropped every game this year? Offensive revolution indeed…

East Carolina vs West Virginia: I don’t know...ECU did manage to shut down the UAB rushing attack…WVa could be in for tough times...I’m totally being sarcastic right now…If you couldn’t tell…

Ohio State vs Penn State: Penn State can also kiss my ass…

Texas vs Iowa State: You know, I tend to forget that Iowa State even exists sometimes.

Illinois vs Iowa: There’s not much chance on getting Zooked here, but this is the game I’m most nervous about.

Kansas State vs Louisville: I hate Louisville…

Arkansas vs Alabama: It’s déjà vu all over again…

Arizona vs USC: I hate USC…

LSU vs Tulane: If Mississippi State can score on Tulane then LSU definitely can.

Michigan State vs Notre Dame: See above

Monday, September 18, 2006

So obviously I haven't been in the bloggiest of moods this past week. There's been plenty to discuss (UAB, for instance, appears to be taking the same "apparently we squandered all of our potential in the first game and have nothing left for the rest of the season" route they wandered down last year), but for some reason I just haven't felt like doing it. Part of it is due to the second season of the The Office coming out on DVD, the Marx Brothers box set The Girl bought me for my birthday, and my renewed passion for NCAA 2007, but mostly it's just been cause I'm too lazy. I'll be back tonight with observations, where I was right, where I was wrong, and picks for this weekend's games. 'Til then, a beat box version of "I've Been Working on the Railroad":