Week of September 14, 2018


90s College Football Coach Fashion is “In”

This is one of the weirdest and funniest things I’ve ever read. In the 1990s, and still today but especially then, college football coaches had some terrible style. I mean, look at Bobby Bowden here:

The chunky white shoes. The heavily pleated and baggy khakis. The nearly mono-chromatic jacket/pants combo. That is seriously offensive to my eyes.

But, somehow, and until this article unbeknownst to me, the 1990s college football coach’s fashion is now IN. Like, IN-IN. Like, seriously High Fashion in, as illustrated to hilarious length by Jezebel’s Stassa Edwards. Edwards does a masterful job showing photos of college football coaches from the 90s, like Bowden, Steve Spurrier, and Lou Holtz, and recreating their outfits with the latest from top designers, costing thousands of dollars. For example, this pic of Spurrier?

Edwards recreated it for nearly $2,500, including these horrendously ugly sneakers for $895:

There are a few more examples. The story is creative, funny, and kinda mind-blowing. Fashion is friggin’ weird. -TOB

Source: Get The Look: Khaki-Loving 1990s College Football Coach”, Stassa Edwards, Deadspin (09/12/2018)

PAL: Hilarious. Most enjoyable read of the week.


The Incomparable Aaron Rodgers

Look, y’all know me. You know I’m biased. I’ve told the story on this very blog at least a couple times about how I said Aaron Rodgers would win a Heisman the very first time I saw him throw a pass (he didn’t, but multi-time NFL MVP is even better). But I’m sorry, I just can’t help it, and you’re going to have to sit through another gushing story. It’s not my fault. He’s the best quarterback to ever play the game, and that’s just how it goes.

I got home from a day out with the kids Sunday night just in time to see a Bears linebacker land on Rodgers’ leg early in the game. Rodgers was carted off and I dreaded a second straight season in which I couldn’t share his highlights and strut about my prophetic quarterback scouting skills and laugh in the face of any idiot trying to tell me Brady is better because of the rings.

So, I turned the game off. I let the kids watch CoCo or something. They went to bed, and I flipped back just in time to see Rodgers put the capper on a comeback, all the way from a 20-3 fourth quarter deficit to a win. The man limped back out, probably drugged out of his mind, and did stuff like this:

LOOK AT THAT THROW. ON ONE LEG. You can make fun of me all you want, but it’s throws like that which keep be coming back to football despite its problems.

The Ringer’s Robert Mays, himself a Chicago Bears fan, waxed poetic on how insanely good Rodgers is, and in particular on that throw:

The third quarter came and went without much fanfare, but dread began to creep in for Bears fans at the 13:59 mark in the fourth when Rodgers fired a missile directly into the hands of wide receiver Geronimo Allison for a 39-yard score. The strike—which brought the Packers within 10 points—was vintage stuff, a throw that no other quarterback past or present could have made. Standing on the left hash mark near midfield, Rodgers dropped the ball into a window the size of a shoebox, between the outstretched hand of cornerback Kyle Fuller and the back-right corner of the end zone. The play design was nothing special, the separation minimal, and yet none of it mattered.

The Bears’ party may have been spoiled, but it was spoiled by one of the best to ever do it, as Rodgers channeled the height of his power when a franchise and a fan base needed it most. Chicago’s day may come, but for now, the king in the North remains.

Hell yeah. And to be clear, Rodgers really was hurt and might not play this weekend against the Vikings. Speaking of the Vikes, Xavier Rhodes, one of the best corners in the game, published a Player Tribune article this week, and said:

You ever seen that movie Wanted?

The one where they shoot a gun and the bullet curves?

Well, there was this play against the Packers — it was early in my rookie season, the first time I played against Aaron Rodgers. Jordy Nelson was in the back of the end zone. I wasn’t on him, though. Josh Robinson was. I was underneath. When Rodgers threw it to Jordy, it went right over my head. But right when Rodgers let it go, I knew Jordy wasn’t gonna catch it. The trajectory of the ball was off to the right.

Then, as the pass went over my head, I turned around just in time to watch — and, man, I promise you, the ball bent back to the left, barely missed Josh’s helmet, and dropped right into Jordy’s hands.

I was immediately like, It’s over. If THIS is what the NFL is like, I’m never getting any picks!

A lot of guys had told me that Aaron Rodgers was a different breed, but now I’d had a front-row seat for it. This guy was out there throwing curveballs.

It was great coverage. There was nothing Josh could do. Nothing nobody could do. When we got back to the sideline, it was like those Thanksgiving Day games against Stafford. Our coaches weren’t even mad. They saw the replay on the jumbotron, and our DB coach just shrugged his shoulders and was like, “I don’t know what to tell you.”

And if all that wasn’t enough, we get this late in the week:

I AGREE, TOM. BY GOD, I AGREE. To ape a line or two: Aaron Rodgers is the best there is, the best there ever was, and the best there ever will be. Forever and ever amen. -TOB

Source: Aaron Rodgers Hero Ball Is the Bears’ Recurring Nightmare”, Robert Mays, The Ringer (09/10/2018); The 7 Best Players in the NFC North. Period”, Xavier Rhodes, The Players Tribune (09/11/2018)

PAL: Can a person get a restraining order on someone else’s behalf? 


Sisters of the Poor Fat with Cash

I saw the headline and I knew I’d be sharing this story. Early in the college football season, we see a lot of lopsided scores. The big-timers from the power five conferences schedule ass-kickins with smaller schools from conferences we’ve never heard. Every once in a decade, we get a stunner like like Appalachian State beating Michigan, but most every time it’s an ass-kicking.

The smaller schools do it for the money, and the money is better than ever.

It seems like a no-brainer for a school like San Jose State. The players love the opportunity to play in front of 100,000 fans in Austin and potentially catch someone’s attention. The fans love traveling to iconic college football stadiums, and the revenue goes a long way in helping keep the 21 other teams at the school up and running.

The cost of flying a team, coaches, staff, school officials and equipment across the country and paying for hotels and meals can eat up as much as $100,000 from the payout. But even after taking that into consideration, there’s plenty left over.

San Jose State has a $26.5 million annual athletics budget, with which it fields 22 varsity teams, 13 of them for women. A school needs to have 16 overall teams to stay in Division I of the NCAA. Nearly 6 percent of this year’s budget — $1.525 million — will come from the school’s two big revenue games (Oregon $1 million; Washington State $525,000).

The Chronicle’s Tom FitzGerald writes a no-nonsense article clearly explaining something I’ve always wondered about. I can’t ask for anything more from a sports story. – PAL

Source: College Football ‘Revenue Games’: How San Jose State Makes Millions,” Tom FitzGerald, The Chronicle (09/13/2018)

TOB: I’m a bigger college football fan than Phil, so this article was not news to me, but I do want to point out this amazing coachspeak by SJSU’s head coach, when:

“I think you get beat up playing football,” he said. “We got beat up just as much playing Cal Poly last year as we did playing Texas or Utah. Football’s a physical game. Sometimes there’s a certain amount of good fortune in staying healthy.


RIP Jeff Lowe

I didn’t know of Jeff Lowe before reading this story, but his passing really got to me after reading about him. There is something so thrilling and primal to great climbers. To watch them climb is to witness someone truly alive. For a man who climbed routes thought impossible to die from a degenerative disease feels unnecessarily cruel. I mean, how cool is this guy:

There is something incredibly powerful in the simplicity of climbing. Get to the top. I envy people like Jeff Lowe. In a time when I feel I’m acquiring more, I see these people who care about one thing, and shed the rest. From afar, it’s romantic and inspiring. – PAL

Source: “Jeff Lowe, Pathfinder Up the Face of Mountains, Is Dead at 67”, Daniel E. Slotnick, The New York Times (09/11/2018)


Video of the Week


PAL Song of the Week – Elton John – “Son Of Your Father”


Tweet of the Week


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I can do six weeks standing on my head. I’m a sexual camel.

– George Costanza

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