Well Done, Hot Dog Bun, My Sister’s a Nun

It was late one Saturday afternoon in Camden AL. The dog days of August, 1974. I was between quarters at Troy State University. I had no plans except to drink some beer and, possibly, wager on a few major league baseball games. A few of my close friends, who shall remain nameless, and I had done quite a bit of gambling already that summer. And we hadn’t fared too poorly at it.

Back to the story…1974

My best friend, Hal Huggins, then burst in through the door, he was prone to do that, without knocking, almost “Krameresque” in a way. “Let’s go to Pensacola!” he commanded, equally abrupt. “Let’s take the Galaxy.” He was referring to my parents’ 70 something Ford product. We almost always did our cruising in his 1972 Impala, which also had an eight track tape player in it. The Galaxy had nothing but an AM radio, but that was all we needed to listen to baseball games and some music, which was often provided by “WLS music radio” out of Chicago, Illinois.

I checked with my folks on this and they seemed to have no reservations about our impromptu trip. I gathered what little I needed to take on the excursion with me, unhooked the car keys off the rack hanging on our den wall by the door, and off we went. “I’ll drive,” Hal informed me. So we headed to the Jr. Food store for some Schlitz and a bag of ice and we were southbound and down!

Beatrice (the Galaxy ran hot near there, but I can’t recall much of a delay or any trouble in particular), Monroeville, Frisco City, Uriah, Flomaton, and on into what remains my favorite place to “chill” right up to this very day, Pensacola.

Hal and I, along with Howell Lee (RIP) had thrown full bore into a huge time, three years prior, at Rosie O’Grady’s, and, thus, we chose Seville Quarter, where Rosie’s was located, as were several other spots, for those so inclined to imbibe in adult beverages and entertainment.

We parked the Ford, strode into the garden-like setting of the quarter, and made ourselves comfortable at the first establishment on the left. Hal ordered a Schlitz, unsurprisingly, and I, surprisingly, chose a Harvey Wallbanger. Bang your walls it will if consumed in mass quantities, which I discovered nine months earlier near here at another watering hole which was situated in a decorative hotel on Pensacola Beach. That would be our next destination.

An aside, that previous November, of Wallbanging fame, I was in the company of two young lasses and another gentleman at that lounge on the beach on a Thanksgiving night, oddly enough. We were watching the University of Alabama do battle with the LSU from Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Huge game. Bama was undefeated and highly ranked and the Bayou Bengals were a quite formidable opponent that season. The Tide prevailed, 21-7, and went on to remain unbeaten until it was vanquished by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Sugar Bowl. That is another story which involved Hal, more wagering, and many other friends. Later.

The lasses, the other gentleman, and I stayed on after the game ended, to have a few more postgame rounds, until I somehow set my long flowing locks ablaze on of the candles that sat upon our four top table.

But I regress! Back to August 1974 and Seville Quarter! No excessive Wallbanging on this trip! And absolutely NO LOCKS AFLAME!

I was sipping on my Harvey, and Hal on his “Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous,” when the solo acoustic guitar player there at the Quarter, went into a song that completely caught my attention. What a pithy, touching, funny song.

The lyrics. The story. The humor. The grace. The humanity.

“Blow up your tv, throw away the paper, move to the country, build you a home. Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try to find Jesus on your own…”

The song was Spanish Pipedream. It was written and recorded by someone I was vaguely familiar with and it was the first time I had ever heard a song by this guy. His name was John Prine.

In a couple of more weeks I was back at Troy and asked a friend of mine, Mike “Jelly Rock” Jellison did he have any John Prine records. He did. It was entitled Sweet Revenge. He played me a song off of it entitled The Accident, but Spanish Pipedream was not on there. In fact, I did not know that the name of the song was Spanish Pipedream. All I knew was, “Blow up the tv, throw away the paper”, etc. The words, Spanish Pipedream are not in the song. No way to know that. Them I dropped it, for quite some time.

A few years later, the early eighties I do believe, I was purchasing cassettes instead of LP’s and would run across the John Prine section in some music store and purchase Sweet Revenge. This is fantastic, I thought! I gotta have more! So, logically, in my mind, I picked up his first album (cassette, I just have to call them albums sometimes). It was self-titled. And boys and girls, if there is one non-greatest hits record you ever want to purchase, it’s that one. The song titles are like a greatest hits compilation. Illegal Smile, Hello In There, Sam Stone, Paradise, Pretty Good, Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore, Far From me, Angel From Montgomery, Quiet Man, Donald And Lydia, Six O’Clock News, Flashback Blues and, yes… AND… Spanish Pipedream!!! You can imagine my total exhilaration when that one leapt from the speakers to my ears!

“Blow up the tv, throw away the paper, move to the country, build you a home. Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try to find Jesus on your own.”

Since that day my collection of John Prine music has, of course, blossomed. His music has been a constant of mine for decades now.

Fast forward 32 moths to today, May 3, 2023. I began the previous wording of this blog back in September of 2020. Covid. John Prine departed our world in April of 2020 due to Covid. I did not like that initial attempt at articulating my romance with his music. I am now grasping at some inadequate words to conclude this musing.

My oldest and dearest friend, Hal Huggins, has left us to join John Prine and the heavenly hosts. I miss them both till it aches. They were both such great friends. May they rest in peace. See you later guys. I just hope it’s not in the near future.

“We blew up our TV
Threw away our paper
Went to the country
Built us a home
Had a lot of children
Fed ’em on peaches
They all found Jesus on their own”


Take Me Out To The Ballgame

For the first time since the mid 80’s we cannot watch the Braves on tv. We were in Albany, NY then and our cable company didn’t carry TBS. We could go to Troy, NY to a bar but it didn’t matter that much. We had become Mets fans and were happy with that and only saw the Braves when they played the Mets. Did drive to Montreal to see the Braves play the Expos one time. 1984. We got there early and hung around during batting practice. Willie Stargell saw Luke and I near the Braves dugout and brought Luke a ball and signed for him as did Dale Murphy and a few others. Bob Horner had no interest. Fast became not a Bob Horner fan. Willie Stargell was just the best.

From 1994 through May of 2009 I didn’t watch ANY baseball. The ‘94 strike broke my heart and put me off baseball for those 15 years. I did attend a Braves game, an Expos game, and a Rockies game ilduring that 15 year period as we had AAA annual conferences in those cities when the home teams were in town. But I mostly enjoyed free beer and hot dogs and socialized. I’m good at socializing.

Anyway, back to Schenectady, NY in June of 2009. I was working the Hudson Valley region for AAA and Paul was with me. Summer. My University at Albany, SUNY “kids”, from when I was in campus ministry there ‘83-‘86, had us over at the, now Father Bob Longobucco’s home, rectory, for a dinner. And I watched the Mets game with the old gang. Father Bob said, at some point, “Come back to the game! It’s all about the game.” The spirit moved me, as she is wont to do, and I got it. Again. Baseball fever. And I’ve been watching the Braves and the playoffs and World Series since that fateful day in Schenectady.

So, here I sit, today, not watching the Braves. I now have YouTube TV and they don’t carry our Bravos (on BSSE). I got a trial subscription to MLB TV and it’s blacked out on there. Lotta good that does. I do get the audio. Also I did get the Mets and Marlins yesterday on MLB. Full circle.

When we started pulling for the Mets, Daryl Strawberry was a rookie and they went 68-94 that season. 1983. Doc Gooden was a 19 year old rookie in ‘84. You know the rest of that story. It was a glorious run. I do cringe every time I hear Kirk Gibson’s name. You might remember he hit that tater in ‘88, limping around the bases, that crushed the souls of Met’s fans everywhere.

But hey! Maybe that was karma for the stunning ‘86 World Series game 6 when Bill Buckner booted that grounder, in the bottom of the 10th, and our Mets went on to win it all over the Ted Sox. 108-54 regular season. How sweet it was!

I grew up a Yankees fan until the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966. It was all about Mickey Mantle for me and several million other kids. Remained a Yankees fan, in the AL, until the late 70’s, when I got enough of George Steinbrenner.

But that is another story for another time.

Hey! I see I can get the Mets and Marlins on MLB. Ok, it’s 4-2 Metropolitans in the top of the 6th! Let’s Go Mets!

I’ll probably get weepy singing ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ during the 7th inning stretch. That happens a lot with me.

Fathers and sons and baseball. It touches my soul.

“Popcorn! Peanuts! Cracker Jacks! Hot dogs! Cold beer right heah!”

“… And it’s ONE! TWO! THREE STRIKES, you’re out! At the old ball game.”

Gotta go now. I think I’ll listen to Susan Sarandon’s monologue that opens ‘Bull Durham’.

I ❤️ baseball!

SEC Football: Week 12

Were it not for Vanderbilt upsetting Kentucky last week, I would have gone 7-0. 69-19 is now the tally on this 2022 SEC Football season. The pct. is .784. Got some cupcakes along with some very good SEC only games in week 12. And you know what’s up next week?! It brings Egg Bowl, Iron Bowl, et al! Will Friend and Ike Hilliard have done a good job of getting the AU running game at its peak and I look forward to continued improvements, and hopefully, some of those adjustments in the passing game to give the Tigers some more growl for that little contest in T-Town. Let’s roll!

Austin Peay at Alabama (No line)

The Governors have their “work work work” (See Blazing Saddles’ “Gov”) cut out for them in T-Town in this nooner (the First of four 12 ET games). The Tide scores early and often in a rout. No drama here unless you do happen to be wagering against the spread. You can get a spread in Vegas. Alabama 55, Austin Peay 3.

TSU at Mississippi State (No line. Again.)

The Buccaneers of East Tennessee State are the sacrificial lambs at StarkVegas. Will Rogers should be able to “slang it around” as he pleases. The Pirate versus the Buccaneers. Just thought of that. Would you like icing on that cupcake, Coach Leach? Miss State 48, ETSU 10,

Florida (-14) at Vanderbilt

Hey! Anchors away! Dores won at the Kentucky Kroger Wildcats last Satday. Why not this Satday? Well, the Water Lizards hammered USC East in The Swamp and they’ll reduce the NashVegas homies to rubble also. Florida 38, Vanderbilt 13.

Georgia (-22.5) at KK Cats

Dawgs are a true force of nature. They be wompin’ the competition left and right. And down the middle. tomorrow in the Bluegrass will be no different. Buster Brown continues to march the Hedgers to Hotlanta. Georgia 38, Kentucky 14.

Western Kentucky at Auburn (-5.5)

The Hilltoppers score points by the bucketful, 42 last week and 59 the week before. Coach Lac and DC Schmedding will have to get that D fine tuned. The visiting Bowling Green, KY gang can”slang it good” themselves. The Tigers’ running game has been quite good as mentioned above, and I expect Tank and Jarquez to lead a ground game that maybe hits 300 yards Saturday. Gotta get up a full head of steam as they head for Bryant-Denny the next week.Could be a dandy but I hope not. Auburn 37, Western Kentucky 24.

Tennessee (-22) at South Carolina

Cobs and Roosters! Rocky Tops and Cockabooses. The Knoxvillians could be playoff bound. They take on Vandy next week to close the season. Almost certain to finish at 11-1. The SEC Championship game is set between UGA and LSU. The Vols get to rest and wait, eagerly. Josh Heupel will have UT focused and ready. The Cocks will crow but not loudly enough. Tennessee 45, South Carolina 17.

Ole Miss (-2.5) at Arkansas

Now this one SHOULD be a dandy! Amidst all the Kiffin to the Plains talk, he’s had him a huge game to plan for this week. Sam Pittman’s Pigs have had some ups and downs in 2022. I feel they will be primed for a fight with the Black Bear Rebel Sharks. It could go down to the wire with… Ole Miss 35, Arkansas 28.

New Mexico State at Missouri (-29)

The Aggies of Las Cruces (beautiful place in southern New Mexico) are severe underdogs and won’t pull off the upset. Mizzou has been so very close in its losses. Not a close one in Columbia, MO this week. The second set of SEC Tiguz romp. Missouri 42, NMSU 13.

UAB at LSU (-15)

Blazers and Bayou Bengals. And the Bhammers have been to Red Stick before when they toppled Nick Saban’s Tigers. It can be done. Hit won’t Saturday. But it could be fun. Here’s to hoping! LSU 34, UAB 16.

Here are some recommendations for the sporting weekend.

Detroit Deep Dish Pizza from Little Caesar’s. We cannot get those Anchor Bar wings from Buffalo but Taco Mac has some very good ones as does Three Dollar Cafe, and I bet that there is a local restaurant near each one of y’all that has good ones. Hey! Would you post on here where that would be in your neck of the woods? Everybody is near a Hardees. Good biscuits. I like the pork chop with egg. And anyone can also get some Milos iced tea. Also a bottle of tequila and a margarita mix will do the job.

How’s all that sound? Good luck to one and all. I hope your team wins unless you’re a Western Kentucky fan. Peace, love, and music. Safe travels. Love your neighbor. I’m outta here!

Photo credit Pexels Free Photos

Getting Your Head and Heart Right For Christmas

December 25th 2022 will mark my 70th Christmas. I was approximately 16 weeks old on my first Christmas Day here on planet earth. I, obviously, do not remember one thing about that December 25th in 1952. (Insert memory joke about being 70 plus years old on 12/25/22 here). I do recall dozens of Christmas days since, approximately, 1958 or 1959. Most every one of these recollections are quite pleasant and they invoke some powerful memories. Well, there are those days when I ripped open my presents only to find Chapstick, socks, shoe polish, and/or underwear. But that’s okay. Memories. That is probably the first step in getting one’s self in the proper head space for Christmas.

There are far too many beautiful recollections to share here, but I will reveal that I am sickeningly sentimental when it comes to Christmas memories. Let them wash over you and weep unashamedly if that works for you. It’s that time of year. Faith, family, friends and, yes, football, at the core of it all. That first Christmas you were married. Also the first one you celebrated when you had welcomed a child into your home. You get the picture. Memories.

When we joined Heritage Baptist Church in December of 2013, we experienced our first holiday season of Advent. That has added wonderful new layers of meaning and expectation as we move toward the coming of the Christ child. Advent calendars, candles, and devotionals are great portals into the celebration of His birth.

Ornaments. These tree decorations are essential in the righting of head and heart. In each one there is, at minimum, a memory and often there is a story behind every single ornament. We have ornaments from when our children were pre-schoolers, on up through their youth, and into adulthood. And then come the grandchildren to begin an entire new array of tree hangings. along with the lights and new trees that find a place in our humble abode. I can sit for many hours staring at the trees and other decorations which adorn our home in the days leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Last but not least… there is music. You have beautiful hymns on one end, such as ‘Oh Holy Night’ and goofy songs like ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ on the opposite end of the spectrum of holiday music. And there’s not anything quite like music to touch the soul, quicken the spirit, and stir deep emotions in our hearts and heads.

Of course there are the gifts, the egg nog, the bountiful meals, and so much more that make Christmas what it is. But most of all, it is the birth of the child, our Lord, our Savior, our friend… Jesus, that is the centerpiece of the entire Christmas experience. Advent.

“The word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.”

John 1:14. The Message

Grace and peace and Merry Christmas to one and all!

Photo credit Pexels Free Photos

SEC Football: Week 11

Here we are once again. Staring at a blank screen. Thinking about SEC Football. The Allman Brothers Band raging on a Whipping Post from August of 2003. I have SiriusXM tuned to the Jam On station. Now there’s a group named ALO doing ‘Cowboys and Chorus Girls’. Never heard of it or them. Time to learn someone new. That’s fine. What’s not fine was my pickin’ results from last weekend. I think I had a losing record. Time to tally up!

Ouch!!! that’s awful! I was 2-5. That’s makes me 63-18 on the season. And that is .777. Slipping a bit since we’ve gotten seriously into the red meat of the 2022 SEC season. There are seven picks this week with all of them SEC matchups. No out of conference or Group of Five or FCS opponents. As Archie Bell and The Drells sang, “Tighten Up!”

Brang it!

Missouri at Tennessee (-20.5)

Eli (I’d just love to have a) Drinkwitz you got a very generous new contract extension recently. Not bad for someone with a losing record (4-5). I like the guy and wish him well. A beaten and angry Vols squad at Neyland Stadium is not the place to even that record at 5-5 this Satday. Kirby’s Dawgs put a butt whuppin’ on them down Twixt the Hedges. The Corn Cobbers return to their pre-Gawja ways and whack the Show Me Tigers. Tennessee 42, Missouri 17.

Lucky To be Alive by My Morning Jacket is now playing on the radiddio. It’s a good one.

LSU (-3.5) at Arkansas

I was not the least bit surprised that The Bayou Bengals upset the Tahd down in Red Stick. You Gotta Give Batman Kelly credit. He has these Tiguz improving each and every Saturday. Arky seems back to be back to form, as well. Should be dandy as the line would indicate. The visitors are in the Catbird Seat in the SEC West. Who’d a thunk it? The road to Atlanta continues for… LSU 37, Arkansas 28.

Ok ok! Now on SiriusXM. Ready? Vieux Farka Toure/Khruangbin – Tonga Barra. Pretty good!

Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-17.5)

The last of a Noon ET Tripleheader. The Nashvillians invade the Bluegrass. Who would Bill Monroe pull for in this clash of SEC Easters? I hear Easter in the Bluegrass is lovely. Too bad it’s mid-November. Kroger Field will be rife with savings galore. Get that gasoline discount before ye return to NashVegas. It’ll seem like a long trip. With an 88% chance to win… Kentucky 31, Vanderbilt 14.

Now it’s Jackie Greene on vocals with Gov’t Mule covering David Bowie’s ‘Changes’. Yes ma’am! I’m a huge Mule fan. Gov’t Mule has been my favorite live band for some years. Used to be that if they were within six hours of 116 Sundown Way, Acworth Gee A, Me and Paul were there. Our first live show was at The Tabernacle in Atlanta on 10/20/2001. One of those musical epiphany nights that transports and transforms you. They don’t happen often. But oh are they sweet! Like sugar! And speaking of sugar…

Alabama (-12) at Ole Miss

One of these two could very well wind up in NOLA as the SEC New Year’s Six representative in the Sugar Bowl. My guess is it will be Bama. It has a waaaaaay outside chance of making the SEC Championship Game. But I’m thinking LSWho is making the trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Hotlanta. As a matter-of-fact, the Tuscaloosans could lose this contest in Groveville. They will if they are not on their best game. Another OT nail-biter for Nickydemus. Alabama 38, Ole Miss 35.

South Carolina at Florida (-8)

“Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox taił on his hat, nobody knows where the Swamp Fox is at. Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox living in the glen, he runs away to fight again.” The Swamp Fox was a Disney show from long ago. Taco time !!! It’s been awhile. If one of you can tell me who played Francis Marion (Revolutionary War hero) you win a taco! No cheating! But, as always, wagering is encouraged. Is coach Billy Napier now the Swamp Fox? Or is it QB Anthony Richardson? Napier’s Water Lizards spanked the Aggies last week. More on them later. It’s Senior Day in Gainesville. Florida 34, USC East 24.

Georgia (-16.5) at Mississippi State

The Bullpups were most fortunate to score more points than Auburn, in StarkVegas, Saturday previous. That shall not happen tomorrow. The visitors from Hedgeville will win this game. The Kirbyites might struggle a wee bit early in the game. And The Pirate’s aggregation of canines might be able to sling it around for a spell. But in the end… Georgia 40, Miss State 16.

And finally! Drumroll please!

“Well there she sits buddy just a gleaming in the sun, There to greet a working man when his day is done, I’m gonna pack my pa and I’m gonna pack my aunt, I’m gonna take them down to the CADILLAC RANCH!” YAY HEEEE! WDE!!! And gracias, Bruce Springsteen!

Texas A&M at Auburn (-1.5)

Yes, the Carnell Williams led Auburn Tigers are favored to defeat the Fighting Jimbos! The loser sinks to the bottom of the SEC West. Now, I am here to tell you this. I haven’t seen, or felt, this kind of excitement surrounding an Auburn Football game since the Penn State game back in mid-September. The sold out Auburn crowd will be raucous and rockin’ old Jordan-Hare tomorrow night! Coach Lac will have 25-30 of his former teammates with him in the locker room prior to the game. They come as a show of support of their beloved fellow Tiger, and many of them were together on that National Championship team form 2004. Arguably the best team in Auburn Football history. And, hell yes, they were champions! Raise the banner! (Along with the ’83 teams and a handful of others.) But more on that another day. I expect Auburn to come out on fire and jump out to a quick lead, and then they will proceed to trounce the Aggies on their way to wins in its final two outings to go 6-6 and make a bowl game. Never flag in zeal! “On to victory! Strike up the band!” Auburn 27, Texas A&M 21.

SiriusXM closing with St. Stephen by The Grateful Dead. How apropos! The mood at Auburn has turned on a dime and excitement, once again, abounds! Should be a great weekend for SEC football. Football all over the USA for that matter. Enjoy it!

As Hillbilly Jim says on his Outlaw Country radio show, “I’m not here for a long time. I’m here for a good time!”

Have fun! Be safe! And LOOOOVVVVE your neighbor as yourself! Peace out!

Photo Bird LeCroy

SEC Football: Week 10

I do hope y’all had a Happy Halloween. Auburn was pretty darn scary but we have hit the reset button, down on the Plains, and WE COMIN’!!! Trust me on that. Oh Lane, where art thou? Oh Prime, we need that recruiting machine to crank back up. I hear Coach Cadillac is doing that with ferocity. More on all that later. Yes, Halloween. We didn’t have a lot of visitors so I put the Twix bars on top and the fun size Snickers on the bottom of the bowl. Strategy worked! I only gave out the Twix and the Snickers were all left for Me & Paul. Everyone was happy!

We have ourselves some big ol’ fat stem-winders coming down the pike this weekend. Two games will decide who the leaders are in both the East and West divisions of the Southeastern Conference. Haw!!! And besides the monster clashes in Red Stick and Hedgeville, we have highly competitive games all over the SEC.

I got my Swami hat on, so let’s do it!

Kentucky at Missouri (A pick em)

Can’t get more competitive than a pick em. Both teams will sport 5-4 records if the Tigers win. I don’t think they will. I believe the Cats are getting back on track and will find a way to escape Columbia intact. There remains the possibility of a 10 win season for Mark Stoops and the Bluegrass Boys. Kentucky 24, Missouri 21.

Florida at Texas A&M (-3)

We continue to burn barns down in College Station. I do believe they have a big yell thing going on somewhere near the Aggie campus Friday nights for home games. Billy Napier’s Water Lizards better have their tough hides greased and ready. Speed talkin’ Jimbo got some much better offensive production last Satday and here’s saying he’ll get enough out of the O to pull out a win over the visitors. A 3-5 record ain’t sitting well with the fans in Texas. And that huge contract Coach Fisher has? WHEW!!! Texas A&M 27, Florida 23.

And now we move away from the also rans to the contendas. The Big Boys. Number One versus Number Three! Haw Deux!!!

Tennessee at Georgia (-8.5)

Mercy me! Mercy me! Hit don’ get no better! Twixt the Hedges. ZERO losses between the two of them. Whoa Nellie! We have a dandy in the making! I wish Keith Jackson was there to call this Monster Match. Brad and Gary will be there. Don’t you just love Gary? All sarcasm aside, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ghosts of Larry Munson and John Ward came down to haunt this huge, juicy plum of a football game. I think there will be multiple leads changes and the last team with the ball will win. That would be… Great Corn Cobs! The Rocky Toppers! In an upset! Tennessee 35, Georgia 31.

Liberty at Arkansas (-14.5)

The Fighting Falwell Freezer Flames and the Razortuskbackhawgs! Another dandy? Most assuredly there will be fireworks. Hugh and Sam. The Escorter and Old Cold Beer.Yes, we are hearing Freeze to Auburn as well as many others. Ain’t nobody supplanting Coach Caddy until, probably, after the Iron Bowl. And what if he wins out? No, I’m not drinking.Yet. Ok, back to Fayetteville. There used to be a place called the AQ Chicken House where I loved to eat when my travels took me to Northwest Arkansas. A great big honky tonk I liked as well. K K! Football. Arkansas 38, Liberty 24.

Alabama (-13.5) at LSU

Yay Heeee! Baton Rouge at night. Death Valley. Blah blah blah. Not what it once was. The Crimpson Tide has fared exceedingly well down on the Bayou. Hey! We broke the hex down there last year. It is soooo very tempting to pick the upset. It could happen. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. But I think Nickydemus will have his squad ready to roll. Another nail-biter. Alabama 30, LSU 27.

Auburn at Mississippi State (-12.5)

I’ll take the points yet again. Unless you’ve been spelunking heavily, you know what has happened in the Loveliest Village this week. It was a Bloody Monday. Roberts and Cohen working hand in hand to right the ship and get this thing pointed back in the right direction. I think their plan will succeed. Mightily. Sooner than later. You can rest assured that they have already been in talks with agents and the wheels are turning rapidly. And the guy might come out of left field as has happened so often in the past at AU. I’d love to have the Lane Train or Deion, but who knows. I do trust our admin this time. I also trust Carnell Williams to take a relaxed yet fired WAAAAY UP group of Tigers to StarkVegas. The Tigers will play with great passion and find a way out of the second half malaise they have been in since the State game last season. They intend to go to Mississippi and win. And win they will. Auburn 28, Miss State 26.

South Carolina (-6.5) at Vanderbilt

Live from Music City. Another potential upset. Clark Lea’s Commodores and Shane Beamer’s Fighting Cocks. I honestly cannot remember the last time Vandy won an SEC game. Decent chance here. Mizzou put an end to the USC East momentum that had been gathering steam and had these Columbians ranked in the AP top 25. Roosters get their swagger back but not without a real fight from the Dores. South Carolina 30, Vanderbilt 23.

Y’all have a great weekend! Enjoy yoselfs! Be safe. Love your neighbor. and peace out!

Photo Credit Pexels Free Photos

SEC Football: Week Nine

Good afternoon! It has been four weeks since we’ve done SEC Predictions, Banter style. As George Jones used to say when he was opening his shows, “How y’all doin’? Bless your hearts! Welcome to our show.” Then he’d usually kick it off with the song No Show Jones, followed by The Race Is On, and then he’d slow it down with Once You’ve Had The Best (a personal favorite). And that’s what we try to give you here at Bird’s Banter. The best. If we aren’t the best pickin’ show out there then we’re surely the most fun!

So welcome to our show! I’m Braxton “Bird” LeCroy. I don’t have a band, like The Jones Boys, but I do possess a proclivity for having a good time. So let’s do it!

Another quick “Jones” aside before it’s time to pick. I saw ‘The Possum’ on a televised show from Church Street Station in Orlando many moons ago. The crowd was really revved up that night and when Ron Gaddis, George’s faithful bass player and front man, introduced Possum, ol’ Jones was “revved up” and goes into his “how y’all doin'” intro and says, “Welcome to… where are we, Ron?” Ron, “Church Street Station.” Jones, “That’s right! Beautiful Church Street Station in Orlando, Florida!”

Now! Let’s do it!

Arkansas (-3.5) at Auburn

At first glance this contest has all the appearances of a real stinker. But both teams can put points on the board and neither defense is playing well at all. Auburn was able to run the football well last time out against Ole Miss. Problem is, the Rebel Land Shark Black Bears ran it even better. Seems like we’re looking at a wide open affair. The Tigers actually have a decent chance to post a victory over the Piggies. They’ve had the opportunity to regroup and heal some wounds, same with Arky, and have something to build on. If the boys from the Plains can play even a wee bit of defense then they could even their record at 4-4. The Ozark Mountain Porkers would fall to the same record of 4-4. Here’s saying that is what will happen! Auburn 34, Arkansas 30.

Florida at Georgia (-23.5)

The World’s Largest Cocktail Party. That moniker is not “allowed” anymore in describing this game which always comes to you form Jacksonville, FL. I like the descriptor and I will continue to use it in reference to the Gators versus the Dawgs. Jawja is ranked number one and I’ll second that emotion. They good! The Water Lizards do have a winning record, 4-3, and could be chomping for a little while. The Hedgers are deeper, wider, and more talented, obviously. That’ll be enough to secure another W over Billy Napier’s gang. Georgia 38, Florida, 17.

Missouri at South Carolina (-3.5)

More Tigers and the Roosters. And would you look at who is number 25 in the AP poll?! Yep! The Cocks! They’re playing some Beamer Ball in this Colombia. The other “Columbians”? Not so much. Eli “Can I have a” Drinkwitz you has hit on some tough luck with his Felines. The Show Me squad could pull off the minor upset. Nah! Cockadoodle DOOOOO! South Carolina 28, Missouri 23.

Kentucky at Tennessee (-12)

The Blue Cats (any “Ozark” fans out there?) had a nice win over The Pirate’s Bullpups one Saturday hence. The undefeated and untied Rocky Toppers are layin’ pipe. Highly ranked and upsetable, the Vols better take extra care this weekend. We’re looking at under the lights in wild and “shined” up Neyland Stadium. Corn cobbin’, pass throwin’, battery tossin’, and mustard slingin’! Ol’ Smokey will be howling at the moon when this un’ is done. Tennessee 38, Kentucky 27.

And lastly on the schedule…

Ole Miss (-1.5) at Texas A&M.

Jimbo’s Aggies have been stinking the woods up as of late. Speaking of stubborn coaches. Geez Fisher! IT AIN’T WORKING!!! Lane “Popcorn” Kiffin knows what works. The visitors to Kyle Field can tote the rock and sling it too. But that was a butt whoopin’ last Saturday in Red Stick (better watch out for Kelly’s crew). The margin is razor thin between these two sets of Gridironers. Ever ironed a grid? It could be insightly. It could be exciting. The 12th man will help a little but not enough for the College Station based battlers to prevail. Ole Miss 26, Texas A&M 24.

Last week Ole Miss was my only miss. Hmmm. 4-1 it was. The season continues to go quite well for yours truly. We’re now 61-13. That’s .824.

That New England/New York/Buffalo Winging/Rock and Roll Hall of Faming trip was about as special as it comes. But we’re very happy to be back in the Peach State and watching college football from our home at 116 Sundown Way in Acworth Gee A!

As as my girl Joanie sings it so well, “I love rock and roll, so put another dime in the jukebox baby!”

Love y’all! be safe! Love you neighbor! Peace out!

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I Heart New York (And some SEC football predictions)

Auburn might not be playing well but I’m pickin’ just fine, thank you. Record on the season now is 42-7. That’s 86%. That ain’t bad. That is very, very good. Thank you. We enjoyed our first trip to GABBAfest, since 2007, in Macon last weekend more than you can imagine. Go ahead. Imagine. See there You couldn’t do it. We were in Peach heaven! Vaylor and Melody Trucks, the Brother and Sister Band, closed Saturday night’s show at the beautiful Grand Opera House with an Allman Brothers Band tribute that rocked the rafters off of this 100 and something year old venue. Killed it! Slayed it! Wow! And Ms. Donna D. Hall Foster, she of Wet Willie fame along with her brothers Jimmy and Jack, was belting them out like only she can do. From Stormy Monday to Keep On Smilin’… Whew!!!

Ok. SEC football beginning tonight with…

South Carolina State at South Carolina (-39.5). Cocks 42, Bulldogs 10.


Kentucky at Ole Miss (-7). Cats 27, Rebel Bears 24.

Alabama (-17) at Arkansas. Crimpson Tide 31, Hawgs 28. (Homeys a lock at +17? Upset?)

Texas A&M at Mississippi State (-4). Bullpups 23, Aggies 20.

Georgia (-29) at Missouri. Dawgs 41, The Should Have Beaten Auburns 16.


Eastern Washington at Florida (-30). Gators 45, Eagles 9.


LSU (-9), the heavy, heavy, heavy betting is on the Bayou Bengals, at Auburn. Red Stickers are given a 79% chance of winning. Can Auburn win? Yes. Will Auburn win? I do not think so. Please prove me wrong. LSU 26, Auburn 16.

Next week I will be coming to you from the great Northeast. New England. Candia, New Hampshire Tuesday and Wednesday. Bangor, Maine Thursday and Friday. Down to our old home in Albany, NY on Saturday and Sunday. The Friends and Foliage Tour. I hope I find the time to squeeze the SEC picks in.

Love y’all. be safe. Love that neighbor, as well!

Doesn’t Barry Manilow have a song about New England? I know Reba does.

Peace out.

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Show Me The Way To Go Home

I’m tired and I wanna go to bed… Lawd. REALLY weary of the AU disfunction. Thus, SEC Weekly picks, as you have come to know and love it, is being put to rest. For the remainder of 2022 at least. And we are about to travel. Macon this weekend for the GABBAfest (Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association shindig). Our first in 15 years and that was due to football. New England road trip beginning on 10/2. And goodness knows what else as football proceeds toward the Georgia-Bama matchups in December and January. Sure does look like UGA from this angle. Yes, my interest is headed downward with a bullet.

I’ll be watching when the Auburn-Mizzou game game starts at Noon ET Saturday. But I will not put myself through similar torture as was the case until midway through the third quarter last week. Shades of 2012. Nope!

Now, let us run through some quick picks. Last week I was 9-3. And didn’t hit my locks as I did in weeks one through three. Total on the season stands at 33-6. That’s 85%!

Kent State at Georgia (-45). Dawgs 52, Kent State 0

Missouri at Auburn (-7). Auburn 27, Missouri 20

Bowling Green at Mississippi State (-30). State 42, Bowling Green 13

Florida at Tennessee (-10.5). Tennessee 35, Gators 24

Tulsa at Ole Miss (-21.5). Rebs 45, Tulsa 17

Northern Illinois at Kentucky (-26.5). Cats 38, Huskies 14

Arkansas at Texas A&M (-2). Hawgs 23, Aggies 21

Vanderbilt at Alabama (-40.5). Bama 49, Dores 3

New Mexico at LSU (-31.5). LSU 41, Lobos 7

Charlotte at South Carolina (-22.5). Cocks 40, Hush Hush Sweet 16

There you have it! Y’all have a great weekend! You can bet we will!

“Ain’t but one way out baby, Lord I just can’t go out the door, Ain’t but one way out baby, and Lord I just can’t go out the door. ‘Cause there’s a man down there, might be your man I don’t know…”

Peace out!

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SEC Football: Week Three

10-2 was my record in Week Two and the 2022 season total now stands at 24-3. That’s 89%. Oh I wish that this would be the percentage on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. Once the SEC begins to go head to head every week things get a wee bit more dicey. One more quick note. My lock last week, even though not designated so, was App State and the points. Thank you Mountaineers and thank you Jimbo! Why dally around? Let the prognostications begin!

Georgia (-24.5) at South Carolina

The new number one team in the country waltzes into Columbia after a workmanlike win over Samford. Bulldogs over Bull pups as it were. Mayo Man Beamer is cock-a-doodle doing along pretty darn well as head ball coach at South Carolina. Buster Brown Smart ain’t doing much dumb in Athens either. The Dawgs look ferocious at this early juncture, Anyone can be had. That’s not gonna happen Satday at noon (ET) though. Georgia 38, USC East 17.

Youngstown State at Kentucky (-25.5)

Ding ding ding! Taco time! (No winners last week). Name the visiting squads mascot. Without looking, Googling, etc., of course. Very nice win down in the Swamp last week, brother Stoops! Yo Cats were my second choice as the lock last weekend. Plus 4.5. Boom! Knock em out John! Errr… Mark! Youngstown is 2-0 and playing good ball. The Bourbon and Bluegrass Boys are playing sho nuff good. Another nooner here. Ranked in the Top Ten… Kentucky 35, Youngstown State 13

Abilene Christian at Missouri (-33)

Abilene might not feel so Christian after what looks to be a thrashing coming its way in another 12 PM kickoff. Remember ET, the Wildcats also might want to phone home, collect, at around 3:30 PM. Kansas State beat the snot out of Eli’s Kitties in its last game. The Columbia, Mo betters will rebound with a vic’try. “Abilene, Abilene, prettiest town that I’ve ever seen. Women there don’t treat you mean…” Really? do they elsewhere? Missouri 40, Abilene Christian 17.

Ole Miss (-16.5) at Georgia Tech

“Oh if I had a daughter sir I’d dress her in white and gold, and take her to the campus sir to cheer the brave and bold…” What a great fight song! “Like all other jolly good fellows I drink my whiskey clear…” Do they mean the whiskey itself is clear or do they mean they kill it in one long swallow? Anyhow, the Yellow Jacket alumni might drink it any way they can get it come Saturday night. Popcorn Kiffin and his Rebel Black Bears will take the sting out of Buzz. Ole Miss 34, Georgia Tech 17.

Vanderbilt at Northern Illinois (-2.5)

WHOA!!! The Huskies are favored and the Dores have a 66.2 chance to win, says BSPN. Say whaaaaat? Tweetie is confused. I find that is not uncommon when one has just begun decade number 8 on this beautiful blue marble. I don’t have time to sort all this. Coach Clark Lea! Damn the torpedoes! Vanderbilt 31, Northern Illinois 28.

UL Monroe at Alabama (-49)


UL Monroe at Alabama (-49.5)

See! Even when I tried to “decline”, it raised the line and hit me again. OK! I’ll pick it! Dang! Terry (Maybe more Buster Brown than Kirby) Bowden leads the Warhawks into Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on the shaken and stirred Crimpson Tide. In Saban’s first year at the Capstone, 2007, UL Monroe bested Bama. The next Auburn game we attended, after that upset, I saw a couple of students wearing Warhawks t-shirts. I saw Bama fans sporting Oregon regalia when the Tigers played the Ducks in the BCS Championship game. I don’t really care. Alabama 56, UL Monroe 9.

Mississippi State (-2.5) at LSU

Brian “Batman” Kelly and the Tiguz rebounded nicely against Southern, their crosstown “rivals”. The Pirate has found his footing in StarkVegas, Kelly has not done so in Red Stick. He probably will at some point. But I hope he takes a few classes at the Arthur Murray School of Dance first. Mike Leach told a story about going to the Flora-Bama Lounge when queried as to where the best party was that he ever attended. Will Rogers WILL carve up the Bayou Bengals’ secondary like a Thanksgiving turkey. Miss State 33, LSU 28.

Missouri State at Arkansas (-23)

Guess who the head coach is at MO State? No tacos on this little jewel. Jeopardy theme plays. BUZZZZZ!!! Ready for this? Bobby Petrino. You can’t make this stuff up. Insert Harley joke here. About 50 jokes popped into my head when I read this in prepping for the game. The thing is, ol’ Easy Rider has built an FCS championship contender down in Springfield. I spent a few weeks in Springfield back in my AAA days. It’s where cashew chicken was invented. At a Leong’s Restaurant. It was delicious! No, the Cashew Chickens is not the teams nickname. Taco time! You guess what the nickname is and a couple of carne asada tacos are yours! I like mine with soft flour tortillas, cilantro, lime, and salsa. Pigs 42, Pollos 16.

Akron at Tennessee (-47.5)

Seriously Deux?

Akron at Tennessee (-47.5)

(In my best Ronnie Reagan voice) Well,there you go again. Can’t decline. Must pick. Waste of time but it pads my stats. Same thing for The Corn Cobbers. Tennessee 55, Zips zip

South Florida at Florida (-24)

From the land of Tom Petty. An oh so dear friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, has a sister who dated Tom Petty way back in the day. God bless her and God bless Tom Petty. He is missed by so many. My favorite song of his is ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels (To Be Me)’. Speaking of music, The Boss’s ‘From Small Things Mama (Big Things One Day Come)’ is playing at full volume on my Sirius/XM Deep Tracks station right now… Pause to sing and play air guitar… Back to the Swamp. Florida 41, South Florida 20.

Miami at Texas A&M (-6)

The Hurricanes and Aggies. Hurricanes are good drinks and Aggies are good folks. Jimbo has an $86.5 million buyout. No need for one, at least in the immediate future. Who knows by season’s end. I thought I talked with great rapidity. Jimbo talks faster than a used car salesman on meth. One can procure a great deal of methamphetamine for $86.5 mill. I have a couple of meth stories. I will not share them here. I will tell you, in person, if you desire to hear such foolishness. SMH. My lock!!! Miami 23, Texas A&M 21

And now boys and girls! The Big Kahuna!

Penn State (-3) at Auburn

You can sub this contest for my “lock” if you like. The Nittany Lions trip to the Plains has been circled on thousands of Auburn fans’ calendars since the 2021 game’s completion. It will be the first game Me and Paul shall attend here in 2022. I am ready. All Auburn fans are ready. As I posted on Facebook, “White out, smite out, Orange Out At Jordan-Hare Saturday, WDE!!!” Hooooweeee!!! I hope the hospitable PSU fans have a most enjoyable trip except for three plus hours of burning hell on Saturday afternoon. This is the first time a Big Ten team has visited Jordan-Hare since 1931 when our boys took on the Wisconsin Badgers. AU has to run and stop the run, of course. It also MUST put pressure on QB Sean Clifford and get some good coverage from the secondary. If Mercer and San Jose State can throw the ball that well, think about what a sixth year senior and a talented team like Penn State could do. Auburn has four turnovers on the young season and has created… zero. That cannot continue. I do think the Tigers will play with great ferocity, passion, and intensity. I think they will get a couple of turnovers. I also believe Tank, Jarquez Hunter, and company will tote the rock quite well. T.J. has to be on the money. Ashford needs to have some nice plays. The sideline has to be better, as well. Coach em up!!! I’m feeling better about it as the kickoff draws nearer. The final nail in the coffin? Daniel Carlson. Auburn 26, Penn State 24.

No one garnered tacos last week. I hope to have a winner or two in Week Three. It should be a beautiful weekend for football in the SEC. Ya’ll enjoy the games. As Hillbilly Jim closes with on his show on Outlaw Country, “I ain’t here for a long time, I’m here for a good time”. Well, that’s close.

Take care out there. Tip your servers, and be sure to love your neighbor. Peace out.

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