Ramblin’ 7/25/16

Fall camp begins next week for all but one or two SEC teams.

Another political convention begins tonight. It will, mercifully, be over before the weekend, just like the nightmare that was last week’s circus. Deliver us, God.

I miss Hunter S. Thompson. I would truly love to read his scathing takes on these events. Fear and loathing, no doubt.

The Braves continue to hobble along.

A few of the songs on the Apple music setlist playing now. Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot, Shotgun Willie – Willie Nelson, Slow Rollin’ Low – Waylon Jennings, and 300 Pounds of Hongry – Tony Joe White.

A quick Tony Joe story. He and Tom Kimmel, a friend of mine and many of you, had been put together by the record label they shared, years ago. They hung out, did some riding around, shared ideas, and so forth. I suppose the label expected some big collaboration. One day they were eating lunch at a place famous for fried chicken in Franklin, TN. Tony Joe leans over Tom’s plate and, in his deep slow drawl, says, “I don’t see how anybody can eat that dark meat.”

Later he asked Tom when he did his best songwriting. I don’t remember what Tom’s response was but Tony Joe said that he, “…Did his best songwriting when he was driving to Arkansas.” You really need to hear Tom tell it. He has a gift for such.

Poke… salad, UNH!

I haven’t been to a movie, at the theater, in quite some time. I don’t tend to like summer blockbusters, action, popcorn movies, etc. Woooo!!! That blowed up REAL good! I do love popcorn though. Had some last night.

Bob Dylan is now serenading me with a song entitled Isis. Nope, not that ISIS.

Auburn’s first five games will be played in the friendly confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium this fall.

I love Kroger fuel points.

I wonder how One-A-Day Multivitamins are holding up against the onslaught of vitamins and supplements we have today.

Supplements? I take Fish oil, folic acid (My how my taste in acid has changed! Gettin’ old!), probiotics, Co-Q 10, cinnamon,  B-6, and B-12. That’s in addition to the meds which my myocardial infarctions have necessitated. Yes, I have one of those damn trays that you load this stuff into by days of the week.

New setlist time. I’ll go with Rodney Crowell Essentials. Rodney wrote one of my favorite songs of all-time, Till I Gain Control Again. The first time I heard it was Willie’s cover on the ‘Willie and Family Live’ album. That was 1978. Goodness! What a great song!

There was, actually, an Apple Music option for me called ‘Songs With Parental Advice’.

Have y’all been getting some good home grown tomatoes?

We’re gonna get the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls pretty soon. Look for Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Florida State, Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Baylor, Stanford, and Notre Dame to jockey for the top ten spots.

Google or Yahoo?

Fallon or Colbert?

How about Kimmel and Conan?

Two different Kimmels in one short blog.

Burnt Siena is a good name but the crayon used to make me nervous, as did Periwinkle.

I really would like a couple of more days at the beach before school starts, but it ain’t happening.

What’s your favorite Beatles song? Stones? Those are really tough calls.

It’s been 41 years since the summer of Jaws. Yep, gettin’ old.

Speaking of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones and gettin’ old, Paperback Writer and Paint It Black were big summer hits 50 years ago, as were When A Man Loves a Woman, Hanky Panky, and Wild Thing.

Chip Taylor wrote Wild Thing. He also wrote Angel of the Morning. If you want a tip on a great record, Chip and Carrie Rodriguez did an album by the name of Red Dog Tracks. That and/or their ‘live’ record are must haves, IMHO.

Well, my daily walk ain’t gonna take itself.

Grace and peace.











The March To Tampa: Let The Hype Begin

It’s that time of year. On Monday, three major college football publications, Lindy’s, Athlon, and The Sporting News, released their Preseason College Football rankings for the 2016 season. Ever since I was a kid, waiting for Street and Smith’s to publish their preseason magazine, this has been a much-anticipated time for me.

Where is Auburn? Alabama! Again? That refrain rings true once more as Auburn is nowhere to be found in any of the three polls and Alabama resides in the top spot in all of them. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

There are a great many of the usual suspects, from years past, that also find themselves in the hunt. Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, and USC would count among those teams. There are also a few teams that would not have been rated back in my younger days. They would include Baylor, TCU, Louisville, Clemson, Houston, Oklahoma State and Oregon.

And here they are with links:

Lindy’s Athlon The Sporting News
1. Alabama 1. Alabama 1. Alabama
2. Clemson 2. Florida State 2. Clemson
3. Oklahoma 3. Ohio State 3. Oklahoma
4. Ohio State 4. Clemson 4. Ohio State
5. Baylor 5. Michigan 5. Baylor
6. Tennessee 6. Oklahoma 6. Florida State
7. Michigan 7. Tennessee 7. Ole Miss
8. Florida State 8. Notre Dame 8. Michigan
9. LSU 9. LSU 9. Stanford
10. Stanford 10. Ole Miss 10. Notre Dame
11. Notre Dame 11. Washington 11. Michigan State
12. Houston 12. Stanford 12. LSU
13. Ole Miss 13. Michigan State 13. Tennessee
14. Louisville 14. Baylor 14. Houston
15. Iowa 15. UCLA 15. USC
16. Oklahoma State 16. Houston 16. Oklahoma State
17. USC 17. Georgia 17. Iowa
18. Georgia 18. TCU 18. North Carolina
19. San Diego State 19. Louisville 19. Oregon
20. TCU 20. Iowa 20. Georgia
21. Washington 21. Florida 21. Washington
22. Michigan State 22. North Carolina 22. Louisville
23. UCLA 23. USC 23. Arkansas
24. Oregon 24. Oregon 24. Texas
25. North Carolina 25. Oklahoma State 25. TCU
In the SEC, we have Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas. That’s half of the league in and half of the league out. Auburn would be the most prominent exception. Now, lets take a look at all of the SEC teams that made their way in and what the average ranking of each, between the three magazines, would be. We will divide the total of each team’s ranking by three, thus, Alabama 3 divided by 3 = 1. I was hell in arithmetic.

Alabama – 1.0

Tennessee – 8.67

Ole Miss – 10

LSU – 10
( A tie. Interesting.)

Georgia – 18.3

Florida was ranked just once, at 21 by Athlon. Arkansas was also ranked only once and that was at 23 by the Sporting News. I suppose they would both fall into the “others receiving votes” in our combined poll.

And so, that leaves only four teams, Alabama, Tennessee, Ole Miss and LSU as being unanimously ranked. That is not what the SEC is accustomed to. Does that mean it will be a down year for the SEC? I don’t know. I could see Auburn making it in when all is said and done. But Missouri, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M? No.

The way I’m looking at it, there would be a maximum of seven SEC teams being ranked when the final poll results are in. A maximum, but there, obviously, could be fewer than that.

I mentioned only four teams that are unanimously ranked in the three publications, and they all fall within the top ten. There is certainly a chance that some of those four teams do not meet expectations.

Will Alabama, truly, be as good as they were last year or in years before? Danny Sheridan, oddsmaker and Bama grad, thinks the Tide could lose a couple of games and finish behind LSU. Alabama also lost Kirby Smart to Georgia. How about them Dawgs? There is an entire new coaching staff, and system, that the Bulldogs have to adjust to.

What about LSU? And Tennessee? There are pundits who are beginning to surmise that these teams are overrated. I disagree. In fact, the more I think about these two, the more I like them.

Tennessee, and Butch Jones, have been steadily building this program and those freshmen that were talented, but green, back in 2013 are bigger, stronger, and experienced. The Vols are also deep. I fully expect them to win the East and play for the SEC Championship.

LSU? Same thing with Brandon Harris, Leonard Fournette and their fellow Tigers. I’m beginning to see Danny Sheridan’s point of view and I understand why he thinks the Bayou Bengals will win the SEC West. It could happen.

Hype! Hype! Hype! That’s all we’ve got until September 1 when South Carolina and Vanderbilt open SEC play. And that, my friends, is only 98 days away!

Winter Words Vol. 8 / Walking and Sweating, Keith Jackson and Robert DeNiro

I sweated today! (3/4/15) Yes, deep into my walk, I broke out in a mild sweat which became a bit more profuse after I arrived back home. It is 73 degrees in Acworth, GA! Good news, huh? Tomorrow the temperature will be…sigh… in the high 30’s. March is one schizophrenic month!!! I can hear Neil Young singing in my head, “Don’t let it bring you down…”

It won’t.

Back to my walk.

As I was headed down the first cul de sac, I came upon a neighbor throwing the frisbee to his talented dog. This same dog brought me the frisbee one day late last year at that point in my walk. I’m not as talented as the dog or his master. I made two or three feeble tosses which were not even close for what Fido needed to make a spectacular catch. He eventually returned to Chris and Rebecca, his mom and dad, for some proper tosses.

Today Chris and I talked, very briefly, about the weather and then the conversation turned to, you guessed it, football. Chris is a Michigan fan and is excited about Jim Harbaugh coaching the, once mighty, Wolverines. We agreed that his hiring should have a positive impact on Michigan and the Big Ten as well.

He also thought the Muschamp hire was a great one for Auburn and I certainly agreed. We mused about how long Saban might be a Alabama. What does he have left to accomplish and so forth.

The conversation eventually took a turn toward Pasadena and the Rose Bowl. I spoke of what a beautiful setting it was and that I was swept away in it’s beauty and history, when I was there, and of Keith Jackson calling so many of those games… I can hear him now… “Welcome to Pasadena, California! You’re looking at the San Gabriel mountains, and it is in this beautiful location that the USC Trojans will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the grandaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl!”

They do not make them like Keith Jackson anymore. He is the last of a dying breed. I like Brent Musburger but he is a bit over-the-top, the Neil Diamond of announcers. “This one is for all the Tostitos!!!!!!”

The crews that call the games now, I’m thinking ESPN, Fowler, Palmer, Herbie, Rece Davis, et al, simply do not hold a candle to Keith Jackson. Man could he describe the action and recreate the drama that was taking place on the field. And his pronunciation of GEORRRRRRGIA Bull-DOGGIES and AAAAAAAAAAla-BAMA, and BOOOO JACK-son. Loved it!!!

The ESPN guys sometimes cackle like they’re having a hen party up there in the booth. PLEASE!!!

We miss you Keith!!!

Back to my walk, again.

When I reached the end of that first cul de sac, I heard what sounded like a very mild, high-pitched roar or buzz. It sounded a little bit like locusts, but it wasn’t. That reminded me of the locusts that come to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Or is it the periodic cicadas that return every seventeen years? I don’t know. I’ll have to look it up. You’ll never hear anything quite like it. It’s no mild rumble of roar. Something like what would be a horde of flying saucers. Incredible!

Speaking of locusts, I’ll have to do you my impression Robert DeNiro as Moses sometimes. I mean you can hear it in your imagination.

“Did you like the locusts?” Did you like the locusts?” Did you like the locusts?” “How about the frogs? Did you like the frogs?” You get the picture.

Back to my walk, part three.

And so, it was a great walk with lot of sunshine, a little bit of sweat and memories of Keith Jackson, the Rose Bowl, and locusts.

Yes, the wintry winds and cold will return tomorrow with some potential ice and snow in the mountains of extreme North Georgia. That’s the schizophrenic March we’ve all come to know and love. But, as I mentioned in Winter Words Vol. 6, Spring is a comin’! The Braves played and lost to the Mets, 8-2, in Orlando today. First exhibition game. The first game at Turner Field will be against the Mets as well.

Now THAT takes me back to Milo Hamilton and Ernie Johnson, the Professor and Skip Caray and Hammerin’ Hank. But I’ll spare you that today.

Today we walked… and we sweated.

“The moving finger writes; and having writ, moves on.”