Alabama Football Rivalries

Living in Alabama, I can tell you a thing or two about rivalries. The rivalry between the and Auburn University is one of the biggest rivalries in college sports. In Alabama, there are two types of people, those who say “Crimson Tide” and those who say “War Eagle.” You might find the odd Georgia or Tennessee fan, but everyone looks at them with disdain and silently mocks them as they leave the room.

In the state of Alabama, coaches come and they go. Players are bred, growing up with only one goal in mind, playing for Alabama or Auburn. Here, men sweat, bleed, and even cry in two colors: crimson and white or orange and blue. Here, whole seasons are defined by one game and one game only. Here, a coach may redeem himself after a losing season with only one win. Likewise, a coach can completely discredit his team with only one loss. The Iron Bowl.

The first Iron Bowl was played on February 22, 1893, and a rivalry was born. Almost as soon as the players left the field, the two teams were in disagreement. They couldn’t decide which season the game should reflect. Alabama considered the game to be the final match-up of the 1892 season; Auburn believed it to be the first game of the 1893 season.

Further disagreements took place when they couldn’t agree on a set amount of player expenses to pay. They also argued about where to obtain their referees. These arguments resulted in a suspension of the series after 1907. It wasn’t until 1948 that the disagreements were put aside and the series was reinstated.

This game has caused fights, divorces, and even attempted murders. It’s not for the weak of heart, and outsiders are definitely unwelcome. So if you’re ever in Alabama the last weekend of November, ask yourself where your loyalties lay, but to be on the safe side, don’t answer out loud.

Titans Football for Dummies

Titans Football for Dummies(i.e.: food network zombies, U.T. purists, trophy wives of football zealots and cheerleaders)

Part 1

I have not always been the chest beating, hyperventilating, touchdown signaling Titans enthusiast I am today. Unfortunately, before I got to know the Titans I led a pretty dull life where the highlight of the weekend was my cross-stitching. That was until "The Titans" came to town. I was working a mundane 9 to 5 at a middle Tennessee establishment when some new customers occasionally came in. After a while it became a regular occurrence for a Titans coach, Titans wide receiver, Titans linebacker, wives of the any of the Titans staff and others associated with the Titans to walk through the door and strike up a normal conversation with me as we tended to their business. I was intrigued but often had to ask them their names, which they gave, as they most likely checked their pride, and kindly swallowed their ego for my benefit.

I quickly realized that I genuinely liked these people. Therefore, I made the conscious effort to learn about the Titans. So I struggled through the weekly predictions by the analysts, pre-game analysis, post-game analysis, and of course sports radio talk shows and ESPN. It was a great process. Shortly thereafter I found myself yelling at the T.V. or radio as some "know-it-all" didn't give the Titans their due respect. I cried out, "Get over it" to those U.T holdout callers who still have a quiver in their voice when they talk about Peyton.

I figured I must be a genuine Titans fan when my husband and I were invited to a Super Bowl party in 2019. It was the famous hair-tearing-out, coronary inducing Titans VS rams game. The friend throwing the party was trying to be sensitive but firm when he suggested to me when inviting us, "Now, we are having a Super Bowl party to watch the game, not socialize." I indignantly shot back, "Who do you think I am, some football dummy? I'm not coming to your party to have fun! This stuff is serious!!!"

My adrenaline begins to pump in July anticipating a new Titans season, hope reviving, and another reason to thank God for creating autumn. My thoughts at red lights and when I'm cooking dinner creep back in – Will Chris Johnson get the job done and not get hurt? How is Vince doing these days? Who is going to get cut and I sure am going to miss Vanden Bosch.

My schedule now rotates not only around the Titans mini-camps and games but the NFL draft as well. All of my phone app's line up after the Titan's home page icon. My desktop and screensavers reflect my current Titan's hero. But my cross-stitch must wait until the first pitch in April. SIGH!

Please check out the rest of the articles in this series at ………………..

Part 2-Who is Bud Adams- the finger or the force?

Part 3-Coach Fisher- the running game is his name.

Part 4-Titans Offence-Is it offensive or just plain good?

Part 5-Titans Defense- Where, OH WHERE, has my little pit bull gone?

Baby Football Onesie

Yeah, sure, your baby is too young to even know what football is but that doesn't mean he won't be a great player some day! A guy – and sometimes a woman – has high hopes for that little boy, when it comes to football. One day, you can go outside and practice throwing and catching the ball with the little guy but, for now, dreams will have to suffice. Of course, there's nothing that says you can't get the baby ready for football season way ahead of time. He can go ahead and start watching the games with you and he can feel or hold a real football. Oh, and about the outfit; there's no reason why he can't go ahead and get dressed out for the game!

You can make an adorable football onesie for your little boy and it doesn't take a lot of skill to create it. Instead of making the sleeper, just buy it, and then you can dress it up to have a football theme. In fact, make the sleeper look like a football; it's the cutest little thing! Buy a sleeper in the color of brown – as close to the color of a football as possible – and it will take just a few minutes to turn it into a football sleeper.

White felt is perfect for making the stitches that you would see on a real football. The felt doesn't have to be hemmed so it won't take long to turn the onesie into a football. Since you could be making the sleeper for a newborn baby, or an older baby, you can decide on how long and wide the football stitching should be. For now, cut one long piece of felt, to go from below the neckline, to above the snaps of the onesie. Make sure that the felt stitches won't go all the way down and between the legs. Keep the felt stitching on the stomach and chest area. The long piece that you cut should be only an inch or so in width.

Besides the one long strip you'll need five or six small stitches. These, too, should be cut from white felt. Position the long white felt piece down the middle of the sleeper and sew around all four sides of it to attach it. Position five or so small stitches, across the long one, and sew each of them in place, spacing them evenly apart.

The football sleeper is just darling on a little boy. If you ordered it, you would pay nearly three times what a regular onesie would cost but, when you make it yourself, you spend less than a buck on felt. Don't have any felt? Use fabric paint and paint on the stitches.

NFL Fantasy Football

The 2019 NFL fantasy football season just finished so what better time to start looking toward the 2020 season then now. Many leagues each year are won and lost over the tight end position. It may be the one position where the great players separate themselves further from the average player, well statistically anyway. Here is a look at the best prospects at the tight end position for your fantasy football league.

It seems obvious, but I have to start out in New England with Rob Gronkowski. The guy simply put is a beast; he had 11 touchdowns in 11 games. It is hard to find the production Gronkowski gives at the tight end position. Even though he finished the 2019 season injured, he will most likely return to his dominate form in 2020. Gronkowski is as valued as any tight end and is a necessity on most fantasy teams; you will need to draft him early, first round maybe.

Next, I am going to head to Dallas to look at the Cowboys fantastic tight end Jason Witten. Witten lead all tight ends in receptions with 110, that's right 110. Now in a points per reception league all those catches really help, but he did struggle to find the end zone. I simply look at that as a fluke, it seems unlikely that Witten will struggle that much again to find the end zone, but I do believe he will keep putting up those fantastic receiving stats.

Finally, I am going to head to New Orleans to look at Jimmy Graham. Graham tallied 85 catches and 9 touchdowns in the 2019 season. He has been a consistent dominate tight end over the past few seasons and we all know New Orleans likes to throw the ball so Graham will most likely have another great season in 2020.

The tight end position is one of the most crucial positions in any fantasy football league. The simple fact that most leagues only start one tight end each week makes it just as valuable as the quarterback, but it seems there are less tight ends that consistently put up big numbers. For your 2020 NFL fantasy football league, consider drafting one of these tight ends early.


College Football

Throughout the history of college football there are a countless number of teams that could never get over the hump. Under John Cooper Ohio State had a very tough time trying to beat Michigan. Cooper had a 2-10-1 record against the Wolverines. Under Jim Tressel the Buckeyes beat Michigan and defeated Miami for the National Championship. Ohio State has played in two BCS Title games since the Miami game and participated in two Fiesta Bowls. USC lost to Notre Dame from 1983-1993. It took the arrival of Pete Carroll and years of great recruiting classes to have a seven game winning streak over the Irish. All it takes is one victory for a program to start to believe that it belongs on the big stage. Maybe these programs will finally turn it around in 2009 and qualify for a BCS game.

Pittsburgh Panthers: 25-23 Under Dave Wannstedt; Lost to Oregon State 3-0 in the Sun Bowl

The Big East has not had a dominant team since Virginia Tech and Miami left the conference. West Virginia has been the most consistent with a victory in the Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl in 2004 and 2007. The Mountaineers blew a chance to play for the BCS Championship when the Panthers upset them 13-9. Now West Virginia has lost Pat White to the NFL and Pittsburgh needs to finally win the Big East and go to a BCS game under the guidance of Dave Wannstedt. If Cincinnati can win the Big East and go to the Orange Bowl then Pitt should be able to become very dominant in the league in a hurry. Pitt has experience at QB with Bill Stull throwing for 2,356 yards. Pitt also has good size at WR Greg Cross is 6-2 210, Jonathan Baldwin 6-5 220 and Oderick Turner is 6-3 205. Pitt has a lot of SR’s on defense this year. The Panthers start off the season against Youngstown St., Buffalo, and Navy. There is no excuse for Pitt not to start off the 2009 season 3-0. Their season will come down to games at N.C. State, USF at home, Notre Dame at home and at West Virginia.

Fresno State: 92-61 Under Pat Hill; Lost to Colorado State 40-35 in the New Mexico Bowl

The Bulldogs have a huge reputation of playing anybody, anywhere, anytime. I wish some of the so-called big boys of college football would have the kind of out of conference schedule that Fresno State has played. This season the Bulldogs play at Wisconsin, at Cincinnati and the Bulldogs end the year at Illinois. Fresno State gets a lot of respect for the competition they play against, but at the same time it is almost impossible to run the table with their schedule and make a BCS Bowl. Other Mid-Majors like Boise State, Utah and Hawaii have been to BCS games. The Bulldogs should focus on winning the WAC Conference. From 2002-2006 Boise State won the WAC Championship and only shared the conference crown with Nevada in 2005. Fresno State has not won the WAC since 1999. Talent has not been the problem. The Bulldogs have lost seven of their last eight games to the Broncos. This year Fresno State gets Boise State at home. The Bulldogs have a lot of upperclassmen back on defense. MLB Ben Jacobs led the team in tackles in 2008 with 113. Offensively Fresno State will rely on three above average RB’s in Ryan Mathews, Anthony Harding and Lonyae Miller. All three backs averaged more than 5 YPC in 2008. The Bulldogs might not run the table, but if they play up to their potential they can beat Boise State and win the WAC.

TCU Horned Frogs: 73-27 Under Gary Patterson; Beat Boise State 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl

TCU should have a huge advantage over the rest of the MWC, because they should be able to recruit a lot of talent from the state of Texas. One thing that Coach Patterson has built is one of the best defenses in the country. In 2008 the Horned Frogs only gave up 11.3 PPG. DE Jerry Hughes is very hard to block. Last year Hughes led TCU with 15 sacks. When TCU plays at Virginia and Clemson those teams better devise a scheme to get Hughes blocked. TCU has been one of the best teams in the MWC, but they have watched Utah win two BCS games in the last five years. In 2008 Utah got a narrow 13-10 victory over the #11 ranked Horned Frogs. If TCU would have won that game they could have moved up high enough in the polls to qualify for a BCS game. TCU should be the favorite to win the MWC and they should be the most likely Mid-Major to go to a BCS game in 2009. Overall, TCU is better than Virginia and Clemson, but their offense must show up in both of those games. This might be Patterson’s best shot at making a BCS game.

College Football Top 25

(First-place votes in parentheses)

  1.  Alabama (54)
    2009 Record: 14-0
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. San Jose State at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 7 p.m. ET
  2.  Ohio State (3)
    2009 Record: 11-2
    2010 Opener: Thursday, September 2 vs. Marshall at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, 7:30 p.m. ET
  3.  Boise State (1)
    2009 Record: 14-0
    2010 Opener: Monday, September 6 vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  4.  Florida
    2009 Record: 13-1
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Miami (OH) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Florida, noon ET
  5.  Texas (1)
    2009 Record: 13-1
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Rice at Reliant Stadium in Houston, 3:30 p.m. ET
  6.  TCU
    2009 Record: 12-1
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. No. 24 Oregon State at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, 7:45 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  7.  Oklahoma (1)
    2009 Record: 8-5
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Utah State at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma, 7 p.m. ET
  8.  Nebraska
    2009 Record: 10-4
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Western Kentucky at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, 7 p.m. ET
  9.  Iowa
    2009 Record: 11-2
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Eastern Illinois at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, 12:05 p.m. ET
  10.  Virginia Tech
    2009 Record: 10-3
    2010 Opener: Monday, September 6 vs. No. 3 Boise State at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  11.  Oregon
    2009 Record: 10-3
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. New Mexico at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon, 3:30 p.m. ET
  12.  Wisconsin
    2009 Record: 10-3
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, 11 p.m. ET (VERS)
  13.  Miami
    2009 Record: 9-4
    2010 Opener: Thursday, September 2 vs. Florida A&M at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET
  14.  Southern California
    2009 Record: 9-4
    2010 Opener: Thursday, September 2 vs. Hawaii at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, 11 p.m. ET
  15.  Pittsburgh
    2009 Record: 10-3
    2010 Opener: Thursday, September 2 vs. Utah at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, 8:30 p.m. ET
  16.  Georgia Tech
    2009 Record: 11-3
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. South Carolina State at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, 1 p.m. ET
  17.  Arkansas
    2009 Record: 8-5
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Tennessee Tech at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET
  18.  North Carolina
    2009 Record: 8-5
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. No. 21 LSU at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)
  19.  Penn State
    2009 Record: 11-2
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Youngstown at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania, noon ET
  20.  Florida State
    2009 Record: 7-6
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Samford at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida, noon ET.
  21.  LSU
    2009 Record: 9-4
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. No. 18 North Carolina at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)
  22.  Auburn
    2009 Record: 8-5
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Arkansas State at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, 7 p.m. ET
  23.  Georgia
    2009 Record: 8-5
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Louisiana Lafayette at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, 12:20 p.m. ET
  24.  Oregon State
    2009 Record: 8-5
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. No. 6 TCU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, 7:45 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  25.  West Virginia
    2009 Record: 9-4
    2010 Opener: Saturday, September 4 vs. Coastal Carolina at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia, 3:30 p.m. ET

Also Receiving Votes – Cincinnati 108, Stanford 81, Utah 80, South Carolina 71, Houston 66, Connecticut 32, Notre Dame 31, Missouri 27, BYU 19, Arizona 15, Clemson 15, Texas Tech 14, Navy 12, Washington 8, Texas A&M 7, Mississippi 6, Oklahoma State 3, Central Michigan 2, Middle Tennessee 2, Temple 2, Boston College 1, SMU 1, Central Florida 1.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Every year I feel an all too familiar itch. Some people may think I need to see a doctor, but I know that the only real cure is to sit on my couch in front of my large screened TV with some kind of greasy potato product and barley fermented beverage. The dose is to be administered every week between the hours of 1 PM EST on Sunday until 1 am Tuesday morning.

That's right, folks. I've got a itch, and the only cure is more NFL football.

When September rolls around and the weather becomes seasonably cooler, the leaves on the trees begin to change color, the air becomes crisper and has a distinguishable smell that can only be experienced and not described. The days become shorter, the weeks feel longer and the longing begins for the weekend when an afternoon of relaxation, and watching helmets crash together is the best medicine. This seasonal affliction has been happening for years, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Like so many other fans, each week I make my game predictions and possibly place a few wagers. I make changes to my fantasy pools and cheer on teams and individuals that I've placed my faith in (and hard earned money on) to make my NFL football watching experience that much more meaningful. This additional immersion forces me to stay up to date with the daily news surrounding the league and has become a yearly pastime. I know I'm not the only one – there are millions of other men and women who dive head first into the football season to support their teams and favorite players each week.

My wife cannot comprehend it and I simply can't explain it. Watching NFL football has become a way of life and a pleasurable pursuit that I will continue to enjoy when the time arrives, and be disappointed slightly when the party has ended for the season. Once Labour day rolls around, I find myself humming "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. The NFL football season is like an early Christmas present for me every year – my team may stink, but the thrill of the sport is the greatest gift of all.

The time has finally come. The itch is starting to fade and the relief is setting in. When Hank Williams Jr. belts out that signature line "Are you ready for some football?" I know my answer will always be an emphatic "YES!" How many of you out there are with me?

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