Saturday, February 28, 2009

The SEC, Jake Locker, and Five Favorites - Monday, October 13, 2008

Biggest Winner
Kerry Collins. Think about this, he’s gone from a first round draft pick, to a drunk-ass/racist fool, to a Superbowl QB, to no mans land as a washout, to a backup in Tennessee, to a starting QB while bouncing Vince Young from the position. Amazing. He was so done and has stormed back. He’s always had a great arm and he’s a very big guy (6’5 245).

Anyway, Collins was on his way out of the league and he’s made a huge rally and is leading one of the best teams in the NFL. It’s very, very clear that no matter what Vince Young’s health status is that Collins will man the ship from here on out. Tennessee looks like the best team in the AFC right now and a lot of that has to do with Collins’s steady play… so he’s my winner.

Biggest Loser
Cub fans. I feel for them. I really do. It’s got to suck to have your team be chronically crappy and then tease you a little by having a clearly dominant year and then have it end justlikethat. It’s like one day you’re sitting in the sun, drinking a beer, talking about how great things are and then someone comes along and hits you in the face with a bat. Terrible stuff. But, and here is something that bothers the hell out of me, what makes them so goddamn special? Ok, so they haven’t won a world series in 100 years. Well, guess what? Neither have the Mariners or a swarm of other teams (also, isn't this what happened to the M's in 2001). Who cares if they’ve been around for so long, it’s not as if these “long suffering fans” have been alive longer than anyone else and have had to endure disappointment on a larger scale than anyone else and I don't want to hear any of that "my grandpa rooted for this team and has passed this down to me" crap. My team hasn’t won either, so screw you, Cubs fans. You’re nothing to me. But you are losers.

The SEC – A Two-Parter

Part I – SEC’s Dominance

Regarding your question about SEC being so dominant, frankly, I think it’s the names. With apologies to super freshman Jacquizz Rodgers from Oregon State, the names in the SEC are unparalleled. I took a look at the SEC rosters and pulled the best names from the bunch. While every one of these names is comment-worthy, I’ve made some comments next to the ones that I think are even more deserving. Eat these with a spoon:

1. Da'Shaun Barnes
2. T'Sharvan Bell – nearly all of these names are made up, but many just combine two names or switch a letter here and there… but I don’t know what this is supposed to be.
3. Montez Billings
4. Quindarius Carr
5. Dax Dellenbach
6. Tez Doolittle
7. D'Antoine Hood
8. Sen'Derrick Marks,
9. Jerraud Powers
10. Jomarcus Savage – I love this one.
11. Rodgeriqus Smith
12. Neiko Thorpe

1. Undra Billingsley – Undra where? Undra there.
2. Prince Hall
3. Jerrell Harris
4. Jennings Hester
5. Dont'a Hightower
6. Star Jackson – famous person name.

1. Reshad Jones
2. Ramarcus Brown – blank-marcus is wildly popular, this is the first “Ra” I’ve seen, just as the one above is the first “Jo.”
3. Tavarres King
4. Bacarri Rambo – this guy will take you out drinking and kick your ass.
5. Sanders Commings
6. Twoey Hosch – ha!
7. Knowshon Moreno
8. Dontavius Jackson
9. Makiri Pugh – sounds like a pretty island.
10. Dannell Ellerbe
11. Rennie Curran
12. Brannan Southerland
13. Demarcus Dobbs
14. Trinton Sturdivant
15. Demiko Goodman
16. Tripp Chandler
17. Corvey Irvin
18. Neland Ball
19. Jarius Wynn

1. Demonte' Bolden
2. Arian Foster
3. Savion Frazier
4. Montario Hardesty
5. Marsalous Johnson
6. Denarius Moore
7. Demetrice Morley
8. Tauren Poole
9. LaMarcus Thompson
10. Prentiss Waggner
11. Ja'Kouri Williams – sounds like a rare bird in the South Pacific.
12. Ellix Wilson

Ole Miss
1. Jevan Snead
2. Marshay Green
3. Jamarca Sanford – deviation from blank-marcus, very sneaky.
4. Demareo Marr
5. Markeith Summers – marcus with a lisp.
6. Cordera Eason
7. LaDerrick Vaughn
8. Lekenwic Haynes
9. Kentrell Lockett
10. Jerrell Powe
11. Daverin Geralds
12. Rishaw Johnson – did his parents purposely forget the “ck” in rickshaw
13. Ferbia Allen – right next to Serbia.
14. Jacarious Lucas
15. LaMark Armour – I swear that I may just name any kid of mine LaScott
16. Lawon Scott
17. Peria Jerry

Miss St.
1. Delmon Robinson
2. De'Mon Glanton
3. Arceto Clark
4. Arnil Stallworth
5. ToJo Patterson – fantastic.
6. Taurus Young
7. Addison Lawrence
8. Karlin Brown
9. Templeton Hardy
10. O'Neal Wilder
11. Major Sosebee
12. Kendrick Cook
13. Jamayel Smith
14. Cortez McCraney
15. LaMarcus Williams – this name almost seems pedestrian now.

1. Markihe Anderson
2. Jamael Autry
3. Omarius Hines
4. Cornelius Ingram
5. Janoris Jenkins
6. Lerentee McCray
7. Kestahn Moore
8. Wondy Pierre-Louis – ok, this is a b.s. move by the parents. I wondy if he got his ass kicked in grade school.
9. Maurkice Pouncey – don’t call me Marcus.
10. Jacques Rickerson
11. Terron Sanders
12. Mon Williams

1. Jarius Wright
2. Tramain Thomas
3. 3. Shedrick Johnson - I wish this name was missing an “r”
4. De'Anthony Curtis
5. Khiry Battle
6. Shay Haddock
7. Jerell Norton
8. Jerico Nelson
9. Walner Leandre
10. Tenarius Wright – sounds like a fighter.
11. Jelani Smith
12. Damario Ambrose
13. DeMarcus Love
14. Deyonte Davis
15. Darcel Johnson

1. Moncell Allen
2. Zipp Duncan
3. DeMoreo Ford
4. Antwane Glenn
5. Ventrell Jenkins
6. Kyrus Lanxter
7. Trevard Lindley
8. Jayce Long
9. Mikhail Mabry
10. DeAunte Mason
11. Shomari Moore – I have the feeling that this guy carries a sword.
12. Taiedo Smith
13. Coshik Williams – gesundheit
14. Trevino Woods – this guy is a golfer, a hybrid between Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods.

South Carolina
1. Ladi Ajiboye
2. Jamarial Brown
3. Darantzy Brunson
4. Quanopheus Earls
5. Hutch Eckerson – porn star
6. Foxy Foxworth – actually, this name is more porny. That’s an amazing name right there.
7. Marque Hall
8. Aramis Hillary
9. Lemuel Jeanpierre – Is he a lemur or a mule?
10. Jarriel King
11. Captain Munnerlyn - amazing
12. Donte'e Nicholls
13. Travian Robertson
14. Hardee Sanders
15. Weslye Saunders
16. Gerrod Sinclair
17. Addison Williams
18. Jamire Williams
19. Shaq Wilson
20. Stoney Woodson – this guy rides a horse, wears a cowboy hat, carries a shotgun, and can drink whiskey very well.

1. Teriall Brannon
2. Derrius Dowell
3. Tim Fugger – quite possibly the best of the best porn names.
4. Theron Kadri
5. Gaston Miller
6. Darlron Spead
7. Johnell Thomas
8. Elvio Tropeano
9. Udom Umoh – I’m confused.

1. Keiland Williams
2. Trindon Holliday
3. Jhyryn Taylor
4. Shomari Clemons – it’s funny that this is the second time this name appears on the list. Maybe it’s really popular and I just don’t know it.
5. Stefoin Francois
6. Phelon Jones
7. Steele Hull – do you get the sense that he’s really strong?
8. Tremaine Johnson
9. T-Bob Hebert
10. Ciron Black
11. Cordian Hagans
12. Chancey Aghayere
13. Lazarius Levingston
14. Kentravis Aubrey
15. Sidell Corley

Whew. Now that was fun. I was disappointed in Alabama, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. I thought that they’d have more to chose from. Not that they didn’t have some incredible names, but it’s just that I expected more. I was really surprised that South Carolina had so many awesome names, but not at all surprised that Florida and LSU brought the Scrabble-heat. Good stuff.

Part II – SEC Trip

Location / Vacation Quality
I'd want to pick a place that represents the south, although I think that parts of the south differ pretty wildly from one another. I’d be willing to guess that Tuscaloosa is quite a bit different from Baton Rouge because of the whole Cajun influence, which is prevalent in Louisiana, but non-existent in other parts of the south. I’ve only been to Memphis (and that was the airport), Tupelo, MS, and New Orleans. Tupelo and New Orleans are nothing like each other.

I’m basing my location selections purely on what I’ve seen and read. So here’s my list, in order:

  1. LSU – They play a ton of night games at this stadium and I’ve heard it’s an unbelievable atmosphere. Baton Rogue is supposed to be a very cool town. Also, they have a caged tiger that the put in front of the tunnel where the opposing team runs out to the field and I guess it goes nuts. I’d love to see that.
  2. Florida – I’ve heard this place is incredible. Gainesville is a good town and the fans are rabid. It’s also cool that their stadium is nicknamed “The Swamp.” Plus the scenery is supposed to be "good."
  3. Georgia – I’m told that Athens is one of the coolest towns in the south and Samford Stadium has that interesting hedge on both sidelines. I’d like to see that. There is a lot of support for the team here.
  4. Tennessee – Neyland Stadium is the biggest stadium in the SEC (seats 109k, I think). It’s like Husky Stadium because the field is right next to a big body of water; the atmosphere would be awesome; they sing Rocky Top incessantly, which I think it is a cool song, but it would probably get old just like “Victory” does for USC. Their endzone is the ultra-cool checkerboard, there is orange everywhere. They have a cool entrance for the team... there's a lot to like here. I also think Knoxville would be a fun town to kick it in.
  5. Alabama – I’ve heard Tuscaloosa is a pretty cool place and a great college town. Obviously everything is all about the Tide in this place, so I'd probably enjoy myself here.
  6. Ole Miss – Oxford is different than Starkville if only because it’s more wealthy. Plus they have that Grove thing where people tailgate. I think it would be a pretty cool spectacle. One thing that I think is very weird about this place is that it looks like an “Old Money” type of deal and I’d probably hate every one of the kids that I’d see at the game, including their parents. The students dress up for the games, men wear blazers and ties and the women wear dresses. To a football game. It’s strange. But I do like tradition and this is it. I’m conflicted, obviously. Also, I think that Ole Miss has, quite possibly the coolest uniforms in college football.
  7. Auburn – I think the stadium is cool, they have a ton of tradition, although they call the place “The Plains” that doesn’t sound too awesome to me. Anyway, a friend of mine went to WSU and when they played Auburn a few years ago, he, and about 5 of his buddies went. Here’s what he had to say:
    a. I would definitely recommend Auburn, but, of course, that’s the only place I’ve been to. I don’t know how it could get any better than Auburn, not to say that some other SEC game wouldn’t be better. I bet Florida would be cool too. Jordan Hare (pronounced Jurden Hair) Stadium is awesome, it’s huge. The campus is pretty cool, the local bars are fun, they have the War Eagle Supper Club, one of the top college bars in America…they have the War Eagle fly around the stadium before the game, they do this thing called the Tiger walk, which isn’t that cool, but is pretty amazing. The locker rooms are like .25 mile from the stadium, and the players walk down this narrow corridor created by about 25,000 fans who are patting them on the pads and cheering them on as they walk to the stadium. I imagine that, if you were a player; that would get you pretty pumped to play. Tailgate parties in Auburn start on Wednesday night hahaha, it’s pretty f’in cool man. I’d recommend it
  8. South Carolina – I know nothing about this place because not much is said about it, but I've heard that Charleston is a fantastic town.
  9. Vanderbilt – I think that Nashville would be a cool town to visit because there is a lot of other stuff going on, but that’s part of the problem with this location. Most of the city is focused on other stuff and not the football team, with good reason since they are traditionally bad, but still, I don’t think the atmosphere would be very cool. It would be like going to see Stanford play. No thanks.
  10. Kentucky – They typically have pretty rabid fans and Lexington could be a cool place. Maybe. I’m lukewarm about this one.
  11. Mississippi State – I don’t think that Starkville, MS is a cool place. I don’t think that there is much to do here and generally Mississippi is a depressing place.
  12. Arkansas – I can’t think of any reason that I’d ever go to Fayetteville, Ark. Not one.
  13. WILDCARD: The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Jacksonville, Fla. I'd get to see Georgia and Florida at a neutral site and it’s a traditional thing. However, I don’t think I’d consider this one because it’s not at a school and I wouldn't be able to see the campus etc.

As an aside, here is a partial list of my favorite unis:
a. Ole Miss
b. Virginia
c. UNC
d. Penn State
e. Clemson’s helmet
f. Auburn

Jake Locker, DB
A friend of mine asked me what I thought about Jake Locker's prospects as a safety. I say sure. He could play safety and may have a long career at the position in the NFL if decided to make the switch. He’s certainly fast enough and having played the position in high school, his instincts are probably still intact. He would be an imposing guy back there at 6’3 220. He’s pretty much what Taylor Mays is at USC, but maybe not as fast (Mays is really, really fast) and Mays is going to be a 1st round pick in the draft. I think that Locker would be a huge hitter and a game changer. If they do move him there, I think that the move ought to be permanent and that he should not play QB again. Goodness knows that UW needs help on defense… as for him playing RB, I suppose that could work, but for longevity’s sake, he shouldn’t play that position. Those guys last like 4 years in the NFL and then are discarded. It’s not worth it. Plus, when was the last time (in modern-non-segregated times) there was a white RB in the NFL that had any impact at all? I can’t even think of one.

Here are my thoughts on what I’d like him to do, in order of preference.

  1. Jake, leave for the NFL after this season (very, very unlikely) and play QB
  2. Switch to safety (either strong or free… but I think free because he can cover a lot of ground) and stay at UW, hone your skills and get drafted after next year or stay all 5 years
  3. Quit football and go back to baseball
  4. Stay at UW and play QB

Five Favorite Athletes

  1. Shawn Kemp/Gary Payton – I’m cheating here, but I can’t have a list without both of them on it and I can’t talk about one without the other. I loved watching these guys in the 90s. They were the squad when I was in high school and they lost to the Bulls when I was a junior in college. But they were so incredible together. Their chemistry was palpable and Kemp was freaking otherwordly out there. People were scared to death of the guy. He was a beast offensively and defensively and was the best player in the playoffs the year they lost to the Bulls. Including Michael Jordan, he was completely unstoppable. GP was incredible in his own right, but in a very different way. His defense was suffocating and he had a way of shooting that nasty-looking head cocked back “jumper”… he was a magician with the ball and never, ever got hurt. I miss those guys.
  2. Kevin Garnett – When I saw an episode of him on ESPN’s “The Life” a few years ago, I thought he was a great guy. He adopted some kid who was in trouble and was on some trip to Europe during the show. He seems like such a good dude who genuinely seems to care about his teammates, the game, and winning. I love him. I would have loved to have him on my team.
  3. Barry Sanders – There is no one today and no one before him that did the crazy stuff that he did against much better teams than Barry. Just go to YouTube and look for his highlights, he’s preposterous. And his average, AVERAGE year, was 1500 yards for 10 years. He was unbelievable. And he was so weirdly humble when he could have been the biggest showboating dick around. I love Barry.
  4. Deion Sanders – he was the biggest showboating dick around, but man was he incredible. I loved watching him sprint and weave his way around dudes when he was running a punt or interception back. His talents were crazy, plus dude could play baseball. Well. I almost put Bo Jackson here, but his career was cut so short… sad. He was a bad dude though.
  5. Chris Paul – I’m in love with is game. He’s so skilled and in such control of his team and I love it. He never seems to make a mistake and it’s not even a question that he makes his team way better than it would be without him. I think that they are going to make a strong push for the title this year by the way, especially since they signed James Posey. That dude is turning into a better Robert Horry in terms of championship karma.

Honorable Mention:

  1. Brandon Roy – I do love this guy for what he did for UW, his ability at the NBA level, his level-headedness, and his non-dickheadedness.
  2. Jake Locker – I seem to care way more about this kid than I should. I also am putting him above the team. I guess that means I really like him and, to paraphrase Hugh Millen, wouldn’t mind my daughter giving it up to him.

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