America’s Greatest Music: I’ll Be Seeing You December 4, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Pop Culture.
Tags: Anne Murray, Barry Manilow, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee, Carmen McRae, Etta James, Five Satins, Frank Sinatra, Ginger Rogers, Great American Songbook, Greatest, I'll Be Seeing You, Irving Kahal, Jimmy Durante, Jo Stafford, Linda Ronstadt, Liza Minnelli, Mel Tormé, Michael Buble, music, Queen Latifah, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Sammy Fain, Skyliners, Tommy Dorsey, World War Two, WWII
add a comment
“I’ll Be Seeing You” qualifies as one of the lower-echelon selections within the Great American Songbook. That said, it stands out uniquely for the reason that it originated from one Broadway show but later became the namesake in a movie several years later.
Written by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal in 1938 and first performed that same year, it soon became a jazz standard and has been recorded by many notable artists over the course of the decades. The show for which it was written was “Right This Way”, but six years later it was the title song in the 1944 film “I’ll Be Seeing You” starring Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten.
Billie Holiday recorded a version of the song the same year the aforementioned film was released. Other artists, in no particular chronological order, who have covered the song include Bing Crosby (same year as Billie Holiday’s version), Anne Murray, Jo Stafford and Carmen McRae (both 1958), The Five Satins (1959), Brenda Lee (1962), Ray Charles (1967), Barry Manilow (1991), Etta James (1994), Rod Stewart (2002), Linda Ronstadt (2004), not to mention Jimmy Durante, Liza Minnelli, Mel Tormé, Michael Bublé, the Skyliners, even Queen Latifah, and a host of others.
But the one that clearly stands above the rest is definitely the Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey version from 1940. A simple listen will verify this:
Not surprisingly, during World War II this song became an anthem for those who were serving overseas, what with its strongly emotional power, a power that Frank and Tommy capture very subtly in their landmark 1940 recording.
Steve Sarkisian to USC December 3, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Sports.
Tags: Alabama, Bobby Petrino, Bobby Williams, Citrus Bowl, coach, Ed Orgeron, FBS, football, Georgia, Huskies, James Franklin, Kevin Sumlin, LSU, Michigan State, NCAA, Nick Saban, Ohio State, Pac-12, Pete Carroll, SEC, Southern California, Steve Sarkisian, Texas, Trojans, Urban Meyer, USC, Washington
add a comment
The latest news has it that Steve Sarkisian has been named the next head coach at the University of Southern California. When one considers that the available pool of good coaches is very limited right now (what with relatively few firings and hirings at this time) and most of the best coaches are already ensconced in good programs (Saban at Alabama, Meyer at Ohio State, etc.), this was an excellent hire.
Granted, many were advocating for the permanent hire of Ed Orgeron. But as well as he has done in the moment, one must ask, could he sustain the positive trend long-term? His track record might not suggest that. Plus, we have seen the temp-to-permanent hire scenario before in major college football, and it usually does not turn out that well. Remember Bobby Williams at Michigan State? After Nick Saban left for the LSU job, Williams led the Spartans to victory over a formidable Florida Gators squad in the 1999-2000 Citrus Bowl. Everybody immediately allowed for themselves to be prisoners of the moment and made Williams the permanent head coach at MSU after that. Part of the rationale was how much the players loved the guy. Bad idea. Coaches like Bobby Petrino and Nick Saban are not loved by their players, but those coaches get results from the team. Meanwhile, the program at MSU eroded after three full seasons under Williams’ leadership. Orgeron currently enjoys similar popularity with the players at USC. While this produces short-term gains, it will take somebody who is a bit more of a taskmaster to make sure that these positive trends can be sustained.
But what about Kevin Sumlin as a possibility? Yes, Coach Sumlin has become a rather hot commodity over the past year or two, but his one weakness is that, while his offenses have considerable fire power, his defenses, well, not so much, and USC prides itself on not only being “Tailback U,” but also having tough “D”’s that shut down the pass-happy intra-conference opposition. Could Coach Sumlin sustain that reputation, given his track record with weaker defenses in the recent pass? At this point, it does not appear as though he couch.
What about other candidates, say, James Franklin, whose name was bandied about as a possibility? A fine choice, especially given what he has accomplished at Vanderbilt under very restrictive circumstances with which the rest of the teams in the SEC do not have to contend. Still, he has one glaring weakness: he has no west coast ties. In the world of college football recruiting, this is vital. A great deal of recruiting has to do with knowing the high school coaches in the key recruiting areas. Franklin knows none.
But “Sark” knows plenty. He knew them as a high-ranking assistant at USC under Pete Carroll, and he still knows them while trying to recruit the players for Washington. In that important respect, this shall be a seamless transition for him. Instead of recruiting key players in the talent hotbed that is California, he shall do so wearing Cardinal-and-Gold polo shirt as opposed to a Purple-and-Gold one. Moreover, his experience with the program gives him intimate knowledge of organizational culture, making him a good company fit. This is thus a good hire for the Trojans in any important respect.
To be sure, the gain for USC is a major loss for Washington, where Sarkisian had a good thing going. But as great as things were with the Huskies, the USC job is rated by coaches and others “in the know” as one of the three absolute best coaching jobs in all of college football, along with Texas and Georgia (yes, Georgia). In other words, if the Trojans come calling, unless you are coaching at one of those two schools, you are a fool to pass up this golden opportunity. Sorry about the setback for UW, but good for Sark, and good for USC.
College Football Week 14 Awards December 1, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Sports.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Arkansas, Atlanta, Auburn, B1G, Ball State, Baylor, BCS, Big Ten, Blue Devils, Boilermakers, Boise State, Bowling Green, Buckeyes, Bulldogs, Central Florida, championship, Clemson, Dabo Swinney, Dan Mullen, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Fresno State, FSU, Gamecocks, Gary Pinkel, Gators, George O'Leary, Georgia Tech, Gus Malzahn, Hoosiers, Idaho, Indiana, Iron Bowl, June Jones, Kyle Whittingham, LA-Lafayette, LSU, MAC, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, New Mexico, Nick Saban, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Paul Johnson, Penn State, Purdue, rivalry, Rutgers, San Jose State, SEC, Seminoles, SMU, South Alabama, South Carolina, South Florida, Steve Spurrier, Texas, Texas Tech, Thanksgiving, The Boot, Tigers, Tom O'Brien, UCF, UConn, Utah, Western Michigan, Will Muschamp, Wisconsin, Wolverines
add a comment
(Note: All rankings are current AP [week 14] unless otherwise noted.)
Wish I were him: Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Glad I’m not him: Nick Saban, Alabama
Lucky guy: Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
Poor guy: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Desperately seeking a clue: Kyle Whittingham, Utah
Desperately seeking a P.R. man: Tom O’Brien, Penn State
Desperately seeking sunglasses and a fake beard: Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Desperately seeking … anything: Will Muschamp, Florida
Thought you’d kick butt, you did: Ball State (defeated Miami, Ohio 55-14)
Thought you’d kick butt, you didn’t: Northern Illinois (defeated Western Michigan only 33-14)
Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you did: New Mexico (lost to Boise State 45-17)
Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you didn’t: South Florida (lost to Central Florida 23-20)
Thought you wouldn’t kick butt, you did: Texas (defeated Texas Tech 41-16)
Dang, they’re good: Florida State
Dang, they’re bad: Idaho
Did the season start? Rutgers
Can the season end? Purdue
Can the season never end? Auburn
Play this again: No. 3 Ohio State 42, Michigan 41
Play this again, too: No. 4 Auburn 34, No. 1 Alabama 28
Take a look at this again, while you’re at it: No. 13 Oregon 36, Oregon State 35
Never play this again: Ball State 55, Miami (Ohio) 14
What? San Jose State 62, No. 16 Fresno State 52
Huh? Penn State 37, No. 15 Wisconsin 24
Are you kidding me? No. 10 South Carolina 31, No. 6 Clemson 17
Oh – my – God: No. 4 Auburn 34, No. 1 Alabama 28
(rankings are current AP (post-week 14, pre-week 15)
Ticket to die for: No. 3 Auburn vs. No. 5 Missouri in the SEC Championship game
Best non-Big Six vs. Big Six matchup: (none)
Best non-Big Six matchup: LA-Lafayette @ South Alabama
Upset alert: No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Ohio State in the B1G Championship game
Must win: No. 18 Oklahoma @ No. 7 Oklahoma State
Offensive explosion: Texas @ No. 9 Baylor (Thurs.)
Defensive struggle: Memphis @ UConn
Great game no one is talking about: Bowling Green vs. No. 16 Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game, Fri.
Intriguing coaching matchup: George O’Leary of UCF vs. June Jones of SMU
Who’s bringing the body bags? No. 20 Duke vs. No. 1 Florida State
Plenty of good seats remaining: Memphis @ UConn
They shoot horses, don’t they? South Florida @ Rutgers
Week 14 in review:
Wow. Many end-of-year (or NEARLY end-of-year) weekends that bill themselves as “Rivalry Week” rarely live up to the hype. Much of the time, the rivalry games end up as rather one-sided affairs. Not this time, though. Take the Ohio State-Michigan game, for example. On paper, it should not have been anything of a contest at all. But the Wolverines showed up in this game as they had not done so all year. Sure, they looked formidable against Notre Dame early in the season, but they brought their game to a whole level above that in giving the Buckeyes the biggest fight of the season. It was fitting that they saved their best game for their last of the season, and against their sworn enemy from Columbus. In the end, a one-point margin of victory helped preserve the Buckeyes’ undefeated season and a shot at the BCS title game.
The “Egg Bowl” rivalry between Ole Miss and Mississippi State also lived up to its tradition, in more ways than one. For starters, it returned to its Thanksgiving Day timeslot for the first time in several years. For another, the game was close and hard-fought right to the end, with the Bulldogs pulling out the victory they needed to become bowl-eligible.
Duke-North Carolina may be known for its bitter basketball rivalry, but today, the football rivalry was a big deal and a good game. The Blue Devils ended up winning, narrowly, 27-25, and in so doing they clinched a spot in the ACC Championship game for the first time ever.
Another such game that looked one-sided on paper but in reality was hard-fought to the end was the LSU-Arkansas match-up on Friday. It seems not to matter how well LSU has done in the year, or how mediocre or play the play of the Razorbacks may be, but the Hogs always seem to bring their “A-game” when they play the Tigers. Perhaps the trophy for which they play is sufficient motivation, as “The Boot” (it is shaped in the manner of Arkansas and Louisiana together on a map) weighs 175 pounds.
Yes, there were rivalry games that were rather one-sided affairs. The Florida-Florida State game, usually played in or around the last weekend of the college football season, was almost always the game of the week back in the 1990s. That started to change a decade ago when FSU’s on-field performance began to deteriorate. But recently, the Seminoles have made the right moves to return to football factory status, while the Gators’ collective performance has seen much better days. The outcome of Florida State’s 37-7 win therefore came as no surprise.
Same thing for the Purdue-Indiana game. While Purdue owns the series by slightly more than a 2-1 margin, today, they did not show it, as the Hoosiers beat the Boilermakers 56-36, and four of Purdue’s touchdowns came in the last 20 minutes of the game, leaving the Boiler Faithful to scratch their heads all the more.
Then there was the “Iron Bowl,” that annual storied match-up between Auburn and Alabama, arguably the most intense, heated, and passionate of all the in-state rivalries. Through much of the season, the game was not on many peoples’ radar screens. Not after Auburn’s dismal performance last year; not even when the Tigers were slowly getting better and better with each game under new head coach Gus Malzahn. Yet by game time, they worked their way up to the No. 4 team in the nation, giving the engaged observer pause that this match-up could be one of the most epic in the history of the rivalry. The game remained close throughout regulation, and technically was tied up at its end, as the last second ticked off during a field goal attempt. That same attempt came up short; short enough that an Auburn returner was able to field it in the end zone, before promptly running out of it straight up the field. Wait a minute, the observers were telling themselves, nothing is going to come of this. Nothing hardly ever does. Yet the returner kept dodging a few would-be tacklers as he ran along the sideline. In fact, he continued to run past a few more would-be tacklers before all jerseys of the opposing color were in his proverbial rear view mirror. Wait, can this actually happen? OMG, it IS happening! But this NEVER happens! And yet it IS! I am in shock.
The Iron Bowl, it turned out, was not just an incredible game in this history of this most-storied of rivalries. THIS was a shot heard ‘round the world, and we are all still in shock from it today.
Still, not a bad turnaround from going winless in the SEC last year to having only one loss this year, even now potentially vying for a shot at the national title. Guz Malzahn deserves “coach of the year” accolades for that alone.
Oh, and Stanford-Notre Dame turned out to be a very watchable game in its own right. If that’s not enough, Steve Spurrier proved that he is the man yet again by schooling Dabo Swinney in Columbia, with his South Carolina Gamecocks trouncing the Clemson Tigers 31-17. Had his squad not blown the game to hot-and-cold Tennessee earlier in the year, they would have punched their ticket to Atlanta to represent the East division in the conference championship game. Instead, the team that will have that honor will be, inexplicably, Gary Pinkel and the Missouri Tigers. Such is the world of college football at the end of the 2013 regular season. What a way to cap things off, and best of all, there is a great after-party next Saturday with more games on the slate!
New Apex Predator Theropod Dino Species Discovered November 29, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Science.
Tags: Acrocanthosaurus, Allosaur, apex, Carcharodontosaurus, Carnosaur, dino, dinosaur, meekerorum, Paleontology, Predator, Siats, Theropod, Tyrranosaur, Utah, Ute
add a comment
Paleontologists announced a major discovery in Paris recently, that of a new species of apex Theropod predator found in North America. At over 30 feet long and weighing 4 tons, It was one of the greatest land predators on Earth when it lived 100 million years ago. Scientists found the fossilized remains sticking out from a slope in the Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah in 2008. It would take two years to slowly remove them from the rocks and cleaned, and two more to analyze the bones to see if in fact this were a new species not yet in the scientific/fossil record, etc. Scientists named it Siats meekerorum; the genus honors the mythical, cannibalistic monster from Ute tribal lore (the genus name is pronounced “SEE-atch”).
The fact that a new 30-foot Theropod has been discovered is amazing news enough. But what is even more amazing is that this is the first predatory dino species this size to be discovered in North America in more than six decades.
“It’s been 63 years since a predator of this size has been named from North America,” said Lindsay Zanno, of North Carolina’s State University and Museum of Natural Sciences, in a press release.
“This dinosaur was a colossal predator, second only to the great T. rex and perhaps Acrocanthosaurus in the North American fossil record,” Zanno continued.
Even more significant is that the discovery of a predatory species this size fills in a 30 million-year gap between the extinction of Allosaurs and the maturation of the evolution of the Tyrannosaurs in North America. True, Carcharodontosaurus was a major predator at this time, too, but the current fossil record indicates it was only around from 100-93 million years ago — much more narrow span of time. Moreover, its fossils have been found in what used to be the supercontinent Gondwana (specifically, present-day Africa and South America). The aforementioned Acrocathosaurus was in the same taxonomical family as C. saharicus, and it was found in North America, but its known span of existence, according to current fossil records, was about 116-110 million years ago.
The discovery of this species has shed new light as to which species sat atop of the proverbial pyramid in this given ecosystem in North America some 98 million years ago. The Tyrannosaurids that did exist at this time were much smaller. The extinction of Acrocanthosaurus first, and later Siats meekororum dying out, eventually opened up the opportunity for Tyrannosaurids to grow larger into the T-rex that we all know and love today.
Mack Brown’s Possible Replacements November 25, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Sports.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona State, Bobby Petrino, Boise State, Broncos, Bryan Harsin, BYU, caretaker, Chris Petersen, college, Crimson Tide, Dan Hawkins, Drew Brees, football, Greg Robinson, Huskies, Johnny Manziel, Longhorns, Mack Brown, Manny Diaz, Mike Gundy, NCAA, Nick Saban, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Red River Shootout, RG3, Robert Griffin III, Steve Sarkisian, TCU, Texas, turnaround, UCLA, Urban Meyer, USC, Washington, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Will Muschamp, WKU
add a comment
Allow me to preface this article in that writing this brings me no joy at all. For the majority of Mack Brown’s tenure at the University of Texas, he proved to be the perfect organizational fit for the program and the university. Moreover, he is demonstrably among the most adept coaches in college football at the ‘people’ side of the business. One can clearly see this in how we carries himself during the impromptu halftime interviews before he heads into the locker room to make halftime adjustments with his team. Anybody who has observed him during these interviews can vouch that he comes across as a happy gentleman to the sideline reporter for that given game, and he treats said reporter as if he or she is certainly worth his time, despite the more pressing matters that surely weigh on his mind at those given moments. Reportedly, he treats people with the same class and dignity behind the scenes/off-camera as well.
The problem, however, is that since the 2010 season, the program has clearly headed in the wrong direction. The mediocre season of 2006 was excusable, given the drop-off a defending national champion normally experiences (Alabama being an exception to the rule). The fact that they were able to return to the national title game just four years after winning their most recent one showed that the program was still among the strongest nationally. Yet starting in 2010, a precipitous drop-off in performance occurred, one that made the 2006 season look phenomenal by comparison.
Granted, not all of this is Mack Brown’s fault. The downside to being one of the sexiest programs in all of college football is that you are constantly a prime target for other programs to lure away your best assistant coaches, either for lateral moves with even higher pay, or for head coaching gigs of their own, such as Bryan Harsin (erstwhile offensive coordinator, now head coach at Arkansas State) or Will Muschamp (formerly defensive coordinator, currently embattled Florida head coach). This creates a major problem of coaching continuity. How this translates into the program suffering is simple: instead of concentrating all of his off-the-field attention on recruiting, Brown and Co. have to divert part of that time and energy into hunting for suitable replacement personnel. This reduced time for recruiting analysis in turn leads to whiffing on key recruits, which partially explains the Horns’ mediocre-to-weak performances in most of its big games since 2010.
Another issue is institutional arrogance, something Mack Brown could help curtail, but hasn’t. He once bragged that if he were head coach at Texas in 1997, he would not have overlooked Drew Brees as possible QB for the Horns. Yet despite this boast, he clearly overlooked Johnny Manziel, and when Texas tried to recruit Robert Griffin III, they tried to recruit him as a defensive back. Let that sink in for a moment. Such institutional arrogance can most effectively be curtailed by the head coach himself, and yet the problem has yet to be addressed.
After a couple of embarrassing losses earlier in the year (one to BYU, the other to Ole Miss), we all left the program for dead. Then the unexpected happened in that instead of getting blown out by Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout (like in 2012), we had our way with the Sooners instead. Needless to say, this took us all by surprise, albeit pleasantly. We quickly got the impression that perhaps things had quickly turned out, that all it took was the firing of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and replacing him with the more capable Greg Robinson. More wins over TCU and Kansas soon followed. We initially chalked up having to go into OT to beat West Virginia to simple things such as, A) it was on the road, and B) it was West Virginia, and team very unpredictable in terms of whether they will come out flat or with their hair on fire.
But after the undressing the Longhorns had at the hands of Oklahoma State last week, we were all shocked back into reality. There are still systemic problems in the program that have remained unaddressed. The positively embarrassing loss to Oklahoma last year left many fans grumbling that it was time for a changing of the guard, including the thoughtful writers at Barking Carnival. Even after a face-saving win over the Sooners this year, the loss to the Cowboys reminded us that glaring issues remain unaddressed, issues that will only be resolved by a change in direction of the program, which is best accomplished with a new CEO of the company.
So who are the viable replacements? In truth, more than a few names are bandied about, but for the sake of cutting through the clutter, let us reduce that relatively lengthy list to a couple of already-mentioned names, plus one or two more than people have not mentioned or are reticent to for whatever reason.
I agree with Big(g) Ern at Barking Carnival. New Texas athletics director Steve Patterson should at least ask Nick Saban and Urban Meyer if they are interested. Neither are likely to be, given their current situations, but there is no harm in asking, and confirmed “no’s” from both men will put meaningless speculation from fans to rest once and for all, save for the most delusional of meatballs.
Besides, it is unlikely that Saban would leave Alabama for Texas, no matter how much money you offer him. He is 62 years old, already has a palace of a house, and is not someone who uses all that money to buy expensive toys. The reason being, he has no interest in expensive toys; he’s a workaholic, and workaholics are driven by the job, not by toys. Besides, he has built an almost-bulletproof dynasty at one of the most storied programs in all of college football; how does one top that?
So who could it be? Let us start with the most obvious of names:
Mike Gundy: This could work. He’s one of those coaches who is highly effective if he has tons of resources at his disposal. That might not be the most flattering of commentaries, but given that he has been back up with T. Boone Pickens’ money, he has managed to do great things at Oklahoma State. Imagine what he could accomplish with the unlimited monetary back of Texas’ boosters? If such possibilities stand to reason, it would be enough for us to divert our attention from his teenage-like hairline, despite being a man of 46.
Chris Petersen: This also could work. It is at this juncture that I part company with the thoughtful fellows at Barking Carnival. They seem to think that because the luster of the Boise State program is fading, that Petersen himself is by consequence a less viable candidate for the position. But the diminished national prestige of the program is not Petersen’s fault. It is just that the Broncos’ stock has peaked in value. Boise State has become a victim of its own success. Given that Idaho is hardly hotbed for top-tier college talent, they have to look elsewhere (mostly California) for good players. The highest-profile recruits in that region will usually choose USC, UCLA, Oregon or Arizona State over Boise State, so they have to devise a system to root out guys with enough talent to compete, but at the same time, find guys who are “tweeners” that are usually overlooked by the big boys. Then, Boise State needs to devise and offensive and defensive system that plays to the strengths of these “tweener” recruits.
At this, they have been remarkably successful until recently. What has happened is that they have become a victim of their own success. No team that is viable on a national scale wants to play Boise State anymore because they – the Broncos — could upset them, thus ruining a potential run at a national title. Worse yet, there is little incentive to play Boise State in their home stadium, since the university has done nothing to expand the stadium’s capacity from its paltry 37,000 despite a solid 8 or 9-year run of success. A good deal of the team’s recent success was at the hands of Chris Petersen, who would be wise to take a more prestigious job while he can before staying at BSU too long with cause his stock to irreparably dip. Petersen has proven to be a very adept caretaker CEO, and the Texas program is not in shambles – yet. Texas has good talent pieces in place, they just lack the coaching – and the A+ QB that would be becoming of such a program – to allow for the team to truly play up to its potential.
Who is a coach that has not been mentioned but has potential? One name this is always possible – though few seem to want to admit it – Bobby Petrino.
Try not to laugh. Yes, his, ahem, swordplay at Arkansas was a major black mark (or, er, scarlet letter) on his career and indeed, life, resume, but let that not obfuscate a simple fact. The guy can coach. He can also recruit, too. Yes, much like Urban Meyer at Florida, his Louisville team bordered on an inmate colony, but part of his untouchable skill set was his ability to be a captain running a tightly-run ship, not allowing any sort of wiggle room for would-be thugs to run amok. An advantage of recruiting in Texas, for Texas, is that he could bring in the highest-caliber of athletes in-state without have to run the degree of risk of bringing in potential off-the-field liabilities like he did at Louisville and at Arkansas.
But again, he can coach. Few coaches in the business seem to have the keen sense of knowing when it is the right time to pass and when it is the right time to run the ball like Petrino. Between his ability to acquire talent, manage personnel, and call plays makes him one of the most dangerous coaches in the business. Placing him with the unlimited resources of the Texas Longhorns program could potentially create a juggernaut that would rival the current dynasty of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Yes, he is currently in his first year at Western Kentucky, but he is also incredibly mercenary. His loyalty does seem to go to the highest bidder, but by that same token, can anybody think of a better job than the Texas job? College coaches around the country recognize it without hesitation as one of the three best jobs in the nation. Translation: assuming he A) were offered the Texas job, and B) took the Texas job, what could lure him away from it? As smart as he is, he would surely have the sense to avoid the, er, swordplay that ended the good thing he had going at Arkansas.
So, in summation, Chris Petersen would be my second choice to replace Mack Brown at Texas, but Petrino would be my first. The program is not exactly down the drain yet, so a turnaround CEO might not be needed, at least not yet. If brought in soon enough, a good caretaker CEO could still bring the Horns to the level of performance fans rightfully expect.
Addendum, 12-06-13: Chris Petersen, mentioned as a potential replacement for Mack Brown earlier in this article, has since taken the Washington Huskies job vacated by Steve Sarkisian. The news was announced this morning. In truth, he is a good fit for that program. He loves the Pacific Northwest, has recruited in the Seattle area before, and is a good caretaker CEO. Sarkisian already turned the Huskies around into a well-function, 9-win-a-year organization; Petersen can now come in and keep the good thing going, just as he did after Dan Hawkins left Boise State for Colorado. In summation, this is a good hire for the Huskies.
College Football Week 13 Awards November 24, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Sports.
Tags: Alabama, Alabama A&M, Arizona, Arizona State, Art Briles, Auburn, Baylor, Brian Kelly, Butch Jones, Central Michigan, Charlie Strong, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, college, David Shaw, Duke, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, football, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Idaho, James Franklin, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mark Helfrich, Marshall, Memphis, Michigan State, Mike Gundy, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Navy, NCAA, New Mexico State, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, San Jose State, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, Tommy Tuberville, UAB, UCLA, UTEP Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Western Michigan, Will Muschamp
add a comment
(Note: All rankings are current AP [week 13] unless otherwise noted.)
Wish I were him: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Glad I’m not him: Art Briles, Baylor
Lucky guy: James Franklin, Vanderbilt
Poor guy: Butch Jones, Tennessee
Desperately seeking a clue: Charlie Strong, Louisville
Desperately seeking a P.R. man: Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati
Desperately seeking sunglasses and a fake beard: Mark Helfrich, Oregon
Desperately seeking … anything: Will Muschamp, Florida
Thought you’d kick butt, you did: South Carolina (defeated Coastal Carolina 70-7)
Thought you’d kick butt, you didn’t: Louisville (defeated Memphis only 24-17)
Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you did: Idaho (lost to Florida State 80-14)
Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you didn’t: UAB (lost to Rice 37-34)
Thought you wouldn’t kick butt, you did: Florida Atlantic (defeated New Mexico State 55-10)
Dang, they’re good: LSU
Dang, they’re bad: UTEP
Dang, they’re cursed: Northwestern
Did the season start? Oregon
Can the season end? Florida
Can the season never end? Oklahoma State
Play this again: No. 17 Arizona State 38, No. 14 UCLA 33
Play this again, too: Navy 58, San Jose State 52, 3 OT
Take a look at this again, while you’re at it: Vanderbilt 14, Tennessee 10
Never play this again: Georgia Tech 66, Alabama A&M 7
What? No. 22 LSU 38, No. 12 Texas A&M 10
Huh? Georgia Southern 26, Florida 20
Are you kidding me? Arizona 42, No. 5 Oregon 16
Oh – my – God: No. 10 Oklahoma State 49, No. 4 Baylor 17
(rankings are current AP (post-week 13, pre-week 14)
Ticket to die for: No. 1 Alabama @ No. 4 Auburn
Best non-Big Six vs. Big Six matchup: (none)
Best non-Big Six matchup: East Carolina @ Marshall
Upset alert: Mississippi State @ Ole Miss
Upset alert 2: Georgia @ Georgia Tech
Must win: No. 19 Texas A&M @ No. 5 Missouri
Offensive explosion: Texas Tech @ Texas (Thurs.)
Defensive struggle: Eastern Michigan @ Central Michigan
Great game no one is talking about: Minnesota @ No. 11 Michigan State
Another great game nobody has noticed: Duke @ North Carolina
Intriguing coaching matchup: David Shaw of Stanford vs. Brian Kelly of Notre Dame
Who’s bringing the body bags? Western Michigan @ No. 19 Northern Illinois
Why are they playing? BYU @ Nevada
Plenty of good seats remaining: Idaho @ New Mexico State
They shoot horses, don’t they? Tennessee @ Kentucky
Tags: 75th, anniversary, Artie Shaw, As In A Morning Sunrise, Between a Kiss and a Sigh, Cole Porter, Copenhagen, Deep in a Dream, diamond, Helen Forrest, Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein II, RCA Bluebird, Softly
add a comment
Seventy-five years ago today, the great Artie Shaw recorded two of his greatest records. No, not the greatest of them all, which of course is his venerable, timeless, “Begin the Beguine”, but these two are quite close to the top.
One of which is “Between A Kiss And A Sigh”,
While the other is “Deep In A Dream”. Both feature the superb lyrics of a young Helen Forrest, who made her major league debut with Shaw’s band before moving on to Benny Goodman at the beginning of 1940.
Both recordings are wonderful in that they personify the difficult combination of music that exudes smoothness while at the same time maintaining a good, bouncy tempo. These two tunes give the sensation of being in a high-brow Art Deco nightclub in the late 1930s, which is always the ideal of where one wants to be for a night on the town!
As far as the lyrics go, they are relatively simple compared to the unmatched eloquence of something penned by, say, Cole Porter or Ira Gershwin. This particularly pertains to the former song, though the latter is not devoid of vivid lyrics. One example:
“The smoke makes a stairway for you to descend: You come to my arms; my this bliss never end!”
What this shows is that even songs that would by themselves not make the cut for the Great American Songbook are still timeless when given the right kind of arrangement and are paired with the right performer. Obviously this is the case with both of these records. But what is also shows is that even if their lyrics cannot match the poignance of Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” or the vivid metaphors of Porter’s “You’re the Top,” they nevertheless are well-written enough to remind us yet again that when it came to writing songs and making music in general, these tunes were from a time when there was an embarrassments of riches — of great lyrics!
And on top of that, they’re just great records.
But wait, there’s more! In addition to the two aforementioned hits, he recorded a few others on Nov. 17 , 1938 as well, such as his version of “Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise,” the lyrics of which were written by none other than Oscar Hammerstein II in 1928. But in typical Artie Shaw fashion, he scrapped the lyrics this time and concentrated on the music itself.
Disclaimer: Artie Shaw recorded on RCA Bluebird. What they show in the video is a mid-1950s Mercury label. Why, I don’t know. Furthermore, all of these tunes would have been cut and pressed on 78 RPM records, not 45′s, which were not introduced until 1949.
But I digress. The band also recorded one of their versions of “Copenhagen” during this same session.
If that’s not enough, Artie Shaw and his band also cut a nice ditty in “Thanks For Everything”, surely a sentiment we love to share with friends, loved ones, and significant others alike. Naturally, Helen Forrest’s vocals add just the right tough to this track.
College Football Week 12 Awards November 17, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Sports.
Tags: Al Golden, Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Bowling Green, BYU, Cal, California, Central Florida, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, college, David Bailiff, Duke, Ed Orgeron, FBS, Florida State, football, Frank Solich, Gators, Georgia, Gus Malzahn, Houston, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, J.J. Worton, Kansas, Kansas State, Kevin Sumlin, Les Miles, LSU, Mack Brown, Mark Richt, Maryland, Miami (Florida), Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Mizzou, NCAA, Notre Dame, Ohio U, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Purdue, Ricardo Louis, Rice, Rutgers, Sonny Dykes, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Stanford, Syracuse, TCU, Temple, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, UCF, UConn, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Will Muschamp
add a comment
(Note: All rankings are current AP [week 12] unless otherwise noted.)
Wish I were him: Ed Orgeron, USC
Glad I’m not him: Mack Brown, Texas
Lucky guy: Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Poor guy: Mark Richt, Georgia
Desperately seeking a clue: Frank Solich, Ohio U
Desperately seeking a P.R. man: David Bailiff, Rice
Desperately seeking sunglasses and a fake beard: Al Golden, Miami (Fla.)
Desperately seeking … anything: Sonny Dykes, Cal
Thought you’d kick butt, you did: Oklahoma (defeated Iowa State 48-10)
Thought you’d kick butt, you didn’t: Central Florida (defeated Temple 39-36)
Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you did: Syracuse (lost to Florida State 59-3)
Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you didn’t: Temple (lost to UCF 39-36)
Thought you wouldn’t kick butt, you did: Bowling Green (defeated Ohio U 49-0)
Dang, they’re good: Baylor
Dang, they’re bad: Ohio U
Can’t Stand Prosperity: Stanford
Did the season start? Rutgers
Can the season end? Cal
Can the season never end? USC
Play this again: No. 7 Auburn 43, No. 25 Georgia 38
Play this again, too: Kansas State 33, TCU 31
Never play this again: No. 2 Florida State 59, Syracuse 3
What? Maryland 27, Virginia Tech 24, OT
Huh? Kansas 31, West Virginia 19
Are you kidding me? Duke 48, No. 23 Miami 30
Oh – my – God: USC 20, No. 4 Stanford 17
Told you so: No. 4 Baylor 63, Texas Tech 34
(rankings are current AP (post-week 12, pre-week 13)
Ticket to die for: No. 4 Baylor @ No. 14 Oklahoma State
Ticket to die for, SEC edition: No. 15 Texas A&M @ No. 12 LSU
Best non-Big Six vs. Big Six matchup: BYU @ Notre Dame
Best non-Big Six matchup: Texas State @ Western Kentucky
Upset alert: No. 18 Oklahoma @ Kansas State
Must win: No. 8 Missouri @ Ole Miss
Offensive explosion: Baylor @ Oklahoma State
Defensive struggle: Michigan @ Iowa
Great game no one is talking about: Cincinnati @ Houston
Intriguing coaching matchup: Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M vs. Les Miles of LSU
Who’s bringing the body bags? Idaho @ No. 2 Florida State
Why are they playing? Chattanooga @ No. 1 Alabama
Plenty of good seats remaining: UConn @ Temple
Plenty of good seats remaining, Big Ten edition: Illinois @ Purdue
They shoot horses, don’t they? Coastal Carolina @ No. 11 South Carolina
Week 12 Random Thoughts
Okay, so this week was not big on upsets; some of the lower-tiered ones listed here were borderline reaches. But there were some eye-popping, jaw-to-the-floor-dropping catches. For instance, there was one flying, one-handed touchdown catch by a UCF receiver that put the Golden Knights even with Temple, and thus put them on the path to preserve their undefeated season.
A different sort of catch, but one that solidified victory was a tipped pass on 4-and-forever that just so happened to fall within reach of an Auburn receiver going deep. Ricardo Louis managed to reach for the ball in stride and cruise to the end zone for a touchdown that caused Jordan-Hare Stadium to erupt in ecstasy.
USC, meanwhile, seems to have been rejuvenated under the leadership of Ed Orgeron. Few experts were predicting a win over No. 4-ranked Stanford, what with the Cardinal’s hard-charging power running game. But the Trojans’ defense help firm enough to nullify the Cardinal’s advantage, and in the end, helped produce the biggest win for USC yet this season. In case someone might think that last statement is an exaggeration, when, might I ask in return, was the last time you saw the students rush the field at LA Coliseum this year?
Meanwhile, we all knew this week would come. This time around, it just so happens to be Week 13 where most SEC teams have the unenviable task of being pitiless executioner to FCS fare, glorified or otherwise. The irony is that this time around, these teams are not chump D-1AA teams. Alabama is playing Chattanooga, who is currently 8-3. South Carolina is to play Coastal Carolina, who is currently 10-1 (at least they’re not playing Wofford this time!). Florida will play Georgia Southern, who might only be 6-4 in FCS play, but they’re still a traditional power at that level. But that aside, why schedule these glorified body bag games so late in year? Did we not get enough of these sub-par matchups in September?
Speaking of Georgia Southern, though, maybe Florida will finally be able to win a game again. No, that is not a type-o. The Florida Gators (yes, THE Florida Gators) are on a five-game losing streak. Why, you might ask? Perhaps these stats might explain a few things: they rank 101st in the FBS in passing yardage, 82nd in rushing yards, and 112th in “points for,” meaning the total number of points their offense has scored. Yet they rank 14th in points against. The latter is a more-than-respectable stat; the rest of positively abysmal, especially by Florida standards. Clearly, they have a good defense; they are just atrocious on offense. Who is to blame? One possibility is Will Muschamp, who is a defensive coordinator by trade before becoming the head coach in Gainesville. Could he invest some capital in a better offensive coordinator? That might help. But at this point, it leaves fans and observers alike to wonder if he is the man for this sort of job.
At this point, it’s a fairly safe bet that that Florida could snap their five-game losing streak on Nov. 23; but the following week they face No. 2 Florida State. What is the “over-under” for the Gators going 5-7 this year, Vegas?
America’s Greatest Music: The Man/Gal That Got Away November 14, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Pop Culture.
Tags: A Star Is Born, album, Capitol Records, Frank Sinatra, golden age, Harold Arlen, In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning, Ira Gershwin, Judy Garland, Silver Age, The Gal That Got Away, The Man That Got Away, This Is Sinatra
1 comment so far
This tune is something of a break from most American pop standards spotlighted within this series of blog entries in that it is not from the Golden Age of the Great American Songbook (ca. 1920-1945). Nevertheless, it quickly merited a place in the aforementioned Songbook because of its eloquent lyrics that easily compare to those of said Golden Age. The viewing public first heard this from the hit 1954 film “A Star Is Born,” and was broken by none other than Judy Garland. The fact that is was written by Harold Arlen (music) and Ira Gershwin (lyrics) certainly does not hurt, and indeed, accredits the song all the more (they being two songwriting veterans whose penmanship contributed plenty to America’s Greatest Music)!
What is interesting is that the title must be slightly modified depending on whether the person that is singing this is male for female. When Judy Garland broke the tune, the title was “The Man That Got Away”. Not so with Frank Sinatra, who recorded his own version on the Capitol label shortly after the song became a hit off the silver screen. It could not have been recorded any later than 1955, for that was the year that the album “This is Sinatra” was released. Interesting side-note: “This is Sinatra” was no concept album, unlike his “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning” album from the previous year. “This is…” was merely a compilation of hit singles he had over 1953 and ’54, not that such a distinction should detract from the collection of masterworks found in one album!
For my money, Sinatra’s version is the definitive one, though that ought not to detract from Judy Garland’s heartfelt rendition. Whichever your preference may be, few songs better personify the feeling one experiences when the person-of-the-opposite-sex that they thought was “The One” for them has gotten away from them. That alone should be reason enough why this song belongs in the Great American Songbook, Silver Age or no.
College Football Week 11 Awards November 11, 2013Posted by intellectualgridiron in Sports.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona State, Army, Auburn, Ball State, Baylor, Bob Stoops, Bobby Petrino, Brady Hoke, BYU, college, Colorado, David Shaw, FIU, Florida, Florida International, Florida State, football, Gus Malzahn, Hawaii, Houston, Idaho State, Iowa State, Les Miles, Louisville, LSU, Mark Helfrich, Miami (Fla.), Miami (Ohio), Michigan, NCAA, Norm Chow, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio U, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-12, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Sooners, South Carolina, Stanford, Steve Spurrier, Texas, Texas Tech, Troy, UConn, Utah, UTEP, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Will Muschamp
add a comment
(Note: All rankings are current AP [week 11] unless otherwise noted.)
Wish I were him: David Shaw, Stanford
Glad I’m not him: Mark Helfrich, Oregon
Lucky guy: Bobby Petrino, Western Kentucky
Poor guy: Les Miles, LSU
Desperately seeking a clue: Brady Hoke, Michigan
Desperately seeking a P.R. man: Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Desperately seeking sunglasses and a fake beard: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Desperately seeking … anything: Norm Chow, Hawaii
Thought you’d kick butt, you did: Florida State (defeated Wake Forest 59-3)
Thought you’d kick butt, you didn’t: Louisville (defeated UConn only 31-10)
Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you did: Colorado (lost to Washington 59-7)
Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you didn’t: Army (lost to Western Kentucky 21-17)
Thought you wouldn’t kick butt, you did: Baylor (defeated Oklahoma 41-12)
Dang, they’re good: Stanford
Dang, they’re bad: Miami (Ohio)
Can’t Stand Prosperity: Oregon
Did the season start? Ohio U
Can the season end? Purdue
Can the season never end? Baylor
Play this again: Texas 47, West Virginia 40, OT
Play this again, too: Pittsburgh 28, No. 23 Notre Dame 21
Never play this again: No. 2 Florida State 59, Wake Forest 3
What? Pittsburgh 28, No. 23 Notre Dame 21
Huh? No. 5 Stanford 26, No. 2 Oregon 20
Are you kidding me? Vanderbilt 31, Florida 17
Oh – my – God: Virginia Tech 42, No. 11 Miami 24
Told you so: No. 22 Arizona State 20, Utah 19
(rankings are current AP (post-week 11, pre-week 12)
Ticket to die for: Texas Tech @ No. 4 Baylor (or, No. 12 Oklahoma State @ No. 23 Texas)
Best non-Big Six vs. Big Six matchup: Troy @ Ole Miss (yes, I know, we had to scrape at the bottom of the barrel even for that one!)
Best non-Big Six matchup: Ball State @ No. 20 Northern Illinois (Wed.)
Upset alert: Oregon State @ No. 22 Arizona State
Must win: Houston @ No. 19 Louisville
Offensive explosion: Texas Tech @ No. 4 Baylor
Defensive struggle: Florida @ No. 11 South Carolina
Great game no one is talking about: Ball State @ No. 20 Northern Illinois (Wed.)
Intriguing coaching matchup: Will Muschamp of Florida vs. Steve Spurrier of South Carolina
Who’s bringing the body bags? Iowa State @ No. 22 Oklahoma (or, No. 3 Ohio State @ Illinois)
Why are they playing? Idaho State @ BYU
Plenty of good seats remaining: FIU @ UTEP
They shoot horses, don’t they? Penn State @ Purdue
Week 11 Random Thoughts:
Okay, so it might not have been the biggest week in the college football season. But it was good. Not one, but two rock-‘em, sock-‘em match-ups on Thursday night? Yes, please! True, one of the outcomes was a bit less than exciting. But is it always not fun – outside of Sooner Nation, at least – to see the arrogant Bob Stoops take a shellacking? On the west coast was a “ticket to die for” that solidified the standings for the Pac-12. Oregon looked like a hurry-up offensive juggernaut. Green tee-shirts saying how the team, and indeed, the entire community, wanting a shot at Alabama, practically littered the campus. In Palo Alto, Calif., meanwhile, was Stanford. Sure, they were tough, but they already had one loss, and it was to Utah. Let that sink in for a moment. A team that could field an entire offense of tight ends if it wanted to – okay, so they look like they could! – all of a sudden gets beat by [now] 4-5 Utah.
So it was going to be a titanic clash; that much we knew. But let us be honest; we all thought that the advantage would be Oregon’s, given their previous performances, and given that no other team’s defense could keep up with their offense. What Stanford did was turn their offense into their defense. A tough running game between the tackles exposed Oregon for being undersized on that side of the ball. At one point, the Cardinal kept the ball for a full half of the third quarter in one series according to some reports. Oregon may have a great system, but Stanford had better NFL-caliber talent, and it showed. The only reason that the Cardinal beat the Ducks by only six points is that Stanford took their foot off the gas half-way through the fourth quarter. They got more conservative, and took fewer risks, and that gave Oregon the opportunity for their type of offense to make up points quickly. Otherwise, the margin of victory would have been three touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Baylor has yet again proven their mettle by beating a ranked, marquee program, and in convincing fashion. The irony in all of this is that even though the Sooners have been ranked well over the course of the season, it still cannot be considered a good year, since they have lost badly to Texas and now to Baylor. Heaven help them if they lose to the Cowboys in the Bedlam Series!