Football’s Holy Trinity

by Rich on October 24, 2016

As a southerner, and a guy, I am required by nature, nurture, DNA and federal statute to like football. I’m not saying that this condition only holds true for southern guys, but let’s face it… if I were to tell you that I just couldn’t stand the game and got bored with it and didn’t see the point of the whole thing…well… let’s just say that my credentials would be scrutinized more heavily than a college freshman at your local watering hole. Rest easy. I love it. All of it. Because I live in SEC country, I am exposed to, and enjoy more of, the college game than I do the blockbuster extravaganza that takes over on Sundays.

But here’s the thing, I’m starting to come around to the NFL. And there are a few reasons why, and no one is more surprised than yours truly.

There was a time in my life, not too long ago, actually, when I could literally not care any less about professional football. I grew up in Birmingham and Atlanta, and one could argue that, up until very recent history, neither of these cities saw real pro football. So I just didn’t care. But then some things began to happen that has made me a bit of a fan.

First, let’s just get this out there… the NFL has made no bones about the fact that they want to own every moment available on every conceivable type of communication device. And it has to be year round. Seriously… you could fire up a 40 year old Rockwell AIM 65 in the middle of April and you’d get a pop up ad for the NFL Network. I mean, they really have made a huge marketing push over the last 15 years and it’s worked. The NFL isn’t just for poor saps in Pittsburgh and Boston who aren’t blessed to live south of the Mason-Dixon. No, it’s everywhere, and everyone must love it. Must. Love.

Second, as I’ve gotten older, it’s been fun to watch some of my favorite college players ply their trade on the bigger Sunday stage. When I turn on a game between the Browns and the Cardinals and recognize 7 or 8 players, that’s fun! Hey! I saw him make that monster hit in Athens that one year! Or, what about that quarterback? He couldn’t make a pass 6 years ago and he still can’t. What were the Raiders thinking? That’s a pretty cool!

And finally, there’s technology. Three big technological developments have made following the NFL easier and more enjoyable: fantasy sports, social media (read: Twitter) and The NFL RedZone. What’s interesting is that all of these came along at different times and yet they all complement each other and the NFL has been able to mix them together with their marketing mafia to make us all an offer we just can’t refuse. Like, can’t. Seriously. My mother is in a fantasy football league (full disclosure: she isn’t, but she totally should be. She would own it. I already have her team name picked out: Face-masks Are For Wimps. You’re welcome mom). Add to that the instant gratification of Twitter and the ADHD fueled RedZone and resistance is futile. I’m sucked in like a fat guy’s gut on the beach during spring break.

So I have given in. My Sunday afternoons pretty much revolve around the NFL. Thanks to fantasy football, Twitter and RedZone, I have succumbed to the cult of professional football. I guess I never really had a choice, now that I think about it.

You can’t outrun DNA or the NFL.

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Bert’s Pigs

by Rich on October 20, 2016

I’ve been to Arkansas once. Or rather, I have been through Arkansas once. I drove through a corner of it during a cross country trip that started in Alabama and ended in Hawaii (full disclosure: I didn’t drive the last leg). Arkansas is pleasant enough, if you don’t stop while traversing it’s highways from state line to state line. And I know people from Arkansas. Most of them are normal. But there is nothing in Arkansas that draws me to return. At least there hasn’t been. Until now.

Bret (Bert) Bielema may change that.

Hailing from the land of The Big 10 (which has 14 member schools. Not even going to touch on that one), Bert showed up in SEC country with a big mouth and a big belly to match. And at first, I just scoffed. Who is this nut? He was no Houston Nutt, that’s for sure. But now, after a few seasons under his overworked belt, he’s starting to grow on me. Like a mole. Or a zit. His loud mouth, coupled with the exits of outspoken and entertaining coaches like Les Miles and Steve Spurrier, have made him the now go-to coach when you need a laugh. I mean, have you seen the way he wears his headphones on the sidelines? Like someone gave him the wrong ones and he’s just trying to make it through the game?

But there’s more than that. He’s actually not bad. And he’s bringing his pork-laden team plane to Jordan-Hare Stadium. This will be a huge match-up for both Auburn and Arkansas. The Pigs will be coming off a huge game at home against the Ole Miss Black Rebel Bear Generals (or whatever they are called), and Auburn will be coming off a bye week, feeling healthy and feeling their oats after demolishing Mississippi State in Stark-vegas. It’s going to be a bruiser. But Auburn is hitting it’s stride. Don’t bet against the Tigers, no matter how big Bert’s mouth is. I think that may be the only reason for me to visit Arkansas again: to see Bielema eat something other than barbecue: crow.

Because other than that? I’ve been to Arkansas, and I can tell you…if you ever go, just keep driving till you’re on the other side. You can thank me later.



October 17, 2016

Are you a project person? One of those people that looks at every room as a Pintrest challenge? Is your back yard a potential “outdoor living space”? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you may not relate to what I’m about to write about. If, however, you despise projects…, if the […]

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Bye-Bye Weekend

October 13, 2016

Well, here we are. Smack dab in the middle of the 2016 college football season, and many teams are at the point in their schedules where they need a break, and frankly, so do their fans. That’s called a bye week! “But Rich, what am I to do when my team isn’t playing football? How […]

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X & Y (Buttons)

October 10, 2016

One night last week, my sixteen year old son and I played football. We played two games and never broke a sweat. There were cheerleaders and announcers and graphics and stats and stadiums full of people and it was awesome. We played a video game. Or, at least, he played a video game. I had […]

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Trees For Life

October 5, 2016

Let me get this right out there: I am a traditionalist. I fear change. I like things to stay the same. I don’t think I’m alone in that, but before we move on, we need to establish this fact. Let the record show that Rich likes his traditions. Last week some friends and I were […]

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Tick Tock

October 3, 2016

For reasons I cannot explain, I still feel like a young man. And really, if I’m honest with myself, I’m not. I’m right smack dab in the middle of middle age. And some would say even that’s being generous. And I suppose they are correct. When I look at it objectively (or as objectively as […]

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What Was That?

September 28, 2016

I don’t talk a lot of sport here, but sometimes something happens and I just kind of need to get it written down. My memory isn’t what it used to be and I don’t want to forget what I experienced at this year’s annual Tangle of the Tigers™ (that’s not really trade marked or copy-writed […]

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Ice Hot

September 26, 2016

It’s late September and I really should be back at school… …or so says Rod Stewart. And he’s cool. But judging by what Stephanie Abrams and Jim Cantore are telling me, it’s still early August and frankly, the only place I really should be is squarely in front of an A/C vent blowing full blast […]

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September 25, 2016

Man it’s been a buster of a year. Just so much going on, at least for me personally. Good, bad…all over the place. Some of what’s happened this year has been challenging. Some of it has been life-changing. Some of it has just been plain cool. And that’s what I want to talk about. Starting […]

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